Friday, November 30, 2007

Good Lord.

This little boy is crazy. At some level, I respect his idea that he uses his music as his promotion and he doesn't need a street team, but the fact remains that some of his lines (My drink's still pink like the Easter rabbit) are garbage. Regardless of his hustle, you have to show and prove in your work, and Lil Weezyana has only shown me flashes. Think I'm kidding?
C: Where's the pain coming from these days?
LIL WAYNE: Me. If you blame something else for your pain then you're an asshole. You are your pain, nigga. You can cut yourself right now. That don't hurt because you are your pain. If it hurts you, then you done that, it's a mind thing. You ever notice when you have a very stuffy nose or you have a cold and you eat something, you don't taste nothing, you be like, "I can't eat nothing, I can't taste it, I'm hungry," that's because you don't actually taste nothing, you know what I mean? You are you, you make everything around you. You make water, you make the sky, because it's you, if you don't want that to be water then it ain't water, fuck. It's you, so...ya dig?
I just hope all this meandering in interviews translates to the sort of meandering Noz loves so much.

Also, apparently 8 Diagrams isn't very good for some of the same reasons people didn't like some of the Roots past albums. What's puzzles me is that this album is seen more as RZA doing his thing and not a group effort, from a fan perspective and also from the viewpoint of members like Rae and Ghost. Based on albums like Tical 0: The Prequel and Immobilarity, I can see why. But that does not mean RZA is infallible. Observe:

That came out in 1998. Since then, he's done Ghost Dog, Kill Bill Vols. 1 & 2, Afro Samurai, Blade: Trinity, Soul Plane, a couple more solo albums and a book or two. Some of his most critically popular work has been with movie scores, and rightfully so, but that does not change the fact that since the "5-Year Plan," RZA has for the most part only sparingly worked with the core of the Wu, and it has been 10 years since that plan ended. Some of these guys have gotten better, some haven't switched their styles since '97, and some have gotten worse. Just because RZA likes a certain sound right now (as Doc Zeus has pointed out), one size does not fit all. I want an album that Wu-Tang wanted to give the public, not just Robert Diggs. If they can't come to a collective decision about their album, either hold off or stop. Please, no half-stepping. For example, one of the reasons Idlewild flopped in general is because it felt like something Big Boi just tagged onto so that the OutKast brand could continue while in all likelihood it was really 3 Stacks' vanity project as opposed to a project by the two of them. Conversely, that is why "Hollywood Divorce" was such a good song; you got the sense that both had an idea what form the song would take. I imagine 8 Diagrams has some of those same moments, and a flop for the Wu could be helpful for the group in particular and rap as a whole showing that if there are going to be a lot of cooks in the kitchen, you better have the recipe set from the start. Of course, all of this means nothing since Breihan liked it. The title of the post proves my point. I want a cohesion, dammit.

Anyway, enjoy this video of our show's namesake preparing for his birthday. He likes the nasty drinks, like club soda.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Jesus gets on TV

Why did I not know about this earlier?

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Friday, November 16, 2007

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

"I sold water last summer, holla!"

It must be your ass.

This is about a week too late, but I have a smidgen of free time, so I'll indulge myself. Last weekend, ABLLE, the black/Latino men's group on campus hosted the CHAS conference for men of the same background from other liberal arts colleges. I didn't register (whoops!), but I did attend their showing of "Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes" by Byron Hurt. You can watch a preview of the movie if you click on the link, but here are some quick things to note:
  • Chuck D thinks every rapper out is a punk.
  • There's a guy who says something to the effect of "money's my bitch, and I'm trying to get my rape on"
  • Another dude, when talking about what kinds of characters record companies want artists to portay, says the title of this post.
  • Mos Def's intelligence shtick is just that, while at least Busta is honest in his homophobia.
Chuck D' presence in the movie is a bit confusing. He does make some good points about who is controlling images and corporate responsibilty, but when he shifts equal blame to rappers is where I have a problem. It's not that rappers should not be held responsible for their lyrics, but if you're going to chastise Clipse for how they portray themselves on record, why do a spoken word into for a guy who made a song called "Rape?" Sure it is a metaphor, but does that make it OK? Most people would say no. Besides, the Clipse aren't really famous, so it's hard to make a case that they in particular are using stereotypes to cash in. Besides, they've been making songs like this since "The Funeral." Also, Chuck D is rumored to be doing a song with Nelly on the Derrty One's new album. Just sit on that for a while.

I saw the movie last semester and liked it, and Black Thought, James Peterson and Marc Lamont Hill were on the panel, so I figured it would be productive. It was, to an extent, though I got the feeling that for some people watching that movie was the first time they had seen those issues discussed in regards to rap. I asked to questions, which Patrick and I talked a little bit about on Sunday:
How trusting should someone like me be of a person like AL Sharpton, who seems like he wants total control of the images of black people that are displayed to the masses? How can I be sure he's going to ensure a diversity of images?

Would rappers get so much heat if they marketed each album as a "concept album?"
According to some, there are plenty concept albums in rap, and the idea of a concept album is really an excercise in self-importance. Discuss.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Pinstripes across your windpipe.

The styles of these two are so ill-suited for any sort of battle. I would also like to say I sorely miss the days of throwbacks and doo rags.

I just found my favorite rap video ever. It was missing for a while, but it's back up (for now). I just need to find part two. Hail Mary.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Pull your pants down real quick.

If it weren't for the most epic collaboration in the history of modern R&B, I would say this is the song of the year.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

The Roots play Swarthmore

He is a very large man, trust me.

So for better or for worse, as I predicted, the Legendary Roots crew played a show that catered to the on the fence crowd that is the Swarthmore rap scene. It was an awesome show from the standpoint of musicianship, but the songs they played were not what I was hoping for. This is definitely the case for their medley, which showed flashes of being tremendous. They did little snippets of "M.E.T.H.O.D. Man," "Award Tour," "Da Goodness," which were all awesome, but they confused me (and from my looking around, a couple other rap nerds) with "Throw Some D's," "This is Why I'm Hot" and "SexyBack". Then they did "Masters of War." My issue with the show is not that they only did little pieces of their own songs (though a full version of "The Next Movement" would have satisfied me), it's that they knew the audience didn't know much about rap and would not seek it out and played to please the crowd instead of playing that hot shit and inspiring people to seek those songs out. In the words of the Green Eyed Bandit, "And if you don't like me, and you yellin boo/ There's nothin wrong wit me, it's somethin wrong with you." Just let the funk flow. Before the show started, someone asked Patrick what his favorite Roots album was, to which he responded Things Fall Apart. This person then asked where Phrenology stood on that list ("Number 2?!") and Patrick admitted it isn't too high. How could Patrick not like "The Seed 2.0?" It's rap done right, live instruments, a singer, not misogynistic/materialistic/violent, it's perfect!! Well, read Noz the prophet's issues with that sort of stance. I feel like I am rambling, so I'll stop soon. We'll be talking about the show and some of our problems tonight with a special guest from The Moment I Feared, Matt Thurm (I think). I guarantee an interesting show.

I guess I didn't say this explicitly, but I did enjoy the show. I just wish it had been more rap focused than trying to hit the crowd with random songs that the Roots knew we would move to. I'll stop now, I'm going in circles. Listen tonight.

P.S. There were a lot of women dressed in their freshest gear. Think about this: they are 32-35 years old with a family and a career. You are a little college punk. Stop trying to hit on these men. Please, I beg of you. They are also a bit ugly.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Sippin on booze in the House of Blues

I just got back from the Yay Area 2 1/2 hours ago. I barely slept. I was walking around a monstrous school all day. Now I am at work in the library. So is the life. Luckily, in only 6 1/2 hours, I am going to go nuts. Then, I am going to sleep like the dead. Seriously, I was only gone for 45 hours. Get focused.