Sunday, January 30, 2011
Messy-haired pink-nailed fabulous white ladies waitin round for GZA with blank expressions who are not named Logan.
Which record label? CHESS, of course.
Bo Diddley - “Shut Up, Woman.” Don’t you say a word, ‘cause you might get me excited.
Eddie Bo - “Check Your Bucket.” 00:04 - 00:06. It's that sound that describes you about to go in for a neck kiss because you've been looking at me and I am so delicious you can't hardly stand it.
Bo Diddley - “Bo Diddley.” Because it's Bo, and it's meta, and because PATTIN JUBA, and because just like how you should have a pretty dope “Shook Ones” freestyle if you’re an MC, you should be able to lay something down on top of this if you are any good at singing. (Or rapping.)
Saturday, January 29, 2011
• Paperrrr. Get it; chase it. Give me some of it, then a little more. I like it. Just don't use Chris Brown as its ambassador, forcing himself into my car via Power 106, indulging his rapper fantasies all through my speaker system. That kid calls himself Breezy, which is what all my exes call me to their friends and I want to share no similarities with Chris Brown. Look at me now, he says, alongside Busta and Wayne (who'll do a song with anybody), I'm gettin pa-perrrr. Sigh. Persons new to my inner world might think that this is the latest in my Magic City playlist, since it's got squiggles and bass and it celebrates light-skinned ladies such as myself. Ah, but it is missing that special something. I cannot define or describe the perfect stripper song, which, if this were the Supreme Court, would make me just like Justice Potter Stewart talking about porn in Jacobellis v. Ohio - “I know it when I see it.” Can't tell you what it sounds like, but you'll know it when I hear it because first I will shake everything on my person that was genetically handed down to me from my mother. Second, I will lovingly craft a blog tribute post about it.
Everybody's just trying too hard here, Christopher delving into some tired old lyrical territory (yellow-bone girls, his penis, suicide doors), Busta dusting off the old '98 rapid flow, Diplo with the stupid spaceship beat like it's '98. Luckily there's a wee clown with matted coils of hair to step in and add some depth -
I aint got no time to shuck and jive, these n--gas as sweet as pumpkin pie, Wayne says. Right, true, plus I love the use of shuck and jive, because it's old-timey. Just like Nickatina's constant use of "jakes" for the SFPD, and like when other rappers say hoodwinked, had, or bamboozled.
Ciroc and Sprite on a private flight/bitch I’m enticing, guiding light. Yep. And my pockets white and my diamonds white. Yes.
And my momma's nice and my daddy’s dead. Oh dear! Really? Always this sadness behind the mask of Wayne, tiny town jester. Pockets fulla paper, let's get it, stack/accumulate it, collect it, rubber-band it to keep it secure, dole it out to show women (your mom especially) how much they mean to you. But then you throw in something brief and tragic to ground everybody. That's why he's the GOAT*, children.
(*He's not the GOAT; I just wanted to be controversial.)
• WHOA, like Stompin at the Savoy/get your paper, then holler at your boy, says Madlib on Jaylib's “Louder” (not that song on Donuts; that one's called "Thunder," despite the fact that it starts with the "Louder!" from this). I tried to replicate Madlib's line over coffee with Gabrielle. Unsuccessful. I don't say it right, even though I'm from Ventura and that's the same part of the world as Otis Jackson!, so you'd think we'd share a certain way of speaking. Alas, no. He's got the power of syllabic emphasis that I lack. Holler-at-CHAboy, he says. It is a nice moment. The second-nicest moment is Put your hands together for some badder cats/Stomp the bass drum, then we add the claps. It's meta and I love it, like when JB would always talk about the progression of the song while that very song is building, gaining steam like a choo choo train.
• Out for Daffy Duck bucks, Porky Pig paper/Bugs Bunny money or Sylvester Cat caper/Offer DAT tape of rap, country or deep house/And I'll make mince meat out of that (beat) mouse.
Looney Tunes raps, courtesy of Doomsy on “Mince Meat.” Sure it's about money, so it kind of fits in here, but I just wanted to point to the line that comes earlier in the song--She rocked leather and gold, a fat blouse/And need a brother with soul to let her cat out--which, oh god, perfectly illustrates just how masterful Doom is when it comes to understanding the female psyche. I'm going to see him and some Def Jux boys in London; have you heard?*
• You can hit it in the mornin/without givin me half of your dough, but I do need some of your dough because blogging and being cute doesn't pay much. I need your dough, please sir, to be able to see *Doomsy and CoFlow on stage at the same show CANIGETAWITNESSSSSS.
• I use Moleskines (NO, not like Jay Elec, king of pretentiousness, he of the boring voice and overrated lyrical content) because I am grown-up and fancy. Still, the clean lines and lovely red/white/pale blue color combo in a classic Mead notebook sometimes inspire my fashion choices. I’m pretty much slender everywhere, especially through the middle—I'd say I'm definitely college ruled. In the hip area, though? Wide ruled.
• Roethlisberger’s got shifty eyes and maybe raped a woman, and maybe sexually creeped out another woman; he's currently in the midst of an eight-year, $102 million contract. Rodgers is boring and tries to make up for with with a signature move (ugh, that belt thing); he signed a six year, $65 million contract extension through the 2014 season. In keeping with the theme of this post: that's a nice chunk of paper, in both situation a and b. And more importantly: there are some nicely epic names on the Steelers' and Packers' respective rosters. Here they are in alpha order, with specific reasons as to what makes them epic, and, where appropriate, a description of each man's side hustle -
Atari Bigby (!!)
Diyral Briggs (plays either drums or bass in Parliament)
Donald Driver (love that solid sound of all those consonants; the same number of syllables in each name is soothing; Driver is a good surname when your occupation requires stamina and strength as you carry an object to its destination. See also Quentin Jammer.)
Cullen Jenkins (solid, unflashy; author of westerns)
Howard Green (Diyral Briggs's lawyer. Or accountant. Or executive at his label.)
Brady Poppinga (Lockinga and Dropinga; all things remind me of Magic City)
Tuff Harris (DB for a pro football team; T.I.'s cousin)
Ziggy Hood (Sly Stone's barber)
Byron Leftwich (British lord)
Rashard Mendenhall (I don't know; it's just dope. Consonants galore!)
Ike Taylor (Stax session musician in 1966), annnnnnd
Willie Colon (“El Malo,” Lavoe, the whistle at 00:53). I haven't been this excited since I found out Tony Allen plays for the Grizz!
• The 2 best moments in LA car radio occur several times each day, when “Fire Flame” is played. First it's the blaaap from Birdy (the last word/guttural sound in his verse). Second it's the hook--that cadence. Fireflame-flame, fireflamespitters. Bitch we the business, hundred million dolllll-ars. A hundred million dollars is what it cost to make Where the Wild Things Are. Teach for America just got a hundred million, too. The fact that Baby and Dwayne, 2 enterprising individuals from the 3rd and 17th Wards (respectively), are in on this conversation is a thing of Horatio Algerian beauty.
• Giant bitch of the universe Jeff Koons wants to copyright the balloon dog, clearly to protect his paper if not just an outright attempt to get some press (which will, of course, benefit his papermaking abilities). His wealth is only equaled by his need to shout about himself all the time, like everyone's favorite giant musical bitch of the universe. And his ability to hoodwink and bamboozle people into thinking appropriation, pastiche, and endorsement, not to mention affirmation and reification, is the same thing as creativity is only rivaled by Fairey. The only good thing about this story is I know you all out there agree with me regarding the bitch factor at play here, and that kind of solidarity feels good. Plus every time I go to write copyright it makes me think of Copywrite, Asher Roth slayer.
• When I date back I recall a man off the family tree/My right hand Papa Doc I see. Every mention of Duvalier (Baby Doc - son of Papa Doc) coming back to Haiti for his paper makes me think of “T.R.O.Y.,” which is always nice. Is CL referring to an actual family member (non-biological who did bother) with a cutesy nickname, rather than an ousted (alleged) Haitian tyrant? Is it just a coincidence, or a reference to the Haitian diaspora? Is CL of Haitian descent? Considering that he grew up in the ‘70s and that’s when a large portion of Haitians emigrated to the US (the Duvalier era started in the late '50s and ended in '86, when Baby Doc was ousted), it would make sense. Feel free to email me the correct explanation, but only if your source is reliable - i.e., straight from Large Pro's mouth during your last conversation, NOT some commenter at RapGenius.
• Wretched, Pitiful, Poor, Blind, and Naked is the name of Malice's soon-to-be-released book. I prefer my men to be Eloquent, Stunting, Entrepreneurial, Braided, and Chinchilla-Clad, so that's a shame, but I do not like them Baped up at allllll, never did, so I'm glad Mal left that back in '08. Blind and naked is silly and dramatic, but it's still better than Nigo camo'd. I also prefer my men masked, which is why I strongly believe Doomsy should write a book. (And why I get slightly aroused during Friday the 13th.)
You'll find that there’s a book called Havoc (Malice) when you do a seach of “malice book,” even when you add specifiers (“clipse malice book”). It is an okay piece of lit I guess, a hundred times better than anything Jay ever “WROTE” (airquotes airquotes), but shit it’s no Rae (Scarface).
• CRINGE re: this slice of “Portlandia,” but also
Ha ha, yesss and
Oh look, it's you and me going toe-to-toe while sipping some fair trade Sumatra, except you'd need to add a little more sunshine, 2-3 Gangstarr references, and more hips and highlighted hair on the female to make it 100% accurate.
• Obesity is linked to economic insecurity, says science. The stress of living within a 'free market' regime with its competitive social system and lack of a strong welfare state probably causes people to overeat. One-third of Americans are obese, but the prevalence and affordability of fast food isn't completely to blame; we need to take a harder and more critical look at our economic system, since financial "open markets come at a price to personal and public health which is rarely taken into account." Shit's deep. Countries with higher levels of job and income security ("social protection") were associated with lower levels of obesity, so...
Wiz, in the same category as Jay Elec for his industry connections and insane luck with producers, 2 things that distract from the fact that he is not as good at rapping as the Internet claims, is clearly a resident of Sweden, Cuba, or Lenin-era Russia. Next mixtape title is either The Opiate of the Masses or Viva Fidel. (he hasn't decided yet)
Billy Paul, “Let the Dollar Circulate.” They love me out in DC just like go-go.
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
1. “I’m not gay. I like having sex with no condoms with women.” - Brandon, in a video explanation that VladTV has decided to call “Lil B Explains Threatening to Take Kanye's Manhood.” (I did not realize that references to a sex act that may or may not be considered gay is the same thing as having your manhood stripped, nor did I realize that manhood is a fixed identity signifier that others may take away from you at any time, like your keys or wallet! Gosh thank you, Vlad.)
In happier news, the plan that I currently have in development is to elbow past the swarms of other ladies at Coachella for some grassy-field condomless based lovemaking with the HBIC of the Internet. I will be unstoppable. Just gotta work out the details. “Time to make a baby,” I’ll say to Lil B, and he will not protest because I am unstoppable. Afterward, we'll smoke and talk about how 1) The best thing is a rapper/human in full control of his/her vision; the worst is one who takes to the Twitter pulpit and attempts to give life instructions, and 2) if Rae ever cooked on YouTube the universe would finally collapse in on itself. There would be nothing more for humans to aspire to. (Just shut it down at that point.)
2. “Excuse me little mama, if I may
Take this thought and send it your way
And if you don't like that, then send it right back
But I just gotta say:
I wanna be on you (on you), I wanna be on you (on you)
And if you don't like that, then send it right back.”
RON BURGUNDY, is that you?? Oh dear, no. It’s weird old-man-faced Flo Rida and whiny-voiced Ne-Yo, circa ’09 (but played on Power 106 on 01/19/11, 4:51 pm PST). The words are from Anchorman and I find it to be a lazy and terrible piece of music. I wanna be on youuuu, someone other than R. Kelly sang on my car radio today, and it upset me.
I rather feel that I have been giving Clear Channel and its subsidiaries too much love recently--so thank you, Ne-Yo and subsidiaries, for continuing to make musical rubbish which allows me to run on hatred (and the fumes of hatred when my tank is low).
3. “I wouldn’t mind fuckin' with Cash Money.” – Beanie Sigel.
Dreams! Who doesn't have a dream tucked away somewhere? There's a 2 in 5 chance that an American believes Jesus will return to Earth by 2050. That's a good one. We all spend a good portion of our day in dreamland. We are good at fantasy in America--only not like the porn industry, which we frown upon; our fantasies are pure, although they are also far-fetched.
“Right now, I wouldn’t mind fuckin’ with Baby,” is how he begins the entire quote, full of unicorns and Santa Claus and pots of gold at the end of rainbows. “Majors, nah. I’d rather go with independent*. As far as labels out there I wouldn’t mind fuckin’ with Cash Money. I wouldn’t mind fuckin’ with the Birdman.”
“I wouldn’t mind fuckin’ with Fifty right now. Doing some movies, some shit. But I definitely fucks with the Birdman. Shout out to Birdman, Lil Wayne.” I thought we no longer refer to fucks-ing with others in the industry. We still say co-sign and speaks on, which I hate. Anyway, good luck with your dream, but be careful if you bring in some outside producers, Beans! Everyone knows Cash Money don’t pay no royalties.
* ed. note: Cash Money = Universal Music Group. It's not 1996, Beans.
And since we each get a turn at this: I wouldn’t mind having some condom-free (!) based sex (because of my self-destructive tendencies; Lord, protect me from myself) on the soft grassy Coachella meadow, and then being given a cubicle and name plate for my desk at Wax Poetics' HQ the following morning. I wouldn't mind getting a Leica camera. I would not hate very much for cherries to be in season right now (almost!), or to go to lunch with Daniel Dumile. Music-makers and dreamers of dreams; that's what we are.
4. “It's like seeing the nerd pope!” - Evan Hetland, 13, self-professed physics fan, on coming (with "the Shatkin family of Valencia," no less) to see Stephen Hawking speak at Caltech.
No hate here; the kid is adorable and speaks the truth. I tried to think of a better nerd pope and I could not. Cornel West? No, he's the nerd minister of culture.
5. Pettibon/Pettibone. That’s not a quote, but it’s on the list of today's notable language moments because I found out it’s an actual surname, not just something made up and used by OC punkrock artsy great-uncle who probably found Rollins irritating but had to put up with him. Rollins is irritating and he’s got that weird way of over-enunciating everything on the radio but sometimes he plays something good, like that Black Eyes song about Haiti with the sexual bassline (Saturday night, KCRW, around 6:45 pm PST).
6. “You go to Tougaloo, but I know you still flip.” - Banner, on the well-rounded college girl, in “Like a Pimp.” Get out on the floor and girl get it how you live, touch your toes, shake something. It's OK; Banner can shout out instructions like this because he's conflicted about it and that kind of complexity is appealing. I listen to this song 2-3 times per month on my own already, but my body feels a rush of delight every time it comes on the radio (hardly ever anymore since it's not 2003-4, but you know. Sometimes.) Real girls get down on the floor/on the floor. YEP. That's me. I believe I am included in this group despite the fact that I am a grown-up lady. One of the finest songs to undress to while on the Magic City stage, it is the opposite of the dumb and mundane, the daily, all the tiresome chores and errands. It sounds like victory (and sex and molasses) as I pull into the Vons parking lot to buy sourdough bread and soymilk. Radio programmers have the uncanny ability to play the most pleasingly emotional stuff as I’m doing the most squaresville of tasks, like when “What U Gon Do” comes on when I’m in the drive-thru at In-N-Out. Hi! Knuck if you buck. And I’d also like a medium vanilla shake please.
This little moment of Banner was sponsored by the Mississippi Musicians Hall of Fame, into which he was just inducted. He's now in the company of deities Sam Cooke, Willie Dixon, John Lee Hooker, and the God's Son's dad (which makes him God, I guess-?). Not sure yet which heading Banner's going to be filed under, but I do love the fact that Ike Turner is in the Rock & Roll category and not Rhythm & Blues just because he's black.
This was yielded during a “Trick Daddy” image search. It just seems to fit.
7. “We gon let the band deal with this.” - Trick, in one of the top 25 intros of all tiiiiiimes, which I was reminded of when I fucking heard “SHUT UP” the other day after many months of not having heard it. I used to listen to that song 5-6 times per month and my body trembled every time, but then of course I played it one time too many like always. That's just my way, and I never learn. Oversaturation is a killer.
Nerd minister of culture Mr. Cornel West said love is the force that transcends death; “all the rest is sounding brass and tinkling cymbals.” Yes but to me, sounding brass and tinkling cymbals is love, 'specially when it comes from marching bands who are brought in to assist MCs straight from Dade County:
Trick Daddy - "Shut Up"
8. “We are hardwired to find simple patterns pleasurable.” - science, on music and the brain and why their lovemaking will never stop feeling good. Oh. Hello, science. Nice to see you've caught up with me. Please refer to songs by: Trick Daddy, David Banner, Lil Jon.
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Fellow Caucasian lady, I do not believe there is sufficient room in this city for both myself and you.
J.M. Hendrix (Stevie on drums!), “I Was Made to Love Her.”
Monday, January 17, 2011
College and rap meet up and do wonderful things--Banner has a bachelor's in business and an almost-master's in education. Various godlike individuals are teaching at Rice and Duke (Bun B and 9th Wonder, respectively). A thousand mentions of College Park in my record collection (mostly contained in songs by OutKast, everyone on Grand Hustle, Luda). A thousand mentions of college girls (mostly Ghostface). Thug Motivation 101 is not an actual sit-down class but it's an actual listen-to-my-life-struggles-and-successes class, so it gets included here too. Meth and Red didn't make the list because they did not take their coursework seriously, but Jay gets a nod for his school of hard knocks matriculation symbol (his all-blue Yankee), and I also have to include Cam's cute wordplay regarding his shoes being University of Florida--because, you see, they are gators.
Communications 306 is a forum for the presentation and critical analysis of AP images as a reflection of the cultural zeitgeist at large. The goal of this course is to facilitate the improvement of students' ability to deconstruct, organize, and critically think about communicative messages while becoming better equipped to articulate ideas. To that end, please turn in your papers providing a thorough explanation of the reasons for rap producers' general inability to successfully merge MCs' revolution-praising lyrical content with ear-pleasing piano loops and crunchy, snappy drum patterns by the end of class today. (Other than Waka's veiled criticism on mixtapes of the media's coverage of crusading journalist and muckraker Julian Assange and the difficulty of reconciling his hero status with our disgust regarding those rape charges, it's all either stripper songs or old Coup albums in apt. 15. Killer Mike's “Burn,” a hate letter to Johannes Menserle set to some nice heavy drums and harmonizing courtesy of Parliament, needs to be better, but what is the answer? Shocklee in '88 is not available, so let that dream die. Remember the gates-of-hell/fuzzy bass of death in that dead prez song? Yeah, like that.)
• “Foxboro, MA: Jerricho Cotchery, Braylon Edwards, and Santonio Holmes of the New York Jets celebrate their 28 to 21 victory over the New England Patriots during their 2011 AFC divisional playoff game at Gillette Stadium.” (Al Bello/Getty Images; January 16)
Where haven't we been? To the Super Bowl, babycakes (well, not in quite some time, anyway). My affection for this team has something to do with my experience in NYC bars on Sundays, when dudes actually do the J-E-T-S! chant (they actually do it, in real life! At bars!), and something to do with the MCs who are proud Jets fans. Monch likes the Jets, Rae likes the Jets; logically, then, I like the Jets. Rex Ryan is an unfunny loudmouth who’s always shouting I’M FUNNY to the world, talented but in need of some editing, but I guess as a person with a website who is guilty of all of that myself, it takes one to know one. Jet life, fool. Jet life. Lames catch feelins; we catch flights. Jet life, fool--turn it up some. Lames can't feel us; we catch flights. Jet life, jet life (fade out).
• “Manila, Philippines: Thousands of Catholic devotees join a procession during the 404th Feast of the Black Nazarene.” (Dondi Tawatao/Getty; January 9)
I'm kidding, of course, since I don't see any spatulas in the photo above. Anyway, in the Philippines I’m pretty sure Jesus and Pacquiao jockey for position as the people's based god.
• “Rawalpindi, Pakistan: Supporters of Pakistani religious party Sunni Tehreek chant slogans and shower rose petals outside an anti-terrorist court.” (B.K.Bangash/AP; Jan. 7)
Crushing my opponents, with the strength of a compactor
Ex-factor, I turn liquids to metals
Water to wine, I turn dirt into rose petals.
Quick--who's my favorite Sunni Muslim? Why yes, it is Ghosty. Very good.
Messages come from everywhere, right? Get yourself un-fucked, horrible pervy old Anthony Bourdain said on TV the other day, and I thought, That's a pretty stylish saying that I might have to add to the repertoire. Every now and then I spend my time in rhyme and verse/And curse those faults in me, “Along Comes Mary” says on oldies radio as I drive around the city, and I think, You nailed it, Association! Nice handclaps, by the way and That's a thought-provoking line about self-criticism, especially since it's in a song about weed (per my dad, who would know). Classic rock radio sends me messages about classic rock breaks; If Monstabeats was smart enough to use the theme from The Jetsons theme on “Jets Son,” for example, who's to say Ski won't freak that Steve Miller in the near future for Curren$y? Grandpa Ghost too; he speaks to me and sends me messages--mostly in verse, occasionally in AP photos, but sometimes through e-commerce as well. I desperately need the Missoni “Fish Scale” bikini, in other words.
• “Cane toad Agathe sits on a toy scale during an inventory at the zoo in Hanover, Germany.” (Holger Hollemann/AFP/Getty; Jan. 5)
Toad style is immensely strong, that's true, and it's immune to nearly any weapon; when it's properly used, in fact, it's almost invincible. And any picture of a scale is clearly meant to evoke the triple beam in current American culture. A hooligan, a heathen, wolverine, E-40 said. Everybody on my team got a triple beam. But this picture is clearly about humans' selection of life partners.
A statement on the heterosexual female's quest for love and romance as related to financial security, this elicits notions of the whole frog/prince idea that little girls are saddled with from the beginning, combined with girls' fondness for peddlers of street pharmaceuticals as we get older and our bodies ripen. But in more global terms, it's a scale, so: scale raps. Baggie raps. Pyrex raps. Anybody who explains the importance of weight and purity and payments rendered for the provision of substances that relieve various kinds of discomfort. Any schedule I/II rapper. Jeezy Biggie Rawwsss Clipse, and anybody with an ice cream cone face tat. In summary, as Agathe beautifully illustrates above: we usually prefer the frog to the prince (we don't like pretty when it comes to our frogs, or maybe that's just me), and we like to know our frog has the means to de-stress us and provide us with something that attaches to our brain's opioid receptors. I don't partake in much chemical distraction but it's nice to know he has it at the ready just in case, as I have not yet mastered my brain's “anxiety off” switch. (Does he also give affection inconsistently, and not call me when he says he will? SWOON! Give him my number). Not explicitly captured in the photo of Agathe, but implied: if your name is “Reince Preibus”, you will never ever see me naked.
• “Doha, Qatar: Entertainers perform during the opening ceremony of the 2011 Asian Cup football tournament at Khalifa Stadium.” (Karim Jaafar/AFP; Jan. 8)
When I think of the term “wiz” as a shortened form of “wisdom” I think of Meth paying tribute to his lady in song. Thanks to the capital W, I now think of kush and OJ and Internet fame and that skinny frame (takes one to know one though, Wiz. No hard feelings, buddy). Based on my knowledge about things named Khalifa, I assume the soccer tourney in the photo above starts out fun, with neck ink and parties, kush and OJ and Internet fame, and then expectations plummet. Disappointing collaborations begin. The players in the stadium begin milking their glory moments to a tiresome degree, putting out boring, lazy versions of the thing that accelerated their progression toward fame. Ah, but there are small glimmers of hope yet. In these metaphoric terms, maybe the game's not over--maybe Curren$y shows up toward the end of the second half to bring it home? Maybe that hit song becomes tolerable for one precious last time if the Steelers get to the Super Bowl (sorry, Jets) and the crowd at Heinz Field sings it in unison? Maybe?
• “Members of a Navy band wait to perform during Paraguay's bicentennial celebrations in Asuncion, Paraguay.” (Jorge Saenz/AP; Jan. 1)
All White Everything as stated by the State Treasurer of Georgia, of course (just made that up, but it fits because it's Jeezy who's been “preserving both capital and public trust by managing Georgia's cash resources efficiently and conservatively” for some time now). Additionally, I'd like you to please name the only other quintet seen looking so dapper while begrudgingly posing for photos.
• “Teresópolis, Brazil: Rescue workers remove a live rabbit as they search for survivors inside a home destroyed by a landslide.” (Felipe Dana/AP; Jan. 14)
a) Landslides are metaphors for things being torn asunder and for '70s coke-based romance ending. And do you know what rabbits are symbols of? Magic! Things that looked one way but turned out to be quite another at the last minute! Ta-daa! Collaboration with the spirit world! Deceit, but in a good way! So this is clearly photog Felipe Dana's rendering of Odd Future's hold on the rap game--pulling something live and precious and youthful out of that which is sad and sprawled out in pieces everywhere, dead and broken on the ground. I mean, RapRadar often has posts with titles like Bow Wow's Suicidal Thoughts and Shawty Lo Calls Off Engagement. Can I sail through the changing ocean tides? Can I handle the seasons of my life? How bout just a nice update on Del or something, rap sites?
b) If those the new 20 then order me forty/Gucci Mane rabbit drums made by Shawty. I believe Nitti would have something to say about who “made” the rabbit drums, but I don't mean to get mouthy. And I really like that you made a song called “Nerd,” Mr. Redd.
i. Weed and syrup, you rabbit fools/Come run and get your rabbit food.
ii. Diamond brick, frowney face, rabbit food, frowney face.
c) out they rabbit-ass mind - Khujo, “Y’All Scared.”
• “Madrid, Spain: A boy carrying a balloon stands with Catholic nuns after a mass celebrating the traditional family unit.” (Susana Vera/Reuters; Jan. 3)
The angst/joy, heaviness (sin, guilt)/lightness (air in the balloon) tableau coupled with imagery of groupthink, dogmatic thought as incarnated by uniformed individuals, and humans standing amid other humans and getting that alien feeling--it's CoFlow. It is. Take a good hard look. The concept of the traditional family unit has gotten all chopped up and bloodied by those boys over the years--I just can’t decide if this photo is more “Stepfather Factory” or “Last Good Sleep.”
Most rapfan boys I know are never not waiting for The Return of Meline (YES, they still send “never not” in emails, and they type “smh.” Even though they are grown ups). WELL, I will have you know I'm never not not expecting a track from Ian M. Bavitz more often than once every 3-4 years. So here's the one we get to last us until 2014--Murs' “Varsity Blues 2.” Everyone within a 75-mile radius of this post loves Murs but it's not '03 anymore so I don't believe he's better than your favorite rapper anymore. Those days are over. “I am running dangerously low on serotonin” raps are dullsville and they have been ever since the first Living Legends CDs. Sadly, I like the idea of new Murs music more than the reality; a video of Aesey in the studio (“the studio” being the utility closet in the back of an old plastics factory in the Tenderloin, a single bald lightbulb hangin from the ceiling) just fuckin around with the beat would have been so much more satisfying.
• “Participants react to the cold waters of English Bay while taking part in the 91st Polar Bear Swim in Vancouver, British Columbia.” (REUTERS/Andy Clark; Jan. 1)
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
White girls! This week we’re doing the gross and unspeakable with the sex parts of Charlie Sheen (in Vegas) and creepy old David Duchovny (in front of Showtime cameras) -- we’re not third in line for the presidency anymore, so we are sad and acting out sexually. Our band with M. Ward isn’t really doing big things right now either. Coachella is our Gathering of the Juggalos but it is still months away. So, Radric arrives to save the day. Of course.
Gucci loves us and that's been our bread and butter for the last couple years--hanging out and ending up in a verse of his. A couple years ago he liked our naked dancing at spring break. Today a Gucci hang will probably get you described as Cyndi Lauper (again) but it means you get to be in Waka's general area and sing that hook (in your head) to that song by Best Coast*, she who understands stifled white girl longing and lust.
All-black Phantom, pulled up to the opera/Bad white bitch, call her Cyndi Lauper.
It’s Gucci 2 times, but it really should be WAKA 2 TIMES. Or if I had my way, 100 times. We can walk around the lake and he’ll try to touch my bottom and I’ll pretend to get mad at first but secretly I won’t be mad. (sorry, girl games. We are trained since childhood to behave this way). At some point in our conversation I'll gently press the Bills hat issue. What's the meaning, why is it so ill-fitting, etc.
Then there were posts of “H.A.M.” by understated class machine K. West, who of course never shuts up about how he hates to love my kind.
But I’ve been practicing with some actresses as bad as shit
And a few white girls, asses flat as shit
But the head so good, damn a n---a glad he hit
Got em jumpin out the building
Watch out below, a million out the door.
I would call this a mini battle of the white girl hang-out opportunities on Internet rap songs, Georgia vs. Illinois, 01/11/11, except you can keep your Kanye hang-out opportunities, thank you. Not interested. If I wanted to be a lyrical accessory in fellatio raps I'd go to the recording sessions for that Dipset mixtape and pretend it's '05 when I still cared about them. My several hundred problems with Kanye include his life-is-a-woman metaphor in song getting really quite old; as an English major I can't support cliche raps. Really, the fact that Lex is 19 years old (!) is the only part of this outfit that gives me hope.
Monday, January 10, 2011
— Jorge Luis Borges, describing how I feel about my record collection.
Name: Willie Hutch, Fully Exposed (Motown, 1973).
Is this title acceptable? Yes. Short/sweet. Perhaps it is a metaphor. Willie could've been talking about actual physical exposure, like how we get when we are preparing for sexual activity, or maybe he just meant he was releasing the contents of his heart into his microphone in more of an emotional kind of exposure. I'm not sure. Music names, lyrics, titles, so full of mysteries. My new Magic City pop lock and drop it anthem "Wet," for example, with its coy and ambiguous lyrical content--Be my head coach, so you can put me in/And never take me off 'til you can taste the win/Do it again and again, 'til you say my name/And by the way I’m so glad that you came. Huh? WHAT DOES IT MEAN SNOOP PLEASE EXPLAIN.
What is not acceptable is later-years Willie releasing an album called Sexalicious. That was in 2002, which means he was 58 when it came out. Ew, Willie. This is just like when the elderly Ronald Isley put out songs about sex with Kells (he was 60 when "Contagious" came out). Stop it, old men. (Except future Kells, who can do whatever he wants when he's an old man.)
Produced by: Willie himself. He also did most of the guitar playing, as well as 100% of the large lapel wearing and Rodin sculpture impersonating in that cover photo.
Additional album personnel that make me sigh with desire and yet somehow fulfillment of desire at the same time: Leon Ware, THE GOD for producing Marvin’s I Want You, appears but only as songwriter. Fred White handled the drums, just like he did for Donny Hathaway. King Errisson played congas, just like he did on albums by Grant Green, Lalo Schifrin, Lamont Dozier, David Axelrod, Eddie Kendricks. Joe Sample from the Crusaders played piano and was named Joe Sample; that band has had their snippets chopped up by so many in rap over the years, but it's the title track from Chain Reaction that I feel I must mention because of Jeru's "Can't Stop the Prophet." That's a song about knowledge of self and the fear of somebody strapping you down and cutting off all your hair. I can relate. Mine is my shining glory too, Jeru.
Rank of album in artist's canon: Low. Pretty low. Fully Exposed had the misfortune of being the album to precede 2 of Willie's greatest--the soundtracks to The Mack and Foxy Brown. Poor thing gets lost in the shuffle a lot of the time, even with its Three 6 cachet. The Mack is the most superior album, all those singles with basslines just made for girls with hips to feel good about themselves walking down the street (not even talking about “I Choose You,” even though I know you thought that’s the one I was going to cite as ear canal porn). Instead I shall freak out over “Brother’s Gonna Work It Out” and simply say flute, harp, estrogen-powered harmonies, and Olinga v. Goldie in that intro dialogue (“I mean, you wanna get rid of the pushers, I’ll help you. But don’t send your people after me”). And OK, fine, since you're all screaming for it: RAT-TAT-TAT-TAT.
Global events at the time of its release: Oh god, ’73 was perfection on the car radio. “I’m Gonna Love You Just a Little More” and its first 20 seconds of magical sweaty bass was a hit. Barry's voice is a little too thick and pervy for my taste but that instrumental is quite the enjoyable piece. Wilton Felder was Barry's bass player and a founding member of the Crusaders, a band that showed up earlier in this post and here they are again! A marvelous turn of events. Felder put out a solo album in 1985 with the Womack-sung "(No Matter How High I Get) I'll Still be Looking Up to You." I’ll try to fold this into the weed theme that runs throughout this post as well.
Entered my life: '07, Bagatelle in Long Beach. $6. Nothing exciting to report there. But did you hear about my trip to Amoeba last weekend, when Ellwood rang me up? ELLWOOD. Two Ls! I wonder if that’s his real name, even though I shouldn’t because it annoys me when people ask me if Logan is my real name or just my stripper name. Idiot, Louise is my stripper name.
Difficulty of finding, vinyl-wise (1-10 scale): 6.7.
"Tell Me Why Has Our Love Turned Cold," notable for its awkward title syntax and for being flipped by Paul and J for Three 6 to further their satanic agenda in "Stay High"*. The 8 best things about that song are Willie’s voice; “I ain’t Denzel but I know I’m a star”; the care and thought taken to slowwww dowwwwn (chopppp/screwwwww) the “Vision messed up cause I'm drinkin the lean” line - actually J's entire verse most especially that intro where he intro's himself (what do theyyyyy call him? The Juice.); “Three Six Mafia them my kinfolk” 'cause it reminds me of the speaking styles of my own Southern kinfolk; MJG rhyming Tennessee with Hennessy; that purple/y-yurple part; and Crunchy Back getting all slow with it right after Young Buck’s quick/manic flow. The notion that a bag of kush costs $650 always confused me, though; I’m not a smoker but I stay up on the fluctuating prices of various kinds of controlled substances, both schedules I and II, to help put mixtape lyrics in context plus I am descended from moonshiners (them my kinfolk) so it’s in the blood. And I understand that I get the general female weed discount, plus a special “female not wearing pants on the Internet” discount of an additional 15%, but still--$650 is a lot, especially when you consider that it was ’05.
Sartorial accompaniment: Bikini and boots from Santa, chopped up photographically because I am self-conscious about my skinny frame. Full-body shots happen after we get to know each other a little better (or if you just scroll down, or back through past posts). Anyway, I put on the suit for 5 minutes just to brag about it because it’s so cute, it's red n white like a candy cane, then put my jammies back on. My aesthetic is either “Logan at Coachella, pre-crankiness and exhaustion from being around too many humans” or “Bardot minus 15 lbs, channeling Kate at Glastonbury.”
Life lessons, important messages contained:
“I Just Wanted to Make Her Happy”: first side of the record (with a heartbreaking “I guess she'll neverrrr knowwww” intro begging just begging to make it onto a Just Blaze Blueprint-era single). “If You Ain't Got No Money (You Can't Get No Honey),” second side. The “you fucking materialistic bitch” lyrical theme will never go away.
Best YouTube comment (it's a draw):
* “THREE SIX MAFIA.
“Now shut up you religious fucks, 'stay fly' had nuttin to with no devil.” - Mr Crafty
* “Three Six Mafia was 100% a satanic-themed group in its earlier days, but that did not gain them popular support, or most importantly money. This song has nothing to do with Satan, Lucifer, Beelzebub, Pandemonium, or really old food that you may mistake as evil incarnate.
“A man loved a woman, that’s about it.” - Louishuff23
Other notable things about today:
- “Vaccine blocks cocaine high in mice.” But it has no effect on rats, snakes, weasels, or stool pigeons. Hot slugs are still the best way to prevent highs in those creatures. Also, science, you are a jerk because how come you did not figure this vaccine out in time to save the beautiful and doomed David Ruffin.
- New pop lock and drop it song alert: Jeremih & 50, “Put It Down On Me.” I am a terrible person, into lowest-common-denominator radio sludge, but you don't seem to mind that during my shift at Magic Citayyyyy. Thanks, Drumma! And thanks to the Power 106 DJ who mixed it into “Beamer Benz” when I was out driving today. He let the instrumental play for an extended period and it was heaven. In the world of instros, “Know the Ledge” is the perfect song to power your running and jumping from one NYC rooftop to another, and “Beamer Benz” is the perfect song to lie in wait and plot your murder to. It's also apparently the perfect song for resting on one's laurels, since when we last heard from Prime he was working on, um, remixing “Beamer Benz.” Time to stop milking it, sweetheart.
- Human beings. Look at us and our odd ways. Some of us have to document our bathing-suit-clad exploits on the Internet just to kill time in between Curren$y mixtapes, and some of us bury our children in the sand when there's a solar eclipse. I subscribe to the belief that When you believe in things you don't understand, then you suffer/Superstition ain't the way. But Jesus, these are kids with disabilities we're talking about. I can understand any potential solutions grasped for in this situation, any superstitious behavior that might improve these kids' condition. Bring me some eye of newt, a thousand virgins and a freshly bled-out baby goat.
- I get confused about things, then irritated. Sorry, everybody. I am sometimes filled with dread about the possibility of nuclear war and the possibility that Doomsy will stop rapping one day. I am disappointed that there will be no Winston Justice in the Super Bowl this year (his name's WINSTON JUSTICE) and that the Saints won't repeat. All those good-luck plays of "Nolia Clap" in apt. 15 had no effect; superstition apparently ain't the way. The Fully Exposed sessions were held at Village Recorders in Westwood, a popular studio that amazingly exists to this day, with a website listing everyone who laid anything down. Willie Hutch is stupidly omitted from that list. Many thousands of beautiful dead birds fall from the sky in Arkansas and Vice mag has just gone on yet another urban anthropology mission and discovered exotic specimen Lil' B, so clearly it's the Apocalypse (not the great kind of Apocalypse*, unfortunately). It is stressful. If I were in the NBA I’d constantly be getting fined for ranting and throwing things. Then I hear that fucking Spongebob/cat daddy song crackin like a newborn rooster on my radio while I'm out driving and it's like, I cannot imagine there being a more perfect song to go out to/Is this a new Dischord release in '86 'cause it's got that energy. Bitch I go to WORK. Then I see it still only costs $13 to experience live basedness! Everything's beautiful. Apocalypse avoided (narrowly); brain chemicals regulated.
- The Big Picture, of course, again. Hi-res documentation of the elections to decide whether the southern part of Sudan will secede from the north. Look at the symbols on the voting card for Unity and Secession!
(Simon Maina / AFP / Getty)