Monday, August 24, 2009

Hov's Blueprint 3 Leaking, Might Be A Little Watered Down

If the world is made of two people, artists and executives. animals and zookeepers. or somesuch. I've long thought Jay-Z's legacy might be most interestingly framed as testament to an executive pushing the artist envelope as far as possible. A zookeeper jumping around with gorillas, hunting with lions, and pulling it off, for a while, with great success. The Black Album might be where he even blacked out and ate like some raw carrion or some shit before puking out Kingdom Come on some "raw, uncooked flesh does not agree with me" ish. Hov is technically brilliant, and knows his *brand* inside-and-out, but he lacks the stomach for the risk required of the most brilliant, soaring, time-spanning art[ists].

The Blueprint 3 looks like its fitting the same formula. Recent leaks from nahright and the NMC:

Reminder (prod. Timbo)
Off That (w/ Drake (on hook))

of course DOA makes airs of ambition, but ends up staying a solid song.

Run This Town bumps, but the vid is conceived in a much airier space; the song itself is much more dense, inert. It's a solid song.

that's 4 of 15 or so. 25%-ish for the lazy mathematicians in the building. suffice to say, there's probably some decent music coming- we hope. which is nothing to complain about. but for jay, if he really cares about such matters, it's clear The Chase is still on.

Friday, August 21, 2009

When Will Hip Hop Get That Woodstock Love?

TAN's bringing in guests and correspondents! Herewith: MGJordan on Woodstock, hip hop's lack of media respect (no Rodney Dangerfield?), and how he learned to stop worrying and love Jonah Weiner.

Last week, anyone with access to a TV or computer was treated to a display of boomer self congratulation so vast and insistent that experiencing it became compulsory—Woodstock turned 40. The entirety of the MSM stopped to remark on that glorious occasion when America’s youth gathered in the mud of upstate New York to drop acid and listen to the Grateful Dead’s poorly amplified noodling. For a single slight shimmery weekend the 60s counter-culture realized its belief in peace, love and understanding—and then everyone grew up and ushered in Reaganomics.

Yes, put me in the group dedicated to deflating the Woodstock bubble. The continuing fellation of the boomer’s moment in the sun—remember Woodstocks 1995 and 1999? (hopefully not)—annoys me to no end. But even though it’s beyond obvious that Woodstock reverence is beyond hyperbolic, it’s not necessarily its extent that irks me. Culture, to a degree, is delusion on a grand scale and that’s fine. There’s no real difference between scrawling “Clapton is God” on a London subway wall and swearing to your friends that Jigga man is the God MC.

What really bothers me about the Woodstock celebration (besides boomer hypocrisy…that’s a horse to flog on another day) is the disparity it reveals between the press’s attitude towards hip hop and the press’s attitude towards other cultural movements. This October marks the 30th anniversary of “Rapper’s Delight,” the first top 40 rap single and the song that launched hip hop culture’s global explosion. Will Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood put together a retrospective like they did for Woodstock? Doubtful.

I suppose that’s fine in a way. The appreciation gap between rock and rap doubtless has much to do with racism and classism, but it probably has even more to do with age—rock is old and rap is young. Rock, already canonized, has affected all the change it ever will—rap is rock’s kid brother, all grown up but still largely undefined by critical consensus. So I guess I’m okay with hip hop not receiving as wide coverage as rock does—how can we celebrate hip hop as a group if we haven’t really agreed yet on what parts to celebrate?

My real beef is that the press seems congenitally incapable of treating rap as a legitimate art form. Consider the lazy journalistic device of rendering articles humorous by mashing up hip hop and a “serious subject.” As offensive and nonsensical as these articles are, they’re still alive and well. Check out this NPR piece on how the feud between Jay-Z and The Game mirrors world politics. The author writes:

The Game is the erratic wildcard.

"He's North Korea; he's Iran," Lynch says. "He might not win, but he can hurt you if he drags you down into this extended occupation, this extended counterinsurgency campaign."

Why is he doing this? After Jay-Z released "D.O.A. ('Death of Auto-Tune')" The Game saw an opportunity to peel off Jay-Z's key alliance partners to form a coalition and undermine Jay-Z's hegemony.

No. Fine, Game is an erratic wild card. But what “key alliance partners” is he trying to peel off from Jay? What, he wants Memphis Bleak to guest on The R.E.D. Album? It’s just confusingly wrong. Anyone who knows anything about hip hop can recognize that this article is logically barren.

But that’s sort of beside the point, isn’t it? The intent of the article isn’t to conduct an interesting juxtaposition between hip hop and international relations. The article exists to compare a subject that is, to NPR’s audience, obviously silly—hip hop—with a subject for grown ups—international relations. The whole thing is just an excuse for suburban house wives to exclaim “well, isn’t that a riot?!”

Hip hop deserves better than that. Hip hop definitely deserves better than blogs like Snacks and Shit, which gets its name from a woefully misinterpreted Jay-Z lyric and purports to catalogue “preposterous” rap lyrics. I’m all for acknowledging that hip hop can be ludicrous and stupid, but most of the blog’s posts either aren’t funny or depend on taking a lyric outside its original context. I mean, wow, if you take rap lyrics literally they often make no sense? I guess these guys never heard of figurative language.

Rock ‘n’ roll is no less inherently silly than hip hop (“I am the eggman, they are the eggmen/ I am the walrus, goo goo g’joob”), but it hasn’t been held up as an object of ridicule since hair metal went out of style. Enough with the goofy or ironic hip hop references: hip hop, even when it’s being fun and insane and over the top, is worthy of serious consideration.

That’s why the embrace of rap music by mainstream critical outlets—Pitchfork, The Village Voice, Slate, The New Yorker—is so important. Reading Jonah Weiner painstakingly explain the ins and outs of rap to a rap illiterate audience may grate on the nerves of serious hip hop heads (see comments here), but at least Weiner’s articles propagate the idea that rap is a legitimate art form. Maybe with a few more Weiners (and a few more Nathan Rabins and Sasha Frere-Joneses), hip hop will eventually get the mainstream respect it deserves.


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Quotable Nietzsche: Why TAN Is So Wise

(more and more feeling like TAN is trending towards a meaning closer to that of "The Assimilated Nietzsche" over "The Assimilated Negro", but then any minority rising to power is Nietzschean, so yeah, makes sense ... anyFried, more/excess is coming...)

"How much truth does a spirit endure, how much truth does it dare? more and more that became for me the real measure of value. Error (—faith in the ideal—) is not blindness, error is cowardice ... Every attainment, every step forward in knowledge, follows from courage, from hardness against oneself, from cleanliness in relation to oneself ... I do not refute ideals, I merely put on gloves before them."


"Under these circumstances I have a duty against which my habits, even more the pride of my instincts, revolt at bottom, namely, to say: "Hear me! For I am such and such a person. Above all, do not mistake me for someone else!"


"My practice of war is formulated in four principles: First: I only attack causes that are victorious,—I may even wait until they become victorious. Second: I only attack causes against which I would find no allies, so that I stand alone—so that I compromise myself alone ... I have never taken a step publicly that did not compromise me: that is my criterion of doing right. Third: I never attack persons,—I avail myself of the person merely as a powerful magnifying-glass that allows one to make visible a general, but creeping and elusive calamity [...snip...] Fourth: I only attack things when all personal differences are excluded, when any background of bad experiences is lacking. On the contrary, to attack is to me a proof of goodwill, sometimes even of gratitude. I honor, I distinguish therewith by associating my name with that of a cause or a person: for or against—that makes no difference to me at this point.

- all quotes from Ecce Homo: How One Becomes What One Is
(no homo?)

Monday, August 10, 2009

Real Recognize Real: 2 Years Is a Long Time On the Internet

A couple years ago I posted a Failed Ideas in Hip Hop video, billing it as "a funny sketch by people who do funny sketches". Lo and behold, "It's The Real" (I think they changed their name from "The Real to "It's The Real"?) are still making funny videos a couple years later. As the hip hop loving jews say, muy impresivo.

Also they got all kinds of internet and hip hop cameos/testimonials in their 2-year anniversary video. Which is like the internet version of "making it rain" or something.

2 Real 2 Furious from jeff on Vimeo.

Congrats to It's the Real, here's to two more years, 95 more vids, 200 more testimonials, etc. etc.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

If Obama Is The Joker, Who Is Batman?

The couple of posts I've seen with these Obama-as-Joker "socialist" pics all say the same thing: it's a striking image, that's making it way around not only on the internet, but in The Real World (so much as Los Angeles can be called The Real World), but no one knows or has any sense of what it means.

And to that I add: Ditto.

via: American Thinker, NRO

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

About TAN: Web Hunk, 4.0

The Houston Chronicle included Patrice Evans, TAN, The Assimilated Negro in their gallery of Web Hunks today. Indeed, as you suspected, the Apocalypse is nigh!

Since I don't want to just be ogled as a savory hunky piece of melanin-meat laptop. Here are some links:

Hip Hop Stuff:
Will "Keeping It Real" Ever Go Right?

Is Elzhi Deeper Than John Updike?
Maybe We Should Just Hand Hip Hop Over to the Ladies?

Racial, Post-Racial Stuff:
Black People film boobs like this, White People film boobs like that

The 4 Horsemen of the Post-Racial Apocalypse
Negropedia Brown and the Case of the World White Web

Matrices, Video, and Random Hits & Misses on/for Gawker stuff:
The Morality Matrix
A Bronx Tale: In Search of Sonia Sotomayor
Does Weed Have "5" On the Economy?

House of Hot-Ass Interviews
: including The Roots, Sasha Grey, Larry Wilmore and, uh, still more... (?)

100 Things About TAN: this is kinda old, but, y'know, has a personal facebooky touch.

What Else???
sports head: not so much recently, but for nbc new york, deadspin, fanhouse and others in the past. I also think the Mets Are Better Than Sex.

I've done readings: about letters to my genitals, and sex on shrooms.

book deal, "Negropedia" is no longer the title, fyi.

There's more if you want to noodle around, but I'm guessing that should be plenty to scare you away at this point. But before you go: PLEASE SUBSCRIBE -- i don't blog-churn out volumes, but there is more, bigger, better in store. And Subscriptions allow you to keeps tabs from a safe distance, and maybe I won't have to whore my body out for internet celebrity currency. it's like saving an african baby, except i went to prep school and live in nyc.

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