Thursday, April 26, 2007

Top 25 Hip Hop Albums of All Time

So I'm participating (on the margins) over at Straight Bangin' s 25 Best Hip Hop albums of all time poll.

I emailed my list over to Joey, and he said "Thanks for the contribution . . .it's a unique list."


I blame living overseas for 7 years. . . and then in Houston for 4 for any quirkiness in my list.

25. Jay-Z - Vol. 2 . . . Hard Knock Life
24. Nas - Illmatic
23. Jay-Z - The Black Album
22. Beastie Boys - Ill Communication
21. Beastie Boys - Paul's Boutique
20. Outkast - Stankonia
19. Black Star - Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star
18. Erik B & Rakim - Paid in Full
17. Kanye West - Late Registration
16. Dr. Dre - Chronic 2001
15. A Tribe Called Quest - Midnight Marauders
14. NWA - Straight Outta Compton
13. The Roots - Things Fall Apart
12. Boogie Down Productions - Ghetto Music: The Blueprint of Hip-Hop
11. Arrested Development - 3 Years, 5 Months & 2 Days in the life of . . .
10. Outkast - Aquemini
9. Public Enemy - Apocalypse '91, the Enemy Strikes Back
8. Jay-Z - The Blueprint
7.Beastie Boys - Check Your Head
6. The Fugees - The Score
5. Wu Tang Clan - Enter the 36 Chambers
4. Dr. Dre - The Chronic
3. A Tribe Called Quest - The Low End Theory
2. Public Enemy - It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back
1. Run DMC- Raising Hell

There's a lot of stuff on there that hasn't shown up on the other lists - I think 3 albums by the Beastie Boys, The Fugees, Aquemini making the top 10, Dr. Dre's 2001, Arrested Development and Vol. 2 . . . Hard Knock Life making the list are certainly oddballs. Also I'm probably unique for having zero Tupac and Biggie albums - but truth be told, I don't actually OWN any Tupac or Biggie albums. I suppose with Soulseek and iTunes and bittorrent I could change that, but I haven't gotten off my lazy ass to do so. Yet.

But my list is my list - I just went with albums I could listen to over and over.

Monday, April 23, 2007

So Friday night I was out with my friend on Nanjing Dong Lu after a meal at a Japanese place (all you can eat, 158 RMB/about $20 US per person) and my way to find a cab to catch/his way home, we were stopped by these two girls.

Now normally, especially on Nanjing Lu, if anyone grabs or tries to talk to me I keep moving - the road is rife with scammers and touts and people who want to part you from your money.

These girls weren't much different - to me, but my friend started listening to their story. They said they had come to Shanghai from one of the provinces (Hebei? Like I said, I wasn't really listening) and they hadn't eaten in two days and could they get some money to eat. So my friend says, well, I'll take you to a restaurant and buy some food - and the two girls readily agreed.

So we walk to the local Sweeties (by the way? best Cantonese style roast duck) - and at this point, I take off to go sing karaoke with my friend D - so the rest of the story I get from C.

He says, apparently these girls were starving, came to the city to find jobs, but were unable to find anything - so needed a way to get home. So he took them back to his apartment (to pick up cash, you perverts - not for anything untoward) and then gave them 200 RMB (about $27 US) to take a cab to the station and then buy train tickets home.

And he said "well, they could have been scammers - but they really were very hungry" - they ate all the food he bought them - and he bought them 20 fried dumplings and some waters for the 20 hour train ride home. They took his business card and PROMISED to pay him back, but he told them to learn English instead and then send him an email.

What he ended up telling me later was - well, they could've have been scamming me, but look at it this way - if they weren't, they're going to remember me forever. How many people will remember you forever for the low low price of 200 RMB?

Was I too cynical and guarded? I don't know. But I thought it was good story.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

So I've been in Shanghai for about 6 weeks now. And I've probably met . . . outside of work . . . 40? 50? people?

Of those 40 or 50 people, a good 10-15 of them are Cal grads. You can't walk around without tripping over Cal grads. There's also someone from my dorm (Spens-Black stand up!) here.

On another note, go Rockets! Game 1 starts in 1 hour.

Friday, April 20, 2007

This must be like my 300th "started blog" on 6 or 7 different sites. But this one . . . well, it's going to be different. Don't ask me how, but I think I'll updating this one more regularily.

The question - what is the subject of this blog? Hell if I know, but I know there will be talk about the following:
  1. Life in Shanghai
  2. The National Basketball Association
  3. The Californian Golden Bears
  4. Music
  5. Travel
  6. Eating
  7. Pop Culture
  8. Whatever the hell I please

So stick around, or don't, but let's hope this blog does. Otherwise, it'll be just one more thing that I don't keep up with.