Tuesday, June 29, 2010

wakaflockawakaflockawakaflockaflockaflocka

So I was sitting in court today right in front of my life-appointed judge and between falling asleep 5 times, unconsciously I randomly started mouthing the lyrics to Waka Flocka Flame's "Hard In Da Paint." Fortunately she can't read lips. Would've been awkward. Anyway, I have some brief thoughts on music. Like, really brief thoughts.

'Airplanes' is very unfortunate. We truly seem to be headed for an era of emo-rap. The hook epitomizes everything I hate about Music By White People With Guitars. I don't know if there's something objectively gross about that type of "I could really use a wish right NOWWWWWWWW" type of angst or if I just can't relate. I incline towards the former. I mean, it's not like I'm a tough guy, I drive around constantly singing along with the Supremes and shit, but there's a difference between genuine misery and feeling like you want to cut yourself with tiny blades and wear really dark eye shadow. But the rapping's even worse. I mean, the guy's possibly the hugest sellout in the recent history of the genre and he spends his last verse bemoaning label politics - the same, you know, politics that are foisting this awful song on us. He makes Ke$ha feel uncalculated and authentic. Not to mention the shit with the planes and shooting stars. Look, wishing on a shooting star is already bullshit, therefore, you can wish on anything you want to. A fart if you like. Don't act like there's this wish-code that requires you to entreaty the fucking heavens to turn planes into shooting stars so you can have something to stick your little emo wishes to. Like I really thought that we abandoned insanely trite conceits in pop lyricism like that one back in the days of Sinatra.

Forever Young is interestingly bad in theory but not in actuality. In theory because (a) you've got this man rapping/talking/murmuring like he's dying, yet he's babbling about how eternally young he is, (b) the third verse where his flow totally breaks down and he just keeps saying "hold up, hold up", (c) redundantly explaining that "if you love me this is how you let me know/don't ever let me go/that's how you let me know," which is the sort of thing that could've come off as all cool and dadaist, as the lazy critics used to say, in the mouth of the 2004 J.R. Writer, but from Jay sounds more like, "oh my god, let's get this man some help, he's coming down with Alzheimer's", and (d) when he asks if we got the picture yet, because he's painting us a portrait of himself, even though he has done no such thing at any point in the song, so his insistence that there's this picture that we're not getting just seems really delusional. But in actuality it's just a bad song, not spellbindingly awful rapping or anything.

Usher, OMG(osh??). This is a song that I would be sort of cool with, sans will.i.am. verse, if Usher weren't the one singing it. But Usher is actually a real singer, not, like, fucking La Bouche. Or The Dream. His job isn't humming a few bars of crap over an electro beat and calling it a day. So he turns out to be really bad at humming a few bars of crap over an electro beat and calling it a day. Who knew that was a skill? In any event, there's absolutely no sense of desire or sex here. And the whole thing ends up sounding like one of those awkward attempts some of the more conservative 60s bands would make to do something psychedelic post-Sergeant Pepper. All those, "here, we've got a weird spacy synthesizer, we're hippies now" songs. Can you actually imagine Usher performing this thing? What would he do during all the dead space? Everytime I hear the song I imagine Usher on some 1968 episode of the Ed Sullivan show, in some crazy multi-colored getup, awkwardly staring at will.i.am, his keyboardist, being all like, "see, I can do house-influenced pop too."

Ne-Yo, Champagne Life. Have you heard this? Hilarious. I guess he had to move past Miss Independent sooner or later. It seems that his new artistic direction is imitation-crappy-1995-r&b. At one point he promises female listeners "nice meal and a good wine, definition of a good time." Definition of a good time? I hate it when singers explain that so and so is the "definition of a dimepiece," when rappers explain that they're the definition of a g, etc., but this really takes the take. What kind of good time is it going to be? The DEFINITION of a good time. Well that's descriptive. A good time kind of a good time.

Ludacris, Sex Room. This might actually be Luda's first good single since, um.... well before #1 Spot. His party shit has just become boring as fuck, his flow as predictable as a Law and Order episode, but he can still rap about sex alright. I especially love the beat, which reminds me a lot of Master P's lost track (the sample clearance monsters ate it) 'Smokin Green' (which by the way is a top ten weed-smoking rap song of all time - I should know because I've never smoked anything in my life and generally can't stand people who do, so for a weed song to speak to me it has to be really good since I can't relate at all). And then the hook reminds me a lot of C-Murder's 'Torcher Chamber.'

I was obsessively listening to Lil B for a week but I've come to feel that he has a long way to go. The Lil B concept is great, sometimes it all comes together, but he can be shockingly reliant on Drake-like punchlines that I don't think any of his fans would be able to tolerate if they weren't coming from Lil B. And then a lot of his shit just doesn't come off. Like most of I'm Thraxx.

Rick Ross f. Styles P, that song where he goes, I think I'm Big Meech, Larry Hoover. Ricky really seems to be coming along as a rapper. And unlike Jeezy, when he does rap well, I don't think he sacrifices much entertainment value. Whereas with Jeezy there was a huge trade of charisma and ad-libs for a little technical competence. (Then again, maybe Jeezy is reaching a bit of an equilibrium. I need to listen to his new mixtape more carefully.) Anyway, Ricky and Styles P are a terrible pairing, Ricky being more from the blockbuster action movie school of rap and Styles being just the grimiest and grittiest rapper out. But it's always nice to hear Styles on the radio. Even when he says things like "the money's like a chair, I'm sitting on it," he says it in such a way, particularly the word 'chair,' that not only does it sound like a good line, it sounds really hard.

I'll comment more on music tomorrow perhaps, but I just wanted to call attention to this comment from Camille Paglia, famed scholar of nothing in particular, in the New York Times. Paglia says the white middle class has lost its sex drive, and offers this as proof:

"A class issue in sexual energy may be suggested by the apparent striking popularity of Victoria’s Secret and its racy lingerie among multiracial lower-middle-class and working-class patrons, even in suburban shopping malls, which otherwise trend toward the white middle class."


How did this make it past the editor? First of all, even the richest malls I go to have a ton of "multiracial" patrons. Once you're past the malls that are 80% Louis Vuitton stores, my mall experience is that mall customers are half multiracial. Maybe that's just Philadelphia; all our malls are stops on bus routes. But I just find it incredible that a New York Times op-ed suggests that to the extent black people come to malls, it's just for the Victoria's Secret. Second, I would next point out that (a) gazillions of white women wear Victoria's Secret, (b) gazillions of white women wear those obnoxious Victoria's Secret Pink sweatpants, sweatshirts, sweateverything, (c) basically all their models are white or Brazilian so how the fuck is Victoria's Secret this indicator of minority sexual energy? Obviously if they were this minority niche brand they'd market themselves more like it. Third and lastly, outside of a sexually repressive culture, which it's clear we don't live in outside of our insane overreactions to the misbehavior of black golfers, is it really even possible for a whole race to suffer from, to quote the piece, "sexual apathy"? I tend to think that people, like dogs, are born with about the same desires and levels of desire through the centuries and millennia and that something like, to cite one of the supposed causes of this pseudo-phenomenon, "the lack of genuine eroticism" in much of our pop music isn't going to have any effect on that.

29 comments:

志穎志穎 said...

may the blessing be always with you!!.................................................................                           

泓發 said...

It takes all kinds to make a world.............................................................

于庭 said...

人有兩眼一舌,是為了觀察倍於說話的緣故。............................................................

吳婷婷 said...

當一個人內心能容納兩樣相互衝突的東西,這個人便開始變得有價值了。............................................................

MF said...

An effective weed song should focus on the blunt as an instrument of power and sexiness, and use the sensation of feeling high as either a method of escaping the madness or some sort of heightened psychedelic experience. Everything, basically, which smoking weed isn't.

Tagged along with a friend who had a free ticket to see Jay-Z live against my better judgement a few weeks back because I was hoping he'd bring KanYe out to do Can't Tell Me Nothing like he did last time I saw him, but this time he finished with Forever Young. Would've just pipped the Linkin Park version of Encore and being stuck next to an excitable teenager constantly flapping his arms about to the right of me as the worst moment of the night if we hadn't caught the last ten minutes of Drake's supporting set.

吳婷婷 said...

Practice what you preach.............................................................

吳婷婷 said...

一時的錯誤不算什麼,錯而不改才是一生中永遠且最大的錯誤............................................................

倫惟倫惟 said...

人生中最重要的是要自尊、自愛、自立、自強、自信。..................................................

姿柯瑩柯dgdd憶曾g智曾 said...

Readiness is all.............................................................

ghengis blond said...

tray i remember your having indirectly recommended a film review site in a blog post at some point and would like it if you'd try to recall what that might've been. i want to say there was a gray interface and that it hosted reviews from several critics. i think they called one of my favorite movies, a.i., the best movie of the decade to pass this year and liked the site both for its agreement witcha boy and its challenging critiques. please help

張怡 said...

厚 !!!等了好久的更新~~一定要支持的啦(ΘωΘ)......................................................

陳佑發 said...

鞋匠能作好鞋子,因為他只做鞋,不做別的。..................................................

思恬 said...

人生像一杯茶,若一飲而盡,會提早見到杯底..................................................

許惠吟許惠吟 said...

不論做什麼事,相信自己,別讓別人的一句話,把你擊倒。..................................................

建李李彰 said...

上班很累,摸個魚輕輕鬆鬆的逛部落..................................................................

家唐銘 said...

幸福不是一切,人還有責任。............................................................

易建佑青 said...

It is easier to get than to keep it.......................................................................

家唐銘 said...

知足常樂~~有這麼好的文章,人生足矣~~哈哈............................................................

红十字 said...

變天了~~注意身體,別感冒囉!............................................................

文王廷 said...

請繼續發表好文!加油加油再加油!............................................................

文汝劉文汝劉文汝劉 said...

善言能贏得聽眾,善聽才能贏得朋友。......................................................................

立和辛和胡辛和辛偉 said...

今夜星光多美好~祝你快樂~~~~............................................................

沛汝 said...

Poverty tries friends...................................................................

于庭吳 said...

心平氣和~祝你也快樂~~............................................................

王辛江淑萍康 said...

人生中最好的禮物就是屬於自己的一部份............................. ....................................

黃英吳思潔吳思潔邦 said...

加油-不論如何都期待您的新發表!.................................................................

孫邦柔 said...

感謝你的分享 要繼續發表好文章喔..................................................

Petter417 said...

reread this today, LOLed again @ the Jay-Z alsheimerz bit

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