Thursday, December 31, 2009

MY Top 5 of 2009


Well it worked. I knew if I had enough people tell me what they liked, I would know what I liked from 2009. Here's my pics:

1. Black Dynamite
- Written by actor Michael Jai White, this blaxsploitation film spoof was hands down the funniest movie of 09. Its full of quotables that are only funny in context, so I just recommend you go see it yourself.


2. Starburst's Berries and Cream Commercial - It's randomly hilarious.


3. Daniel Merriweather - In a world where blue-eyed-soul-imported-from-the-UK was the next best thing since the jheri curl, Daniel Merriweather is a standout. His album really had a solid "60s soul in the future" sound, and it was produced by my fav Mark Ronson. Peep his debut album Love and War.

4. Twitter - dammit I hate to love you but I do. It makes every insignificant moment of your life significant.

5. Google Wave - Never did I want something so bad that I didn't fully understand. And now that I got it, I still don't get it, but because I love Google like a first born child, I'm completely willing to get a study group together to figure out why it's so great.

Good Riddance to 2009


New Years happens to be one of my least favorite holidays of the year. It’s a lot of hype to me – in reality every day is a new year, a new opportunity to fix something you broke. No reason to put it off. Conversely there’s no reason to put all your change eggs in one basket – half the reason resolutions don’t stick is that we ignore who we were for the past 365 and expect to live the next 365 as a completely new person. Change tends to be a lot slower, and we should be more gentle with ourselves.

Regardless, I do think there is something to having a sense of resolve about your life and where you want it to go. Last year I declared 2009 as the year of the big sloppy wet mistake. I figured it was the best way to get this life thing started, to stop being afraid of messing up and just mess it up.

I excelled in spades. With all the grace of a bull in a china shop I acted impulsively, I fucked up, I loved irresponsibly, I made the same mistake twice (for good measure, of course). In short, I did a lot of things wrong. Most times it wasn’t intentional, but I figure I did it wrong so maybe next time I have a better chance of doing it right. It’s the only honest way, in my opinion.

It’s tempting to be embarrassed by mistakes. But no one’s perfect. Life is live to tape, so we improvise. We love blindly when our eyes need to be wide open, we love with our eyes too alert when we need to just let go and fall. We think things are bad and they only get worse. We are amateurs.

I got a lot of living under my belt this year, and it goes without saying that I am very very very glad to see 2009 to the door. Thanks for everything, it’s been real. In 2010 I’d like to see some changes. Not so much resolutions, but more so “notes to self”, reminders how to be more present in my life.

“Notes to Self” for 2010:

1. Dance when you feel like it. No point in waiting for an invitation.
2. Tell the truth, to others and most importantly, to yourself. And not just when it counts, all the time.
3. Say yes more, but only when you mean it.
4. Create something, anything, everyday.
5. Do not apologize for being who you are. Perfection is boring and non-existent, so you might as well accept your flaws.

Finally, Sia’s new single from her forthcoming album “We Are Born.” The song’s called “You’ve Changed.” Life is always going to send you curveballs to make you adapt and change. The goal is to change for the better through all things, good or bad. Good luck with your change in 2010.

Tastemaker's List 2009: Adrian Hopkins

I love year end lists, but am usually too lazy to actually write them. So here are the best things of 2009, as determined by the coolest people I know.


Name: Adrian J. Hopkins
Bio: I study media. I share things. I try to move you.

* Top Song: "Daily Routine" by Animal Collective // I've never heard music sound like this before and it's wildly addictive. Their album Merriweather Post Pavilion has topped several best of '09 lists but it's not too late to join the indie bandwagon and impress your friends.
* Top Album: Only Built for Cuban Linx 2 by Raekwon // As a lifelong Wu fan, I had been eagerly awaiting this album for 10+ years and the Chef's (insert cooking metaphor) didn't disappoint. (See: "Pyrex Vision") (Also: best album by a 40-something rapper.)

* Top Meme: Keyboard Cat! // Even when I'm nowhere near a computer, just thinking of clips like this make me guffaw.
* Top News Story: SkipGates-gate // Although I hated how everyone suddenly became a race expert, I think the President's handling of it will be a seminal moment when we look back on it from America's non-white-majority future.
* Top Thing That Should Be Left In This Decade: The word 'swag.' A plague a' those who repeat this dreadful, meaningless but abused term. (Runner up: 'yung,' this guy's gonna catch it the worst.)

Tastemaker's List 2009: "Deandre Cole"

I love year end lists, but am usually too lazy to actually write them. So here are the best things of 2009, as determined by the coolest people I know.


Name: Deandre Cole [ed note: this is an alias; I'm only outing cause it's boring]
Bio: I was born on a river, in a little tent...

My top 5 of 2009:

Lil Wayne's No Ceilings (Mixtape) - Hot fire. Rapping about foolishness has never been done this well.

Nike's MVPuppet Campaign - Nike found a way to make Kobe Bryant likeable and made Lupe Fiasco a battle-rapping reindeer. FTW


Chad Ochocinco of the Cincinnati Bengals
- Chad Johnson legally changed his last name to Ochocinco in 2008, but wasn't allowed to wear the jersey until 2009 due to a contractual obligation with Reebok. His team is winning, and he's a pro-bowler. Cheers to Chad for trading his slave name for a fantastic/hilarious marketing opportunity.

Foreign Exchange
- no one in music this year released a better album than Leave it all Behind by r&b/hip hop duo Foreign Exchange. Someone recognized game and nominated them for a Grammy. They're independent and no one puts on a better live show. Guess we aren't doomed to autotune and sex anthems. Get familiar.

Jason Whitlock
(sports columnist) - Whitlock seamlessly weaves social commentary into each of his columns and takes no prisoners. Whitlock's take on the Steve McNair situation:
"McNair, for months, manipulated and preyed upon a 19-year-old child who lost her parents, fled a country, moved away from her adopted family at 16, drove while impaired in all likelihood to protect McNair and was incapable of financially supporting herself. Iceberg Slim showed more compassion for his hos than McNair did to the obviously emotionally and mentally wounded girl who allegedly killed herself and McNair."
Don't miss Whitlock's fantastic article on the Tiger Woods situation.

Tastemaker's List 2009: Malcolm Nelson

I love year end lists, but am usually too lazy to actually write them. So here are the best things of 2009, as determined by the coolest people I know.


Name: Malcolm Nelson
Bio: Blogger, www.vocabularyspills.blogspot.com

Top 5 of 2009 (give or take 2 or 3)
Cuban Linx 2: Only Built for Cuban Linx II was the best Wu-Tang album to come out this decade. J-Dilla, Rza, Pete Rock, Marley Marl, and Dr. Dre on production.

The seemingly ubiquitous popularity of the hipster/hip-hopper look:
It just kills me to catch hood booger harlem kids rocking red skinny jeans(where do they hide their guns?)

Kanye West interrupting Taylor Swift:
First, I think it was a great moment in assholedom. I also think that the sheer brazenness of Kanye West's moment of assholedom unified so many people across America. Think about it, everyone from a Klan member to Barack Obama thought that Kanye West was an asshole for interrupting that little white girl. For one moment, we were all One.

The Large Hadron Collider: On November 30th The Large Hadron Collider near Geneva, Switzerland became the world largest working particle accelerator. Its purpose is to see if, by colliding particles into one another, new particles that haven't existed since the big bang can be created. Scientist hope that by finding these new particles questions about the very nature of matter can be answered (like why does matter exist in its 4 forms).


The heated debate over health care:
The tea bagging parties(Do you know how funny it was to hear a little old white woman talk about tea bagging?) and the heated town hall discussions were some of the most crazed shit I've seen in a while. That isn't to say that healthcare isn't an issue worthy of debate. Nonetheless, the exaggerated gestures of patriotism, violent altercations, and the misinformed rhetoric that the debate spawned displayed an America caught up in the manufactured xenophobia of the Republican party and insurance companies.

Glenn Beck: It's not that he's a political pundit on one of the most apocryphal media outlets in the world. Rather, the problem with Glenn Beck is that he openly admits to stroking the fear that's been prevalent in America(well, white America) since the collapse of our financial system. Even worse, he sees himself more as an entertainer who brings a "show" to his viewers on a daily basis. This isn't to say that other political pundits don't bring a "show", but no other pundits relies on the "Barnum and Bailey" effect more than Beck. So basically, he talks out his ass all day on his show and cries to fill air space. But guess what, Glenn Beck is the highest rated show on The Fox News network(yes, he's beating Bill O'Reilly). Scary shit.

Wale: I love the fact that a DC rapper actually has an album and that he infuses Go-Go music into his beats. Plus, homie can spit and his new album, Attention Deficit, is very good.

Air Yeezies: Its official, Kanye has his own shoe. Yes, this might have been a 08' phenomenon, but now you can buy Air Yeezies. Don't ask me where, just let it be known that you can buy a pair Air Yeezies. Do your own research.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Tastemaker's List 2009: Shaka Shaw

I love year end lists, but am usually too lazy to actually write them. So here are the best things of 2009, as determined by the coolest people I know.


Name: Shaka Shaw
Bio: Everybody's favorite blog villain, Shaka Shaw never lies to kick it. Shaka Shaw is an aspiring writer living in DC post-Howard-bid with his wife and the type of dog that most guys don't have the balls to walk around with.




 Top 5 of 2009:
1. Kanye West - Though he didn't grace us with much new music, this year's Taylor Swift debacle was glorious. His villainy should be saluted. Not only was he right (stop frontin' and grow a scrotum), he let Black people know who Taylor Swift was to begin with and bolstered the sales of her worthless music.

2. Raekwon's Only Built 4 Cuban Linx II - Wu-Tang Clan ain't nothing to f*ck with. Neither is Raekwon apparently because he put his foot, knee, and entire portly lower half into this album. After I heard this, I had to burn Jay-Z's Blueprint 3 (which I totally Limewired) onto a disc just so I could use it as a coaster.

3. The Cool Kids' Gone Fishing Mixtape - Aside from the previous reference, I don't f*ck with studio albums anymore. This mixtape is why. I can't imagine what they could have possibly saved for the album when the mixtape was this good from beginning to end...and I like to pick through my music like a meal served at a white person's house.

4. Barack Obama - The person wasn't interesting to me, but what I did find interesting was how long the brotha has gone in office without actually getting sh*t done...and managing to get a Nobel Peace Prize. The masterful part of it is that the yahoos and rednecks opposing him just solidify B-rack's spot as America's golden boy. Let's see if we go one more year without resolving any real issues. Damn libs.

5. Vibe's Rap Bracket - Vibe has never been an authority on hip-hop, but they confirmed this fact this year with their dumb-ass "greatest rapper" bracket where they turned the age-old greatest rapper debate into a fantasy football tournament. Long story short, Eminem was voted best rapper. Too bad the paper they used to print that issue was a little too glossy to wipe with. Vibe shut down on June 30, but were picked up recently by Intermedia Partners, who hope to resurrect the brand. Might I add that Joe Budden's comments on it and subsequent YouTube rant caused an altercation between him and Raekwon.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Tastemaker's List 2009: Tracy Clayton

I love year end lists, but am usually too lazy to actually write them. So here are the best things of 2009, as determined by the coolest people I know.

Name: Tracy K. Clayton
Bio: Photographer. Blogger. Creative.
My top 5 of 2009
1) Twitter. Because short is the new long.
2) The White House. Because it's the new black.
3) Tiger Woods. What's the difference between Tiger and Santa Clause. Santa stops at three ho's.
4) The Death of MJ. Only the greatest death of all time. I'm just sayin.
5) iPhone. The most overrated gadget of 2009, er-uh of all time. Yes, I'm an owner, but it would be nice if the thing made calls.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Captain EO Returns to Disneyland!

yayayayayayay! The famed Michael Jackson 3-d short film is slated to return to Disneyland February 2010. I had the privilege of seeing it at Disney World when I was a kid, but was so scared I took my 3-d glasses off halfway through. I finally got the chance to see the full flick online...



Love love love it! Of course it's a bit corny, but Michael was such an artist! Such a creative out of the box risk taker! The talent that he got to work with him speaks to the level of respect he commanded in the industry (that 17min bit was directed by Francis Ford Coppola, and produced by George Lucas).

So for good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, Can You Feel It!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Internet Gems: A Man's Guide to Women


From a comment thread on Nah Right:

# cOLD Says:
December 16th, 2009 at 10:25 am

indeed

^ on some what women want type shit…

Women want a good man, but if you’re too nice you’re boring and a corn…and she will give the puss away. Its a balancing act… you have to treat them good, but bring the thunder when time calls for it. Set reminders to bark on you female companion atleast once monthly, try and make her shudder. (don’t do it around her period time tho)




Church. I fully co-sign (but will deny when I'm confronted, cause no woman really wants to admit that, and not to a man's face).

Friday, December 11, 2009

Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid. Pr 12:1

Happy Friday: Take A Ride In The Space Chair

This commercial really appeals to my inner kid, that age old fantasy of getting a handful of balloons and floating into space...

Monday, December 7, 2009

You know what he's thinking...


Great Scott she's finer than Sally Hemings!

True Confessions: Give Me My Baby Bump

True Confession: I have this regular running fantasy of being pregnant. Six months pregnant, to be exact. You know, the cute stage where the bump is full-grown, but before your face blows up and your neck looks like a cased sausage. It’s this fantasy where I’m basically the same size I am now, but I’ve got this cute little baby bump and people look at me like I’m walking with a gilded halo.

Sometimes I hold my phantom bump, and practice looking both exasperated and lavishly blessed to be carrying such a bundle of joy. The polite nod I will give to an awestruck passerby. The gentle smile I will carry on my lips as my (currently non-existent) husband proudly guides me down crowded New York City sidewalks with his firm hand.

And yet I know this isn’t really what pregnancy is like. My mom was pregnant just five years ago, and I watched in horror as she puked and gagged her way through nausea the first three months, and the last two where she looked like the aforementioned cased sausage. However there was this period around the 6 months mark where my mom was a beautiful freak show to behold. I mean, here was MY MOTHER, flesh of my flesh, parent to me and my two grown ass siblings, knocked up after a 19-year drought. Luckily the knockee was my father, but nevertheless it was just short of absurd to see her in this state.

Despite the ludicrousness she was beautiful. I have this image of my mother etched in my brain where she was standing in profile looking at herself in the bathroom mirror, head tilted just so in mild exhaustion. She was beautiful and magical… like a unicorn.

To be pristine-ly crystal clear, in no way, shape, or form do I even want a baby right now. I love kids, and I know I eventually want kids, but after a year of nanny servitude with my infant brother I realized this universal truth: children steal your youth. Blessed little rosy-checked robbers of irresponsibility, indiscretion, and wild times. Better to wait and give the little whippersnappers your hard-earned wisdom instead.

And yet despite all these awful truths, I’m still drawn to the idea of pregnancy. I don’t know who put out this great spin propaganda about pregnancy being all beautiful and easy and glamorous. Maybe Nicole Ritchie. It just seems like magic, and I want it. I don’t want the birth, don’t want the baby, don’t want the discomfort – but I do want the oh so cute maternity wear.

Is this how the biological clock starts? The sultry allure of a baby bump under a designer dress? The false promise that despite EVERYONE you know, you will have a “completely cute” pregnancy?

Exactly at what point does a biological clock go from a soft hum to a full on blare?

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