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, March 13

[HH3os] American Maths + English Graduation Gangster trio

(1st round match-up 6 of 27)

Post-thinkpiece era rambling preamble attempting ironic humor which somehow cracks the cynical shell of fogged out eyeballs. Hip hop completely obsoleted by material redirect, selling fast food slow death.

Dizzee Rascal – Maths + English
(released June 4, 2007; #49 on 2007 Pitchfork Albums of the Year list)
Love Dizzee Rascal because honestly fuck America. I’m glad Trump is President, it’s what we deserve, self-important grand-standing nation full of fat assholes. Burn this shit down, including the rappers, and just listen to grime artists or better yet obscure Third World rappers become non-obscure, the meek inherit the Earth.
Dizzee flow so complementary to perfect grime beats which are half-n-half old school U.S. hip hop and banging on pipes in abandoned industrial mill in dying English city unable to be gentrified. I’m actually surprised more grime hasn’t crossed over to the gentrified U.S. coffee shop/pastry town set yet. When them “Sirens” hit on this album, I get hype, drive my car through ditch into guard rail, jump out and wait to fight whoever shows up trying to help. FOUR STARS.

Kanye West – Graduation
(released September 11, 2007; #18 on 2007 Pitchfork Albums of the Year list)
Realized in listening to this why I hate Kanye so much – his sound is straight mall sound pretending to not be mall sound. Fuck malls. Shit like “Good Life” is straight up just an ad to go hang out at the mall and waste money on dumb overpriced shit. If you poor, go to the poor people mall; if you rich, go to the rich resort and the rich mall. We need to be going to the fuckin’ National Mall with pitchforks and burning haystacks and shit. “Stronger” is one of those songs that make you go, “Oh, I wonder what Kanye thought he discovered because he got around to listening to this year?” and the answer would be Daft Punk this time. (It changes each album.) And “Drunk and Hot Girls” might be the worst fucking waste of a song ever, and on top of that even wasted a Mos Def feature. Pure trash song.
But it also makes me sad to trash Kanye so much because obviously he’s a needy motherfucker. “Big Brother” the last song signifies that, sad he might’ve got Jay-Z mad at him so he wrote a whole song jocking Jay. I imagine whatever dynamic exists between Kanye/Kim Kardashian and Jay-Z/Beyonce got to be awkward as fuck, but only from the KW/KK end, because I doubt Jay/Beyonce give a fuck beyond trying to be nice without committing to too much.
See? That’s how hip hop and the internet got gentrified through trickery… because Kanye West is supposed to be a rapper, I just spent a paragraph talking about celebrity dynamics. Fuck that. Fuck Kanye. ZERO STARS.

Jay-Z – American Gangster
(released November 6, 2007; #13 on 2007 Pitchfork Albums of the Year list)
When a rapper is no longer young and hungry, perhaps the best thing to do is give him a movie to do a soundtrack to, make him watch the movie, and then let him tell his ghostwriters to follow certain themes. Gotta say it works on this, at least in terms of a cohesive non-boring album. I mean, it ain’t an all-time banger, but Jay-Z is at least focused on theme.
But even more so all the beats are on same theme as well – featuring sampled jacks from them old school ‘60s R&B jams, which honestly I could rock instrumentals like that all day. Very Sunday afternoon-ish, washing the car in the park type shit. I tend to hate on Jay-Z too ‘cause he’s always seemed more businessman than hip hop artist to me (which has proved out through his corporate power moves), but probably more so than most other dudes who obviously use team of ghostwriters and jack beats from unknown producers, Jay-Z is able to executive produce a vision, at least this time.
Weird track though is that “Success” with Nas, because you can tell they never sat together and emailed files between each other or some shit. Nas’ verse sounds so punched in over top it’s ridiculous. But that’s a slight issue which is commonplace everywhere now. THREE STARS.


THE WINNER: I know Dizzee got an extra star than Jay-Z, but if this was an actual battle, Kanye would try to help Jay-Z win, so they’d team up two-on-one on Dizzee. I’m not sure if Dizzee would throw Kanye over the top rope, then get tossed himself, or the Roc Boys would bend not break and toss Dizzee out first, then Kanye deferring to Jay, because he’s an innate bitch, but either way Jay-Z would end up winning, so American Gangster advances.

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