The LSPD officers were only performing their duty when they initiated their pursuit after I splattered the camera-toting tourist across the pavement in front of the famous Oriental Theater. I was only following my own SOP when I dropped the grenade out of the window at a particularly traffic-infested intersection on Vinewood Boulevard. As I pulled a tricky right turn to head into the canyons, taking out a hydrant and another few pedestrians, several explosions rocked the streets behind me and those sirens that had once been too close for comfort were now silenced. My Bravado Buffalo recovered from its skid and twisted through the cramped, windy streets of the canyon; just as I was about to breathe easy, a few more cruisers appeared around a curve and had me trapped as I collided with a wall. I desperately reversed and tried to squeeze through the patrol cars as bullets riddled my vehicle and whizzed past my head. Just as I was about to admit defeat, West Coast Classics returned from a news break and funky, bass-heavy beats blasted over the gunfire asking me “what would you do if you could fuck with me and my crew?” Suddenly reinvigorated, I began shooting at the police with my - uh, grenade. That rested comfortably on the Los Santos street with the cops and me snug in its kill radius. Dammit.
Thursday, January 30, 2014
Thursday, January 23, 2014
I wouldn’t say that I had made a conscious effort to avoid the musical output of LL Cool J, but I had certainly never made an effort to seek any of it out. Like many people in my age group, I was always well aware of his singles but none of those songs that I heard on MTV in my youth really attracted my attention the way that other rap music did in the 90s. I was much more interested in seeing Snoop, Dre, or anything remotely gangsta and foreign to my experience as a kid than I was in hearing some cheesy rap song about love (let me amend that - I am still more interested in gangsta rap than I am in love rap). When “Doin’ It” came out, I would have much rather listened to anything else at all but as a fifteen year old kid, I still watched the video because, uh well, dancing women. There was nothing I saw of LL Cool J’s output outside of “Mama Said Knock You Out” that drew me toward him. His growing focus at this time on acting certainly didn’t attract me either.
I pretty much forgot about LL Cool J, the rapper, for years until stumbling upon the track “Rock the Bells” randomly. After realigning my neck and calming my nerves, I allowed myself the possibility that maybe he wasn’t so bad. At this point, I was aware of his importance in the early development of hip-hop and I had decided to check out his early work. Then “Accidental Racist” happened (the rapper’s squirm-inducingly terrible collaboration with country singer Brad Paisley) and any goodwill LL Cool J had earned from me was obliterated. Let us take a moment to contemplate the lyric “RIP Robert E Lee but I gotta thank Abraham Lincoln for freeing me, nah mean.”