WHAT IT IS...

Hip Hop is how I define myself. Hip Hop did not start in the late 70's. It started long ago, undefined, from several points around the globe culminating into what we now call Hip Hop. Hip Hop is a way, a feeling, a thought. This blog reflects my Hip Hop.

Thank you for paying attention.



Saturday, December 20, 2008

Fear...

This is probably my most polarizing emotion. I'm not talking everyday, run-of-the-mill fear such as hoping you don't get hit by a bus or watching the Knicks. I'm talking true blue fear of everything I know coming down around my feet. The fear of total loss of control. I've been dealing with this fear for quite some time. Years, in fact. No, it's not related to the now 'official' recession. No, I'm not talking about family. You can't control family. If you think you can, then you're fooling yourself. I'm talking about the one thing you can control. Yourself.

There are times when my mind gets so wrapped up in one thing, I feel - and it has happned on occasion - that I'm losing control over other parts of my mind. No, not I'm not going crazy. I'm talking concentration. There are times when I feel that life, in general, just may be too much. Too much bad news (heck, too much news period). Too many empty bank accounts. Too many bill collectors. Too many home owner issues. Too many extended family problems. Too many plans that I feel NEED to get done. Too many movies to catch up on. Too many whatever!!

I've been living in the past recently. Just out of control. Listening to 80's music. Catching up on old friends and acquaintences. Wondering what it would've been like had I done this or that. Or had I not done this or that. So forth and so on... This isn't a bad thing, per se...as it's been quite fun. The problem is I'm finding it hard to re-join the now as the now just isn't fun. Well, that is...no where near as fun as then. Hindsight being 20/20 and all that...

I am realizing though that I AM in control of myself and will be able to re-join the now eventually. Getting it out in this blog is probably a step. Ya know...like quiting cigarettes. Regardless, Bigg Russ IS here and Bigg Russ will continue until he's called home. Until that day, I hope to have regained full control. Before that though, I will need to get over this fear and deal with the deeper issues. I wish I had a hand book though. This stuff is tiring!

Thanks for reading...

Bigg Russ

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I'm only going to say this ONCE (this week)!!


I'll keep this short and simple: HIP HOP, as I know it, is NOT dead.  Here's proof.

Q-Tip, EPMD, Naughty By Nature, Public Enemy, Charles Hamilton, Big Daddy Kane, The Roots, Kanye West, Common, Nas, Jay-Z, Lupe Fiasco, BluNicolay & Kay, LudacrisOutkastBusta Rhymes, Talib, Evidence, Mos Def, Sean Price, EMCKRS-One, Rakim, DJ Jazzy Jeff, DJ Premier, MCLyte, Black Milk, Little Brother, 9th Wonder, Illa J., De La Soul, Dead PrezTonedeffJadakiss, Wu-Tang, The Harlem James Gang, EminemRedman, K'Naan, 88-Keys, Bishop Lamont, Mike Phillips, The Pharcyde, Souls of Mischief, Cypress Hill, The Cool Kids, Gym Class Heroes, Kidz in the Hall, Wyclef, Royce Da 5'9, Large Professor, PETE ROCK, Heavy D., C.L. Smooth, Black Violin, D-Nice, Willy Northpole, DJ Honda, Jean Grae, Black Spade, Erykah Badu, LL Cool J., DJ Mick Boogie, Buckshot, MF Doom, etc...

This is a list of artists who have performed recently or have shows scheduled and/or released full length albums or mixtapes.  Some of them are also involved in Hip Hop in other artisticcapacities (film, photography, art, books).

Seriously, if Hip Hop is dead...then I must be heaven.

As always, thanks for taking the time...

Bigg Russ
hiphopsince71@gmail.com

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

PRESIDENT OBAMA


CONGRATULATIONS!!

The follow-through...


Regardless of the outcome, after we've all voted and reminded our friends and enemies to vote, and worn buttons, and placed bumper stickers, and flooded Pennsylvanians and Floridians with phone calls, and planted yard signs, and e-mailed to death, and debated over debates, and laughed with SNL, and blogged, and have become mesmerized by Zoe Kravitz, and have used the words maverick and change more than we ever thought we would...we still have to DO THINGS as a country. One man can make a difference. But it takes a nation of millions to facilitate real change.

I thank everyone who's voted. It's an important act. But I'm also asking that you don't stop at the polls and expect good things to fall into your laps. We, all of us, must participate together for change and a better tomorrow. Let's follow-through so that the next president, eight years from now, has a hard act to follow...

One love.

Bigg Russ

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Thanks, Mr. Walsh....

First you tease me and get my hopes up by signing Ewing Jr., then you drop him just like the organization did his father not even a decade ago. Awesome. No, Ewing Jr. may not be a savior by any means but he surely would've worked out better than Mr. Bench Warmer, Jerome James. I'm sure he would've added heart to the team as well, something the Knicks need more of. How much heart can Nate Robinson and David Lee give to the team?!

And who knows? Maybe this would've led Ewing Sr. back here. Lord knows SOMEONE needs to teach our centers how to be centers. I don't know if you've been paying attention, Ewing Sr. did wonders with Yao and Dwight in their perspective markets. On top of all that, what a major marketing opportunity you've missed. Incredible.

Thanks for nothing.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Another senseless shooting...

So, I forget to buy dog food for the pets tonight and decided to walk back to Pathmark after just coming back from there a couple of hours ago. Lo and behold, what do I see when I arrive? Police tape, a Maxima full of bullet holes and a young girl crying out...asking if her daddy is going to be okay.

In all honesty, I don't believe Mt. Vernon, NY is totally lost to violence and senselessness. I do believe it's getting mighty close though. I'll spare you the cliched rhetoric about how we all need to come together and sing spiritual hymnals and pray for the best. Is that needed? Of course. It wouldn't hurt. What I feel is needed more than that is Mt. Vernon's citizens LITERALLY getting up, getting out and DOING SOMETHING about the violence that plagues this city. It's that simple. If you know something. SAY something. If you know something, DO something. Don't wait for YOUR loved one to get gunned down and then want to speak out about injustices and whatnot. Pitch in now and you never know whose life may be saved.

After leaving the scene, I continued on my quest for dog food. What struck me with the most irony is that "O-o-h Child" by The Five Stairsteps was playing through the speakers as I walked in the store. All I could do was roll my eyes in complete disgust...

This is becoming utterly ridiculous. Mt. Vernon used to be fun. What really is the point any more...?

UPDATE: Here's a link to the shooting's extensive news coverage. (Yes, I'm being sarcastic.)

Friday, October 10, 2008

Chocolate News


David Alan Grier has been funny for YEARS so I'll always give anything he's a part of a shot. He's got a new show on Comedy Central called Chocolate News. The title of the show says it all. I love humor based on race so this is right up my alley. Will you be watching with me...?

As always, One Love!

Bigg Russ

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Hip hop is GodSent...

My love of old school rap music knows no bounds, especially that which was produced in the late 80's to the mid 90's. That being said, when I hear new music which sounds like early 90's rap music, I go nuts. Recently, my boy Wes made my WEEK by hipping me to his boy, GodSent.

GodSent is currently from Mt. Vernon, NY and he's GOOD so I gotta spread the word. His single Loss For Words (ft. Jordan) instantly reminds me of production I've heard on various tracks from Trendz of Culture, Souls of Mischief, J-Dilla, Ali Shaheed Muhammed and, of course, Pete Rock. It's a smooth, laid out track like we used to do it. GodSent's MySpace page has samples of his other tracks. They're harder than Loss but it's still got that 90's, 'real hip hop' vibe to 'em.

Check the Loss video below for yourself and let me know what you think.

As always, One Love!

Bigg Russ


video

Saturday, October 4, 2008

O.J. is off the streets!!!

Finally!!




Whoo hoo! You got 'em, boys! I will rest SO much easier now know that this 61 year old man has been removed from society! I'm extremely elated knowing that my tax dollars went to imprisoning a man who, in all honesty, only wanted his stuff back so that he could pay for the other crime he didn't commit. It made so much more sense to chase O.J. instead of true hard working citizens who contribute so much to our great nation. You know...pedophiles, drug dealers, wholesale mortgage brokers, Republicans...

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Just a quick shout out...

One love to those I love and to those who love me...TRULY love me. All you haters take a seat and observe from the rear! LOL!!

Bigg Russ

Friday, August 29, 2008

LIke father, like son...

Being the DIE HARD Knick fan and ALL TIME Patrick Ewing fan, I cannot express enough my excitement after learning that Patrick Ewing Jr. has become a NY Knick (via trade from Houston). Unbelievable! Welcome to the greatest professional basketball stadium in the world! Oh...did you know your father set NY Knicks records here too? No pressure, Jr... LOL!!

Bigg Russ

Obama's DNC acceptance speech...

I have nothing to post about it. I'm speechless.

Bigg Russ

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

...and my favorite former First Lady!

Hillary may not be the favorite of many now...but when she was 'running' the White House, she was da bomb. And let's not get it twisted...had Barack not been a factor, and it came down to Clinton vs. McCain...

'Nuff said.





video

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Michelle Obama ... our next First Lady.














Michelle Obama @ The Democratic National Convention '08


If you haven't heard the speech, there's no better time than now.

video

If WE mess this up, we'll only have ourselves to blame.

Bigg Russ

Friday, August 22, 2008

C'mon, ladies...it's Miller Time!

If there was ever a family that needed a break it's this one.


LisaRaye and her half-sister Da Brat are just having one hell of a week. First, the former first lady of Turk and Caicos get's de-throned (and has the bruises to show for it). Now, Da Brat, the first female rapper to have a certified platinum selling album, has been sentenced to 3 years behind bars for assault. ASSAULT. All I can do is shake my head and offer 'em a beer. Or prayer. Whichever one they'll accept.

EDIT: Check the beat down below.

Click to enlarge.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Trifecta!

Bigg Russ, Colleen Bigsby (Chelsea Brewing Co, NY) & Ben Gordon


Let me first start this entry by saying being a part of Ben Gordon Weekend 2008 was quite a fulfilling experience. Three days of faith, family, unity & sports and I had a blast being a part of it. I sincerely cannot wait to start planning the next one.

Ever since moving back to my hometown of Mt. Vernon, NY, I've wanted to become more involved in its community. Knowing where to start was the hard part. Well, that's not entirely true. I knew I could try adding my personality to the more common institutions (i.e. Boys & Girls Club, YMCA) but after approaching those places, I felt I didn't fit their set in stone ways and policies.

Based on conversations with several close friends, it became clear to me that becoming a part of Ben Gordon Weekend (BGW) might be something I should look into pursuing. I immediately met with Kenneth Plummer, president of Kensworth Consulting, hoping to lend my services as a volunteer. Instead of volunteering, Kenny saw fit to add me as a full fledged BGW committee member. Five amazingly short weeks later BGW is over and I almost find myself sad because of it. It's one of those things where you can't wait for it to happen but once it is over, you wish you had more of it. Kenny introduced me to an amazing group of people who seemingly shared the same love of my hometown as I did, the rest of the committee. The best part about this crew is not only do they love Mt. Vernon, they CARE about it. What's the difference?

Love is emotion. Caring is action.

After learning the who, what, when, where and so forth surrounding BGW, I found myself wanting to do more. Wanting to spread the word about BGW. Wanting to spread the word about how great Mt. Vernon used to be, is and will be. Wanting to spread the word that, most of all, Mt. Vernon matters. As a community, some of us longer term residents enjoy showcasing our hometown celebs (Denzel Washington, Dick Clark, Gus & Ray Williams, Phylicia Rashaad, Puff/Diddy/Sean Combs, etc.). But Mt. Vernon is so much more than that because ALL of its residents make it so. Mt. Vernon is so much more because people like Michelle Walker, Karen Thomas, Willie Johnson, Dept. Commissioner Curtis Woods (DPW), Wes Alston, Vanessa Cowen, Fay Bartley, Hank Miller, Lowes Moore, Ms. Yvonne Gordon & the rest of the Gordon clan and a slew of other people decided to do something instead of just talking about doing something.

All that being said (and most of you know I could turn this blog into dissertation), I sincerely feel BGW was a smash and set an example for what it means to be community. Enough cannot be said about how everyone pulled together and made this thing happen. Of course, we couldn't possibly foresee the worst storm of the season happening when it did but that's okay. We didn't allow it to dampen our spirits though and that's the most important part. The various clinics run by Ben, the Bowling Bash, the Family Day...ALL successes. If you were a part of this, please give yourself a round of applause. If you weren't, I hope to see you at the next BGW. It's only going to get bigger and better.

Check out some more few pics from the bowling bash below.

Coach Jim Calhoun (UCONN) & Ben Gordon

Ben Gordon, Ashley Battle & Emeka Okafor

Kym Hampton & Ben Gordon

Brian Gillard, Kenneth Plummer, Terrie Williams & Hank Miller


Friday, August 15, 2008

Rain Dance

It finally happened. Ben Gordon Weekend 2008 kicked off tonight at City Hall in Mt. Vernon, NY. Being a part of the production staff for the last four weeks or so has been a task...but I'm glad to see all the hard work start to pay off. Today's events consisted of a talent show and youth based inspirational ceremonies. As the event was underway, I was still @ the office fielding phone calls, answering e-mails, solidfiying contracts, etc so I didn't get to see most of the festivities. It started raining just before the show was to begin but it soon subsided.

When I finally did arrive @ City Hall to partake in the occasion, it began to rain again (maybe I should have stayed in the office). The rain started coming down so hard, that we decided to cancel the rest of the night's performances and speaking engagements. At that moment, a lot of people decided to take cover in City Hall from the rain. As we started breaking down the equipment and trying to get people to vacate City Hall, something organic occurred.


The Revelators, an African dance troupe consisting of children from the local Mt. Vernon Boys & Girls Club, decided that they weren't going to let the rain wash away their performance. They cleared an area of the main foyer and started dancing. They were dressed to perform and that's exactly what they did. When I realized they were dancing, I couldn't wipe the grin off my face. It was a great, proud moment in Mt. Vernon's long history and I was there to witness it. The Revelators were amazing to watch and the ovation they received when they were done was sincerely heartfelt.

Ben Gordon Weekend has and will continue to be about faith, family, unity and, of course, sports. When The Revelators decided that the show must go on, they exhibited those exact same attributes. They had faith in their skills and weren't afraid to show it. They performed for their Mt. Vernon family who stuck around when they could have gone home. They displayed unity by dancing as one. They showcased their athleticism by adjusting their performance to the limited space they had to work with. The Revelators should be proud of themselves and understand that they set a great example for many other children in Mt. Vernon and its neighboring cities to follow.

Bigg Russ

Sunday, August 10, 2008

R.I.P., Issac....



And before I could finish flooding my friends' e-mail inbox's with the news of Bernie Mac's death, the world of entertainment lost another major player. Issac Hayes, dead at 65. I'm not even going to begin to get into this man's resume. For real, if you don't know...you better ask somebody. Wikipedia, Google, Ask Jeeves...wherever you get your info, there's bound to be PLENTY of references on this great songwriter and musician.

Music just lost a piece of its soul...

Bigg Russ

Saturday, August 9, 2008

R.I.P., Bernie....


BERNIE MAC died today of natural causes due to complications related to pneumonia according to A spokesman for the Cook County Medical Examiner's office. He was a young 50 years old.

Bernie was best known to most for his hit TV comedy, The Bernie Mac Show. To others, he was the headliner for the record breaking tour, The Origina Kings of Comedy, as well various other stand up performances. He was most recently seen on the big screen in Ocean's 13 and The Transformers.

I was a fan of Bernie's and will sincerely miss him.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Denzel gives Mt. Vernon sports $100G

He's good looking, owns Oscars AND he cares!!

According to lohud.com, Denzel Washington, former Mt. Vernon, NY resident, has pledged $100,000 to the Mt. Vernon Save Our Sports initiative. In case you were not aware, Mt. Vernon has lost its funding for sports in the school system. Several fund raising campaigns have begun all over the city and parts of Westchester County to help jump start the sports program again. Mt. Vernon's scholastic sports program is legendary, especially Mt. Vernon High School's basketball team, The Knights. The Knights hold several state and federation titles so this decision comes as a major blow to a program that has sent several players to college via scholarships and more than a few players to the NBA. Ben Gordon, the most recent Mt. Vernon H.S. graduate to be drafted into the NBA is currently the Chicago Bulls' leading scorer. Denzel's contribution will most likely be done via Ben's New Life Foundation.

Denzel is a big supporter of local Mt. Vernon establishments, most notably the Boys & Girls Club which he credits for keeping him on the straight and narrow. I'm VERY glad that he's decided to give again but I would also hope that current Mt. Vernon residents decide to contribute as well. These are our children that need a sports program.

Rock The Bells 2008 - Jones Beach, NY

I've been meaning to write something up about this concert since the moment it was over but I just haven't had the time. Consider this a place holder until I post the photos. Being 2nd row, center stage made for some GREAT photo ops.

More news @ 11...

Bigg Russ

Monday, July 28, 2008

Ben Gordon Weekend 2008



Fellow Mt. Vernon native and current Chicago Bull, Ben Gordon, is hosting the Ben Gordon Weekend '08, August 14-16th, in Mt. Vernon & Yonkers, NY (Click the flyer for a larger image). Besides being a great time for all who attend, this is primarily a fund raiser for the sports program in Mt. Vernon which recently had its budget cut from the next school year. If you're local, please try and make it to any of the events. I'm working directly for & with with the company that's producing the weekend and I'd LOVE to see your support.

If you cannot attend and would still like to support the cause, please contact me directly @ hiphopsince71@gmail.com and I'll let you know where to send your donations. We're still looking for sponsors as well so if the company you're working for is in the giving mood, please forward them my info.

One love...

Bigg Russ




Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Governing parents...

New York Governer, David Patterson, has decided to sign a game bill into law. My new governor seems like a good guy, in general, but I just don't share his optimism that this law will enhance the quality of life for all New Yorkers.

You know what will enhance the quality of lives of all New Yorkers? New Yorkers, especially PARENTS, paying attention to what their kids are playing.

My youngest son, 8 years of age, had a friend over just yesterday. The friend, who is also 8, told my son that his mom lets him play anything. ANYTHING. He mentioned two games in particular, Mortal Kombat and BMXXX. Now...I can sort of give his mom a pass for Mortal Kombat. According to my son's friend, she doesn't watch what he plays nor does she pay attention to what is purchased for him. That led me to believe that although she's paying for the games, she's not always the one physically purchasing them. If you don't really know about Mortal Kombat and it's infamous 'finishing moves' where you're literally killing your opponent AFTER you've beaten them, then I can see how you might let this one slip by.

But c'mon...BMXXX. The game SCREAMS adult content. Although the game itself doesn't exactly promote sexual intercourse in any way, there is nudity and videos of strippers doing what they do best which can only be seen by unlocking them as you play. The Playstation 2 version was censored by Sony but my son's friend had the fully un-censored GAMECUBE version.

I know life is hard. I know life 'comes at you fast'. I know life is 'dog eat dog'. You can use all the cliches you want about being busy, tired, run down, etc. But I will never understand how parents can just let their kids do any thing. Don't get me wrong. Things happen. Other people buy our kids gifts. Sometimes we ARE too busy to notice this and that. But when does the check and balance happen? When do YOU stop, check on your kids actions/whereabouts/etc. and evaluate the situation? When the government has to step in and protect our children from 'us', then something is wrong. So wrong, in fact, that this law is essentially powerless and a waste of our tax dollars.

I told my son's friend that my son was not allowed to play those games and I would appreciate it if he wouldn't bring them to my house again. He said okay and felt the need to reiterate to me that his mom let him play pretty much any M-Rated game. I told him that was fine if his mom lets him...but I think I know better. She probably doesn't even know what her son is playing. I could get all involved and stick my nose in their busy but I won't. It's simply not my place. The rules behind the village raising a child has changed and getting involved can get you sued and/or physically hurt. Hopefully Mrs. Mom will read my blog and realize that I'm talking about her. But then again, she's probably too tired or busy or run down to surf the web...

Bigg Russ

Friday, July 18, 2008

Scarface meets Jacque Cousteau.

Okay, file this one under NOW I've seen it all. According to the LA Times, among other sources, the navy intercepted a 33-foot submarine about 125 miles south of Puerto de Salina Cruz in Oaxaca state, Mexico. Simple research shows that Colombian authorities have captured over a dozen vessels over the past few years as well. What's really crazy though...is that this submarine was home made.

HOME MADE.

You ever have one of those moments when you asked yourself, "What have I accomplished today?"

Monday, July 14, 2008

The Dark Knight returns...

So, I've lived in NY all my life but have never been to a movie premiere. My kids, on the other hand, seem to have the knack of doing things I never have. Both my son and my oldest daughter went to the The Dark Knight premiere tonight and got pics. My daughter actually got in to see the film (cue VERY jealous dad!!). I'll update with further pics and details later. For the moment, please see what my son's eye caught with his camera phone.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

A Mt. Vernon author is born...

Earlier this evening, I had the pleasure of attending the first book signing for Peter W. Sherrill's first book, Black to the Future: From the Plantation to the Corporation. The signing was held at the AC-BAW center in Mt. Vernon, NY. Mr. Sherrill is a fellow Mt. Vernon native and I thought it only right to show up and support.



Mr. Sherrill was a plaintiff in the record setting Texaco discrimination case back in the mid-90's. In that case, a Texaco treasurer was indicted and the case was settled for $176 million dollars. Being the last plaintiff called to the stand, Mr. Sherrill had the opportunity to see and here it all. Just over 10 years later, he has published his first book detailing what he says is betrayal by his own people while fighting a system of corporate racism.

I have not read the book. I am also not posting this as a review. What I am doing here is respecting the fact that Mr. Sherrill decided to pen such a book. Most people don't feel it's important to share their knowledge of major events - especially those that seem to go against the grain. Mr. Sherrill has something to say and I think we should pay attention. Mr. Sherrill is an admittedly un-perfect human being. He does, however, feel that it's highly important for people, specifically 'Black' people to understand that our leaders are just as imperfect. Mr. Sherrill wants everyone to understand that you cannot rely solely on our leaders to walk through the fire with you 100% of the way. Social leaders have their own agendas like everyone else. You need to stay strong and believe in yourself and your higher power. Only then, will you succeed.

That being said, the event was very entertaining. I got to meet several nice, intelligent, strong people who care about Mt. Vernon and came to support Mr. Sherrill. As I too am planning some events for the near future, in Mt. Vernon, I can only hope to garner an equal amount of support as Mr. Sherrill received.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Zulu! Zulu!!




The Mighty Universal Zulu Nation is having it's 35th Anniversary soon. The LEAST I could do is help get the word out. If you can make it, GREAT. If not, please lend your voice in spreading the word.

The location has yet to be determined but I'm sure it's going to be a blast. Save the date! I'll be volunteering there so I hope to meet EVERYONE!

Peace, Love, Unity & Havin' Fun!!

Bigg Russ

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

How NOT to make a top 50 list...

BlackVoices.com is a web site I love. It's got A LOT of info, mostly trivial, but I enjoy reading it. They do give me some real news, without the spin you might expect.

That being said, BV has just pissed me off. They screwed up by posting this HORRENDOUS list of the Top 50 'Black' Movies of all time. The list is so utterly ridiculous, I would have to think the person who compiled the list doesn't know what a 'Black' movie is or hasn't seen many at all.

Seriously...The Wiz or anything movie containing "Madea" in the title should not be anywhere near a list like this. Similarly, any Top 50 Black Movies list NOT containing Hotel Rwanda or Hustle & Flow needs to be deleted immediately.

I was going to re-list them for you here but I just can't get my fingers to re-type such drivel.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The Hotness

There's a new film coming out called The Wackness. It's got something to do with some kid and his love of hip-hop or something or other. I have NO idea if the movie is good or not but the official mixtape of the movie produced by D-Nice is off the meter. Really though. It's all 90's hip-hop. Meaning GOOD. ;) Check it out for yourself (as well as D-Nice's Start of the Summer mixtape).



Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Missed it by THAT much...




There was a little known and very campy movie released in 1979 called Americathon. It was a brief look into our future, 1998 to be exact. Here's a summary of the film as ripped from Wikipedia:

The premise of the film is that, sometime in the then-near future (actually 1998), the USA has run out of oil, and many Americans are literally living in their (now stationary) cars and either jog or ride bicycles to travel. The federal government, housed in "The Western White House" (a sub-leased condominium in Marina del Rey, California), is near bankruptcy and in danger of being foreclosed by a cartel of Native Americans in control of Nike Inc. (which has been renamed "National Indian Knitting Enterprise"). President Chet Roosevelt (John Ritter) hires television consultant Eric McMerkin (Peter Riegert) to help produce a national raffle. Instead, they decide that the only way enough money can be raised to save America is to run a telethon, and hire TV celebrity Monty Rushmore (Harvey Korman) to host it.
What I find interesting is that it's now 2008. Sure, we haven't run out of oil per se but we sure are scrambling for it. The entire world knows we're paying too much for it. The price is only going to rise as well. I'm sure incidences of theft are only going to increase as well. I'm not calling for it but I'm sure more 'random' acts of violence is going to occur from the rise of gas prices. This might occur because the trapped cage effect has surely begun. In April, Americans drove 1.4 billion miles less than in April of '07 and 30 billion miles less overall since this same time last year. Once people start getting tired of traveling to the same places or feel that their options have been cut off, they'll start fighting back. Albeit, they'll be fighting the wrong people but fighting nonetheless because they won't have any other outlet for their anger.

People need to let it out every once in a while. No unlike the various riots of the past, I expect another. Except this time, I'm not sure if it's going to happen in L.A., Watts, Chicago, Harlem or Brixton even. But it's going to happen. If I'm where a riot happens though, I just hope to God I have enough gas in my tank to get away in time...

Monday, June 9, 2008

I'm SO glad someone else said it.

I've thought Tupac was overrated when he was alive. You can only imagine how I feel about him now.

That is all. Carry on.

Bigg Russ (back in the hizzy!)

Monday, April 21, 2008

The news of my death has been greatly yadda, yadda, yadda...

Yeah, I'm still here. Life has been both busy and GREAT for me so I haven't had the time to post. That will all change shortly. To all that still check my page...One love!!

Friday, March 28, 2008

A mother and son reunited!


Tiffany and Kobe...great together. (photo taken before the abduction)

PLEASE take the time out to read this story about a mother who NEVER gave up searching for her kidnapped son. It's just the kind of story we need to read more of in this time of illegal wars, unnecessary killing of monks and nuns, 'racist' clergyman, horny politicians, jailed rappers, steroid enhanced athletes and busted economies.

I absolutely LOVE children. I absolutely love RESPONSIBLE parents too. The bravery put forth by Tiffany Rubin in finding her missing child is ripe for recognition and praise. I wish more parents would love their children like Tiffany Rubin. We'd be living in a joyous place.

I believe that.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Please excuse the oversight...


A few weeks ago I laced you with what I thought were some of the best, newest hip-hop albums recently released. Well...I missed one. Sacrifice by QN5 F@MM menber, SUBSTANTIAL, deserves to be listed among those other albums I listed. You don't have to kick me in the butt for not telling you. I've already kicked myself for missing it. Enjoy.

Oh, if you see Sub in the street, tell 'em I'm sorry. ;-)

Peace, Tonedeff. You dropped another bomb, son.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Never fear...Pete Ross is here!!

The problem is, he's not here to save the day. He's here to show the world how much of an ass he can truly be. For three or four seasons on Smallville, Pete Ross was THE best friend a man of steel could have. He lied. He created diversions. He committed crimes and got arrested for them. He accidentally and self-irradiated himself with meteor rock. Heck, he even died a couple of times if I recall correctly. Even if he didn't, I know I died more than once watching him bumble and fall his way through one of my favorite popcorn TV series of all time. He did all that for the (seemingly but not really) last son of Krypton and all he got for it was a butt-whuppin' and one way ticket out of Kansas.

After all he had done for Clark, Pete ended up hating himself for knowing Clark's secret. Some would call it jealousy. Others, envy. I just think deep down he wished he had never met Mr. Universe in the first place. He only hung out with Clark to get to Chloe anyway (oh, I remember that pilot episode very well, thank you very much). Not only was he 3 feet high and non-rising, he couldn't break that interracial wall of weird for all the meteor rock in the world.

Initially, I felt bad for young Ross. He was the object of a broken home but his mom was positive and tried hard to keep him out of trouble. She even became a judge or something unbelievable with regards to his storyline. I even demanded that the writers show him some respect. Mainly 'cause he was an Afro-Ameri...uhhh...Negro...uhh...Bla....you know, a colored fella trying to survive among aliens (I'm talking about the people of Kansas, not the Kryptonians). As the seasons rolled on though, I began to realize something. Pete Ross was an ass. Like, no really...an ass. How do you call the most powerful being in the world best friend and all you can think about is Chloe and acting a fool and living in his shadow? Dude, you're 3 feet. You live in most people's shadows. I didn't like the way Pete was dismissed from the show though so I've always wished for his return. But of course, you must always, always, ALWAYS watch what you wish for...'cause you just may get it.

Imagine how I felt this week after learning that Pete was actually returning for ONE WHOLE SHOW?! I mean, can it be?! Did he change? Did he conquer his mental inadequacies? Did he grow? To all of that, I sadly say no. Not only did Pete not learn from his former ways, he actually go worse. In this episode, he gets infected yet again by Kryptonite. In an over the top Stride gum advertisement, Pete chews some meteor rock-laced chewing gum and becomes Blastic Man with the ability to stretch a la The Elongated Man. Long story short, Pete ends up running around Smallville talking about how the world needs to know about his powers and in the process making the world safer for meteor freaks yadda, yadda, yadda. Three years gone and Clark ends up saving his corny ass...AGAIN.

Pete gets beat up. Again. Pete admits to being envious of Clark. Again. Pete apologizes for acting stupid. Again. Pete flirts with Chloe. Again. *Yawn* Then...vanishes! Bops off into the sunset as if he had something better to do. Riiiiight. I'd let Pete slide this time as it's good to see some consistencies in life. But he failed one test. He showcased his powers to Chloe by reaching across a room and grabbing a rose from a vase. I don't know about you, but if I felt for Chloe the way Pete felt for Chloe, I know how I would've showcased my talents to her if I could stretch like that.

In Search Of...$4,300 worth.



Nope! We'll have to keep looking, boys.

Cue the track!! "And I still...haven't found...what I'm looking for!!"

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Officer's Ridley death's...was his own fault.

At least, that's what a grand jury feels when they decided not to indict the four officers responsible for killing their follow officer. Help me to understand this a little:

Okay, I'm a cop, right? I see a disturbance going on. I run into a local government building. I request back-up...IN PERSON. I run back outside to break up the disturbance. My back-up arrives. I hear my back-up yell drop the weapon. BOOM!! Through my head...I'm dead.

Yeah, I can totally see how my death would be my fault.

GMAFB.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

New York's new Governor is a 'first'!!


David Paterson

Not only is New York's new governor Black, he's also the first legally blind Governor. I don't know if legally blind people should be proud...but the 'news' keeps mentioning it...like that's an accomplishment. Once upon a time, being Black was enough to make most 'first' lists. Apparently, now you need to share your melanin level with your handicap if you do something first. Heck, I think him being a native of Brooklyn is enough to scream about. :-)

Let's welcome the homeboy and see what he can do. We'll be watching, Gov. Paterson.

No pun(s) intended.

Bigg Russ (est. 1971)

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Ivan make basket!!

Once upon a time, Whoopie Goldberg starred in a movie called Eddie, about a NY Knicks fan who gets the opportunity to coach the team through Hollywood only-type circumstances.

In the movie, former NBA player Dwayne Schintzius, more famous for being on the wrong end of Shaq's backboard shattering events than actually playing basketball, portrays a Russian NBA player who isn't much on words. Dwayne's character had one line, "Ivan make basket." He was clear on what he did. He didn't block, he didn't steal. He didn't assist. He made basket.



Well...check out this inspiring story of Sasha Kaun, a real life Ivan, except with PLENTY more skill. I'm posting this because it's inspiring AND about basketball. I'm also posting this because the locals need to pay attention and realize what others go through to get where they, the locals, don't appreciate. You're not guaranteed anything. No one owes you a contract. Just because you're born here means nothing in the 21st century. Learn from your hardships and do better...don't hold yourself and others back. Never forget but don't live in the past.

Yes, it really is that simple.

Bigg Russ

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Keeping Hip Hop alive...

If you think you care/know/love hip hop, then you NEED to check out these new albums.

(artist - album title)


Black Spade - To Serve With Love

Remember what Common used to sound like? Black Spade is the 2nd coming m. When those 'best rap album of '08' conversations begin, To Serve... had better be in included.



Erykah Badu - New Amerykah, Pt. 1: 4th World War

A little known fact about Ms. Badu is that she's a rapper by nature. This album makes that fact crystal.


EMC - The Show

1/4th of EMC is Masta Ace. What more needs to be said? We Alright is THE feel good song of the year. Great job, fellas. GREAT job.


Gnarls Barkley - The Odd Couple

Better than the first album. Did you hear me? I said better. And yes, Gnarls is Hip Hop. You know this to be true.

And in case you missed it...


Pete Rock - NY's Finest

Click for my semi-detailed review.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Celebrityismness....

So, I'm walking through John F. Kennedy International Airport a few weeks ago and walking past the baggage claim area where I run upon a taller-than-me African-American/Negro/Black/Colored man. I'm just about 6'1" so I immediately think to myself, "NBA!!" Well, as coincidence or Murphy's Law or whatever would have it, I recognized the dude. And yes, he was NBA!! albeit former. It was none other than the Spider himself, John "Best Damn Sports Show Ever!" Salley.



I put my hand out on some 'ol hey, I'm black...you're black, let's do some soul clapping handshake!! kind of thing. He was tooling on his Crackberry so it either took him a minute to notice me or he was straight ignoring me. Either way, I didn't remove my hand until I knew he knew that I was recognizing his famousticitiy.

For those who don't know, John "The Spider" Salley (corny nickname, but he earned it) is the proud owner of four NBA Championship Rings - two earned via the Detroit Pistons before M.J. decided to shut them down forever and two ridin' the bench. He earned one with Shaq and Co. on the Lakers and another, ironically, watching from the Chicago Bulls bench as M.J.'s teammate. He's also been in Bad Boys I & II. You know...don't you remember the imprisoned computer geek? Didn't think so. He also co-hosts that show I mentioned in between his name earlier along side other more-famous-in-their-own-heads people such as Tom Arnold.

That being said, after he finally decided to shake my hand, almost on cue, he spun his head away from me as if someone called him or.....something. Pretty convenient. I suppose he didn't want any *ahem* fans recognizing him or anything. God forbid if I blew up his spot or anything. I didn't trip though. I took it in stride and kept on. I actually like John Salley. He's a nice guy and it was cool meeting him, even if it was really just me meeting him and him not really meeting me.

I didn't get five paces away from Mr. Spider, when I hear someone walk up behind me and say something. I didn't quite think this person was speaking to me so I didn't respond. The person then raised their voice to make sure I heard them. I then felt a touch on my elbow and heard a ladies voice say, "Excuse me, what NBA player was that?" Now...what made that question interesting to me is that w/o even mentioning NBA or sports at all, she KNEW he was in the NBA or had been at some point. Amused, I turned to see who this was. To my amazement, I see this vision loviness walking besides me:



My simple exit from JFK had now become a bona fide, very surreal WTF?! moment. Susan Sarandon - five time Oscar nominee, one time Oscar winner, political activist, grounded New Yorker and all around beautiful woman that she is - stopped me and asked me who John Salley was. Now, it wasn't the fact that she didn't know who John Salley was. I mean..he's not that famous. It was the whole famous person asking me who another (semi) famous person was that got me. I mean...I know Mrs. Sarandon (long time love of Tim Robbins) is just another human being in the grand scheme of things but isn't there a 'famous person' code written somewhere that says if you're famous, you're allowed to run up on other famous people and ask them who they are? I'm just sayin'.

Anyways, I open my mouth and the first thing I say is, "Well...you're Susan Sarandon," as if she didn't know already, "...and that was John Salley, former NBA player." She laughed at my answer for a second then said, "Oh..." I would've literally LOL'ed had I not still been semi-mesmerized that I was speaking with Susan fuckin' Sarandon. She became one of my favorite actors after seeing her in Lorenzo's Oil and Dead Man Walking. I'm respectful of celebrities' celebrityness so I didn't bother to ask for an autograph or anything like that. I just kept it moving.

Susan (I can call her that now) and I walked another 8/16 of a mile together just giggling ('cause right after she asked me, another woman ran up on her to ask her who 'that' guy was...until she realized she was asking Susan Sarandon which tripped her out). She was very sweet and humble and HUMAN. It was a GREAT moment to be in...especially after my brother gave me the cold shoulder. I won't read too much into it but the difference in how they both dealt with me was pretty amazing. The 2/4 champion acted as if I was disturbing him when in fact he should've been glad that someone who doesn't watch The Best Damn... recognized his corny ass at all. On the flipside, this seasoned, very accomplished, VERY FAMOUS entertainer was just as sweet and chill as could be.

If I were to ever reach that level of celebrity and want to be respected, I plan on handling it like a sexy, older white woman. Trust me.

One love....

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Chocolate Boy Wonder is back to save the day...



If you're still one of the five people who actually pay attention to album *ahem* releases, then you've probably heard that Janet Jackson's and Erykah Badu's new albums were released yesterday. Well...I'm here to set the record straight and to let all y'all know that there was more than one major release yesterday. The Chocolate Boy Wonder, Soul Brother #1 himself PETE ROCK has dropped yet ANOTHER hip-hop gem on ya! NY's Finest, Pete's 6th 'solo' album (9th if you include his AMAZING work as 1/2 of the legendary group Pete Rock & CL Smooth), was released yesterday as well. Janet's album is good (MUCH better than the last) and Erykah's album is great (props to Ms. Badu for showing love to J. Dilla!) but Pete's contribution to this beloved art form is without a doubt the stand out release for me.



I told myself I wouldn't get into detailed reviews here...and I won't...but I will say that Pete's production on this album is just as good as anything he's ever done. The guest performances by Redman, Little Brother, Chip-Fu (on a reggae joint! Go Pete!!), and a host of others is handled with care as to make sure you don't forget why you're listening to this album. When you listen to a Pete Rock album, it's not for the rappers...it's for the MUSIC. Or, at least, that's how it should be. The most surprising guest appearance on the album comes from Lords of the Underground. I haven't heard about them in years and they still haven't lost a step. It does my heart good to see established artists still working with other established artists and not just the 'new' cats and who ever's 'hot' on the radio.

Pete Rock is not a legendary producer because he sold 5 million copies of an album or because he had a too-public beef with some other knucklehead. Pete Rock is legendary because he's GREAT at his craft. Pete Rock is a producer's producer. Don't take my word for it. Listen to what these little to somewhat famous producers have to say about him. Pete has produced for more artists than I can remember. He's extremely notable for his remixes which were usually better than the original track. Check any hip-hop remixes from the early-to-mid 90's. You're bound to find an amazing Pete Rock remix eventually.

All that being said, there is one ingredient missing from this mix. All the true Pete Rock fans know what I'm referring to. For all the rappers that Pete has produced for, NONE OF THEM flowed more fluently over his tracks than CL Smooth. It's a God given fact as far as I'm concerned. It's not even up for debate or discussion. Personal misunderstandings aside between the two, I will forever continue to wish/hope/pray that they will work together again on at least one more song or an entire album. CL released an album last year entitled American Me. It was a good album but it didn't get much attention at all. Wanna guess why?

Bigg Russ
'92 Forever...