Lil Wayne dropped ‘How To Love,” the third single from Tha Carter IV yesterday, and I absolutely hated it.
Then I realized that I love it. Listen to it here.
This past week, at a press conference regarding his latest Madea flick, Tyler Perry told Spike Lee to go straight to hell. Clearly fed up with discussion of Lee’s comments a few years ago regarding the “coonery and baffoonery” that is Tyler Perry’s film career, Mr. Madea finally took a stand:
“Spike can go straight to hell! You can print that. I am sick of him talking about me, I am sick of him saying, ‘this is a coon, this is a buffoon.’ I am sick of him talking about black people going to see movies. This is what he said: ‘you vote by what you see,’ as if black people don’t know what they want to see.”
Now Perry actually has a point here. To somehow frame his work as “the problem” is actually condescending to his audience. People pay money to see what they want to see. End of story.
But then Perry went too far.
“Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois went through the exact same thing; Langston Hughes said that Zora Neale Hurston, the woman who wrote ‘Their Eyes Were Watching God,’ was a new version of the ‘darkie’ because she spoke in a southern dialect and a Southern tone…”
Nobody is more Hip Hop than Mister Cee.
He was Big Daddy Kane’s DJ during his prime in the late eighties. He was an early mentor to The Notorious B.I.G., even acting as an associate executive producer on his landmark debut album, Ready To Die. And he’s a longstanding radio DJ and personality at New York’s Hot 97, arguably the most famous Hip Hop radio station in the world.
It just doesn’t get much more Hip Hop than that. And unfortunately, it also doesn’t get more Hip Hop than getting arrested by the NYPD, so the intial news of Mister Cee’s arrest last week in New York City didn’t raise too many eyebrows. Getting into trouble with the law? Having your wrists cuffed behind your back? No problem. Very Hip Hop.
But getting arrested for receiving a blowjob from a 20 year-old man in a parked car? Apparently, that’s problematic. Go figure.
You can tell a genre of music is dying when a) it gives too much of itself away to a radio-ready pop sound, and b) it becomes artistically stagnant, with too few of its practitioners willing (or able) to innovate and move the genre forward. With Usher’s lowest-common-denominator Pop&B, as well as Chris Brown’s douchbaggery and Trey Songz’s utter mediocrity dominating the charts, R&B music has certainly been sliding in that general direction over the past few years. These guys can dance and sing (or whine) with the best of them, but their music is just formulaic, thematically bland, and entirely missing any kind of edge whatsoever. Too much watered-down Michael Jackson and not nearly enough Prince, in a nutshell.
Maybe these R&B cats thought they were safe from the kind of utter embarrassment and panic OFWGKTA is inflicting on Hip Hop’s many phony, undercover pop stars. No such luck, sorry. Allow me to introduce you to The Weeknd’s House of Balloons.
Say hello to the dark, smoldering future of Rhythm and Blues.
If you don’t already know, time is a cruel mistress who demands her “pound of flesh” by yearly ripping away our youth and vitality. Among my close circle of friends, all in our mid-to-late 20s, we have each begun taking action to thwart her evil plan. The telltale signs of aging are starting to become visible for each of us, which has lead to my group of friends and myself taking up arms. I have friends who make frequent visits to the church of skin ..uh sorry..derm(atologist)’s office, as well as others planning to have different surgeries to “touch up” what time tends to “touch down,” because there is nothing like removing a 20 year “touch down” line off of your face. Even I have entered into the fray, exploring vitamins, dietary restrictions, and looking at different non-invasive procedures (i.e., I sleep in a cryostasis pod filled to the brink with the perservatives found in Twinkies and McDonald burgers). This is a war people! If you aren’t ready to fight, then be prepared to die (read: decline like a property value or a car driven off a lot)!
“I created OF cause I feel we’re more talented
Than 40 year-old rappers talkin’ ‘bout Gucci
When they have kids they haven’t seen in years.
Impressing they peers.”
-Tyler, The Creator “Bastard”
A lot has been written about Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All. And if my intuition is correct, plenty more will be written in the coming months. Because Odd Future isn’t just going to become popular; Odd Future is revitalizing Hip Hop music. And more than anything else, the above quote perfectly encapsulates why.
I’m sure this past week has been a busy one for all of us.
Maybe you were preoccupied with a preponderance of school work. Or perhaps it was that boring, borderline dehumanizing 9-to-5 that got you down. Or maybe you were meeting regularly with your overpriced legal team, striving desperately to devise a legal strategy that’ll keep you out of jail for stealing a necklace for which you had more than enough money to pay (if your name is Lindsay Lohan).
Me? I spent most of this past week trying to figure out what in the hell is going on in the mind of Charlie Sheen. And I’m ashamed to admit that it’s been pretty amazing.
Earlier this week, Gucci Mane unveiled what has to be the ugliest, most absurd tattoo of all time.
Amid his multiple arrests (and an extended stay in the psych ward), Gucci found the time to have a massive ice cream cone tattooed across the side of his face. Look closely and you’ll notice a small “Burrr” printed inside of the cone.
The obvious question arises: What the fuck is wrong with Gucci Mane?
My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is unquestionably the best album of the year.
It reaches further and demands more from the listener than any Hip Hop or Pop record in recent memory. West shatters stylistic and conceptual boundaries at every turn, painting a fascinatingly complex portrait of rock stardom in all of its glory and dissonance, categorically crushing just about everything else in pop music right now.
It is an epic in the truest sense of the word; mindboggling in its scope, enthralling in its depth, and all-consuming in its grandeur. Like Prince’s Sign o’ the Times, U2’s The Joshua Tree, or Stevie Wonder’s Songs in the Key of Life, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (MBDTF) is one of those rare and electrifying moments in popular music when a prodigiously talented artist with an almost blemish-less track record sees the light and finally unleashes their magnum opus.
Kanye has never released a less-than-stellar album, but My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is his masterpiece.
Hip Hop impresario Jay-Z can now add “author” to his long list of accomplishments.
Co-written by friend and journalist Dream Hampton, “Decoded” will tell the story of the music mogul’s life, as well as the evolution of Hip Hop in general, by paying particularly close attention to the intricacies of Jay’s many brilliant lyrical offerings.
While being interviewed by the Wall Street Journal about this latest project, Jay was asked about the experience of reviewing his own lyrics written down on the page (since, as you must already know, Jay-Z is famous for composing his lyrics in his head, rather than writing them down).
Hov’s response is priceless.
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