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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Connect the dots

Sorry, it's been three whole days since my last post and my roommate is suffering from the lack of updating. So, for those of you who enjoy seeing no new posts, sorry...but what roomie says, buckle in, it's gonna be a long post of seemingly unconnected things.

Yesterday evening, I kicked it with Mo, the Super Funtime Party Egyptian. As usual, he arrived about 2 hours later than he said he would. I pretty much expected that, which is why I had the two latest episodes of Big Love on hand, so that I could kill the time. He got over here about 20 minutes into the second episode and I basically spent the rest of the episode explaining to him what the show is about -- not an easy feat, as it is a rather complicated show about polygamists. Every time someone new came on the screen, I felt the inexplicable urge to explain to him who the person was and how they affect the plot -- which lead to me missing the last half of the episode.

(Click Below For More)

However, I couldn't really be ticked about it, because after it ended, Mo was like, "I got you a present while I was in Amsterdam." And my brain shut off and I thought, "Ooh! Unexpected presents, the best kind!" But immediately after, I thought, "Hmm, from Amsterdam? I wonder what it could be?"

While I was lost in my thoughts, he continued, "Yeah, I saw it and it reminded me of you." I was really starting to worry, since I could only really think of the three things that Amsterdam is mostly famous for -- weed, prostitutes, and Heineken -- and I know that Mo doesn't drink or purchase alcohol. And that left just the other two...

So, I said the only the thing that came to mind, "Well, I hope it's awesome..."

Then, he pulled out a jar of Pindakaas... which is Dutch for peanut butter. It was actually a really sweet gesture, since I've been jonesing for some peanut butter for quite awhile and he's had to listen to me bitch about it on more than one occasion. To express my gratitude, I exclaimed, "This is pretty awesome!"

He was like, "I know you like crunchy peanut butter more," (Which is very true) "but I couldn't find any."

Then, we watched a very good, but depressing movie called Paradise Now.


For the past 2 weeks at work, I've been charged with the task of compiling a giant contact list of hip-hop mailorder shops, online shops, accessories distributors, music labels, booking/event agencies etc. and so forth for all of Germany. Originally, the plan was to make a list for Germany, Switzerland and Austria -- but I soon found I had my hands full with just one country. Since beginning my project, I've easily looked at about 400+ sites and I have a list of about another 100+ URLs that I'm working my way through.

I like internet research. On the one hand, I think it's because I kind of enjoy the tedious and repetitive work that requires me to "find stuff". And I think I'm pretty good at finding stuff. On the other hand, it gives me the opportunity to see a lot of random shit, but still categorize it under "working". After awhile, though, the shops all started looking the same. They're all your "#1 Source for Hip-Hop Gear". And let's not even get into the ridiculousness that is being a German rap enthusiast searching for a fresh set of grillz. You don't even have to be German for this one...grillz are just plain retarded thingz.

At the end of last week, I had managed to work my way to the category of rap labels. It provided me with much amusement, since basically any group of 16-year-olds with a computer and a halfway decent soundcard can call themselves a "label" now. Take for instance, the guys from FRK RecordZ. Just click the link and behold the glory of their youth. Jesus Tittyfucking Christ...words cannot express how tickled I am at their group pic. Also, the pic of their token label singer chick, Becci. Your scarf is very fly, by the way, Becci.

However, this page threw me for a loop for a second...until I started browsing their artist roster and found Jay D, a 16-year-old MC from Mönchengladbach who describes himself as "Germany's first rapper that looks hot and seduces the ladies with his raps". Which is all well and good, except he's got a twin brother, who also raps. If I were his brother, I would maybe be slightly offended by that...especially since Jay D admits in his "interview" that it was his twin that started rapping first. Then the two of them made a diss song about their classmates using the instrumental to Mariah Carey's "We Belong Together". No further comment.

Then there are the guys from Wildcatz Records, who suggest that their visitors, upon arriving at their shitty site, download a certain font, so that their website (presumably) looks less shitty. I did not download this font, so I'm assuming that I have not gotten the full "Wildcatz" (with a "z") experience. I do think that I've seen all that I've needed to see.

When I first saw the name of the label, I (admittedly) immediately flashed back to the Jim Lee/Image Comics (X-Men knockoff) WildC.A.T.s (also I admit that I really liked this comic book). Then, when I saw Fadel Jahan the guy that the label seems to be pushing most, I thought, "Dude, I totally [edit: and briefly] dated a guy just like this." Except he could barely speak German and rapped in French instead of Portuguese...and didn't have access to a video camera and a shitty film editing program or recording equipment. Also, I can't pinpoint the beat that comes in on the video at around 4min 17secs. I think it's Too Strong...if it is...God help us all... At any rate, I'm pretty sure I could rap better auf Deutsch than this guy can...

One last thing, their song Black Betty? Amusing on so many levels...

In the last three days, I've been subjected to so many crapily designed pages, it's unbelievable.

Then I found this guy called Bad Jokes, who was a backup MC for Galla from RAG. He's at least got an attractive page...

Bad Jokes ft. Contra - Außergewöhnlich


Bringing it back to ganja... probably my favorite thing was researching the many, many headshops in Germany. For one thing, they don't seem to take themselves as seriously as the "music labels".

I'm quite aware that "the sale of marijuana or weed" doesn't have anything to do with hip-hop. Blumentopf taught me that. However, there are a lot of headshops/hip-hop record stores in Germany, and I'd be remiss to ignore this fact.

Plus, stoners can be very funny people. They are without a doubt the worst website designers ever...but they come up with the best domain names. Like kuschelbong (cuddle bong). Or Bongula. What the fuck is a bongula? And why is it bongula time?! The world may never know.

The stoner humor that goes into headshop websites can't be ignored. I've formulated a theory, where ever there's a "Grasweg", "Grasgasse", "Grasallee", "Grasstrasse" -- there's almost certainly a headshop. If the house numbers go up to 69...the chances rise exponentially...

I've gone on long enough, but I just wanna close with the honesty that some potheads can exhibit. If you ever find yourself in Wetzlar, Germany, then I would like to recommend the Hanf 3eck (Hemp Triangle).
Not only do they have a shittly designed website, but when you look at their store hours, they explicitly say:

"We're theoretically open from 12pm-7pm; however, in practice we arrive between 12-12:15pm and stay around until 7pm."

I'm sure they're being quite generous with those times, as I can't really imagine a hardcore stoner being awake before 2pm.

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