July 15, 2013
If rich artists want to help make it so that less fortunate artists can make a living in the music biz, they should cut a check to any number of bum rappers on Black People Twitter directly. Pulling their music from Spotify only makes it that much more difficult for me to listen to it without putting forth any more than an absolute minimum amount of effort.
Because they knew I'd need something to write about today other than whether or not I'm upset that a judge told George Zimmerman he's free to go and gave him his gun back in case he needs to pop a cap in a dreaded n-word's ass on the way home from the court room (you'll just have to use your imagination), Thom Yorke and Nigel Godrich announced today that they're pulling something I never heard of called Atoms for Peace and also Yorke's solo album The Eraser from way TF back in '06 from Spotify. They're upset that Spotify only pays a fraction of a penny per listen. If they weren't already filthy rich, at that rate, everyone in the world would have to listen to Atoms for Peace -- whatever that is -- in order for them to become filthy rich.
*shudders at the thought*
I don't have Spotify at present, because I'm saving up to get to the point where I can easily afford to drop $10 a month on music, rather than the $0 per month that I've been dropping since, like, 1998. It might be a while before I get there, but it's definitely one of the things I want to accomplish in my career as an author of self-published e-books.
I was fortunate enough to receive a free trial membership, and of course I was obsessed with it for several weeks, like everyone else. I wasted a lot of time listening to things I didn't really need to listen to in my lifetime (almost all obscure music is obscure for a reason), but I found that it satisfied a certain morbid curiosity, and lord knows I've made worse use of my time. If any artists somehow got paid from me using Spotify during that period, despite the fact that it didn't cost me anything, they can rest assured that I never, ever would have otherwise paid to listen to their music.
Before I got it for free, I used to listen to it for free on the reg and just put up with the commercials, but once I got the premium, uninterrupted experience I couldn't fathom going back to that. I heard they've since put caps on how much you can use it for free. Who knows? It's been a while since I've used it. My thing lately has been listening to CDs, as if this were the '90s. Turns out they don't stop working! Why even bother ripping them to your computer, when you can just leave a shedload of them lying on your bedroom floor. You're an adult now.
The thing about Spotify is, you gotta reach a certain critical mass in terms of popularity in order to make any money from it. I read a while back that Mercury Rev only made enough to buy a ham sandwich and a tall boy of Bud Ice, which costs $.40 less than regular beer, but it's got more alcohol in it (it's what I've been drinking this summer, and I can honestly sense a difference in my financial situation), while I also read somewhere that Drake made a million dollars last year from Pandora alone -- and I don't even think Pandora pays as much as Spotify. You don't get to choose which artists you listen to on Pandora; science does it for you. More recently, I saw where Drake is selling a ridonkulously expensive apartment in Canada, of all places, and I know he bought a similarly expensive house in California a while back, this despite the fact that everyone knows he's yet to see so much as a penny -- not even a fraction of a penny, like you get from Spotify -- in royalties from Cash Money. He must do pretty well on ancillary income streams like music streaming services, though obviously he's got a lot more sources of income than Pandora and Spotify.
Spotify probably could pay a lot of money to even relatively obscure artists, if more people used. It costs $10 per month for the premium version, which is not a lot of money, unless you're Bol, but I'm sure it adds. Imagine if 100 million people used it -- which is probably only a quarter of the US population. $10 per month x 100 million people = I don't know, a shedload of money. If Spotify had that much money to pay out, I might have to start singing. Sirius only costs something like $6 a month (I don't have it either; I'm trying to recall what it was when Howard Stern switched to Sirius), and they could afford to pay Howard Stern $500 million, in addition to whatever they pay the people on their hundreds of other channels. The problem is, will 100 million people ever pay for Spotify Premium? I recall reading a while back that, despite all of the hype about Spotify, it only ever reached about the same number of users as previous streaming services like Napster and Rhapsody and then plateaued.
The other way artists could make a lot of money from streaming their music on the Internets is to somehow come up with their own service that pays them a higher rate and still doesn't involve me having to pay any more than hardly anything to listen to their music. What they should do, and hopefully the Illuminati won't shut this post down if this is not legal, but what they should do is go on one of these websites where you can hire 13 year-old kids who know how to program a computer and pay them like $5 to build your own knockoff version of Spotify that pays the artists a 100% royalty and doesn't pay the TIs a damn thing. It would that kid something to do other than plan a school shooting, and the bum rappers on Black People Twitter would finally strike it rich and stop pestering me. Alas, I think that was what that fat guy from Megaupload was trying to do, and the Illuminati pulled a kickdoe on his compound down in Australia with a quickness. You could tell he was on to something just based on the response.
July 11, 2013
I don't have a very good feeling about this Trayvon Martin trial, aside from the smug sense of self-satisfaction I felt when Rachel Jeantel took the witness stand and the judge had to ask her whether or not she speaks English. But yeah, other than that this is no good.
I haven't been following the trial too closely, because overgrown child that I am, I don't watch the news. I don't even watch the Daily Show. But I figure I pick up enough news here and there while scanning the Internets for contentious race issues and pictures of certain kinds of women, my own sort of neighborhood watch.
I've got my eye on you, girls high school volleyball players. Literally one eye.
None of what I've heard seems to bode well for the prosecution. I heard the judge decided the defense could tell the jury that Trayvon smoked weed and had weed in his system when George Zimmerman popped a cap in his ass, as if smoking weed makes you want to go beat up neighborhood watch. If anything, the fact that he was a stoner makes it less likely the he initiated the physical confrontation with Zimmerman, but I guess the prosecution can't argue that, because technically, that would be the state admitting that smoking weed makes you a better person. It would ruin the whole economy.
I don't smoke weed, and look at me -- I'm terrible! Any time you hear about me getting shot, you can rest assured that it was because of something I said or did that was truly beyond the pale, someone got upset and tried to put a shoe on me and realized they had another thing coming, because don't let the fact that I'm an old blind cripple fool you! If I were Trayvon Martin's parents, I'd talk to the prosecutor about possibly smoking out the jury, to prove that weed -- unless it's laced with PCP or something -- doesn't make you want to go beat up neighborhood watch.
One of the problems with a case like this is that you don't get much of a choice in who represents the state. While I like to refer to it as the Trayvon Martin trial, like he's the one on trial, as if it matters to him personally what the outcome of this mess is (it can't, via physics), George Zimmerman is the one on trial. He gets to pick whoever he wants to defend him. He can bring in whoever's the modern equivalent of Johnny Cochran, if he has the means, if he can get enough racist CACs to donate to his defense. Trayvon Martin's parents, meanwhile, are stuck dealing with whoever was appointed by the state to handle this case. I'm pretty sure you don't get to appeal that and bring in your own prosecutor.
These local prosecutors aren't as skilled at arguing a case as, say, a Johnny Cochran, because they don't have to sweat trying to get people locked up. That usually takes care of itself. It's the rare occasion when they would even be in a situation like this where a guy killed someone and the cops actually found him and arrested him. Recall that in this case George Zimmerman wasn't arrested until months after the fact, after the media raised a stink. He'd still be walking the streets. As long as no one important was killed, the police would rather just let these things sort themselves out the old fashioned way.
Only some tiny fraction of cases ever actually go to trial. The rest result in some sort of plea bargain. What they do is, they throw a buncha bullshit charges at you in addition to the one thing you may or may not have actually done. If you don't pretty much drop to your knees and start blowing the cops when they come to arrest you, they've got you for resisting arrest. If they find any kind of lingering marijuana odor in your house from 1976, five years before you were born, they've got you for posession. God forbid you should have anything that could be used as a weapon. All told, you're either looking at possibly being buried underneath the prison, or accepting a few years behind bars and thus waiving your right to a trial.
You can tell the prosecution has no idea how to actually send someone to jail, because they let Rachel Jeantel take the witness stand without checking to see if she was capable of answering basic questions in English. Maybe I'm confused about how this process works, from having watched too much TV as a child, but isn't there some sort of pre-interview process, like on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, where they go over the questions the defense might ask, so you don't make a complete and utter fool of yourself? (I was pre-med.) Did they even check to see who this chick was? It's a wonder she didn't get up there and start rambling about the Kennedy assassination and asking for donations. This case could have shaken this democracy to its very core!
July 10, 2013
I can kinda see where 50 Cent is coming from in this... situation with his son and his baby's mother. Sometimes it's necessary to disown your son via text message after calling his mother a filthy hoo-er.
As a condition of his custody agreement with the child's mother, 50 Cent only gets to see his son Marquise -- the kid from the "Wanksta" video with the random Mexican boy -- every now and again, for a brief period of time.
I'm not sure what 50 Cent does now that he's not a rapper anymore, since Kanye West Ja Ruled his career, but I'm sure he's busy. He made $100 million from doing those Vitamin Water commercials, and when you've got that kind of money, you can find something to do, even if it's flying to random cities to eat barbecue and spend an evening in a strip club.
His son and the kid's mother live down in Atlanta, and why would you want to be in Atlanta unless you absolutely had to be. If you ever want to experience what it's like being in Atlanta, just fly to any random city, drive out to the part of town that's sandwiched in between the one cool part of the suburbs and total oblivion, and strike up a conversation with the dumbest person you can possibly find. Remark to yourself how inexpensive the real estate is.
Atlanta is known for its strip clubs, but I think that's more so because it's strip club culture is so out in the open. Here in the STL, as discussed in my first book The Mindset of a Champion, you have to drive over to the sticks of Illinois and risk life and limb to visit a strip club. In Atlanta, you can visit a strip club in the parking lot of a Kroger next to a Wendy's. You can get in there on a random Tuesday afternoon, get some glitter on your face and get home before your ice cream melts. This is a beautiful thing, and I'm willing to give credit where credit is due, though I will say that strippers here in the STL Metro seem to be willing to work a lot harder for that $40. I've even had strippers in Atlanta who worked in clubs here tell me this. They were disgusted at the lengths they were expected to go to.
Earlier this year, 50 Cent paid a visit to Atlanta to take advantage of the court-mandated time he gets to spend with his son. This was back in January, but we're only hearing about it now, because his baby's mother Shaniqua -- of "Shaniqua Don't Live Here No More" fame -- recently sold screencaps of a text message conversation about it to Radar, the '00s-era gossip magazine that's owned by Jesse Jackson and the Illuminati. They did some pioneering work on the Octomom pr0n film, as I recall.
He got to the house, went to ring the doorbell, and he saw a light go out and someone take off running, like they were trying to avoid him. 50 Cent of course got upset, because he only gets but so much time to spend with his son, and he'd been forced to travel to Atlanta. You'll recall that Alec Baldwin had a similar issue a while back with his 8-foot tall, kinda buttery and yet super doable daughter, whom he called a little pig via voicemail that was then sold to TMZ or someone. 50 Cent called his son's mother a filthy hoo-er, or rather he said that he was getting a paternity test, because Shaniqua liked to spread it around back in the day, and then he wished his son luck, because he's gonna need it.
Fiddy says it was Shaniqua he was texting with, pretending to be his son, and I don't doubt this for a minute, because that seems like something she would do, and also, how did she get those screencaps to sell to Radar? 50 Cent must have given his son an iPhone, and she took it and kept it for her own personal use. I've spent enough time working with a certain class of woman to know how this works. There's no meaningful oversight on how those child support checks are spent. But 50 Cent probably didn't realize that when he was standing on that doorstep revealing to his son his mother's hoo-er tendencies (which I'm sure is difficult to hear) and threatening to cut the poor bastard out of his will.
He should have known when he walked up to the door and saw a shadow take off running. Why would a son take off running from his own father? NEWSFLASH: No one likes to spend time with his father. It's just something you have to deal with every now and again, so as to not damage the delicate financial relationship. Even if it's a situation where the father is abusive, it doesn't make sense to take off running if you didn't do anything. That's Rachel Jeantel. Contrary to popular belief, not every encounter with a man is a potential sexual assault. (At least, not in all likelihood.) Usually, if a father goes upside a son's head, it's because the son is a piece of shit. He ran over something with the lawn mower and now it won't start. The mother, on the other hand...
Last week or the week before, 50 Cent was arrested in LA for putting a shoe on his secret baby's mother (he has at least one secret baby's mother), which is probably what prompted the Illuminati to contact Shaniqua to see if she had any evidence of an abusive relationship between herself and Fiddy, aside from that time he burned down her house. 50 Cent is well within his rights as a father to not give his son anything other than what he's required to by law, but that still plays into the whole image of the black absentee father, so you can see why Radar jumped at the opportunity to publish those screencaps. That probably wasn't the first time 50 Cent showed up to a chick's house and started roid raging. If 50 Cent burned down my house, I stole an iPhone from him and all of a sudden he showed up at my doorstep, I'd take off running, too.
Radar has since caught up with 50 Cent's son, who revealed that he hasn't spoken with his father in six months. It's been about six months since that text message exchange took place. Coincidence? This is probably for the best. So much about this situation suggests to me that maybe 50 Cent's son doesn't deserve to have a very good relationship with his father. When you have a child with a woman like that, and you don't get a chance to spend time with him very often, it's easy for some of his mother's bad qualities to rub off on him. That would explain how his mom had his iPhone in the first place. I mean, he's a 16 year-old boy. If my father gave me an iPhone and my mom tried to take it, I'd simply take it back from her and explain that it belongs to me, and you don't take things that don't belong to you.
July 09, 2013
Male fashion magazine GQ put together a list of the worst rappers of all time, of ALL TIME, consisting of people who can't rap. David Drake from Complex saw it and threw a bitchfit. Just because a person can't rap doesn't mean he deserves to be on a list of the worst rappers of all time, he argued. That's not how rap music works!
There's a brief description of the list in the post at Complex. It consists of celebrities who once tried their hand at rap, white rappers, failed pop rappers, plus a few regular rappers who just suck balls, including Too Short and Eazy-E. I didn't bother to click through, myself, because I don't fuxwit listicles, not necessarily as a matter of principle or as a political statement, but out of sheer laziness. If I'm clicking that many times, there better be some naked women. Fuck rap music! I figured I could complete this post without having a look.
In fact, it's ironic that Complex is complaining about another site -- let alone another male fashion magazine site -- running a listicle, tossing out allegations of "trolling" and "laziness" (the two things I strive to represent). Complex puts together its lists the same way Pitchfork reviews rap albums: they find someone who's clearly not an expert in the field, and tell them to do the best they can using Google and trying to imagine what someone who knew what they were talking about might say. I realized this a while back when I saw they did a list of the hottest chicks on The Real World, and it was just a list of women who had appeared on The Real World at some point in time or another, in random order.
Drake complains that by putting Eazy-E and Too Short on a list of the worst rappers of all time GQ is attempting to rewrite the history of rap music, which is only true for him, personally, on an emotional level. In reality, bad rappers have always been looked down upon, going back to the days of "Sucker MCs," and beyond that, to the time before rap records, a period we can only speculate about, because it's impossible to pull it up on YouTube. The Source was putting Too Short on worst rapper lists way TF back in '90, in its Decade of Rap issue.
Too Short is quite literally one of the worst rappers of all time, in the sense that he can't string words together with any more complexity than your average eight year-old. He's even worse than 2Pac, in that sense. He's what the RZA, on the intro to side two of Wu-Tang Forever (which I listen to every day when I get out of bed in the morning), refers to as a cat in a hat-ass rapper. The only two arguments in his favor are the fingerbang video he made for XXL (nullus), which really was good advice if you ever want your finger to smell different, and the existence of Chief Keef.
Eazy-E isn't even a rapper per se. Ice Cube wrote a lot of his rhymes, and letting someone else write your rhymes wasn't considered acceptable in rap music until Kanye came along, fairly recently. So again, this can't be viewed as a matter of GQ trying to rewrite history. Eazy-E was full of shit back when it was still assumed that rap music was completely authentic, when rappers were still referring to themselves as "street reporters" and the "black CNN." He helped lower the standard. Furthermore, I'd argue that he deserves to be included on a list of the worst rappers of all time for functioning as a black front for Jerry Heller, thus setting a precedent for Jay-Z's latter day career as a corporate shill.
There's also, supposedly, a class implication in putting Too Short and Eazy-E, and also Insane Clown Posse, on a list of the worst rappers of all time. This was difficult for me to wrap my head around, because it's not like bad rappers come from a different class of people than good rappers, or any other class of black people, for that matter. Even Bol once lived in a townhouse, from 1981 to about 1984. Whereas a young Soulja Boy put his garbage together on a computer with Internets access in an air conditioned bedroom, KRS-One used to sleep in a damn subway.
You could argue that bad rap music appeals to the less fortunate, as is the case with Insane Clown Posse, but I'm gonna argue that's only due to a lack of discernment, not because it's secretly brilliant in a way that we just can't appreciate, because we're too sophisticated.
July 08, 2013
I'm disgusted, and I'll never eat at Golden Corral ever again... unless they put those ribs on special, in which case, fuck it! You know how much ribs cost?
Real ribs, mind you. Not those "riblets." All you can eat riblets seems like a good deal, but it's not, really, when you consider the fact that riblets quite literally have no value. They're not really ribs, they're just some weird pork byproduct that butchers used to throw away, until some exec at Applebee's got the bright idea to sell them as food. I'm sure he's now a billionaire.
You couldn't put them on a plate by themselves and sell them for a dollar, let alone $12 with two sides and a free dessert, from out the microwave, but give them a name similar to ribs and offer an unlimited amount of them (as if), and you can charge $14 for them. #marketing
I once went something like five plates deep on all you can eat riblets at an Applebee's when I was like 10 years old. I don't know if it's because I was there in the restaurant for so long, or because there was something wrong with the meat, but at a certain point I had to get up and go take one of the most epic shits of my life, mid-meal.
Could it have been that a government food inspector was by that day, and they had to put the riblets out between the dumpster and the machine that vacuums up foul-smelling fryer oil and stores it for recycling, so that he couldn't take its temperature? That's what they do at Golden Corral, apparently.
I wouldn't know what the food is like at Golden Corral, and in fact I wouldn't know that there's a Golden Corral somewhere around here if it weren't for this tweaker chick I used to work with at the BGM.
She was from Florida, and apparently Golden Corral is a delicacy down there, to the point where if you had to suddenly move halfway across the country, one of the first things you'd do is find out where the Golden Corral is.
She asked me where it was, and I was like, "The fuck if I know." It seems like one of those places where you'd eat only if you were on a lengthy road trip and it was the only thing near the highway. Some locations probably have showers, for truckers.
She ended up finding one, but she said it wasn't any good. People here in Missouri don't know how to season their food, she said, which is something that hadn't occurred to me once in the 30 years of my life at that point. I thought I enjoyed at least some of the meals that I've eaten here, but maybe none of them were properly seasoned, and I just didn't know it.
I didn't even think a chain establishment like that could vary from location to location. McDonald's is famous for tasting the exact same anywhere in the world. They only use a certain, very specific kind of potato, for example.
But based on this clip, maybe the food preparation does vary wildly by location. Some places, they take it out between the dumpster and the oil machine when the food inspector shows up, so he can't take its temperature, and some places, they just put it in a refrigerator.
I can see how the taste would vary, depending on the amount of time a piece of meat spent out by the dumpster. At a fine dining establishment like Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, where my roommate used to work, they call this "aging" and they charge a premium for it. Those of you who are 600 years old will recall that when I used to work in the barbecue industry, we'd take a piss on the logs we used for fuel, which gave the meat a certain citrusy flavor.
Now I'm actually kinda curious to see how the seasoning of the food at the Golden Corral in Florida differs from the seasoning of the food at Golden Corral here in Missouri. Is it just more salt? Because you could just sprinkle a shedload of salt on everything at the table like my grandfather used to.