Entertainment news and musings from a pop culture geek

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Are You Based?

Unless you've been living in a cave--or just don't have your ear to the rap blogs--then by now you've probably heard of Hip-Hop's latest internet phenom Lil B the BasedGod. (Some who have would probably rather be in the cave) If you haven't here's a quick refresher: his flow is nonexistent, his raps are inane and usually consist of taking your bitch and having more swag (his favorite word) than you, and he apparently looks like A LOT of people. Oh and people love him. Confession: I kind of do too (Pause). There's just plain stupid and there's hilariously stupid, and if Based God doesn't fall in the latter for you then your sense of humor needs some freshening. While the rest of you rap geeks drool over Odd Future, for whatever reason, I'm sticking with the guy that actually made the freshmen class this year. Without further ado here are the four essential BasedGod songs. SWAG!

*Based Facts - Lil B was originally a member of The Pack. You know, the Vans song and such.*

Suck My Dick Hoe
My favorite Lil B song and easily his most listenable, as in, you can make it through the whole track with your brain cells intact. (Although its not nearly as fun if just audio.) Young BasedGod came straight for the bitches, so where does he go for this visual but the local mall. (Curiously there's nary a bad chick in it though.) Watch Lil Brandon play with iPads, lurk around Sephora, and post up near the mall car while he tells you why the hoes prefer him over you...cause he looks like Ben and Jerry of course! These are his most fun lyrics I've heard (you will die when you hear some of the celebrity comparisons) and the beat is actually hot as hell. Just don't expect him to actually competently flow over it.

**Based Facts - At Lil B shows fans often show up decked out in aprons and chef hats in recogniton of his cooking dance, and scream things like "Based God can fuck my bitch." (Or worse, their mom.) Last January Based God held a show at the reputable Highline Ballroom in NYC. It was sold out.**

Ellen DeGeneres
He's Ellen DeGeneres. Why that's a cool person to be, especially for a dude I have no idea. Don't question it, just sit back for the pure comedy of lines like "Swag swag swag swag brrrrang dang dang yo girlfriend." Also if you thought the Based One wasn't catching on, watch two banging ass girls do the cooking dance in the club.

***Based Facts - Lil B is affiliated with Soulja Boy, [allegedly] even writing his hit song "Pretty Boy Swag."***

Age of Information
Lil B actually tries to add some, y'know, content to his songs with this one, talking about the evils of technology. Or something like that. I didn't really make it to the end. Pathetic attempts at substance like this aren't the appeal of based music. But the real story behind this is UC Berkley Professor Geoffrey D. Nunberg actually PLAYED this song for his Media Studies class earlier this year, citing that Lil B brings up several "good and interesting points." Wtf? Now the fact that this lecture just happened to be recorded and its in B.G.'s hometown of Berkley at that kinda screams hoax. But if not...damn Based God, you doin...everything.

****Based Facts - Respectable journalists love him. No like, really, respectable journalists.****

T-shirts and Buddens
Nevermind the head-scratcher of a title, this song is...not bad. Yea I said it. This is Lil B at his lyrical best, (admittedly that still doesn't amount to much) going at Joe Budden's neck for some reason that I don't care enough to look up. Whatever the beef Young Based was clearly offended and drops hilarious gems over a smooth beat like "Joe BuddenTV...no, Joe BITCH TV." It's worth sitting through the entire song just to hear the kiss-off line, "You just got dissed by a pretty bitch." Proof that if and when Brandon actually tries, he might be a decent rapper after all.

*****Based Facts - If someone says you look like Based God then by transitive property you also look like, Ellen DeGeneres (see above), Miley Cyrus, J.K. Rowling, Bill Clinton, Justin Bieber, Ben&Jerry, Matlock, Darth Vader and...Jesus. Sooooo, compliment?*****

So...thoughts? An imbecile who found a way to market his imbecility? A normal guy acting like a fool just to get attention? Rhodes Scholar conducting a hoax for his dissertation on the stupidity and gullibility of American popular music listeners? (God I hope it's the latter...)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Songs of the Week

West Coast - Coconut Records
Homesick just when I thought I was sick of home. Oh, wait...from New Jersey. Oh well, the PCH sounds like a much better place to be right now. Some day, perhaps.

What We Know - Miles Fisher
Miles is a struggling actor with an uncanny resemblance to Christian Bale AND Tom Cruise, whose credits include Superhero Movie and an upcoming [yet another] Final Destination sequel. Soooo yeaaaa, not doing too hot. He also sings, and while I can't really lay claim to his acting skills yet it's a real shame that he's flying under the radar in this field because he's got a great voice. He has an EP with a great cover of previous Song of the Week, Talking Heads' "This Must Be the Place" (Youtube the video, you'll see what I mean about that Christian Bale comparison), and this song, which is admittedly pop as hell and a little...odd. But I love it, and for some reason it's been in constant rotation this week. Enjoy.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Songs of the Week

Change Is Gonna Come - DMX
*So apparently the Sam Cooke sample got this taken down. Listen here: http://www.thelifefiles.com/2011/02/07/new-dmx-change-is-gonna-come-prod-by-swizz-beatz/
If you really fuck with it, leave your email in the comments*

Is this real life? DMX actually sat down in between jail bids (he's currently serving out a year for GodKnowsWhatThisTime; his 7th or 8th term) and made a song? A decent...wait, a HOT song? How? Is it 2001 ? Credit Swizz Beatz for being a good friend. You can't keep a grown man clean but throw him a good beat, lock him in the studio and that old greatness might resurface. I was quite skeptical when this dropped a couple weeks ago as part of Swizzy's weekly #MonsterMondays fake ass G.O.O.D. Friday free music initiative. Fast forward a few minutes later and I'm actually downloading it. Then fast forward to the other day, when I played it like 12 times in as many hours. My cynicism is warranted, for those who aren't in the know regarding how Dark Man X spends his time these days. He hasn't released an album in almost five years now. In that time span not a single loosey either, and if so it was so bad I mentally blocked it. Add the fact that he's probably spent more time in prison than his actual home, assuming he hasn't sold it for crack money. But man the lyrics...aren't terrible. Far from it. (Not perfect either though: "Industry's moving in a different direction/kinda like a bitch with an erection" ...*Shrug*) Can X get clean and pull a Recovery? (To be honest he could probably top Em in bottom of the barrel woe-was-me-ness). Let's hope Swizz keeps his man on his toes when he gets out. More like this please.

1997 - Dom Kennedy

"1997, I wrote my first rhyme/'I wanna marry you' is what I told my first dime/had my first drink, rolled my first dime/and I knew I was that nigga for the very first time."
This guy' s next. When he blows remember the Connoisseuraus told you. From the Westside with Love. Download it. That is all.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Songs of the Week

*Songs plural because at 4420 and counting you simply can't choose one*

Pandemonium - Rick Ross Ft. Meek Mill & Wale

The Boyz in the Hood intro is too cool. When you hear Ricky Rozay's now trademark Australian chick whispering "Maybach Music" before the beat drops you can't help but get excited and thankfully the track lives up to it. A sick beat that's mercifully NOT produced by some double L dude from the South that you may have heard of. Ross continues to step up his bars ("Armadillo cigars, killers who like to play golf/heroin transactions with Russian shots of the Smirnoff") and with recent Maybach Music Group signees Wale and Meek Mill proves that he may be able to pull off a hot label after all, cause those Triple C's dudes are not it (Don't know what I'm talking about? Exactly).  He already proved he was here to stay after managing to steal some summer spotlight for himself from Drake and Eminem last year; I'm already excited to see what the Boss has in store for 2011.

And to highlight my eclecticism...

This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody) - The Talking Heads

Not much to say about this besides it being one of the best songs of all time. Yea, I said it. Been banging this for the past two weeks like it was new or something [1983]. Enjoy. Peep the cover by Miles Fisher too: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G29d6RDSK1c

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Top 20 Episodes of Entourage

A collection of the greatest episodes from one of the top 10 best shows of all time. Yea. I said it.
*#.## denotes season and episode number*

Check out and even bigger and better version of the list here: http://www.complex.com/pop-culture/2011/09/the-25-best-entourage-episodes

Tree Trippers, 5.05 - Vince is in a career crisis so the gang turns to the original gangster Eric Roberts to take them on a vision quest at Joshua Tree, powered by some A-grade shrooms. A lot to like here, like Lloyd and his bf's gay house party at Ari's house while his family is gone (Pause), ER's unsaturated venom towards Ari ("We could just kill him out here and no one would know"), and Eric's shroom-induced muteness.

20. Bottoms Up, 7.05 - For the line "Vagina is my third favorite hole" alone. Delivered by Johnny Drama, natch.

19. Malibooty, 4.03 - There are very few 'bad' episodes of Entourage because it's got a fully functioning ensemble cast. The A story may sometimes be stagnant, boring or stale but you can always count on the comedy duos of Turtle & Drama and/or Ari & Lloyd to salvage the show. So even though Vince spends the episode pretty much just hanging out with Dennis Hopper while he and Eric have some mild-grade beef over Billy's cut of Medellin, the episode is saved by comedy team number one's ridiculous dalliance with two '90s party girls that Drama used to know. Ton of great one-liners in this one from Drama's insistence that Turtle's date gives "the best rimjobs" or guest star -and MILF- Lisa Rinna's deadpan delivery of: "Whaddya say we get out of here and go fuck?", plus Ari-to-Vince re: Eric's subterfuge "Do you know your man escpaed from the oopma-loompa factory, and is up to no good!?"

18. The Resurrection, 3.18 - You rarely find yourself feeling sorry for these guys, for no reason other than that they almost always get everything they want. That is, except for Drama, whose pathetic career spiral is often played for laughs. So as Drama seems to be getting teed for yet another public failure with his new TV show, nothing was more surprising than the decidedly non-funny shot of him driving off into the night crying, and after three and a half seasons of bad luck nothing was more rewarding than Drama waking up in his Lincoln to the boys plus Lloyd calling to tell him the premiere was a hit. Victory!

17. Scared Straight, 6.11 - Gearing up for the terrific season finale, the show wisely acknowledges its characters' ages, captruing E at the moment I can only imagine all single 30 something dudes have, experiencing the fatigue -and health hazards- of fucking around and the desire to settle down. Getting with one of Johnny Drama's conquests would give anybody pause.

16. Sorry, Harvey, 4.04 - The one-sidedness of preceding episode and #19 on this list is rectified with its successor, which is firing on almost all cylinders. E must tell Harvey, a notoriously unhinged and scary producer that he and Vince are backing out of a partnership, but repeatedly chokes after witnessing display after funny display of the man's insanity; Drama's vanity is on high as he ropes Vince into taking out the mayor of Beverly Hills so his condo will be annexed into the zip code. Of course E and Harvey (R.I.P. actor Maury Chaykin) end up where Vince and Drama are and shit goes down, with a cherry on top thanks to the all seeing eye of TMZ. Surprisingly its pinch-hitter Ari who gets saddled with a pretty flat plot involving M. Night Shymalan. That fucking guy.

15. The Day Fuckers, 4.07 - In a low-key but still hilariously memorable episode the Chase brothers bet on who could get laid the fastest in 24 hours between E and Turtle, but it becomes less about the competition and more about Eric's awkwardness when it comes to casual sex. Featuring an always welcome Sloan appearance and a terrific, laugh-out-loud sight gag at the end.

14. Seth Green Day, 5.10 - Entourage's best guest star pops back in for an encore appearance as Eric's nemesis, this time with Bow Wow in the mix. And in this episode's edition of Ari vs. Babs, Ari battles her to hire an old friend and ends up crashing her luncheon.

13. Three's Company/Strange Days, 3.06-3.07 - E, Sloan, guest star Malin Akerman have a threesome. 'Nuff said. No cheat, it really plays like a two-parter as the aftermath in 3.07 has funny, awkward results for Eric. Also assorted hilariousness involving Ari, Mrs. Ari and nemeses Terrance and Melinda Clarke reprising her role as...Melinda Clarke, Terrance's random trophy wife. (But really, who wouldn't marry her?)

12. Play'n with Fire, 5.11 - In which Turtle finally gets his day, spending a magical 24 hours with Jamie-Lynn Sigler (he even tells her his government!) and Vince's battle with the Smokejumpers director erupts into one of the more absurd, in a good way, and ultimately somber climaxes this show has seen.

11. I Love You Too, 2.09 - this show is at its comedic, satirical best when its mocking or integrating events and practices in Hollywood that are business-as-usual to industry insiders, so of course at some point the gang had to venture to Comic-Con San Diego, and of course Drama is a nerd hero there. The Drama between Vince and Mandy Moore continues to unfold and surprisingly not be annoying, meanwhile Turtle enlists three porn stars to help Vince get a dickhead journalist (Rainn Wilson) off his back. Did I mention said porn stars are at Comic-Con promoting something called "Pussy Patrol?" Yea, *dead*.

10. Sorry, Ari, 3.12 - More satiric greatness as Vince and the gang go agent shopping, only to be disillusioned by the detached corporate-ness of it all. ("Microsoft! Coca-Cola!...Vincent Chase!") Drama may be the failure of the family but he's also the more experienced (he has a fishbowl full of agency business cards) and it's him that talks some sense into Vince to realize that no other agency can duplicate Ari's true loyalty. Alas miscommunication is the death of all relationships. The intelligent look at the Vince-Ari friendship and dynamic is enough to help ignore the fact that the impulse to fire him came out of nowhere and is a tad bit overreactive. Hell of a mid-season cliffhanger though.

9. The Sundance Kids, 2.06 - Entourage's sophomore season is easily its best, but it wouldn't be a very fun list if more than half of it was from one season. Still, credit where credit is due. It was hard to decide between s2 eps, with omitted gems like "The Bat Mitzvah," and "Blue Balls Lagoon" but it had to come down to this one, featuring the first appearance of crazy Harvey, a predictable but still very funny subplot involving Turtle, Drama and the gang's hot driver for the festival, and a risky gamble by Vince and E that pays off in landing the biggest fish of them all, James Avatar Titanic Terminator Cameron.

8. Neighbors, 2.05 - The craziness of real-life Bob Saget, one of TVs most famous wholesome dads, is a well the show visits often but they can never mimic the genius of his first appearance as Vince's neighbor. The ever oblivious Vince has no idea who he even is but they both have more in common than they know regarding some other neighbors. Get it? More in Carmen.

7. The Script and the Sherpa, 1.05 - There's a weed drought in LA and what's worse, Vince is letting his new, earthy girlfriend voice her opinion on career ish much to Eric's chagrin. The show started out with a certain offbeat quality it never quite maintained for better or worse after the first season but it's on high here when the guys visit a Sherpa for that sherm, played by an unrecognizable Val Kilmer, the first to show that special guest stars could do more than just say hey it's me, and E appeals to a creepy gay producer for Vince's new film (that Kyle XY dude answers the door, E says is your dad home, Kyle XY responds 'oh you must mean my daddy"...uh, yea, offbeat).

6. Give a Little Bit, 6.12 - a surprisingly sweet episode and one that significantly advances the plot...well, characters, after a season that mostly stood still, wrapping things up so nicely that some feared it was actually the series finale. It's everything the show does well: celebrity cameos (Matt Damon takes aim for best Entourage guest) over the top Ari (the paintball sequence is so awesome you can ignore the fact that he'd realistically be facing about a dozen lawsuits), Hollywood high stakes (Drama vs. the audition...again), awesome music direction (an inspired choice of Old Hov's first ever single "In My Lifetime (Remix)"). Oh, and genuine romance. Act like you didn't crack a smile when Eric jumped back off of the plane. Here's hoping they duplicate this x10 for the real finale later this year.

5. Aquamansion, 2.03 - living the dream vicariously through the foursome was never more entertaining than this installment with everyone eagerly getting ready for a pajama party at the Playboy Mansion. Turtle is out to score the freshest pjs, Drama fights to lift his "life-long ban" from the mansion, crossing paths with original Karate Kid Ralph Macchio and nemesis Pauly Shore, and Vince doesn't want to give up his artistic credibility to do a superhero movie...until he sees Marlon Brando's gorgeous mansion on the market. And I still laugh at the sad, defeated walk of shame of Johnny Drama, draped in a silk night robe.

4. The All Out Fall Out, 5.03 - the main mission of any TV show well into its years is to avoid repetition (*cough Dexter*). S5 is all about shaking up the status quo and making our hero(es) poor, down and out and no episode is more dedicated to not half-assing this storyline than this ep which finds the once mighty Vincent Chase relegated to appearing at a spoiled brat's sweet 16 to get out of the red, exposing cracks in his self-acclaimed dignity. Meanwhile the show still manages to stoke the quintessential guy fantasy with Ari in full alpha-male mode complete with brand new Ferrari, bitching out a fellow agent in front of all his peers and coming home to hot wife as a prize, all on his birthday. Bonus points for Kevin Pollak and Fran the Nanny Drescher as the over-bearing parents.

3. Busey and the Beach, 1.06 - the defining episode of the show; the strongest episode of the first season, clearly laying out the formula and tone. Gary Busey provides the cameo that's more than just a 'hey it's that guy' role, working him into the plot in a way the show would later feel comfortable doing with actual A-listers. Our first real look into the wacky rapport between Ari and Mrs. Ari, while also confirming that Ari as a character is indeed here to stay after a rival agent tries to woo Vince, and a nice scene of the guys enjoying the California sunset at the end to remind us what it's all about, a couple of best friends living the life, enjoying it together.

2. One Day in the Valley, 3.02 - pretty much the next best fantasy to the one this show is built around is randomly meeting and hanging out with 'cool' celebs like Vince and his boys. That's what the gang does for two nerds they meet at an Aquaman showing, in an earnest and honest episode that finds Vince, Mr. not-in-it-for-the-fame sweating it out as the numbers for Aquaman's opening weekend roll in.

1. Vegas Baby, Vegas!, 3.09 - I've never laughed harder with this show than during the last few minutes of this episode. It goes a little something like this: Vince and the gang co-opt Ari into a last minute trip to Vegas to blow off some steam. And from there everybody takes a backseat to E and Drama as we're given dual storylines from both that unexpectedly converge with hilarious results. Playing a fantastically douche-bag version of himself, Seth Green repeatedly pops up around town to taunt E about his and Sloan's history together, meanwhile the friendship between Drama and his MALE masseuse gets more and more suspect as the episode goes on. You'll never be able to hear or look at a Jackson Pollack again without smirking.

Thoughts? Did I miss your favorite episode? Give undue shine to one that you hated? Do you live in a cave and have thus never seen this show? Does the list make you want to now? And who's excited and sad at the same time for the final season??