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Is the Opposite of Labor Day Lazy Day? I Sure Hope So!

September 7, 2009

Good morning, afternoon, or night my peoples, whichever the case may be.  I must admit I’m a little shell-shocked this fine Labor Day morning, mainly because I went to sleep last night in stately Brown Tweed Manor (located on an undisclosed compound in central Kentucky) but awoke in Bizarro World.  Not familiar with Bizarro World?  The short description is that it’s an alternate universe where everything is a twisted mirror image of itself.  Hence Superman, the embodiment of all that is good and right in the world, becomes Bizarro, the most powerful evil-doer in the galaxy.  For further details, consult Seinfeld Episode 8.03, entitled “The Bizarro Jerry.”

I started getting a funny feeling about reality this morning as I was trolling the internets for blog ingredients and I ran across the shocking news that Dr. Roxanne Shanté really isn’t a doctor after all. You know Roxanne, right?  She performed one of the first answer records in hip-hop, which responded to the Untouchable Force Organization’s (UTFO) breakout 1984 rap hit “Roxanne, Roxanne”.  Urban legend is that so great are her MC’ing skills that she recorded the answer rap, called “Roxanne’s Revenge”, freestyle in one take.

Shanté went on to a largely undistinguished hip-hop career and was basically out of the biz by the mid-90’s.  She returned to the public eye with a vengeance earlier this summer when the New York Daily News broke a story that chronicled how Roxanne, through deft manipulation of her contract with Warner Brothers Music, forced Warners to pay for her Ph.D. in psychology from Cornell University.  This story got a ton of traction as a David vs. Goliath tale of a poor single mother from the projects taking the man to the cleaners.

But don’t break out the Crystal just yet jeezys, because it turns out in Bizarro World this story is nothing but shiznit.  Slate magazine turns in the true story, which is that Shanté lied about the contract with Warners and doesn’t even have a Ph.D!  Evidently, Warner Brothers never had a contract with the B-girl and Cornell has no record of her attending the school at all.  BLAM!  With a stroke of the mighty pen keyboard, Slate forces me to question the nature of reality.

Just as I recovered from my vertigo, I ran across this little article from Spin magazine, where they interview former Doobie Brother Michael McDonald about his recent collaboration with…Grizzy Bear?  What the frak?  In a pairing that could put the Lady GaGa/Michael Bolton collaboration to shame, the “Keep Forgetting” crooner laid down lead vocals on the Veckatimest track “While You Wait for the Others”, which appears on the B-side of the single of the same name.

In the Spin interview, McDonald says he thought the tracks were just for fun and that he never imagined that they’d ever see the light of day.  But he also notes in the interview that this could give his career some much-needed momentum.  Given that his latest gig is hocking his CD’s on the QVC network, I agree.  But in Bizarro World, nothing’s shocking about a washed up soul singer hooking up with one of the hottest bands around.

The final straw was when I made my daily check of AllHipHop.com and discovered that Snoop Dogg has decided to follow in the footsteps of Prince and P. Diddy by changing his name for no apparent reason.  You can now refer to Calvin Broadus by his new handle, “Niggarachi”.   I’ve done a little investigative presumptioning and I have discovered that Snoop’s new name was in fact inspired as a play on the name of one of the world’s most famous entertainers:  Liberace.

While I have absolutely no facts to support this claim, the conclusion is unavoidable when you compare the similarities in the two performers. Liberace broke many record books by becoming the top grossing performer of his time.  Snoop did the same thing, making himself richer than many foriegn countries through his collaborations with Dr. Dre and his ultra-successful solo albums.  Liberace was known to have a larger-than-life stage presence that included outlandish costumes.  Snoop is also known for his stage showmanship that includes dressing in full-on pimp regalia.  Finally, Liberace was a flaming homosexual that loved to dress in women’s clothing.  Snoop is also an openly gay cross-dresser, even going so far as to play a female rapper on HBO’s series The Wire.

The sound you hear in the background is the ringing of the red “Entertation Emergency” telephone, which we only use in the case of severe pop-culture emergencies.  Checking the caller-ID, I see it’s my good friend and fellow Societeer Lloyd.  Excuse me for a moment…

Hello?  (Secret Brown Tweed Society greeting purposefully withheld.) Yes, I thought my comparison of Liberace and Snoop Dogg was rather clever.  What?  Snoop isn’t gay and didn’t star in The Wire?  That was Felicia Pearson, who goes by the street name “Snoop”, playing herself?  She’s an openly gay rapper and actor?  Um, OK…well thanks for letting me know.  Later.

Bizarro World: 3.  Caleb: 0.  I leave you now to go grill my confusion away.  Happy Labor Day folks!

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