Friday, August 31, 2012

We're just a few hours away from Labor Day weekend!

If you're like me, you need about 18 Labor Day weekends back-to-back to recover from the last month. Eh, but I'll take the three days instead.

Check out these old favorites while you're staring at the clock.

Javacia travels overseas for her pick.

Amerie, Because I Love It (2007)

Jai said: "This CD was only released overseas and I don't understand why she wasn't more popular in the U.S. The album has a very fun and unique sound."

Also check out:
"Paint Me Over"
Because I Love It album review

Edward shows love to his home-state heroes, as usual.

Clipse, Hell Hath No Fury (2006)

Edd said: "I miss Clipse. Yeah, Pusha T is still around, rapping as potently as ever and (No) Malice is just beginning to spread his solo wings. But my boys from Virginia Beach always sound better as a unit than individually. Their looooooooong-delayed sophomore album smashed expectation because instead of wallowing in the usual drug talk, they humanized it. The album weighed the pros and cons of the fast life alongside some of The Neptunes' best production. I miss Clipse."

Also check out:
"Keys Open Doors"
"Ride Around Shining"

Now, it’s your turn. Email, hit us up on Twitter @etbowser or @writeousbabe, or stop by the comments section and share your Flashback Friday album.  Leave a couple of sentences describing what makes it so great. We’ll feature your album on the blog.
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Thursday, August 30, 2012

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Sadly, the hip-hop community is pretty accustomed to receiving shocking news. But this one literally made me gasp. From

Chris Lighty, an influential music industry insider whose roster of artists epitomized the freewheeling ‘90s hip-hop lifestyle, has died, according to Vibe. Reports are not yet conclusive, but there is speculation that Lighty’s death at 43 was a suicide by gunshot.

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The love is never-ending on Soul In Stereo. I still have a mountain of love request to wade through. If I haven't answered your question, do like Lil Wayne's pants and hold tight - I'll get to them all eventually.

And if you'd like to add to my mountainous stack, here's what to do.

Send your inquiries to, or find me on twitter @etbowser. Just provide your initials, or a fun nickname. 

Here's today's question: 

I asked my boyfriend what he thought about us possibly having a threesome. He said he would do it if it involved another woman but not another man because he can't bear the thought of another man's penis anywhere near any orifice of my body Lol. However, he is all down for sticking his mushroom tip in another woman if I allow it. Is it fair for him to be so one-sided? What's good for the goose should be good for the gander right?


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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

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Who's ready for yet another awards show?

Next Thursday, Sept. 6, MTV will present the Video Music Awards. For the past few years, we've sat idly by and watched a once-entertaining and unpredictable juggernaut go through the motions while fans feign excitement. But enough about Lil' Wayne.

See, back in my day, there was no Yoo-Toobe, social media or blogs (...ahem...) to oversaturate our brains  every time our favorite artists hiccuped. Nope, we were often at the mercy of video playlists - if MTV decided to play Shaggy's "Boombastic" 2,000 times an hour, sorry buddy, you'll just have to deal with Mr. Romantic until Beavis and Butthead came on. And you can bet Beavis n' dem were watching Shaggy too on their own show.

But the VMAs were special. It was a chance to see all your favorite artists proving their greatness, debuting new music and interacting with each other.

In honor of next week's show, I'm going to highlight some of my favorite VMA memories. Don't confuse me - the following songs aren't necessarily the best performances, but they're the ones that still clearly stick out in my mind years later. Seeing that I can't even remember who was on last year's show, even though I blogged about it, that's quite an accomplishment. VMAs 2012, I dare you to top this.

Oh, and before someone complains, I DID NOT include things like the Madonna/Britney kiss from 2003 and Kanye's "Imma let you finish..." speech from 2009. That would be like claiming my favorite Thanksgiving meal was when my grandma pimp-slapped my uncle. That was just a silly sideshow, not part of the main course.*

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Saturday, August 25, 2012


Welcome to: Our House (Deluxe Edition) (to be released August 28, 2012)

On paper, Slaughterhouse should be my favorite rap group.

Take four of the most underrated yet lyrically ferocious rappers in the game today - Joell Ortiz, Joe Budden, Crooked I and Royce da 5'9 - and strip away all the frills. No gimmicks, no stupid Twitter beefs or award-show antics, no skinny jeans, just four men committed to lyrical excellence. For a crotchety hip-hop fan like me, that's like stumbling upon a gold mine.

Sadly, Slaughterhouse's 2009 debut didn't set a gold standard. It wasn't bad, it just seemed a bit unfocused. But now that group has linked up with rap titan Eminem, the underdogs have become the fortunate sons. Remember their BET Hip-Hop Awards cypher? They turned the booth into Chernobyl.

That hunger is evident on Welcome to: Our House, the group's Shady Records/Interscope Records debut. On the album's first proper track "Our House," their mantra rings loud and clear: "I just wanna be the illest MC/same time be as real as can be." Royce later gives "thanks for the lunchroom tables" for honing his craft. That authenticity is as rare in hip hop as a Dr. Dre verse that hasn't been ghostwritten.

Hip hop has gone far too long without the gritty lyricism that laid the groundwork for rap's explosion in the '90s. Thankfully, the Hip Hop Avengers bring it back in force. "Hammer Dance" is so grimy that you need to find the nearest abandoned warehouse, throw on a hoodie and sit in broken glass while you listen to it. "Flip A Bird" is delightfully furious as well - the crew holds nothing back as they bare all their sins on wax.

Probably the most impressive factor of the Slaughterhouse machine is that four contrasting rhyming styles are able to blend so effortlessly. Still, the album MVP award has to go to Joe Budden, who goes on an absolute tear through most tracks. He's a human punchline dispenser on "Die" as he hilariously threatens his foes ("even his text messages will read like he's whispering") and Joey just steals the show on "Get Up."

Eminem's fingerprints are all over this album, for better or worse. While Slaughterhouse does get a chance to showcase their prowess on a larger stage, that comes with a price - in this case, the enviable songs that beg for radio spins. The good news is that the crew doesn't dumb down their lyrics in their attempt to go mainstream. The problem arises when they try to shoehorn their grittiness into sparkly, radio-friendly packages. It just doesn't work. The goofy "Throw That" sounds more like one of Em's D12 songs than a Slaughterhouse track. "My Life," with a sample of "The Rhythm of the Night" and over-the-top crooning from Cee-Lo, comes off extremely corny. And "Throw It Away" wouldn't be half bad if we didn't have to endure Swizz Beatz's horrible hype man act. Swizz, PLEASE STOP RUINING SONGS. He's got the reverse Midas touch - everything he touches turns to crap.

Thankfully we have tracks like "Goodbye" to ease that pain. Joell is especially gripping here as details the hurt, frustrations and hope of losing a loved one right as his career is taking off. See what I mean about authenticity? That's more of what the game needs.

Be sure to cop the Deluxe Edition, which features four tracks that, honestly, should have made the album in place of the radio-pandering efforts. "Place to Be" is worth it just for this line: "Higher than a baby on a see-saw with Precious."

If the crew wasn't so handcuffed by commercial aspirations, Welcome to: Our House definitely would be something special. Still, Slaughterhouse's desire is undeniable. I wish all rappers were this hungry.

Best tracks: "Hammer Dance," "Flip A Bird," "Our House"

4 stars out of 5
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Friday, August 24, 2012

Yes lord, Friday is finally here. Now who is ready to get this thing over with?

Here's some music that will help Friday fly by.

Javacia is spellbound by one of R&B's most enigmatic men.

Maxwell, Embrya (1998)

Jai said: "I love this Maxwell album because it feels like it transports me to another world. His lyrics are like poetry."

Also check out:
"Submerge: Til We Become The Sun"
"Drowndeep: Hula"

Edward ponders what could have been.

Aaliyah, I Care 4 U (2002)

Edd said: "Yeah, I guess all the recent Aaliyah talk has left me a bit nostalgic. I Care 4 U is not only a solid selection of Aaliyah's hits, it also has a fare share of unreleased tracks that are pretty impressive in their own right. It's a reminder of how great Aaliyah was and how phenomenal her career should have been. I contend that if she was around today, she'd share the same rarefied air as Beyonce and, ugh, Rihanna."

Also check out:
"One In A Million"
"Back and Forth"

Now, it’s your turn. Email, hit us up on Twitter @etbowser or @writeousbabe, or stop by the comments section and share your Flashback Friday album.  Leave a couple of sentences describing what makes it so great. We’ll feature your album on the blog.

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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Do they still air that show "World's Dumbest Criminals?" If so, I have the perfect segment. From

A man who allegedly broke into actor-rapper LL Cool J's home suffered a broken nose and jaw at the action star's hands Wednesday morning.

"LL Cool J, and his family, are safe and thank everyone for their thoughts and concern," his representative said. "As a father, husband and citizen, he is committed to keeping his family safe and is cooperating with authorities on this private matter."

LL Cool J, who rose to fame with the aptly named hit song "Mama Said Knock You Out" and portrays a special agent on the CBS drama "NCIS Los Angeles," proved life imitates art and nabbed the burglar inside his expansive Studio City house.

When Los Angeles police arrived at the Blairwood Drive home around 1 a.m. Wednesday, LL Cool J had detained the battered and bruised suspect. The man was later identified as Jonathan Kirby, 56, a transient with a lengthy arrest record for thefts, fights and drugs, officials said.

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Monday, August 20, 2012

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This weekend I watched The Bourne Legacy with the wifey. The movie was OK, I guess. I go into those movies expecting action, not 90 minutes of guys in suits bumping their gums. I could have just watched Creflo Dollar if I wanted to see that.

Anyway, it occurred to me that every action star is required to have a love interest, no matter how tacked-on it might seem. I'm not sure why that has become a movie requirement but it's definitely true in The Bourne Legacy. Eh, folks adore love stories, I guess, even in movies with high body counts.

If you want me to weigh in on your body, love stories, hit me up.

Send your inquiries to, or find me on twitter @etbowser. Just provide your initials, or a fun nickname. 

Here's today's question: 

Is it smart to get involved with a man who cannot keep his finances intact?

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Friday, August 17, 2012

I don't know about y'all, but this week was so rough that I've been drinking bottled baptismal water and frying my chicken in anointing oil. Lord, help us.

There's only cure for a week that bad - good music.

The wifey is back! Javacia drops off some music that's cleansing for the soul.

Brooke Fraser, Albertine (2006)

Jai said: "Andree Farias of Christianity Today once said that 'Albertine proves it is possible to strike the perfect balance between art and faith, while still remaining accessible to both sides of the Christian-mainstream divide.' I couldn't agree more and this is exactly why I love this album."

Also check out:
"Deciphering Me"

Edward gets a spiritual refreshing.

Donald Lawrence & the Tri-City Singers, Go Get Your Life Back (2002)

Edd said: "Bless Me (Prayer of Jabez)" reigns as one of my favorite gospel tracks ever. Facebook preachers with bad theology might think it's simply a song about gettin' more money. There's way more to the story than that. The song goes far beyond material needs and is a plea for spiritual growth and awakening. It's soul-stirring, literally.

Also check out:
"Lord, I Try"

Now, it’s your turn. Email, hit us up on Twitter @etbowser or @writeousbabe, or stop by the comments section and share your Flashback Friday album.  Leave a couple of sentences describing what makes it so great. We’ll feature your album on the blog.
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Thursday, August 16, 2012

When our beloved bowed out in favor of Soul In Stereo, it was more of a transition than replacement. GM's spirit of girl power still resounds - I mean, Soul In Stereo's initials are SIS, after all.

Pop/R&B artist Dirty Little Billy fancies herself as a bullhorn for empowerment. Her passion for R&B and gospel was forged within the walls of her grandfather's church in South Dallas. Those influences, along with a heavy emphasis on blues, have shaped her style.

"No I Don't II (The Rematch)" remixes an earlier track with heavy guitars and hip-hop-tinged attitude. Dirty Little Billy is all about taking charge of her relationship – and her destiny. The track is the first single from her sophomore effort, Listen and Learn, which you can cop on iTunes right now.

Check out "No I Don't II (The Rematch)" below. Show some love for the ladies, but remember, they're definitely capable of loving themselves. Dirty Little Billy proves that.

For more on Dirty Little Billy, follow @DirtyLilBilly.

Looking to share your music with the masses? Send a track with a short description about yourself to or hit me up on Twitter @etbowser. If we like what we hear we'll feature you in an upcoming post.

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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

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Here's most frequently asked question I've received since moving into the Soul In Stereo era:

"Are you gonna continue doing Love Letters?"

Who am I to disappoint legions of lovelorn? Yep, I'm still gettin' all in your relationship business. Pass along your questions if you'd like my sage advice.

Send your inquiries to, or find me on twitter @etbowser. Just provide your initials, or a fun nickname. 

Here's today's question: 

If you keep running into possible significant others who turn out to be crazy is it something you're doing wrong?


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Monday, August 13, 2012

2 Chainz

Based on a T.R.U. Story (to be released August 14, 2012)

One of my boys and I have been playing this game for the past week where we text each other the most ignorant lines from Rick Ross' latest album. I'm glad the wifey doesn't read my texts behind my back - she would probably be concerned to see texts that say, "She got that wet wet/I repeat: WET WET."

But if you thought that Rawsssssse album was the height of ignorance, 2 Chainz's debut makes it look like a Jeopardy competition.

I still don't know exactly how or when 2 Chainz became a legitimate rapper, but we're here now and there's no turning back.

About a year ago, when buzz arose about a new Southern rapper who was taking the game by storm with critically acclaimed mixtapes, I was shocked to learn that 2 Chainz was just ol' Tity Boi, Ludacris' henchman from Disturbing Tha Peace and Playaz Circle. Besides his name change (which is only slightly better than Tity Boi), I saw nothing new or improved about him.

Oh, but I was constantly corrected. You see, 2 Chainz has swag for dayz.

What 2 Chainz lacks in actual rap skills (you know, the thing they actually pay these guys for), he makes up for in style and the most bizarre, random collection of punchlines you've ever heard.

Don't believe me?

"I'm so fly I can sue an airplane." - "Money Machine"

"Car so big it got a stripper pole" and "Going so hard Viagra tryna sign me" - "Crack"

"I don't like her if she got a 'fro between her legs" - "Wut We Doin'?"

And sometimes the punchlines are so head-scratchingly weird that you have to rewind to catch what he said. But not in a good way:

"I wish a n*gga would like a kitchen cabinet." Let that one sink in. By the time I did catch on to what he meant, I just said, "playa, please."

Now before you write off my complaints as the musings of a hip-hop grouch, I'll admit that 2 Chainz's swag does win me over at times. 2 Chainz is definitely at his best over smoother cuts. "Stop Me Now" and "Extremely Blessed" are much more suited for his lethargic flow. Lord knows, when 2 Chainz tries to get amped up we get nightmares like "Dope Peddler," where he yells and tramples all over the track and nearly bursts my eardrums.

2 Chainz is also much more tolerable when paired with stronger artists. Scarface and John Legend make 2 Chainz a guest star on his on track on "Ghetto Dreams," but it's the only time the guy is focused. It probably helps that the song has an actual concept and he's not just randomly spitting his ADHD punchlines into the atmosphere.

That's when I realized the problem with the album, and 2 Chainz in particular. He's fine in small doses like on Kanye West's "Mercy," when he can inject a track with his odd charisma and go away after 16 bars. Right now, he's just not strong enough to carry a whole song, let alone a whole album.

This album is STRICTLY for 2 Chainz fans, and even some of them might be disappointed by the lack of solid material here. I have a couple of 2 Chainz mixtape tracks on my iPod that are a light-years better than everything here.

Sadly, the most entertaining thing about Based on a T.R.U. Story is listening to him scream him name.


See, all swag, little substance.

Best tracks: "Stop Me Now," Ghetto Dreams," "Extremely Blessed"

3 stars out of 5
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Friday, August 10, 2012

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Kids, here's your urban vocabulary lesson for today.
Stan:  Based on the central character in the Eminem song of the same name, a "stan" is an overzealous maniacal fan for any celebrity or athlete.
Ex: Drake can't go five minutes without declaring his love for Aaliyah. He stays stanning.
Drake's infatuation with deceased pop queen Aaliyah has always been...weird, to say the least. I mean look at the pic above - even Aaliyah's poster looks annoyed by the guy.

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It's the first Flashback Friday of the Soul In Stereo era!

The name may have changed but the hits remain the same. Let's put some soul in your Friday morning.

Diane Hawkins takes a trip to the "Wishing Well."

Terence Trent D'Arby, Introducing the Hardline According to Terence Trent D'Arby (1987)

Diane said: "Terence Trent Howard, who changed his name to Terence Trent D’Arby, now goes by Sananda Francesco Maitreya.  Well, I bet his mama calls him Terence, so I’m gonna to call him Terence. Coincidentally, Terence’s  1987  hit 'Sign Your Name' helped him to make a name for himself on the R&B and pop charts.  The sensuous 'Sign Your Name'  might be 25 years old, but it has a timeless sound."

Also check out:
"Wishing Well"
"If You Let Me Stay"

Hunter Murphy is joined by an original soul brotha. I can dig it.

Issac Hayes, Shaft (1971)

Hunter said: Issac Hayes "changed the way I listened to sound.... What an artist. I learned of him through the movie 'Shaft.' As soon as those women in the theme song said 'shut your mouth' and Hayes said 'but I'm talking 'bout Shaft' and they said 'and we can dig it,' Well, I walked away a changed being. 'He's a complicated man and no one understands him but his woman...' Just too good."

Also check out:
"Do Your Thing"

Now, it’s your turn. Email, hit us up on Twitter @etbowser or @writeousbabe, or stop by the comments section and share your Flashback Friday album.  Leave a couple of sentences describing what makes it so great. We’ll feature your album on the blog.
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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

If you liked, you'll love this.

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Posted by on 8:43 PM 5 comments
Change is good.

Change is also often scary and sometimes sad, but with it comes evolution and growth.

I started four years ago and I can’t believe how it has grown since that first post published on September 14, 2008. So to announce that has come to an end is bittersweet. I’m sad to see the conclusion of this journey, but excited about the commencement of the two new projects on the horizon.

Through this blog we discovered that Edward is a supremely talented music writer and I discovered that I am head over heels in love with blogging. And I don’t blog because it’s the cool thing to do, but as an art form, as a way to sharpen my skills as a writer and a way to build my platform as a feminist.

And so Edward will continue his album reviews, music news and even his relationship column here at Soul in Stereo. Meanwhile, I will focus solely on my blog The Writeous Babe Project, which is about writing and women’s empowerment.

I thank you all for being so supportive of these past four years and I hope you will continue to support Edward and me in our new ventures.

Writeously yours,
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Friday, August 3, 2012

Time to step into our Friday time machine. Need some throwbacks to get through Friday? Look no further.

Edd's got you all in check.

Busta Rhymes, The Coming (1996)

Edd said: "Boy, does this album look silly in retrospect. Busta spent the first half of his career reminding us that the world was gonna blow up in 2000. The Coming was the first release in his doomsday series. His theories didn't hold up but the music definitely does. Manic, insane Busta was always a blast."

Also check out:
"Everything Remains Raw"
"Flipmode Squad Meets Def Squad"

Charles Clark remembers a dance diva.

CeCe Peniston, Finally, (1992)

Charles said: "I had CeCe Peniston's 'Keep On Walkin' in my head just now and I don't know why. That song is definitely 90s and she looked good in that video."

Also check out:
"We Got A Love Thang"
What Ever Happened to: CeCe Peniston

Now, it’s your turn. Email, hit us up on Twitter @etbowser or @writeousbabe, or stop by the comments section and share your Flashback Friday album.  Leave a couple of sentences describing what makes it so great. We’ll feature your album on the blog.
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Thursday, August 2, 2012

Looking for love advice? Need an objective ear? Looking for more bizarre pictures of Rick James? You've come to the right place.

Send your inquiries to, or find me on twitter @etbowser. Just provide your initials, or a fun nickname. 

Here's today's question: 

My boyfriend keeps lots of pics of naked women and their body parts on his phone. He also follows pages on Facebook and Twitter that show nothing but naked women and sex clips. I don't like it and I think it's inappropriate. I've brought this to his attention but he thinks it's not a big deal. Am I overreacting?

This post is going to get a lot of my boys in trouble. Sorry, guys.

Right off the bat, let's make something clear: Just because your guy has pics of half-naked celebrities on his phone doesn't necessarily mean he's roaming the streets for prostitutes.

Wow, file that one under "sentences I never though I'd write."

Why do guys hoard porn pics, you ask? Depends on the guy. Maybe he isn't being fulfilled romantically, maybe he's totally infatuated with a specific celebrity or maybe he just gets a kick out of them. I have a friend who thinks porn is hilarious and watches it like kids watch Family Guy... um, yeah, both those scenarios are kinda sad.

Anyway, to get to the bottom of your dude's obsession you need to confront him about, which it seems you have, to no avail. And that's actually a bigger concern than Deelishis' booty.

It might be tough for some women to understand, but many men can separate the love of their mate and the lust of some random stranger. What's the harm in looking at bikini pics of Beyonce? Without Jay-Z's money, Jay-Z's fame, Jay-Z's prestige, or without actually becoming Jay-Z through some android technology there's no way to actually land Beyonce, so what's the big deal in admiring God's handiwork? Guys, it could be a very big deal for your woman.

Unless this is your first day at Georgia Mae, you know the insecurities women face daily. From being told they're not skinny enough, tall enough, light- or dark-skinned enough, or their hair isn't straight enough, ladies have it rough. So it has to be demoralizing for a modest-sized woman to find that her loving mate has been gawking at dozens of women with Lee Press-On Breasts. If a sista woman who has been struggling with her weight finds her man's personal photo gallery of 80-pound Puerto-Rican women, it could cut deeply. She might question if her man even finds her attractive.

In my experience, I've never known a man to keep illicit photos because they don't find their current mate attractive. It's always been sort of an extra-curricular activity. But that activity could unknowingly hurt the ones they love.

Let me say, though, that just because you're taken doesn't mean you're no longer allowed to find other people attractive. We're human beings, we're allowed that much. Over on her other blog, the wifey randomly posts pics of that guy from Grey's Anatomy with the weird eyes. I don't really care because he has weird eyes. He's no threat.

And just because I can, I'm gonna post a video of Christina Milian. Lord, she makes me sweat like T.D. Jakes. It's cool, I'm sure the wifey won't mind.

(If this video has been removed, I guess she did mind).

If your relationship is strong and without insecurities, admitting someone is attractive shouldn't trigger the alarm for divorce attorneys. But if your mate's constant fawning over the opposite sex is truly hurting you, I hope he can respect your wishes and chill out.

While the guys with the naughty pics are off sending anthrax to my inbox, the rest of us will advance to the Bonus Round.

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Why is it so hard to leave a bad relationship if the physical part is so good?
People who remain in bad relationships for sex remind me of kids who want ice cream for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Kids don't have a concept of healthy well-being and only want to indulge in what tastes good. Kids don't know any better. Adults should.

It's all about self-gratification. I can't tell you how many women (and men!) have told me that the only good thing in their relationship is the sex. They cling to that one positive aspect of and become obsessed with it, while everything else crumbles around them. The dater then gets more concerned with "getting theirs" instead of building a partnership. Sex BECOMES the relationship. There's no need to leave as long as the main focus - sex - is in the forefront. But once that sex dries up it's easy to see how hollow and desolate things have become.

If the only nourishment in your relationship is a steady diet of sex, sooner or later, you're gonna be in a lot of pain. Ask the kid with the ice cream.

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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Show of hands - who likes superheroes n' stuff?

Don't front,  y'all spent $337 billion on The Dark Knight Rises in the past couple of weeks. Clearly, you like 'em as much as I do.

As great as The Dark Knight Rises was, 2009's Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen was not. Kind of like comparing Nas' latest album to Rick Rawsssssse's. But I digress.

At the end of the Transformers movie (SPOILER ALERT), our hero Optimus Prime acquires the spare parts of geriatric airplane robot Jetfire to become VOYAGER OPTIMUS PRIME and whip up on the bad guys. The funny thing is, unless you're a super comic geek, you probably didn't know that Optimus' upgrade came with a name change. Most people just assumed he threw on his boy's jet-powered bones and that he was the same ol' Optimus with a shiny new backpack.

What does ANY of this have to do with Snoop Dogg? Well, Snoop just got his own upgrade.

Snoop Dogg has officially dropped the Dogg act and upgraded his name to "Snoop Lion".

The rapper says he underwent a spiritual and artistic rebirth while in Jamaica where he was given the new moniker by Rastafarian priests.

Legally he isn't any sort of animal, of course, but must go by the name Calvin Cordozar Broadus, Jr.

"I want to bury Snoop Dogg, and become Snoop Lion" Mr Broadus Jr told journalists at a news conference in New York.

"I didn't know that until I went to the temple, where the High Priest asked me what my name was, and I said, 'Snoop Dogg.' And he looked me in my eyes and said, 'No more. You are the light; you are the lion.' From that moment on, it's like I had started to understand why I was there."
The 40-year-old said as a result of his reincarnation, his new album will be a reggae record as he finds rap no longer "a challenge."

“There comes a point where you say I done it all, or there isn’t much more to do,” he said. “This was like a rebirth for me.

So Snoop, in search of enlightenment, sought the wisdom of Rastafarian priests, who unleashed his inner beast. No longer is he Dogg. He is Lion. Hear him roar.

Throw your ThunderCat signals in the air! Wave 'em like you just don't care!

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Playa please.

When I think of lions, I think of this.

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Not this.

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Has there ever been a rapper more obsessed with his name than Snoop Dogg?

"What's My Name"
"Doggy Dogg World"
"Snoop's Upside Ya Head"
"Snoop Dogg"

And that's just his singles, I'm not counting all the puppy-related puns he's used as album titles over the years. Even P. Diddy Daddy isn't that name-narcissistic.

It might be too early to be this pessimistic, but that's never stopped me before. I worry that Snoop's new moniker will make him rap's Voyager Optimus Prime. Voyager Optimus Prime was just regular-ol Optimus Prime with shiny new wings (word to Red Bull). If Snoop Lion's "reinvention"consists of him rapping about the same ol' tired topics (weed n' women) except with a shiny new rastacap, no one will be fooled - except for the poor kids who collect any ol' Optimus Prime toy Snoop Dogg album.

Seriously, Snoop is in dire need of reinvention, so I actually applaud this redirection. I just hope he knows it will take more than a coat of paint to get the desired result. Prove me wrong, Snoop. I'd hate for your new name to go unnoticed, like poor Voyager Optimus.

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