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Saturday, August 19, 2006 

CJ Opens Up His iPod

From an AOL instant messenger conversation:



"I'm sitting here listening to Vanity 6's "Nasty Girl" and I swear there's no way to hear this song and not think about some freaky slut/whore/bitch you knew in the past or currently know.

... just having it on makes me feel like my ears are getting an STD."


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Before the Teagan piece, I had a bit of writer's block and decided to loosen myself up with a little writing exercise. In an idea blatantly stolen from one of my favorite websites, AVClub.com and their regular feature, Random Rules, I set my iPod to shuffle a few days ago and wrote some comments about whatever happened to pop up. I've done this three times so far. Here are ten of the more interesting things that played:

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1. Make Me a Song (feat. Timbaland) - Kiley Dean - I wish I could tell you what happened to poor wig-tastic Kylie Dean. Timbaland provided this little white girl with a banger right here but maybe it was much too soon after Aaliyah's passing and the Britney Spears backlash for her to be singing, "Can you give me a song like Rock the Boat, Rock The Boat, Rock the Boat...Can you give me a song that you and Missy wrote, Missy wrote, Missy wrote...something like Get Ur Freak On..." It's really too bad because the girl could sing. I saw the video exactly ONCE and that was in a CHAMPS shoe store. Stick around for the end of the video to hear/see a minute or so of Kylie's "Cross the Line" tacked on at the end, which borrows from Jay-Z's Timbaland-produced "It's Hot (Some Like It Hot)" from Vol. 3: Life and Times of S. Carter.






2. That's How It Is - Casual - Casual is a member of the Oakland, Ca crew the Heiroglyphics (Souls of Mischief, Del tha Funkee Homosapien, others) which automatically makes him wack. He's probably in the studio working on something real HYPHY right now. PSYCHE! I used to LOVE these niggas and couldn't believe they was even FROM the West Coast. When this came out, this is what we referred to on the East as a "jeep beat": heavy rolling bass that just sounded real good in your ride. And even though Cas is from the West, he knows what he's got on his hands; check out the convoy of jeeps in the video. I'm a sucker for scratching and sampling classic tracks and that's why I love this song; the hook is a vocal sample of Milk D from the group Audio Two ("Put It 2 Music") gettin' cut back and forth.






3. Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down) - Nancy Sinatra - Any song that automatically transports you back to a movie as cool as KILL BILL will always be in my good book. Friends still freak out when I play this intentionally and sing along word-for-word. G-Unit's Young Buck sampled this for a song ("Bang Bang") on his debut, Straight Outta Ca$hville.






4. Am I The Same Girl - Swing Out Sister - I don't know anything about Swing Out Sister. I think they're English/British. All I know is that this lady, Corinne Drewery, is singing a Dusty Springfield (and later Barbara Acklin) cover over Young-Holt Unlimited's instrumental track "Soulful Strut" (sampled by Pete Rock and C.L. Smooth for their "One in a Million") and that I really like this song. It's such a feel-good tune that I once told my ex-wife (while we were still married, no less) that I'd play it at her funeral if she died before me and celebrate her passing rather than mourning. *shrugs* I guess you guys can see why things didn't exactly work out. Heh.






5. Basketball - Kurtis Blow - A musical time capsule of the league at the time. I can't believe Lil Bow Wow had the audacity to remake this for his Like Mike movie (though, Fabolous did straight RIP his verse). If you don't know the first two bars of "Basketball", don't ever say you like hip-hop. Hell, don't even bother saying you dig the actual sport of basketball. Blow's delivery on the next-to-last verse is something special. You can actually hear the love and excitement in his voice when he says, "...when Willis Reed stood so tall/playing D with desire...It's BASKETBALL!" Check out cameos by Whodini and The Fat Boys near the end of the video.






6. The Touch - Stan Bush - This one immediately brings to mind two movies, Boogie Nights and Transformers: The Movie. In Boogie Nights, Mark Wahlberg's Dirk Diggler hilariously re-records this song when he tries his hand at another career after porn. In Transformers, it begins right as Optimus Prime transforms to make his last stand against Megatron ("Megatron must be stopped. No matter the cost!"). Either way, it just makes me laugh whenever it comes on.






7. 2 Become 1 - Spice Girls - For all the shit they caught from fair-weather fans and the music media, the Spice Girls were actually capable of putting together a decent song or two when they wanted to. This is one of them. The chorus is money. I would put this on a mix CD of slow songs/ballads and not feel the least bit bad about it. A friend in the UK (Good lookin', Declan!) recently hipped me to the fact that there are two versions of this song.






8. Mickey - Toni Basil - No, this is not here because of fuckin' Bring It On (not that Gabrielle Union and Eliza Dushku don't look good as FUCK during those end credits). I was actually into this song when it was released. Hard to believe that Basil herself was damn-near 40-years-old when this finally hit big in America. There's something undeniable about the energy of the song and the way the music steadily escalates as you approach the hook. It's definitely on some throwback '60s sock-hop-type shit. I think Gwen Stefani's "Hollaback Girl" vibe and video owes a lot to this joint.






9. Genius of Love - Tom Tom Club - Chances are if you're not my age, the only thing you'll know this song for is that Mariah Carey sampled it for "Fantasy." But if you're super-old school like myself, I think you'll recognize that Grandmaster Flash used it for "It's Nasty", too. An irresistable groove that has managed to get the party started for going on over nearly three decades now with no signs of stopping.






10. Rolling Down My Face - Amerie - I thought Amerie's second effort, Touch was going to propel her and producer Rich Harrison's careers into the stratosphere. Especially when you think about how big "One Thing" was for her. But that's me; always rootin' for the hometown peeps. This was one track that I really took to on this album. The first recognizable thing you'll hear are the horns from Ed O.G. & Da Bulldogs' "Be a Father To Your Child" (which sampled Roy Ayers' "Searchin'") right before Rich hits you over the head with some serious bass for an "R&B" song. This shit is just funky and Amerie's sweet and unique voice drives it over the top.

Love this writing exercise--I will have to do it--a lot of the ones that I am supposed to do are crappy. So I don't do them and I am still stuck!

kinda roach? I dig the blog - keep 'em coming and I'll keep reading 'em - no five email dollars necessary.

-Sparks

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