Thursday 31 Jul
 
 

 

OKG Newsletter


Topic: hip-hop

VOTD: Get ‘Nasty,’ y’all

Is Nas our greatest rapper?

A lot of hip-hop critics’ criterion for great rap is in the combination of social criticism and delivery. I agree, and I don’t think anybody’s climbed further up that totem than Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones.


Hardly in his 20s, the self-educated, middle-school dropout’s debut, “Illmatic,” captured life in early ’90s New York ghettos with more imagery than any series of photographs and in truer, grittier, more dizzying prose than any novelist could. Or has.

Now 38, Nas debuted the video for “Nasty” yesterday, and if it’s any indication of the forthcoming LP, “Life Is Good,” then we’re in for another high-caliber album. The video was shot in his home neighborhood of Queensbridge, and just look how elated those little kids are to see him and mug for the camera. Actors can’t do that. Watch:



And now a few lyrical samplings:

Self-aggrandizement:
• “Queensbridge leader, no equal / I come from the will of Ezekiel / to pop thousand-dollar bottles of scotch / smoke pot and heal the people.”
• “I’m skinny, but I’m still too big for a Bentley”
• “Gotta bunch a niggas in prison, braggin’, sayin’ it was Nas I used to hustle with”

Insults:
• “Your flow cheap as limousine liquor”
• “Any rebuttal to what I utter gets cut”

Philosophy:
• “I guess entertainment means blatantly lyin’”

Allusions
• Jackie Onassis
• “Carlito’s Way”
• Faith Evans
• Michael Jackson

Nas’s technical game is as impressive as ever. I’m excited to see if his production and concepts on “Life is Good” are on par.

by Matt Carney 10.12.2011 2 years ago
at 01:25 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
 

VOTD: Me, myself and JT

Timberlake + Fallon = another hilarious hip-hop medley.

From here on out, it’s a pretty safe bet that a Justin Timberlake late-night appearance equates to another installment in the “History of Rap” series, which, as of last night, is now up to three. I think “Part I” will always remain the best just because: 

1. it was completely unexpected,
2. that two white guys slipped from Eminem’s “The Real Slim Shady” straight into Missy Elliot’s “Work It,” each with its little nonsense-isms, and
3. they capped it with the crowd spontaneously singing the chorus to Jay-Z’s love letter to New York.

De La Soul, Sir Mix-a-Lot, Young MC, House of Pain, Coolio, The Fugees, OutKast, Snoop, Kanye, Nicki Minaj and “H.O.R.” mainstays Beastie Boys all get the treatment here. Decide which one you like best:





by Matt Carney 11.01.2011 2 years ago
at 08:20 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
 
kevindurantheadphones

What’s good, KD? Part 2

What does Durantula think about the new Drake record?

You might recall my first entry in this series, wherein I tried to guide Oklahoma City Thunder some European basketball club’s starting small forward Kevin Durant toward meaner hip-hop from Pusha T, but judging by his recent Facebook post, “mean” and its many derivatives (“MEEEEAANN,” “MEEANN,” “MEEEEEEEAAAANN,” et. al.) is just a general term for a rap track he likes.

Early Tuesday morning, the reigning NBA scoring champ recommended the new Drake album, “Take Care,” via Twitter, and invited people to discuss it by way of Facebook. It’s a clear endorsement from a guy who’s long been singing the Canadian rapper/R&B crooner’s praises. Recall this ditty from December 2010, less than a month after the release of Kanye West’s “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy”:


It’s easy to see why KD digs Drake. They’re both über-famous youngsters (Drake’s 25, Durant’s 23), coming of age amid worldwide stardom. Drake captures that feeling and shoots it up with some serious swagger on “Under Ground Kings” when he says, “It’s been two years since somebody asked me who I was.”

It’s been even longer than that for the prodigious Durant, who, at 6’9’’ and a freshman starter at Texas, commanded the spotlight in high school and during a brief college layover on his way to being drafted second overall in 2007. Drake’s rise shows a sharper upward trajectory (known first or his work on the teenage show “Degrassi,” he boasts nearly four times Durant’s Twitter followers), most likely because he’s rocketed to international pop star-status.

One Twitter follower asked KD what his favorite tracks from “Take Care” were. He responded with the opening track, “Over My Dead Body” (airy and slow, it’s a sonically curious selection, but a sensible one when you consider the opening lyric), and the more hype “Under Ground Kings,” which is built on wafting notes that vaguely recall the Chicago Bulls’ iconic intro music. The typically smug Drake sandpaper verse “I think I killed everybody in the game last year” is the aforementioned lyric, and if there’s a better description of two-time NBA scoring champ’s offensive prowess, I’d love to hear it.

If there were such a thing as an NBA season right now, every KD highlight video on YouTube would be soundtracked by “Under Ground Kings,” but the way things are going now we’ll probably just have to wait until he formally signs with whatever overseas ball club offers the best deal. Anybody know how much it costs to get the Israeli Basketball Super League package on cable?
by Matt Carney 11.17.2011 2 years ago
at 12:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)
 
 
 

‘Got Money’? You know it.

Photos from Lil' Wayne's visit to the WinStar World Casino.

It’s half a mile from one end of the WinStarWorld Casino to the other, and that 800 meters consists mostly of slot machines. It really is a sight to behold – the overwhelming rings and buzzing of winners and losers, and enough neon flashes to rival Kanye West’s “All of the Lights” music video. It’s all so distracting that, while leaving, I overheard one older patron ask “Why are there so many damn kids in here all of a sudden?” apparently unaware that one of the planet’s most prolific rappers had just performed less than 500 feet from her for about an hour and a half.

I’m a miserable sucker for big-budget pop hip-hop, and the opportunity to shoot a major player like Drake’s boss proved too irresistible to ignore the two-hour drive to Thackerville. Unfortunately I found out when I got there that house rules prevented entry to the security pit near the stage, so I had to compete with a mongrel horde of iPhone-wielding nutjobs, but I think I got a few decent shots of the rapper.

First things first, Weezy, who makes me think he’s a gremlin who won an all-expenses-paid trip to Hot Topic whenever I see him, was sporting a cartoonish hoodie advocating Odd Future’s most mysterious member, Earl Sweatshirt when he came out onstage. He pulled “Tha Carter III” staples “Got Money” and “A Milli” out pretty early, as well as “Swag Surfin” off the excellent “No Ceilings” mixtape, all of which drove people into a frenzy. Unfortunately the mostly-Dallas crowd’s collective energy waned over the course of the show, as Wayne snuck away from his best material and into his newer, less interesting catalogue.

It’s been a good year for guest spots from the New Orleans emcee (arguably even better than most of the verses on his own “Tha Carter IV” album), and his contributions to Chris Brown’s “Look at Me Now” (gah, how awesome would it have been if he'd have pulled out that Busta Rhymes verse, too?) and Drake’s “HYFR” were sandwiched into the middle of the set with his own “John,” which is basically a Rick Ross cover anyway. A predictably lewd, comical R&B suite followed, punctuated by a cheeseball version of “Lollipop” complete with acoustic guitar and maracas, and his most recently regrettable song, “How to Love.”

And for the big, clumsy rock-and-roll near-closer Wayne strapped on an unplugged guitar and strummed it a few times for “Prom Queen,” which was really unfortunate considering much of “Tha Carter III” and the mixtapes immediately before it constitute serious low-culture art. But the people all around raged their faces off to the trumped-up tunes anyway

“6 Foot, 7 Foot” was the true final song of the night, and the dude just unleashed a deranged ferociousness that even extended to Cory Gunz’s hair-singeing speed verse that made me wish he’d attacked every song like that. Oh, well. I suppose there’s a price to becoming one of the world’s biggest pop stars, and only Kanye knows how to pay it without souring his musical output.

Full gallery below.

by Matt Carney 12.30.2011 2 years ago
at 09:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
 

Odds and ends

New local tunes, info on that Polyphonic Spree show, and a free Flaming Lips documentary.

OKSee got sick last week — the doctor said it was a sinus infection, although I was hoping for “Cat Scratch Fever”— and in so doing, fell woefully behind the times. So here I am catching back up with Oklahoma music-centric news and notes from the last week. Let’s get to it.

First up, we’ve got a couple of hip-hop mixtapes — both from Tulsa rappers, sure enough — that you can cop for free on these here Internets. First is P.D.A.’s “Occupy Hollywood” ...



 ... and next is aDDLib’s “99% of My Fans Wear High Heels.”



Secondly, Other Lives, now a major thing outside our humble borders, are playing shows in Oklahoma City and Tulsa before month’s end. The Stillwater indie band graces the Blue Note on the 27th, so be sure to snag your tickets ($12) as far in advance as possible. As in, right now.

Coincidentally, they also recently announced a headlining date at the Bowery Ballroom in New York City and Coachella Music Festival in Indio, Calif. Awesomesauce.

Thirdly, it appears that Pitchfork has inaugurated a new video series titled “Classic,” with a documentary  about our own balloon-busting, psychedelic-rocking, jelly-not-using Flaming Lips. Specifically, it’s about their 1999 opus, “The Soft Bulletin,” and I can personally say it’s pretty compelling stuff, especially if you still think that “The Spiderbite Song” isn’t about mainlining heroin. Watch the 45-minute doc over at Pitchfork.

Fourthly, The Polyphonic Spree is returning to Norman! The last time the group was here, it headlined the inaugural Norman Music Festival on an adequately sized stage. This time, at 8 p.m. Feb. 7, the Tim DeLaughter-led band’s 20-plus members intend to pack Opolis. I think at this point, if Girl Talk can play a show there, anybody can.

Here are a few details:
• New Fumes are opening.
• Only 150 tickets are available.
• The first set of tickets goes on sale tomorrow at all three Guestroom Records locations.
• Tickets are $25 each, cash only.
• Fifteen pairs of tickets will be given away from The Spy FM Spywagon at various locations throughout the OKC/Norman area on Friday, Jan. 13. Follow @fowlervw on Twitter to find out when and where.

Fifthyly, but surely not leastly, Samantha Crain has a brand-new 7-inch single out. It’s produced by Mr. John Vanderslice and is positively lovely. Snag “A Simple Jungle” and “The Dam Song” at her website.

Other Lives photo by James Rhodes
by Matt Carney 01.10.2012 2 years ago
at 02:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
 

Pairadime shift

After making metro buzz by booking hip-hop acts, the guys of Pairadime Music plan to put their own spin on a record label.


Music

Ryan Querbach
Pairadime Music, a local artist management group specializing in hip-hop, is taking steps toward its next venture: a record label.
 
Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Methotrexate — Camelpacks & Battlerapz


Hip Hop/Rap

Joshua Boydston
Just in his early 20s, Oklahoma City’s Methotrexate is an original in a genre inundated with anyone having access to a mic and a MacBook.
 
Wednesday, January 18, 2012

King Kearn

A master of marrying pop-rock with hip-hop, Mat Kearney would like to share some joy with the world.


Music

Joshua Boydston
Mat Kearney with Robert Francis
7 p.m. Saturday
Diamond Ballroom
8001 S. Eastern
diamondballroom.net
677-9169
$19 advance, $24 door
 
Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Let it Wride

From Iran to Oklahoma, The Wriders spout hip-hop that’s not only positive, but Persian.


Music

Joshua Boydston
Nima Tajbakhsh and Arash Motian didn’t have a particular American dream in mind when they made the move from Tehran, Iran, to Oklahoma City as teenagers in 2001.
 
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
 
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