audio review : Babylove ( song ) … Morris Day

This is a party anthem for sugar daddies. The club is packed with “sexy people”, but it’s the young ladies Morris Day is after, “as long as you’re 21”. What he means is 21 years old, no younger and not much older, and who could blame him? The best meat is fresh meat. There are no girls in jail though, so Jerome is posted at the door, checking state IDs and driver’s licenses.

Pedophilic undertones and all, the song is a banger. A louder beat (drums/bass), less cluttered production and more melodic ad-libs; the one at 3:08 is the best part of the song for me; could push it up to classic status, but it’s still the jam as is, mostly because of a set of hooks catchy enough to go fishing. “Calling on the sexy ones,” it goes, “Girls are sure nough fine.”

my rating : 4 of 5


audio review : Jam And Lewis [ Volume One ] ( album ) ... Jimmy Jam And Terry Lewis

video review : Knowing

video review : Knowing

This movie starts off interestingly enough and stays that way for a while, but soon the plot heads Hellward. There are some awesome disaster scenes scattered about, all of which happen to include people running around on fire or being smashed to death by man-made vehicles gone awry, but they don’t even begin to make-up for all the numerical nonsense happening elsewhere in this two-hour yawner.

Part of the problem isn’t that it tries to cover several sci-fi subgenres at once, but that it does so clumsily, going from paranormal thriller to disaster flick to religious allegory only when it’s convenient to the plot. Marco Beltrami’s over-the-top score isn’t appreciated until the end, during a muted scene in which the jovial orchestration doesn’t at all fit with what’s happening on screen but sounds terrific nonetheless.

my rating : 2 of 5


my dead schoolmates

The first schoolmate I heard about dying was Nikel in middle school. We met in either the sixth or seventh grade. We had a gym class together. In the showers, which, aside from going to The YMCA with my Big Brothers mentor, was my only time having to be naked around other guys, Nikel was the only kid whose chest I remember being flatter than mine. I was sort of insecure about being (too) skinny back then, at least when it came to people seeing me with no clothes on, but it was a relief knowing I wasn’t the only one.

We didn’t have a close relationship, but we were friends. He was cool and laidback but also a tough street dude. One day me and another boy were wrestling. Nikel thought he was really trying to fight me and I think grabbed him by the arm until I explained that we were just playing around. I respected Nikel for that though and would’ve gladly returned the favor if I ever saw him in similar trouble. He apparently died in June, just a few days after the seventh grade semester ended, at the age of 13 from a gunshot wound to the face.

Quentella got shot two years later. We’d just taken English 2 together. I remember Miss Philyaw announcing her death to the class when we came back for English 3. The rumor was that her boyfriend killed her. Carlos also died during those early high school years. For him it was a drive-by shooting. I was talking with John when a solemn Cordell walked up like “Carlos dead”. My last memory of Carlos is him ignoring me after I greeted him outside and my last memory of Quentella is her getting mad at me, whatever that’s worth.

I don’t think I knew Kenneth, but I knew Darrell; the guy who killed him. We were classmates a few years earlier. I remember him collapsing from a probably self-induced asthma attack after the teacher made him stand as a form of punishment for being insubordinate. I also remember chasing him one day outside after school until he couldn’t go any further because of his asthma. It was James, who also went to middle school with us, who told me about the shooting, which Darrell reportedly admitted to in criminal court.

A girl named Keena died a few months later. I don’t know if I knew her; I never got a chance to see a photo; but she was almost certainly the one whose death Miss Gilchrist, who seemed even more solemn than Cordell had, announced to the class. She said Keena, if it was her, had been run over by a car, but she apparently got the early rumor version of the story. She made it sound like just an innocent school accident, but, if we’re referring to the same girl, it apparently had more to do with Keena being targeted for rape.

The only other dead schoolmate I know of who didn’t die by gunshot is Jermaine from college. We never had a class together, but we did work together at a campus library. I was closer to him than the others. We’d hangout sometimes. He used to give me driving lessons. He reportedly died of pneumonia, but someone who should know, the same person who said she suspected he was gay; her suspicion was stronger than mine, though I do remember him going on about how ugly Jennifer Aniston is; told me he actually died of Aids.

Eugene was shot and killed just a few years ago, which goes back to middle school. He went there with me, James, Darrell, Quentella and Nikel. Eugene and Nikel might have even been close friends. James and I detested him though. Despite his shy quiet demeanor, he was a real troublemaker; a bully’s henchman type. James said he (Eugene) once tried to provoke some boys to “jump” him outside of school but was scared shitless when he (James) caught him alone a day or few later and was about to beat his ass because of it.

Those are all the dead schoolmates I can think of, each of whom I can say I knew except for Keena and Kenneth. Darrell is still alive, I assume, and still in prison for killing Kenneth, though, based on his sentence, he could be free soon or might already be. I don’t know what it means that most of these people died by gunshot, aside from living in a notoriously rough city, but it seems Nikel is the only one who wasn’t purposely shot. His killer said he was just “playing” when the gun went off. I don’t know if that boy got locked up or not.