Hip-hop heads are often baffled by rock acts and all that "crazy rocker shit" they do, like supposedly eating bat heads, pissing on stage, writing songs about Yellow Submarines, romancing dead boys, shooting up heroin, and moving to Berlin.
Perhaps because people accept the harsh reality put forth in many rap songs and the behavior of these weird dudes who can't get jobs as the rule rather than the exception, they neglect how psychotic and insane most rappers are.
As I write this, I am trying to bypass shock and just try to look at abnormal behavior for what it is. I grew up in the 90s and early 2000s and pretty much still have plenty growing to do, but as a result of living in these times I have come to accept a lot of ridiculous things as normal so forgive me if I overlook anyone.
Here are some of the strangest artists around and brief explanations as to why I'm so weirded out by them.
DRUNK THUG ANGEL
He was the most controversial member of Bone Thugz N Harmony possibly the strangest and highest selling rap group ever. They had strong Christian undertones yet dark horror film imagery (grim reaperesque wraiths wielding scythes were featured prominently in their artwork) and the structure of their names resembled the seven dwarfs (Sleepy, Dopey, Grumpy, Layzie, Krayzie, etc).
He claims to come from a background of "thugism" (whatever the hell that means) and was even abducted as child and featured as an adult on an episode of "America's Most Wanted," telling the story of his childhood abduction. He was kicked out of Bone Thugs over money disputes, but his expulsion from the group also seemed to coincide with a strange explosion of his already overly-religious tendencies.
Now he rolls around with weird Mortal Kombat henchmen (as seen in this video), gets more effeminate by the day, and seems to have no problem reconciling his reckless alcohol use with his love for Jesus. He's integral to the foundations of the tongue-twisting style of rapping but now he tongue twists in tongues!!!
SHE IS NOT AFRAID OF YOU AND WILL BEAT YOUR ASS
Ok, so if I remember correctly, in the late 90s the biggest stars in America were an armada of Nordic Supersoldiers. Acts like 98°, Britney Spears, Jessica Simpson, 'N Sync, Backstreet Boys and Christina Aguilera dominated the charts with their vacuous teen ballads.
Pop music was a future Stepford Wife proto-High School Musical prom afterparty. All the girls were sassy and all the boys had six packs. Then, 9/11 happened.
Americans suddenly thought (and quite reasonably) that we were finally the underdogs. The prosperity of the 90s began to fade, setting a new precedent. In short, things got complicated.
Everyone still wanted to party, but pain was back. Sept. 11 gave us pain for months (years). As we got further away from that day, record companies needed to manufacture gravitaswhere there wasnt any. I solemnly believe that besides the talent of artists like T.I., 50 Cent, Bruce Springsteen, Kanye West, Eminem and Arcade Fire, their greatest asset is their constant triumph over adversity.
Triumph is why superhero movie franchises have been so successful recently. A nerdy frail wimp transforms into a web-slinging smart ass who gets with Kirsten Dunst and saves all of New York City (Ground Zero, ding!). A corporate war profiteer escapes from a terrorist (Al Quaeda ding!) camp and defeats his own greed as well as the powerful traitors in his circle (the White House maybe?). We love to see people over come. Remember that song "We Shall Overcome?" That was a really big hit.
"I Put On"
Kanye Wests production catapulted Jay-Z into solidified classic status all while remaining in virtual anonymity. Next thing you know, he falls asleep at the wheel and gets in a nearly fatal car accident. Instead of wallowing in self pity he, 3H and Damon Dash turned his misfortuneinto the ultimate backstory for a man who was perhaps neither Gangster nor conscious enough to be understood by record execs. Starting with Through the Wire, Kanye built an entire career with two key foci: decadence and perpetual underdoggery. Hes made pop rap songs about vague everyday trials and tribulations (All Falls Down) and continuously assails his doubters to this day (Cant tell me Nothing). Even though, no one really doubts him anymore, it is completely necessary for him to continue this fight against the now imaginary naysayer (remember that MTV Awards bullshit).
The most compelling development in Kanyes trajectory is the tragic death of his mother. She was a victim of the mindless vanity and decadence embodied in many of his songs. I ponder how her death provided real life meaning to the vague conflicts in songs like Stronger.
Remember in my first blog when I said I'd try to express my opinions without getting beat up by some gangster rapper I might run into someday? Well now I'm gonna try and do that without getting beat up by some Hipster rapper that I def will, and HAVE, run into. I know some of y'all are waaaay more hood than hipster and are just trying to get paid, but if any of you all have a problem with my words it's not Creative Loafing, crib notes, Godney Starmichael, RAD BADFORD, Supreeme, or any of them. It's me and my rants again. And white people, I know you're really sensitive about race these days...so this one's not about race or gender or sex....Its just about music!!!
THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS: HIPSTER HOP, THE SUB-GENRE THAT I'M NOT SURE EXISTS
Being a skinny rapper who isn't "socially conscious" or dealing coke on record (in real life I'm a Huey P. Newton idolizing Tony Montana), I had a deep seated fear of being lumped into what is now called Hipster Hop. It seems as if anyone whose clothing fits and doesn't rap about the struggle or the hustle gets lumped into that scategory. For those of you who don't know, the term hipster no longer only applies to white kids who did psychedelic drugs and listened to Miles Davis. Now it applies to Filipino dudes in exclusive Japanese tees and sneakers, cokehead art student chix who only like "dance music" (cocaine robot remixes), gender ambiguous dudes with fancy haircuts and American Apparel shirts, weird black guys with messy perms who AREN'T hairdressers, and pretty much most people @ DSC, Sloppy blah, Cinespace (LA), Silent Barn (NYC), Sway (NYC), Broke n...Bang Bang blah blah blah.
The term is used almost haphazardly to describe people who often don't have that much in common. A wave of rappers are coming out of this 238 BPM fashion-cocaine-Macbook-Japan-MySpace-based miniverse who are being called Hipster Hop. My friends and I debate if this subgenre has any signifying sonic markers. I am going to attempt to pinpoint what separates hipster hop from the rest of rap.
By Negashi Armada of Supreeme (Winner's of CL's 2007 Best Hip-Hop Group That's Not OutKast)
DISCLAIMER: When you read my spiel, don't go calling Fox News because all of a sudden CL is a radical news organization furthering the sick twisted liberal media's mind control over the people. Because they're not doing that at all. The views expressed here do not reflect CL, Crib Notes, or anyone but me and possibly Bizzy Bone. I am out of control and way to young and dumb to be allowed a public forum for my not so humble opinions. I hope you will still take them seriously, consider them and research some of my FACTS for yourself.
Hey wassup, my name is Negashi Armada and I am a member of the extremely un-famous yet critically acclaimed rap group Supreeme (Supreeme Supreeme). But that's not what this is about. This is about attempting to expose possibly groundbreaking connections between race, class, gender, climate and ... music.
I'll make hierarchical music lists that may upset people, I'll talk shit about musicians I know personally (but only from a creatively critical standpoint), and I'll try to not get beat up by some gangster rapper that I might run into someday. Hopefully I'll inform you on a bunch of music you don't know anything about but will love. I think I'm really smart, but I'm really immature and I'm Ree De La Vega's brother so feel free to hate.
Welcome to SPRING BREAK FOREVER.
WHERE MY DOGS @?
So let's get into something racy. The other day I was chilling with some friends of mine, all of whom were white (don't worry race will become significant). They ordered Amores Perros on Netflix because it was cool, hip and foreign and all the things the artsy kids love. Little did they know the movie was about dog fighting and featured a lot of dead and bloody dogs.
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