Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I breeze through Africa just to see the safari

A couple things struck me while watching this video earlier this afternoon:

-It's not hard to snoop around a site like NahRight and see all these posts of Nicki Minaj. I mostly avoided them because I figured those guys were posting her songs just so they had an excuse to put a picture of her on the site. After seeing her in comparison to the miniscule OJ, all I have to say is she's a big bitch, man. Maybe by saying that, I'm no longer a black heterosexual guy, but I like having the option of hugging someone. Let's just skip her rapping for now, it made my head hurt. Take a lesson from Diddy, and pretend to take ownership of the verse.

-I'm not familiar with OJ's catalogue (or Gucci's for that matter), so I have no opinion on his verse. But, golly, is he tiny.

-Waka Flocka Flames is up there with Shorty Shit Stain as one of the best rap names ever. Partly for reminding me of Fozzie Bear. And his "you're washed up like Shaq" line reminded me of something: why don't rappers make references to sports players anymore? I'm not talking about Kobe or LeBron or Jordan, I mean people like Rod Strickland, Bernard King or Zab Judah? Are rappers now such big nerds that they can only follow the blogs and don't even have a passing interest in any sport? Or maybe the best participants in sports that rappers tend to follow lack personality. Seriously, how long can we go without someone making fun of JaMarcus Russell, or someone saying they've been overlooked like LT. I could be way off base here, and I would truly appreciate anyone pointing me to a good sports punchline/reference/whatever.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Baby Girl.

My blogging hiatus of late has very little to do with my being in a new place or finding music right now boring. I have been out of touch recently, but that had more to do with my previous situation working in a more traditional office environment. It killed my listening habits, as did working Tuesday to Saturday. Now that I am a member of the 9-5 work crowd (kind of... for now), I can spend a lot more time with music. So here's something I've been thinking about writing for a while, I just couldn't work up the motivation to sit down and flesh it out:

If you'll recall a little while back, I wrote something about how a Jay/Timbaland album back in '98 or '99 would have been terrific. Now, it is true that Tim brings (brought? I can't get with "Off That" or "Reminder") out the best in Jay, but the reverse, I'm sad to say, just isn't true. For all their highlights, Jay and Tim have only really recorded a handful of tracks together. So where to go for the bulk of Tim's genius? It's tempting to say Missy, just because they as a duo were so successful for so long. But, I've come to conclusion that after Da Real World, Tim started to rein himself in more and more to fit Missy's "I love the old school" vision. I guess the production is still quite good, but it stands out less. Bubba Sparxxx? I love Deliverance, don't get me wrong, but I don't feel comfortable bestowing that honor upon Bubba K. So Petey Pablo and Miss Jade are shit out of luck.

That leaves me with two viable choices: Ginuwine and Aaliyah. There's more to choose from with Ginuwine, since Tim handled most of the production of his first two albums. Yet, I get the feeling many of you don't really appreciate something like "Final Warning" or "None of Ur Friends Business." Thus, we are left with "Baby Girl," Aaliyah.

First, let's get one thing out of the way: "Are You That Somebody?" is flipping fantastic in every respect. But, when I was a kid occasionally checking out MTV since I couldn't handle the poor production value of BET, I was drawn to her single "One In a Million." You'll have to excuse me if I wasn't checking for her back when she was singing with the Remix Killer on "Summer Bunnies", I was only seven. But I distinctly remember one summer afternoon watching television and seeing this shy, beautiful girl talking about her upcoming album and video. So I stuck with MTV and watched her video for "One In a Million." From that point on, I was hooked.

I remember back when LL Cool J made "Headsprung" he mentioned that Timbo was a true producer; working with the artist to make the best music possible. That is so true of his work with Aaliyah. Let's be honest: her singing range is rather limited and it's not as though she's writing her songs. In many ways, then, it was left to Tim and Missy to bring her personality out, or at least something people would find believable. Clearly, they knocked it out of the park. Whenever I listen to Aaliyah/Timbo songs, I always feel like there is some sense of mystery around her. Many of her songs are about her apprehension about entering a relationship, her constantly thinking through what she is doing. Yet, I never get the feeling I know her any better at the end of a song. An obvious contrast is Beyonce, who totally puts herself out to be seen. Maybe it's my own personal taste in women that biases me, but I find the former more appealing (not to mention "Halo," or "Daddy" or some other crap are terrible to me). Anyway, as much as I like the Jay/Tim connection, it's rather sparse compared to the almost two albums of music Tim did with Aaliyah. Surprise surprise, they're all great.

This was just something I thought about a few weeks ago after getting into an L-I-Y-A-H phase one morning. Just some quick thoughts. As I find more stuff and continue to get settled, there should be more.

...And I'm being honest

After a month, I'm finally settled in NC. As for the above songs... it's been that kind of week. I'll slowly work my way to writing stuff again, but I enjoy eating biscuits and, uh, meeting people. Also, why does JD insist on saying "Get Out!"? What does that have to do with anything?