Meanwhile, Usher Raymond, who is KILLING IT CRUNK STYLE on his new joint, "Yeah," (so much so that Julianne Shepherd will hopefully start rubbing on her booty as we speak by sheer mention of the song on some Voodoo Lil Jon nibble), had this to tell us about getting MJ's sloppy seconds:
"To know that I was doing Michael Jackson songs, or songs originally created for Michael? You know they were great records, and regardless to whomever were supposed to sing the records, they were special songs. When they did tell me that these songs were for Michael and he didn't get it or understand it, I was shocked. And I looked forward to my next album because I knew (the Neptunes) would be able to create something specifically for me, based on my situation."
By the way, it should be noted that Usher, in the video for "Yeah," is so goddamn crunk with his choreography, he makes Justin look like a New Englander eating lobster roll on the Cape (while wearing J. Crew sippin' Chardonnay in the 'burbs).
One of the things the Neptunes let slip in the many tantalizing times they've been interviewed by us, is that some of those brilliant, fleet-footed, sidewalk-lights-up-in-blocks-as-you-step songs (they're not "beats" – well, they're beats like tits are just body parts) they wrote and produced for Justin Timberlake and Usher were originally conceived for Michael Jackson's "comeback" album (and MJ, to his dis-credit, took "comeback" to mean resurrecting his molestation jones. Allegedly). I mean, some of that was rumored and wasn't it just so fucking obvious anyway, the way Usher one-glove-crotch-grabbed (while wearing a red leather jacket sippin'juice in the hood) and the way Justin pulled a Lauryn and tried to fuck his way into the Jackson family legacy, er, I mean, danced on the boom-box at the MTV Video Music Awards that one year.
But there goes Chad Hugo in passing, no-cameras, one-hand-on-the-cell-phone conversation, telling me that Usher's spectacular (don't believe me? listen to it again motherfucker) moondance, "U Don't Have To Call," and Justin's "Like I Love You," "Rock Your Body," and "Last Nite" were originally written for MJ. Problem was, while MJ was dicking around with the local Weeblos, wunderkind Rodney Jerkins, and some cancerous child (who, like the others, comes from an economically disadvantaged family and thus is easy prey so get the fuck out of there with that 'blame the parents' bullshit), he had enough static between him and THE BEST PRODUCERS IN THE WORLD AT THE TIME, that they couldn't get to him. Seriously. Pharrell confirmed Chad's note-passing and said they tried to submit the roughs but couldn't penetrate the enemy at the gate.
So instead of Molester's Convention with R. Kells, MJ could've been like, reborn and shit. Phoenix rising from the flames, son! On some Can Ox shit!
There have been some requests for more regular updates to Crunkster. The fuck is that about? We thought we were flying under the radar. We are, save for a few bored souls. In the immortal words of Hopper, we were Rip Van Winklin' it. More specifically, we have been on the bitch end of a jail-cell hello, aka a work deluge: Grammy nonsense, NBA All-Star nonsense (Young Chris, too, has been grey-beardin' it for a minute) and specifically, the nonsense of this Loon situation. (A lesson: hang out with Diddy and you'll be somebody's bitch in prison. Unless you're Mase. And then you run).
But we are back…with something.
I'm here to proselytize. The Coachella festival happens on May 1 and May 2 in the lovely desert city of Indio, CA. Every inch of your body, every fiber of experience tells you that 50,000 kids in a desert just 2 1/2 hours away from the whitewash of orange county (The OC, bitch!) is not the kind of setting you'd voluntarily put yourself in, unless there was some detonation device connected to the other end (i mean a make-believe detonation device, mr. ashcroft).
This is not that gathering.
Believe in simple truths: open fields, warm weather, friends and good and loud music while you sit on the grass. It's all crunktacular (except, one drawback is that there isn't actually any crunk, per se, to speak of here. Slug does NOT count, ok? But the math was if-no-crunk-then-no-emo and i think we can all get by with that). There's enough space, enough going on at the far-side of the field, like the kids who WANT to see paul van dyke, that no one's up in your grill unless you've sent them the waxed-letter invite. Afterwards, there's plenty of drugs and sex.
Added bonuses: indio has an In 'N Out Burger and Joshua Tree's on the way home (so if you're like me, and have a midnight flight out of Ontario, you can make a full day of it at Joshua Tree before heading back to NYC).
Saturday, May 1st
The (International) Noise Conspiracy
Future Sound of London
And you will know us by The Trail of Dead
Death Cab for Cutie
Q and not U
The Section Quartet
Sunday May 2nd
The Flaming Lips
Belle & Sebastian
Paul Van Dyk
The Crystal Method
Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra
Broken Social Scene
The Sleepy Jackson
The Cooper Temple Clause
Home Town Hero
The Section Quartet
We are great fans of The Grey Album here. Dangermouse fucks with our time-cemented loyalties, giving Jigga the kind of psych-rock smack that erstwhile backpackers always wanted to lay down. And who found the breaks in the fab four?
We played Grey for the Filipino Fist, Chad Hugo (he of Los Neptunes) and Shae (he of Make-A-Wish winner), and both were converts (Pharrell was getting new Indy trucks mounted the bottom of his Ice Cream kicks). Chase donned the headphones and rocked out, exclaiming that it was "dirty." He weighed in via the blackberry a couple of days later:
"Thanks for that copy of GREY. I've been bumpin it in the car. I'm open for peoples interpretation of shit. That's what djs do, is flip it. Overall I appreciate what they did yknow, more so flippin the beatles than Jigga. I think that some of the constant changing of some of the beats take away from the rhymes. Its not that cohesive if yknowutimean. #3 is my fav "hardcore do ya want more" thanks for puttin me onto it and I'm in favor and encourage djs to experiment with shit. Peace."
He knows it's "encore," right?
There is great power in self-publishing but the crux of it lies in the self, and that is the problem with our space here. Where is the software that imports thoughts to screen automatically? We are still waiting...
In the meantime, check out footlong developments. Our man Asad is killing it with the blowbacks.