RAVEN MACK is a mystic poet-philosopher-artist of the Greater Appalachian unorthodox tradition who publishes zines & physical books & electronic books & music & photography & digital art & just generally whatever feels necessary to survive this deluded earth thru Rojonekku Word Fighting Arts survival systems (Version 69, establish 14 Feb 1973). Comments encouraged.

Monday, July 31

Carbon 14 #28 Hype!


Carbon 14 website
The new Carbon 14 is out at alternativity style record stores soon enough. I got some long-winded nonsense about slitting a dog's throat, watching car wreck into each other on purpose, and being compared to angels in West Virginia. Plus all the standard kooky artists, musicians, and columnist you'd expect from Larry and Leslie at Carbon 14. I know it's expensive, but you get a free CD and there's tons of pretty pictures, some you might even play with your wee-wee to, if you're fucked-up.

Solaris Earth Pipeline - At War With Robots Hype!


So my man Embryo Neurofloy aka The PSY-OPSogist started making beats on a robot, which gave me an excuse to be the type of self-important dork who thinks he's got something to say and carries around a notebook to jot down ideas in. We're just about done with our second CD, so I figured I'd shill this first CD to the four people who will see this. It's called At War With Robots and is available for $7.50 thru paypal at solarisearthpipeline(at)hotmail.com. Here's the track listings with a slight description of each track...
#1: INTRO (you probably understand how an intro works)
#2: AT WAR WITH ROBOTS (kinda hip hop kinda spoken word style I guess, laying out the whole paranoia of robot technologies)
#3: HEART OF SOUL (there's a link below but on some stupid rapidshare host, so only a few people will probably figure out how to dl it, if it's still there, but it's a good song; I pride myself on coming up with constant good lines, and this is one song where instead of there being a line here or there you think is great, it's full of shit that might hit you different each time you hear it, and you could seriously listen to this song fifty times and still be deciphering shit I say. I'm not trying to be conceited at all, but that's what I strive for in some songs, and this is one of those songs.)
#4: (STATIC INTERLUDE) (robots hijacked shit, so there's static interlude here and there)
#5: BOOGIE JAM '06 (basically, this is stream of conscious thing I did where I cut a wrestling promo on technology, refered to here as The Technocratic Clan)
#6: SHINEFACE SCALPER (this has been the ladies favorite song from those who heard it, mostly because the go-go-ish beat makes you want to dance, and also I have a line, "I'd rather right click a clit and try to make some kids")
#7: ANTI-ROBOT FREESTYLE #73 (a freestyle, but funny shit about robots making me angry and trying to shelter my children from their influences)
#8: HOSPITAL BED (the story of how I woke up in a hospital bed with my hair cut off and a microchip implanted in my head, and the story of my escape)
#9: A MAN SAID (breakbeat interlude by my potna in this S.E.P. shit - the PSY/OPSigist)
#10: HIP HOP AIN'T NOTHING (I do super linguistical indy rapper style to mock indy rappers)
#11: ANTI-MYSELF FREESTYLE #4 (cursing my own alcoholism and how my children are as fucked to be born to me as I was to be born to my dad and he was to his dad, all in freestyle form)
#12: TIME TRAVEL (my favorite off the CD because it's a story and very conceptual; basically, I don't just mention time travel in a song to sound clever, but rather I decide I want to have sex with my wife but the way she looked in '97, so I steal a time machine, go back, realize I have to fight '97 Raven to hook up with '97 Raven's wife, but '97 Raven's wife is sort of sketched out by sketchy '06 Raven, and I ruin my wholesome space time continuum, all by trying to get a piece of ass)
#13: SOME SIMPLE SHIT (explains everything that goes on in my head)
#14: DRANKIN' WINE PT. 2 (a lot of folks who listened to this say this is the best song on it, and I dig the fuck out of it because it's about as real as anything I've ever written about anything anywhere; this song is more me than I am sometimes)

Actually, the download has expired, so fuck it. Probably Neil Young's fault.

#78 RAP TAPES: Ghetto Music: The Blueprint of Hip Hop


KRS's preachiness started hard on this one, but goddamn, I don't understand how this finished so low... I love this tape. The beats are some of my favorite, which I guess this was the first non-Scott La Rock BDP record. Did Kenny Parker make that shit? It was some old school late '70s funk bassline with the boom bap style beats. Sigh... I miss the boom bap beats. I blame computers. People need to hook shit up with hardware more often and ditch the software.

Thursday, July 20

#79 RAP TAPES: O.G. Original Gangster


For many, this is the seminal Ice-T record, but for me, as someone who was WAY into Ice-T back in the day, this was his first record that was over the top self-conscious, where he realized he was a boogie man for white America, as opposed to just being some half-silly half-political pimp gangsta rapper. This was actually the next to last time I gave Ice-T a chance, as this record sort of sucked, but still had it's moments. I bought the Home Invasion LP he did after this, which was so shitty, I threw it against a wall after listening to it, and this from someone who loves vinyl. I read some crappy magazine not too long ago, can't remember what, that mentioned Home Invasion being a groundbreaking record of some sorts. Though I can't remember what magazine it was, I can assume this much - it's very white, very sheltered, and probably thought Hustle & Flow was a great movie. I'm happy Ice-T got richer and more comfortable than criminal life ever could've guaranteed him, but this is an overrated record at best.

Wednesday, July 19

#80 RAP TAPES: Edutainment


I still love this tape, more than a lot of KRS shit, though all the little exhibit skits were signs of his immense preachiness that was soon to arrive. I've always wondered, much like Cliff Burton and Metallica, how much more grounded (or potentially just as fucked) Boogie Down Productions would've been had Scott La Rock not been killed. And I wonder too what's up with Scott La Rock Jr.? He should be old enough to DJ by now. Did KRS take care of him all those years? Lots of questions. This tape actually has bonus tracks for the tape version, including "7 Dee Jays" which might be one of my all-time favorite posse tracks ever, and it goes for like a 16 minutes, and is the only time I've enjoyed Heather B.

Wednesday, July 12

#81 RAP TAPES: The Desolate One


Ahh, a Just-Ice album without "Gangster of Hip Hop" means it's a shitty Just-Ice album, though he did flaunt gold teeth better than anybody back in the day. This was Just-Ice's first foray into the dancehall thing he ended up killing his career completely with later on, and it's okay, but nothing I'll go out of my way to dig out of the bag of tapes again in the future.

Tuesday, July 11

#82 RAP TAPES: Apocalypse '91...The Enemy Strikes Black


Let's draw a bar graph. Start really high, and that's the first Public Enemy tape. You can draw up even higher a fair amount for the second one, then you can just draw down at like a 60 degree angle for the rest of their career. This isn't bottomed-out, but goddamn did it suck. Whenever got too wrapped up in coke to check Chuck D's pretentiousness, that's when P.E. sucked. I would assume Flav was in rehab for most of this one.

Sunday, July 9

#83 RAP TAPES: Back to the Hotel


N2Deep were my favorite white rappers ever for a long time, because when everyone was still riding the jock of how MC Serch was the greatest white rapper ever, they had a fuckin' tape where all they did was rhyme about fucking chicks and drinking beer. And they had a fuckin' Chrysler on their cover. I even remember reading in The Source or something about how it was a sign that America was so racist that a single like N2Deep's title track off this album, with the very obvious sample popularly used by Public Enemy on It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, could go platinum while Eric B & Rakim were lucky to go gold. Whatever. The west coast has always got shat upon, and white rappers, in order to be taken most seriously, like Serch and Paul Wall, have to be reverse Uncle Toms or some shit. Not that N2Deep weren't reverse Uncle Toms to an extent, but fuck, what a simple and lovely album it was. I still play that shit regularly, and still couldn't tell you their two names or how to differentiate them. All white people look alike to me anyways.

Saturday, July 8

#84 RAP TAPES: Til Death Do Us Part


I can't believe this finished so low in my stupid nerd battle, because this is a big-time favorite tape of mine, and perhaps the best Geto Boys record I can think of. The "Bring It On" song is like all you need to understand Rap-a-Lot, and as much as Willie D is enjoyable, I think Big Mike is better. I can't think of anything Willie D did that's as great as "Straight Gangstaism". Apparently, Snoop Dogg and Big Mike and 3-2 were all roommates in Long Beach, and Death Row was gonna sign all three, but Rap-a-Lot threw some loot that way to get 3-2 and Big Mike signed, who's band was called The Convicts, and sucked, and part of the deal was Big Mike became a Geto Boy. Perhaps that explains why Bushwick Bill has the only non-Death Row guest appearance I can think of on The Chronic album.

Friday, July 7

#85 RAP TAPES: Another Latin Timebomb


I bought A.L.T.'s solo debut simply because he was on Kid Frost's tape. A.L.T. is a very weird sub-culture poppy sounding thing, kind of like the type of music I'd expect to be played at that party in Colors where Sean Penn realizes the Mexican girl he loves is fuckin' a big black dude in all likelihood. I bet Frog loved A.L.T.'s record. Funny thing is, every song is a gimmick song of some sort, and all radio friendly, yet no one other than me who didn't subscribe to Low Rider magazine in 1993 has probably ever even heard of this guy.