20 years ago today, this album came out and changed everyone’s/your/my life in such a profound way that I can barely articulate it. 12 year old me in Tims that weren’t Tims, Polo’s that were CHAPS, and jeans that weren’t baggy enough and definitely too bright, still had the wherewithal to order this tape (for free! lol @ music clubs) not knowing what truly lay in store for me. It no longer mattered that I was short, nerdy, awkward and whatever else people thought of me in those days. I had witty, unpredictable talent and natural game. I was a god. I was a ninja. I was a genius. I found a clan to belong to and believe in, and I always will. Wu-Tang then, Wu-Tang now, Wu-Tang Forever. #partyofone #wutang #36chambers #enterthewu (at Amoeba Music)
I’m also reviewing Arrow this year! Check it out and COMMENT!
I don’t understand people’s fixation on humility. It’s just a personality trait and it’s okay if you don’t have it. Does Wolverine say, “I just do my thing and it seems to be effective, so…” NO! He says, “I’m the best there is at what I do.” Indestructible bones, a mutant healing factor, razor sharp claws, paramilitary training, and being a fucking samurai are pretty self-explanatory and, like, we get it. Wolverine is an absolute badass. Still without fail, whenever he pops claw and squares up for a tussle, he reminds us, his opponent, and himself, “I am the best there is at what I do.” and when he does this it is fucking magnificent. He slices some grunt’s rifle into pieces, gut punches another, rips into Sabretooth’s face, whatever the situation calls for and proves that, yes, he is the best there is at what he does.
Is he villainous? Is it annoying that he thinks so highly of himself? Would it be better if he never said anything like that? No, no, and hell no. It’s what makes him awesome. Superman is humble, but like, has anyone ever quoted Superman? Is there a memorable thing that Superman has ever said? He is so boring and lame that everyone likes Batman more, and of course Batman talks mad shit about how dope he is. Batman even beat Superman up and talked shit while doing it. In his head, while he was losing, Superman was probably thinking, “Yeah you might be beating me, but you could be more humble about it.”
Kanye West chats in depth to Zane about music, fashion, creativity and a whole lot more.
"…when someone comes along and does a song called, ‘I am a god’ everybody’s like, ‘who does he think he is?’ I just told you who I thought I was: a god. I just told you who I think I am. Would it have been better if I made a song that said ‘I’m a gangster’ or I made a song called ‘I’m a pimp’? All those colors and patinas fit better on a person like me, right? But to say you are a god, especially when you got shipped to the country that you’re in, and your last name is a slave owner’s. How could you say that? How could you have that mentality?"
I write TV reviews for the site gottawatchit.com now. Feel free to share your ideas and opinions over there.
It’s very strange going into something with an intentional bias against it. The only thing stranger perhaps, is forming that bias against something that is nearly universally acclaimed. Something that I know I’ll probably end up liking myself. Basically, it’s like how I love pizza NYC style, and I’m against Chicago deep dish. I’ve never had Chicago deep dish, but still…That’s the attitude I brought into my viewing of The Sopranos. I am going to be hyper nit-picky and contrarian just so it doesn’t measure up to The Wire; even though I love Italian mafia stories, and it never actually will top The Wire for me, because I am from Baltimore. To quote our protagonist, “it is, what it is.”
From the get go I found the show jarring, which is really a testament to its imprint on the cultural conversation today, but I had to realize, Oh yeah, this show is kind of old! Having lived through the time when the late ‘90’s was cutting edge, heck, when I was cutting edge, it’s very disconcerting to look on that era as out of date. This is especially true when the mafioso’s wax poetic on their place in society as the new millennium approaches. These philosophical asides were probably very insightful when they were first uttered, but nearly 15 years later they come off as clunky. Organized crime hasn’t gone anywhere, it has diversified if anything, indeed their negotiations with the Czechs sort of signify that.
So, Tony had a panic attack. He’s ultimately depressed and feels a bit trapped by his profession, family, and circumstances. I get it, but almost a little too well. I found myself wanting to step into Dr. Melfi’s role and diagnose him right then and there and move on, but Gandolfini’s performance as Tony Soprano is enough to get me to want to go on this ride of self-discovery along with him.
As such, my preference would be to focus on his family. Obviously the tension between Tony and Carmella, the question of how to raise two modern teenagers, and how to deal with his battle ax of a mother are the more intriguing story lines. I can sense (because they allude to it) he has a burgeoning attraction to Dr. Melfi (Lorraine Bracco who always be Karen Freidman to me), and I’m eager to explore that as well.
The mafia stuff, not so much. I mean, I know that’s the hook of the show and without it, all of the other drama doesn’t necessarily have a need, but I just feel like I’ve seen it already. The simmering rivalry between Tony and Junior is interesting, as well as their historical closeness, but all of the mob business just isn’t that interesting to me, especially Christopher’s whole raw ambition/bad associations/drug habit shtick. That being said, the characterizations are incredible, particularly Pauly and Big Pussy, so I don’t have a problem hanging out with them as they go about their rote, and cliched business.
I’m definitely in on this show, but I’m going to need more from it than the Goodfellas meets Analyze This tone of the pilot as the series carries on.
I recently went public with my never having watched an episode of The Sopranos and at the behest of many, I have decided to give it a go. I am also going to give my impressions of each episode, and as I get further along, the show as a whole.
Before I begin, I think I should explain why I have remained in the dark on this seemingly important cultural touchstone. When the show premiered on January 10, 1999, I was most likely asleep in my barracks, halfway through boot camp at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot; Parris Island, SC. So, I missed the boat. Honestly, the first time I was really in a position to watch it was at the beginning of its 4th season. Unfortunately, the fastest way to make me avoid something is to have it be immensely popular and cause people to overlook something else that is just as good if not better. Especially if the thing being overlooked is about Baltimore. In 2002, The Wire had just come on the scene, but all I heard about was this show which hadn’t been on in 18 months being “the best show on television.” Then it went away again for two years! Meanwhile, The Wire was putting a mirror up to American society and saying things nobody else was saying or had said on TV before and being IGNORED. To me, The Sopranos was everything wrong with popular culture. It was familiar: Analyze This meets Goodfellas. It was too reverential to NYC/NJ. It was homogeneous. It was easy.
Now, two of my favorite shows are written by Sopranos veterans. I’m told that there are echos of the show in these works. It also goes against my nature to completely dismiss something when countless evidence tells me I should not. So, I’m giving it a shot.