Friday, January 25, 2008

It go down like Frazier/ I ain't talkin' Kelsey Grammar

There's been a lot of talk about remixes/posse cuts of late (here, here, here, and here). Brandon Soderberg and I threw around the idea of making TS, Baby, Weezy, Jeezy and Rick Ross some giant group since they all can only last about one good verse anyway. It would be like Hell Hath No Fury on steroids; nothing but gun/crack/money talk that is so incredibly hollow and cliche that it would be hard to actively dislike it because of its outlandish nature. On No Trivia, I compared this idea of an album to a lame version of "Heat," but I think some combination of "Casino"and "Scarface" is more appropriate since these guys have such an affinity for Miami, bright colors and pretending that they are these wild outlaws who will do whatever it takes to live out their version of the "American Dream." Of course, given their egos, something like this would never work, and all the songs would use the same Vangelis/Michael Mann synthesizers to make lines like "What you talkin is irrelevent (relevent)/Shit'll leave a hole in a elephant (boom)" sound like grandiloquent boasts meant to send chills up your spine anytime you see Ross in something like the "Speedin'" video. In short, it'd be fun for a few songs, but kind of a disaster for rap music as a whole. It would also have a lot of DJ Khaled, which would only serve to remind the listener every 3 1/2 minutes how epic the album is.

Moving on, I am going to have to disagree with Noz about these guys not making posse cuts. I struggle to understand how Khaled may be calling up is famous (hardly talented) friends and getting verses in exchange from airtime is different from Marley Marl, an actual radio DJ/producer, calling up is famous (quite talented) friends and getting verses from them while they, by the simple fact of how good their songs are, get airtime. Maybe it's that these songs, by and large, are pretty terrible. While I'm inclined to agree, the fact remains that these dudes got together and made a song, and have done it enough times to look like their loosely affiliated. In my mind, that's a posse. They just mostly suck at all the basics of MCing.

There are some other points Noz has I would nitpick, like the 3 MC rule, but I don't want to sound like his entire post is baseless, plus he has a tape deck-only Scarface playlist up over at Cocaine Blunts. As soon as I figure out how to record from computer to tape, I am so on it. Anyway, I'm glad Breihan resisted the urge to enjoy any song from that camp, I know it can be difficult for him. Quick note, for those who weren't paying attention, Patrick and Breihan have many of the same speech patterns and a similar voice. Except, listening to the podcast, the Village Voice associate editor is hard to tolerate, though I guess that shouldn't be a surprise by now.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

TT is back.

This is a new one: Scarface has the "Song of the Day" on NPR's website. I could see them using one of the Okayplayer usual suspects talking about positivity/"black power"/etc., but instead they chose a song against monogamy. This has caught me off guard to say the least, but I'm happy that the non-hip hop media is writing about rap as music criticism, as opposed to the recent talk of the decline of sales and its effect on the rap business. That song gets stuck in my head all the time, I should check out that album soon.

I was on vacation traveling to Texas and Chicago, and now I am back, finally. This is a bit old, but I remember reading this in my friend's room a couple years ago. Here's a choice quote about Bun's approach to rapping:
BB: Well, the first thing I do is I try to listen to whatever rapping is already on the track. I listen for cadence and melody to see how the track’s already been written, and to make sure that whatever flow or flows I decide to run with, or patterns or melodies that I decide to put into the song, that they’re not already in there. Then I try to see if there’s a different part of the subject matter that I can talk about. If there isn’t, I try to see if I can analogize it, break it down, flip it another way. If that can’t be done, the best thing I can do is pretty much out-rap the guy. And when I say out-rap the guy—say, if he uses ten syllables in a line, I’m going to use fifteen. If he uses fifteen, I’m going to use twenty, twenty-five. If he’s rhyming two or three words within two bars, I’m going to rhyme four or five words in two bars. I’m going to out-skill you.

Here's another one with ?uesto, and if you search the site, there's a lot of other great interviews. Why so few hip hop magazines don't try to get these great interviews is beyond me. Especially since the people writing the interviews in The Believer write for all of the hip hop publications.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008