Raineman’s Rant: End of the Road?

Given the flurry of trade rumors surrounding Rondo the past few days, our friend Raineman of AroundtheBean.com has a thing or two to say.  Here’s his latest ‘Raineman’s Rant‘:

jujuj

End of the Road??

Ok… I give up. I have fought feverishly to keep Rajon Rondo with the Celtics as I still believe that a proven point guard and a proven Center are the hardest things to find in the NBA…but he WILL be traded soon per various trade rumors. The long and dragged-out process is finally coming to an end and he will soon be jettisoned from the Captain’s seat in TD Garden. I will give credit to Danny Ainge and the Celtics for not trying to institute a Red Sox-like “smear campaign” to get the public against Rondo (a la Manny Ramirez, Terry Francona, #smearcampaign Jon Lester!)

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oh they did no such thing. Instead they utilized the line-ups of Brad Stevens (who actually plays all of his roster) to let Celtics fans see a glimpse into the future, and eventually see a Celtics team without Rondo.

While Marcus Smart is “possibly” injury-prone, he is a great defensive player. Kelly Olynyk, Marcus Thornton and other young players are showing promise.

Danny Ainge confirmed that discussions are ongoing on 98.5 the Sports Hub this morning, and this will most likely happen in exchange for assets and role-players, but I do have one prediction:

Prediction: This will be an “amicable” split. While many believe that Rajon Rondo is…well…sort of a dick… I believe he will leave Boston on very good terms, which is rare in this modern era of sports. I also believe that this will be a split that will end up working out well for both parties involved (if only two teams are involved in the trade) as the asking price for Rondo remains high + Rondo will make any team instantly better.

The Lost Art of Beatboxing

Beatboxing, as defined by www.oxfordlearnersdictionary.com is “the use of the human voice to create the beat in hip hop.”  To expand just a bit, Doug E Fresh
www.urbandictionary.com defines it as ” the attempt made by one to vocally replicate the sounds that would normally emanate from a drum set, drum machine or drum loop through a series of noises or popping sounds made with the mouth. ‘Beatboxing’ is used throughout the hip-hop scene, and talented ‘beatboxers’ can be found in several urban settings.” Though I would argue that the art of beatboxing doesn’t necessarily have to be specific to Hip Hop (why can’t one beatbox on a dance or reggaeton track for example?), the key aspect to both definitions presented here as well as pretty much any other you’ll find is using one’s own voice to make a beat.

That said, while beatboxing was prevalent in Hip Hop culture for much of Rap music’s earliest age, roughly the late 70s through the early 90s, it’s slowly dissipated to the point where it’s become almost a lost art. It’s a tactic of Rap music that older Hip Hop heads who were listening in the 80s and early 90s can speak about nostalgically, but it’s largely absent in today’s versions of Rap music. Back in the day, beatboxing on an actual record was not uncommon, as evident by the examples we provide below. It wasn’t just a tool for studio tracks however. There was a time when a cypher, or freestyle session if you will, when emcees and wannabes alike rapped lyrics ‘off the top the head’, was almost always accompanied by one or more participants beatboxing, to provide a soundtrack to the freestyling emcee’s lyrics. Sometimes the beatboxing would occur after the cypher had started, as if to imply “oh, we got rappers, we need a beat” while at others it was the beatboxing that inspired emcees to start a cypher. Either way you slice it, it doesn’t happen much today, unless of course you have a bunch of 30+ year olds running the cypher.

At JP Lime Productions, we appreciate the nearly lost art of the beatbox and I for one quite frankly would like to see a beatboxing rennaisance occur. With that in mind, let’s take a look back at five of the more memorable, more skilled beatboxers of yesteryear.

Doug E. Fresh aka ‘The Original Human Beatbox’

Perhaps the most well-known beatboxer in Hip Hop’s history, Doug E. Fresh’s style of beatboxing incorporates a lot of lip and throat manipulation to mimic both percussive drum and higher pitched synthesizer sounds. Ladi Dadi, his classic collaboration with Slick Rick, is undoubtedly Rap’s most fabled beatboxing song. While Slick Rick’s lyrics are iconic, let’s not forget the second half of this duet, with Doug E. Fresh beatboxing life into the entire track.

Biz Markie

Biz MarkieBiz Markie is most well-known for his classic track, “Just A Friend”, but he’s an accomplished beatboxer as well. Another whose beatboxing style is lip and throat driven, not unlike Doug E. Fresh, on this collaboration with prominent 80’s femcee Roxanne Shante entitled “Def Fresh Crew” Biz does a great job of incorporating his skills, providing the sonic backdrop Roxanne’s rhymes. Notice that along with the percussive bassline, he’s also able to mimic a high hat / cymbal sound to round out the sonic landscape of his beatbox.

Rahzel

A former member of The Roots, Rahzel’s beatboxing skills are quite simply phenomenal. Able to not just provide percussion, synth, and high hat sounds, he also possesses the uncanny ability to manipulate the actual sound of his voice, as if reverb or some other effect were added to it in the studio. Most impressive however is that he can actually beatbox and deliver vocals at the same time, as he brilliantly demonstrates on “If Your Mother Only Knew”, streamed below. With no disrespect at all intended to the other men on this list, Rahzel might very well be the most skilled beatboxer among them.

Ready Rock C

Formerly part of a mid-80s triumvirate along with DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince, Ready Rock C is a largely forgotten beatboxer who had his fair share of moments back in the day. Perhaps his split with Will Smith and Jazzy Jeff in what appears to have been financial disputes and problems rooted in the sharing, or lack thereof, of the spotlight contributed to his present day anonymity. That said, he was in his day a skilled beatboxer who provided this gem, one of my childhood favorites from He’s The DJ I’m The Rapper, entitled “The Human Video Game”. On this track, The Fresh Prince waxes poetic about experiences playing his favorite arcade games while Ready Rock C mimics the soundtrack to those games, most notably Donkey Kong, by way of beatboxing. Though the track does have accompanying studio sounds, Ready Rock C displays his magic in and around the choruses for what today results in a track filled with fodder for both the Old School Rap and Old School arcade game enthusiast.

Buffy aka The Human Beatbox

buffyBuffy, the beatboxing specialist of the 80s trio known as The Fat Boys, is my personal favorite beatboxer. Part of this has to do with The Fat Boys being my first favorite Rap group, although a large part of the reason I enjoyed them so much as a kid was Buffy’s beatboxing ability. Unlike many beatboxers, including those mentioned above, Buffy’s style had the added dimension of using his diaphragm to create what I can best describe as a heavy, extremely bass-driven breathing sound which separated him from the pack. This can best be heard on various Fat Boys tracks when he delivers his trademark line, “I am The Human Beatbo-ox!” For a prime example of Buffy’s beatboxing skills, look no further than “Stick ‘Em”, from their self title debut studio release. Rest in power Buffy (June 10, 1967 – December 10, 1995).

‘The Newsroom’ Concludes Its “Mission to Civilize”

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This past Sunday night the HBO original series The Newsroom aired its series finale, finishing up its third season as television’s smartest show, the final chapter in its ongoing “mission to civilize.” Created and beautifully written by Aaron Sorkin and starring Jeff Daniels as anchor Will McAvoy, Newsroom has dealt with the issue of how we get our news and what exactly comprises news in our modern society. The series begins in medias res as McAvoy, a complicated tragic hero, is about to undergo a dramatic set of life changes. Though possessing the soul of a man always in pursuit of truth, Will has been made famous and rich by the fever of 24-hours news networks and jaded by their superficiality. It takes his old producer (and flame) as well as the prodding of the director of fictional network ACN, Charlie Skinner, to set Will back on a path of Truth but once he is, he is undeterred, eager to restore honor to the profession he loves. Newsroom remains current with its news stories, delving into the BP Oil Spill, the Arab Spring from 2011, the Tea Party, the 2012 Presidential election, and the Boston Marathon bombing of 2013. The_Newsroom_castIt also boasts a highly talented supporting cast, among my favorites Jane Fonda as ACN owner Leona Lansing and Olivia Munn as financial reporter Sloan Sabbith. As I mentioned in my Sons of Anarchy article, there are a number of potential pitfalls as any show is brought to its final conclusion. The best shows end with grace, painting fitting end points for their characters and wrapping up peripheral and primary plot lines while adding a few final notes to the symphony. After watching last week’s second-to-last episode I worried that they would be ending on a dismal note, concluding their statement on modern news with pessimism as Charlie, the living embodiment of the dream, lay dying on the floor. With the finale, though, Charlie’s dream was shown not to be time wasted as he had created a whole team (and family) of people with the same ambition, the main characters all landing (a bit too conveniently, mind you) “on their feet” in new jobs and positions as the show closes.

For some, Newsroom feels like a lot of elite liberal lecturing and I have to say I understand that assessment, though I do not share it. I don’t hold it against anyone that isn’t a fan of Aaron Sorkin’s style and Newsroom displays Aaron at his Sorkin-est. Smart, witty (which are not the same thing), political and fast-paced, the writing is the real star of the show with Jeff Daniels in his best role EVER as a very close second. There’s an old Family Guy joke where two guys take psychedelics (doing some toad!) and one remarks,
“I finally get Aaron Sorkin’s Sports Night, it’s a comedy that’s too good to be funny.”sorkin in newsroom
While it’s meant as a slight, I actually think it’s a pretty apt description of a great show where I was first introduced to Sorkin’s signature style and wit. I have been a big fan of just about everything he’s done since then, from The West Wing, to The Social Network and Moneyball. Sorkin’s style of clever, intelligent dialogue that never slows down for its audience paired with bright, clean shots (often while walking down a hallway) are as recognizable as doves in a John Woo movie or Bill Murray in a Wes Anderson production. Retorts that are both too quick and too clever to be possible provide the show’s sense of humor while working to express the fast-paced thinking we’d like to think is required of those working on our national political conversations. I understand that critics of Newsroom don’t enjoy being preached to but I happen to think we could use a bit more preachy and annoying and less fat, lazy and brainless in our television entertainment. Personally I think Sorkin’s pretention (if you want to call it that) is less about thinking we’re all stupid and more about wanting to have smarter conversations and substantive debates.

Breaking news: There’s Much More Ahead… READ ON…

WEEK 16 NFL POWER RANKINGS

AroundTheBean correspondent Futon presents his Week 16 NFL Power Rankings, laced with expert analysis and a pinch of humor. Football enthusiasts, sound off in the comments section or by tweeting us @AroundTheBean and/or @JPLime.

smokinjay

Give me the 4 teams at the top and then you can have the rest. I really think I could pick teams 5-12 from a hat and you could make a legitimate argument for however it came out. On to the rankings:

1) Patriots (2)- By my count, after Rex Ryan and Philbin get fired, that will be 20 coaches that have combined to coach the other 3 teams in the AFC East since Belichick took over.

2) Seahawks (3)- Buffalo probably deserves complimentary Super Bowl rings if the Seahawks go on to repeat now. I didn’t like these guys chances going into Lambeau but the door to the 1 seed is open. Has anyone figured out what the tiebreakers are involving a Seahawks-Packers-Cowboys if all 3 finish tied at 12-4?

3) Packers (1)- Aaron Rodgers just came back to the NFL MVP field.

4) Broncos (4)- As bad as I thought the Patriots managed the end of the first half- Denver surpassed them by light years.

5) Colts (6)- Here’s a question for you Colts fans- who would you rather face in the 2nd round of the AFC Playoffs. New England at Foxboro or Denver at Mile High. Stick that in your Peyton is better argument and suck it.

CLICK here for the complete list of this week’s NFL Power Rankings…

Jagged Thoughts #55: Trying to Find Peace (In All This Pain)

This week at #JPLMagazine we’re proud to present to our readers the latest installment of Jason Wright‘s Jagged Thoughts series from our good friends at Oddball Magazine. Enjoy.

Sunshine- Wind Storms
Man the Storm performs
Makes music from the windpipes
Cloak and daggered, sounding nice
Freestyling for a fraction of the price
Putting it down, but I aint doing it right
I’m sick like a patient,
Give me my medicine, Ritalin and Ativan

I begin to swim again, my mind calms down, and now I’m calm
But for how long?

So I kicked it, last night
Put the pad to the pencil
Took the mic, and what did I do with it?
Let all the people there know that I knew how to use it.

And we all began to groove, lose attitudes, and watched the mood lift
Like poetry is a gift and my mission is to unwrap it, so y’all can hear it.

Just come up to the stage, let the poets dance and play.
Lets get new. And then let the ice we walk on turn into granite,
where we all can stand on it.

That little rhythm, these simple pen strokes,
Makes a rain storm turn into a rain shower, but if you let it,
It will get angry, when the negativity swells in,
For some aren’t ready, so when people come to the mic
Spitting rhymes like its their first time, I give em the chance,
To let their mind dance, let em touch the crowd, and make sounds from their mouths,

Let it out loud, that poetry ain’t dead. It’s not even buried
It’s a hybrid with jazz bands and one man standing on the mic
Like it’s his own island,

And you all got ship wrecked, your mind wrecked
I’m not even gonna say who’s best at this rhythm jungle gym
Hanging on bars, rising to grab another

To teach the world that color is a paint by number book,
And anyone can make theirs beautiful with magic markers
And a little bit of intellect gains respect,

Poetry, say it with me, like its our own anthem
Keeps us free, and moves the crowd,

And when we get angry— we write
And when we light it—we write it
And when we’re bored on the train
Let the lyrics remain on graffiti laced trains

Pieces of pain, but really who’s with me,
Put up the three
One for you
One for me
And three fingers for unity,

Man someone take this mic away from me.

oddball and lime together6

Jason Wright is the founder and Editor of Oddball Magazine. His column appears weekly. He’s been doing this a while.

Kudos To Athlete Activism

lbj i cant breathe

Charles Barkley once proclaimed that he ‘ain’t no role model‘ and based on some of his NBA: Golden State Warriors at Chicago Bullsrecent commentary on the Mike Brown murder, he’s probably right… But whether or not they see themselves as role models, and whether or not they should be seen as such, the fact remains that athletes, just by being in the public eye, have influence. Thus it’s meaningful when a group of athletes show solidarity for a social cause. The added visibility helps advance said cause and while there will always be naysayers who scoff at the notion that athlete opinions on political and/or social issues matter, there will also always be groups who are influenced by those athletes. It won’t always work out that way, but if your favorite ballplayer believes in something, you may actually entertain it yourself, and explore it. That possibility, whatever your stance on it and when placed in the context of the vast number of sports fans around the world, is both important and impactful. Simply put, it’s worth it.

In my opinion it’s fantastic when Kobe, Lebron, and D-Rose wear the “I Can’t Breathe” t-shirts during warm-ups. It’s great when the St. Louis
NBA: Sacramento Kings at Los Angeles LakersRams run onto the field with their hands up. And likewise, it’s deplorable when Mike Ditka condemns that show of support. In these watershed times where police brutality, justifiable murders, race, the presumption of innocence and guilt, Civil Rights, and White Privilege are at the forefront of our national consciousness, we at JP Lime Productions would like to take a moment to give props to these athletes for not being afraid to use their celebrity to support and grow these social movements. Yes, it’s more important for our politicians, law makers, and law enforcement leads to support and advance these causes, we get that. But let’s not sh!t on the ballplayers when they chime in, especially when they do so knowing that they’ll face a good deal of criticism. As stated above, it’s important, impactful, and worth it. We appreciate and applaud their gestures.

 

Grand Fury – Stop Police Brutality

Police Brutality 1Can we take a moment of silence to reflect?
…Pray, grieve, rest…
On those who could not breathe and whose last breath…
…Choke, gasp, death…
Were taken way too soon…
And systemically were doomed…
Can we take another moment to dissect?
…Hands, up, shots…
All the forces in play that led to conflicts…
…Race, class, cops…
Where Law Enforcement must enforce…
The status quo by using force…
Let’s take a moment to outright reject…
…Serve And Protect…
That officers treat us as citizens…
…We’re not Privileged…
And no, there are no bigger cowards…
Than cops who abuse their power…
Can we take another moment to undress?
…Strip, tear, down…
The fallacy of All created equally…
…White, Black, Brown…
Are we not more prone to die?
Or live much more stressful lives?
Now let’s take a few more moments to protest…
…Rise, up, march!
This Injustice and force Our Nation’s interests…
…Petition, vote, bark!
To realize that our lives…
No longer will be qualified…
By our skin or by our numbers of arrests…
…Since birth set up to lose…
We all deserve a shot at happiness…
!SO DAMN THE BOYS IN BLUE!
We know it’s dangerous and cold…
But we tried Peace and still were told…
That when we’re killed it’s justifiable…
…We Matter Less…
But we’re sick of all these untried homicides…
…Innocence presumed…
How many unarmed black men need to die?
…At the hands of these goons…
As criminal as crime can be…
Corruption by the Grand Jury…
It all results in public Grand Fury…
…Fight Breeds Hope…
These moments watershed ’cause we shed tears…
…New…Jim…Crow…
And Lady Liberty now lives in fear…
…’Cause she knows…
That our Rights are violated…
And that we’ll no longer take it…
Thus we’re seizing all these moments, that’s our creed!
…Though we may bleed and choke…
‘Cause no longer will you push or murder me!
!We’re pushing back, revolt!
Our Unity is STRONG!
With All our Brothers we will Bond!
‘Cause Every Race is Every Man, we stand as ONE!
HomeBraveFree

Police Brutality

We’ve Protested – What Do We Do Now?

protest boston commonSo now we have protested, we have marched, we have expressed public outrage mostly through peaceful civil disobedience, clogging up roads with marches and stopping traffic, and in some cases have clashed with the forces of authority. And though I’ve not yet had the chance to join one of the protests in my hometown, I will say “we” throughout this article as I very much wish to be part and throw my full support behind the effort. We have developed active, viral rally cries in the form of hashtags, generating support on a large scale, key to any social movement. We’ve readied the masses; now what do we do? The world is listening – what do we want to say?

What are the next real steps necessary to force the type of social change for which we’re fighting? Given the overwhelming popular support for a more evolved police force, is it a matter of legislation, either by some form of public ballot initiative or through our congressional representatives? Or does the level of exorcism that is necessary require something stronger, something not so easy to ignore/twist/coopt/delay/water down or otherwise lessen? How does one address the rampant abuse of authority that seems embedded within police departments all across our country?

The real transformation that needs to take place is how we all view police and their role in “protecting” us. We have allowed a militarization of our police forces that is dangerous not only in weaponry but perhaps moreso in philosophical precedent. The two entities, the military and the police, are not the same, they are not subject to the same rules and pressures, they have different intentions and different targets. We depend on our military, as does any nation, to be unfaltering, highly trained warriors, weapons of our own creation to pit against any oncoming threat. That is not the role of police, though some may believe so. For soldiers at war, by necessity the world must be black and white, directives and objectives, us and them. Here at home there is no us and them, only us. When we allow that polar way of thinking to pervade those paid to protect us, personal bias and prejudice find fertile breeding grounds.

lrad

Armored police truck outfitted with an LRAD

To that end, one tangible legislative initiative that we could call for to affect direct change would be the repeal of DoD 1033. Also known as the Department of Defense Excess Property Program, it’s the program that gives surplus military equipment to our local police departments, some of which has found use in the events of the past few weeks, specifically the LRAD machine (basically aural tear gas) as well as a host of assault rifles and armored vehicles.  Though equipment is but one piece (and probably the smallest piece) of demilitarizing our police, it would be a meaningful statement of our position. Also, like a $20 bill in a teenager’s pocket, the presence of these armored vehicles and oversized guns foster a desire for their use, which is to say nothing of the DoD’s requirement for said use within a year or they must be returned. Even in an atmosphere ripe with trust in police and their ability to act responsibly such equipment poses an undue risk. And we are certainly in no such atmosphere.

What else should the Movement be aiming to accomplish? READ ON and COMMENT BELOW…

Seven Times 24 – Charles River

oddball and lime together6Charles River

 

 

 

 

 

 

sevenx

From the good folks at Oddball Magazine, this week we feature yet another Oddball column, namely Seven Times by poet Andrew Borne.  Borne’s 24th edition will resonate with our Greater Boston area readers as it explores every Bostonian s favorite body of water, The Charles River. At JP Lime Productions, we love that dirty water, very much appreciate this piece, and hope that you will as well. Enjoy.

I am the Charles River

I am the Canadian goose feeding on the grassy knoll
By the bike trail

I am the Guatemalan landscaper blowing leaves
From the blue-blooded estate

I am the golden sun’s glistening reflection
On the face of the river

I am the tufted titmouse nesting in the chestnut tree

I am the 3-D lettering of the
Aspiring graffiti artist

I am the park bench painted black
Old and chipping at the edges

I am the parking lot for office buildings
On Main and Moody

I am the silent breeze pushing the dead leaves
Rattling them to life

I am the engine of the 1:58 train
To Boston as it pulls into Waltham Depot
Pulling several commuter cars

I am the brown grass, dehydrated
Awaiting to be covered in snow

I am the towering red brick watch factory
Where once the industry thrived
Now forgotten to the world
Except for those who seek my past in
The city’s museums

I am the writer on the park bench
Observing the current of the Charles River 

Andrew Borne is 2 Cups Poet 1 teaspoon Musician 1/4 teaspoon Salt 1/2 cup Absurdity 3/4 cup Chef 1 egg, beaten 2 1/3 cups Family Man. Mixed together and served raw. His column 7x appears weekly in Oddball Magazine.

Oddball Magazine

Raineman’s Rant: The Chicago Bears Suck

Head sports correspondent at AroundTheBean.com, our good friend Raineman sounds off on the Chicago Bears’ futility. Any fans of Da Bears out there? Share your thoughts in the comments section or tweet us at @AroundTheBean and/or @JPLime.

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Quick note: The Chicago Bears suck. And I really mean it man, they SUCK.

This all began when the New England Patriots held hands and “Stomp-danced” all over the Chicago Bears 51-23 in week 8:IMG_3732.JPG

Since that annihilation…the Bears have had 156 points scored on them in the past 5 games, winning 2 of those 5 games due to lackluster opponents (Minnesota, Tampa Bay), bringing them to a grand total of 5-8 for the season.

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To add insult to injury, the heart and soul of their team, Brandon Marshall, went down with an injury that required an ambulance ride after taking a knee to his right side in the 2nd quarter. This happened just a few plays after he completed a 42-yard reception to get the Bears in position for a touchdown. Brandon Marshall at least tried to give some pride back to Bears fans with his “Yes we Can” attitude, but now he is gone. Now, the Bears are stuck with Jay Cutler to be the spiritual leader of the team. Jay Cutler, who reminds me of Ron Burgundy when he was fired from KVWN channel 4 in San Diego and was spotted chugging milk while roaming the streets IMG_3734.GIFHe is a BUM.

And to make it EVEN WORSE…you losers just handed the Dallas Cowboys their FIRST winning season since 2009.

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I will think of Jay Cutler’s FACE every single time I hear an overzealous Cowboys fan shout to the heavens about the revival of their dead Carcass of a franchise!

The Bears suck. That is all for now.