I seem to be spending more time contributing to Stack Overflow than I do writing here*,¬† so I’m going to start sharing some of my S.O answers/opinions here too
*Hey, S.O has points and badges while sjobe.org doesn’t
Remember the first ever blog I posted here ? I probably should have written a review for Graduation after buying it, because it, along with The Cool and Below The Heavens were¬† my favorite albums of 2007, but since I never did get around to doing it, consider this a review/endorsement of the album based on the two Glow in the dark shows I’ve been to.
Pre Graduation 
I remember the disappointment I felt when Kanye was talking about how he was going to be less lyrical on his upcoming album, Graduation, because his main focus this time was to make music that would sound good at concerts and really big arenas. I was hoping that Kanye would have grown as a lyricist and step his lyrical game up so you can understand my disappointment.
The Present 
Fast forward a year and some months later, I sure as hell am glad he went that route. It’s almost a year after graduation dropped and the album stays rotating on my mp3 player. Not only that, but I’ve attended two GITD tours  and I’m totally convinced that Ye is one of the great performers of my generation .
 Back in 2007, before weezy went platinum in a week, before Lupe went gold, before G-Unit could not sell CDs even if they included 100 dollar bills with the packaging [word to Chino XL]
 That’s “Glow In the Dark” for you acronym-ically challenged
 I’m not the only one who feels this way
 Well it was “the present” when I wrote it.. now it’s more like “the ‘past’ that was the ‘present’ context of the post that would eventually get published too far into the future for the context to remain valid”.. er .. or something
I never finished writing this post, a combination of school, work, laziness and Kanye announcing an experimental Auto-tune album can share the blame. It’s been over a year since the last post, but since I’m not one of those real writers who cringe at the thought of putting anything incomplete up [I see you @amrangaye], I figured I’d just throw this up and keep it moving. I still have my notes from 2009 Rock the Bells, done a little iPhone development,¬† became cool with someone to keep me updated on the Gambia hip hop scene [I see u Roca!], and a bunch of other things… I know I’ve said this before, but this time I’m serious.. the One Man Cipher is back!!
I am working on a web project that uses Symfony as it’s framework. I have mod-rewrite enabled, so all the URL requests get routed through my application’s index.php. This means that¬† www.site.com/foo/bar is actually www.site.com/index.php/foo/bar and¬† my default routing.yml settings will look for a module named “foo”and an action named “bar” in my application.
I want to host a couple of static web pages on my site independently of the rest of the Symfony driven pages. The first thing that came to mind was putting the files/folders in the project’s /web which happens to be my document root. Assuming that I created a¬† folder named “static” in /web and placed a index.html file in it, I can go to www.site.com/static/index.html and access the static html page, but¬† if all I wanted to do was to type¬† www.site.com/static/, I would get an error saying that your symfony project has no module named static.
After several hours of trying a lot different things and a reasonable amount of googling even though I wasn’t sure of¬† what I was looking for, I found many solutions and most of them involved editing Symfony’s mod rewrite configuration so that it does not try to not rewrite requests coming to your static directory. This works but can be confusing for someone who does not know the syntax for mod rewrite so I kept on searching until I came across a more elegant/simple solution. All you need to do is create a .htaccess file inside your static folder with “RewriteEngine Off” and if you want “DirectoryIndex index.html” and all your problems are solved.
Some of the search terms I used were:
mod rewrite exclude directory
symfony routing params redirect
symfony routing params
symfony routing static
apache directoryindex folder
subfolders symfony web directory
I don’t usually¬† do this but this is just too good. I remember seeing Lupe introduce Gemini on MTV: My Block as “the antithesis of Lupe Fiasco, real violent…” and anyone who listened to Fahrenheit 1/15 pt.V - Gemini: Untamed Beast* could not have missed all the talk about cash, hoes, guns, etc but there was no denying that dude was definitely a beast on the mic and his singing was on point too. Fast forward to 2008, the braids are gone, he’s had multiple guest spots on Lupe’s Cool, lost some weight and is on some conscious/honesty shit**.¬† The mixtape opens with:
“First off, I‚Äôd like to take a moment before I get in your head
And apologize to every fan I ever misled
There‚Äôs a lot of things I rapped about, you shouldn‚Äôt have been fed
I‚Äôve led people to destruction from the things I done said
I‚Äôve glorified bustin women down, selling drugs, licking rounds
Anything negative you can think of to keep us down
Because when it‚Äôs positive people don‚Äôt wanna hear it
I wanted to speak the truth but I was afraid you wouldn‚Äôt feel it
I overcame and I‚Äôm not ashamed of it,
Untamed Beast was cool but I wasn‚Äôt talking about nothing
Lying in my lyrics to be accepted by the critics,
all the hot punchlines about crack I didn‚Äôt distribute
God blessed me with a talent to paint a picture so vivid
And I turned around and wrote ‚ÄúBust Down‚Äù- Ignorance is bliss
How can I be so oblivious, but they say the first step to recover is to admit…”
You know what, listen to the mixtape already!!! This is not a review… I originally intended to paste the link, a picture and maybe write one line. Ah well…
* Does anyone know what¬† Fahrenheit 1/15 pt.IV was ?
* Er. excuse my language parents
The iPhone 3G got released today and geeks, gangstas, goons and goblins all over the place are going nuts over it. Not only is it cheaper [sorry elitist folk, time to pick another phone as a status symbol], it is also 3G enabled so browsing will not be as slow as it was on the EDGE network. Here is a pretty solid review if you want to know more about the iPhone 3G.
Thanks to all the frenzy over the iPhone, I have decided to write a quick phone review that I meant to do four months ago.
About 4.5 month ago, I went home (to NYC) for the weekend and found a brand new (box and all), cool looking phone sitting on the table. After a lot of begging, pleading, negotiating and explaining why I needed another phone, I finally convinced a jury of my peers (o.k, maybe just my mum) that I deserved the phone more than whoever it was originally meant for [I even played the “it’s an iPhone knockoff, you cant give it as a gift” card]. I left for MD excited with a brand new phone that was not being offered by any national carrier.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you the CESIM A880
Please stop clapping…. no really….
- The phone has 2 sim card slots, <obvious>this can be really useful for those people who have two phone lines but prefer to carry only one phone</obvious>
- ¬†The phone comes with a T.V/Radio tuner, how cool is that ? You can watch local channels on the phone!! take that iPhone!!
- The phone is touchscreen but also has a¬† keyboard. Can you say convenient ?
- The phone comes with an extra battery
- The phone has a microSD slot and comes with a free 256 MB card
- The volume on the phone is ridiculous!! The phone is almost louder than my laptop
- When connected to a computer, the phone can be used a storage device or a webcam
- The photos are really low quality. The box has a 3.0 megapixel camera label, the print on the phone says “2.o MEGA PIXELS” but the actual picture quality makes me believe that its 1.3 megapixels or something
- The phone comes with no manual
- There is no power button indicator; pushing the red cancel button might be intuitive to some but I’m just sayin….
- The keys are small
- The phone has one of those old fashioned antennas. It does improve the TV quality a lot when you pull it out [||] but I cant help but to get flashbacks of my grandma’s old AA battery powered FM/AM radio… good times
- Most phones have four rows of numbers and 3 columns of key, this phone goes the opposite way so the ‘*’, ‘0′, and ‘#’ buttons are situated to the right side of the ‘3′, ‘6′, and ‘9′ buttons respectively
- The phone uses Windows XP icons for it’s menu. Not only are the icons low quality, they also dont make much sense if you’re familiar with Windows (i.e. if you’re in the majority of computer users on this planet); they have the Internet Explorer icon for “Services”, the “Show Desktop” icon for “Shortcuts”, the “Add/Remove Programs” icon for “Organizer”, etc
- I’ve already mentioned how loud the phone gets, the downside to it is the really annoying phone startup tune that plays at max volume. Sitting on the phone during does help a little
- The phone has the apple icon printed on its back side. This alone takes it from the “iPhone competitor” category to the “iPhone imitation” category
- The box it comes in has the following text: “Moving TV & Dual-Sim, Moving Funny & Business!”… dont ask
In the end, I could not get the phone to work with any sim card (I tried both t-mobile and at&t). If anyone out there has any idea how I can get the phone to work with t-mobile or at&t, holla @ me.
1. He penned 1/2 of “Jesus Walks” and won a grammy for it with Ye’ even before he dropped his debut album
2. Unlike your favorite rapper who only “battles” in a recording booth (alone), Fest actually battles and is a scribble jam winner. One of the notables on his battle defeat list is some guy named Marshall Mathers
3. To support his wife and child, he didn’t go the usual “heat carrying, crack peddling, old lady robbing, etc” route that your favorite rapper probably claims to have gone (And you know as well as I do that there is probably very little truth to it), instead he got multiple low paying jobs including one as a Janitor for a university. Gotta respect that
4. This line: “My style is running to the toilet, You ain’t seen SHIT yet”
5. He’s been name dropping Obama in freestyles since 2006, thats way before most of us (hip hop crowd in this case) ever heard of the senator from Illinois
6. He put out a Michael Jackson tribute album and Its CRACK!!!(disclaimer: kids drugs are bad) son and its free for download
7. He met with the United Kingdom’s Parliamentary Leader of the Opposition, David Cameron do discuss the good, the bad and the ugly of hip hop
This is the kind of blog that usually comes at the end of the year but I somehow managed to wait until now. I really want to write a short review for each of the albums on the list but the Nets play the Celtics in a couple of minutes so this has to be a quick one. So without further ado:
[In no particular order]
1. Little Brother: Getback
2. Kanye West: Graduation
3. Lupe Fiasco: The Cool
4. Joel Ortiz: The Brick - Bodega Chronicles
5. Common: Finding Forever
6. Jay Z: American Gangster
7. Brother Ali: The Undisputed Truth
8. Talib Kweli: Eardrum
9. Blu & Exile: Below The Heavens
10. Amir Sulaiman: Like A Thief In The Night
And as a bonus, here are 5 honorable mentions that could have easily made the list
1. Cassidy: B.A.R.S
2. Akon: Konvicted
3. Canibus: For Who The Beat Tolls
4. Ne Yo: Because Of You
5. Pharoahe Monch: Desire
Think I missed an important one ? Leave a comment
<understatement>I know I was not the most active of bloggers in 2007</understatement> but all that is about to change (hopefully). I have a couple of blog ideas the readers [all two of them] will probably enjoy. To show my new commitment to blogging, I came up with a more creative/cooler title than “Sjobe’s Blog”
Announcer: LADIES AND GENTLEMEN…. I PRESENT TO YOU….
THE ONE MAN CIPHER!!!!
Crowd: Huh ? One man what ?
Let me break it down, since most of my blogs will be on hip hop and-or computers [sorry, I know you were expecting juicy personal details :-)] and me being a sucker for double entendres and all, I came up with a title that can be interpreted differently by hip hop fans and geeks
1. His fans still passionately debate about which one is better; The Food & Liquor leak or the official Food & Liquor
2. He flowed better over other rappers beats on his Fahrenheit 1/15 mixtapes than most rappers did on their original songs
3. He had Jay-Z co-executive produce Food & Liquor even though he had rejected a record deal with Roc-A-Fella
4. He was GQ Magazine’s “Breakout Man Of The Year”
5. He’s in a Nickleback video
6. He has a black belt in Karate
7. He was featured on a single off a Kanye West album. [To see how big this is, simply take a look at the other artists Ye’ has on his albums; Common, Jay-Z, Mos Def, Kweli, Twista, Jamie Foxx, Ludacris, Adam Levin, The Game, Nas, and Brandy just to name a few]
*If you have a reason or reasons that you believe should have made the list, let me know by leaving a comment.