Saturday, January 31st, 2004


Powerful journalism in a cover story in this week’s LA Weekly on Kershaun Scott, the former Eight Tray Gangster Crip known as “Lil Monster”, younger brother of prison memoirist Sanyika “Monster” Shakur. Scott fled LA to escape the life and settled in Kern County, the most aggressive prosecuting county in California. The story is about Scott’s family trying to make good in a rigged system that will not give a quarter.


While we’re on blue and red, I’ve been stewing a bit about this analysis in yesterday’s NY Times about how Blue States (Democratic States) tend to redistribute wealth to Red States (Republican states).

It’s a point Farai Chideya first brought to my attention two years ago:

Republicans claim to be anti-government and anti-tax, but they actually suck mad tax dollars from the states willing to pay–traditionally Democratic states.

See, you thought you were getting pimped? Now you know you are.

FYI the NY Times op-ed writer, Daniel Pink, a former Gore speechwriter, is pessimistic about the implications of the Blue/Red divide. Don’t read all this stuff if you’re in a Mary J. Blige-just-want-to-be-happy mood today. But do read sometime.

More reading on the meaning of Blue and Red states:

-A Boston Globe story on the history of the Blue/Red divide. (It’s all McGovern’s fault.)

-The original Pew Center report. Caution: the results will often blow away what you thought you knew.

-A more recent Zogby poll further illustrating how deeply divided the electorate is.

Don’t never say I don’t give you nothing!

posted by @ 10:37 am | 0 Comments

Friday, January 30th, 2004


Just commemorating my Humpty Hump moment with Super DJ Mind Motion and the kids this morning. And Jocelyn Brown, too? Now I’m gonna do my dance. Happy Friday. One week to go on this edit…

Bonus beat for Yayarea hip-hop nostalgists: cover story by Todd Inoue the Chef on the DJ we love to love, the mighty mighty Kevvy Kev. Extra shots for the Friendly Traveler…

posted by @ 10:03 am | 0 Comments

Friday, January 30th, 2004

The timing of this lawsuit alleging Def Jam inflated Soundscan numbers through indie promoters is suspect: a few days after Lyor is gone? Hmmm. I mean, who in the industry hasn’t seen these schemes in action?

Here’s how it works: Tiny indie stores that are Billboard reporters are weighted a little stronger than the big chains–this is a mathematical adjustment for statistical undercounting. So a label finds an indie promoter finds a tiny indie store Billboard reporter who ain’t doing so hot, or is willing to work it, gives him several boxes of non-promo CDs as free goods off the books, usually a week early. Guy advertises that he’s the only one in the hood with these highly anticipated CDs, and he’s offering it for under $10. Multiply this by a thousands stores and bam, first week gold.

I imagine it’s probably gotten worse in the past 3 years but clearly Def Jam is not the only one out there doing this.

posted by @ 7:50 am | 0 Comments

Thursday, January 29th, 2004


And the window slams shut, according to this article, “Party Leaders Express Relief at the Emergence of Kerry”.

Let’s look at what happened this week…

Dean fires Trippi, visionary leader of the Deaniacs and firm believer in courting the polar–not the swing–voters. Hires Gore advisor.

Kerry is Gore, but from the Northeast. Formidable candidate? Please. This guy is a wooden hairpiece whose stump speeches are apparently preceded by syrup-sipping. He’s the DJ Screw of Democratic candidates–slow, low, stiff, and dead.

In two weeks, the Dems have managed to go from excitable, loose, and enjoyable to cold as a Nor’easter day.

Watch premature alienation follow the cold front.

In the meantime, this is how it should be done, don’t yall think?

(Thanks to my cuz, Helleys, for the link, and for letting me know I had to fix it…)

posted by @ 11:23 am | 0 Comments

Thursday, January 29th, 2004


Q: Does everyone do the hula in Hawai’i?

A: Yes.

Q: Why does everyone give everyone leis in Hawai’i?

A: There are too many flowers on the island.

Q: Does everyone have a big family in Hawai’i?

A: Bigger.

Q: I see that people roll deep with their family and leis to auditions. Do they go like that everywhere?

A: Absolutely. To high school graduations, to church, to Costco. Yup. Everywhere.

Q: Is Crystal Akana from Kailua going to be the next American Idol?

A: If her family votes, sure.

Q: Are you really this corny?

A: Why, boddah you?

posted by @ 8:08 am | 0 Comments

Wednesday, January 28th, 2004

Douglas Wolk sums up another horrible year for the industry.

posted by @ 6:10 pm | 0 Comments

Wednesday, January 28th, 2004


Cause Howard Dean has certainly been doing a lot of wobbling lately. Now he heads into Edwards country. Wake me up when they’re all done.

posted by @ 3:43 pm | 0 Comments

Wednesday, January 28th, 2004

Something to explore for a rainy day when I’m not sleeplessly editing a book: the links between Vorticism and post-millennial neo-graf (or whatever we need to call it) of folks like MISK. Back to the grind…

posted by @ 10:47 am | 0 Comments

Tuesday, January 27th, 2004

Even before NH, TomDispatch reported on a stunning Newsweek poll that offered hope to Dems. After NH, this could become a giddy “Yeeaarrgh”-like feeling. Side wisecrack: Too bad we won’t get real Dean like that no more.

posted by @ 8:32 pm | 0 Comments

Tuesday, January 27th, 2004

Respect to mt. disappointment in Australia for the big-ups and a link to this article on “Street grime” (pun I’m certain was intended) in The Guardian UK, which I agree is pretty condescending and wack.

These are the kinds of writers that need a Byron Scott. (BTW where are you Chris Ryan?) Anyway–lots of folks whom we’d be happy to see get the work, no doubt.

posted by @ 8:02 pm | 0 Comments

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