Listen, it's Friday, we get it. Nobody really wants to do anything that involves using your brain. So "Best/Worst" will provide you with both the biggest Fails and the most awesome awesomeness, as well as some of the best (and worst) music of the week. It's a whole lot of everything.
Now let's get started...
Best Of The Week
When it comes to a new Outkast album, I remain stalwart in my belief that it will never, ever, ever, ever happen. Still, I don't doubt for a second that both Big Boi (who apparently loves Kate Bush) and 3 Stacks will keep giving us dopeness for years to come. Big Boi can hold down the music just fine, and Andre can bring me the occasional guest verse or two to go along with movies and dope ass interviews. That's not too much to ask, right?
Recently, I have been getting into reading books and articles from and about rappers or other musicians; it really brings out rap nerd in me. You know what else does? Outkast. So when Andre gives not one, but two stellar interviews in one week, it's a good motherfucking week (especially when it is also the 18 year anniversary of ATLiens). It's a low-key Outkast week everybody!
A few exceprts From Andre's "What I've Learned" feature on Esqire:
In American music, there's only eight notes. You can only flip them around so many ways.
Sometimes when you're trying too hard to follow a rule, you're doing yourself more harm.
The repetition you hear in hip-hop is addiction. It feels good, so you wanna keep doing it over and over and over again. Classical music takes you to all these places. Hip-hop is: just keep that, just keep that, just keep that …
Trying to please everyone is a stressful life.
The comfort zone gets you nowhere—especially in music.
Is part of the reason you retreated from doing music because of how confining the rapper box was?
No. My thing is I’m an idealist. What I get off on is doing things people said could not be done. And so if I’m at a place where I feel like I’m regurgitating or doing the same thing, it’s doing nothing for me. I get bored really fast. I saw a certain thing in rap. It started becoming acceptable. It wasn’t rebellious. So what could be more rebellious than singing love songs, emotional songs [on his half of “Speakerboxxx/The Love Below”] when everybody else is mean-mugging, saying “I’m a player.” I want to say: “I love these bitches, man. I really do.”
Man, I fucking love Andre; music or no music. Oh by the way, this comes out in a month.
Long Live the Queen
I didn't watch the VMAs because they are the VMAs, but it was certainly impossible to escape them on social media. I love Beyoncé, but I also realize that people seem to think whatever she does is the greatest thing ever no matter how good it really is. Don't get me wrong it's, like, always good, but she is still just a human being. So when people went nuts over her VMA performance I didn't think much of it. Until I, you know, watched it.
20 fucking minutes of dope music? That was almost her entire album?! That once performance was the most music that has been on MTV in a decade and it was glorious! I mean, that's how you put on a motherfucking show. Now I feel like an idiot for ever having doubted The Queen.
Music Of The Week:
I have been strangely addicted to this stripped down version of Raleigh Ritchie's "Stronger Than Ever." Still one of my favorite songs of the year.
Worst Of The Week
Comin' At The Queen:
On the flipside, I hate to ruin Bey's fun by including her in this nasty business, but she is linked to a few fail-worthy stories form this week, so I have to do it; I am a "journalist" after all. First up, remember that whole fight between Jay and Solange? Well, it turns out, it might have been fake? Word to HipHopDX.
According to Mathew Knowles, the father of Beyoncé and Solange Knowles, the fight between Solange and Jay Z in a hotel elevator in May was a “Jedi mind trick.” He went on to allude to the fight being a publicity stunt that resulted in increased ticket sales and album sales.
“The Jedi mind trick fools you a lot of times,” Knowles said during an interview with 104.1 KRBE. “So, things you see sometimes are ‘poof.’ All I know is the Jedi mind trick. Everybody’s talking about it. Ticket sales went up. Solange’s album sales went up 100 percent.”
I'm not totally sure I buy this explanation. It looked pretty real to me, and Daddy Knowles isn't exactly the most unbiased person here. On the other hand, it could totally be a publicity stunt. If it is, I'll be kind of blown. I don't like the image of Bey and J just plotting shit, pulling our strings like puppets. They're already the pinnacle of celebrity-dom and marketability, Samsung could sell 45,000 Jay Z fart ringtones in an hour - they don't have to fake elevator fights. I'd like to think they are above that (even thought they totally aren't) so for now, I'll just tell myself Daddy Knowles is lying.
Oh, also, people were not happy about this joke on 106th & Park. First, that show is still on? Second, don't insult little children, especially when they belong to everyone's favorite couple. That's the type of thing that gets you suspended.
So Beyonce wasn't really involved in ether one, but it still rained on her VMA parade and nobody overshadows the accomplishments of my (one time) future wife without ending up humiliated on the internet.
A Trojan Gets Fucked:
It's not even the first Saturday of the season and one college football player is already in mid-season (suspension) form. Sweet baby jesus knows the NCAA could use a good story or two, and early this week it looked like they had it. Just days after being voted USC's captain, Josh Shaw did something amazing. ESPN has the scoop:
Shaw said he suffered a pair of high ankle sprains Saturday night after jumping from the second story of an apartment complex to save his 7-year-old nephew, who was struggling in the pool. Shaw said his nephew did not know how to swim.
What a hero! Surely, for USC, a university not exactly known for being the pinnacle of ethics and honor (cough cogh Reggie Bush), could use this boost. Oh wait, it's just another scandal? Yup. Turns out Shaw 100% made up of that story about his cousin.
He admitted to team officials on Wednesday that the story was a complete fabrication. Head coach Steve Sarkisian said Tuesday the school received several calls questioning the authenticity of Shaw's story and had been investigating the matter....
"I made up a story about this fall that was untrue," Shaw said. "I was wrong not to tell the truth. I apologize to USC for this action on my part. My USC coaches, The USC Athletic Department, and especially coach Sarkisian have all been supportive of me during my college career and for that, I am very grateful."
We still don't know what exactly happened, but I feel safe in calling him an idiot. That's the story you are gonna go with? Really? REALLY DOE??? Was Manti T'eo's girlfriend the lifeguard? He could have literally said almost anything else and he would have been fine. He could have blamed it on a roller blading accident, which would have been embrassing, but no one would have said another word about it. Why would he make up a heroic tale which will be checked out (because it's really fucking easy to, you know, ask his aunt) and picked up by ESPN and every publication? If you are late for work you blame it on traffic or your alarm clock, you don't say that you saved the President from a hoard of Ebola zombies. Josh Shaw, worst...liar...ever.
Worst Music Of The Week:
When not stealing RefinedHype articles, Jermaine Dupri can be found making me hate music with Migos. And yes, that is a Tupac reference in a Migos song.
Comment Of The Week:
People used to say that fart and pee jokes get less funny as you get older, but I have found the opposite to be true. Case in point is O-Dizzle's comment on my P. Reign piece.
When your stage name sounds like "Pee Rain", I really don't fancy your chances
If you didn't find that comment humerous you have no soul. Have a greatholiday weekend, Booth Nation!
[Lucas Garrison is a writer for DJBooth.net. His favorite album is “College Dropout,” but you can also tweet him your favorite Migos songs at @LucasDJBooth.]