Things I’ve Learned from “Watch the Throne”…or SomePeopleThink White People are the Problem

This past Monday, at midnight, “Watch the Throne”, the highly anticipated album from Kanye and Jay-Z, became available on iTunes. On Tuesday, I downloaded it illegally and have been listening to it non-stop ever since. I literally have not listened to anything else (save for some Disco Biscuits, courtesy of my dirty hippie boyfriend).

I can't even think of a joke for the absurdity of this album cover.

Anyways, I was first going to write a review of the album for this post but then realized there probably isn’t a whole lot more for me to say that hasn’t been said already. Google “Watch the Throne reviews” and you’ll come up with a whole lot of reviews written by much more musically-knowledgeable, articulate people (now is the time for a sympathy comment – “Jenny, you’re so smart and pretty!” Perfect.)

So, rather than a review, I’m going to write a listicle (list + article, Google that shit) for this post: Things I’ve Learned from “Watch the Throne”…or Some People Think White People are the Problem.

1. Kanye and Jay-Z are rich. Like really, really rich. And they really, really want us to know it. Now, rappers have been displaying extravagant, and often tacky, wealth for decades. One of my all-time favorite music videos, Biggie’s “Hypnotize”, has P. Diddy and Big on a yacht, spilling Cristal all over hundred dollar bills, then throwing more bills into the wind. This is – how you say – ridiculous.

But on this album, Kanye and Jay-Z have stepped up their game, not only with the amount of high-cost items they casually throw into their lyrics, but with the high-culture value of these items.

Doing just a quick survey of the lyrics from the album, the following are mentioned (and I will say, I didn’t even know what the hell many of these things were. Thank you, Google and Urban Dictionary, without whom this post could never have been possible):

Yachts, Louboutin slippers, Hummers, Rolls-Royce Corniches, black Maybachs, 1985 white Lamborghini Countach (2 of ‘em), Polo, Manolo, Lanvin thousand dollar tee with no logos, oversized Rollies, big face Rollies, Dries, sheepskin coats, no cheap cologne, the Black Card, Gucci, Audemars (hidden behind all these big rocks), gold bottles, Louie, Margiela, my other Benz (and my other, other Benz), G450, Hermes, marble floors, champagne, Grey Goose, cases of Ciroc, Porsche 911, black cars, so many watches I need eight arms, no limit on the Black Card

2. Kanye and Jay-Z are cultured. While ‘Ye and Jay want us to know they have more watches then any freakin’ human being should ever have, they also want to be quite clear that they are more cultured than any of us will ever be.

As Jay raps on “Illest Motherfucker Alive”:

Basquiats, Warhols serving as my muses
My house is like a museum so I see ‘em when I’m peeing
Usually you have this much taste you European

There are mentions of Picassos, boutique stores in Paris, Larry Gagosian, Le Meurice, Rothkos, the Mona Lisa, the MOMA, the Coliseum, Plato, owning 5 passports (though to be honest, this seems a bit of a liability), et cetera.

3. White people are most certainly the problem. After Kanye’s appearance on the Hurricane Katrina telethon, we all finally knew that “George Bush doesn’t care about black people”. What ‘Ye wants us to remember with this album is that it’s not just George Bush, but really all white people. We just suck altogether, and I really couldn’t agree more.


(skip to 1:33 for the best pop culture moment of the past decade)

A few of my favorite black-power lyrics from the album:

White America, assassinate my character –“Gotta Have It”

Heard Yeezy was racist, well, I guess that’s on one basis
I only like green faces –“Who Gon Stop Me”

In the past if you picture events like a black tie
What the last thing you expect to see, black guys? –“Murder to Excellence”

Only spot a few blacks the higher I go
What’s up to Will. Shout out to O.
That ain’t enough…we gonna need a million more –“Murder to Excellence”

And my all-time favorite, with Kanye rapping about his future son:

I mean I might even make him be Republican
So everybody know he love white people –“New Day”

4. Kanye and Jay-Z have a softer side. One of my favorite songs on the album, “New Day”, has ‘Ye and Jay singing to their future sons. (Of course, irony suggests that they will both be blessed with three or more daughters). The song is very sweet and reminds us that even bazillionaire rappers have feelings too, goddamnit!

5. Kanye and Jay-Z are interested in helping the economy. With the crazy American economy this week, “Watch the Throne” really couldn’t have dropped at a better time. Americans are freaking out, nobody has jobs, and who better to figure out how to stabilize the volatile markets than these two moguls? So, my dear readers, I leave you with these words of wisdom from Jay-Z, who may just be the Warren Buffet of our generation…

Mmm. Yummy.

I hit the club, order some Grey Goose
Switched it for Ciroc to give Puff’s stock a boost –“Primetime”

Peace and love,
Niffy

SomePeopleThink This Is Why Americans Are Fat

I came across Epic Meal Time a few months ago, when it came up on a friend’s Facebook newsfeed. My friend quickly shared it with me, knowing that any video on Youtube with a couple million views – good or bad – will always catch my attention (as my internet wet dream is to have a viral video of my very own).

I proceeded to watch every video that Epic Meal Time had posted. Ranging from 2-5 minutes, the videos feature a group of six inebriated, 20-something Canadian guys, cooking the most outrageously gluttonous food you’ve ever seen and never could imagine.

A 100,000 calorie burger, nicknamed the “Ben Rothlisburger”. Their take on the turducken, but with 5 birds and a pig. Four loko chili. Bacon-covered, Jack Daniels-drowned everything. Epic Meal Time intelligently parodies the locavor movement, on their organically sustainable high-horses, with meat, meat and more meat.

Now beware, I’ve shared these videos with friends and co-workers, and there’s been some mixed reactions. Granted, it is pretty filthy watching a wasted guy (nicknamed “Muscles Glasses”, a wonderfully ironic moniker) eat chili with a paddle. But the inventive ideas and surprising knowledge of cooking is certainly worth it.

My advice? Start from the earliest videos and watch through to today. There’s an interesting progression in the scale of the recipes and the desire to monetize.

Because isn’t that the question, ultimately? How to transform a viral video sensation into a lucrative business venture (or at least make a couple bucks from the 5 million viewers freely watching your content). In a recent video, several seconds were dedicated to shilling for Gamefly, offering a promotion for viewers who visited gamefly.com/bacon. I’ve also read some articles suggesting the possibility of an Epic Meal Time television show, though I’m not sure about squeezing another 25-27 minutes out of this concept each week.

For now, though, I’m content to follow the Epic Meal Time gang, as they eat lamb heads and get wasted.

epicmealtime.com

youtube.com/epicmealtime

twitter.com/epicmealtime

SomePeopleThink Lindsay Lohan is a Hollywood Train Wreck

And while I agree, I do think there’s a bit more to the story that’s worth looking at.

Imagine you’re 16 years old again. You have your own apartment in Los Angeles, a sweet Mercedes SLK convertible and a few million dollars in the bank. You have a 24 year old boyfriend. Your mom, whose income relies directly on your own, lives 2,500 miles away. Your dad is in jail. Your face is a rotating fixture on US Weekly, Perez Hilton and TMZ.

Now, I can only imagine that this being Los Angeles (and Shmekie – please correct me if I’m wrong), you also have every grimy, sleazy club promoter dude, with his top two shirt buttons open, trying to lure you into the VIP section, bribing you with Grey Goose, Red Bull and all the free trips to the bathroom you care to consume.

What would you do?

This is what happens when you date Wilmer Valderrama.

Lindsay Lohan did this: Two DUIs, Possession of a controlled substance, driving with a suspended license, grand theft, reckless driving, three stints in jail, four to rehab, and countless accusations of theft, drug abuse and assault.

I hate to say it, but if I had been in Lindsay’s position, I’d probably be in at least half the trouble she’s in right now. I can’t imagine that most 16 year olds could be thrown into that position and come out half decent. But why is it that Lindsay Lohan – who, when you take a look at child actors over the years, is really no exception – takes so much of the flak?

Like Lindsay, Shia LaBeouf began his career at 10 years old on the Disney Channel. At 18 years old, he bought his own home in Los Angeles. He and Lindsay are now both 24.

In 2007, the same year Lindsay’s legal problems began, Shia refused to leave a Chicago Walgreens. I can kind of understand refusing to leave, say, a Crate & Barrel – the sofas are really comfy – but a Walgreens? What could possibly be all that interesting in there? Anyhoo, arrest #1 for misdemeanor criminal trespassing.

In 2008, Shia received a ticket for unlawful smoking (again, another idiotic reason to ever be involved with law enforcement). He then failed to appear in court for the ticket and a bench warrant was issued for his arrest.

Smoking outside is illegal now? So. Lame.

Later in 2008, Shia’s car was hit by a vehicle that ran a red light. It was 3am and when the police smelled alcohol on Shia’s breath, and the kid refused a breathalyzer, they arrested him for misdemeanor drunk driving. His driver’s license was suspended for a year.

And finally, in 2011, Shia got into a fight outside a bar in Sherman Oaks. While he was handcuffed by LAPD, no arrest was made.

Now let’s go look at TMZ.com. Searching “Lindsay Lohan” on the celebrity gossip site yields 1,430 articles, 657 photos and 669 videos. Searching “Shia LaBeouf” returns 23 articles, 16 photos and 15 videos.

This could all be because Shia’s last name is nearly impossible to spell, but there’s probably something more to it. Is it gender? Are we more interested in the “bad girl”, while we expect this type of behavior from the “bad boy”? Is it the drugs? The constant cocaine rumors surrounding Lindsay, while Shia’s legal troubles stem from alcohol and cigarettes? Also, let’s keep in mind that Lindsay was f’ing hilarious in Mean Girls, and Wall Street 2: Money Never Dies was the worst movie ever made.

This movie is the opposite of #WINNING.

I don’t really have an answer to any of this. My gut tells me it’s the gender thing, but I hate to get all feminist up in hurr.

-nif.

 

shmek EDIT:

As far as the sleazeball dragging you into the VIP section, personally I’ve never been pulled into a booth with promises of Patron, pills and pre-teen pregnancy. But then again I am no Lindsay Lohan. However it’s definitely safe to say there’s enough d-bags trying to rape things in L.A. to back up your assumptions; it has its vices and distractions maybe almost as many as Las Vegas.

Also I think the reason Lindsay is so highly disliked is because she’s a better actor than Shia. Mean Girls was hilarious and even in The Parent Trap, we all collectively sensed this little redhead had something in her (pedophilic pause). Shia just craps out movies like Holes, Eagle Eye, or Transformers nonsense. Don’t even bring up the 4th Indiana Jones. So when she crapped the bed, it sucked more than if Shia did anything, ever. Good or bad. It’s like when Heath Ledger died, we were all heartbroken. But if Steve-O died tomorrow, we’d all be sad and then move on. Your level of artistry is reflected in America’s attention span for you.

SomePeopleThink Lizzy Caplan is Your New Favorite Actress

So, I’ve been asked to add a bit of estrogen to Some People Think. Well, not sure I was technically asked…But like most things in my life, I’m offering my goods for free (hmm, that didn’t come out right).

As a human with a vagina, who is often surrounded by penises (gosh, this is just NOT sounding at all how it did in my head), I’m often caught in the middle of the gender divide. I find that I get along really well with boys, and have a tendency to see things from a bit more of a male perspective than other 24-year old girls.

But when I really start thinking about what that means, I get confused. I hate beer and don’t know a damn thing about sports, but if you give me a glass of white wine, and at least answer my questions about whichever game happens to be on (how many periods in hockey? What’s a technical foul?), I’m going to be a hell of a lot happier than seeing the newest romantic comedy and discussing which Sex and the City character I am (That is such a Samantha thing to say).

I know what a New York City apartment costs, Carrie. Freelance writer? I'm calling bullshit.

If you’re still reading, this was my long-winded introduction into why some people think Lizzy Caplan is your new favorite actress – for both males and females alike. You may know Miss Caplan as Casey Klein from Starz’ short-lived series Party Down (which, if you haven’t already seen, I couldn’t recommend more highly), and you definitely know her as Janis Ian from Mean Girls.

But what makes Caplan such a wonderfully alluring actress is her ability to seem just as comfortable as both one of the girls and one of the guys. She’s not annoyingly girly (e.g., Kate Hudson in just about anything), and she’s not obnoxiously “one of the guys”.

During Glee last night, (see! I am a good female!) I saw a promo for a new Fox show, “New Girl”. The description on Fox.com is as follows:

 Jess Day (Zooey Deschanel) is an offbeat and adorable girl in her late 20s who, after a bad breakup, moves in with three single guys. Goofy, positive, vulnerable and honest to a fault, Jess has faith in people, even when she shouldn’t. Although she’s dorky and awkward, she’s comfortable in her own skin.

Now, Zooey Deschanel is annoying for about a million other reasons, but this character seems absolutely insufferable – she’s obnoxiously “one of the guys”. And while most members of the male persuasion might not understand what I’m talking about, I’m hoping the female readers out there do.

Anyways, while I’ve gone a little off-track, but Lizzy Caplan is awesome and I’m excited for what’s to come in her career.

Also, she has big boobs. Always a plus.

Watch Lizzy in this fantastic short: http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/a5c1f2716c/successful-alcoholics

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