Anybody else feel like Schoolboy Q’s “Groovy Tony/ Eddie Kane” deserves its own holiday based on how dope it is? And that Jada verse is the unexpected highlight of 2016. Fire.

While we’re in the subject, lemme get that beat.

A new segment, in which I examine the good songs on bad albums, the bad songs on good albums, throwaway lines on bangers, memorable lines on terrible song choices, and reevaluations of once loved or reviled albums.

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Can-I-bus was such a let down. Remember first hearing one of his monster guest verses and thinking, “Man, this guy is about to destroy the whole game”? 

And then he let us down with those albums. At least he gave us one thing: an easy way to remember the day Biggie died – “The greatest rapper of all time died on March 9th” (from “Second Round KO”).

I hope you all rocked out to your favorite BIG jams. At the gym I banged Life After Death, and was reminded of why he’s considered one of the best to ever do it. The album reminds me of high school and of a particular trip to Boston. I’m still in awe at his verse on Notorius Thugs; but I’m not in awe at how easy it was for me to rap along (I mean, come on – how do you forget that verse). “Mo Money Mo Problems” will always remind me of some of my favorite moments of high school, while “Going Back to Cali” (along with Outkast’s entire ATLiens) specifically bring me right back to the passenger seat of Clark’s SUV. 

You’re still missed, BIG. 

I’ve posted about him many, many times, so I thought I’d put together a little music video primer. CyHi the Prynce is the most underutilized member of GOOD Music, and for years I’ve been scratching my head about why artists like Big Sean are getting more attention than he is. Recently he announced that his official debut album is about to drop, which makes me laugh because he’s got so many burners in his catalog already, including the Black Hystori Mixtapes that I’ve been banging for years. So here’s a little playlist of some of my personal favorites for you to enjoy.

Marcie naps blissfully across my lap, her breaths coming through long, measured gaps. Gomez pads through the hallway, stepping softly so as not to stir his eager pursuer. The French press is still 2/3 full, and the coffee is just the right temperature. Ashley slowly stirs, the bed creaking under her soft movements, Sirius no doubt curled up at her feet. The book on my knee summons up bright, beautiful images set against one of the darkest backdrops imaginable. 

And for all that I lament not having kept a regular paper journal through the years, I remember little entries like this – on blogs, in a multitude of unfinished notebooks, on slips of paper – fragments of me scattered through space, that if collected, reveal more through the blank spaces in between than the records collected. The empty pages of the journal – my decision for an alternative ending ; the onset of a new notebook or blog signaling a new interest; and the “this time I’ll write more consistently” entries, the manifestation of inspiration, captured through pen strokes where a picture would ultimately fail. 

The chaise of the couch is stained with trails of Marcie’s fevered snacking, where the rest of the couch cushions have already been washed. Unfinished tasks. The breath beyond the credits. The next step after the last page has been turned. This couch is a thread of infinity. 

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Alright, so I’ve got this bag of old t-shirts that I just CAN’T say goodbye to, including a classic Atmosphere godlovesugly shirt (the one on the left). People have made quilts out of old shirts, but I’m looking to do something a little different. I think I might have just found my solution.

Instructables – Expoxy vs. T-shirt.

More later, hopefully.

 

15 years.
15 years ago I was finishing my first semester of undergrad. 15 years ago I was diving very deeply into subjects that would shape how I view the world and bring me untold fulfillment. 15 years ago I was just barely re-kindling a love for reading that had survived as the dimmest of embers. But something even more significant was happening.
15 years ago I reconnected with Dante de Leon and Mario Moonboots after a couple of turbulent high school years (well, it was the summer prior), and I read The Lord of the Rings for the first time.
I couldn’t finish Fellowship in time for the film’s release (15 years ago today), but was able to finish the others shortly thereafter. Trailers had sparked my curiosity and prompted me to dive into a series I had only ever wondered about when I was younger. One trailer in particular – the one that focused on the scene with the Ring Wraith nearly catching the hobbits within the hollow created by the roots of a tree – captured my imagination so completely that I bolted to the closest Barnes & Noble I could find.
Perhaps most memorable for me was the midnight release of the film. I was introduced to Slipknot on the car ride there, and alongside my brothers Mario and Dante I witnessed the beginning of a beautifully interpreted film trilogy. The surge of energy coursing through me upon leaving the theatre was electric, and I was unable to fall asleep. My shift at the Bagel Express would begin within hours anyway, so they stayed awake with me until I had to leave. I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything in the world.
Reading the books was equally memorable, as I would make it a point to immerse my every sense in the world of Tolkien, reading the nighttime scenes after dark, and usually by candlelight. As much I wanted to abandon all other activities and focus on the story, I patiently waited to set the ambiance, sometimes even taking the novels into Kendall Indian Hammocks Park to simulate walking around with the fellowship. I don’t think I can say enough about how much these novels and films inspired me, and I’m always happy to share a conversation about them over a delicious spread of cheeses, olives, breads, and other finger foods, and of course accompanied by a delicious red wine or a fine pint of ale.
And now, to bring it full circle, my intelligent, beautiful, creative wife Ashley had “One ring to bind them” inscribed within my wedding ring. Perfection.
#thelordoftherings #thefellowshipoftherings #15years #fellowship15

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