Let's take a quick break for a sidebar here... Ever since he kicked a nice verse on BCC's "Rugged Terrain" that helped get me into dancehall, I've been looking for more Twanie Ranks, with absolutely no luck. I'd pretty much resigned myself to his status as weed carrier for the Originoo Gunn Clappaz (how sad is that?), but no longer. Back to the matter...
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Review: 'Generation X,' by Sadat X... a.k.a. Why The Great 'Dat X Benefits From His Fellow Brand Nubians...
Monday, December 29, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
“I’m doin’ interviews/Addressin’ all these critics/Tryin’ to underrate me/Sayin’ I ain’t got no lyrics/Three times platinum/Yeah I brought the record/If you can’t respect that/Then what are you respectin’?”
I think that quote outlines, very clearly, why I hate this kid. I see his point, it’s just that he doesn’t seem to realize being a shitty-ass songwriter and selling mad records need not be mutually exclusive. Motherfuckin’ Chumbawamba went platinum, but that doesn’t mean I have a single ounce of respect for them. And they had the good sense to not go on record talkin' 'bout, "We deserve more respect as songwriters for our intelligent lyrics about 'pissing the night away' and fooling people into buying a full-length record that was just flat-out horrible."
Like a nasty dose of Ecstasy, I can feel my brain cells rotting away bit by bit as I listen to each successive track on iSouljaBoyTellem.
It isn’t just because there’s not a single melody on this record that I haven’t heard a bazillion times before – although that certainly doesn’t help things. It’s mainly his reliance on only half of the formula that worked so well for James Brown.
Brown famously developed many of his hits on the fly: as the JBs were working the groove for one song, he would alter it slightly, and suddenly have a brand-new, albeit similar, groove to use as the bedrock for something different. You take the vamp from “Sex Machine” and make it a shuffle, all of a sudden you got “Doin’ It To Death.”
Unlike the Godfather of Soul, however, the Godfather of Swag seems content to cast 95 percent of his songs as thinly-disguised versions of “Crank Dat.”
I won’t deny that, like Fiddy and the G-Unit, he’s got a way with the hook, but over the course of 62 minutes, things get far too annoying as he relies on what Tricky Stewart (the producer for Rihanna’s “Umbrella”) calls “the stupid part” that he always includes in his songs (for example, the “Ella, ella, ay, ay” part of “Umbrella”)
Basically, in Soulja Boy's case, take the most simplistic TR-909 beat you can come up with, add one, maaaaybe two software instrument playing a retarded-easy melody, and do verses about how this rap shit is just too easy (“Eazy”).
I can’t front on the man’s business sense, though. In addition to using the Internet to catapult himself to superstardom, he's even capitalized on the recent movie-industry trend of keeping things PG-13 to make sure you draw in the younger crowd: neither of his releases have explicit lyrics (if you don’t count his saying “Soulja Boy Tell ‘Em make this ‘ish’ look easy”), and his viral promotion is probably, unfortunately, the future business model for musicians.
But instead of opening up a musical market where you can bypass label difficulties, in Soulja Boy’s case it encourages shitty music and very little artistic growth. True, the kid is only 18 going on 19, and his concerns are still very much a teenager’s (“Kiss Me Thru the Phone,” “Shoppin’ Spree”), but by the time you get about halfway through, things are just excruciatingly boring.
Witness "Booty Got Swag (Donk, Pt. 2)," which takes its subtitle literally, using pretty much the exact same beat as "Donk." Or "Gucci Bandana," where we spend nearly four minutes discovering how excellent Soulja Boy looks in (what else?) his Gucci bandana. The one thing I'll say is this: he might sound like a completely off-key tool on the chorus to "Turn My Swag On," but NOT using Auto-Tune at least makes him a moderately different kind of tool. Unfortunately, he's got his own brand of samey-ness, patterned after "Crank Dat."
Then again, the album is probably not meant to be listened to all at once. In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me if all Soulja Boy cares about is the single/ringtone sales for “Bird Walk” and “Turn My Swag On.”
iSouljaBoyTellem will be released on Dec. 16.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
We consulted with Alex Wagner, the former editor-in-chief of The FADER, who is very smart and politically astute, to get her opinion.
ED: Would you say that calling someone “Arab” is not offensive, but if you do so pronouncing it “A-rab” it is offensive?
Alex Wagner: Uhm, yeah. “A-rab” fits into the category of “Orientals” or “Eye-talians.”
ED: But is “Arab” offensive on its own when pronounced correctly?
AW: It’s pretty generalizing. In what context are you calling people Arabs?
ED: I'm not calling anyone Arabs. I'm talking with Felipe about the Busta Rhymes song “Arab Money.”AW: Oh yes. It’s kind of not cool, to just be like ARAB MONEY. Yeah. I would say that’s derogatory.
After posting up my [response] song “Arab Money,” on Allhiphop.com, I was contacted directly by John Monopoly and Busta Rhymes. I spoke with [Busta] for 40 minutes about his intent, his message and his personal being and how he conducts himself as a man. I must say, Busta Rhymes is an incredibly humble gentleman to have called me and spoke to me directly about his feelings and how he feels about the fallout of “Arab Money.” He told me he has retracted the remix from all radio stations and has pulled the video from all video outlets until further notice and is sorry for any disrespect or negative outcome to the production of this song.
I must say I am extremely humbled and grateful, honored and shocked by the outcome of this situation. Busta Rhymes did not have to contact me. Allhiphop did not have to post the article about my song. God works in mysterious ways and I guess this is part of the plan. Busta rhymes, my brother, thank you for being 'the man' and being a honest and genuine person. I have supported you and your music my entire life and i will continue to do so and speak of you and represent you to the highest degree. In my mind you are an O.G. and a true individual, which is hard to come across nowadays.
Busta and I spoke about the importance of moments such as these are the respect we have for one another for acting cordially and respectfully towards each other. We spoke to the importance of hip-hop as a movement to represent all peoples internationally and as representatives of respective peoples, we are all one in the eyes and movement of hip-hop.
I would like to sincerely thank you all for listening, spreading the message and making this happen. I would like thank Busta Rhymes, John Monopoly and Allhiphop for your understanding, support and undying devotion to truth, respect, life and culture. This is truly a moment in hip-hop history. Busta Rhymes is the man!!!!!!!!!!!
I have removed the song from my blog and MySpace to concur to his actions of removing his versions of the songs and video everywhere else. In respect for Busta, I want positivity to surround his upcoming release and truth to be spread about the kind of person he is. He is a devout man, a believer and an honest individual with pure intention. God bless a'khooy.
Arabs are not free of wrong doings. We all do the do to represent our people and movement in a positive light, no matter what creed or color. If you were to do your research and listen to the Euphrates records, my two mixtapes that are free online (‘Stuck Between Iraq and a Hard Place’) and to see what kind of person I am. Growing up as a teenager I was ignorant to appropriate things such as the n-word and using it around people. As I grew up and educated myself past the age of 14, I realised the power of words and learned the history of the African-American plight in North America and developed the utmost respect for Africa and its people. In no way is the Arab experience comparable to slavery, in no way were we subjugated to the same dire conditions that slavery was. I also believe, we as Arabs are the new public enemy number 1 internationally and it is my duty as an Arab man to represent my brothers and sisters in a positive light. That being said, Arabs should never use the N-word. From people like DJ Khaled to any Arab representative in the game, words that do not belong to us and are not appropriate to the richness of a culture should be deleted and never be uttered ever. It is time for truth and change in the world, I think we are all ready to move as one. That being said, let us move as one and counter the hegemonic powers that are trying to control our ultimate self and power in this fucked up world. Thank you all for your support and time.
"Yeah, that shit is nice, but it would be SICK to hear him flowin' over a record of all Primo tracks."