Last weekend I watched the critically acclaimed American Movie for the first time. Weirdly enough, my favorite source for all things media, The AV Club, just did a full review of the film for their segment The New Cult Cannon. Once again, they’ve stolen all of my thoughts and wrote them down better than I ever could. Read it here.
Yesterday, I listened to the totally underwhelming song “Swagger Like Us” by TI f/ Kanye, Jay-Z, and Lil’ Wayne. It’s sad that a song like last year’s “Classic” featuring Rakim, Nas, KRS-One and Kanye turned out to be better than “Swagger”–“Classic” was recorded solely as a promotional tool for the anniversary of Air Force Ones. How come a sneaker company can compile a better by-the-numbers rap song than the guy who wrote “Doin’ My Job”?
Jeff made a great point–namely that big name posse cuts usually friggin blow in 2008, regardless of what color your Uppies are. And he made a reference to Biff Tannen. Jeff also posted free MP3s from 2 of 1998’s best posse cuts: “Banned From TV” and “John Blaze.” Would it have KILLED you, Jeff, to include Jay’s “Reservoir Dogs”? Jesus Christ. Read it all here and make sure to add to the comments.
2ew Gunn Ciz also talked about the plight of hip hop collabos on his blog Your Baby Mommaz Favorite Blog. His perspective comes from as industry insider; he knows A&Rs that fly across country to negotiate collaborations or pay some wack ass rapper for a 16 just to boost awareness and credibility for their new artist. It’s funny how the more disposable rappers pop up, the more they want to do songs with OTHER people. Remember 10 years ago when Canibus made a living spanking big name rappers on their own shit? 2ew Gunn does–read the full piece here.
Speaking of underwhelming lyrics, AllHipHop.com posted a great interview with The GZA. Here’s my favorite excerpt:
“When I’m around I give the new rappers advice. The main thing I do is try to take them out their zone. Ask the average MC to write a rhyme but set it in the 17th century – they’re f**ked up. “What? I can’t talk about my Maybach?! I can’t speak about rims and bitches?!” They’re stuck. That’s how you test them and see their real lyrical abilities. No money, no cars, no blackcards…can you write about being in a room with nothing in it? Just the four walls? Where does your mind go now? A lot of MC’s nowadays just write what they see and not what they think. Half these rap lyrics ain’t thought provoked/just a lot of beef until they get caught and smoked.”
Over at 215hiphop.com, they have a bi-weekly contest called The Swap Meet where a producer posts a beat and MC’s have a deadline to record a song to it and put it up for public consumption. Here’s Nico the Beast’s latest exclusive “You Are No Monster” produced by Happ G.