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, June 26

[HH3os] The Jeffery Exhibition got it from Here trio

(1st round match-up 27 of 27)

We them experts behind the computer screen manufacturing hot takes about other people’s shit. Internet opinions is the opiates of the masses…

Young Thug – Jeffery
(released August 26, 2016; #21 on 2016 Pitchfork Albums of the Year list)
Remember when this came out and everybody was meme’ing the cover art? Them memes more long-lasting than the album itself. That’s not anti-Thugger trifle on my aging part either, because I can handle the fact this is genre that may not speak to me. But even in that realm I am able to recognize some of the pharm-fog genre works better than others. This feels like shock trickery as album package with mailed in derivativery as actual songs. But I don’t know, I don’t go to iHeartRadio for my hip hop, so maybe this shit blew up within the fake realm of corporate algorithms. That’s not my world, and I will never recognize it as real, no matter how real it claims to have kept it. Of course this marks me as a hater, because hater can now be applied to any form of criticism whatsoever. We have pre-emptively paralyzed ourselves from any accountability, which is why the Young Thug dark warble genre makes so much sense, because we’re all screaming through the fog the unending fog which keeps growing and growing or so it feels since you can’t see fog growing just get lost deeper into the manufactured clouds ugghhhhhhhh. TWO STARS (**) because why not?

Danny Brown – Atrocity Exhibition
(released September 27, 2016; #11 on 2016 Pitchfork Albums of the Year list)
I’ve recently seen Danny Brown’s style described as nails on a chalkboard, and he’s definitely gone eyeball deep into that gacked-voice hyperman style. Though he seemed to be claiming a break from his perhaps old and slightly stale styles on his previous album, he seemed to have reverted right back to them here, which is understandable, because how do we not be who we are? The “artist” in terms of capitalism is forced to recreate and rebrand themselves constantly, but if Danny Brown is still deeply mired in the mundane psychic rut of pills and low self-esteem art school models, why would we expect him to bust out a six-star masterpiece on geopolitics? I too am getting tired of the party style Danny Brown, which is a weird style because it’s just observational – like he doesn’t even attempt to create party anthems as he’s immersed in party style, so he’s the nihilistic dude doing the hardest shit in the backest room.
And yet, boring ass sounds-the-same Danny Brown is still different than most all the other shit out there. I still mark out when he gets introspective as fuck, attempting to untangle the interior clusterfucks of collective post-traumatic stress new world disorders, but that’s not a style everybody gets down with. Most of us like to remain lost in the tall weeds of the fog of the numbness. Ideally, maybe a Danny Brown (or some shit like that) becomes the American Basboosa of rap and ushers in Arab Spring-like era of disobedient spiritualism, but haha yeah right man, they got the fog machines in overdrive, and there’s so many people on painkillers now that they got Super Bowl commercials for secondary pills that help you shit while addicted to painkillers (by doctor’s prescription, which makes it okay to be a junkie, because the medical industry is your friend and the ultimate source for good health). We fucked, so who can blame Ol’ D.B. for staying lost in his own familiar weeds where the buzz is high, the feature paypal payments are constant, and he can keep his dick sucked whenever he’s actually able to get it hard. THREE STARS (***)!

A Tribe Called Quest – We got it from Here… Thank You 4 Your Service
(released November 11, 2016; #7 on 2016 Pitchfork Albums of the Year list)
Nostalgia rap, nothing more. People got geeked over this when it dropped, but guess what? Michael Rapaport is old and embarrassing, and Phife Dawg is already resting in peace. Like, if I just talked about how Danny Brown was sounding redundant at this point, why would I get hyped for someone to decide to purposefully sound redundant back to a time they abandoned twenty years ago? Q-Tip specifically bolted from the group because he felt it was stifling, or trifling, or I don’t really fuckin’ know. That’s fine if you want to reunite and go at it again, but the album sounds like lost tracks from that era, not something new. Just throwing in references to post-Trump world is just like doing a remix of old shit with new references. I don’t know. The internet went nuts over it because the internet has a large aging demographic of self-hip people who lack the discretionary income due to declining American empire to purchase vintage convertibles as mid-life crisis, so listening to a brand new ATCQ while skateboarding way past a reasonable age to do so I guess has supplanted that act. Fallin’ on a budget.
To be clear, there was nothing offensive about this album, nothing horrible, but also nothing impressive. It just was exactly what it was – a throwback rap album, just by the actual people who were way older (and sounded it at times… damn Busta) rather than some young kids fetishizing the past, as is apt to happen during constant commercial bombardment of consumer capitalism. Some folks can only afford to pimp thrift store styles. Ballin’ on a budget. Anyways, I guess THREE STARS (***) in honor of Phife’s memory, because he was always my favorite from them, and honestly their main redeeming value at the time. (I still hate whisper rap.)

THE WINNER: According to my dork metrics, which is just me giving stars, ATCQ reboot and Danny Brown both at the triple stars level, so if one (me) was forced to differentiate between the two, I’m gonna go with being repetitively what you already are, not repetitively what you were a while back. There’s a certain pathetic level to attempting to go back to where you were 20 years ago. I’ve never understood that, and as we firmly do sit at the last dying gasps of the American Empire, it’s frustrating to still see so many references to Boomer ethos bullshit, when those fuckers did a lot of damage to this shared continental plate. So fuck retro-throwback artistic shit going on tour at the suburban concert venue where well-employed people sterilized of all soul drink $6 beers in clear plastic cups standing on gravel watching A Tribe Called Quest roll through one verse of every familiar song they have. That’s a world I can do without. Atrocity Exhibitions will always advance over that perverse display of lack of self-awareness at complicity in Earth destruction. Nihilism over denial, every day. 

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