We’re happy we heard Kid Cudi’s “A Kid Named Cudi” before we read the embarrassing account of him getting tasered last weekend in Phoenix during NBA All-Star weekend. It’s not that we would like his music less, we would just be distracted with the nattering image of someone so set on wearing his Jordans to a marketing event of Nike’s direct competitor that he was willing to get electrocuted. The image is so absurd that the mind struggles to mythologize: But Jordans aren’t Scotland and Kid Cudi isn’t Braveheart, so it plays like a Rodney Dangerfield bit instead. And though we really don’t care how artists act, “A Kid Named Cudi” is composed with such serious knowledge of music that a clownish act like that is hard to attribute to it’s creator. (Mental note: file under more proof that artists don’t imitate their art)
Our intention here at DB/DO is not to write reviews of music: there are so many people who do that already, some of them well (see blogroll). We entered a period two-or-so years ago where we began to feel old and believed this first part was based on the fact that we weren’t liking most of the music we were hearing. The electronic music coming out felt like a direct assault on the music we cherished for most of our early lives: it had no depth but the institutions that we thought would rally against it were becoming engulfed by it. We waited for someone to say that it was all shit, that a lot of cocaine use was going on in the circles that perpetrated it, and that it was all a mistake. At the same time, the bands who believed they were “making a statement” against this electro rise, were making music that intentionally sounded bad. And because a lot of people were starting to feel the same way that we did at the time, bands that now do not know how to tune their guitars are touring all around the country under ridiculously strange sobriquets– each night they play to a bunch of nihilistic shitheads who’ve added to the cultural collapse. The channels get flooded with gunk; there’s too much information; most of it sucks.
It wasn’t to recently that we had an awakening, a rebirth of our self-esteem: of our natural right to criticize and not like things. With this insight, we realized it wasn’t that we were getting old– we just hated most of the “indie” music that we were hearing. The bar on what was considered quality dropped substantially, coke or no coke. People with no knowledge of the canon that preceded them took the insecurity of being ignorant and turned it, rather transparently, into an assault on given canon. We praise musicians who “know their music” because not knowing is the accepted norm.
A Kid Named Codi pats the person who is feeling old on the back. Reaffirms that it isn’t you, that most music sucks out there and someone has to do something to save it. The careful usage of rare(r) R&B samples, which is now an old trick among even semi-literate producers, is not what separates Cudi from the other mix-tape DJ/Rappers out there. Cudi has given credit to the canon, has spent time exploring other genres in a way that most indie rock artists refuse to do. Band of Horses “The Funeral” serves as the skeletal system on “The Prayer”; Paul Simon’s “50 Ways To Leave Your Lover” is playfully revamped into “50 Ways To Make a Record”.
Like a lot of people who make music a large part of their life, we have tendencies to define ourselves within strict guidelines that are unspoken and predominately bullshit. Hearing albums like Cudi makes us want to return to a pre-snob, pre-self important state : to schoolyards and Hot 97 on Friday nights and Beatles anthologies. To anything that was good that came our way with out made-up pretense blurring our vision.
Like most people in gagglefuck situations, we look to the past in order to inform us with some type of schematic as to how we can remedy the present. 1982’s “The Message” is so concurrent with our present social/economic narrative that it becomes an eerie prophecy tune. We took links to a shitload of stuff we’ve been bombarded with by the media( mainly against our will) recently and connected them to the song. We’re not so sure if it’s a cool idea or not– spend some time clicking on the stories and listen to the song and let us know what you think.
Broken glass everywhere
People pissing on the stairs , you know they just
Dont care I cant take the smell , I cant take the noise
Got no money to move out , I guess I got no choice
Rats in the front room, roaches in the back
Junkies in the alley with a baseball bat
I tried to get away , but I couldnt get far
Cause the man with the tow-truck repossessed my car
Dont push me, cause Im close to the edge
Im trying not to loose my head
Its like a jungle sometimes , it makes me wonder
How I keep from going under
Standing on the front stoop,hangin out the window
Watchingall the cars go by, roaring as the breezes
Crazy lady , livin in a bag
Eating out of garbage piles, used to be a fag-hag
Search and test a tango, skips the life and then go
To search a prince to see the last of senses
Down at the peepshow , watching all the creeps
So she can tell the stories to the girls back home
She went to the city and got so so so ditty
She had to get a pimp , she couldnt make it on her
Its like a jungle sometimes, it makes me wonder
How I keep from goin under
My brothers doing fast on my mothers t.v.
Says she watches to much, is just not healthy
All my children in the daytime, dallas at night
Cant even see the game or the sugar ray fight
Bill collectors they ring my phone
And scare my wife when Im not home
Got a bum education , double-digitinflation
Cant take thetrain to the job , theres a strike
At the station
Me on king kong standin on my back
Cant stop to turn around, broke my sacroiliac
Midrange, migraine, cancered membrane
Sometimes I think Im going insane , I swear I might
Hijack a plane!
Its like a jungle sometimes, it makes me wonder
How I keep from goin under
My son said daddy I dont wanna go to school
Cause the teachers a jerk, he must think Im a Fool
And all the kids smoke reefer , I think itd be Cheaper
If I just got a job , learned to be a street sweeper
I dance to the beat, shuffle my feet
Wear a shirt and tie and run with the creeps
Cause its all about money , aint a damn thing funny
You got to have a con in this land of milk and Honey
I cant walk through the park, cause its crazy after the dark
Keep myhand on the gun , cause they got me on the
I feel like an outlaw, broke my last fast jaw
Hear them say you want some more, livin on a
A child was born , with no state of mind
Blind to the ways of mankind
God is smiling on you buthes frowning too
Cause only God knows what you go through
You grow in the ghetto , living second rate
And your eyes will sing a song of deep hate
The places you play and where you stay
Looks like one great big alley way
Youll admire all the number book takers
Thugs ,pimps , pushers and the big money makers
Driving big cars , spending twenties and tens
And you wanna grow up to be just like them
Smugglers , scrambles , burglars , gamblers
Pickpockets , peddlers and even pan-handlers
You say Im cool, Im no fool
But then you wind up dropping out of high school
Now youre unemployed , all null n void
Walking around like youre pretty boy floyd
Turned stickup kid , look what you done did
Got send up for a eight year bid
Now your man is took and youre a may tag
Spend the next two years as an undercover fag
Being used and abused , and served like hell
Till one day you was find hung dead in a cell
It was plain to see that your life was lost
You was cold and your body swung back and forth
But now your eyes sing the sad sad song
Of how you lived so fast and died so young
Our first impression when we saw this video was: “Oh here is another dud from the mass educational-tool complex created by out of touch dickhead grad students.” And because we love the fulfillment that unnecessary self-adulation delivers, we went right over to the web site of Rythym Rhyme Results to confirm our hunch.
Here is more proof that educational accomplishments spit you further into a vortex of hopeless stupidity when it comes to having your hand on the pulse of youth culture:
“RRR’s in-house team leads a collaborative network of over 25 creative professionals, including lyricists, composers, vocalists, and producers. Many are graduates of Harvard University and the Berklee College of Music and reside in New York, Boston, Atlanta, and beyond.”
Below is an excerpt to the song titled “The Civil War.” We urge you to go listen to this track yourself and hear the bad ass gangster beats and the severity of the issue at hand. Think Suge Knight not Shock G, and it all makes you want to go fuck someone up. But the tracks on the site– along with the hard ass “Photosynthesis” featured on YouTube— sound so gangster that they serve as the primary premise as to why RRR misses the point: they’ve assumed that that’s what all rap sounds like and have gone and made songs that sound like “rap” music.
Still, the irony of genre and content mixing is priceless.
From The Civil War:
In March 1862
A water battle was fought that no one would lose
Monitor vs. Merrimac ended in a draw
Hopes soared high for the people up north
The Battle of Shiloh was the North’s victory
But one month later they retreated to DC
The confederate’s General Stonewall Jackson
Led the South to a few months of great action
But September that year marked defeat
For both the North and the South had blood on the streets
The Battle of Antietam goes down in the books
As the bloodiest day the U.S. military undertook
One more note. We don’t hate companies like Rhythm Rhyme Results Rap. They’re trying something new to help children learn and we doubt that there is a subversive,darker, motive(like having rappers rap about the Civil War, Slavery, or the Bill of Rights– all of which have royally fucked them– as some type of humorous racially motivated joke) We just think that they should go into a business that they know about– like penny loafers sales or something.
Back when guys like Lil Wayne would have been looked at like whining brats, Howlin’ Wolf was getting told he couldn’t use the bathrooms at the places he was playing at. Besides possessing raw energy that has been tried desperately to replicate by everyone from blues colonialist Eric Clapton to scrub-rock king Jack White, Wolf was one scary( and huge) dude. Here’s how he was described by Cub Koda: “no one could match [Howlin’ Wolf] for the singular ability to rock the house down to the foundation while simultaneously scaring its patrons out of its wits.” Vodpod videos no longer available.
Listening to Lil’ Wayne profess his gangsterdom and talk openly about cough syrup addiction — which I though was more associated with soccer moms than gangsters– I kept thinking about how Howlin’ Wolf would have fucked up Lil Wayne. Don’t Laugh At Me :
Looking at posters like these remind me of how popular genres often grow out of many smaller primitive,sincere, and tight-knit scenes and then grow into the larger and meaningless clusterfuck that is mainstream anything.
In what is now almost a complete tautology, the freshest music is always made by native dudes with pawn shop guitars and Sergio Tacchini jackets.
Click Link Above IF Player Is Busted:
Sublime Frequencies is a record company from Seattle, Washington putting out a large amount of compilations from around the world without the kitschy b.s. world music ennui that is usually a pre-req for such records. While these albums won’t jettison me into hosting dinner parties or considering buying farms in Costa Rica, Sublime Frequencies is doing a service by documenting music that would otherwise go unnoticed.
1up YouTube for letting user Pruane2Forever direct the abuse and alienation he’s probably been feeling since he can remember towards the camera and not by shooting his school up.
Props to Pruane-Dog for calling out 50 Cent. It’s about time someone did it!