Monday, December 20, 2010

Songs in the Key of the Honest Man's Life - Ghetto Musick

If you couldn't tell from previous posts, most notably the ones entitled "Da Art of Storytelling", I'm an Outkast homer. Since they burst onto the scene in '93, I've ridden with Big Boi and 3 Stacks on pretty much every thing they dropped. This past weekend, VH1 Soul did me a solid by playing 5 'Kast songs in a row. And one of them is one of my all time favorites in "Ghetto Musick".

The 808s on that joint are like the 808s used for "Bombs over Baghdad" but on crack. Meaning the sound is sped up even more than the already fast drums for BOB. As soon as Dre starts off with "Turn me up, don't turn me down..." it's officially on. Then Sir Lucious Leftfoot drops his classic verses spliced in with the Patti Labelle sample on the hook, it's a match made in heaven. Shoot, I know it still goes hard when my 1 year old stopped on a dime whatever he was doing, was mesmerized by the sound, and started getting crunk himself LOL.

OutKast - Ghetto Musick

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Songs in the Key of the Honest Man's Life - Sobb Story

Leaders of the New School. LONS for short ha! Busta Rhymes, Dinco D, Charlie Brown and Milo. When they dropped "Just another case of the PTA" I was hooked. It's hard to describe to their style, it was just different yet dope. Then when I heard them on the classic posse cut "Scenario", I was like, their CD is mine. And I wasn't disappointed. The only thing I was disappointed by was their breakup a few years later....

My favorite cut from them all time is "Sobb Story." Don't ask me why. Well you can ask me and I'll tell you it's simply for the hook "I know you and you know me..." Such a great I didn't have nothing-now I do-now I'm the local celebrity type story. Just gravy. You can only imagine my joy when I heard this on the radio earlier this week.

Leaders of the New School - SOBB Story

Friday, December 17, 2010

I like Big Butts and I cannot lie.....

There's an epidemic sweeping across America people. And honestly it has been happening for quite some time now. I dunno when this marvel occurred or when it started but I damn sure have taken notice. You with me? Still trying to figure out what I'm talkin' bout Willis? It's not science related, not sports related, and definitely not money related. It's human related or to be more specific glutues maximus related. In simpler terms the butt. In Honest Man terms, the booty. As in R. Kelly's genius of a song "Feelin' on yo Booty". And that epidemic I'm talking about is white girls having black girls' asses....Oh yes it's damn true!

Ok, I'm assuming for my sistas reading this, they are probably spending 5-10 minutes on the above paragraph cussing me out, questioning my manhood, and any other related gesture that sparks outrage. Everyone one else is going, I'm with you Honest Man or Really Honest Man? and are ready to keep reading. Before I go into my history lesson, let me say for the record, I always hold the black woman's booty to the utmost of highest respect (Did I reel some of the sistas back in with that line? LOL probably not). But seriously, if you give me a choice of Jennifer Lopez, or Tichina Arnold, I'm going for PAM! Now let's get back to business at hand.

It was high school when I first took notice. It's just one of those things with dudes. We definitely are scoping out a woman's body. Especially one that milk did a body good. And considering I went to high school with a lot of white girls, it was damn near impossible not to peep a snow flake's goodies when it made sense. And I was noticing how a couple of chicks actually were thick and curvaceous in as Ginuwine describes it "Those jeans!" At first I thought I was crazy, like they only look good because I see them all the damn time and just chalked it up to me being delusional...

As I got older, I put that stuff out of my head, especially when I was in A town. Too many non snow flakes around for a lifetime. I barely remembered thinking that white girls had booty during this period since I rarely saw them. It was like the world was normal again. Black chicks had booties for days, and I was like flies on shit trying to get at 'em. So I graduate college with the sky is blue, the earth is round and all is well type logic.

Do you read King Magazine? I read it for the insightful "articles." And in the late 90s, I was reading this great "article" on the chick from "Blossom" aka Six. And when I kept reading that "article" I was like Van Damme this white girl got ass for days. Initially, I felt crazy, like what the hell is wrong with me. I was trying to tell myself that I'm either working too hard or the alcohol has caught up with me. But oddly, a few weeks later, I was hanging with my boys and I'll never forget this. We were having guy talk doing the usual who's the hottest chick on the block type convo, and one of them goes "I'll tell you what. Ya'll remember that chick from Blossom? Have ya'll seen the King magazine with her in it. I'm tellin' ya'll cuzzin that chick got ass for days!" Ding Ding Ding Ding!! That readers is what we call confirmation and validation. It wasn't just me that noticed.

After that it was a domino effect. It literally seemed like I would be somewhere random, look up, just so "happen" to catch the backside of some shorty, she turns around and I'm straight trippin' she's white. Like how is this possible?? The gods have lied to me?? Or for art thou cursed me :-)!! Then the ultimate came when Ice T broke out his wife Coco and I'm like oh hell naw, it's official now. White chicks with black girl booties have arrived. And when Kim Kardashian "blew" up, it was Van Damme, the game is over. Cue the hate from sistas worldwide. I would get into arguments with my homegirls like you wilin or hell no but I counter with you just mad cuz that white girl is stylin' on you LOL. Don't hate, congratulate! I didn't say I was gonna leave the sistas for the kryptonite, I'm just complimenting the lady's bootiful style....

So for the fellas out there strugglin' with this and have been ashamed to admit what they saw, the Honest Man has officially given you the OK to let it out. No reason in keeping that to yourself cuz we all in awe of what's happening across America. I don't know if it's due to working out, due to a change in eating habits or having their genes spliced with an ounce of Serena serum but yo it's something that is certified and approved by the Honest Board of Governors. Let the haters hate cuz I know the playas are playing....literally!

Today's Lesson

I don't want my sistas to view this as an article of me abandoning or promoting other bruhs to abandon you because I'm not. I'm just making you aware of an awesome and inspiring movement that's happening in your world. Trust me, you still the queens of our castles. Just be leery of that duchess bending over.....

Thursday, December 16, 2010

What's wrong with Today's R&B?

The Honest Man is in a sad state of mind readers. And sad because of the current state of rhythm & blues music, better known as R&B amongst the bruhs. But I have christened it rhythm and bullshit lately because of all the bad music I've heard on the radio. And I don't know if it's me just becoming more of an old fogie and clinging too hard to the past. Or maybe it's me not embracing how r&b has evolved over the past decade or so. Or maybe it's just I'm right, the masses are wrong, and they don't recognize good from bad music. I think it's a combination of all 3....

I have 400 plus CDs of music. You'll be shocked to know my collection comprised 40% of R&B, 40% of Hip Hop, and 20% of Alternative. Hell I was shocked myself when I reviewed my cases. And I was going through my soul collection, I was even more shocked at how diverse it was. Sam Cooke. Marvin Gaye. Supremes. Parliament. The Deele. The Jacksons. New Edition. D'Angelo. Mary J. Blige. Ne-Yo. If you're not following the pattern, that's me doing a transition from the oldies to current music or decade to next decade. Starting with the 50s and acts like Ray Charles and the Coasters, you'll find good music in every decade up until the current one we just entered. And no matter how silly or corny the songs may appear now, I can find the genius in a record like "I got a woman" or "Ain't no Mountain High enough." Then I stop and wonder "Where did it all go wrong for R&B"

I was watching VH1 Soul the other and they had an hour where they showed nothing but old school R&B songs, ranging from the 70s through the 90s. I literally was having nostalgia moments remembering when I used to make "Quiet Storm" tapes (yes playas tapes!) off the local radio's after hour mixes and try to entice some honey to be mine. Or when I used to get nervous as I was slow dancing to a dope R Kelly song with a girl and hoping not to mess up. But one thing I noticed about the songs were how subtle they were in their approaches to member of the opposite sex. I'm not naive enough to think that bluntness in songs didn't exist. Adina Howard, Jodeci, Millie Jackson, etc definitely had "Gimme some now" records but still it was recorded in a way where you are like "yo this is my shit!"

I go back to subtle because it seems R&B has lost it way. I hear songs now on the radio and the originality is just lacking. There are more folks trying to emulate the Adina Howard approach instead of the Anita Baker approach and it just comes off wrong. No more "I wanna caress your body and can't wait until we are one" liners, it's now "Immma take yo pants off, girl ohh yooo booty's soft, I'm about to knock that coochie off" and I go wow, is there even a point to the song. No mystery whatsoever. It's like the girl that always showing her goodies off. Yea her body is dope but how many guys haven't tasted her goodies?? Give me the girl that we know has a dope body but is classy enough to not show the entire meal and rather let you guess what's underneath.

I was talking with my boy about this recently and I was trying to explain to him that it's not that I don't like R&B because there acts out there today that I support (Janelle Monae, Ne-Yo come to mind) but it just seems there are more bad acts out there today than good versus the opposite effect no more than 10 years ago. And that's disheartening. My wife gives me shit for not giving today's R&B a try but I say why bother. I already know what the record is going to be and sound like. Disposable, trendy, and not a timeless classic. I mean let ask you readers do you think someone like Beyonce's records are timeless or good for the current time period? And how do you stack her records against someone like a Aretha Franklin? Sade? Hell I'll use someone closer in age..Mary J Blige? Do you think you will want to hear her bust out "Single Ladies" in 25 years?? And that's what I'm getting at, it's frustrating.

So what do you do? I continue to support the acts that I like and even the new ones that either I hear by chance or someone sends me a joint to listen to. But I am not an active R&B supporter anymore. Not with what's out there in today's market. You can have whatever they call that R&B. As you pop champagnes and dance to "LOL", I'll be poppin' in Debarge's greatest hits going "Damn that El cranked out some jams." And if you need further proof, ask yourself if you think your favorite rapper is going to sample a current R&B song. Makes you go damn don't it!

Today's Lesson

I don't hate today's R&B readers, I just pity the fool! Call me old, call me bitter, or call me what the young people say a "hater" but after you finish calling me names, take a good look in the mirror and ask yourself, will I be listening to this in 5 years? 10 years? 20 years? And if you are struggling with that question, that should already answer my question of is this good or bad r&b...MESSAGE!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Da Art of Storytelling Part '10

"To the Honest Man,

I don't hate Black Mamba but I pity the fool" - The Sports Guy

The Honest Man is an avid reader of Bill Simmons, better known to Sports Junkies as the Sports Guy. If you're unfamiliar with him, he offers a hilarious take on sports often citing 80s movies references to emphasize his points. And while technically he is a sworn NBA enemy of mine by being a Celtics fan, I look past his Kobe hate and accept him for what he is....a funny ass dude.

He wrote a book recently called "The Book of Basketball: The NBA according to the Sports Guy." I've said this many times to friends and I'll use the word again. Fascinating read. Just fascinating. Dude was hitting all kind of points to the point you are repeatedly saying to yourself "Damn this dude is right!". So anyway was part of his promotional campaign, he did a tour of book signings across the US.

Just so happens he came to Texas this weekend. I was planning to go solo and get my hardback signed but the Honest Wife had other plans. She asked me earlier in the day if I was planning to take one of the kids with me. Mental thought was HELL NO but outside words were "I had not planned on it but if you want me to, I guess I can take one." If you aren't following this is the initial grounds of psychological battle to see who wins. It should be noted my youngest kid is a busy body and just gets into shit. Not a bad kid but he just wants to touch everything in sight. And that's who the Honest Wife wants me to take with me. Took a bookstore. With tons of everything. So he can get into shit when he gets bored. She even throws in "Well you can take the stroller, put him in it, and also take a pacifier in case he gets rowdy." You see how she did that America? Just straight laid it out so it's impossible for me to outwardly say "Hell no!" So with that in mind I lay down saying let me get some rest for the improbable fun....Bad sign #1.

The book signing was scheduled for 4pm. I called Borders at noon to get an idea of what time I should get there. They told me 3pm since they will be giving out color coded wristbands and lining folks up by color. Of course the catch is they tell me over the phone that I will have to purchase his revised paperback (I have the original hardback) and that's $18 to get the wristband. I'm going, not gonna happen. So they say in that case it's first come, first serve. That's bad sign #2. After that "fun" call, like I said, I laid down and meant to take a quick nap. I woke up at 3:30 :-(. Borders is 20 miles or 30 minutes from my house. I'm not dressed, my kid is not dressed, I'm helping my wife and the other kid get dressed so they can leave, etc. By the time it's said and done. It's 5pm. Bad sign #3. My wife even throws in, I don't expect ya'll back until 8 or 9ish tonight. Great! C'mon son, let's see if you can set record time for displaying your displeasure for being bored.....

We get to Borders about 5:30. As the Honest Wife suggested, I put my kid in his stroller BUT kept the pacy in coat because I'm like you too big to be sucking on some damn pacifier. We get inside and that line is literally wrapped around the bookstore. I took a quick glance and it looked like 100-150 people are in line. Keep in mind the joint started at 4 so that means shit was probably out of control at 3pm. Great, I'm bracing for the worst, already asking God to bless me and the boy with patience. Add in that we literally are the last people in line AND we so happen to be in the kid section AND my son starts freaking out over a Dora the Explorer Christmas book, you can imagine what my facial expression looked like. If you're keeping count, that's Bad sign #4....

About 5-10 minutes into standing in line, a worker walks up and goes "Sir do you know you can go to the front of the line because you have a toddler. We know it's hard on kids so are allowing those with infants and toddlers to go the front. You just need to purchase the book." I showed her my hardback and re-emphasized I'm not buying another book for just 2-3 more new chapters and she goes fine but you have to spend at least $5 on something to get a wristband and go to the front. Just so happens that Dora book my kid freaked out over was $6.99. 5 minutes later and $7.57 less (tax included), we literally walked up to the front on the line. The lady was like oh yes as soon as this person finishes, you are next. ARE YOU SHITTING ME??? All because I brought my kid who I originally did not want to take?? After exchanging hellos, the above signature that kicked off this post is what I had the Sports Guy sign in my book (SIDE NOTE - I was expecting more dialogue but dude commentated the Heat-Warriors game the night before in Oakland, then flew to Dallas for this so he was visibly tired. I didn't mind b/c he should be exhausted).

I was out of Borders by 6pm. I was back home at 6:30. I called Realist, Gangsta D, the Honest Wife, my inlaws, the world because I was that excited!! I told the family, look we broke as shit but you know what, for all the good that came to me today, daddy's waving the beans and rice for tonight, you can have pizza...with meat!! My kid is a huge Yo Gabba Gabba fan so when we got outside, I told him "Son having kids is AWEEEESSSOMMEEE!!" in DJ Lance voice.

Today's Lesson

For all you marks tripping about having kids and dealing with them, I guarantee you that about 50 of those cats last night were like damn I wish I had a kid. Shoot I'm still thanking God as I write this for hooking me up. Big ups Sir, Big Ups indeed.....

"You better go and get, the hump, up out your back now
It's about four, or five, cats off in my 'Llac now
We just, shoot, game in the form of story rap now
It's like that now, it's like that now"

Friday, December 10, 2010

Well looky looky here!

I told you earlier this week my new crack is the SNL sketch "What Up with That." What I didn't know was that this sketch started last year (thanks Wikipedia) and that this joint has filmed 6 different sketches. So in honor of that readers, I'm posting the remaining four. Ooooo weeee, what up with that, what up with that

Featuring Paul Rudd and Zach Galifianakas

Featuring James Franco and Gerard Butler

Featuring Al Gore, Mindy Kaling, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Featuring Mike Tyson, Jack McBrayer, and James Franco

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Movies the Honest Man Loves - The Street Figther

HBO has been showing a cult favorite of mine for the past year or so and that is The Street Fighter starring Sonny Chiba. No not that foolishness with Guile, Ryu, Ken, and friends but the 70s kung fu flick that generated an X rating for one crazy scene. While that scene is bananas and there are some graphic scenes, trust me it's not X rating stuff. If you want pure gore, peep Lone Wolf and Cub (another day readers lol).

Anyway, Sonny Chiba put out 3 of these joints - The Street Fighter, Return of the Street Fighter, and the Street Fighter's Revenge. All are good but nothing beat the original. They say that cat Chiba is a bad mutha...Shut my mouth cuz I'm talkin' about Sonny. And ya best dig it. If you got HBO, check your listings, it's showing on the HBO Zone channel. Otherwise go rent it. Trust me, the Honest Man wouldn't lie to you :-)

Monday, December 6, 2010

A shockingly good Saturday Night Live sketch

I'm not a big Saturday Night Live fan. Every now and then they have a few good sketches but overall, I think a good portion of their stuff is corny. But it seems every so often, they hit paydirt with one sketch and I'm like this shit is hilarious. The latest is with Kenan Thompson and this spot called "What's up with That!". It started during whatever episode Kanye West was on and last weekend they did another. As long as they don't get crazy and turn this into a show or full length feature, SNL's got a gold winner on it's hand....OOOOOOOO WWEEEEEEEE, what's up with that!!

What's up with That - f Robert DeNiro and Robin Williams

What's up with That - f Morgan Freeman and Ernest Borgine

Friday, December 3, 2010

Remember the Titans

You make sure they remember, FOREVER, the night they played the Titans! - Coach Yoast

Tennessee Titans football. Tennessee Volunteers football. Georgetown Hoyas' mens' basketball. North Carolina Tar Heels mens' basketball. Los Angeles Lakers basketball. Those are the teams I follow hard core. Period. Been a fan of each for 20 plus years. Yep I was there when my Oilers were "snuck" out of Houston by that crazy tycoon Bud Adams. And I was still a fan of the Volunteers during the recent 2 year coaching drama culminating in Lane Bitch.I.Am resigning to pursue his "dream job". Not that I'm bitter LOL. But I say all this to say that good and bad, I'm a fan of these teams thick and thin....

The way the seasons have gone for the above had me reminiscing over the good times for each. In particular I found myself really dwelling on my Titans. Case you have not been keeping up with times, the latest chapter of the Vince Young-Jeff Fisher-Bud Adams drama went front stage 2 weeks ago. And I sit here going where did it all go wrong?? I won't dwell on it because lost in all of this is that they started the season strong and now are 1 game under .500 but yet they can STILL win the division if they get their act together. You have to fall backwards to move forward but damn I wish they would stop falling over themselves.

Anyhoo, I was thinking about the good times in Titans history and couldn't help but remember the greatness of the 2000 playoff run. More specifically January 8, 2000. The game that kicked off the impropable Super Bowl run. Better known to you mortals as the Music City Miracle. I still remember that game. Me and a bunch of my coworkers went to SRO's in Southwest Houston to watch the game. Big Rob, who was a Cowboys fan. J Dub who just like watching football. Wally, another football lover. Alisha, my homegirl that just liked watching football (note a theme LOL). And my man Big Lath who is the ultimate Bills fan. So you know there was plenty of trash talking that day. Imagine being me as Buffalo kicks that FG to go up by 1 with 16 seconds. And if you are me, you don't think McNair has the balls to imitate Elway and get those boys in FG position. So everyone's telling "Yo Smooth, guess you gon' have to wait until next year." Shoot I'm even going here we go again, always the bridesmaid, never the bride. But like a good fan, I stay until the very end.

So what happens next. The Bills kick off, Wycheck gets it, and instantly I'm going what in the sam blazes is Tennessee doing. Don't they understand the point of the game is to win. Why in the hell is Wycheck's slow ass returning kicks?? But then all of sudden, he turns, throws to Dyson and he's off. I'm literally sitting there quiet, going "Please God, for the love of everything that is right, please, please, help me!!" Then POOF, he's gone, my folks are slowly getting louder until BAM, the Touchdown and pure CHAOS at SRO's. Lathan's going forward pass, basically in shock, and I'm going...Don't ever underestimate the heart of a champion :-). See for yourself...I wish my current Titans could draw from this as they need their own miracle to salvage the season