By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
I'm not a lucky man, know that right now. But after a hard night of drinking and gambling in Shreveport recently, I hit the f-ing jackpot. I was watching the Cowboys' year-end special on KTVT when wideouts Rocket Ismail and Reggie Swinton started freestyling. Rapping, that is.
"This is so great," I thought to myself. "I mean, if the musical stylings of Allen Iverson, Kobe Bryant and the '85 Chicago Bears have taught us anything, it's that there aren't enough athletes out there who are willing to lay it down, flip it and reverse it."
When they were done kickin' it, Swinton (he ought to spell it "Swi'in"...more street cred that way) informed the viewers that his new CD Whatcha Gone Do? would soon be available at 501records.com. But I couldn't wait. Being a sportswriter whose CD collection is exclusively hip-hop, I started making calls and managed to get a copy of his new jawn. I listen to it in my hizzouse and my kizzar whenever I can. I'm feelin' it.
Here's a sneak preview for y'all. You best cop it. I'm convinced this CD will be the biggest crossover work since Shaq showed his skillz with Fu-Schnickens. Word...bee-yooottch!
Intro: "I know what y'all think/He can't rap/He an athlete/Ain't no way he can rap." Reggie, dawg, why would we think that? Like you said in the press release, in football you've already "more than proven yourself," so why should this be different? I mean, seven catches for 63 yards this year...you da bomb, baby.
Southern G (track 3): No Dirty South sound is complete without a bumpin', cheesy-ass hook about cars and hos. This one qualifies. "'Cause I'm a P-I-M-P/Baby come and roll with me/I'm a P-I-M-P/Baby come and roll with me...Wanna freak with me?/Jump in the jeep with me." Rhyming "me" with "me?" Genius.
So Fine (track 5): Ah, the requisite love ballad. "Don't get it all confused/See I'm not tryin' to bone/I'm just tryin to have your back and get it goin' on." Not tryin' to bone? What the? I'm so disappointed. What happened to the P-I-M-P? Suggested revision: "Roses are red/Violets are blue/Bend over and take it you dirrrty whore."
Unstoppable (track 8): This one is my personal favorite, if only because it gives a nod to his so-so-def football career. "Y'all like cheap liquor/And I'm like fine wine/It should be a crime/The way your boy grind/See them numbers on my back?/That's your first sign/Get out the way, yo, Reggie Swinton's too fast/Quicker than a bullet or a lightin' flash." I don't even have a joke here.
Shake it Baby (track 10): "Look at that dance flo'/Dawg it's full of hos/I can't take no mo'/I need a private show/Who want to make the dough?/I see a lot of pros/I'm in the mood for some freaky." You gots to give him his props for that one. That's some serious flow. I mean, Kris Kross wasn't that fly...Daddy Mac will make you jump, jump!
Whatcha Gone Do? (track 11): The album's signature song is bling-blingerific. This one gets your head right. The question Swinton asks: Whatcha gone do? The answer I came up with after an hour of listening: pack my bleedin' ears with gauze.
-- John Gonzalez, Playa Hata
Entertainment Weekly recently came out with its top 25 Simpsons episodes of all time. It was a subjective list--but that didn't make it WRONG. Being an alternative weekly, staffed by a good number of Simpsons scholars (read: nerds), we figured we'd compile our own list. One that's indisputable.
10) Kamp Krusty: An all-time classic where Bart goes off to camp, only to lead a revolt against the counselors. Best line: Lisa's letter home: "Dear Mom and Dad, I no longer fear Hell because I've been to Kamp Krusty."
9) Homer's Phobia: The Simpsons' new friend John is gay. Homer worries that Bart might choose the same lifestyle. Best line: Homer to Marge: "He didn't give you gay, did he?"
8) Homer vs. the Eighteenth Amendment: Homer plies the town with liquor when prohibition hits Springfield. Best line: Kent Brockman during the St. Patty's parade: "Kent O'Brockman lives on Main Street, where today everyone is a little bit Irish. Except, of course, for the gays and the Italians."
7) The Mysterious Voyage of Homer: Homer goes to the annual chili cook-off and trips after eating too many "Guatemalan insanity peppers." Best line: "That Homer Simpson. He thinks he's the pope of Chilitown."
6) Marge vs. the Monorail: A huckster comes to town selling pipe dreams about a monorail system in Springfield. Best line: "Does whiskey count as beer?"
5) A Star is Burns: Springfield hosts a film festival. Best line: Mr. Burns after Smithers tells him that Steven Spielberg is unavailable to direct Mr. Burns' film: "Then get me his non-union Mexican equivalent [Señor Spielbergo]."
4) Much Apu About Nothing: Apu scrambles to become a citizen when Springfield calls for the deportation of illegal immigrants. Best line: Fat Tony to Apu after selling him fake ID cards: "Remember, you were born in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Your parents were Herb and Judy...Nahasapeemapetilon."
3) Bart After Dark: While Marge and Lisa are away cleaning up an oil spill, Homer sends Bart to work in a Burlesque house. Best line: Reverend Lovejoy and others are outraged. When they approach Homer, he moans: "Oooh...this isn't about Jesus, is it?"
2) Cape Feare: Sideshow Bob returns and tracks down Bart. Best line: Millhouse to Bart: "Um, I checked around. The girls are calling you 'fatty-fat fat fat,' and Nelson's planning to pull down your pants, but...nobody's trying to kill ya."
1) You Only Move Twice: Homer moves the family "upstate somewhere" to work for the Globex corporation and an evil mastermind named Scorpio. Best line: Homer asks Scorpio for the Globex phone number during a firefight. Scorpio says, "I've never had to call my own company. Someone will tell you upstairs. But, Homer, on your way out, if you wanna kill somebody, it would help a lot."
Here's where Blockbuster Video gets it wrong--aside from, ya know, not carrying anything anyone over the age of 15 actually wants to watch. The Dallas-based video retailer ought to think about carrying food, a little nosh for those settling in with a four-hour period-drama-slash-garish-romance-slash-outlandish-musical sung in Hindi. But, hey, that's just Full Frontal, longing for a video store that peddles a little chapati or maybe some potato samosas with a side of Bollywood. When we found one last weekend, well, we thanked Krishna, Vishnu and the dude at the Texaco station who tipped us off to the most righteous find this side of New Delhi, or at least North Central Expressway. Beats spending a couple of hours in a theater watching The Guru, that phony-baloney Bollywood. Better to track down the real thing, which is an adventure in exotica that takes about 15 minutes' driving time from downtown Dallas. With traffic.
Over on Lockwood Drive, off Belt Line and Central and smack next to a Napa Auto Parts store, you'll find Bollywood Video & Asia Grocery, a 4-year-old store peddling hundreds of DVDs, videos and CDs for all things "Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Punjabi and Pakistani." When it first opened, in a sort of Little India where the question is always, "Whose sari now?," Bollywood catered to the Indian and Pakistani immigrants in the area, which is but a short drive from Richardson's thriving Chinatown. (Ever notice that some of the best things this city has to offer aren't in this city...or, for that matter, from this country?)
But in recent months, the owners say, the clientele has noticeably lightened in skin tone. Surely Moulin Rogue, with its Bollywood accent, spiked mainstream interest in Hindi cinema; why settle for a copy when the original's but a short drive away? The Guru, which did decent box office in limited release last weekend, might also convert the formerly disinterested. Even Dallas-based Magnolia Pictures is getting into the Bollywood biz: Come May, it will release in theaters the all-English, made-in-Canada Bollywood Hollywood, which played in specialty theaters, such as Dallas' Everest Theater on Story Road and Irving Boulevard, last fall. Still, we're trying to find the latest Bollywood spectacular: a noir comedy-romance titled, swear to God, Jism, which apparently is Hindi for, not kidding, jism. -- Robert Wilonsky