They say I'm a self-promoting diary blogger. And they may be right. But they're all going to die one day and we're having a party to celebrate in South America, so I ultimately win regardless.
The truth is that THE UNDERWRITER is bigger than life. Especially south of the border, where I always get free servings of my favorite Hispanic dish, Cunnilingus Rice, your boy is working with saint status.
Even TIME Magazine online had to write a story about my conquest of the land of pesos. See, I knew I was famous!!
It first struck me as odd that Saint Death was such a glorious, cult-leading pimp in the slums of Mexico. I mean, I've been there plenty of times, but I was always shook of being arrested and thrown in a foreign jail, so I laid low in my own private, heavenly hotel hell, with plenty of Evian. Down there, they don't tell you why you're being arrested, they just say shit like, "$100 US!"
Maybe the reason behind Mexico's death worship is because poverty is so rampant down there. Or maybe we have such a huge issue with the Mexican borders because our Cinco De Mayo is that much crunker. Anyway, you already know I'm hitting Cancun up in 2008. Come live like a king with T.U. in Fiestaland. I promise I won't kill you.
Yo, let me say first that I have never seen any newscast of this Al-Arabiya television news reporter named Jihad Ali Ballout. But I heard the name once while listening to NPR, and I couldn't believe it was the truth until I LOOKED HIM UP. And that's when I found my newest alias. The illest name anybody I've ever heard of ever had.
Some cats just have it so sweet that they get dope names at birth, like Michael Jordan. But some cats have ill names that make you wish your parents weren't too pus to give you an emperor's title. I mean, there's some college football cat named Captain Motherland , or something like that. He plays for Tennessee, I believe. Hell, maybe it's South Carolina. I don't remember. I was bartending while I was watching the game with drunk white friends, and you already know the bartender gots to gets down...
Wait... yeah, he plays for South Carolina. I remember that, because the cats who put me on to him (nolo) told me he was the truth. But even they, being the white Americans that they admittedly are, agreed that his last name should have been Motherland instead of whatever it really is. I don't remember. But I do remember that TENNESSEE WON. Yesssss.
CAPTAIN MOTHERLAND. That's his name, eff what his mama call him.
But CAPTAIN MOTHERLAND sounds pretty offish if you ask your homie. He could have been a Marvel superhero, like an African X-Man that would come around and knock Storm off every other year. I'd let one of my hundreds of internet sons rock that name, if I would have stuck around and raised their sorry asses...
I can think of a few cats in rap music with ill names, such as BROTHA LYNCH HUNG and of course D.V. ALIAS KHRYST (wtf?). But when it comes to being a regular ass news anchor, how the eff do you get lucky enough to have the Greatest Name Of All Time (GNOAT) and be in fools' faces like feces every day?
It seems like Jihad Ballout's TV show would be the crunkest shit since Red Bull. I can't imagine him being a calm, level-headed personality at all. It would be so poetically wrong. But then again, if he tried to live up to my expectations of such a street-certified name, he'd have to literally ride a Humvee on set as the broadcast begins, with two Mad Max broads wearing bullet belts for bras and a 50-caliber chopper hoisted on top. Then he'd have to jump off the jeep, pull out mad scrilla and make it rain on his own hoes and hit the news desk in some ill Saudi Arabian threads and rocking the Dubai-imported sunglasses on some Dallas Austin ish, like, "Yeah, cuz. It's your boy Jihad Ballout, partying like it's a holy war. We got guns, hoes, missiles, infrared mu-phuckin beams, $2.50 margaritas from 5pm-7, silencers, tazers, orgies, Purp, assault rifles... the whole T.I.P. And we brangin' em out, here on Al-Arabiya TV.
But first, the weather..."
Dude does look like he stays sufficiently tho'ed in the game. Look at the deep, saggin eye area. That's straight Hen-dog right there. You can't tell me that shit ain't the truth. I might change my name to his, just so some of my sons can be Jihad Ballout Jr.
I challenge anybody to produce a harder name that somebody was actually born with. Not a rap name.
Don't worry - I'll wait...
You know what? This dude just might have a shot at the King of ATL title, that is if he's not the next victim of the ATL ABC boys (RE: T.I.P. VS the ATF B4 the BET awards).
Not only did he quietly sponsor the rise of D4L, Lo actually had a major regional hit last year with the weirdly likeable "I'M DA MAN."
If you aren't familiar, it's the song that Young Jeezy
SHAWTY LO - "I'm Da Man"
U.S.D.A. - "White Girl"
Both Shawty Lo and Eazy-E are/were short as hell in stature. Both of them have/had ill voices, and both talk/spoke about drug dealing, shooting niggas, riding clean and dirty and ephing hose. Eazy obviously had clout, because he always came across as the leader of N.W.A., even though he barely stood 5 feet tall. Something about him, whether it was the constantly present guns or the all black attire, spoke volumes about his ability to assume the title of Amerikkka's Most Niggerish. And because N.W.A. was down with him, they were able to use his "street cred" to make a case for their own relevance in the music business. See: Shawty Lo and D4l (last year)
I'm not saying that D4L can compare in any way to N.W.A. No Way, Asshole.
I'm saying that it sometimes takes a gangster dwarf to hold down the entire camp of "goons". That Napoleon Complex shit is real, oh my brothers and sisters. Just ask me why I keep the scythe ready for these roaches. I only stand about 5'6", so I can relate to the bullshit that Eazy, Shawty and many other midgets went through trying to make a living and bring home the breakfast. Shit ain't easy.
RIP - E. The game ain't been the same. It's now reduced to us letting imitation yous become the new big thang, even though it could never be duplicated.
THE UNDERWRITER'S FAVORITE GANGSTER RAP SONG OF ALL TIME:
The Underwriter is all about honesty. Honestly. I just became committed to this blog this month, which is why you're seeing me all over XXL and several other blogs with writers I respect. I'm not a piggybacker (nolo), I'm just able to recognize cats who are serious about it. And if you check my blogroll *LINKS OF DEATH*, you'll find several other places where you can find Hip-Hop in its new home - the Internets. You see, the culture is not dead anywhere else but in the mind of those who control the music industry, and they won't accept the fact that they're killing it. But alas...
We find ourselves at the point of revelations. California is burning, and down here in Atlanta we couldn't give two skeets of jizz. We're too busy washing the ol' school and watering our imported cactuses to read the news. With the exception of yours truly and a few other cats who know what the bidness is.
As far as Hip-Hop goes, we're at a point where lunatics get more press coverage than actual deserving talent, all because the spazzes seem to speak louder and irratically. We think that shit is cute, when in actuality it's weaker than well liquor.
Case in point:
I've been going at it pretty strong lately with an internet cupcake whose name I dare not say. If you're a frequent visitor of the blogs at XXL and you're in the know, you already know. If not, I have no time to explain it. But the problem is that even the internet is being gaffled by idiots who spend their off-hours trying to confuse the relevant issues that Hip-Hop brings to life.
Hip-Hop fosters and sponsors discussion. It makes a loud point, which you'll only understand if you understand the people behind it (nolo). This culture of ours was never supposed to be infiltrated like the Panthers were. It was supposed to be immune, because it's so ugly to the untrained eye that you would think we were all monkeys until you were invited into the palace. At this point, you'd become a fiend and stay forever. Like they say, once you go black... Ask Amy Winehouse.
We're living in such raggedy times that Pac's former bodyguard has identified himself as an undercover F.B.I. agent. T.I.'s bodyguard is snitching on him. Nobody's safe, nobody's protected. Not even the members of "The 5th Element" - the writers who cover Hip-Hop culture. Didn't Suge say something about creating a show called "Internet Gangsters" where he and his clicque would go around finding bloggers and giving nut-checks? Or was that all just a bunch of "I'm trying to stay famous" bullshit?
I'm going with Door #2.
The problem is that some of these people who comment on blogs are disrupting the debate. I don't care if you and I disagree. I just don't like it when somebody joins a discussion that could actually move forward the cause of intelligence, only to push a stupid and false point.
I've put up with bullshit on television. In movies. Definitely on the radio. Even in magazines. But I'm not having this shit on my new favorite entertainment medium. I'm not saying that The Underwriter is all powerful, but I can definitely take at least one loser out every month or so. It's only right, actually.
So here's to the people who continue to try my patience. Intelligence > Hate. My scythe > your pen. Save yourself from my wrath and start putting something good into your internet commentary when speaking on Hip-Hop.
For examples of how The Underwriter had to get busy on a few cats tonight, just go to XXLMAG.com, click the tab titled "BLOGGERS" and check Bol and Billy Sunday's blogs. And check out my response to a few cats' stupidity.
Don't worry... I'll wait.
I made a comment on XXLMAG.com yesterday, on one of Bol's blogs. He's a definite asshole (nolo), whose blog always seems to penetrate the internets (nolo). But I like him (nolo), so I tend to dig what he has to offer (nolo).
By now, you should get the idea of the word "Nolo." It comes (nolo) from the Latin term "nolo contendre", meaning "no contest", and is used in the legal system as a way of avoiding directly implicating yourself in a crime. Which makes perfect sense if you think about it; the Miranda laws (when they still existed) told you that you had the right to remain silent, so you don't have to incriminate yourself. If you're repping for the homo thugs, you never have to expose yourself unless it's what you truly desire... The term is a great way to stay out of the whole process and just accept the fact that somebody has either said or done something wrong. But we ain't tripping, and you ain't gotta lie to kick it. If you're gay, you're gay. Since I'm not, I'm not. I don't contest your lifestyle, and you don't contest mine. No explanation necessary.
Using the term does not mean you're gay and scared to admit it. It means you're straight, but instead of being labeled as a bigot or a being homophobic, you can use the term "nolo" to say, "Hey, if you guys want to cuddle, it's cool with me - even though it's not cool, so I'm getting the eff out of here and don't want to know what happens when I'm gone. But for the record, I'm not co-signing this behavior. At the same time, I ain't scared of you brother-fuckers, so we're still cool."
This way, my gay friends can find their own little gay heaven wherever it exists, and be, well, "happy." It's not gay to have a serious and deep (biggest nolo yet) conversation with a person who likes same-sex sex. Just know when to leave if it's at a Midtown bar you aren't familiar with and the crowd starts getting thick (nolo again). You don't want to wake up in the morning not remembering what happened, looking like this guy:
(Eternal Pause/Nullus/Nolo combined to that pic above... The Underwriter shakes off the heebie-jeebies... )
Anyway, I've been feeling a way (nolo) about the term "No Homo." It seems like it's going to make gay people mad, which I'm not sure I really care about. But I do like to help people avoid confrontation and division if necessary. Now, dividing a gay man from my own asshole is priority #1, but that doesn't mean I can't let him live. I mean, it's not like I'm walking around wearing t-shirts that say this:
At the same time that first image is a pretty accurate image of my own home and personal bodily space. Homosexuality is something I'll never understand. I don't know what's so good about a man's hairy ass that should have my attention. And I don't want to know because it's gross as hell. Sorry. And I just can't, for the life of me, explain to myself why cats would rather see nude balls than a naked woman in their bedroom that looks like this:
I mean, really. You'd rather be touched like
Instead of like
Baffling. But whatever dude. Holla. Nolo.
The Underwriter cares about all of his people, even the man-handlers. That's why I'm giving you a few points about how you can use "nolo" to your advantage while keeping it extra gully in your own special way. No need to denigrate your fellow man; just tell him that you can't condone his sexual preference, but you're not judging him.
Nolo is best used when someone not only says something ill, but you've observed behavior in the past that adds credence to your quiet thoughts that he might be "going in." You can either start saying "No Homo" and disowning him, or you can still be cool with him and keep it "nolo." I mean, not to draw a parallel between gay men and mutated mammals, but if a human being can be born with a conjoined fetus, why can't some people be born with the intention to want something of their own kind? I'm not a cannibal, but who knows? A human lemon pepper wing just might be as good or better than chicken. I'm just not deranged enough to try it myself. But eat up, my friend (nolo).
I have to say also that it's pretty damn strange that cats have so many people in the mainstream media to look up to when it comes to the stylistic approach of the modern metrosexual. Or maybe it's all the stylists' fault. Maybe the wardrobe managers know that looking non-confrontational is the new "thug" look. Or maybe they want us all to be gay, or at least believe that our favorite artists, actors, entertainers and personalities are trapped in the closet.
I don't think Skateboard P or Ye Tudda are gay. At least not with each other. But what I do think is that the lifestyle of the intelligent, sensitive heterosexual male has become confused with the closeted batty boy. For instance, I think it's totally cool for a single bachelor to have a chihuahua. They're cool as hell, even though they constantly trip on their own legs and pee everywhere. And they're always Harlem shaking. But there's a difference in having a small, fierce, loyal little fighter and having house-trained animals that are forced to pose for photos looking like this:
I'm just saying. It takes people as open-minded as The Underwriter to keep it real enough to accept every type of person. We're all brothers in the end (nolo). We have to understand that even if we agree to disagree about sex, only dialogue will keep us from beating each other down (nolo). Nobody has the right to keep anyone but themselves from following his or her own heart. I'm not here to excuse or explain my position (nolo), but rather I'm just tryin to get people to respect each other's space (n) to set up some rules of engagement (nolo). If we want to continue to divide ourselves, we can do that. But we'd be missing out on a powerful opportunity to upgrade society by giving diplomacy a chance.
So what did I learn by visiting Vegas now that I'm fully grown?
Vegas is Hell on Earth. People are roasting right before your eyes, and unless you're burning with them, you don't get the full experience.
One of the funniest things I kept seeing in Sin City was people with one hand or both cupping their foreheads. In that "I can't believe I just blew it" posture. It's not something that will make you empathize. After all, it ain't your money that became part of the Vegas dissapearing act. I was having a blast for little money without really gambling, yet folks on all sides were draining themselves emotionally, financially and physically, just to have a chance at the Dream.
Hunter Thompson, author of Fear and Loathing, was a great writer, but he was so geeked up when he wrote about his experience that he ended up writing something that consumed him while making him famous and legendary. We as a culture regard Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas as a great story about "The Death of The American Dream," when it's actually the death of one man's dream. After all, he was honest enough to admit that he fell for the LSD craze of the mid-sixties. Doing acid in Vegas has to be one helluva trip, and I'm not willing to buy the ticket or take the ride, even if I want to hear the story or tell my own version.
H.S.T.'s generation always operated under the idea that help was on the way because of their righteous cause. My opinion is that help is already here in the form of that tiny voice in the back of your head. Some call it a conscience. Others call it Multiple Personality Disorder, or "The Devil".
That voice is actually the human instinct, which I'm dumb enough to believe is still slanted towards good in most people. That is, until you poison it enough with strip-club mentality, rent-to-own sluts and enough alcohol to cure the AIDS virus. Nolo.
If we listened more to that voice, which is most likely the implated voice of God - sorry to get spiritual on you heathens - I would say that we'd probably avoid places like The Las Vegas Strip. But just as it is an ideal fantasy to say you went to Vegas and had a blast, it is also a fantastic lie to expect good things of the sustainable sort to happen just because you were brave enough to visit Nevada and cake yourself silly. But we listen to others, who lie about how much they won, how many hoes they effed, and how they spent more money than you've ever made in one weekend.
The truth is that they probably lost more than they won (so Vegas ultimately wins), they paid for sexual congress (another W for Vegas) and they tricked away their next two to six months bills all for three days of suffering suckertash.
Vegas is now corporate America. It used to be run by the goons, until the TIs and YTs decided that the cake was smelling too sweet for them to refuse. Now, you can get Devil's Food and all types of other yeast-infected desserts in one of the country's most rapidly growing residential areas.
Shout out to all of the media corporations who have sponsored the evolution of the ultimate fantasy world in the middle of the desert. You'd better believe that we'll soon see Playstation Palace, Hellman's Mayonnaise Museum and the LifeStyles Hotel and Casino, where you get free unwrapped rubbers for every hour you spend getting jerked at the card tables or slot machines.
Real life is bigger than Vegas. Yes, I had fun, and yes that might make me a hypocrite of sorts when it comes to being this harsh on a place that wasn't really uncomfortable. But since when did I start saying I was perfect? I'm just a jaded young writer, who has decided to start being as honest as possible when presenting myself in my own literary character. Maybe it'll work. If not, I can always buy lottery tickets and malt liquor on a daily budget of five dollars in nickels.
Here's where it all started going down...
We headed down Interstate 15, in a white convertible, on the way to the Palms Casino, where the Real World Vegas was taped years ago. Vegas traffic is pretty non-existent, at least for what you'd expect on a Saturday night. But the night was already off to an ominous start...
I was already so-so saucy off the green bottle, so I laid off the wheel and did my best to hold the camera steady. During this, my co-hort behind the steering wheel almost killed us after panicking when another car shot almost directly in our path while trying to Debo our lane. The car jerked hard left, and the camera almost fell out of my hand and into the street at 80 MPH. This would have been the part where the shank came out, but luckily my reflexes are A-1, unlike my credit...
That sign you see should have been a warning. No, not the half-lit Palms sign, but the red octagon with the white letters. But of course, we proceeded. There's not much to talk about here, except that I can truly say that what I expected to happen on the roulette table... didn't. $60 given back to
After smoking about 6 cigs to celebrate my loss, I looked up and saw Hart & Huntington, another reality show landmark located on the casino level of the Palms. I thought about having my 10-year old Playboy bunny tattoo remixed into something hotter, but then I flaked. It happens. But I did take a shitty picture outside of the venue...
After that, we copped a few more mixed drinks by standing close enough to the tables to look like gambling patrons, who always drink for free in Vegas. Makes sense, don't it? After 3 free G&Ts, I was ready to leave the house that Viacom hyped.
And the verdict...
THE PALMS IS DEAD.
So we rode out to The Bellagio, then to so many bars and clubs that I'd be lying to you if I said I remembered. But I do remember these moments...
(Don't blame the photo, blame my drunken hand)
(You'd look this way too if you could hold a tractor trailer load of liquor in your liver)
(Big ups to one of my suppliers, who actually kept it gangster behind the bar and gave me a few extra drinks on the lowski. T-Pain would be proud)
(This chick had her matching purse and outfit game at a high level. I got me a hug)
And it went on, and on, until things became fuzzy...
(Kids, don't try this
I'm feeling hangover flashbacks just looking at these pictures again. Vegas is built for more fun that the human body can withstand in a 72 hour period. You squeeze in as much fun as you think you need, and then push it just for kicks and giggles. Then you get a moment of clarity and check your ATM balance. Good lawd.
When the night ended, I still made out pretty well with the budget. Only $150 blown and somewhere around 20 drinks in 24 hours. Fantastic. Unfortunately I couldn't get the camera into the club, which was probably a good thing. Being that I can't even remember the name of a single nightspot with a dance floor I stepped on, I would have wanted to scythe myself if I lost my brand new digital.
So we'll leave the rest to your imagination and my memory.
CHECK BACK IN TOMORROW NIGHT/FRIDAY MORNING (when I feel like it) FOR THE CONCLUSION.