Friday, January 3, 2014

Christina Is Also Somewhat Correct [Guest Post] - And Yes, It's About Beyoncé

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But, hey, hear me out.

"New Year, New Me" right? [Yeah, I hate when people say that, too.] I'm trying a couple new things for the 99 and the 2014 and the first is going to be posting on here more frequently. The other is the occasional guest post. This first post is from my lovely friend Christina (@ChristinaRpr) and she's probably the perfect person to look to for a fresh perspective since we agree on basically nothing. Except the fact that we're best friennnnddds. (We're not really best friends.) And I realize it's now January 3 and Beyoncé's album came out a few weeks ago but hey, the holidays just past. Those were clearly more important than me updating my blog. Well, here's Christina!

I'd like to first take a brief moment to recognize a.samp for allowing me to discuss the Beyocalypse on his blog, because as we all know, a.samp's usually right - on matters of football, hip hop, booze and snookups... but today, he passed the torch to me to review Beyoncé's surprise self-titled, EARTH-SHATTERING visual album, "Beyoncé" - and well, as a fan and someone who's been patiently waiting for her next "era" to begin, I'm very happy to oblige.

Gosh, where do I even begin? Within hours of the surprise release, she'd already sold 100,000 copies exclusively on iTunes and has now reportedly sold over 1.5 MILLION, which is like, the most records sold by ANYONE on iTunes, like, EVER. Not sure if that's accurate but it sounded good. :)

The album is solid. The accompanying videos are stunning and provocative. She's 32, and she's never looked so good or appeared more confident than she does on this album. In fact, I'd argue that this project is some of her best work to date. Every "short film" spills over seamlessly into the next one, creating this body of work that's cohesive, thoughtful, masterful and sexy... but tasteful (kinda) - in typical Beyoncé fashion.

I just love it. Every single song, every single visual. It's perfect. I haven't LOVED a Beyoncé album since "B'Day," but this time - she nailed it. Working with the likes of Justin Timberlake, Miguel and Drake, the records are soulful, modern, funky, infectious, fun and even...political? Yes, she's even offered us some socio-political dialogue on the not-so-fair expectations of women and our obligation to support the feminist movement via prominent Nigerian writer and feminist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's brief cameo-sample on the record "***Flawless" and somewhat on the ballad "Pretty Hurts."

Beyoncé cited in the "Making of" video and in her official press release that she wanted to provide listeners and fans an "immersive, multi-platform experience," that changes the way we consume music. In other words, she's merely adapting to the increased demand of consumers wanting multi-media content available and accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on their mobile devices and tablets. Smart and therein proven by the fact that she sold nearly half a million copies in just a couple of days of the release. Risky, sure ... successful? I'd say yes.

She's undoubtedly the hardest working entertainer in show business, underscored by the mere fact and audacity that she was (and still is) on a WORLD TOUR - yet managed to bang out these records, videos and promotional planning at the same damn time.

This project exudes everything Beyoncé represents as both an artist and businesswoman tirelessly fighting to maintain quality of music and entertainment in the industry. Whether you "get her" or not, you gotta respect her for it!

Again, I like every single record and video on the album, but here are my faves!

Drunk in Love (feat. Jay Z) - Yeah, we're kinda obsessed with these two so anytime they collab, we're given exactly what we need, but never too much. The song is a SMASH, will be in heavy rotation on hip hop AND top 40 stations, and the video is loosely directed and fun to watch. I especially enjoy the weird stripper-leg-kick-twerk-jig thing she's doing throughout - totally here for ratchet Beyoncé. Directed by Hype Williams.

Blow - This seems to be the popular favorite, written and produced by my bae PHARRELL. It's a very catchy and suggestive record about the pleasures of oral sex - pretty explicit for someone who barely swore at one point in her career. The video is super fun and yeah, she looks phenomenal. Directed by Hype Williams.

No Angel - shot in her hometown, Houston, Texas and apparently Brunswick, Australia, NO ONE CAN MIX RATCHET AND HIGH FASHION LIKE BEYONCE, and that's frankly why we love her. I'm pretty obsessed with this video, actually.

Partition - Produced by Timbaland, and actually one of my favorite records, really love the heavy baseline. The video is a little porny but it works. I love that Jay Z is her video boy and is just there watching, chilling... partaking. The song itself isn't terribly explicit minus the eyebrow-raising lyric - "He popped all my buttons, and he ripped my blouse/ He Monica Lewinsky-ed all on my gown" NICE. *notes that Monica Lewinsky is now a verb.*

Jealous - LOVEEEEEEE the Parisian backdrop and influences. Love the candor of the lyrics. She apparently shot some scenes at 4 AM in NYC.

Rocket - The most soulful record on the album, clearly influenced by D'Angelo's "Unititled" and co-written by Miguel. Another video showing lots and lots of Beyoncé's "I just had a baby, but I bounced back, bitch" body. Video's soft-porny but again, it works.

Mine (feat. Drake) - OKAY. Girls love Beyoncé, girls love Drake. Perfect record, perfect accompanying artistically-interesting visual. I'm obsessed!

Blue (feat. Blue Ivy) - Brazil is the backdrop, Beyoncé looks AMAZE and Blue is ADORABLE. WHAT MORE COULD WE ASK FOR?

The other records/videos "Pretty Hurts," "Flawless," "Haunted," "XO," "Heaven," "Ghost," "Superpower," and "Yonce" are all solid records with cool accompanying visuals as well, overall making for a substantial and truly immersive project that's equally as appealing as it is satisfying. Definitely a must-buy! Also - interesting marketing strategy to release physical copies right before Christmas. The woman is SMART.

Oh, and I think I have finally found and replaced my wig.

Thanks, Samp :)

Follow Ms. Reeves (@ChristinaRpr) on Twitter. She's not so bad. Thanks Chris!
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Leonard Fournette Is Staying Home [Rap Squats & Respectful Bows All Around!]

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I knew it all along. I swear.

There's no way that good ol' Leslie Edwin could let arguably the biggest offensive recruit in recent history that just happened to be from Louisiana, leave the state for his collegiate there? Yesterday I actually entered the day extremely somewhat optimistic that LSU would go 5 for 5 with the remaining recruits at the Under Armour All-American game. And I wasn't the only one.

Well, 5 for 5 didn't happen. But we did get two, including the the #1 overall prospect, Mr. Buga Nation himself, Leonard Fournette.

And I couldn't be more excited. Why am I so excited? Don't believe me, just watch:

See? He's Adrian Peterson 2.0. He's currently a man among boys. When he gets to LSU he'll be a man among young men. And besides, he does rap squats.
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Leslie Edwin strikes again.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Headed to New Orleans...

...and Baton Rouge for the next week. I imagine that it's going to look a lot like this:

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Beer me if you're near me.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Bulls Give Me the Sads [Tanking Time Is Here]

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So, Bulls. What's going on here? We've lost 5 of 7 since losing Derrick Rose for the year and last night we lost to the lowly New York Knicks. Not only that, but we let Melo drop 30 and 10 and we had literally no answer. Not even against this offense:
But hey, it could be worse. We could be the Brooklyn Nets. And with all that said, I'm actually glad we lost last night. Without Rose, we're definitely not a championship caliber team. We might as well bomb this year and hope to enter Tankapalooza aka The Andrew Wiggins Sweepstakes aka Operation: Sorry for Jabari aka Tanking Time.
Yes. If we're not gonna win it all, might as well get set for the future. Call it Shanahanning.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Pusha T feat. Rick Ross - Hold On [VIDEO]

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I'll be honest, I was all over My Name Is My Name hard for a few weeks after it dropped. I'm not sure why--possibly the forgettable tracks with Chris Brown and Young Jeezy or maybe because I've been suffering through MMLP2--but I've been focused on other music for most of November.

One of the main songs from MNIMN that's been a constant is Hold On featuring Rick Ross and some very, very Kanyeish background vocals. The entire situation is pretty much a Kanye song. I mean, this is essentially Pusha T and Rick Ross over an 808's & Heartbreaks bonus track. And that's perfectly fine with me. Check out the video for Hold On.

I also have Derwin to thank for this.

I'd be lying if I said I didn't add it to my iTunes and iPhone immediately.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


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I'm getting old. Like really old. Not to mention that both my Tigers and Bears took losses this weekend. So far, getting old kinda sucks.

But I'm happy to be here. 

Thanks for all the birthday love, enjoy Sampfest '13 and Beer Me if You're Near Me.  Cheers.