“Miss Aphrodite, what is your synopsis? You can be the goddess of my white castle. Reach me on the hotline and burn your nostrils.”
Weezy F. Baby
Congratulations to my beloved Eagles of Philadelphia, PA. We are headed to our fourth Super Bowl (LVII). After disappointing losses in our first two appearances, we look to win our second title following our serendipitous run in 2017 that culminated in our first trophy. We’re set to face the Kansas City Chiefs, whose coach is our former coach, Andy Reid. I usually root for the Fatman, as he is still beloved in my heart. There shall be no love two Sundays from now. My pick: I’ll tell y’all next week...but Eagles will be flying.
Video game soundtracks have been around since the early 1980s. For the longest time, these soundtracks were mostly 8-bit instrumentals specifically crafted for the games, usually appearing within the game. At some point, the video game soundtrack evolved, just as games evolved. The early 2000s saw game soundtracks feature songs that were far more than cheesy instrumentals; they were actual songs by major recording artists. Ever since the legend Jason Kidd graced the cover of NBA Live 2003, I’ve been in love with video game soundtracks. Ironically, Live 2003 is the first video game soundtrack IN HISTORY to be certified platinum by the RIAA, selling over 1.3 million copies. The song that forever hooked me was “Young & Sexy” by Lyric featuring Harlem’s own Loon. All tree (Birdman voice) of those ladies were sexy AF. My guy Loon came through with a hot eight on the intro and finished the track with another fire 16. “Young, sexy, material and free. But I’ll change for you. You know I’ll change for you.” The song was a perfect period piece: a trio of beautiful and talented vocalists, a hot Bad Boy artist on the feature and a bouncy beat. That song was so 2003 and was a perfect selection for a star-studded soundtrack that included tracks from Fabolous, Snoop, Joe Budden (yes, that Joe Budden for those who only know him as a podcaster), Busta Buss and Flipmode Squad, Just Blaze feat. Memphis Bleek and Freeway, Brandy feat. Fat Joe and Monica feat. Jermaine Dupri.
There have been plenty of video game soundtracks to make waves in both the video game and music worlds, but (IMO) no entity has blended the two as seamlessly as the Grand Theft Auto series. The genius in their soundtracks is that they generally match the period in which the game virtually exists. Vice City was set in the 1980s so its soundtrack is an 80s soundtrack, as it wouldn’t make sense to have a period piece game full of anachronisms. The soundtrack was EPIC and set the stage for GTA V. V continued the tradition of diverse channels that one can listen to while riding around the map, though its diversity of listening channels allowed for music from different eras to exist on the game. When I first began playing the online version, there were plenty of times I’d roll up something sweet (IRL), jump in one of my rides and ride from Los Santos into Blaine County, usually all the way to Paleto Bay. It was my virtual “L ride.” It was a stress reliever that helped to take the “edge” off. Big ups to all the great video game soundtracks that have individually carved an indelible niche into gaming culture.
The world of Florida and its bigoted, xenophobic autocrat of a Governor Ron DeSantis have again made waves in the culture wars that have further stoked division in our society. In his latest political stunt, DeSantis has banned African American Studies from being offered as an Advanced Placement course. For the unlearned, Advanced Placement (AP) courses are the toughest academic courses American high school education has to offer. I am a veteran of the rigors of AP classes, including AP History. Every student in an AP class is there by choice and wants to learn all they can. AP students are socially and academically mature enough to handle the material, even though contextual history isn’t always the easiest material to digest. Good ole Gov. DeSantis made the decision for the students, citing his objections to what he deemed as filler in the curriculum, or “left-wing ideology.” He sees Black Queer Studies, Intersectionality, Movement for Black Lives, Black Feminist Literary Thought, The Reparations Movement and Black Struggle in the 21st Century teaching as part of woke culture, and feels it has no place in the course. History is history, and DeSantis, an Ivy League graduate, knows this. He also knows that fanning the flames of anti-wokeism is always a win for him and his ultra-conservative base. I don’t need to do a lot of bloviating about the subject. DeSantis is many things, but he’s no dummy. He has his eyes on the White House in a couple of years, and he’s doing things that appease his “fan base” while also testing the waters on what the masses will allow. I have no idea how this will work for his 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue aspirations, but we already know that his actions are welcomed by many. DeSantis has been very methodical. This is another move of a chess piece. Will it all culminate in an election win? Only time will tell. For now, DeSantis is staking his claim to be the King of Polarization. Stay woke (pun intended).
The death of Tyre Nichols is especially disturbing. Police Brutality is nothing new to Black folk. The police treat us as the enemy, and we don’t fuck with them at all. We absolutely share a disdain for many Black cops, who are often more brutal and vicious than their white counterparts. I’ve said it a thousand times – I don’t fuck with police. But I respect good police. I have no problem with police doing their jobs. A society without law enforcement would soon give way to anarchy. But when I see and/or read about atrocities like what happened to Mr. Nichols, I tend to want to take my chances in a police-free world. It hurts to see a handcuffed man beaten mercilessly...beaten to death. The fact that the officers were Black means nothing to me. It’s the shield that breeds corruption. I do wonder if they would’ve beaten a white man to death in the same fashion. I seriously doubt it. There has been an abundance of rumors circulating regarding the circumstances leading to Tyre’s execution, but I won’t go there. I’m a journalist. Hearsay cannot be repeated. If it isn’t vetted, I’m not mentioning it, but I will say this: if one particular rumor is proven to be true, the charge for the main pig should be upgraded to first degree murder. Circumstance won’t bring Tyre back, but I pray that this wasn’t over a female. My prayers are with Tyre’s family.
Holla at the CEO @themisterceizzo on social media for the latest exclusive UnB merch. We keep a few elite pieces in the stash. Holla at the good brother for a piece to go with your new J’s or Crocs. Stay fresh. I was just joking about the Crocs. We all own at least one pair, but don’t go matching up outfits to go with them. That’s a bit excessive.
Happy trails to you, until we meet again.
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