Saturday, May 14, 2011

Okay, Here We Go . . .

1.)  Singer Saints is back.  I'm jazzed about that.  That Andrew Hill looks sweet, though I haven't had a chance to check it out yet.  And Call Me Burroughs?  Are you kidding me?

2.)  This is absolutely amazing.

3.)  Yeah, I know.  Y'all are over Tyler 'cause Pitchfork's all over him now.  And besides, you want to bump the sound loud on a hot summer day, and Gobln doesn't lend itself to that.  But I'm telling you, this is some of the best hip hop in years, and when we look back ten years hence, this stuff will be some of what has continued to define the genre.

And besides, psychodrama aside, this is one of the best tracks of the millennium:


4.) And finally, do you want New Wave or do you want the truth?

There's mine . . . more soon.


DC said...

See, this is all good stuff I need in my life! Thanks bro.

CS said...

Personally, the Odd Future stuff does not hit me. Maybe it's age (or, specifically, how I've aged). But lyrically it's played out, boring, and not very interesting. Oh, you don't like women? Gee, interesting. Oh, you don't like gay people, fucking fascinating. I seriously doubt if 10 years from now they'll be of any interest musically. They mayy be of interest from a social media/blogowankosphere standpoint, but to say they're progressing hip-hop? Meh.

ator said...

speed up the vocals on that Odd Future and its a lost Eminem track circa 1999

Bill Zink said...

If all you hear is misogyny and homophobia, then you are missing what is going on here . . . which, frankly, is Tyler's fault, since all the hate makes it so hard to listen too. Like Emminem, Tyler actually explores himself and critiques himself, unlike most rap artists who either (at best) provide interesting commentary on the world or (at worst) just swing their dicks around. As hard as this stuff is, there is nothing here that offends me like "Batty Boyz", the despicable homophobic rant on MF Doom's *Born Like This*, which pretty much seals the fact that I will never buy another Doom album. I don't get the feeling that Tyler hates women the way I get the feeling that Doom hates gay people. All the misogyny is hateful, but it doesn't sound to me like directed hatred . . . or, if it is directed, it is directed as much inward as outward.

And, more than just hatred, there seems to be the urge here to say everything, even (especially?) the things you're not supposed to say. It's a little like the punk rockers who wore swastikas back in the day: the question is if Tyler et. al. take it seriously, and if they can actually move beyond simple shock value. As we saw with the punks, some indeed did take the swastikas seriously, and some were able to move beyond gestures that were merely provocative. We will see in the future . . . I mean Tyler's what, 19 years old?

I also see other things going on here - there is a level of literacy which I don't see anywhere else in hip hop. They create symbols, motifs, and narratives that are strictly their own, not some bullshit "street reality" that rappers have been living off of for years. Like I said, they're young, and as they get more into the industry, they may decide to conform to the model of what hip hop is, and then they will start to suck. But right now, their self- exploration (like Eminem, and who else? maybe Basehead?) and the complexity of their lyrical structures make them the future of hip hop.

Because, if all that is left of hip hop is facile rhyming over the latest hipster beats, then hip hop is dead.

Yes, that's right, I just called out Das Racist.

CS said...

"All the misogyny is hateful, but it doesn't sound to me like directed hatred . . . or, if it is directed, it is directed as much inward as outward."

Um... misogyny is directed by default, no? How can he be directing in inward? I don't get that. And screw the pass for his age. He's 19, he can vote, he can read, he can do anything and everything you and I can do. Of course it's "his fault" that his supposed brilliance in other areas is overshadowed by his moral and ethical depravity. Hip Hop is most definitely dead if this is its savior. This doesn't represent any forward motion (note: I won't say progress, I'm only looking for some forward motion) in the idea department. These guys, and the equally horrific Die Antwoord, are merely calculating how to insert themselves into the conversation. Their strategy seems to be: "oy, they do this, so let's do it times 10." Not very creative nor insightful.

Gabino said...

Dancing Cigs!

Bill Zink said...

I'm not giving him a pass for his age, I'm trying to describe what he's doing. Taken as a whole (the videos, the two albums, various other OFWGKTA tracks) I don't believe Tyler is a misogynist because he does not use the language to elevate himself into a position of power, which is the whole point of the misogynistic mindset. He's using misogyny as a cudgel, and yes, sometimes he hits himself with it.

It's all part of a strategy. He's just doing his best to alienate old people, white people, and NPR liberals. When we're out of the room, the real conversation takes place. Now, you may think that is a bullshit strategy, and I'm inclined to agree with you on that. But, once again, there's a lot more going on here that you're not seeing because you are completely shut down by the language. The language doesn't function the way you think it does here.

I'm not saying you're wrong for saying it's not worth listening to because of the language, because I don't believe that. What I am saying is that you are wrong for saying there is nothing here. Perhaps it's not redeemable, but it's not worthless.

And it's also not a joke, unlike Die Antwoord. It's serious, just not in the way you think it is.

Bill Zink said...

. . . and yes! Dancing Cigs! That whole show is up on YouTube.

Bill Zink said...

One more comment, then I'll stop pounding on this post. This stuff is like Celine, Comte de Lautreamont, or Georges Bataille. The language may be horrific, unsuitable, and wrong. The language may be a legitimate reason for ultimately condemning Tyler as not worth paying attention to (like many people feel about Celine, Lautreamont, and Bataille). My point is simply this: Eazy-E this ain't.

ator said...

I have to admit I havent spent too much time listening to these guys b/c Im put off by all the hype.... but from what Ive heard Im not so much offended by the language as the fact that the music/lyrics are not really that original and borrow too heavily from Eminem.

This Tyler guy obviously knows how to promote himself and work the social networking/new media game, but if the music isn't good or original, it aint gonna last. In the long run, substance wins over style.

Again, I should probably give it a more thorough listening before dismissing it. But I think I'll wait a year, and if these guys are still part of the conversation, I'll take another look.

For now, it seems to me more like the last dying gasps of hip hop rather than a move forward. But I guess time will tell.

Gabino said...

Alright, had to listen to that track, a little underwhelmed. Go to agree with CS & Ator on this one. Celine? not Easy-E? really?

Bill Zink said...

1.) I would argue that he's not borrowing from Emminem, but rather following the same path . . . which is a good thing, because what Emminem started is fertile for exploration. Though I never listen to Emminem, I consider him one of the five most important MCs ever.
2.) Does anybody else find this discussion ironic to the degree that Tyler is not even close to being the most misogynistic/obscene artist featured in this post? Does it trouble nobody that we have such a violent reaction against a black teenage rapper while we don't even mention the dead gay white avant garde artist?
3.) Here's another old white guy who likes Tyler even more than I do, and he makes a slightly different case for Tyler: . Bethlehem Shoals is the founder of the recently defunct, and one of those free form pop culture theory guys. I like his writing on basketball a whole lot.

I feel that a gauntlet has been thrown down. I will write a full length post in defense of my position sometime in the future, maybe sometime this summer. If I do, I will be sure to quote examples of what I am talking about, and then figure out a way to hide the post so that everyone here will be notified, but it will not actually show up on the blog unless you are a subscriber and look it up in Google Reader.

Or, if anyone here objects to the inevitable obscene language (which, again, is completely understandable), I would happily post it on my own blog and link to it here.

Good fun, people!

Gabino said...

no gauntlet from me bro, just expressing a dif opinion. All pretty subjective, don't you think?

Bill Zink said...

'Tis a gauntlet of my creation, sure. I think this is fun. Of course, I may be boring the hell out of everyone else, in which case I'll just shut up. Probably.