Eli Porter. If by now, you’re unfamiliar with the name of the infamous rapper best known for his odd line – “I’m the best man – I did it” – then go watch the viral video right now. Obviously, Eli has some sort of disability, and thus that brings to light the debate over whether acknowledging how amazing this video is means that you’re laughing at Eli, or laughing with him. And frankly, I don’t know if I personally will ever know – all I know is it’s one of the most awesomely awkward videos of all time and I love it for that. I’ll give it up for suburban Georgia high-schools though – at least these kids are just rapping and having fun, and not shooting each other in the streets or anything. If anything, this is a total testimony of the magical unifying power of hip-hop.
Recently, however, I discovered that some folks made an entire, half-hour documentary about this 5 minute video. It’s incredibly well produced, and really well done overall, and honestly it’s one of the greatest documentaries I’ve ever seen. Seeing how seriously Andy Milonakis says “There’s definitely some part of me that likes it because it’s like ‘Whoa, what the fuck is this” basically sums up the whole movie. There’s nothing I love more in life then when a joke goes too far. Not too far in a dangerous way, but in a way where the realms of sarcasm and reality are broken down, and you’re just left in an alternative world of limitless potentiality. This is exactly what’s happening here, and it’s one of the great benefits in living in this modern age where any random act can go on the internet and alter a great number of people’s perception of what life is really all about. Here’s the trailer and the whole doc below… It’s amazing… Enjoy…
The music world has had to say farewell to two influential acts in the past few days, and before you call me completely fucking nuts to mention a modern, humorous, Brooklyn rap group in the same breath as one of the most influential jazz pianists of all time, just hear me out for a second. Both Dave Brubeck and Das Racist have been essential pieces of the framework of American music. Essential. Where we sit right now at the end of 2012 would not sound or look the same without either of them. But at the same time, neither of these acts’ passing should be met with mourn or sadness.
Dave Brubeck would have turned 92 today. Ninety-fucking-two. And he was still performing concerts up until 2011 – to say the man led a full and extended life is the understatement of the year. In 1959, Brubeck completely changed the shape of jazz and sound with the release of Time Out. Now this is the same year that Miles Davis released Kind of Blue which frankly sounds like a snoring grandfather compared to the explosive punch of Brubeck’s release. Some of my earliest memories as a young child are of my father playing “Take Five” and “Blue Rondo a la Turk” on our baby-grand piano, and I’m fairly confident that having the odd time signatures of those tunes ingrained in my DNA at such a young age helped prep me for a lifetime of enjoying the eccentricities and odd specifics of both music and life. When I hear great piano players today, I can always hear the touch of Brubeck in their work – his striking of the keys and his embrace of the attack is something that all amazing pianists have tried to take into their soul at some point. Hell, I just mentioned him last week in my piece about the amazing Austin Peralta. So last night when I was listening to some of my favorite Brubeck tunes far past the midnight hour, with a glass of fine scotch by my side, I realized I wasn’t sad – I wasn’t mourning. In fact, it felt just the same as every late night that I’ve spent like that over the years. His music is transcendent – of stillness and time, of joy and pain, of life and death. And when I flip through the neurons of my existence, “Blue Rondo a la Turk” will always be speeding through my brain.
So again, why the fuck would I include Brubeck’s passing in the same blog where I talk about a bunch of sarcastic jokers from Brooklyn breaking up their half-serious hip-hop act after only 5 years? Because this is good ole’ America. And in the same place where 50 years before, a white jazz player could flip the lid on his whole scene and be angry that he gets more notoriety than his black counterparts, a Afro-Cuban American and Indian American could flip the whole lid on their own scene by sarcastically mocking the racial profiles that circle around our popular society. Heems and Kool A.D. are both those dudes that you smoke a blunt with at a 3 A.M. party in a tiny BK apartment while they totally rag on and destroy your drunk buddy puking in the corner. In a time when hip-hop had almost reached the extent of its shelf life, we needed some guys to come in and tell us to lighten the fuck up – all the time subtly and geniusly pointing out everything that’s wrong with all the shit we take so seriously. And like Brubeck, this is not the time to mourn the passing of Das Racist. They accomplished their mission. They kicked shit back into gear and helped rise a whole new brilliant independent rap scene from New York. They’re not pissed at each other – they’re not sad – they’re just moving on. They have every right to do whatever the fuck they want to do, and their residual ripple will continue to last as long as one can in our modern attention-deficit prone society. So I say long live America. Long live Das Racist. Long live Dave Brubeck. Long live us, and everything that makes us suck, and everything that makes us amazing.
Nothing like a bit of unlikely inspiration to get you out of your Monday funk. If you’re on top of your viral music clips, then I’m sure you’re already aware of the legendary Iron Mic Battle between Eli Porter and Envy. The school day rap battle filmed for an Atlanta high-school blew up 5 years ago with the completely absurd lines that Eli threw down. The kid obviously has some sort of mild retardation, but the earnest nature of which he attempts to actually free-style is a modern example of how simple moments can affect the lives of millions these days – at present the rap battle has over 4 million hits. Here’s the clip:
At first glance, the whole thing is completely hilarious. The awkward pause after Eli’s line “I did it” has become a thing of legend, let alone the infamous line – “I’m like Rosie O’Donnell at a bi-sexual bridal shower.” However, the further you analyze the whole situation, the more Eli stands out as a creature expanding through a forever recorded moment of human divinity. Seriously, these are the moments that make you realize the unlimited possibilities of experience in our modern age. I love the fucking kid, and thank God somebody else did enough to make a 30-minute, top-quality produced movie about the whole scene. It’s pretty much genius. First it brings a sly grin to your face, then it makes you die laughing, then it makes you pause and say, “Goddamn 2012 is a good time to be alive.” And once again, white nerds seem to have the most insightful things to say about the inner workings of the hip-hop world.
Despite my constantly triumphing carnal knowledge of all things music, there’s 2 worlds of which I am fairly clueless. One is whatever that Redneck Emo shit they call Country is these days, and the other is the smooth-ass world of R & B. Now I don’t give 2 fucks about Emo Necks – I know there’s nothing for me in that world. However, the smooth ass booty-spanking jams of the R&B world don’t frighten me -I’m just completely in the dark about where to go for good smooth beats. It seems a lot of those folks just take themselves way too seriously, even that new cat The Weeknd that everybody loves – it’s just too tense for me.
Thus, I’ve been completely ignoring all the references to Frank Ocean I’ve heard over the past year. Even when he started linking up with Odd Future, I presumed it was more of a funny thing for them to do. Well Mr. Ocean, I sincerely apologize, because you are the smooth ass, hilarious booty-grind magic-man I have been waiting for. It’s like totally taking the dirty hilarious world that Tyler the Creator and his OFWKTA crew bring to hip-hop, and flipping it to the R&B world. I’m late in the game to this fella, but get on board if you are as well.
Here’s the video for “Novacane” – featuring Frank smoking a blunt while he imagines getting fondled by naked chicks and a panda bear. If I follow the story-line of the lyrics correctly, he went to Coachella to see Jay-Z, met some hot girl who was there to see Z-Trip, and the two of them went somewhere to smoke a blunt. He starts getting really fucked up and the girl tells him that she laced the grass with novacane. I think that’s what’s happening – it’s awesome either way.
And here’s “Swim Good.” First off, I love the direct embrace of improper English – I really think it’s a powerful statement on preconceived notions of a black artists’ intelligence – seriously! But c’mon, how can you deny the man when he’s like, “I want to write a bad-ass song called swim-good?” It’s completely different than whatever fool forget to tell The Ying Yang Twins that the symbol is a YIN-YANG – I think that was a total ignorant goof on their part. However, this song on the other hand would be nothing if the hook was “swim well.” Whatever, those 50 words are more than anybody should really philosophically think about his video. Dig it, it’s my fucking jam.
So for the past 10 years or so, nearly every time I’ve seen the Beastie Boys, they have played the same dope outro track after every concert. They usually have just thrown down a massive “Sabotage,” the entire building will be on Cloud-11, and this smooth mother-fucking jam comes on and just makes you so pumped to figure out where you and your crew are gonna go get some post-show cocktails. If you’ve seen the MSG Awesome, I Fucking Shot That DVD, it’s the music playing over the credits. However, the listed credits on there have the correct band, The Jazz Crusaders - a sly as all hell jazz-pop outfit from the early 70′s, but they had the wrong song listed. So I initially had given up on figuring out what it actually was til I woke up the other day with this song on loop in my head. Had to find it, did a little more sloothing, and here it is – “Way Back Home.” If you’re at home on a Saturday night – get up, make yourself a cocktail, twist up a fat one, sit your ass back down, and listen to this tune a good 7 or 8 times – it’s guaranteed to make you feel that everything is OK in the world.
Two new tracks I’m co-mingulating with today in the hip-hop underground overview scene. The first, I suppose isn’t all that new, but it is a new video with Odd Future’s Tyler the Creator on a cut with The Game. I guess this was on Game’s new album, but he seems to have hung low in the non-chalent rap-fan scene as of late. Like everybody, he’s trying to hop on the Odd Future train, and he does it with so-so results. He comes off as an aging lyricist doing a sub-par Eminem impersonation, and then he totally gets owned by Tyler’s verse. The kid has a humble swagger to his flow that is the true magic to his songs – he makes scary shit seem like a joke, and hard as everyone else may try, their impersonations sound hokey. Plus he highlights in his verse how Game is doing that exact same thing basically and follows with the un-arugable line: “My crew is running shit like we have full-cleat Adidas getting chased by polices on a full-bred cheetah.” Either way, the video is fun and scary, and watch the young gun at the top of his form.
Next is the new track form Heems of Das Racist, whose solo mix-tape Nehru Jackets is supposed to be coming out in a couple weeks. Along the same lines of an underground rap-scene becoming the hip-lean for the big-boys, Heems too is a master of mocking his notoriety. Bringing it back to the mid-90′s with the track “Alien Gonzales,” (hence the photo) this track feels like more of the Das Racist I fell in love with that I feel got squeezed out a bit on this year’s formal release. I guess the desirable feeling is the massive notion of how much he doesn’t give a fuck, and that creates his best moments. Such as on this track when he momentarily debates the pronunciaton of Danny Zuko. Stream it here: http://nehrujackets.tumblr.com/post/14506755410/produced-by-mike-finito-nehrujackets
You gotta give it to Wavves’ front-wonder-boy, Nathan Williams. The kid seems to take no qualms in coming off like an utterly obnoxious So-Cal burn-out, essentially because that’s who he is – but he totally is pulling it off to massive victory. He’s become the most synonymous name with the modern surf-pop, dream-punk sound. He’s dating Bethany Cosentino of Best Coast – the synonymous female name with the genre. He loves weed, and does nothing more but post videos of him puffing the ganj. And he pulls off a move like nailing “Liquid Swords” with the mother-fucking GZA.
I’m not sure how many hip-cats in the music scene really watch a lot of Fuel TV, but apparently they have some music clip thing called the Daily Habit where really good, relatively unknown bands come and play. There’s a killer Black Lips cut on there somewhere. Anywho, Wavves completely crushes the background groove – fairly unreal, Roots-like, kind-of-nail, and the GZA is just pimping out his swag on the top. And maaad props go to bassist, Stephen Pope, for rocking the brand new Grateful Dead tye-dye in the midst of it all. Classy move of tri-musical convergence bud, seriously. Watch the clip below. And just in case you’re clueless on Wavves and how obscure this cover-move is for them, the video for “King of the Beach” is underneath. (I told you the boy likes Grass…pause it at 9 seconds in to see their very own Wavves pot-grinder.)
OFWGKTA – Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All – If you ask me, I’ve kinda been waiting for something like these guys to come around for more than a hot minute. The young L.A. crew is composed of anywhere from 11 to a purported 70 members, but is essentially focused around the leader, Tyler, The Creator. His homeboy Hodgy Beats seems to be a key member and definite live co-lead man, but after that I get lost in folks like Domo Genesis, Frank Ocean, and Earl Sweatshit << god, I love that fucking name. That’s my new favorite MC name…well, actually it’s gonna fall second to that bro Lacudis who shows up on some of those Das Racist tracks. Anybody that gets their name from the term the Borg used when they integrated Captain Picard into one of their own collective – yeah that guy’s wicked cool with me.
Anyway, Odd Future are all about embracing this kind of twisted, dark humor-laden rap – it’s like the old RZA project Gravediggaz with some resonance even of Eminem at his finest moments of tongue-in-cheek evil. It’s definitely pretty fucked-up shit, but I can’t help but really fall in love with it. There’s something about a bunch of 20 year olds from L.A. that make you feel uncomfortable and are all about pushing shit as far as anybody can these days. Lots of gore, violence, suicide – you know, all the crap that makes Tipper Gore secretly climax while she admonishes it in public. And they’re fairly into embracing the wild side as well – hell they’re fucking kids… but in the past 2 weeks Tyler has been arrested for public indecency, a riot broke out at Newbury Comics in Boston, Earl has been discovered in some foreign youth rehab lockdown, and the band justifiably punched a few members of their audience after bottles were thrown at their heads in Detroit. But the rest of the show was reportedly fantastic as was the slamming set they threw down at Coachella a couple weeks back. Kids are no fuckin’ joke. The beats are dope though – scary, simplistic freaky side of RZAesque. Check out this killer (literally) track from Tyler below. Definitely not for everybody, but it’s fun on a sunny day. www.oddfuture.com
Del tha Funkee Homosapien…So I love the guy – I totally have ever since a show in 1999 where he freestyled and called me a “rasta imposta”. I had thought he’d been wicked flakey though as of late, that is until last week’s release Golden Era. Last year’s LP, It Ain’t Illegal Yet, felt a little haphazardly thrown together, while my first few listens through this new one have given me some reassurance to some more formatted dedication. So I’m debating whether the month long pushback on the latest release date was due to slacking or just seeking tonal perfection. He did make a funny comment last month when he said “The album’s all done, I just gotta write my verses” and I really want to believe that’s an honest statement – you know like he really wanted to establish a framework he felt totally confident in before dropping verses which he knows will come out fine no matter what level of time he dedicates to them. That, and possibly evidence that you can be successful as an epic slacker of your trade – there’s hope yet! Album’s great though – it’s nothing epic like Deltron 3030 was but I’ll get to that in a second.
The question remains though, whether his limited drives on getting music out there are due to his laziness or his epic level of artistic integrity. I was surprised when he didn’t show up to perform “Clint Eastwood” with Gorillaz at Coachella last year, but maybe Damon Albarn just didn’t invite him. Wikipedia makes the bold claim that his lack of making any albums in the mid 90′s was due to “touring, mundane activities, and frequent psychedelic drug use” …hey, whatever provides your inspiration I guess. So without digging any further, I supposes as long as the man is able to pay his bills and live his life the way he wants, then he can slack off as much as he friggin wants – but it would be nice to get some more golden nuggets from him again. I initially found myself in this jumbled monologue of Delish confusion by following the recent rumors that a new Deltron 3030 album is actually almost done. The magical future dream-land of hip-hop forged with Kid Koala and Dan the Automator ‘take 2′ was supposed to have been started in 2006 – 6 years after the initial debut. Koala claimms he finished his truntable portions way back then, and Automator seems to have had everything set in 2007. And now just 5 year later, Del reports that he is recording the finalized lyrics for Deltron Event II. Let’s just keep our fingers crossed and hope that 11 years has been long enough for this shit to be done. And be done well. Better not be another fucking Chinese Democracy. Anyway, here’s a clip of some original Deltron 3030 – your take is as good as mine as to whatever they’re trying to imply in this video.
Post note: Here’s some really cool footage of what you got if you paid $3,000 for Del’s last album from 2010. To promote equal access in our modern digital age, the album could be downloaded for as low as $3. Fifteen bucks would get you a signed copy, $100 gets you a bunch of other shit including a phone call from Del…3K gets you flown out to the Bay where you make a track with homeboy…10K gets you an entire album. Pretty fly, and not that insanely expensive price for the accessibility to one of modern hip-hops greatest minds. Looks like they gave the kid a shitty ass hotel room though. Whatevs, Del’s a cool cat – just a little lazy.
As previously reported, HotSauce Committee Part II comes out May 3rd. There’s been a quasi leak of the dope single, “Make Some Noise”, but the best place to hear it is on the Beasties’ own website www.beastieboys.com - It’s ever so hot, and ever so more refreshing – can’t wait for the album to enter the rotation.
Today they also released the trailer for the 30 minute B-Boys movie about Fight For your Right 25 years later or something like that. It literally has everybody you love in modern comedy in it, watch the trailer below – it’s gonna be fucking stupendous.