Monday, November 29, 2004

Top Five in the CD Changer

This is something new I am going to do every Monday. Giving the current state of music, it may be the same for a few weeks.

Cliff's Top Five

1. Queen Latifah - Simply Beautiful

2. Snoop Dogg - Drop it Like it's Hot

3. Patti Labelle ft. Ron Isley - Go Solo

4. Usher ft. Alicia Keys - My Boo

5. Lil Jon, BunB. Jadakiss, T.I., Nas, Ice Cube - Grand Finale

Music Stuff

Ok, this posting won't be negative I promise. I just wanted to cover some music stuff while I have the time.

Chingy says that DTP jerked him around. Ludacris is pissed. Who really cares what Chingy thinks. We are giving too much press to people with no talent.

I'm really feeling this Patti Labelle / Ron Isley song Go Solo. It's good to see Ron can still make a song with R. Kelly on it. Patti Labelle sounds great on this song. Speaking of R. Kelly....

Why does another sex tape of his pop up every week. Even if he was going to tape all of this stuff, shouldn't he be hiding these things. You can't show your boys everything. Please parents, don't let your daughters between the ages of 15-18 go to an R. Kelly concert. No wonder Jay Z pepper sprayed him.

Usher and Tevin Campbell have one thing in common. I make jokes about both of them but probably like every single they have put out. I can't stop playing My Boo.

Attention everyone: There's an artist named Eureka from New Orleans with a new album coming out. Please don't buy this thing and set New Orleans music back 15 years. It's bad enough we have Kings Entertainment.

I promised this post wouldn't be negative but what is up with that Destiny's Child song Soldier. When was the last time any of those young ladies were actually in the hood with a "soldier"? In 2005 it's about time black people start getting rid of this romantic image of the thug. That hasn't gotten us nowhere.

Finally, I want to send a shout out to Nasir Jones for making a hip hop album that reflects his age and maturity. The Street Disciple album may not have any real club songs on it but the lyrics are thought out and it shows what a 30 something rapper should be rapping about. It's time for some of the thugs to grow up in 2005. Some of the songs are real serious and Coon Picnic will never get air play but is the best song on the album. I give it 4 stars out of 5.

Now that I have that other issue off of my chest I can move on and get this week started talking about other things on my mind.

It looks like I am going to end the year with this same job which means I will be struggling financially for Christmas. Has anyone else noticed that unless your under 18, no one is really happy for Christmas anymore? Everyone should be happy but many find reasons to be sad. Lonely people are sad because they have no one to buy gifts for. Poor people are sad because they know they can't get their love ones what they want and if they do, they will struggle for the next three months after over spending. You can put me in the poor people category. Whatever happened to just sitting around and enjoying your love ones. I'll tell you what happened. Every day and night you are bombarded with commercials and TV shows full of people buying diamond rings and cars for Christmas. I remember the commercial where they showed all the people getting new Lexus for Christmas. That's pressure. Being a dad now is going to put added pressure because I have no idea what to buy and when I find something it will probably be out of my price range. At least she's only one and has no clue it's Christmas. Hopefully when she's ten nobody will tell her I wasn't a good father because when she was one I didn't buy her a Playstation 2 for Christmas. I hate being so cynical.

Blue Monday......Again!

I can't believe just how much the Saints loss yesterday is effecting my attitude. I am sitting here pondering life in New Orleans and not feeling very good. After I post this message, I am going on a 24 hour sports exile (except for wrestling). I won't be listening to Jim Rome, Gerry V, watching ESPN or anything else. I surely have enough interest without having to watch sports. Now about the game.

Yesterday's game showed the real problem with this team. It's the offense. It's the defense. It's the coaching. You can't depend on any of these things from week to week. After 11 games, the Saints have still not played a complete game in all phases of the game. One week, the defense gives up 500+ yards. The next week they play fairly well and the offense can't make a first down. There is too much inconsistency around this team to put blame on any one thing. The Saints didn't have one bread and butter play to go to for that first down with 2 minutes left. They weren't prepared for the situation and the players couldn't execute. That's what we have been watching for the last four years. I am now going bang my head against the wall before I post anything else.

Monday, November 22, 2004

The Casual Fan

Normally I don't make post totally dedicated to sports but since that was all I did this weekend I have to get it off of my chest.

The brawl Friday night was really shocking to see on TV. I can't disagree with Artest getting suspended for the whole year and the other suspensions. He was dead wrong for going into the stands. However, he is a man and doesn't deserve to be treated like an animal just because he makes allot of money. If you look at most of the games on TV the first few rows of fans at an NBA game are rich suburban people for the most part. These people pay big money to watch young black kids from the ghetto run up and down. Just because you are being entertained and spent some money, does not give you the right to call those players anything you want and throw things at them. People are making a big deal of the fact that Artest didn't want to fight Ben Wallace. Why would he want to fight Ben Wallace anyway? Ben Wallace is a player. Artest didn't fight Ben because he understood why Ben was mad and there was no need to fight. The fan on the other hand was a different story. You still can't go in the stands and start punching, but we have no idea what kind of abuse these guys take and how much animosity they have towards the fans in general. I am willing to bet that there aren't too many players in the NBA right now that wouldn't have wanted to do the same thing. They might not have actually did it, but they can understand why Ron did. I love the game of basketball as a sport. I love football the same way. I have teams that I route for but I respect and admire any player on any team that performs and plays the game the way it was meant to be played. I am just as comfortable watching a game played at the local gym as I am watching one played at the Superdome. The casual fan is killing American sports. They are the reason we have to see WNBA players in their mini skirts, Terrell Owens hugging naked white women, and Janet Jackson perform at halftime of the SuperBowl. Casual fans come to games to see players act just like they do on shoe and beer commercials. Professional sports caters too much to the casual fan instead of worrying about the integrity and image of the game itself. They are not worried about purist like me. I am going to watch regardless. They want to promote sex, rowdiness, drinking and violence to bring in those fans that may not watch the sport in general but are looking for a good time and want to be entertained. This is why guys like Tim Duncan or Marvin Harrison get hardly any commercials or headlines, yet guys like T.O. and Ron Artest can be on TV almost all day long.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Today is a very cloudy day outside and I am nostalgic. I want desperately to be 12 years old today and play me a game of sandlot football in some old clothes. Just the thought of ant bites, the flu and ringworms makes me misty eyed. Oh well, can't do that today so I might as well waste some time and write down a few random ideas.

I appreciate the fact that Condelezza Rice is about to become the first black female secretary of state. This is a tremendous achievement. There is one problem however. I am not sure if she has the diplomacy skills to negotiate with any foreign leaders without starting World War 3. Powell was good for Bush because he looked at things a little differently than him and could play devil's advocate. Rice is just a mouthpiece for the president and won't have the same credibility.

I guess T.O. is Mandingo now. I knew he was going to apologize before anybody else did. I am not surprised the intro caused problems. I am also not surprised that Owens was involved but I don't think it was his fault or needed an apology. Maybe he needs to place himself under a two or three week gag order to let things calm down. This issue showed me one thing about America. Although we pretty much accept that black athletes and black men in general sometimes love, marry, and have sex with white women, we are not ready to see that on TV even as a joke. I kept asking myself how would I feel if Angela Bassett jumped into Brett Favre's arms after dropping her towel. The answer..............I would be complaining until I was 40. I guess we have allot of work to do.

I'm not looking forward to the Saints/Louisiana negotiations at all. A two month deadline is just too short to make that kind of agreement in this state. They will never find the money that fast even though they have been talking about this for years.
It's all about how the state views the Saints role in bringing money in and creating jobs. If Fielkow can make the case that the money we spend will be worth the return in revenue then the deal gets done easily. I don't think they have made that case effectively enough. Here is what bothers me. I understand in the mind of Blanco and some in the legislature that there are other priorities that need to come before a stadium or giving the Saints what they need. I will even acknowledge that most of the city's problems are self inflicted and I can understand why other areas of the state are not supporting a 500 million dollar plus project that doesn't even help change or fix the larger problems in New Orleans. The problem is that before the Saints asked for anything, the same problems were there and not enough has been done to try and change them. I would hate for the state to take a stand against the Saints because of all the other things that need to be done and then nothing else happens and we are in the same or worse situation without the team. If somebody could make the case that the money not given to the Saints will be used to make education better, reduce crime, and help produce more jobs then I would have no choice but to support not paying them. I just don't think that's where we are headed.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

What did you do to Pac, Biggie, and Hip Hop's reputation? Posted by Hello

What in the Hell

Dr. Dre got suckered punched at the Vibe Awards Monday. What does it say about the music I love when one of it's greatest producers is getting honored and someone sneaks a jab to his face. Would this happen in any other music genre at all? No it wouldn't. All of the awards Outkast has won this year and all of the achievements of Jay Z have been washed away with this stupidity. I am 30 years old now and I have been listening to hip hop since I was 10. I don't know if it's the age or not, but I am not sure about the direction of hip hop anymore. There are some great hip hop artist out there. De La Soul, Roots, Common, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, even Jay Z are examples of artist who take the music seriously. The problem is besides Jay Z and Outkast, most of the artist that get major media publicity are ignorant, talentless and not creative. Guys like Suge Knight got into the game to make money and brought the same hustle mentality from the corners into the board rooms and made hip hop a symbol of thuggery. How is this guy still able to sign artist and put out records? How is he even invited to award shows anyway? The answer is simple, ignorance sells records and makes money for the powers that be in the music industry. They don't care if Suge causes chaos or not. The only thing that matters is that the uneducated, ignorant black kids and the "wanna be black" white kids in America, think that this kind of thing is cool and go out and spend their money to support that bullshit. This is how a artist like Nelly, who shows not lyrical or musical talent can make a song like Pimp Juice and make millions while people like De La Soul barely break even. Nobody may want to admit this but guys like Nelly, and Cash Money, or Snoop Dogg hanging out with pimps is the image that people have of our community because of the music. I never thought it was necessary to be negative to sell records. The kids in the ghetto will follow their heroes no matter what they say. If Nelly and Snoop Dogg wanted to rap about stopping black on black violence they could and would still sell the same amount. They are not going to do it because they are really just whores to the system of corporate pimps that control this so called rebel music.
There's a board meeting today at the job so that means a long lunch! If this place was paying me enough to take care of everything I need to, they would need the swat team to fire me. Do you ever get to have the atomosphere and money at the same time? There may be some oppurtunities that are about to open up and I am getting mentally prepared for those. In the meantime, I am going to make the best of everything going on right now. I am getting ready to voice my opinion about this Vibe Awards thing from yesterday but it needs it's own post.

Monday, November 15, 2004

I am going to start limiting myself to five cups of coffee a day now. Ten is just too much and I want to start sleeping like a normal person again. The weekend wasn't bad at all. I can't think of anything I have to complain about other than the Hornets being 0-6 and looking like it will be awhile before they win a game.

Colin Powell finally decided to step down. You should have done that 4 years ago Colin when you realized that you were a pawn in an organized game plan for power by your president. I still wish you would have run for president yourself but can't blame you for not doing it. You would have had to explain the time you cheated at marbles in the fifth grade like it was Watergate.

There is no father to his style. Ol Dirty Bastard past away Saturday evening in the studio. As much as I am sad by this, it really doesn't surprise me. Dirty lived on the edge. I will be playing Wu Tang material all week.

Notes from THE WIRE: Why did Stringer tell Avon he killed DeAngelo in prison. He either has got to trust him a whole lot, or is playing to kill Avon and his sister too. That took allot of balls on his part. I wouldn't have done it. This has got to be the most realistic crime show ever because nothing changes by arresting somebody or one person dying. That's how it is in the ghetto for real. When one person goes away another steps up to take his place.

If you would have told me before the season started that the Saints would get blown out by Arizona and San Diego and beat Oakland and Kansas City I would have said you were crazy. I now know absolutely nothing about the NFL anymore.

Finally for now.............I hope I didn't sound too ungrateful about my raise last Friday. Anytime someone thinks enough of you to give you more money it's a good thing. I was comparing my wage to the rest of the office and my old wage and that is always going to make it look bad

Friday, November 12, 2004

Less Money....Mo Problems

After a week of anticipation I finally got to see what papers I needed to sign at work. It was wage increase papers. A whopping .50 raise! I don't mean to be sarcastic about it. It's hard to get too excited about a raise when I was making 12,000 dollars more the same time last year. This weekend will be a big test for me and my new attitude. I have to make it to Monday without cursing this job and all it stands for. It's not their fault my old job sent my position to Orlando and every other comparable job I applied for didn't hire me. I do curse them and all that they stand for. The reality of having to work two jobs is troubling to me. I simply can't stand it. If I do get another one in the evening, i will probably be so unfulfilled that I won't last long or be totally miserable. Either way it's going to suck real bad. I guess I am living the American reality. You live in a way you can't afford with income you can't maintain and then struggle when the income goes away to make everybody think you still have it. At least I have my health and I better keep it for awhile since I can't afford health insurance right now. The great thing about New Orleans is that there are bars open at lunch time especially designed for days like this. I will be visiting one of those today.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004


So Ashcroft stepped down. This doesn't surprise me. It will be interesting to see who Bush asks to take his place. If he wants to work to bring the country together this could be a perfect situation to start with. I hope he can find someone that is more moderate and towards the middle so all Americans can feel comfortable. He probably won't but it's nice to dream.

Tuesday, November 9, 2004

Return of the Soul Brother

Last week I did not have the focus to write anything but I am not back with a vengence. I listened to James Brown on the way into work this morning and I am ready to go. I am going to try and post to my blog more since I found out that people are actually reading this stuff. The first thing I have to do is cover everything I failed to write about for th past week. Then I can move on........

  • I have to start off by saying that I will really miss my godfather Leroy Baker Sr. He was a simple man who believed in hard work and taking care of his family. Following these principles can make for a rewarding life in the end. Let's move on.
  • The coffee addiction is getting better for me. I'm down to three cups a day. That's a big turn around from 10 to 3. Caffeine is like crack!
  • I saw Barak Obama on Meet the Press Sunday and I can honestly say that I have never felt so confident in a black politican's ability to run for president someday. This man has stature, charisma, and confidence without appearing threatning to anybody. I was very proud to hear him speak. He also sounds like a practical thinker who can relate to issues from the right and the left. He might not be ready for 2008, but if the Democrats have any chance to regain some of the moderates who have been voting Republican lately Obama needs to be a huge voice in the party.
  • There is a new drug that helps black patients with heart disease. I think this is great since it seems every black person has someone in their family with heart disease or high blood pressure. The only issue now is how much is this stuff going to cost and will Medicade pay for it. If not, it's a big tease for allot of people.
  • The Hornets are 0-3. The Saints lost 43-17 Sunday. I am not going to make any comments about my teams because I'm trying to be positive and I can't think of anything good to say.
  • Queen Latifah's rendition of Simply Beautiful is simply great. She even got Al Green to help out and sing background. This sister is talented. I never thought of her as sexy before this song. Now I want to give her my phone number. She gets number one song status for a few weeks followed by Jill Scott's Whatever Whenever and Drop it Like It's Hot by Snoop. Snooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooop! That is the jam.
  • Finally, I was at the drugstore Sunday and I have to get this off of my chest. Until black people get some respect for women and the elderly again and stop all that disrespectful behavior, it doesn't matter who the damn president is. We will never progress. I don't care if Martin and Malcolm came back and ran on the same ticket. It wouldn't make a difference. We have to have respect for each other especially for the women because they have to carry our futures in their womb and the elderly because they have already paid the dues to be respected.

Wednesday, November 3, 2004

Time to move on!

Well Bush pulled it out again. The Republican strategy is simple. Everyone in your party sticks to the same message which energize your base. This also makes people in the middle get the impression that your message is right because no one in your party goes against it. This is why Democrats look like flip floppers all the time. They also picked up seats in the Senate and the House. I am not surprised by this at all. As a matter of fact, I predicted it. I didn't want to vote for Bush or Kerry. The Democrats have no clear message about anything. They are trying to be liberal and conservative at the same time. There is no backbone to stand up for their position. The Republicans take advantage of scared people in the country and make them think that Al Queda and homosexuals are going to come parading down the street in their cities if they don't vote for their candidate even if he is incompetent and has a few friends of mine fighting a war that they didn't have to right now. How else can you explain Ohio who has lost more jobs than anybody in the last four years and 57% of the voters saying the economy is bad, still voting for Bush because of his moral values. I guess gay marriage is more important than feeding your family. The best thing about this election is that it's over and I can go back to focusing on the 12,000 dollars I lost in salary the last year and the 450.00 I lost on my Saints ticket. Maybe having a republican senator can help us get some coastline restoration money so my house isn't blown into Lake Ponchatrain after the next major storm. Of course, since Vitter is just going to vote for every republican policy regardless if it's good for Louisiana or not, I probably need to up my flood insurance. Just to make sure I am not taking sides, I think Landrieu is going to do the same thing for the democrats. The bottomline is that all Americans, poor, rich, black, white and everybody else are caught in the middle of a game for control of our tax dollars by corporations, lobbyists, unions and special interest groups that really run the country. I hope I don't run into anybody that voted for Bush standing next to me at Job Service in the next few months like he won something.

Tuesday, November 2, 2004

Judging by the long line I stood in today I am guess this will be a record turnout for the election. I am really not feeling like anything will change by this election the way everyone else thinks it will. We are already in the middle of the war and there is no turning back. There are some people that think Kerry is against the war. He voted for the war not against it. The only difference between he and Bush is that he says he would have gotten more help to do the same thing that Bush did. I am not a fan of Kerry. Any other election year he would be getting blown out right about now. The best thing he has going for him is the fact that he is running against George Bush. But I had to vote because I didn't want P Diddy to kill me.