Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Music Monday (on a Wednesday)

Hello Internets,

I haven't had internet access (aside from my brief stint at Progress Coffee, where the coffee is good but the wifi has you age 30 years before you can load a 00:30 youtube video) since Thursday night. Apologies.

For this Music Monday (on a Wednesday) I choose to explore the kind of rap I can stand to listen to for more than 5 seconds. Lil Wayne! (No.) Lil Jon! (No.) Lil Cease! (No.) Lil Kim! (No.) Lil Romeo! (No.) How many fucking "Lil"s are there?

I was reminded of these artists recently when someone asked me what kind of rap I listen to. I'm not really sure where to genretize (yeah, made it up. genre-tize) these artists. According to my iTunes, they're "Progressive Rap/Hip-Hop," "Underground Hip-Hop/Rap," "Urban Crossover," and "AvantGarde." This is generally my whole playlist from the summer of '08, when I spent all my days at the river, and partying in the woods.


"You can't grow if the skin don't fit you."

"Slug" is a white rapper, and together with "Ant" they make Atmosphere. The best way I have ever seen Atmosphere described comes from a youtube comment on this video: "this song sums up any sad, drunk facebook status you could ever post." Amen, gdlovesugly. Every song that I've ever heard from Atmosphere tells a story, and gives a slightly open window into Slug's life. Today he's playing in St. Louis, then off to random places around the US except SF or ATX, and then hopping over to Europe. I see how it is.

Aesop Rock

"While avoiding the vile and bazaar that is violence and war, true blue triumph is more."

Aesop's real name is Ian Matthias Bavitz... Of course he'd have an epic name like that. Why not? If you couldn't guess from his lyrical accent, he's from Long Island. He graduated with a BA in Fine Arts at Boston University. If that's not enough, want proof he's a smart cookie? He now lives in San Francisco.

Sage Francis

"I want your suicide to be a book of mine that I never finish."

I know nothing about Providence, RD. That being said, how does a little fat white boy living in effing Rhode Island decide he wants to be a rap artist? How many of his friends actually believed he could do it and stuck with him while the others relentlessly picked on him? Whatever happened throughout his life, he has become a premier independent rap artist with lyrics that melt my soul. I've probably listened to "Slow Down Ghandi" at least 30 times now. "But some of yall still haven't grown into your face, and your face doesn't quite match your head. And I'm waiting for a brain to fill the dead space that's left. You're all 'give me ethnicity or give me dreads.'"

Eyedea & Abilities

"I'll still smile ear to ear as if that's all I'm here for."

This is a fairly recent addition to my music collection. It wasn't part of my Summer of '08 playlist. A friend told me that if I liked Atmosphere, I'd like this guy. Eyedea's lyrics in all his songs question the collectively perceived reality and suggest a more subconscious existence of self. They're poetic. As with most lyrical geniuses of the somewhat-modern era, Eyedea was on a multitude of drugs, which ultimately allowed him to meet his demise in October of last year (though the police won't say which drugs he was on, and officially ruled the death as an accidental overdose). Perhaps he has found a higher level of consciousness and finally tore the walls down.


Ok so I don't really like this song but the video kills me. It's glorious and illustrates exactly how I pictured the characters in this group before seeing them. So watch it, and then listen to my favorite song below it.

"I'll never learn to brave the waves if I stand by the docks."

In "Love Aint," Tonedeff is featured rapping the opening sequence. He's featured on most of CunninLynguists albums, and as such a regular, I consider him as part of the group. He's considered among the fastest rappers in hip-hop history, and I believe it! Furthermore, I love this group.

That's all for my discussion and youtube linkage. I'll throw in a few more for my 8-Tracks playlist.

Track List
"None Shall Pass"
"Conversation with a Devil"
"Get With the Times"
"Stand Up"
"Crossing the Boundary"
"I Against I"
"Concrete Schoolyard
"Slow Down Ghandi"
"If You Can't Say Love"
"White the City Sleeps"

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