working towards an intellectual understanding of booty chatter.

viernes, septiembre 28, 2007

who's that up in my nytimes mag?.

Forgive me, Leif. I just couldn't resist.

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britney spears: gimme more remixes.

BRITNEY SPEARS may have been cool to post about a few weeks ago. Hell, maybe she's even cooler to post about right now. I'm not really down with the kids these days.

All I know is...Despite the MTV VMAs "disaster", Ms. Spears has rocketed to the number one spot in the iTunes music store, only two days after her single was released. It is also the number one ringtone. This is no indication of whether or not America actually likes Britney these days, but they can't hide that they're loving her new single. The iTunes Music Store tells no lies.*

Lips don't lie either. Word on the street is that this song is the shit. A possible skeptic (who is close-to-my-heart) contacted me through his iPhone** with this urgent message: "'gimme more' is shockingly good" None of us actually had faith in her to recover from the phase of the Federline, but I think she's surprising us a bit. Sure, the track didn't debut all too high on the charts...but I bet we'll see a jump with this digital release. But this isn't the reason I'm making this post. I have nothing to say about "Gimme More" that hasn't already been said. Few people can deny that this is a terribly addictive, lovable pop song. God bless Danja and Keri Hilson.

Now bring on out the remixes:
  • BenG STFC remix-- I have no idea who BenG is, why his website doesn't work, why googling him only tells me that he remixed Michael Jackson and Mariah Carey, or why this remix is SO DAMN GOOD. The STFC stands for "strictly for the club", and while this version is not exactly any better for the clubs than the has a simplicity and charm that I cannot get enough of.
  • GotdioN remix-- I got this mix a while back, and it had to grow on me. As usual, GotdioN comes through with a mix that is adrenaline-rushed and nearly apocalyptic. The song becomes sexy in the creepiest way possible. I imagine a sex-starved, monstrous Britney prowling through a club, clawing through uneligible bachelors until she finds her prey. For some reason, I gyrate in my bed while listening to this. Was that TMI?
  • Dirty Pop remix-- Blender picked up on this one, and apparently they think that Lil Wayne decided to "add a couple quick verses". I find this hilarious because they fully acknowledge that half of his verses are exactly the same as those on Enrique Iglesias' "Push"...yet they still think that Max Methods managed to get Lil Wayne in the studio for this unofficial remix. But this isn't a rant against Blender, for they make a very good point-- "Basically, this new "Gimme More" sounds like a Timbaland remix with Lil Wayne on it. We're not complaining." I'm not complaining either.
dl: BRITNEY SPEARS - Gimme More (BenG STFC remix) (YSI)
dl: BRITNEY SPEARS - Gimme More (GotdioN remix) (YSI)
dl: BRITNEY SPEARS f/ LIL WAYNE - Gimme More (Dirty Pop remix) (YSI)

Britney: buy it - site it - space it - wik it - hype it -
space it - hype it -
Max Methods: space it

* At least...I don't think it does. What has it been telling you?
**Why is this post coming off as a commercial for Apple?

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lunes, septiembre 24, 2007

cars and trains: my birthday present to myself.

CARS AND TRAINS is exactly the type of music I like.

I'm a big fan of the undefined genre of semi-experimental folksy electronic indie stuff. This is the type of music I listen to while making art. There's a sort of peacefulness to it, paired with a chaotic element that mirrors my mind's unruly creative process.

What makes cars and trains even more appealing to me is that I can see a bit of myself in Tom Filepp, the man behind the many instruments or sound-making devices that create this music. Filepp spent high school screaming in hardcore/metal bands. He later broadened his musical interests to include hip-hop, many types of electronic music, and folk, such as Guthrie, Seeger, Dylan, etc. I like to think of my pre-teen self who refused to listen to anything but hip-hop until 10th grade when a friend of mine paved the way for my obsession with angsty emo music. And then...well, I just listened to a lot of different stuff. I guess it's considered common for teenagers to delve into subcultures based on a certain genre of music they listen to, only to realize when they're a bit older that they were stupid to limit themselves. But for some reason, this common ground makes me like this guy more.

Filepp will be releasing his new album Rusty String in the near future. You can listen to two tracks from the album below. "Fake Plastic Guns" has been said to have "a bunch of kind of crazy childhood sort of stuff in it." As someone who is slowly becoming an actual adult, I love kind of crazy childhood sort of stuff. Happy 22nd birthday to me.

dl: CARS AND TRAINS - The Wires From My Broken Record Player (YSI)
dl: CARS AND TRAINS - Fake Plastic Guns (YSI)
(multi-instrument electro-folky music)
- buy it - site it - space it -

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domingo, septiembre 23, 2007

rock steady drew: remixes.

ROCK STEADY DREW sent me his mix of Rihanna's "Don't Stop the Music" a few days ago.

I have to confess that I'm really into the gay euro-dancetrash vibe of the original song, so it took a while to get into this. More accurately, it took hearing his remix of M.I.A.'s "Boyz" to really take a moment to listen to everything he had to offer. I realized later that this had been posted on Missingtoof a while back. I then realized that I had even read this post and somehow not listened to the remix at the time. ::shrug:: In any case, this dude somehow took "Summer Nights" from Grease and put it together with Bonde do Role. And it does not sound incredibly stupid. I am amazed by that. Then there's his remix of Fergie's "Glamorous", which I'm slowly realizing that everyone seems to secretly like. I mean, I was in a car with my sister and brother-in-law and he made a mixtape with back-to-back Fergie. I never thought I could ever hear another "Glamorous" remix ever again, and then Rock Steady Drew showed me the way.

dl: RIHANNA - Don't Stop the Music (Rock Steady Drew MJ2 mix) (YSI)
dl: M.I.A. - Boyz (Rock Steady Drew Fight mix) (YSI)

dl: FERGIE - Glamorous (Rock Steady Drew Ghetto Glam mix) (YSI)

dl: BONDE DO ROLE vs. GREASE - Funk Da Summer (Rock Steady Drew Mashup) (YSI)

(a batch of remixes to get your party going)
- site it - space it - hype it -

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viernes, septiembre 21, 2007

lingling: kudu/crystal castles remixes.

LINGLING is a duo that makes quite splendid remixes.

By coincidence, they have remixed two ITMS faves-- gidgetsparks and kudu. They've also done remixes of songs from 50 Cent's debut album Get Rich or Die Tryin', but those don't really matter as much for this post.

Gidgetsparks is also featured on one of two remixes they have done of Crystal Castles' "Air War". I am a big fan of one of her opening lines-- "Sand in my crotch doesn't bother me a notch". However, I totally think that sand in your crotch is uncomfortable.

dl: CRYSTAL CASTLES f/ GIDGETSPARKS - Air War (LingLing remix) (YSI)
dl: KUDU - Playing House (LingLing remix) (YSI)
(Remixes of hot tunes)
- site it - space it - space it - space it - space it -

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jueves, septiembre 20, 2007

fantasia: broke.

FANTASIA's lack of popularity among hipsters baffles me.

Did I just say that? Yes. I did. Am I suggesting that hipsters should embrace a winner of American Idol, a show which by nature turns out cookie-cutter pop stars? Yes, I mean, they were all over Kelly Clarkson's vagina when she released "Since U Been Gone". So what's wrong with Fantasia? Is it because she's black? Do hipsters hate black people?

No.* I've been to many a basement party in which skinny white kids pump their fists and flail their bodies around to Amerie's "One Thing", Beyonce's "Crazy in Love", and Kanye West's "Gold Digger". I think this is evidence that hipsters totally love black people. But why not Fantasia? Is it because she was illiterate? What if you found out that Amerie was illiterate? Would you take her off your pod? Also, what does reading have to do with singing? What's love got to do with it? These are the questions that have been plaguing me through many a sleepless night.

When I ask these questions, I'm completely dismissing Fantasia's 2004 album Free Yourself as a point of attraction for hipsters. There's an ounce of hope that some could appreciate "Baby Mama" for ironic purposes, but this album includes a bit too many sentimental ballads and the upbeat numbers rate zero for hipster-appeal.

But seriously. How have all the people who posted Amerie's "Gotta Work" or "Take Control" completely ignored the fist-pumping, critically-adored, soulful tunes "Uneligible" and "Bore Me (Yawn)"? I suppose most of them ignored the leak of Fantasia, expecting that it wouldn't suit their palates. They were wrong...well, at least about these two songs. I
f any of you are reading this, get to the nearest iTunes store and download those jams. Even if you don't like them, can you at least admit that they make you respect Fantasia a bit more?

I guess this entire entry stemmed from my love for an unreleased Fantasia song by the name of "Broke". I was listening to it at work one day, noting the similarities to "Gotta Work". Inspirational message? Check. Driving soul vibe? Check. Powerful vocals? Check. Plus, she sounds so cute when she's like, "My headphones ain't workin'!"

Hipsters may not hate black people, but they certainly don't care about them. Otherwise, they'd give Fantasia a second listen and realize what they're missing out on.

dl: FANTASIA - Broke (YSI)
(R&B soul jam)
- buy it - site it - space it - wik it - hype it -

* Well, at least not all of them. I bet you are a hipster. You hate black people, don't you?

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miércoles, septiembre 19, 2007

the morning benders: ronettes cover.

THE MORNING BENDERS are apparently a big deal?

I've been so wrapped up in pop and hip-hop lately that I've forgotten about those groups of people with instruments who sing sometimes-- bands. The Morning Benders are a band. And they have been getting serious blog love since over a year ago.

But it's never too late to show some love. I just got their cover of The Ronettes' "Why Don't They Let Us Fall In Love?" in my inbox, and while I can't say it converted me to a groupie of The Morning Benders had me craving more. What impresses me most about their sound is that they manage to channel the feeling of 1960s pop music without trying too hard. As I go from listening to their cover to "Grain of Salt", I imagine Ronnie Spector taking a turn at covering them.

dl: THE MORNING BENDERS - Grain of Salt (YSI)
dl: THE MORNING BENDERS - Why Don't They Let Us Fall In Love? (Ronettes cover) (YSI)
(indie-pop tunes)
- buy it - site it - space it - hype it -

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martes, septiembre 18, 2007

j*davey: land of the lost.

J*DAVEY takes the straight-forward sexiness of Mya's vocals and combines it with the chillness of Glass Candy.

Okay, I realize that was an obnoxious and likely inaccurate culture-drop, but this was honestly my first impression when I heard their song "Slooow". And upon listening to the entirety of their new mixtape*, Land of the Lost EPisode, I could probably list 12 other artists that I was reminded of while listening to J*Davey.

And I don't mean that in a bad way at all. I'm not even sure if I mean it in a good way. I pretty much just mean it. Within "Mr. Mister" I was reminded of Prince and Kelly Clarkson, while the oddness, swagger, and randomness of the video reminded me of Kelis. "Lil Big Heads" recalled the attitude of Jill Scott. It's a sort of familiarity, not as if it's unoriginal.

I have to thank THE FADER for introducing me to J*Davey. The mixtape is currently available for download off of their space and I have a few hard copies myself. Download it!

dl: J*DAVEY - Slooow (YSI)
dl: J*DAVEY - Mr. Mister (YSI)
(LA electro-R&B stuff)
- space it -

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lunes, septiembre 17, 2007

kanye west: live at 2007 vmas.

KANYE WEST and I have a love-hate relationship. I suppose it's rather one-sided given that he has no idea who I am (yet).

And I suppose it's just turned into a love relationship. I know everyone and their mommas* have been talking about the sales battle between 50 Cent and Kanye, and I feel annoying adding my two cents. However, this whole battle has finally allowed me to truly appreciate Mr. West.

It all started on September 1oth, 2007. My morning commute left me stuck in traffic, so I flipped the switch to Power 105.1 to listen to Ed Lover and Egypt's morning show. The first thing I hear is a live performance from the VMAs of Kanye's "Good Life" with T-Pain. I had heard the song already, but this was the moment that I realized it was going to be a hit. I turned up the volume, rolled down my window, and despite being early September, it finally felt like summer.

The following day I heard an interview in which Kanye said a whole lot of ridiculous shit. Ridiculous shit that I loved. And on September 12th I bought the album. I became a victim to a publicity stunt and I loved it.

Take a listen to some of the performances Kanye did for MTV, noting that this is apparently the last time he'll ever perform for them.

dl: KANYE WEST f/ T-PAIN - Good Life (Live at 2007 VMAs) (YSI)
dl: KANYE WEST - Champion (Live at 2007 VMAs) (YSI)
(live hip-hop tunes)
- buy it - site it - space it - wik it - hype it -

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domingo, septiembre 16, 2007

brothers and sisters: brothers and sisters

BROTHERS AND SISTERS is such a damn charming band.

Their album came to me through my IRL inbox*. I listened to it, and I remember thinking, “Wow, this is an incredibly charming band.” Somehow, it wound up buried on my desk under a package from Black Nasty, Pink Nasty's not-so-charming brother. Months later I rediscovered it, popped it into my computer, and “New Life” sang the song in my heart.

A week or two after that, I was making a “bad day” playlist. I found myself immediately choosing “One Night” to be on this, not because it’s the type of song that conveys having a bad day…but because it’s such a simple, genuine song. It’s not over-contemplated or overproduced, and personally that’s what I need on a bad day.

Also, the video for “One Night” is TFC—Totally Fucking Charming. At two minutes and forty-eight seconds, it tells the love story of our generation. Basically, two slightly awkward people run into one another a few times and then they make out. You’re left to assume that they do a couple’s skate a few minutes later to *NSYNC’s “This I Promise You”. Or at least I did.

However, I was at that roller-rink after a rough day at work. I watch this romance happen firsthand, while sitting on the sideline drinking a few beers. After the band finishes their song, they sit down near me and start chatting. I awkwardly eavesdrop on their conversation and eventually one of them says something so funny that I start snorting. Clearly they notice this, and then they invite me over to sit with them and we share a few beers. Eventually we get drunk enough to think it’d be a good idea to hijack the jukebox and play “November Rain” by Guns N Roses five times in a row.

The fact that I can imagine this scenario says something about this band, though I’m not really sure what that something is.

(pop-country-indie lovable band)
- buy it - space it - hype it -

* Mailbox. I love getting real mail.

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martes, septiembre 11, 2007

sgt. sass: i'll take your man.

"SGT. SASS is back and we came to out-rap you. Fags talk trash, back up cause we'll slap you"

If you're a fan of Salt N Pepa's Hot, Cool, & Vicious album, these lines may sound familiar to you. However, if you're assuming that the use of the word "fag" here involves a homophobic slant to the 1986 jam, you got things all wrong. The end of the chorus remains the same-- the claim that "If you mess with me I'll take your man." The boys of Sgt. Sass like men. And if you mess with them, they will take yours.

Got a problem with them using that oh-so-debated "f-word"? Well, they think you got it wrong. "A lot of people have an issue with us using the word 'faggot,'" says Sgt. Sass member DT when interviewed by Philadelphia Weekly. "But I hear that word every day and I probably will for the rest of my life. So you have to own it." The article goes on to explain that they're reclaiming "faggot" in the same fashion that female rappers such as Lil Kim and Missy Elliott reclaimed the word "bitch". Even if you don't agree with their usage of "faggot", you've got to admit--- that shit takes balls.*

This usage is most apparent on "Faggot Snappin'", a snap music track that begins with the statement "If hip-hop is dead, then we givin' it life, two down ass faggots done picked up the mic." This song will be accompanied by a dance, a common criteria for recent songs by southern rappers. The lyrics reiterate the point mentioned above, "Some don't like the term I use to label this brand new dance, I hear the word every day they call me it at every chance." I'm still not sure what this dance involves. First you limp your wrist with attitude and snap it back. Flip your hair and roll your back? The 75% of whiteness within me is confused by this. Can't I just throw in a soda on the side? I'm really good at that.

Get your ears ready. These boys will soon be releasing an EP with the help of their producer Johnny Woods, and these "two down ass faggots" are ready to bring some new life into the hip-hop world. Do yourself a favor hip-hop fans. Have a listen to some male rappers who don't submit to the machismo-homophobe bullshit and actually admit that they like men. Yeah, I said it.**

dl: SGT. SASS - I'll Take Your Man (YSI)
(Philly homo-hop)
- space it -

* Okay, so Missy Elliott and Lil Kim don't have balls and they reclaimed "bitch". I suppose I could have just said "that shit takes guts" but I really just like saying "balls". I remember one time in high school, I was talking to a male friend about his crush and said "You totally want her BALLS." She was standing directly behind me, and did not take kindly to the fact that I implied she has testicles.

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domingo, septiembre 09, 2007

ced hughes: and the technicolor sound wave

CED HUGHES made a mixtape, and it's pretty much better than anything you're going to hear from 50 Cent or Kanye West.

I recognize that this is a heavy claim to make, and I will say at the very least...this mixtape is better than Kanye's. Seriously. Can we raise our standards music bloggers? I mean, dude defecates all over Peter Bjorn & John and bitches are flipping their shit over it? I deleted that mp3 seconds after you told me how awesome it was.

Ced takes a variety of hype-worthy artists including (but not limited to) Amy Winehouse, Daft Punk, Justice, Mark Ronson, Interpol, Sa-Ra, and Stereolab and raps over their songs. And the result is often mind-blowingly great. These songs don't seem to be chosen for their hype-factor, so much as the sheer appreciation of the other artists' music. Dispersed throughout the mixtape we have a few of Ced's original songs, which provide evidence that he doesn't only sound good on other people's music...and talent beyond his rapping. Three of these songs are original productions by Ced himself.

But don't let me convince you that he needs talent beyond his skills on the mic. Upon first listen to this mixtape, I immediately drew comparisons to Lupe Fiasco, 7L & Esoteric, Pigeon John, Black Thought of The Roots, Common, etc. Ced is a talented emcee. He's not just some guy who thought it'd be cute to rap over "We Are Your Friends".

He's also not 50 Cent. Holy crap, he's such a shitty rapper. I once read on some obnoxious kid's space that "Fiddy rap like he got a dick in his mouth". Originally I found this extremely offensive and homophobic, but that kid may have been on to something...

If you feel compelled to go out this September 11th and purchase Curtis or yourself a favor. Stay home. Just download Ced and the Technicolor Sound Wave.*

  1. Greetings from the Firing Squad (Interpol mix)
  2. Say Hello and Make Sure You Applaud (Sneaky Soundsystem mix)
  3. Friends Don't Let Friends Use Protection (Justice vs. Simian mix)
  4. Polyphonic Prostitution (Mark Ronson & Kasabian mix)
  5. The Juke Joint (produced by Ced)
  6. On My Lean Casually (produced by EJ and Steve)
  7. My Cool is the Envy of Iceman (produced by Ced)
  8. Jus Move (produced by Nick Speed)
  9. Ced Can't Hold Her (Amy Winehouse mix)
  10. Instead of U and I, It Could Be Us (featuring Kid A, produced by Gabe Niles)
  11. Moonlight TigraRhymeKiller on the Misty Planes of Neptune (Justice mix)
  12. ReWorked Angles (Justice vs. Daft Punk mix)
  13. Nething U Want 2 Do (Sa-Ra mix)
  14. Blame It On Ced (Phoenix mix)
  15. Simple Addiction, Boy Meets Girl (produced by Ced)
  16. We Don't Care. Really We Don't (Mark Ronson & Daptones mix)
  17. Are We Gonna Give Up Umm No (produced by Flying Lotus)
  18. Sunset Round Up the Galaxy (Stereolab mix)

dl: CED HUGHES f/ KID A - Instead of U and I (YSI)
dl: CED HUGHES - ReWorked Angles (Justice vs. Daft Punk mix)** (YSI)
(two hip-hop mixtape tracks)
- space it - virb it -

* Okay, so neither of those other albums are seriously as bad as I'm making them out to be. But Ced's shit is free. You honestly can't lose anything but a minimal amount of space on your hard-drive.
** I honestly swear that posting two Daft Punk mixes in a row is a coincidence. I can't resist the "Guitar Hero" solo on this song.

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martes, septiembre 04, 2007

easter egg: pour it up.

EASTER EGG has recently released a full mash-up album of “hipster hop” entitled Pour It Up.

I’m not the hugest fan of long-form mash-ups because I'm way too A.D.D. for them, but there are some exceptions. Some of these exceptions exist on Pour It Up. The other tracks on the album come close but don't always make it. With that said, Easter Egg shows incredible potential to create great songs out of other people’s music.

The few low points of this album have to do with the choice of acappellas, most of which are southern, novelty, or "ringtone rapper" hip-hop songs. Newsflash: No matter WHAT you do to “Party Like a Rockstar” it will not become a good song. I haven’t heard a single remix of this song that made me like it more, and I never expect to in my lifetime.*

Then there are moments of mash-up magic that disintegrate after a minute or so into the song [see “Let’s Make Roses” (Andre 3000 vs. Cansei de Ser Sexy) or “7 Months to Gossip” (Missy Elliott vs. Data)]. When taken in small doses these are certified ass-shaking jams, but I’d rather bump the originals at my dance party.

And that is the ultimate mash-up test—Would you play this at a dance party?

When “Pop, Walk, and Love It” is the mash-up in question, the answer is “hell fucking yes”. The song places Huey’s tune “Pop, Lock, and Drop It” against Daft Punk’s “Digital Love”. From Busta Rhymes to Kanye West, it seems everything in hip-hop is a little bit better when you add Daft Punk to the recipe.**

Overall, Pour It Up is a decent party album to play when you forget to make a playlist before your big dance party. Particularly if you only hang out with southern hip-hop enthusiasts and electro-hipsters.

Download the album here, featuring the following: 8Ball, Cassie, Chromeo, Clipse, Copy, CSS, Daft Punk, Data, Dead Prez, DJ Unk, Dr. Dre, E-40, Huey, Juelz Santana, Justice, Keak Da Sneak, Lil Scrappy, Lil Wayne, Ludacris, Mannie Fresh, Mike Jones, Missy Elliott, Mistah F.A.B., Miss B, Outkast, The Pack, Pharrell, Ratatat, Shop Boyz, Simian Mobile Disco, Slim Thug, Souls of Mischief, Spank Rock, Three 6 Mafia, Too $hort, Twista, UGK, YACHT, Ying Yang Twins, Young Buck, Yuksek, & Yung Joc.

dl: EASTER EGG - Pop, Walk, and Love It (HUEY vs. DAFT PUNK) (YSI)
dl: EASTER EGG - Giving Up Florida (TWISTA & PHARRELL vs. COPY) (YSI)
("hipster-hop" mash-ups)
- space it -

* This might be a challenge all you DJs, producers, remixers, and whatnot. Before I die, I want you to TRY to create a remix of “Party Like a Rockstar” that I legitimately enjoy. You have until the day I die, an unfortunately vague deadline.

Though I don’t think even Daft Punk could save “Party Like a Rockstar”. Sorry, I had to go there.

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lunes, septiembre 03, 2007

anoraak: the wizzard.

ANORAAK's "the wizzard" makes me want to do interpretative dances in my cubicle.

There's something so appealing about this song that I can't quite put my finger (or even my pinky toe) on. It's a chameleon song. No matter what mood I'm in, the song adjusts to it. It fits in a playlist flawlessly, whether next to Architecture in Helsinki or T-Pain.

Most importantly, it's a very calm song. There are times when I get to work after napping on the subway and think, "Holy shit. This Go! Team song is making me anxious as shit. I can't handle that biznass."* I don't have that problem with "the wizzard". It drags me out of sleep with its swirling, hypnotic electronic instrumentals and smooth, almost slurred vocals. It's wake-up side-effect rivals that of coffee, except this song is totally not a diuretic. At least I don't think it is...

At the same time, this song could be my lullaby, singing me to sleep in my tiny French electronica cradle. Awww.

dl: ANORAAK - the wizzard (YSI)
(French electro-tune)
- space it - hype it -

* I actually think like this. Including the word "biznass".

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