By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
Dallas rapper Big Aziz has never lost an MC battle, and this was no exception. When the AND1 Mixtape Tour hit the American Airlines Center and needed one more MC, he reluctantly signed up--and won the whole thing. Now Aziz is being flown to Miami, where he will face seven other MCs as part of the upcoming Source Awards, held on October 10 and airing on BET on November 30.
"It's cool," Aziz says. "It's a marketing opportunity to get out there and let individuals know who I am." Nervous? Nah. "I've been in the studio with Biggie when he was alive, with Naughty by Nature, and those are the kind of people who will be in the audience." That very audience will determine the winner as well, which is just fine by Aziz. "You're talking about all your peers and people who have made it in the industry." Best of luck.
Rock the vote: If you haven't registered to vote, now's the time to do so. All registrations must be postmarked no later than October 4 to vote in the November election, which just so happens to be, you know, the most important election of your life so far. Don't be a lazy ass; just do it.
I don't believe in "guilty pleasures." It's like some modern hoax borne of social pressure and hipster shame. If you like something, you like it, and there's no guilt necessary. Tell people who don't like it to stuff it. With that in mind, it's time to heap hyperboles upon Bowling for Soup's latest album, A Hangover You Don't Deserve (Jive). Those wacky boys from Wichita Falls deliver another dose of thoroughly bratty, radio-ready, three-chord pop-punk as easy to love as free beer. In my car, at least, "1985" has become this year's "Stacy's Mom," an impossibly catchy blast of irony and feel-good melody, with the nostalgic namecheck of the year: "Bruce Springsteen, Madonna, way before Nirvana there was U2 and Blondie and music still on MTV." It doesn't hurt that the song evokes fifth grade about as quickly as a Members Only jacket, but you didn't have to grow up wanting to be Tawny Kitaen, goddess of the erotic car dance, to dig the song--or the album. In fact, it probably helps to be 14 and live in Plano. That way, when you drive up to work with your indie-rock game face on, the Classified people won't stare when they hear choruses of "All you need is an ice cream and a hug" blasting from the window. Embarrassed? Perhaps. Guilty? Nev-ah.