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The Best Singles of the First Half


My favorite hip-hop blogger is Noz. He gained fame with his uber-popular Cocaine Blunts & Hip-Hop Tapes blog, where he gave voice to some of the best-informed and crotchetiest rap opinions in the blogosphere. These days, he's blogging for the excellent new XXL website. Come to find out... he listens to The Sound! Can you imagine? Not quite as good as finding out Dave Foley listens, but close.

Here's Noz' list of the top 20 hip-hop singles of the first half of the year. Featuring this anti-God track from Mobb Deep, which my teenaged brother hasn't shut up about in like three months ("Dude, Jesse, PRODIGY DISSED GOD!"). Thank goodness O'Reilly didn't get hold of that one.

Comedy Central Presents Mitch Hedburg


"The Lo-Fi Ballad of Daniel Johnston"


A wonderful piece from the PRX podcast.

Download (MP3)

High Five Contest!


Some great entries into today's Sound of Young America contest, which requested that you take a picture of yourself high-fiiving a coworker. Our randomly selected winner was Mary from San Francisco... congrats, Mary!

Here are a few other entries...

From Eric (also in San Francisco):

From Josh in Miami:

From Christian in Chicago:

From Rob in LA:

And thanks to Steven, who works in a "secured area" where he can't bring a camera (building a super-soldier?), but drew a picture of his high five in MS Word, which got all messed up, too messed up to show here, but definately included cool word art of the word "SMACK!"

Contest, 7/7: HIGH FIVE!


I was talking with my girlfriend yesterday, and we came up with what I think might be our best contest yet.

Take a picture of yourself high-fiving a co-worker. Email it to contest @ maximumfun dot org, with the date in the subject and your address in the body of the email. If you don't want to be on our e-mail list, mention that in your email.

Your prize is my last Kids in the Hall season four box set, thanks to the good folks at A&E Home Video.



One more entry from yesterday's contest


This from Eric, who just realized he accidentally sent it to the wrong address.

An Alternate View on Superman


Noel Murray of The Onion's AV Club has some interesting things to say about his favorite superhero, Superman over on their blog.

"The appeal of Superman—again, maybe just to me, though I think to others as well—is that because he can do everything, he doesn’t have to do much at all. He can take care of business and then chill out, solitude-style, at his Arctic clubhouse, where he tinkers with robots and obsessively arranges his souvenirs into a massive monument to himself. Or he can spend a whole day thinking up the perfect birthday present for Batman. Or he can make publicity appearances, while dodging Lois’ attempts to find out his secret identity. The stakes are pretty low in those forty-year-old Superman stories—even in the “imaginary tales” where some bored staffer figured out a way to end the endless Superman saga, at least for a week. And if somebody today wants to know how to write a Superman story, it shouldn’t be that hard. Just ask a ten-year-old boy what he’d do if he were Superman, and take notes."


Rakim Allah Interview


Amazing interview with the God, Rakim, the greatest rapper of all time, on Halftime Online:

"I’ve been writing rhymes for so long I got like five or six different ways I write a rhyme. It might be from the last word in the verse to the first or sometimes I sit there, toy with it and I might come up with sixteen of the illest words I can and write the rhyme to fit in. That’s just when I’m fucking around or when it’s a little slow for me and I’m not in the mood to write I know how to force it out. I’ve been writing for so long I got a lot of different ways to write. Everything becomes too normal after a while. I’ve been writing for so long it’s like how could I do this different. How can I make it seem like I’m not writing a rhyme today. Those are just some things I do. People bug out when they see me grab a paper and start writing from the bottom. People be like what are you doing? Just slow down. By the time I get to the top I’m done. They like done with what and I be like this is sixteen bars. I just wrote a rhyme nigga. It’s crazy man."

He just breaks down how he changed the hip-hop world forever in this question:

"Halftimeonline: When I was 19, I heard you talking in an interview about how you messed around with jazz. You said one of your favorite artists was Thelonius Monk. He saw visions when he wrote songs so it’s funny how you just mentioned you see a whole song before you write it. So do you still mess with the saxophone?

Rakim: Oh no doubt. I ain’t played one in a couple of years but I think that had a lot to do with my rhyme flow. Playing the sax and then enjoying jazz music man. It’s like I learned how to find words inside of the beat. Back in the day rappers were bump bump bump ba bump ba bump. They was rhyming like that but I was like bababa bump bump babum ba babump bababa bump. The syncopation and the pauses is all from knowing music, playing the saxophone, listening to John Coltrane and Thelonius Monk and the crazy shit they were doing. I just tried to incorporate that into my rhyme flow. That played a big part in my flow."


John Candy on Letterman in 1983


Thanks, Yogaflame

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