Lynne d Johnson



« April 2003 | Diary | June 2003 »

05.23.03 01:54 AM

if i were a matrix character, i'd be...

You are Neo
You are Neo, from "The Matrix." You
display a perfect fusion of heroism and
What Matrix Persona Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

and since i'm going for that one, i'd like to see which Xmen character i'm most like...

You are Storm!
You are very strong and very protective of those
you love. You are in tune with nature and are
very concerned with justice and humanity.
Unfortunately, certain apprehensions and fears
are very hard for you to overcome, and can
often inhibit you when most need to be strong.
Which X-Men character are you most like?
brought to you by Quizilla

i hope there are no contradictions here.

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05.20.03 08:32 PM

a picture is worth a thousand words, and then some

It's not that I haven't been following the Jayson Blair story, it's just that I haven't been talking about it. And so, upon my descent into the subway today an arresting cover photo on a magazine caught my attention. I copped that sucker mad fast. And I ought to be ashamed, for this is just what the folks behind Newsweek wanted me to do. Not quite as dark and haunting as the cover of OJ on Time back then, this photo was placed for the sole purpose of evoking certain emotions with none of them being positive. Some of the adjectives that come to mind shady, unstable, gangster, trickster...damn! Is there no sympathy for this man? Is he really the only one at fault? What about the folks behind the engine who tried to turn him into supernegro? Hmm... If you haven't seen the cover, it's here. Hey even the title connotes images not quite so bright: The Secret Life of Jayson Blair. Not to be outdone, New York magazine has handled the affair a little differently. On the site, we see color photos of Blair and Raines, with Raines looking sinister and Blair as the charming man. On the newstands the photos are unretouched black and whites. The title: The Times Under Fire. To be quite honest, I thought all news outlets used fact checkers to avoid such fiascos to begin with.

10 Years of Vibe Charting Urban Fashion's Rise. While that isn't exactly the title of the piece, Guy Trebay's Taking Hip-Hop Seriously. Seriously. in The New York Times today gives a long due big ups to urban style. Check it out:

"The hip-hop revolution in fashion is rarely called that, of course, or even taken seriously. There has not been a museum show devoted to it, and yet it is hard to contemplate a survey of style's last two decades that omitted the importance of the following things: track suits, sweat clothes, wrestling, boxing or soccer shoes, designer sneakers, outsize denims, prison-style jumpsuits, underwear worn above the trouser waistband, do-rags, cargo pants, messenger bags, dreadlocks, cornrows, athletic jerseys, Kangol caps. The phenomenon of ghetto-fabulous dressing, as evidenced by exotic pelts, platinum watches of alarm-clock proportions and diamond barnacled bling-bling from Jacob the Jeweler, might warrant an exhibition, or at least a doctoral thesis, all its own."

Aren't we Just a Little Sick of Reality TV?. Not that I've watched "Extreme Makeover" nor will I ever watch "America's Next Top Model," but there is an interesting culture piece in The New York Times by Gina Bellafante, titled " Our Bodies, Our Silicon, Ourselves," that gets to the point of this madness. Check it out:

"As disheartening as it is uplifting, "Extreme Makeover" is a bittersweet rebuke to principles cherished by most thinking, sensitive people: that what you look like does not determine who you are; that personal growth can be achieved only through meditation, therapy or other taxing avenues of introspection. In an enlightened world, liposuction should not make you a more engaged participant in human affairs."

"But what if it does?"

"Interviews with a half-dozen participants of the show several months after they recovered from surgery suggest that the dramatic changes in appearance did ignite changes in their feelings of self-worth."

Funny I'm so drawn to The New York Times when the paper's integrity is so in question right now. Isn't it?

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05.14.03 12:00 AM

this didn't have to happen

A 15-year-old girl was stabbed to death, because she was proud to be a lesbian. We live in a culture that breeds hate and violence, and so this young girl died. Furthermore, no one wants to accept that lesbians and gays deal with the same ills as ethnic minority groups, or better yet that lesbians and gays should be entitled to basic human rights. There is no reason that bias crimes against lesbians and gays should be treated any differently than those perpetrated against women or blacks. We should all have the right to live freely within this society. Hopefully this young lady did not die in vain, and lobbyists and LGBT advocates will apply more pressure to government.

She Didn't Have To Die
Teenage Girl Fatally Stabbed At A Bus Stop In Newark
Police Issue Warrant In Stabbing Of Lesbian Teen
Lesbian Teens Death Probed As Hate Crime

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05.13.03 12:23 PM

if you like the beastie boys

Then you are going to love FannyPack. I'm listening to them right now, and feeling silly (in a good way). Maybe you have even heard their single "Camel Toe" on the radio already or have seen the video for it. I'm not saying this is the greatest ish I've ever heard, but for some early-to-mid '80s electro tripped out hip-hop nostalgia this is the it. There is a comment on the current musical culture wrapped up in the music of these teenagers that is quite intriguing. Just in being their own youthful selves, unihibited, and playful they have somehow made a statement that it's time to take it back and have a lil' bit o' fun. The lyrics make you laugh, and the music makes you dance (in that shake, shake, shake, shake your booty kind o' way, but not in the KC and Sunshine Band steelo - more like Luke with some Miami Bass) --- I can just see you doing windmills and backspins now and popping and locking (oh yeah that's right that's not considered old skool anymore since Missy started using it in her videos and stage show). But I know what the song might spark you to do,You'll prob'aly start singing, "Pump up the jam, now pump it!" or "Move That Body." "Baby Got Back" or "Wild Thang" anyone?
Can you name this tune...
TINA got a big ole butt
I know I told you I'd be true
But TINA got a big ole butt
So I'm leavin' you
TINA got a big ole butt
I know I told you I'd be true
But TINA got a big ole butt
So I'm leavin' you

For real kids, this is where FannyPack takes you. It might even make you want to go back to Cali. Now how's that for a throwback?

For more on FannyPack: "Camel Toe Making An Impression On Booty Shakers, Bagel Buyers," by Joe D'Angelo. Go to VH1 or MTV for extras (like video and audio), and the article. The CD, So Stylistic is due for release in July.

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05.13.03 12:58 AM

soon come

Yo, Corey, I am really feeling that 3rd Eye Open joint, so a review is forthcoming. And Mel if you're reading there's a review of your mixtape about to hit these pages too. You boys just have to bear with mama until she gets a few things off her plate.

And dearest Donald, there will be no move to MT with the site relaunch. Besides I'm really feeling postnuke as a CMS, but I won't be moving there either. I just won't learn new tricks no matter how easy they are. You have to understand I'm from the days of the punchcard. And somehow I feel about hand coding like I do about why I drive a standard over an automatic, I just love to be in control. There is no driving unless you're doing all the work yourself. But I have set up something just for the likes of you dear. If you, or anyone else, wants to link to an entry, I have set up a mirror of this page in the archives so you can access a permalink. I don't want to go switching the URL that everyone is linked to right now, so this page will continue to exist as the diary index page. If I'm nice, I'll put the pl's at the end of each post like this permalink and you can grab the URL, but I doubt it. Each entry has an anchor tag (always has) that allows you to link directly to an entry, but now with this new system it's a little more direct but the problem is it's more work for you. You have to check the source code and also perhaps the archives for the correct page...but if you're smart you won't have to. It really is no different than what the systems you folks are using do. Anwyay, to make a long story short, the permalink for this entry would be:

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05.08.03 09:22 PM

five questions for ya'll

1. When listening to K-OS, aren't you longing all the more for a true return of Lauryn Hill?
2. Aren't Just Blaze and Kanye West's productions adding a Black Exploitation soundtrack aesthetic to hip-hop?
3. Why de artists dem feel dat putting a "Diwali Riddim" 'pon dere songs dem mean dey gwan' haf a club banger?
4. Isn't it time that Mo'nique get content with her large-sized frame so she could stop focusing on dissing skinny chicks and truly rise to her comedic abilities?
5. What does it mean that no music artist has really been able to knock 50 Cent off his top Billboard spot since his debut in February?

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05.04.03 11:55 PM

more on mixtapes and dwele, and don't forget the iPod

The art of the dis and mixtapes are receiving much ink from the press nowadays. I said it before and I'll say it again, the recording industry best find away to embrace not only mixtapes, but file sharing as well. Forget all this copyright hooplah, the industry is gonna find a way to capitalize. First iTunes with its music store and the new iPod, and now labels are looking for the next 50 on mixtapes. But not only that, mixtape lords are getting signed to labels more and more...cuz of course the industry wants a leg up on keeping its finger on the pulse and its ear to the street. Why I see the interest in mixtapes and the file sharing fiasco as similar issues, all rely on their parallels in copyright issues. But there is more to this, and it's going to take off soon. Just watch.

Last month I posted Geoff Boucher's LA Times piece on mixtapes and today I'll offer a quote from Lola Ogunnaike's NY Times piece on mixtapes. Kay Slay, The Drama King, is the focus, who also BTW appears in a recent issue of Vibe.

"Not beholden to record company executives, radio play lists or Soundscan numbers, rappers are not only free to be their most experimental but also to be their most venomous. On one of Kay Slay's recent tapes, "They Shootin'," Ja Rule questions why Eminem sports a do-rag. It's a loaded question, of course, meant to belittle Eminem for appropriating African-American culture. "You'll never have braids," Ja Rule goes on to rhyme. "You'll never know black pain. But you could become the first white rapper to get slain." By the end of his three-minute diatribe, Ja Rule has renamed Eminem "Feminem" and Ja Rule's arch-nemesis 50 Cent "loose change" and accused Eminem's mentor Dr. Dre of fraternizing with transvestites."

"Not to be outdone, in a rebuttal titled "Hail Mary," which also appears on the same tape, 50 Cent, Eminem and Busta Rhymes take turns attacking Ja Rule as nothing more than a Tupac-impersonator."
"His luck changed in 2001 when Jay-Z and Nas slugged it out on several of Kay Slay's tapes, reigniting an interest in battling, which waned after the East Coast-West Coast beefs in the late 90's culminated in the murders of Tupac Shakur and the Notorious B.I.G. The Drama King was born and soon every rapper with a beef was turning to Kay Slay. Now deejays like Kay Slay, once scorned by record labels because their tapes flouted copyright laws, possess the power to make or break an artist. Kay Slay says he gave up selling his tapes three years ago and now distributes them for free, which means he is seen as an impartial adjudicator, one with little vested interest in the outcomes of the battles he highlights or the artists he promotes. His stamp of approval has come to be highly regarded."

"He said his dis-heavy tapes did not hurt, but rather helped enrich hip-hop culture. "The game was boring until I came around," he said with the bravado that one would expect from the man dubbed the Drama King. "Everybody was too busy being fake, acting like they got along and talking about each other behind their backs. I brought the controversy back. I brought the game back to life."

Bonus: From George comes a link to a BBC Radio 1 interview with Dwele:

On Detroit...
'Detroit really has a soul vibe.. we have so many. You know, it's known for its house and its techno as well as its hip hop and Motown Records. There's a lot going on in Detroit but the soul is really coming up right now'.

On recording for the first time...
'Music has always been part of my life, for the longest, it's always what I've done as a hobby. Around 1997/98 I decided to put out an album just to see how people would feel about my music because I had always kept it to myself - I never really played it for any body outside of a select few. I made about a hundred copies and they ended up selling out in a week. They got bootlegged and down loaded and made it across the globe'.

On his influences...
'Most definitley Donny Hathaway.. I don't know what else to say except that it was like he drank a bottle honey before every session, hos voice was it. He could make you feel what he felt. Of course, Stevie Wonder... Songs In The Key of Life, Roy Ayers... there's a tonne of them'.

BTW, Dwele sings the hook on that Slum Village "Tainted" joint that I was always talking about last June. And just in case you didn't know, he also did a little singing on Bahamadia's bb Queen.
Bonus2: In the rain on Friday night, I hightailed it over to SoHo to the Apple store to check out the unveiling of the new ipod. They had two DJs with ipods plugged into a mixer, illustrating how revolutionary it is to carry around your entire music collection on these devices. No crates, and if you're a CD DJ, no CDs. Though, and you can now do this with CD mixers, there is no way to scratch, spink back, and most importantly change pitch. What kind of beat matching can you do? It's a challenge. Though I found the DJs uninteresting, I must say I was delighted to see the new ipod. I jumped the list, I mean line, by flashing my biz card. Yeah, membership has it's privileges. So what. I had checked out the ipod a day prior, my IT Director having received one for review, let me check it out. Silly me, I knew a short while ago when it was hard to find a 5gigger that it meant the new ones were soon coming, but yet I found a reseller selling a brand new 5gigger for lower than Apple's price and jumped at it. If I woulda' just waited a little longer, I'd have more songs to carry around, a sleeker device, a more intuitive control operation...damn, just a better machine. The Apple store was insanely crowded, and everyone was there to purchase a new ipod, some of course wanted to win the jbl speakers Apple was raffling off. I'm thinking about selling my 5gigger so I can re-up and get an upgrade.

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05.02.03 01:24 AM

g slang etymology

Aight so there are several slang words that begin with G, which all connote a similar ideas. I was going to break 'em down for you, but I'd like you to take a stab at identifying 'em. I hope I don't forget any of them. You can add if you'd like. I'll weigh in my opinions later. There's a possibility that an article can be developed from this, so speak up!
1. Gangsta'
2. Gutter
3. Gully
4. Grimey
5. Ghetto
6. Greasy

Question of the day: Did Missy write the lyrics for Madonna's rap in "American Life?"
"I'm drinking a Soy latte/ I get a double shot-ie/ It goes right through my body/ And you know/ I'm satisfied,/ I drive my mini cooper/ And I'm feeling super-dooper/ Yo they tell I'm a trooper/ And you know I'm satisfied/ I do yoga and pilates/ And the room is full of hotties/ So I'm checking out the bodies/ And you know I'm satisfied/ I'm digging on the isotopes/ This metaphysic's shit is dope/ And if all this can give me hope/ You know I'm satisfied/ I got a lawyer and a manager/ An agent and a chef/ Three nannies, an assistant/ And a driver and a jet/ A trainer and a butler/ And a bodyguard or five/ A gardener and a stylist/ Do you think I'm satisfied?/ I'd like to express my extreme point of view/ I'm not Christian and I'm not a Jew/ I'm just living out the American dream/ And I just realized that nothing Is what it seems"

This is why I ask, check Missy's lyrics for "Slide":
"My twinkies looks stanky on the benz/ and don't I gotta look shweet for my mens/ i make em think i got a whole bunch of paper/ and even they the ball player from the lakers/ now faker taker maker holla at cha later/ shake and wake up tell em what to get my ass from Jacobs/ that's the way a real diva like to floss it/ but a car no matter what it costess/ of course its my rolls royce's made dem nosses/ tell you who the muthafuckin' boss is/ I'ma drive and you walkin that's why you talkin/ see the chrome spinning on the wheel stop jockin'/ I'ma let you know real nice and slow I'll be broke as a joke/ if I had to be your ho so po'/ Missy on the rise like the sun if you think/ that I'm done I ain't even begun"

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