The Gray Area

The Gray Area

Archive for December 2008

Happy Holidays

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Happy Holidays from The Gray Area.

Hopefully you’re out doing awesome stuff and making the world better.

ummm…what else. Nothing more to say. But I mean it.



Written by Sdot.

December 24, 2008 at 3:33 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

The Pie

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So I was shoveling the snow the other day (yes, shoveling). I shoveled MY house, and both neighbors on either side. Then went and did my aunt’s house. Not to toot my own horn or anything, but I saw a task which needed to be done, had the means to complete said task, and finally, completed execution of the task.

I was really taken aback by how FEW people take this attitude.

Driving down 7 Mile (which I do NOT advise during a snow emergency. KWAME woulda had the streets clear…but that’s another blog), I witnessed at least 5 pick-ups just mozying down the street, their plows up, not doing anything about the slippery, slushy shit that we were all struggling through. They were undoubtedly looking for someone to pay them instead of just helping out for the general well-being of everyone else.

I saw FAR too many people with their fancy, heavy duty snow-blowers out clearing their own snow, while their NEXT-DOOR neighbor still had 6 feet of snow in front of the door preventing them from even coming out. Where is the sense of community??? Can’t complain about the price of gas being too high anymore. People are just changing. From what I understand, things didn’t used to be like this. And without being too preachy, I’m just going to say that Black people (all Americans PERIOD) need to really come together and strengthen our bonds if we are to progress to the next level.

I would like to say the next level is the point where we stop looking at each other as Black, White, Brown, and Yellow, and band together as one. We’ve already shown how self-destructive of a nation we can be (economically). Yet we’ve also shown that we’re ready to move beyond the imaginary racial lines ingrained in our American Soul from our very inception, as seen by the selection of our next President.

I want to live in an America where I can celebrate being Black, but am not ostracized for it. I want to live in an America where they don’t ask your race on applications “for statistical purposes only,” because WHY THE FUCK DOES IT MATTER??? I want to live in an America that’s more Canadian friendly, and less divided.

And it starts with me.
And you.

I know I said I wouldn’t get preachy, but I’m really passionate about this. I feel that we’ve come so far, and we’re so close to reaching a point where we can make The World proud of us again. I never understood American pride until November 4, 2008 – that’s when it became applicable to me. I’m gaining an understanding of “The American Dream.” I feel like there’s a slice of that famed (waaaaarm) American pie (wink wink) I always hear about waiting for me now!

Let’s eat, yall!

Written by TomDaBomb2u

December 20, 2008 at 5:18 pm

The Shoes Are Off

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First of all, if you haven’t seen it, take a moment, please.

Hilarious, I know.

The Iraqi man who threw his shoes at W has solidified himself as a national hero (arguably a WORLD hero) in two fell swoops. I don’t even know what the press conference was about, nor do I care – but I’d kinda like to watch the whole thing, just to observe this man.

But let’s talk about the deeper implications of this incident. This angered citizen wasn’t just throwing his shoes, there was much more. From what I understand, muslims view the feet as one of the dirtiest parts of the body, and probably wouldn’t kiss them during foreplay (speculation). By this man throwing his shoes at Prezzo, he was basically saying “kiss something dirtier than my feet, but since I just took a dump before this press conference, I don’t have any shit to throw at you, so here’s the nastiest thing I have access to at the moment, Mr. George W. Bitchassness!” (. . . loosely translated, of course.)

But in all seriousness, maybe he should consider laying low these last few weeks of fuck-upery presidency. I almost feel bad for him…well, actually I feel worse for Oliver Stone; had this incident taken place LAST year, he could’ve put it in the movie (“W”). That would’ve been the sweet, delicious icing on the cake lol.

Now let’s all go watch it again.

Written by TomDaBomb2u

December 18, 2008 at 2:48 pm

The Hip-Hop Discussion – Are We Bored Yet?

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First, hit play on this video…feel free to hit stop at any time.

Blah, Blah,Blah, Blah Blah…

…I’m bored. Not with Hip-Hop itself, but I certainly wish we could stop talking about it. Aside from a handful of sites where you can go to hear new tracks, I’ve really abandoned all interest in Hip-Hop outside of the music itself. I have no interest in who is beefin’ with who (less said beef results in some stunning diss tracks i.e “Ether” or “Can-i-bus”), I don’t care who’s going to jail, might be headed to jail, just got out of jail…I couldn’t care less about who owes who’s baby mama any money and I extraordinarily don’t care about who is dating, married, engaged to, or caught another STD from whoever (whomever?).

But that’s of course all the celebrity type gossip I usually ignore anyway. The big part of the whole Hip-Hop discourse I’m sick of is frankly the discourse itself. I’m sick of talking about the music – how it’s changed, how it needs to be, used to be, could have been, should have been, probably will be, might not be. Beyond the simple “this song is hot/wack because…” I really don’t see the purpose to it anymore. Those sorry America vs. Hip-Hop specials on BET taught me one thing which is that there’s no point to having a discourse within Hip-Hop. Young cats are just down for whatever’s on the radio, old heads aren’t down for anything on the radio unless a rapper from their generation is doing it. There’s this stone wall put up where no one on any side of the discussion is at all capable of admitting that the people across the table might be capable of creating something just as worthwhile and genuine as they can. And, in the midst of all this, we have this endless blathering on about artistic integrity and what rappers should/shouldn’t be rapping about – most of it coming from people (mostly women, gays, and the “conscious”) who only press the issue because they happen to have gotten offended by someone’s lyrics, not because they actually care about hearing a diversity in music) – and at the end of the day it really affects no change in the culture one way or another.

People like what they like, plain and simple. Any fool ass dude who snap dances and blows all his money on multi-colored hoodies is not going to stop just because some older cat hobbles over, waving his proverbial cane, screaming about “That’s not the real Hip-Hop.”

I listen to all sorts of music (I actually do, I’m not one of those people who says that but only really listens to 8 different flavors of rap) so I’m not sure why this gets me so heated sometimes. Maybe it’s because Hip-Hop is to me really the only form of music that actually has what feels like a complete culture (language, traditions, institutions, ect) is built around it. You can argue some forms of rock and other music do as well, but in my experience most of that is people essentially playing dress up on the weekends (yes I’m especially talking to you electronic music people). The rockers who really take the rock music culture to heart the way Hip-Hop heads do are few and far between and I’d bet that the Hip-Hop heads outnumber them about 10 to 1. What I’ve learned is that not everyone likes any other particular genre of music…EVERYONE has at least 1 Hip-Hop song they like – the ones that don’t just haven’t tried it yet.

I guess what I’m asking is why we can’t just listen to the music anymore? It seems like all I hear about is how much anything sucks but no one wants to point and share with me any dopeness that is going on. (Why didn’t anybody tell me about Slaughterhouse, Jay Electronica, or Alchemist’s new album dammit!)

How come any time someone comes out with a shitty album in any other genre of music -it sucks, they don’t sell, and they go away, end of story. But anytime a shitty Hip-Hop album comes out we have to launch into these debates on what it means for the culture and why, where, and then proceed to bemoan for the “good old days.” I’ll be the first to maintain that for all it’s faults, Hip-Hop music is better than it ever has been. Production overall is leaps and bounds beyond what it was even in the 90s and tons of rappers are doing things lyrically that have never been done before. The music is evolving, but no one seems to grasp that you can’t have good evolution without the inevitable platypus popping up here and there.

There’s always been wack rap and there will always be, same with every other form of music. This is how the universe works on all levels, it naturally moves towards entropy and balance – for every Biggie there’s a Diddy, for every Common or Kweli there’s a Solja Boi, for every Ludacris or T.I. there’s a Rich Boy, for every DMX there’s a Rick Ross, for every J Dilla or Madlib or Scott Storch there’s some dude who had some extra cheese lying around for a Korg Triton pressing the “sample” button thinking he’s banging out the next heat for the streets. Yes, I know the argument that the wackness is just coming out super strong lately, but is it really or has technology just made it easier for complaining-ass people to find (and incidentally give shine to) things they want to complain about? There was crap-a-plenty back in ’90-whenever if you were willing to spend enough time in the record store (remember those?). Someday a rapper or rap group will emerge who will be so astoundingly and ground-breakingly ill that their counterpart will be selling millions by talking backwards in Swahili over pink noise – and this will be the only force keeping the global consciousness from being swallowed into a literal black hole of ecstasy.

As far as Hip-Hop, I’ll never stop listening but I’m done talking. If you’ve got or heard about some heat send it this way. If you got that garbage…well, we’re all grown ass kids here…no one needs to see how big a doodie anyone else can leave in the bowl anymore.

….I do not want you to like me. * (-_- )

Now listen to some new real ish…
Onslaught by Slaughterhouse (Joe Budden, Royce Da 5\'9\", Joell Ortiz and Crooked I)

Written by 32523452345234673573

December 18, 2008 at 3:13 am

Hip Hop. DMX the game.

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After Kanye’s umm….performance….on SNL [re: screaming autotuned whining], I started thinking about my baby, and wife, Hip Hop. Even though technically what he did wasn’t hip hop…[yunno, I’m really not sure it was music either]

The next day, I hear the smartest thing someone’s probably evar said on urban radio.

“someone needs to DMX the game”

Wow. Then I started thinking about it. I go down my list of hardcore mc’s. Hmmm….hardcore. 2008. Nope!

When I say hardcore, I mean Wu-Tang Clan, [pre Takeover] Mobb Deep ,Onyx, RBX, Spice 1, MOP type rappers. Rappers that make you put your headphones, bubble coat and Timberlands on, and trudge to school in the snow to. Rappers that if you met in a dark alley, you would question whether or not you’d leave said alley alive.

not a rapper you could ask “hey, where did you get that multicolored hoodie?”

Then I realized. The era of the hardcore rapper is over. Done.

I don’t know what happened. Hip Hop to me was like school. And every school has to have a bully. Not that I liked bullies, but they kept everything in check. You weeded out the weak rappers, and whoever was brave enough to stay on the playground earned it. Hip Hop without hardcore emcees is like gym class without dodgeball.

Wait…I don’t think they let kids play dodgeball anymore. And that’s the point. Too many rappers are expressing themselves and wearing their heart on their sleeve. That’s cool, i mean. I’m all for artistic advancement. But we need balance. We need a rapper that is in fact, a true tough guy. Not studio manufactured C.O with crack raps, but a true hardcore emcee just cause.

So what does DMX the game mean? Well, back in 97, we had the “shiny suit era” It’s kinda like it is today, but the CGI effects were more primitive. Out from a place called Yonkers was a pit bull carrying, growling on the track, God-praying-to-in-the-middle-of-a-song crazyman. And he was hardcore.

For no reason.

DMX was like the Joker in Dark Knight. And everyone knows that the Joker is awesome. The Joker didn’t do it for the cash. He simple “wanted to see the world burn”. I don’t know if X did it for the money. There was probably something else he did it for; we care not to speculate on his habits.

But there was one thing you could say. This 5’8″ guy would probably smack the shit out of anyone. And it was believable .

He effectively put a stop (okay, yield) to the shiny suit era. He reminded people that Hip Hop is in fact a tough man’s sport. And that with no prior provocation, there were still rappers that would smack the shit out of you.

We need a hardcore damn-near-psycho to remind people of that side of Hip Hop. Someone that you’d actually be afraid of. Someone that would step up and say “no” to autotune. A volatile, unpredictable [skilled] emcee with nothing to lose, except the chip on their shoulder.

but what do I know…Im just a regular average [super]human.

a.i. 2008

Written by Sdot.

December 16, 2008 at 7:59 pm