Friday, January 29, 2010

Some Jams for the Weekend

Like my partner (pause) Dan, I'd also like to apologize for the lack of posts lately. I blame it on blunt smoke, binge drinking, bugging about graduating, and an overall lack of ambition. So to our loyal readers (do we have any?) I promise more entertainment from the 2 Man Weave. This one will be short since it's Friday and I got business to take care of, but here's some tunes to pleasure your ears for the weekend...Enjoy:

An awesome song by one of the baddest dudes ever.

If you're like me and struggling with the single life, here's the anthem for those lonely Saturday nights.

If you spend your weekend (or everyday for that matter) in a marijuana haze, here's something to jam to.

And for those of you who go to school up north, it's cold out there; so here's some heat:
Awiez Productions was started by a very, very close friend of mine over the summer, and he's been on his grind and in the studio constantly, so please support this movement.

Also Rest In Peace to J.D. Salinger, "Catcher in the Rye" was one of the first books that left me saying "wow" when I was done reading it. So thank you Mr. Salinger for having a profound impact on my life and opening my eyes to great literature.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Phenomenon that is the Female MC

The place of the female rapper has always been an interesting one in the hip hop and rap industry. The issue that arises is that women MCs write lyrics that are almost perverse, and can make the male listener feel very uncomfortable. This makes for a lack of appeal to a broad audience and continues to hold women rappers down; however, they will just not go away. I appreciate their hard work and definitely respect how much harder it is for a woman to come up in a man's world, but I really don't like to hear about their sexual acts, and how many men they have slept with, as well as how well they perform fellatio; to me that is just not what a respectable woman should be talking about.

The first Ruff Ryders record, Ryde or Die Vol. 1, will always go down as one of my favorite albums of all times. The album features incredible production by Swizz Beats and phenomenal songs from a young DMX, and my favorite rap trio of all time The L.O.X. However, there are two songs in particular that I always have to skip: Eve's "What Ya Want", and Big Pun's "Pina Colada". "What Ya Want'" has one of the best beats I have ever heard, yet, the braggadocio rhymes by female MC Eve make me borderline uncomfortable. The following lines almost make me wanna never listen to rap again out of fear that a female rapper might pop out of no where and drop a verse that will make me cringe:
Eve handcuff niggaz but I don't arrest em
Shorty-bang hear the niggaz singin, shoutin my name
Make the thuggish niggaz scream, watchin me entertain
Dicks brick when I lick the lips, just keepin it plain
Fantasizin bout this bitch, got em goin insane
Oooh's and ahhh's, 5'7" thick in the thighs
Every thugs dream wife, see the love in they eyes?
My time to shine, whole package make her a dime

The line "Eve handcuff niggaz but I don't arrest 'em" makes me question how someone can even agree to put out a song like this. To my knowledge the popular demographic among hip-hop fans is men, so how can a man rap along, or nod his head to a song that applauds S&M and a woman performing fellatio?- it's impossible. Yes, male rappers frequently rap about the women they have slept with and their sexual escapades, and unfortunately this is accepted in society, so why would a woman rap about the same things if she knows she will only be labeled as a "slut" and a whore"? It just does not make sense to me.

The Big Pun song, "Pina Colada" doesn't feature a female rapper per say, but the opening line to this song is "Where my niggaz with the big dicks?" sung by a woman, which makes me immediately hit next on my iPod. In a male dominated world there seems to be no place for the female rapper, which explains the lack of them in the history of hip-hop music. During the beginning of the music, women rappers frequently rapped about women uniting together and the problem's facing women during the time. But as time wore on, and male sexual escapades became more openly accepted, women were and continue to be seen as objects, as demonstrated by almost every single hip-hop video that has come out in the last fifteen years. So ladies, I respect your hustle, but the rap game is really not a wise career decision, so please put your talents to a better use. And, don't let me get started on Nicki Minaj from Lil Wayne's camp because she may be the worst thing that has ever happened to music.

Anyway, for those of you who started class today like myself, here is something to bop along too:

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Some Good Isht

In my recent quest to wet my musical palette, I have come across an extremely talented musician in Ryan Leslie. His music is a bit softer than what I'm used to- he makes the type of songs that make you just wanna hug your girl and tell her how much you care about her, plus I tend to stay away from people who have to first names- but his production skills are so superior I find myself rewinding almost every track. His self titled album has been in constant rotation recently and I will definitely be checking for new music from R.Les

After doing some research, I learned that Ryan Leslie scored a perfect score on his SATs at the age of 15, and graduated from Harvard at 19- so his credentials speak for themselves. I also stumbled across his youtube channel (RyanLeslieTv) and found out that this man is probably one of, if not, the best producer in music right now; he is an absolute beast behind the boards. Anyway here's some tracks to check out for yourselves, plus a video of him at work:

This beat leaves me in awe every time I hear it. There is so much going on that the listener really has to pay attention, or the entire song will go over their head. The beat drop into the piano solo gets me every single time. Plus, there's a feature from my man Fabolous- always a positive.

This is one of the more rugged beats he does, but he nicely shows his vocal range throughout the song.

"Gibberish" is sung in exactly that, gibberish. Leslie utilizes auto-tune for this track, and probably made one of the better auto-tune inspired songs of the era.

The making of "Addiction" is showcased in this video, and truly shows the multifaceted talents this musician possesses.

Unfortunately, with the state of music today, Ryan Leslie may never get the respect he truly deserves, but if you're into good music keep an eye out for any projects including R. Les.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Blakroc-Not to be slept on.

Recently I've been bored with the state of music, and have been left with a desire to find something new to get into; there's only so many times I can listen to the same songs over and over again (exception, Young Jeezy). However, about two weeks ago I stumbled across the Blackroc project which is headed by hip-hop pioneer Dame Dash, and a former pre-pubescent hero of mine, Jim Jones (Jooooooooooooonessssss) of Diplomats fame. I've always been a fan of Dame Dash, and have respected his work and impact on the music industry, particularly the hip-hop scene, but I was a bit wary of the Blakroc project.

The album pairs Ohio blues-rock band "The Black Keys" (whom I had never heard of until this) and many major players in the rap game, including Mos Def, Pharoe Monch, Ludacris, Q-Tip, Wu members RZA and Raekwon, and a song-stealing posthumous appearance by Ol' Dirty Bastard a.k.a Dirt McGirt a.k.a. Big Baby Jesus a.k.a. Ol Dirty Chinese Restaurant a.k.a. The BZA a.k.a..okay you get the point. After my first listen through, I wasn't really sure how I felt about the album, it sounded a bit like the mash-up between Jay-z and Linkin Park that came out a few years ago, however, Blakroc is much better done and executed much more soundly than the collabo between Hov and Linkin Park.

I immediately dismissed the album as a sound that I couldn't really get into, and almost deleted it from my Itunes, however, something stopped me (perhaps the album cover which looks like a city covered in the Ooze from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2), and I gave it another chance. After a second listen, I was completely blown away and realized the mastery shown by "The Black Keys" and their ability to adapt their sound to a completely different genre, yet maintain their own musical integrity. The Keys lace the tracks with heavy drums, haunting background vocals, and an overall raw sound that matches perfectly with the aforementioned rappers. Even Jim Jones, who has been absolutely terrible of late, provides some coherent verses and is actually listenable, something I was very happy about.

The album is only 11 tracks, and definitely leaves the listener wanting more, but overall it is a solid effort and a great career decision for the post Roc-a-Fella Dame Dash era. So, if you're like me and wanting something new in your music collection check out the Blakroc album, don't sleep.

Sunday, January 10, 2010


I don't think I'll ever really be able to forgive the Knicks for drafting Jordan Hill over Brandon Jennings. Dude is a problem.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

KG and Starbury, What Could Have Been

Recently myself and Dan were having a conversation about the career of Kevin Garnett, and the how ironic it was that he and Stephon Marbury were re-united on the 2009 Celtics squad. For those of you who do not know, these two started their careers together on the Minnesota Timberwolves, and were one of the more dynamic duos during their short time together.

After a stellar freshman year at Georgia Tech, in which he was named a 3rd Team All-American, Marbury declared himself eligible for the 1996 NBA Draft. On Draft day, Marbury was picked by the Millauwke Bucks 4th overall, but immediately traded to the Timberwolves for the rights to Ray Allen and a future pick. I distinctly remember watching a young Marbury crying tears of joy after being drafted and traded to the Timberwolves because he was going to play with his longtime close friend Kevin Garnett.

Garnett had become one of the first to make the prep-to-pro jump that paved the way for many superstars as well as many busts (Kwame Brown anyone?). Garnett earned All-Rookie honors during the 1995 season, and now with Marbury running the point, and providing camaraderie, Garnett's numbers jumped during the 1996 season and the two seemed unstoppable. After just one season together, Marbury and Garnett lead the T-Wolves to their first playoff appearance in 1997, and Garnett was now being mentioned in the small superstar category of the NBA elite. The two were always having fun together, and seemed to have one of the rare relationships in the NBA where teammates actually enjoy each other's company, which almost always leads to extremely successful seasons plus a few rings.

(Please Excuse the Eurotrash soundtrack.)

However, during the 1999 lockout shortened season, the one thing that tears apart so many friends became a major issue: money. Garnett had just been signed to a ridiculous 6 year $126 million dollar contract, and this, for a lack of a better term, pissed off Marbury to the point where he disrupted the team so much he was traded to the New Jersey Nets, in a three team trade that landed Terell Brandon to the Timberwolves, and ultimately dooming the franchise.

Let's take a look at what could have been. During the 2000-2001 season, Marbury averaged (roughly) 24 points, 8 assists, and 1.5 steals a game, while Garnett averaged 22 points, 11 rebounds, and 2 blocks a game. In my estimation, had the two stuck together, Marbury would have averaged about 19 points, 10 assists a game, while Garnett would have had about 27 points, 13 rebounds and 6 assists per game. Granted, the West was stacked this year, with the Lakers ultimately winning the Championship, with Kobe and Shaq dominating the Finals. But a small part of me believes that The Big Ticket and Starbury really could have given the Lakers a run for their money, because they had what Shaq and Kobe lacked; a true friendship and respect for each other. A lot of people may say that Kobe and Shaq's prowess would have been too much, but I like to believe that KG and Marbury would have willed the T-Wolves to a Championship, or two, or three, but these are all pipe dreams I suppose.

After the trade, these two careers could not have gone in more opposite directions. Garnett was stuck on a crummy team putting up all-world stats while letting his prime years go to waste. Fortunately, he was traded to the Celtics, and well, we all know what happened after that. Marbury went completey insane, and in doing so ruined the best franchise in basketball, The New York Knicks (bias alert!). Marbury was last seen eating Vaseline on the internet, while Garnett was bringing home Defensive MVP honors, and becoming the most important part of the Celtics championship run. However, it's fun to think about what could have been, and a shame that Marbury's ego broke up what could have been one of the best duos in the associations history.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Probably the only shine UVM will ever get on this blog.

Had to throw this up because one, he's my boy, and two, this is just a dope highlight reel all around.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Tebow, Nate Robinson, GUNS.

Yesterday was an interesting day in the sports world that included a "holy shit, I can't believe that happened" moment that only comes around every once in a while. Last night marked the end of the Tebow/Meyer dynasty at the University of Florida as they romped the Cincinatti Bearcats in a laugher of a game. As good as Florida has been over the last four years, I for one couldn't be happier that this chapter in college football has come to an end. I know I'm probably gonna catch a lot of flack for this but, there have been few athletes as annoying as Tim Tebow. I admire his athletic accomplishments and what he has done for the game, but off the field this dude is just ridiculous, and gets way too much shine for the wrong reasons. First, the religious stuff is just absurd, keep it to yourself man I don't give a damn if you're Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, etc... but keep it to yourself it's extremely self-righteous to openly and aggressively speak of your religion, and the Bible verses on the eye black? Just obnoxious. Second, the fact that he claimed he's a virgin should not be on the front page of Period. Third, the bromance between him and Urban Meyer is borderline homosexual, these two look way too happy to be around each other to just have a coach/player relationship- bets on who's pitcher and who's catcher? So Tebow, you were a fantastic college player, arguably the best of all time, but man were you an annoying media whore. So please, take your underdeveloped quarterback skills to the NFL for a mediocre career, and fade into obscurity, except your probably too big of an asshole to go out quietly and with some grace.

Alright, enough with the hate, how about my man Nate Robinson from the New York Knicks. He hadn't played in 14 games, and was in Coach D'antoni's doghouse for the last month, but last night he got a chance and made the best of it. Robinson dropped 41 points, including 11 in overtime to lead the Knicks to a victory over a very good Atlanta Hawks team. However, in doing so, Robinson put the Knicks between a rock and a hard place. The Knicks had been shopping Robinson, and it was almost guaranteed that he would not be with the team in 2010, but after being the best player on the court last night, what will the Knicks do? What if he keeps playing like a man possessed and helping the Knicks win in the process? Also, I'm interested as to what the interaction between D'antoni and Robinson was like after the game. I wonder if D'antoni gave him the "Sorry for being a prick for the last month, good playing out there." or, "Good game Nate, but get the tweezers back out cuz your ass is gonna be riding the pine until you're out of New York." Something to keep an eye on for the next couple weeks.

Lastly, the "holy shit, did that just happen" moment of the day. After getting into a heated argument over gambling debts with one another, Washington Wizards' guards Javaris Crittenton and Gilbert Arenas PULLED GUNS ON EACH OTHER IN THE LOCKER ROOM. I love stuff like this. This is just insane. As my friend Alex and I discussed, this may be the craziest thing to ever happen in the NBA, right up there with Jordan knocking out Steve Kerr during practice, and Latrell Spreewell getting on all homicidal on his coach. I have no idea what's going to happen, but the fact that there are guns in the locker rooms is alarming, yet awesome at the same time. The interviews with the players have been great so far, every Wizard looks like they just walked in on their parents having sex when asked about the situation. I can't wait to see how this plays out.