Thursday, May 26, 2005

Galang Galang

M.I.A., Live at Sonic Boom (Seattle, WA) 5-12-05

M.I.A., Galang (Live on the Jimmy Kimmel Show)

M.I.A., Bucky Done Gun (Live on the Jimmy Kimmel Show)

M.I.A., Bucky Done Gun (DJ Marlboro Funk Carioca remix)

Following up on the musical selections for the summer, I want to showcase M.I.A. to help get everyone through this shitty weather and remind you of dancing, sweating and tropical lands. We've already talked about our girl M.I.A. on this blog, but I have unfortunately not mentioned her since the release of her full-length album, Arular, a few months back. This album and the Diplo-produced mixtape, Piracy Funds Terrorism, that preceded have been in constant rotation for me. The mix of dancehall, baile funk, hip hop and bass is my soundtrack right now, and I can't imagine that this isn't getting everyone hyphy. Above are a few M.I.A. rarities that should hold you over until you have a chance to catch the live show touring now or buy the album.

The first one is a live recording of a set that Maya did at a Seattle record store a few weeks back. It's not the greatest sound quality, but it is a fun document and a good sense of what to expect at her next show. The next two mp3s are recordings from her appearance on the Jimmy Kimmel Show a few weeks ago. She plays two of her most recognizable hits, Galang and Bucky Done Gun, and it is so nice to see her playing on national TV and blowing up right before our eyes. The final one is a treat for anyone who has gotten into the whole baile funk thing over the last few years. DJ Marlboro remixes Bucky Done Gun, a perfect choice. It doesn't sound very clear, but it still gives you a feel for the anarchy and dirtiness of Rio's baile funk music. Much more to come on this.

-I went to the Rilo Kiley show tonight with TA and MC at the Trocadero, and it far exceeded my expectations. I had only heard a few songs here and there, so I wasn't very sure how I would do with an hour and a half of their music. Rilo Kiley. The music was a lot prettier than I expected, not at all the loud, punkish music show I was expecting. I would think that anyone into the country rock ish like Wilco, Ryan Adams or Lucinda Williams, those into into the thoughtful indie rock like The Postal Service, or just anyone into good music would feel right at home. Buy their albums here and see what you think.

-Also, I had a chance to check out the Dali exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of Art yesterday with MC. The show only runs for through this weekend, and those tickets are sold out. Check Craig's List for people selling their extras. I wish that I could speak of a transcendant experience, an engagement with the master of Surrealism, . Instead, I can only speak of the horror I feel at being stuck in large crowds, the anger I felt at the PMA for selling so many tickets making it impossible to look at any work in peace, and the growing realization that people are inherently rude assholes who don't care about other people or their personal space. Oh, I can also speak on the sensation of having the breasts (or bellies) of short, living -dead Russian women in one's lower back and buttocks.

-More fallout from the Moe Cheeks hiring/Jim O'Brien firing. Check out Allen Iverson's take on the hiring here and here. Go here, here, here and here for the local media reaction. The blogs are speaking too, so go here and here for thoughts. Having had a few more days to think about it, I like the move more and more. While it sucks for Jim O'Brien, I don't think that he was the right guy to develop these young players. His handling of Willie Green and John Salmons was unacceptable, as they nearly lost a year sitting on the bench. His relationship with Webber was clearly awful, and Webber might be the key for this team next season. I don't understand the criticism about too many coaching changes, as I like the fact that this team is willing to make moves despite the costs. Most of all, it's just nice to have Mo Cheeks back in Philly, leading the Sixers just as he did when I was growing up.

-A few other nice Philly-related stories that I want to highlight. First, there is this nice Philadelphia Weekly cover story about the emergence of the Rotunda, the artists' space on the University of Pennsylvania's campus that has become a center and home for the neighborhood over the last 5 years. The threat of commercial development hangs over the space now, and it is nice to see a growing interest in keeping this not only a community space, but also a destination. I really like Alan Harkarvy's thoughts on making 40th Street an arts destination, as I love the big thinking about the city going on right now.

-The Gravity Games, the Outdoor Network's version of the X Games, are coming to Philly. That's right, the 2005 Summer Games will take place in our city. This is a great opportunity to contunue the delusion that 17 year old suburbanites on skateboards are athletes. Oh, my friends, the future in our country looks real promising to these eyes, real promising.

-For the Philly real estate market, another exciting development. Tony Goldman is one of the most famous developers in this country, responsible for the turnarounds in South Beach and Chelsea years ago. He has turned his attention to the 13th Street corridor (called B3 in the article for A Block Below Broad, in an attempt to create the worst neighborhood name since a Beirut developer called "Place Of Many Bloody Deaths") in Philly over the last 7 years, and it appears that this investment is paying off. After putting money into infrastructure improvements, Goldman Properties announced that they would begin condo conversions shortly. First up, the White Building at 102 South 12th Street.

-I have been meaning to bring some political links to my readers, but have not been staying on top of the news as much as I would like to recently. Go read this op-ed by Bob Herbert and this one by Paul Krugman, as they give a great sense of the mess that we are in now as a nation because of the decisions and agenda of the radical right. It is a great reminder why one might actually pay for New York Times content. More to come on this front, as I don't want to ignore these topics just because they are so sad and depressing.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Welcome Back, Mr. Cheeks

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No music today, as I am going to lead off with the surprising news that just came across the wire. Jim O'Brien was fired as coach of the Philadelphia 76ers, after just one season with team. Maurice Cheeks has been announced as his replacement, rejoining the team that he lead as a point guard for more than a decade.

All I can say is "Wowhuh?!?!" [That is the rarely used word that combines wow and huh, common in the Middle Ages I believe, but has fallen out of favor the last few centuries.] I had hoped to say a few words about this past Sixers season this week, as it has exceeded my highest expectations. Iverson clearly played the best of his career, and the young guys showed there is more there than potential. The team seemed to come together more and more as the season unfolded, usually a sign that the new coach and system are beginning to make sense. The team look great at times during the playoffs, a foul shot away from giving the defending champ Pistons all they could handle.

However, there had been lots of rumblings since the season ended, all of which centered on player frustration at O'Brien's decision-making. Where did Chris Webber fit in? Why didn't Willie Green play more? What role does Samuel Dalembert need to fill? Where is John Salmons?

I am not going to front and pretend that I saw this coming. O'Brien got this team to the playoffs, which was no easy task. It would have seemed that he earned a second year, a chance to fix these problems and continue to perfect the system that he wanted the team to run. Billy King, the 76ers' GM, has gone out on a limb here, changing coaches again after one season. You don't see the best teams in the league constantly going through coaches, do you? These reversals and lack of patience scare me, as a whole new system and coaching style will have to be learned.

However, it is real nice to have Mo Cheeks back. He is 0ne of the most loved athlete this city has ever known, a great basketball mind, well-respected by players. Everyone wanted him for the job last year, and now our wish has come true. I feel like the pieces are there, and I am excited for next season.

-The NBA playoffs continue tonight, with the Pistons travelling to Miami to open the Eastern Conference Finals. I can only say that these have been great playoffs so far, as the level of play and intensity have not been this high in years. The four best teams remain, meaning that this should be a great end to the only sports season that matters. There is nothing greater to me than to see teams play to win, exploiting the offensive talents of their stars. I hope that the Suns, Mavs, et al are heralding a new day in basketball, away from the ugliness that Larry Brown and other defense minded thugs wrought on the league for the past decade.

-"Shaq might have held Wilt to 98 points." Read this great piece on the Shaq vs. Wilt comparisons, as it is nice to see some reminiscing about the greatest of all-time, Wilt Chamberlain. I grew up hearing stories about Wilt from my father, hearing about the night he grabbed 52 rebounds against the Celtics (and Bill Russell), how they changed the rules to slow him down (three seconds in the lane, offensive goaltending) and about all of his legendary feats from Overbrook High School to the NBA. It's nice to see

-My favorite referral to Pound for Pound to date has been the google search for "Wilt Chamberlain penis size". That's going to be hard to beat, but I trust that the perverts who scour the Internet will top themselves soon enough. For the record, I do not know Wilt's penis size, but figure that it is a lot bigger than mine (no homo).

-Since this is a basketball-intensive post, I have to link to Bill Simmons thoughts on the game. Y'all know him as the Sports Guy from ESPN's Page Two. Go here, here and here (my all-time favorite, ranking the MVP race from Ron Artest at #425 to Shaq at #1) for some of the funniest, most intelligent writing on the sport today.

-Finally, Nike released the limited edition laser-etched Jordan IVs this past week, as those lucky enough to win the raffle now have a beautiful pair of kicks to sell for an outrageous price on eBay. Go here and here to check out pics. I am still not really feelin' the laser etchings, but it is nice to see Nike doing different things and utilizing technology for design. Of course, the fact that these are limited editon, cost hundreds of dollars to get a hold of, and can only be found through the Internet negates any positives about the design. It is a shame to see the sneaker game reduced to hype, but since I fiend after most of this ish, I am well-aware of my hypocrisy.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Te Quiero Mi Mami

Usher, Yeah (DJ Whoo Kid reggaeton remix)

Cassidy, Hotel (DJ Whoo Kid reggaeton remix)

Alicia Keys, Karma (DJ Whoo Kid reggaeton remix)

50 Cent, Disco Inferno (DJ Whoo Kid reggaeton remix)

Kevin Lyttle, Turn Me On (DJ Whoo Kid reggaeton remix)

Summer is starting to return, as the weather has turned hot and people are everywhere in the city these last few days. I can think of little else that I want to listen to right now more than reggaeton, the Puerto Rican/Panamanian/Carribean music that has begun to takeover the East Coast cities that we care about here on Pound for Pound. It evokes summer in much the same way that 40 oz. Olde English and water ice does. Perfect.

The above songs come off of the DJ Whoo Kid Presents-Reggaeton mixtape, which is the format for so much of this music. Street music sold on the streets. Whoo Kid's mix seems the best introduction for us, as he puts on numerous reggaeton remixes of popular hip-hop and dancehall songs. These should sound familiar but not familiar (if that makes sense). These give you a good sense of the music, the mixture of dancehall, Soca, house and hip hop rhythms that make up this polyglot genre.

Enjoy this taste, as there is much more to come. We will get into the big names, like Tego Calderon, Daddy Yankee, Ivy Queen and Don Omar, try to put it into context as a street music, look at its growing popularity here in the States.

-If you like the songs above, go to Silk City tonight and check out a new monthly, Esta Bien, dedicated to reggaeton. This is the first one, but it sounds like G13 Sound are bringing something unique and necessary to Philly. I cannot begin to tell you how excited I am to check this one out, as MC and I have spent the last few weeks scouring Philly and the Internets for this music.

-I am planning on putting together a major post on the pay-to-play trial and the future of ethics reform in Philadelphia this weekend. In the meantime, check out this great three-part series by the Philadelphia Inquirer here, here and here (or go here for the articles and lots of additional info). It looks at the shady dealings of State Senator Vince Fumo in regards to the family owned bank he runs. It is a nice look at the ethical swamp that is Pennsylvania politics, while providing a sobering look at one of the power players in this city. Oh, and make sure to check out this article that updates the (surprise, surprise) FBI investigation of Fumo.

-In a similar vein, this seems like a good time to look at the nightmare that is judicial elections in Philadelphia. These 'elections' are really just paydays for ward leaders, who demand money from judicial candidates in return for their endorsements on the official ballots that are given out at polling places. There has been a movement for years to appoint judges, thereby taking this important selection process out of the hands of these corrupt ward leaders. Tom Ferrick does a great job exposing another embarrassing aspect of this system: its . Amazingly, there is momentum right now to chenge the system and move to a merit-based system with a selection system. Again, Pennsylvania has a choice to move into the future or get left behind in the past.

-On a more positive note from a PA State Senator, read this editorial by Vincent Hughes, who represents West Philadelphia. This push to raise the minimum wage is long overdue, since it has remained stagnant for 5 years, not even keeping up with inflation. Our neighbors and competitors have made similar moves recently, recognizing the benefits and fairness that this move engenders. It is time for Pennsylvania to decide what sort of place it wants to be, and this bill by Hughes and Sen. Christine Tartaglione seems a good indicator of what the future holds.

-Speaking of crazy, is the New York Times serious about charging to read their op-ed writers? Have they ever actually read what Bill Tierney writes? Did they actually mean to say that they would pay us, the readers, money to look at the garbage that David Brooks spits out twice a week? [Thanks to TA for this one]

-Finally, head here and find out the #1 song in the land on your birthday. What was rocking the country on the landmark day of Pound for Pound's birth, you ask? The Commodores' "Three Times A Lady". (Was there even a doubt?) Pound for Pound's life theme, a.k.a. the #1 song on one's 18th b-day? A little ditty called "Macarena" by the legendary Los Del Rio. [Thanks to MC and CP for this one]

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

We Still Tippin'

Mike Jones featuring the G-Unit-Still Tippin' (remix)

Mike Jones, Lil Keke and Big Pokey-Still Tippin' (remix)

Mike Jones, Slim Thug and Paul Wall-Still Tippin' (Diplo remix)

A follow-up to this post, as I wanted to put up some re-interpretations of "Still Tippin'", the track that still kills me and is still the standout track from Mike Jones' album, Who Is Mike Jones?. The first one is the official remix featuring the G-Unit, which is all the proof you need to have to realize that Houston done blown up. Suddenly, Houston's song are getting the same treatment that a Fat Joe or The Game song would get. Our baby's all grows up, all grows up. The track's kind of a throwaway, as the 50 and Young Buck verses add nothing.

The second one features two of the Houston's best, as Lil Keke and Big Pokey kill it. This one comes close to equalling the original version, as those Texas drawls sound so perfect over those slow Michael Watts beat and violin loop. Again, it is so nice to hear something that's not trying to hit the charts or appeal to some douchebag A&R guy at a major label. Much more to come on Keke and Pokey, who have helped put Houston on the map with the Screwed Up Click and their solo work.

Finally, the last one allows me to continue to jock Diplo (no homo), while simultaneously showing how versatile and talented he is. A great version of the song, which perfectly illustrates the wonderful surprises that mash-ups can bring. Thanks to Houston So Real, who posted this up a few months ago.

-Speaking of crazy shit, Dave Chappelle has reportedly gone off the deep end. News leaked last week that he is in a mental hospital in South Africa, although Chapelle has dismissed these claims over the weekend. I just have to say that if you are in a mental hospital in South Africa, the home of apartheid and abject poverty, shit is really real. I do hope that Dave gets better, but this whole woe is me schtick after signing a $50 million deal has gots to go. As a nice gesture on the part of his fans, I hearby suggest that no one ever do the Rick James bit ever again. Pretty please? Deal? Good.

-Another funny guy (actually the funniest), Will Ferrell, dropped a movie this weekend. Kicking and Screaming is a family flick, in which Ferrell is the coach of his son's soccer team. While this does not sound promising, the commercials prove to me that Ferrell could do anything and I would laugh my ass off.

-On the opposite end of the spectrum (the end that isn't funny and is completely unbearable), Everybody Loves Raymond comes to an end tonight after 210 episodes. I believe that historians will look back centuries from now, and look at the popularity, awards and critical acclaim that this show received as a signpost of the end of the American empire.

-Lots of good stuff going on in Philly, as it's not all shitty sports teams and corrupt leaders. The real estate market here is booming, with new constructions popping up everywhere. Best of all, the focus continues to head north into North Philly, which warms Pound for Pound's heart like very few things can. This development at Broad and Mount Vernon Sts. continues the extension of the Avenue of the Arts north, making Broad Street more and more the destination it should be.

-The area's business leaders seem to finally be getting their acts together, as this major hiring confirms. Select Greater Philadelphia, the economic development arm of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, chose Thomas Morr, one of the leaders in Washington's D.C.'s economic turnaround. It is nice to see the business community take a proactive stance, as they have relied too much on government to improve this area.

-Finally, a few personal bullet points. I would like to wish a Happy Birthday to MF, a.k.a Tiny Dancer. Also, happy birthday to ML, whose kiss Friday night has left me questioning my own sexuality. No homo?

-Congragulations to MC on her graduation yesterday. So proud, mami, as this is a wonderful accomplishment. I wish that I could have experienced more of this time with her, but look forward to being a part of her dazzling future. As my coach always said, it's doesn't matter who starts the game, but who's in at the end when things really matter. Yamean? Real big things for you, real big things, as the museums and galleries of the world best be on the lookout.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

This Pound for Pound Shit is Bananas. B-A-N-A-N-A-S!

I decided to try to come with the daily heat, as I know that you need a consistent dose of Pound for Pound. Seriously though, I am going to try to make at least one post a day from here on out, giving you some links, some tunes, some thoughts and some funnies. What more could you ask for? Don't answer that.

Gwen Stefani, Holla Back Girl (Diplo remix)

The subject should have given off visions of Gwen Stefani, one of pop music's leading ladies. Her new album dropped a few months ago, and this track has been killing it on dancefloors from here to Okinawa. I am sure you have already heard this one, but I had to up the remix done by Philly's own Diplo, a.k.a. Diplodocus, a.k.a. Wes Gully, a.k.a. one-half of Hollertronix. I just love that B-more club beat, as those drums works better for me than the thudding bass drum in the original. "Oooh, this my shit, this my shit. Oooh, this my shit, this my shit." Indeed.

-I have been on a crazy two week concert spree, having caught Dizzee Rascal, the Shins, Prefuse 73, Junior Boys and Caribou with my jawn MC and Gogol Bordellosolo. It's been hit or miss, even though all of this music has been getting airtime on Pound for Pound's iPod. The Shins show suffered because of the venue, as the Electric Factory really is the worst place to see a show. It's like seeing a band in an airplane hangar, surrounded by surburban teenagers and yuppies planning their move back there. I believe that this was the fourth circle in Dante's Inferno, but I could be wrong. Prefuse did not do it for me, as live hip-hop never does. There is something so pointless to me seeing a talented producer doing his impression of the Roots. MC loved it, and I was clearly in the minority, as the show was packed and no one left early. Junior Boys and Caribou suffered from a bad venue as well, as the Upstairs at the Troc is horrendous. The sound is horrible, the bouncers are obnoxious, and the room was made for 1/3 the people there. I hope that R5 Productions avoids this spot in the future, as I know that I will. Junior Boys deserved better, as their electronic pop soundscapes deserve a quiet, relaxed, hi-fi setting. Gogol Bordello absolutely wrecked shit, and will be the focus of a future post.

-Lots of great shows/events coming up, which should make this a great summer/fall. One show that I will not be attending is the all-too-regular digging up of the Rolling Stones, in their noble quest to make everyone forget they were once a great band. Well done, boys, mission accomplished.

-In Philadelphia, the remaining charges in the pay-to-pay trial were dropped, as the jury deadlocked. It's a disappointing ending, as I would have liked to have seen everyone convicted. But, there are rumblings that ethics reform will come up again in City Council. The shame of this disgraceful situation might actually bring about the changes that have been needed for years. More to come, as I want to keep the focus on this important trial with its own post.

-The Philadelphia Eagles gave their response to T.O.'s demands for a new contract. The answer is no, and I applaud them for holding the line on this ridiculous move by Owens and his agent. Rich Hoffmann has an idea to offset the potentially missing Terrell Owens. Trade for Buffalo Bills running back Travis Henry and ressurect the three-headed running monster. Oh, and Freddie Mitchell was released, and no one noticed. If a mediocre receiver is released, does it make a sound?

-Why mention the Eagles? Because the Philadelphia Phillies are awful, and this is shaping up to be a long summer.

-Whenever I am speaking about disappointments, I cannot help but consider my parents. (P.S. Mom and Dad, I am not a disappointment. I am going through a quarter-life crisis. Is this bullshit? I'll just say that Oprah doesn't believe it is. 'Nuf said.) This story helps explain why my parents not only didn't supervise in a store, but would oftentimes leave and go to another store without telling me. FYI, we prefer homely, not ugly. Just FYI.

-Finally, a great quote that was sent to me by reader SR: "I like living. I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing." - Agatha Christie

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Who Is Mike Jones? The Review

Cheah, it's here. I know that I have been talking about this "Who Is Mike Jones?" review for awhile, and I apologize for the delay. But, I figured that since it took two years for the album to finally get released, despite numerous mentions of its 'imminent' release on mixtape after mixtape, it would be bad form to promptly deliver on my promises. I hope that you appreciate this blog-imitating-art-imitating-rap-imitating-life or something like that.

I had planned on giving a background/history of the Houston rap scene, looking at the Geto Boys, UGK, DJ Screw and all that has come before. I'll save that for future posts, as I don't want to try to cram all of these amazing sounds and artists into one measly post. For once in my miserable, neurotic life, I am going to play it cool.

Anyway, onto the review. Who is Mike Jones, you may actually be asking? Well, he is a young Houston rapper, a rising star to some, a fraud to many others, possessor of a Southern drawl, an unfortunate repeater of the same lyrics and catchphrases in song after song, an average lyricist on his best day, kinda fat (we prefer portly or stout). In essence, a strange choice as one of the first picks to capitalize on the newfound attention on Houston's rap scene.

Mike Jones' "Who Is Mike Jones?" is the first major label release for him, after a few years of underground albums and numerous mixtape appearances. It's actually the first release as a major label for Swishahouse, the label run by DJ Michael "5000" Wattts, which has a label that has served as a great launching pad for Houston rappers, such as Slim Thug, Chamillionaire and Paul Wall. The label is now distributed by Warner Bros, meaning . That's right, the Major With a Major Deal.

It is this news that has left me anticipating the release of this album so much. Just seeing posters for the album at record stores on 11th Street in Philly, alongside Beanie Siegel and Purple City, left me hyped. This scene that has been plugging away for years in regional obscurity is hitting the big time, and it is wonderful to see it happen. It is nice to see these artists get their props and bank, as it is the major labels that make people rich and famous. On the other hand, there is the fear that this is the end of the scene that I had come to love. These majors want profit, and oftentimes that comes at the expense of creativity and originality.

Who Is Mike Jones? reinforces both of these thoughts, providing a unique example of an album and a scene at the crossroads. All in all, this album is alot better than I expected; it ain't no classic, but it proves that there's more than hype to Mike Jones. There are 6 great tracks on here, tracks that I keep coming back to. "Still Tippin" is THE classic, a song that has been getting air time on East Coast radio and MTV Jams. It has been out for more than a year, however, so there isn't much new to say about it. Got It Sewed Up (Remix), Screw Dat, What You Know About, Cuttin' and Know What I'm Sayin' hit hard, as well, as they capture the style of Houston best. They feature the slow beats, the drawls, the Houston dialect. They remind me of the shit that got me into this music in the first place. They reflect the reason why people have supported this scene for years without the attention of the rest of the country, major labels and nerdy bloggers like me.

However, the rest of the album ignores this lesson, and it sounds like any of the other hip hop albums that drop every year from the likes of Fat Joe or [Insert average rapper here]. There are too many slow numbers, as only "5 Years" warrants repeat listening from this style. This preponderance of slow numbers kills the flow of the album, and it comes across as such a fucking forced format. It reminds me of Lil' Flip, one of the first to break out of H-Town, whose major label releases have been uneven and disappointing. All of the things that make Flip interesting gets taken out or watered down in the miosguided belief that all hip hop has to sound like everything else. Regional sounds, language and obsessions scare everyone because they don't sound like everything being put out on the East/West Coasts. It's like all hip-hop albums have to have the exact same format, out of fear of not appealing to every possible consumer demographic.

Beyond this, Jones still relies too much on gimmick shit, like giving out his cell phone number digits (which has been disconnected for awhile) and shouting his name constantly. It's kinda cool the first few times you hear it, but each subsequent one makes you think that this guy needs these lines to make through a song. He is hurting his own cause, as his voice and flow more than make up for his lyrical shortcomings in my book.

Cocaine Blunts and Hip Hop Tapes already put his thoughts up on this album, and I agree with most of what he says. I actually like "Got It Sewed Up (Remix)", as I think that the DJ Paul/Juicy J (the men behind Memphis legends Three 6 Mafia) production sounds good to these ears and was a nice surprise. I don't think that it comes close to the original from The Day Hell Broke Loose Part 2 either, but I liked the fact that they did something different. The Memphis sound is a little more driving, and I like hearing the slower Houston flow deal with that.

Okay, on to the important stuff: the mp3s. Here are three of the hottest tracks, the best of the new stuff from this album (I assume most people already have "Still Tippin'"). I have included the choppped and screwed versions to give everyone a sense of what this term means, as there will be much more to come on this slowed-down style. Like Cocaine Blunts says, this is one of Michael Watts' best jobs on a screwed CD in some time, so this is a good chance to act like you know about screwed music. It is a great album, screwed and chopped, as all the songs sound better and make better sense.

R.I.P. Robert Davis

Screw Dat (regular speed)

Screw Dat (chopped and screwed)

What Ya Know About (feat. Paul Wall and Killa Kyleon)

What Ya Know About (chopped and screwed)

Know What I'm Sayin' (feat. Bun B and Lil Keke)

Know What I'm Sayin' (chopped and screwed)

If you download these songs, please leave some thoughts and feedback. Curious to hear what people are thinking about this album.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Convictions in the Philly Corruption Case!!!

I am so happy that I just had to get this news out to my dear readers. I am sure that I will return to this, and drop lots of links, but for now, the basics will have to suffice. The jury in the federal pay-to-play trial found former city Treasurer Corey Kemp and two Commerce bank executives, Glenn Holck and Stephen Umbrell, guilty. Kemp is guilty of 27 counts, becoming the highest ranking official convicted so far in the city corruption investigation. There is more to come, as the jury will continue to meet to decide on the remaining charges, in particular those dealing with Ron White's mistress, Janice Knight.

This is a definitive moment in the city's history, and I hope that we will look back in future years as a turning point for a better, fairer and more modern Philly.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Yom HaShoah

"Forgetting the extermination is part of the extermination itself." - Jean Baudrillard

I decided to forgo posting yesterday, in response to Yom Hashoah, the day of remembrance for the 6 million Jews murdered during the Holocaust. I know that this is not a polical blog; I have worried for the past day that this post would come off as too out-of-the-blue or off-putting. I decided to go with it because Pound for Pound is an expression of its author and his passion. I would have felt pathetic writing about Mike Jones or Gwen Stefani or new construction in Philadelphia on such a solemn occasion. I hope that those reading can understand my decision, and that it will make more sense as this blog takes shape.

In essence, yesterday was a day for silence. A day to escape from the rush of the daily world. A day to reflect in a world that no longer values reflection. In a world that does not value memory and remembrance. A day to remember all those who were murdered in the heart of the West, while the world did nothing. A day to remember not just the dead, but those who survived, forced to tell a story too horrible for words. Remember all those suffering around the world at the hands of tyranny and oppression, and realize how little has changed. Remember our past in order to change the present and future.

Please take a look at this look at this essay by Gustav Neibeur and this one by Mike Franklin, who highlight the need for memory to be active and engaged. Take a look at the words, the names and the faces. Get involved with an organization like Facing History, that engages history in attempt to spur action in the present. Make "Never Again" mean never again.

"No one can become what he cannot find in his memories." - Jean Amery

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Back Like Cooked Crack a.k.a. The P.M.C.E.

That's right, Pound for Pound has returned. Back like cooked crack, motherfuckers! [Disclaimer: The Pound for Pound editorial board is not making light of the destruction caused by the crack cocaine drug in the 1980s. In fact, we were there to see its devastating impact on the city we love, and will never forget the darkness it brings. However, we are unable to not quote Juelz Santana. Seriously, it's a disease. Cop these mixtapes and you too can catch it.]

I am sorry for the hiatus, as this blog is way too insubstantial and too much a work in progress to leave it unchanged for so long. But, quite simply, your bol got knocked off his feet by a beautiful, intelligent, hot jawn and is just now getting to his feet. It's that simple, really, something unanticipated and wonderful that made virtual reality uninspiring. I guess you can call this the Post-M.C. Era (P.M.C.E.), and I truly believe that it will mark the beginning of so many great things. For really rill.

Before I get too emo and shit, let me simply say that posts will come fast and furious from here on out. I have never felt so focused before, and I hope that this focus will give everyone reason to return to check things out here. I will have the Mike Jones review up soon, lots of Dirty South hip hop talk, reviews of the Dizzee Rascal, Shins and Prefuse 73 shows I caught recently, some dancehall, some reggaeton, lots of links, a new format, pics from the camera I am about to buy, and much more, ya hear.

That's right, kids, this boy got that CRACK!