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.

Friday, May 12

[HH3os] The Broke Jewels Can Wait 2 Taste trio

(1st round match-up 21 of 27)

BACK AT IT AGAIN, but mailing the fuck out of this one because it is an uninspiring grey day, and though this was a promising batch of artists, idk, maybe I’m flirting with depression again, but nothing really stoked my internal heart fires here.

Vince Staples – Hell Can Wait
(released October 7, 2014; #20 on 2014 Pitchfork Albums of the Year list)
Vince Staples is one of the more Impressive Young Men of rap. You read an interview with Vince Staples and it’s hard not to be impressed by his wide-angled world view, with stereotypical “old soul” wisdom well beyond his youth. His debut EP (of which this is) moves fast, and to be honest, is fuckin’ banging as shit. The beats are thick bass murky darkness, like all great darkside L.A. beats should sound, making you feel as though you are sherming with Damon Wayans in the shitty van at the beginning of Colors. (That’s a corny ass analogy, rather pitchfork-like even, but seriously man, I got no way of truly understanding how to describe how that type of thump bass, other than ‘80s era van riding, paintjob candy and rust flake, roller skating rink still open around the corner somewhere. This is very much old van roller skating rink era thump, which – to me – is very much what that sound is sounding like. It’s like the more funk edge of G-funk, thicker Bootsy-influence, little less Bernie Worrell.) My favorite two Vince Staples songs to this day are “Blue Suede” and “Screen Door”, so I ain’t gonna act like this ain’t great. Honestly only thing that could make it better is it ended so fast (and also, I don’t know, that last song about loving shit didn’t really fit, but I guess he was adjusting to his wide-angled vision; I sometimes feel like that happens with last songs because their style is morphing, and it’s almost better to just chop it off and never show that style yet rather than confuse what’s already been pretty clear with the current thing). THREE STARS (***) but would’ve been four if it went longer.

Run the Jewels – Run the Jewels 2
(released October 24, 2014; #1 on 2014 Pitchfork Albums of the Year list)
Judging by my iTunes data, I’ve listened to this RTJ way more than the first, although my eldest offspring might be fucking up the data (by adding to it), so not sure. One should never trust data anyways. Data is like nerd bible – they use it to prove all the stupid shit they want to prove, and you can always find the right data to prove your dumb stupid nerd shit. They got data suggesting it makes perfect sense to have robot clouds sucking pollution up and this will solve our climate change, just have a bunch of robot clouds everywhere, but c’mon, robot clouds are a doomed idea… any thinking creature using an organic thought process could see that. Anyways, this RTJ2 (as it is popularly shortened to inside the internet, though maybe the more grammatically correct fuck-up of the title would be RtJ2) is great enough with plenty of Mike domineering that I don’t get too upset that El-P is tagged in too long. And just as he’s starting to get on my fucking nerves, he delivers the hot tag to Mike, and shit levels off. But they’ve held the Internet Rap Tag Team titles too many times for the past few years, getting bored with the combo, might be time to break them up, book some new teams working towards future Rapplemanias. I’d put Killer Mike with the Alchemist, at least for one title run, and I don’t know, send El-P down to developmental because those people love indy style shit. THREE STARS (***)! (This album is another reminder to put that women’s all-time strap on Gangsta Boo, by the way.)

Azealia Banks – Broke With Expensive Taste
(released November 6, 2014; #25 on 2014 Pitchfork Albums of the Year list)
Most of my Azealia Banks exposure has been to her being a crazy fucker on social media. This was the first time I really peeped her music. It’s very country. I don’t mean like earthy, or dirty southern as in better Erykah Badu work. I mean it’s more like pablum manufactured crap modern country than pablum manufactured crap rap music, shockingly so. Her rhythms and the boring ass “I’m a 36-year-old white guy who lacks spirit” drum backbone was painful. This is straight up Wal-Mart redneck music, which is not real redneck at all, but pre-fabbed corporate identity redneck, which somehow also is what real redneck means nowadays. False world has been super-imposed over the true one, and that’s how shit like Azealia Banks flourishes. We’re fucked y’all. ONE STAR (*) but even that star is impossible to see because it is hailing and likely to fuck up your squash plants which just started to flower, so the shittiest one star possible.

THE WINNER: Run the Jewels over Vince Staples, just because they go longer, and if we are doing star-ratings to appreciate in false scientific ways the beauty of arts that are actually just commodity, we’re supposed to pretend that more is better. This helps encourage our unchecked consumerism and creates cultural hoarders of us all and yeah, we truly are fucked.

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