Two and a Half Rappers

Last night Eminem and Jay-Z concluded their special 4-show concert tour at Comerica Park and Yankee Stadium. The tour began in Detroit and ended in the Bronx, with an incredible assortment of special guest performers. Whatever amount people paid for their ticket, this show was worth at last quadruple that number.

From a personal standpoint, I’m not a huge concert fan. The stadium concerts are too expensive, and then you end up going to the smaller venues – which are fine, but you have to stand for 2 hours. I hate that, and you have to deal with everyone and their mother bumping into you, which I also hate. You’re spending more time trying to have someone not bump into you than you are enjoying the show. Not a fan.

This concert was different. I had never been to the New Yankee Stadium because I’m a Red Sox fan. Also because whenever the Sox come to town – those tickets are really expensive, and I don’t get yelled at and told I suck when I watch at home – not entirely true.. So I show up and look for my seat. These were surprise seats because I didn’t buy the tickets and really had no idea where we were going. We (my girlfriend and I) sat in the row of seats normally used for handicapped patrons, which in all honesty are pretty comfortable. You have leg room, and the seats are moveable, so if you want to get up and dance – dance- dance you have room. They may be the only seats I ever want to sit in again.

The show began relatively on time, with Eminem coming out first. Here’s the deal with Eminem. He came out in 1999, I was a huge fan then, as were a lot of slim white people who enjoy rap music – because finally we had one of our own to listen to. He had a very strong 6 year run in which he built himself into a pop culture icon with hit records and a movie. In 2005 – he took some time off because of drug abuse and his buddy Proof getting shot, and there were some pictures online of him gaining like 50 pounds. So he may have let himself go a little bit. But now, now he’s back, and he’s killer.

Eminem came onstage with Kon Artis – one of the members of D12, which has a new album coming out. I didn’t know that. It says they were on a 6-year hiatus. I didn’t know. It says they were never that good. It didn’t say that but, I knew that.  wonder if it’s a coincidence that they tend to show up and then fade away with Eminem. So I think Em took the members of D12 backstage and said I need one of you to be onstage with me and help carry the vocals a little bit. Then everyone stepped forward and Kon Artis handed Em a 50 dollar bill and the deal was done.

Here’ a little aside. In the modern era with smartphones and facebook and twitter, you know what people do at concerts? They stare at their cellphones while the music is playing so they can tell everyone how the concert is. You just paid $200 for a concert ticket and you’re going to play with your phone the whole time. C’mon Man!

Eminem went through just about all of his new and old songs, it was impressive and there was never a dull moment. He brought on 50 Cent, who is fresh off losing 50 pounds for a new movie he’s in. I hope it does well, I mean, he’s a good actor, right?  Rihanna didn’t come on for ‘Not Afraid’ , but he did bring on Dr. Dre, who got a huge applause. It was one of those shows with so many specials guests that you were shocked when people didn’t show up.

When Em was done, there was a 20 minute break, and then Jay-Z came on-stage. Truth be told, I’ve always been a bigger Eminem fan. Maybe because I’m white. Who knows. I realized this when I knew everyone one of Eminem’s songs and not all of Jay-Z’s work. Mr. Z came on with Kanye, and then with Nicki Minaj, Drake, and then with Mary J. Blige, and then with Swizz Beats, and then Memphis Bleek, and then with Eminem, and then with Beyonce, and gave a shout out to DJ Kool Herc who was in the front row. So what I’m saying is, there were a mother-f’n lot of hip hop stars at this concert.

At the end of his shows Jay-Z does this thing where he starts talking to the audience and pointing out people It’s a lot of ‘ I see you with the hat on, I see you with the tattoo, I see you with the sign on.’ I was waiting for the ‘hey, I see you with the incredibly large breasts – not you sir, the woman next to you.’ It never happened. It’s pretty cool, and then he invited a young fan on stage to sing happy birthday. Her name was Gisele, like the model, so he asked her to strut like she was on the cat walk. She obliged. I’m 30 and if you asked me up on stage at a concert at a large venue and asked me to do anything, I would probably pass out. Long Live Jay-Z and Eminem.

Share Button

Dancing with Relatively Famous People

I was watching ‘The View’ the other day because David Letterman was on  giving a candid interview (I promise that’s the only reason I would watch it). Suddenly Sherri Shepherd and whats-her-face, Elizabeth Hasselback started to announce the upcoming lineup for this season of ‘Dancing with the Stars.’ Is it on ABC? yes, but I guess some people really like this show. These women were very excited, like waiting-for-a-boy to call you excited. Or in the case of Hasselback, having Sarah Palin whisper ‘You Betcha’ in her ear.

Mind you the cast for the upcoming season of SNL was announced this week and nobody seems to give two hoots about that. They even hired a black comedian to play a black president – now THAT is progress.

Back to The View and The Dancing. Tthis show features somewhat famous people somewhat dancing.  They rehearse and they have professional dancers to sleep- I mean, dance with, and then they have judges to tell them they suck.  This comes off the current trend of pseudo-celebrities doing tasks (losing weight, living together, running businesses) that normal people usually do. I thought the whole point of being a celebrity is that you do things in the public eye that normal people can’t do – and that’s why you’re ‘special.’  If Lebron James played basketball like a normal person, he wouldn’t’ be Lebron. If Martha Stewart made home designs like a normal person – they wouldn’t be ugly – oh, did you see that one coming? I don’t think you did.

This season’s cast includes David Hasselhoff, Rick Fox, Bristol Palin, The Situation, Kurt Warner, Michael Bolton, Jennifer Grey, Brandy, Margaret Cho, Florence Henderson, Audrina Patridge, and Kyle Massey. Truth be told I don’t know who Audrina and Kyle are, but best of luck to them.  By the way, do you know how happy Jennifer Grey was when the producers called her? Do you have any idea? This poor woman was in two of the defining hit movies of the 80’s, has a famous movie line all to herself, and then got plastic surgery as well as unlisted number.  So, even if she hadn’t faded into oblivion, no one would have recognized. She is her very own Federal Witness Protection Program.

Of this group, the one true ‘she shouldnt’ be here’ is Bristol Palin. Did you know Sarah named her ‘Bristol’ because it rhymes with ‘Pistol?’ I would say that The Situation shouldn’t be there, but he’s in good shape and I’d like to hear him call Bristol a grenade. That would make my day. As we know, Bristol’s mother is famous for being… a female politician that men would like to hit on – that’s a rarity. Okay, she’s famous for being a former VEEP nominee, and then riding that train of disaster into book deals motivational speeches, and Glen Beck appearances. Sarah is sort of like the female heel wrestling manager who accompanies Mr. Beck to the ring and kicks his opponent (common sense) in the groin when it falls to ringside.  So this daughter, finds  her fame by getting impregnated by her deadbeat boyfriend. The media loves that. They arranged a marriage, but after the election loss, the marriage was off. Then it was on again, then her boyfriend decided to get naked, and I don’t want to know the rest.

Bristol Palin being on the show is similar to Kate Gosselin’s appareance last season. Their childbearing made them famous, in both cases they had too many, and they’re all around obnxoious people. So ABC, do me a favor and remove Bristol from the show. I would go with one of Hefner’s new girlfriends, I don’t think they’re that busy.

Share Button

Hannibal Buress – ‘My name is Hannibal’

Hannibal Buress is a comedian hailing from Chicago. He began his stand-up career in college, and then while doing a bit on Jimmy Fallon, got noticed by the producers of Saturday Night Live, where he is now a writer. He was also featured in Rolling Stone Magazine as part of the new breed of geek comics, ‘The Geek Squad.’ as they put it. He’s a pretty funny dude.

Mr. Buress is laugh out loud funny, not just ‘let me clap for that joke because it was delivered well.’ If you listen to Hannibal Buress, you’ll be laughing really hard. He has a deadpan delivery, and he enunciates – a rarity in the comic world. As he states in one of his bits ‘No I do not have any pets. Why would I want to share my apartment in New York with another creature who does not understand the concept of paying rent.’  I have had some roommates with the same problem.

Hannibal ruminates on everything from President Obama holding a job as a Senator while he ran for President, to finding a use for left over pickle juice in his apartment. How do you determine how much pickle juice to flick on a sandwich? Ask Hannibal. He does a dissection of a situation to the exact detail, similar to Jerry Seinfeld and George Carlin, but with the delivery of Mitch Hedberg, although Buress expresses more passion in his jokes than the late Mr. Hedberg. He discusses going to a lame party, where the only thing to do is sit in the corner and text his friends about how lame the party is. Been there.

The great thing about Buress’s style is that he will start a joke, and then go off an a tangent, and then tell you that the tangent made the joke funnier. At that point, you’re not only laughing at the joke, you’re laughing at the reason the joke was funny. Buress weaves between topics with controlled ease, speaking with very precise delivery on things like ‘Lil Kim and rappers with too much bling – and pickle juice. Don’t forget the pickle juice.

‘My name is Hannibal’ is currently available on

Share Button

Where People Go For Entertainment