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.

Wednesday, April 26

[HH3os] The Section.Pluto Contradictions trio

(2nd round match-up 5 of 9)

Kendrick Lamar – Section.80
(released July 2, 2011; #45 on 2011 Pitchfork Albums of the Year list)
From the initial Pitchfork review of this young (and well-connected) rapper named Kendrick Lamar:
Kendrick Lamar is a weird kid, and rap music could always use more weird kids. The 24-year-old is a Compton native with a budding and mysterious Dr. Dre connection, but there's little-to-no link to his hometown's gangsta-funk legacy in his music. Instead, Lamar is very much a product of the late blog-rap era-- an introverted loner type who's willing to talk tough but is more interested in taking a Mag-Lite to his own personal failings and what he sees as the flaws of his generation.
Look, I want to go in on how great this Section.80 is upon revisiting, and encourage the belief that it might actually be his purest shit, but all my hopes of enunciating thoughts through opine have been derailed by “very much a product of the late blog-rap era”. I often am regarded as an introverted loner type too, because I tend to love on the woods more than people, but that’s not who I am. People are fucking stupid a lot of times, and lack the natural internal check to their stupidity that a pure Darwinism would allow for. We’ve advanced beyond our ability to be relevant, in other words, “educated beyond our intelligence” as famed country philosopher Jerry Clower described it. The above blurb is the exact type of shit a self-brilliant person would write after/during/before their MFA stint, knowing they fucking nailed it.
Fuck nails. Fuck Pitchfork. Fuck Kendrick Lamar doing songs with fucking U2. Fuck the Grammys pretending to not be the Grammys. Fuck assimilation. Section.80 is SIX STARS (******), but aspirations to become assimilated by the self-affirming asshole factory that is the neoliberal meritocracy remains starless, remains a polluted poison sky over the digitally industrialized village we call the worldwide web. Fuck you if you disagree.

ScHoolboy Q – Habits & Contradictions
(released January 14, 2012; #25 on 2012 Pitchfork Albums of the Year list)
Here is the original Pitchfork reviewer’s explanation of how they very deeply soaked this ScHoolboy Q jaunt in:
I've spent the past four days immersed in it, trying to resolve its conflicting impulses and ferret out all of its weird corners, and the only thing I can say for certain is that, while listening to it, I feel pulled completely into someone else's center of gravity, which is maybe the most gratifying listener's sensation there is.
I will counter that I listened to it twice all the way through riding the slow ass fucking Amtrak from Chicago to Virginia the other weekend, and yeah it cool. I mean it’s not as cool as Section.80, but if somebody was to start talking about how good some other ScHoolboy Q shit was, I’d be like “you know about Habits & Contradictions, right?” Even then, Q goes off on some gangsta gonna be in love shit a couple of times, which look I’m not against love at all, nor even gangstaism to be honest, because to each their own. But it’s a weird sub-genre of ScHoolboy Q track, and I’m not sure I dig it necessarily, though one can also hear the conflict in his rhymes about sexing bitches you don’t really respect while also having a daughter as an offspring, and perhaps these sub-genre of songs from Q’s discography are him attempting, almost against his conscious persona, to make amends with these two seemingly opposing forces. But I don’t know for sure… I’m no psychologist, but I do okay on Buzzfeed-type quizzes about that type of shit, mostly because they’re easy to predict, as most internet writing is predictable as fuck. But we want predictable, or are trained to seek it, or the algorithms just re-affirm what we’ve already affirmed of our own volition, and fuck man, we’re doomed aren’t we? Maybe ScHoolboy Q should be worried about more than misogynistic behavior in terms of his daughter’s future… Still though, solid FOUR STARS (****), mate!

Future – Pluto
(released April 17, 2012; #37 on 2012 Pitchfork Albums of the Year list)
THERE IS CONFLICT BETWEEN ROBOT AND REAL AND PITCHFORK ABOUT TO LAY IT DOWN FOR Y’ALL (with regards to first Future album):
This push-pull between computerized precision and soul-baring imperfection has been explored before by other artists. So has Future's use of Auto-Tune as a license to affect street-true hardness while still writing an album that would be plied by "American Idol" contestants in an alternate universe where Atlanta swag rap was the biggest music in the country. But arguably no one has explored those contradictions so thoroughly and seamlessly across an entire album.
As much as I cloud-brained enjoyed the Future album my first couple times through, it wasn’t as strong when compared to the top Black Hippie Crew output (as it was in this trio). Still though, it wasn’t straight jobber class, going out quick to set up a two-way ending, because Future’s catchy as fuck. I just have trouble confirming with myself that digital effect sing-rapping is true rapping or not. And that’s not some old man “y’all kid’s music ain’t like the old music” so much as natural distrust of everything in our world now as manufactured and fake. I mean, Future could be the best example of digitizal era whisper-rapping, thus he might be the new Q-Tip. That doesn’t mean I’m gonna approve of it. Still though, even under the more discriminating (non-racially) eyeballs of the second round, this is THREE STARS (***) type of drug shit.


THE WINNER: Were this an actual three-way dance professional wrestling endeavor, you’d assume Q and K-dot would tag up on the Future; but also I simultaneously consider this a three-way battle while referring to it as a “trio” which would be an actual team in lucha libre, so my context is confusing. Luckily this is the internet so none of that matters. So likely Kendrick got Q to promise to give Future some codeine, and though Future didn’t really want it because he doesn’t actually drink codeine, only uses it as reference point to build branding image, he said he wanted it, in order to maintain the façade and “sell the angle.” As Q rummaged around in the medicine cabinet of his ’88 Monte Carlo SS (that’s what fake internet blurb ScHoolboy Q drives, not even painted, just the normal black with red racing stripe, but he did put dubs on it), Kendrick comes up behind Future and rolls him up into a small package. Earl Hebner counts the three real quick, and Future is out. But then as Q and Kendrick are figuring out what happens next, Future reaches back to shake Q’s hand, to show no hard feelings, it’s all fair game. As Q takes his hand, Future pulls him out the arena of pretend rap battle, eliminating ScHoolboy Q. Kendrick Lamar advances on, but why did a pop Future eliminate a street ScHoolboy Q? Tweet Dave Mays to find out.

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