Today on Girls in Hoodies we kick things off by attempting to explain/pick apart Grantland's not-at-all-controversial Best Songs of the Millennium bracket. (We would appreciate any and all votes for our theme song, "Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites," currently languishing against "Call Me Maybe.") Molly and Emily recap their Taylor Swift adventure at Staples Center, and we all admit that the new Lady Gaga video is pretty awesome. Finally, we save the most depressing for last with a few thoughts on the Lindsay Lohan–Oprah interview. Check out an excerpt from the pod and stream or download it after the break:
Hey, the BET Awards were last night! Were you too busy working through a DVR backlog chock-full of Cash Cab and House Hunters International to notice? Don't you worry for a minute: Blaze through a few of these choice cuts below, and you won't be embarrassed when everyone at the country club's squash courts later tonight can't stop talking about how cool R. Kelly's hat was.
Ain’t nothin’ like Atlanta. You don’t know what the fuck you gonna get. This is the most nastiest, dirtiest, ugliest, most beautiful, wonderful place in all of America. —Katt Williams
It sounds silly to admit, but I actually well up with pride when, driving in another state, I see signs directing travelers to my city.
"Atlanta, Georgia: 256 miles."
Like the "let me just push through Alabama and Mississippi" light at the end of the Southern tolerance tunnel that it may or may not still be, to me it's simply home, the greatest imperfect place I know.
It's the same subtle pride I feel whenever one of my sports teams is featured on television, a rapper mentions a local reference in a song, someone texts me that they're passing through the Hartsfield-Jackson airport, or even when I see my city's name bolded and in a larger font than other cities around it on a map. It comes and goes, but for a split second it couldn't be realer.
These were the emotions I welcomed as I neared the end of a six-hour drive from Memphis to Atlanta. Rarely had I needed to rush somewhere on this trip, but time was of the essence this Saturday afternoon.
Ah yes, the slideshow countdown list. The best thing the Internet has ever done for humanity. How groundbreaking of Complex magazine to list the 40 Hottest Women in tech with a cleavage-riddled parade of images accompanied by an intro blurb shaming "the patriarchy." The author, Luke Winkie, responded to the predictable objections to his piece by blaming Complex for doctoring his list and descriptions: "I pretty much only included normal looking women, who were involved in something really crucial or exciting in the tech space. I made no allusions to their looks in the blurbs, and ended up with simply a long list of very exciting women. Of course when the piece actually ran, I discovered that over half of the women I had included were replaced with people like Morgan Webb, complete with the usual lascivious dialogue. Sigh. It's hard to win when you're writing for Complex, but please know that I tried."
"I used to be a way better writer and a rapper when I used to want a black Carmengia.
Now a n---- speedin' in a Porsche, feeling like I'm going off of course."
— André 3000
Three notes here:
The one obvious criticism: I really don't like how André 3000 is TOTES ripping off Kendrick Lamar's style here.
Chill, bro. That's a joke. Stay out of my inbox about it.
By the time you get to the end of this song, chances are you'll forget that T.I. is even alive because André 3000 is GODDAMN TOUGH here, son. If you're a rapper and you're on a song with him and he starts doing that hyper-nasally sing-song thing that only he and God can do, then just fuck your life. You're taking that L, that's all there is to it.
Well, Kanye sure knows how to announce a return. After a period of relative calm post–Watch the Throne, ‘Ye crashed back into national consciousness this week by dropping this PETA- and Kris Humphries–baiting new single and then going on the greatest 24-hour date OF ALL TIME with his maybe new girlfriend Kim Kardashian. Hunger Games AND Sleep No More?!
DJ Khaled featuring Chris Brown, Rick Ross, Lil Kim, and Nicki Minaj, “Take It to the Head”
DJ Khaled’s talent at collecting all-star posse cuts is directly inversely to his talent at making promo videos where he looks badass. Exhibit A: To push his new single, he got a speedboat and headed out into the ocean and filmed himself, but the swaggiest thing he does is ask some lady offscreen to hand him a Gatorade. Then he dives into the ocean with his shoes on. Those are ruined now!
How many second chances has T.I. had now? And that’s not only counting his recent prolific stretch of jail sentences. You can go at least as far back as 2004 for T.I. legal trouble: Just as “Rubber Band Man” was making him a star, he found himself in prison on a parole violation. As he said once, “I'm certainly sick and motherfucking tired of going to jail, juvie, prison, the pen, correctional facilities or whatever else you want to call it. I'd have been better off doing a 5-10 year bid one time than going in time and time again for days, weeks and months for the last 15 years of my life.” Thanks to this peculiar proclivity of his, we’ve just gotten used to T.I. always being on some stage of the comeback narrative. Last night, this latest comeback run brought him down to Austin for The Warner Sound at SXSW.
Over the past 24 hours, I completed a novel titled Power and Beauty: A Love Story of Life on the Streets.
When I first decided to buy this book (definitely expensing it), read it, and then write about it, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. For one, I expected it to be Matt Christopher-length — 140 pages, max. But no, says T.I., because his debut novel is 340 pages long. Two, I thought it was somehow going to be like one of his albums, but in novel form. Definitely not (even though there are two back-to-back chapters titled "Whatever You Like" and "Ride Wit Me"). And three, despite my extremely strong Atlanta pride and love for Clifford Harris, I expected reading Power and Beauty to be one of the most painful 10-hour experiences of my life. I'm almost embarrassed by how wrong I was.
Considering that this is an Auto-Tune-free ballad whose video features T-Pain gently stroking piano keys in the dark, there is plenty to make fun of. Let’s just focus on this one line, though: “When I’m diseased / I hope you’re dying next to me / In my watery grave.” Thanks for giving him "watery," Lonely Island!
How was T.I.’s first post-prison weekend? Not too bad! He reconnected with loved ones, tweeting “Feels great to be back where I belong Back in the arms of those who need me the most." He dropped a new single with Big K.R.I.T, “I’m Flexin.” And he got to go onstage at a Taylor Swift show. Wait, what?
Olivia Munn has joined the cast of Steven Soderbergh’s male stripper epic Magic Mike. In order to prove to the haters once and for all that she’s a talented actress, Munn will play a male stripper. Grade: B+ [Deadline]
John Moore (Max Payne,Behind Enemy Lines) has landed the directing gig on Die Hard 5, rumored to feature John McClane's son in a "passing of the baton" situation. Shia LaBeouf, clear your schedule. Grade: C [HR]