Pop culture essays, criticism, fistfights

Clef Notes: The “Fake Drive-by” Edition

Every Friday, or at least until his spectacular rock star flameout, Giovanny will be dropping a week’s worth of music knowledge on you with Clef Notes, proof positive that he’s a one man music magazine.


This is all just CGI.

At Least We're Sure 50's Been Shot: According to Fort Lauderdale police, Maybach Music Group CEO and unrepentant barker, Rick Ross, was the target of a drive-by shooting early Monday morning. The police report states Ross and his girlfriend, Shateria L. Moragne-El, were at an intersection around 5:00AM when the rapper heard multiple gunshots fired in his direction. In a panic, he lost control of his Rolls Royce and crashed into a nearby apartment building. This incident was surely not the way Ross had anticipated ending his 37th birthday festivities, but at least he still has the opportunity to celebrate more in the future.

Ross’ night began on a much better foot, as he spent his evening at Club LIV in Miami, popping bottles with the likes of Diddy, Fabolous, French Montana, and DJ Khaled. Once he had ingested the proper amounts of Cristal and shrimp cocktails (I’m only assuming here), Ross let the party continue without him, and left the club to take his fashion designer lady-friend back to his abode. That's when the  drive-by allegedly happened. At least that’s what most of us believe (including me, for the record)... most of us who aren’t named Curtis Jackson, that is.

50 Cent suspects Rick Ross staged this whole spectacle, for reasons which I assume must have something to do with not wanting to be a "Wanksta" a la Ja Rule (man it's been a long time since 50 dropped some hits) . In the wake of the incident 50 took to Instagram (naturally), where he captioned a picture of Ross’s crashed car as follows:"Hahaha fat boy hit the building? lol it looks stage to me. No hole's in da car". Jackson’s comments may seem a little insensitive, but it should be pointed out that the two emcees have been engaged in a rap beef since 2009 (I know it's hard to keep track of those). Diss tracks have been swapped, insults have been exchanged, and the two men basically loathe each other.

I guess I won't be playing Trivial Pursuit with these two anytime soon.

As the details surrounding the accident began to emerge, Ft. Lauderdale police reported 18 shell-casings were found at the crime scene, and announced they were launching a full-scale investigation to find the gunmen. This “evidence” did little to  change Jackson's mind, or to deter him from twitter, where he added this to the discourse: "Nah they shot in the air then he drove into a building. It was just firecrackers but who ever lit them (is) in trouble cause the man damn near had a heart attack."

Ross himself laid low after the reported attempt on his life, even staying away from social media for a while, as he hired more security and looked into repairing his absurdly expensive automobile. The Teflon Don (last I checked, teflon is not bullet proof) did manage to release a birthday freestyle (which I'm sure 50 thinks is pre-recorded) after this mess transpired which contained the line “I can’t believe I’m alive,” so I guess that means something profound, right? Personally I only have one question regarding this matter: Why didn’t Ross escape in the chopper which was supposedly in his car?

Chris Brown must not believe in karma, or reincarnation.

Why Can't This Dude Just Find God?: Now that February is upon us,  and 2013 has picked up a little steam, there's a good chance that you haven’t thought about how much you hate Chris Brown recently. That seems logical to me because, after all, you are still trying to stick to your resolutions, and maybe you're even getting your taxes in order. You simply don’t have the time to keep up to date on all the reasons to detest Brown... but fortunately for you, I do.

Did you hear the one about how Brown got into a fight with Frank Ocean?

Monday night (long after Rick Ross was shot at, and crashed his car) TMZ reported that Brown and Ocean got into a skirmish outside a Los Angeles recording studio over a parking spot.... yep, a parking spot. The exact details of the fracas still remain unclear, and while I'm sure  Chris Brown has a version of what happened, he didn’t stick around to talk to police, and I can’t stand him, so who cares what he has to say. According to Ocean, the two men were  arguing about who had the right to a particular parking space when Brown and his people jumped him (seems pretty cowardly to me). After delivering a statement to the police, Ocean eventually took to twitter, where he told a truncated version of his side of the story. Ocean also let his followers know he would be performing at the Grammy’s, but sadly won’t be able to play with two hands because of a laceration on his finger.

TMZ goes on to report that the police are investigating the incident and have labeled Ocean the victim. Officers on the scene took a statement from a third-party eyewitness who claimed Brown threw the first punch, and a spokesman for the LA County Sheriff's Office claims Ocean is "desirous of prosecution," and is considering pressing charges. God I hope he does!

It’s good to see that no matter who forgives Brown (cough: Rihanna), how many second chances he gets, or how his mother surely prays for his soul, he is incapable of being a good person. Not that anyone is keeping score or anything, but Brown has gotten into physical altercations with Rihanna, Drake, and now Frank Ocean. Who could possibly be next? Sasha Obama?


Bad Religion - True North

Bad Religion is still teaching the same vital lessons about government, corporate greed, and the pitfalls of humanity; they are even doing so in the same tenor. The problem is, I've gotten older and the world has too. I hope my sentiments aren’t the product of cynical disillusionment, and I hope Bad Religion continues to make records like this forever... because somebody has to... [Full Review]

16th Notes:


The Strokes have revealed a plethora of details regarding their upcoming record Comedown Machine. It’s okay, I wore a studded belt once too, you don’t have to be ashamed... Famed California record store chain Amoeba Music has digitally converted thousands of out-of-print and rare records, and has made them available on their revamped website. Sure, you’ll actually have to pay for music in order to get your hands on these records, but once a decade won't hurt you... In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, MGMT explained how the record they're currently working on was influenced by Aphex Twin. I'm going to reserve my opinions about this new direction until after I hear the record, but I would like to point out  I'm both skeptical and nervous... The Breeders shared some tour dates for their Last Splash reunion extravaganza. Let me save some confusion for you before you go: No, they did NOT write the Buffy The Vampire Slayer theme song. But the band still rules... Try to stay with me on this one: Mary J. Blige wrote a song for Miley Cyrus (that isn’t all that weird so far). Tyler, The Creator, heard the song and became obsessed with it (um... okay). He begged Miley to let him cameo on the track, in exchange for promising it would make her next record. So now Miley Cyrus’ latest record has a Mary J. song on it which features a guest appearance by Tyler. I figured I should tell you all about that, because none of you will actually listen to the next Miley Cyrus record... James Blake has announced some 2013 American tour dates. You should go see him, and find out what dubstep sounds like in other, less-American, places... Thee Oh Sees let the world know they have a new record, Floating Coffin, coming out this year. They proceeded to terrify us all with their proposed album art (insert)... Morrissey has been having some serious health issues lately, as he was hospitalized in Michigan this week for a reported bladder infection, and ended up being diagnosed with a bleeding ulcer. This news has forced Morrissey to cancel more tour dates, and even to reconsider his diet (okay, that last bit was a total lie)... Animal Collective has released a video for the Centipede Hz single Applesauce and, as you can imagine, it’s trippy-as-hell. Watch it here, and please trip responsibly... Lastly, Colin Greenwood is doing some great work with children in South Africa. No joke here, just read about his exploits and admire the man...

Top Ten List:

Justin Timberlake is one of my favorite SNL hosts of all-time (“Bring it on down to Omletteville!”). I know that’s a bizarre way to start off this paragraph, but it doesn’t make it any less true. Beyond being surprisingly funny, Timberlake also managed to make the supremely difficult transition from teen heartthrob to bonafide multi-talented star (who is now married to Jessica Biel). As I said before... that's not an easy thing to do.

Over the years Timberlake has released brutal music videos which burned Britney Spears, starred in a bunch of movies and, thankfully, brought sexy back. He also turned 31 yesterday and in doing so confirmed that I really have wasted my life. Here is a list of his ten best songs of all-time which have nothing at all to do with N’SYNC.

10) Last Night
9) Senorita
8) Summer Love
7) Lovestoned
6) Cry Me A River
5) Like I Love You
4) My Love
3) What Goes Around... Comes Around
2) Sexyback
1) Rock Your Body

Clip Of The Week:

I’ve known for quite some time that the avenues of music-obsession and sports-zealotry rarely ever cross. Ever since jocks pushed band-geeks into lockers (back in the era when such things happened), and cliques meant everything in your social circle, the line in the sand has been drawn. Of course there have been exceptions over the years (I am one of them), but for the most part if you know who Kevin Shields, Richard D. James, and Noah Lennox are, then you probably have no idea who Colin Kaepernick, Josh Hamilton, and Chris Paul are.

That being said, it’s a pretty safe bet you will be watching the Superbowl this weekend, even if you have no idea what intentional grounding is. It isn’t all bad, though! At least there are going to be really expensive commercials to watch, and one of them even stars The Flaming Lips!!! That’s right fellow music-nerds, Oklahoma’s weirdest sons have been tapped by Hyundai to promote their 2013 Santa Fe, and the band wrote a song and acted goofy in a lengthy commercial, to wondrous effect.

Doesn’t that sound like something you would want to watch? Well then don’t wait one more second, and click below to see the commercial in it’s entirety two days early! You’re all very welcome!

Track Of The Week:

This picture makes me wish I had a sibling.

Full Of Fire -The Knife: Swedish siblings Olof Dreijer and Karin Dreijer Andersson run their own record company, Rabid Records, but they’re best known as the enigmatic EDM duo The Knife. Since the dawn of this millennium The Knife has been releasing critically acclaimed, and cool-kid beloved, dance music with a uniquely dark feel. Their exceptional tunes, and keen sense of mysterious imagery, have made them one of the world’s most buzzed-about acts, and has earned them as devout a following as any band can claim these days. Full Of Fire is the lead-single from the bands forthcoming album , Shaking The Habitual, and is nine minutes of highly-stylized, gloomy, awesome which I hope doesn’t depress you too much.

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