Posted tagged ‘music’

Rap killed the spoken word star

September 8, 2008

I love all types of musics but I have a growing hatred for pop rap. By “pop rap” I mean over-played, gangster rap. I still appreciate the talent and time it takes to make a good beat but why are there so many weak lines out there that no one picks up on? Have we just stopped paying attention to lyrics?

Now back in his day I am sure Shakespeare was a thug (if he or she was real person). His lines were tight and given his rhymes about the ladies I am sure he was a pimp. I imagine him spitting some fresh lines to dimes all the while G-ed up from the feet up (rapping to hot girls and dressed nicely).  Most of his lines are timeless and can be used by anyone regardless of race or class. Now lets see that scenario in the modern times. Just imagine an elderly and sophisticated British man saying the following.

Lil’ Wayne- Lollipop
Ow…
Uh Huh No Homo…
Young Mula Baby
I say he so sweet
Make her wanna lick the rapper
So I let her lick the wrapper

Okay, Jeves that is just Creepy! Please Ying Yang Twins, restore my faith in rap stars. Surely, you must be clever with your reference to the ancient Asian (oldest example actually found in Korea) symbol representing the duality, perhaps representing the duality of humanity a la Full Metal Jacket. I’ll let the reader decide, try to imagine a Korean child saying the following.

Ying Yang Twins- Wait (the whisper song)
Ay bitch! Wait til you see my dick
Wait you see my dick
Ay bitch! Wait til you see my dick
Imma beat dat pussy up
Like B-AM, B-AM, B-AM [… etc]
Beat da pussy up, Beat da pussy up

Holy break-dancing Christ, you kiss your mother with that mouth? Well, this could go on and on, my next targets would be Dizzee Rascal “Dance with Me” and Usher’s “Make love in this club”. Usher, seriously, “make loving” and “public areas” only mixes for exhibitionists, for the rest of us a hook up in the club is followed by regret, a trip to the VD clinic and children, or so I hear *tugs at collar*.

I think you get the point, most pop rap sucks. OK, technically “Wait” wasn’t a single by the Ying Yang twins but their single “Salt shaker” was and it also deserved to be flushed like the turd it was. Any song that has the word “skeet” in it is referring to ejaculating and is therefore not contemplating the inner workings of the human soul. I enjoy talking about the funny things about being human, as I have a very dirty sense of humor, but is “coming” on someone or something really what you need the world when the spotlight is briefly on you? I don’t hate rap, but I hate that I have to search harder and harder to find good rappers. Here are a few I can think of.

Shad- he’s Canadian and up for a Canadian music award (a Juno if I remember correctly). His intelligent mind and playful sense of humor comes together beautifully in his album “The Old Prince” which I bought over the Itunes store awhile back. Deep songs such as “Brother (watching)”, which tackle race related stereotypes are intermingled with humorous songs like “The Old Prince Still Lives at Home”, which is practically a theme song for cheap student living. The mix is perfect as it is thought provoking with out overwhelming or depressing the listener. I really hope he gets the Juno, talent like his should be brought to the forefront. Link to CBC Radio3 website which hosts many of his songs here.

Talib Kweli- proof that you don’t have to be underground to be deep. I first found Talib Kweli through his songs like “Get by” and “Listen”.  “Listen” (music video here) expresses my anger over a lack of “real rap”. I need to invest more in his albums as the more I hear the more I like. I hear he’s doing well for himself, oh and hes also in some Kanye West songs.

Brother Ali- proof that you can be white and rap. Apart from Eminem and the Beastie Boys we white people got nothing (main stream that is). Brother Ali is a great freestyle rapper whose duels can be found on youtube, and he has a great anti-war rap called Uncle Sam Goddamn (video here). Abdominal is another good white (and Canadian) rapper. Check out “Fast Food (Fry Antics)” its another funny song, you can find many of his songs here.

Now a fantastic parody of gangster rap is Jon Lajoie’s “Everday Normal Guy” (video here). He’s Canadian and has a lot of other funny stuff, I like the cut of his jib and I hope he goes far.

*In the voice of a sterotypical burly Turkish man* I’s out y’all

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Cultural Spit Swap!

July 9, 2008

No, sadly, this post is not about sexual toursim, I just thought it was a cool sounding title. I am personally tired of Canada’s music being only associated with Nickleback, Avril Lavigne, and Celine Dion. I am sure there are other nations out there who bow their head with shame when that one overplayed stereotypical song comes on the radio and all eyes fall on you for your geographical association.

In response to being associated with songs I don’t even like, and didn’t like the first ten thousand times I heard them, I am going to recommend some tracks to refresh your audition view of Canada. Later I am going to move on to some tunes from the UK that I quite fancy. Lets all get involved, let’s not just export commercial crap tunes. Currently, it seems like there is there some kind of tariff on originality

Oh, if you click on the names of the group/musician it will link you to a site where you can listen to their songs for free.

My personal favorite The Awkward Stage (rock singer songwriter)
With some of the best lyrics (meaningful, dark and funny all at once) I have ever heard, the leader singer, Shane Nelken (who also works at a funeral home) inspires my confidence in Canadian Indie music. Hell, he makes went want to move to British Columbia (a province in Canada) so I can live in his bushes and calculate how to steal his thoughts.

Listen to this gem “West Van girl, delicate and frail, I will read your skin like braille in your suburban hillside jail.” (Note that West Van is referring to West Vancouver, a city in the province of British Columbia NOT the capital as I foolish said please forgive me oh great CAPITAL city of Victoria)
Try– The Morons are Winning, Anime eyes, and West Van Girl

Pop paradise Two hours traffic (alt pop)
These guys may be from the smallest province in Canada (Prince Edward Island) but that doesn’t stop them from plastering a smile on my face and unconsciously forcing me to tap my toes. Don’t be afraid of the term ‘pop’, it doesn’t mean that they’ve cut back on the lyrics. Given that their band name is a Shakespearian reference I think you can put two and two together.
Try– Stuck for the Summer, Heroes of the Sidewalk, and Jezebel

Electric excellence Junior Boys (electronic, maybe a bit minimalist)
Hamilton, Ontario you have never sounded so good. Junior Boys (and MSTRKFT and The New Deal) stretched my music enjoyment into the world of the electronic. That lot also simultaneously prepared me for the UK’s love of the electronic dance music. I could not get the song “In the Morning” out of my head for about a month and before I learned I could electronically download Canadian albums (via the Itunes store- I don’t advocate pirating the underpaid, the lesser known and the truly original) I simply continually listened to the same CBC radio 3 podcast (with Grant Lawrence). I played that same podcast so much that when I try to play it now it sounds like a dusty record from the 1800s.
Try– In the Morning, Bellona, and Double Shadow

Personal thanks to CBC Radio 3 for having an awesome website. Really, isn’t that why the Internet still exists so we can piggyback the hard work and coolness of others? Listen to those tracks and you will know the truth, those scientists at CERN (who actually created the internet- sorry Mr. Gore) just really craved some Canadian beats.