26 April 2006
GUEST RIFFER: FARLEY KATZ
Riff Market proudly reintroduces artist Farley Katz; you may remember Farley from his collaboration on the Da Capo-honored Daft Punk review on Pitchforkmedia. Farley can be reached at email@example.com.
Intro: After touring with indie bands including Modest Mouse and The Shins, Eugene Mirman tries out a new music genre and takes his comedy on the road with hip-hop’s Ghostface Killah. Backstage, Mirman likes to try out new material on the rapper. --Farley
Download: Eugene Mirman's "Revolve"
Download: Ghostface Killah's "The Champ"
25 April 2006
MITCH ALBOM: RAP CRITIQUED
Author Does Not Plan on Meeting Proof in Heaven
My grandmother's favorite writer Mitch Albom ("because he's not afraid to write like a woman," she says) just wrote about rap music, this time about (in celebration of?) the Detroit rapper Proof's violent death. Pitting Proof's lyrics against the circumstances of his murder, Albom points out the contradiction between, get this, Proof's family praising him for "his love of people" and one line of a Proof song that goes "you got a gun on your waist/ I do too."
Albom writes: "For those who say the thug image is just part of rap's 'art,' it's role-playing, why don't I know the difference -- well, I do. Here's the difference. A bullet."
But would Albom have considered the situation differently if he had spent time with Proof during the rapper's final hours? Here are some excerpts from the theoretical Albom book entitled Wednesdays With Proof:
Proof was sitting up in his hospital bed when I got to his room. He was talking to himself--it was like he was rapping, just like in his songs. I asked him what he was rapping about. He told me 'life.'
I wanted to ask Proof about his rap music. I even brought him some beats from the streets that I found in a box in the ghetto. When I arrived Proof was sitting in his hospital bed like he always does--but this time he was sleeping. Was he dreaming about gun violence? I would never find out the answer.
In his rap music Proof talked a lot about "fucking bitches" and "slinging rock." But where are those bitches now, when Proof needs them most? I asked the doctor if he had any bitches for Proof to fuck. The doctor said no.
24 April 2006
GNARLS BARKLEY RUIN HIP-HOP HE SAYS
ANYTHING ELSE WOULD BE UNCIVILIZED
Download: "Smiley Faces"
Granted the Dangermouse/Cee-Lo project Gnarls Barkley has had its curious marketing push--untitled songs leaking, the crypto-major Downtown Records putting out the LP, the born-of-internet stay-in-internet commercial success of "Crazy" over in the UK, the clown-prince hipster band name and the inevitable Right Guard sponsorship--but what did they do to deserve this?:
Gnarls is exactly the sort of oppressively post modern project gimmick you’d expect from producer Danger Mouse, an artist who made a name for himself by turning one bad gimmick into an even worse album while simultaneously helping to spark an internationally obnoxious buzzword/phenomenon. He is a grown man who dresses up like a giant mouse for publicity photos and in the last year has released not one, but two albums with prominent vocals from cartoon characters. He also has a rather shameful history of making crummy electronic music.
There's also a pretty great line about a "rap Seth McFarlane"; anybody who took his girlfriend to see Spawn in the theaters knows what I'm getting at. Either way the guy who wrote this is the dude Noz from Cocaine Blunts, a blog about rap music. He's typically not this vitriolic so I'm wondering what got him so fired up. Here are the theories floating around:
1. Noz reaches out to Dangermouse via e-mail, just a 'what's up' or a 'hey i really like your post modern projects' or a 'it's so awesome you're a grown man who dresses like a giant mouse' etc. At the end Noz says he really likes DM's blog, and casually mentions he himself runs the famous rap blog Cocaine Blunts. 'Send me some love!' jokes Noz, hoping for some danger-linkage. Instead Dangermouse records "Send Me Some Love," a 45-minute mashup between Wire's Send and Cee-Lo's face making fart sounds. Sometimes the farts sound like "nozzzzz"; double-platinum.
2. Dangermouse is on the internet, checking on his blog roll. He notices that Noz from Cocaine Blunts is not on it. This is OK with him.
3. Noz is checking his stats on sitemeter.com. He notices he got three hits from dangermouse44.blogspot.com, and all the sudden he's pretty fucking pumped. A while ago he had given up on Danger but maybe he had come around. Noz visits and sees just one post on dangermouse44.blogspot.com. It is a YouTube video of Dangermouse furiously printing out pages of Cocaine Blunts and Cee-Lo shredding the printouts very sensuously; both men are dressed as giant mice, dressed as Noz.
4. Both Cee-Lo and Dangermouse refused to join Noz's blogger-only a capella group, Vijay Sing.