Monday, June 14, 2010
D. Fish's Isaac Hayes beard disappoints. USC. Rap underperformers. Drake's stranglehold on the hearts of journalists. Goo.
• That beard, my favorite beard on a human this side of Frederick Jay Rubin, could not out-play Shrek and Donkey. Sigh. That's not how we practiced it, gentlemen. And now I'm going crazy, I'm sitting alone in my 4-cornered room, starin at candles. My mother's always stressin I ain't livin right. It's fuckin messed up, you guys, this mind of mine.
Isaac Hayes - “Hung Up On My Baby.” (my baby = the Lakeshowww)
(It was either this or Sam & Dave's “Hold On, I'm Comin,” produced by Mr. Hayes but I would have failed you if I did not mention the sexual fervor that is Steve Cropper's guitar, which you really should listen to like it's the first time and take in that title, that chorus, like the promise that it is. Sweet Jesus, what a song. Makes my heart skip a beat, I tell you.)
• Presenting, for one night only, in all its glory - Thank you, Barry Switzer: the story of a girl, her blog, and a pasty old football coach turned TV analyst who stood up for a scrappy LA team.
Everybody hates the popular/beautiful girl, even if she's really nice. They dislike her success. Nobody could be blessed that much. No fair. Let's be mean to her. Haters to the left, and then form an orderly line out the door and around the block. Such is the tale of the football squadron at the mighty University of Southern California, clearly the only school in NCAA history to have the thick, murky waters of cashmoney sin lapping up on the shores of pure and true academia/rah-rah sportsmanship. For shame, Mike Garrett and Pete Carroll! Reggie Bush was allowed to drive a car and live in a house?
OH WAIT. That's only what we're supposed to believe. I'm far from a Reggie Bush fan (he's got a bitchy and Napoleonic air), but the shoulders of Reggie Bush are currently being burdened with blame and it's not fair. If you see something, say something, right? Barry Switzer notes that Reggie Bush getting cars and cash is the norm rather than the anomaly, it's been that way for years, and it'll just keep happening when you have 19-year-olds padded up on TV, making cash registers sing for athletic departments across the land. Switzer's comments are my most recent addition to the long, long list of things that people should just say out loud and stop omitting. Feel the power of truth. Rihanna's voice is not good. Glen Davis' eyes are too close together. Fucked-up Eminem was better than the sober version. Stop the charade already.
I have no reason to like Barry Switzer, since I'm ambivalent about the Sooners and I wish the Cowboys nothing but malice and a fiery end off a tall cliff, but credit has to be given here because it's due. He is exactly right here. Agents and Escalades aren't the problem but a symptom of a larger problem/issue and I wouldn't even really call that issue a problem. The kids in uniforms play for free and they yield millions of dollars for their schools, millions of merch units sold, millions of viewers on TV, and make working-class girls like me want to go to those schools and walk in their halls. Although there are Division I coaches with better names (1. Izzo; 2. Stoops), Switzer’s on-point distillation of this issue renders him Today’s Winner. Nice one, Switzy.
O'Jays - "For the Love of Money." Lookie, it's a pun! Orenthal's name! I RULE.
Gamble plus Huff plus bass plus wah-wah. Pretend it's your first time hearing this; demand the DJ put this on when you come into the club, and I'll see you from across the room and swear you're Nino Brown. I mean, the resemblance is really uncanny.
• Things I wish were better, rap-wise:
Minaj—love her and the way she p-pushes it real good, and the ludicrous amount of fun she seems to be having on the microphone is only rivaled by Chris Bridges, but I thought she was above the “Look At My Ass” hustle (which is a hustle I strongly wish I had thought of, as it is highly successful). The debate of why we hold the "Look at my ass; I'm classy" girl (Beyonce, Rihanna) and the "Look at my ass because it's Warholian" girl in higher regard than girls like Nicki shall be deferred at this time.
Why is everyone acting like those Big Boi songs are good? (These ones). They're too busy, the beats are too crowded, the choruses are dumb. More Organized Noize, please. More playin tennis with Don Cornelius, please. We playin on the moon, bitch. PACE.
“General Patton” and “Shutterbugg” aside, I demand better. His record's still .500 at this point. I swear, sometimes I think you guys only like stuff because your friends do.
Q-Tip is annoying me steadily. The 16-year-old me deep inside is pouting.
CNN's "Let's Get Money." Let's leave the throwaway tracks thrown away, Nore, mi querido. It's called manners.
That J.Cole, not fantastic. It's called “Higher” and while I admire its aspiration, it does not take me there. I mean, that title is simply not a reality. Are all biracial MCs on some sort of wackness kick? (please see next bullet point, below)
• I know way too many Drake songs right now/That I didn’t know last year. I blame bloggers, the entire province of Ontario, and Jimmy Iovine. Drake is only useful as a plot device (heroine vs. antagonist whom she hates and would never sleep with, but what's this? Sometimes she finds herself humming that pretty part in his hit song "Find Your Love" [the third find your heart in the chorus, with the key change], though this has less to do with Drake than it does with the production power of melodic princes No ID and K. West).
Caramanica’s piece about him was wonderful, of course, but did not succeed in what I believe was an attempt to make Drake a sympathetic character in the saga that is Pop Music. There's talk of his emo mastery, of course, except that I'd like to mention that everyone signed to Rhymesayers is superior in this regard. His alleged handsomeness is cited, of course, but he just can't compete with T.I., the true beauty queen of popular rap (those perfect white teeth!). The most memorable things I took away from the article are that Drake’s worldview is that Girls Are Mean (Rihanna) and he once leased a Phantom and parked it in front of the damn house even though his mom couldn’t pay the bills. OMG, you can’t handle it. The realness. It’s too real for you. There's some foolishness of youth that we've all gone through, yes, but that's just offensive. He sure was gauche for a rich kid.
And ha!, look at this, the end of this salacious story (last few lines)! Even Drake’s fans are the worst, lamest kind of criminals--Van Der Sloot, failed pro poker player and alleged girl-killer, loves Drizzy's rhymes, his realness. Everybody knows having your music incite the killing of a Texas state trooper is true hiphop. I'm getting tired of spelling it out for you every time.
• Goo is 20 this month, and Kim and Kim's husband and Lee and Steve are still ten times more hiphop than everybody except Scott-Heron, Crazy Legs, the melodic backbone that holds up “Trans-Europe Express,” and Rick Rubin's NYU dorm room. I don't have any cool older cousins who introduced me to this record. I had to learn the shit all on my own. (I'm kind of bitter, but hey. It built character. Made me the woman I am today. Etc.)
“Dirty Boots.” I left this one out of my Best Opening Track rant of twentyten.