Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Big Pimpin'

While the mainstream entertainment media is a twitter that Tom Petty can extend the life of his career a bit longer with a half time appearance at the upcoming Super Bowl, the grim reaper is never far away in show biz.

Last week, we lost Las Vegas based denizen Kevin DuBrow of Quiet Riot... and this weekend the Grim Reaper went after Houston's Pimp C.

The Reaper recently took out Houston rapper Pimp C, age 37, at The Mondrian hotel in LA this weekend.

After serving almost 8 years in a stint in Texas prison, Pimp C had rejoined UGK ( Underground Kings) and had just performed with Too $hort at The House of Blues. Other projects included recently receiving acclaim & awards for "International Players Anthem" with Outkast's Andre Benjamin, and his best known tune was likely as a guest on Jay Z's "Big Pimpin".

Jay Z with pimp C - Big Pimpin'

Here he is from 2006's Pimpalation, with Knockin Doors Down...

Pimp C - Knockin Doors Down

The hotel where when the doors were knocked down and they found out that Pimp C had kicked the gilded pimp bucket, is no shady lil' low rent motel. The Mondrian's proximity to the nightlife on the Sunset Strip and adjoining Sky Bar, make it popular with players, glitterati and wannabees alike. Generally the people going in & out of there seem to have no concern about paying bills, and his label Jive, Too $hort or the club were likely dropping some dough on Pimp C's room.

The publicity comes at a bad time for the hotel's owners Morgans Hotel Group, which owns several struggling , yet high profile party spots like the Hard Rock in Vegas, Royalton in NYC, and Delano in South Beach.

Here I am enjoying the uh, unique, atmosphere at the Delano... and a tanq & tonic.

Anyhow, the publically traded hotel group's CEO, Ed Scheetz recently resigned after a 23 year old "girlfriend" was found OD'd on cocaine & oxycontin in his Vegas condo. Amongst the last known communications from Scheetz gal pal , Michelle Lynn Hatchel, was a text message to a friend stating that ""I can't believe how much coke he does, all the time, all day long," ...

Scheetz looked increasingly gaunt in photos when compared to the chunky real estate exec of the 1990s, as seen below.

The 40 something exec had been a player in the New York City real estate scene in the 1990's before signing up with Morgans. Scheetz rose in the finance world due to his "straight laced" style, but after keepin the story out of the media for weeks, lost his phat CEO gig due to this drug death scandal. He left with a phat severance package worth millions, while Hatchell's family in Colorado couldn't even get a police report for weeks. Here is Scheetz in a recent pic with SF's party boy mayor Gavin Newsom, before both had to take account of their "personal issues" this year.

In other dumb & sad sorta non-news...

I just read that rapper Spice 1, a "straight mutha f*ckin East Bay Killer" is in critical condition after being shot early Monday morning. At least 2 bullets penetrated his chest, and the gangsta rapper who has been in the game for almost 2 decades is in bad shape.

While I ain't too familiar with all of the Spice 1 ouvere, I admit I was never overly impressed with his beats, flow, lyrics or even now, his current fate.

He was part of the prolific early 90's Bay Area rap scene, and grabbed airplay all over the country at one point, appearing alongside E-40, Tupac and other well known & not so well known Bay Rappers.

Spice 1 tended to aggrandize his violent lifestyle, spitting out a series of thuggish, mysogynist, murderous and hostile epithets in his albums.

Here's some couplets from his track "Dumpin 'Em in Ditches"

I do a 1-8-7 with this motherf*ckin glock
Shot you in the body
Had to break the gat off in his ass at the party, nigga
Crazy as f*ck, I thought you knew me
Quick to put the bullets up in the motherf*ckin uzi, bitch
A og nigga, so I gotta g-o and creep slow
And get this nigga while hes steppin out his car door
Bust, bang, I let my nugs hang, chewed out my mustang
And let this motherf*ckin gat sang
A bloody glock and a pocket full of rock
Got my shit on cock cause my slang dont stop

Too $hort supposedly got him signed to Jive records after Spice's his indie debut " Let It Be Known" made some buzz for itself in 1991.

He was a fan of generic rap cliches, never shyed from referring to anyone as "nigga" and bragged about his street skills, including his ability to cook his own rock cocaine for sale, rake the dough, and murder his rivals. His 1992 Jive debut went gold, as did the two followups, all playing into the gangsta rap trend that took the world by storm.

His guns, his thuggin' abilities & delivered at times with a homophobic fervor were all subjects of his "songs". Somehow a shooting fits right into the career, and if the guy lives to rap again, I'm sure it will become part of the schtick.

Here's his 1995 song "born II Die"

It used to be that only the inner city was a dangerous place around here...

But Spice 1 was shot in his suburban driveway in Hayward, a relatively quiet area near a public park & school. Spice 1( aka Robert L. Green, Jr) was apparently passed out in his car for whatever reason around 12:30 am when a suspected latino dressed in dark clothing opened fire. Spice 1 was hit in the chest & chin according to reports, and was in critical condition last I heard.

This is not typically the heated turf districts of the "murder dubs" in Oakland, or the low rent housing projects. Despite high property values, the educational background & intellectual capacity in these parts is fairly low.

Earlier this year I wrote about 19 year old Jonquel Brooks, a Hayward teen who although was enrolled in college, still managed to shoot & kill someone during an argument over a Playstation video game.

Sadly Hayward, a once simple working class suburb has become increasingly dangerous, as a bold shoot out at the commuter BART train stop in broad daylight showed last year. Murders are now double over last years tally, white flight has long been in effect, and latinos are outnumbering african-in the turf wars.

That may mean only 7, compared to nearby Oakland's 114 so far this year... but this a former farm town, where up until the late 1970's the Hunt's Catsup factory was the biggest employer. Once the tomato & other produce farms were gone to development, Hayward became a victim of it's own suburban sprawl.

It's a town with seemingly no direction or purpose, it's main assets are proximity to the freeways. Filled with mostly tacky, less than pretty looking housing, it's now becoming part of the turf wars and ranks 141st in the nation on the most dangerous cities list. Nearby Oakland, where I'm writing from today is 4th, but Hayward with a population of almost 150,000 seems to be catching a contact high. Moronic gangs are claiming "turf" in once rural areas. The fact that "Castro Valley", "south Hayward" or "North Hayward" gangs would ever exist would have elicited abject laughter just a couple decades or so ago. Now a simple search of google with the terms "nigga" and "hayward" combined comes up with over 26,000 hits, many are myspace pages & memorial shout outs for deceased drive by victims, and other gang related boasts...

With Spice 1's braggadoccio fueled murder music to keep the flames fanned, hopefully for the sake of all the blood thirsty playaz, a real honest & pointless gang war between drug gangs can make Hayward the hellhole it's been morphing into for years.

In the meantimwe, while the "street soldiers" get all armed & dangerous, let's enjoy some Spice 1 tracks while he recuperates...

Grave Plott (feat Spice 1) - Street Life
Spice 1 - Crazy

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