The Gray Area

The Gray Area

Posts Tagged ‘Hip-Hop

How to Defraud the Electric Company and Get Free Electricity

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ladwp1

The title of this post may be a bit of a misnomer. But what the hell it attracts attention and I’m positive the information herein will actually work. Let it be know that I did not actively seek out this information. I stumbled upon it through a random act of the city’s incompetence.








Disclaimer:

I take no responsibility for what anyone does with the information contained in this post. The only reason I mention it (aside from how much it pisses me off) is with the hopes that in some far out way that enough people will be alerted to this and the powers that be will actually do something about it! Continue on at your own risk.

True story.

So I’m doing my usual tallying up of the monthly bills and I notice something interesting. I haven’t received an electric bill this month. I check my bank account and I realize I haven’t received an electric bill in several months while I’ve received others right on time.

So, being a good citizen, I call the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) to see what’s up with my account. Maybe I’ve over paid, which would be good because the kid can always use a refund check or some credit.

So I give the operator my information and she says my name does not match up with my address? WTF?

It turns out that because of an error (someone opened an account and gave them the wrong address) they have an entirely new name attached to my address and since I’m not inclined to open mail (especially bills) that don’t have my name on them our bill has gone unpaid for this amount of time…yet we still have had electricity.

How does this happen you may ask? Well, it seems that the LADWP has an issue with their system wherein all someone has to do is call and give them a new address and they’ll change the information in their system. There is NO I repeat NO check in the system that will flag an address with someone’s name already attached it…it basically will just bump someone’s name off of their own electric bill.

The supervisor assures me that this is a rare glitch. His exact words were “The odds of this happening are the odds of you hitting the lottery…and that’s the Super Lottery.”

But this all seems far too easy. If the super lotto was this easy to scam rest assured I’d be a millionaire right now.

So now that the setup is out of the way I present you this. Here’s what you do if you want to get free electricity if this scam works at the very least it will give you a break on your electric bill while you let your finances recover if need be. I still have to pay for the electricity I should have been getting billed for (which is only fair) but I bitched at the supervisor about the situation and he knocked all of the late fees off of my bill…so essentially I got a several month break from having to actually pay for electricity.

So the way I figure it here’s what you do:

Step 1: You’ll need three address, one is yours (address A) the others (B and C) come from two address you know are occupied and have working electricity (which is not difficult to determine). You’ll also need the name of someone at address B or C.

Step 2: Call LADWP and say “Hi, I just moved and I want to change the address on my service.” They’ll ask for your current name and address (tell them the truth) then tell them you’ve moved to address B or C. What their system will do at this point is knock the real person at address B out of the system and replace their name with yours.

Step 3: (optional) If you want to make it extra confusing for them. Call them again and say you’re the actual person living at address B and change the address to address C. You may need the last for digits of the person at address B’s social security # to do this but I’m not 100% sure…though you could probably easily find this info if you dig through their mail enough. The idea here is to create confusion wherein if one of the other two people calls about the bill they have their name attached to a different address and the whole thing turns into a confusing cluster fuck for LADWP. If you’re lucky the people at the other address will keep paying their bills as normal, making the glitch even harder to detect.

Step 4: Now, you may begin receiving electric bills that don’t have your name on them. IGNORE THEM. You are not legally required to open bills (or any mail for that matter) that doesn’t have your name on it. In fact it is a FEDERAL OFFENSE to open mail addressed to other people. By ignoring the bill you are simply obeying the law. Wait a month or two (however long you feel like testing it) then call LADWP and go through the same scenario I did. They will apologize for the inconvenience and switch your information back*, update your bill, but if you speak up about it, there should be no late fee. You won’t have to pay for any electricity at the other address BECAUSE YOU WEREN’T EVER LIVING THERE.

*As I write this it occurs to me that you might be able to reset your bill entirely by just telling them you’re a new resident and have just moved in to your address. If someone has the balls try it and let me know.

That’s pretty much it. Like I said, I don’t know how foolproof this is, but at the very least it seems like a very viable way of staving off your electric bill without collecting late fees.

Now for a short bit of ranting.

For those of you who are afraid of this. Trust me when I say that the people I spoke to were very vehement in that they have absolutely NO WAY of checking on this. The reason I point this out and the reason this enrages me so is that in a state that’s gone flat broke (California) this is the sort of shit that probably costs the city and consumers a countless amount of money every year. I swear there’s no way you could pull this sort of scam on Time Warner Cable so why the hell can you pull it on the goddamn electric company?

It’s sad how lazy the people (organizations) we trust to watch over our day to day lives can be…

….*sigh* Sometimes I think I’m too smart to be an honest man. (-_^)

Dead Prez knows what I’m talking about.

Written by 32523452345234673573

March 25, 2009 at 6:46 am

Hip Hop Shows Signs of Life in 2008

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Whether or not you believe Hip Hop is or was dead, it’s still fun to say so. For argument’s sake, let’s just say it got its ass kicked and was lying comatose in the hospital for a while. The artists listed here are signs that Hip Hop has not completely punched the ticket yet.

The Roots  РRising Down

Hip Hop can always count on The Roots to deliver, even in the midst of all the madness. While, to me, this wasn’t as good as Game Theory, it’s kinda like complaining that you got head instead of a blowjob.

Joe Budden – Mood Muzik 3 & Halfway House

My favorite rapper.¬† Joe Budden puts my emotions into words. 2008 was a great year for Joe Budden. He grew a lot musically, and put out two dope mixtapes, not to mention forged what could become the dopest hip hop group EVER (Slaughterhouse – Joe Budden, Royce 5’9, Joell Ortiz, Crooked I). He is truly one of the artists who improves on every project he works on. I hope this trend continues. I kinda almost prefer him to stay a dope ass mixtape artist, as opposed to making a mainstream name for himself. This way, he’s still (pause pause pause) my secret. Here’s MM3. And Halfway House.

Fav track

  • MM3 – All of Me

Royce 5’9 – Bar Exam 2

Royce is BACK! I haven’t cared about a Royce song since Bad Meets Evil. Bar Exam 2 shows that he’s still a force. One of the better things to come out of Detroit.

Fav track

  • Done Talkin

Stryfe – Detroit Rap City

Stryfe hooked up wit a French producer named Jihazed for this album. This was truly a bright spot in the year. I think it came at a real good time for me; I was LOOKING for something new.

NERD – Seeing Sounds

Does this count as hip hop? Even if not, the shit is dope, and deserves recognition.

Fav track

  • Sooner or Later

Detroit CYDI – The Rhyming Dictionary

Merry Christmas! I can always count on these guys to deliver hip hop how it should be: FUN! They’re lyrical, funny, and creative. It’s a much-needed break from the norm of “gun-clappin, drug-sellin, nigga-robbin” rap. Very refreshing. Grab it!

Black Milk – Tronic

Black Milk is part of the reason Slum Village stayed so dope after Dilla’s departure. He’s got his own sound, but was clearly influenced by Dilla. On top of that, he’s got rhymes. This album bangs from front to back (with the exception of maybe one track).

Fav track

  • Long Story Short

Elzhi – The Preface

I had given up on an Elzhi album 2 or 3 years ago. When this actually dropped, it caught me by surprise, and I was actually not that excited to listen to it. Once I got into it, all that original enthusiasm returned. Not one song on this album that I skip.

Fav track

  • Fire (remix)

Charles Hamilton – The Pink Lava Lamp

Charles Hamilton is like Lupe Budden Jr. He’s got Lupe’s imagination and eclecticism, with Joey’s emotion. On top of that, he’s an actual musician. He plays to complement his samples instead of letting the sample drive the track. This album consists of songs that I’ve sampled for my own beats, or WANT to. I love listening to artists whose shoes I can picture myself in – this, (and Black Milk) was that for me this year. I relate to his lyrics right behind my own and Joe Budden’s. “My lifestyle needs a Lifestyles; fuck the world!”

Fav track

  • Boy Who Cried Wolf

Murs – Murs for President

Some thought he “sold out” to commercialism on this album. I kinda noticed what they mean, especially with the Will.I.Am track. And one thing that bothered me is Murs stopped sayin “nigga” a couple albums ago, but brought it back for this one. Iono if it’s for the sake of reaching the general hip hop audience, or just had a change of heart about it. Anyway, it’s a solid album.

Fav track

  • I’m Innocent

Q-Tip – The Renaissance

It’s Q-Tip, do I have to explain???

Drake – Comeback Season

Drake is nice!

Feel free to add more. I’m sure there are mad others I’m leaving off.

Written by TomDaBomb2u

January 21, 2009 at 7:00 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