Jay-Z is Pop Music

jayz-yankeeBy: Robby Ripchord

You might disagree with me but I don’t think you can deny that rap has become the mainstream music genre. I don’t have any official numbers in front of me but I would venture to guess rap music is the most popular among teenagers and 20 somethings in most major cities. If Jay-Z comes out with a new album it is automatically the top selling album that week and into the foreseeable future.

You may associate Pop music with of N’Sync, Backstreet Boys and the like. It also depends on your definition of Pop Music too. Some would just define it as “popular” while others would define it as :

commercially recorded music, often oriented towards a youth market, usually consisting of relatively short, simple love songs utilizing technological innovations to produce new variations on existing themes.

The genre of commercial rap in general can be considered equal in most respects to the late 80’s hair bands, the early 90’s grunge band explosion.  It’s been kind of cookie cutter for awhile now, a new act comes out that is similar to the established norm; same ghetto fashion, same mentality, rap about the same subjects (money, cars, hoes, selling drugs).  Does anyone think that Jay-Z is really selling drugs?

Point being that Jay-Z and most other commercially successful rappers music are almost immediately accepted by the younger audience and to me that means Pop Music. To me if you’re on MTV TRL (which would have rappers on it if it still existed) that’s Pop Music and that’s where most rap is at right now. It’s accepted by the mainstream, it crossed over racial and age barriers, teenagers have been rocking Jay-Z since I was a teenager. That’s Pop Music end of story. Just because Jay-Z and the like can be considered rap doesn’t mean they cannot also be classified as Pop Music.

Certainly not all of Jay-Z’s music would be considered commercial. The man does come out with some stuff for the streets which for the most part does not get played on the radio or appear in commercials and video games. But the singles; if he releases a single, that’s automatically pop music.

Baseball: Pie to the Face

pieSports with Bob McFlurry

You know I’m all for a little innocent fun in sports. When a guy drives in a run to win the game in the 9th why not beat him senseless when he comes to home plate? Why not do high fives and chest bumps after a big shot in a basketball game? Why not take your shirt off and slide across the field after a goal in Soccer? Why not do an endzone dance in football or spike the ball?

I’m all for athletes celebrating within reason. One thing I do get but don’t get the materials used in it is the old shaving cream pie to the face.  Now comedians have been using actual pies or whipped cream pies for decades to get laughs. My question is, why use shaving cream MLB players? Why use something you cannot eat and says directly on the can, “KEEP AWAY FROM EYES”? These athletes have loads of food and beer on hand for after games and they send clubhouse attendants out for this and that all the time. So why can’t there be a couple cans of reddi whip on hand for a post game celebration should that walk off homer or hit occur?

Don’t get me wrong I like the tradition, I like the celebration, I like the camaraderie but use something that is edible; something that is not going to irritate the eyes.  It’s really not that hard.

Stuff Guys Shouldn’t Do: Throw Pillows

throwpillowsBy: Billy BeerSlugger

If you are a guy one of the things you may pride yourself is being practical and logical. At Beerslugger.com we are going to try and point out things that as a guy you definitely should not be doing.

In this first installment of Things Guys Shouldn’t Do, we will talk about throw pillows. Throw pillows serve absolutely no purpose besides making a bed look a little snazzier. Your wife, girlfriend, mother or sister probably employs throw pillows on her bed to make it try and look like something out of a Good Housekeeping magazine.Problem being that magazines sell illusion. While a bed topped with color or print matching pillows may look ok to some people, you can only use so many pillows. Thus these pillows got their name “throw pillows” because you essentially throw them off your bed before you go to sleep. You wake up you make your bed and put them back on. They are for show and show only.

As a man you should not be involved with throw pillows. If you are currently co-habitating with a woman who is your wife or girlfriend and she insists on making your bed “pretty”, you should put up any sort of resistance necessary. If you are not going to win this battle (since you are a pussy) you should at least use this as ammunition or compromise in another battle. Do not just let your lady friend emasculate your bed without repercussion. Give a little get a little but do not just give it away.

If you are not currently living with a woman and sharing the same bed and you use throw pillows you should seriously consider if you are a homosexual (not that there’s anything wrong with that). Check to see if you have any other homosexual tendencies like interior design, love of the theater, mens and womens fashion or if you go to the gym and your penis tingles when you enter the mens locker room. Along with throw pillows these are all signs you may be a GAY.

The World Trade Center Mosque

By: Billy BeerSlugger

So there is a Muslim group trying to put up a large Mosque a little bit away from the “hallowed grounds” of the World Trade Center. The beef being that it was Muslim extremists who flew plane into the World Trade Center towers to begin with. A lot of people on the right/conservative side of the including Sarah Palin who I’m not sure why people listen to her. I haven’t seen or heard of any Democrats come out against it but one would have to guess that there are some who are completely against it but won’t touch the subject politically.

It’s a touchy subject, the largest mass murder in American History and the religion of the supposed perpetrators is trying to essentially put a large headquarters within a stones throw of that site. However, as many pudits probably have pointed out (I haven’t been watching TV lately), America grants the freedom to practice religion.

In the Bill of Rights, Amendment 1:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

I think it’s pretty clear right there, those people are within their rights to establish a Mosque wherever they please; you can’t prohibit them from building a Mosque.

Just a couple of other things I want to bring up:

  1. Just because an extreme group of Muslims blew up the World Trade Center does not make all Muslims bad people. There’s extreme groups of Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism and every other major religion who give their more moderate brothers and sisters a bad name.
  2. Voltaire once said, “I do not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” I certainly agree with this statement in terms of Freedom of Speech and I think it lends itself well to Freedom of religion.

I do not particularly agree with placing a Mosque so close to Ground Zero but I’m also an American and I support any religions wish to practice. If they own that land or have somehow been granted that land then they have the right to build there. End of story.

Even as I am right leaning it does not seem very tolerant of religions in general. At least on the part of some people in our crappy political system.

Grooveshark: The Best Streaming Music Option

grooveshark_iconBy: Robby Ripchord

After Apple Computers bought the streaming music website lala.com (which I previously wrote about as being awesome) and shuttered it I was really upset. It was truly the best thing out there and had so much organized content it was unbelievable. I tried a bunch of other sites that had generally nice features but were more radio stations than anything else: pandora.com, slacker.com all had ad supported business models. When I’m at work rocking out the commercials really take me out of my element a little bit and you can’t just switch to another radio station like on a terrestrial radio in your car or home stereo.

So a friend told me to try out Grooveshark.com and I have found now what I have been missing and probably more in this service. While Grooveshark is not as structured as lala.com was it makes up for it in features. I would consider it essentially a web based version of Limewire or Napster. You search for songs and can add them to your library only you do not download the songs, they are streamed to you. You can make playlists, mark a song as one of your favorites and share songs or playlists with friends via email, facebook et al. You can also purchase the songs in your collection from sites like iTunes and Amazon.com. They also have a radio option which I haven’t gotten into yet but is probably comparable to slacker or pandora.

Overall it seems too good to be true, no commercials, listen to songs as much as you want and no fees. Hopefully this doesn’t get shut down because I’ve been adding to my library like crazy. They have iPhone and Android apps for your smartphone and streaming to them I believe will cost around $3 a month. Seems worth it for a great service like this.

Eventually I will embed a playlist on here of new bands/songs I discover.