You know the part in Robocop when the drug deal gets intense and the thugs pull out rifles and pistols and Kurtwood Smith sort of laughingly says, "Guns! Guns! Guns!" That's how I feel sometimes watching rap videos, because the weaponry worship can get so ridiculous. (I should admit that my reaction to seeing a real gun in real life is always much less cavalier.) The new video from Freddie Gibbs and producer Madlib is a case in point. But it's also a good video. And Madlib's beat tingles like some kind sad angels' harp strings, and, man, Gibbs can really rap.
It would pretty cool if the new Freddie Gibbs song really was the national anthem. (More appropriate during the previous administration, I suppose. Also: idea for rap name: Francis Scott "Ki.") It's a good one. While I'm still waiting for the refreshingly understated Gary, Indiana rapper to knock my socks off with an instantly addictive beat or a great hook or something, his voice is terrific, and so's his flow-I love the way he switches tempo here. And he seems to be more honestly committed to realism than most people who'd tell you they keep it real. Like the end of this video. How often do [...]
Here's a good song from Gary, Indiana rapper Freddie Gibbs-the last song on his first official release, the Str8 Killa EP. It's a posse cut, in the tradition of other last songs, and sort of a midwest power summit, featuring as it does Michigan's Chuck Inglish, Cleveland's Chip Tha Ripper, Texas's Bun B (well, southern midwest), Dan Auerbach, from the Akron, Ohioan rock duo the Black Keys singing the hook, and a very nice beat made by a Chicago producer who goes by the name of "Blended Babies"-which, yuck.
Here's a good, gritty video from the rising Gary, Indiana rapper Freddie Gibbs-who delivers no-frills street reportage in a strong, deep voice that steadfastly avoids melody. Gibbs lets the music carry the tune, and it's a mellow, subtle one, hearkening back to the early-'90s "jazz rap" stylings of folks like Digable Planets, Common Sense, and the dearly departed Guru of Gangstarr.
Man, it really seems like everyone has had a pretty crappy summer, doesn't it? Everyone's just in a foul mood. The thing about Atlanta's Cee-Lo, though, is that even when he's in a foul mood, he can make music that sounds as joyous and terrific as this most recent single from his forthcoming Lady Killer album. Enjoy! And here are five other songs from this summer that similarly express very similar feelings: A full handful of musical middle-fingers!
"If you try to locate the moment of a major paradigm shift, in the moment, perhaps by calling your album 'Hip Hop Is Dead,' as Nas did in 2006, you're slipping into weatherman territory. Will it rain tomorrow? Will another great rap album pop up? The life spans of genres and art forms are best perceived from the distance of ten or twenty years, if not more. With that in mind, I still suspect that Nas-along with a thousand bloggers-was not fretting needlessly. If I had to pick a year for hip-hop's demise, though, I would choose 2009, not 2006." Everything I've written about rap this year? This is what [...]