hip_hop_albums_w1

This is the third installment in a ten part series where I’ll be counting down my 10 favorite hip hop albums of all time in reverse order, from 10 to 1. I’ll be releasing one album per week, for 10 weeks. You can read Part I here and Part II here

We’re cruising along in the countdown of my Top 10 Favorite Hip Hop Albums of All Time. Two kickass records are in the books, and I’m excited to move forward because guess what? They’re only gonna get better.

The first two albums we covered were released 13 years apart, and the major shift in hip hop’s sound from boom bap to 808s couldn’t have been clearer. Each of the artists we covered were pioneers in their respective niches of hip hop. The artist who holds down the number 8 spot hasn’t just been a pioneer in hip hop, he’s been a pioneer in some of the major musical movements over the last 20+ years. Some consider him to be the greatest rapper of all time. Personally, I wouldn’t say he’s the greatest, but I’d call him the most successful. He’s managed to parlay his high-level mic skills into sustained mainstream success, all while being THE model for the rapper-turned-businessman.

He’s released 16(!) albums since his debut in 1996. He’s worked with the greatest rappers, producers, singers, and all around musicians in his 20 years since then. He’s one of the richest men in music, and he’s one part of the royal family of hip hop.

Allow me to re-introduce this man…

HIS NAME IS HOV!

Number 8:  Jay-Z – The Blueprint (2001)

the-blueprint-artwork

Believe it or not, this album was released on 9/11. Crazy. But that’s not when I discovered it. No, I was too busy dicking around with the most whiney, pussy emo bands that were popular at the time. I hadn’t yet realized what good hip hop was.

The Blueprint found me by mistake. Of course I had heard “H to the Izzo,” when it came out. Anyone who had a radio knew that song. But it took until my sophomore year of high school for me to stumble upon my friend’s burned copy of The Blueprint cd. I was looking for something to pop in the cd player before I went to basketball practice, and I noticed a blank cd with someone else’s handwriting on it saying, “The Blueprint.” I knew the title because I’d heard people talk about how good it was. So, I popped it in and went on my merry way.

Immediately, I was hooked. I’m a HUGE fan of albums that have great intro tracks (see the first two albums on this countdown, and most likely every one the rest of the way). “The Rulers Back” had this too-cool-for-school vibe to it that I loved. The little bongo intro, the funky wawa guitar, the strings, the chimes, the horns. It all just clicked perfectly for me. Then, Jay put his foot on the gas like a led brick for the next three tracks, giving us back to back to back classics. He went IN on many of the top rappers in the game on one of the best diss tracks of all time, “The Takeover.” This was the Lexington and Concord of the Jay-Z/Nas beef. The first shot that sparked it all. I’m more partial to “Ether” because I think Nas went at Jay specifically with some personal insults that “Takeover” lacked. But Jay did his thing and the ballerina line about Prodigy from Mobb Deep was laugh out loud funny. He then transitions into the lead single, “H to the Izzo,” which was a huge hit and a staple of my childhood. Jay rounds out the trio of classics with his ballad to beautiful women across the globe, “Girls Girls Girls.” This track is known for it’s catchy hook, but the verses are some of Jay’s most intelligent and well-structured rhymes in his catalog. I love how he spends four bars rapping about a specific girl (3 girls in total on each verse), then wraps all of their stereotypes into the final four bars. A hot 16 indeed.

Just when you thought “Girls Girls Girls” was peak Jay lyricism, he unloads an absolute bazooka on “U Don’t Know.” This is one of my favorite hip hop songs ever, period. Just Blaze produced one of the more epic cinematic beats in memory, with a simple two bar sample hook. And that’s one of the things that makes this track so great. There’s no catchy hook. There’s no chorus to sing along with. It’s just a badass beat and Jay spitting some of the greatest verses hip hop has to offer. The intro to the third verse? “I sell ice in the winter / I sell fire in hell / I am a hustler baby I sell water to a well.” FIRE. We then get another Kanye-produced single, “Heart of the City,” that gained a second life as the trailer track for American Gangster in 2007. The album hits another high point with the heartfelt, Just Blaze-produced track “Song Cry,” where you can really hear the emotions pouring out of Jay through the cracking in his voice as the track progresses. It’s a year0-2000 rap version of a slow, smooth, Motown love ballad. The piano is simply beautiful, and Jay shows a more vulnerable side of his personality that most rappers were hesitant to let people see at the time.

The album ends with a unique wrinkle. First, we are treated to the Feature of a Generation on the Eminem-produced “Renegade.” Not only did Em produce a great beat, he brings the THUNDER, nay, the LIGHTNING (per usual) with his intense delivery and fuck you attitude. Nas famously dissed Jay-Z by saying, “Eminem murdered you on your own shit,” which is something that is NOT debatable. It was actually kind of a bad look for Jay, because hearing them back to back made you realize how far superior Em can be than any other rapper when he’s at his best. The fact that he produced the beat himself may have lent to his destruction of it lyrically. Either way, it’s one of the best tracks on the album and a surefire HOF’er for great hip hop collaborations. The album then closes with three tracks in one. It tones down with the minimal mellow “Mama Loves Me,” followed by “Lyrical Exercise,” which is a clever way for Jay to compare his rapping talent to beasting weights in the gym. It finishes with a remix of “Girls Girls Girls,” that’s almost as good as the original. I’m not exactly sure who produced it, but I would guess Cool & Dre if I had a gun to my head. I could obviously research this but if I find out I’m wrong then it completely ruins the last two sentences of this paragraph.

Low points of the album? None. Every track is good. I’d say the weakest is “All I Need,” but even the three tracks I haven’t mentioned yet are great. Timbaland brings his signature production to “Hola Hovito,” (love the harp), and “Jigga That Ni**a” is energetic with some more of Jay’s best lines on the record (“Gnarly dude / I puff Bob Marley dude / All day like rastafaris do“). Finally, “Never Change” is another one of those Kanye productions that feels like Jay is the modern version of a Motown star. Berry Gordy would approve.

So what’s the legacy of The Blueprint? For me, it’s the pinnacle of Jay-Z’s lyrical abilities. While it’s not my favorite Jay album (hmmm…foreshadowing?), it’s undoubtedly where he was most hungry. It came at a time where the hip hop community was looking for the next superstar to step in and replace Biggie and Pac. I think that’s why Jay went after his rivals on “The Takeover.” To show that HE, not Nas, was the next King of not just New York, but Hip Hip in general. Each track is jam packed with quality bars that most rappers only dream of achieving in their best verses. Jay brought the heat for 15 different tracks and solidified himself as one of the GOATs in rap history.

The Blueprint also was the coming out party for another future superstar. I’m of course talking about the super talented, always polarizing, and sometimes controversial Kanye West. Kanye produced four tracks on the album, included two of the singles. His sped up soul samples were the sonic staple of this album and gave him the platform he needed to produce his own solo albums, and eventually become one of the greatest artists music has ever seen.

I love this album. Plain and simple. Always have, always will. We may see more from Jigga later in this countdown, but for now, if you haven’t listened to The Blueprint from front to back, do yourself a favor and go to a digital store where audio files are purchased and BUY IT. The lyrics alone are worth a full listen.

Never change, this is Jay every day.

harrison-ford-pilot-fascinated-aviation-young-age

(BBC) – US actor Harrison Ford has been involved in a near-miss while flying his plane in California, US media say. They say Ford, aged 74, was instructed to land on a runway at John Wayne airport in Orange Country on Monday. But instead he mistakenly landed on a parallel taxiway, passing over a waiting American Airlines plane with 110 passengers and crew on board. That plane safely departed minutes later. Ford has not commented on the reported incident. Just before the landing, the Indiana Jones star is quoted as asking air traffic controllers: “Was that airliner meant to be underneath me?” The Federal Aviation Authority confirmed that the pilot of the single-engine Aviat Husky plane had been cleared to land on the runway. But it declined to confirm that the pilot was in fact Harrison Ford. The incident was first reported by NBC and the TMZ website. The actor, who is a certified pilot, has been involved in several air accidents. In 2015, he was injured when his vintage plane crashed on a golf course in Los Angeles. In 1999, Ford crash-landed his helicopter during a training flight in Los Angeles but both he and the instructor were unhurt. He has been in accidents out of the cockpit too, breaking his leg in 2014 while filming a scene involving a door on the Millennium Falcon spaceship.

Crash a plane once, shame on you. Crash a plane twice in 24 months, well, shame on me.

Clearly not a saying that Harrison Ford has ever heard. And who could blame him? He’s an all time great actor, rich beyond his wildest dreams, and a world class cocksman. The man has it all, so of course he thinks he can fly planes. Even after crashing once. Guys like him shoot themselves out of slumps.

But when you really take the time to think about it, shouldn’t we have seen this coming?

I know what you’re thinking. Well duh. The guy got into an airplane accident less than two years ago. Of course we should have seen this coming. But no, that’s not what I’m talking about. I looked deeper, way back into this man’s history. And the results I found were astonishing.

After a long hour of research, and countless minutes of dissecting through data, I’ve come to a conclusion…

Harrison Ford has put himself and others in increasingly dangerous situations in the air since his first on-screen flight in 1980. He’s been reckless in his behavior and had multiple brushes with serious injury or death prior to his first off-screen plane crash in 1999.

Before you jump to Mr. Ford’s defense, allow me to present you with the evidence of his erratic history with aviation.

 

1980: Navigating the asteroid field in Empire Strikes Back

These were the good times. Before the decline. Han Solo is one of the smoothest characters in the history of cinema. Men want to be him and women want to be with him. He was a thief and a scoundrel, but I’ll be damned if he wasn’t one of the best pilots in the galaxy. I mean, the guy made the freakin’ Kessel Run on the Millennium Falcon in under 12 parsecs. He was a cocky asshole and you hated him, but he was loyal and always ready to stick it to the Empire, so you loved him at the same time.

Nothing exemplified Han Solo’s skills in the cockpit more than his escape from the Empire through an asteroid field. He was ziggin, he was zaggin. He went up like a beam of light, then would drop down like a man on fire. The storm trooper pilots didn’t stand a chance, and Han eventually lost them. I’ll dock him some points for landing in a giant beasts esophagus and hanging for an hour or so before realizing it. That’s bush league. But he escaped yet again and got the job done, as he always did.

But as we’ll come to find out, this was a mere blip on the radar. A good needle in a stack of bad hay.

Really too bad he got killed by his own son.

Oh, spoiler alert ^.

 

1984: Escaping A Crashing Plane in Temple of Doom

A mere four years after his peak flying capabilities. There he was, Indiana, relaxing on a flight in the skies over China after escaping the clutches of Lao Che. He, Short Round, and Willie Scott popped a couple ambien and were KO’d while the pilots ditched the flight and left them in a downward spiraling plane. Indiana tried to fly the plane, but the three were forced to make a daring exit by jumping out with an inflatable raft to a cushy landing on a snowy mountain.

This is more along the lines of Harrison Ford in real life. Getting to the cockpit and saying, “How hard can it be?” Only to realize that not everyone is cut out to be a pilot. At least Indy had the common sense to bail on the plane before it crashed.

For the sake of argument, let’s chalk this one up to bad luck or low T. Sometimes you fall asleep on a plane and your pilots jump out. Happens to the best of us. I won’t hold it against him.

But wait…there’s more!

 

1989: Crashing a biplane with his dad in The Last Crusade

Hmm. Another crashed plane just five years later? Let’s look at how this one happened.

Indy was in the midst of his final crusade to capture the Holy Grail before the Nazis. He was finally united with his father, and they had just escaped Castle Brunwald on a zeppelin (hmmm a German zeppelin? Shocked there was trouble). But they were forced to escape even further on the little biplane with the Luftwaffe hot on their tails.

They get hit and have to make a controlled crash landing. Again, eerily similar to Harrison Ford’s real life flying experiences.

I’m sensing a trend here…

 

1997: Air Force One – hijacked by Russians and crash landing

President James Marshall’s plane, Air Force One, was hijacked just after taking off from Moscow by Russian radicals who wanted the freedom of their beloved General Radak. Over the next two hours, hostages are killed, situation rooms are occupied, and a young me becomes seriously afraid of bearded men with aggressive eastern European accents.

Now, clearly the President isn’t responsible for flying the plane. So we don’t get to see Harrison Ford behind the controls and checking altitude levels. But we are faced with the harsh reality that this man continues to find himself on crashing planes! Luckily, the Air Force came to the rescue and Jim Marshall was able to escape right before the plane crashed into the ocean, killing that fucking weasel Gibbs who set the whole thing up. Traitor.

(Obviously I can’t talk about Air Force One without linking one of the most badass delivered lines in movie history…)

 

So what have we learned? Well, we’ve learned that as a young man in Star Wars, Harrison Ford was a top-notch pilot. One of the best in the galaxy. He could cruise his way out of the most impossible situations, strictly based on talent alone. He was like a pitcher who has a 100 MPH fastball and a 12-6 curve. Whatever you had, he had better. He was the best and everyone knew it.

But then as he gets older, we start to see a change. Things that he could get away with before ended up coming back to bite him. He lost his fastball, and it started to unravel.

Falling asleep during his escape from China? Someone took his foot off the gas pedal a bit. That’s just lack of film study. You don’t trust a Chinese pilot in China when you just escaped captivity. Day 1 stuff really.

Getting shot down by a Nazi Luftwaffe? He lost a step. The physical decline had begun. Moves he could make as a young pilot on Tatooine were being stopped by the most mediocre defense.

Needing the Air Force to bail you out of a little Russian hijacking? Really hurts to see stars who once dominated the game needing help from the young guys to eek out a win. Like watching Tim Duncan miss dunks and get blocked by guards over the last two years. Sure, the Spurs won, but seeing Duncan age every game was ugly. Same with Harrison Ford. The way he jumped out of Air Force One like a brittle old man was painful to watch. A legend was no more.

And finally, the last two years crashing two separate planes in LA. As the great Harvey Two-Face once said,

You either die a hero, or live long enough to see yourself become the villain.

I can’t think of a more heroic way to die than saving the lives of your family and colleagues from Russian terrorists as the sitting President of the United States.

I’m not saying it should  have happened, but watching Harrison Ford’s sharp and steep decline from eliteness by way of aviation hiccups on and off screen is like a Greek tragedy. A really long, drawn out Greek tragedy with very old language that I really don’t want to read any more of.

Hang up the wings, man. Your time has passed.

maxresdefault

I went to Portland, Oregon this weekend (felt the need to clarify since so many people outside of New England think of Maine first). Just a casual 36 hour visit for a friend’s bday. Ndb. Ballin on a budget. Great city, hipster central, visit if you haven’t, blah blah blah. Portland was great but that’s not the point of this blog.

On the way there, I was fortunate enough to be on a flight that had quite the attractive young lady as a flight attendant. I didn’t immediately notice how cute she was, though. I was sitting there minding my own business, trying to not get sneezed on by anyone, when I realized that whenever this particular flight attendant walked by, she was staring directly at my crotch. I don’t know if it was the pants tent I was rocking or the seatbelt she was checking, but she couldn’t take her eyes off my dongal region. Once I was able to get over the initial shock of the offensive ogling I was being subjected to, I came to the realization that she was pretty damn cute. A tall brunette with a warm smile and bug eyes (the cute kind, not the ones that strike you with a fearection). And I could see she was hiding a slender but curvy body under that full length dress. It made me remember that on my last flight, there was also a hot flight attendant that caught my eye during boarding. What a lucky guy I am, to be blessed with two babes as flight attendants on consecutive trips. :::Purchasing lotto ticket immediately after writing this. Will not update if win:::

But it made me think, I never hear anyone talk about sexy flight attendants anymore. It seems like a lost art that’s gone unappreciated in today’s world of unlimited instagram models and curvy teachers. It’s like how the three point shot has completely taken over basketball. Sure, it’s flashy and is worth more points. But there’s something satisfying about throwing the ball into the low post and watching two giants battle it out three feet away from the hoop. A flight attendant in a long dress may not have the optics of a brazilian girl in a bikini doing squats, but there has to be an appreciation for the pioneering of the game. Back in the day, stewardesses were THE sexy profession. You had to be a minimum 7.5 to even get an interview. The majority of air travel was for successful businessmen who just wanted to get belligerently drunk and grope a few buttcheeks. Nothing wrong with that. Just some good ol’ bastard behavior. So, the flight attendant became sort of a showcase. You want businessmen to fly Pan-Am? Beef up that roster with the finest tail the sky has to offer. The Mile High Club ain’t a myth, son. There was a lot of promiscuity 30,000 feet off the ground. Because you know what? Air travel is an underrated aphrodisiac. Well, at least it was back in the golden age of air travel. Today it’s a bit different, and you’d have to be a sick son of a bitch to get turned on in an airplane. Although, maybe I’m wrong. Nothing gets the juices flowing quite like a ginger ale and a bag of sun chips while being nestled snugly between an overweight man who smells of foul cheese and a 12 year old kid who flicks his boogers an inch from your feet. Mmm.

Sorry, I’m getting off track. The point is, we need to start appreciating hot flight attendants more. What people once looked forward to as a key, boner-inducing part of air travel is now, sadly, an afterthought. Inappropriate groping and ogling has been replaced by ear buds and mindless swiping. There’s a whole legion of sexy ladies in blue one-pieces with cute little handkerchief neck-scarves and captain hats that deserve recognition. They provide bored, uncomfortable men who can’t sleep and have sore knees with something to look at for that oh so miserable flight. They’re diamonds in the ruff that come around once in a blue moon, and I’ll be damned if they don’t make a comeback and become recognized as one of the sexiest professions.

Not every man is as lucky as I am to be blessed with two smoke shows on two consecutive flights. That’s why I’m taking the time to thank the man upstairs. Human Resources Manager of JetBlue (4th floor, JetBlue HQ), I appreciate what you do. I appreciate that you hold your flight attendants to a high standard of physical attractiveness. I value your persistence to bringing us back to the golden age of flight attendants. And most of all, I admire your respect for the Mile High Club. It’s people like you who keep alive the dream of sex with an airline employee at 30,000 feet in a 3X3 bathroom surrounded by 150+ people. I make it my crusade to tweet at every airline a simple thank you when they provide me, the consumer, with a hot flight attendant. It makes my miserable trip a little less awful.

hip_hop_albums_w1

This is the second installment in a ten part series where I’ll be counting down my 10 favorite hip hop albums of all time in reverse order, from 10 to 1. I’ll be releasing one album per week, for 10 weeks. You can read Part I here

Last week we started the countdown with a well-known album from one of the most successful and popular rappers of all time. This week we’re gonna change it up a bit. This artist is well known by name, but most casual/radio hip hop fans haven’t taken the time to dive into his catalogue. There’s a lot to listen to, but let me clue you in on something – you only need to listen to his debut album to get the best of the best. As is the case with a lot of artists across all genres of music, their early stuff is widely regarded as their best and most pure form of artistic expression.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s not like our number 9 artist sold out. Not by a long shot. He’s stayed true to his craft by focusing on his impressive lyrical talent instead of chasing mainstream success. His fans will be loyal to him no matter what, and he knows this. He’s one of the main cogs in hip hop’s largest collective group. The number of people associated with them grows every year, but this man was there from the inception, and is still regarded by many as the most talented emcee of the bunch.

So let me introduce to you, the Genius…GZA.

 

 

Number 9:  GZA – Liquid Swords (1995)

gzaliquidswords

It was my Junior year of high school (my prime blunt riding days) when I was first introduced to Liquid Swords by my boy. I was already familiar with 36 Chambers (foreshadow?…), but hadn’t yet dove into the rest of the Wu-Tang discography. I was still getting my feet wet in the hip hop game and was in the process of combing through the hundreds of classic albums I hadn’t yet experienced. My buddy hopped in my car, pulled out the CD, and asked if I was down to listen to it on the ride. All it took was one look at the cover art and I was hooked (seriously, that’s one of the best album covers ever). He popped the disc in, we lit up, and went off on a musical adventure that would forever change our lives.

The first thing I think of when I’m pondering what Liquid Swords means to me is the production. This was peak RZA. His early-mid 90s production defined a style of beats that I like to call “Dungeon Rap.” These are heavy, dreary, sample-based beats that make you feel like you’re in a damp, dark cave and something bad is gonna happen to you. Some of the tracks on this album are straight-up unsettling. When we first listened to “Swordsman” on that ride, we were driving in the on a dark road out in some empty town. The combination of that song with our backwoods setting made me legitimately scared. Same thing with “Gold.” I’m not ashamed to admit it. Those beats are creepy as fuck. The samples RZA uses sound like they’re picked from a bucket of bad eggs, yet he somehow makes them work over these simple drum beats blended together with kung fu movie clips.

The album kicks off with two classics. The title track starts us with an eerie dialogue from what appears to be a young child in a kung fu movie, before seamlessly transitioning into one of the more unique beats in hip hop history. The way RZA samples the organ makes this track fun and playful while still maintaining the overarching darkness of the album. Then we get into what many people say is the best cut on the album, “Duel of the Iron Mic.” With it’s beautiful piano sample and killer features (Inspectah Deck per usual owns it), it’s one of the lighter sounding tracks the album has to offer. Definitely more palatable to the casual hip hop fan.

The album hits it’s strongest point in the middle on tracks 6-7-8. I wish I could tell you what it is about the song “Labels” that really resonates with me, but I can’t. Most people gloss over that track, but it remains in my rotation of unskippables. GZA goes HARD at record labels and their shake downs of artists, as he’s made a habit of throughout his career. My favorite line is, “My priority is that I’m first priority / I bone a secret out a bitch in a sorority.” It’s so badass and fun to rap along with. We then get back into the dungeon rap on “4th Chamber.” This track is as close as the album gets to a BANGER. RZA samples a crunchy electric guitar during the last few bars of every rapper’s verses, giving it a hard rock/metal vibe. And the drum and bass pattern is hypnotizing (dun-dun-BOOM, dun-dun-BOOM). Finally, we get the low-key, mellow collaboration with Method Man, “Shadowboxing.” This was initially my favorite cut on the album. It probably still is if you put a gun to my head, although the title track is a strong second. Meth and GZA trade HOT verses throughout the whole song, competing to out-duel each other in this emcee standoff. To me, Meth takes the crown with his unique rhyme scheme. The way his first two lines rhyme, then he starts over on the third line, which becomes the new rhyme scheme for the next two lines. I realize that makes absolutely no sense, but if you listen you’ll know what I’m saying. And the little “oh man” sample that RZA uses throughout the entirety of the track? SO. DAMN. CATCHY. It’s really what keeps me coming back to this song over and over.

The album closes with three solid cuts (two if you didn’t buy the CD). I mentioned the ultimate dungeon rap beat “Swordsman” to start this review, which is followed by one of the singles, “I Gotcha Back.” This is actually one of the more skillfully arranged hip hop beats RZA has ever created. The piano and horns counter each other PERFECTLY. When one is falling, the other is rising. Then he’ll flip the horns in the verses. In terms of a “composition” in early 90’s sample-based hip hop, this is as good as it gets. Finally, the bonus track “B.I.B.L.E.” closes us out. I’m not exactly sure when they recorded this, but the production clearly doesn’t fit the rest of the album. Meaning, if you threw this track in the middle of the record, it would feel VERY out of place. It doesn’t have that same murky, dungeon sound that the rest of the tracks do. However, with all that being said, it’s actually an awesome track. “BIBLE” (standing for “Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth”) is a very clever play on the acronym. We get to see GZA really shine as the emcee wise beyond his years. A true Genius, as his name would suggest.

There’s really not a bad track on this album. Everything feels so cohesive together. I’d say the weakest track is “Hells Wind Staff,” but that’s just personal taste. I didn’t mention “Investigative Reports” or “Living in the World Today,” but some would argue that those are two of the best tracks on the album. Again, all of these lists are my opinions. Nothing is right or wrong.

Would I recommend this album to someone who’s a borderline hip hop fan? No, probably not. I understand that anything that came out of Wu-Tang in the early 90s might not be for everyone. Personally, it produced some of my favorite artists, albums, and songs. But I’m not going to force feed it down someone’s throat who I know won’t like it. It’s an acquired taste. However, for anyone looking to expand their palate and dive deeper into the building blocks of New York hip hop, you should give this album a shot. It’s not very long, and there’s plenty of features that will keep you interested. That’s one of the great thing about Wu-Tang solo albums – they have so many features. They almost feel like group albums. You don’t even hear GZA on a track like “4th Chamber” until the very last verse. It’s one of the many characteristics I love about Wu-Tang. The collective involvement of the group on solo projects.

GZA isn’t for everyone. He’s not full of energy, and the basic ear will sometimes find that boring. But if you sit down and really listen to his lyrics, he’s one of the most talented emcees we’ve ever had. Line for line, there aren’t many rappers who can compete with him, and a lot of his best rhymes live on this very album. Liquid Swords is regarded as a cornerstone album in the hip hop genre, and it will forever be one of my favorites.

 

To me, one of the most intriguing things about sports that never gets talked about are the sounds they make. We all love sports (excluding Meryl Streep), but I think we overlook the automated cognitive association we make with sports, their sounds, and our happiness. Each sport has a unique sound, and as fans, we look to those sounds to tell us whether something good or bad is happening. I’ve always wanted to rank my personal favorite sports sounds, so I got tipsy on a Saturday night and did just that (all while watching a 1993 NBA Western Conference Finals game between the Suns and Supersonics…SAD!).

This may seem like a half-baked idea to most of you, but think about it. What are your favorite sports to watch? What sounds do each of them make? I bet you identify with those sounds more than you think. This list is to remind you how important those sounds are in your life as a sports fan, and as a functioning human being.

 

10. Boxing Punch

Boxing is certainly low on the list of popular sports in 2017. Even before the UFC came into it’s own, boxing was on the outs because of lack of superstars. There hasn’t been a polarizing heavyweight since Lennox Lewis, and the most well-known fighter is a featherweight with a boring, defensive style of boxing. But that doesn’t change the fact that hearing boxers trade blows is extremely appealing to the ears. There’s something about those thuds of the gloves against flesh that makes your brain go, “Hell yeah. It’s fight night.” It might be because we associate the sound with knockouts, which humans have a wild fascination with. We hear the sound and immediately try to envision what it would feel like to be on the receiving end of the punch. A little bit of a guilty please. But there’s no denying that hearing a boxing punch is very enjoyable.

Plus, adding this to the list gave me a chance to post Ward vs. Gatti I, which is one of the greatest sporting events in history. Do yourself a favor and watch the whole thing. I promise it will not disappoint.

 

9. Football Hit

While coming up with these rankings, I first tried to think of the most recognizable sound from all of the four major American sports. The other three had easy answers, but football was the only one that made me think a little. I mean, it’s the best/most popular sport in the country by far, so I had to include it. But what sound gets the fans excited that is completely unique to football? Nobody goes bonkers for a kickoff or a field goal when they hear a foot make contact with the ball. There had to be some sound that really sums up what football is.

Then it struck me. Duh. People love big hits. The violence, the savagery, the danger. It’s what keeps people coming back. It brings us back to our more primitive days of watching gladiators fight to the death in ancient Rome. We’re drawn to the idea that people can get seriously hurt on the field via getting lit up. The sound of helmets colliding, and pads bashing into each other at full speed. It’s beautiful. It’s the sound that signifies the end of summer and the beginning of the greatest sports season there is: football.

 

8. Badminton Swat

Pretty off the grid choice here, but hearing a badminton swat is dope. The sport is big in Asia, and Americans haven’t really adopted it into adult leagues. But I think most people played some badminton as a kid, so it’s not a sport like cricket that we’re completely unfamiliar with in the US. Hearing that light racquet connect with the birdie is a unique and pleasurable sound. And you can hear both the birdie and the racquet cut through the air. Not much else to say. It’s just a nice sound that I enjoy on the rare occasion I hear it.

 

7. Tennis Ball

Similar to the badminton swat, the sound that comes from a tennis ball hitting a racquet puts me at ease.

Conversely, the “UGH!” that so many tennis players make after their shot is one of the most insufferable sounds in sports. It’s like a douchebag weight lifter in the gym who needs everyone to know how much weight he’s putting up. As someone who’s never played tennis in his life, I can say with full confidence that it’s completely unnecessary to scream like you’re being stabbed after every swing of the racquet. Monica Seles is the only who who has my permission to do so.

 

6. Bowling Strike

First off, bowling is an underrated activity in general. I certainly don’t do it enough, because every time I go I always tell myself I’m going to start bowling more. Of course that never happens, but it doesn’t change the fact that bowling is fun as hell. I’ve been saying it for years, and I still stand by it…bowling is a PERFECT first date. If you can’t figure out why that is a true statement, fear not. This reminded me to write a separate blog about it. Coming soon…

But the sound of bowling balls striking the pins is infectious. You walk into a bowling alley, hear that noise, and take a deep breath of satisfaction because you know the next hour or so is going to be fun. In a scientific sense, our brains like the sound because we associate it with success. The goal of bowling is to knock down as many pins as you can every shot. So when we hear the sound of pins being hit, our brains release dopamine (happy chemicals) that reward us for doing a good job. The loudest of all bowling sounds is of course a strike, when you knock down all the pins in one shot. So the louder the sound, the happier we get.

Damn. You come to Bick’s blog looking for laughs, and you leave with revolutionary scientific studies. Many such cases!

 

5. Pool Balls

Pool is another one of those games that everyone has played but we don’t watch much on TV. Anyone can play it, it doesn’t require athletic ability, and it’s fun to do while you drink. I’m not seeing any downsides to a game of pool.

Hearing pool balls connect with each other brings a smile to my face. It makes me think of hanging out with friends and making side bets for pitchers of beer. You start with the break, which is a more sharp, loud sound. But as you get deeper into the game, you hear the softer, thicker sound that comes from finesse shots. Again, since pool is a game that is widely played among athletes and non-athletes, it finds its way onto this list because of it’s transcendence among all ages, races, and genders. Shoutout to Allison Fisher the GOAT.

 

4. Basketball Swish

Ah. The swish. Probably the first thing people come up with when they think of satisfying sports sounds. And for good reason, too. Similar to the bowling strike, a swish automatically correlates to success in our brains. It tells us that we’ve done something literally as perfect as you can do it. You hear a swish, you release dopamine.

Also, “swish” isn’t the only way you can describe the sound. There’s plenty of different ways to say it. Nylon, shwap, wet, butters, nothin’ but net, money, etc. The list goes on. The OG “swish” became so popular that we’ve developed a bunch of alternatives for it. It’s penetrated our vernacular. As a basketball player, it hurts for me to put the swish at number 4. I feel like it could be higher, but I’ve accepted that there are three more satisfying sounds that deserve the top spots.

 

3. Hockey Puck

I’m not sure if the sound of a hockey puck being passed around and connecting with a stick would be enough on its own to grab the number three spot. But hockey is such a fluid and fast moving game that I hear all of the sounds as one. The puck being passed around cleanly is obviously great, but the sound of the blades cutting through the surface of the ice, and bodies hitting the boards really puts hockey sounds over the top.

Hockey is clearly the fourth sport in America. You’re either a die hard or a fairweather fan. There’s no in between. But even as a fairweather fan myself, I can fully acknowledge that the sounds of a hockey game are among the most satisfying in sports. Plus, playoff hockey might be the most intense and entertaining sport to watch after the NFL. I went to my first NHL game two months ago and I had more fun than I ever had at an NBA game, which really hurts me to say. But hockey is great, and the sounds of the game are really top-notch.

 

2. Baseball Hit

Crack. That’s the sound a baseball makes when it hits a bat. It’s also a drug that is extremely addictive for how great it makes people feel, just like when you hear a baseball bat make solid contact with the ball. It’s another one of those brain/sound correlations that releases dopamine because you know something good has happened.

While baseball has declined in popularity in the last 10 years, it’s still a sport that we all associate with our childhood. Everyone played, and unless you were god awful, you probably made contact in the batters box at some point. The feeling you get when you swing the bat and make solid contact is indescribable. You hear the ping of the bat and you get a shot of energy.

That’s also another point worth noting. You grow up hitting the ball with metal bats and hearing a “ping.” But you watch the pros and you hear a “crack.” Both are absurdly satisfying to the ears, but there’s something about the crack of the wooden bat that really resonates with me. I grew up watching baseball in the steroid era, and I was fascinated by the 1998 home run race. Watching Sportscenter every night to hear the crack of the bat from Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa are memories that will never fade from my brain. Seeing McGwire hit his 62nd live, as it happened, was beautiful. You heard the crack of the bat and you knew there was a chance it was going out.

Bonus compilation of LLWS metal bat home run sounds…

 

 

1.Golf Shot

Surprisingly, this was the easy choice for number 1. The sound of a golf ball being hit signifies so many things. The weekend, naps, relaxation, Sundays, calm voices, beautiful scenery. There are so many positive things that go along with the sport of golf, it was tough to find a reason for this to not be the top choice.

Besides the auditory pleasurabilities (made that word up, nice) of watching golf on a lazy Sunday, it’s also very easy to achieve when you’re playing. Even if you hit an awful drive that slices into the woods, it can still make a great sound. There’s always that split second when you make good contact and you can’t find the ball in the air, but you think you may have crushed it down the middle of the fairway. The fact that the sound of golf can fuck with us so hard like that makes it the best sound. None of the other sounds on this list are that polarizing. Most of them correlate to good things, but a golf shot that sounds good is completely up in the air (literally), until you identify whether its a thumbs up or thumbs down.

Plus, each club makes a different sound. The driver had a nice whack to it, while the irons have more of a pop. And of course the putter is a little tappy tap.

 

I literally Google’d “List of Sports” when making this list. So if you can present me with #alternativeoptions that should be on this list, send em my way. But I think I covered everything that an American would love about the sounds of sports. I’m sure the huge international community reading this will say that soccer and cricket deserve spots. But no.

Just no. 🙂

hip_hop_albums_w1

I’m a huge fan of lists. I like reading other people’s opinions on a given subject if they’ll take the time and effort to organize it. Personally, I’ve always kept an unofficial running list of my favorite albums across various genres of music. But hip hop is the genre I’m most passionate and knowledgeable about. So I did some deep thinking and reflection, and put together my top 10 favorite hip hop albums of all time.

This is the first installment in a 10 part series. I’ll be releasing one album each week. Describing the album, what I like/don’t like about it, favorite tracks, what they meant to me at the time I heard them, shit like that.

I strongly encourage feedback. My favorite part about music is that it’s completely subjective. Two people can be huge hip hop fans but completely disagree about an artist, an album, or a specific song. I’m making this list so I have it written down and when I’m old I can look back and see what I was into at age 28. But let me know what you think of the albums I pick. I’ll throw you a bone if you end up changing my mind or suggesting an album that makes it on to my future top 10 list.

Enough talking, let’s set it off!

 

Number 10: Lil Wayne – The Carter III (2008)

thacarteriii

The year was 2008. My best friend and I had just moved to Cape Cod to work for the summer. The new Big 3 for the Celtics were on the verge of bringing the first NBA championship to Boston in my lifetime. And Lil Wayne had been scorching the earth with fire mixtape after fire mixtape for three solid years. He was the self-proclaimed “Best Rapper Alive,” but hadn’t yet put out an album that really solidified his place among the all time greats. Then in early June, The Carter III dropped, and summer 08 was officially Weezy season.

Let’s call a spade a spade – Lil Wayne is a southern rapper, and southern rappers aren’t exactly known for bringing a lot of emotion and layers to their music. But on The Carter III, Wayne ventures out of his comfort zone of bling-bling  and bitches to explore a wide variety of subjects over a Thanksgiving feast of instrumentals. While about 1/3 of the album stays in that trap banger area (and boy are there some BANGERS on here), we get to see Wayne with a more toned-down, mellow delivery on guitar-based tracks like “Shoot Me Down” and “Tie My Hands” which has a great Robin Thicke feature. He also manages to seamlessly fit his rapping style onto unique, sample-based soul tracks like the two Kanye West productions (“Let the Beat Build” and “Comfortable“), and a super off the grid Swizz Beats track (“Dr. Carter“).

Every big album needs a few singles, and the three from The Carter III I ended up liking very much (there were four, but I’ll get to the fourth in a moment). Some people might joke on me for this, but I don’t care – I fucking LOVED “Lollipop.” Everyone my age knows the words to it, whether they liked it or not. It was such a fun song to sing along with, and the fact that Wayne was kind of bad at singing made everyone feel like they could replicate how he sounded. “Got Money” was probably the weakest out of the singles, but it wasn’t a dud by any means. “Mrs. Officer” was a fun track with a catchy hook (well done by Bobby V) and a playful guitar riff. It had a perfect summer feel to it.

But the coup de gras of this album, for me, are the first three tracks. Right off the bat, “3Peat” melts your face with energy. The epic strings and triumphant horns over the 808 drums makes it feel like this track could play in the end scene of Star Wars. It’s cinematic. The growing of intensity of Wayne’s delivery throughout the track lends itself perfectly to the incorporation of instruments as the song builds. It’s a perfect intro track and really sets the tone for the album. Then, we jump right into the most anticipated track on the album, “Mr. Carter,” which features none other than the actual Greatest Rapper Alive, Jay-Z. This track also has an epic/cinematic feel (or “colossal” to quote Wayne himself), sounding more like a symphony. The catchy piano chords are the nuts and bolts, while the vocal sample in the chorus really sticks in your head days later. Wayne spits two solid verses, while Jay swoops in to steal the show in the third verse like he does so very often on other artists’ tracks. It’s a much more mellow listening experience after the bombastic “3Peat,” and gives your brain a chance to rest before jumping into track 3…

Now, Lil Wayne has been making music for 20 years (fuck, I’m getting old), and you’d be hard-pressed to find a fan (casual or hardcore) that doesn’t think “A Milli” is Wayne’s best song. Because, quite simply, it is. Shit, it might even be one of the best hip hop songs of all time. The beat is so simple, yet so infectious. Producer Bangladesh (FYI that’s what the guy says in the beginning of the track, “Bangladesh”) laid down a simple drum beat, a chopped up vocal sample, and some HEAVY bass, then backed off and let Weezy spit bars. It’s just three long, wild verses separated by the chorus “Mother fucker I’m ill.” The flows and deliveries change on each verse, and never do you feel bored. There are SO many quotables. Every line is noteworthy. Just read through the lyrics while listening. Fire line after fire line. This track was immediately a hit, and the fact that it’s still his most played track on Spotify is a testament to its quality. This is by far the best song on The Carter III, and in Lil Wayne’s long career.

There were only a few disappointments on this album. I thought the Cool & Dre collaboration (“Phone Home“) went out of its way to be weird just for the sake of being different. I remember being very disappointed in it because I love most of Cool & Dre’s productions on other albums. “Playing With Fire” was forgettable. And honestly, I was a little disappointed at the time by the Kanye track “Comfortable.” This was when Kanye was at his peak hip hop producing ability, IMO. That track just lacked any punch whatsoever. I’d also be remiss if I didn’t mention David Banner’s “La La.” For a goofy track with a juvenile chorus (“N*gga I’m the shit get the fuck up out my toilet“), I STILL find myself humming this song from time to time. It’s just one of those melodies that is permanently drilled into my head. Also, “You Ain’t Got Nothin” somehow slipped by the mainstream audience without being noticed. I think it lacked a catchy chorus, but it had two big name features (Fabolous and Juelz Santana), and some banger production by my boy The Alchemist.

The Carter III will forever bring me back to the Summer of 2008. It reminds me of sun, fun, blunts, and championship basketball. It was the peak creative point in Lil Wayne’s career, where he stretched his capabilities as far as he could go. His lyrics were witty, his energy was contagious, the beats were dope, and the track listing had great variety. This is the quintessential Lil Wayne album, and a must-have for any Weezy fan. A strong start to my top 10.

giphy-1

(The Sun) – A BANKER who enjoyed sex parties and luxury holidays as kickbacks for his role in a £1billion fraud was facing a lengthy jail term yesterday — along with five associates. Senior HBOS worker Lynden Scourfield, 54, forced struggling clients to use a pal’s firm. In return he was treated to hookers and X-rated bashes with girls including porn star Suzie Best. Suzie, 31, romped with fellow escorts at a string of X-rated bashes for the fraudsters which involved wads of cash and stashes of Viagra. Scourfield, 54, who she likened to diminutive Hollywood star Danny DeVito, was last night facing a lengthy jail term along with five associates for a £1billion loan scam. He had targeted 200 failing businesses — and forced them to use a consultancy company run by his pal David Mills, 60. High-risk loans of £245million were agreed which would never be repaid. In return Mills rewarded Scourfield and his workmates with luxury holidays — and the services of ¬several high-class hookers. One of their favourites was Suzie, 31, a £300-an-hour escort from Barnsley, South Yorks, who describes herself as “bisexual” with a “high sex drive”. She met up regularly with Scourfield and his friends — who she dubbed “the posh tw*t bankers” — in a a rented West London apartment. 

Suzie, whose services include spanking and humiliation, told a court how she did girl-on-girl shows for them and also performed sex acts on some of the men. In her evidence Suzie, who features on porn websites, said that Scourfield had a hairy back and suffered from premature ejaculation. In December 2005 Scourfield was among a group who went for a meal with three escorts at the Royal China restaurant on central London’s Baker Street. One of the hookers who kept a diary wrote: “Then drinks at flat and quick s**g. Easy £1,500. Home late and drunk.” The court heard that Scourfield had worked as a director of impaired assets for HBOS based in Reading, Berks. He appointed Mills’ firm Quayside Corporate Services — where Bancroft and Cartwright also worked — to administer bank loans to companies in financial difficulty between 2003 and 2007. It was to prove a mutually beneficial arrangement. Prosecutor Brian O’Neill told the trial: “Scourfield advanced huge sums to the businesses, and ¬continued to do so well past the point when it would have been obvious to any honest banker that the bank debt could and would never be repaid.”

These rich-getting-richer stories are always love/hate for me. I hate the fact that some straight up douchebag assholes are playing around with the money of decent, hard-working people. I hate that they manipulate the system illegally and lead people toward the path of bankruptcy rather than steering them away from it. They put any form of ethics or shred of common decency on the back burner in exchange for the quick buck. As a working middle-class guy who comes from a working middle-class family, this type of shit strikes a chord with me. I can’t help but think that me or my parents could easily get suckered into a scam like this and end up on the shit end of the stick.

But on the flip side, there’s kind of a lot to love. You want to talk about grabbing life by the balls and running with it? These are your guys. First off, I’d love to be a fly on the wall for the inception of this idea. You’ve got to have some gargantuan gonads to think about pulling this off. It amazes me the egos on these finance guys, thinking they can legitimately get away with burning people for billions of dollars. I mean, I used to stay up all night paranoid when I’d steal a Twix bar from the Honey Farms down the street. I can’t imagine how these guys slept knowing they were on the hook for fraud charges if they ever got caught…

Oh wait. I know how they slept. By going on million dollar benders with porn stars (Suzie Best NSFW), hookers, and loads of Viagra. That’ll put your mind at ease. In all seriousness, I think Viagra is an underrated party favor. If you’re living the type of life where you have paid talent accompanying you throughout the night, you’re most likely going to get royally fucked up and end up facing the dreaded whiskey dick later in the night when the chips are all on the table. Wouldn’t it be nice if on that Uber Black ride home into the hills you could pop a Viggy and show her a stiffy?

Then again, according to this story one of the homies got blown up for, “having a hairy back and prematurely ejaculating.” Would you rather be a quick-nutter or have a hairy back? I’m taking quick-nut every day of the week. So you bust quick, who cares? At least the sex was good for half the people involved. Ted Williams could only dream of batting .500. On the other hand, a hairy back is universally considered repulsive by all races, sexes, and creeds. I’m willing to bet “grizzly-backed men” is one of the least commonly searched fetishes out there. It’s just…gross.

Overall fuck these guys for screwing the common man.

But that feeling when you illegally make your first billion off a loan scam…

 

 

balls

…must be so, so sweet.

cc-combine-tip-and-sig

Yesterday afternoon I was out and about doing some errands when I started feeling a little low on energy. Maybe chalk it up to low T, or the fact that I got hammered the night before and only slept 4 hours (wink wink gif). But either way, I needed to stop and get a coffee. So I went into the closest Coffee Bean and ordered myself a regular iced coffee, black. I slide my card to pay, and am presented with the following screen:

HOW MUCH WOULD YOU LIKE TO TIP?

5% |  10%  |  15%  |  20%  | NONE

Now, this isn’t the first time I’ve found myself in this situation. As these new iPad payment systems become more prevalent, the tip prompter  has reared its ugly face to me before. But most of the time I’ve been lucky enough that the cashier will turn away to do something else when it’s time to tip. Whether that’s a natural coincidence or a recognition of my complete discomfort, so far I’ve been fortunate.

But yesterday was a different story. I of course clicked the “NONE” option, because I’m not going to tip someone for filling a cup with ice and pulling a lever. I have principles goddamnit. The coffee itself is drastically overpriced as is ($4 for a regular), so yeah, I’m gonna penny pinch. Get off my back.

When I turned the iPad back toward the cashier, she looked me directly in the face, rolled her eyes, and sarcastically said, “Thanks.”

d803e1f49df1da39c918466ac95e4502

Um, what the hell lady? Trying to fight fire with fire? I mean, not tipping was a little rude. I get that. But I’m the customer, and this is a clear breach of confidentiality in the Server/Tipper contract. At least wait until I leave to rip on me. Don’t rekt me in front a live studio audience. Now I have to turn around and face the people behind me knowing damn well they just saw me get roasted by a cashier for not tipping. To make matters worse, I have to stand there like a dick in a yard waiting for my coffee with a bunch of people who clearly over-tipped because they saw what happens when you’re on the wrong side of this savage cashier. Then, when they finally called out my name, she gave me my coffee with no top, forcing me to ask for one. A subtle, but effective way of twisting the proverbial knife into my heart and ending a complete and total rekting of my whole life, all in a matter of three minutes!

This is a serious, first-world issue that I feel needs to be addressed. It’s a slippery slope we’re going down when you’re being prompted to tip for EVERY credit/debit purchase. I mean what’s next? Do I have to tip at CVS? Am I supposed to give 15% to the guy who unlocks the dressing room door at Nordstrom? Where does it end? This isn’t like a bar where there’s a set precedent of rules, and you disregard the fact that pouring a beer takes minimal effort and throw them a tip anyways. These are common, everyday situations that previously only called for loose change tipping, or tossing a dollar into the jar if you got service that really knocked your socks off. People like to complain that millennials expect handouts. Well, look no further than the automated tip prompter as an explanation for this behavior.

Tips are to be earned, not given. Nobody should have to deal with the persecution I felt Sunday afternoon at Coffee Bean. This is a call to action for everyone who feels cornered by the tip prompter. Stand with me and fight for the right to tip at your own discretion based on performance only. DJT – If you want to Make America Great Again, this seems like the perfect place for your next Executive Order.

cj

(This is one of my favorite pictures ever. It’s so ridiculous it looks fake. This guy averages 23 PPG in the NBA. Unreal.)

So the Portland Trailblazers twitter account was poking some fun at an awful airball that Chandler Parsons had in their game last night.

 

Nothing wrong with that. Same thing as the crowd chanting “AIRBALL!” But Chandler felt the need to throw some shade back at the underachieving Trailblazers after the game.

 

 

Damn man. Not a good look to be that shook by some intern from the other team busting your balls. Pretty thin skin for a guy who models as a side gig when he’s not playing professional basketball.

But then, CJ McCollum came out of left field throwing a haymaker.

 

 

giphy

 

Ouch. When the second best player on the other team says that they lucked out by not signing you, that’s gotta sting a little. Chandler Parsons was a hot commodity this offseason. And judging by his stats, the Grizzlies drastically overpaid for him. Let’s compare the two…

 

Screen Shot 2017-01-28 at 12.52.10 AM.png

Screen Shot 2017-01-28 at 12.52.36 AM.png

Double ouch. Parsons has simply been a bust this season, while McCollum continues his rise as one of the best scoring guards in the league.

But Chandler had the last word, reminding us all that no matter what the stats and airballs say, he walked away a winner this summer when he signed his contract.

 

Very true. McCollum is still on his rookie contract, so this year he gets paid way less. But come next year, these guys will be making virtually the same amount of money, for completely lopsided production.

 

Parsons contract:

Screen Shot 2017-01-28 at 12.55.40 AM.png

 

McCollum contract:

Screen Shot 2017-01-28 at 12.56.02 AM.png

 

So as much as I’d like to say McCollum gave Parsons the Ol Yeller treatment with his tweet, the numbers don’t lie. At the end of the day, Chandler Parsons makes far more money than McCollum this season, and for the next four years they’ll both be making over $23 million. Granted CJ had quadruple the production, the pay won’t net out to much more.

So it is with great displeasure that I must call this twitter beef a draw.

(Source) – Flying Lotus (artist and musician Steven Ellison) premiered his feature film Kuso at Sundance Film Festival over the weekend and it sounds as though it was received with mixed reactions. In a report from The Verge headlined ‘Kuso is the grossest movie ever made’, it was claimed that at one screening a “large chunk” of the crowd left early and that there was a consistent stream of walkouts up until the film’s final scenes. “Some gross-out films are one-note, but Kuso finds new ways to test viewers’ fortitude,” the reviewer wrote.  “Some folks stuck around after a woman chewed on concrete until her teeth disintegrated, but still peaced out when an alien creature force-yanked a foetus from another woman’s womb (accompanied by a Mortal Kombat sound clip: ‘Get over here!”), then smoked the tiny corpse.” Kuso’s official plot synopsis describes a collection of semi-connected short films that chronicle the lives of the mutated men, women and children of Los Angeles, after an earthquake.Various scenes are said to feature a man having sex with a talking boil on a woman’s neck, genital mutilation, and a doctor, played by George Clinton, who keeps a medicinal cockroach in his anus.

I’ve never been much into these off the grid niche style movies. I don’t really like horror, and these random, snuff-y torture films just don’t appeal to me. Horror movies legitimately scare me. The first time I watched Saw, I had just smoked a blunt and got wayyyyy too deep into it. I ended up pretending to go to the bathroom just so I could take a break. It was fucked up. And when I was a kid, I made the mistake of watching Child’s Play. It gave me nightmares for weeks. I slept with the light on and the door open like a little bitch. It’s extremely embarrassing for a 12 year old to have to endure that pure, unadulterated terror.

Having said that, I think I have to see Kuso. First off, I love FlyLo, so I owe it to him to give his first feature film a shot. For those of you who don’t know anything about FlyLo, he’s one of those abstract producer/rappers. He makes all his own beats, and is a pioneer in the avant garde electronic hip hop genre. Here are a two of my favorite FlyLo tracks…

 

Anyways, back to the film. Whenever something gets the tag “Grossest Ever,” it’s bound to peak the interest of the masses. It’s like 2Girls1Cup. Is there any conceivable reason that any of us watched two girls shitting on each other and eating it? Nope, except that it became somewhat of a cult challenge to see if you could make it through the whole video without turning away.  That’s what’s going to happen with this movie. It’s already got the rep that people have walked out on it at Sundance. Wait until it hits theaters. The internet will be buzzing with people talking about what scene they thought was the worst. Internet tough guys bragging about how they didn’t even think it was that bad. Typcal reddit forum shit.

So as much as I don’t want to see this movie, I have to. It’s my duty as a FlyLo fan, and as someone who wants to get ahead of internet trends. I’m gonna strap on my boots, pull up my pants, bring my airplane-style barf bag, and watch the whole thing from start to finish. Because you all deserve an honest take on the movie, and that’s what guys like me are here for.