Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Oyoshe Review

I reviewed Oyoshe's Bring Da Noise 2 this week at RapReviews.com. He is a rapper/producer from Naples, Italy who teamed up with some of the East Coast's finest to deliver sixteen tracks of true school rap.

Here's the video for "Deal With It" with Blaq Poet, which is shot in bella Napoli.

I was intrigued enough by Oyoshe to check out some of his other projects, including the first volume of "Bring Da Noise," which is all in Italiano/Napolitano. I've only listened to a few tracks, but so far it is good.

I also ran across a crew from Florence who are doing Odd Future-esque stuff, meno lo stupro. I've given Daretta's "Heavy Mental" a few spins, and I'm liking it. I'm trying to bone up on my Italian, so perhaps listening to Italian rap is a good way to go!

Sunday, June 26, 2011


There's an interesting article in the NY Magazine on Oakland rapper Kreayshawn. I hadn't paid any attention to her, but here's the short version: she's a skinny white girl with a hood pass who may or may not be bisexual, whose mom was in the punk band Trashwomen, and who has directed videos for some local Oakland street rappers. The controversy surrounding her has to do with whether or not she is authentic, and whether or not she used the n word (in a non-racist context). Part of this is that boring game that white people play where they try to say that other white people more racist and less authentic than they are. White people LOVE that game. It's fucking boring and hypocritical. I'm not saying that white people should go around dropping n bombs, even in non-racist ways, but I also think that black Americans who use the word need to realize that if you refer to black people as niggas ever other second, you can't be that offended when someone outside your race does it.

Frankly, I think the world needs more art-damaged bisexual rappers. Too bad her music is so awful and vapid.

And of course she gets signed to a major label, because what will sell is a cute, quirky white girl rapping. Sort of like a hip-hop Lady Gaga, with music about as interesting. Which is to say, not very.

In totally unrelated news, I saw Tree of Life last night. It's amazing. You should go see it.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Madlib/David Comes To Life

I reviewed Madlib's Medicine Show Vol. 11 this week at RapReviews. It's a collection of random beats and collaborations, many of which are pretty good, but that don't add up to a cohesive whole. One of my favorite tracks is Madlib's rap on this unreleased Jaylib track.

In unrelated news, Fucked Up just released the first video from their new album, with a children's choir singing instead of Pink Eyes. It makes you wonder what the band would be like if they had someone singing instead of shouting. It seems like it is part of a larger movie that the band is making for the album. Brilliance.

Bon Iver's self-titled album came out today. I'm not totally excited about it, mostly because I'm mellow folked-out right about now.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Lil B and General Monks

I reviewed two albums last week for RapReviews. The first was General Monks' Each Step Becomes Elevated. It is a collaboration between Planet Asia and Tristate that is sort of a backpack version of the Wu-Tang's street/kung fu hybrid, only substituting Buddhism for the kung fu. The message wasn't totally coherent, but it's a solid disc. And free. Here's the video for "Trouble," one of the better tracks on the album:

I also reviewed Lil B's Red Flame mixtape. I've heard a lot of hype about Lil B, and I gotta say, while I understand why people like him, I'm not a fan. My new philosophy is that time is the most valuable commodity most Americans have, and wasting people's time is disrespectful. Lil B doesn't edit himself, records five songs  a day, and this mixtape is a waste of time. It's entertaining at times, though. Here's "I'm Miley Cyrus." You can actually hear him making up the words as he goes along.

I'm reviewing a Christian rap EP right now. Which makes me wonder: what if Paulie D found Jesus? This:

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

David Comes To Life

I was in a funk today, and I'm pretty sure it has to do with looking at old family pictures and listening to Fucked Up's new album, David Comes To Life. It's a rock opera about a British factory worker named David who hates his life until he falls in love with a women handing out Leftist leaflets named Veronica. They have a brief period of happiness, then she dies, and..I haven't made it that far into the album. The first few songs are killing me. Just read the lyrics to "Under My Nose."

The wind has changed and now it's brought all the sweetest smells he'd forgot. Not the faintest stench from the old days as it all finally drifts away. Damn those skeptics, harbingers of doom; negative epidemic, followers of Hume. He understands all her needs, and for that she loves him eternally. Syncretism is so natural and they're experiencing something so actual. "My sun is shining, how about yours? It's kind of blinding, burn my eyes pure." It's all been worth it. Now he looks forward to waking up, she's unstuck him from his rut. He couldn't wait to run off and go to sleep and let all his problems make their retreat. "Used to wake up screaming, stolen from our dreams; now I wake up beaming and the world just gleams." With a sense of impending doom that it's all going to end too soon, it's all too good to be true, where the fuck is the other shoe? It's all been worth it

The other shoe he is talking about is her imminent death, referenced in the next song, "the Other Shoe," which begins with Veronica singing "We're dying on the inside." Melodic post-punk, layers upon layers of sounds, and a vocalist who sounds like he's been gargling glass.  Listening to that, looking at pictures of my dead relatives...fuuuuck. 

There are two antidotes. One is garage rock by aging ex-junkies about sexual frustration.
Exhibit a:

The other is 70s reggae. Particularly the combination of wicked groove with pissed off lyrics. Exhibit B, I'm like a walking razor don't you cross my path I'm dangerous.

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