Thursday, August 27, 2015
As far as media representations go, AZNs been takin it on the nose for a long time. The Mickster rocked yellowface so egregiously in Breakfast At Tiffany's ya boy was spittin out his egg roll. More recently, Long Duk Dong became the Stepin Fetchit of '80s teen flicks, while Matthew Moy is somehow allowed to continue mincing and jiving on the Goebbelsian laffer Two Broke Girls.
Then again, Tom Cruise got to be The Last Samurai, so maybe dubious acknowledgements are better than no mention at all. Rap has its fair share. We all know about "Black Korea," and Bun B's unsatisfactory transaction with a store clerk of Chinese origin. Buzzfeed recently did a list, but the choices were tame and entry level. As good as the Ego Trip list is, it's time for an update. Here are some of my personal favorites.
"THE HOOD" - DRAG-ON, ET AL. (1999)
You know how may chinks and Jews / Drag done dragged out / On a cash route?
In addition to resuscitating the spirit of Charlie Chan for the Great Yellow Hope's "Learn Chinese," Ruff Ryders allowed Drag-On to rap about murdering "chinks and Jews" on their first comp. You were dragging out Chinese-Americans on a cash route, Drag-On.
"COLD COLD CAPPER, PART 4" - MAC DRE & COOLIO DA' UNDA' DOGG (1994?)
You half breed, Korean and black / Is your mom in the kitchen cookin dog and cat?
"Cold Cold Capper, Pt. 4" deserves laurels in at least three categories. Not just a great "Genius Of Love" flip, it also features some of the most vicious and most racist lines ever committed to wax. In the same breath that Mac Drevious refers to Bruce's Korean mom as a chink, he speculates that she was knocked up by a hit-and-run serviceman in the Vietnam War. Thomas Dolby blinded y'all with science, Mac Dre disrespected Bruce with geography. The Chosin Reservoir of rap disses.
"DISCOMBOBULATORBUBALATOR" - MC BREEZE (1986)
He said, "Oh my Buddha, I apologize!" / Tears were coming from the Chinese eyes / I said, "Look you chink, your damn food stink..."
The classic. Breeze is meticulous with the stereotypes, but it's his screeching Chinaman impression that really stops the show. You'd be offended if you could stop ya ass from shaking. Racism never sounded so funky!
"SKRILLA" - KODAK BLACK (2014)
And my diamonds come from Tokyo / Yoi yoi yoi / Power high (?) come from Tokyo / I call em Ching Choi
"Skrilla" is "Cold Cold Capper" without the teeth. In the span of two bars, Kodak confuses three distinct nationalities. Gotta take off my coolie hat for that kind of absurdist racial insensitivity.
"DIRTY WORLD" - HOT BOYS (1997)
Them bitches got a nigga trapped / They ain't givin us shit / But they'll give it to them Japs / They buy property and don't even pay no tax
Juvie's point on the lack of black-owned business in predominantly black neighborhoods is valid. His statistics are not. Because the Census website is a nightmare of bureaucratic incompetence, I'll have to work with a data set on minority-owned business from 1997 against data from the 2000 Census. In 2000, African-Americans accounted for 67.9% (329,171) of New Orleans's population, whereas Asians made up 2.5% (12,212). On the breakdown, the Census switches its number to 10,972 Asians; Vietnamese were the majority (7,118, or 1.5% of total population), Japanese the minority (283, .01% total pop).
In 1997, New Orleans had a total of 98,166 businesses; 17,777 were minority-owned. There were 9,747 black-owned businesses compared to 3,210 owned by Asians. Of those, Vietnamese owned the vast majority (1,757) compared to 64 in Japanese hands. It is statistically improbable that Japs were benefiting from preferential mortgages and loans to any appreciable extent.
Notwithstanding its cultural imprecision, Juvenile's criticism checks out. At the turn of the century, New Orleans was overwhelmingly black, yet black-owned businesses accounted for less than 10% of all businesses. Relative to their population, Asians - primarily Vietnamese - wielded disproportionate economic power. At the end of the day, however, it was white people killin the game on some Mafia shit. Don't know if Japs were living tax free, but somehow I doubt it. Although back-owned businesses increased to 28.9% of the total market by 2007, the stats remain skewed - less reflective of social progress, perhaps, than the economic devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina.
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Tuesday, August 25, 2015
Came across this John Leland review while perusing the Google Books Spin archive, cause Vibe is too high brow and The Source ain't digitized. His argument that "Go See The Doctor" is anti-woman and anti-sex is palatable; his quibble with the anti-crack message of "Monster Crack" is harder to comprehend. As far as matters of the glass pipe were concerned, it seems that Leland was an early advocate of the avant-garde need not be moral bromide.
Did he want something more crack positive? "Scenario" is the closest such item coming to mind, its endorsement of crack falling second or third in order of problematic content. "PSK" rips are always welcome. Good on the Beasties for bringing rap and hardcore as close as providence would allow without damning them to an eternity of manning the La Coka Nostra merch table. With that said, here is a photo of Adam Yauch and Harley Flanagan.
Sunday, August 23, 2015
After reveling in Death Row cliches for a decade and some change, it's refreshing to see a new crop of L.A. rappers discover there's more to rap than street-life brooding and ritualized death. Nuff respect to tha Row, but their effect on L.A. rap was tantamount to Rollins replacing Dez - all bathos and angst at the expense of fun.
Like the generations of writers damaged by Chandler's vision of L.A. as paradise of the damned, the Death Row babies reproduced a narrow definition and ran it into the ground. The California of my mind is not merely somber or orthodox. It's also driving down the PCU smokin some of that loud, just lettin the wind blow thru ya perm as ya oculars drink in the Pacific blue. All that Katy Perry, and Beach Blanket Bingo, and "I wish they all could be California girls" shit. There's more to life than Dickies and hydraulics.
Word is YG's cookin up a whole EP with Blanco and the Rap Blog MVP of 2009, DB Tha General, on some unionized "One California" shit. They two for two so far with the breezy summer jams. DB spreads himself across the track like Bizzy Bone chanelling Rammellzee. Fiend takes the Nate Dogg role. AV kick a nice lil verse, and Blanco is at least relatively unobtrusive. Some might say that five dudes on one song is a sausagefest. Yet what is a sausagefest but a gangsta party by a different name? Yo Fiend, bring the crawfish!
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Friday, August 21, 2015
Maaaaane, put ya money where ya mouf is and go cop The Book of Luke! MFs be bustin nuts 'bout how Young Thug said, "RIP Mike Brown, fuck the cops" after comin off like a simpleton with the mic in front of him, yet ignore the fact that Luther Campbell, a/k/a Uncle Luke, legally barred from being known as Luke Skyywalker, has been an active citizen in every sense of the word for decades. My man been doin it. He don't talk about it, he be about it! Get up on it.
This being Luke tho, u know there's some nice scandalous shit packed in that codex, too. Thrill to his tale of gettin blown by a line of Japanese freaks whilst onstage! Find out what he really thought about Fresh Kid Ice's Chinaman LP! Learn how MC Shy D puts the shy in sheisty! Witness Public Enemy bein some hatin-ass mothafuckas! It's all in here, boyee!
And if the publisher of Fresh Kid Ice's My Rise 2 Fame wants a review, send me some copies my duggalah!
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Tuesday, August 18, 2015
This supposed to be a Zona Man song, but the first two minutes is Future continuing to be the best crooner of his generation. Zona Man come in talkin bout, "I eat all these niggas / These niggas is turkey / No beef with these niggas," and you like, "SMDH, someone please get this man to an Arby's." Then Lil Durk takes the reins and michaelboltons the song to its bewildering end. The whole effect is like you in bed with two Futures makin sweet love n splashin baby oil all over the motherfucker (Johnson & Johnson, none of that off-brand shit), but when you open your eyes it's not even one Future, it's Durk and Zona Man, and that acid you took was mostly dust.
On to sartorial concerns. Future cuttin such a striking figure these days. Can't front, he got the best hat game since Ghostface did the domepiece Las Vegas revue in "Mighty Healthy." Even tho I'd be hatin on his look if it was rocked by the tan rubbery substance constituting Johnny Depp, trust that Nayvadius won't get a pass if he ever drops a P on our headz. Sidebar: if Future is Hendrix, does that mean OG Maco is Arthur Brown? "U Guessed It" = "Fire," marinate on that while I inhale the aroma.
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Monday, August 17, 2015
This been out a hot minute, but that ain't nann concern. Revisitation is some panacea in dis oversaturated media desert. See that shit from a different coordinate, ya feel? Parallax or whateva.
Things I like about this song/video.
1. AOne say, "This that mob shit you nerd *expletives* heard about." Mane, that really encapsulate the inclusion/exclusion dynamic dat a particular section of the rap-listening audience find so tantalizing. I be like, "Yeah, I am a nerd, and I did hear about this mob shit!" Simultaneously flattered and degraded, yadadamean? Spank me, Aone, I been a bad nerd (nullus).
2. That table! What is that, redwood or some shit? Illest table I ever seen in a rap video, bar none. And the Wassily chair? Yo, whoever pad that is got some refined taste! Interior design on swole, real talk. When I was a lil kid I got banned from sittin in my boy's Wassily chairs cause I was scratchin my name in the leather, tryin to go all-city on the Wassily chairs and whatnot. Kinged the Wassilys, did my thing on the Eameses. And it wouldn't be the last time I was banned from sittin in Wassily chairs, neither.
3. AOne lookin bummy and fresh at the same time, my standard mode of dress. It's cool if rappers wanna look like they walked out of a Tom of Finland sketch, but the rest of us gotta do our own laundry and that shit get onerous.
4. The beat soundin like you rockin the Windows 98 with 350 mhz and that shit glitchin out all frozen and about to shut down and you afraid it's gonna blow up so you take cover under the desk like they taught you to do for the A-bomb.
5. Jacka with the highlighter Foamposites.
6. At two mins, it leaves you wantin more. This what Coleridge n' em was talkin about. RIP, Jack.
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Friday, August 14, 2015
Downtown in the '80s was crazy man, you had Lee Quinones aerosol-arting Debbie Harry's face on LES bodegas before Chico (a/k/a the $erge of NYC) came in with the strongarm tactics and the deft Norman Rockwell hand. Shit, you had Fab 5 Freddy paying people to paint soupcans on the iron horse and generally perfecting the sheister activities that made a Suge Knight possible ('cept Freddy was and remains a Classic Man; dig that porkpie, playa).
Boom. No song embodies that magical era better than "Genius of Love" by Tom Tom Club. Uptown was meeting Downtown, the boomers was takin us to the promise land, hands interlockin on some United Way logo shit. They was like the Rascals of the '80s with badass punk chick attitude!
Thank you boomers! All they had was some pluck, a coldwater loft where they literally had to fight rats for the privilege of shitting off the fire escape, a couple of paintbrushes and some stank doobage, but yo they died 4 our sins. Giuliani single-handedly buzzkilled the racialized harmony posited in "Genius of Love," but it did become one of the most enduring breaks of rap music. It's like the "Sleng Teng" riddim in tha sense tht you could literally be goin "skiddely diddely bibbedy bop" on some Scatman shit, and still rock a party. Y'all can look up its history, it ain't hard to find. Fuck a service, when I die I want all my peoples getting twisted and listening to a mega-long playlist of "Genius Of Love" derivatives. Max's version might not be the best, but it is certainly the waviest. PEace, follow me on Twitter hoez,
Wednesday, August 12, 2015
Rick Ross is the Eagles of rap. They are not so much artists as blunt-force arrangers of genre signifiers, assembly-line producers who distill the form to its biggest and dumbest cliches. They are maligned, justifiably, as commercialized outgrowths of their original genres; and yet there will always be apologists like myself, those of us who can accept the criticism and still appreciate the schlock and excess in the same way one appreciates Imitation Of Life.
That Ross was born in Mississippi matters only in the sense that his music is different from anything else that came out of Miami. Perhaps this explains why he is less than interested in faithful representation. Ross's Miami is pieced together from old episodes of Miami Vice, that streamlined fantasy of dangerous living in the subtropics that came to be the lens through which we see ourselves.
As the Eagles simulated an idealized California in a studio, so does Rick Ross with his Michael Bay blockbuster of Miami. No one has to like them. In all honesty, no one should like them. But we should at least be aware of what they are doing.
Monday, August 10, 2015
Going the Eldridge Cleaver route, 2Pac embraces conservatism and becomes frequent guest on Fox News. His undeniable on-screen chemistry with Jedediah Bila fuels rumors that the two are dating.
Biggie spotted at Brooklyn Fare buying Niman Ranch T-bone steak, artisanal goat cheese, quail egg, and cold-press grape juice.
Career devastated by a Jezebel exposé on his history of domestic abuse, Big Pun is hospitalized for a failed suicide attempt when the beam he used collapses, leaving him bruised and considering gastric bypass.
In the wake of his well-received album on Legal Hustle, Jay-Z is seen shedding a single tear as he plays SXSW to a crowd of hipsters, journalists, and aging backpackers.
Fans of rap and shock radio rejoice when Anthony Cumia takes on Pimp C as co-host.
Big L and ASAP Rocky play Fashion Week in a leather version of this, designed by Alexander Wang.
South Park Mexican receives Medal of Freedom for his significant charitable contributions to Houston-area children's hospitals.
Sunday, August 9, 2015
Even though it's fashionable to hate DJ KHALED, I do not hate DJ Khaled. He is FUNKMASTER FLEX minus any credibility. He gets on the radio, yells a lot, dicks around on a soundboard, and everyone goes home entertained. Yeah his Warholian public persona is annoying, but that's an essential part of his heel schtick. He's that Palestinian-American you love to hate *Yukmouth voice*.
That said, I gotta speak on some bullshit. Fuck your Finga Licking Chicken, Khaled. You know damn well RICK ROSS cornered the R&C (rap and chicken) market with his string of successful and delicious Wingstops. How ya gonna do ya boy like that, you Fredo ass motherfucker? I ain't never gonna eat your chicken, you clucker.
In all seriousness, Finga Licking sounds better than the General's Fried Chicken shit the Bawse purveyin, but you can't step on no man's toes in the bird biz. What's wrong wit Finga Licking Fattoush, ya leech? I fucks wit small businesses and job creation, but Khaled finna fatten up my city to Khaled-level lumpiness. Ayo, HHS! Make these obese poultry magnates build a Jenny Craig for every franchise they open, call it a fatboy carbon credit.
Saturday, August 8, 2015
Friday, August 7, 2015
You can lay up in that pussy / But I'm bout to dunk on ya ho
Not sure of the exact mechanics of dunking on a ho, and yet -- I know, I know. What was the ultimate ho-dunking of the above-the-rim era? Was it Shaq over Ivy League hollow man Chris Dudley? Le dunk de la mort? Wade over Varejao? Or was it the time Scottie Pippen nutted on Patrick Ewing's face in front of Spike Lee?
Maybe it's all subjective, but we can all agree that these are maneuvers we would shudder to see outside parties conduct upon our hoes.
Tuesday, August 4, 2015
Writergate (mk. ∞) is inherently misguided because it underestimates the aggressive parasitical nature of DRAKE'S on-mic presence, his awesome figuration in the pop-cult cosmos. This ain't even on some, "It don't matter who wrote the songs, so long as they exist" kumbaya shit. One drop of Drake poisons the whole well. "Where Ya At" sounds like a vintage FUTURE song until Aubrey comes in with his beta-male moping, the neutral sound of rap's miscegenation across borders and timezones and city limits. Drake's authorship hasn't mattered for a long time. The Drake concept is bigger than lyrics, bigger even than antitrust laws. Grow with it or get absorbed.
GHOSTWRITTEN BONUS: Bow Wow - "Let's Get Down" (T.I.)
Now who wrote the Rap City freestyle where Bow Weezy goes iiiiiinnn?
Monday, August 3, 2015
On the considerable chance that any producers close to GUCCI MANE read this blog, would you make sure to submit Huang Shu-Jun's theme from Rebels Of The Neon God for his appraisal? The simplistic bass line demands the marblemouthed caress of one of Big Guwop's skreet-level noir raps.
Alls I want in return is a drop from DJ DRAMA, screaming, "AS A FORMER RAP BLOGGER, I RECOGNIZE THE YOUNG SHOOTERS IN THIS GAME! RAP MUSIC HYSTERIA HAS THAT JUICE MY SELDOM UPDATED XXL BLOG LACKED! MATTER FACT, LET'S FORGET MY BLOG ENTIRELY! TRULY A MISGUIDED VENTURE! DAMAGING TO MY BRAND! RAP MUSIC HYSTERIA, DON'T FORGET THE BLOGSPOT DOT COM!"
Saturday, August 1, 2015
Just a friendly reminder that in the early oughts, a shrieking cabal of "tastemakers" pushed these comic book nerds as the vanguard of rap music. As silly as a #FutureHive gets, it is far preferable to the grotesque alternate reality where #MrLifCommune is trending.
Fun fact: I hung this photo on my boyhood wall to remind myself what wack looked like. Happy August, y'all.