Tag: Das Racist
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.
So if you’re not from down South or a devout scavenger of all music that NPR finds new-worthy, then you may perchance have missed out on THE jam of the summer – “Hot Cheetos and Takis.” The Maryland kids known as the Y.N. Richkids totally own the junk-food hip-hop world these days with this jam that apparently some of them are unaware the world even knows about. As they begin to near 2 Million hits on youtube though, it’s quite clear people are paying attention. The track has reminded me what an avid fan I am of non-commercial songs that big up a specific food product line – true tales of product devotion if you will. I’ve put the Richkids at #3 on my Top 6 list of All-Time Non-Solicited Corporate Food Songs – here’s the whole run-down:
#6 “Oh My Dayum” – Daym Drops
So this fella loves to record himself doing reviews of shitty fast-food. The Five-Guys Burger sent him over-the-top in ecstasy though, and those geniusGregory Brothers from Auto-Tune the News turned it into the smoothest homage to melted cheese of all time. Summer 2012 has really been a prolific year for this genre.
#5 “Rock n’ Roll McDonalds” – Wesley Willis
The schizophrenic wonder man-child of lyrical innocence, Mr. Willis created hundreds of tunes over the same beat and chord changes. And while he has left this Earthly realm, we will be forever blessed with his magical music, especially this one honoring the Satan-Clown. My go-to track of W.W. is the follow up to this one, “I’m Slimming Down” but that has no place on this list.
#4 “Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell” – Das Racist
At one point in time this track probably would have topped my list, but then I became aware of just how incredibly fucking amazing Das Racist is, and this song that kicked off their careers has fallen wayside to the rest of their dope-ass tracks. Still, I’ve got a solid 14 runs of this tracked on my iPod – probably 12 more than most people were able to handle. Shit is hot though!
#3 “Hot Cheetos and Takis”
Despite listening to this song 10 times over the weekend, I still have no desire to try my first Taki, and I fear about what pain will be unleashed on my ass after devouring a bag of Hot Cheetos. But hot-damn, that dark Southern Crunk beat is off the chain! This crew has everything though – the raspy kid that sounds like MCA after a few blunts, the happy fat kid in a wife-beater, the stuffed-up kid who sounds like Q-Tip, and even the uber-hyped little guy with a high voice. This is some real deal thugged out corner-store shit. Pretty undeniable.
#2 “Eat It” – Weird Al Yankovich
How can you leave out a legend? I’ve literally been saying the first line of this song at least once a month since it came out in 1984 – “How come you’re always such a fussy young man? Don’t want no Capn’ Crunch, don’t want no Raisin Bran.”
#1 “Where’d Da Cheese Go” – Ween
Now sure this tune was originally written for Pizza Hut’s stuffed-crust ad-campaign, but it was viciously rejected by the Hut and thus deserves inclusion on this list. When placed together with Part 2 of the song, also known as “Bitch, Where Da Motherfuckin’ Cheese At,” you have a truly magical piece of art. This was an easy pick for my number one.
All right, here we go. There were a wicked crap load of different albums I spent time with this year, and most of them never got around to reviewing. But as we go through upgrade mode here at ishitmusic, time for a run-down of the 50 albums that are really worth your time from last year. 10 a day all week long.
50) Daft Punk – Tron Legacy Reconfigured
- The original score for Tron Legacy seemed somewhat hollow for the legacy these guys have crafted for themselves. But I think the notion was to keep things rather unframed so that subsequent producers would have more room to make these songs their own, and that they did. There’s a killer Com Truise remix, and Glitch Mobb are in their finest form, but the go-to cut is the M83/Big Black Delta remix of “Fall.” It’s the tune that turned a ton of folks, (myself included) onto the power of M83.
49) Adele – 21
- There’s a reason home-girl has sold 7 million copies of her album – she’s really fucking good. Great melodies and some of the most painfully bittersweet lyrics to get thrown on Top 40 radio in quite some time. Don’t be turned away just because your 12-year old neighbor has been playing the album on repeat for a year.
48) Dawes – Nothing is Wrong
- On their 2009 debut, North Hills, Dawes placed their boot-print in the ongoing timeline of California Americana Rock. Despite having a huge year in 2011, including backing up Robbie Robertson on tour, Nothing is Wrong couldn’t quite live up to the haunting cycle of songs on their first album. The sound is still there, but the heart-tug isn’t nearly as deep. This might be the best background-music album of the year.
47) Clap Your Hands Say Yeah – Hysterical
- CLHSY made two of my favorite albums of the 2000’s before going on extended hiatus in 2008. Hysterical is still the same post-punk Byrne-esque fast-backbeat-driven rock band from before, but the initial spark of enthusiasm has somewhat dwindled. “Same Mistake” and “Hysterical,” the first two cuts, portend for more than the consecutively drabber rest of the album that follows, but they’re strong enough alone to put the whole record on this list.
46) Das Racist – Relax
- Listen, I fucking love Das Racist, but I’m really worried that they think they need to start getting serious. And sure, serious to them is still wicked loco to most mainstream hip-hop today, but their increasing focus on bollywood riffs and the lack of any Billy Joel references on this album has me a tad antsy. Either way, it’s still some of the only rap being released these days that everybody should at least give a shot to.
45) Phantogram – Nightlife
- This 6-song EP from the upstate New York duo is rather grandiose compared to their earlier self-described sound of “street-beat, psych-pop” and it’s totally a move the band should continue to embrace. Sarah Barthel’s voice is as eerily soothing as she is ridiculously attractive, and I think with the right producer these guys could step it up huge on their next release. Perfect music for a 3AM after party: calm enough for half the folks to melt into the couch, bumping enough for the party to still bounce around them.
44) The Antlers – Burst Apart
- I missed the boat 2 years ago when Pete Silberman got an actual band together and released the amazing Hospice. So Burst Apart was my first introduction to the driving drift of these Brooklynites, and the first tune “I Don’t Want Love” is the defining track of the band for me. There are plenty of folks who can sound really blue with tons of space-echo on their guitar, but The Antlers have a dark tongue-in-cheek edge that gives them a touch of necessary grit.
43) Radiohead – TKOL RMX 1234567
- Radiohead albums are like jet-planes: they weave through the airwaves, change the landscape, and leave an extensive trail of their residue behind them. When compiled together, the 19 different official remixes off The King of Limbs are like listening to the album through a kaleidoscope. 5 different takes on “Bloom” sound nothing alike, including the 2 stabs by the ever-expanding Jamie xx. Caribou’s version of “Little By Little” instills a comfortable paranoia like only the actual band usually does. Caution, subsequent late night listening sessions may temporarily jostle your frontal lobe and pineal gland… in a good way, of course.
42) Wild Flag – Wild Flag
- Sure, it’s worth mentioning that they’re an all-female four-piece of 90’s indie-rock superstars, but it’s more important to talk about how much this album rocks. Perhaps Portlandia has given Carrie Brownstein some rejuvenated inspiration, because some tracks like “Electric Band” are better than anything she wrote in Sleater-Kinney. The only downfall is that she stole my beloved drummer Janet Weiss back from Stephen Malkmus’ band, but as long as they keep the Wild Flag thing going for a little while, I completely understand.
41) Work Drugs – Summer Blood
- Admit it, it’s hard to be a smooth-ass low-fi gritty-dream-drift band these days without sounding like a pretentious dick, but Work Drugs kick ass. A fan has made a video for the title track featuring beach scenes from Point Break in slow motion, and that’s exactly what this album sounds like. It grows more on me each time, and isn’t gonna leave my rotation for a while. It’s actually far superior to its’ sonic peers and older brothers from the past couple years.
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