There’s this trail I run on and have been running on for about 3 years now. And actually by “trail” I really mean an asphalt road that runs in between some really nice neighborhoods which is inhabited by other runners/joggers/dog walkers. Along this path there is an elementary school and while running today I found it very surprising to see this spray painted on one of the walls. I had to run back to my car and get my phone to take a picture of it.
Archive for the ‘Hip Hop’ Category
I’m sure the video for “Regulate” is gonna be tweeted, blogged and linked to a million times today and I was trying to find another song to honor Nate Dogg with but really there is no other choice. BUT, me being the contrarian that I am…
Give me Mighty Mos and Madlib on a track and I’m in heaven. As much as I’m feeling Tyler The Creator, Odd Future and Lil’ B these days. This right here is my element, my center, my core. This is the Hip Hop where I feel most at home. Forever wearing my backpack.
Why is Mos still using a Myspace page?
Hey guys remember Street Wear? Remember that? Man those days bring me back. I think it would be a fun idea to look back at Street Wear when it was still the “in” thing, you know for nostalgias sake. And to serve as a cruel reminder to myself how how much money I spent on those clothes and more importantly, how stupid I must’ve looked in them.
Here’s a Swagger shirt I bought which featured Iggy and Big-O of the Japanese rap group Shakkazombie(and co-owners of Swagger)and Lupe FIasco. I wanted to get the white version of the shirt but all that was available through my endless searching was the gross neon yellow one. But more important than the color, was the fit as it would’ve been nice to get one in my actual size. The shirt I ended up getting was way too long.(The particular site I ordered from was one that didn’t display the measurements of the garment) It was so long in fact when I tried it on before I put on any pants, it looked like I was attending a birthday slumber party for a 9 year old girl.
I sold it shortly after that and now looking back at the pics I took of it for the eBay auction(that tag next to my shirt is my eBay user name) I still really like the art on it and think it holds up as one of the best designed shirts of this last “Street Wear” era.
My personal favorite track off of My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. My review for this video can be summed up in two words: “Rihanna…wow.”
“All of the Lights” by Kanye West, Rihanna, Kid Cudi:
If the embedded video won’t play for whatever reason, click here:
It kind of sucks that the schedule I work affects the quantity of posts I write. About half of the week, I’m in such a vegetative state that I can’t manage to put a cohesive thought together let alone write it down and publish it without it sounding half assed or idiotic. Sometimes I do and usually those are a few sentences accompanying a video or a picture. Other times, I’m glad I take a moment out before writing something down because it allows me to process all of whatever it is I want to write about. To get some real perspective on it.
That said, before my work week started I wanted to post up something on Tyler the Creator and his latest video “Yonkers” which has been setting ablaze the online rap community as of late. I watched the video sometime last week and thought “I HAVE to post this.” But before I did I wanted to do some digging on who he is first cause what I saw on screen totally compelled me to do so.
Now I won’t lie, at first I started to write up a rough draft which basically had the tone of “I don’t get this.” and “This is the first time rap music wasn’t made for me or my age group.”(That was an exact line from it) And it was basically another rant on how I’m getting older and how popular culture is starting to slowly but surely slip from my grasp. But I decided to hold off writing it until now but not before I loaded up my mp3 player with a bunch of Tyler the Creator and OFWGKTA(Tyler’s crew) content. I wanted to immerse myself in their music and really give it a chance before I dismissed it as just something I didn’t understand.
I downloaded Tyler’s Bastard album, Earl Sweatshirt’s(Tyler’s younger brother and fellow OFWGKTA member) Earl mixtape and the mixtape Radical by OFWGKTA as a collective. Now at first, seeing “Yonkers” I was puzzled not so much from the lyrics or beat but mostly from the imagery in the video. Tyler’s words were no doubt impressive. The beat was good, not exactly what I look for in a hip hop beat but I liked it and it served his lyrics well and was a fitting compliment to what was on the screen. And what was on the screen was a series of things not typically seen in a “rap video”. I’m not going to spend too much time on it because I feel it’s more appropriate to watch the video yourself.
“Yonkers” by Tyler the Creator:
Basically it’s Tyler doing a series of disturbing things(playing with a cockroach, eating it then puking it out, hanging himself at the end of the video, etc, etc.) which led me to write this off as just kids doing “Horrorcore” and doing obscene things simply for shock value. But after listening to their music all weekend, I have changed my tune and now consider myself a fan. Their music is dark and gritty and pulls no punches. There is no political correctness in the words they say. Everything from rape, to tying up women in their basement, to stabbing Bruno Mars in his esophagus is covered here. This along with the imagery from their videos, you would think that these guys are demented psychopaths who are a threat to all humankind, but once you see the various youtube videos they post you come to find that they’re just regular kids who like to skate, fuck around and make dope hip hop music. You’ll slowly realize that their subject matter is tongue-in-cheek.
Which kind of leads me into my original write up on them in that to me, it seems like their whole collective persona is one that was created as a rejection to what hip hop has come to be in its present state. What I find most interesting is that not only have they decided not to make the same boring shit you hear when you turn on the radio or what you see when you watch MTV(when they do actually play videos), but they have also turned their backs on the most common declination of mainstream rap. The “underground”, intelligent, snobbish, “so smart-you-don’t-even-get-it” hip hop, which for numerous years now has even become a parody in itself. To me, this seems like a rejection of Mos Def, Kweli and The Roots just as much as it is of Lil Wayne, Drake or the Black Eyed Peas.
I’ve come to the realization that yes, maybe this hip hop wasn’t made specifically for me. But that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate when something new comes along and does something relatively unique and goes against the grain. That, I can always respect.
“French” by Tyler the Creator:
“VCR” by Tyler the Creator:
“EARL” by Earl Sweatshirt:
Orange Juice” by Tyler & Earl(off of OFWGKTA mixtape, Radical:
I posted this back in 2009 and since I don’t think I can write anything more that can express how much in awe I am of J Dilla, I thought I’d just repost that old entry which is just as relevant as it was when I first posted it. I’ve re-read Questlove’s story numerous times and every single time it never fails to amaze me. Going through and listening to the sound clips just make miss him more and more. The man, the myth, the legend. Happy Birthday James “Dilla” Yancey.
I realize now that J Dilla was a god. Maybe it was the frame of mind I was at during the time I first heard his beats. Or maybe it was the type of artists he was producing for that didn’t click with me but I just never really understood the praise he got. I was a little peeved that I couldn’t grasp the brilliance in him that others saw. Now, I don’t want to toot my own horn but I feel I have a pretty darn good understanding and overall appreciation of Hip Hop. So what was it exactly that those in the same elitist, snobby, pretentious league I considered myself to be in, saw that I didn’t?
Well whatever the case may be, I can safely say now that I get it. Label me a complete convert. I went from being the trouble maker sinner kid who was friends with the kids that went to Sunday school to full blown Born Again Child Evangelist. I can see clearly now the genius of the man. I just hope I’m not too late and maybe if I start repenting now, the day I make it to wherever it is you go to when you die, the Hip Hop gods will allow me entrance.
Awhile back ?uestlove wrote an amazing post on Okayplayer about J-Dilla doing what he does best. I suggest going here to read and take in the audio samples.(I’ve been listening to them for the last hour or so) Hopefully after reading it, you’ll agree to have witnessed a miracle and Dilla will have changed your life as well. RIP James Dewitt Yancey.