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Giving Thanks for the Smooth Flow of Maxwell, Rakim, and Zach Galifianakis’s Beard

November 26, 2009

As I head into another holiday season of treasured moments and triglycerides, I am deeply thankful for all the people who add joy to my days and warmth to my surroundings. These days, I feel abundant love flowing over me like water: a true downpour of blessings and a grand golden shower of happiness. As we head into the holiday season and the new year, dear readers, my wish is that you will all have similarly wonderful golden showers of your own very soon, if you’re not already having them.

Thinking about that warm, smooth flow—of happiness—I’d like to pay tribute to, and give thanks for, a few things from the pop culture world that add a goodly amount of smooth flow to a world in desperate need of the smoothest of smooth and the flowiest of flow.

1. Maxwell — BLACKsummer’s Night

Oh, Lord, Maxwell’s smooth flow just won’t quit. He’s been bringing it for almost 15 years, and I thought he’d never be able to top Now, his 2001 opus. But I think his new album might be his best yet. The key point for me is Maxwell’s ability to add 1970s smoothness to his 21st-century flow. I love the organic, full-band sound and the abundant use of horns in the nine tracks on BLACKsummer’s Night. Nothing says, “I’m about to drop some serious smooth flow” like a horn section interlude right before the chorus.

2. Rakim — The Seventh Seal

Kids, the God MC’s still got it. Most of the tracks on his new album would fit right in on your hometown’s Top 40 station, but because Rakim was born in 1968, he probably won’t see that much airplay on “all millenials, all the time” pop radio. Too bad for those who never venture beyond “Hott 107” (or whatever their Top 40 station is called), because they’re missing some great hip-hop that successfully combines most of the last two decades worth of rap’s artistically AND commercially successful styles. If you listen to “Won’t Be Long” just once, I’m pretty sure you’ll meet your quotient of smooth flow for the whole week.

3. Zach Galifianakis’s Beard

I mean, c’mon, really look at the thing sometime. Study it. Ponder its magnitude. I think you’ll eventually see that that’s some SERIOUS smooth flow going on right there.


All right, everybody. Enough of all that. Thanks to all my friends and family.

And now…Ready, Set, GRAVY!!!

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