August 30, 2009

Just past the horizon...

“Faith... must be enforced by reason...When faith becomes blind it dies.”- Gandhi

No one said it would be easy. I'm not too far gone to think it was ever going to be. All I want...No. All I've ever wanted was some balance. Something that makes everything else that happens seem worthwhile. The trials, the tears, the hardships all repaid with moments of peacefulness. That's it. Nothing more. Nothing less. Sometimes I think there is no end in sight. Other times, in my more philosophical moments, in my more positive moods- I conclude that it is all a part of what is supposed to happen. Some fantastic weaving of the most delicate fabric of life, made stronger and more beautiful with each challenging stitch. Who knows? I know there is more in store for me. There has been too much survival for it to simply be a nondescript existence. I've crossed paths with too many dreamers and sages not to hold it all close to me and walk the good walk. Or swim the good swim since that's when I'm most in my element. Faith is such a peculiar thing. It's not always blind for me. Sometimes I need a reason to believe. Something tangible. Something that says, "Jayne. This is yours. Meant for you and only you. Finally." Once I feel that, I'll know that my ship has finally come.

August 27, 2009

Throwback Thursdays

By now it should be common knowledge that This Bug will never post a video that she doesn't like. But every now and then, I have to post one that I absolutely love. There is so much to say about today's Throwback. First of all, it's from a soundtrack that ultimately got more shine than the film it accompanied. It was comprised of some of the most talented artists of all time. Oddly enough, I could listen to this straight through without skipping any tracks. That's saying a lot considering my attention span. I don't have A.D.D. or's just that (Oooh look! A bunny !)...I lose interest early if something doesn't grab me and hold on, musically. Well amid some of the nicest emcees on there- these dudes stood out. Call them what you want. Coco Brovaz, Smif N Wessun, whatever your preference may be; there is no denying how hard they rep on the Soul in the Hole soundtrack with Won on Won. This video came out in 1997 when I was really not feeling all the shiny suits and disco that was passing for Hip-Hop. I always loved how silly it was without them making buffoons of themselves. It just looked like fun to be there. And there's so much entertainment in this one. If I ever meet Tek or Steele on the streets of BK, I have one question: Did ya'll really invite Ahkmed from the store down to the video shoot? He goes in with the dancing too, which makes it all the more bizarre and hilarious. Sidebar: Why the hell were they soaking in twin bathtubs full of red Kool-Aid? Well, at least it wasn't grape. I won't even give a favorite line from this joint since the whole song is crrrrack! But I can't front. As Tek slips off the Avirex while spittin' "Son, hold my AV- lemme rock this Nobody. Comin' out the closet tryna stop my money?" I feel a brimming respect for cats from the thoroughest borough. Brooklyn Stand Up!

August 25, 2009

This Bug's Randomness

I'm back with more randomness because when all else fails, when inspiration doesn't feel like visiting... I can always fall back on the trusty random list. Some quick hits- if you will. And away we go.

Yes, This Bug had the exact same metal Muppet lunchbox when I was a little girl; which my father instructed me to swing relentlessly at anyone who dared fuck with me on the playground. They didn't want it with Kermy and Piggy, though. I might just cop this from Ebay for posterity's sake.

Banksy has fast become a staple of my interest in art. Check him out. Thought provoking to say the least.

If variety is the spice of life, I personally know a few men who could benefit from a blander diet for a hot second. It's good to be friends with them though. Nothing like inside info.

I have to admit, she's a such a tragic and beautiful disaster that I can't help but relate to her when I'm at my worst. Everyone wanted to look; no one cared to truly listen.

What can Brown do for me? They can start by delivering my shit on the day they promised in a timely fashion. How 'bout that, Ups? Been waiting all friggin' day for my new phone. Bastards.

I went to a Luau the other day. Wasn't in Hawaii. It was still kinda fly even if I didn't "get leied".

It's a damn shame these limited edition Big Daddy Kane kicks don't come in Ladies sizes. Damn shame...

And while we're on the topic: Kane killed it at a free concert in Brooklyn a few weeks ago. That man can still hop over Scoob Lover's head and not lose his breath. What is he now? 40 something? 'Nuff respect due!

Who wants to see This Bug cry? Just place the above stuffed toy in a bag within my view, allow my heart to soar and then report that it's not for me. It's just being held for a friend. Some people can be so cruel.

This Bug was recently selected to be an officer of a Hip-Hop discussion board on Facebook. It doesn't sound like a big deal, but if you know how true my love is for the art form, you can just picture the inner cartwheel I did when I got the news.

On the To Do List: I'm gonna remix Trey Songz LOL Smiley Face to NRL Frowny Face...because I'm not Not Really Laughing each time I hear this corny little ditty. In fact it pisses me off more and more.

That's all, Folks. Stop by again sometime for more utter randomness.

August 20, 2009

Throwback Thursdays

What up, Peoples. This Bug is back again with a question for you. Remember when Hip Hop was not yet a saturated market? It was so rare, so raw in its developmental stages- that we coveted the smallest iota of it when it appeared. We clung to it... and with good reason. I can recall taping music off the radio because you would only get an hour or so of Hip Hop on the airwaves. Unlike today where there are entire stations devoted to it now. That alone is an overstatement considering what passes for Hip Hop on the radio these days. Back then you relied on your own personal tapes for an extended dose.

Anyway, I am was easy to please. There was something so elating about seeing a UMC's poster on the wall of Martin Lawrence's apartment. It warmed my heart. I can remember seeing it and thinking, 'Yes. That's real Hip Hop right there. He gets it. Respect.' I had a freestyle of theirs on tape around the same time Blue Cheese dropped. Even that was taped from The Stretch Armstrong and Bobbito Show late one Thursday night. Ah...Boogie and the Barber. Those were the days. Gimme a sec. (blotting tears)

Well, if anyone knows the story of the rise (if you can call it that) and utter collapse of Wild Pitch Records- you will understand why Haas G and Kool Kim hold a special place in my heart. I don't care what differences occurred between them- that label did most of the artists dirty. I'm just glad they released Fruits of Nature in 1991 as I was beginning to delve into the essence of true Hip Hop. This song always made me happy. It's spacey, trippy even. And you gotta love the bridge. It's so whimsical. Sidebar: Am I the only one who wonders what happened to that ugly blue cheese puppet with the gold teeth after this video was shot? And if you thought they were just silly, flash-in-the-pan rappers with nothing of substance to say, think again. Kool Kim has reinvented himself as none other than controversial underground emcee NY OIL. Click here to see what he's been up to since the days of my favorite salad dressing. Peace.

August 18, 2009

Drink Up !

Okay, Boys and of hands. Who likes candy? Alright then. Hands down. Who likes liquor? I thought so. Now...This Bug is going to give you the perfect recipe if you like both.

You will need the following:

1 Bottle of Midori melon liqueur

1 Bottle of Absolut vodka

1 Bottle of Parrot Bay Coconut rum

Cranberry Juice

Pineapple Juice

Ice, shaker or tumbler and bar spoon, Martini glasses

Mix equal parts rum and pineapple juice in the tumbler with ice. Pour into glass about half way. Next, mix the vodka and cranberry and shake. Using the bar spoon against the inner part of the martini glass- gently layer the cranberry and vodka atop the pineapple juice and rum by slowly pouring it over the back of the spoon. Lastly, holding the Midori as close to the side of the glass as possible- carefully pour a few drops. If done correctly, it should sink to the bottom of the glass.

The end result is a gorgeous tri-colored cocktail called a Gummi Bear. Believe it or tastes like a clear Gummi Bear! No lie. And it gets you hammered because it's not an overwhelming drink at all. Try it. I used to make this when I was not yet retired from bartending. Of course, there's a drawback with this drink. It takes practice to perfect the technique and it's not the quickest thing to make. So if it's a hit at parties- be prepared to make them all night. The novelty lies in the colors so make it pretty. Even if you screw it up (hic) the first few times- it still tastes like the Pina Colada Gummi. There'll be eyes blurring and speech slurring in no time.

Author's Note: I'm a little (hic) out of practice and my camera phone (hic) sucks but my friends and I had a great time knocking these back in the name of research. Yeah. That's what we called it. (hic) Research.

August 13, 2009

Throwback Thursdays

Aight People. Feel me on this one. There was a time when This Bug used to shake out at parties, knock back some drinks and be very sociable. In my younger days I was a bit more adventurous. I recommend it to anyone who can do it without serious consequences and repercussions. That being said, I have a few tips for my fellow partygoers. Keep the alcohol to a moderate amount and be wary of club lighting. It can fool you. Like it fooled me one infamous night.

Many moons ago, I was at a house party with some friends. I was tipsy NOT drunk when I was approached by a gentleman. He proceeded to chat me up and the conversation went well. Very well. Too well. I felt a synergy, vibes or whatever you want to call it. We exchanged numbers, spoke a few times on the phone then agreed to meet again some time later. That fateful day rolled around and my doorbell rang. Wow! This dude couldn't have been the same one from the party. I was astounded at how much my eyesight had failed me the night we met. He wasn't even remotely cute. I don't know what I was thinking. My girls didn't even warn me...the bitches. Sure, he had a nice physique...and I might have played a little tonsil hockey with him before we parted ways (might have...heh-heh) but DAMN!!! Was it that dark in there? Something just wasn't right.

Immediately I thought about Today's Throwback. The gentle notes of a xylophone rang through my ears as he stood before me. I was quite polite like Walter Kronrite but inwardly all I could think was: WTF? I just got caught up with a male version of a Strobelite Honey. Dammit Man! I can't remember how it faded out but I never saw him after that day. Dres of Black Sheep knew what he was talking about in 1991. He came with every excuse in the book to get away from that busted chick and can you really blame him? I may get accused of being Shallow Hal on this one but let's face it- we like what we like. And we may like what we might not ordinarily like if liquor and poor lighting has anything to do with that decision process. It happens. I wish you could watch the video on this site but you'll have to watch it here instead. Sidebar: The original object of Dres' desire is none other than Elise Neal from The Hughleys a.k.a Scrappy from Rosewood. This Bug's favorite line: "Anyway I'm out. Out I gotta be. I got to step...with the viscosity." You have to appreciate how smoothly he put that. I'm gonna go listen to A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing now.

My sage words on this matter: What you can't blame on the alcohol- you can blame on the Strobelight. Just don't make it a habit.

August 12, 2009

Radio Killed the Young Money Star

"I suppose,
I just wanna be,
I just wanna be successful."

It wasn't that long ago that I first heard about Drake. I had no idea what he looked like. I had no clue that he used to be on DeGrassi High. I just knew that I liked what I heard. He had a different sound and his production was tight. Drake has a laid back arrogance that I really haven't seen in a long time. He was fresh, yo. But before I could blink he was everywhere and got stale faster than an open bag of Coco Bread. With no concrete album release date in sight- his singles could be heard in steady, dizzying rotation on the airwaves. At first it was cool but I started to tire of him quickly. By the time he announced that he was signing with Li'l Wayne's Young Money label, I had pretty much had enough of Drake. It's not entirely his fault. Overexposure of new artists happens all the time. When the powers that be find a formula that works- they are not quick to deviate from it. Especially when the Artist Du Jour crawls out from under a virtual rock and captures the attention of the public with ease. The problem with that is it gives the listening public more of a chance to critique what they are hearing. They form a more decisive opinion. For someone who claimed, "The game need change and I'm the muthafuckin' cashier..." he started to sound more and more like Kanye West and Li'l Weezy rolled into one to my ears. Ordinarily this wouldn't affect me, but recently I've been subjected to a lot more radio play than I am accustomed to. So much so, that at this point I don't give a shit when his album drops. Through radio, Youtube and other online media resources I've had enough of Drake. And this is coming from someone who just merely months ago was backing this promising young rapper. I say rapper because I don't really consider him a lyricist. He has witty lines and a decent delivery. By the time he debuted the video for what would be better called "Breast I Ever Had" I had all but lost interest. Seriously, jugs galore won't distract everyone- just mostly everyone. Who's fault is it? I dunno. But if Video Killed the Radio Star, then Radio should definitely do a bid for killing the Young Money Star before he truly got it poppin'. Just my two copper coins on this matter.


August 8, 2009

Homeland and Hip-Hop

"To think about the origins of Hip-Hop in this culture and also about Homeland Security is to see that there are at the very least two worlds in America. One of the well-to-do and another of the struggling. For if ever there was the absence of homeland security it is seen in the gritty roots of Hip Hop. For the music arises from a generation that feels- with some justice that they have been betrayed by those who came before them. That they are at best tolerated in schools, feared on the streets, and almost inevitably destined for the hell holes of prison. They grew up hungry, hated and unloved. And this is the psychic fuel that generates the anger that seems endemic in much of the music and poetry. One senses very little hope above the personal goals of wealth, the climb above the pit of poverty. In the broader society the opposite is true; for here more than any other place on earth wealth is so wide spread and so bountiful that what passes for the middle class in America could pass for the upper class in most of the rest of the world. Their very opulence and relative wealth makes them insecure. And homeland security is a governmental phrase that is as oxymoronic, as crazy as saying military intelligence, or the U.S Department of Justice. They're just words that have very little relationship to reality. And do you feel safer now? Do you think you will anytime soon? Do you think duct tape and Kleenex and color codes will make you safer? From Death Row, this is Mumia Abu Jamal."

Author's Note: Inspired to post this after viewing Letter to the President. Go rent that.

August 7, 2009

And baby makes Fab

I normally don't do celebrity news or pictorials. Usually I leave that stuff up to my Sweetie over at Pub Stunt who has his finger on the pulse of all things Fly and Fab. But This Bug is completely smitten with the new addition to Kimora's clan. She and (fine as wine) Djimon Hounsou recently welcomed newborn son, Kenzo Lee.

Father and son. Beautiful moment.

Hope this inspires a kinder, gentler line of handbags. BabyPhat is just too friggin' gaudy.

Congrats and blessings to the Fabulous new parents. Admit it. They make it look gorgeous.

August 6, 2009

Throwback Thursdays

Say what you want about New Jack Swing, it still has it's place in Hip-Hop. That being said...I also have throw my disclaimer out there before we get into today's Throwback. This Bug used to love herself some Redhead Kingpin. Love. Understand? And it's not about light-skinned brothers being the shit back in the day either. I felt him on a deeper level at the ripe old age of...Oh, I dunno...twelve? Seriously, I always loved this video. This was back when people actually danced and he and the F.B.I. had some moves. Although Scoob and Scrap Lover could put them to shame on any given day. On top of that, the message of the song was a call to action. Red obviously felt moved enough to pen a song about crime, racism and the need for the Hip-Hop community to get it together. Sidebar: This song dropped the same year as Spike Lee's most notable film of the same title. But I guess Public Enemy held the honor of making the signature song. Red still did his thing. He didn't look half bad while doing it, either. (No, that's not drool on my keyboard...just giving props okay?) Anyway-it's not his fault that Diddy's predecessor left his mark with a pop sound that didn't match the harder beats that were a mainstay in Hip-Hop back then. Damn you, Teddy Riley! With an RNB hook sung by the frontman of Today, Redhead Kingpin was concise while remaining laid back. It's that effortless, matter-of-fact delivery that I always liked about this joint. I can picture him just laying it down very quickly in the studio and then bouncing to some club later with some big butt freaks in spandex dresses. That might have been his inspiration for Pump It Hottie but that's a whole other entry. For now just Do The Right Thing and watch the video. This Bug's favorite line? "I asked my man Victor what he used to do for fun, he said he learned to shoot a gun before the age of 21." FYI: I still have this on vinyl. The album cover is little warped from all the drool. Sike! Well, maybe not...

August 3, 2009

Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word

Dear Inky,

This may not be much but it's all I can do now. This apology is for you and only you. Approximately 15 minutes ago you were smack dab in the middle of the street... doing God knows what. Maybe cleaning your paws with short kitten licks. Perhaps taking a break from playing underneath the nearby shrubbery? I'll never know. But I saw you two seconds too late. We locked eyes and then I felt it. An odd, foreign movement in my undercarriage. And then nothing. I tried to see you in my rearview mirror but you were gone. Gone like magic. Like tragic Black Magic. I don't know your real name- but you looked like an Inky to me. Maybe it was Tuxedo or Voodoo or Midnight or Licorice or maybe even Ninja. I'll never ever know. Before tonight I cared very little for felines. They always seemed sneaky to me. Untrustworthy. But you changed all of that in a split second. I care for you deeply though I never knew you. Having trouble forgiving myself for what I could not do. I couldn't brake. I couldn't stop. I couldn't swerve. And now I've forever been changed by these events. You were the cutest, blackest, tiniest ball of fluff I had ever seen. Your beautiful emerald eyes froze as mine widened to the size of milk saucers. Oh dear, you'll never drink milk again. Never scamper around with a ball of yarn. Never purr contentedly when your owner scratches behind your ears. I know those are all clich├ęs you only see in cartoons but you deserved to do these things before your young life was snuffed out by my vehicle. Inky, you have touched me and although I'd never want to own a kitten, you'll be a part of me forever. My anguish knows no limit at the moment.

This Bug

August 2, 2009

Fantastic Indeed...

Dude was cool. A bit strange though. Weird, if you may. An enigma even. Now that I reflect on it I could sense that his spirit was exhausted or maybe frustrated like he was over his Earth visit and ready for the next chamber. Even then his days were numbered. But aren't all of ours. Bless Baatin! - via Facebook

There's always one in the group. The one who is different. Just slightly off center. They can't help but stand out. When I heard about Baatin from Slum Village passing away, I immediately thought of my favorite line of his from Fall In Love. "F*ck this rap sh*t. I listen to classical." It seemed to embody how removed he was from all things worldly or tangible. He had a Hip-Hop soul... and his wasn't for sale. It's most apparent in the video for Tainted. It saddens me that he battled with demons of a mental sort. But I've always said that most genius is touched with a bit of madness. I truly believe those who appear troubled or unstable simply operate on a different frequency than most of us. I remember learning that he left SV to concentrate on getting healthier- and in the interim the group wasn't the same without him. They were missing something. His eccentric and honest delivery, his trademark turban, his refusal to assimilate to the industry bullsh*t. Without him, Slum Village became average to me. To first lose J Dilla and then Baatin must be an incredible loss to the remaining group members. My heart goes out to them. A loss in the Hop Hop world is felt tremendously because of how important true contributions are. Like the GZA said, "This language is so captivating...When we lose a rap n*gga, the news is devastating." The beginning quote is by one of my old childhood friends who had the honor of working with Baatin some years ago. It was so genuine that I had to repost it. None of us are promised another day here and I don't believe our work is done when the spirit goes back to the essence. It's just that it can no longer be housed in the body when it's time to move on. Perhaps Baatin knew just when that new journey was to begin in another world. At least he left the earthlings with some incredible music. I'll miss him.

Ay, it's like a ritual
You been invited. Let the mortal body stimulate the place
With the grace, nevertheless, I stress
Let the music put a smile on your face
As for the ritual, when it comes to spiritual excellence
You know I always leave you with the taste.
I know you like it hard to the core.
That's what you ask for, you achin' for the best
Hurtin' like a sore. It's like a ritual.
Conversation with the Most High make you wanna cry.
I wonder why, you wanna get to paradise
But that itty bitty part of you don't wanna die.
So pay attention to my word, cuz it's the truth.
Meditation ease the mind, and brings the youth
It's like a verse you could never read out of a book.
Droppin' the line in your mind like a fish hook.
Word is birth, yo I do it till the break of day
Pay attention to your art, never go astray.
Word is bond. - Thelonious by Common ft. Slum Village