Most Played in 2010....

....not to be confused with 'played out'.  Which is a whole other entry.

Since we are not so intrigued by posting a "Best of" list, we thought it would be interesting to see what folks were listening to the most in 2010. 

Come on Down -De La Soul feat. Flavor Flav [Paj1]
Shutterbug -Big Boi [IMTHATDUDE]
Untitled Track (Recovery Album) -Eminem [Dough]
All I Want Is You -Miguel feat. J Cole [pemora]
Outstanding -The Gap Band [missDTM]
Tangerine -Big Boi feat. TI & Khujo Goodie [Kev frum BK!]
Grenade -Bruno Mars [DJ Shakez]
Swing -Zero 7 [jayare20k]

Thanks to our loyal readers (all 4 of you) for contributing as well....what song did you listen to the most in 2010?

And, to the 4 loyal readers, Happy Freaking New Year!  Here's hoping to get a 5th reader in 2011!


Tron: Legacy [review]....by IMTHATDUDE

Tron: Legacy

After decades of chatter, sci-fi geeks have finally gotten what they’ve been clamoring over since Tron first hit the big screen in 1982. A sequel. And we all know how awesome sequels tend to be. Instant Correction: We all know how awesomely LAME sequels tend to be. Tron was no different.

First time feature the film director Joseph Kosinski helms Tron: Legacy, which is written by first time feature film writers Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz (they did write for several TV shows including Lost and the inimitable Birds of Prey! If you haven’t seen Birds of Prey, think Cleopatra 2525 but way worse). Jeff Bridges (Crazy Heart, The Big Lebowski) reprises his role as Kevin Flynn, the inventor of Tron. It also stars Garrett Hedlund (Country Strong, Troy), Olivia Wilde (Year One, Alpha Dog & TV’s House) and Bruce Boxleitner (Tron, TV’s Babylon 5). FYI: Legacy does get to boast of one good thing… they saw fit to give a smidget of screen time to one of my babies’ mamas – Christine Adams. Yes, I did say one of, because I have quite the substantial list of candidates ranging from starlets to writers. One day I will post that list, which is always subject to change (eg, Zoe Saldana’s recent departure from the list. Lo Siento, Zoe, but,if it makes it any easier for you, it was a difficult decision).


Here’s the quick and dirty for the sci-curious. Tron is a videogame, but more. It’s a cyber world created by Flynn (Bridges) based on a video game. Flynn’s been missing for over 20 years and left his son Sam (Hedlund) and the rest of the world wondering what happened. In actuality (not a SPOILER) Flynn’s been stuck inside of this cyber world the entire time until Alan (Boxleitner) gets a mysterious message from a disconnected number which accidentally leads Sam to get sucked into the world of Tron. Sam then has to track down his pops and fight his way home. Of course, this is no easy feat. First, Sam has to figure out the rules of this world, which include deadly games for digital survival (which of course has real implications in the real world) In the Tron world, unlike the Matrix, your actual physical body gets thrown inside the program, so if you die, there’s no trace of you homey.

You’re like Jimmy Hoffa or Nicki Minaj’s talent.

People will be wondering where you are for a long time.

If I told you more about the story, I’d be removing what little twisty bits of story the writers and directors pray will keep you in your seat and stop you from walking out or falling asleep.

Obviously, the best part of this movie was the effects. However, that was a little disappointing too. At times, I couldn’t help but think about how George Lucas must feel watching some of these Darth Maul rip-offs flit about the screen. There was anything groundbreaking about the graphics like Avatar and there was nothing incredible about the story or the story telling. It was obvious what would happen, how soon it would happen, and even HOW whatever was going to happen would happen. The only things that make this movie tolerable are the action sequences (which could be better and after 28 years, SHOULD be much better), the Christine Adams sighting, Olivia Wilde and Beau Garrett in their skin tight outfits, and the occasional Dude-isms from Bridges.

Also, Disney, it is NOT cool that I couldn’t find the original on DVD anywhere, which made it impossible to remember or figure out why I vaguely recall semi-liking it. I suspect, I probably didn’t like the original anydamnway. I absolutely hate not being able to compare films for continuity, quality, and character development. I think Disney didn’t want people to do that and Netflix is in on it with them. I smell a C-O-N spiracy.

Put in the most simple way I can, if you planned on seeing a good Jeff Bridges movie this season, then you need to go see True Grit (review coming soon).

That Dude gives Tron-Legacy: 2


1. They make crap this pure?
2. Couldn’t be more under-whelmed.
3. Not too shabby, I won’t ask for my money back.
4. Pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty good./Worth the 12 bucks.
5. Why are you reading this and not seeing this movie? Jackass.

True Grit [review]...by IMTHATDUDE

True Grit

Now, this is a how you do a remake. True Grit is so worth the venture out of the warmth of your crib and onto the frozen tundra. Just don’t do like I did and see it in a touristy area like Union Square or Times Square. Why, you ask… Because I nearly lost my temper and took it to the wild west on this skinny jean wearing youngster sitting behind me who couldn’t stop clipping my chair with his feet all because he couldn’t sit still. Here’s a hint for you douchebag, wear looser clothing! You’re a DUDE. If you don’t let ‘em breathe, they’ll demand their freedom, moron. I’m sorry, but I had to vent for a second.

So . . . Ethan and Joel Coen (Fargo, No Country for Old Men) these brothers (not brothAs) got busy on the rewrite of the classic John Wayne film and jumped behind the camera to direct what is a truly laudable reincarnation.

Jeff Bridges (Tron, Tron: Legacy), Matt “How ‘bout dem apples” Damon (Bourne Trilogy, Good Will Hunting), Josh Brolin (No Country for Old Men, Jonah Hex) and Barry Pepper (Saving Private Ryan, Casino Jack) all take a back seat to Hailee Steinfeld (some TV and Shorts, but no features).


14-year old Mattie Ross (Steinfeld) has come to collect her murdered father and settle his business. She intends to have justice for his murder and is determined to find the lawman capable of bringing in Tom Chaney (Brolin), the man who shot and killed her father. Did I mention she’s doing this on her own? Young, but incredibly wise beyond her years, the razor-tongued Mattie has gets her sights set on one Rueben “Rooster” Cogburn (Bridges) as her champion. Rooster happens to be an ill-tempered US Marshal, a war veteran, a dead shot shooter, and a serious drunk. But he’s also honorable and a straight talker… to everybody, whether you happen to be a killer with a gun pointed at him or a adolescent girl dangerously out of her depth. Mattie contracts Rooster to find and bring Chaney to justice (preferably so he can be “hanged” or in the alternative shot on the spot), but there’s a Texas Ranger also on the trail of Tom Chaney. LaBoeuf (Damon) is hunting Chaney and crosses paths with this vendetta-driven 14 year old and the aging agent.

In typical Coen brothers form, True Grit is very well written, especially the speaking parts for Mattie. Trust me, Urban Fam, we will be hearing from lil Hailee Steinfeld for many years to come in the same way we now hear from Abigail Breslin, Dakota Fanning, etc.

I had two issues with this flick (well, three if you count the euro-tool in the seat behind me) were 1) the pacing seemed a little off at times and 2) the Coen brothers seem to like to leave some sort of thought provoking statement at the end of their films and it doesn’t always work (for example, in No Country, when Tommy Lee Jones gives his soliloquy and then the movie just ends… WACK. I liken it to Spike Lee’s “WAKE UUUUUUUUP!” moment at the end of School Daze. So completely unnecessary.

That Dude gives True Grit: 4


1. They make crap this pure?
2. Couldn’t be more under-whelmed.
3. Not too shabby, I won’t ask for my money back.
4. Pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty good./Worth the 12 bucks.
5. Why are you reading this and not seeing this movie? Jackass.

Black Swan [review]....by IMTHATDUDE

Black Swan

microwave review

Written by Mark Heyman and Andres Heinz, this new film by Brooklyn boy Darren Aronofsky (Requiem for a Dream, The Wrestler) is aight, but I’m sorry to say, the more time I have to think about it - the more lame I think the movie was. There were some great things about it. Cinematography, dramatic performances by Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis, visual effects… yet… increasingly lame. So I talked to one of my fellow movie addicts after she saw it and she had a couple of simple ideas that would’ve made it a better movie – ideas different from the things I thought would’ve made it a better movie. The point is, if two non-movie makes can sit through the critically acclaimed film and come up with a bunch of easy fixes that could make this movie tighter, better, smarter, or cooler, then the movie can’t be THAT good.

It wasn’t. Like I said, it was just aight.


The story’s about Nina (Portman), a troubled up and coming ballet dancer, and her pursuit of perfection in the performance of her live – Swan Lake. That’s all folks. That’s all you MUST know.

Again, Natalie Portman’s performance was stellar, as usual. Hopefully, she went out and had some grub IMMEDIATELY after this movie was over. FYI: Natalie will be costarring in my sleeper pic of 2011, Thor – directed by the great Kenneth Branagh. You heard it here first - great expectations for Thor. It looks so much better than the other stuff on the horizon (like Green Lantern and Green Hornet).

Mila Kunis, impressive yet again – she was the best thing about two crappy movies in a row (Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Book of Eli). Who’d’ve thunk that Jackie from That 70s Show would turn out to be the best actor on the show? Mila is one of the two best things about Aronofsky’s flick. I hope she starts getting larger roles and better movies really soon.

That Dude gives Black Swan: 2.5 (that number could drop by the time I get around to doing my best of 2010 list)


1. They make crap this pure?
2. Couldn’t be more under-whelmed.
3. Not too shabby, I won’t ask for my money back.
4. Pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty good./Worth the 12 bucks.
5. Why are you reading this and not seeing this movie? Jackass.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows [review]....by IMTHATDUDE

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I

With a run time of two hours and twenty –six minutes (give or take a lifetime), I have to say I absolutely LOVED....leaving the theater.  LLLLLOVED IT.  Sweet Baby Jesus - this movie felt like a two hour twenty-six minute stint in a crowded maximum security prison shower with no guards – I’ve never been there, but it’s safe to assume you would really REALLY not like being there, especially if you knew that when you finally got to leave, it wouldn’t actually over yet because there’s a Part TWO! in just a few months.

I know, I know.  The Harry Potheads out there will disagree and chase me down like a finch at a quidditch tournament.  Yikes! Scary thought.  Oh, wait… grown ass people really do that.

Do I have to say it?  I mean… word?  Do I? 

Alas, to the flick deets.  The story is by Paper Stacks (government name “JK Rowling”) and on the keyboard is Steve Kloves (all the other HP’s except Order of the Phoenix, me thinks).  David Yates (Order of the Phoenix, Half-Blood Prince) directs the usual cast of characters, Daniel Radcliffe (aka “Potter. Harry Potter” – is it just me or is that name kinda soft core porn-ish?  Just me?  Emma Watson is Hermione Granger and Rupert Grint is Ron Weasley.  SIDE NOTE: People always make fun of black/brown folks names - what’s wrong with names like “Shamik Tetteh Pabon” – huh, pemora & paj1?  “Rupert Grint” is his real name!  I rest my freaking case. Ralph Fiennes, Helena Bonham Carter, Alan Rickman, and several others are all back for the penultimate HP movie.


This is Harry Potter’s seventh jaunt into the film world thanks to JK “Paper Stacks” Rowling who is sick with the pen.  Not that I read any of these books, but I tried to read Chamber of Secrets at a Barnes & Noble bookstore once but I don’t really get into stuff like this – unless, it’s onscreen.  If I’m going to get all cozy with a book, it aint gonna be about a tween wizard playing with brooms and wands.  A-yo!  I’ll pass.  I did read about 12 pages of one of these uber-best sellers from Paper Stack can write her tiny British bum off.

So, Harry reluctantly rallies his crew – Hermione and Ron.  Somehow they are foiled at nearly every turn as the try to find and destroy the mystical Hulcruxwhosiwhatsits. I think I should remind you – if you haven’t read the books or seen the previous flicks SPOILER ALERT ………………………………………………..Again, SPOILER ALERT!!!!!!!!

I should remind you that Dumbledore is dead as a doornail. For my Latinos - Albus es finito, mi hijo.  (Can you tell I’ve been practicing mi espaƱol?)  Voldemort (the villain who sounds like an STD – so let’s just call him VD, shall we?) is pooling his evil resources to effect the takeover of the ministry of magic and then… the WORLD. 

Bwahahahaha!  Who wouldn’t be scared of this face? 

If it wasn’t for Potter, Hermione, Weezy gumming up the works, he’d have an easy go about it to. 

As ominous as Voldemort and his death-eating crew seem, there really are only about 8 of those fools.  Yet, the good guys, who are plentiful, have the strength of a big bowl of puddin’ – more on this later.
So, Harry, Weezy and Hermione get their whosiwhatsit destroying quest under way, but they have to fend off the constant threat of the VD gang.  Long story short, it’s a race against time in this NEVER ending saga of good vs. evil and goody for us, they let us watch it slowly unfold over the course of 6 days (or 2 ½ hours, whatever).

My problem:  Too many good guys not enough bad guys.  Are the good guys that “pudding” or are the bad guys so freaking g’d up that the good guys and all their goodness were simply impotent against them?  That may not be what the books portray, but the movies do.  The book MIGHT explain that, but the movie… sho’ don’t.  I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again before my time on the intrawebs is over – Every movie should stand and feel complete on its own merit.  I shouldn’t need a workbook or companion manual to go along with the film.

Listen, the special effects were very good.  They usually are.  The plot, as an individual movie, was a little weak.  Pretty weeny, in fact.   Again, let me say Paper Stacks is an exceptional writer.  I just couldn’t help the feeling that I was sitting through what was largely a placeholder until the actual movie started.  How would you feel if the coming attractions lasted nearly 2 hours and the movie was only about 26 minutes long?  Well, that’s how it felt?  Me and the throngs of Potheads basically shelled out our doe as the studios maximized the total revenue yield from the Deathly Hallows.

It had so much potential from the outset.  People dying.  Darker tone.  All that good stuff.  Not your little sibling’s Mr. Potter. But then… it just kinda got lame and returned to lame-status quite frequently throughout the one hundred and forty-six minutes of run time.  Potheads unite against me if you will. 

But I’m like Severus.  You aint about to kill me, baby.  Oh… wait…

(PS: JK, I see you. If you’re ever in need a brother to give you some Severus BLACK Snape, holla at me.  I’m kidding.  I just wanted to get my point across about the character names in this series.)

That Dude gives Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I: 2


 1. They make crap this pure?

                                 2. Couldn’t be more under-whelmed.
                                 3. Not too shabby, I won’t ask for my money back.

                                 4. Pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty good./Worth the 12 bucks.
5. Why are you reading this and not seeing this movie? Jackass.


UR Gives Thanks

Yeah, yeah, we're a day late + a dollar short on this whole giving thanks thing, but blame the coquito-induced coma for our tardiness. Anyway, some things that we are giving thanks for this year:

Photo courtesy of MissInfo.TV
Me? I'm thankful for Kanye West's mental health.  Did anyone peep his ode to Earth, Wind + Fire outfit at the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade? Pure entertainment.  That man has me laughing for days. ~ pemora

I'm thankful Jay-Z's Decoded was only 18 bucks on Amazon.com, because if it wasn't it would have stayed right there on the shelf. Not to mention in one week I've already run into two cute women (bookworms of the non-chicken variety) also reading it at the same time.

I give thanks for super long remixes with every rapper like on Chris Brown's "Deuces" that make you forget about the original song. ~ JBoogs

I'm thankful for rapper names like Wocka Flocka Flame and Wiz Khalifa.  Wait...how do you spell Wiz Khalifa?
~ Paj1


Holiday Wish List (for the ladies!)...by pemora

When I was little, I thought Santa Claus was a cute old white man but never believed that he was the one actually bringing me presents.  I always knew that my parents were the ones hooking me up, so at a very young age I decided I would help them.  Once the Sunday circulars arrived at our house promoting holiday sales, I would gather them all up and create a master shopping list for my parents.  This included a clear description of every item I wanted, with comparison prices at each of the major stores.  For efficiency, I would also highlight the lowest price for my parents, so that they knew which store to go for the bargain deal.

I was such a thoughtful kid.

This habit still lives strong, as I usually tell my husband the 1 or 2 items that I would really like and even email him several links, so that he knows exactly where to buy it from.  Although this removes the element of surprise, I was never one to be left in the dark, so it is always a success.*

*Note: I do have 1 quick admission...the occasional times when the baby daddy DOES surprise me? Always ends up being the BEST gifts and ones that I never ever would have thought of/asked for/seen myself with.

So, here is a little holiday wish list.  For all of you, not me.  I am trying to do this "giving" thing.  But if you buy me one of these items, I would not complain.


Get Your Read On....by pemora

Note: this is not a book review. I have not read either book and I am still debating whether or not I will.  I DO know, however, that I am purchasing the anthology for the baby daddy for Christmas.  And I can say that on this public forum because, as supportive as he is, the baby daddy NEVER reads UR.  Which says a lot about our relationship.  But, alas, I won't go there.

Recently, Dough put me on to this New York Magazine article by Sam Anderson.  Trust me, you need to stop reading UR right now, click on the link and then come back to us.  It will be worth the minute it will take you to read the whole article.

Back?  Okay, I found that article to be quite nauseating (seriously, son, you have never heard of a 2pac song?) and even the idea of two professors compiling lyrics for the anthology has me a bit skeeved.  Let me try to explain -- like the good Dominican mother that I am, I am overprotective of the genre of hip hop.  I quite often feel that it is 'ours' not 'theirs' (lately, my definition of those two words has come to mean a generational difference) and I fight with people over the commercialization of the music.  Of course, I also like me some Weezy, so I am a case in contradictions.  But this is why I can never fully explain my defensive nature when it comes to hip hop.

I am intrigued by the idea of this anthology and wonder what some of my favorite songs look like on paper.  And while I am annoyed that Sam Anderson asked the ultimate hip hop question (who is the best lyricist of all-time), I thoroughly enjoy thinking about it. 

So, will you purchase the book?  What do you think of this anthology?

By the way, while looking this up on Amazon, I came across Jay-Z's Decoded.  After eagerly awaiting its release when I was teaching a course on 90's hip hop last year (see? Contradictions again), I completely forgot that it was dropping this month.  Given that I consider Jay-Z to be one of the best of the best, I might have to purchase this one for myself.

Some background -- the original concept of the book was to explain and give context to his lyrics.  It looks like they have expanded on the idea a little, with Jay-Z also adding some social commentary.

In all, it looks like I am purchasing both books this winter.  What about you?  Any interest in either book?


UR's Top 10 MC's of the 21st Century....by UR Staff

A couple of weeks ago, BET held a roundtable discussion (the only really note-worthy person in attendance was Jermaine Dupri....take from that what you will) discussing the Top 10 MC's of the 21st Century.  The rules, as far as we understood them (can you tell that we didn't actually watch the show?) was to include rappers that started in the last decade, they had to drop an album post-1999, and no groups.  This was their list:

1. Eminem
2. Lil' Wayne
3. Kanye West
4. 50 Cent
5. T.I.
6. Ludacris
7. Drake
8. Young Jeezy
9. Jadakiss
10. Rick Ross

The UR staff got into a pretty interesting conversation about our own top 10 lists.  After a little bit of back + forth, we decided that our list would be:

1. Mos def
2. Kanye
3. Eminem
4. Weezy
5. Talib
6. TI
7. Luda
8. Fab
9. Jadakiss
10. Lupe
Honorable Mention: Little Brother (sadness about the no groups rule)

Cleary, we all felt a bit confined by the rules set forth by BET.  In the end, I think we were all comfortable giving Mos the top honors.  It is interesting to note that we were a house divided on our stance about Weezy (IMTHATDUDE would rather we included Wayne Brady).

Thoughts?  Do you agree or disagree with us?  Anyone you would add/take off?

~UR Staff


Def Jam Rapster [review]....by pemora

As a huge fan of Guitar Hero (I mean, huge. As in, hours upon hours of battling each other with the plastic wireless ugly-ass guitars), I was a wee bit unsure of whether I would like the new Def Jam Rapstar.  Would Rapster do for hip hop what Guitar Hero did for rock?

(let me explain....as a result of the marathon battles of Guitar Hero, I can now walk into any hole-in-the-wall bar and sing at the top of my lungs with my fellow gringos. "Heart-Shaped Box"? Check. "Shout at the Devil?" Check. "Message in a Bottle"? Check.)

So, when my sis gave Rapster to the baby daddy as a birthday gift, I was excited to try it out.  The first thing I noticed was the small size of the mic (no dirty minds, children). As a HHK-veteran, I am used to the weight of a real mic. But, alas, this is HHK for my living room, so I just need to get over out.

Next, I was pleasantly surprised at the selection of songs.  Everything from 'Gin + Juice' to 'Scenario' to 'Get Low' and 'Best I Ever Had'.  Even though there is a nice selection, I would like to see MORE songs included.  I am excited to see which songs can be downloaded.

Finally, this is a fun group party game. Our group of friends each took turns and it was hilarious to see folks perform.  I quickly realized a couple of things:

1. 'Push It' really only has 2 words in the entire song. And some ahhh's in there too.
2. I know every single word to 'Crush on You'.  Every. Single. Word.
3. IMTHATDUDE is painfully shy. Get on the mic, son.
4. Paj1 is so not shy. Did he really perform 'Turn My Swag On' in front of everyone?

All in all, an amusing game.  I'm not sure how long one can stay entertained after running through the list of about 25 songs, which is why I need to look into this download option.  Also, I forgot how entertaining some of these videos are. Seriously, the 'Scenario' video just so reminds me of being a teenager.  Oh, and how much I loved skinny, backpack, Busta Rhymes.

Yours truly performing 'Slam' by Onyx. Yes, in a frilly blouse. I'm a mess.


Bringing Me Back from Shopping Death...by pemora

One person who was quite supportive during my shopping hiatus was Merl over at Clyde's Rebirth.  Not only is she someone who ALWAYS answers my emails/tweets/posts/smoke signals but she constantly has something witty/charming/insightful to say. Not a wasted word from this one.  And she hooked me up with a pretty badass red silk jumpsuit that makes me look like the Latina version of Donna Summer circa 'On The Radio'.  Oh yes, it is THAT badass.

Anyway, Merl is hosting a pretty sick giveaway that I just had to enter.  For more details and to check out her rad lookbook, head on over to Clyde's Rebirth.  Run don't walk.


I think this giveaway is just the motivation I need to get out of my shopping rut.  Am Ex, I'm back, baby!


On The Eve [Shop Free September Update]....by pemora

On the eve of the finale of my Shop Free September initiative, I feel very very excited.  Before I tell you all the things that I really want to buy (yes, I know that defeats the purpose), I wanted to take a moment to be a little reflective.  Because, well, wasn't that the point of all of this?

1. It is very hard to keep my promise.  I totally cheated.  Twice.  The 1st time was on FNO, when I stood on a very long line, for a very long time, with very high wedges on a cobblestone road all to see Rachel Zoe.  ADJ from Green Eggs and Glam was with me and when we decided to hop off of the line (because some skanky model-looking chicks cut about 2/3 of the folks in the line and I was quite hungry and it was obvious that Ms. Zoe was not going to see us) I realized that I could no longer feel my toes.  At all.  And suddenly my awesome red rose jacket was being molested by fabulous gay boys and I had to take very deep breaths to even take 1 step.  I am not even sure how we ended up in the JCrew, but once I saw some flat shoes, I was sold.  So, yes, I bought them.  I'm sorry.

The 2nd time was when I ordered a crapload of clothes for my son from the Gap and saw that there was a cute sparkly bracelet in my shopping cart and did nothing to remove it.  I just pressed 'order' and called it a night.  I have no excuse for that one.

2. I shop because I am bored/jealous/anxious/happy.  Give me an emotion and I'll give you a reason to shop.

3. I miss receiving packages in the mail.  Actually, I used to miss it.  I don't really miss it anymore.

4. I buy a lot of crappy, trendy, poorly-made items.  When I started "shopping from my closet", I realized that the pieces I love the most are all of my thrifted items and my more "luxury" pieces (JCrew, people. So not luxury, but luxury to me).  I need to not buy little things on a daily basis and save my pennies for nicer items.

5. I am a pretty boring person when I am not shopping.  As I realized during my sister's twitter campaign, I have very little to say when I am not buying things.  When did this become an integral part of my persona?  Why did I let shopping define me?  I used to read books and take walks....ok, I never took walks, but I used to read.  A lot.  I have totally let shopping take up huge chunks of time, that I should rededicate to the things I love.

That being said, I want to buy the following things.  Don't hate me, I am a work in progress.


RIP 2pac....by pemora

Today marks the 14th anniversary of the death of Tupac Shakur.

I must admit that Tupac's death did not hit me as hard as Biggie's.  Maybe in part because I was totally into the whole East Coast/West Coast shenanigans and felt that I just HAD to like Biggie.  The other part was that the one-two punches of their deaths left Biggie's feeling much more serious and scary.  And, I think, the last reason is that I, like many people, kinda believed that Tupac was alive + kicking it in Cuba (have you heard that theory?).

It wasn't until very recently that I truly realized what a loss 2Pac's death has meant to the hip hop community.  I  was reading some of his lyrics and had to pause because he was saying some ish that was deep on so many levels.  And stuff that feels oh so relevant, even after over a decade of time had passed.

But I think what truly gets me about Tupac is that I could have this revelation about how deep + profound he was, and yet, my favorite song of all-time is "I Get Around".  Yes, the feminist in me is slowly dying, but I bet she is doing a damn good booty jiggle.  I love this song.  Don't hate me.

PS: Shop Free September has been hard.  Today was pretty darn stressful + I came home, excited to purchase something pretty + wonderful.  Alas, nada.  So I poured myself a glass (ahemredplasticcupahem) of wine and called it a night.


RIP Fat Beats....by pemora

Even though I am not a DJ (but I do know some pretty cool ones: check here and here), I have always had a love for vinyl records.  There is something exciting, precise, and energetic when holding an LP.  In fact, my best friend gave me my favorite birthday gift to date when she took one of my poems and wrote it out on BIG's 'Juicy' LP.  How awesome is that?

This is why I was particularly saddened to hear that Fat Beats would be closing its doors and focusing on its online store.  Even though all of my music is purchased through iTunes (or given to me by jayare + DJ Shakez), the idea of a place like Fat Beats was comforting.  It always felt like this cool nugget in NYC, a place where hip hop heads could gather and discover new sounds/groups/individuals.  In my mind, there was a hip hop mafia that would meet in a secret back room of Fat Beats, that was only accessible when pulling on Grand Master Flash's 'The Message'.  I have a vivid imagination.

I was happy to get to visit the NYC store a week before it closed.  I hope you enjoy the photo tour.


Throwback Thursday....You Can't See What I Can See

Sometimes you just wake up the morning with a song in your head and you have to play it on repeat.  53 times.  That is what happened today.  No rhyme or reason to wanting to hear this song, just did.  *shrug*

Although, I must admit to always having a super duper secret crush on Heavy D.


Scott Pilgrim vs the World [review]...by IMTHATDUDE

Scott Pilgrim vs the World

This one goes out to MissDTM -

Dopeness... almost. Scott Pilgrim vs the World (SPvW) was real close to being just plain dopey, but made me laugh enough to take it out of the realm of kitsch. SPvW was wholly imaginative and original; it’s no wonder my artsy (sorry, I know a lot of you don’t like that term, but I think people would be confused if I called you all the “A-word”) friends loved this film so much with Edgar Wright (Hot Fuzz, Shuan of the Dead) at the helm. Wright also co-writes SPvW with Michael Bacall (Bookies) based on the work of Bryan Lee O’Malley.

The title character is played by Michael Cera (Superbad, Juno), but at this point one wonders whether he is actually acting… food for thought (don’t think too long…okay, you should be done by now… quit it!). Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Live Free or Die Hard, Death Proof) plays Ramona Flowers, Anna Kendrick (Up in the Air) is Stacey Pilgrim, Ellen Wong is Knives Chau, Aubrey Plaza (Parks & Recreations, Funny People) is Julie Powers, Jason Schwartzman (who I think is kind of hilarious despite the fact that he owes me $12 plus interest for having to sit through the Darjeeling Limited) is Gideon Graves, and Kieran Culkin (McCauley’s brother, but I defy you to tell me the difference) is Wallace Wells. Brandon Routh (Superman Returns) also makes an appearance in this flick as the Todd the Vegan.


The story is simple. Scott (Cera), a 20 something nerdy jobless guitar player, is dating Knives (Wong) a uniform wearing high-schooler - it’s totally cool though because they haven’t done anything yet, so he’s totally not a perv. He’s just – ummm – what’s the word… “PREvert” (you know, a burgeoning pervert). Basically he’s somewhere between this…

and this…

Anyway, Scott has recently had his heart broken by his previous girlfriend and clearly has some serious emotional baggage as he has to deal with the fact that his ex has now obtained some pop-star Avril Levigne type success and is about as ubiquitous as a Lady Gaga joint. Anyway, Scott stumbles his corny ass upon the mysterious Ramona Flowers (Winstead) who comes with a little baggage of her own. Well, she kinda comes with a set of baggage. A slew of Ramona’s exes have banded together and in order for Scott to date Ramona, he must defeat her seven evil exes in battle.

I know, I know. This aint Atonement – be grateful. SPvW takes on a videogame-esque feel as Scott faces the evil exes and battles them for the right to date Ramona. I can’t tell you too much more than that except this was wildly imaginative and surprisingly funny. Even the fake thugs in the theater were cracking up, but you also have to pay attention. Wright (that’s the director, stay with me people, we’re almost there) finds a way to make this movie utterly entertaining without making it totally annoying. That is a major-MAJOR accomplishment given how gimmicky it is. SPvW gives you guitar solos AND kung-fu fights straight out of the old school gamers’ archives along with Batman type special effects (60’s TV Show Batman, not “Why so serious?” Heath Ledger/Christian Bale Batman). How many movies can you say give you guitars, jokes, kung fu, and video games and even a little Bollywood? Yeah, I said it. There’s a little bit of Bollywood thrown in the flick, just for good measure. ASIDE: That was one diverse and progressive a$$ Canadian town.

So… funniest stuff to look out for are the little popup information bubbles, almost anything Kieran Culkin did (that sleep texting thing is pure comedy), and the battle between Scott and the Todd the Vegan. “Chicken Parm’s not vegan?” Young and old people (by old I mean north of 35… What? I kid), knuckleheads and chuckleheads alike all found the movie funny. I think you will too – but I think it falls in the category of movies that once I’ve seen it, I don’t need to watch it again for a really really long time.

That Dude gives SPvW: 3.5 (although I’d like to add another ½ for that chicken parm line)


1. They make crap this pure?
2. Couldn’t be more under-whelmed.
3. Not too shabby, I won’t ask for my money back.
4. Pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty good./Worth the 12 bucks.
5. Why are you reading this and not seeing this movie? Jackass.


Throwback Thursday.....Cool Like That

I just finished watching a documentary on BET entitled 'My Mic Sounds Nice: The Truth About Women and Hip Hop'.  I might write more about my thoughts/feelings about the documentary, but what I have really been thinking about is how beautiful Ladybug Mecca is.  I know she was a bit of a crackhead for a minute, but I think she is truly stunning now.  And I distinctly remember wanting to be her (right down to being in a jazz/hip hop group with 2 other dudes) when I was in high school.


Shop Free September....by pemora

If you have been following us on twitter, you might know that I have decided to embark on a 30 day shopping diet. Why? Why would I do this to myself when NYFW is next week?

The simple answer is that I would like to challenge myself. Of course, there is a more complex answer to this question....

I think of this as the Evolution of My Shopping Habits...

I did not grow up poor. I grew up in a very working/middle class home, where I didn't always hear the word 'yes', but I also hardly heard the word 'no'. By the time I was a senior in high school, my weekly allowance allowed me a biweekly shopping trip to Contempo Casuals and, if I budgeted well, a monthly trip to the Gap. In fact, I remember my parents telling me that the Gap was way out of my budget and that I needed to keep it moving whenever I saw a Gap store.

The thing was, I attended a private school in NYC, where students were ridiculed for buying cashmere from Bloomingdales. Where the one girl, in retrospect, who was actually stylish was called a witch/hippie/lesbian on her way to class. Where flip flops were considered dirty and hood.

But I grew up in the Bronx, where style was defined by Cross Colours and Africa medallion necklaces. I tried, not always successfully, to navigate the preppy school life with my hood tendencies. And, all on my postal worker dad's allowance.

College is a blur (I mean, seriously, who cares what you wear in college?)....but I remember that with my 1st post-college paycheck, I was excited that I could go to the Gap and purchase something for full-price.

I haven't really thought about the extent of my shopping habits since then. My shopping habits lean towards Payless, Target, and Etsy, but I shop early and often. I need to figure out why retail therapy is the answer to every stress in my life.

I hope that this will be a good thing. That I will find alternate ways to deal with life's issues. That my Am Ex will miss me as much as I will miss it.

Please feel free to join me on this voyage....