L.A. Nik turns self-help author with Life is Short, Then You're Dead Forever

screenshot from "Friends in Minneapolis" video
Since L.A. Nik doesn't have a full-time job, he has to dabble in everything. Now the "Mayor of Minneapolis After Dark" has a book with his name on the front to add to the list of sort-of professions.

See Also:
- L.A. Nik releases "video" for his "Friends in Minneapolis" single
- L.A. Nik explains Letterman connection, drops "Friends in Minneapolis" single
- Mayor Rybak offers perfect rejoinder to L.A. Nik on Facebook

The title, Life is Short, Then You're Dead Forever: A Realistic Self-Help Book, wastes no time telling Nik's prospective readers what they're in for: a healthy dose of how Nik's experiences can help his audience "live life to the fullest," as the author says in a press release. "Realistic, straightforward advice on how to live your life without regret -- like me."

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Why Public Enemy got into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and N.W.A. didn't

Photo by Piero F. Giunti
As hip hop grows ever longer in the tooth, the overall picture of what it meant in its infancy -- and still means -- becomes more clear. Some of it, like the rock, punk, funk and country before it, managed to transcend genre and enter into the cultural zeitgeist of America. The voting for the 2013 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees was announced yesterday and on the ballot were two pioneering rap groups who managed to do those things, both of whom still carry weight today: N.W.A. and Public Enemy.

Given the voter makeup (the chosen panel is shrouded in secrecy, but it's not a stretch to say it's made up of mostly old guard musicians and record execs) only one -- Public Enemy -- will be inducted come next April, but when the dust has settled afterward and everyone finally stops the second-guessing, it should be clear the right choice was made.

See Also:
Ice Cube's good days begin with Peace Coffee from Minneapolis
Public Enemy at First Avenue, 12/6/12
Chuck D: Yeah, I voted in the 2012 election

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The 10 best rap songs of 2011

"I don't know art, but I know what I like." "There's no accounting for taste." "Opinions are like assholes." There's validity to each one of these statements, but that doesn't mean that anyone's going to agree with any feelings anyone else expresses about anything on the Internet. And while hip-hop's reign as pop's lingua franca is fading, people remain mad for rap, even if nobody can really agree on what rap is, or what's best about, or what's worst. Gimme Noise could be a rap neophyte or an obsessive, stone-purist XXL freelancer or Rick Rubin or Mark Ronson; in each case, the list below would be different, and in each case, somebody would find a reason to pile on and dissect and infer vociferously and just hate. All of that will likely happen here, too, but maybe that's healthy - the fact that, you know, the very act of quasi-arbitratry year-end list-making is enough to raise hackles. It means that people care. That they're listening and downloading and processing and rendering myriad personal judgments. Is modern rock, at this point, capable of inspiring such comment-box fervor? Are people really invested enough in guitar thunder in 2011? Hopefully we'll find out soon.

In the meantime, well, here are the 10 rap songs we couldn't get enough of this year. (Sadly, not including this, which I just found on YouTube and almost makes up for that one bullshit Dipset reunion single. KILLA CAM!)

Heaven help us all.

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Lil B, 'I Got AIDS': Is this what progress looks like?

So the first rapped lyrics on "I Got AIDS" are, indeed, "I got AIDS." This isn't a song that fucks around; it straddles the elephant in the blog comment box and starts beating that sucker on the ears with a spiked riding crop. This is significant in a number of ways, not least of which are these: 1) no major pop figure has ever strung those words together on a chorus, 2) AIDS remains a terrifyingly real enough cultural proposition, even today, that this statement hits the listener's psyche with the force of a load of bricks, and 3) Lil B is a rapper.

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Lil B

Flaming Lips' Wayne Coyne ponders year-long song, gloats

Psychedelic freak-show Oklahomans Flaming Lips are nothing if not daring and insane; winding down an autumn that's seen them release limited-edition, imaginatively packaged six and 24 hour-long songs, front man Wayne Coyne announced a series of esoteric, cracked-out extra-musical stunts for 2012 that suggest that maybe you should program your hallucinogen connect into your speed dial like yesterday.

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'American Juggalo' gives uncomfortably hilarious insight into Gathering of the Juggalos

Partying is partying, but there's a point in even the hardest and least compromising of undergraduate parties where partying gives way to something akin to communion, when people stop abusing substances and stagger onto the 3 a.m. Straight Talk Express. Chemical intensities fade to zero, or nearly zero. Postures give way to zombified half-smirks. "Real talk" becomes something more than an urban vernacular punctuation mark. And amid smashed windows and trashed bungalows and dozens of sticky red plastic cups, people just start sharing all sorts of deeply personal stuff about themselves with perfect strangers: their prejudices, their fears, how they broke laws of man and God alike over and over again, the liberties taken, the misdemeanors narrowly sidestepped. It's almost as though the one-two-punch of intoxication and physical exhaustion are temporarily enough to demolish the psychic walls that divide us.

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Nicki Minaj will paint your fingernails to chaos

When you think of rapper/singer/walking-psychologist's-desk-reference Nicki Minaj, the notion of getting your nails did probably doesn't spring to mind. Now you don't have much choice, because in January the Cash Money/Young Money queen is partnering with OPI to release six nail polishes named after songs from Pink Friday, her well-received debut album. 

As part of Gimme Noise's ongoing salute to post-pop marketing and general embrace of the "360 deal" concept, we've drawn up a list of things that wearing Pink Friday nail polish may inspire you to do.

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Rick Ross health scares, a big change in the Sonic Youth dynamic: A look at the week that was

Hey! Yo! What's up? The Week That Was is back. Sure, we've been away for a good long while, but too much crazy shit's gone down this week. 


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