01/2/12

Year of the Rabbit

End-of-year accolades. They’re piling up on my shelf (granted, the shelf is uncommonly small). The latest is an honorable mention for my album, Prince With A Thousand Enemies (PWTE), in RapUp.net’s Top 11 rap albums of 2011. It’s not a lightweight or niche or religious rap site. The top 11 includes such rap luminaries as Jay-Z and Kanye and Common and the Roots and Kendrick Lamar and Evidence and JCole. My contemporaries in the honorable mention bin, among others, include Eminem and Lupe Fiasco and Phonte and Tyler, the Creater and, my homeboy, Heath McNease. So, let’s just say I’m getting fitted for a raspberry cummerbund in anticipation of my 2012 Grammy’s “save the date” card. I have it on good word that I if I play my hand right I could be bussing the after party. Think of the tips?!

This guy, here (and he may literally just be some guy), also included PWTE in his albums of the year.

AND, there is a good chance that a major metropolitan newspaper might be giving some modest coverage to this site later in the week.

Add these accolades, to my 4th Grade Spelling Bee Championship and my 2001 Runner-Up Fantasy Football finish, and, let’s just say, the trophy case is gettin’ a little swole.

Speaking of swelling, feel free to expand my wallet, by purchasing Prince With a Thousand Enemies at itunes or here or various other online outlets.

For those that may not know, the album is about rabbits. Richard Adams’ Watership Down rabbits to be precise. Maybe not so coincidentally, 2011 was the Year of the Rabbit (hat tip to Brian Gunderson). So, I suppose, this crush of success sort of stands to reason. It was just my year.

Also, don’t forget, the complete anthology of 80 songs, YEAR ONE, from this site’s first year of operation is also available for purchase. More important than your financial support, if you dig this site, please tell a friend. Friends don’t let friends miss out on rap news. Don’t hog it all for yourself.

The clamor for my 2012 Eightballin’ predictions has reached a nearly riotous frenzy. It will be done in short order, hopefully. I have some out of town obligations that make its immediate completion, dubious. Plus, you can’t rush good guessing. These things have to come to you, typically, in an ink black cauldron. Dragon bones and cow livers and tea leaves and double, double toil and trouble. And, some of my principal sources haven’t checked in. Bernanke, Anderson Cooper, Tim Tebow, Obama, LMFAO. I’m sure they’re sitting on some juicy inside info.

Anyway, I hope everyone had a great holiday. And, welcome back to your lives. Jobs, bills, and news rap.

12/30/11

Occupied: A 2011 Year in Review

Woah. I am way too sentimental for this. I thought memorializing, in song, my first 12 months of operation was an ask. But, this review, the last song of the year and end-cap to my first full calendar year, has gotten the ipoetlaureate all weepy for the memories. I was just forced to watch this DVD slideshow of my wife’s paternal family over the holidays and when I wasn’t fighting back waves of violent sobbing for its John Denver sweetness and sap, I was so thankful for the capsule of nostalgia it reflected. I just can’t hardly bear all this remembrance.

It’s not worth out-thinking the room. This year was roundly defined by the Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street movements and their various martyrs. And, just because everyone else is saying so, I’m not going to call this The Year of Phoenix Jones simply for the contrarian play of it. Although you have to admit he had a pretty awesome 12 months. But, certainly there are other candidate story lines.

By almost any standard, this was one of the most scandal ridden years in political memory. We were constantly yfrogging or Craig’slisting various biological regions or sharing our intimate affections over permanent digital media somehow surprised at having it later read into the public record or groping corporate underlings or failing to report child rape or, good heavens, just about everything else. (I’m sort of confused how my WordPress autocorrect is still not recognizing “yfrogging” or “Craig’slisting.”)

The Republican Primary race has been a dominant if not historically absurd story. Obama would normally have serious heat to answer in light of the continued economic condition, for which he may or may not have any real responsibility and which actually is enjoying some present uptick, but he appears likely to face something like either an impossibly stiff robot or a raving ghost of Republicans’ past.

Mother nature had more than her share of moments. Brutal flooding in the Midwest and Australia and Thailand; the earthquake in New Zealand; the hurricane across the Northeast; and the tsunami in Japan, to remember only a few.

The emotional markers of Steve Jobs’ passing and the 911 Ten Year Anniversary will stay with us for some time. I’m not sure it can be overstated the peculiar concurrence of Osama Bin Laden and Momar Gadhafi’s deaths. In a blink, the two boogeymen of a generation gone from history’s stage.

And, concerning our armed forces, the all but complete withdrawal of troops from Iraq and the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell were powerful and life-course altering moments in the lives of those families.

For all the candidates vying to characterize 2011, I certainly return to the bravery, and sometimes irrationality, of those that stand up to preserve what they have or to make more possible what they don’t. Throwing off totalitarianism or occupying prominent Financial District streets in protest. But movements don’t have to be grand or violent or caught on fire or even somewhere else. Sometimes just occupying your own plot of the planet is a great place to start. Consider mine occupied.

Thanks to all of you who have made this site so productive and worthwhile and entertaining in 2011. Your regular traffic here gives me the joy to continue. I promise to work even harder at rap news in 2012. Just your luck, huh?

Please don’t forget to pick up your copy of YEAR ONE the complete 80 song anthology from the first year of song blogging operation: thepressjunket.bandcamp.com. Your financial support makes progress, here, possible.

Performed by the ipoetlaureate. Produced by pumpkinFoot and this little group you might have heard of, Coldplay.

The last song blog of the year here:

Family Drive 2011

12/26/11

Eightballin’ 2011 Redux: The Miss/Make

Well if you haven’t heard, you haven’t been reading, because I brag about it nearly every third post. But, on New Year’s last year, I made in song, all my news predictions for the coming year.

Let’s just say – I nailed it.

Like double clutch reverse over a Kia nailed it. Like Bob Cousy between the legs no look nothing but net. Like Steph Curry step back 35 footer. Like hard-charging Zach Randolph sweatband nailed it. Like Amare Stoudemire thick-rimmed glasses and bow tie nailed it. Like LeBron getting it done in the . . . errr, I mean, Nowitzki one-legged jumper, nailed it.

I thought before I made my Eightballin’ 2012 predictions song, I would confess the exhaustive list of successes and sporadic moments of miscalculation. In basketball parlance and as a tribute to the glorious return of NBA hoops on Christmas day, my misses and makes:

“Snake bites” – make.

“Tsunami” – make.

“Hurricane” – make.

“Volcanic eruption” – make.

“Forest fires” – J.J. Berea scoop shot make.

“Political corruption” – make and one.

“Shopping at retail stores” – CP3 floater in the lane make.

“More than 5 or 6 visits to my website” – make (somewhere in the neighborhood of 12 to 13, seriously).

“Countries at peace” – make.

“Countries at war” – aging Tim Duncan soft off the glass make.

“Middle East will still be at war” – Pau Gasol avoiding contact baby hook make, see id.

Kate Perry and Rihanna duet/Billboard hit – Ollie from Hoosiers turnover off the leg.

“Piers Morgan gets cancelled in months” – in and out (this one may still be on the rim).

TSA kicked out of airports – goaltending.

Dallas Mavericks win NBA Championship in 6 games – windmill dunk from the free throw line over Yao Ming while pumping a Shake Weight.

David Blaine stays awake for 12 days – err, timeout when you got no timeouts left?

WikiLeak of bank documents in May – Dwight Howard hard-off-the-back-iron miss.

Someone in the Senate will be outed as gay – not what I meant, but maybe an own-goal tip in?

“I predict I’ll feel sick at the way we behave” – free throw make; I did, really.

Dow Jones Industrial Average to 12,000 and then back – court length alley oop.

Unemployment rate to 8% – Ray Allen from the baseline falling out of bounds.

More HD less 3D TV – Russell Westbrook refusing to pass runner in the lane make.

“a little something then a whole lot more” – make.

Patriots win the Super Bowl – pinned against the glass.

Phillies in 5 – airball.

“Duke gets upset by 2 against Pitt in the Championship” – Hakeem Olajuwon open-hand rejected into the seats.

“you heard right here Bin Laden will be curtains” – a 60 foot leaning runner and 4-point play at the buzzer.

Doubt me at your own peril in 2012.

12/6/11

YEAR ONE: Album Release

What Southern Living may or may not be calling the greatest collection of instrument playing and voice modulation since Little Jimmy Dickens’ May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose, the ipoetlaureate has made available, for purchase, the entire 80 song catalog from the first year of operation here at ipoetblog.com. Others are saying things about the record. Many have said even more words about it. Insiders have proclaimed it a project that can be heard, possibly. Sports Illustrated said something roughly to the effect, “Why, I never.” Similar praise has been echoed by people.

Over the course of the year, 2, 3, maybe even as many as 4, people have pleaded that I make the songs available. Although their pitiful dreams and infatuation with my talents mean very little to me, I saw this as an easy opportunity to make as much as $50.

It can be purchased at any fine retail or online establishment, as in only right here. Happy Holidays! Buy 3 or 4 for your family.

12/29/10

2010 in Review: A Year Without Clothes

Not my one year anniversary but still the first close of a calendar year since the site has been officially operative.  Sort of sentimental.  I’m popping Zycam to get it done.  Thanks for the support.  I hope you stick around for 2011.

Generally, I thought this year was marked by the continued evolution of our publicly anonymous lives.  We’re sharing more secrets and being extended less privacy.  Assange forces the issue; Facebook seduces it.  We know the intimate details of Elizabeth Edwards’ pitiable betrayal and demise.  Brett Favre is preserved for posterity (ostensibly) on Sterger’s phone.  But your personal blog is just one in a million and your tweets are like vapor.  So as the volume of information reaches crescendo, is any particular person at risk of exposed privacy or will that same glom of information ultimately be the curtain that shields it?  Like how your presence in a crowd is necessarily public but in only rare instances noticed.

The title of this song was inspired by a documentary of the same name, We Live in Public, about the life of Josh Harris an internet pioneer who conducted a live experiment in voyeurism that ably predicted much of the social and privacy phenomena now developing in our increasingly networked experience.  (It is a fairly graphic account.)

Stories include, among others, the BP oil spill, LeBron’s decision, the midterm elections, the World Cup, Chilean mine collapse, health care reform, Tiger Woods, Ground Zero Mosque, the Toyota recall, and various policy matters.

Happy New Year!

Performed by ipoet.  Music Produced by pumpkinFoot.

Today’s Rockin’ New Year’s Eve audio here (it has been said, positively I assume, that I’m the Ryan Seacrest of this rap game):

We Live in Public 2010