Monthly Archives: October 2008

the way i see it.

Raphael motherlovin Saadiq is a damn musical genius.

Now, with that out of the way, I can attempt to put into my words my excitement for the man’s newest project. I had the immense pleasure of listening to Raphael Saadiq’s “The Way I See It” today. I wasn’t on top of my game, scooping up the single months in advance, and following his progress up to the release date like years ago when “Ray Ray” dropped. But it didn’t matter; I instantly fell in love with the record on first listen. It was surely worth the wait.

Raphael has invited listeners to witness his love affair with the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s for over a decade, but rather than occasional fliration from albums past, he’s declared his undying devotion, forsaken ALL modern interests and influences and shacked up with the past. The result is a soul-filled collection of songs that will undoubtedly grip even the most skeptic listeners. With most albums, I do my initial listens while trying to tackle the endless demans of everyday life–the album serving as background music. This record demands that you sit the fuck down and get into Mr. Saadiq’s head. And I did just that. As I write this, I’m en route to Virginia, and I’ve had the album on repeat the entire ride. It’s that good.

Now, in order to enjoy this record, one must open their mind to the reception of GOOD music. Think back to before a vocorder and dozens of other creative vocal masks could hide a lack of talent. Go back before producers screamed all over their records. Try to remember the days when the singer’s voice didn’t get lost in or overpowered by flashy production. At times while listening, I thought I was listening to Curtis Mayfield, The Temptations, Stevie, or maybe even Al Green. Saadiq quotes Gladys Knight, Sam Cooke and The Stylistics among his influences and I must say I feelĀ  each of them breath through his music. The Way I See It is the older, more mature, sober brother to Amy Winehouse’s Back to Black (last year’s soulful, pain-filled release from the British songstress, whose style Saadiq reportedly respects and admires).

The record has a rarely encountered level of cohesion that denotes intense inspiration and forethought. For example, one of many stand-out tracks, “Sure Hope You Mean It” clearly draws it’s old-school shuffling rhythms from The Tempations (“Beauty’s Only Skin Deep) and “It’s All Right” by the Impressions. “Let’s Take a Walk” features Saadiq cutting to the chase (“I need some sex/some sex with you”) over a dope ass, bluesy groove that’s part sped-up BB King joint, part Little Stevie Wonder groove. Other favorites: “100 Yard Dash,” “Oh Girl” and “Keep Marchin.” It’s a solid listen from beginning to end; a feel-good classic…instant vintage, if you will. And while his impressive, unique production and writing style have helped dozens of other artists achieve great commercial success (in addition to critical acclaim), this masterpiece will most likely not have the global impact that it should. Many brilliant works never do. Whatever the case, this retro journey through funk and soul deserves several listens and shall surely appeal to the most discriminating old-school head and the new school soul freak. Check him out in a city near you.

…that’s the way I see it.

you and i both know the deal…

last night on SNL’s Weekend Update, Seth Meyers commented on the OJ verdict:

“O.J. Simpson was found guilty on charges of armed robbery, assault, and kidnapping. But really murder.”

i laughed for a solid two minutes.

…and white people everywhere are smiling.

….You, of course, read my blog about my favoritest nigra on earth, Orenthal James “white girl slayer” Simpson. If not, I’ll look the other way as you click here. Well, it appears all the voodoo dolls, rain dancing, prayer, and virgin sacrifices have finally paid off.

OJ was just found guilty of twelve felonies. Twelve. The minimum sentence he faces is 23 years, thanks to the presence of weapons during his brave adventures. Now, add that with his likability factor (0) and multiply the effect of Johnny Cochran’s absence (-62) and it looks like the Caucasian Coochie Smasher is facing 34 life sentences.

Okay, maybe just one. But at any rate, he is definitely fucked. Think of it: every bearded, tattooed white supremacist on D-Block will finally get to split that chunky, murderous booty of his open, Nicole Brown style. Ole!

Before sending the jury away to deliberate, the judge alluded to the possibility of waiting days or weeks for a verdict. After all, a pretty well-known man’s life is in their hands. A wrong decision (in the public eye) and they would be forever linked to this trial as the fuckups who freed OJ. Again. It was reported that Mr. Simpson had that same stupid ass, infuriating cocky grin plastered on his chubby, 61 year old face as the jury received their instructions. Then, he strolled out of court cool as a fan, chatting confidently with reporters about his plans to spend the next few days at a friend’s house while the jury deliberated. Hell, he probably had some pretty young blond thang waiting for him in the back of his SUV.

Surely, his feelings were hurt when he was called back to court thirteen hours later. It took him longer than that to plan the heist of his dusty ass memorabilia last year. Upon re-entry, he mentioned being “apprehensive.”

Then…

Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. And….Guilty.

Same for his dickface of a sidekick CJ Stewart.

When the verdict was read, he gave one of those “Aww, shucks” reactions.

Surprised, Orenthal? Did you really think Amerikkka would let that ass walk free? What you don’t realize is that they have been waiting to catch you the first time you ran a red light, littered, or looked hungrily at a nice, white woman.

And they got you. Signed, sealed, and delivered. For life, hopefully. Sentencing is in December. He’s 61. So, with the combined sentences he faces, he is pretty much done. In the mouth. He and CJ get to sit in a cell and blow each other for the next 40 or 50 years while they reflect on better days. He won’t even be seen as the cool, Teflon rebel from 13 years ago to his future cellmates, because at the core, even they probably know he should have become a monk or just quit life while he was ahead. But…the jig is up, sir. Party done.

Today, one of my coworkers jokingly tried to convince me that OJ should be freed.

“I’m about to print up some FREE THE JUICE shirts.”

(Sad face from me)

He then said I’m rejoicing in the misfortune of my people (….but not as eloquently.)

Wrong, sir.

I’m simply pointing out the stupidity of another human. And just because we both:

1. Had ancestors in Africa, and

2. Avoid blackwomanvagina,

doesn’t mean I am to excuse this fool. Wrong is wrong. Guilty is guilty, whether black, white, gay, straight, fine, hideous, or Ashanti–a fool is a fool. The same group crying out for America to cut OJ some slack are the same jerks who pity Michael Vick, support and root for Rapist Robert Kelly, think Mariah Carey still makes good music, and actually supported Al Sharpton’s presidential bid. Losers.

(climbs down from soapbox)

exhale.

i’m not some crazed negro-hating dude (as someone “jokingly” called me earlier), but i have grown tired of those who feel obligated to support the brother just because he is a brother. same for those who are voting for Obama JUST because he’s black (and NOT because his opponent is on social security and the next in line can probably name more hockey teams than she could former presidents). we throw stones at white serial killers (because…you know…we don’t do that) who sit on Oprah’s couch, but we watch Rapist Robert Kelly piss on kids then go buy his CD’s “because he makes good music.” where’s the logic?

wrong is wrong is wrong.

so….in closing…(cue superhero music) I call on my competent, brilliant, self-respecting readers to proudly punch the next person to speak out in defense of OJ, Mike Vick, or R. Kelly (or…Mariah Carey) in the top of their head. and repeat these words, “fuck.you.in.the.mouth.” don’t get mad, though. it’s a lost cause. it is an unfortunate truth that you can’t fix stupid, but, goddammit, you can shut it the fuck up for a few minutes.

thank you and goodnight.

~chris.alexander