On Female Jerkin' MCs (NSFW)

music, copyright, photos, friends, legal

Warning: This is a rap music blog post! It also contains frank discussion of sex, drugs and rap, hopefully from a somewhat academic perspective, so it's NSFW. If you come here for other stuff, usually, you might want to skip this post.

A picture of Yummy S Dot in tight jeans, striped shirt, big glasses and a hat, flipping off the camera Via Mikey of Digital Dripped and Pilly of Nation of Thizzlam, I've really started to dig a style of hip-hop called Jerkin' out of Southern California.

What is Jerkin'? I'm not exactly sure, and I hope by blogging a bit about it, I can get some input for the record from people involved in the scene. Here's what I know now, in abbreviated form. Probably the most mainstream Jerkin' song is the New Boyz' "You're a Jerk"; check their video out here. Clearly, Jerkin' is a style of music, a series of dance steps and some seriously flashy attire including bright colors, skinny jeans and skating and shit.

Anyway, on to the subject of this post: one thing that's fascinated me is the prevalence of female MCs in Jerkin'. There are a lot of them and these girls can spit furious. They easily hold their own, and then some, against the dudes. I react with enthusiasm to this just as I did with the Riot Grrrl genre (whether guys were invited to that party or not!); there's nothing like women blowing up a sausage fest scene, like hip-hop.

For the rest of this post, I'm going to throw up some samples of particularly good female Jerkin' tunes, verses and such. All of the full songs can be had over at Digital Dripped.

(Incidentally, I get the same visceral "Holy Shit!" reaction with Digital Dripped that many of us had with the original Napster. It seems just too good to be true. And it's encouraging to see tweets from Mikey where he says most of the contacts he gets from record labels are about putting tracks up and not taking them down. Anyway, on to the MCs...)

(I use a flash audio player below... so it might not show up on iPhone or Linux.)

Each of these MCs are smokin' hot. They spit over the fattest beats... definitely turn your speakers up! They do lyrical gymnastics of the highest quality. Be warned: Jerkin' lyrics talk quite frankly about sex... so, deal.

New Era -- Do It Now

This is a remarkable track by New Era. The beat is luscious; the hook is addictively clever and danceable and the verses are top-notch. The subject is pretty novel: she's talking about how much head she gets. She even goes as far as to shout out a list of guys that have done the deed for her. This is flipping the sexual energy around from typical hip-hop; Jerkin' itself can be highly sexual, but this is a woman boasting about her conquests. Superb.

"I get more mouth than a red letter"

New Era -- Dumb Bitch

It's hard for me to tell (living in Jersey and all, and being old and shit) but this appears to be a diss response track to a diss of New Era for boasting about liking to give head in the last track (or some other track). She makes the case that she's not ashamed of her oral sex skills and does so in a scathing manner.

"Cuz, um, if you ain't suckin' dick,
he got a side bitch
And, I can bet money on that one
me and my hubby get it poppin' like a cap gun"

Lala ft. Giddy -- Nymphomaniac

This track is almost too dirty to write about! It's a fast-paced romp using a lot of electric sounds and deep tonal bass. LaLa kills the first verse and Giddy ends it will an equally accomplished lyrical flourish. This is a simple but impressive and sonically large track.

"I'm a nymphomaniac, looking for a brainiac
to teach me a lesson, yup, simple as that.
I'm a nymphomaniac, looking for a brainiac
to show me how to work it, then run it back."

Yummy S Dot -- Get Buck (Remix)

Girls can be aggressive too, yo. This song is about not stepping down at the club when another girl is straight tripping out. Yummy S Dot is not adverse to throwing down... and her verses on this track emphasize her toughness over a heavy bass and electronic synth background.

"Bitch back that, before that ass gets slapped
'cause you hear 'pop! pop!' when the burner 'clap claps'!
Ho, I'm serious, you are delirious
If you think your man ain't know me, are you furious?

Mz. E Baby -- So Fresh (ft. C-Coop)

This songs is purely copacetic... Mz. E Baby is a lyricist unparalleled in Jerkin', and Jay Star and New Era are about as close to her skills as it comes. This is a heavy hitting, musically minimal and lyrically insane track. E Baby shreds and shreds and just when you think she's killed it enough, the beat drops out and she's coming back 10 times harder.

"What I do, it gotta be right
When I do it, it gotta be tight
More icy than Gucci Mane
So Fresh, So Clean
From my head to my toes, I'm covered with bling
I'm hot, you not
now everybody run with me."

Fe Raw -- Fill It Up Snip

An image of Fe Raw flipping off the camera with big glasses Then there's Fe Raw, another remarkable jerkin' female. Very laid-back flow that isn't the best in the verses but bad ass hooks. She has a bunch of other great tracks including "Boy, You Nasty" which is really a fun track.

"'Cuz I'm a bad bitch, badder than you'll ever fuck with
(juice?) in my cup, got me really fucked up
married to the mob, so I'm like, so what
(meet?) in the flow, fill it up"

Jayy Starr -- Raw Bitch

Jayy Star, like New Era and Mz. E Baby is one of my favorites. She is in the stratosphere in terms of lyrical quality. She claims she is a "raw bitch": She raps about how bad ass she is at rapping, how much money she makes and all the guys she can get. And she does this with one superb verse after another.

"Lil' daddy in my ear tryin' to holla
but I only speak money, an he ain't talkin' dollars"

"I swear I'm the realist
Starr spits sick more ill than the illest
dope like crack dealahs,
I'm not the best, what you talking 'bout, Wilis?"

"Stacks on deck, jewels on my neck
(bury?) incorrect, I get respect
cook them checks, goons on deck,
I'm so sex, jerkin', yes
I'm a raw bitch, raw bitch"

Asia Lynn -- Tip Toe

Finally, Asia Lynn throws down this track... and it sounds like the first verse is actually someone else rapping, but I can't figure out who. This is a minimal track and highlights Asia's lyrical style. She is obviously having a good time... in the club, smoking blunts, shaking her ass, making the other girls jealous.

"Tip Toe, when I step in the club
I'm a bad bitch, so these niggas show me love
These bitches steady hating, they some pigeons, I'm a dove
When they see Asia Lynn, it's alright, they know what's up"

Go girls, fo' sho'!

Asia Lynn leaning against a graffitti wall wearing a tutu and a t-shirt with a blonde friend next to her

Plaudits for (Post-Election) Audits

elections, music, photos, friends, research

Plaudits for (Post-Election) Audits

(by Mark Lindeman; Presented at the EVT/WOTE 2009 Rump Session)

Say you?re eager to be voting, on some candidates you?re doting,
While you?re waiting in the polling place this thought might give you pause...
Who was it who configgered, and maybe subtly jiggered
The machines that say who?s president and who will write our laws?

I hope they all mean kindly, but we needn?t trust them blindly,
Or cross our fingers hoping all that stuff will work just fine.
We won?t rely on vapor, we?ll let voters vote on paper,
Then some post-election audits can confirm the bottom line.

Friends, raise your joyful plaudits to post-election audits
Where we count some votes by hand to check the work of the machines.
It might sound esoteric, or tiresomely numeric
But democracy?s at stake, so let?s make sure those counts are clean.

Well, perhaps you run elections and you use the best protections
But some pesky voting activists, they will not be appeased...
If they seem unduly pensive, don?t get angry or defensive,
Some post-election audits will help put their minds at ease!

Brilliant experts work with vigor to implement due rigor
So results can be confirmed before the winners are announced
That negative exponential, it sure does have potential
And PPEBWR, it would too, if it could only be pronounced.

Let?s offer up our plaudits to post-election audits
It?s just plain common sense to check the count, to measure twice,
It strikes me as moronic to place faith in electronics
Y?know everything goes better when you use ten-sided dice.

Be you populist or wonky, be you elephant or donkey,
Green, Reform or independent, it matters not to me...
Let?s make vote verification America?s trendy destination
?Coz it?s democratic bedrock, and on that we can agree.

Yes, let?s sing ecstatic plaudits to our post-election audits
Where we count some votes by hand to see the facts in open sight
There?s no need to sit and wonder if the outcome was a blunder
When a post-election audit can ensure we get it right.

EVT/WOTE 2009, Day 2

elections, hacks, friends, research, policy, education, princeton

Ben Adida (Harvard) Day 2 of EVT/WOTE 2009 was on the highly mathematical side. The cryptographic papers and auditing papers were presented on Day 2. We started off with a superb tutorial by Ben Adida entitled "Voting Cryptography for Non-Cryptographers". Ben started from very basic concepts and then proceeded through various primitives ending up with my personal favorite, zero knowledge.

Frankly, I'm too tired to summarize more of the event. Suffice it to say that I'm very proud of our speakers and am thankful things went smoothly. It was such a rich event, on so many levels. I'm humbled to be a part of this community.

Here are some more pics from my flickr EVT/WOTE 2009 photo set:

Vanessa Teague (University of Melbourne)

Vanessa Teague (University of Melbourne)

William M. Gardner (NH SoS)

William M. Gardner (NH SoS)

Full story »

First Day of EVT/WOTE 2009

elections, hacks, friends, research, policy

We had a wonderful first day at EVT/WOTE 2009, yesterday. More than 80 of the best thinkers in voting technology are here mixing it up in Montreal. We have computer scientists, usability experts, legal experts, advocates and voting system vendors all in attendance.

EVT/WOTE 2009 Audience The first bit of business was awarding our Best Paper award. The Best Paper went to: Electing a University President Using Open-Audit Voting: Analysis of Real-World Use of Helios (PDF) by Ben Adida (Harvard University), Olivier de Marneffe, Olivier Pereira, and Jean-Jacques Quisquater (Université catholique de Louvain).

This work involved the first binding use of the Helios open-audit voting system where more than 5,000 ballots were cast. This is a very important step on the path to using types of cryptographic voting systems in real elections. Congratulations to the authors!

I've been taking pictures and have posted them at Flickr. Audio from the talks should be available at some point via USENIX.

Here are some short notes with pictures from the event:

Keynote Speaker Larry Norden

Our keynote was delivered by Lawrence Norden, Senior Counsel for the Brennan Center for Justice and NYU's Voting Technology Project. In my opinion, no one has done more to forward voting technology policy than Larry. Larry contextualized the varied work being presented at the workshop and then talked in depth about how research can help to move policy.

Hon. Rush Holt (NJ)

The Honorable Rush Holt (NJ) gave our first invited talk. He talked about the role of science in policy and emphasized how important it is for science to be actively involved with Congress.

EVT/WOTE 2009 Rump Crowd

The first EVT/WOTE Rump Session was chaired by the incomparable Eric Rescorla... and it was a smashing success. We had over 14 informal presentations of preliminary work, work to be presented in other venues (like ACM CCS), work no one intended to start but that was done anyway and a number of very humorous presentations. The highlight to me, which some missed by leaving early, was Mark Lindeman's debut as a singer/songwriter with his folk song "Plaudits for Post-Election Audits". Video, released with permission from Mark is here: http://www.vimeo.com/6048375

Other pics:

Even dinner is for deep thinking:

A Gaggle of E-voting people
Peter Nuemann, Josh Benaloh and Andrew Appel
dinner party!

Upgrading iPhone 2G to 3.0.1

system, hacks, open source, friends, research, policy, education

Warning: The following assumes that you have a 2G iPhone, a Mac laptop or desktop and some familiarity with the command-line.

I've written before about how it's a pain to upgrade my jailbroken, unlocked 2G iPhone (here is my post on getting up to 3.0).

I just upgraded to 3.0.1 and it has gotten a lot easier!

You'll want copies of the firmware files (IPSW) of both iPhone OS 3.0 and 3.0.1 and redsn0w 0.8 from the iPhone Dev Team (you can get iPhone firmware here and redsn0w 0.8 here). We don't actually create a custom firmware here but you'll want these some day anyway... and redsn0w is essential.

Here's what you do:

  1. Install aptbackup from Cydia if you haven't already. Use it to back up your Cydia apps.
  2. Sync with iTunes and be sure that it creates a backup (this will be your reference if you mess up, mostly).
  3. Aptbackup has a nasty habit of not working, occasionally. So, per this post, SSH into your phone and copy over to your computer the files aptbackup.cydiasources.tgz, aptbackup_dpkg-packages.txt and aptbackup_openssh.tgz found at /var/mobile/Library/Preferences. (If aptbackup barfs after your upgrade, you can install aptbackup and OpenSSH via Cydia, sftp these files back to the same directory and use aptbackup to restore.)
  4. Connect your iPhone back to iTunes and allow iTunes to download the firmware and upgrade your phone to 3.0.1. (This will take a while.) When iTunes beeps and says your iPhone is rebooting, close iTunes.
  5. Launch redsn0w. It will ask you to point it to your current firmware. You should point it to the IPSW file for iPhone OS 3.0 (not 3.0.1). It will recognize the IPSW and then you click "Next". Then it will do some stuff ("preparing jailbreak data") and then ask you to select some options. Just keep Cydia selected here and click "Next". Now, this is important: follow the instructions to make sure your phone is powered off and plugged in. Get ready to do some DFU ballet with the power switch and home button... when you're ready, click "Next". Follow the on-screen instructions: hold the power button for 3 seconds, then also press the home button for 10 seconds, then let go of the power button but keep the home pressed for 30 seconds. redsn0w will do some stuff.
  6. If your iPhone reboots and starts doing some jailbreaking (it will be obvious, with pineapples), you're good. However, many people (including me) had redsn0w hang here... it stops with the message "Waiting for reboot" while the iPhone is totally black. If this happens to you, don't fret... wait a few seconds to make sure it isn't still working. If it's still hung, unplug the USB cable from the computer for 3 seconds and then plug it back in. It should reboot with a gray screen and then do some pineapple-icious bootneutering and jailbreaking.
  7. You may need to restore from the backup you made earlier using iTunes to get your settings and stuff back (although I didn't).
  8. You should be able to install aptbackup from Cydia and hit "restore" to restore your Cydia apps. It will take a few minutes to download everything and install and then it will reboot. Don't worry if all of a sudden your normal AppStore software appears gone... it will come back after a reboot or respring (or even just locking and unlocking the phone with the power button).
  9. Now it's just a matter of making sure all your icons are in the right place.
  10. I'd suggest changing the passwords for both the root and mobile users... from the default of alpine to something more substantial. (To do this, ssh into the phone as root, do passwd for root and then do su mobile to change yourself to the user mobile and do passwd for that user too.)
  11. If you use Cycorder, you'll also need to re-establish the symbolic link between where cycorder stores its videos and AirSharing, if you had it set up like that.
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