I love a love/hate affair with HipHop, really. I love much of the music, but essentially want it to have the ethos frequently found in punk – and this is frequently not the case. Especially with mainstream hiphop, the lyrical content seems to be espousing a view of the world at total opposition to one that appeals to me. And, why I look towards mainstream hiphop to echo that DIY, all-in-it-together is beyond me.
People who say there’s no good rock music anymore are essentially just listening to the radio, expecting the twats running the labels to have any interest in pushing music that might have some artistic merit. Bollocks – there is loads of great music out there, just don’t look to the radio to provide it. SO, why on earth would I think mainstream hiphop would provide anything that mainstream guitar music doesn’t? I’m a fool.
And, so it was the fool that purchased this music. Rather than following the lines that led to more experimental, interesting things of the underground hiphop, I went ‘eh, I’ll give this a go.’ And, it leaves me cold.
The beats are all supersmooth, high-quality synthetics – like really high-grade false breasts. I mean, this stuff sounds like a rather fine cut but ridald-coloured suede, satin and silk suit. And lots of cheap gold jewellery, adorning everything. And some of the music is excellent – General Patton’s church chorus set to hyper highhats is rather grand; as is Turns Me On low-key smooth funk backing.
And there’s no getting around the fact that Big Boi has what those in the hiphop community call ‘flow’ – words just trip off his tongue like they were nothing. Smooth like butter, baby, like butter, as A Tribe Called Quest once said.
Musically, this is an aesthetically pleasing thing. The beats are smooth, the rhymes more so. But, what of the lyrical content of a music where lyrics are so central to the outcome? Well, apparently Tangerine ‘shakes it like a tambourine’, where he then says ‘I put her on a plate until she no longer awake / They just lay fast asleep when I hit ’em with the snake’. So, perhaps I’m reading this wrong, but Big Boi, you rape women when after they fall asleep at your place? Nice.
That lyric is enough to put me off Big Boi for life – that shit’s fucked up. Not to mention the other numerous shit outhere. Where am I on this record? Essentially, I feel let down by the press that, in 2010, didn’t give enough of a fuck on such issues to ever mention such things and in 2013 have been reluctantly pressed into struggling to admit the date-rape themes of such dickbag’s, but only when they’re pressed on such issue.
So, fuck labels, fuck mainstream hiphop, and fuck this record. As Scroobius Pip (although, I feel he sometimes treds onto being a bit sexist with his vids and images) remarked:
Thou shalt remember that guns, bitches and bling where never part of the four elements / and never will be
Or, as Saul Williams said:
Telegram to Hip Hop: Dear Hip Hop .(stop). This shit has gone too far. (stop). Please see that mixer and turntables are returned to Kool Herc. (stop). The ghettos are dancing off beat. (stop). The master of ceremonies have forgotten that they were once slaves and have neglected the occasion of this ceremony. (stop). Perhaps we should not have encouraged them to use cordless microphones, for they have walked too far from the source and are emitting a lesser frequency (stop). Please inform all interested parties that cash nor murder have been added to the list of elements. (stop). We are discontinuing our current line of braggadocio, in light of the current trend in “realness”. (stop). As an alternative, we will be confiscating weed supplies and replacing them with magic mushrooms, in hopes of helping n****s see beyond their reality. (stop). Give my regards to Brooklyn.
Or, as De La Soul put it back in 1994:
Rating: lyrics make a real difference, especially in a style set so much around lyrics. So basically, fuck Big Boi. It’s also, as ever, heartbreaking to see the likes of George Clinton and Janelle Monae involved in this pile of misogynistic bollocks. Lesson: don’t bother with crap you feel the ethics of are questionable .
PS. Sole did a song with a better backing track than General Patton, and the lyric content is a much improvement: