Recently I got a chance to check out XXL’s new DVD magazine. Because this is a fairly lengthy piece, I’ll spare you the formalities other than to note that a) this mess was hosted by former Rap City host Big Tigger, b) it features background beats by a buncha producers no one has ever heard of (nope, not even Noz), and c) it comes with some sort of print supplement which I didn’t bother to read.
Without further ado:
Get Ya Hustle On. The first segment of this multimedia spectacle takes us to Paul Wall’s grill shop, in Houston, where Fat Joe and Slim Thug just so happen to be stopping by to cop some new mouth jewelry. No Liberace.
Joey Crack, who recently managed to avoid signing to Koch Records by signing to Virgin Records, is typically obnoxious. I notice he keeps tossing out dreaded n-bombs, despite the fact that no one in the office is furreal black. Paul Wall nervously giggles along, though his business parner, former Myanmar rebel leader Johnny Htoo, doesn’t seem to give a shit one way or the other. Maybe his English is just not that good.
Speaking of which, I always wondered how Paul Wall actually went about making these grills; but then I never cared enough about southern hip-hop to conduct any investigation of my own. Like most people, I’m assuming, I sort of took it for granted that Wall was some sort of uncertified ghetto dentist who actually went fucking with people’s teeth. Come to find out, he doesn’t actually do much of anything other than suggest different patterns of gold and diamonds. Him and the Htoo brother take the order, and then the actual grills themselves are put together in a back room by a team of illegal Chinese immigrants a la Lethal Weapon 4.
There’s also an interesting bit where Slim Thug describes his own brief but traumatic dental history. You see, he had his own permanent grill (it said, “Slim”) from the time he was about 15 to the time he was about 17, and it, um, permanently fucked up his teeth. Now he can no longer make the top and bottom rows touch when his grill is out, so he just eats with his grill still in his mouth. He takes his grill out briefly to show the camera what he’s talking about and indeed his mouth is all fucked up on some 60-year-old hobo shit.
Been Through the Storm. Continuing with the theme of permanently fucked up southerners, we then take a trip down to what’s left of New Orleans to meet B-Gizzle, the self-proclaimed comeback kid, and take a tour of the wreckage.
These days BG is rocking braids with those beads at the tip, sunglass at all hours of the day and night, and he appears to have completely lost the ability to stand still (think Tyrone Biggums). As such, you can’t help but be reminded of Stevie Wonder giving a speech at the Grammys or some such as he guides us through his old neighborhood.
In the same ghetto where the Hot Boys’ “We on Fire” video was shot, he points out some houses where childhood friends of his once lived, and then he’s like, “Oh, and here’s an abandoned building where I used to go and shoot junk!” Despite the fact that he’s wearing dark sunglasses, you can see his eyes light up when his mind flashes back to all of the great times he once had on heroin.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, there’s also pointlessly gratuitous shot of a dead dog lying in a ditch which pretty much ruined my breakfast.
I’m Talkin’ to You. In the following segment, Entourage extra and former “pumper” Saigon interviews fellow rapper ternt actor Ice Cube.
In this highly informative bit, we learn that Ice Cube was once in a group called N.W.A. (“Niggers With Attitudes”), but then he had to go solo because the group’s Jew manager was hording all the royalty chicks. Fortunately, he lucked upon a starring role in Boyz in the Hood, which is considered a “hood classic” a la the similarly awful Scarface, and has since managed to build a profitable career in the film industry.
And he’s got a new album coming out six months ago.
Tell Me When to Go. Just when I wondered whether we were at the halfway point yet, we’re treated to this bit where 50 Cent takes his new weed carrier out for a spin, not unlike that one Jay-Z and Memphis Bleek song.
Hot Rod, you see, used to work in what I’m assuming was one of those mortgage refinancing/check cashing places that prey on the kind of people who are afraid to go into a regular bank. He used to make demos that sounded vaguely like 50 Cent records, and one of them somehow ended up in the hands of the man himself.
Gay businessman that he is, Fiddy took a liking to the demos, but wondered if the kid would look good enough with his shirt off to sell any records. No Pete Rock in the video for “I Got a Love,” or whatever that shit was called. So Fiddy called the check cashing place himself and convinced the young rapper to quit and fly out to New York the next day. You know, so Fiddy could check him out.
Also, the kid used to be named just “Rod,” but 50 added the hot part because he thought that would make it sound even gayer.
Put ‘Em in Their Place. I guess after the Superhead book became the best-selling black literary work since On the DL (no Big Tigger), publishing companies rushed to sign any vaguely literate skank who could claim to have gone down on a rapper. Hence Carmen Bryan’s new opus, Yep, I Blew Both of ‘Em, or whatever it’s called.
In this segment of the DVD, Bryan reads from her book all the parts that have to do with fucking (kinda gross), talks greasy about how she used to have to work two jobs to keep Nas from living on the street, and suggest that she was once knocked up by Jay-Z, but either had a miscarriage or an abortion. I’m hoping it was a miscarriage.
Interesting fact #1: One time after they fucked, Nas got up stark naked and went and got her a glass of orange juice. No homo.
Interesting fact #2: Allen Iverson once fucked Carmen four times in a row. After the third time, he got up to leave, but then I guess he realized he had one more go-round in him. No Pedro Zamora’s deathbed wedding.
It’s Goin Down. Speaking of going down, the XXL DVD team then head down to Arizona to watch Raekwon attempt to hit a golf ball, as part of Scion’s ongoing fake promotional hip-hop bullshit. One time I think he even makes contact. You get the idea they stuck this at the end for a reason, and not just because it’ll make YN Splinter seem that much more articulate.
Holla @ Cha’ Boy. Which finally brings us to the end of this multimedia spectacle. Elliott “Indian in My Family” Wilson, who’s nominally in charge of all things XXL, describes how other people have put out hip-hop DVDs before, but his is better because there aren’t any guns, not to mention that the camera work is clearly superior. Honestly, I’m hard-pressed to disagree on either point. This could very well be the best hip-hop DVD magazine of all time.