With the current media saturation of election news, fallacies and tangents, I’m sure the last thing you want to read in Artsweek is Decision 2000 coverage. Well get over it, because there is an important issue that has yet to be discussed.
That issue revolves around ABC’s election analyst Sam Donaldson and his painfully obvious wig.
Donaldson sticks out like a sore thumb among his colleagues. Night after night, the man humiliates himself on national TV, banally analyzing meaningless data, while the audience looks at his head in awe. How does he get that mop from the dressing room to the set? Are the makeup people at ABC intimidated by Donaldson and scared to tell him he looks like an asshole? What about the producers? Worst of all, what is Donaldson thinking? What gall he must have to sit in front of the mirror every night, strap on that wig and expect everyone to believe that it’s the real thing.
Speaking of bad disguises, the Likwit Crew’s Defari has an album out under the alias Billy the Kid. Defari makes no effort to change his sound to relate to this alter ego; it appears to be a label-dodging ploy while he attempts to relocate from Tommy Boy to Xzibit’s Open Bar imprint. The Saloon Music is more of what we’ve come to expect from Defari: dope beats from Evidence and others, accompanied by slightly above-average battle lyrics, with just a hint of a message here and there.
Company Flow is making moves of its own, debuting its new label Def Jux with two releases. First is a double 12″ by Co Flow and Cannibal Ox. El-P handles all of the production, bringing five dark, dirty beats to the table. Each song features line after line of conceptual brilliance, making these records a welcome return from El-P and Mr. Len’s three-year hiatus. Def Jux’s second release will come from Boston emcee Mr. Lif and will feature production from himself, El-P and others.
In other label news, it appears that the legendary Rakim has signed to Dr. Dre’s Aftermath label. Imagine Rakim guesting alongside Nate Dogg and Snoop on the next Chronic album … could be interesting. Also, Death Row owner Suge Knight is looking to get out of jail early due to good behavior. He is now scheduled for release in April.
The Wu-Tang Clan is set to release its third group effort on Nov. 21, entitled The W. This is probably the most anticipated hip hop album of the Y2K, but one has to wonder about the Wu after failing to release a solid album since Ghostface Killah’s Ironman. The W’s first single, “Protect Ya Neck: The Jump Off,” seems to be a positive sign, with each member dropping lines over a beat that combines a late ’80s-style backdrop with the O.G. Wu-Tang kung fu feel.
There are some nice shows to check in the near future. Tonight, Blackalicious and Del are set to rip the Hub. Blackalicious likes to bring friends along on the road, so look for appearances from Lateef the Truth Speaker and possibly Lyrics Born. The same show is set to take place Tuesday at the House of Blues in Hollywood, except there Del will be joined by Deltron conspirators Automator and Kid Koala. That same night, the Living Legends, L.A. Symphony, Anticon and Circus will perform at the El Rey Theatre just south of Hollywood. The “Ford Part Two” tour will arrive in Cali in December, featuring Atmosphere (Slug and DJ Abilities), Eyedea and others. These shows are the only place you can get Atmosphere’s rare new album Sad Clown Bad Dub II.
Now that you’re up on the latest in hip hop news, you can get back to watching my boy Sam sport the prosthetic hair while reciting his take on the Florida recount. You’ve got until Dec. 18 to hope he gets flustered and possibly shift that itchy wig out of place.