Tickets went on sale today for Jay-Z and Kanye West’s “Watch the Throne” concert in D.C. on November 3. Once upon a time, I considered going to the concert, although I knew ticket prices would be a little high. It is, after all, Jay and ‘Ye. They have a good enough reputation to charge a little extra. But then I found out this morning that the cheapest tickets were $72. Floor seats were $276.
Give me a [BLEEP]ing break.
Let’s put this in perspective. One of those floor tickets amounts to:
- 33.58% of my monthly rent
- Four full tanks of gas in my car
- $21 more than what I’d have to pay to go skydiving again
- $47 more than a brand-new iPod Touch
- Round-trip airfare and hotel accommodations for three nights for my upcoming Miami getaway
I could go on and on, but you get the idea. Anyone who pays $276 to see these two guys (however talented they may be) perform is insane. But my gripe with the ticket prices goes a lot deeper.
If you know anything about literature, you’ve more than likely heard of Homer, and his famous epic poem entitled the Odyssey. If you’re not familiar with the work, though, it centers around the Greek hero Odysseus, and his very long journey back home to Ithaca after the fall of Troy. The journey takes Odysseus ten years, seven of which he spent trapped on the island Ogygia with the nymph Calypso. She held Odysseus hostage on her island hoping that she could make him her immortal husband. Keep that in mind.
If you know anything about me, you’ve more than likely heard of Alex Pope, my roommate in college. Hailing from Hampton, VA, Pope is an aspiring attorney who will be attending Howard University School of Law in the fall. On the side, though, he likes to spit a little bit on the mic, and he actually isn’t half bad at it. But if you haven’t heard him before (and even if you have heard him before), this is your lucky day. Today marks the release of his new mixtape, The Calypso, which is a collection of 12 tracks that are “representative of the way that a woman can … hold a man’s attention hostage,” just like Calypso did with Odysseus.
All bias aside, The Calypso is a great work, and I’m sure that you’ll enjoy listening to it. So, without further ado, listen to (and download) the mixtape after the jump…
Reverend Father Uncle Ruckus (no relation) is a recurring character on The Boondocks, a very popular animated TV series that criticizes and satirizes American culture and race relations. It’s absolutely hilarious, yet extremely thought-provoking at the same time. Anyway, Uncle Ruckus is a black man who hates black people and everything about black people. He claims to be white, although he is dark-skinned; his reasoning for this contradiction is that he is suffering from “re-vitiligo,” which makes him darker the older he gets.
With all that said, it definitely wasn’t surprising when he tweeted the following during the 2010 BET Awards on Sunday night:
NOW THEY ABOUT TO GO TO CHURCH AT THE #BETAWARDS ….AND THEY WAS JUST FLYIN THEY DRAWS!
Let me elaborate (after it sets in that cartoon characters have Twitters, too). Around 10:15 PM EST, Tyrese performed a tribute to the late R&B singer Teddy Pendergrass. As was customary at many Teddy P. performances, some women threw their panties (or “draws”) onto the stage, to express their affection for Teddy, or in this case, Tyrese. The disturbing part about this, though, is that immediately after the Teddy P. tribute, Fred Hammond and Kirk Franklin took the stage for a gospel performance.
Immediately after. Isn’t that… wrong?
— Lupe Fiasco
I love Lupe. He’s one of the few actual poets left in hip-hop music, and also one of the reasons why I still have faith in the future of the genre.
Now, I don’t really like to do write-ups of celebrities. After all, the reason they’re called celebrities is because they’re famous, and if they’re famous, then you probably know enough about them already without me putting my two cents in.
But there are some people that influence and move me so much that I can’t help but give them praise. And after listening to Lupe’s music for hours upon hours last night (and the last four years, really), I’ve decided that Lupe will be the person that’s going to get some praise from me today.
Friday, May 14, 2010. A day that will live in infamy.
That’s the day when Tolu Olorunda explained to theFreshXpress readership why rich kids don’t belong in hip-hop. (To read his full explanation, click here.)
Tolu said that, if I was reading the article, there was “a good chance” that we shared core values. He then added that if that was not the case, I should hear him out regardless, and that I should prepare my “profanity-laced and dimwitted e-mails thereafter.” Well, I’ve heard him out, and I’m going to respond to him, but it will be in the form of this blog post instead of an e-mail, and it will be neither profanity-laced nor dimwitted. My mama raised me better than that.
With that said, here’s why I don’t agree with the guy.
(Yeah, yeah… I know it’s supposed to be “Music Monday,” but I got sidetracked and forgot to write about this yesterday. My bad.)
A couple of days ago, I saw the video for the song “Window Seat,” off of Erykah Badu’s new album, New Amerykah Part Two (Return of the Ankh), which comes out in stores today. After having listened to the album in its entirety, I have to give it my complete approval. It will be playing in my iTunes for days, weeks, months… and probably years. I recommend it to anyone and everyone who’s willing to listen.
Honestly, though, over the last few years, I haven’t given Ms. Badu the attention that she deserves. I’ve listened to a few of her tracks here and there, but I haven’t really listened to her stuff intently. That will all change very soon after having listened to this album.
Anyway, “Window Seat” is a great song, but I’m much more intrigued by the video for the song than by the song itself. If you’re curious as to why, continue reading…
An oldie, but a goodie… if I do say so myself.
A couple of years ago, I performed a rap that I wrote, entitled, “What Does It Mean to Be Black?” In a nutshell, it’s about a smart black kid who doesn’t associate well with the other black kids at school, due to the fact that he works hard in his classes, doesn’t listen to a lot of rap music, doesn’t wear the latest urban fashions, etc. When he gets teased for this, he gets into a fight and gets arrested.
When the kid goes to court, however, the judge sees the kid as just another black kid getting into trouble with the law, which confuses the kid to no end. At school, he’s being teased for not being black enough, but in the courtroom, the judge sees him as fitting a “black” stereotype of being a troublemaker. In the end, all of this leads the kid to ask the question, “what does it mean to be black?”
Good question. And here’s my answer…
Rappers Mos Def and Talib Kweli, formerly known as the hip-hop duo Black Star, just released a new music video for the track entitled “History,” which is the newest single off of Mos Def’s latest studio album, The Ecstatic.
The video, directed by Coodie & Chike, is very simplistic with its B&W production. At the same time, however, it’s the perfect complement to the profound lyricism of the track.
I’m not going to write a lot about this, but I will put up some of the lyrics from Talib’s verse in the song. He raps:
…me and my people got history,
These rappers dumb it down considerably,
We “Get It Poppin’” like a hit chorus,
The flow is historic, they can’t get rid of us,
Ubiquitous, and we lay the law like Leviticus,
Ten years ago, we made history, so they missing us…
Check out the video here at Hypebeast.
I know I’m mad late with this. And for that, I apologize. A friend of mine actually put me on to this album a few months ago, but I’m just now realizing this album’s greatness.
Viva la Hova is a mashup album putting Jay-Z’s lyrics over Coldplay’s music. Honestly, there’s no way that I couldn’t like this album. First of all, I love mashups. Second, I love Jay-Z’s music. Third, I love Coldplay’s music. So this was a win-win-win for me, which I realized when I first downloaded the album.
But then the album got caught up in the continuous flow of music that was being imported into my iTunes, and after listening to a few tracks, I forgot about the album for a while… until last night.
I love Lil’ Wayne. Not only does he have a remarkable creativity with wordplay, but his persona is absolutely fascinating to me.
Earlier, though, I was listening to a track from his Dedication 3 mixtape, entitled “You Love Me, I Hate You.” (I know, I’ve been listening to a lot of music lately. Actually, I listen to music all the time, but for some reason, I just feel like talking about it a lot more now.) The track is actually only 1:42 long, and it contains no music. It’s only Wayne talking to the listener. What he says, though, is so real that it gives me a whole new level of respect for him. So, without further ado, here are Wayne’s words…