Tuesday, January 18, 2011

So Long...(for now)

Well, I'm sure y'all who regularly read the site saw this coming.

To put it plainly: We're Busy.

And we just don't have the time (like we used to) or even the manpower to keep this site the fun/current/interactive/lively site you know. At least not like we used to.

Which is okay, because being and becoming busy is a good thing.

To be clear: you can still follow all of us (Bashir, Jacarl, Craig, yours truly) on Twitter. And wow, who could have known I'd ever write that sentence. The first time I ever heard of Twitter was in June 2007, when we were at...



THE MESSAGE.



Hard to believe that we were in the offices at The Message four years ago today. Plenty of people have entered and completed a four-year college program since we went live with our very first videos ("Kimbo," "Saddam's Last Words," and "Mario Van Peebles' 'Dreamgirls'").









When this website, Long Live The Message, was started, it was out of anger! Resentment! Few remember, but the original name of the website was The Message Is Dead.

But who could blame us. We had had a web series. One that we controlled creatively about as much as anyone could ask for. And we had made the most of it. And suddenly it was gone. So we wanted a place on the web that couldn't be taken from us. A place to save all those sketches we loved so much.

From the Fall of 2007 until the Fall of 2008, LONG LIVE THE MESSAGE was our primary creative focus, allowing us to maintain the spirit of our web series while blogging and commenting on everything we would have been shooting videos about had the AOL rug not been pulled from underneath us.


And then came Chocolate News. We were working in TV.


And then came Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Suddenly we were working every single day in TV. And the workload has never let up over the more than two years we've been at Fallon.


We're still excited to deliver to y'all some new Message-style material, because frankly (and sadly), the original void in urban comedy we sought to fill is still there.

Go almost anywhere on the dial and it's still hard to find comedy with our themes that doesn't talk down to you, that isn't too bourgeosie to be funny and silly, that isn't too ghetto, too safe, too Christian, too angry, too dumb, too abstract, too unafraid to cast Ice Cube or Brian White...most of what is out there sucks.

Our mission isn't done, and this post isn't a Eulogy. We aren't even taking down this site so to speak.

We're just announcing, formally, that there will be no new posts here, at least until the site itself is re-designed and relaunched. And when that time comes we will announce it on Twitter.



We still believe in The Message. And what it stood for. And for what it will stand for again.

One day, hopefully soon, we will again have an outlet (on TV, in film, on the web, OnDemand, streaming, wherever) where we will once again merge the disparate influences of hip hop and politics, The Simpsons and The Muppets, the Harlem Renaissance and '70s Hollywood, Charlie Parker, Barack Obama, Mel Brooks, Cory Booker, Kanye West, Dave Chappelle, Seth MacFarlane, not to mention the wonderful cities of Chicago, Atlanta, NY, Philly, and Los Angeles.

And we're going to add to our Message family. Expect us to work with contemporaries and personal heroes of ours, from Jimmy Fallon to Wyatt Cenac, to Ryan Leslie to Donald Glover, to Craig Robinson to Ahmir ?uestlove and Black Thought.


Unafraid, un-shy, ballsy humor and satire.


There's more on the way. But this Blogspot site won't be the center of it. So stay tuned on Twitter, please continue to watch our work on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and don't lose faith in us.

We're grinding hard, to make sure that the dream doesn't die. 2011 will be the biggest and best year yet. We hope it's that way for everyone.




WITH ALL OUR LOVE AND APPRECIATION FOR ALL YOU MADE THIS SITE, SINCERELY,

Diallo Riddle (@DialloRiddle on Twitter) &
Bashir Salahuddin (@BashSala on Twitter)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Flashback Friday - Au Revoir Edition

Well, as you've read below, things are going to be changing around LLTM.

It's been a good run and hard to believe that my first post went live almost three years ago to this day. Before then, I was just a guy typing in the comment section of this site and the old HBO one because the videos they made were my sense of humor and I'd rarely seen my sense of humor on display (particularly from folks who looked like me). I had to support the effort. Fortunately, Diallo and Bashir were gracious enough to let me post from time to time and make Flashback Friday a staple.

But before I turn in my keys, as my favorite poli sci prof used to say, I have a few housekeeping chores to do:

1. In case you were wondering, my G.A.Y. Award went to this couple who in the face of the madness that was the Sherrod case last summer stood up and let the truth be known.

2. Gucci Mane. WTF.

3. Yes. THANK YOU.

4. If any of you all want to catch up with me, please feel free to hit me up on Twitter, @wjacarlm. Or check for my contact info at DCist.Com. You can find me on Facebook, probably. Or Google. There aren't too many folks out there with the name.

5. And finally, thank you all. Take care.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

BIG CHANGES COMING TO BLOG

There's a big change coming to this website.

It's a melancholic change, but one that needs to happen so we can relaunch the site the way it deserves to be relaunched.

So, stay tuned...

Monday, January 10, 2011

Diallo's Best of 2010

This is not your traditional "Best Of" list so bare with me.

Best Euro-Techno Dance Song

Rihanna - "Only Girl in the World"

Best Remix

Andreya Triana - "Lost In Your World (Flying Lotus Remix)"

Best Sneaky-Style Comeback Since Robert Downey Jr

Chris Brown - "Deuces"

Best Producer

Lex Lugar - "MC Hammer"

Best (i.e. Worst) Black Eyed Peas Copycats

The Cataracs

Best Return from Obscurity

Wiz Khalifa

One to Watch

Curren$y

Dumbest Rapper Name This Year

Curt@!n$ (?uestlove and Curren$y need to beat his ass)

Stuff I Liked in 2010 (Dance-able Music Edition)

Recapping 2010 has been a slow-go.

Sorry about that. For my part, I'll try to share some things I enjoyed from a year that suspect in a lot of ways (and after this weekend, I'm having fears about 2011, too).

Anyway, here it goes...

I first heard this track when DJ Spinna put it on during a set he did here in DC. It's just a typical dope cut from a guy who I consider to be probably the best all-around DJ/producer you can find these days. Hats off to Spinna for this joint, and thanks even more for making it vinyl exclusive (as far as I know). Those of us with turntables deserve a reward every once and a while for being curators of a vanishing medium.

Kemeticjust feat. Terrance Downs-- "I Got Life (DJ Spinna Mix)"



This next track isn't new, but it was new to me. Back in July, I interviewed a guy who's spent a good deal of his spare time running a mail order business dedicated to preserving some of the best music from artists you've never heard of. At the end of our meeting, he let me take as many zany press photos, 12-inches and CDs as I wanted.

Yeah, I completely compromised my journalistic ethics and integrity but, then again, I'm not a real journalist. I'm a blogger. So f--k it.

Regardless, one of the CDs I picked came from George Smallwood. I'll spare you his story but to say the least, he's an interesting cat. The song that really blew me away and makes for a perfect early evening, sun-setting-over-the-ocean (or if you're downtown, a rooftop with a pool) summer jam, IMO.

George Smallwood-- "You Know I Love You"


So, these were two tracks that kept me going and made me forget about the isht fest that 2010 was.

Here's to a (hopefully) better 2011.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Flashback Friday

A few posts back I featured a video with Ja Rule, DMX and another emcee.

That other emcee was Mic Geronimo and the clip reminded me of a song of his I liked back in the day.

Geronimo could be smooth in delivery and persona. I dug that. And the sample sets the perfect mood for the track.

But is anyone creeped out by the potential pedophilia going on? Remember, this video came out in 1995 and there's a certain someone featured pretty prominently who would've been around 16 at the time (though her birth date is debatable).

Remind me to stop analyzing hip-hop. Doing it hurts.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

In 2011, Be Smart

And here's how to start. Read this editorial about Facebook:

http://finance.fortune.cnn.com/2011/01/04/five-reasons-why-im-not-buying-facebook/

I haven't seen this level of irrational exuberance since I was Pets.com.

Here's the best part:

Facebook reached 500 million users in July. There's been no update since, even though the company had meticulously documented every new 50 million users to that point. Might the curve have crested? And let's not even talk about the fact that they don't really make much money per user — a few dollars a year at most. (Its estimated $2 billion in 2010 revenues would amount to $4 per user at that base.) I certainly haven't spent any money on the site, despite being a fairly regular visitor. And any advertiser who is trying to target me on the social network is wasting their money. But that's just me.

Nope, that's a lot of us...

Friday, December 31, 2010

Flashback Friday - Year Closeout

Sorry for the lack of posting, but with all the eating, sleeping, travelling and hard drive crashes going on, I've been occupied. (My G.A.Y. Award will be coming out next week.)

But I couldn't close out the year without acknowledging the losses that have occurred in 2010. And if you were hoping that the music world could get away unscathed in the last week, you were mistaken.

If anything, both 2009 and 2010 have reminded me that I'm getting older and the folks who entertained me in my youth aren't immune to age, either. Making sure I witness these personal faves of mine perform at least once has become a mission, of sorts, for me.

Two artists that passed this week weren't necessarily on my list but they still carried major weight in their respective spheres.

With that, RIP Teena Marie and Billy Taylor.