20060617

I Got That Condoleezza

Lil Wayne [ft. Juelz Santana]: "I Can't Feel My Face" (a/k/a "No Other")
DJ Drama and Lil Wayne: Dedication 2

My guess is the line comes from Blow, the Depp flick about George Jung, coke's Christopher Columbus. In the movie Bobcat Goldthwait, the guy who has the really fucked-up voice and does really stupid shit in the Police Academy movies, all of which involve him talking, says: "I can't feel my face. I mean, I can touch it, but I can't feel it inside." It's one of those blank, funny but deep sorta moments directors really like to play up, like maybe just maybe it'll make IMDB's memorable quotes section or something.

Me, I'm taken at how scientific rappers are getting about the trade. Here I am thinking "goddamn, they make crack in a kitchen? Pyrex? I really do have the inside scoop here" to wondering whether Jeezy meant "so much white it'll hurt your eyes" in the funny-but-deep historical coke-as-anaesthetic sense to knowing for pretty fucking sure that Juelz Santana probably knows the Latin names for all primary facial nerves. Science is straight, not metaphorical. Funny that the coke rap trade might subsume backpacker's ace up the sleeve: science-dropping.

Granted there's a bit of a scramble here--while snow statistics lose their purchase power, these guys prove their authority with chemical reactions and historicity. Less of a game with key players, more a matter of fact, which is this moral black hole I'm still not sure I'm willing to accept, especially when it's shoehorned into this rap vs. Bush Katrina shitstorm as active protest.

But who am I to judge. Wayne and Juelz haven't googled "basic laws of physics" yet: To touch is to be touched. As for metaphysics? It's not that you can't have it both ways--just that you must.

20060612

Tint My Wins

Lil Wayne [ft. Pharrell]: "Gettin' Some Head"
Lil Wayne & DJ Drama: Dedication 2


This is like a throwback track in mixhut time but bear with me. I put Dedication 2 on at work and this kid who works mornings with me--who only likes "hip-hop with messages, you know, Mos Kweli, The Common, Jurassic Park, stuff like that"--totally flipped out. I was able to finesse the druggier and more violent raps with the usual/boring skill-exonerates-content stuff, sublimation of the ugly, but when this gem came on he refused to budge.

There are plenty of great punchlines, and apparently more ways to say "blowjob" than I thought there was: "She gets straight to that head like a fucking Excedrin" comes with extra applause for "fucking," since it's not just an expletive, it's a participle. So there's humor, and self-deprecation ("we climbing all over that little chair thang"), and balls-out slapstick (on the chorus, "superhead--what's good?"), but none of the sublimation, none of the crack game=rap game parallels, no "killing emcees" made literal.

If you push more product or shoot more bullets than another guy, it makes sense that you'd be a better rapper than him. But what if you only got more blowjobs? It's a little trickier isn't it. What if they were really bad blowjobs? What if your boy had fifteen blowjobs but you only had one, and it was one of those really patient, pleasey-teasy kinds that doesn't go anywhere, more about the journey than the destination, a/k/a "the Kerouac"? It's a shame these blowjobs don't get more press. Either way, I think there's a lesson in there for rappers. Blowjobs need quantification and qualification. My coworkers are counting on you. Is that too hard?

Alternate name for the Kerouac: the droog.

STREETBALLERS

The Clipse [ft. DMP]: "VA Streetz"
DJ Green Lantern Presents AND1 Streetball: The Official Video Game Mixtape


Hey mixfuckers. Haven't been a video game guy maybe ever, definitely since 94 95 or so when my neighborhood had its bout with Final Fantasy and decided to make me their DIME--designated instruction manual expert. I had a fling with Tony Hawk Pro Skater, whatever edition of the game had Styles of Beyond and Pennywise and, I think (hope?) "Jerry Was a Racecar Driver." Even that ended quickly though when I realized doing benihanas in space (dressed as Spiderman) wasn't nearly as awesome as doing triple ollies on my curb outside my house and not wearing a helmet. I didn't have a curb outside my house, and I don't even know where to begin with this triple ollie business, so you know where I'm going with this:

I fall for this shit nearly every time.

The Lantern tape here looked like bad news from afar. It's promo material, better for Lantern than us, better for the game than the music. Still there was this Clipse track on it and I wanted to see what they could pull off, all pressures and parameters considered. This is a post-Catchdubs world we're living in here. Who knows who got the remix anymore. Nobody just has it.

My guess/hope is Clipse and all the other jokers on here (including Bun B; not including, amazingly, Uncle Rape) picked up long paper, otherwise I can't imagine anybody dealing (ahem) with such ostensible top-down content control. Everything on this fucking mixtape has to do about playing the game of basketball on the streets, a/k/a streetball. There's some room for casual metaphor, streetball=coke game, and the chorus has a line about how "you gotta put your gameface on," which is something I'm sure rappers have to remind themselves to do from time to time. And it's pretty awesome that somebody at AND1 figures that people who are playing a game about basketball want to listen to music that's about playing a game about basketball. I mean that's just hilarious.

But except for that guy, this track does nobody good. Not particularly great rapping, so outsiders won't give a shit when the full-lengths hit late 06. And obviously I feel clowned too, the nervous fan who anxiously waits for Google News reports on The Clipse and buys all the DJ E.Nyce mixtapes that have Clipse on them even though I know E.Nyce just ripped off the WGI4Cv.2 tracks and gave them new titles to trick me.

So who's this mixtape for then? Are we getting into the culture of mixtapes being a thing people mildly interested in rap are buying? Is it more than an ear to the streets thing, more a hot look? What will these people do when they finally hear The Hood News Volume 2?