Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Brooklyn, NY 11237-5840
Inside a feeling that is feeling like a feeling which is totally feelable to feel more feelings: Feel Me
— Ease DaMan (@Ease_DaMan) December 9, 2013
Monday, December 9, 2013
My Not in Defense of Kanye (but I kind of am) Don't Care Though Because Yeezus Was an Awesome Concert Review
I’m more than a couple of days late but I wanted to take some time to digest what I consumed and write a more sober review, for if I had published this the morning or even a few days after the concert I probably could have effectively convinced every one that I saw the greatest spectacle since the original World’s Fair. Now I may still be able to accomplish that but my intention is just to tell you about an incredibly cool concert performed by a very cool person. So now almost a month later, these are just my thoughts. I must warn you that there are several spoilers for those who intend to see the concert, so cover your ears.
Okay let’s start with the first part of the experience, the controversial merchandise booth. Which I think was strategically or just brilliantly accidentally situated directly to your right after having your ticket scanned. All the pieces were very well designed, featured Metallica-esque font and entailed what I would describe as a Southern classic rock essence to them. I like classic Southern Rock some times, I like clothes designed by the Kanye West camp and if you do recall, Yeezy taught us, or rather them because we already knew that, “Rap the new rock-n-roll,” so great fit. At any rate, I opted for the praying skeleton “Yeezus, God Want’s You” tee which is fly on a Grateful Dead skull level and not an Ed Hardy skull level – Ed Hardy now makes everything from wine to car air fresheners by the way, tragic– I was happy with my purchase.
Jokes aside, Kanye effectively created an element of discomfort that actually functioned well for the rest of the night,a bravura of emotion probably not un-like what goes on in his head when he makes some of these decisions and he writes those “New Slaves” or “Jesus Walks”. And since a lot of content in his songs actually do touch on social issues, the challenging of symbols and reflection on contemporary civil rights; the pure genius of this is that he accomplished the same goal he does in song before you even stepped into the TD Garden arena. He set the table with the freaking merchandise stand when you first walk in, come on homie we major. Certainly not the same generated affect from say a group of raging Bowwow lovers at a Scream tour trying to cop signature paw print swag. The “war of northern aggression” merch was branded with the statement “I’m not coming down” which I basically interpreted as, this flag and its meaning are going to live forever so you can either accept it or redefine it but either way the flag will still fly literally and figuratively fly in Virginia, Mississippi, and even in towns heralded as beacons of social progression like Boston or hipster utopia, Williamsburg, Brooklyn. I walked in feeling tense and damn you Kanye I was forced to try to find the answers to a difficult question when I all I wanted to do is enjoy a great show with you and uh ... Kendrick
I don’t want to spend too much time on Kendrick’s set, because although it was decent it was incredibly forgettable. It's obvious that dude is really REALLY talented and passionate about his craft and his hits generated a solid amount of energy, but the last several minutes of his performance were really lackluster and sleepy and plenty of kids were still outside probably buying Confederate paraphernalia. One might make the argument that it is unjust to be critical in assessing Kendrick’s performance when having to take the stage before a star the magnitude of Kanye but I’ll be damned. He’s a Grammy nominee, that I expect excellence on stage from him actually speaks to the quality of artistry he fuses into his music. I’ve been to plenty of great shows, where the opening acts were actually either right on par or sometimes better than the main event. Think undercards before a heavyweight-bout and think Kendrick the one match that started off great but by the final rounds people were more concerned about whether everyone in the house paid their fair share of the HBO bill. My main issue is that I honestly had trouble even understanding his lyrics, the clarity and delivery were lacking. That being said, I'm still excited to see him grow as an artist and I'll be glad to see another Kendrick show later in his career to compare the two and witness the growth; I envy those who got to see A Tribe Called Quest go on stage before Kanye.
As Kendrick left the stage and the arena began to fill with more spectators than a Celtics Game 7, I was assured that Boston fans felt that "the only Kendrick we acknowledge is Perkins." I was provided added comfort in witnessing some of the fashion on public display. A panoply of ensembles featuring more skinny jeans and plaid shirts than a Hey Arnold flash mob provided me with the reassurance that though I bumped the original “Get Well Soon” mixtape before College Dropout, I was nowhere near the biggest Kanye Stan in attendance that night. Me personally, I went with the more preferable “Avant-Goon” look, mixing high-end with hood classics: a nice pair of Pierre Balmain jeans, black Champion hoody, 40 Oz. Van x #BeenTrill Snapback, and oxblood Tims on my feet to make my cypher complete. Oh and don’t judge me, what you wear to a hip-hop show is very important, because hip-hop concerts are like a cult gathering where us Stans all go to celebrate everything that we collectively love about hip-hop culture, like originality . . . oh wait.
But if you thought that style choices like his kilt are unhiphop then I’ll tell you what’s more unhiphop: Kanye’s performance started on time! Rappers showing up late to his/her show is the quintessential beginning ritual of any rap performance, when I went to see Lauryn Hill she was slated to start at 9 and poor baby girl didn’t make it on stage until midnight. So thank you Kanye for being unhiphop once more. I’ll refer to the beginning moments of the concert, though I could use the world “play” interchangeably, as a theatrical moment. There’s not really another way to describe it, Act 1 was kicked-off with “On Sight” and I tell you, I know a lot of people were not fans of the Yeezus album but the production on the songs felt otherworldly blaring through an arena sound system. One could quickly realize that this is the space that these songs on Yeezus were meant to be consumed in. I don’t want to spoil a lot of the surprises so I’ll try to be a bit general. At some points in the show the crowd roared so viciously it almost felt primal like I was watching a gladiator match and other moments the audience was reduced to a hushed whisper simply in awe of what was taking place.
As is the case with many great artists be it visual arts, audio etc., some of the most memorable and enjoyable moments for the audience are derived at the expense of painful traumas for the performer. This was the case with Mr. West as the highlight came when the protagonist revisits, the “Coldest Winter” a song he wrote in wake of the death of his mother, Dr. Donda West. When the song started to play the center stage elevated from the floor to form a cliff that Kanye laid supinely sprawled atop singing and mourning the loss of his closest friend. This was accompanied by snow and a chilling effect (I literally think he had the maintenance folks at TD Garden turn the temperature down) and that’s right around the time every person that wasn’t wasted out of their mind realized, hold up this dude is INSANE! Insanely, brilliant …
A MONSTER APPEARS ON STAGE, red-eyed ferocious “Kanyeti” starts pacing back and forth on the other mountain in the back of the stage like a primitive Donkey Kong game. This simple costume was the most aesthetically effective nuance of the show in my opinion and it just encapsulates the overall brilliance and intentional approach taken to produce the concert. Kanyeti functioned as illustration of West’s inner demons which he isn’t able to fully combat until he visits the earliest stages of his musical career. The entire time on stage Kanye wore custom Maison Martin Margiela masks with design aspects that ran tangent with each thematic segment of music in the set list. It is not until West prepares to humble himself before Jesus that he finally removes the mask and reveals his face to the audience.
Yes in case you didn’t know this already, Jesus comes on stage which births an entire additional wave of criticism but look I’m not here to defend Kanye West and guess who was the director of The Passion of the Christ. I’m just here to tell you that Kanye is doing his job as an artist. Art is meant to provoke, it’s meant to stimulate the mind, sometimes it’s pleasurable and sometimes it’s discomforting. If you want Kanye’s explanation then you should watch the epic monologue (insert rant, diatribe, etc. if you’re a hater) that took place. A quite brilliant friend of mine is less biased than most, used to love Kanye and is a law student at one of the --- hold on Yale I'ma let you finish --- greatest schools of all time and he couldn't even convince me to shun Kanye forever and eternity, so I doubt that anyone will be able to do so.
I'm aware that there are other aspects of his being that folks take issue with and that's is absolutely fine. But look if you haven’t really put much thought into assigning value in the ethos that West has been able to create with his musical career then seriously, just lay off of the Kanye slander, hate, claims that he’s arrogant etc. If these are your only critiques of the man then I can’t really value your opinion much when it comes to music or other forms of art. Every artist has flaws and in Kanye’s case his are nowhere near fatal. I might give more merit to one that says, “Oh I don’t listen to R.Kelly because I think that he molests children,” or some other fundamental foible that could make you genuinely dislike a person. However, I won’t divulge deeply into the whole issue on the “arrogant-critique aka lazy explanation of hate” or “narcissistic, complex issues,” there is plenty of that out there already and it may require some socio-cultural revelation that I don’t feel like providing much of today. Jay-z sold cocaine and boasts about how lessons learned from that hustle inform his business decisions today and he gets off the hook easier than Yeezy does. It is truly amazing and has generated some great reads but I’ve never seen so many people in my life try to academically critique someone that’s a self-proclaimed dropout. In no way would I wish to undermine the value of higher education as a vehicle to success but I can think of several other visionary college dropouts that are doing pretty well for themselves, check the Forbes list and rest in peace to Steve Jobs.
If George Bush doesn’t care about black people, then Kanye West doesn’t care about wack people. The wack people being namely those opportunistic journalists, gatekeepers, critics and the whole lot that denounce Mr. West for their own gains. Since day one, this man has pushed the envelope for the sake of the avant-garde, in the spirit of not doing the obvious, to ask provocative questions and essentially to make a living off of creating cool. Since the advent of his storied career the artist has embraced the role as the agent provocateur crusading against mundane and dogmatic expectations. His aura, body of work, and aspirations are tailor made for the left field and this tour was just “another hit Barry Bonds,” go check what position he played.
Sunday, December 8, 2013
Jacuzzi says that he's spent the majority of 2013 laying tracks and chopping beats. Now he's releasing the spoils to the masses for free in the form of the 'Mizu EP'. These big cinematic sounds and dark volatile beats remind me of hearing TNGHT for the first time. I appreciated that Lunice and Hudson made head-nodding Trap beats, blended them with heavy bass elements and mixed it in what sounded like a trippy missile silo. The new hybrid was a nice departure from where DROP heavy Dubstep was heading. In my book the 'Mizu EP' has aligned its self with that generation of whatever you want to call this future bass shit. It doesn't sound at all rushed, the samples aren't over done and the levels are just right. It kinda sounds like what the Jetsons snobby neighbors would party to. What were their names? The Johnsons? This is probably what they would bump.
Friday, December 6, 2013
To welcome the coming of the chilly winter months I figured I would recommend one of the coldest films i've seen in a while. The Iceman came out earlier this year and its about the notorious Polish contract killer from the eighties and his rise through the mafia underbelly. I'm not sure how accurate this movie's depiction is of the actual Iceman but nonetheless Michael Shannon's performance is on point.
The film features a lot of other great actors such as Ray Liotta (duh, its a mafia movie) , Winona Ryder (girl, interrupted , Black Swan) , Chris Evans (Captain America, Fantastic Four) , even David fucking Shchwimmer from Freinds was in it and he wasn't half bad.
Storyline involves alot of cold blooded murder and Mafia plots gone wrong. All the while Shannon's character Richie battles with his compulsive need to kill. Fans of Dexter would appreciate this film. The dramatic pacing is good so it doesn't drag and there is a constant stream of killing throughout. The screenplay is very well done.
If you like Crime / Mafia thrillers this is a good pick!
Peep the Trailer below
(P.S if you want to see what the real Iceman was like, click here)
Thursday, December 5, 2013
My manz Chad Dubz posted this shit on facebook. Its the directors cut of "The Dark Crystal" which is one of Jim Henson's greatest feats. This version whoever is much darker than the intended more child friendly version of the movie. Im about to watch it, why don't you join me?
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
01. Bag of Sh*t (feat. Loudmouf Choir)
02. Dump In The Gut
03. Land of the Crooks (feat. Billy Danze, Maffew Ragazino & DJ Babu)
04. Murdah Type Thinkin (feat. Roc Marciano)
05. Murdah Type Thinkin (feat. Guilty Simpson) [Small Professor Remix]
06. Bag of Sh*t (Instrumental)
07. Dump In The Gut (Instrumental)
08. Land of the Crooks (Instrumental)
09. Murdah Type Thinkin (Instrumental)
10. Murdah Type Thinkin (Small Professor Remix) Instrumental
11. Crookapella (Beat Kit/Scratch Stems)
The full Land of the Crooks EP will drop on December 17th and comes complete with artwork inspired by the vintage '80s flick "Crocodile" Dundee.
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
By day Ryan York is a laid back Neo-Waikiki Dolphin trainer from Honolulu Hawaii. He's developing a sonar helmet that reads your brain waves and converts them into Dolphin sounds.This helmet could finally bridge the communication gap between land mammals and water mammals forever. By night Ryan's helmet lab converts into a recording studio and he becomes Jacuzzi. His super power? The ability to make your head nod.
Video by Karborn
Ight so we're back for another week of BNP, if you read my last post and you watched Anti-Viral and you're still extremely freaked out you'll especially like this one. It is another futuristic indie sci-fi, but way bigger budget and a visual masterpiece. Dead ass.
Upside Down, Directed by Juan Soladas is about an alternate universe where two identical planets with respective gravities live side by side so that the two worlds are sort of merged. The people from the upper planet are super rich and awesome, and the ones on the bottom are poor and dirty. objects from each planet must follow their respective planets' gravities. It sounds kind of hard to explain but it is portrayed perfectly on screen and once you see it you'll get what I mean.
Its startting Jim Sturgess (Across the Universe, 21 ) and Kirsten Dunst (Melancholia, Spider-man) and it's a love story--but I promise its way cooler than just a love story, the movie has its own laws of physics . The overall plot line is really profound when it comes to issues of class, race, etc.
I suggest watching at least the first half hour of the film if you are considering watching it at all and I guarantee you'll be drawn in
Peep the trailer below
Monday, December 2, 2013
Friday, November 29, 2013
This guy is pretty dope, tho he talks about suicide in this song. The visuals are pretty trippy, I like the beat alot wish it was louder to be honest. I liked it, and enjoyed it for what it's worth.
As much I hate the word Ratchet, I think Contessa brings the beastie boy vibe very well in this video. Reminds me of the early days of Ghettok Gothik and whorehouse parties in New York City. The crowds were so diverse, and Contessa really never gave a fuck what anyone would think of her. She rebels in his free spirit and brings it loud and clear in these visuals. You go girl.
In honor of this national holiday. It's only right you play this while weaving through the traffic that inevitably comes with discounted goods; or while you make a turkey sandwich. Either or, its Blacc Friiiiday!
Thursday, November 28, 2013
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
The lyrics didnt capture my attention as much as the beat production but still its a good song. I myself can relate to some of this. As much as I love women sometimes they irritate me with their actions. The energy Lakutis provides on this track is amusing especially his response to the female.
Suzi Analogue is a personal friend of mine, I love that she produces all her own beats, makes dope threads and had a awesome vocal presence on songs. Anyways here is his first video on Vevo fam, thats pretty dope and hope y'all enjoy her sonic exploits.
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
This is one of the most epic movie reviews ever made, If you follow this blog you know I love movie reviews. Nostalgia Critic and Angry Joe are two of my favorite reviewers on youtube. The did this amazing 1 hour 10 minute dissection of the Man of Steel movie. Enjoy it and share it.