Summer of the Nutty Professor 2---Thousand






I came to this very elite Los Angeles high school with very high expectations of myself; then I quickly found out that I was a no one.

There was always someone smarter, more athletic, more unique than me...what place did I have?

I was just another Filipino kid, what I perceived to be a marginal, don't-participate-in-class-maligned "8:15-2:20 student." And I wasn't even that good as just a student.

The year 2000 marked the middle of my term at this high school. A time of intense identity searching.

Some highlights:

  • My godsister Cheryl was at the height of her coolness: she graduated high school! And she was having this watergun fight called Waterfest...the first year we had it at rinky dink "dirty" Griffith Park, this year we had it at the "cleaner," official cool place in the Valley where the pookashells, chinese character bracelets, and raver kids were out in full force. There was this kid named Richie with the biggest nose but had the coolest raver moves ever.
I was reminded of a Ghostface Killah song:

And this:

A Rap that Launched a Love Affair

con hip-hop.

1995, Summer.

I took this song, and said I was going to be a hip-hop fan. I was going to listen to Power 106. I was going to be one of the cool kids like those kids in the 8th grade, Cheryl's grade. If I memorized this song, I would officially have my pass.

I could be invited to their clique, their partiessssyeah didn't happen.

On the song itself, I couldn't tell if Coolio was trying to send a good message or a bad message.

But I got hooked by the visuals of the music video :

-Coolio's standing dreadlocks
-intense ass L.V. sweating his ass off in smoke and what looks to be like pain
-all the eses in the movie cuts
-the dude in the Dickies shirt being blocked out on MTV and BET because I thought it meant something bad when it was really them not wanting to advertise Dickies; I thought Dickies was gangster-wear from then out; starting wearing Dickies myself in '06 when I got them at the thrift store for cheap
-yelling Chicano student at the end

Gangsta's Paradise, 1995.

I desperately wanted to let everyone know that this is what I was down with.

I officially began to assert my newfound hardcore, hard-riding hip-hop identity at the local Disneyland for my sister's 8th birthday by telling some white person named Doug standing in line that "rock music and KROQ sucked."

Of course my 11-year old self assuming that said white person was indeed into "rock music and KROQ."

This all coincided with/facilitated me suddenly watching Family Matters so much, In the House with Coolio, Fresh Prince...yyy, I started to loved anything to do with black people, and that included my first favorite woman...Tyra Banks, foo!

Looking back at all this 15 years later, hey, sort of a dated song, but not a bad song to get into, gracias Coolio.

Somewhat relevant to me today.

Back to 199...


Los Angeles, CA.

Post LA Riots. Post Chicago Bulls second championship.

My parents were renting our first house in the LA community known as Atwater Village.

Just had my 8th birthday.

The first time I [was privileged enough] to sleep in my own room, though I was scared. My dad had his artists' desk there and was attending art school; was always up late and doing something mind-blowing.

What I remember about Summer that year: the development of my love for basketball. My daily dose of activities included watching the Olympics, developing my skills on my 8-foot basketball hoop (of course made that tall by standing it on a chair), rewinding and re-watching a video cassette tape of Game 6 of the 1992 NBA Finals (complete with Mo' Money in Theaters ads), collecting basketball cards with Cheryl.

For some reason, I remember this song always playing, very prominently.

The Best Dumbest Song Ever

Heard this at my friend's niece's quinceanera.

I don't know how but it makes me think of people who are grossly overweight trying to hold their balance on their tiptoes.

I've never had a song motivates me so much to get really really stupid.

Good effin' times.



For Oscar Grant

If you don't know what the Oscar Grant case is here's my article exploring all the moves made from the beginning to the end.

But quick synopsis is that a cop shot and killed an unarmed black man, Oscar Grant, on new year's day 2009 at a Bay Area Transit station (BART station). As the cop had him restrained and on the floor, he said that he was trying to put Oscar Grant in handcuffs, he maintained that Oscar Grant was resisting.

Against Grant's apparent resistance, he said that that he was reaching for his TASER gun, a yellowish device that was placed on his left belt but instead pulled out his black, heavy handgun located on his right.

The result of the "mistake" was the fatal shooting known as the BART Shooting, the Oscar Grant shooting.

Personally, it seems as if law enforcement's (and the public as well) is too trigger-happy when they see people of color. "Trigger-happy" meaning the automatic response is to use some kind of "technology", a "device" be it a gun, a social service worker, some kind of "intervention" that doesn't include directly handling, "touching" "them."

I wonder, would this cop have made the same mistake if Oscar Grant was some white middle-class college kid?

Video here:

Why am I bringing up the case of Oscar Grant now?

After being apprehended for 6 months, Johannes Mehserle, the cop, is set to be released sometime tomorrow in LA County at 441 Bauchet St., Los
Angeles, CA 90012., June 13 between 12 AM or 8:30 PM, at a time when there is little fanfare.

I think if a case with so many witnesses of law enforcement misbehavior could only manage to put a negligent officer in for what amounted to less than a year, what does that mean for people of color (hell, the general public) who usually do not have the benefit of a camera or camera phones?

Native Guns - Handcuffs (Remix)

Can you get much higher?

Kanye's album is what I call the do-work album with just this and the Monster song. "Do-work" meaning I think of all the hard work that is laid down for me to pick up on in my "road to redemption."

Kanye's song Dark Fantasy is the embodiment of fire-on-the-shoulder, strike-gold for the team kinda music.

At first I only liked the song because of this line at 2:28...

"fresh air,
rollin' down the window
too many urkels on your team,
that's why yo wins lowww!!!

Of course making reference to Steve Urkel and the protagonist Winslow family from the popular 90s TV show Family Matters, a show that Savatri said she watched "religiously."

But there's more to the song than just that witty reference.

Once the beat drops at 1:07, the work of redemption, ass-kicking packaged into it's distinctive repetitive, yet elegant keyboard sound, you know its




I probably sounded like a douchebag doing that pause for effect in my writing, but this blog's sort of dedicated to feelings and you can't logically argue against feelings.

Why? Probably because it's the beginning of a song with some dramatic drops.

Dramatic drops like...the moment he slides from the 2nd a-capella chorus at 2:02 to the fury of...

"Look like a fat booty Celine Dion
sex is on fire I'm the king of Leon
-a Lewis
beyond the truest
hey teacha teacha
tell me how do you re-spond to students
and re-fresh the page
and re-start the memory,
re-spark the soul
and re-build the energy,
we stop the ignorance,
we kill the enemy..."

It's like a Manny Pacquiao flurry. It's like an instance where the middle of a song is actually a climax and not just filler in between a strong start or strong ending.

I'm not sure why he brings up teachers and students, but at least he questions how we can we figure out ways --- better to put that on the mind that diamonds, women, partying, and alcohol.

Two Savages Dancing in a Jungle

From Ong Bak 3 of the legendary Ong Bak series.

Music starts at about 48 seconds...the slam of the Taiko-ish drum...bam!