July 2010


It’s no secret I am a fan of TV. I love it. I love (almost) everything about it. I love the acting, directing, stories, and scenery. There has always been one time of year where I (and my DVR) get a break from this addiction: the summer. Unfortunately, thanks to networks such as HBO, USA, SyFy, Showtime, and HBO, this is no longer the case. While the major networks are filling their schedules with reruns, reality shows, and game shows, the cable networks are creating and airing some of the best programming on TV.

For the past several years I’ve had summer time programming to enjoy. From Entourage and Dexter to the Weeds, Monk and True Blood, the summer TV schedule always had something to look forward to a day or two a week. The landscape has changed greatly over the past few years though. USA has been the biggest time consuming culprit of all the networks. Shows like Psych, Burn Notice, and the more recent In Plain Sight, White Collar, and Royal Pains have become mainstays in my viewing habits. Then they decide to create another show, Covert Affairs, as if they didn’t have enough of my attention. HBO isn’t going to let up either, with the Prohibition Era drama Boardwalk Empire starting in September. TNT has also managed to get some of my attention with the better-than-I-thought-it-would-be Memphis Beat. And then there is FX with two of TV’s best shows on television right now. The first being the under-appreciated dramedy Rescue Me and the second being the freshman comedy from funny-man Louis CK entitled Louie. Add AMC’s Mad Men, TBS’s My Boys, and SyFy’s Eureka and Haven to the mix and my summer schedule becomes just as full as my fall viewing schedule.

Summer used to be a welcome break from TV but networks are no longer content with letting the viewing public go outside, not even for a minute. Let’s face it, I live in St. Louis. I never went outside in the summer to begin with. It’s too hot and humid, but at least I was doing other things than watching TV, like catching up on my Netflix movie queue (somewhat kidding) or reading or, when the weather would comply, go outside.

Even though this is far from weekly, I’m going to post not one, not two, but three songs of the week. These songs aren’t exactly new. In fact, they are several years old. They are fantastic tracks though, all by the hip hop group Binary Star. Binary Star was an alternative hip hop group formed in 1998 that was composed of One Be Lo and Senim Silla. Unfortunately this duo no longer exists, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t put out some great songs during their short stint together. These three songs come from the album Masters of the Universe (or Waterworld for those familiar with their Binary Star history). This album is considered a classic by many underground fans and brings socially-concious rap with great beats.

The first track is called Slang Blade and is comprised almost entirely of different slang words and phrases. There’s some good word play in this track.
The next track is called New Hip Hop. Again, there’s some really great word play and metaphors throughout this track.
This last song, Honest Expression, is about honestly expressing yourself and criticizes pop rap and rappers that make music for money and not for the love of music.

All three of these tracks include some great lyrics and wordplay from the two MC’s. I’ve followed their solo careers since the breakup of the group, but nothing can compare to when they were together.