Sunday, April 26, 2009
The franchise of Star Trak sales.
I have a couple things on my mind, so I don't want to spend too much time on each topic, so let's begin. I imagine that many of you have heard the new Clipse/Kanye song by this point. I suspect even more that a few of you are none too enthused with the Thornton brothers at this stage in the game. As I am someone who likes "Kind of Like a Big Deal," I must say I'm a bit puzzled by people who don't like it for a few reasons. First of all, since they really came onto the rap scene in 2002 (we'll ignore "The Funeral" for now), Clipse have made a lane for themselves and others beating to death cocaine double entendres/similes/metaphors/etc. Think about "Wamp Wamp," Pusha's whole second verse was about pampers, Santa's snow, and Jo Jo Dancer. What we have here now are a couple references to the "flame and the flask." They're more concerned with what the lifestyle has afforded them than with describing how they got to where they are. I see why this could frustrate some, but consider UGK's Dirty Money. Bun B lays it flat out here that each UGK record was a part of a bigger story. Knowing that Clipse are guys who know their rap music, I wouldn't be surprised if Till the Casket Drops follows the same bigger scheme. Also, does anyone remember the couple songs they put out back when HHNF was supposed to come out at the end of 2004? Those sounded nothing like what was on Lord Willin' (they lacked the "metaphysics," if you will), and were essentially big celebrations. Of course, their train got derailed and, realizing they needed to develop more of a narrative in their greater body of work, Clipse retooled the album to go into (what some would call excessive) detail and the lyrically lyrical phase. Another, less important point: this song has a chorus. These two love to talk about how their first single is a "disruption to radio." While this is certainly different from what I think the radio plays (I haven't listened to the radio in months, to be honest), it's a fairly straightforward song. So, while I am sure there are those of you who are telling your friends, "I told you these guys had nothing to say," consider that this is only one song and that there is a bigger narrative they aim for. Some of you might say at this point, "What good is an album in this era? These guys need to adjust." That is a point I don't know if I can argue with. But, that UGK 4 Life exists and is good, I can still hope. It's not like I am the one concerned with sales.
The other topic on my mind is Keith Sweat, of all people. After being exposed to rapper XVII by Noz a while back, I decided to check out the dude's first album. I couldn't actually find a readily available copy, but I heard a fair amount of it on Rhapsody. Pimp C is all over that thing and has some amazing skits where he extemporizes about haters, women, Don "Magic" Juan and anything else on his mind. Towards the end of the album he makes reference to a chorus on an earlier song (and also the truth?) where he says he "just bought a house next to that bitch Keith Sweat!" He later says, "Yea I be in Atlanta... taste the banana." Inspired by that, I have been revisiting Keith Sweat's work. Upon further review: Pimp was right. What makes Keith Sweat interesting is Teddy Riley's new jack swing. To wit:
I Want Her - Keith Sweat