Language moments that pleased me this week.
• Since it's not Aug.-Oct. '09 I'm not really listening to OB4CL2 anymore. Girls are finicky and not very loyal, so what do you expect. We move on. Rae doesn't care; he's making a video for “Ason Jones” and the coverage of it allows me to revisit this:
“Five foot seven, a legend was born, Russell ‘Ason’ Jones/I know him for his braids and lessons.” Plus he could dance slow and had knowledge 120 and would be killing things on Twitter if he were here.
Apart from my excitement in knowing ODB and I were the same physical size (!) thanks to this couplet here, the braids/lessons line is a restrained and lovely statement. He looked like this, and he talked like this, Rae says, but in far fewer words than I'd need and in a much gentler tone of voice than I'd use when describing ODB, a man for whom I have so much affection. Always calm, that Rae. Steadfast. Additionally, a Dilla beat is probably the only kind that could accurately carry the pathos of a tribute song.
• Bun B & T-Pain, “Trillionaire.” Terrible song despite the presence of Bun's voice and the line where he says “tubular” then adds “uvula” as a colorful descriptive in that part about getting oral, but I'm including this one based on the feelings of disbelief it has stirred up within me. Nobody who raps and is from the state of Texas thought to make a song called “Trillionaire” before?
Also not yet used and that I'm offering everyone with a mixtape and a Port Arthur ZIP code: Dressed to trill. Mentally trill. An uptrill battle. It's all downtrill from here. Where there's a trill there's a way. Saul Trilliams. And of course, the least-respected member of the Geto Boys, Trillie D. Limited time offer. Everything must go.
• Taking place in Brooklyn as of this very moment, the Afro-Punk Festival is a redundantly-named gathering (it's rather like putting Afro- in front of R&B or blues or rock). Nonetheless, I fully support it because Mos Def, J*Davey, POS, and the Bad fucking Brains (hello) are playing. So it's redundant but still nice. What, no Race Music Festival?
“We want to expose kids to the idea that there’s a different option, a different way to be,” said Matthew Morgan, a London native who helped start the festival partly in the spirit of uplift for minority children. “If everyone wears baggy trousers, and we all look the same, how rebellious is that?”
HIGH FIVE and EXACTLY, said the girl in her tiny apartment who has the appearance and carriage of a schoolteacher but the heart of a 17-year-old boy from Queens in '95, Dah Shinin' playing in his Civic.
• Finally, someone calls out individuals who use the truncated simile too often on the microphone. Unfortunately, that someone was the annoying, monotone-voiced Canadian. I never thought we'd agree on anything, he and I, and now I need a shower. Thanks, Aub.
Evan Brockett photo.
• Man fuck it I’m out,
Black owned and I’m bout it fool
I got a studio in my house
Along with some of the perks that come with my work
Pretty twentysomething sleeping in my Diamond Supply shirt.
New Curren$y feat. Mos & Jay Electronica, “The Day” (it keeps getting taken down, but it's worth the search). Even though the word "featuring" is inappropriately used here since Mos is just on the chorus and we all remember what a hard time we gave a certain bomb-dropping individual when he tried to get away with that, this song is excellent and notable for the following reasons:
- Wack n---as with that sleep rappin and woke up in trou-ble
You was cool 10 years ago, you fuckin Lex bubbles!
(My exclamation point for emphasis.) a) Curren$y sounds like he's about to fall asleep on account of the THC impeding his psychomotor coordination, and I commend the way he still manages to keep up with the rhythm of things. b)“Lex bubbles," welcome to my vocabulary as the newest and freshest in derogatory terms. I'll be incorporating it repeatedly into conversation for the next 2 weeks.
- the last line about the sleeping half-naked girl paints a very clear picture. I can practically see her lying over there. I hope you brought a hairbrush, sweetie. (Also, Nicky Diamonds--I continue to be jealous of your high-quality rap associations.)
- Bout it is still showing up in verses by Louisiana MCs. That's un-ironically great. In recent years we've been bout this, of course, and sometimes bout that, but nothing really makes an impact as much as the original declaration.
- Not really English-language-related, but the song is produced by Ski, who's been committed to blacksploiting every beat he comes into contact with since '97. He did some stuff on Reasonable Doubt II, but that was not as appealing to me as his Camp Lo stuff. It'll always be uptown Saturday night in apt. 15. Love you, Ski.
• Of Montreal, “Coquet Coquette.” [Stereogum] See, sometimes I like music from Georgia that's not Grand Hustle or Dungeon Family or the Allman Brothers or that got its start on the chitlin circuit.
You know I won't forget
How you kissed me strange to prove you were mythical
Oh my Coquet you use my voice as your earthly vehicle
You know I won't forget
How you hurt me twice to prove you were cynical
Oh my Coquet, you are the death, you are the pinnacle
With you I can only see my black light constellations
And other shit I don't think I have the language to say
I don't want to catch you with some other guy's face under your eyelids
Something must be wrong, you give me emotional artifacts
That can find no purchase...
You know I won't forget
How you made me cry to prove I was dutiful
Oh my Coquet, my teenage lust for you is so pitiful
• This feature on the making of Aquemini is the latest forum for Andre to reveal himself as Sun Ra with a Geouhgia accent. My teenage lust for him is so pitiful.
- “You find some of the fakest people with dreads pouring oils on you.”
- “I'm so not in the world that I didn't know Vincent Price had passed. I was going to have him on there.” I love it when he proudly trumpets his disconnect from earthly things. I'm so not in the world. Swoon.
- “I always wonder, what's the last song recorded in the world going to sound like?”
- “Iceberg Slim used to put out albums talking on beats and I was like, ‘This is cool.’ I think I laid down my verse first and Big just came in. But instead of spoken word, Big likes to call it ‘smokin’ word.’ That was his smokin’ word.”
- “I remember reading about human beings and how if everybody is in the same place, humanity can go to another dimension. And when I'm saying that and recording that - ‘You are now entering the fifth dimension of ascension/Our only mission is to take you high’ - that's what I'm thinking. I was just trying to make the impossible out of music, make people rise in some kind of way.” Andre's got the hippie spirit of my dad, but he's not my dad, which is a grand thing because it means we can have relations without it being incestuous. That was a close one.
• Adorable punctuation silkscreen in which characters assume voices and personalities and describe their functions in a pun-filled group scene. This, along with this, is the perfect snapshot of my sense of humor. Deal with it.
• She got jumper cable lips.
- Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, “40 Day Dream,” a song about wanting to die because she's so wonderful. Oh, you could just die because of her gold doorknobs for eyes. If I were this girl, I'd be flattered, but because I don't require metaphor in flattery, I'd also enjoy hearing You have a lovely grasp of grammar and Do you want to wear my Diamond Supply shirt and sleep in my bed.
• “All I Do Is Win” is constantly on the radio in my Civic and I don't mind so much, shockingly. (I don't need to link to it; just turn on your radio).
It’s incredible that Rawss is still lyrically committed to presenting himself as a kingpin, like we’re all gonna forget what we saw on The Smoking Gun. The best part of having this song in my life is when I'm driving around and it comes on the radio, I find myself getting excited just before Snoop's verse comes in. His cadence is pulled straight from an R&B song. The lyrics aren't telling me anything new but if you think of the words as being written and spoken by E-40, they'll mysteriously just have more meaning. S'just the way it is, Snoop.
Heat in the kitchen, pot on the stove
Water getting boiled, dope being sold
Snoopy in the hoopty, system overload
I've been running this rap game since I was 20 years old
I hung with the worst of them
Bust till I burst on 'em
Floss 'em up, toss 'em up, Hardaway, boss 'em up
Pardon me I bossing the pressure up, bless ya bruh
Don't wanna mess with us
We like the U in the 80's
Back to back set a trap
Hit the lick, hit it back
Hit the trick, jump the track
Bitch I want my money back
Time and time again while I'm sipping on this gin
Al Davis said it best, just win baby win.
• Failing to prepare is preparing to fail, and other things of that nature. John Wooden gave us all those bite-sized aphorisms that Bill Walton is compiling for Chicken Soup for the Basketball Player's Soul. You just wanna take these sayings and carve 'em into something wooden and hang it in front of your house. Right up there with fireworks to signify some sort of climax or declaring you're going to Disneyland or Compton when you've won a televised athletic competition, Wooden's cliches are unparalleled. I mean, never in a million years did I think I'd be doing a post about him.
“The main ingredient of stardom is the rest of the team,” John Wooden said, and I believe it was the Main Ingredient who said “Everybody plays the fool, sometimes.” There's no exception to this. And hey, since we're talking about the Main Ingredient, let's revisit this thing of sonic cheerful sunshiny beauty whose drum break was borrowed and gently placed inside “Things Done Changed.”
• Ronald Artest The Ever-Quotable is just too great, too wonderful of a human. He can't be real. This interview with him has achieved classic status in apt. 15; I look at the photo above--my new desktop background--and read the exchange aloud, alternating between my own voice when I play the interviewer, and a scratchy voice with a Queens lilt when I do Ron's parts.
Do you think the Lakers would be the champs today if Ariza, and not you, was their swingman?
“Yeah, I think so. I think they still would've beaten Boston with Trevor. I really believe that.”
You know, thanks to you, your psychiatrist, Dr. Santhi, is the most famous name in her profession since Sigmund Freud.
“I just love her. She helped me relax in the storm -- in a huge storm. I was in the eye of the storm, and I was able to control the storm, and it was beautiful.” So un-self-conscious.
(Until) now, the only humans to hear “Champions" were your musical collaborators and the boys in your locker room. You started floating the song around the team midseason. It has since become the team's unofficial anthem. What inspired you to record it?
“Well, when I decided I was going to be in L.A., a guy I was working with said, ‘You're going to be a champion.' So I wrote a song called 'Champions.' But it's a song for everybody. It's not just about basketball. It's not about sports. It's for anyone who wants to be a champion -- a champion father, a champion mother. Anybody can be a champion.” TICAAAAAL.