monday mixtape bumaye

March 18th, 2013 Posted by david brothers

monday mixtape bumaye from brothers on 8tracks Radio.

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.)

This joke Sam Humphries found is absolutely savage.

Chris Randle wrote about issues with the people who use Kickstarter and the culture of Kickstarter itself. It’s good.

-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.

I wrote about Garth Ennis’s approach to heroism in recent works.

I watch a lot of Rocky & Bullwinkle. It’s all on Netflix, so you should, too.

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?

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The Prophet Exception: More On Artist Changes

February 26th, 2012 Posted by david brothers

I said that artist changes due to double-shipping mainstream comics devalues the artist. Not all art changes are evil, though. Sure, some of them are of the Final Crisis variety and result in terrible comics, but every once and a while, people get them right. Artist changes, guest artists, however you want to call them–they can be used tactically, as a way to showcase an artist or add a little extra punch to a storyline.

This may be weird, but follow along for a minute. One of the best examples of the way a guest artist can make something extra dope is a song. It relates to my point about unwanted art changes being like new actors showing up in old roles in a movie or a song changing direction mid-stream. It’s Big Boi’s “Fo Yo Sorrows,” off that Sir Lucious album:

It happens around 0:55. Too $hort, the legendary rapper out of Oakland, pops up to drop four bars and then bounce. That’s a quarter of a verse. It’s a cameo, but it goes deeper than that. At 0:47, Big Boi flips the word “bitch” just like $hort made famous, and then says that $hort was one of his favorite rappers. For Too $hort to pop up on this song for something that’s little more than a cameo is ill. It’s rappers playing around and having some fun. It’s not really a guest spot. It’s something you smile about, because you’re in on the joke.

That’s the feeling that art changes should give you. A little spike of glee, or a chance to explain to everyone you know exactly why what just happened is so good.

The Immortal Iron Fist did it well, for the most part. The flashbacks to adventures of other Iron Fists were drawn by a variety of dope artists, each one tackling a different Iron Fist. David Aja drew the modern pages, and his art served as connective tissue between the flashbacks. He set the tone and stage for the book, and then when the story required that the tone and stage change, Travel Foreman, John Severin, Russ Heath, and Sal Buscema tagged in to get it done. Aja is Big Boi, and John Severin is Too $hort. He brings with him a history and pedigree that people on the inside will get, while others will just go, “Yo, that looked pretty cool.”

Big Boi/Matt Fraction/Ed Brubaker had a good reason for their guests showing up, too. It’s not just a willy-nilly thing. There’s a point. It’s an enhancement, rather than someone just plugging another gear into the mix so that the machine goes faster. It turned Immortal Iron Fist into a jam comic. It provided variety.

There’s a really good example of what I’m talking about coming up later this year. Prophet started life as a Rob Liefeld/Dan Panosian joint. As part of the big Extreme relaunch, it’s currently in the hands of Brandon Graham, Simon Roy, Richard Ballermann, and Ed Brisson. It’s really good, actually, part of the continuously rising wave over at Image. Graham is writing, but working closely with Roy to make the story the best it can be. Sometimes that means layouts, other times it means Roy making sure that Graham’s on point or vice versa. It’s a collaboration. And there’s going to be guests popping in. From Graham’s blog:

So I’d written on here before that Prophet would come out 6 times a year but some cool shit has happened and now it’s going to be 12 issues a year monthly.

So here’s the schedule:

Starting Jan-

#21(number 1 in our hearts) -#23 art by Simon Roy (Jan’s Atomic heart), then #24 &25 are drawn by farel dalrymple (pop gun war) I’m drawing #26 and Giannis Milonogiannis (Old city blues)is doing # 27- 32. I think we’ve come up with a cool way to make this work storywize.

The situation isn’t too dissimilar from Marvel, and I’m sure a lot of people will say it isn’t different at all. There’s a comic, and the people making it want it to come out more frequently, so more artists are joining the team. The original draw of the series was the Graham/Roy/Ballermann/Brisson team, and that’s changing. I think that there’s a difference here, but a very, very fine one. I don’t think the difference is “I like these guys,” either. I like a lot of them dudes who are coming onto books I like, too.

Instead of just slipping new dudes into the rotation to boost the schedule, editor Eric Stephenson and writer Graham have found artists to work with and crafted the story around them. My understanding is that each artist will be working on a story tailored for them, rather than simply being used to keep the ship on track. All of the artists are doing covers, too, I suppose as a type of introduction. There’s a creative reason here, and I think that has more value than the purely economical reasons Marvel has to have artists playing musical chairs.

Here’s the covers for Prophet 22-24 and 26. The covers are by Simon Roy, Farel Dalrymple, Giannis Milonogiannis, and Brandon Graham, in that order.

They have absolutely distinct styles, right? Roy & Ballermann’s palette is dusty and soft, Dalrymple’s muted and night time-y, Milonogiannis’s is aged, and Graham’s is soft, but in a different way than Ballermann’s. Firmer, maybe. Roy & Ballermann’s art is rough and loose. Dalrymple is detailed and gloomy. Milonogiannis is… I don’t even know the right word for it right now. Majestic? Ominous? I get the feeling of mankind making contact with an entirely alien and apathetic intelligence, something that sees us as being beneath its notice. And Graham’s cover for 26 reminds me of nothing so much as the passage of a lot of time.

Things like this make art changes into events. It’s not just “Oh, we want to make people buy this book sixteen times a year instead of twelve.” It’s “We want this book to be the best it can be.”

I think it’ll work. I’m looking forward to finding out.

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Das Racist, Big Boi

September 2nd, 2010 Posted by david brothers

Das Racist’s “Who’s That? Brooown!” is a dope song, and this video manages to homage several 8-bit games I grew up on. Well done. Link courtesy of Ron Wimberly.

How to sum up Big Boi and Yelawolf’s “You Ain’t No DJ,” with Andre 3000 on production? Is it Yela’s “Yeah, I’m pale, but I’ll impale you with an Impala” or the bit about taking your couch and stealing your truck to move it with? The track suit girls? The kids dancing? Who cares! It’s dope, get your watch on.

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Yo! 4thletter! Raps! 01

March 26th, 2010 Posted by david brothers

Being a quick roundup, with commentary, of my favorite music videos of the week. A weekly feature, barring a week where no one with talent releases a music video worth watching. This first week is playing catchup a little, so you might’ve seen some of these before. Videos subject to go down for copyright violations, so browse wisely.

Big Boi – Fo Yo Sorrows feat. Too Short, George Clinton, SamChris
Let’s be honest: I grew up on OutKast, and they are definitely the greatest rap group of all time. Andre 3000 built a rep as the poet and Big Boi as the pimp, but over the past few years, Big Boi has shown that both halves of the duo are both skilled on the mic and eccentric on the beats. This video features Too $hort, who is way older than I expected but still the same old G on his four bars, and “Just to let you know that everything is straight/I say stank you very much ’cause we appreciate the hate/Now go get yourself a handgun, you fuckin wit a great/ Put it your mouth and squeeze it like your morning toothpaste.”

And, most importantly, it’s a music video with an extended break, something that probably hasn’t happened since the last time OutKast dropped.

Pac Div – Shut Up f. The Cool Kids
This beat is tremendous– it’s the kind of sparse speaker music that really knocks. Something to ride to with the volume all the way turned up. The way the beat spins down between verses… I’m a fan. “Don’t talk to me about fashion, dog, you be wildin/You still think Coogi stylin, who’s the stylist?”

Below the cut: Reflection Eternal, Joell Ortiz, Bobby Ray, and more Reflection Eternal.
Read the rest of this entry �

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