Tuesday, January 29, 2008

So I've been thinking a bit lately and trying to figure out what exactly is my problem with a bunch of the music today. I was trying to do this objectively without any of the elitist bias that I subconsciously have. And to be honest, I'm not one of those folks that think that music was so amazing in the past and doesn't see any good in the stuff that comes out now. I actually do like a lot of stuff and if nothing else, being a broke teacher that's trying to find a get rich route himself, I respect hustle.

For that reason, I can appreciate someone like Soulja Boy for what he has done, but my problem comes from the lack of history and insight he and jokers like him have. These youngins get out of pocket like it's their job. Talking greasy about every one because you got a Grammy nod? Really? Since when are Grammy's hip-hop? Didn't Will Smith win one? And I don't see him getting invited to any ciphers any time soon. I understand that hip-hop is in many cases built off of machismo and such... but you need to know your place young fellow.

What am I talking about? From Soulja Boy's MTV News interview:
"I'm Grammy-nominated," he continued, citing his credentials. "If I look at the new list and I compare myself to all 10 of the artists and some don't add up, I'll be like, 'Wow. I should be #1 if it's right now. I'm #1."

Soulja Boy was more candid when asked how he ranks specifically against alumni of the first Hottest MCs list, like Weezy, 'Ye and Jay-Z.

"Right now, yes [I'm hotter than them]," he answered as their names were read to him one by one.

He said he is the best-selling online, highest-ranking on the Web and the most publicized rapper worldwide right now.

"Today, January — whatever the date this is — 2008, yes [I am the hottest]," SB emphasized.

Wow. I mean, I love the confidence, but really guy? See... this here is my problem, you get youngins like this, who really have no concept of what hip-hop is supposed to be, and they think they're hot. Maybe he's just a product of what hip-hop made, or maybe alledgedly failing 9th grade twice is part of it, but whatever it is... this mentality needs to stop. (You know its reckless when 8th graders are saying that he was talking out his neck) But maybe this a good thing for hip-hop... he is selling... ringtones... and he did make it on CNN:


(I'm mad that the CNN anchor calls him Soulja Boy Tell Me and that the chick who apparently knows a lot about him is Nigerian)

So this post wasn't supposed to be about Soulja Boy, but rather his brand of lazy music with no care for history. I present you with one of the many children of the Soulja Boy movement, the Pop It Off Boyz (putting the 'Z' at the end of things is still cool?) and their "hit" song "Crank Dat Batman" which I guess could be an homage to "Crank Dat Soulja Boy". (By homage I mean, we couldn't come up with anything ourselves) Soulja is apparently all for these by the way, and so is MTV it seems.

Besides the obvious lack of effort put into both the video and the song (note the obvious references to "Two Step" and "It's Peanut Butter Jelly Time" and the My First Casio beat), my biggest problem is the fact that the song asks it's listeners to "jigg". I thought we didn't have to do that anymore? So MTV can bleep out any and all references, made up or otherwise, to drugs, sex, certain consumer goods that they don't endorse, and other things that I didn't even know where bad, but they can't bleep out racial slurs? Or is it not as bad when a group of poorly educated (or maybe they're smarter than all of us and getting theirs) young men sing and tap dance it? Or maybe I'm just thinking too much.

Anyway... enough for now... enjoy:


And I'm sure I could be called a hater or maybe an idealist, but that would be too easy and counter productive, wouldn't it?

If you're looking for a cool video with some effort put into it: Erykah Badu's - Honey.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Where are this kid's parents?

Honestly? I mean comeon... how does this fly? Where is Brother Sharpton when we really need him? I don't even have words to be honest... and I even feel bad for directing people to such nonsense.

I'm sorry...


Wednesday, January 02, 2008

My Favorite things pt. 3 (Music)

Happy New Years folks. Here's to a positive and productive '08.

Now that that's done...

Without doing another year end list like everyone and their moms does (even though I guess this is one)... I'm gonna give you some of my favorite musics of the year... no rankings or anything... just as I remember them.

Because I can never remember when things came out, I used iTunes to make a playlist of all my top ranked songs of '07... and I've got to say... I think for the most part, it was a pretty good year for music... Alrighty... without further ado:

My Favorite Albums

Black Milk - Popular Demand - I talked about this album before and here's what I said then:

"This cd is great. A protege of the late J. Dilla who is also from Detroit. He's a producer that can actually flow pretty well without being too backpackerish. This is definitely a nice mix of "mainstream" and underground."

Blu & Exile - Below the Heavens - This cd really stood out for just being something a little different. Real smoove and heartfelt. Blu is the truth. I also talked about them in a previous post.

Freeway - Free at Last - So... I don't technically own this cd yet, but I've got most of the songs, and I've got to say... Freeway was spitting. I am going to cop the cd, but just off the songs I've heard, I had to put this on there. Freeway is one of the few dudes that actually seem scary when they spit... partly cause it seems so genuine. Check 'When They Remember' (I dare you to tell me this joint isn't gangster. I will send Freeway to your house if you do.)

Jay Z - American Gangter - I know, I know... everyone either loves this or hates it (there is no in-between as with all recent Jay it seems)... but you know what? I think Jay got it right with this one. Not that I disliked 'Kingdom Come', but this one definitely hit the spot. The samples are fantastic and for the most part, it really seemed like Jay was in the zone and he hit the time period perfectly. In addition, you've gotta respect his hustle and that whole synergy thing. He got a lot of people to see the movie that maybe wouldn't have. ("Party Life" is my jam too... especially since the original was done by Little Beaver. How great is that name?)

Kanye West - Graduation - Another one that everyone loved, but I've got to say... it was pretty good. Although I really hated 'Drunk and Hot Girls', everything else was pretty tight. I could really feel him on a bunch of the songs [||], and it seemed like he actually put some thought into some of the lyrics... One of my favorite joints (which may have just been on the iTunes version or something) Not the "real" video... but pretty good to me:

Little Brother - Getback - Def one of my favorites and I went and saw these cats live and it was great. They're just real cool dudes that spit real talk... as evidenced by Phonte's take on marriage. The whole feel of this album was just fun, old-fashioned hip-hop. Good times... and it just seems to speak to me given where I am in my life right now.

Lupe Fiasco - Lupe Fiasco's The Cool - This was an album that I was eagerly waiting. Although at times it can be a little dense, it definitely gets better with each listen. And despite the fact that Lupe alienated the very people that big him up with Fiascogate, I think he did a good job of winning some of them back. 'Paris, Tokyo' is my joint... real soulful and Tribe Called Quest-like.

Mark Ronson - Version - In the non-hip hop category, this album definitely stood out for me. This is the dude that produced a bunch (if not all) of Lily Allen and Amy Winehouse's albums. He is also the dude behind Wale's emergence. Just lots of jazzy, uptempo stuff, and the Amy Winehouse song is great.

Pharoahe Monch - Desire - People were waiting for this forever... and it didn't disappoint. Real insightful, deep lyrics, without being too preachy or complex. The song 'When the Gun Draws' is just haunting:

That's it for now... I may do some a couple songs that stood out for me later... but I may get lazy...