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, May 10

[HH3os] The Book of Section.A$AP trio

(Penultimate match-up 2 of 3)

This is the second of three earn-a-trip to the final shit match-ups, which means all three of these albums have already dispatched of two rounds of trios already. I don’t remember any of it to be honest, though I have kept a spreadsheet on a thumb drive with all the shit I do for this (as well as most of my website writing), which I also keep in a tiny plastic baggie to protect from sudden downpours of sky tears, thus the whole thing looks like some raggedy-ass spy shit. I am okay with that. Being this is the penultimate round, I have cut-and-pasted quotes from the appropriate Pitchfork year end list about the album (remember? this whole thing started because of those dirtgodforsaken year end album lists), though I shouldn’t really bother because those little pieces are not really exemplary of anything special or even non-special at this point. But it does give me a chance to format quotes in that old ass typewriter looking font blogger offers.

DJ Quik – Book of David
(released April 19, 2011; #29 on 2011 Pitchfork Albums of the Year list)
Here is the aforementioned year end super blurb pitchfork snippet:
Rap will always be a young man's game, but this year the hardest and most fun rap album of the year came from a guy who is turning 42 in January.
While no way do I disagree with this, I also find it stupid to think hip hop (or anything artistic) has to remain a young person’s game (way to gender bias, 2011 Pitchfork), because art matures and yes, should continue having the fucked up no fucks given perspective of youth, but also the added aged wisdom of old wizards (non-gendered) who contribute a different perspective. In fact, I’d say one of hip hop’s shortcomings as it has aged is the aging wizards refuse to not pretend to be young, which always comes across corny as shit (regardless of the art form), instead of being an elder statesman. Like why the fuck can Rakim or Big Daddy Kane not release an album in 2017 dropping old dude knowledge or trying to talk shit to women at the Costco gas pumps? Everything has to relate back to youth. Sure, you have nostalgia hits like that Tribe Called Quest album late last year, but that’s just goofy (mostly white, or at least neo-liberal “white” which includes sterilized POCs) nostalgia pops, nothing more.
Anyways, that all adds to the wonder of DJ Quik, who operates on his own wavelength, and does not try to be young and trendy, nor nostalgic. I appreciate that. This time through Quik’s Book of David, I tended to think of it, and him, in context of him vs. Dr. Dre as musician/hip hop influence. (Dre’s Compton soundtrack is in this thing… I think sometime next week, so I will save Dre words for that.) Quik is the most musician-minded producer I can think of in hip hop. He appears from the outside to be one of those true tinkerers. I do not see him ever having a masterpiece that doesn’t get released for 9 years because “it has to be perfect” because in true artistic hellbent for creation mode, he’s got about 8 other projects that appear to be The Most Important Thing Ever in that time. He is jazz musician mentality, not tormented classical composer. (And sadly most of our “tormented classical composers” of post-modern music, including hip hop, are just executive producer orchestrating venture capitalists, just trying to maximize the long-term profit.) One of the key takeaways I’ve come to from this entire project is WHY THE FUCK IS THERE NOT A DJ QUIK INSTRUMENTAL DISCOGRAPHY TORRENT IN EXISTENCE? Because I would ride to that for at least the whole summer, and maybe the next two decades of my life. SEVEN STARS (*******)!

Kendrick Lamar – Section.80
(released July 2, 2011; #45 on 2011 Pitchfork Albums of the Year list)
Shockingly (in retrospect), Kendrick was only #45 that year. Here is blurb snippet from year end ROLE CALL OF PRETENTIOUS STATEMENTING:
Whether due to the encroaching influence of indie and punk or the ascendance of Tumblr culture, amateurism in hip-hop was often hailed as a virtue this year. But Kendrick Lamar ran counter to this trend.
The guy who wrote that blurb is actually now a common content creator/website “journalist” guy who I have always thought might’ve crossed internet paths at a stupid group blog years ago, as the name sounds familiar, but who can tell man… all these witty white guys aged 25-36 come across as a thousand multiverse versions of the same person after a while.
This Kendrick tape was pretty fucking strong, and perhaps I like this even more than his first legit release. Same premise – same style, same resistance, same theatrical layout of theme, but a lot more fiery. I actually love this shit, to be honest. It was harbinger of what he would bring, and what people would start to view as intelligent street rap. And fuck man, doing this thing chronologically has shown to me very obviously the type of non-intelligent faux-street rap that has come out around the same time. Like in retrospect, it’s shocking Kendrick was not crowned the undisputed king way earlier. I have not peeped the new Kendrick with any real concern thus far (newness does not equal urgency in my heart; there is no cultural test at death where you are not allowed a decent afterlife if you have not properly vetted the most recent cultural creations, and there’s plenty of good shit throughout sub-cultural histories to keep you covered), but at this point, upon further review of this project, Section.80 is my fave Kendrick shit. SEVEN STARS (*******)!

A$AP Rocky – Long.Live.A$AP
(released January 15, 2013; #39 on 2013 Pitchfork Albums of the Year list)
Old year-end A$AP Rocky words from our good corporate friends at the Pitchfork:
Although it seemed like the long-awaited culmination of a two-year narrative when it came out, A$AP Rocky's proper debut surprisingly managed to, in many ways, set the tone for the year ahead in hip-hop. It is a cool album, exactingly deliberate and consistent in its construction, yet effortless in its handle on the zeitgeist.
I do not know what this fucker means by handling the zeitgeist but there was some dvd somebody sent me called Zeitgeist one time and it was a giant conspiracy theory, so I assume the writer is suggesting that this A$AP album is good at helping you navigate this Age of Info Wars full of disinfo and silent weapons for quiet wars and god I don’t believe in conspiracies because people are too stupid nowadays to keep secrets in general much less really important conspiratorial secrets, but the whole thing is overwhelming so yes, let me vicariously A$AP Rocky it up, and pretend his fashion shit talk applies to me finding Goodwill tracksuits and nice purple shirts for working in and not to actual fashion shit. LOOK AT ME! I AM THE DIRTGOD RAVEN MACK, IDIOT BUREAUCRAT WITHIN THE DYING AMERICAN EMPIRE, AND I PURPOSELY WEAR PURPLE BUTTON-DOWN SHIRTS AND PURPLE DRESS SOCKS TO MY STUPID DESK JOB BECAUSE DJ SCREW FOR LIFE YA BISH! BOY, EXISTENCE IS REALLY MEANINGLESS AND STUPID IN THIS LATE CAPITAL ERA, PERHAPS IF INSTEAD I SAY IT IS “M34N1NGL3$$ & STVP1D” I WILL FILL MY MUNDANE DAYS (daze) WITH THA TRILLNESS. A THOUSAND STARS (****************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************)! F.T.W.

THE WINNER: Note: above “F.T.W.” means “fuck the world”. Anybody who thinks that F.T.W. ever means “for the win” is an idiot, and you should stab them in the brain with rusty metal implements as soon as possible, or else they will procreate and their offspring will one day rule the world. (Uh oh… might be too late. We are doomed.) So though musically there is no superior to DJ Quik, and as lyrically-based envisioner of creative epics there is no one superior to Kendrick, I am going with the man that is lesser than both those in those aspects here, because somehow it is still more. Maybe my form of hashtag resistance is not to pretend that our western ways will self-correct because we are somehow more exceptional than every other fucking example throughout human history, and I would rather hashtag resist through some good old-fashioned sunshine nihilism. Fuck the world. A$AP Rocky goes to the final. Don’t @ me! (Unless you have some input! I love feedback, and discussion! Thanks!)

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