Wednesday, August 8, 2007
Not A Blogger Does A Week In Rap City: Part III
Aaaaaaand I'm back for day number three in my week long exploration of the wonderful world of BET's Rap City. At this point in the week, I'm starting to see most of these videos being repeated so I apologize if I sound cranky that I have to re-review videos that I thought were g'awful the first time around but I'll do my best.
Q-45 is back to enlighten us with his special brand of veejaying along with DJ B-Lord for the third consecutive day. B-Lord apparently likes to wear t-shirts swaddled around his head. Do the guest DJs on this show actually do anything other than offer somebody to Q-45 to ask dumb questions to? Because as far as I can tell they just play the same song repeatedly whenever they cut to the studio.
The first video of the day is.....ughhh, Kia Shine's "So Krispy." On closer inspection of this video, I notice it sort of subtly jacks the concept to Spike Lee's joint for the original Crooklyn Dodgers video. What with Spike's patented floating shot and all. It would almost be cool if Kia was worth a damn and it wasn't clearly shot in front of a green screen. Seriously, now. And also, Kia really should reconsider wearing his braids down because its making him look a little more effeminate than he probably wants. Not that I care but I'm sure it matters to the type of people who are creeped out by the fact Weezy calls Baby his daddy. Which is pretty much everybody on the Earth.
"Read A Book" plays next. I like this video but I still get a weird feeling watching this. Its a problematic video because I think the artist looks down on a portion of the people who it seeks to enlighten. There's definitely a level of condescension towards poor black people and it shows throughout the video and song. Its funny and satirical but at the same it treats some quotient of black people as degrading stereotypes which is absolutely not helping the problems it seeks to remedy. Still I think its kind of fresh that the crunk sound is being used to be socially conscious as opposed to the traditional boom bap New York sound that most conscious songs rely on.
But whatever, "You Know What It Is!" As a general rule, if I see the words "Featuring Wyclef Jean" on any song dated after 1996, I run the opposite direction but this isn't nearly as terrible as it could've been. Its kind of catchy, actually. The video basically jacks "Big Pimpin" wholesale but if you're gonna steal a video concept than you might as well as steal from hip hop's most glorious monument to conspicuous consumption there is. In fact, T.I.'s video could use Dame Dash pouring some champagne on Gloria Velez' breasts. Thats always a plus.
After some commercials, we return to the "melodious" strains of Gorilla Zoe's "Hood Figga." I can't imagine that that many women are attracted to Gorilla Zoe no matter how much of a "hood figga" he thinks he is so this song is basically bullshit. I notice Yung Joc is hanging around in the background of the video. Is Gorilla Zoe Joc's weed carrier? That would be just...sad.
Q-45 introduces us next to a "classic" freestyle from the Booth featuring Bone Thugs-N-Harmony dated all the way back to May 2007. Wow, May 2007! Those were some different times, eh? 50 Cent only had two terrible singles out that they were shoving down my throat, T.I. was just about to release a terribly mediocre album, and the shoes that I'm wearing right now only had slightly less scuff marks than they do now. Apparently, BET's definition of "classic" is defined as anything that didn't happen today.
Common "The People" plays next. You know when Common started schilling for the GAP last winter, I justified it to myself by saying that every rapper is allowed to compromise their art under the immutable law of hip hop that states "any morally questionable action is immediately justified as long its under the holy pursuit of money." But the fact, this video suddenly turns into a subtle ad for the GAP in the video is too much. Watch this video again and tell me this isn't an ad for GAP's new line of green polo shirts.
Kanye West "Cant Tell Me Nothing"
Kanye West: Yo, Hype! I've got this crazy idea for my new video.
Hype Williams: Does it involve lots of fish eye lens shots, copious amounts of
video hoes, and the words "A Hype Williams Clusterfuck"
at the beginning of the video written in money.
Kanye West: No. I want to go to the desert, rap over-dramatically into the camera,
as a woman in a flowing black dress dances around, then a
Lamborghini drives by.
Hype Williams: Isn't that a Madonna video?
Kanye: Yes, but it shows how artistic I am.
Hype Williams: I think you need to get Zach Galfinakis to do your video, instead.
Here's an interesting anecdote about Lil' Scrappy that occurred to me. Back around Christmas of last year when this album came out, I was at this Christmas party at my friends house. This friend has absolutely no interest in hip hop whatsoever and basically listens to the type of hipster rock bullshit that I avoid like it has the plague. Anyway, there on his kitchen table was a copy of Bred 2 Die, Born 2 Live in all of its glory. I had no idea why it was there and still don't know why it was there. Basically, thats how I feel about watching his new video I just wanna know why.
Final Thoughts: Its now three days into my little experiment and surprisingly, I have not begin to feel any major effects. I was expecting at this point to be fighting off the uncontrollable urge to do the Chicken Noodle Soup dance, rob a bank, and sell copious amounts of illegal substances but other than this headache I'm nursing I can't say I'm any worse for the wear. Maybe, Bill O'Reilly is wrong about rap music.