All posts by Resident Alien

I'm in my early 30s, Nigerian-born and Southern-raised, and I hate lazy writing but I adore lazy Sundays. Anything contradictory or subversive draws me like a magnet. I don't mind if others disagree with me, but debate is a sport, so bring your A-game. I'm on the hunt for strong women MCs, cause I know they're out there grinding in an uptight, sexist industry and culture. I got your back!

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Diddy: Holiday Edition

Diddy Solo with CIROC

Recently, I got the chance to sit down with Diddy for exactly 10 minutes, and find out a little of what makes Hip Hop’s Greatest Showman tick.

10. Money Ain’t a Thang–For Christmas Entertaining
“A lot of people think a party is about… how much you spend. I think a party is about the outcome, if everybody had a good time. One of my favorite party’s was just 10 people, ten of my closest friends, on an island having a good time, or at my house in New York. Just close the door, turn down the shades, and turn up the music. Just like money can’t buy you love, money can’t buy you a good party. You have to have the other elements.”

9. House Party or Club? Theme Parties or Not?
“House party, definitely. I like themes but honestly, some of the best parties are probably more organic. Just have good people.”

8. Diddy doesn’t like the hard stuff.
“I was always a pina colada, fuzzy navel kind of guy. I don’t like drinks that are too harsh on the palate; I like things that taste good.” He just coined Dirty Money: Ocean Spray White Cran Peach and Ciroc vodka.

7. What’s Driving Diddy in 2010?
“My motivation is to become a better man, have balance in my life. Spend more time with my kids, become a better father, a better son. My motivation has nothing to do with money. Just really trying my best to please God, please my family.”

6. What the Industry Needs to Change
“The industry needs to give new artists more of a chance. Its so hard for them to be heard.”

5. Holiday Fashion Advice
“New Year’s [dressing] is just so hard in general. But you can’t go wrong in a black tuxedo. Me, I’m all or nothing kind of guy. Either put on the tux or stay home and relax with the fam.”

4. The Most Thoughtful Christmas present He’s Received
“A brand-new Bible somebody gave me. It was just a beautiful Bible, and it was something that meant a lot to me.”

3. What’s Hardest About Being Diddy?
“Just the human side of things that sometimes people don’t understand I need to do, as far as like, being with my family and doing regular things.”

2. Old-School Holiday Tradition?
“Collard greens on New Year’s Day.”

1. Why He Can’t Leave the Stage Alone
“Once you’ve seen or felt what it feels like to give joy to maybe 70,000 people in a stadium or 5,000 people in a theater—there’s just, there’s nothing like that. There’s no high like that, there’s no feeling like that in the world.”

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Michael Steele’s Monday To Do List

steele - 01

Michael Steele’s Monday Itinerary

9 am     Email speech ideas to RNC vetting board

10 am   Research healthcare pitch to NAACP; Disorderlies in Netflix queue

11 am   Line up KFC sponsorship for African-American outreach campaign.

                 Sidenote: Ask for lifetime chicken pass; maybe this will get me back into the family reunions!

12 pm  Check to see if Clarence Thomas confirmed FaceBook request

1 pm    Vetting board replies: nixed opening rap and big finish tap dance, but suggested location change to watermelon patch. Feedback, they’re warming to me!

2 pm    Weekly re-edit of Wikipedia entry while ducking calls from Black Crusaders

 3 pm     Practice “You da man!” to sound more authentic before conference call with Ward, Armstrong and Juan.

4 pm    Call Rico Suave, Macarena guys for possible Latin outreach.

4:30     Cut out early to buy advance tickets for Precious; hope it’s as funny as Norbit!

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Grownheadz Convo: Vh-1 Hip Hop Honors for Def Jam

At the table:
Yo Jeff, Hip Hop Dating Coach (real grown advice)
Grumpy Smurf, programmer and designer
Resident Alien, editor, contributor and smart-ass
DJ Asee, HNIC

Best moment: Mixed bag, but the highlights were KRS’s Beastie Boyz rhyme, Mary’s performance with Method Man, Oran Juice Jones’ cameo, and the Rick Rubin/Russell Simmons vignettes. I say it was the Scoopy Giles, uncredited Def Jam founder skits by the usually unfunny Tracy Morgan. I was howling. Dude’s best look since 30 Rock’s “Me and my wife like to play Rape!”

Worst Moments: Ricky Ross running outta breath (Zombieland Rule #1: Cardio), Multiple Kid Rock appearances, overly-rockish house band, fly-girl dancers

MIA: Slick Rick, Jay-Z (and the whole Roc crew), Kanye and a slew of others who helped make the Def Jam name. As Yo Jeff put it, “It’s easier to love an artist than it is to love a corporate entity.” In other words, I think Def Jam still owes some checks, and the rappers ain’t forgot.

Biggest shocker of the night: Foxy Brown’s tittays. Real or augmented? RA says augmented, the fellas say real. Of course to the fellas, they’re all real.

A young Fox... and the verdict is?
A young Fox... and the verdict is?
100% USDA Beef (Photo by Frank Micelotta)
100% USDA Beef (Photo by Frank Micelotta)

Woulda, Shoulda: Rather than limiting prolific artists like PE to one song apeice, they should have done 5 minute medleys to hit off a couple of hits.

But don’t take my word for it, check it for yourself:

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Shyne Welcomed Home by Diddy, Wale, Loso, Twitter

According to Hip Hop Wired, rapper Shyne is set to be released today after serving morethan 8 years for a shooting back in 1999. He still faces 2 years supervised parole, so hopefully somebody stays clean for the welcome home party, cause he’s got to see the PO in the morning.
Shyne, who converted to Judaism and changed his name to Moses Levi while locked up, got a warm reception on Twitter:
“Somebody gettin outta jail is like a Hood Holiday…Welcome Home Shyne Po… Brooklyn Love.” (Fabolous)
“shyne got out today…its gonna be a wonderful day.” (Wale)
Now he just has to figure out what the hell Twitter is.
There have been no talks about re-signing the former Bad Boy, but Diddy said they’ve spoken and said he’s glad that the rapper will finally be coming home.
Shyne has been working on his third album, Godfather Exhumed, but as yet there is no release date.
Any of y’all been waiting on this one? If you’ve been following the mixtapes, how’s it sounding?

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HOT 5:Things More Fun in Movies Than Real Life

As the summer blockbuster season limps to a close, some of you may look back with nostalgia on the mass karate fights, kicked-in doors and de-wired bombs that make up your most cherished action flicks. Grownheadz.com is here to remind you that lots of events that look like killer fun in movies would be disproportionately less fun in real life. Below, our Top Five.

 

5. Jumping into a Pool Fully Dressed
MOVIES:
Whether you’ve just graduated from high school or landed the girl of your dreams, there are few ways to broadcast a life-changing event more directly than jumping into a pool dressed head to toe. It’s also, apparently, a great party starter: electric guitars squeal out of nowhere, drinks appear in everybody’s hands and invariably someone yells, “Let’s party!”

 He thought better of it the second after hitting the water.

 

 

REALITY: That exhilarating splash is soon over, leaving you hobbled as you struggle to swim in a waterlogged sports coat. Once you get out of the pool, unless you strip naked you can’t really sit on any upholstered furniture, so here’s hoping the party stays on the patio all night. You thought that little stunt would be the talk of the party, but as the night wears it dawns on you that it was more of a you-had-to-be-there moment. Also, someone stole your shoes, you can’t get the water out of your ears, and that cute girl you were trying to impress? She can hear your squelching from a mile away, and she thinks you’re wet and desperate.

 

4. High Speed Chase
MOVIES: What a rush! The coppers (or mafia, or whichever side of the law you prefer) are hot on your tail and eating your dust as you execute one daring maneuver after another. Suddenly, your gas light comes on. Luckily, there’s a drawbridge nearby, but its warning lights are blinking, signaling an oncoming ship. Do you floor it? Do I even have to ask? In the movies, you soar over the 6-foot gap and down safely on the other side as your pursuers skid out at the last minute and shake their fists from the wrong side of the bridge. But in real life…

car-chase
REALITY: You die. A lot. And way before you hit the drawbridge. Remember when you drove through that large pane of glass two guys were carrying across the street? In real life, a razor-edged shard shattered your windshield and beheaded you. Don’t like that? Well, how about those three red lights downtown? You may have floored it through the first two, leaving multiple-car collisions in your wake, but a 1981 Datsun T-boned you on the third, breaking your legs and puncturing your lung. That hairpin spinout when you drove against the flow of traffic? Dead, dead, dead. If by some slice of luck you even make it to the drawbridge, there’s no way your car would make the jump. The average car traveling at high speed, say 120 mph, has a jump of 10 meters, or 32 feet. That sounds good until you take into account that a car drops 7 inches every second of unsupported flight. So unless you’re riding on 42s, you’re going down in a watery grave my friend. And bystanders will laugh at you.

 

3. Barfight
MOVIES:
You don’t have to start it. You don’t even have to know who threw the first punch. All you have to do is duck down and keep an eye out for hilarious instruments to hit people with. Barstools are handy, liquor bottles are dramatic, and if you can pull some hapless sucker in front of you in time for him to take a punch aimed your way, all the better. At the end, you and the guys kick back, order another round and laugh as the uptight proprietor moans in despair at the state of the bar. It’s good, manly fun, and bars have insurance for this type of thing, right?

 Hope he's got a good lawyer...

REALITY: Wrong. As a participant in a bar fight, you’re subject to charges of disorderly conduct, felony assault, destruction of property and public drunkenness. And “he threw the first punch” won’t cut you any slack. As the victim of attack, your chances of arrest double. Bonus: If you hit a guy in just the right way, he dies—and then it’s a good thing you had practice with group brawls, because you’ll have plenty of opportunity to test those skills in the pen. Also, concussions and closed head injuries become distinctly less hilarious over time.

 2. Walking Away from an Explosion
MOVIES:
Good Guys know that eventually, you have to fight fire with fire. It can be a warehouse full of drugs, weaponry headed for the wrong side of a foreign civil conflict, ill-gotten artifacts from the Amazon Rain Forest or the headquarters of an evil genius. Point is, Bad Guys’ property sure burns pretty, especially if you set off the fire by flicking a cigarette over your shoulder as you stride away. A hero ain’t a hero till he gets his point across with a huge freaking fireball.

 He'd be more bad-ass if he walked away. He must've heard about the flaming projectiles.

   REALITY: Or back lacerations and third-degree burns. When you blow up a multi-story warehouse, looking cool and nonchalant takes a backseat to the frantic scramble for cover as you try to avoid getting smacked in the head with flying pieces of flaming debris. Oxygen deprivation makes peeling off in your getaway car a bit unrealistic; you may just want to drive a block and pull over before you pass out from smoke inhalation.

 

1. Shootout
MOVIES: Yelling catchphrases, blasting on bad guys, diving through windows and over conveniently located counters—there’s nothing like a good shootout to get the adrenaline pumping.

gunfight
REALITY: I don’t know if we mentioned this before but it might sound vaguely familiar. Dead, dead, DEAD. Or at the least paralyzed. Shooting a gun is no joke and unless you go to a firing range on the regular your chances of hitting anything are little to none. There’s a reason movie Bad Guys are such terrible shots–do you know how hard it is to focus with all that adrenaline pumping through your system? And lest we forget, stray bullets like innocent bystanders. There will be blood, and unless you are a duly sanctioned officer of the law there will also be charges. Unlawful discharge of a firearm and reckless endangerment can net you up to 10 years, depending on whether the jury had a V8. If you manage to nail a Bad Guy, self defense MIGHT get you off with involuntary manslaughter, for 2. But that group of terminally ill 5-year-olds walking home with their adopted pet bunnies that you just shot up is going to get you at least 25 years in the big house. Now don’t you wish you’d settled things by thumb wrestling?

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Somebody Needs to Tell…

Somebody Needs To Tell…

 Right Wingers: Obama’s Speech to SchoolChildren Not Master Plan to Harvest Brains

zombies
I love that they misspelled worry. Dork.

 

“Stay in school.” For right-wingers, even the most bland, non-threatening message is a Socialist weapon in President Barack Obama’s hands.

“He wants to get our keeeedssssss!!” The neocons have erupted in hives, with good reason. They’ve been rocking back and forth with their fingers in their ears, chanting “No, no black man,” since last November, junked their TVs and enrolled their children in Rush Limbaugh charter school to keep their little minds untainted from the knowledge that a black man runs the country. If Obama addresses a national speech to school children, there’s no way to counteract the effect it will have. Their children will have a vaguely positive memory that will be loosely associated with Obama.

Elementary schools will hold assemblies to broadcast the message, and the break in routine will purvey a sense of excitement, or at least everyone will get out of class. Which means that even if the kids aren’t listening (which they won’t be), they’ll know the break was brought to them by the president.

I remember the one time that Bear Elementary School pulled us all out of class to watch a news broadcast. I was in the fourth grade, and it was the launch of the space ship Challenger, which had teacher Christa McAuliffe aboard.

Well. I hope Obama’s speech goes a little better than that, but I’m just saying, it’s a big deal, the teachers will likely discuss it in class later, and the kids whose parents pull them out of class to skip the “brainwashing” are gonna feel like outsiders and resentful, and start to question their coconut-job parents. And as Martha says, that’s a good thing.

 Somebody Needs To Tell…

 Sensible Republicans to Man Up and Kick the Loons Out of the Driver’s Seat

 Man, am I getting tired of addressing crazies. There are normal, sane and logical conservatives out there—there must be! And they must be tired of their leadership and image being hijacked by whacko, mouth-foaming regressives intent on fostering straight-up revolution against our duly elected president.

I’m confused as to why these logical people haven’t come forward to be the voice of reason to their friends, neighbors and churchmembers, who are losing their minds daily over every move of America’s commander-in-chief.ignorance

They could be afraid. Watching some of the town halls and reading right-wing blogs, it’s easy to see the spirit of bullyism and group-think at work. These people attack any member of the group that doesn’t step right up and guzzle the kook-juice, even their own leadership. They booed John McCain for calling President Obama a “decent man” who “respects the Constitution,” hardly lavish praise. And they’ve attacked any Republican congressperson who’s even looked like they’d consider (gasp!) national healthcare. Olympia Snowe remains the only Senator strong enough to negotiate healthcare in good will.

The Orlando Sentinel’s Kathleen Parker had it right when she said the GOP needs to “drive a stake through the heart of old Dixie” attitudes.

If they don’t stop using their trump card—fear-mongering, uneducated but ACTIVIST bigots who are easily whipped into a frenzy—they will be forever lose any claim to legitimacy.

 

By Resident Alien

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SOMEBODY need to TELL

Somebody Need to Tell . . . . the Republican Party

“You come at the king, you best not miss.”
—Omar Little “The Wire”

President Barack Obama (I still get a little thrill from typing that) gave a thought-provoking, inspirational address Tuesday night, preparing America for the hard road ahead but reassuring us that we can get by with a little help from our friends in office. Then Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal came in and shat on the sundae.

jindal2Poor Bobby. He’s a Rhodes Scholar with an anti-intellectual base. He’s almost always the brownest guy in the room. And he talks like Gomer Pyle. Bill Clinton couldn’t have followed Obama’s speech, and THIS is the guy the Republicans sent in for a knock-out blow?

It’s not his fault he did so badly. The GOP may have the religious right, but Democrats pulled all the witty kids. Jindal’s one sad attempt at a joke bounced like a brick. He struggled to come across as non-threatening, but overdid it and ended up looking weak. The zingers speechwriters sprinkled in sagged in a mush of contradictions. He chuckled at weird points and his hand chops for emphasis were awkward. Jindal’s failure to connect was palpable.

This is partly because he’s such a contradictory solution for the Republican party. He’s of color, which is good, but thejindal1 only thing worse than being black for rednecks: of Eastern descent. The majority of the Republican base — rednecks who would be Democrats if they had sense enough to vote in their own economic interest — aren’t making all those distinctions. India is next to Pakistan, which is next to Afghanistan, which is damn near I-RACK. Democrats who lean Republican have the same racial issues—it’s why they’re leaning Republican in the first place! So the GOP’s strategy risks losing their own base, and won’t pull anyone across the fence either.

The GOP is grabbing anybody with a tan (except Alan Keyes) to throw in front of a camera right now. But somebody needs to tell them nobody’s falling for it.

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Resident Alien: Easy Come, Easy Go – Gh Book Review

What do a crooked Army captain, two vanished husbands, a blonde bank teller and a village-killing assassin named Christmas Black have in common? That’s Easy.

Walter Mosley’s Blonde Faith is the final book of the Easy Rawlins series. Like every Easy tale, it starts with an uncomfortable proposition, builds with unforgettably drawn characters, and ends with an explosive, unforeseen conclusion.

Our favorite detective is in 1967 LA, navigating post-riots politics and suffering mightily from a broken heart. The love of his life, Bonnie, a flight attendant, is engaged to a West African prince who helped get specialized medical treatment for Easy’s daughter, who she loves. Feather, the daughter, is growing into adolescence and away from Easy; his adopted son Jesus just had a baby and is starting his own family.

All in all, it’s a dangerously depressed Easy who falls into one of his most tangled cases yet.

Christmas Black, trained by Uncle Sam to be a killing machine, has up and disappeared, leaving behind only a few clues: a soldier’s corpse, a woman’s photo, and the little Vietnamese girl he’s been raising after killing her entire family. Not surprisingly, a man this lethal is friends with Mouse. But unlike Mouse, Black lives by an almost samurai code of honor. Easy must find Black and the white woman in the photo while keeping his family safe from a gang of vicious, heroin-smuggling soldiers.

Mosley’s a master at creating characters with fascinating backstories, and “Blonde Faith” is no different. But a hopelessness pervades this series-ending book, inescapable as the casual, malicious discrimination that permeates Easy’s life. It would be enough for the author to simply describe the incidents of injustice Easy faces at the hands of white police, car salesmen, waitresses and security guards. But Mosley takes you into Easy’s insides, each and every time, forcing you to feel not just the rage, but the repetitiveness of personal and institutional racism. It’s wearying, and though Easy’s escalating acts of grief-induced rebellion break up the monotony, you know that nothing good can come of it.

By the time the shockingly mundane ending rolls around, it’s almost a relief to close the book on these desperate lives, but you’re left with the underlying dread of knowing not that much has changed.

This is a difficult book for a newcomer to the series, but if you’re a die-hard Easy Rawlins fan, there’s no way to resist learning the hero’s fate.

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