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The Way We See It - November 2006
November 13, 2006

It's No Secret: Five Things I Learned About Carmen Bryan - 4:46 p.m.

Carmen Bryan

1. Even Men That Don't Know Her Fight Over Her Stuff

"Nope. It's sold out," the bookstore clerk said looking at the computer terminal. He gives me a smirk like, 'you're reading that crap?' Hey, I can't believe it myself. The chance to grab it 1/2 price had a lot to do with it, but now I want to read it so I'm resigned to having to pay full price for it at B&N.

On the way out Jon Leguizamo's "Pimps, Hos, Playa Hatas, and All the Rest of my Hollywood Friends" caught my eye. Shrugged and took it as a consolation prize, guess I'll read this crap.

Five steps towards the register and the same clerk runs from behind a display case, "Hey, wait!" He walks up to a guy with.. the book. "Is this it?," he asked. "Yeah." Snatches it out of the guy's hands and gives it to me. The guy is standing there dumbfounded. I'm thinking, that's really fucked up. Store clerk smiles and starts straightening some books, "it's yours." I look at the bookless guy, still holding his hands in the air. "Were you buying it?" I asked him. Store clerk jumps in, "No he wasn't, take it." Looking at the guy again.. he says, "If I touch it again, I'm keeping it." I'm trying to figure out why dude straight ripped the book from his hands to give it to me.. but dude's not about to touch it again. And then you say to yourself.. if he did would we really be fighting over a book?

A lot like Nas and Jay-Z, if you have Carmen tell it, their rap battle was really about Jay-Z wanting her. Little comments to dig at Nas' spine. When she accepted Nas' engagement ring Jay's jealousy flowed over and as the baby seat line showed, got out of control. It's yours, it's mine. It's yours.. Yeah, it's mine. Bookless guy worked there, he was reading on store time.

2. Not a Groupie or Video Chick

She mentions this in the book, "Nas, you made me seem like a groupie you met in the club and knocked up on a humble." People tend to think that she jumped on Nas when the records (singular?) went platinum. I was one of them. Turns out she knew him before Illmatic dropped, before he was a star and once lived with him and his mother in Queensbridge projects. Inviting a friend over to see the tube sock dish rag and roach frozen in the ice tray, sticking with him through the struggle and lethargy, her friends saying he didn't have any money, a nothing, while she was working and paying bills.. that's not a groupie chick.

3. Iverson Wore It Out, Jay-Z Calls Her Name, Wood Harris Not So Much

When Jay-Z delivered the 1 album every 10 year average line, many of us nodded our heads, but Carmen really puts it into perspective when she talks about Nas' studio habits and penchant for hanging out with his people. He comes off as talented but unfocused, possessive, jealous and generally a real prize for Kelis. They fought constantly, he's dealing with fame and money in and outs, all that going on how could he be making classic albums? A lot of his hanging out was probably Dr. Knockboots getting his degree.. Carmen said Nas wants to live by his father's creed, "The only time two people are obligated to be committed is when they are married. Goes for a man or a woman. In other words, if you're not married, it's cool to do your thing." That's Nas' father talking.

So when she suspects Nas of cheating.. she did hers, Jay-Z, AI, *insert names left out*

Nas cheating or not, she did a whole lot of cheating and lying of her own. While she's pissed off about Foxy Brown and Wendy Williams airing her 'relationship' with Allen Iverson on the radio, bringing Nas into the 'shit ain't true, what a bitch' chant.. whenever Iverson was in town (or called) she was tripping over shit to get to the hotel for another 6-7 round session. "I needed a battery to keep up with the energetic Bubba chuck." Funny thing is she made a comment about Iverson turning out to be an asshole at the end of the day. He knew he was hitting Nas' girl. What did she expect? To him she's this week's jumpoff.. 'Where do we play on Saturday?'

Did she purposely try to make Jay-Z sound like a big ol softie? Got out the whip cream and he was calling my name; playing snuggle bunnies and 'boo berries'; acting confident but has a lot of insecurities and was completely crushed when she told him she was gonna marry Nas. As she tells it, Jay thought she would leave Nas and they were gonna get married. Sex or not, she liked the annoyingly referenced SC as a friend. She's probably just spitting the truth about any quirky (human) behavior, their times together sound like what you'd find behind doors with Jay-Z and 'bad breath' Beyonce - that was a stab, no doubt. Read the book. She also mentions running into Wood Harris on some road and the brief time they spent together. He's the 'free/spiritual' perfect compliment to her personality. Kinda like a shout out, "Hey, call me.".

4. Hasn't Worked Since..

While Nas was still Nasir she worked at Def Jam and then Capitol Records somewhere along the line she stopped working and Nas seemingly paid for rent, car notes and eventually child support. Their relationship crumbles, he's with Kelis, still wants and is messing with her though (Carmen/Kelis sandwich).. and she's still depending on him for money. Child support is one thing, but I'm flying into a rage when she's talking about her rent and the car note he never paid. Can someone say J-O-B? After hearing about her Def Jam start, I expected she'd talk about some new and better position in the industry she's currently holding down. Maybe she is doing something now, but it wasn't mentioned. With store clerks walking around reading the book on the job, she's definitely gonna have book royalties to flip through and maybe her acting/screenwriting dream will materialize. Curtis Jackson might be able to help there as he does his own Hollywood hobnobbing.. check the acknowledgements. "I'd like to especially thank 50! Your words of wisdom, kindness and encouragement made this all possible."

Any surprise he's aligning against his 'enemies' and her enemies aligned against her?

5. A Bitch With A Problem

In an off-the-cuff moment Carmen mentioned that she and a guy named Hasan collaborated in a rap group called Bitches With Problems."Hasan decided to form a female rap group. Of course his position was to play the back. We called ourselves BWP. Hasan knew that I couldn't rap, but he insisted that my look was marketable, so I just went along with it. Our image was supposed to be a hard-core group, but my delivery wasn't giving that impression. I sounded more like Molly from AT&T customer service or something. I just wasn't making the cut. We hung in there as long as we could, but the group eventually broke up and that was the end of may rap career."

Anyone that knows a thing about late 80's - early 90's hip-hop heard and loved "Two Minute Brother." That was a hot record. I didn't buy it - one of the blank spots in the collection. Looking around the web there were no group pictures (or YouTube videos) either. I have an old Source magazine laying around somewhere, but that found web picture will have to do for now.

Bitches With Problems

I'm thinking that she's the chick in red. The girl with the Timbs did most of the rapping though.
Check it out or if your roots run deep, rap-a-long, or don't it's completely uncensored - "Two Minute Brother" (MP3 7.2 mb)

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Ed Bradley (1941 - 2006): In It For The Love of the Game - 6:39 p.m.

Ed Bradley

I'd be lying if I told you I watched 60 Minutes on a weekly basis. It wasn't until recently - think Survivor - that my TV was ever tuned to channel 2. CBS has always been filtered in my brain as grandma and grandpa's network. The over 60 crowd hang out there.

These days the CBS morning news program is one of the best. I watch it whenever I can. Does that mean I'm getting up there? Ummm..

Then there's that Sunday at 7 thing. Not really sit and watch TV time for me. But flipping around channels I would sometimes find myself watching a 60 Minutes segment; Ed Bradley always stood out as a genuine person.

His style was a throwback to old school journalism, where the news is put in context, looked at objectively and it's all done for the love of telling the story as completely as possible. His hook though was the warm, sincere vibe he exuded. There was a down to earth quality to him that made you believe he cared about the things he talked about. In a CBS piece Wynton Marslais wrapped it in a soulfullness, "Like all the younger Afro-Americans we were impressed with him, just in awe with his sense of culture, his intelligence, his clarity and his soul. They say soul is when you have the ability to make other people feel better about being alive."

That pretty much nails it.

When I heard about his death it was surprising, considering I'd seen 60 Minutes a few weeks ago when he did a report on the Duke rape case.

Sometimes I feel like my biggest stories are R.I.P's, wasn't looking forward to doing another one for Ed Bradley, even though it was signifigant. So I waited to hear some moving tribute that would spur my own. That didn't happen. A few stations made brief mentions, but surely not anything that said much more than the headline.

It was kind of sad considering that he was such a well respected journalist. Happily I heard CBS was doing a tribute to him on 60 Minutes this weekend. Which is only right considering he spent his entire journalistic career with the company. CBS is moving along nicely into the internet age, they posted the whole show on their site. Ed Bradley's Early Years

If anything can be learned from this man's life, it would be how, for yourself and anyone you touch, a passion filled life is the most satisfying of all.

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November 8, 2006

Britney Spears Splits: Now How About That Wallet - 5:20 p.m.

Britney and the pool boy

It's just great that Britney Spears has divorced her pool boy. She's obviously better off without him, certainly not smarter. She's still dumb as donuts. Re-watch her bizarre reality show 'Chaotic", that's all natural, no script or preservatives, 100% Splitty Spears. Haha. Really, what nickname is the media going to tag on her now? Without a doubt it's gonna be all love for the blonde ambition. The NY Post, the bastion of gossip, unnamed sources, and slick quotes, got into some juicy narrative when talking about Britney and a 'handsome friend' taking a trip to the GAP.. "There the star bought three lacy thong panties - virginal white, sexy pink and seductive cranberry - for $8 apiece."

I'm not familiar with the cute names GAP puts on the female under garments, but whether for sure or just dumb luck, the virginal, sexy and seductive.. is just the beginning of the rebuild Britney's career campaign.

Come album time she and Whitney are gonna fight for the release date.

As much as I despise (and always have) K. Lame from the second the divorce was announced most women's opinions I've heard on this is that he doesn't deserve any of her money. Literally furious that he might walk away with millions - how about half - when the court papers dry.

They do have a prenup.

The NY Post said he could get $10 million. I've heard much lower, something like 300K for every year they were married. So think $1.2 million unless a decimal point was misplaced. 300K a year sounds really low.

Regardless, the constant chatter about dude not deserving a dime and the 'relief' that she has a prenup is EXACTLY what men cry about in divorces. And of course, other shoe, the woman deserves every penny and the house.

In their marriage Federline did nothing but enjoy himself with a comfortable free-spending life of comfort, keep his wife pregnant and spearhead his side projects to stay busy. Much like any 'groupie chick' wife would do. Anna-Nicole Smith the queen of the bag-a-rich guy society, has inspired other genius minds on the other side of the ocean. You've heard the demands of Paul McCartney's wife of 4 years, demanding half of his half-billion Beatle fortune.

That's a come-up from the 1960's. This chick checks in 2000, 40 something years later, and for her 4 year marriage asks for half?!?

It shouldn't even be a conversation. The fact that 1/2 has to be discussed in any context shows the absurdity of so-called relationship compensation.

As long as guys continue to get fleeced without consideration for sense and reality, I'm all for K. Fed sliming through the clubs with as much of Britney's millions he can get. Buy that album it's a classic. < -- do I have to say that's a joke?

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Donald Rumsfeld F-I-R-E-D: Democrats 'Thump' The White House

Don Rummie

Donald Rumsfeld was fired this afternoon. President Bush said it was in the works for weeks and had nothing to do with the 'thumping' the Republicans got last night. By the way, that was the President's description. During today's press conference.. "I said the elections were close. The cumulative effect is a thumping. It's a polite way of saying" well, they got their asses kicked.

Firing Rumsfeld was the Plan B; in order to not look powerless in the face of a Democratic win the Bush team cracked the "break in case of emergency" box to appear on top of things. You know, like they've been since the beginning of his term.. Bush: "I'm making a change at the Secretary of Defense to bring a fresh perspective as to what to achieve, what I think most Americans want, which is a victory. My point is while we have been adjusting, we will continue to adjust. Somehow it seeped in their [the public's] conscious that my attitude was just simply 'stay the course.' Stay the course meant let's get the job done. It doesn't mean staying stuck on a strategy or tactics that may not be working."

Isn't it nice how the morning brings clarity to the mind? Things said and done under the influence are forgotten, meaning brought into focus.. "No, when I said F-ck You! I wasn't saying Fuck YOU. It was a question, like.. Fuck You?!? Why would I insult you like that? Don't be stupid."

I hope you joined in on the fun. This year was the first time I ever felt the need to vote in a senate/congressional election. Thank President Bush for illuminating the need for having buddies up and down the corridors of DC to really make things happen for your party.

Now that the Democrats hold majority power, it's time to make sure they follow through.

One of the indirect consequences of Rumsfeld's dismissal will be the loss of a master tap dancer, the king of jazzy, impromptu riffs..

Whudat Familia I give you.. The Poetry of D.H. Rumsfeld

You're going to be told lots of things.
You get told things every day that don't happen.

It doesn't seem to bother people, they don't -
It's printed in the press.
The world thinks all these things happen.
They never happened.

Everyone's so eager to get the story
Before in fact the story's there
That the world is constantly being fed
Things that haven't happened.

All I can tell you is,
It hasn't happened.
It's going to happen.

- Feb. 28, 2003, Department of Defense briefing

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November 3, 2006

Kanye West Enlightens MTV Europe: If I Spent A Million It Must Be Good - 4:13 p.m.

TV producers can't seem to get it in their heads, if your gonna invite Kanye West to a LIVE event, you better keep him away from a working microphone. If there's one laying to the right and he dashes over to plug it in, get the 6 9', 360 pounders to snatch him up by the pastel collar, little feet kicking and swinging.. mouth still moving.. "I'm the greatest thing since Biggie. The flyest since Morris Day. My productions are so slick you need rubber soled shoes to mess wit em." If that doesn't work he'll just scream.. "Dammit! I spent a million damn dollars!!!! Bah haahaahh. Unrecouped. I'm fucking unrecouped. Can a brotha at least get a gold star?"

Kanye West was back in lip-loosed action at the MTV Europe Music Awards. He won the Best Hip-Hop artist award, but "Touch The Sky" was also nominated for Best Music Video. After losing to Justice vs. Simian (who?) he either went up on the stage or stepped from exit stage right to deliver a pissed off tirade directed at the audience and MTV. Throw in a couple of fucks, some shits, this is some bullshit.. The little genius was upset that genius went unrecognized.. "F*ck dis! (My video) cost a million dollars, Pamela Anderson was in it, I was jumping across canyons and sh*t! If I don't win, the awards show loses credibility. Nothing against you (J&S), but hell man."

All eyes on Kanye, he continued backstage, "I haven't seen (the Justice and Simian video). Possibly it could have been quite good but no way better than 'Touch The Sky'. That is complete bullsh*t, I paid a million. Obviously it's not all about the money, but the response it got transcended everything, it really made great TV. It took a month to film; I stood on a mountain; I flew a helicopter over Vegas. I did it to be the king of all videos and I wanted to walk home with that award."

Alright, now I'm a fan of Kanye. Loved it when he was doing the golddigger fling the headback dance, Bush bashing and all that, Late Registration accepted.. But there comes a time when you have to shut your mouth. Even in the US, MTV's choice of winners this year was completely baffling. I thnk Kelly Clarkson won for a song and Christina Aguilera, or was it Pink, Gwen Stefani?.. Anyone with two good ears was looking like, 'are you serious?'

If your video's well received, album sold even more, who cares about a Moonman? Uh.. Kanye does. What's that theory.. every new award you cop your dick grows an inch bigger. Why else would he be so concerned? Or maybe it's the other way around.. every award you lose, jimmy tucks in to hide the shame. I'm sure he has his reasons.

What kills me is Kanye said he hasn't even seen the Justice and Simian video.

Saner minds would think, take the L, but let me see this so-called great video  before I tap dance on the soapbox of injustice.

I'm sure he did that as soon as he got back to the hotel.

Here are the two videos, you decide.

Justice vs. Simian "We Are Your Friends"

Kanye West "Touch the Sky"
Couldn't find it on Youtube, here's an Ifilm link

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Flavor Flav Hijacks the Opie and Anthony Halloween Show

While Kanye West was overseas talking about his greatness, Flavor Flav was in New York City basking in his. This Tuesday a party was held at the Hard Rock Cafe to celebrate the release of his new album, the success of Flavor of Love 2 and to just have a good time with hip-hop's first and forever unmatched wild child.

For the occasion Flav invited old school friends like: Hank Shocklee, Grandmaster Caz, Dana Dane and Raheem from the Furious Five. New schoolers like Remy Ma were in attendance. More importantly his mother, kids and extended family all drove into the city, and Chuck D, his Public Enemy compadre stopped by to perform a song or two. It was one of the first shows Public Enemy have done in NY for years. History continues.

The problem was.. It wasn't a Flavor Flav album release party.

Flav slipped up and found himself on the twisted side of bizarro land. It was Opie and Anthony's Halloween bash. With his new found popularity, Opie and Anthony arranged for him to perform one song, but somehow word got back to Flav that the whole celebration was all about him. So he turned that one song into 55 minutes of ramble and rap. Introducing each member of his family to the audience, people in his entourage, you know how Flav do..

OnA's fans are a collection of freaks, misfits, outcasts and messes. All Flav needed to do was look around and see that something was wrong. There was a guy dressed in a flasher's costume with a hairy monster penis. A midget dropping his pants on stage showing his 'vagina' aka tuck the dick between the legs.. big laughs. There were nurses bobbing for dildos.. instead of apples.. come on this is fun stuff.

Then there was the guy in black face, dressed as Flavor Flav. Nice costume, funny thing (or not) is the guy really is a racist and his wife likes to bang black guys. True stuff.

Opie didn't dress (grey t-shirt), but Anthony had on his wizard's costume.

These and the rest of the regular booze hounds, 99.9% white, are the people Flav's performing for at his album release party. It's true that Public Enemy has a huge white fan base, but looking around, nothing clicked in his head that they weren't all there for Flavor Flav?

Check the picture above. See those guys?.. They have glue traps stuck to their bodies in some crazy contest, Flav ran on stage right in the middle of it. Completely ignoring the fact that it was going on. OnA were like, 'what is he doing out here?' Opie decided.. he wanted to say hi before performing, so they let him talk and talk and talk.

They were scared to tell him to leave.. but let it all out on their show the next day.

Only audio does this justice.

Flav's performance with Chuck D - 19 minutes (mp3 9mb)

The Rant Parts 1 and 2 (mp3 10mb)

Check here for more pictures

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November 1, 2006

Miami Heat Get Their Rings.. Shaq's Take on Wade's GQ Cover - 4:01 p.m.

Alonzo, the Glove

The NBA season kicked off last night, which three years ago would mean practically nothing to me. Back then I'd watch the occasional Knick game, go to Madison Square garden when I got free tickets, and check back in around playoff time. Since discovering fantasy basketball though the NBA season has become the best time of the year.

There's something about watching players hit threes, tack on that 10th assist or grab another rebound on the way to a 20 and 10 that makes the game more alive, especially when they're on your "team." Fantasy basketball makes you a damn stat fiend and in tune with what's going on across the NBA.. not just the hometown team. You have a fantasy league going? It's funny how many people do.

My league met up at this fancy hotel in Times Square, all rosters are on the table, beers and what not.. I mean lager :/ .. and this guy in a $1000 suit looks over. "Ah. Picking your fantasy teams. Haha. We did that already." Yeah, but did you get Lebron James ;)

The Miami Heat and the Ben Wallace Bulls had the honor of tipping the first ball of the season.

Before the game business had to be taken care of, the Miami Heat have been waiting all summer to get their championship rings. Last night everyone from the bench players to the assistant to the assistant coach got a little icy. As you can see in the picture, Mourning and the Glove finally got what they've been playing for the past thirteen - fifteen years.

Not much was said, a lot of smiling and feeling good. At least until the game began. The Bulls ran all over the Heat to the point that the fans started booing on ring night. 108 - 66, a 42 point smashing. I think the Heat were so wrapped up in their championship glory that they forgot they had to actually play a game. They'll coast through the season and try to pull off another shocker.

Wade became a superstar in the playoffs, Sir Charles will tell you that's where stars are made. Somehow Wade also became a sex symbol. I'm questioning that as I write this.. but I'm picture surfing and a comment about Wade's cover says.. "there is the very hot shirtless cover of Dwayne Wade. Then, the coup de gras: In a six-page editorial."

Cool if it was bunch of females, but that was from a gay friendly messageboard. The 'boys' love him. That 'sweetness' is what Shaq joked about when John Thompson asked him about Wade's GQ cover.


21st Century Hustle Magazine

JT: "Shaq I was just wondering, what your feelings were when you saw this. You praise the young fella all the time, but when I saw this I said, "Now I wonder what's going on in Shaq's mind. Here's this humble young man.."

Shaq: "You know when I'm in CVS or like those stores, you know how you walk by the magazine section? Uh.. I don't look at the magazines with half-naked men on the covers."

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Ice-T Defends Album Cover: "It's Not Pornography, It's Sexy"

The Marrows

I'm pretty sure you've seen the cover of Ice-T's new album. "Gangsta Rap." If anyone's actually heard it.. now that's the one in a million question. The album was in stores yesterday, pretty sure you won't find it in Walmart with the 'big controversy.' In a last minute MSNBC interview Ice-T spoke on his critics' blurry vision.. "It's not pornography, it's sexy. It's part John Lennon and Yoko Ono. It was art when they did it and its where everybody wants to be -- laid up in bed."

Thank God He didn't copy them pose for pose. No one wants to see Ice-T in this freakish pose.

Coco said she loved the picture because.. well.. it's her husband, "it's not just some other guy I am posing with."

Ice-T parading his women in front of the cameras, ass out, tits forward, is nothing new. He's done it for most of his 48 years. Some people call it his pimp/ho relationships. That would be disrespectful to the genius which is Tracy Marrow.. [half-joking]. I did a little quote/pic montage a while back in the click page where he breaks down The Ice Opinion: Men, Women, and Sex.

"Give a woman a reason to like you. Wash your ass..".. Sounds sensible. No? :T

He wraps this up in the interview.. "I'm not going to flatter myself. But this is my wife, it's not a model and it's not fabricated. If you snuck into our bedroom tomorrow morning you could get a picture just like that."


21st Century Hustle Magazine


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