Archive for the ‘I Got 5 Honest’ category

Five Memorable White House Correspondents’ Dinner Moments (I Got 5 Honest)

May 6, 2011

"First I Park My Car, Then I Kill Osama bin Laden"

I don’t think it’s much of a stretch to say that the United States of America is one of the best countries in the world right now. As an American, I may be slightly bias awesome, but that doesn’t mean I can’t be critical of planet Earth’s funk mothership when I need to be. While I try to steer away from politics on this site (with the sole exception of endorsing Fred Thompson for President, solely for Die Hard 2-centric reasons) I think the interesting pop culture clustershark known as the White House Correspondents’ Dinner’s best and worst moments warrants coverage. Beginning in 1921 AD, it was the first major attempt to bring the political climate and celebrity culture together. Once then-President Calvin Coolidge began attending in 1924, it became Washington’s lightest night of the year. Due to many of these not being broadcast because of widespread home recording not being available, it would be impossible to do a ‘Best-of’ of this event. So, to give you a good approximation of how far the pendulum swings on this event, we have three great and two awful moments from the dinner here so let’s jump right in to this latest installment of I Got 5 Honest: Five Memorable White House Correspondents’ Dinner Moments!

1) Norm MacDonald – 1997

Looking back on it, we were all really fortunate to have our formative years developing our senses of humor augmented by Norm MacDonald’s masterful performances as the anchor on Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update. Starting during the show’s absolute worst season (the 20th season of ’94-’95, now available for your waterboarding needs on Netflix!) he shined like a beacon and brought a fresh style of humor to the late 90s. Proving he could hang outside the glowbox, the conservative Canadian MacDonald lit the room on fire with jokes that were cutting edge and crowd-pleasing, setting the standard for all WHCDs to come!

2) Stephen Colbert – 2006

Probably the most famous WHCD performance, Colbert took the podium and raised the bar for satire, skewing the heavily guarded and protected President Bush right in front of his face. With his show a mere four months old at the time, Colbert was nowhere near as synonymous with biting political humor as he is today, a reputation this performance helped him cement. As uncomfortable as it was daring, Colbert cemented his status as a major pop culture player of the Bush Era by being simultaneously ballsy, polarizing and hilarious. Is it telling that President Bush refused to shake his hand after? Perhaps. Is the real time reaction video of Bush to the speech incredible? Absolutely.

3) Rich Little – 2007

While Rich Little’s performance here isn’t particularly interesting, the circumstances certainly are. One year following the controversial Stephen Colbert performance, the powers that be allegedly wanted the least offensive performer possible so as not to repeat the previous year’s debacle. Enter Rich Little. At the ripe old age of 69, Little returned for his second WHCD performance (previous performing in 1984) to get a few chuckles and that’s it. While I don’t believe people necessarily need to be making political points with their comedy, Little was so far purposely hitting the other end of the spectrum that the Administration’s reasons for booking him were painfully transparent. This was never more apparent than Little’s opening remarks specifically stating that he “wasn’t here to make a point” and making it clear he “wasn’t a satirist” but an “impressionist.” Bless his heart, it was a largely outdated act something that came as no surprise to anyone who read Little’s New Yorker interview before the event, where he said he favorite *young* comic was 59-year-old Robin Williams, adding “that guy is off the wall!” Couple this with the Dinner falling four days after the Virginia Tech tragedy, and you have a room nearly impossible to laugh. While Little had a handful of general guffaws, the performance largely squashed allegation that the previous year was something of a failure, particularly when a frustrated Little whimpers “and you thought Colbert was bad.”

4) Karl Rove Raps – 2007

While this technically was at the Radio-Television Correspondents’ Assistants’ Dinner, the events are close enough to show exactly how awkward these political-celebrity mash-ups can get. When Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood of TV’s beloved “Whose Line is it Anyway?” pulled Bush Administration mastermind / Sentinel Mastermold Karl Rove onstage for some wacky hijinks, no-one would have guessed it would result in the most awkward thing since awkward came to Awkwardtown. Taking standard improv information and banking heavily on how much “Rove” rhymes with (SPOILER ALERT) “Treasure Trove” (#swag), the alias “MC Rove” was born. Non-partison nerdery ensued.

5) Barack Obama – 2010

For a good chunk of the country, this past weekend’s assassination of infamous goofball Osama bin Laden was reason enough to re-elect President Barack Obama in 2012. For many more, it was his decision the previous night to come out at the correspondents’ dinner to the sounds of Rick Derringer’s immortal Hulk Hogan theme “Real American.” As impressive as taking out Osama was, Barack’s absolute obliteration of Donald Trump is the stuff of legends. Following the absurd hubbub over the Commander-in-Chief’s birth certificate being released the previous week, Barack used the situation to effortlessly end any remaining shred of remote credibility in Trump’s campaign in one night. Bodybag.


We give White House Correspondents’ Dinners a Four Out of Five

So until next time… let’s agree to agree!


January 31, 2011

Goodbye 'Miracle' Year!

Well, it’s the end of January and that means it’s time for one last look back at everything else that happened in 2010. These ten lists should fill you in on everything else that happened in the past calendar year so now that all the interesting things they’ve influenced will begin getting released in February, you’ll have some frame of reference. Let’s just jump right in!

Top 5 Rap Albums

5) Shad – T.S.O.L.
4) Danny Brown – The Hybrid
3) Curren$y – Pilot Talk
2) Earl Sweatshirt – Earl
1) Dez & Nobs – Rocky Dennis

Top 5 Non-Rap Songs

5) Vampire Weekend – “Taxi Cab”
4) Best Coast – “Boyfriend”
3) Camu Tao – “Intervention”
2) Arcade Fire – “The Suburbs”
1) Make Out – “I Don’t Want Anybody That Wants Me”

Top 5 Lil B Tweets

5) Lil B on Fine Art.
4) Lil B on Outreach.
3) Lil B on Christmas
2) Lil B on Depression.
1) Lil B on Working with Peers.

Top 5 Tumblrs

5) Hungover Owls
4) Fake Criterions
3) Album Tacos
2) Best Roof Talk Ever
1) RealN*ggaTumblr

Top 5 Movies I Actually Saw

5) Toy Story 3
4) Inception
3) True Grit
2) The Fighter
1) The Expendables


Top 5 Best New Fast Food Items

5) Burger King’s Fire-Grilled Ribs
4) Subway’s Steak & Bacon Melt
3) New Domino’s Pizza
2) KFC’s Double Down
1) Pizza Hut’s Cheesy Bites Pizza

Top 5 Best New Rap Catchphrases

5) “Check”
4) “F*** Steve Harvey”
3) “H*es On My D*ck cause I look like…”
2) “Flocka”
1) “Swag” (as in #Swag 2010, the word took on a whole new meaning this year)

Top 5 Favorite Articles I Wrote for Other Places

5) Rediscover: The Outsidaz, ‘The Night Life EP’ (Spectrum Culture)
4) Guilty Pleasures: Mortal Kombat (Spectrum Culture)
3) Fatbeats’ Final Friday (HHLO)
2) Top 5 Rhymes Proving Rick Ross is a Psychopath (FunnyorDie)
1) SinSin Lounge Was Source of Solace (New York Times East Village)

Top 5 Favorite Articles I Wrote for PopularOpinions

5) Female Rappers in 2010: The Reality of Equality
4) ABC News – “Music + Children = MURDER!”
3) Hey Guys, Great News! ‘Avatar’ isn’t racist! (or Anti-American!)
2) Dear Caucasoids: Please Stop Using the N-Word, Especially When Ironically Covering Rap Songs.
1) Drake’s Letter to Aaliyah

Top 5 Videos

5) Celph Titled f/ RA the Rugged Man & FT – “Mad Ammo”
4) B. Dolan – “Earthmovers”
3) Homeboy Sandman – “The Carpenter”
2) Earl Sweatshirt – “Earl”
1) Insane Clown Posse – “Miracles” (Yeah, I know, but honestly no single music video has brought me as much joy in years. Plant a little seed, and nature grows)

So until next time…let’s agree to agree!


January 25, 2011

As we’ve said so far during Chaz’s Arbitrary Top Ten List Extravaganza, 2010 was a pretty fantastic year for music. But many were shocked to find out last year that music actually existed outside of the internet! These music exhibitions, otherwise known as concerts, are mostly held so greedy old people can bleed other old people for cash. However, there were more than a handful of performances that were not only outstanding works of art, but ranks among my favorite moments of the year. So now join me and some grainy iPhone footage as we look back on the five best live acts I saw in 2010!

I liked the part when they did songs!

5) HOMEBOY SANDMAN (June 1st , S.O.B.’s)

Kicking off the summer right was Homeboy Sandman’s record release show at S.O.B.’s. Not only was everybody who’s anybody in New York Hip-Hop there, but at least half of the audience were real life warm-blooded supporters not afraid to have a great time. With easily hundreds of fans and friends there to celebrate the rise of The Good Sun, it was just as powerful to see Sandman make his way around the room and treat every person in attendance like the most important person there. But this is all secondary to an amazing career-spanning performance that featured as many new favorites as underground anthems the usually-fickle Manhattan crowd was happy to chant right along with. The clip above was my favorite moment of the show when I was (to my surprise) invited on-stage along with Kosha Dillz for a freestyle over Guns ‘n’ Roses’ “Sweet Child of Mine.”

4) SAGE FRANCIS (June 25th, Webster Hall)

But as June began with the end of one career’s beginning, it ended with another’s touring career’s end. Longtime favorite of mine, Sage Francis set the final performance of his Li(f)e tour to be at New York’s Webster Hall, and it was bittersweet to be there for that last hurrah. Backed by Free Moral Agents with songs spanning from 1997 (shockingly breaking out his reinterpretation of A Tribe Called Quest’s “Can I Kick It” from his days fronting AOI) through his entire discography and closing with “The Best of Times,” it was a great goodbye to one of the most reliable live performers in the genre as he passed the torch to labelmate B.Dolan.

3) PACE WON (September 3rd, FatBeats) / RAH DIGGA (October 21st, Sullivan Hall)

I’ve probably listened to The Outsidaz’s Night Life EP more than any other CD in my collection, but they sadly dissolved when I was 15 so I was never able to see them. It was great to fulfill a decade’s desire to finally see two of the Outsidaz family live. As unfortunate as it was to see FatBeats closing, it gave us a great week of performances, the best of which was Pace Won. Performing a dream setlist of his most known singles and Outsidaz verses, along with plenty of anecdotes in between, it was a great goodbye to the Home of New York Hip-Hop. On a much happier note, Rah Digga’s performance was the highlight of CMJ. While she also ran through her most known singles and even a medley of her posse cut verses, her set ran the gauntlet of emotions as she seamlessly wove in her new material to an absolutely captivated New York crowd.

2) THE TOILET BOYS (June 14th, Le Poisson Rouge)

During my “Punk Rawk” High School years, there was no band I wanted to see live more than the Toilet Boys. Introduced to me by their ties to Troma Studios, I was never given the chance to see the fire-breathing glam rockers live as the Great White incident pretty much ensured they would never get booked again. So imagine my surprise when longtime friend and homie Ray Willis called me on a Monday afternoon to tell me that not only were the Toilet Boys having a surprise “dress rehearsal” reunion show THAT NIGHT, but it was FREE. At a price that fit my budget perfectly, I attended and felt myself step right back into 2002. The jam was awesome. The crowd roared like a lion. It really whipped a hyena’s ass. PLUS, I caught a t-shirt. What more could you want?

1) PRINCE (December 18th, Madison Square Garden)

Not unlike Mortal Kombat II, nothing in the world could have prepared me for this. As a child of the Twin Cities, I’ve grown up with the mythology of Prince as far back as I can remember. Of course, seeing the Purple One in our shared homestate is a near-impossibility and, even then, the setlists have reportedly been mostly new material. When he announced the Coming 2 America tour, I had to see it. Absolutely spellbinding. Words cannot express what a show this was, but this setlist might help make you understand. He gave it all and we took every bit of it. A great end to a great year.

He's writing about me!

So until next time…let’s agree to agree!

Five Classic Christmas Commercials (I Got 5 Honest)

December 10, 2010

Tis the season...for Commercials!

There are few things in the world that I love more than the Christmas season. From the chaos of Black Friday through the anticipation of Advent leading to that wonderful week between Christmas Eve and New Year’s, no one time fills me with more joy. Is it the caffeine, the presents, the milligrams of Holly? The lights decorating every street? The promise of Christmas Vacation which, now that I’m a high school music teacher, is still a huge deal? I’d wager it’s the combination of all these things that not only bring out the best in all of us, but rose tints my world with everything I love about being alive. And, like all great things, this sentiment can be boiled down into 30-second long commercials. Therefore, I give you my picks for five modern Christmas classics.

Coca-Cola Santa Packs Are Coming

This is always the first Holiday commercial to air, usually the week of Thanksgiving, signaling the beginning of the Christmas Season. Coca-Cola was on a roll with some pretty cutting edge marketing in the mid-90s. One year after their unforgettable Halloween Monster of the Gridiron promotion, they did a complete 180 and went from ‘cool’ to ‘warmth’ with a Polar Express for the Consumer Generation. Originally airing with the lyrics “Holidays are coming,” the spot was retooled to emphasize the more Coca-Cola-centric aspects of the season: the Santa Packs. As a loyal Pepsi drinker*, this is the one time of the year I’ll go out of my way to see jolly ole St. Nick smiling back at me. FUN FACT: Contrary to urban lore, Coca-Cola did NOT create the modern image of Santa AND anyone in 2010 who still believes so is an ill-informed fun-hating miscreant.

Fruity Pebbles – Tis the Season to be Sharing, Fred!

I absolutely loathe it whenever people use the term “’nuff said,” largely because it’s a way for people to boast that their opinion is so perfect, it requires no justification or critical thinking. However, this commercial seems almost like the rare case where such a statement is justified. You have a standard holiday theme rewritten, the finest animation ever used by the Post corporation, and the one time when Fred willingly shares his beloved Fruity Pebbles with Barney. Such kindness was never shown to the Trix Rabbit, the Cookie Crisp Theif, Sonny or even the Hamburgular. Barney’s grateful response wraps the whole thing together a great way to introduce the concept of generosity to children. It saddens me to think that Madonna’s television-deprived daughter Lourdes grew up without it.

12 Days of Christmas on Fox Kids

My senior year at NYU, I took a class on sitcom writing under the great James Felder. One of the rules for the class was that we couldn’t write Holiday-themed episodes as they were often easy-to-write cheap one-offs for series to just coast on and not really try for a week. This is a truth of the trade so known that shows such as ‘The Office’ and ’30 Rock’ have spent the last decade deliberately cranking out legitimately great Holiday episodes that rank among their respective seasons’ best, just so the staff writers can show just how good they really are. Of course, being fortunate enough to be both a lover of Christmas and one of the elite few selected to become a member of the Fox 29 Kids Club, my passion for the seasonal sentiment was enough to hold my attention for their entire Saturday Morning Christmas line-up. The ’94-’95 season was undoubtably the best, boasting not only returning favorites like ‘X-Men,’ ‘Mighty Morphin Power Rangers’ and ‘Animaniacs,’ but the debuts of ‘The Tick,’ ‘Spiderman’ and on this particular Christmas weekend, ‘Life with Louie.’ I would always tape these Saturdays and (thanks to the magic of 8-hour Extended Play Videocassettes) I’m sure I still have them in my basement back in Minnesota. While my college thesis on children’s television of the 80s and 90s sufficiently killed off any and all of my interest in nostalgia, the Tree-side wins again as this spot still brings me back to that 3rd Grade Holiday season.

M&M’s ‘They Do Exist’

This classic M&Ms spot airs year-after-year for the simple reason that it’s that darn good. Both the Santa Claus and Red & Yellow are beloved omnipresent characters of modern lore. One is a Seasonal icon, a staple of traditions and cherished by all ages. The others are corporate mascots, a staple of traditions and cherished by all ages. When the two side of the same wonderful coin are squished together on the train-tracks of life, only magic can ensue. It’s a Christmas magnet miracle!

The Coca-Cola Bears

I think everyone remembers where they were when they first saw the original Coca-Cola polar bears commercial. If they don’t, they at least remember how the commercial first made them feel**. At a time when commercials were beginning to be all about in your face screaming, it was a mostly music-less feat of computer animation, packaged with genuine subtlety and a reminder of the warmness of family through the celebration of Coca-Cola. Sequels each year opted to up the cuteness ante and introduce a baby penguin and a baby seal, all making adorable baby animal noises. Sadly, these now air overdubbed with the music of Phil Collins, significantly tarnishing what made them so soft-spoken and endearing in the first place.

Hershey’s Christmas Kisses

A timeless, unaltered classic. Funny, disarming and direct, the Hershey’s Christmas Kisses is the one Holiday commercial that has aired every year since its 1994 debut and gone completely unaltered. Next time you watch it on a High-Definition television*** look for the clear untouched video lines. Is this laziness on the part of the Hershey’s Corporation? I don’t believe so, rather I think they want to let this particular spot be the one perfect gem you can always go back to without any unnecessary bells or whistles. It’s grandma’s turkey recipe in the form of a chocolate company’s ad campaign.


This one airs all winter long. DISQUALIFIED!


There’s nothing particularly heart-warming or special about this commercial outside the fact that it’s probably the single most obnoxious thing I’ve ever seen. Hyperbole aside, it’s a spot that looks like it was written by the loudest drunkest belligerent football fan on the back of a bar napkin during a commercial break in efforts to impress a bartender moments before a bouncer removes him as the visiting team scores the winning touchdown. “So, Santa thinks he’s so hot with his reindeer and Christmas and stuff when SUCK MY DUST, KRINGLE the Domino’s guy pulls up in his Buffalo-drawn carriage and totally disses him! Then uhhhhhhhh, what do you call those Christmas teeny-weenahs? Oh yeah, an ELF tells him he’s out-of-touch and so they tell the holiday to f-off and they just get Domino’s and party on some kids roof so yeah, take THAT Christmas!” Gotta love the 90s!

And yes, I know I gave you way more than five. Merry Christmas.

We give these Classic Christmas Commercials a Five Out of Five

So until next time…let’s agree to agree!

*Diet Wild Cherry Pepsi is my weapon of choice on the frontlines of Generation NeXt.

**If they don’t, they are genuine heartless zombie shells of faux-humanity and should be exterminated as such.

*** AKA H-Def.

Halloween Hip-Hop Hits

October 29, 2010

Yes, a company DOES sell a zombie Lil Wayne costume.

It’s the holiday season once again, and with this weekend being home to the bloodiest and sluttiest costumes our repressed society can muster, many DJs are wondering ‘What appropriate rap music can I play?’ Since most suggestions online are rife with horrorcore-jocking Flatlinerz-apologists (yes, such people exists) or suggestions like “Mind Playin’ Tricks On Me” which, since ‘it wasn’t even close to Halloween,’ is the equivalent of playing “In da Club” on somebody’s birthday*. Therefore, here’s three tracks you can throw on that’ll not only be a monster mash, but a fullblown graveyard smash!


Esham – “Morty’s Theme”

Unfairly pigeon-holed for his affiliation with the gimmicky horrorcore rappers he inspired, Detroit’s Esham is one of rap’s great unsung heroes. Fiercely independent since the late-80s, he’s made his brand of entirely self-produced “Acid rap” that’s seen him cross the globe several times over and even get dissed on the most successful rap album of the past decade. While I think Esham’s 2001 album Tongues is his masterpiece, I’d like to instead focus on his song from the soundtrack of the 1994 direct-to-video horror film The Fear. Distributed by A-Pix Entertainment (Uncle Sam, the killer snowman movie Jack Frost and just about any horror movie on VHS with a hologram cover) The Fear boasted an entirely-horrorcore lineup, hoping to cash-in on the success other independent films were having with all-Grunge soundtracks. Esham seemingly made the unique choice to do a theme for the antagonist without first watching the film, as the song not only has nothing to do with what happens on-screen but Morty himself is given a shrill voice despite being completely silent for the entire film’s duration.

Gravediggaz – “1-800-SUICIDE”

Every Halloween, every rap blogger worth his weight in wax-candy writes about how great the Gravediggaz are, and for good reason. The side-project collaboration between Wu-Tang’s Rza and Prince Paul (the best De La Soul album, and probably two or three of your favorite rap albums too) joined by Poetic, who possessed one of raps most unique voices, the outfit followed the grizzly grotesque themes and made a great, horrifying album. Originally titled (and released overseas as) Niggamortis, Gravediggaz’s Six Feet Deep makes for essential Halloween listening.

Earl Sweatshirt – Drop

15-year-old Earl Sweatshirt’s debut album EARL and its corresponding video is probably the greatest thing I’ve seen all year that doesn’t involve the word “magnets.” An absolute rhyme virtuoso, he’s not only a child prodigy who understand the basics of rapping, he’s mastered them. Here’s a solo cut off of his crew Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All’s mixtape Radical where things get dark, but with the smile and comedic timing of Pennywise.

Pumpkin Rapper

Yes, this exists.

So until next time…let’s agree to agree!

*I want to say this thought was a Noz-ism, but I don’t remember so I’mma play safe and say “maybe.”