"Dedicated To The Winners & The Losers..." - Raekwon

Monday, January 17, 2011

Oh You Didn't Know...

Dear Reader That Forgot You Still Had Me On Your Google Reader Feed,

In case, you've been on pins and needles trying to figure out what happened to me since my last post, I decided to quietly shut down operations on Not A Blogger due to the heartbreak of LeBron Raymone James crushing all my hopes and dreams.

But fear not! For I have taken my talents to the Passion Of The Weiss where I will be "employed" (in the sense, Jeff is not paying me at all) as a staff writer for the newly re-designed site. If you've missed some of my work over the last two months check the archives but here's a post I wrote today on the hooligans in Odd Future:

I Can't Go To Sleep: Tyler, The Creator - Bastard

C'est La Vie!

Friday, August 27, 2010

No Words... Lil Wayne Has A Crush On Rafael Nadal Edition

Sometimes these things just write themselves...

Self-imposed summer sabbatical to end soon, y'all

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

I'll Sleep When Justin Bieber Is Dead

"This is the most thugged out photo of the Biebster I could find on the internet and he still looks like a muppet."

As far as elaborate in-jokes on Twitter go, El-P's remix of Justin Bieber's "Baby" might as well be a "Modest Proposal" in terms of morose, we-are-going-there balls. El-P through the sheer force of his epically misanthropic will manages to turn Bieber's fledgling bubblegum soul into something approaching raw adult sexuality; an impressive feat alone if for nothing other than Bieber looks positively molestable by traditional Catholic standards and this remix makes his boyish falsetto seems shockingly sexy. (I don't think there is a "pause" button large enough to innoculate myself from the inherent, Uncle Chester creepiness of that previous sentence. The cops are knocking on my door as we speak.)

To say this song is superior to the original is a gross understatement. This song is superior to nearly everything you will ever hear. El-P's genius has always lied in his ability to use various elements of different musical genres as patische to serve his nihilistic musical world view. The Sam Kinison adlibs and (so expensive that it can't possibly be legal) sample of Paul McCartney's "Live And Let Die" is one thing but El-P manages to wield to Bieber's preteen falsetto as almost ambient noise on the track. Bieber's goofy "ahhs and oh girls" become geuinely sexy when combined with El-P's trademark synth buzz because El-P manages to add the tinge of menace that Justin Bieber's voice and music simply lack. If pre-teen girls managed to fawn obsessively over him when he was a nonthreatening, Disney-approved sex symbol, imagine the pandemonium he would cause if he performed this version at a concert. Kenny McCormick would be getting blown behind a T.G.I. Friday's for sure.

This song would be considering a raging success if it introduced one Justin Bieber fan to the music of El-P but this song simply kills. Terresterial radio needs to imbrace this song with the quickness.

Download: Justin Bieber - "Baby (El-P Death Remix)" (Via Definitive Jux)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Drake - Thank Me Later: Review


Who are we to judge? Maybe sleeping with swaths of women of a certain scandalous nature is as emotionally unfulfilling as Aubrey “Drake” Graham seems to suggest it is? Perhaps, having sex in a dorm room with your significant other is far superior than access to more beautiful strange than one reasonably knows what to do with? After all, we’re not famous (unless you are. In which case, I have to ask why are you wasting your time reading my blog when you could dipping your balls into Alison Brie? Priorities.) so how can we properly judge if it is as awful as Drake says it is.

It’s not like Drake is the first famous person to suggest that it truly sucks duck nuts living a life of unimagined privilege and wanton debauchery. It’s a theme our celebrity population have been desperately trying to convey to us for years. Consider how many of our more famous brothers and sisters have spoke of the hardships of lack of privacy, disloyal friends and sex addiction only to find their pleas for help ignored and ridiculed by a callous, unfeeling public desperate to feed the maw of celebrity schadenfreude but indifferent to it’s plight. Think of how many great works of arts have emerged from this lonely sentiment. Think of the poignancy that seeps from the dramatic pours of Wilder’s “Sunset Boulevard”, West’s “808s & Heartbreak” and Lohan’s “Rumors.” The lonesome wail of celebrity’s bitter catch-22 can be found in Drake’s melancholic masterpiece of moodiness, “Thank Me Later,” screaming in silent suffering.

What is evident about “Thank Me Later” is that Drake’s ability to convey his heartbreaking sense of pain is not compromised by his meager ability to convert “word thoughts” into rhythmic speech patterns. Drake is not a subtle writer nor talented rapper for there is no idea or emotion that can’t be conveyed through the power of beautiful cliché. What Drake does is emote his emotions in a sing-song shorthand that allows the listener to breeze over his breathtaking sense of entitlement and connect with the wounded teen soap star deep within all of our eternal souls.

Critics may scoff at Drake’s shallow misery as the petulance of an untalented hack given too much but it is only because these critics have lost their ability to feel emotions as deep and profound as the artist. Only a heartless cynic could deny such totems of naked humanity like “Miss Me” where Drake drunkenly proposes to an indifferent Nicki Minaj or the moment where he claims that he is an underground rapper although his ascent to pop stardom was clearly orchestrated by powerful music executives enamored with the magnitude of his eyebrows? Who can’t sympathize with that sort of anguish?

What makes Drake's music so powerful? The simplicity and lack of nuance is where the beauty lies. Drake's music, devoid of complexity, speaks to a generation of lost children desperately typing their thoughts 140 characters at a time to a cruel and indifferent world. Drake's narcissism should not be seen as a sign of weakness but as a sign that he better understands the world around him. A world where mundanity bears the direst of consequence and drama can be found in the tiniest of inconvenience. What is Drake? Drake is the zeitgest of youth culture itself.

Thank you later, Drake? No. I will thank you now. I will thank you for making it kosher to feel emotion again in commercial hip hop. I will thank you for helping me cope with the ragged truths of existence. I will thank you for helping me realize who I am as a human being. Who am I? I am a Drake fan. God save my soul.

Or it could be that Drake writes really, really, really, really, really catchy hooks? Seriously, try to stop humming "Light Up."

Adjusted Pitchfork Score: 6.9

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

On Bombast And King Crimson Samples: A Prayer For Lorne Michaels

"Call me when he starts sampling Night Ranger..."

Before we proceed with this de-facto review of Kanye West’s "Power," I want to make the most potentially and deliberately ignorant series of statements I might ever write quite clear. I do not care about sampling King Crimson in the slightest. Roughly a week ago, I was blissfully unaware of this band’s existence and was content to live in a universe where they did not exist. I do not have an opinion on King Crimson. I do not care about your opinion about King Crimson. In fact, I’m kind of resentful of being forced to live in a world where I’m forced to think about the implications of a King Crimson sample. Why? Because King Crimson does not matter. If they did, I most assuredly would have, at least, have HEARD of them. But I haven’t. So I can be reasonably be assured that a King Crimson sample is irrelevant to any possible enjoyment or hatred of a Kanye West song. Act accordingly, music geeks.

As for the offending song, Kanye West’s "Power", I like it more than I hate it. The song sounds like the mutant off-spring of Kanye’s production on "The Takeover" and Kanye’s (ghost producer’s) more bombastic production on "Swagger Like Us." This is a good thing. I thought "808s and Heartbreak" was a unique if slightly undercooked excursion into emo synth pop & b but it was not the Kanye West, I signed up for when I bought into the "College Dropout" hype. A return to the sample driven bombast of his earlier work would not only be welcome but a logical progression in the wake of his recent career missteps. I welcome this sound.

The song falls apart in terms of an attempt to address those aforementioned career missteps. "Power" is meant to be a defiant stand against those who vilified Kanye for his VMA disaster, his rampant, unchecked ego and his growing lack of self-awareness and humor about himself. He wants people to know that he’s not changing and is upset that you would even question his greatness. The problem is that he manages to undercut his entire message by wasting time battering limp pop culture institutions like Saturday Night Live. The song almost comes across as self-parody when he wastes 8 bars going after the venerable late night comedy program. Is Kanye really so thin skinned that he would attack a program that’s spent nearly four decades lampooning every relevant pop culture figure and institution? Does he not realize how sad and humorless that makes him look? If there is a reason to hate this song, it’s that.

Just know, I do not care about King Crimson. And never will.

Friday, May 21, 2010

No Words... Love Lost Edition

At what point, do we admit to ourselves that the man we loved is dead...