Friday, December 30, 2005

DJ Drama and Project Pat-Gangsta Grillz 15

Project Pat, Don't Turn Around

Project Pat, Juelz Santana and Young Jeezy, Best of Both Hoodz

Project Pat with Blackjack, Ridin' Swervin

Project Pat, Don't Bite the D

Project Pat and The Roots, Show

As promised, we are going to spend the last week of 2005 and the first week of 2006 looking at the best music of the year, while providing a couple of gifts for those who might not have had a chance to grab the best mixtapes of 2005. I know that there are a ton of Top 10 lists weighing down the Internets now, so I am sorry for joining in this circle jerk. I must admit that it seems like it would be fun to do, and it gives me a chance to upload some music that you might not have had the time or money to hear.

What better way to start this off than Gangsta Grillz 15, hosted by our recent focus, Project Pat. Pat's just out of jail, and ready to take the streets back. This is a good mixtape, people, and really goes a long way to showing how much the South is killin' the game right now, and how much DJ Drama and the Aphiliates are leading the charge. His mixtapes are the best, in my opinion, doing what all good street tapes should do: playing the songs of the moment, and the songs of the next moment.

-Go here to hear Project Pat speak, live from the motherfucking halfway house.

-Did Bush break the law when he authorized the NSA to spy on U.S. citizens? Most legal scholars believe that he did, quite brazenly at that, when you consider his admission to the crime. It's frightening to realize how little regard this administration has for either the law or the Congress. There is a belief that the President's office is all-powerful, and there is no need for oversight. For anyone concerned with democracy, this story has to be one of the most frightening to come out of these 5+ years, which is saying a lot. We learned recently that the NSA has been putting cookies onto the computers of anyone visiting their web site. Digby at Hullabaloo has been all over this, brilliantly taking apart defenders of this attack on civil liberties and exposing why this is such a dangerous program.

-Is this really a crime? I mean, a cage is so snug and homey. And, I'm sure that the kids were being all annoying, crying and asking to be fed and shit. Free the Lavelles!

-Oh, one more wish for Hanukkah/Christmas/Kwanzaa. Please, Moz, please get back together with the band for one more tour. I really don't ask for much, so I don't think that I am being greedy. I even decree that you can horribly overcharge me, and even play in some terrible space like the Electric Factory or the old Spectrum or Madison Square Garden. Anywhere, just put The Smiths back together, and you will make my 2006, hell, you'll make my decade. Allow me to make up for willful blindness to your brilliant music, allow me the chance to see my favorite band live one time, allow me a chance to throw my panties on stage for you, my dear Morrissey. This creepy plea was brought on by this Pitchfork item on a concert that half the members of The Smiths were putting together for charity. We're close, but this ain't horseshoes, it's mopey rock. [via No Rock&Roll Fun]

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Murderers and Robbers

Project Pat, Murders and Robbers

Project Pat, North North

Project Pat, Bitch Smackin Killa

Project Pat, Fuck a Bitch

Project Pat, Easily Executed

What better way to celebrate this season of giving and joy than with offensive, criminal-minded rap. I agree, there is no better way. This is it, friends, the end of the road for Robbery Week, my tribute to that hip hop of robbin' and stealin'.

What better way to end it than with the music of the just-released Project Pat, the grimiest, scariest, most explicitly criminal rapper alive. These songs above are off the CD Murderers and Robbers: Underground Album, a collection of his earliest singles. The funny thing is that you would be hard-pressed to hear much difference between these songs and his subsequent major label release: the same posse cuts, the same early Three 6 sound, the same themes of bitches, violence and fighting.

-Murderers and Robbers might be a good title for the Jack Abramoff story, the GOP money man who is under investigation in multiple cases by multiple authorities in multiple states. It appears that he is on the verge of cooperating with the Feds, although it is hard to believe that he is not going to have spend many years behind bars. The Washington Post has a great story today covering his rise and fall today. Josh Marshall makes a few good criticisms here and here. Jane at firedoglake adds to the criticism of Delay's distancing from Abramoff, and hints at the potential Abramoff holds to bring down the entire GOP establishment.

For those who think that the murderers and robbers story is just another one of my commie attacks, think again. Read this story on Abramoff's business partner, Adam Kidan, who was charged in the murder-for-hire death of a Florida businessman, 'Gus' Boulis. FYI, Kidan has already agreed to cooperate with the feds. Or go here and here to read about the millions of dollars that Abramoff and his pals bilked from the Indian casinos and tribes that he represented. Bad stuff.

-A restraining order against David Letterman? Here is the craziest story I have read in a minute. This woman was issued a temporary restraining order against Letterman because she says that he has been harassing her through her television, communicating in a coded language for her and even asked her to marry him. Surprisingly, the restraining order was dropped yesterday, meaning that Letterman is free to spread his mind control and I have to reconsider

-Steve Kerr discusses the lack of enforcement in the NBA of travelling. Why is it not surprising that a dude who may have taken 12 dribbles in his entire career complains about what players are getting away with?

-I spent yesterday watching nearly the entire 12 hours of TNT's Law and Order marathon. Since this post is about just that topic, I need to say that this show has to be in my all-time top 5, and that I want Jack McCoy to be my father and/or drinking buddy, and that the greatest character ever on the show was DA Adam Schiff.

-This post and every one that has happened during Robbery Week is dedicated to the man who robbed me in the Lower East Side last month. I hope that you enjoyed my Christmas gift of a laptop, mouse, loads of music and a computer bag. I know that I have really loved the raging case of paranoia, the night sweats, the horrible flashbacks and a newfound sense of distrust and lack of faith in mankind. Let's swap gifts again, buddy. Readers, I hope that you had as good as a gift exchange as I did. Actually, I hope that you cleared this low bar by quite a bit.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Happy Hanukkah

Shirim, A Klezmer Nutcracker

I wanted to wish everyone a Happy Hanukkah, a Merry Christmas, a wonderful Christmukkah and the best Festivus ever! I hope that y'all got everything that you asked for, that Hanukkah Harry and Santa Claus brought the loot.

I thought that it would be a nice change of pace and a nod to this season if I would upload a klezmer take on the Nutcracker Suite. This is the work of a band called Shirim, which was really just the famous, experimental klezmer trio Naftule's Dream doing interpretations of classical music. This isn't life-changing music, but it is a fun time and an easy way to get into klezmer, the music of the East European Jews. You're probably asking, why would I want to get into this? That's a good and fair question, as it sounds like something awful and antiquated. While it may be old, it is far from dead. In fact, it is a joyous, celebratory, mourning music that can make you dance and cry, sometimes in the same song. Give it a chance, and you will be surprised to hear music so alive despite not being played in 50 years.

Go here to get the full CD, which has a second part devoted to klezmer interpretations of classical music. Go here to find out more on Naftule's Dream, one of the groups keeping the music alive and bringing it out of the shtetl and into the 21st Century.

-Here is a great story on the huge impact that Jewish songwriters had on the Christmas songs that are so popular today.

-This news is really all I could want for Hanukah, as it sounds like Arrested Development could be picked up by Showtime for next season. This would be wonderful news, not just because it would give a second chance to the best show on television, but also because it would provide it with the artistic freedom and freedom from economic demands that premium cable affords.

-Again, happy holidays to everyone. I am going to be putting up some gifts over the next week to celebrate and thank everyone for reading this year. The new year beckons, and there are going to be some changes here at Pound for Pound, as we try to spread the good word about booty music, thug rap, Philadelphia, cities and sneakers.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Quote of the Day

Something to think about during whatever holiday you are celebrating this week, when your family is arguing and talking about the stupid shit you did as a kid.

Jane Jacobs:

To see complex systems of functional order as order, and not as chaos, takes understanding. The leaves dropping from the trees in autumn, the interior of an airplane engine, the entrails of a dissected rabbit, the city desk of a newspaper, all appear to be chaos if they are seen without comprehension. Once they are understood as systems of order, they actually
look different.

The Death and Life of Great American Cities (1961)

This is my grrl, the writer who has had the most profound impact on me. I want to devote an entire blog to her and write her love letters and get dim sum with her at Ocean Harbor. That is the future, the next level, people, get ready for it.

I came across this quote in a post at fellow nerd dj/ rupture's blog Mudd Up! This is essential reading from one of the most creative DJs/musicians/producers around. Even better, he found it via another phenomenal, hyper-intellectual blog from Neeha Dyal, who was recommending David Byrne's new blog. Now, that is the blog circle of life.

Over the next few days, I'm gonna put up some Project Pat to end Robbery Week, just in time for Christmas and Hanukkah. Next week, I am going to provide some gifts for everyone, as I thought that I would upload my favorite mixtapes of the year, which were mainly from the hand of DJ Drama and the Aphiliates. Hopefully, we can get 8 days worth to celebrate the holiday, as it will be my gift of appreciation to my dear readers. Check back soon, and have a great holiday!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

The Ski Mask Way

50 Cent, The Ski Mask Way

50 Cent (ft. Madd Rapper), How to Rob

Yeah, we're back with Robbery Week, which has now stretched to a fortnight, filled with uncomfortable humor and stick-up music. We're going to stay in Queens for this post, moving from Mobb Deep to 50 Cent, the second-most famous rapper in the world. (FYI, I assume that Eminem is the most famous rapper alive, but I could be wrong.)

I don't think that I have ever referenced Curtis Jackson on this blog, which doesn't say much for my thoroughness. I've never been a huge fan of Fiddy, possibly a reaction to his massive popularity. It's undeniable that he has put out some of the best singles of the past few years, from "In Da Club" to "Candy Shop." In fact, I don't think that he has ever gotten the respect he deserves for his music, which may not break much ground but have been hugely popular and club-killing over two albums and a few years. I mean, as a fan of reggaeton and Baltimore club, it's hard for me to hate on sticking with a good sound.

And of course, no one has benefitted more from the mythology of thug life than 50 Cent. His story is as well-known as our President's, a source of street cred and fodder for national magazines looking for a shocking tale.

-Crime has been front and center this week, ever since The New York Times broke the story that the President of the United States authorized the National Security Agency (NSA) to engage in domestic surveillance without a warrant or Congressional knowledge. Bush subsequently admitted that he has given a spy agency the right to spy on American citizens without telling Congress or following the FISA law established to prevent just this sort of abuse. Kevin Drum has been the best source on this story. Go here, here, here, here and here for background and important questions that need answers on this scandal. Hilzoy, Matt Yglesias and Josh Marshall get to the heart of the matter. More to come on this, as it is a developing story.

-In my Philly love post, I forgot to mention another excellent Philly blog that discusses indie music- with some sports, movies and odds and ends thrown in. The BM Rant is an excellent site, a good resource for music and Philly concert info, and a frequent contributor to Philly Future.

-If you are wondering what everyone will be listening to next year, especially people who get worked up about hipsters and scenesters, go check out the new mix by Dave P of Making Time fame and JDH over at Cliktrax. This is recorded live from their recent set at the NYC party Fixed. [Via Catchdubs]

-Do you want indie but with black people? Wanna hear Christmas music but fear the repercussions if people find out you listen to Bing Crosby? Then go here and check out the Christmas mix at Stones Throw by Peanut Butter Wolf.

Philly Love

Graffiti near the corner of Houston and Suffolk in the Lower East Side. Philly is everywhere. Picture taken by MC.

Jay-Z, South Philly Niggaz

It's been too long since I extolled the virtues of the greatest city on earth. Yes, I am talking about Philadelphia, and no, I'm not kidding. Anyway, just wanted to drop some news and links to things going down in the Illadelph. I spent this past weekend there with MC, who was making a return to the city that foisted my sorry ass on her. For real, it was so great being back in Philly together with my girl and taking advantage of all aspects of the city.

-The Rub was back in town Saturday, taking over Transit for the night. Brooklyn's finest seem to have established themselves quite nicely in the Sixth Borough, as DJs Ayres and Cosmo Baker have been here once a month for the past few months. This time, The Rub was the main draw, and they pulled it off nicely, as the crowd got bigger and bigger as the night wore on. MC, CS, LU and others got there around 1, lucky enough to catch the end of the Spankrock set. It was an early-ish night for MC and me, but I can safely say that I hope to attend many more Philly editions of The Rub. Thanks especially go to PaperStreet, who've been responsible for bringing this to Philly.

-Speaking of that ridiculous 6th borough phrase, Philly was featured on earlier in the week, hyping how great the city is and how it's on the come-up. This time, we weren't the sixth borough, we were the new Williamsburg. Whatever, as long as it gets the name out in the press, I'm good. I have actually talked to quite a few recent Brooklyn transplants in Philly, and sense that there is some validity to this. For real, it is wonderful to see a change in perception about the city, about its possibilites, about its advantages. I just hope that Philadelphians lead the way in changing perceptions, and understand what a great place we have.

-One of the areas that I have harped on for awhile has been the need to focus on retail for the city. We have always lagged behind on this front, attracting little in the way of upscale retailers. That seems to be changing. Philadelphia: America's Hometown has the details on the burgeoning Center City retail market, which is hopefully just the beginning.

-Other great news on the development front, as the site of the old Meridian Plaza took a step closer to building after the Zoning Board approved its plans. The best part of this is that the condo tower will replace a hideous parking lot that sits there now. Also, make sure to go here and read a nice article on the re-use of vacant Philly hospital sites. A great look at the urban dynamic of decay and rebirth.

-I've got to mention two blogs that have gone under my radar for far too long. Badminton Stamps and callmeMICKEY are two great sites that everyone needs to check out. They both cover the indie/rock side of music, which makes them invaluable for someone like me who always feels a few steps behind on music with guitars. Even better, they are great resources for the live music scene in Philadelphia, which gets better and better each year.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Lady Sovereign Screws Philly/Hipsters to Blame

Lady Sovereign, Shhh

Lady Sovereign, Cha Ching (Cheque 1, 2 remix)

Lady Sovereign, Hoodie (Basement Jaxx remix)

This may be old news already, but whatever. I have to discuss the Lady Sovereign show here in Philly last Thursday night at Silk City, which was truly one of the most bizarre events I have ever attended.

Things began at 9, when the ticketless, yours truly included, lined up outside to guarantee getting in. Let me repeat, outside, on a 25 degree night with the wind blowing. Fortunately, I was graced with the good company of LD, as we were able to survive the Around 10:15, the line was still held outside, at which point my testicles had completely rescinded and I went numb. Finally, the promoter came outside and explained the delay, which was caused by Lady Sov's issues with the sound system and her extended sound check. My Spidey sense began to go off at this point, as I knew all about her strange NYC appearances, including her sick/drunk premiere at the Knitting Factory and her no-show at a Spin/CMJ afterparty. Could she top this? Would the midget throw a giant fit? Would Jay-Z show up? Would I get drunk off of one beer?

The answers to those questions are yes, yes, no and surprisingly no. Once we finally got in, my mood improved 60 degrees worth. Best of all, Philly came out in big numbers, as the place was packed early. There was a real buzz to the night- it felt like being at the first MIA show at the Ukie Club or Bloc Party at Making Time.

The energized room first got the chance to hear the amazing Ghislain Poirier do a set of his own beats and music on laptop. This was the highlight of the night, and I cannot recommend his music more. Poirier mixes underground hip hop, dancehall and grime-y beats to nice results. Go here and cop his album, as you will be hearing much more of this guy.

His set ended at 11:30 or so, which allowed me to go to the bathroom before LSov came out and get a good spot to watch the show. Little did I realize just how crowded the place was and how rude hipsters can be, as it took me 10 minutes to cross the dancefloor/front of the stage area. It was so frustrating and horrible a walk that my anxiety-ridden ass decided to stay down front and not venture back into the fray. LD joined me in front of the merchandise table, and it was from this vangtage point that I saw the strangest concert ever.

Lady Sovereign's DJ, DJ Cameo, came out first to warm things up, an eerie reminder of the NYC party MC and I attended where Sov never showed and we were instead treated to a dancefloor-clearing DJ set of grime and garage. Thankfully, I could see her standing in the wings, and knew that the show would go on. Before I knew it, she was on stage performing her first song. She sounded loud and clear, even though I couldn't see her (she is tiny, people). The song ended, and the place was going crazy. Soon, Lady Sov would go crazy. It began with her criticizing the sound system at the club, then imploring the crowd to yell at those responsible for this system, and finally attempting to push off a giant speaker from its position atop another giant speaker. There was some more British talk, and before anyone knew it, she was gone. The show was over. FYI, she did come back on stage for a weird minute-long second attempt to perform 30 minutes or so later, but again the damn speakers got her goat. She walked off again, but this time the majority of the crowd had long since left.

What are my thoughts on the night? Amusement, mainly. I understand why people were angry, as Mickey from callmeMICKEY calls her out for this bush league shit quite well. Go here to Badminton Stamps for even more anger. She was unprofessional, rude and I feel like she owes Philly quite an apology. However, I personally didn't feel like I should get my money back or get angry at the promoter. R5 didn't tell her to call the show after one song. Hell, the sound wasn't that bad. They didn't deserve to lose money on this one, and Ghislain didn't deserve to not get paid. I didn't ask for my money back, as I felt like I got 8 bucks worth from the night. I don't know, I was pissed off, but I just didn't have any rage really.

Then, I read this letter over at Philebrity and I nearly threw up in my mouth. Collin E. Flatt writes a pathetic screed, hitting that easiest of targets, hipsters, and takes this entire process quite personally. The amazing part is that I believe that he is referring to me, as I did tell someone to stop berating the merchandise guy after she walked off the stage. This loser decided to take his anger out on the guy who sells her fucking CDs and t-shirts, yelling at him, pointing his finger at the dude's chest in an attempt to intimidate. He wanted his money back for the CD he bought, because he didn't get a show. I told him to complain to the promoter, since that is the person who took his money for the concert and booked her.

It seems that this makes me one of "the stupid, dumbass, trendy, self-important, thick-rimmed glasses wearing, stupid bike riding, scarf wearing, Sparks-begging hipster crowd." Wow, you sure nailed it, dude. I mean, those damn hipsters, they sure do ruin things for you and your hip hop friends. There's nothing quite like getting a lesson on hip hop from America's biggest Sunny Day Real Estate fan. Here's an idea, bol: Shut your mouth and don't play the Internet tough guy. My email is to the right, if you wish to say to speak. I would love to find out when you are DJing in Philly, since you have been "a DJ in this town for 10 years". Stand up, Collin E. Flatt, or are you just another Internet tough guy?

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Gimme The Loot

Notorious B.I.G., Gimme the Loot

Notorious B.I.G., Warning

Notorious B.I.G., Kick In The Door

Mang, it's like being back in 8th grade this week at Pound for Pound, as here's another classic robbery song. This one comes off another of the "Greatest Albums of All Time" list, Notorious B.I.G.'s Ready to Die. I don't need to tell you about this one, as y'all know how great Biggie was and how classic this album was.

What strikes me about these tracks, besides their explicit references to robbing someone, is how perfect it sounds. It sounds both of a specific time and timeless. Let me explain better. When I hear this song, it takes me back to the early 90s, to the end of grade school, high school, that 90s New York sound centered around DJ Premier's beats. Gang Starr, Black Moon, all those who came through the D+D Studios. It's the sound that defines an era, the era during which I grew up, the sort of default hip hop sound for my ears. Yet, listen to these songs above, or B.I.G.'s albums, and tell me that this stuff still doesn't bang, that it wouldn't sound fresh on Hot 97 or Power 99 today.

-If you're going to rob someone, this would be the item to grab. The rereleased Nike Air Max 90 infrareds were just released as a part of the history of the Air Max pack. These are fire, a legit grail. (I had a pair of the AM 9os in aqua blue that were just as hot back in the early 90s (like how I brought it all back home?), but unfortunately they've never been rereleased. Some day...) Good luck to Cuban Links in his quest to get a pair. Go here to see the web site Nike set up to honor the Air Max, a shoe that has grown on me more and more over the years. [Via Hype Beast]

-How crazy is the sneaker game? Check out the winning bids on these recent watch items for Pound for Pound here, here, here and here. For real though, if I had the loot, I would spend a couple Gs for those Paris Dunks. Mmmm, watch out Philly, watch out LES, I might have to get my ski-mask and take care of business. Go here and check out some legendary Dunks, and remind yourself why the hype began.

-More grails are coming out, as the Jordan IV military blues are getting the re-release treatment. Save your money for June 2006. This was my first pair of serious sneakers, copped in 7th grade (I think), a stunningly good fashion choice by me in an unfashionable life. [Via Slam X Hype]

-Clothing loot? Look no further than the new line of t-shirts from aNYthing [Via A Silent Flute]. They just opened their storefront in NYC on Hester Street, which I will check out on my next departure from the Chinatown bus (New Century Travel stand up!). Throwing parties downtown, giving interviews, doing real big things. Block party tonight, 7-9 pm. [Via SlamxHype]

-Wanna stay up on kicks, fashion, art, good things? A Silent Flute, dork magazine., Freshness, High Snobiety, Inquiring Mind, RTHQ, Dopefiend, Beinghunted, Hypebeast, Slam X Hype and Cool Hunting are essential reading. Feel free to let me know of others, as I love to look at stuff that I'm neither cool enough to rock or rich enough to afford.

-Lady Sov review tomorrow morning, more Robbery Week stuff, hope y'all enjoy.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Shook Ones 2005

Mobb Deep, Shook Ones Part 2

DJ Zinc vs. Mobb Deep, Shook Ones (White Label)

Mobb Deep, Shook Ones Pt. 2 video
(more than 50 MB)

I would be embarrassed if I didn't put a few selections from my all-time favorite album, Mobb Deep's The Infamous. This is the one, the album that sounds perfect 12 years later to my ears. The cold, icy drum snares fit the cold, icy lyrics perfectly, depriving the listener of any comfort, any warmth. The album ranks up there for me with the works of Hubert Selby Jr., Luc Sante, Mean Streets, Herbert Asbury, those unafraid to venture into the heart of darkness that all cities have.

I have so much more to say on this album, but for now, here is one of the greatest songs from The Infamous and a drum and bass remix. I'm not a huge fan of drum 'n' bass, but this song just sounds perfect. The brutal, repetitive drums sound just right, propulsive and smothering, bringing another great, more claustrophobic version to bear. As a bonus, I also put up the video, a lo-fi trip through Queensbridge.

-D.C. Shook ones: The entire GOP, the Republican Party and right wing money machine is scurred out of their minds right now. Why you ask? Because of the federal investigations that are threatening to bring down some of the biggest, most feared names of the Right. Tom Delay, Jack Abramoff, Grover Norquist, Karl Rove, Bob Ney and many more find themselves the targets of criminal investigations. First, the biggest and most important case centers on the dealing of Abramoff, the main money man behind the right wing machine. Two of his closest associates have flipped, tightening the noose around Abramoff's neck. Who's next? Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo has a great post today about this story and what the real story is. Here is a chart in the Washington Post on all the people who received money from Abramoff.

-Media shook ones: Rightfully so, as this is an embarrassing time to be a journalist. The unfolding Valerie Plame case has exposed the media in all of its ugly, lazy, criminal glory. You remember the embarrassing tales of Judith Miller and Bob Woodward? Now, Time Magazine's Vivica Novak has raised the bar even higher, as she was deposed last week. She has admitted to alerting Karl Rove's attorney that Matt Cooper was one of his sources. That's right, over drinks, a reporter who kept covering this story alerted Donald Luskin to the name of a fellow reporter's confidential source. She never told her editors or readers subsequently. Stunning, truly stunning. Read her article explaining her role in this story here. Jane Hamsher at firedoglake, Swopa at Needlenose, Greg Mitchell at Editor and Publisher and Digby at Hullabaloo put Novak on blast.

-Christian shook ones: That's right, baby, Christians are finally getting hip to the fact that there is a war going on. What's it over? Christmas. You can thank Bill O'Reilly, John Miller and other brave truth tellers who have stood up for this holiday and its beleaguered celebrants in this country. Stood up against the Jews, Muslims, gays and atheists who have had it too easy in this country. Stood up for this holiday that only has federal holiday status, radio stations playing its songs 24 hours a day for an entire month, television shows in its honor, and its decorations everywhere. So, next time you consider saying Happy Holidays, think again. Remember that this is one battle in the war. Don't let the terrorists win.

-Swimming shook ones: I mean, would you go in the water knowing these things could sidle up on your ass?

-me? Never scared.

Monday, December 12, 2005

The Soundtrack to a Robbery

Soundtrack to My Robbery

Above is the actual song that was playing in my iPod when I was robbed. I was playing it so loud in my ears that it prevented me from hearing the initial words he screamed at me. This subsequently made him angry and the situation more dangerous. I'm not sure if he chose me to punish for listening to such teenage girl crap or if the theme song to Laguna Beach reminded him of his desire to have a computer to check out fan sites. Let's hope that he will leave a comment and let us know what did it. Oh, Hilary! I almost lost my life for you!

As you can tell, Robbery Week is still in effect, as I'm trying to get back into the swing of mp3 posting. Some more Three 6 Mafia/Project Pat stuff, some Mobb Deep and then this morbid joke will end. Lots of heat coming up, as I'm going to spotlight my favorite mixtape DJ, DJ Drama, and then get to the two foci I mentioned weeks ago, DJ Screw and Miami bass. Reviews of the Lady Sovereign, SPANKROCK! and Ted Leo shows that I just attended. Finally, politics, Philly, boxing, art, you know, the usual. Exciting times, as I'mma try to get back on the daily grind here.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

The Other Pound for Pounds

I have always used this blog as a forum to discuss what matters most to me: music, cities, art, etc. However, for some reason, one of my passions has gotten nary a mention here: boxing. I decided to change that today, as it has been an exciting two weeks for fight fans after a blah year. First, the best fighter in the world defended his title and reminded us why he is the best, and then a middleweight clash between one of Philly's greatest all-time fighters (which means one of the greatest all-time) and one of the best young stars in the game.

First, the only man who can rightfully claim this blog's name, "Pretty Boy" Floyd Mayweather, the pound for pound best fighter in the world. For those not in the know, Mayweather is the reigning super lightweight champion, having already dominated the lightweight class for a few years. He is the man, the one who has all fighters near his weight class hoping for the chance to fight him. To be the man, you got to be beat the man.

However, that's a lot simpler said than done, as Sharmba Mitchell found out two Saturdays ago. This was Mayweather's first fight as a welterweight, but the extra seven pounds seemed to have no ill effects. In fact, Mayweather toyed with him, clearly pacing himself in the fight, delivering big shot after big shot in short bursts all fight. His speed and power were too much for Mitchell (and everyone else he has faced), as there was a clear sense from the first bell that this was not an even match. However, is there an even match for Mayweather? I'm not sure, but it will be exciting to see the challenges to the throne. Mayweather's next fight must be against a serious challenger, as I agree with Dan Rafael that that's the only way for Floyd to be a legend.

This past weekend, Bernard Hopkins and Jermain Taylor met again to decide who is the undisputed middleweight champion of the world. Taylor won the first match, in a controversial decision. Part 2 was just as close, as Taylor unfortunately delivered a few more power shots than Hopkins for a unanimous victory. It is the passing of the torch in the middleweight class, as always happens. The young lion disposes of the great, older champion, who tries to make his final stand in his career. Unfortunately, Bernard was not able to pull out a final victory in his wonderful career, succumbing to the effects of age at 42. Hopkins was one of the patron saints of this blog, a hero if you will (yeah, I know they don't exist in postmodernism, but whatever), and so it is sad for me that Bernard couldn't finish on top. More to come on him, as he deserves more than a few words after a loss.

If anyone who reads this blog is a boxing fan, please get in touch. I would love to hear from other fans and not feel like such a weirdo.

-Speaking of Philadelphia fights, it's nice to see that City Council has finally enacted serious ethics reform legislation. Michael Nutter lead the way on this issue for the past few years, slowly but surely arguing for the necessity of reform. He did great work, and has only burnished his credentials to run the city. It is a good day for Philadelphia, a dawning of a new period, where the city leads the way and looks forward. Remember that it's only a beginning and not an end.

Forget why this legislation is so important? Today's papers provide a wonderful reminder, as Leonard Ross, Mayor Street's fundraiser and close friend, was indicted today for a scheme to extort $2 million from a developer trying to win the Penn's Landing competition. This competition was supposed to choose a company to develop the waterfront land at the Southern edge of the city, land that is essential to the city's future. Instead, it wasted taxpayers' money, produced no plan for the land's future and furthered the image of the city as a insider's paradise. Ross' indictment is the next step in the battle for the city's future, the struggle to open up the city to outsiders.

-Media Matters is one of the best sites going today for politics, fighting the good fight. They have undertaken the uneviable task of documenting the lies that are spewed daily from the right-wing media machine, from talk radio to Fox News to the blogosphere. They have a new design that looks great, and are a nice resource to remind oneself of what we are fighting against. Check it out and thank them for taking the time to listen to liars like O'Reilly, Hannity, Malkin, Limbaugh et al so that you don't have to.

-More Robbery Week coming up, as we're back in the gym, sparring, working the heavy bag, trying to get back in fighting shape.

Friday, December 02, 2005

The Return aka Robbery Week

Three 6 Mafia, Let's Plan a Robbery

Three 6 Mafia, Sweet Robbery

Three 6 Mafia, You Scared Part II

Three 6 Mafia, Mask and Da Glock

Sorry for the extended absence and delayed start, but I am back now with a new Mac, the music collection and a crippling case of PTSD. Unfortunately, the man who robbed me did not heed my one wish, for him to post up some booty tracks and mixtape heat to keep the masses satisfied. If you can't trust the man who stole your computer, dignity and belief in humanity, who can you trust?

I hope that we can regain our readership, as it was frustrating that this had to happen just as things seemed to be rolling. Waah waah, baby want a bottle?

-Some people may remember votes being tallied in the Miami bass vs DJ Screw vs Three 6 Mafia contest to see what would be the next mp3 focus here. That will still happen, but first, this week is dedicated to songs about robbery and stick-ups, a consistent but unappreciated side of hip hop. Let's face it, it is music based on theft in the form of the sample, a music built out of other sounds. Who better to start with than the Triple 6, the Memphis greats whose tales of violence have set the bar high?

I want to dedicate the songs this week to all of the friends who have helped me get through the past three weeks. It has been a struggle since the robbery, as playing tough and trying to forget it happened only left me more shook. It wasn't until I started talking and hanging out with friends again that I was able to get back on my feet. To MC, there aren't words to say how grateful I am that she is in my life, how wonderful she is, and all sorts of other mushy stuff I will spare you from hearing. My ride or die bitch.

-Check back early and often, as I'm going to try to make up for lost time here. I hope that this Robbery Week thing isn't too dark or disturbing, but I feel like if I don't laugh about things, I won't stop crying.