Friday, August 31, 2007

Goodbye Summer AKA Hello Football Season

I haven't been writing much lately because I'm in the process of interviewing for different jobs (none of which involving writing or film which sucks but I got bills to pay...fuck the dumb shit). I'm in the process of writing a few reviews and doing another slept on comic book drop followed by another Revenge Of The 80's post. The next Red Sox off day I'll post up a new Boston Sports Report and then I'll have a new Dartflix up for the first week of September. After that, I'll post up the next 18 Producers On MySpace That You Need To Hear Right Now to bring the total to 50 for the full year. After that, I'll present a new feature called Writer's Workshop explaining how to fix badly written films, the next subject being how to fix the X-Men franchise (trust me, y'all can't wait to read it).

Well, it looks like I'll be posting up more drops this weekend so look out for it. Right now the Red Sox are riddled with injuries (Youkilis has been hit twice in tonights game and Big Papi got hit in the chest, J.D. Drew got pulled with a foot contusion and Coco Crisp ran into the wall in centerfield) and may be losing a fourth straight game while Rodney Harrison has been suspended 4 games for using HGH (Human Growth Hormone). If anyone is looking to hire a writer that does it all (or send me material to review on my blog) then check for me here:

My willingness to post my email address every has resulted in me getting a shitload of messages from my long lost "family" members in Nigeria telling me that I need to claim millions of dollars from the Bank Of Burkina Faso or some shit. I've also won lotteries in places as far away as the UK, Ireland and Scotland according to some of my e-mails. As for the pics of Hazel Mae they respresent what the summer is all about to me... Check y'all tomorrow.


Thursday, August 30, 2007

"That's MY Money You're Spending!" AKA "I Made You, Cossell!"

The following blog was written by myself on April 26th, 2006 and posted on my MySpace page where few people read it...I share it with you today. I have also received a proper promo of "Graduation" I will be reviewing very soon. Damn Yankees! Enjoy:

I (PD) was reading this afternoon and ran across a thread titled "I saw Kanye West at Copley Mall today" and clicked on it immediately. This female user tells the story about how she was in the mall and saw Kanye West and crew walking around, shopping and being surrounded by MAD security. The security was pretty much shoving people aside and telling them to stop sweating Kanye, saying things like "He's human, too!" and "Let the man breathe, damn!" (or things to that effect). Kanye West, arguably the biggest male star in MUSIC right now, forget Hip Hop, shows up at Copley Mall in Boston (Copley Mall is the mall near where brown people live, provided it's also a major business site, but he wasn't gonna go incognito or unnoticed THERE!).

He was swarmed, surrounded by fans taking digital pictures and pictures with cameraphones and trying to get close to him and asking for autographs...all of these requests fell on DEAF EARS. He didn't stop to sign anything and the story has been confirmed by me that by now HE DIDN'T EVEN ACKNOWLEDGE THE FANS' PRESENCE!

The woman who wrote the thread claimed she screamed "Kanye!" "Kanye!" and got no response or acknowledgement from him AT ALL. His security parted the disappointed fans like the Red Sea and he and his entourage were off to continue their leisure time. The threadstarter did manage to get a response from Kanye after all...while he was still in earshot she hollered out "That's MY money you're spending right now!" Kanye turned and let out a chuckle at that statement according to her....Needless, to say, shorty (and several other Kanye fans) were pissed off.

This post lead to a bunch of people commending her for being quick enough to hit him with that (but they also warned her that he MAY make a song about it!) but people began to debate whether or not Kanye really owed it to the fans to be...uh, civil to them. Some people said that Kanye is a reported asshole (a talented asshole, but an asshole nonetheless) and that was to be expected.

Others said that regardless if he's an arrogant bastard (an arrogant bastard with hot beats, but an arrogant bastard nonetheless) he should have shown some respect to the adoring throng of fans...After all, they bought your damn record! Some users said that Kanye is an overworked man whose in demand everywhere and he probably finally got some time off and wanted to enjoy it like an ordinary person and people/fans ask too much of the self centered superstar (A self centered superstar who spits clever lines, but a self centered superstar nonetheless). Either way, the thread turned into an argument about 'What do artists really owe the fans?"

I depends on who you are and where you are in your career, I personally know of mad stories where underground/old school hip hop legends will kick it with people they don't know from a can of paint and show 'em love. I've personally heard stories about Jam Master Jay (R.I.P.), Fredro & Sticky from Onyx, DMX, O.D.B. (RIP), Outkast & The Goodie M.O.B., Grandmaster Flash, D-Nice, dead prez, Nimrod, Redman & Method Man, RZA, GZA, Rakim, Kool Kieth, Shyheim & Cappadonna, R. Kelly (maybe that's a bad example, huh?), Mary J. Blige, The Outsidahz, Busta Rhymes & The Flipmode Squad, KRS One, Keith Murray, Public Enemy, Run DMC, etc. all going above and beyond what an artist is expected to give to their fans when they came through to Boston.

It has a lot to do with the artists personality as well as the demands made on them. Mary just seems like someone who remembers when her favorite singer swung through the hood and showed her love and it made her realize what that can feel like as a fan. I remember heads like Ed O.G. or Guru breaking down exactly how the industry works to cats and what to look out for, some people take time to reach out...because that person that's asking for your autograph today could be someone who could be in that SAME POSITION one day, themselves.

It's a hollow statement to say "I'd be nowhere without my fans!" if you don't truly take that shit to heart yourself. Am I saying that Kanye was wrong to do what he did or that he didn't have a good excuse for avoiding the fans? I can't say for sure because I don't know the whole story....I can tell you for certain that we won't do that... How can I be sure of that you may ask? it's like my brother Buctayla says "Every person that buys your music makes it possible for you to buy groceries and pay the phone and cable bill. The fans are the people that provide us with food, clothing and shelter so we can't short them with wack material. They give us love, we should give it right back."

When he said that I know I'm glad our parents didn't raise any egomaniacal, selfish, arrogant assholes who spit hot bars and make hot beats...nonetheless. One.

Once again,the events described above ^ all happened LAST SPRING. One.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Rumble In The Bronx AKA The Rebel Alliance Vs. The Evil Empire

We baseball fans have been waiting for it to come down to this matchup all season long. The Red Sox top three pitchers against the Yankees top three pitchers. The bats of the Red Sox lineup against the bats of the Yankee lineup. The Red Sox bullpen vs. the Yankee bullpen. It all comes down to this three game series in the House That Ruth Built located in the Bronx, New York. Does it get any better than this during baseball season? I'm not sure it does. The postseason is another beast entirely but all us of Red Sox and Yankees fans know the truth. To us, Red Sox vs. Yankees IS the postseason regardless of when the games are played during the season.

The Red Sox are magma hot after coming off of a four game sweep of the lowly Chicago White Sox while the Yankees are under .500 after having a tough road trip going head to head with the Los Angeles-Anaheim Angels and the Detroit Tigers (I told you so). The current standings have the Red Sox at 80-51 with a 7.5 game lead in the AL East while the Yankees are currently 72-58 and have a final game to play against the Tigers that can change that lead to an even 7 (with a win) or 8 game lead (with a loss) before the pivotal three game series starts on Tuesday. 

Edit: The Yankees lost 16-0 last night so the lead stands at 8 games in the AL East due to a 2-5 seven game road trip while the Sox won 6 of the last 7 (the last four by outscoring their opponents 46-7).

Even though the Red Sox have pretty much been leading the AL East from wire to wire, the season series is pretty close at 7 games to 5 in favor of the Red Sox. The Red Sox took 5 out of 6 games from the Yankees in early series' but have since only managed one game in each of the following two. If the Red Sox can manage to take 2 games or sweep this series it will pretty much mathematically bury the Yankees' chances at taking the division and leave them with trying the fight it out with the Detroit Tigers, Cleveland Indians and Seattle Mariners for the AL Wild Card.

There are only 31 games left in this regular season and we are at the stretch run. This is where teams fight for their individual playoff lives. Have the Yankees expended too much energy trying to get back into the playoff picture or do they have enough left in the tank to push them into the playoffs? Will the Red Sox continue their hot streak? Will they show the Yankees why they are one of the best road teams in Major League Baseball or will their bats go cold on them? All of these questions will be answered in Yankee Stadium from August 28th-30th.

As a side note to Red Sox fans, the magic number (as of 3:00 PM EST 8.28.07):


Any combination of Red Sox wins and/or Yankee losses result in one being subtracted from the magic number's total. After the number reaches 1, the next Red Sox win or Yankee loss the AL East division championship will be clinched and the Red Sox will be assured of a place in the postseason.


Sunday, August 26, 2007

One Year Later AKA Thoughts Of A Subject, Verb And Predicate Felon

It was exactly one year ago today that I decided to post my first blog (as Poisonous Dart) on's Ill Community. Little did I know that it would start me blogging and writing nonstop damn near every day since. Back in the summer of 2006, XXL blogger, mixtape DJ and Atlantic Records A & R Sickamore started these series of blogs called "80 Reasons You're Not An 80's Baby" . I thought that he had a point to some of the stuff he was saying though I didn't totally agree with his viewpoint. However, most older heads just got pissed off and attacked him and the younger generation for not knowing their Hip Hop history and revelling in their ignorance of it. Every Hip Hop site with a message board seemed to have a flame war going on with older heads on one side and younger heads on the other (usually Dipset fans...why was I not surprised?).

Rather than take part in this "divide and conquer/Willie Lynch" mentality, I decided to stay out of it and try to bring the sides to a middle ground if I could by posting on with more regularity. I was already running a stickied thread called "School Me On Some Hip Hop" along with some other regular posters but I wasn't big on posting in "The Reason" cuz it was wild ass hell on that messageboard (those that used to frequent it before the new version went up can attest to that) and it was hard as hell to get a point across to readers as The Reason wasn't really used to reason, ironically enough.

After Sickamore fanned the flames with the second post of what was to be a four part series I could see that by reading the third part that he really ran out of stuff to write about and began using shortcuts. I knew that he probably didn't feel like doing a fourth part and that he would only do one at his own leisure because it seemed like his heart really wasn't in it. I figured that if I made my own version of his blog series, but for older heads it would help the situation out some. I had to go all out, though. I decided that I had to do "100 Ways To Know If You're A 70's Baby", my first draft was about Coleco Vision and Atari 2600 and shit only a kid born in the 70's would be able to relate to. I realized pretty quick that my blog would actually help more if it could be relatable to a wider cross section of readers. After all, most heads that old weren't the ones actively frequenting Hip Hop messageboards anymore. I wrote another draft of my blog and began revising it all night until I got it where I wanted it to be.

I posted it up on my MySpace page first (the same place I posted all my early blogs that only about 20 people read) and then I posted it up in The Reason section on early in the afternoon. I was surprised to see that people were reading it like crazy. Eventually it got stickied and I began getting PM's and e-mails from all over the place. I thought that would be the end of it...not even close. That night, Sickamore posted up a new blog on ...mine.

It turns out that he went on to that afternoon and read it himself and liked it so much he posted it where even more eyes could see it. Now the e-mails and PM's really started coming in like crazy. It got to the point where I even asked Odeiesel (of for a bigger PM box. He responded by saying yes provided a post a regular blog each week on and posting it in The Reason. I said "Hell yeah".

That one blog ended up being posted all over the internet and MySpace. If I Googled it I'd find it all over the place. I was in shock that so many people read it and responded to it. It was then that I decided that as much as I posted on all of these messageboards all over the internet that I might as well write. It's pretty much what I had already been doing anyways if I really thought about it.

After four months of blogging every week on, I decided that on January 1st, 2007 I would start my own blog where I could write about whatever the hell I wanted at any time. Blogging was like playing Uno with two people to me...mad fun ("Skip you back to me, skip you back to me, reverse you back to me, reverse you back to me, Wild draw four and the color is green...Uno!" and the one card you have left is a green nine that looks like a six with the line underneath it).

I decided to call it Poisonous Paragraphs after the underlying name of my blog series on AllHipHop which was called "The State Of Hip Hop: Poisonous Paragraphs". I initially started that series to combat Bryon "Bol" Crawford's blog at XXL.mag, he had what I wanted...mad readers. I eventually realized that he's a grown ass man that has to answer for his own ways and actions and going at him was a waste of time when I should be focused on myself and my own writing (though, he still does piss me off with the ig'nant shit he posts from time to time).

To read any of my old ass blogs from the State Of Hip Hop series read 'em here (some have been posted here already). I'd like to thank my boy Rideout from Detroit who first encouraged me to blog by doing his MySpace blogs. I'd like to thank Odiesel and all the heads and moderators from for being first to acknowledge me and giving me a forum to address people.

I'd also like to thank all of my fellow, and posters for trading information with me and putting me on to things I normally wouldn't be into. I'd like to thank all of the bloggers I met when I did those legendary threads on Okayplayer where I'd go around the internet finding links to out of print albums for understanding that I wasn't just jacking their links and not giving them credit..that's how I met 50% of the bloggers I know now.

I'd also like to thank all of the regular readers of this blog for bearing with me even when I didn't know how to post links to albums until February, post pictures on the blog until May and imbed YouTube videos until April. I wish knew when I started to switch to Firefox to post blogs from my Mac so I could use "Compose" and add functionality to my blog. That's enough thanks...I'll leave you with this self parody blog that I did that almost no one got when I first posted it on the 'net on September 20th, 2006:

50 Signs That You May Be An Underground Hip Hop Fan (A Self Parody Of My Own Dumb Ass Lists)

50. You have several instrumental versions of albums that sold less than 50,000 copies.

49. You don't lend out your CD's because you're not definite you can get another copy of that album again if you lose it.

48. You keep checking back on Def Jam's website to see if there is ANY information on Nas, Redman or Joe Budden's new album up there anywhere.

47. When asked what producers are killin' the game right now some of the first names out of your mouth are Ayatollah, Nicolay and Oh No.

46. You still get mad when you read that another one of your favorite DJs has switched to Serato.

45. If you'd ever had a discussion about any of the artist/groups on Rhymesayers Entertainment that DIDN'T start with "Who the fuck are.."

44. If "Hollywood Divorce" was the song that finally convinced you that maybe Lil' Wayne is actually nice on the mic.

43. If it took your friend to force you to listen to T.I.'s verse on "Cannon" to convince you of the same about T.I.

42. You say shit like "I'm sick of all of this ignorant ass, shoot em up, thugged out, smoked out, coked up, misogynistic ass gangsta shit!"...meanwhile, you have every single Mobb Deep, M.O.P., Cage, Beatnuts, R.A. The Rugged Man, Screwball, Non Phixion, Necro, Tame One, and Kool G Rap album ever made.

41. If people around you start dissing the South, and the groups you use as examples to defend Southern hip hop are Cunninglynguists and pretty much the entire roster of the Justus League.

40. All of your favorite 50 Cent songs were on the first 3 G Unit mixtapes and/or you know all of Madlib and MF Dooms aliases.

39. You can make a good sized list of rappers/groups from Cincinnatti off the top of your head.

38. When you first started seeing pictures of Scott Storch often in magazine interviews you slowly began to like him less and you just think he's a complete asshole.

37. You think J Records didn't do nearly enough to promote Rhymefest's album "Blue Collar".

36. You actually recognize the music they use during the Adult Swim breaks on Cartoon Network.

35. Your favorite magazines are Mass Appeal, Insomniac, The Ave, Elemental and Wax Poetics.

34. You own compilation CD's arranged/mixed by Bobbito Garcia, DJ Spinna, Madlib, Rich Medina or Questlove? from The Roots.

33. You think the best Gangsta Grillz mixtape ever was Little Brothers "Separate But Equal"...but to be fair, its the only one you ever actually listened to......

32. You're actually pissed off at RJD2 for abandoning hip hop....and you're madder at yourself for even owning albums by a dude named RJD2 in the first place.

31. Approximately 10% or more of the songs in your iPod were produced by J Dilla.

30. Anytime an article is published about Slept on classic hip hop albums you immediately read it to find out how many of them you own or have at least heard of.

29. Your Top 5 MC's right now list consists of Ras Kass, Lupe Fiasco, Elzhi, Royce the 5'9 and Vakill .

28. You actually enjoy listening to and own CD's consisting of nothing but compositions made by tuntablists (some people call them scratch DJ's).

27. When you wear T shirts of your favorite groups you attract a lot of attention...mainly from people asking you who the hell they are .

26. You actually have heard or own your own copy of Jin's "The Emcees Properganda" or think that if Serious Jones didn't start with the asian jokes that Jin could've probably roasted him...and I stress the importance of the words "could've" and "probably" in that sentence.

25. You're rooting for Lupe Fiasco to do big numbers....just not TOO BIG...just big enough to be #1 or #2 for his opening week.

24. For some odd reason you have a newfound respect for Christina Aguilera....

23. Your two major sources for music videos are YouTube and VH1 Soul.

22. If you've uttered a variation of this sentence recently "Game don't want it with Ras Kass!"

21. You actually know what the new Ghostface/MF Doom album is going to be called and WHEN its coming out.

20. Your version of Lupe Fiasco's Food & Liquor has 20 songs on it and half of them have the wrong names.

19. You can answer the online question "Whatever happened to Crustified Dibbs?" with detail and provide links to recent pictures of him and a downloadable link of his scrapped debut LP "Night Of The Bloody Apes".

18. Babygrande, BBE, Nature Sounds, Stones Throw, Think Differently, Shaman Work and Duck Down are all among your favorite hip hop labels.

17. If you believe that the best female emcee in the game is Jean Grae, hands down.

16. You don't regard signing with Koch as being an industry death sentence and you cant believe how many folks have slept on Fat Jon's beats for this long.

15. You have a MySpace, Soundclick, Bandspace and Kind Industries page but NO official website.

14. You actually know the difference between the Demigodz, Weathermen and Army Of The Pharoahs.

13. You're hoping Mos Def and Talib Kweli return to their old selves on their new albums.

12. You're anticipating Raekwon's "Only Built For Cuban Linx 2" more than Dr. Dre's "Detox" even though neither has an actual release date.

11. The only major label debuts you're really looking forward to in the near future are Saigon and Papoose's.

10. You own more Hieroglyphics crew projects than you can count off the top of your head.

9. You knew who A Trak was WAY BEFORE he became Kanye West's DJ.

8. You have NO PROBLEM with an all male rap group naming themselves after a woman (Tanya Morgan).

7. You maintain that Stoupe, The Enemy Of Mankind is like A Tribe Called Quest or A Pimp Named Slickback, you gotta say the WHOLE THING.

6. You think its uncalled for when Snoop Dogg keeps calling women bitches and hoes in his songs, but when Slum Village do it, for some reason it just doesn't seem to bother you as much.....

5. You cant wait for the new AZ, Hi Tek and Cormega albums to drop.

4. You are convinced that if Method Man had made a video for "Say", "Fall Out" or "Presidential MC" his album would've sold much better.

3. You believe that Jay-Z and Nas albums coming out coming out one week after the other on Def Jam could help to bring hip hop "back".

2. You concur with Lupe Fiasco that Byron Crawford (Bol) is indeed a faggot ass nigga.

1. The term backpacker pisses you off so much that you write a long ass blog about why it's a divisive term and tie it in to some wild conspiracy theory involving the government, corporations, media outlets and record labels removing all of the consciousness, creativity and balance from mainstream rap music.

Get it NOW, people? One.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

More And More Flicks AKA Dartflix Edition # 21

This year alone 21 films were made or filmed in Boston or used Boston as a filming location. Of those 21 films how many of them will do anything to break up the widespread notion/belief that there are no brown people here or that we are simply a non entity that exists just so actors of other ethnicities can refer to us as “niggers”? Few if any.

Recently in Boston we hosted the annual Roxbury Film Festival that boasted films by some of best and brightest filmmaking and screenwriting talent Boston, Massachusetts and New England has to offer. These films will more than likely go ignored by the film industry at large, though. I have yet to see a film that reflects the experience that myself or many of my peers experienced growing up in Boston yet. Don’t even get me started on “Blue Hill Avenue” a life long Bostonian and a South End resident I don’t even have enough time to address everything that was just plain inaccurate about that film. Unfortunately, that film is the one movie about Boston that most young minorities have seen in regards to my city. Makes me wanna holler.

Next big national Boston movie coming up is “Gone Baby Gone” directed by Cambridge resident Ben Affleck. It looks like this will be a pretty good flick (featuring everyone’s favorite crazy White boy Slaine in a key role) but it won’t do much to erase the damage done by several lines from the Academy Award winning film “The Departed”..a film that pisses me off so much that I still haven’t watched it all the way through yet.

As a Black Bostonian I can’t express with words how much it angers me that I don’t have the power to make or greenlight a film that could respond to that one that was seen by millions worldwide. Now they all think that it’s hell to be Black in Boston. It’s hard being Black, period...Boston is nowhere near as bad for brown people as these films (written by people than never experienced it for themselves) make you think.

Either way, we NEED to let people know we’re here and we’ve been here...if people knew the real deal then Kevin Garnett never would’ve had to make hella phone calls to players that played here and poll sports figures of color that play here now/reside here after retirement. If you’re a Black person that has to move to a new town would you REALLY pick moving to Phoenix over Boston? (No diss to Arizona but I'm just sayin’ though). On to the movie stuff. Mad new flicks are droppin’ this fall.

Top 5 IMDB Trailers Of The Rest Of August (8.16.07-8.31.07)

Eastern Promises

Right At Your Door

The Good Night

We Own The Night


Top 5 Apple Trailers Of The Rest Of August (8.16.07-8.31.07)

Lions For Lambs

The Nines

The Signal

Michael Clayton


Dart’s Director Spotlight recipient for the month of August: Danny Boyle
His past films like “Trainspotting” and “28 Days Later” were masterpieces. It’s looks like his newest offering “Sunshine” is going to be another one to add to the list of modern day classics.

Poisonous Paragraphs’ Independent Movie Of The Month Of August: King Of Kong: A Fistful Of Quarters directed by Seth Gordon

Here are some of my film recommendations for rental through Netflix:
30 Rock (series)
Dexter (series)
House (series)
Friday Night Lights (series)
Robocop (20th Anniversary Edition)
The Lives Of Others
The Hoax
The Reaping
The Invisible
Ghost In A Shell
Ninja Scroll
Everyday People
Perfect Stranger
Serenity (Collector’s Edition)
D.O.A.: Dead On Arrival (lower your lower them even more)
The Ultimate Gift
The Lookout
The Ex
Year Of The Dog
Blades Of Glory
Grindhouse (rent as Planet Terror & Death Proof)

What the future SHOULD hold for comic book/video game films:

Black Panther


Generation X

Nick Fury: Agent Of S.H.I.E.L.D.


Metal Gear Solid

Dart’s Picks:

Disturbia- I know what you’re’s just an update/refix of “Rear Window”...not quite. This was better than I thought it was gonna be.

The Lookout- I know what you’re thinking...this is a bite of “Memento”....not quite. Yadda yadda yadda. Rent it.

Favela Rising- I have neglected to give this a recommendation write up. Instead I just put it in like 3 straight lists. Rent this documentary...then try to find the full series City Of Men the series on DVD.

I Think I Love My Wife- An intelligent comedy? They don’t make those anymore! And if they do still exist they aren’t featuring brown folks as the lead characters...if you haven’t seen this yet do so now. Chris Rock did an excellent job as director.

Nomad- I won’t tell you anything about this international flick. Just trust me on this one.

Dart’s WTF?/Watch This Bullshit At Your Own Risk Award:

Redline- This movie is so wack that no amount of screen time for Nadia Bjorlin (the leading candidate for the role of Wonder Woman slightly ahead of Jill Wagner) can save it. Damn shame.

Kickin’ It Old School- Hell to tha naw ! © Whitney Houston

Mr. Bean’s Holiday- That penguin lookin’ dude is not getting dime one of my money. Stop going to these movies, people. You’ll just encourage studios to make more like them.


Friday, August 24, 2007

Dart’s Rant Of The Day: The new Akira dub Vs. the original one

Back in 1988, Katsuhiro Otomo’s landmark manga Akira was made into an anime feature film and released in Japan. The film was an instant success and American fans who read the translated manga couldn’t wait to see the film. More than a year later, Streamline Pictures and a team of producers and writers who helped translate and rewrite other Japanese anime for the American audience handled the job of creating a dubbed version. In early 1990, the English dub of Akira premiered in arthouses and college area theaters. It did surprisingly well and spread by word of mouth as the years went on.

The first time I saw the English dub of Akira was a bootleg VHS version someone recorded by sneaking a camera into the Brattle Theatre in Cambridge, MA during one of it’s early matinee airings back in 1990. My brother and I watched the hell out of that tape (I still have it). Eventually, I bought a proper VHS version of it later on. Before you knew it anime fans everywhere were fake screaming “Tetsuo!” and “Kaneda!” all over the place while quoting lines from it. It became the cool in-joke with groups of friends...until you ran across someone that hadn’t seen it. That was easily fixed with another screening of Akira for the new person in the group, though.

It became especially popular among teenagers and college students during the early 90’s once it was finally released and made available for rental on VHS. Soon it was making fans of people that never even cared for anime before. Before long it was regarded as the definitive anime film of all time...haven’t y’all ever seen the Absolut Vodka ad? If they said it is then it has to be true. After all, who knows more about anime than a liquor company (or the ad agency they hired)?

This blog actually isn’t so much about the film Akira so much as it is what happened to this great piece of anime after it became popular. In 1998, the DVD format began making serious headway and DVD players began flying off of shelves all over the country. One of the biggest phenomenons associated with the growing popularity of the DVD format was that audiences were clamoring for martial arts films and anime releases. The new format was tailor made for these genres. Back catalogues of icons like Jackie Chan and Jet Li began flooding the market, as did several anime films like Fist Of The North Star, Ghost In A Shell, Ninja Scroll, The Dagger Of Kamui, Beast City and several other popular titles. There was no DVD release for Akira forthcoming, though. Eventually, Streamline Pictures folded and the VHS edition of Akira went out of print.

Thanks to the widespread popularity of the internet and new advances in technology that problem was overcome in a pretty simple manner. Some Asian companies simply recorded the English dub digitally and made them into VCD’s then they made them available for sale online. Others simply bought the region free Japanese version of Akira direct from Japan online and settled for reading bright yellow subtitles. Either way, we were getting Akira on DVD one way or another dammit!

Here’s where shit gets weird. Pioneer decided that their going to release a special double disc edition of Akira and in July 2001 they finally release a remastered version of Akira on DVD. Everything about the film was improved except for one aspect that split Akira fans right down the middle...a new English dub was recorded. Some fans didn’t care, they were just so happy that the film Akira was finally officially available on DVD. Others were so pissed off with the new dubbed version that it kept them from buying that DVD version altogether. It has gotten to the point where Akira fans have several versions of the DVD and just recently there was an international version of the Akira DVD released with the remastered film but with the original 1990 dubbed dialogue on it.

For those of you that have never seen Akira or have only seen the second dub of it, I implore you to find or borrow the original dub of the film and you’ll see why it’s such a big deal. For one, the original version is so much more quotable than the new one. The voices fit the characters better (as does the dialogue..even though some of it never made sense. “This chapter’s finished?” What?) and the voice acting was a lot better in key situations of the film. For anyone who saw the original dub first, the new version absolutely horrible.

To make shit worse, the new dub is the one that gets shown nonstop on the Cinemax movie channels on digital cable and is available from time to time On Demand on Comcast digital cable. It’s fucked up to know that some kid that doesn’t know better is watching what he thinks is Akira for the first time right now and seeing an inferior version of it because of the wack ass dub.

For those of you that still haven’t seen Akira yet, I suggest you get the Japanese version and just watch it with subtitles. If you’re insisting on seeing the wack dubbed version (pictured below), then see if you can find someone who has the original dub. Watch both and you’ll see what I mean.

Thank you for letting me rant about something that may seem trivial to some people but is a big damn deal to others.


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

What’s New In Dart’s iPod #3 AKA Back In Business

I’m going to review four different albums in this blog. The first being an album I’m not ashamed to admit I didn’t realize it wasn’t already out, Talib Kweli’s “Eardrum”, two instrumentals albums by two brothers, Oh No’s “Dr. No’s Oxperiment” and Madlib’s “Beat Konducta In India Vol. 3 & 4”. To round out the selection I’ll also review the new Kate Nash album “Made Of Bricks”. For you that aren’t familiar with my “Cop It Or Not” ratings system I will review it for you below:

Oh No! This CD is a drink coaster/table balancer/doorstop/gerbil/hamster room divider/frisbee/discus/makeshift shield/last ditch choice for a visor/alternate shuriken choice. Sell this shit to whoever's dumb enough to buy it from you.

Maebe (Maybe)! Depending on your own set of personal preferences you might like this joint. Give it a listen first to see if it's your lane or not.

Mos Def! Cop the album when it drops...'Nuff said.

Now on to the reviews:

“I'm droppin’ jewels like a thief with a hole in his pocket” © Kurious

It’s weird for me to review this album considering that I’ve been listening to what I thought was it already for close to a month now. It turns out that it has about 4 new songs added to it and two songs apparently have different titles altogether (“Electrify” is now called “Stay Around” and “Hell” is actually titled “Give ‘Em Hell”). The other differences involve the addition of a Sa Ra interlude (which sounds like Adult Swim music), “Hostile Gospel 2” featuring Sizzla, “Go With Us” featuring Blacksmith artists Strong Arm Steady and finally the Justin Timberlake guested and produced “The Nature” (which is about 50X better than the 50 Cent coll-aberration (I assure you I spelled it right) “Ayo Technology”). I know what you’re thinking right now, “Who does this motherfucker think he is putting parentheses within parentheses?” “Did I just open up a math book or something?”. It’ll be okay, just focus and stay with me. This album was solid from beginning to end (even before the added tracks), the thing is that if you’re not a fan of Talib Kweli or his style then this album will probably bore the shit out of you.

Songs like “Soon The New Day”, “Oh My Stars”, “The Nature”, “Give ‘Em Hell”, “Stay Around”, “Hostile Gospel” and “Hot Thing” all feature sung choruses. This fact alone can turn off certain listeners, add to that the typical Kweli flow that’s exhibited on joints like “Listen”, “More Or Less”, “Holy Moly”, “Everything Man” and “NY Weather Report” may grate on some listeners nerves (not mine). I’ve heard some folks say that the only track they liked on this whole album was “Country Cousins” featuring UGK. Then again, what do I know? I liked “Kingdom Come” and “True Magic” for God’s sake. If you’re a Talib Kweli fan (I mean the kind that bought “Quality” and “The Beautiful Struggle” plus the mixtapes) go and pick this joint up. If not, don’t even bother with it.

Are you a beathead? Do you actually listen to instrumental albums? Do you know who Fat Jon is? How about Buck 65? Well if you enjoy listening to albums like J Dilla’s “Donuts” then here are two must have joints for you. I’m sure that any of you that are interested already know about the new Stones Throw releases by the brothers from the Ox (Oxnard, CA). Oh No’s “Dr. No’s Oxperiment” and Madlib’s “Beat Konducta In India Vol. 3 & 4”. Let’s start with On No’s joint first.

This is an enjoyable listen from beginning to end. Fans of Oh No’s brand of production (“The Disrupt”, Exodus Into Unheard Rhythms”) will fully enjoy this. Everyone seems to have their own favorite tracks on albums like this, due to the fact that most beats are under two minutes long it usually comes down to personal preference as to which tracks become your favorites. On “Oxperiment” my favorite tracks are the opener “Heavy”, “Higher”, “Bouncers”, “Banger”, “No Guest List”, “Land Mine”, “My Luck”, “Cosmos”, “Emergency”, “Deliveries”, “Action”, “Fast Gamble”, “Oxcity Sickness”, “Smoky Winds” and the closer “Slow Down”. If you’re into that headnod background music that you can just rock in your iPod when you’re doing whatever then you should definitely pick up Oh No’s new shit.

As for his older brother Otis, unless you’ve been living in a cave since 1998 I’m sure you’ve heard of Madlib AKA The Beat Konducta. This man has released so many albums over so many different aliases over the past 5 or six years it’s ridiculous. He’s back to catch wreck once again, this time sampling from classic Bollywood movies. As you may have guessed, this is yet another collection of bangers. My favorite joints being “Indian Hump”, “Movie Finale”, “Raw Tranquility Pt. 3”, “Freeze”, “OnThatNewThing”, “Indian Deli”, “The Rumble”, “Piano Garden”, “Dark Alley Incidental Music”, “Sitar Ride”, “More Rice” (which is the star of the show in my opinion), “Indian Bells”, “Duel”, “Organ Stroll”, “Smoke Circle”, “New Bombay”, and “Another Gateway”.

This CD makes me want to shell out an extra $9.99 each month to get the international channels package so I could get ZeeTV. As much as I enjoyed this album, there are some heads that prefer straight forward beats that they could spit on as opposed to hearing someone flip samples from classic Bollywood flicks. Oh No’s joint was more straightforward beats while this album was more like an experiment to the casual listener. Both of the releases are must haves in my opinion, but if I have to tag them differently them Madlib’s joint gets a maybe because of the source/sample material. Madlib fans are already gonna cop it, though (myself included).

The final album I have to review is from across the water. I have for you all Kate Nash’s new album “Made Of Bricks”. I’m sure all of you regular readers of my blog know about how bored I am of the female artists that major labels trot out for public consumption. In between Ciara (who I can tolerate), Rihanna (kinda sorta), Paula DeAnda, Kat Deluna (were they both created from the same parts or something?) and whatever chicks the Disney corporation toss into the marketplace. Very few of these female artists are actually singer/songwriters and even fewer make their own material. This fact annoys the hell out of me. That’s why I end up looking for alternative elsewhere.

This past year, record labels have imported several British females to infuse some excitement into the dismal record industry. Amy Winehouse, Corrine Bailey Rae, Joss Stone and Lily Allen have all released albums to critical and commercial acclaim stateside. The question remains, who’s next? It may turn out to be this young lady named Kate Nash. Her style sometimes sounds like a mix between Lily Allen and Fiona Apple. There are also stretches where she’s reminiscent of Tracy Bonham circa her debut album. Either way, her sound is a lot heavier than Lily Allen’s (who often sung over familiar samples) while her songwriting style is somewhat similar.

Where Kate Nash (pictured above) differs most from a Fiona Apple is her lyrics. Fiona Apple will flip words and phrases in a colorful ways to infer that the subject of her song is being a dickhead. Kate Nash will just come out and call the subject of her song a dickhead...and then name the track “Dickhead” (as exhibited on the track “Dickhead”). This album is 11 deep and features some interesting material, opening with “Play”. Next up is the bouncy “Foundations”, which leads into the equally catchy “Mouthwash”. Then comes “Dickhead”, this song is pretty cool. Of course by now the comparisons I made above will have listeners going “This sounds kinda like...”. The acoustic joint “Birds” follows and sounds wholely original (unless you heard Jewel’s debut album, that is...I’m kidding). Next is the syrupy “We Get On”. There hasn’t been a song on this album that’s skippable yet and we’re already halfway through.

The song “Mariella” will remind most listeners of Fiona Apple and/or Tracy Bonham, that’s unfortunate because it’s one of the standout tracks of the album. The next song is called “Shit Song”...yeah, it’s catchy as hell, too. “Pumpkin Song” is another cool song and on “Skeleton Song” we delve back into Fiona territory again (which isn’t bad..I love Fiona). The album finishes with the acoustic “Nicest Thing”. This song rounds out what is a strong debut album if not a little too reminscent of too many already popular artists. Due to the fact that she sounds like so many other female artists that are already on the market, I’ll give this one a good solid maybe. Check out previews of this album on the UK iTunes store and her videos on Youtube.

These joints are all currently in heavy rotation in my iPod Nano:

I’ll be back tomorrow with some more randomness. One.