I like this article on anti-gay language in hip hop (although the title seems unnecessary). The above graphic is from the much hated rapgenius.com (not affiliated with the GZA). But the graphic was included in a nice long write up on Gawker by Rich Juzwiak where he does some lyrical analysis. While discussing a Frank Ocean lyric Juzwiak writes:
“This is a conversation that hasn’t made its way to mainstream hip-hop before now. It’s probably not as tidy as the most sensitive listeners would prefer. There’s ambiguity there as to whether Ocean’s proposed gunplay is a reaction to homophobia (because saying “faggot” is wrong) or an insult (because being “faggot” is wrong). Ocean is typically terse and selective on these identity matters—it’s possible that he’s still working out this question himself.”
When talking about the number of hit records that seemed to have made it without needing verbal violence toward gay people, Juzwiak explains:
“Hip-hop doesn’t hate gay people. Not all of it, at least. Even when it stumbles in these attempts, even when rappers don’t exhibit the full enlightenment that we’d want from them (Too $hort: “Just go with it, it’s just a lifestyle, you know, so whatever“), it’s still making attempts at engagement, which is more than it was doing even last year and far more than it was doing two years ago.
Still, we’re talking about a vast, varied pool of points of view and opinions. There’s still plenty of homophobic language.”
We get some nice attention paid to one of the greatest: MF GRIMM in this interview in Unkut. Robbie, the president of the conservative rap coalition, rocks a two-part interview with GRIMM.
I get offended when people say, “You’re not an MC if you don’t go off the top!” Making like writing is a crime. As a Black man in America, I take that as an insult, I feel like it’s subliminal bullshit where people want to get you away from a pen and paper. Back then, freestyle was two different things – it was a written that no one ever heard before, or it was off the top of your head. How dare some one say that because I have seven thousand rhymes in my head that I’m not equivalent to somebody making something spur of the moment! From the moment I lost that battle with Supernatural, I dedicated myself to being a writer. No more battling. I’mma learn to be like Edgar Allen Poe.
Don’t sleep on the new GRIMM LP! “Good Morning Vietnam” is strong as hell and made by GRIMM and Drasar Monumental. Drasar’s beats are really hard — and GRIMM showcases some serious wordplay. And if you aren’t following Drasar’s hip hop battlefield your homework is lined up!
Nice documentary on the formidable culture changers the Ghetto Brothers. Filmmaker Andreas Vingaard has seven wonderful short films up on his page dedicated to New York City community activists and hip hop pioneers. I appreciate the editing and the focus on the subjects telling their own stories.
And don’t sleep on the interview with Joseph Mpa who is a black panther organizer who becomes the manager of the Cold Crush Brothers.
F’real. I think he is just the absolute most enjoyable emcee these days. I wish him a long life so I can listen to his political rant raps when he is like eighty years old. (For those wondering, I suspect that he’ll sound exactly the same).
I’m a fan of almost everything MF DOOM has ever done. I also like So-Cal sampling star/emcee Oh No.
I guess Oh No got access to Dolomite AKA Rudy Ray Moore’s back catalog for sampling. That was enough to lure MF DOOM to contribute. What do you know, you get a tasty/nasty video to celebrate the collaboration.
I love it when non-tough guy stuff slips through hip hop interviews. Mr. Motherf’n Exquire is NYC’s newest star. Recent interview w/ MTV’s Hive reveals his love for coloring with crayons.
When it came time to shoot a video I [was] like let’s just do the shit that we do in the crib, let’s record this shit and turn it into a video. Just keep it natural. And it kinda resonated with people. I guess that’s how everybody else lives too. Everybody ain’t rich and poppin Cristal and shit.
My crib is like the hub. Me and everybody just hang out at my crib. If you come here any time there’s music playing, somebody’s recording, we getting creative, trying to figure out a video, we do whatever. We do wild shit in here, we play video games, we fuck bitches, we color. We just have mad fun in here.
Did you say you color?
Yeah, I color a lot. All of us color. A bunch of gangsta n***** coloring.
Like… with crayons?
Hell yeah! Coloring’s a really serious thing in this crib, son. We don’t play with that shit, you gotta come hard. Niggas be really on they Picasso shit coloring. We get drunk and we just got mad coloring books. Coloring and NBA 2K that’s the serious business in the crib.
Killa Kyleon and Bun B. I would have bet all my money ($63.50) that Killa would wreck this track, but I’ll be damned if the slow loris of hip hop — Bun B doesn’t ride this Lex Luger beat to greatness.
I’m a vegetarian tree hugger, but I’m still feeling this. “When you see B comin’ around the corner/sittin’ in the foreign that you never heard of/leather seats so fresh that the cow just died/ and PETA want me for murder/and the wood inside that bitch brand new cuz we just killed a tree/so you already know the EPA ain’t feelin’ me. ”
Of course Bun B doesn’t need to prove anything. It is just a pleasure to hear him rhyming so tight.
Someone is paying attention . . . oh yeah, the Guardian. Thanks.
The most extraordinary of the bunch is also the most full-on. They Will Not Control Us, a snarling litany of dispossesion and rage against politicians, police and the media, will be a bit strong for some stomachs – and not only because of the wailing chorus lifted from the Muse track Uprising. By a little-known rapper called 2 K Olderz, it’s nothing if not direct. “Dear Mr Prime Minister …” it begins, “was you travelling on London transport the day the bombs went off?/ How about you go and pay rent to the landlord, earn shit money doing a labouring job?/ We’re living like shit in this country, while you’ve got your feet up living nice and comfy/ Well we know where the problem is, the people acknowledge this: stand up to the politics.”
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