All posts by J. Blackshadow

Hong Kong based writer, director, actor, youtuber, blogger

Misunderstood Lyrics: Waka Flocka Flame “Hard in Da Paint”

Ever listen to a song, think you know the lyrics to it, something in particular makes you wonder about what the artist really meant by it… and then you find out that you just heard it wrong? Yeah that recently happened to me.

Waka Flocka Flame’s track “Hard in Da Paint” came out in 2010, but it’s only recently that I first heard it.

For those not yet in the know, this is Waka Flocka Flame.

Interestingly enough, I first heard the song as part of this video parodying the Windows 95 launch.

Windows 95 Launch was LIT!!!

After watching that, the song was in my head the rest of the day, so I had to have it on my playlist. I bought that track on the iTunes Store and then I was rocking that song in my headphones. I must have listened to it like 10 times in a row as I was pimp walking through town, running errands… like paying for my son’s ice skating lessons and picking up some groceries, that kind of stuff.

Each time I listed to the track, there was something I kept hearing though that got me wondering…

For those that never heard the song, here’s the music video

Waka Flocka “Hard in Da Paint” (Official Video)

A number of times in the song, Waka Flocka or his hype man in the background would yell out something that sounded to me like “BRIDGEPORT!”

Wait, Bridgeport?… as in Bridgeport, Connecticut?

BridgeportSouvenir2
BRIDGEPORT!!

Now, calling out the name of a city and referencing it a number of times in a rap song is not unusual in itself. It’s basically a way of announcing to all the hood you represent and the people you grew with back in the day.

Mobb Deep represented Queensbridge projects and would give a shout out to Queensbridge in their songs.

Wu Tang would shout out to Shaolin, referencing Staten Island.

Listening to the lyrics and looking at the music video, he looks like from the streets, so I was originally thinking he must come from some really hardcore neighborhood. Maybe Compton (the MV took place in Los Angeles), but his style definitely sounded more from down south, Atlanta more likely in my mind.  I didn’t Wikipedia him yet, so I just was building up these assumptions in my head as I was jamming to the track, hanging on a strap in the crowed MTR train.

But that shoutout in the song, was tearing through these assumptions I had.  OK, I figure, so he’s from Bridgeport, Connecticut then.  That’s OK right.  Wait a minute, that can’t be right, right?

I have to admit, the reason this seemed strange to me is because I tend to associate Connecticut with probably all the worst stereotypes of preppy, upper class life.  I had this picture in my head of Bridgeport, CT looking like a J. Crew catalogue, filled with preppy, uptight, country club membering, beemer driving, Arnold Palmer drinking, pastel wearing, “Caddyshack” movie villains.

preppy guys with a dog
“I’m gonna die for this shit or what the fuck I say”

I figured it would be the kind of place where guys wear brompers.

Brompers
“In the trap with some killers and some hood (people)”

I start wondering, did Waka Flocka Flame really come from “the streets?”  Or did he go to douchebag prep school or something?  By hard in the paint, did he mean the polo grounds or worse… the croquet court?

croquet
“Leave you stinking (guy)?  What the fuck you thinking (guy)?”

Please say it ain’t so!

I figured, I must have a warped idea of Bridgeport, Connecticut… Bridgeport must be one of those towns with the rich douchebags on one side of the tracks and all the street cred and coolness on the other side of the tracks.  Kind of like that movie Airborne with Jack Black and Seth Green.

Airborne jack black
“Eses and amigos freestyle off the dome”

For those that have never seen Airborne, it’s like Gleaming the Cube, but with rollerblades instead of skateboards, and no one dies, and it’s funnier, and I think there’s no romance in Gleaming the Cube…. OK, on second thought, it’s nothing like Gleaming the Cube.  Check out the trailer though.

So now I’m thinking to myself, maybe Waka Flocka grew up being part of the cool, roughneck kids of this town, maybe even joined in on their hockey matches for bragging rights against the rich douchebag crew.  It’s possible he even was one of the guys in on the big race at the end to stick it to the man once and for all.

OK, so at this point, I figure I’m letting my imagination run too wild.  I decide to find out for myself what’s the deal with Bridgeport.

I look up on Wikipedia and it seems that I did indeed have a warped idea of Bridgeport.  This doesn’t seem like some bastion of upper class, coked out, yuppies. Bridgeport actually seems like a chill, little, seaside working class town with a Planetarium and museum dedicated to circuses.

So feasibly, he may have gotten his street cred in the industrial parks of this sleepy seaside community… with the help of a surfer dude that just moved into the neighborhood and a Jack Black looking guy.

No!  I needed to get to the bottom of this mystery.  I needed to, once and for all, determine what was Waka Flocka shouting out to in his song.

I head over to genius.com where they have lyrics to like every song ever made… and finally get my answer.

“BRICK SQUAD”

1017BrickSquadd

1017 Brick Squad. It’s the name of his record company. Founded by Gucci Mane and also the label of Young Thug. It’s his record label that he’s doing shoutouts too.  Thank you Wikipedia!

OK, so I felt like a fool. Shows how’s out of the loop I was, I never heard of Brick Squad. I’ve heard of Gucci Mane and Young Thug, but still this is a generation of hip hop artists that I’m only slowly getting acquainted with as my playlists as still jam packed with 80s and 90s rap.

I also, looked up Waka Flocka’s true origins… born in South Jamaica, Queens, New York (just a quick ride from where I was born), and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. Ah hah, so I was right. Yeah, he’s not from no boring Bridgeport, Connecticut.  Fuhgedaboudit.

In either case, it was all just a misunderstanding.  Sorry Waka Flocka.

waka flocka.jpg

And on that note, time to check out some more of Waka Flocka Flame’s tracks.

Waka Flocka Flame on Spotify

Advertisements

Cactus in a Tea Cup: A Love/Hate Story

It was a rainy day in Hong Kong as I tried to take my parents around town while they visited from out of town.  We dodged the rain by ducking into a ceramics shop in Sheung Wan.  The shop carried all kinds of ceramics: bowls, plates, tea sets, pots for plants, etc.   In a section towards the front, they even had these little plants for sale.  Little bits of greenery meant to cheer up a very small corner of a very cramped apartment.

As I was lurking in the corner, waiting for my parents to finish picking up little ceramic knickknacks for souvenirs,  I observed this western guy standing near a shelf of tea cups.  The guy was, one-by-one, picking up and examining every single tea cup there.  Each time, he held up a tea cup he would then drop a little cactus inside, examine it, realize it was an awkward fit and then move on.  From what I could tell, this guy was intent on searching for the perfect tea cup to be a pot for his little cactus.  Each time he came up a bit short in his endeavor.  I can only assume that he had no interest in any of the selection of actual pots for little plants that were stocked in a shelf nearby.


I felt for the guy.  He was on a mission to find a new home for his new spindly friend and he was not going to be deterred in his search.  He would try a blue cup with stereotypical Chinese porcelain design.  Nope, too wide.  Then he’d try a red cup with a more avant garde interpretation of stereotypical Chinese porcelain design.  Nope too deep. Then a green one, etc. etc. etc.  I watched this scene for five minutes and I gotta admit,  I was kind of routing for the guy to finally find a cheap $5-10HKD tea cup for his stupid, little $5HKD cactus. 

What I found most entertaining about this was not so much the western guy’s plight for the perfect tea cup-cactus combo.  It was the middle-aged Chinese lady standing right next to him.  It seemed she too was shopping for tea cups, but I imagine she had strictly more traditional uses in mind.  The entire time, while the westerner was dropping his cactus in each and every single tea cup, she was standing right next to him, unnoticed and giving him this dirty look.  It was the kind of dirty look that was the perfect combination of horrors and bewildered.   

I could tell in her face that she really really, really wanted to tell this guy that these were not flower pots.  There were a couple of moments I could tell she was building up the courage to say something, but she never seems to build up the nerve to blurt it out.   So, she’d go back to giving him the look.  If you’re wondering what that look looked like, it was something along the lines this picture of Teresa Mo.

Damn gwai lo better not get his thorns in my tea cups.

So with her unwilling to speak up and the guy unreletantly focused on his quest, I stood back and watched this comedy of errors for a few minutes, until finally, at long last, the western guy found a cup to his liking near the bottom of the shelf.  

The guy went off with his cactus in a tea cup.  The lady picked up her own tea cups.   And both went their separate ways, never to meet again. A brief and mundane chance encounter that probably ruined each other’s day a little bit.  

Still, I couldn’t help, but think that through it all, a tiny connection was formed between these two wayward souls.  One that will stay with them without even knowing.  In either case, I was amused.  It’s not every day that you get to watch an accidental, live action, theatre of the absurd performance art piece in a Hong Kong ceramic shop.  It was like a Samuel Beckett play… if that Samuel Beckett play was silent… and starring Teresa Mo.

Covfefe Was Once the Remedy of Choice Until it Ended Another President’s Career

Donald Trump wasn’t the first Republican President who had a bad reaction to Covfefe while in office.  Please use as directed.

Warning: Side effects of too much Covfefe include inability to walk down stairs and failure to secure a second term in office.  Ask your doctor if Covfefe is right for you.

Warning- Too much Covfefe

 

 

Eegad!  Monocles actually became a thing again?

While poking fun at an online buddy about trading in her glasses for a monocle, I found this New York Times article from a couple of years ago.


Apparently monocles became a thing again.

I’ll be honest, since a young age, I was always attracted to the idea of wearing a monocle. But it was more as a part of those fun filled and imaginative “pretend you’re a Baron or Duke” schoolyard games from childhood.  Ah the memories.

There was always something stopping me from trying to wear a monocle for real, in public.  Usually it was my parents, of course.

Now grown up, it seemed like a fashion trend best relegated to Bugs Bunny cartoons and 1960s TV shows about times way before the 1960s.

According to that New York Times article, however, it seems that the trend took hold, at least briefly, as part of hipster culture.  As of yet , I have not yet seen the trend hit Hong Kong.  But it has got me wondering if maybe it’s about time for me to go full monocle.

joe monocle

In the meantime, while I contemplate that look, let’s take a look back at some famous monocle wearers through time.

  1. Joseph Chamberlain, British politician and statesman
    Joseph_Chamberlain_in_colour
  2. The Penguin, “Gentleman of Crime”, supervillain and nemesis of Batman.

    The Penguin
    Played by Burgess Meredith
  3. Colonel Wilhelm Klink, Commandant of the POW camp from Hogan’s Heroes.

    Colonel Wilhelm Klink
    Played by Werner Klemperer
  4. Charlie McCarthy, part of famed Ventroliquist team Charlie and Bergen

    Bergenmccarthy
    Pictured here with Edgar Bergen
  5. Veronica Sawyer from the movie Heathers… ah, I bet you forgot about that one.  I must have scene that movie 200 times and I nearly forgot.

    Heathers Winonna Ryder
    Played by Winona Ryder

Did I miss any monocle wearers you remember?  Are you a monocle wearer?  Let me know in the comments section.

A “Quick” Kebab Before the Ferry

Was heading home from Tsim Sha Tsui.  It was 10pm and I was exhausted.  Just wanted to crash.  Figured if I caught the next ferry from TST to central, that would give me just enough time to catch a second ferry from Central to home.  

10:05, the ferry wasn’t at the pier yet, next one was at 10:10.  I had skipped dinner earlier and was starving.  Needed a quick bite and I saw a kebob shop near the ferry entrance.  It seemed like my best bet.  Then the following transpired.

AT THE KEBOB SHOP….

ME:  Hi, do you have anything really quick, I have 5 minutes before I have to catch this next ferry.

SHOP LADY: Yes sir, the chicken kebab wrap is quick.

ME: OK, are you sure?  I only have 5 minutes.
SHOP LADY: Yes sir, chicken wrap is very quick.

ME: Great!  I’ll take that one.
FOUR MINUTES AND TEN SECONDS LATER

ME: Is that kebob done yet?  The ferry is here and about to leave.

SHOP LADY: 11:30 sir.

ME: what?!

SHOP LADY: The ferry runs till 11:30, there’s plenty of time.  No rush.

ME: No!  I have to catch this ferry to take another ferry.  That’s why I said I only had 5 minutes.  I’m not waiting till 11:30 for a kebob!

The Cook behind her scrambles to wrap up the kebob.  He hands it to her.  The Shop Lady is taking her sweet time bagging it. The Cook urges her to hurry up.  She holds out the bag and starts saying…
SHOP LADY: Thank you sir, have…

I don’t let her finish, I grab the bag and am running immediately.  I hear her be like “Oh!”  Surprised that I’m in such a hurry. I’m running for the ferry gate, the whole time I’m yelling…

ME: Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!  Fuuuuck!  Hold the ferry!  Hold the gate FUCK!!!
The gate closes, but has just enough give for me to open it, let myself through and run into the ferry gang plank.  I’m on the ferry and coasting along on time.  If I missed that ferry, I would have been waiting another hour for the next ferry at Central to home.

I know I didn’t fully explain to the Shop Lady all the details of my travel plans, but what part “I only have 5 minutes” did she not understand?  Even without all the details of my travel needs, why is it that she assumes I have all the time in world?  I ask her if it’s done like she promised and her response is “11:30.  The ferry runs till 11:30.”  Matter of factly.  

People like that are everything that is wrong with the world. If you agree, let me know in the comments.  If you don’t agree, let me know too and then feel free to wait and hour and a half for your next quick meal.

That Time Congress Must Have Gotten the Staff of Funny or Die to Name Their New Healthcare Bill

There’s been a lot of talk back and forth over what will the Republican lead congress do in finally fulfilling their 6 year crusade to get rid of Obamacare.  

What will their replacement plan look like? Will they even have a replacement plan?

I’m sure a lot of people thought the replacement plan would resemble the one depicted in this cartoon from The New Yorker.

But just when it seemed people were panting and howling with anticipation at knowing the future of healthcare in America, suddenly Republican Congressman Pete Sessions of Texas dropped this on us like Metallica/Lou Reed crossover album.

BEHOLD!  The possible replacement to Obamacare.

Yup, you read right.  He literally called it “World’s Greatest Healthcare Plan of 2017”.  Now if that title doesn’t scream practical joke, I don’t know what does. 

I had to doublecheck the url to make sure I didn’t accidentally land on a page of The Onion.  Nope it’s legit.

You gotta wonder what was going on in Pete Sessions’ mind when he came up with it.  Was he looking to troll the political process?  Did he lose a bet?  Was he drunk?

World’s Greatest Healthcare Plan of 2017.  That sounds like the kind of name for something that a guy comes up with and then immediately jacks off to the thoughts of his own awesomeness.  

Some might say it’s the political equivalent of a someone busting out a pompous, 10 minute, hair metal style, guitar solo in the middle of a hardcore punk band show.

Or some might say it’s the political equivalent of a first time filmmaker squeezing like 30 separate homages to Quentin Tarantino in his first feature film script and thinking he’s a unique genius for doing it.

I have an alternate idea… 

I suspect that Pete Sessions didn’t actually come up with the name.  I bet he was struggling to come up with something.  He didn’t want to call it something dry and monotonous.  So he called a friend, who emailed a friend, who whatsapped a friend that he heard was “good with coming up with stuff.”  That friend, just happened to  be a staff writer for Funny or Die and he was like “I got the perfect name for this bill.”

What makes me go with that theory?  Simple.  Its resemblance to the recurring bit on Funny or Die that always wins the internet, The Best Gifs of All Time of the Week.

In an year where the President’s inauguration speech is equal parts rip off of Avatar monologue and The Bee Movie monologue, this can’t be a mere coincidence.  There has to be Funny or Die connection.

Now some of you might say, “what if he didn’t get a writer from Funny or Die? It’s possible that he might have been a fan of that recurring bit as well.”

Yeah, that’s a possibility.  But let’s be honest, look at this guy…

This guy isn’t going to Funnyordie.com.  He looks like the kind of guy whose only connection with the internet is yelling at his Secretary “hey Martha, go on that Google thing on the computer and order my wife up a nice something for my anniversary.”

Do you agree?  Do you think I’m way off?  Let me know in the comments section and follow True Anecdotal for more stories, observations, and anecdotes.