For Once Kanye's Anger Was Totally Justified

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Look into his eyes. That is not a man I would mess with.
I like that Kanye West fellow. He may be the most fatheaded, arrogant jerk of all time in most of his interviews, but every once in a while he puts out a great album and makes us forget all the stupid things he said to Jimmy Kimmel or Zane Lowe.

He also has a habit of getting into fights -- verbal or physical -- for any reason presented to him. You may recall he just got out of a court case late last year for an alleged assault on a paparazzo who was trying to photograph him. He's back in the news for another alleged assault that occurred Monday, but this time it comes with a twist: For perhaps the first time, I believe, Kanye West was completely justified in his actions.


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Just Who Is OutKast Again?

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Photos by Marco Torres
The sun sets over the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, Calif.
Two years ago at Coachella, Dr. Dre reunited with his The Chronic homie Snoop Dogg, a standout performance that also featured a special appearance by Hologram Tupac Shakur. Last year, it was '90s backpack-rap group Jurassic 5's turn to reunite in the desert. Last week another hip-hop reunion was announced, confirming the rumors that have been circulating on the interwebs for months now: after a ten-year hiatus, the pioneering Southern rap duo OutKast is set to headline this year's festival.

Almost immediately, ungrateful music fans hit their social media accounts to shout in disgust at the lineup, which has become something of a yearly ritual for Coachella lovers and former fans. One of the prevailing questions was simple: Who is OutKast?

Well, for everyone asking that question, we here at Rocks Off would like to enlighten you. And for everyone else, we hope this lesson serves as a southernplayalistic refresher.


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Punk Rock and Alleged Sexual Assault: A Timely Story

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Photo by Montecruz Foto/ Flickr Commons
The Casualties' Jorge Herrera
Last month, fledgling blog Put Your Damn Pants On ran a guest post entitled "I Won't Apologize for Being Assaulted."

The article's author, identified as "Beth," described herself as a "recovering scenester, 30-something stay at home wife and mom. I listen to the Descendants from the comfort of my suburban home while cooking barefoot and pregnant to Bikini Kill's 'Rebel Girl.'"

She told the story of her sexual assault, which she says occurred 16 years ago, with aplomb and searing bitterness. Her story has evoked visceral reactions from the punk-rock community.


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Macklemore Has Something He Wants to Say

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Last Sunday evening, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis accepted the award for Best Hip-Hop/Rap artist, one of six they were nominated for at the 2013 American Music Awards.

But instead of a traditional speech, Macklemore (real name Ben Haggerty) took the opportunity to speak up against racial profiling via video feed from their tour stop in Miami.

With what seemed like a mixture of nerves, excitement and gratitude, Macklemore said:


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Report: Suspect Charged In May Assault On La Mafia Singer

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photos by Marco Torres
(L-R) Armando Lichtenberger Jr. and Oscar De La Rosa of Tejano band La Mafia pose at the Houston Texans game on Sunday.
According to AbOUT Magazine, a suspect has been charged in the May assault on singer Oscar De La Rosa of legendary Tejano band La Mafia, who in July were part of the inaugural class of inductees into the Houston Music Hall of Fame.

The report says Jared David Avila of Rosenberg has been charged with Assault With Bodily Injury in Harris County Criminal Court No. 7, with bond set at $5,000. The incident happened outside of Montrose nightclub Blur the early-morning hours of May 13, and left De La Rosa unconscious and with eye damage requiring stitches and loss of teeth.


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Halftime Hero: Why Bruno Mars Is the Right Choice for Super Bowl XLVIII

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Photo by Brad Barket/Courtesy of Live Nation
Bruno Mars at Boston's TD Garden in June
Less than a month into the new NFL season, we already know who will be playing at the Super Bowl. We may not know which teams will line up for football's biggest game. As the sports cliché goes, there's a lot of football yet to be played; but, no prognostication is required when the subject is the entertainment booked for the halftime event. It'll be pop sensation Bruno Mars.

No one I've discussed this with has even the slightest problem with the NFL's and sponsoring Pepsi's choice. The grizzled geezers I watch games with would probably prefer some addled rockers out there at the half, bands like The Who, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers or the Rolling Stones, who have all played this gig. But, they also have no objection to this diminutive, flashy wunderkind of pop music.


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Let's Not Imagine Cloning John Lennon Just Yet

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Photo by David Zack
Looks like Lennon. Not Lennon.
I grew up watching those 1950s black-and-white sci-fi movies where man creates some terrifying abomination from his wayward attempts at science. It's a story as old as Mary Shelley, but as science evolved the ways we could totally screw ourselves by playing God expanded and grew more frightening.

As a kid, I really believed we might inadvertently create 100-foot-tall ants or human-fly hybrids. So, you'll have to excuse me if I am worried about scientists cloning John Lennon.

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Blurred Lines Turns Tables on Robin Thicke's Old Nemesis Timberlake

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Whether seen or not, Thicke has been working his ass off for over two decades to finally get to this point, and he seems ready to fight for his time in the spotlight.

You see, though Thicke has been working hard, he always seems to have bad luck with timing. Specifically speaking, his first two albums were overlooked due to being released in conjunction with Timberlake's. Even Thicke's biggest singles, "When I Get You Alone" and "Wanna Love You Girl," couldn't rival songs like "Senorita" or "SexyBack."

But it seems that the tables have finally turned.


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Bloodhound Gang vs. Russia: No Contest, Comrade Putin

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Bloodhound Gang
It's not quite the Cold War, but the current relationship between the U.S. and Russia is especially frosty these days.

From Syria to Snowden, we can't seem to see eye to eye across the globe, or even the Bering Strait, as Vladimir Putin's return to the presidency seems like regression to authoritarian rule. No one is threatening to bury anyone, but a lot of Russian vodka is being boycotted on our shores.

Now comes word that Russian leaders have imposed a lifetime ban on the Bloodhound Gang.


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Cannibal Ox Is Back, But Is Anybody Listening?

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Photo by Marco Torres
Cannibal Ox's El-P (left) with Killer Mike at Warehouse Live in June 2012
You may have missed it, but no one would blame if you did because you're not alone. In March, legendary indie hip-hop group Cannibal Ox announced they were making a comeback in a big way, launching a new album, their very own record label, and a Kickstarter campaign to fund it all.

The last time Cannibal Ox recorded a studio album was 2001's The Cold Vein. It was produced by Def Jux mastermind El-P, a distinguished rapper in his own right, and released to wide acclaim and obsessive fandom. Then they went almost totally dormant for the last 12 years.


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