Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Why Cudi? Why?


Why do I enjoy Cudi so much? I had to ask myself last night, after I legit rashed on some kid for denouncing the Cudder. I realized that primarily and above all things its the Genre Mash.

Last night a kid asked me to compare Kid Cudi and Styles P. Here lies the inherent problem. These are rappers of two different periods in rap and with completely different styles. Styles P is quintessential New York Gangster rap. Cudi is...

Cudi is untethered by categorization and he supersedes genre. Kid Cudi clearly has a varied music taste that is a great influence on his capabilities. His mom's a classically trained opera singer for Pete's sake, of course his music would encompass a wholistic appreciation of music without labels or boundaries. He is music.

I am music. I have a fat collection of thousands of songs including the complete collections of Barbra Streisand, Madonna, Edith Piaf, and Jay-Z not to mention Gabriel Faure's Requiem and several techno remixes of Pink's "Please Don't Leave Me". I fuck with Cudi because he fucks with music in every form (I think). As do I.

In short, I realize that I my adoration for his music may be approaching obsession. It's problematic. Severely, yet I cannot help it. Favorite Cudi track? I haven't the foggiest notion.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Check Please


I have to write this post. I'm going to be late for class, but this has to be written. One of the greatest rap songs that I ever heard is Track 27 - "Check Please" of the Cleveland Show. It's one of those songs that strikes you, stops you cold, arrests time. The beat is cool. The repetitive violins invoke a dreamlike state and against it, he artfully tells a story, beginning with a list of his desires and aspirations: "I just wanna be fried." The first verse ends as he returns to the present, he asks "somebody call for my valet parkin'."

In the hook he says "Hold on you did what? Gave the waitress a tip, and said stay out of the dark end. Cleveland." He anchors his thoughts, here. Chip returns to reality, but warns the waitress to stay away from that which continues to haunt him. In his next verse, Chip returns to his inner thoughts and the rhythm doubles. He is consumed by his preoccupations, "a nigga be stressed..." he says. He rants on his hard work and perseverance in the music industry, then he notes that "...niggas be phony/fuck a new homie/rather be lonely..." The verse continues at doubled speed, signifying that he is overwhelmed by his preoccupations.

Suddenly the music ceases: "Damn, daydreaming this whole verse sitting here at this restaurant." Chip returns to reality. He closes the song with a description of his exit from the restaurant. I love this song. Its epic. Chip goes stupid. Listen to it, or you are no longer my friend.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Harajuku Barbie


I don't hate Nicki Minaj, and there's so much hype surrounding her that I haven't made an effort to even listen to her raps. She must be good, because everybody feels her. Then again Gucci is on the radio. I'm certain he pays for his beats with crack money, because he has the lyric ability of a third grader. I youtubed the song Lemonade, and I couldn't make it through the first verse. Garbage. Curren$y, on the other hand, killed that beat. Wait, I'm talking Nicki...

Anyway Nicki Minaj: I can't critique her music because I've never taken the time to listen to it, but what creeps me the fuck out about her is her army of clones. I swear Ms. Minaj is casting spells because everywhere I turn there is someone in a heavy black china doll weave and bubblegum pink lipgloss. I want to ask these girls, This doesn't feel strange to you, playing dress up? My name is Karen, I have a birth certificate that says so and a family to affirm that and for the most part I am an easily identifiable human being. I enjoy being myself and having creative control over my life, my decisions. I don't want to be anybody else but me. Why don't Mini Minaj's feel the same? I just can't fathom.

Additionally, Ms. Minaj is boasted for being a sexually liberated woman, though in actuality her image is a recast of Lil Kim's except she also eats pussy. Maybe the fact that she is bisexual is why people find her liberated. Personally, I think she is just the embodiment of the male fantasy. And how sexually liberating is it to call oneself the Black Barbie? (She ain't a Barbie... a Bratz doll perhaps.) I think that sexual liberation means that you embrace your natural beauty, you love your body and all its flaws, and you look fairly similar at 8 am in your jammies and at 8 pm in your makeup. Nicki Minaj and I have a very different view of the concept of sexual liberation.

Personally, I think that in order for a female to get respect in the rap game she must either be masculine or hypersexual. Think back to all the female rappers who have ever existed. Missy Elliott, Queen Latifah, and Da Brat performed masculinity. They could roll with the boys and therefore they had respect in the game. Then there is Trina, Lil Kim, and Foxxy Brown, three very, very sexual women who, when they come to mind, are all rapping in bikinis. I think in order to survive in mainstream rap, a woman must express some form of aggression, whether violent or sexual. Nicki is just the repetition of that aggressive sexual image penned by female rappers before her.

I do want to note that people often say that Nicki has a ghost writer; I cannot affirm the truth of this statement. However, a number female rappers (the sexy ones) are accused of not writing their own material. Biggie Smalls and Diddy are said to have written Lil Kim's. My question is, are female rappers discredited because they are women? Just wondering.

Much respect to Nicki Minaj, she has managed to make a living off her talent and looks, which is more than I can say for myself. However, the quality of her fan base leads me to believe that she ain't all that.