Decadent black music with no social values, just a bunch of secondhand emotions.--well, Jean Grae is the antidote. I can't say that I'm feeling the other heavily touted but not very much heard album, The Listening by Little Brother. Maybe I just need more listens but it doesn't seem all that much different from Questionmark Asylum's work 6 or 7 years ago. I might just be selling it short, though, because I've got too much music on the brain. Like Boomkatalog One which I can't seem to stay away from and Funkmaster Flex 60 Minutes of Funk Volume One which won't leave my car stereo. I won't get into Boomkat. Popmatters does a great review of the album. I want to hang out with Taryn Manning. I'm just going to put that out there. The funk flex joint though? It's because there's a really nice throwback vibe to it and some real traditional DJ work with some classic beats. After reading Yes, Yes, Ya'll and being blown away by it, I need more classic joints. I need to go back and really listen to some Furious Five records. I'm trying to remember what it was like when at 6 and 7 and 8 years old I would hear The Message and The Breaks and how much Beat Street blew my mind (even though it's the "okay for the masses" version of Wild Style, it is still the best breakdancing on tape you will ever see). It has me thinking about Le Freak and Rappers Delight (the first two records I owned that weren't from the Disney Library -- you know I was rockin' Macho Duck) and The Show (the first record that got taken away for being dirty...well, the B Side, Ladi Dadi, was what got me in trouble) and Freaks Come Out at Night which still may be my favorite hip hop record of that era (it runs neck and neck with Wild, Wild West because Kool Moe Dee was no joke...We don't start trouble but boy do we end it!). And it has me thinking about the zest for creativity, for rockin' a party, for doing something new, for taking risks, for doing it your way that the onset of hip-hop represents. It has me feeling like I should hone the poplock skills again. It has me thinking about Fat Laces. Checkerboard style, perhaps. Speaking of Checkers, I know that Denzel Washington and Training Day made the phrase "This is chess, it ain't checkers." popular (and I've been seeing and hearing it a lot lately) but was it a slang phrase before then?