One great song. One great sample. Three fantastic songs.
From the intro of the beautiful "Be Real Black for Me" by Donny Hathaway and past Sound guest Roberta Flack came two of my favorite hip-hop tracks: first M.O.P.'s "World Famous," then Scarface's "My Block."
Donny Hathaway & Roberta Flack, "Be Real Black For Me" (1972)
M.O.P. "World Famous" (1996)
Scarface "My Block" (2002)
In light of Soulja Boy's spectacularly ill-considered lyric about the troops, I thought I'd share an old favorite. It's a remix of Crank Dat (Soulja Boy) by our friend Ashkon. Enjoy!
If you're involved in independent media making of any kind, this piece by Cory Doctorow is worth your time. It's about books - Doctorow, if you don't know, is a writer by trade - but it's also about what independent media really means for the creator.
Doctorow asks writers considering self-publishing to ask themselves the question "why should anyone care?" It's an important one, and one that's not asked enough. So often, we get so tied up in our own passions, the ones that drove us to create in the first place, that we forget to consider what our audience might want.
That should be an essential question when you create: how will this excite people enough that they will want it? Want it so much that they'll pay for it, or seek it out when it's inconvenient? Am I, as a creator, willing to pave that road?
So yeah: worth your time.
I've come to believe that we'll never successfully book Tina Fey on The Sound, but this will have to do. Tina Fey in conversation with Steve Martin, from earlier this year in Los Angeles.
An enthusiastic fan has put together this awesome clip montage of Andy Daly on The Life & Times of Tim. Andy is one of the funniest people in the world, and Tim is an under-appreciated show. Enjoy!
Jensen Karp of The Hype Men was kind enough to invite me on his new Kevin Smith-affiliated podcast Get Up On This to talk about Jay-Z and Kanye West's new album Watch the Throne. It's a solid ninety minutes of rap nerdery, and features not just Jensen and me, but also 88 Keys (who produced a track on the record) and hip-hop legend slash past TSOYA guest Bun B of UGK. I had a lot of fun getting in deep on a very interesting record, and I hope you'll give the show a listen.
I love Fresh Air's "rock historian" Ed Ward. He really nails it every time out - even when he covers stuff I know a lot about I learn something, and I'm never lost when he covers something I've never heard of.
He's had two great Fresh Air segments recently. This one covered the early days of Sly Stone (aka Sylvester Stewart), when Stone was still best known as a radio DJ and record producer. It even includes some rock records he produced (I had no idea, and I couldn't be a bigger fan).
This one covered another early-70s soul legend, Syl Johnson. I had no idea his career stretched so far back before his days working with Willie Mitchell, as the bluesier Al Greene.
I can just listen to this album over and over forever.
Below: the video for "Elevators," plus the rest of the segments on the show.
On this week's JJGo, I talked about the amazing Pakistani-Indian border sequence of Michael Palin's Himalaya. Here it is in all its late-80s-African-American-gay-man-living-in-Paris-wearing-a-headdress-and-stomping glory. One of the greatest things of all time.
The French fashion house Balmain came up on my style blog (they were selling an $1800 hoodie). It reminded me of the opening lines of this song, which is featured in Hotel Chevalier, the short film that was distributed with Wes Anderson's The Darjeeling Limited.
The film is below.