Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Denzel, Nellybelle & The Country Boys

Wassup, Y'all!

November 2, 2007. Circle that date, y'all. If you thought Denzel Washington was a bad mother 'shut your mouth' ('King Kong ain't got nothin' on me!) in his Academy Award winning turn as corrupt narcotics cop Alonzo Harris in Training Day, his upcoming role as big time, real life Harlem drug runner Frank Lucas should pretty much set your hair on fire (if Frank's account of his life can be trusted). I just read a tight New York Magazine article (circa 2000) by Mark Jacobson about the real Frank Lucas and it reads like a cross between Superfly, New Jack City, The Sopranos, Nelly's 'Pimp Juice' and Platoon. This guy was off the meter and Denzel will be bringing Lucas' sordid story to the silver screen in his upcoming movie American Gangster....

To say this film production is star-crossed would be putting it mildly as it went through two directors and two stars (Denzel, then Don Cheadle, then back to Denzel). In my view you can't go wrong with either of those boyz and if the script stays anywhere close to the ruckus goin' on in that article, Denzel will be back up for another Oscar nomination cuz that material is just too damn juicy.

Here's the backstory, y'all. Frank Lucas started out as a North Carolina country boy who started straight clownin' after he witnessed his cousin being murdered by the Klan. He started small timin' it to provide for his family and before long he found his way to Harlem and became a ', hell-bent crime wave'. He took Advanced Crime 501 from smooth Harlem crime boss Ellsworth 'Bumpy' Johnson (played to perfection by Laurence Fishburne in Hoodlum).

Once Bumpy passed in the late 60's, Frank dropped it into overdrive and turned his attention to the lucrative heroin trade, ultimately hooking up a supply line of horse that originated in the 'Golden Triangle' of Southeast Asia and was transported back stateside in the coffins of dead U.S. soldiers coming home from Vietnam. Homey flooded the streets with one of the purest strains of heroin and had southsiders shufflin' up to his dealers like extras from the Night Of The Living Dead. Wisely, he only employed friends and family from North Carolina (the Country Boys) as his dealers since they were more trustworthy than city boys who were always looking to get theirs and Frank would watch over his street corner enterprise from the driver's seat of a beat up hoopty called Nellybelle - the perfect disguise for a man who, at the height of his earnings, was clocking $1 million...a day.

Peep that article, y'all and holler back if your mouth doesn't hit the floor. Frank was a buck wild boy. Not sure I can wait a year to check this joint out - especially since 'Karen Sisco' - Carla Gugino's in that bad boy too (who cares about Russell Crowe??). Wonder if she finds her way up in Nellybelle too?



Monday, November 27, 2006

Quincy's daughter in an Office triangle

Wassup, Y'all!

You'd think that Quincy Jones would have warned his daughter to steer clear of office romances, but there she is - in the middle of a love triangle on one of the funniest shows on TV - The Office. If you work in anything that resembles Corporate America and you haven't peeped this show yet, you're missing a dead on satire of office life at its worst. For example, the last installment featured the office boss (played by 40 Year Old Virgin nut, Steve Carell) welcoming Rasida Jones (Quincy's girl) to her new office branch by telling her that she was 'very exotic looking' and asking whether her father was a 'GI'...

Most folks don't know that Rashida owes her 'exotic' looks to her parents - Quincy Jones and Mod Squad girl, Peggy Lipton. That's a pretty good pedigree.

To ol Ty's embarrassment, I've been trying to place Rashida since she showed up on the show and her character, Karen, started catching feelings for the show's 'hero', Jim (Jim is who you would be in the show, y'all - the main normal person). I knew that Rashida reminded me of someone but it wasn't until I looked her up and peeped a glossy of her mom Peggy that it all fell together.
If you check out pictures of Peggy, there's no denying that those two are mother / daughter. Funny how genetics work y'all.

Anyway, now that 'Karen' has moved into the Scranton branch of the Dunder Mifflin Paper Company, she finds herself at odds with 'Pam' (Jenna Fischer), the office receptionist who broke Jim's heart at the end of last season. Just based on that foulness I'd have to toss my support to Rashida but y'all know that in Hollywood scripts, 'exotic looks' tend to work against you.

Now nothing against northside shorty Pam but I'm from the school of 'You Snooze, You Lose' and homegirl had Jim twistin' in the wind for the longest before cracking his face by turning down his advance. Havin' been on the business end of that ruckus my damn self how can a brother not root for the exotic north/southside shorty to get what she's looking for? So I plan to put my cheddar where my grill is and pick up a couple Team Karen T-shirts for me and the shortys around my office here in the basement. Holler if you hear me.



Thursday, November 23, 2006

Gerald Levert: Why To Push The Plate Away

Happy Turkey Day, Y'all!

Woooo. Ol Ty is winding down from gettin' his eat on (big ups to my hosts Kat and C-Dog for helping Ty eat, drink and be merry - thanks, y'all!) and I'm here to tell you that a brother is full! After a little reflection on recent events and how today tends to be a day of excess, I think it's only appropriate to return our thoughts to our boy Gerald 'Teddy Bear' Levert who recently passed at the tender age of 40 and how the southside nation needs to do itself a favor and push back away from the dinner table before it's too damn late...

Now I'm not preaching here, y'all (okay - well maybe a little bit), cuz I need to learn this lesson as well since I'll walk over a brother to get to a piece of pecan pie but as we see more of our family and friends get to that great gettin' up morning far too soon, we need to take a pause for the cause and figure out how to eat more sensibly.

I'll admit, I'll be laughin' right along with Mo'nique when she does her 'big girl' act and drops a cookbook titled 'Skinny Cooks Can't Be Trusted'. I'll be right there laughin' at the comedians on Def Comedy Jam always talkin' about a two piece chicken meal with the biscuits or how Ruben 'Velvet Teddy Bear' Studdard ate Clay Aiken (note: if your nickname has 'teddy bear' anywhere in it, your a$$ is probably already one Red Lobster cheddar biscuit away from cardiac arrest and a trip to the ER...) but a cold hard look in the community mirror reveals a few very unfunny facts about us. To wit:

"The American Heart Association revealed that heart and blood vessel disease affects African American men at much higher rates, and that they are 94% more likely to die from strokes than their white counterparts." Hmmm....

"For women, the black (non-Hispanic) population has the highest prevalence of overweight (78 percent) and obesity (50.8 percent)." Hmmm....

Now say what you want about Tupac - the brother was foul, the brother was profane, the brother was arrogant - yes, he was all that. He was also crazy creative, ahead of his time and utterly profound and no more so than when he mashed together his thought provoking jam, Changes. Not only did Tupac foretell the exact scenario that would take him to his great gettin' up day ('Cause I always got to worry 'bout the pay backs. Some buck that I roughed up way back... comin' back after all these years. Rat-a-tat-tat-tat-tat. That's the way it is.') he also dropped some sound advice for the southside nation that is just as appropriate now as it was when he first dropped it. I can't think of any better words to close with:

We gotta make a change...
It's time for us as a people to start makin' some changes. Let's change the way we eat, let's change the way we live and let's change the way we treat each other. You see the old way wasn't working so it's on us to do what we gotta do, to survive.

So, when you think about unwrapping that third plate of leftovers tomorrow (you know - those joints you sealed up with tin foil when you rolled out of your Thanksgiving jammy-jam) - think about Gerald and the folks who would miss you if your great gettin' up day came even one day too soon and pass that plate by.



Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Kramer, The N-Word & The Big Deal

Wassup, Y'all!

This was the most appropriate glossy I could find of Michael 'Kramer' Richards, the goof who played Cosmo Kramer all those years on the Seinfeld sitcom. By now y'all are up to here with news about homeboy's racial tirade at a LA comedy club and his subsequent apology over his comments. Again, like Mel Gibson, Cosmo claims "I'm not a racist. That's what is so insane about this." Strange that both men can tap into such racial hatred so easily yet remain amazingly mystified as to where it comes from. Regardless, I'm thinking Cosmo's goose is cooked on this one and I'd like to remind my Malone Zone readers why, despite the southside's prodigious use of the N-Word, it's still not for general use, particularly by northsiders...

I know, I know - some of y'all are like, 'that's some ol bull$hit, Ty' - southsiders use that term all the time and nobody gets all hot! We'll all be in the club jamming to Jamie and Kanye talkin' 'bout 'Now I ain't saying she's a gold digger, but she ain't messin' with no broke ni$$ers" It's all good. What the problem with Cosmo throwing that term around? Y'all know I've been over this road before so for a refresher hit my 'That Nigga's Crazy' post.

As for Cosmo - not only did he use the N-Word, he went over the top by first stating,"Fifty years ago we'd have you upside-down with a fu#king fork up your a$$". Hence the bigger point that I can't stress enough - there's a history between southsiders and northsiders that began in the midst of some buckwild northside craziness. The feel good vibes we have between each other these days is superficial frosting on a cake with some jacked up feelings in the middle.

As previously mentioned, my boy 'Tini Mack turned me on to a powerful book called 'Without Sanctuary - Lynching Photography in America'. It should be a required book in any southsiders home library to hammer home just why we shouldn't be using the N-Word so lightly. However, I think it should also be required reading for northsiders - particularly those who feel the need to support Cosmo's use of the word. An appropriate quote from the book jacket follows:

"Many people today, despite the evidence, will not believe - don't want to believe - that such atrocities happened in America no so very long ago. These photographs bear witness American holocaust." - Congressman John Lewis

According to Cosmo it was about 'fifty years ago'. Clearly more education on both sides is appropriate to help everyone realize that the N-Word is no laughing matter.

Get right, y'all.



Thursday, November 16, 2006

Wesley's 'Payment Plan'

Wassup, Y'all!

Man, what the hell is going on? First, news reaches the basement that Wesley Snipes had worked out a 'payment plan' with Uncle 'Gangster' Sam to make good on his tax dodging and I get all worked up! I was originally plannin' on starting this post like this...

Now ain't this some bullshi*t? How's my boy Ronnie 'Mr. Biggs' Isley end up in the Gray Bar Hotel with Tossed Salad Man and your boy Wesley Snipes ends up getting put on a 'payment plan' by Uncle 'Gangster' Sam? Something's fishy up in herrr, y'all. Either Mr. Biggs had a public defender or Wesley's got a politician in his pocket (or a high powered lawyer like Johnny Cochran (moment of silence please...))

Now new word has come to the basement that Gangster Sam has been quoted as saying 'Ah hell naw - homey don't play that' and he's claiming the only deal on the table is his original southside prison pimp slap. What's going on?

Well it turns out that the reporter who broke the story for the Daily Variety only spoke to three associates (aka boyz) of Wesley rather than to Gangster Sam's consigliere. What kind of ruckus is that? Even ol Ty knows you have to get both sides of the story. Since when did an interview with someone's boyz ever yield an accurate quote?? Clearly his boyz are hoping for the Snipes Gravy Train to keep on rolling so they can stay stocked up with bon bons and groupies since they don't have any jobs to fall back. Anyone would be wise to take their info with a grain of salt.

What's even more clear is that homeboy Wesley ain't got the first plan to come back to Gangster Sam's hood (aka the U.S.) anytime soon. He's still shooting his currently flick 'Gallowwalker' in Namibia and once that joint wraps ol boy is headed to Thailand to shoot his next flick 'Chasing the Dragon' in which he plays "an FBI agent in Asia on the tail of a drug lord". Man, that's kinda funny - Wesley playin' a member of Gangster Sam's posse, while Gangster Sam's real posse is on his tail. That's what they call 'deliciously ironic', y'all.



Wednesday, November 15, 2006

MLK Memorial - Where's Dexter?

Wassup, Y'all!

Begun at last. Begun at last. Thank God Almighty it's begun at last! That's right y'all. Approved for National Mall construction in 1996 by 'southside' President Bill Clinton, posted on in 2005 by Tyrone Malone, the Martin Luther King Memorial has finally broken ground with an expected debut date sometime in 2008. But amid all the hoopla and the massive glossys taken of the event (thanks for the link, 'Tini!) I'm wondering where my boy Dexter King - the 2nd youngest of the King kids- was?? I can't imagine homeboy had better things to do on such a remarkable day...

As you can see, this glossy shows 3 of the 4 King kids - Rev. Bernice King, Martin Luther King III and sister Yolanda King but no Dexter. Hmmmm. Reports on the groundbreaking also only mention these three. Ol Ty found that pretty strange since you have to figure there couldn't have been a schedule conflict big enough to keep Dexter away. So if any of my ATL readers are up on it, holler back and let us know if Dexter is illin'.

I remember reading an Ebony article way back where Dexter mentioned his feelings on his brother having his father's name rather than him, but he also pointed out that he got his father's looks so it was still all good. Couldn't be a family issue that has Dexter AWOL could it? Hmmmmm....

Anyway, it's events like these that show the real benefit of being a celebrity, y'all - the ability to get invites to once in a lifetime events and rub shoulders with people who have helped shape the country and the world. I remember reading about how Will and Jada got Bishop Desmond Tutu to preside at their marriage or how they got a chance to meet Nelson Mandela. I'm not even going to mention their invite to Tom and Katie's wedding in Italy...

Now you peep into the National Dream Gala, the companion event to the MLK Memorial Groundbreaking and you see a C brand celebrity like Nick Cannon, rubbing shoulders with a room full of civil rights heavyweights *and* Oprah Winfrey. Man, it just ain't right that ol Ty didn't get an invite to that joint. And check out our girl O at the Groundbreaking. Why is it that every pair of pants you see her in are skin tight? What if those bad boys had popped a seam during her speech? People could have been hurt y'all. She could have taken out *two* Presidents!! I can't believe that the Secret Service was that lax about security.

In addition to the old guards from the civil rights struggle, I would have loved to have sat on a couch and chatted with my girl Maya Angelou. That sister is just straight deep and I love how she showed up for the ceremony looking all gangster with her pimp cane and church hat. I love this glossy. Maya is an American original y'all and I could listen to her philosophize all day. You can hear the wisdom and thoughtfulness in every sentence, just like you could with Martin Luther King. It's nice to see that *finally* generations to come will be able to come to D.C. to learn about and honor him as they do other great Americans who have made this country what it is.



Monday, November 13, 2006

Whitney: Don't Call It A Comeback...

Wassup, Y'all!

She's been here for years. That's right y'all. Sister Whitney is back from her long trip on the Crack Pipe Express and (if recent photo evidence is accurate) she's looking like the old Whitney and sounding like the old Whitney on her upcoming Christmas album 'One Wish' (which drops on 11/18). If this all works out I'll have to admit that I'll be happy to see ol girl back. There's nothing like a mountain top / rock bottom / mountain top story to warm your heart - especially 'round Christmas time when everything seems to have that feel good vibe to it...

USA Today tried to draw some parallels between Whitney and Britney (Spears) and for the most part found several - deadbeat husbands with marginal entertainment 'careers' of their own (tho even Bobby on a bad day would smoke K-Fed), whack reality shows, and ultimately divorces and musical rebirths. I'll end the parallels there since Britney is more a manufactured, sexually charged, sideshow than a top notch vocal talent like Whitney (but then again Britney did manage to stay off the CP Express...).

If this comeback does work out for homegirl, I'm sure she'll have a good time getting back with all the folks who cracked hard on her during her low moments. Y'all know that type of trifling behavior was beyond ol Ty but some other folks may have some bad Karma coming their way.


Thursday, November 09, 2006

In Memoriam: Everyone has a story

Wassup, Y'all!

I'm going a little somber today as I'm reminded that despite the brightening mood of the country in the wake of the political shift that occurred on November 7th, we are still a nation at war and that young Americans from all sides (north, south, east and west) continue to die far from home in Iraq and Afghanistan...

On Sundays I make it a point to watch This Week with George Stephanopoulos on ABC as often as I can. One reason is to keep up with the political new of the week but the main reason is because they have a weekly segment toward the end of each show called In Memoriam, which highlights the accomplishments of people of note who have died that week and lists the names, and ages of U.S. forces that have died that week in combat. It's a tangible reminder for me that while I'm all caught up with football, basketball, movies, K-Fed & Britney and what not, young American soldiers are dying mostly anonymous deaths in very heinous fashions. When they die, you mostly get their name, rank, age, hometown or a weekly number posted in the paper or on a website.

Over the past couple days, I've read two articles about the lives of two such soldiers and realize that each of those numbers has a life story behind it and that we're losing a lot more than people, we're losing the potential that each of them would have brought back with them. One story which passed me by was about 2nd Lt. Emily J.T. Perez who died in Iraq on September 12, 2006.

Turn on the TV lately and you'll see plenty of southside shortys rump shaking on hip-hop videos, clowning for the attention of Flava Flav or reaching for that next doughnut before going on Oprah and asking for help. What you don't see (since they aren't nearly as entertaining) is a whole generation of southside shortys who are taking care of business and none more so than homegirl 2LT Emily P. Her death was profiled in the Washington Post on September 27th following her 9/26 funeral on the campus of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Yes, that West Point. 2LT Emily P. was doing it big, y'all. Real big.

Despite the military service academies having some of the most stringent acceptance requirements of any college in the nation, not only did she attend West Point, she graduated in the top 10% of her class and became the school's first minority female command sergeant in the history of West Point (that would be since 1802, y'all). Unfortunately, she also, at age 23, became the first female West Point graduate to die in Iraq when an IED exploded under her Humvee while patrolling southern Iraq near Najaf. Read the article and get to know homegirl.

That's just one story, y'all. Consider that as of today, 2,839 U.S. forces have died in Iraq and Afghanistan. Does each one have a story as impressive as 2LT Emily P.? Probably not, but each one has a story and each one has left a lifetime of potential on the battlefield. Ponder that for a few. And if you start thinking your work week is too hard or that you can't stand another minute of sitting in rush hour traffic, or whatever trifling detail happens to push your buttons, tune into This Week, watch In Memoriam and get your attitude adjusted.



Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Kanye, Naomi and the Sippy Sip

Wassup, Y'all!

Riddle me this, Batman: What's bigger than North America but can fit into a container the size of a pea? Give up? It's Kanye West's ego, y'all. By now I'm sure you've heard about his latest dust up at last week's MTV European Music Awards where after losing the Best Video Award to a group called Justice v. Simians he hopped up onstage during their acceptance speech claiming that he was done wrong - again. Now I like Kanye's music, but this buster gives new meaning to the phrase 'legend in your own mind'...

Homey truly believes that everything is does is gold and if it's not so recognized, it not because something else was better it was because your foolish a$ didn't know any better. In this case, KW pushed out a meager apology chalking up his jacked up behavior to the 'sippy sip' (aka dranking). Man, alcohol gets blamed for as much bad behavior as the dog does for pooting and in most cases both are innocent bystanders to folks with no self control.

Getting back to that riddle, y'all - that container would be Kanye's pea sized brain. Given his repeated shenanigans when losing awards to other artists and Naomi Campbell's repeated shenanigans with cell phones and domestic help, a brother has to wonder what the world would be like if those two got together and had twins:

Flash forward eight years, y'all: Little Kanye and Little Naomi are in second grade (and in the last school that will accept them before home schooling becomes their only option...).

Little Naomi is sitting in class taking a test when she looks up, snaps her fingers and points to the mug of hot chocolate on her desk. "Mrs. Rugmuffin, I need you to freshen this up for me...and how about a few marshmellows to go with?" To which Mrs. Rugmuffin replies, "Little Naomi, I'm a teacher not a maid. You're lucky I'm even letting you drink hot chocolate during a test." When Mrs. Rugmuffin looks back down at her book, Little Naomi takes her stapler out of her desk and bounces it off Mrs. Rugmuffin's bean. "Do you know who I am? Do you know who my mama is? You're lucky I'm even taking your tired little test." The mug of hot chocolate flies to the front of the room next just as security comes to haul Little Naomi off...

Little Kanye is standing next to his science project at the annual science fair waiting for the judges to award the prizes. The judges look over his project - the same, tired erupting volcano they see each year - and the other project, a detailed study of the effects of urban living on long term southside health. First prize ribbon goes to the urban living study, second prize ribbon goes to Little Kanye's volcano. When Little Kanye sees the ribbon he starts clowning: "Oh snap! That's some ol bull$hit. Are you people blind? My $hit's got baking soda and erupts and everything! You see those little army men on the side? And those little bushes? Do you even know what a volcano is? Obviously not, cuz this $hit is off the meter. Do you know who my father is?"

Nuclear winter would be a future less bleak than that nonsense. I think it's time to stop indulging all that whack behavior and just lock those two in a room together and see which one sucks out all the air first jibber-jabbering about how important they are. Then once they pass out, put them in a pair of jogging suits and drop them off in Darfur for a year-long sabbatical so they can finally begin to understand what's really important...



Wednesday, November 01, 2006

LeBron - Cap The Hater-ade

Wassup, Y'all!

Frequent Malone Zone readers know by now that from time to time, ol Ty can be a hater, but as I grow older and wiser (and suffer through a non stop barrage of political ads that prop nothing but hate) I've realized it's time to grow up and give credit where credit is due. Originally, I thought the royal red carpet laid out by the NBA for LeBron James was a little too premature given the massive talent that preceded him that didn't receive similar accolades right off the bat. But given his play, humble demeanor and intelligent interviews I've changed my mind. could be all that or just his too funny, well acted 'The LeBrons' Nike campaign which brings back warm memories of Spike Lee talkin' about his 'main man Money' (aka Michael Jordan)...

Y'all remember those joints, right? If not, let YouTube take you back a few to when Michael Jordan was the league's young phenom and Nike built a humorous commercial franchise around his shoe - the Air Jordans.

Now your boy LeBron is stepping into that Nike shoe void that will never be filled by the likes of tarnished Kobe Bryant (though Bryant is now in the Nike stable as well). I like these 'The LeBrons' ads that have Lebron playing four distinct characters in each skit - Wise, the crotchety, old school patriarch of the family, Business, the silky smooth player of the family, Athlete (Lebron) and Kid, the hip-hop, fun lover of the group. The latest one has the crew out at the swimming pool with my favorite old school jam, Summer Madness, playing all chilly in the background.

I've seen NBA players in commercials before and I have to say that LeBron's acting is really good (better than Jordan in his joints) and he nails each character perfectly. Since I'm a sucker for good humor, all the sudden I'm overlooking such hate-worthy LeBron facts like:

1) $150 million in endorsements
2) 3rd highest Q rating (marketability) among *all* NBA players (only Tim Duncan and Shaq score higher) - this after only three years in the league...)
3) #46 on the Forbes Celebrity 100 list - up from #53 last year
4) only 21 years old

Hold up! Only 21!! Dang, I thought I could handle it but after hearing that, LeBron can kiss my a$$!

Just kiddin' LB - any brother who can drop a commercial with Summer Madness in the background can't be all bad, y'all. Consider ol Ty *finally* on the bandwagon.