Showing posts with label Death of Auto-Tune. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Death of Auto-Tune. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Who Will Star in America's Cutest Hip Hop Baby Video?

I have few words for this supernova of adorableness, except to say I may be pregnant with this two-year-old Rap Star

and also, this might be enough to get the "Who Will Be America's Cutest Hip Hop Baby Video?" competition started. I guess you have to set an age limit, and at two years old the homey above might just make the cut for the "Baby Division". (The four-year-olds might be licking their chops for his graduation though.)

On the more truly "baby" end of the field, your likely #1 contender is the Biggie Baby.

Can't front on the charm of "ok, ok, biggie is coming back...", but I think I give more points for actually rapping confidently, on beat, and unintelligibly.

I guess we'll get one more on here to make sure we got a full trend piece:

 solid effort from someone taking a nap at the start of the clip. but we'll have to view the rest of the field in competition to see where it stacks up in the final rankings. stay tuned!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Will Eminem's "Recovery" Bring On the "Death of Schtick"?

(ORIGINALLY POSTED ON TAN3000; but I'll be getting into this Death of Schtick more so we put it over here also)

On Eminem's "Recovery", Jon Caramanica offers another quality submission for his budding cachet as hip hop's GOAT journalist of the moment. (i extend the props to, one, note that GOAT debates in hip hop are somewhat silly, always of the moment, and, two, to point out that JC Manic's GOAT skills fall under an Obama-esque "The Bridge" rubric, which underscores that while others might be more pointedly pushing hip hop thought forward, the bridge is what allows everyone to get on the same island and build together. Hopefully with a more solid expansive foundation. It's why guys like Gladwell and Klosterman are celebrated as geniuses and then get backlash when everyone is on the island looking for somewhere new to go. There's two different types of pioneers at work here, both doing necessary-but-different work, but i digress...)

I'm still marinating with Eminem's latest work, so I'm just adding a couple extra nuggets/points of entry. But I do agree with Em being "one of the most crucial figures in pop culture in the last 20 years" and even more. So needless to say I'll be revisiting, probably often, but for now:

1. Eminem as genie in a bottle: Caramanica does a great job, and an important one, I think, in putting a bubble/walls around Eminem's early pop supernova success. Those albums, that time, and everything else is a case study in and of itself. Specifically because Eminem is still a freakishly genius manipulator of language and words, yet doesn't carry the same cachet/popularity. So we can discern that an ingredient in his radioactive success from before is no longer present, and has nothing to do with his actual human talents.

2. Slim Shady as one of the great "fictional characters": it might help us reconcile Em's artistry to look at those early albums like a series for a fictional character. Treat them as a "phillip rothian doppelganger gambit", like the latest from Brett Easton Ellis. That might not be a spot on analogy, but mostly I want to avoid these terrible NY Times interviews that feel inappropriate in a bad-meaning-bad way... better to err on the side of the wrong book than completely not appreciate how much of a writer-athlete Em is. (that last link should go to a facebook thread with hip hop bloggers discussing a bad NYTimes interview with em, if not friend/fan Jay Smooth/illdoctrine who should be a regular part of your cultural diet regiment anyways)

3. Eminem as David Foster Wallace:

Friday, July 03, 2009

TAN-Pack: Death of Auto-Tune

Jay-Z's Death of Auto-Tune video dropped this week. I might comment on it, maybe not. Sort of like Drake's "Best I ever Had" video, it's a little disappointing. The potential conceptual upside outweighs the physical execution (like how about something more macabre than italian gangsta, with Jay snuffing famous auto-tune artists in a gruesome grisly way?). But so it goes with making videos and songs, whatever, it's not "bad" by any means. And there is a lot of wine-drinking, and it will be so hilarious if rappers start talking about pinot noirs by way of Mr. Carter's trend-cue...

AnyJay, these "TAN-Packs" might be how I brand and package thematically-related content once the new site is up and all dat. So just starting a janky ghetto beta version here. Ghetto Pass, Negro Bowl, and other stuff like that could be called TAN-Packs. (Hmmm, actually that might be sound too much like a certain brand of female menstrual flow inhibitors, soooo, we'll see if that sticks ...)

If I had to tweet this, it's simply: the shit TAN's written about about/related to DOA recently.

Jay-Z/Superstar hunger
Reading the Rhymes: Death of Auto-Tune
Negropedia Brown: The Case of the Undead Auto-Tune
Will "Keeping It Real" Ever Go Right?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Will 'Keeping It Real" Ever Go Right?

One of my favorite sketches from the popular and missed-more-every-second Chappelle's Show was called "When Keeping It Real Goes Wrong". The sketch basically satirized the whole sensibility of "Uncle Tom" and "Keeping It Real" and "Politics of Authenticity/Identity" that can lead to denying your come-up in the world, i.e when success = sellout. And ... well let me not explain when we can watch it; it's only a couple minutes and well worth it:

[quick aside: in my first days at college i was a little notorious for breaking out animated-recitations-of-hip-hop-refrains as non-sequitur answers to normal class conversation, aka rapping in class. so for example, in my freshman seminar, i don't remember if this was the exact line, but imagine something to the effect of:

Teacher: "So, Patrice, what do you think about the summer reading? Could you relate to the protagonist's struggle in Manchild in the Promised Land?"

TAN: "I'LL THROW IT DOWN YOUR THROAT LIKE BARKLEY. YOU SEE THE CAR KEYS??? YOU'LL NEVER GET THESE!!" and then just look at the teacher like nothing out of the ordinary happened. it was pretty much the mid-90s college version of "when keeping it real goes wrong."]

So as with most good comedy, there's some other darker stuff lurking underneath.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Negropedia Brown: The Case of the Undead Auto-tune

Mr. and Mrs. Brown had one child. They called him TAN, but everyone else called him Negropedia. One day he opened a Blog Detective Agency to solve Media-Mysteries resulting from Ethnocultural-dissonance.

This episode, Jay-Z and the Case of the Undead Autotune. Can you solve the mystery before Negropedia???

The Case of the Undead Autotune

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Reading the Rhymes: Death of Auto-Tune

Song: Death of Auto-Tune

Artist: Jay-Z

Date: 6/2009

To my knowledge the debut of "Death of Auto-Tune" came via radio, Hot 97's Funkmaster Flex and Mr. Cee. Nearly immediately after, you had FWMJ on the scene. Miss Info followed up, and the net was off to the races.

It's odd to me that even in this micro-analyzed cultural landscape, we still don't have a basic blog/tumblr whathaveyou doing a run-through on the lyrics for all the major-release hip hop songs. Something that gives a quick, intelligent meta-analysis of the content and sizes it up strictly on lyrics. If I'm missing out, shoot me a link. But it feels like this is where the audio-literary impact of hip hop is slipping through the cracks; of course the alternative is maybe there's just nothing there.

well, only one way to find out. to the lyrics, Batman!:

Lyrics (italics)

Only rapper to rewrite history without a pen
No I.D. on the track let the story begin…
begin… begin...

So most should recognize Jay's trumpeting of not writing his lyrics down. He talks and rhymes about it all the time. I suspect this investment in "spontaneous genius" might be one of hip hop's tragic flaws; but it's definitely one of Hov's.

For hip hop: between the ongoing argument of "Freestyle vs. off the dome"; and the "Biggie wrote that song in the booth" t-shirts; and "Jay wrote this album on the toilet taking a shit" hand-warmers, and "Weezy ain't never wrote nothing down ever." OMG, dude is a genius! Huh? What??

Monday, June 08, 2009

Death of Auto-Tune: Wow, Jay-Z Is Looking Pretty Hungry

I've got more coming on this front, but here's a theme/narrative I'm not seeing in the hip hop conversation: Superstars being HUNGRY!

Eminem just returned after 4-5 years. Hungry. Real hungry. No matter how you parse the end results, dude is obviously on his grind.

Now, per this clip below, we've got Shawn Carter, Jay-Z, looking pretty damn hungry/earnest/eager to earn your respect.

These are two of the best to ever do it. Both talent-wise and as corporate entities. Skills and resources. And it's interesting to see how they play their cards.

Jay's been swinging and missing since Black Album, or at least that's the public perception. But he's clearly looking to return to his roots -- the release before this "Brooklyn Go Hard", was another east coast hip hop headbanger with little mainstream/autotune ambition, --so he clearly feels he just needs to go back to ill lyrics on hard beats.

But I think, per the video, he's clearly amped about the song-as-manifesto; rocking this song, at a Hot 97 Summer Jam, with T-Pain on stage, Kanye on co-production, if you go along with the spirit of it all it positions Jay as the sole steely [life preserver-ish TK TK TK] in a sea of pop-autotune-inauthentic-blahblahblah that's drowning hip hop.

What's being missed here in terms of relevancy (I think, I still have to turn it over a few times myself) is hip hop's unique position in giving us this window into passion's relationship to artistic product and subsequently commercial product and success. Which is to say: it's easier to spot an angry rapper, as opposed to an angry actor or politician or athlete through their product. Hip hop transmits talent/creativity more transparently, and this is part of its still not-fully-understood value. (?)
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