Tuesday, June 28, 2005

The Boston Strangler is Back (Possibly)

There are good days and bad days. But rarely are there epic, historic, unforgettable days. Recently, it was announced that Andrew Toney, the brilliant Philadelphia 76er shooting guard during the 1980s, would return to this city as an assistant coach to Maurice Cheeks. That is an epic day, my friends. The Boston Strangler is coming home. The player that Charles Barkley has said "was the best player on the team when I got here. We had Bobby Jones, Moses Malone, and Julius Erving but the only one I was in awe of was Andrew." The man Larry Bird said this about: "Do I remember Andrew Toney? The Boston Strangler? Yeah, I remember him. I wish we would've had him. He was a killer. We called him the Boston Strangler because every time he got a hold of the ball we knew he was going to score. He was the absolute best I've ever seen at shooting the ball at crucial times. We had nobody who could come close to stopping him. Nobody." The man who made Pat Riley proclaim, "He is the greatest clutch player I've ever seen. To hell with Jerry West!" The player who terrorized the league with his deadly shot and cool demeanor. The man who provided my Friendster pic for a year or so has returned to the game that he dominated for so many years.

Need proof that Andrew Toney is the most gangsta player the league has ever known? Reports have come out that Toney has yet to accept Mo Cheek's offer to be an assistant. He has been spotted at a few practices, but he has yet to talk to the media or give the 76ers any sense of what he was thinking. The temperment of an artist, my friends. I would put his jump shot up against any silly picture that Manet or Picasso ever drew. He did it his way.

Go here and here to read two wonderful pieces on Andrew Toney, as they both try to remind people how great he was. A forgotten legend, perhaps getting his second chance at greatness.

-In more definite news, the NBA Draft is tonight. This is the greatest night of the year, in my humble opinion, when the future of the NBA is paraded in front of the world. It is also the night when a team can turn around its future (cf Chicago Bulls in 1985) or continue its misery for another decade (cf Philadelphia 76ers in 1993). Finally, it is the night to contemplate who dresses Craig Sager and what does he have on the President of TNT that allows him to maintain his job in spite of a lack of skills, knowledge or personality. Go here for all of the info you need, as Fox Sports has put together a great NBA Draft Central for all of your draft needs.

-Not much excitement tonight for Sixers fans, as the team drafts at #45. Here is a look at who might be available in that spot.

-The 10 greatest Draft Day steals, and the 10 greatest busts (Shawn Bradley is #9, FYI.)

-The best all-time picks at each draft position.

-Bill Simmons, a.k.a. The Sports Guy, is the Bard of Draft Day, a man who creates poetry out of this wonderful night every year. I know everyone probably already reads him, but for anyone who doesn't, this is the time to do so. Go here for his Top 60 Draft Moments. Brilliant, hilarious stuff.

-Dime Magazine looks at the main stories running through this draft.

-Finally, quote of the week from Andrew Bogut, likely #1 pick in tonight's draft: "I'm not a big white stiff. I know I'm white, but I'm not a stiff."

Thursday, June 23, 2005

2 Live Crew Ain't Nuthin' To Fuck Wit

2 Live Crew, C'Mon Babe (Doo Doo Brown version)

2 Live Crew, Hoochie Mama

2 Live Crew, Get It Girl extended mix

Ok, this is the final post on Miami Bass, as we will be moving on to baile funk next. Or ghettotech. Or dancehall. Not sure, as I'm trying to be open and improvisatory this week. You know how we do. Actually, we normally are not cool, worry constantly and try to find insults in innocent emails sent between two people. So, whatever.

I can think of no better way to end this look at Miami Bass than with its most famous practitioners, 2 Live Crew. I am sure that everyone reading this has heard of the group, and would venture a guess that everyone has heard at least one of their songs. More than likely in seventh grade, a friend telling you about these rappers who talk about fucking and blowjobs and pussy. Unfortunately, I feel like Luke Campbell's group will never be remembered as more than a sideshow, a late 80s version of ODB or Body Count. Fodder for right wingers looking to scare suburban parents and VH-1 shows looking for a laugh.

Oh, but 2 Live Crew was so much more. I hope that the tracks above will spur people to pick up their masterpiece, As Nasty As They Wanna Be, or the Greatest Hits package that brings their entire reign together nicely. To my beginner ears, they added the most to the Bass tradition, putting out bona fide hits nationwide, not just for Miami and deep South heads.

Their most lasting impact is seen everyday on BET and MTV Jams, on the hits that play on Power 99 and Hot 97. It was the battles fought by Luke and crew that paved the way for the sexually explicit, anything-goes atmosphere today. It is hard to remember, with videos like 50 Cent's "Candy Shop" all over the airwaves, but these guys were taken to court on obscenity charges. It was Luke Campbell's refusal to back down on his 1st Amendment right that opened the door for today's hip hop and pop culture to talk sex without fear of repercussion. I am curious to see who will step up in the present climate to fight the Radical Right and its culture war.

Just as important, Luke Campbell fought hard for the notion of sampling after being sued for his use of Roy Orbison's "Pretty Woman", challenging the strict copyright laws of this country. This strict interpretation of copyright law would have been a deathknell for hip hop, which has its roots in "theft" and appropriation. In Campbell v Acuff-Rose Music, Inc., the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Campbell, supporting his right to parody. This case set a new precedent in copyright law, from which artists of all ilks benefit to this day.

-Here is a nice academic article by Mathieu Deflem on censorship and music in the 1980s, with a section devoted to the various arrests and prosecutions of 2 Live Crew. An interesting piece, which sadly does not strike me as history.

-Speaking of wars on hip hop, I wanted to mention the raid on Kim's in the East Village over its carrying hip hop mix CDs.

-Game 7 tonight between the San Antonio Spurs and Detroit Pistons in San Antonio. I can't really say that I care, as this series has just not done it for me. 2 horrible offenses, not enough exciting or likeable players, just a real bad ending to an exciting season. I wanna root for my bol Rasheed Wallace, but I really can't stand Larry Brown, any of the other players, their obnoxious fans (cf the brawl vs. the Pacers) or the way that they play such ugly basketball. Whatever, as Imma be at the 700 Club tonight drinking and dancing.

-Looking for another train wreck to watch on television tonight? Head to the UPN (as if you weren't already there) and catch the season finale of Chaotic, Britney and Kevin's show. Can you handle our truth, they ask? If by "handle," they mean become nauseous, bored out of my mind and sad for the future of our country, then the answer is a resounding "YES!" Since it is the season finale, I understand that there is a surprise in store for viewers. In a nod to Dallas, we will all wake up at the end of the episode and realize that we have been dreaming the past 5 years of Bush, Britney and Bill O'Reilly. Please?

-All of the mp3s from the last few weeks will be re-upped by tomorrow morning. Get them now, or forever hold your peace.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Smooth Criminal

Michael Jackson, Billie Jean (chopped and screwed by DJ Lt. Dan)

Michael Jackson, Smooth Criminal (c+s by DJ Lt. Dan)

Michael Jackson, Man in the Mirror (c+s by DJ Lt. Dan)

I really didn't want to talk about this travesty, but I couldn't help myself. As everyone and their mothers know, Michael Jackson was acquitted of all charges in his child molestation trial. It seemed like the right decision to me, as the case seemed to be weak from Go. I can't say that I don't get weirded out by him, as Love Boat inspired attire and destructive plastic surgery are wont to do, but that isn't a crime. Not yet, at least. I'm stunned at the level of attention and hatred the man inspires, particularly two decades after his masterpiece, Thriller.

Anyway, I want to dedicate this post to MF, the only person I am willing to call my equal as a paranoiac. MJ, MF and I are in talks to star in a one-hour "reality" show, which will always end with me lying on the floor, in the fetal position, singing the Smiths' "The Boy With a Thorn In His Side" as the credits roll. For most of the hour, MF and I will deconstruct email and text messages we have received, looking for perceived slights, insults or meanings, while Michael holds up the cover for Thriller in an attempt to remind people of the days that we weren't sickened by him. I really feel like we have a hit on our hands, so keep your eyes on the Fall UPN schedule.

The three mp3s above are chopped and screwed versions of MJ classics off of the fun DJ Lt. Dan mixtape, King of What's Poppin'. I figure that hearing these classic songs slowed and chopped up gives a great intro, and may help you get a hold of this Houston musical form.

-Nancy Grace is great. No, no, she is really a great person and journalist. For me to poop on!!! I had to link to the recent Triumph the Insult Comic Dog segment on the Conan O'Brien Show. Triumph went to Cali, and visited the site of the Michael Jackson trial. He then produced one of the funniest segments ever, getting laughs at the expense of the idiots there supporting Michael and the even bigger ones reporting on it. Once you finish laughing, you will be scared for the future of our country. Go here to see the video. [Via Frog's House of Infinite Wisdom]

-Speaking of being scared of the future, read this great piece from the Columbia Journalism Review, which looks at the state of television "journalism" with a particular focus on Nancy Grace, former prosecutor, Headlines News show host, and enemy of America.

-Here is a similar piece (registration required), as Tim Rutten of the LA Times puts Nancy Grace on blast. He could not have picked a better target, as she is a hideous monster.

Okay, much more to come this week, as I will return to everyone's favorite, Booty Month (formerly known as Booty Week), and drop some 2 Live Crew, ghettotech, baile funk, Spankrock and more. We can't forget about our first love, Philly, either, as there will be news on BIO 2005, Mayor Street, skateboarding and more. I have uploaded all of the mp3s from the last few weeks, so if you missed something, now is the time to get it.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Some Thank Yous and a Welcome

Your bol done blown up! Pound for Pound has gotten some attention recently from the blogosphere (I'm so gangsta, I don't even care if that is a word), as traffic is way up over the past week or two. I wanted to thank a few blogs that are responsible for directing their readers here, as it means a lot to me to get props from those I respect. These are places that should be required reading for everyone, so head over and see what they are up to.

First, the good folks at So Many Shrimp have put in a good word for yours truly. I want to thank emynd, specifically, as it is an honor to know that he has found some good reading here. Go check out his blog, Schizophrenic Tenant Number 1, which is on the blogroll to the right. Both sites are wonderful examples of brilliant, passionate and engaged writing about hip-hop. By the way, dudes must get crazy traffic, as I cannot believe how many people have been referred here through their site. Make me want to step my blog game up. (Yes, I am nerd, Get over it.)

Another nice hip-hop blog, Those Two Words, has put us on the link list. Italy, stand up! That's right, kids, Italy is on the grind.While it is still in the beginning stages, I have a feeling that this is going to be a real necessary stop. Go here and get in on the ground floor.

Our post on M.I.A. from a few weeks ago got a mention over at For the "records', an amazing music blog covering everything written about music daily in the entire world. Not really, but it sure seems that way. Seriously, Michael has created an amazing resource for music fans, especially those into the genre known as indie. Go here to see what I'm talking about.

On the Philly front, your bol got a mention over at Blinq, the new blog Daniel Rubin is writing at Philly.com. He referenced our post on the music of the summer, reggaeton, and even dropped some quotes from my post about water ices and 40s. Rubin has created a nice site, putting the focus on Philly and all of the blog talent coming out of our here.

Finally, a shout-out to all those coming here from around the globe. I cannot tell you the thrill of reading about this site in French and Norwegian, as it makes me think that my plan to connect the cities of the world together for the revolution is coming together. The revolution won't be televised, but it will be blogged about on Pound for Pound. I hope that our international guests will leave some comments, and let us know what's going on in their cities. It would seem a nice micro-version of my goal for Philadelphia, opening itself up to the world.

I wanted to welcome the new readers who have been stopping by Pound for Pound, and as a sign of my appreciation, I am re-uploading all the songs from the past two weeks. So, if you missed these booty tracks, you are in luck. Enjoy, and check back often this week as there shall be lots of knowledge dropped.

Back on the grind, kids, back on the grind. Fully focused.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Before There Was Crunk

"Crunk really got started in Miami, with bass music. Crunk ain't nothin' but bass music slowed down." -Pitbull

Splack Pack, Scrub Da Ground

Clay D, That Booty In There

Big Boy, Off the Chain

This seems like the perfect time, in the midst of Booty Fortnight, to highlight a new CD out entitled Before There Was Crunk. It is a wonderful compilation highlighting the music that bridges the gap between Miami Bass, the music we have looked at for the last few days, and crunk, the music that has . Two essential Southern musics. It features mainly unknown names and songs, ones that were classics down South but never got much attention anywhere else. Listen to the tracks above and you will quickly here the template for Lil Jon, and it won't be heard to understand why Trillville, Trick Daddy, Petey Pablo et al run the clubs everywhere now. Hell, if the horns comin' in on the Big Boy track don't make you wanna dance or beat someone up or start a fucking riot, you dead motherfucker. Go here and buy a copy, as it is a great pickup. It ain't just a good and necessary history lesson, but music that sounds fresh and new today.

-M.I.A. and Diplo at Transit tonight!!! I have been waiting for this show for weeks now, ever since her first show at the Ukie Club. TA, MC and I are headed to 6th and Spring Garden tonight, and I am sure a recap and pics by MC will make it here in a few days. Go buy Arular here. Check out this preview of the show in Philadelphia Weekly, as it is spot on, calling out all the haters who can't stand to see success or hype that is deserved. There were still some tickets left early this afternoon according to the promoter, R5 Productions, so head to Transit and get in before it's too late.

-In lieu of the recent news of Live 8, it was a surprising, and nice, story to see that the G-8 nations agreed to wipe out $40 billion of African debt. While it is not perfect, it is a good start.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Saturday Night Fever

Krush 2, Ghetto Jump

Prime Choice, The Beat Is Fresh

Gigolo Tony, Smurf Rock

I figured that I would throw up a quick post, as there is so much going on tonight in Philly (and elshewhere). As a bonus, I am uploading a few more Miami Bass classics, as Booty Week will move onto new things tomorrow.

-If you don't know what's going down tonight, you'll never know. Been looking forward to this, as it has been far too long. There shall be many pics up later of the Obolon madness, at least the non-incriminating ones. Holla at your bol.

-Making Time is celebrating its 5th Anniversary with a great celebration tonight, headlined by LCD Soundsystem. Transit should be the epicenter of the hipster world tonight, so get your bangs right, tighten your white belt, get your nails did, and get out to Transit.

-For the NYC crew, go check out this jump-off tonight, as Caps and Jones will most certainly have people in Willy-B wilin' out at Savalas. Great flyer, if I may say so. Fast Times indeed.

Boys From the Bottom, Boom, I Got Your Girlfriend

MC Fresh C, My Brougham

Friday, June 10, 2005

(Miami) Bass is the Place

DJ Shadow, Miami Bass set on Radio 1, UK (9/9/98)

It don't stop at Pound for Pound, as I am going to try to make up for recent absences in a big way. So focused right now, and I hope that my readers are enjoying the fruits of this focus. Anyway, more Miami bass, as I know that the kids love it. Plus, the overwhelming response in the comments section almost forces me to bring the goods. By "overwhelming", of course I mean non-existent.

Above is a Miami Bass set by the one, the only, Josh Davis, a.k.a. DJ Shadow. It is a 28 minute set from September 8, 1998 on John Peel's radio show (I think), that gives a great overview of the genre, while also showcasing Shadow's skills as a DJ. I can think of no better intro to the music than this one, taking everyone through the classics and lesser-known gems.

-Shadow is not only good on the 1s and 2s, evidenced by this wonderful piece in Grand Royal magazine, the magazine the Beastie Boys and friends put out in the early 1990s. He gives his own take on the history of Miami Bass and its influence on West Coast hip hop.

-Go here to check out the official site for Maggotron and DXJ, legendary Miami Bass artists. Still active and spreading the Bass message, it offers everyone a chance to buy and listen to lots of music. I especially like 'Maggitunes', which offers listeners an opportunity to get mp3s and give their money directly to the artist.

-This one's for the ladies. While you may not be able to genetically have an orgasm, at least you won't have to wait in long lines when you have to pee!

-Can someone please explain to me why this is happening? Why is Apple switching to Intel chips? It appears that I was not the only one surprised, which makes me feel better. Go here to see the reaction from the Mac community, and be very scared of how obsessive we are. Go here for lots of links dealing with this stunning news. This commentary by Charles Cooper struck me the most, as he seems confident in this move for Mac users in the long-term. Programmers also seemed excited, although I am not sure that things are quite as simple as the article's title suggests.

Of course, the question on everyone's mind is "How will this effect Pound for Pound?" I feel confident that things will remain the same here, as the Powerbook is doing fine and your bol is firing on all cylinders.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Miami Bass

MC Shy D, Yes Yes Y'all

Gucci Crew II, Sally (That Girl)

DJ Magic Mike, Rock The Funky Beat

Time to bring it back to the roots, the music that influenced so much of what people are dying to hear, in particular baile funk, ghetto tech and crunk. The foundation of Booty Week, Miami Bass music attempted to reconfigure hip-hop by focusing on the bass, the woman's booty and the 808 drum machine. It also brought out a nasty, dirty side to hip-hop, unafraid to talk about sex, women, getting high and having fun in general.

I came to this music over the last few years, mainly through tracing the roots of crunk music and its producers like Lil Jon and David Banner. It really has had a huge influence on contemporary music, from ghetto tech to house to hip-hop. Bass struck me immediately, bringing me music that was fun and creative and different. It had none of the pretentiousness or "consciousness" of East Coast hip-hop, which takes itself and its ideas too seriously. It was music for the dancefloor, and it was wonderful to come across music that was so dirty, so fun, so alive. I hate to write these boring ass, academic words, as it takes away from the sheer excitement and visceral energy of the music. Listen to the songs above, and check back over the next few days for more tunes.

There will be more on all of this tomorrow, focusing on the Miami Bass legends and defenders of the 1st Amendment, 2 Live Crew.

-Here is the best history I could find, put together by Pappa Wheelie for D*I*R*T*Y. It is an amazing look at the development of Miami Bass, its main artists, its influences and its future. Best of all, he gives a wonderful discography at the end for anyone looking to really dig into the music. I'm sure that I will return to these songs down the road, as there is so much I have not heard.

-Check out a Miami Bass history by Papa Wheelie, entitled "The Rise and Fall of Miami Bass." (So William Shirer-y. Love it) Part 1 is here, and Part 2 here.

-The 100 greatest Miami Bass songs

-Here is a nice thread on Miami Bass at Dissensus, a wonderful forum for music, politics and art. Sadly, it appears to have gone the way of the dodo bird and underground hip-hop.

-Finally, join this Yahoo group, Miami_Bass_History, devoted to the music, as it is a wonderful resource for the hardcore and neophytes alike.

-The Phillies made a big trade yesterday, acquiring reliever Ugueth Urbina for Placido Polanco. I think that it's a good deal, as the team clearly needed another arm in the bullpen. Ed Wade acted quickly, and addressed the team's biggest need, something that he has not done in previous seasons. Plus, it's hard to argue with dealing Polanco. He's a good player, but he was the best chip they had to offer. The team is rolling right now, but what does this mean? Ken Rosenthal believes that they are contenders, but takes the right view in waiting for the team to prove themselves as winners. No more excuses.

-Good news, fellas. I have always insisted to women that I take no responsibility in their ability to have an orgasm. It's nice to finally have science back up my inadequacies and selfishness.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Booty Week

R. Kelly, Feeling on Your Booty (Dirty South remix)

As promised, this week is Booty Week here at Pound for Pound. In trying to come up with a common theme to the songs that I have been listening to most over the past few months, booty seemed to be the common theme. It's music built on the bass, which grabs a hold of you and forces you to dance. Most of the mp3s will be obsessed with the perfection that is a woman's booty, and I do hope that it won't offend anyone. Onto the music.

Damn you, R. Kelly. Damn you for dropping a song every year or so that I can't resist. A song so good that I momentarily forget what a scum bag you are. 3 minutes that obscure the rape charges, the preying on young women in order to demean and degrade them, and the abuse that you get off on. Above, check the latest heat on Pound for Pound, as this is the Dirty South remix to R Kelly's "Feeling on Your Booty". Dedicated to Marin Feldman.

-I can think of no better way to kick off Booty Week than with a warning to this country, a country which has lost its way in terms of the booty. A great democracy exalts its women and their real bodies, and does not force them to look like famine victims. Honestly, when I saw this picture, I did not believe that it was really the same girl from. What happened to that jawn with the boobs and butt that we all know and loved? Hollywood, Pound for Pound will not tolerate this. You have been warned. [Via DJ Benzi]

-I can think of no musical event that less fits the theme of this week than Live 8, as it was announced late last week that Philly would serve as the sole American host along with many European cities. For those that don't know, Live 8 is an attempt to redo the epic Live Aid shows from 1985, when the rock music world came together to call attention to African starvation and suffering. This time around, Bob Geldof and company hope to put the pressure on the G-8 nations meeting in Geneva at the same time, calling for them to forgive the debt of Third World nations.

While the thought of Bono and the Dave Matthews Band playing makes my testicles recede into my body, this is a great honor for the city. It is especially gratifying that the city was chosen over NYC and D.C., as I am not sure that would have been the case even 10 years ago.

-The Benjamin Franklin Parkway, where Live 8 and so much more will take place on the Fourth of July weekend, was the focus Sunday, as well. The 2005 Wachovia U.S. Pro Championship went down in Philadelphia on a perfect day. Check this nice piece out by Bob Ford, discussing how well Philly came off.

-It's seems like just yesterday I was lauding the NBA Playoffs and the return to real basketball. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted. Instead of Shaq and Dwayne Wade, Steve Nash and Amare Stoudamire, we get the annoyance of Larry Brown, the blandness of Tim Duncan and the train wreck that is two defensive-minded, poor shooting teams slugging it out. While I love my bol Sheed, I cannot stomach seeing Larry Brown win another championship, after bailing on the Sixers when they were ready to rebuild. Plus, everyone knows that I have a thing for Argentinian men.

-R.I.P. George Mikan.

-Finally, for my NYC peeps, there is absolutely no excuse for not being at this show tonight at Rothko on the LES. Diplo and Spankrock together would be essential, but add in DJ Marlboro and you have an epic one. Marlboro is the DJ from Brazil who has been so pivotal in the baile funk music that has caught everyone's attention over the last few years. More to come on this ish, but I cannot recommend highly enough this night. Get to Rothko, and check back here tomorrow for more fun.

What the hell, here is a treat for the 5 people reading this blog to the end. The final installment of the Trapped in the Closet series, R.Kelly's 5 part song that really does nothing for me except confirm what a creepy guy he is.

R. Kelly, "Trapped in the Closet (Chapter 5)"

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Philly is Where I'm From

grafitti- shows building

grafitti- both tags

graffiti crop

I hope that everyone had a good holiday weekend and a better week, as it was a beautiful time here in the city. Although I am writing this post at the end of a rainy, terrible day, I feel so focused and excited about this blog, the city, life. I want to take the last few days of this week looking exclusively at my city, Philadelphia, the place where I from, the place that I love, my heart and soul. Specifically, I want to use this post to introduce a visual element to Pound for Pound, as a means to bring Philadelphia, the cities of the world, the streets, and the people who live in these places into sharper focus.

It seemed most fitting to put up some graffiti pics, since it is an interest and such a fundamental part of the urban landscape. They come from the talented hand of MC, and I just hope that my words don't take away from her good work. These shots come from the buildings across from Rittenhouse Square, where MC and I spent our Memorial Day. I can't say that these are the greatest tags I've ever seen, but the sheer difficulty of getting them up gains these writers my props. I assume that they snuck in through the abandoned building slated for demolition next to the Barnes and Noble. No matter what, it took some balls and good planning to make this happen, as Rittenhouse Square is one of the poshest and most heavily policed areas in the city.

-The weather has been amazing this week, which is usually a sign of good things to come. Unfortunately, optimism goes to die at City Hall, where our esteemed mayor and City Council work. There are signs that they may wake up before Rome burns (Rome=Philly), but until I actually see good bills pass and become law, I will remain a pessimist. The latest disappointment came with the tabling of the smoking ban bill until next week, as obstructionist Darrell Clarke continues to strive to be remembered as the most meaningless and inept member of Council ever.

-Business seems to be picking up, as there has been some good signs of the city emerging as a business hub. First, the media have finally caught up with Pound for Pound, showing attention to BIO 2005 a few months after yours truly looked at it. This article takes a look at the boon that the convention will be for the hospitality industry. This article looks at recent survey that ranks the Philly region in the top 10 for the biotech industry. You can feel something big moving here, can't you?

-Here is a great item from one of the best blogs ever, Philadelphia: America's Hometown. Fuji Bikes has moved its world headquarters from North Jersey to Northeast Philly recently. While this is not like Nike or Microsoft moving here, it does fly in the face of pessimism and continues the momentum that the city has going. I have to highlight Friedman's last line, as it is perfect. "Fuji could have gone anywhere in the world, but chose the urban center that is rapidly becoming the center of the universe – Philadelphia – America’s hometown." Indeed, my friends, indeed.

-Another nice piece, this one about the Cira Center, the 30 story office tower being built near 30th Street Station. It is now 91% leased, bringing in companies from the suburbs and out of state. It's especially nice to see that McKinsey and Co. are opening up their first Philly office with this lease. It is another sign of the changing attitude towards the city, and another step in the direction of making the city a business center.

-Read this cover story from a recent Daily News, highlighting the growing international tourism to our fair city. While this might not seem like a big deal, it should. First, it means more money flowing to local businesses. Secondly, it validates the aggressive marketing campaign the city put together after September 11th, and should provide all of the evidence necessary to continue this venture. Finally, it is a sign that the city is becoming more open to the world, confident in what it has to offer.

Much more to come in the next week, as I am going to look at some groups in Philly doing good things, put some motherfuckers like our honorable Mayor on blast, and highlight some more positive news for Philly. Look out on Monday for the beginning of Booty Week at Pound for Pound, as we will get back to the mp3s grind.