Eight songs here, which should play in random order. The list:
-D’Angelo – How Does It feel – Voodoo
-Big Boi – She Hates Me feat. Kid CuDi – Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors
-Kitty – Smiledog.jpg – haha im sorry
-Iggy Azalea – Down South – Trap Gold
-J Cole – Lights Please – Cole World: The Sideline Story
-Fabolous – Louis Vuitton feat. J Cole – Soul Tape 2
-Jean Grae – Supa Love Acoustic – Dust Ruffle
-The Weeknd – High for This – Trilogy
Iggy Azalea sounds like she’s always one “Yeah~ho!” away from being Gangsta Boo. I think I like her voice over her production (generally Diplo, for the tape I linked), but it’s hard to not hear Chyna White or Diamond or Trina (especially Trina, “Down South” could easily be a Trina joint like “Look Back At Me”, which is as NSFW as it is incredible) when she raps. I got the same problem with A$AP Rocky, but Iggy’s nice enough that I haven’t given up. It’s this weird dissonance, I guess, where I hear one thing and instead of listening to that, I’m remembering something else.
I was talking out loud on Twitter the other day about white girl rappers. It’s real interesting to me, because a few have come up (or come to my attention — same thing) over the past few years. There’s a couple different types of white girl rappers, I feel like. There’s the Kreayshawn/Iggy Azalea route where you rep your whiteness as hard as you can, like a badge of honor or the point of a knife. Hence Kreayshawn repping White Girl Mob as hard as she can, and Iggy rapping about hanging out with “white bitches” and “black bitches” in a very black flow. There’s an “I double dog dare you to say something” in there.
Kitty, fka Kitty Pryde, is the other type. I described it as “Tee hee I’m white” on Twitter, I think, and it’s this self-aware awkwardness where she knows what you’re thinking but don’t really care. “You say, ‘This little white girl is ruinin’ hip hop’/I say, ‘Damn right!’ And take a lick of the Ring Pop,” right? There’s a tease in there. I like Kitty a lot, in part because she’s pretty good at being pretty funny.
White girls in rap is a real interesting subject for me. It’s different than white dudes, but I’m having a hard time finding people talking about why and how. There’s this whole cultural quagmire there, where we’re checking off several boxes and what results is… whatever this is. I’m really interested in the repping part of things, because being white is presumably as awesome as being black is, but racists screwed that up for white people in a big way. Fine lines, right?
“She Hates Me” is my favorite song on that Big Boi album. I love that version of Jean Greasy’s Supa Love.
-I like Tom Spurgeon’s thoughts on working for free. Personally, my “Should I work for free” flowchart goes “Are we related? Did I give you my phone number? Are we friends? Do I like you?” and if the answer to all of those is “no,” then you’re coughing up the cash. If the answer to any of those is “yes,” then I’ll think about how much effort it would take me, what you would get out of it, and how much more money you have than I do before I make a decision. Easy-peasy. (If I don’t like you, the answer’s always “no,” tho. Even if you’re willing to pay double.)
-A reader named CC emailed me out of the blue the other day to talk about my review of Moto Hagio’s Heart of Thomas on ComicsAlliance. She said she took issue with it (!) and wrote a paper that in part addresses it (!!) and wanted to give me a headsup (!!!). I really wanted to know what she meant, and she was kind enough to email me back and give me an autopsy. It was really enlightening, and she picked up on my subconscious uncomfortableness with shoujo, which showed up in how I approached writing about the book. Looking at what I wrote and she said, my takeaway is that I made the mistake of approaching the book as an outsider, a looky-loo, instead of digging into what it meant to me, which I do with basically everything else. So I ended up unintentionally giving the book short shrift, something I was consciously trying to avoid. Life is weird. She’s posted the first part of her paper here, with the second to follow soon. I’m looking forward to it. You can find more of her writing here. She’s really smart, and I’m not just saying that because she caught me half-stepping.
-Sean Witzke invited me to take the place of Tucker Stone on the Travis Bickle on the Riviera podcast. I couldn’t make it, but Dr Racism should did. They talked about Out of the Past, Female Prisoner Scorpion 701, The Long Goodbye, and Stray Dog. Pretty good way to kill 90 minutes.
NBA 2k13 is, as ever, game of the year.
I watched Children Who Chase Lost Voices this weekend. I liked it. It’s in a Ghibli mode, which is actually pretty distracting. I’m reading Hayao Miyazaki’s Nausicaa right now, and the movie feels incredibly inferior to that. I’m doing a terrible job of why I liked it, huh? I think I liked the overt Miyazakian elements, the fantasy and communing with nature and being friends/family stuff, but the movie ended up being about a boring dude with a boring problem and a boring dead wife. I would’ve liked it more if Asuna was the focus of the end of the movie, instead of just a prop so that some guy can get over his grief. But… it’s still worth watching? The designs are really nice and the animation is pretty. “Watch this! Parts of it suck!” Sorry. Trailer:
Open thread. What’re you reading/watching/hearing/enjoying?