Saturday, April 24, 2021


I kinda hate to do these so close together, but they say it comes in threes.

I have much respect for Shock G.

Or Humpty Hump.
Or Mc Blowfish.
Or the other names he called himself. 

Honestly the album Sex Packets almost could have been on an 8-track, it was stuffed with goodies and flow and just played like what it was...a concept album. I must have jammed the crap out of it. Now, these were days before everything was gangsta, back when guys could just get super creative. And they did. The videos were half concert, half party. The guys wore silly outfits and did silly things. And Shock G was their leader. 

By the way, the reason we were all confused about if Shock G and Humpty Hump were the same person was because they did occasionally appear together. No shit (it's at minute 3:20). That and we didn't have twitter to leak the truth.

Now, Digital Underground wasn't considered a top tier group by most, but they were up there. And remember this is where the legendary Tupac got his start. With a bunch of guys who engineered songs like "Dowhatchalike", "The Humpty Dance" and "No Nose Job." And long before Drake they were the guys that sang with "Kiss You Back."

They weren't just a rap group, they were artists.

Damn, everybody is going too soon. 

Monday, April 19, 2021

Deja Voo....all over again

This is a political post

How are we HERE again? 

I have avoided writing about the Chauvin Trial.

As someone said on Instagram the other day, I'm just not up for anymore black pain and suffering. It is becoming a carousel that we can't get off for some reason and the longer we take the more dangerous the pressure grows.

I did catch snippets of the closing arguments. When his defense attorney argued that the framing of the prosecutors "completely disregards" what happened before Floyd was pinned to the pavement it brought back an old memory. After the riots in Los Angeles following the Rodney King verdict long ago, one of the daytime talk show people had an episode where they went down into the neighborhood and white and black people together. And I remember distinctly a young white woman standing up and trying to justify the beating Mr. King took at the hands of the police. She pleaded with the crowd to understand that "we don't know what happened before the video started." And an older white woman stood up, as young girl stood there repeating we just don't know and put her hand on the girl's shoulder. Her words were profound. She simply told the young woman that "there is nothing he could have done to have deserved what happened to him."

There was nothing that George Floyd did that day, or any other day, that deserved a penalty of death. Period.

And for the record, his medical condition and previous drug use should be no defense. The eggshell plaintiff rule should be in full effect here. I'm still amazed that the defense attorney characterized Chauvin as feeling threatened by the crowd, despite all the testimony and video showing otherwise. I'm not sure if he was expecting cheers as casually killed a man by leaning on his neck ..with his hands in his pockets. Threatened? I'm really not sure what was going through his mind. And frankly I kinda don't want to know.

Now, even if you don't believe in defunding the police (still a dumb name for a good idea) as many of the jurors indicate they do not, the concept of watching a man in custody being killed in slow motion, casually as it was, should move something inside you. I hope. As the prosecution stated, "To be very clear, this case is called the State of Minnesota versus Derek Chauvin. It is not called the State of Minnesota versus the police." The idea of bad cops getting away with it, time and time again, only undercuts the idea of the police as the good guys in the eyes of the public. And will eventually begin to increase the real, not just perceived, danger that officers face out in the field. This nightmare scenario has to stop somewhere, so why not here? Believe it or not, if you think about it, this actually is a pro-police prosecution.

And considering that during this trial we have experienced the deaths of Daunte Wright at the hands of the police just a few miles from where this trial is taking place, and Adam Toledo's death while his hands were raised as instructed. Meanwhile, another part of the same state a man who rams two police cars, assaults an officer and led the police on a chase with an officer hanging onto the side of the truck is taken into custody. I can only wonder what the difference in circumstances was.

I'm hoping for the best. Maybe we've woken up that continually granting ultimate power on an individual basis to people usually not vetted for bias or other dangerous tendencies probably isn't a good idea. I mean, the evidence should be clear here. Because if not, then I think 2021 is coming for 2020's Most Turrible Year belt. 

Friday, April 9, 2021

'Cause that's how Rough Ryders Roll...

A young DMX looked like a the bad ass avatar in a video game that was never made. His frame thin but muscular, his style and demeanor one you couldn't hope to achieve. His voice that raspy sound that gave gravitas, and his face an expression that let you know without question he'd seen it all and done and it all and that he wasn't about to fuck around on the way to the final boss. 

An older DMX looked like your favorite uncle when you were a child. A little thicker but still with a aura of joy. Quick with a joke but working every day to make sure the spiritual was right too. This was the uncle that would spot you twenty and beer out the cooler when your mother wasn't looking, but would also show up when you were in trouble ready to handle business.  

In between we got classics. I spent to today jamming to It's Dark and Hell is Hot, the classic ...And Then There was X, and The Great Depression and singles from Grand Champ and Year of the Dog Again. I was stunned at how many of the songs I still knew the words too. (I was also surprised that at this age simply rapping like we used to I was out of breath, damn.) 

And then the social media deluge started. Of DMX being Earl Simmons. Father. Friend. Philosopher. And guy who while he struggled with his own demons didn't let it color his zest for life. 

His kind shall not pass this way again.

Because they don't even try to do it like this no more....

Friday, April 2, 2021

Political Misfortunes

This is a political post. 

Three months seems like a lifetime ago.

A few months ago it seemed like, at least in conservative terms, Matt Gaetz could do no wrong. He wanted the innocent, if you considered Roger Stone an innocent, to be pardoned. He stormed a closed door meeting on Capitol Hill to get the truth about impeachment inquiry against Cheato, though if you paid attention he mostly stayed in the back. He mocked mask wearing, blamed China and lived life unafraid of the virus. He defended teenage shooter in Wisconsin and blamed the January Sixth attack on Antifa disguised at patriots.

With a resume like that you could almost see him eyeing the White House, provided of course Cheato decided not to run again in which case he'd happily pick up his pom-poms and go back to cheering.

And then....well, things escalated quickly.

I remember seeing on twitter that he was thinking of resigning early to go join NewsMax or FOX and wondering why. Then the story broke in the New York Times and it turns out that he was under investigation from the Justice Department. Wait, an investigation that started during his buddy's Cheato's administration? This means it was something so serious even they couldn't overlook it. But who could have guessed it involves one of the conservatives favorite tools of accusation - sex with minors. If you listen them everybody not conservative is doing it while having pizza. Some even claim that's why there are child slaves at the secret base on the Moon. Oh, I'm sorry, that was silly of me, I meant the secret base on Mars. Now the whole things feels more like being accused of cheating by someone WHO IS cheating to try and throw you off their trail.

Special note for people who believe in "liberal" or "mainstream" media, after Cuomo got accused of lying and inappropriate behavior those mainstream outlets keep following the story day after day. And his own people want him gone and their not holding their tongues about it. By contrast, the GOPQ has been mostly silent, and FOX pretty much pretended the story didn't exist for two days. Well, they covered it for a minute as a breaking new story, but after Matt pretty much tried to get Tucker Carlson to vouch for him (or possibly be indicted as well) so I think I can see why they might be hands off for a minute. Also, someone remind Matt that even if  the extortion part of the story is true, that doesn't absolve you of the crime you were being extorted over. Just a quick reminder when you see him Tucker, thanks.

Of course since then things have only gotten worse. From the unprompted mention in the Tucker interview of "child prostitutes" (no such thing), to political allies having been indicted on charges related to sex trafficking (see Joel Greenburg), to the stories of him showing pictures of women he'd "been with" frat boy style on the floor of the House, to the "son" living with him which made me think this was going a whole other way. I did, really. And we're still in the first week of this scandal. 

Someone remind 2021 that it is not in competition with 2020.