Wednesday, January 7, 2009

2009: A Look Ahead

“People wonderin’ where the ‘eff I been, I’m at the VIP entrance, they won’t let me in”

-R.A. The Rugged Man

I know it’s been a minute since I updated this blog, and I want to apologize for keeping all the fans of the 5th Round Movement waiting, but most of you were probably too busy guzzling eggnog, hanging out with family and watching Brad Pitt age backwards to even notice I was gone.

I had a very eventful hiatus, since I lasted posted (27 days ago) I completed my MBA, had a car break down on a busy highway, bought a new car, had an altercation with a neighbor that almost ended in violence, lived through two pretty severe winter storms, traveled to the god forsaken hell hole of Philadelphia, the sun-kissed beaches of south Florida, the New England charm of Massachusetts, the unbridled mayhem of the Jersey Shore and the birthplace of Kentucky Fried Chicken and Papa John’s Pizza. I received Christmas presents that ranged from awesome (designer wallets & ties and Rocawear Cologne...I’m not saying this to brag, I’m just warning you that next time you see me in the streets, I’m going to smell GOOD) to mind boggling (a DVD of “Action Jackson” and two boxes of gruel). I rang in the New Year with friends and family and then celebrated the best way I know how...Naples Pizza and outlet shopping! Over the course of the last 27 days I also turned down numerous invitations to join a pyramid scheme, missed the release date for the final Air Jordan countdown pack (an event I literally looked forward to all year), had to administer ear drops to a grown man, attended several sporting events and holiday movies, watched the J-E-T-S implode and fire Man-Genius, read WATCHMEN again to prep for the movie and helped turn my 12 year-old cousin, Young Blowout, into a sneakerhead. Most importantly my good friend Brian Keeter was involved in a serious accident right before the holidays and he is currently still recovering in a Charlotte hospital. His sister is blogging his progress at: If you know Keeter, or are familiar with him from my stories or his days as an NC State basketball player please wish him the best and let him know you are thinking about him in the comments section.

I spent most of December reflecting on 2008 and now I want to look ahead to 2009. These are some things I am looking forward to in the upcoming 12 months:

Dr. Dre, Eminem and 50 Cent releasing albums: I know Detox will probably not come out, I know Eminem will continue to replace sick lyricism and social commentary with fart jokes and odes to his kids and I know “Before I Self Destruct” will not be as good as G-Unit Radio Volumes 1-19 (they got weak after Vol. 20). However, I am still pretty pumped about the idea of these giants all releasing new material. “The Chronic” and “2001” are two of the best albums ever made (regardless of genre), everything Slim Shady released between “My Name Is...” and “8 Mile” was brilliant and listening to “Get Rich or Die Trying” still arouses my sympathetic nervous system to the point where I acquire the mindset of a rabid junkyard dog. While it is doubtful (in my opinion...clearly that phrase is unnecessary in a blog) that Detox will actually be released or that Em and 50 will put out their best material, I know damn well where I will be whatever Tuesday these drop.

Cage’s “Depart From Me”: Following the release of 2005’s awesome “Hell’s Winter” Cage dropped a few guest vocals but largely stayed out of the limelight. His label, Def Jux continued to raise the bar for indie rap with classic releases from Aesop Rock and El-P and the first major US release from UK superstar Dizzee Rascal. According to his website, Cage had to halt production on the album for most of 2007-08 due to a bout with drugs, but from what I’ve heard on his myspace page he is about to release a collection of songs even more mature, layered and haunting than “Hell’s Winter.” My advice to you is find this record and then go see him live, if he only performs “Agent Orange” and then drops the mic and leaves it will be worth the price of admission.

Better Episodes of “The Office”: I am the biggest fan of The Office in this world and I laugh out loud at just about every episode (even the ones like “Beach Games” that I have watched close to 100 times), but the first half of Season 5 has left something to be desired. Between Andy becoming a complete buffoon, Dwight and Angela’s creepy affair, minimal involvement from Creed, Stanley or Daryl, flimsy plot developments like Ryan coming back and sending Pam to art school and weak episodes involving an auction, a Moroccan Christmas and Jan’s pregnancy, this season is by far the weakest. However, the weakest season of The Office is like “The Worst” Jay-Z album, it’s still pretty good, the scenes of Andy and Oscar getting sauced up on “bad decisions in a glass” in Winnipeg or Michael dragging Meredith to rehab are still better than the best episode of “My Name is Earl.” I hope they turn it around in the second half of the season and finish strong with a string of classics in 2009.

“Watchmen” in Imax: I have read the graphic novel twice and have been watching trailers online since I saw the extended preview shown with The Dark Knight in July (yeah, I’m that cool), and it’s almost here! For the most part, adult life is void of this kind of anticipation (I got a few boxes of dry slop for Christmas this year), however these kind of “Event” movies give us something to look forward to after we are too old to eagerly await the next episode of Saved By The Bell or getting a Game Boy for Christmas.

“Notorious”: This could either be amazing or a complete abomination. Either way, I’m going to see it and will probably blog my reaction by the end of opening weekend.

Summer 2009: It is only the first week in January and I am already looking forward to summer weekends “Down The Shore.” I can hardly wait until the weather gets warm, the miniature golf courses open up and The Bamboo lights the neon palm trees so I can again try to answer the age old questions: “How did I get soaking wet in a bar and where is my shirt?”

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