Category: Music/Soundtrack

A Little Direction from Chef Garnett

Years ago,  The Roots’ Black Thought remarked, “If you can’t burn, don’t step into the kitchen.”  “Glitches,” the song from which this verse came, was on the soundtrack for a relatively forgettable Chris Rock film, Down to Earth.  It was a comedy.   Or, I should say, it was meant to be a comedy.  But “Glitches” is a solemn, languid track, and  Black Thought wasn’t laughing.

Fast-forward 11 years and another comedy, the 2011-2012 NBA pre-season (preceded by the low-budget disaster flick, the NBA Lockout)  is coming to a theater near you.   And one contributing cast member, perhaps channeling Black Thought, is none too happy about how the production is shaping up.   Here’s Kevin Garnett’s take on thing, courtesy of ESPN:

“I think what you see, we’re a rushed league right now,” Garnett said. “Everybody is paying attention to the Chris Paul situation. But I don’t know why everyone’s shocked, because Stern has been pretty adamant about when he wants to do things and how he does things.

“Timing is everything. Chemistry is something that you don’t just throw in the frying pan and mix it up with another something, then throw it on top of something, then fry it up and put it in a tortilla and put in a microwave, heat it up and give it to you and expect it to taste good. You know? For those of you who can cook, y’all know what I’m talking about. If y’all can’t cook, this doesn’t concern you.”

Can David Stern cook?  Will the NBA get past these “glitches”?

Here’s Black Thought (and the soulful Amel Larrieux) performing “Glitches.”




President Obama Defends Government

Recently, in  Op-Ed pages, blogs and television progressives and liberals seem to be holding a national-scale intervention for President Obama. Much of it in the vein of, “Can the President get his groove back?” or more seriously, “What does Barack Obama really stand for?  Like, um, really?”

It may be too early to tell whether the President truly is back, but  at a stop in his three-day bus tour, he did seem to at least have gotten off the couch.   On Monday in Cannon Falls, Minnesota, he vigorously defended government – not his administration, but big government itself –  enumerating (many) of its functions that are simultaneously viewed indisputably necessary by the populace (all but the far right*) and, ipso facto, make government BIG:

You’ll hear a lot of folks, by the way, say that government is broken. Well, government and politics are two different things. Government is our troops who are fighting on our behalf in Afghanistan and Iraq. That’s government. Government are also those FEMA folks when there’s a flood or a drought or some emergency who come out and are helping people out. That’s government. Government is Social Security. Government are teachers in the classroom. Government are our firefighters and our police officers, and the folks who keep our water clean and our air clean to breathe, and our agricultural workers. And when you go to a national park, and those folks in the hats — that’s government.

We know President Obama could benefit from a little more fire, and this is the type of fire I know many Americans want to more consistently see.  It is argument by distinction, and his oratorical repetitive motif here does hearken back to his campaign trail.

Incidentally, it also reminds me of Mos Def’s verse on “What’s Beef” during Black Star’s performance on The Dave Chappelle Show. In their respective ways, President Obama and Mos  are in full “ Let me learn ya”  mode.  Sardonic, didactic, derisive of those who oppose them.  The President is saying here “Wake up, here’s what government actually does for you.”  Mos Def  exhortation: “Wake up, open your eyes, avoid distraction and get real about what should really be occupying your attention.  Here’s my favorite line that is eerily topical: “Beef is high blood pressure and bad credit/Need a loan for your home and you’re too broke to get it”

Here’s Black Star’s full performance:

If President Obama is still shaking off a certain malaise brought on by the debt ceiling fight, for a more speedy recovery I would recommend a daily morning dose of Mos Def’s gem.  I reckon it  could only further channel the focus and indignant attitude so on display in Minnesota.

* The people seem to wish the government crash, that allow natural disasters and such take their natural courses, and, finally, to hasten Armageddon.