14 July 2009

Just to recap: I have moved on

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04 August 2008

"Big ups, to all my h8rs" -- ME, ELSEWHERE, MORE

1988: Morrissey: Viva Hate
1989: The Cure: Disintegration
1990: Cocteau Twins: Heaven or Las Vegas
1991: My Bloody Valentine: Loveless
1992: R.E.M.: Automatic For The People
1993: Liz Phair: Exile in Guyville
1994: Nas: Illmatic
1995: Oasis: (What’s the Story) Morning Glory?
1996: Weezer: Pinkerton
1997: Third Eye Blind: Third Eye Blind
1998: Neutral Milk Hotel: In the Aeroplane Over the Sea
1999: Sigur Rós: Ágætis byrjun
2000: Ryan Adams: Heartbreaker
2001: Against Me!: Reinventing Axl Rose
2002: Broken Social Scene: You Forgot It In People
2003: Jay-Z: The Black Album
2004: Rilo Kiley: More Adventurous
2005: The National: Alligator
2006: Brand New: The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me
2007: Lil Wayne: Da Drought 3
2008: Lil Wayne: Tha Carter III / No Age: Nouns

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30 June 2008

"Me and Mariah go back like babies and pacifiers."

Tilly and the Wall -

Tilly and the Wall have never been shy about getting a little bit feisty. On their debut album Wild Like Children they famously – among their die-hards, anyway – chanted "I wanna fuck it up and I feel so alive," in an ode to those high school kids who dress in drag and can't stop touching each other. And so 'Night of the Living Dead' became the group's rousing anthem – an entire teenage experience colored by nostalgia and packed into a tight four minutes – but their fascination with naive experimentation, both in pushing the boundaries of authority and of a more sexual nature, didn't end there. Instead of "maturing" and becoming jaded, the band's sophomore album, Bottoms of Barrels, paired the passion of green youth with the expanding of sonic boundaries, perfected on the latin-flavored, Almódovar-biting 'Bad Education', a song packed with more cross-dressing and more urgent humping. Kids grow up so fast these days. READ THE REST

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08 April 2008

"I do what I do." -- NYU-LOCAL LAUNCH

NYU-Local is a beta-go. Entertainment is also a work in progress. Check back often.

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04 April 2008

"Fifty ways to get lost."

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25 March 2008

"I hate myself for hating them."

For those with a savvy eye, and who might be quick to point a finger, I'd like it to be on record that this review was turned in before M. Hogan's was even published on the 'fork. Because of site problems at WB, mine was just posted.

Los Campesinos!
Hold On Now, Youngster...

Los Campesinos!, the scrappy septet of ragtag record store regulars from Wales, have not crafted a weighty, serious record in Hold On Now, Youngster... but the questions it raises are of a personal variety and take a high level of self-awareness to confront. Ask yourself if you have the stomach for this, and be honest; it will save you some time and save us your bitching. Do you finish the sour sugar at the end of a bag candies or do your teeth shiver at the thought? Let this answer guide you. READ THE REST

Please do.

Los Campesinos! Don't Tell Me To Do the Math(s)

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24 February 2008

"Your little hoodrat friend makes me sick." -- REVIEW ROUND-UP

Remember me? I've been writing reviews. In order of preference:

Born Ruffians
Red, Yellow, and Blue

What if Born Ruffians, the hyper-active Canadian four-piece, founded their own nation? A question bordering on inane, sure, but let us just conceptualize. If the band's music is any indication, things in this land might be rather anarchic. In this fantasy world a neurotic leadership would attempt to quell a population of equally high-strung, overmedicated wanderers ('Barnacle Goose'), basket cases ('I Need A Life') and dream-chasers ('Hedonistic Me'). Still, the higher-ups would be painfully unfit for the job, their primary concern being the flag's aesthetics ('Red, Yellow, and Blue'). There would be an insatiable thirst for nothing in particular ('Red Elephant'), but the revolutionary spirit would run deep, expressed in a series of public demonstrations in which vandalism would play no small part. Granted, this is all purely speculation – with the only certainty the national colours – but that is one world that could be imagined and illustrated on Red, Yellow, and Blue through pop-rock nuggets and waltzes, vigorous gang chants, and unsophisticated but endearing charm. READ THE REST

But more importantly, get the album. ^^^^^

Jason Collett
Here's to Being Here

The quest for the next Bob Dylan has always been inherently paradoxical. After all, the reason you'd even want another is because the first was never defined, never fully understood, and never pinned down. The man and the myth – so arduously defined in last year's Todd Haynes "biopic" I'm Not There – remains as elusive a legend as pop music has ever had, culturally camouflaged and bouncing between fake idol and true prophet, sometimes playing both simultaneously. Still, bits of Dylan's legacy can be found in Conor Oberst's wide-eyed idealism and sharp tongue, M. Ward's rustic timelessness, Elvis Perkins' quirky and winding wordplay, and here noteworthy, Jason Collett's vocal timbre. READ THE REST

Last and least...

Lightspeed Champion
Falling Off the Lavender Bridge

Far too few music fans worry about the effects of the Indie Rock Machine. While McDonalds and Starbucks permeate every last inch of the globe, consumers cower in fear of the looming corporate shadow. Of course, they still line up for their decaf-double-tall-mint-non-fat mocha, but most will feel that itch of conscience about the big business invasion they're supporting. Are we paying for consistency or blindly backing homogeneity? Your answer depends largely on a semantic battle – a slight disparity in connotation. Apply this to music. What happens when an indie rock superpower starts drifting into monolith territory? What happens when your favorite midwestern basement startup-turned-empire colours the debut from a British near-sensation? READ THE REST

Born Ruffians This Sentence Will Save/Ruin Your Life

Jason Collett Roll On Oblivion

Lightspeed Champion Everyone I Know Is Listening To Crunk

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19 January 2008

"You should tip her."

SPIN.com Artist of the Day
Hello, Blue Roses
Who? The love child of two multi-talented, multi-tasking eclectics, Hello, Blue Roses pairs visual artist/vocalist/flautist Sydney Vermont with her scraggly-haired sweetheart, artsy singer/songwriter Dan Bejar (Destroyer, New Pornographers, Swan Lake), to make up this charming duo. Their intimacy beget a distinctive and engrossing debut album, complete with the awww-inspiring title, The Portrait Is Finished And I Have Failed to Capture Your Beauty... due Jan. 22 via the Locust label.

What's the Deal? Like a Sonny & Cher for the hippest sectors of the Great White North, these Vancouverites are anything but frigid, delivering 14 warm embers of by-the-fire folk fitted for the lovelorn literati. Written by Vermont and arranged by Bejar, the set sounds pristine and nearly regal -- Vermont's chandelier-shaking falsetto ever-climbing as on the autonomous lead track "Hello Blue Roses" and Bejar's compositional majesty unleashing glimmering galactic synths on "Shadow Falls" or his signature '70s-gone-bare wailing riffs riding acoustic strums during "Coming Through Imposture." Elsewhere, the almost-medieval "Come Darkness" conjures frills and flowing dresses in a flute-filled reverie while their cover of Kevin Ayers' "Hymn" demonstrates a couple's premonition in a winding acoustic duet, each idiosyncratic voice rising, falling, and breaking in harmony.

Fun Fact: "My art usually comes out of books of fiction, and tends towards women," Vermont tells SPIN.com. In fact, the band takes its name from the Tennessee Williams play, The Glass Menagerie, in which the tragic female lead Laura explains her affliction as pluerosis, misunderstood by her great love Jim as "Blue Roses." JOSEPH COSCARELLI

Now Hear This
Hello, Blue Roses - "Shadows Fall" DOWNLOAD MP3

On the Web:
Hello, Blue Roses at MySpace

via SPIN.com

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31 December 2007

"Do I have to spell it out for you?" -- GLOSSARY OF TERMS FROM THE ALBUM-OTY

Da Drought 3 is my favorite album of the year. And when forced to single out the one aspect of the two-disc mixtape that kept me coming back constantly, I have to point toward the hundreds of references in Wayne's lyrics. Nearly all of the album's metaphors are used for bragging, many are obscene or inappropriate but hardly any are completely random. Weezy is extremely deliberate in his moments of pop culture reference and the more I heard the songs, the more I learned about his personality. Subtly, they reveal his genius.In "Seat Down Low," after a particularly regional reference, Wayne stops rapping and explains how you'd have to be from New Orleans to understand what he's talking about. But geography isn't the only limitation to his style of wordplay -- piling obscure sports reference on to fashion slang next to gun talk mixed with '80s movies and food, it's a seemingly scattered combination of rather small niches. It's frustrating for many and straight over even more heads. But unlike Cam'ron -- whose looney namedrops make sense only in his own mind -- Wayne's precision, when examined closely, is commendable. To me, the entire tape was a game of Trivial Pursuit: Pop Culture Edition, or an extended riddle. I couldn't get enough, so I started jotting down some of the smarter ones. I left out the numerous rapper shout-outs, some obvious branding (alcohol, for instance), and stuck mainly to the proper nouns, which forced me to leave out many of Drought 3's most clever lines ("I've got the hardest bars/Call me the warden"). But if Lil Wayne left you scratching your head at any line this year, let this be your guide. Without further ado, I bring you...

Da Drought 3 For Dummies: The Lil Wayne Learner
A Multimedia Glossary of Terms

1, 2, 3, etc.

1825 Tulane
Song: "Seat Down Low"
Line: "I'm so New Orleans like 1825 Tulane"
Meaning: Referencing his birthplace, Wayne invokes a famous local commercial for a furniture store, Rosenberg's, and their ubiquitous jingle known far and wide by Louisiana residents:

Rosenberg's, Rosenberg's, you've got a lot to gain. Rosenberg's, Rosenberg's, eighteen twenty-five... Tulane.


Song: "Swizzy"
Line: "Make that chick rock/Get my Amil on"
Meaning: Roc-a-Fella female artist best known for a guest appearance on Jay-Z's "Can I Get a…" Wayne cleverly plays with his ability to make a female dance, or "rock," and puns with Amil's label, the Roc.


Baker, Anita
Song: "Upgrade U"
Line: "Seat way back listenin' to Anita Baker/Right here by myself smokin' weed by the acre"
Meaning: A world famous R&B singer; an instance of Wayne showing off his impeccable taste

Bathing Ape
Song: "Dipset 2"
Line: "Gorillas turn into Bathing Apes when I make it rain"
Meaning: Asian designer Nigo's clothing line, aka Bape; extremely popular in the urban community due to a push by Pharrel Williams, the Clipse, or Lil Wayne, depending on who you believe. Sharp punchline -- get it? -- wet monkeys...Bishop Don Juan
Song: "Put Some Keys on That"
Line: "And I got more green than the Bishop Don Juan"
Meaning: A pimp, hip-hop artist and fashion designer reveered in the rap community; notable for his green outfits and perfect for a money-boasting line.Bodyguard, The
Song: "Swizzy"
Line: "I just be chillin' in the Phantom/Listenin' to opera/Gun is my bodyguard/Call it Kevin Costner"
Meaning: 1992 film starring Kevin Costner as a bodyguard to a pop star portrayed by Whitney Houston. Possibly coincidentally, the movie is sold as a two-pack with another film, The Phantom of the Opera. If Wayne constructed the line this way on purpose he really is the Martian he claims he is. Unreal.

Bonnie and Clyde
Song: "Dipset 2"
Line: "Riding shotty/A bad bitch/Clyde and Bonnie"
Meaning: Infamous outlaws and subjects of a 1967 film starring Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, with Bonnie as an archetype for the rap-approved ride-or-die chick.

Brown, Cole
Song: "Put Some Keys on That"
Line: "And I'm Cole/Not dude off Martin"
Meaning: One of two best-friend characters to Martin Lawrence's lead on his 1990s FOX TV show Martin. Toying with cole/cold (as he does with Keisha on his much maligned "Barry Bonds" guest spot), Wayne pulls off one of the most obscure references on the album.Bryant, Kobe
Song: "Dough Is What I Got"
Line: "I must be Lebron James if he Jordan/No, I want rings for my performance/I'm more Kobe Bryant of an artist/Same coach, same game, been startin'/Same triangle offense"
Meaning: NBA player often hailed as the next greatest -- Michael Jordan = Jay-Z. He is a 3-time world champion (rings) with the LA Lakers and coach Phil Jackson, best known for his "triangle offense."

Buffalo Bills
Song: "Swizzy"
Line: "I'm cold/Yeah, I get my Buffalo Bill on"
Meaning: NFL team in upstate New York known for snowy games and "cold feet" in the Super Bowl, winning four consecutive AFC titles and a grand total of zero championships.Bunyan, Paul
Song: "Walk It Out"
Line: "Stayin on my toes you can call me Paul Bunyan"
Meaning: Mythical lumberjack, known for his towering height and his blue ox, Babe.

Campbell, Earl/Campbell's Soup

Song: "Get High Rule the World"
Line: "Campbell's Soup on the wrist/Just call me Earl"
Meaning: Calling attention to his gaudy jewelry using both a hall-of-fame NFL running back (from his hometown New Orleans Saints, no less) and America's favorite mmm, mmm good winter antidote.

Carruth, Rae
Song: "New Cash Money"
Line: "I'm killin' these niggas/Young Wayne Carruth"
Meaning: One of the more brutal punchlines, Rae Carruth is the NFL player currently imprisoned for conspiracy to commit murder after having his pregnant girlfriend killed in 1999. Carruth gathered some candy bars and bottles to pee in and hid in a trunk. Classy.

Carson, Sonny*
Song: "Black Republicans"
Line: "A black activist like Sonny Carson"
Meaning: A former gang member turned social servant, not unlike Malcom X, whose life and autobiography, The Education of Sonny Carson, was made into a film.

Claiborne, Liz
Song: "Get High Rule the World"
Line: "I'm straight from Claiborne/Just ask Liz"
Meaning: Another sly double entendre, Weezy refers to both the fashion designer/brand and either the parish/city or prominent street in Louisiana.

Cobain, Kurt/"Smells Like Teen Spirit"
Song: "Dipset 2"
Line: "Smellin' teen spirit/Like Kurt Cobain was here"
Meaning: A reference to the 1990s grunge rocker and Nirvana lead singer and the group's biggest hit; also a nod to the song from which this beat was taken, partner-in-rhyme Juelz Santana's "Dipset (Santana's Town)" in which JS spits, "The whole Byrd Gang's in here/Like Kurt Cobain was here/Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah."

Commission, The
Song: "Dough Is What I Got"
Line: "The only down South rapper coulda been in The Firm/Or The Commission/Or Wu-Tang"
Meaning: Though Southern rap is often slighted for being gimmicky and full of one hit wonders, Wayne asserts his dominance by comparing himself to three classic NYC rap groups: The Firm (including Nas, Foxy Brown, AZ and more), The Commission (featuring Notorious B.I.G., Jay-Z, Charli Baltimore, Puff Daddy, etc.), and Wu-Tang (RZA, GZA, Ghostface Killah, et al.).

Song: "Black Republicans"
Line: "Tote big guns like I'm still playin' Contra"
Meaning: A classic shoot-'em-up arcade game.Costner, Kevin
Song: "Swizzy"
Line: "I just be chillin' in the Phantom/Listenin' to opera/Gun is my bodyguard/Call it Kevin Costner"
Meaning: see Bodyguard, The

Creed, Apollo/Rocky
Song: "Upgrade U"
Line: "I’m a champion/Where's the fucking Rocky theme/Rest in peace Apollo Creed/I'm a monster/Everyday is Halloween"
Meaning: The reigning Heavyweight Champion of the world in the first of Stallone's Rocky series, Creed meets his untimely death against Dolph Lundgren's Soviet fighter Ivan Drago in Rocky IV. (See below).

Song: "Upgrade U"
Line: "Big stacks/My pockets on Creatine"
Meaning: A commonly used performance enhancing dietary supplement, in this case used to indicate big money in Weezy's pockets.


Dampier, Eric
Song: "Swizzy"
Line: "I ball and you're just Eric Dampier, dawg"
Meaning: While Wayne embodies Lebron, Jordan and Kobe all at once, Dampier is the representation of a painfully average NBA player. In the clip below he's the one getting dunked over.

Duncan, Tim
Song: "Put Some Keys on That"
Line: "And I might do the Spurs/Sittin' on them Tim Duncans"
Meaning: Another NBA player, Duncan is the San Antonio Spurs star power forward -- a big man who wears the number 21, here used as a reference to giant rims (21 inches, to be exact) on a car.Dunkin' Donuts
Song: "Put Some Keys on That"
Line: "And in the Lambourghini I do Donuts like Dunkin"
Meaning: A popular North American doughnut franchise made into a metaphor for reckless driving.
Energizer Bunny
Song: "Back On My Grizzy"
Line: "Like the Energizer Bunny with a battery pack/Boy, that drummer keep drumming like brrat-at-tat-tat"
Meaning: Popular ad campaign for Energizer batteries.

Favre, Brett
Song: "Get High Rule the World"
Line: "More like Brett Favre/Just like Brett Favre"
Meaning: NFL player and Green Bay Packers quarterback, Favre is well-known for his consistency including a consecutive games played streak currently at 253 regular season games (and going, and going, and going...).


Song: "Black Republicans"
Line: "I get em high/Higher than turbulences/White Phantom/Lookin So Fergalicious"
Meaning: Fergalicious definition make them boys go loco:

Firm, The
Song: "Dough Is What I Got"
Line: "The only down South rapper coulda been in The Firm/Or The Commission/Or Wu-Tang"
Meaning: see Commission, The

Song: "Walk It Out"
Line: "Yellow diamond ring lookin' like a little Funyun/Stayin on my toes you can call me Paul Bunyon"
Meaning: A chip-type snack, onion flavored in a ring shape.

Gervin, George
Song: "Swizzy"
Line: "George Gervin/I'ma get my chill on"
Meaning: A former NBA player nicknamed the Iceman for his level head.

Gill, Johnny
Song: "Swizzy"
Line: "In the New Edition/Yeah, I get my Johnny Gill on"
Meaning: Though Wayne is referring a new model of a car, he pulls out the name Johnny Gill, who was a member of the 1980s R&B boy band New Edition after the departure of Bobby Brown.

Gillie Da Kid
Song: "Live from 504"
Line: "I swim with the big/So I don't have time to deal with Willie Da Squid"
Meaning: A little swipe at a rival; Gillie claimed to have written some of Lil Wayne's earlier lyrics in a series of YouTube attacks and magazine interviews. Wayne riffs on his name and sea creatures with a cocky diss claiming that the two are not even in the same league.

Gladys Knight & the Pips
Song: "King Kong"
Line: "And I let him sing like Gladys Knight & the Pips"
Meaning: Apparently, when unleashed, Wayne's weapons sing like this historical southern soul act.

Song: "King Kong"
Line: "Godzilla, King Kong/And if I have to park/I will open up my trunk and it will be Jurassic Park" Meaning: Where the original "King Kong" track refers to a massive speaker system ("If you hear me 'fore you see me"), Wayne twists the cut to describe his guns in all their movie monster glory.Gore, Frank
Song: "Get High Rule the World"
Line: "Make your so-called soliders run just like Gore/Yeah, Frank that is from San Francis"
Meaning: Gore is an NFL running back for the San Francisco 49ers, not to be confused with Al Gore, who is also known for running.

Gremlins, The
Song: "Sky's the Limit"
Line: "Relying on rap, but in the kitchen I'm a chemist/And when I was 5, my favorite movie was The Gremlins/Ain't got shit to do with this, but I just thought that I should mention"
Meaning: In one of the more free-associative lines on the record, Wayne interrupts a drug tale with a childhood flashback, referencing this 1984 film about mischievous monsters. Trailer below.

Grier, Pam
Song: "Swizzy"
Line: "My girl get her Pam Grier on"
Meaning: Wayne's women allegedly all look like this beautiful actress.Gucci
Song: "Swizzy"
Line: "Fresh!/A bunch of little G's on my kicks"
Meaning: An upscale brand and in this case, sneaker reference.Gushers
Song: "Walk It Out"
Line: "Explode in a bitch mouth like a Gusher"
Meaning: A fairly disgusting and graphic sexual reference to this delicious candy snack.


Hall, Dante
Song: "Dipset"
Line: "I'm like Dante Hall/I just throw up the X"
Meaning: An NFL player nicknamed X-Man or X-factor, as well a reference to the drug Ecstacy.Harding, Tonya
Song: "Put Some Keys on That"
Line: "Yeah excuse me, pardon/I break down a bitch like Tonya Harding"
Meaning: Harding is a notorious ice skater charged with conspiring to have her chief competitor, Nancy Kerrigan, hit on the knee with a crowbar. Later, in the Olympics, Harding placed eighth while Kerrigan healed and earned a silver medal.

Hardy, Ed
Song: "Dipset"
Line: "In California poppin'/Ed Hardy rockin'"
Meaning: Hardy is a California-based tattoo artist turned clothing line turned energy drink (?!).
Harry and the Hendersons
Song: "King Kong"
Line: "Married to the Benjamins/Battle all my enemies/Riding with Big Foot/Harry and the Hendersons"
Meaning: By naming this 1987 John Lithgow film, Wayne continues his reference to guns as monsters but makes in downright silly. Completely absurd -- one of the top 5 lines on the mixtape. Hilarious clip:

Hearns, Tom
Song: "Don't Stop, Won't Stop"
Line: "And I knock this shit out like Tom Hearns"
Meaning: Hearns is a 7-time world champion professional boxer.

Hilfiger, Tommy
Song: "Dipset"
Line: "This ain't no Tommy Hilfiger/This that Polo, ho/We be the biggest group alive that get that solo dough"
Meaning: Tommy Hilfiger is a clothing designer who makes apparel not quite as nice as that made by Ralph Lauren, including his signature Polo brand.

Hill, Stephen
Song: "Swizzy"
Line: "Black Entertainment/Yeah, I get my Stephen Hill on"
Meaning: Hill is an executive at the television channel Black Entertainment Television."Hot In Herre"
Song: "Get High Rule the World"
Line: "And I know this old but I'm really "Hot in Herre"'
Meaning: Wayne is so hyper-self-aware in his references that he even slights himself for dropping the title line from this 2002 Nelly hit.

Song: "Upgrade U"
Line: "Yes, I'm a dog/I'm a Hoya homie/I'm a boss/Ya man's just an employer, mami"
Meaning: In this swipe at Jay-Z over his girlfriend's beat, Wayne compares himself to the bulldog mascot for Georgetown University athletics.Hughes, Langston
Song: "Put Some Keys on That"
Line: "Listen how my words are poetic like Langston/Dreads down my back like I come straight from Kingston"
Meaning: Hughes was an African-American writer and poet during the Harlem Renaissance.

Hussein, Saddam
Song: "Back On My Grizzy"
Line: "My game goes Saddam Hussein/I missile launch"
Meaning: This mention of the former Iraqi dictator seems a bit misguided; apparently Wayne bought into WMDs, too.


James, Lebron
Song: "Dough Is What I Got"
Line: "I must be Lebron James if he Jordan"
Meaning: see Bryant, Kobe

"Jesus Walks"
Song: "Intro"
Line: "Come from da land dat Jesus walk through/Sacrifice me life man I bleed for me own crew"
Meaning: In conjuring both this Kanye West song and the Lord and Savior himself, Wayne calls himself martyr and insists his level of loyalty would carry toward crucification. Oh, and it just so happens to be at the time when Mims' "This Is Why I'm Hot" takes a little foray West...

Johnson, Avery
Song: "Upgrade U"
Line: "It's a new game/And I'm the coach like Avery"
Meaning: Johnson is a former NBA player and currently the coach of the Dallas Mavericks.

Jolie, Angelina
Song: "Upgrade U"
Line: "Need a bitch with some lips like Angelin/-A Jolie/Holy God flow"
Meaning: Superstar actress well-known for her full lips. The magic here is the little hanging syllable trick, generally used flawlessly by Andre 3000.Jones, Toccara*
Song: "Black Republicans"
Line: "My pockets stay chubby like Toccara/Or should I say fat like The Parkers?"
Meaning: Toccara is a popular model in the hip-hop community known for her thick body -- I guess Juelz likes 'em a bit smaller.Jordan, Michael
Song: "Upgrade U"/"Put Some Keys On That"
Line: "Young Carter darlin', understand I am Michael Jordan ballin'" ….. "Two niggas can't guard me/You lookin' at Jordan"
Meaning: Generally considered the greatest basketball player of all time; a six-time NBA champ.

Jurassic Park
Song: "King Kong"
Line: "Godzilla, King Kong/And if I have to park/I will open up my trunk and it will be Jurassic Park"
Meaning: Take it as a threat -- mess with Wayne and the chaos will be unleashed like the Michael Crichton book turned Spielberg dinosaur film.


King Kong
Song: "King Kong"
Line: "(I got King Kong in the trunk)/And I feed him banana clips"
Meaning: see GodzillaKing, Stephen
Song: "We Takin' Over"
Line: "I'm a king/You ask Stephen if I'm lyin'"
Meaning: Child's play for Wayne -- a quick little mention of the world-renowned horror author.

Klumps, The
Song: "Put Some Keys on That"
Line: "Pockets just fat like the Klumps and Norbit"
Meaning: Another big money reference, this time at the expense of two awful Eddie Murphy movies with obese leads in which Murphy plays multiple characters: 2000's Nutty Professor II: The Klumps and this year's Norbit. Remember when this man was funny? Wayne was still in short pants. L

Laimbeer, Bill

Song: "Swizzy"
Line: "I'm dirty/I get my Bill Laimbeer on"
Meaning: A former NBA player known for his dirty play. On the left:
Largent, Steve
Song: "Dough Is What I Got"
Line: "She better catch like she's Steve Largent"
Meaning: Wayne in his zone: sex & sports. Largent is a hall-of-famer as a former NFL wide receiver with the Seattle Seahawks.Lee, Spike
Song: "Put Some Keys on That"
Line: "From the side like Spike at the Garden"
Meaning: The film director is known for his courtside seats at Madison Square Garden and consistent support of the New York Knicks.

"Let It Burn"
Song: "Walk It Out"
Line: "Only if I say that she can 'Touch It' like Busta/But she might touch you and 'Let It Burn' like Usher"
Meaning: WFB molds a couplet using this 2004 Usher song and a 2006 Busta Rhymes single to describe his power over women and their subsequent power over "you."

Lincoln, Abraham (also: Ulysses S. Grant, Andrew Jackson, Benjamin Franklin)
Song: "Dipset 2"
Line: "The bank is here/Lincolns here/Grant is here/Jackson's here/Franklin's here/Them dead muthfuckas"
Meaning: Lincoln, along with the other U.S. historical figures, all appear on currency.

Liu Kang
Song: "Dough Is What I Got"
Line: "Tryna tell you I can kick it like Liu Kang nigga/Got the Sub-Zero flow how you want me, ma/Nigga get over here like Scorpion"
Meaning: A character from the popular video game and movie series Mortal Kombat, Liu Kang is known for his kicking techniques. See below:

Loch Ness monster
Song: "Live from 504"
Line: "Flow sick, so sick need a doc, yes/A creature, monster like the Loch Ness"
Meaning: This mythical creature is purported to live in Scotland's Loch Ness and is also the subject of a recent film titled Water Horse.


Song: "Boom"
Line: "One named Mac/One named Nina/They hit you/Make you do the 'Macarena'"
Meaning: A 1990s dance craze by Los Del Rio. You know this one, I just wanted an excuse to post the video. Mac and Nina refer to guns, a MAC-10 submachine gun and a 9 millimeter, respectively.

Maloof family
Song: "Blooded"
Line: "And I own my team/I'm like a Maloof"
Meaning: Wayne is the man in charge of his "team" -- Cash Money Records -- as are the extremely wealthy Lebonese family the Maloofs, who own the NBA's Sacramento Kings.

Manning, Peyton
Song: "Put Some Keys on That"
Line: "Peyton Manning flow/I just go/No huddle"
Meaning: Manning is an NFL quarterback for the Indiannapolis Colts. Where most QBs meet with their team before each play, Manning is known for running a no huddle offense. Wayne compares this to most MCs writing down their rhymes, where he claims to go off the top of his head.

Song: "Get High Rule the World"/"Dough Is What I Got"
Line: "An extravagent crib/I'm on the toilet watchin' Martin just laughin' and shit" … "I'm "What's Up?" like Martin"
Meaning: see Brown, Cole. This must be Wayne's favorite show.

McNabb, Donovan
Song: "Black Republicans"
Line: "Fly like an eagle but no I'm not Donovan/Boy you better go eat some soup with ya mom and them"
Meaning: McNabb is an NFL quarterback most notably of the Philadelphia Eagles who appeared in commercials with his mother for Campbell's Chunky Soup.

Ming, Yao
Song: "Get High Rule the World"
Line: "And I don't mean basketball when I say I don't know Yao"
Meaning: Ming is a Chinese basketball player.

MySpace Tom
Song: "N.O. Nigga"
Line: "Tell ya bitch stop sendin' them pictures to my Sidekick/And quit Instant Messaging my IM/Myspace Tom/Bitches actin' like I'm him"
Meaning: On a technology kick Wayne references the MySpace founder and everyone's first online friend.

Song: "Put Some Keys on That"
Line: "Pockets just fat like the Klumps and Norbit"
Meaning: see Klumps, The


Obama, Barack*
Song: "Black Republicans"
Line: "I'm feelin' like a Black Republican -- nah, I can't call it that / More like a black Democrat, runnin' em out of office / Young Baracka Obama I'm all for it"
Meaning: An allusion to the post-2006 Congressional election and Juelz Santana's presidential endorsement for the Illinois senator?

O'Neal, Shaquille
Song: "Get High Rule the World"
Line: "I never miss a game/No Shaq O'Neal"
Meaning: A world-champion NBA center notorious for missing many games due to "injury."

Song: "Put Some Keys on That"
Line: "And bitch I'm fresh like a pack of Orbitz"
Meaning: Gum, see below:


Parkers, The*
Song: "Black Republicans"
Line: "My pockets stay chubby like Toccara/Or should I say fat like The Parkers?"
Meaning: A UPN spin-off of the Brandy's show Moesha starring Mo'Nique Imes and Countess Vaughn as the overweight leads.
Peanuts/Charlie Brown
Song: "Walk It Out"
Line: "I'm just tryna get my Peanuts/I'm like Charlie Brown"
Meaning: A money-oriented punchline using Charles Shultz's historic comic strip and doomed lead character.
Song: "Black Republicans"
Line: "Bet I get all in her mouth like Polident"
Meaning: Another vulgar reference to oral sex (see Gushers), Polident is a denture cleaner.

Polo (by Ralph Lauren)
Song: "Dipset"
Line: "This ain't no Tommy Hilfiger/This that Polo, ho/We be the biggest group alive that get that solo dough"
Meaning: see Hilfiger, Tommy

Song: "Boom"
Line: "They know I keep that toaster/You can be my Pop Tart"
Meaning: Besides sports, food is clearly Wayne's forte. Here, he uses this toastable breakfast snack as a come on just after comparing his gun to a toaster.

Song: "Blooded"
Line: "Popeye flow/Ya'll niggas Sweet Pea"
Meaning: A reference to the popular cartoon, Wayne's flow is Popeye, or the strongest, while everyone else is Sweet Pea -- the small, helpless baby who is always in tears.

Song: "N.O. Nigga"
Line: "My shit poppin' like I'm Chris"
Meaning: A 2006 Chris Brown single featuring Lil Wayne on the track's remix. A little self promotion never hurt anybody.



Song: "Intro"
Line: "Dreadlocks swing down me back like Rapunzel"
Meaning: Wayne compares the length of his hair to the Brothers Grimm fairy tale in which Prince Charming rescued Rapunzel from her high tower by climbing up her beautiful, flowing hair.
Song: "Seat Down Low"
Line: "I be with Jim Jones and we be 'Ballin'/Ballin', yea baby/We ballin' like Rawlings and Spaulding"
Meaning: Quoting the Jim Jones mega-hit, Wayne also drops two of the most well-known makers of athletic balls, Rawlings and Spaulding.

Red Hots
Song: "Swizzy"
Line: "Ya'll sweeter than a box of Red Hots"
Meaning: More food. This time, a cinnamon candy.

Rock of Gibraltar*
Song: "Black Republicans"
Line: "The Rock of Gibraltar has now fallen/On ya"
Meaning: The Rock of Gibraltar is a mythical reference to the Pillar of Hercules and refers to a limestone promontory in southwest Europe. I'd imagine if it fell on you, you'd be crushed.
Rolling Stones, The
Song: "Dipset"
Line: "I'm Rolling like the Stones"
Meaning: Everyone's favorite immortal rock band and another nod to the drug ecstasy.

Romo, Tony
Song: "Back On My Grizzy"
Line: "You niggas act like Tony Romo/No homo"
Meaning: Dallas Cowboys NFL quarterback who choked unbelievably bad in a playoff game against Seattle. Observe:


Sanders, Deion
Song: "Back On My Grizzy"
Line: "You know I'm gonna score like Deion after picks"
Meaning: Former NFL cornerback known for scoring touchdowns off of interceptions. Highlights:

Song: "Dough Is What I Got"
Line: "Tryna tell you I can kick it like Liu Kang nigga/Got the Sub-Zero flow how you want me ma/Nigga get over here like Scorpion"
Meaning: Another Mortal Kombat character remembered for his signature move and catch-phrase, "Get over here!"

Song: "Swizzy"
Line: "Only talk to models/Yeah, I get my Seal on"
Meaning: Singer and husband of model Heidi Klum.
Song: "I'm Blooded"
Line: "Skittles on my wrist/Yeah nigga the bright pack"
Meaning: A brightly colored candy similar to Wayne's jewelry.

Song: "Seat Down Low"
Line: "I be with Jim Jones and we be 'Ballin'/Ballin', yea baby/We ballin' like Rawlings and Spaulding"
Meaning: see Rawlings

Song: "Dough Is What I Got"
Line: "Tryna tell you I can kick it like Liu Kang nigga/Got the Sub-Zero flow how you want me ma/Nigga get over here like Scorpion"
Meaning: The third Mortal Kombat character in the line, Sub-Zero is cool like Wayne's flow.

Sullivan, Ed
Song: "Black Republicans"
Line: "Been had they cake/They late like Ed Sullivan"
Meaning: The deceased host of The Ed Sullivan Show, a popular variety show in the 1950s and 60s.

Sweet Pea
Song: "Blooded"
Line: "Popeye flow/Ya'll niggas Sweet Pea"
Meaning: See Popeye.


Song: "Dough Is What I Got"
Line: "You can be my Jane/I'm your Tarzan"
Meaning: Quite romantic by rap standards, Tarzan is the King of the Jungle and Jane, his queen.

Till, Emmett
Song: "Swizzy"
Line: "Beatin' up your block/Yeah, I get my Emmett Till on"
Meaning: One of Wayne's most historical and insensitive lines, Till was an African-American teenager beat to death in Mississippi in 1955, helping to spark the Civil Rights movement.

Toronto Maple Leafs
Song: "Upgrade U"
Line: "Put a motherfucker on some ice like the Maple Leafs/That's a hockey team/And I ain't know no hockey team"
Meaning: An NHL professional hockey Team; see "Sportscenter" from Dedication 2.

"Touch It"
Song: "Walk It Out"
Line: "Only if I that she can "Touch It" like Busta/But she might touch you and "Let It Burn" like Usher"
Meaning: A 2006 Busta Rhymes song; see "Let It Burn" -- Video for the remix below:



Song: "Get High Rule the World"
Line: "I like a bitch with an apple bottom like Vokal"
Meaning: Rapper Nelly's clothing brand featuring a line of Apple Bottom jeans. Let's also not forget the short-lived reality show hosted by Nelly which sought to find the perfect ass to model the pants.

Song: "Dough Is What I Got"
Line: "I hit niggas in the head like Vonage"
Meaning: A cell phone ad campaign in which people are clocked in the head by flying boxes, spawning innumerable YouTube parodies.


Wayne, Dwayne
Song: "Sky's the Limit"
Line: "My world is different like Dwyane Wayne"
Meaning: Like Cole Brown (see Brown, Cole), this obscure television reference cements Wayne as a pop-culture genius (edit: even if Lifetime plays the re-runs). A Different World followed college students, including one Dwayne Wayne, in their effort to get an education.
Wayne's World
Song: "Get High Rule the World"
Line: "Party time, excellent/Yeah, Wayne's World"
Meaning: A Mike Myers and Dana Carvey SNL skit turned movie featuring a signature line: "Party time! Excellent!"

Where's Waldo?

Song: "President"
Line: "I'm somwhere in the house and it's like Where's Waldo?"
Meaning: Wayne's house is so big that he gets lost like the children's book series in which you must find Waldo in large, crowded pictures.

Williams, Jason

Song: "Swizzy"
Line: "Keep a shotgun/Yeah, I get my Jason Will- on"
Meaning: Another cold-blooded punchline, Jason Williams is a former NBA player charged with manslaughter after killing his chauffer with a shotgun.

Wonder, Stevie
Song: "Upgrade U"
Line: "They cannot see me/They are like Stevie"
Meaning: Not unlike his verse on DJ Khaled's "Holla At Me" ("Ms. Stevie Wonder/She ain't lookin' at ya'll"), Wayne is talking about the classic blind musician.

Wu-Tang Clan
Song: "Dough Is What I Got"
Line: "The only down South rapper coulda been in The Firm/Or The Commission/Or Wu-Tang nigga"
Meaning: see Commission, The




If you can think of any that I missed and should be included, please feel free to let me know.

Happy New Year to all.

Lil Wayne Swizzy (remix)
Lil Wayne Dipset 2
Lil Wayne Gossip
Lil Wayne I'm Me

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"The party's over. The CD's skipping. It's the same hook repeating. Grows more grating with each passing second..." -- ALMOST EVERYTHING-OTY

Here is my Writer's Poll as submitted to Wireless Bollinger:

Album of the Year

1. Lil Wayne - Da Drought 3
2. The National - Boxer
3. St. Vincent - Marry Me
4. Jay-Z - American Gangster
5. Kanye West - Graduation
6. Tegan and Sara - The Con
7. Animal Collective - Strawberry Jam
8. Pharoahe Monche - Desire
9. LCD Soundsystem - Sound of Silver
10. MIA - Kala

I realize it's highly controversial to pick a mixtape as my favorite album of the year, but put simply, there's nothing I enjoyed more in 2007. As good as Boxer and Marry Me are, Wayne took it to levels I didn't even know existed with his wordplay, references and most importantly, his unbridled enthusiasm and enjoyment for his art. His work ethic is unmatched, his excitement is contagious and for me, he's all around undeniable.

My #11-20 picks include near misses like Vampire Weekend, Feist, Marissa Nadler, Jens Lekman, Bright Eyes, Elvis Perkins, and Kevin Drew.

Gig of the Year?

1. Girl Talk - 9th February, 2007 - Studio B, New York, NY
2. Kevin Drew / Broken Social Scene - 14th November, 2007 - Webster Hall, New York NY
3. The Mountain Goats - 2nd October, 2007 - Studio B, New York NY

Three fan favorite filled encores from John Darnielle; Kevin Drew featuring Spiral Stairs (of Pavement) and Emily Haines (of BSS and Metric) for nearly two and a half hours breezing through Spirit If... and treating us to the Scene's greatest hits; Girl Talk in a packed dance club = pure insanity. 'Nuff said.

Song of the Year

1. LCD Soundsystem - 'All My Friends'
2. UGK ft. OutKast - 'International Players Anthem (I Choose You)'
3. Jens Lekman - 'A Postcard to Nina'

A truly epic and affecting song, James Murphy is a master of bottling nostalgia in a way that feels neither contrived nor conventional. While Andre 3000's opening verse in 'International Players Anthem' was one of the most joyous pop moments, never leaving me anything but elated, 'All My Friends' made me yearn for things I didn't even know I was missing.

Artist/Band of the Year

Lil Wayne

The artist of the year was Lil Wayne, without question. With innumerable mixtapes, guest appearances and random mp3s he became an omnipresent force in rap music. More importantly, he embraced the internet age -- he managed all of this without releasing an album, but through a constant stream of downloadable, shareable music all the while insisting that the only thing that mattered was people hearing it. Hear it they did and minds were blown as he reinvented the rap metaphor, manipulated his froggy voice in countless ways and built a mythic persona for himself.

Best Local album - New York

Without counting Animal Collective or the National, who occasionally call NYC home, I'll go with A Place to Bury Strangers' self-titled debut. A New York City band through and through with a terrifying roar, making shoegaze scary by devouring the pretty parts, gnashing them up and spitting them back out.

Disappointing Album of the Year

The Shins - Wincing the Night Away

What are you looking forward to in 2008?

The explosion of Vampire Weekend and/or Born Ruffians, hopefully both. Dr. Dre's Detox and G'n'R's Chinese Democracy, but most of all Lil Wayne's Tha Carter III.

Main Drag
All My Friends (LCD Soundsystem cover)

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