Style

A Mittens and Murdock Christmas

by Winston "Stone" Ford
bandPHOTO Gangsta Mittens

The Holidays can be an extremely busy and stressful time of year.  Between attending all the Egg-Nog fueled Happy Hours and battling with your family members over who has dibs on the pull-out couch at Grandma’s, no one has anytime to get any shopping done.  Well your Hanukkah, Christmas or Kwanzaa prayers have been answered because Subsoniq Radio’s Gangsta Mittens and K-Murdock are delivering their Top 10 Gift Ideas for 2009. So pull up a seat on the couch and check out the Mittens & Murdock list so that you can actually enjoy the holidays…

"Batman: Arkham Asylum" Artwork

From: K-MURDOCK
To:
That person who knows they are too damn old to be reading comic books, but still believe in super-heroes!
Game: Batman: Arkham Asylum

Batman: Arkham Asylum is the perfect gift simply because Batman isn’t a real superhero, he’s just a dude with mad money who kicks ass and dresses weird!  Plus,  after 20 years of making Batman games, they finally got the formula right: part crime solving + part beat em up + amazing graphics and voice-acting = a “MCS” aka a “Must-Cop-Situation”…. especially for that person in your life who really thinks Gotham City exist!  (Batman: Arkham Asylum is available now for both PS3 & Xbox 360)

Survival_Skills

From: Mittens
To:
the avowed boom-bap lover
Album:
Buckshot and KRS-One – Survival Skills

I’ll just get this out of the way:  I don’t like KRS-One (insert Kanye shrug here). There, I said it.  Nevertheless I will go out on a limb and give this album one of the highest compliments that I can think of:  It makes KRS-One bearable.  With slew of talented producers (including Nottz, Illmind and Marco Polo), lots of guest appearances, and a strong performance by Buckshot, KRS-One annoyed me a lot less than I expected.  While I don’t think this album will bring on many new fans, it is likely to appeal to that crotchety old hip hop fan in your life.  You know, the one that believes that ’88 was the best year for hip hop (despite the fact that 1993 is actually the best year) and who begins sentences with “back in my day…”  It’s sure to be a welcomed gift for that old school elitist in your life.

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From: K-MURDOCK
To: That person who sees every action movie out – from the good Nicholas Cage ones… to the bad Dolph Lundgren ones!
Game:
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves will be the go-to-gift for this type simply because you get so into the action that you will be checkin for bullet wounds at the end of your sessions!  With gorgeous graphics, immersive ambiance & non-stop action, this game would give a Michael Bay movie a run for its money, sans the cheesy dialogue and stereo-typical characters!  Plus, any game that opens up with you escaping from a train that’s literally falling off a cliff is as about extreme as you are gonna get! (Uncharted 2: Among Thieves is available exclusively on PS3)

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From: Mittens
To:
the kid that you think knows nothing about hip-hop
Album:
Drake – So Far Gone (EP)

We all know that one young person… She or He marvels at your age, calls you old, rolls their eyes when you talk about the “golden era of hip hop” or “real hip hop”… similar to the way you did when your mom would call it hippity hop and just to piss you off.   This is the album for them.

I should take a moment to note that this isn’t about it being one of the best albums of 2009, rather I think it falls under the category of most tolerable.  Drake’s buzz is undeniable.   For a guy who hasn’t released an official full-length album, he’s got a lot of people talking.   On the So Far Gone EP, Drake collaborates with artists like Lil Wayne and Young Jeezy, which will appeal to that eye-rolling young person, but he’s talented enough to keep you from wanting to rip your ears off of your head after the 30th time of hearing “Successful.”  Add to that the fact that it’s an EP (only 33 minutes long) and you have a winner.  Drake is also talented enough that when your young person goes out and downloads all of the other mixtapes, you won’t mind too much.

callofduty

From: K-MURDOCK
To: That person who has allowed life’s hardships to beat them down to the point they need a self esteem boost… BADLY!
Game: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

You know the type- simple law-abiding citizens who have become bullied by an occasional annoyance and need an outlet to vent their anger or else they could be the next Michael Douglas in “Falling Down”!  If you know this person, then please suggest Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 to help them vent their pent-up rage. This game will allow them to live vicariously through the life of a soldier trained to kill terrorist, thus allowing them to get their “internet gangsta” on and help save the country… BONG, BONG aka double win!  Not to mention, there’s over 6 million worldwide players online at anytime, so you can always choose to get some quick kills in if you don’t feel like playing through the story mode. (COD: Modern Warfare 2 is available now for both PS3 & Xbox 360)

From: Mittens
To:
the drug-dealing hip hop enthusiast
Album:
Clipse – Til the Casket Drops

I’ll start with a disclaimer; this album isn’t just for drug dealers.  It’s for just about anyone who loves hip-hop, in my opinion, but I will say that those who participate in certain illegal activities will likely relate.  Having gone to college near Malice and Pusha T’s old stomping grounds, I’ve always wanted to see them succeed.  With the requisite production by the Neptunes combined with some heat from Kanye, and some gems from Sean C and LV, Til the Casket Drops addresses the typical Clipse subject matter (money, drugs, women), but it still manages to sound fresh without losing sight of what attracted their fan base to begin with.

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From: K-MURDOCK
To:
That guy who takes football “super-fan” to the next level by getting his favorite team’s mascot tattooed on his back or spending more money on NFL team apparel than on anything in his wardrobe
Game:
Madden NFL 10

One word for these guys…. Madden!  Madden NFL 10 is the closest any dude is gonna get to playing in the NF,L unless…. you know, they play in the NFL!  That said, the presentation is so spot on, you’ll be just annoyed with all the gratuitous sponsors in the game as you are watching those annoying as Bud Light commercials- “tailgate tested, tailgate approved!” (Madden NFL 10 is available now for all major video game systems)

From: Mittens
To:
Anyone that you know wouldn’t hear about it on their own
Album:
Foreign Exchange – Leave it All Behind

I feel like all of these are starting with a disclaimer, but sometimes they’re just necessary so here it goes:  I don’t like R&B.  It’s just not my thing… but somehow, this album works for me.  I have said it before and I’ll say it again.  I prefer rapping Phonte.  He’s got a nice voice and he’s a talented singer, but I like what I like.  This album is weird to me.  It has the same vibe as Connected (Foreign Exchange’s 2004 album), thanks to Nicolay’s production, but this time around Phonte is singing.  The subject matter is similar, the feel is similar, and yet it’s totally different.  Give this album to someone who probably wouldn’t have heard of it on their own, and then tell them to tell a friend.

wii

From: K-MURDOCK
To: That girl who wants to spend more time with her man as he games and have some fun of hew own too
Game System:
Nintendo Wii

In the past, the of “gaming with ya girl” was one that usually caused one f two reactions with guys…. 1. laughter or 2. (if she was serious) despair…. Enter the Wii aka the the uni-sex system which stays mostly devoid of gore, violence and all those other things that feed our male libidos, and instead offers an assortment of games that actually encourage people to play together no matter what sex as the each gender will equally enjoy the library of games which range from Wii Fit to Wii Sports to Wii Play… you get the picture!  Be it tennis, bowling, or boxing, you will never has as much fun with your significant other competing with or against one another! AND you get a workout, so thats two birds with one stone as u all sweat and spend time together… out of the bedroom…. BAM!  (The Nintendo Wii is available right now for a new low price of $199)

From: Mittens
To:
The eclectic music lover
Album:
Blakroc – Blakroc

Since back in the days of Public Enemy doing songs with Anthrax and Run DMC pairing up with Aerosmith, I have always loved the pairing of hip-hop and rock – two aggressive forms of music feeding off of one another.  When I heard about the Blakroc project though, I was a bit hesitant… not because of Dame Dash’s involvement, but more so because of the type of music that The Black Keys are known for.  Instead of the more aggressive hard rock, they’re sound is a kind of a bluesy rock.  There’s nothing wrong with it at all, but I wondered how it would pair with hip-hop.  I am happy to admit that I worried for nothing.  The artists that were chosen for this project all have the type of laid back flows necessary to make this project work.  Well, most of them do – I don’t think that M.O.P.’s Billy Danze knows how to be laid back on the mic, but I suppose that after M.O.P.’s work with Shiner Massive for their Mash Out Posse album, this was somewhat familiar to him.  This album is probably best suited for someone who is open to various types of music or for those who listen to music with an open mind rather than insisting that each genre remain in it’s own separate box.