Re: A Hip, A Hop

1

But hip-hop isn't danceable music, is it?

Have you even seen a club in the past decade?


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:05 AM
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I'm asking the questions here.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:06 AM
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MIA, uh, kinda is hip hop.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:06 AM
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as non-trollishly as I can

Mmm-hmm.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:07 AM
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And get off my lawn!


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:09 AM
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And I can't understand most of the words (can you?)


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:10 AM
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I hear the kids dance to hip-hop. I could perhaps even name some of the dances, but I don't think that would help you.


Posted by: W. Breeze | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:11 AM
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Yes. Cracker.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:11 AM
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Once upon a time, the awesome Roosevelt Franklin was too damn black for America.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:11 AM
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For a more helpful answer:

Yes. Hip-Hop is very danceable. And these are some of the biggest singles of the past decade.

Listen to those basslines, the rhythm dominates the music, even forcing the lyrical flow to match or provide a counterpoint. It's super easy to start moving to and probably the most popular party music in the US, at least since the end of the supposed "rise of dance" in 1999.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:11 AM
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IMO, 99% of rap is junk. i really like A Tribe Called Quest and the Beastie Boys (1991 represent!). but try as i might, i can't seem to find anything interesting in the rest of it.


Posted by: cleek | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:12 AM
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I can't understand most of the words to most pop music. It doesn't seem to be a useful dividing line for music I like or don't like.

(Although in general I like well-written lyrics.)


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:13 AM
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try as i might

I don't get the sense that you're trying very hard, cleek.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:13 AM
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But hip-hop isn't danceable music, is it?...And I can't understand most of the words

racist.


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:14 AM
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i really like A Tribe Called Quest and the Beastie Boys

It's a real shame those acts didn't influence or have any musical affinity with anybody else, ever.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:15 AM
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IMO, 99% of rap everything is junk.

(with a smattering of "oh, I only like the classic stuff.)


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:15 AM
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2: comment 1 was, I think, rhetorical


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:16 AM
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This is such a trolling post that I'm led to read the sickness post as trolling, too. Ogged, why must you be such a little troll?


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:16 AM
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What the O-man needs is some Deltron.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:17 AM
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This post is nine kinds of nonsense.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:18 AM
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See, the songs linked in 10 don't seem danceable at all. I guess they are, in fact, but they don't make me want to (hypothetically) boogie. Ok, not sure what else to say about this other than I hate black people.

And my powers of lyrical decoding were legendary, back in the day, but I can't understand a damn thing they say in hip-hop. I guess the rhythm just doesn't work for me or something. And I hate black people.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:19 AM
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IMO, 99% of rap everything is junk.

Except junk. 100% of junk is junk.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:19 AM
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Ignoring Ogg, let's wax irreverent. Probably the album that speaks to me most deeply and eternally - in any genre - is OutKast's Atliens.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:20 AM
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I appreciate hip hop for the organic, evolutionary way the medium develops—artists borrow from and build off one another's stuff directly. There's no art genre that's quite so up front about it IMHO. I love the wordplay, especially the lyrical oneupsmanship. It's very direct and cerebral.

But I listen to hip hop to get the blood flowing. I like other things to dance to better, but if I'm going to go out on a date or I'm getting psyched up for an interview, I'm listening to Nas or Clipse or some such. Bitch. I'm. Trill.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:20 AM
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Coming in late, but are you on crack? Hip-hop is dance music.

And there's loads of good hip-hop around now, too.

I'm assuming 11 is satire.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:21 AM
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If this post were trolling it would have read like this:

Which seems like a good opportunity to ask, why does anyone listen to hip-hop anyway? You can't dance to it (BOOM [pause] BOOM [pause] BOOM) and unless you're some very confused suburban white boy who feels oppressed or someone actually awash in hos and bling, it's not like you can relate to what's being said, so what, dear readers, is the point? Street cred? Yo?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:21 AM
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I love the wordplay, especially the lyrical oneupsmanship.

It's amazing how articulate those guys are.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:22 AM
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As a person of extreme whiteness, I hesitate to comment, but I will say that if you haven't listened to "The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash on the Wheels of Steel" you must.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:22 AM
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And my powers of lyrical decoding were legendary, back in the day

Does this mean anything other than "I can understand what Bob Dylan is singing"?


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:23 AM
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Does this mean anything other than "I can understand what Bob Dylan is singing"?

The old blues guys, the really old-timey stuff, etc. Jerk.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:24 AM
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More helpfully. If you can't get into the gangsta (and who can these days), stuff like DJ Shadow, Prefuse 73, or Mouse on Mars can be good beats to which to throw shapes. This is all white boys doing hip-hop, so you're safe on that front as well.


Posted by: W. Breeze | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:25 AM
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non-danceble?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wrJSA1grAmE


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:25 AM
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re: 26

Yeah, but it's easy to read it as trolling, since it's transparently obvious to anyone with ears that hip-hop is the dominant dance music of our time. It has been for 20 years.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:25 AM
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100% of junk is junk.

Except that I'm pretty sure my glasses got thrown away by accident over the holidays, so there's some junk that wasn't junk. I went to the eye doctor yesterday—because I'll certainly need a pair before I start driving to DC Saturday morning—and realized I got hadn't had my eyes checked since 2002 or so.

Turns out I am fricking blind. 20/200 in one eye, 20/400 in the other. I knew they had gotten worse, but I had no idea just how much worse. Christ.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:26 AM
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The old blues guys, the really old-timey stuff, etc. Jerk.

It's only legendary if someone else cares.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:26 AM
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It's a real shame those acts didn't influence or have any musical affinity with anybody else, ever.

Who did they influence?

Whoever they were, they weren't commercially successful, so it's understandable to not be familiar with them.

26, if you think all hip-hop is about hoes and bling, I don't know what to tell you.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:27 AM
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Ogged, what kind of virus has gotten inside of your head?!

I can't understand the lyrics of anything except like, old standards, until I read them or listen to the song 8 billion times. Hip hop is slightly harder if you're out of practice, and it sounds like you were never in practice.

I'm no expert---I'm actually making a very Yglesias like resolution this year--but you cannot throw a dance party without lots of classic hip-hop. My roommate has a harddrive full of classic hip-hop for just this purpose. When he comes home I will try to get a list for you.

And yes, MIA is hip-hop. Sheesh.


Posted by: Ile | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:28 AM
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Even Chinese grandmothers get what hip-hop is about.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:28 AM
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hip-hop is the dominant dance music of our time

I really didn't know this. I figured people were dancing to, um, that other stuff, electronica or, uh, that other thing. But if the songs in 10 are representative, I still don't get it. Anyone have a video of people actually dancing to this stuff?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:28 AM
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39 has to be trolling, right?

Jesus, fuck.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:29 AM
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Dude, enlighten me. I'm totally serious.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:30 AM
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And Armsmasher, you should let Yggles know that listening to hip-hop albums is probably a bit overrated.

Sure, there are some that are really good, typically shorter albums that actually trim all the fat (this is why I can't get into OutKast's albums). And especially "concept" albums with a really unified aesthetic can work well (e.g. Madvillainy, Fantastic Damage, A New White, Hell Hath No Fury ("we are super-badass coke dealers, and have nothing else going for us" counts as a "concept")). But I think that much of hip-hop, like much of dance music, is singles-driven. That's why those genres have such amazing mixtape and DJ mix scenes.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:30 AM
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I like individual hip-hop songs because of danceability, but I only like rappers if I can understand what they're saying without having to concentrate studiously. This is why Murphy Lee appeals to me a lot more than Ghostface Killah does.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:30 AM
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There's no art genre that's quite so up front about it IMHO.

Classical music used to be something like that, until the Romantic obsession with originality drove plagiarism underground. There hasn't been nearly enough classical/hip-hop crossover, but there are encouraging signs.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:30 AM
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First ogged feigns deathly illness and threatens non-attendance at Unfoggerland. Oh noes1 Then he alleges hop-hop cannot be danced to, deliberately provoking outrage in the threads. This can only be building up to a moment early in the party when he swings in the door as the hip-hop is cranking and starts burning up the dancefloor a la Christopher Walken.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:31 AM
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26: or someone actually awash in hos and bling

You know, I thought I listened to hip-hop for musicality, danceability and lyrical cleverness. But now I realize, as someone actually awash in hoes and bling, that my opinion may be slightly biased.

For reals, though, the "is it danceable" thing can't be serious. Right?


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:32 AM
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45 gets it right. This thread has been debunked, let's move on.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:32 AM
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I figured people were dancing to, um, that other stuff, electronica

Only teh gayzors.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:33 AM
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Ah, 46 before I saw 41. Unfortunately, we can't help you, Ogged. There are rumours of people dancing to hip-hop but nobody has ever caught the spectacle on video of any kind.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:35 AM
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Only teh gayzors.

And people on X, but they'll dance to a clothes dryer.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:35 AM
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Ogged, you just need to go clubbing with more Asians.


Posted by: Ile | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:35 AM
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10: ogged apparently didn't watch "B.O.B." all the way through. It's nothing but dancing at the end. (And seriously, Andre was some kind of extraordinary a few years back. He's stretched so thin these days, but "B.O.B." reminds you what he's capable of.)


Posted by: SEK | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:35 AM
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This thread needs more cowbell.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:35 AM
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I love the way my son rolls his eyes when I call it hippety-hop in front of his friends. Helps them bond.


Posted by: Napi | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:37 AM
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I don't really dance to much hip hop, actually. It induces a powerful head nod, and there's nothing better for when you're driving around. But for dancing I prefer 80s stuff, no wave, maybe a very little bit of this indie dance music.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:37 AM
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This is what Ogged considers danceable.

However, tastes differ. I have no idea how someone could dance to "Bombs Over Baghad". Or "Hey Ya". They're too fast.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:37 AM
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Anyone have a video of people actually dancing to this stuff?

2:30, ogged. You dunderhead. Or go to, y'know, any hip-hop show ever. Or any US club that doesn't specifically say it's playing a type of electronic dance music (UK clubs specified their hip-hop nights, in my experience, while for US clubs it's somewhat of a default).


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:37 AM
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I am going to blow Ogged's punchline for both threads:

Guess what?! I got a fever, and the only prescription... is more cowbell!


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:38 AM
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But for dancing I prefer 80s stuff, no wave

I don't know if Ogged would find Teenage Jesus and the Jerks danceable either.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:39 AM
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You can't dance to Hey Ya? You just shake it like a polaroid picture! The instructions are right there in the song!


Posted by: Ile | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:39 AM
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56: Admit it: you lobbed "Hey Ya" precisely for 60 (who beat me to it).


Posted by: SEK | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:40 AM
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Ok, so I watched the whole Outkast video and the thing Po-Mo linked and I guess I just don't get it. It doesn't make me want to move at all, and I don't even really understand the relationship between the music and the moving bodies. Let's call me a fogie and move on, then.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:42 AM
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stuff like DJ Shadow

I don't think of Endtroducing. . . . . as hip hop.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:43 AM
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you cannot throw a dance party without lots of classic hip-hop motown.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:43 AM
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62: Okay, then refamiliarize yourself with "California Love".


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:43 AM
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re: 40

Well, you know that hip-hop evolved from DJs spinning breaks at house parties and clubs in the early 70s in New York? And that 'breaks' were the funky instrumental breakdowns that the DJs noticed got people to fill the floor and made them dance their asses of? And then some guys figured out that by using two record decks you could prolong those breaks?

That's hip-hop. Its a musical genre that evolved out of guys specifically selecting the bits of records that made people lose their shit on the dancefloor the most. It's dance music by design. It's been dance music since day one. It continues to be dance music.

If you've been in a club in the last 15 years, you couldn't help but notice that in mainstream clubs the default music is either hip-hop or R & B [musically just hip-hop with singing].

Ogged:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b0wuDcdr0T8

This doesn't make you want to dance? This is a modern record but he's referencing classic old-skool hip hop in the music and the lyrics.

I can't listen to this without wanting to dance.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:44 AM
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Mouse on Mars ain't hip-hop.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:44 AM
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I agree with parsimon. Motown is great dance music. If I'm drunk enough, I don't care that I can't dance.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:45 AM
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I don't even really understand the relationship between the music and the moving bodies

The bodies are synchronized with that thumping sound that's part of the music.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:45 AM
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63: So what do you think it is, then?

To my mind it is instrumental hip-hop. One should not conflate rap and hip-hop. They often go together, but they are distinct art forms.


Posted by: W. Breeze | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:46 AM
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..when I hear hip hop, that is.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:46 AM
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Dance music and nobody has mentioned the Dead?!??!


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:46 AM
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67: Very true. But "Wipe that Sound" is.


Posted by: W. Breeze | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:46 AM
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66: It's evolved into strange new directions now, with some songs better for listening to on the radio than to have in the clubs. Even if people can dance to "Bombs Over Baghdad", I'd like to see them try it to "Are You That Somebody" (Aaliyah) or that "Whistle Song" by that Santana something guy.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:47 AM
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"hip hop" s/b "motown".


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:47 AM
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This doesn't make you want to dance?

Honestly, not in the least. I'll throw in the towel; I think I just don't get it. I guess I need to stop hanging with friends who all don't get hip-hop either. No one here is sympathetic?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:48 AM
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Dance music and nobody has mentioned the Dead?!??!

Quite right, but Dead Prez are not as immediately accessible rhythmically as, for example, the Coup.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:49 AM
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No one here is sympathetic?

Not until you suggest something that you DO find danceable.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:50 AM
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Dead Prez are not as immediately accessible rhythmically as, for example, the Coup.

Funny, I always thought rhythmic accessibility was Dead Prez' main asset.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:50 AM
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re: 76

No, I find the 'hip hop isn't danceable' position incomprehensible. I can understand not liking lots of it, but not seeing that it is eminently danceable just seems ... odd.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:51 AM
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78...assuming your earlier mention of Soundgarden was mere trolling.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:51 AM
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39. dude. i'm stunned.

yes, hip-hop is without doubt THE dance music of our time. nothing else is even close, I don't think.

this is really popular right now, where I live. They did it in the Governor's mansion during the christmas party.


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:51 AM
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No one here is sympathetic?

I'm sympathetic in the same way I would be for someone who refuses to try Mexican or Chinese food ever, because they're afraid it would taste funny.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:52 AM
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76: Ogged: My story? Okay. It was never easy for me. I was born a poor black child. I remember the days, sittin' on the porch with my family, singin' and dancin' down in Mississippi.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:52 AM
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assuming your earlier mention of Soundgarden was mere trolling.

No, it wasn't. This makes me want to get up and move. I need to get Unf in this thread. He's whiter than I am, I'm pretty sure.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:54 AM
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Maybe Ogged is too busy ghost riding the whip to have any time for these songs that merely describe the experience. Because after all they cannot compare to the exhiliration of the actual activity.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:54 AM
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Someone said that M.I.A. is hip-hop. Is it? That seems obviously danceable to me. Is there some obvious musical difference between that and all the other songs linked in this thread?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:55 AM
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the last sentence of 82 should read "they EVEN did", as in the song's so hot even the suits do it; i did not mean the song is hot *because* the suits do it.


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:55 AM
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I listen to hip-hop as dance music, but there are also songs I like for the storyline. Some are funny narratives. Some may be intended to be serious but crack me up every time. I laugh every single time I listen to Too Close by NeXt.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:56 AM
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87: no, it's a typical example.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:56 AM
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Parsimon, I heartily, deeply agree. Motown is amazing.

Ogged, I am actually sympathetic in that I don't *prefer* hip-hop as dance music (I don't dislike it, it's just not my first choice, and I get tired of it); I'm just amazed you are so removed from the cultural reality that it *is* dance music. I think this is something that will have to be explained in person. Get well and the flophouse will probably take care of it this weekend.

My ex-roommate is a hip-hop dance instructor. She's as white as white can be, but apparently she has plenty of street cred as she teaches at an Oakland youth center, and her students seem to love her. Besides choreographing dance numbers for kids, she also gives lessons--mostly to shy dudes who want to go clubbing more. Perhaps I can hook you up next year.


Posted by: Ile | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:56 AM
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I totally love the cupid shuffle song, and 83 is right on, too.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:57 AM
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Oh, ogged.

For one thing, it's the most important and influential musical genre since blues. For another, it's more musically ambitious and experimental than any other genre (yes, ANY, I said). It can eat other genres whole -- you can take a sample from just about any recording (rock, blues, country, soul, classical, dance, music from 10 years ago, music from 20 years ago, music from 50 years ago) and make it hip hop by adding a minimum of drums and/or bass. In the past year alone, for example, Kanye West has sampled everyone from Thom Yorke to Can to Steely Dan to Daft Punk to who knows what else. And he's the most popular hip hop act going. I don't even want to get into what RZA is up to.

Hip hop is music built upon music; other music is often meta-music (I'll use this chord progression that I borrowed from this other song because I want the sound/feeling that the chord progression it evokes, etc.), but hip hop is openly meta. By sampling, you can build on a previous recording (most samples), or destroy the mythology of a previous recording (like, say, using "Diamonds Are Forever" in a song about the brutality of the diamond wars in the Sierra Leone), pull a phrase out of context and give it an entirely new spin, and on and on. Hip hop began this way -- looping one part of a song over and over, and mixing it with other things, to create new songs. It has the effect of both compressing the essence of the original and expanding it by removing extraneous elements.

Even the most faddish hits have relevance. Think of the songs in earlier parts of the century which created new dances that became part of the culture (the Twist, the Charleston, etc. etc.) The new dance hits of today that are based around actually creating new dances come pretty much exclusively from the hip hop world. This particular genre is one I could expound upon at great length, but it's just one part of the broader mosaic of hip hop.

The most genre-changing and sought-after commercial producers of today all come out of hip hop, and all have their own particular sound that they've used to expand pop's musical language. I'm talking about guys like Timbaland (layering rhythms upon rhythms, using Asian instruments and sound effects, using his own mouth noises to replace drum sounds, etc.) and Pharrell Williams (updating the early Michael Jackson and Earth, Wind, And Fire sounds to give pop music a retro lushness topped with the sparkle of modern drum production, like in Justin Timberlake's "Rock Your Body"). Again, I could go on and on about the importance of the hip hop producer in shaping the pop music landscape.

Most of all, social protest is at the heart of hip hop, even if it's not apparent in the most recent club hit. It grew out of circumstances (deep poverty/gang violence in the South Bronx in the 70s) that were as desperate and disillusioning as any in American history. Even when hip hop is about dancing, the dancing is understood to be an alternative to hopelessness. (Gangs in the South Bronx in the 70s formed peace treaties and battled one another through break dancing and rhyming, no lie. The most famous early DJs were former gang members who used their organizing techniques to spread the word about dance parties rather than recruiting new gang members.) And social protest, always present in more underground backpacker hip hop circles, is now being mainstreamed, with even big Pimpin' Jay Z now giving us sharp social criticism like "Blame Reagan for making me to a monster/ Blame Oliver North and Iran Contra/ I ran contraband that they sponsored/ Before this rhyming stuff, we was in concert" which manages to evoke Reagan's social policies and the connection between Iran Contra/CIA and the inner city drug trade while using two brilliant double entendres ("Iran Contra/ I ran contraband" and the phrase "we was in concert" before he was a performer who gave concerts.

In conclusion, hip hop is rich, rich music, and it's exciting in a way that no other genre really is (I'm not even mentioning the one-upmanship of beefs, and the communal attitude which breeds collaboration, shout-outs and mix tapes). Even a top-level review of hip hop's elements and social impact (National Geographic called it "the world's favorite youth culture") should yield at least a grudging respect, even from the likes of Ogged.


Posted by: Joe Drymala | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:57 AM
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I laugh every single time I listen to Too Close by NeXt.

You're making it hard on me.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:57 AM
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No one here is sympathetic?

More than sympathetic. Can't dance to hip hop, don't like it much ... don't dislike it, it just doesn't do anything for me. Being unmoved to dance to it may be generational to an extent: hip hop wasn't really around when I developed whatever dancing style I have.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:59 AM
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First of all, Joe D!

Second of all, those are intellectual reasons to appreciate hip-hop, but nothing about enjoying listening to it. Or perhaps my intellectual and pleasure centers are not well-integrated.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:59 AM
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Ogged, i'm curious what you think of the cupid shuffle? (in 82). Though you probably would appreciate it more if were out in a real place where people were doing it.

And maybe you should just start browsing here, and maybe you'll get the idea.


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 12:00 PM
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See? Now I'm laughing again.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 12:00 PM
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No one here is sympathetic?

Solidarity, friend.


Posted by: Republican WASP | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 12:02 PM
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90: Maybe it's a typical example in that it's hard to explain what separates M.I.A. from other hip-hop, but her critical reception certainly seems to be based on the idea that what she's doing is a new and different kind of hip-hop.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 12:02 PM
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I'm sure this has been said, but it bears repeating...

honky


Posted by: spaz | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 12:02 PM
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Bitch. I'm. Trill.

God, that song is so fucking awesome. As is the rest of the album, actually.

As long as we're talking about hip-hop, can someone explain to me what is going on with the track "Drunken Hot Girls" on Kanye West's recent Graduation. A completely brilliant album with one song that is terrible and idiotic.

Is it supposed to be ironic? It baffles me.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 12:04 PM
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78: Not until you suggest something that you DO find danceable.

See 2nd part of video in 84.

why do you listen to hip-hop?

Because I stop at red lights?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 12:04 PM
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what RZA is up to

Besides tearing me out of the film's narrative in American Gangster because it didn't occur to fucking Ridley Scott that no one had Wu-Tang tattoo's in the early 1970's?


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 12:05 PM
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ogged, if you like neither the flow, nor the bounce, nor the bump, nor the 808, we can't help you.


Posted by: Joe Drymala | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 12:05 PM
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To answer your question, ogged, even if you don't find hip-hop danceable, it is very effective for listening to when you want to feel like a complete badass.

So, 'smasher's getting ready, also, cooking, driving, and walking down the street. And exercising. All excellent times for hip-hop.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 12:08 PM
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To answer your question, ogged, even if you don't find hip-hop danceable, it is very effective for listening to when you want to feel like a complete badass.

Yes oOgged, remember that scene in "Office Space"?


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 12:09 PM
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102: Kanye does not do irony. Whatever's going on with that song, he means it.

For those not getting hip-hop, maybe the contemporary art of the AMV can help explain it a little.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 12:09 PM
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So true, leblanc. Have to be at the fields in twenty minutes and you are totally tired and listless? Way loud hip-hop'll solve that.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 12:11 PM
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can someone explain to me what is going on with the track "Drunken Hot Girls" on Kanye West's recent Graduation

Kanye West wanted to let everyone else know that his tour DJ, A-Trak, clued him into some fantastic music. And when they were all really high one day, they thought they heard Damo Suzuki say "drunken hot girls" in one of his murmering sections of "Sing Swan Song". This created an obvious solution to Kanye's dilemma.

(in the interest of full disclosure, I'm a Kanye hater. Not hater as in deeply disliking all his music, more hater as in haterade)


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 12:13 PM
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Ogged, just stick with the Scorpions and the other music you love.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 12:14 PM
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102: I remember that it's actually what Kanye thought was being said on another track, but was wrong, and now can't for the life of me remember what the other track was.

Also, it sucks. It really, really sucks.


Posted by: SEK | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 12:15 PM
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Whitest. Mexican. Evar.

How about this?


Posted by: Merganser | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 12:16 PM
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Way loud hip-hop'll solve that.

This I also don't get. What do you listen to? How does it make you feel? I realize I sound like a Martian, but I (and, I swear, all my friends) just look at hip-hop like this bizarre thing that happened one day and must surely end soon so that they'll play music on the radio again (ok, now I'm trolling a little).


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 12:16 PM
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Hey, wasn't Drymala expelled from Unfogged for having a life? If he wasn't, I propose that he should be. He's bad for morale around here.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 12:16 PM
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93: Holy crap, I didn't know Jeff Chang read Unfogged.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 12:16 PM
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Maybe it's that lyrics have a different rhythm from the music? Do they? MIA's seem to amplify the beat, but most hip-hop sounds like a slow bass line with some dude talking over it. Shut up if you want me to hear the music! I don't know. I'm getting hungry and grumpy. I hate hip-hop and wonder if you're all deluded.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 12:20 PM
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What do you listen to? How does it make you feel?

Nas, Clipse, and Kanye are all good examples. Or some old-school Tupac or Biggie. I'm too lazy to find clips, someone else do it.

Also, I had a brief obsession with Hyphy. I must have listened to Ghost Ride It a hundred times over the course of my final semester of law school.

Anyway, my conception of badassery is probably based on the notion that black people are badass. Hence, ogged, you hate black people.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 12:20 PM
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I might be this guy.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 12:21 PM
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I don't get the sense that you're trying very hard, cleek.

i've tried enough of the "you like ATCQ, so you'll probably like _____" recommendations to get the feeling that i just don't like it... i've tried Black-Star, Blackalicious, Jurassic 5, Eminem, Mos Def, etc.: C+ at best.

oh, i should put Beck on the Like list.


Posted by: cleek | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 12:21 PM
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Ok, Ghost Ride, linked by leblanc in 118, seems danceable. More evidence for the lyrics-match-the-beat theory. (I should probably say "obviously match the beat" lest someone tell me that they do in all the other songs too, and I just can't hear it.)


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 12:25 PM
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My get-pumped-up song is "Take your shirt off! Twist it around your head! Spin it like a helicopter! (This one's for NORTH CAROLINA!)" by Petey Pablo.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 12:25 PM
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119: I was thinking this.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 12:25 PM
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and, I swear, all my friends

OK, time for a little pandering.

I had a brief period of listening to hip hop in college, but I flat out stopped and haven't tried again in 20 years. Some of the hip hop - it was called rap back then - was very dancy, but lots was shouty crap. I enjoyed young MC, I danced to cool J, I shouted at NWA, and I swooned for de la soul. But I found the white boy listening to gangsta so repulsive I just abandoned the whole genre. I've gotten the impression that a lot of creative music has happened in that world since, but I've had no inclination to sample it again.

I wouldn't go so far as ogged to say I can't imagine why people listen to it - attitude, dancitude, cool stuff at the creative margins. But I think about sampling around, and I'm more interested in exploring white boy/girl music. So I guess I'm the honky.


Posted by: spaz | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 12:28 PM
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122: I like "I" featuring a completely nonsensical deadpan guest verse by Timbaland.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 12:29 PM
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ogged apparently didn't watch "B.O.B." all the way through. It's nothing but dancing at the end.

Although it doesn't exactly counter his comment that people dance to electronica and not hip-hop, since "B.O.B." basically *is* a techno song.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 12:29 PM
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re: 100

But that's largely bullshit. It's a lot of white indie journalists impressed by things about her that aren't her music. The sound of her records is just the sound of contemporary black London given a definite (but not huge) twist.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 12:30 PM
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Oh, also - Beastie Boys, still cool to me. So I guess I'm not only a honky, I'm a racist.


Posted by: spaz | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 12:30 PM
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Here it is!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 12:30 PM
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124: The modern minstrelsy vibe is a leading source of cognitive dissonance for many a hip-hop fan. One thing that's nice about music in the Internet age is that the music that doesn't partake of that whole dynamic is a lot easier to find.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 12:31 PM
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Where's read? Mongolia is the Iceland of the future. Two years from now Mongol hiphop will dominate the airwaves.

Mongolia and Iceland lead the world in horses per capita, theough most of them are really ponies.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 12:32 PM
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MIA's dad being an O.G. terrorist has to help. Also, cute.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 12:33 PM
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106: Old hip hop is the best for getting all jumped up and happy. I made myself a superloud old hip hop mixtape (like, Young MC and Salt N Pepa and Run DMC) to listen to in my car on the way to the bar exam, and I swear, I was SO HAPPY every day of the bar. It's a proven bar passage technique.

But I can't listen to most of the new stuff, for the misogyny that's in it. And also, I'm a total old lady. Like, Soulja Boy? That's the decline of western civilization, right there.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 12:34 PM
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Also, cute.

This is a very very big part of it.

I'm not being down on her. Her stuff is interesting, but it's more mind-blowing to people who aren't familiar with the music that's been coming out of London for the past 5 (or more) years.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 12:35 PM
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127: I think I agree, my quick attempt to say what differentiates her from other hip-hop I've heard is that she's sampling from genres that most artists aren't (though my favorite song of hers starts with a Clash sample), and has more of a melody to her singing than most as well. But I'm a terrible analyst of music and could be totally off-base here.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 12:35 PM
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One thing that's nice about music in the Internet age is that the music that doesn't partake of that whole dynamic is a lot easier to find.

That's so true, DS. When I have time, I'll use this thread to try out some new stuff.

I'm looking at rhapsody's 'best of 2007' playlist, and I notice they've classified MIA as 'electronica/dance'.


Posted by: spaz | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 12:36 PM
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Ogged, if the music here doesn't hit those pleasure centers in your brain, and if the creativity of the beat and the rapping here (notice that says "freestyle," which is what the kids call lyrics that are improvised on the spot) don't blow you away, you're hopeless.


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 12:37 PM
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124: So I guess I'm the honky

Bro!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 12:37 PM
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You mean exactly? I'll try. OK. I'm home and I've got to get amped for something physical. So I pick and play LOUD something that'll get me up.

The first three I came across in my library:
Mystikal - Danger or even better, Bouncin' Back
50 Cent - If I Can't
Blu Cantrell and Jean-Paul, Breathe

Then I start to get a little anticipation, cause I'm about to hear a song I like. The intro comes in and it has a strong beat behind it, so tired as I am, I still start the head bob and shoulder jerk.

All the lyrics are big and amped. THAT'S RIGHT! If I can't do it, homie, it can't be done! I'm fucking you against the wall! Take that!

A few more bars into it and I'm walking around, finding my cleats and a white and dark shirt. The music is still loud, so the head bob has usually progressed to a bent-knee, bent over walk with floppy arms. (This is all fun and silly too, because I am such a benign little white girl, posturing all big. So that gets my spirits up a little.) I probably know the chorus, too and singing that gets my voice loud and my lungs open.

By the time the music reaches its first climax, I'm loose, moving, breathing and a little adrenalized. I have to be careful - some songs are a trifle too long and I can lose the hit before I've got my bike out the door. Better cut that off and put on something else.

So it feels like - thrill, rocking motion, breathing and singing, dancing/posturing - hips and knees flexed, excitement and attitude. That's what it feels like. It is great.

(My guess for you is that it feels like those first few dribbles or passes, when you remember the feel of the ball and you know you're about to move so your whole body loosens and you break your first sweat and start to take real breaths. It is like every ritualized warm-up, where the familiarity brings on more body-anticipation than the movements would warrant by themselves.)


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 12:37 PM
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121: What do you think of old school Run-DMC?

This is one of my favorite things to grade physics papers to for some reason. One of my students muttered, "tricky tricky" while taking a test after school and I started singing this, and he totally cracked up. He got 100% this semester, I'm going to have to figure out how to make him suffer a little more for it next semester.


Posted by: Ile | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 12:38 PM
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re: 135

Again, British hip-hop/grime DJs have been sampling bhangra and stuff like that for ... a long time.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 12:38 PM
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Bad Ile, no link: It's tricky


Posted by: Ile | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 12:38 PM
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If you don't dance, you really can't judge whether music is dancable.

Pretty much the only time I dance now is when I play "dance kung fu" with my kids.

I have been reduced to keeping hip-hop albums off of my ipod though because I don't want to weed through the songs individually to make sure the songs are appropriate for my kids. Plus, the skits suck.


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 12:41 PM
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133: Word up, home girl. Can't stand most of the new stuff either. It's lost the feel good vibe. That's why I tend to listen to white boy hip-hop -- it doesn't have the posturing and other gangsta bullshit but still has the great beats. There is good mainstream stuff out there (Outkast can be great) but it takes digging to find it.



Posted by: W. Breeze | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 12:42 PM
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141: I'm totally open to M.I.A. being scare-quoted different mainly because she's getting airplay/attention here in the colonies.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 12:45 PM
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Thanks, Megan. Just imagine how good it would feel if you had some dance music!


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 12:48 PM
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Maybe you can't dance to it, ogged, but check these guys out.


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 12:49 PM
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but check these guys out.

But they're not even dancing to the music. They're doing moves while something plays in the background.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 12:54 PM
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It's tricky

oh yeah, i'd give Tricky a B-. triphop?


Posted by: cleek | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 12:58 PM
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I think I found ogged's problem.


Posted by: Ile | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 1:00 PM
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My name is ogged
I troll so funny

I got no soul and
my nose is runny

don't drink no nog
makes my heart funny

now come on people and
BREAKDANCE


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 1:00 PM
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Ogged, if I'm being charitable I'll say you have no rhythm. Check this. If you think they aren't dancing to the music, there is nothing to say to you. They hit every frikkin beat.


Posted by: W. Breeze | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 1:01 PM
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Hold on, ogged, can you show us your danceable Soundgarden song?


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 1:02 PM
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Is anyone else having trouble with YouTube? First the sound stopped working, then the player was taking forever to buffer, and now I've lost the style sheet entirely---a YouTube page looks very weird in straight up HTML. . .


Posted by: Ile | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 1:08 PM
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There are people who dance with their hips, and people who dance other ways. Ogged is obviously in the latter category.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 1:09 PM
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Well, I don't dance at all; but I recognize the urge to move.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 1:11 PM
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Ogged dances with his neuroses.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 1:11 PM
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156: He hates these cans. Stay away from the cans.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 1:16 PM
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Girl Talk makes me happy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qxc7_7dBvlo


Posted by: Pantene | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 1:16 PM
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Holy crap, I didn't know Jeff Chang read Unfogged.

P-M, you just made my day. I'm obsessed with Jeff Chang.

Ogged, you seem to be saying: "Lots of people like X, I don't get it. Why don't I get it? The music just doesn't sound good to my ears. Therefore: you guys are morons! Circle completed. Lalala!"

Lots of misunderstanding about hip hop would be cleared up if people understood that nearly all of it is at least somewhat tongue in cheek. Kanye's just having some fun with that Drunken Hot Girls song, y'all. Jeez. Nobody has a problem with punk or rock or country songs about criminals or drunkards or drug users or murderers. There's even a band called The Killers. No one thinks they're, you know, killers. For some reason there's this widespread disbelief that black people are capable of irony, when one of the defining features of African American art and culture is its extreme hyperbole.

And really, ogged, you can't tell that the rhythms of the lyrics are supposed to be interacting with the other rhythms in the track, and the meter itself? I mean, Jesus, man. Do you have ears? Don't you understand what's meant when someone refers to a rapper's "flow"?

I ask because I love.


Posted by: Joe Drymala | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 1:17 PM
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Ogged, I'm actually with you for some rap and hip-hop. The stuff that sounds like talking over a plain beat doesn't hold much interest for me. I can't dance to a boring beat just 'cause someone is rapping over it.

But the stuff I like usually has a deep fun beat to give me a theme to return to (side to side stomp), samples to follow if I want to improvise (arms rising with the sample) and words to suggest flirting or posturing or action. That's a lot of options for dancing. I like lots of genres, but I especially like dancing to the stuff that has all of those.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 1:18 PM
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Drymala is banned.

For responding seriously to something Ogged said about music. Ogged is a happy metalhead. Let him lie.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 1:20 PM
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161 gets it right. As does Megan's Mystikal recommendations, to which I would add "Beware".

Jeez. Nobody has a problem with punk or rock or country songs about criminals or drunkards or drug users or murderers. There's even a band called The Killers. No one thinks they're, you know, killers. For some reason there's this widespread disbelief that black people are capable of irony, when one of the defining features of African American art and culture is its extreme hyperbole.

I don't go along with that. I have a problem with people whose entire persona consists of near-psychotic gloating and mean-spirited insults. Maybe it's ironic, but if it never gets subverted in any way, it doesn't matter if it's ironic.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 1:24 PM
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I'm not alone, people. Seriously, I'm a little surprised by the reaction here. I would have guessed that at least 30% of the comments would have been along the lines of "So right, hip hop sucks and I can't listen to it," which is really the universal view among my friends (who are, indeed, very white, even when they're not).


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 1:25 PM
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You're definitely not alone, Ogged.

Yes, I'm pale and pasty-faced.


Posted by: Invisible Adjunct | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 1:26 PM
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So now it's the "some of my best friends don't understand hip hop either!" defense?


Posted by: Joe Drymala | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 1:27 PM
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IA! My sister!


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 1:27 PM
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160: one of the defining features of African American art and culture is its extreme hyperbole.

In all fairness, there's a couple of different currents going on in hip-hop culture. There's lots of good-natured bullshitting and playing the dozens, but one of the senses of the defining phrase "keeping it real" is that the music often self-advertises as reportage from the streets. Especially true of gangster rap, wherein artists often wind up killing themselves trying to live up to their images. Nobody would mistake The Killers for killers, but Dr. Dre has made a whole career out of selling the image of actual real-life gangsterism (which he's gotten away with even after publicly admitting it's mostly bullshit).


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 1:27 PM
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There is no other genre of music where you could more alone in saying "this sucks," what with it being the most popular genre of music in the world.

But it's always lonely to troll, troll. Trolly Trolly McDon'tPayAnyAttentionToMyAttemptToSkipUnfoggidycon von Trollenstein.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 1:27 PM
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I would have guessed that at least 30% of the comments would have been along the lines of "So right, hip hop sucks and I can't listen to it," which is really the universal view among my friends (who are, indeed, very white, even when they're not).

I thought Megan and Ilehas were your friends.

Probably the people here with such attitudes are keeping quiet. Or present their opinions in more measured ways, like parsimon and Bostoniansgirl.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 1:28 PM
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168: well, for Dre and NWA and so on, it was mostly bullshit. Their suggest just encouraged the actual violent felons to give this whole rap game a whirl. Still and all, vastly overrated as an issue, especially compared to some other genres, like narcotraficantes or (underground) bailé funk, which are known for having songs actually commissioned by friends and relatives of dear departed underworld figures.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 1:29 PM
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There's lots of good-natured bullshitting and playing the dozens, but one of the senses of the defining phrase "keeping it real" is that the music often self-advertises as reportage from the streets.

Exactly. Reading some things by Nelson George let me know that there was a couple of years during which hip-hop no longer was just party music and now contained actual reportage from the streets. The Boogie Down Productions/Public Enemy era. This was the time during which it could be described as "black CNN" or whatever. Then that got all screwed up by these people who pretended to not just be reporting from the streets, but to actually be the terrifying gangsters themselves. Which was of course more appealing to the lowest-common-denominator than sincere political content was.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 1:31 PM
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Well, I don't claim my tastes are sophisticated. I follow hip-hop on mainstream radio unless a friend with better taste makes recommendations. But even within that limited pool, there is lots and lots that isn't un-listenable. When people refer me to good stuff, it is way better.

I switched over from mainstream pop in the mid-90's because following grunge, mainstream pop was unendurably whiny and insipid. Some rap and hip-hop may be a lot of bad things, but it is not ever whiny. For that alone hip-hop has my loyalty.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 1:31 PM
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And when hip hop is whiny it ends up being kind of awesome (e.g. "I Wish" by Skee-Lo).


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 1:32 PM
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Some rap and hip-hop may be a lot of bad things, but it is not ever whiny.

Megan clearly is not familiar with Brother Ali.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 1:33 PM
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Ogged dances with his neuroses.

Ogged makes the little people in his head dance for his amusement.


Posted by: spaz | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 1:37 PM
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I'm of two minds on hip-hop. Drymala's 93 nails what's good about the 10% of hip-hop that isn't crud.

At its worst, the inherently derivative nature of the genre makes for the acceptance of some second-raters who aren't actually innovating. The plastic way in which language is used in hip-hop allows for some real poetry, but as the language flows back into general use in black culture it makes for a lot of ambiguity, which I think is overall an impediment to communication.* And while it's at least sometimes reflective of the artists' experiences, the norming of a culture of drug dealing, drug use, violence, misogyny, etc. isn't doing anyone any good.

* (Okay, okay, ambiguity just freaks me out because I'm a computer programmer.)


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 1:38 PM
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Especially true of gangster rap, wherein artists often wind up killing themselves trying to live up to their images.

That's no different from any number of ODing cock-rockers, though.


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 1:40 PM
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And while it's at least sometimes reflective of the artists' experiences, the norming of a culture of drug dealing, drug use, violence, misogyny, etc. isn't doing anyone any good.

Which is why I'm sure you're not a fan of Francis Ford Coppolla, Martin Scorsese, David Mamet, or The Sopranos.


Posted by: Joe Drymala | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 1:40 PM
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Which is why I'm sure you're not a fan of Francis Ford Coppolla, Martin Scorsese, David Mamet, or The Sopranos.

Actually, this has become true for me in the past few years; I can't watch their mafia stuff anymore. But rap certainly isn't alone in glorifying that stuff. Not by a long shot. Racists.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 1:45 PM
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And also, it's ALWAYS only 10% of a genre that isn't crud. Who listens to every artist in their favorite genre anyway?


Posted by: Joe Drymala | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 1:47 PM
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I can't watch their mafia stuff anymore

Ever since the cancer, Ogged is all romantic comedy, all the time.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 1:47 PM
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...John Tesh playing on the stereo in the background; he sips a non-alcoholic wine cooler.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 1:49 PM
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Crap, I should have followed Lovecraft's link in 181 before pwning myself.


Posted by: Joe Drymala | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 1:50 PM
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I can sort-of see Ogged's point. Once upon a time, dance music made your hips move. Lots of hip-hop that's popular dance music would never tempt a man to move his hips. Since moving your hips instantly makes a man gay, you'd see why undanceable dance music would be popular. Ogged is just comfortable with his gay side. He understands the impulse to dance the way he understands the impulse to suck cock.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 1:50 PM
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179: I have real problems with some entries in the white gangster genres as well, yes. To me, there's something deeply disturbing about kids wearing Tony Montana t-shirts. I don't want to be the cultural police here (please note the difference between I'm uncomfortable/conflicted about X and X must be banned for the good of the childrun), but if you're going to do a gangster story, you have a choice of making Tony Montana or Tony Soprano a tragic or even pathetic figure, or of making them an anti-hero or role-model and saying "doesn't that look like fun?"


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 1:55 PM
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Let me go on record as preferring fake gangsters to authentic gangsters.

As far as I can tell, for the white boys who make up most of the audience, rap tends to ratify whatever loud stupidity and violent tendencies they originally had. So did metal and other genres, though. It doesn't turn them into gangsters, though, since most guys are wimps and cowards. Violent fantasies can be amusing.

I think that admiration for Mafiosi (starting with Nixon) has played a role in the corruption of American politics and business, though. In the end being a thug is hard and unappealing, being a mafia boss can work. Look at Cheney. He doesn't listen to rap, I'm sure, but I bet he's seen The Godfather.

I don't belong on this thread at all because I don't follow anything contemporary. I let everything age for five years before I pay attention to it. Saves me a lot of wasted time. This has always been my policy, not just since I became senile.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 1:57 PM
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I want to be first to endorse the position that anything that Hamilton-Lovecraft is uncomfortable with should be illegal. Really, some of the things H-L is comfortable with should be illegal for the sake of the children.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 2:03 PM
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I'm also conflicted about heist films, by the way, but they seem to have somewhat less social fallout than the gangsters and the gangstas. Also, I'm concerned that when we finally do meet extraterrestrial intelligences, we're going to react violently if look too ugly. Or if they look too hot.

Are there any other genres you'd like me to make moral judgements on before you insinuate or flat out state that I'm a racist?


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 2:05 PM
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Gangster movies, like gangsta rap, are about the dark side of American capitalism. They're some of the most vital narratives in our cultural landscape, if only because they remind us that the end point of ruthless dollar-chasing is violence and cruelty. Gangsta rap is even more potent, since it's about monsters that we created ourselves, through our demonizing of black people and our punative social policies.

And rap lyrics point up these ironies. Here's the last section of Kanye West's "Crack Music" (this section of the song is actually by The Game):

Our father, give us this day our daily bread ...give us these days and take our daily bread,
See I done did all this ole bullshit
And to attone I throw a little somethin, somethin on the pulpit.
We took that shit, measured it and then cooked that shit
And what we gave back was crack music
And now we ooze it through they nooks and crannies
So our mammas aint got to be they cooks and nannies
And we gonna repo everything they ever took from granny
Now the former slaves trade hooks for Grammys
This dark diction has become America's addiction:
Those who ain't even black use it...
We gonna keep cookin' up this here crack music.


Posted by: Joe Drymala | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 2:05 PM
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188: I'm uncomfortable with certain sexual positions, but I think that just means I need to do more yoga.


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 2:06 PM
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189: How about J-Pop?


Posted by: W. Breeze | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 2:07 PM
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192: I'm flat-out ignorant of J-Pop, and have even less insight into the culture that makes and consumes it than I do for rap. To the extent that it makes Japanese people cheerfully perky and quirkily conformist, while failing to illuminate some darker aspects of Japanese culture such as death from overwork, subway groping, used panty trade, I'm agin it.


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 2:14 PM
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First, I don't think the correct defense of rap is along the axis of danceability. Most rap aficionados rank Public Enemy highly, but "Bring the Noise" and "Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos" (to name two) are not really dance songs, and anyone who claims they generate their appeal *primarily* as dance anthems is, I think mistaken. So let's just avoid this point for now.

Second, while 90% of everything is crap. It's also true that some genres have more crap than others. Although I quite like (some) rap, I'd say that rap (like heavy metal) is a genre plagued by many, many bad songs.

So, with that as preface, what's the appeal? Structurally, many rap song are essentially hook- and beat-driven. This makes them a lot like the classic pop song -- you're generally talking about 3-4 measures of content per song, repeated. So the appeal is a lot like that of the classic pop song, if the hook (or the beat) is a great earworm, you'll have a great song. Take Coolio's Gangster's Paradise -- most of the content here is simply lifted from Stevie Wonder. But that doesn't mean Gangster's paradise isn't a good song! It focuses attention on the best hook of Wonder's track, and has an entirely different tone. Ms. Dynamite's Dy-Na-Mi-Tee is a good example of just how blurry the line between rap and pop is (there's even a more rap-like version that I can't find on youtube that got broader US release). So is (basically) everything by Kanye West. Hell, as Eminem has shown, if you lay some spoken word over it, a song by Dido can be transmogrified into something people consider "rap." I think 50 cent, ludacris, little jon, etc. are all basically working within a standard pop template. Obviously there are wrinkles to it -- but that's what's going on musically. Of course the general attitude and ethos has another appeal.


Posted by: baa | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 2:20 PM
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Take Coolio's Gangster's Paradise -- most of the content here is simply lifted from Stevie Wonder.

Wow! That's so weird to listen to that Stevie Wonder song for the first time having heard the songs that sample it over 100,000 times. I had no idea.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 2:22 PM
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Now that I know that the Kanye song is actually "Drunk and Hot Girls" and not "Drunken Hot Girls," it's totally different, cause "drunk and hot girls" can't be anything but a joke.

Kanye, you are absolved.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 2:25 PM
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I think that most people learn the wrong lessons from Mafia films and gangsta rap.

One thing I like about the Coen brothers is that most of their villains are silly, mean, stupid, and ugly, instead of being dramatic, larger than life tragic heros. People with boring lives tend to project their fantasies in media images, and the political process ends up being a version of that. men of violence are a reality to be dealt with, but the arts tend to make them dramatic and sexy in order to give viewers some kind of fantasy relief from the boringness of their boring lives. When it's projected onto political figures the results can be horrible (look at Christopher Matthews' mancrushes.)


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 2:26 PM
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Emerson, long-bearded though you may be, I believe your wisdom is failing you in this instance. The big evil guys must be alluring. That's really the whole point. Side effects on Chris Matthews notwithstanding.


Posted by: Joe Drymala | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 2:29 PM
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You know, some of the best, catchiest hip-hop tracks have rock or other-genre samples throughout. Like that Crown City Rockers song with the Tom Waits sample, Disturbing Behavior? Man, when I first downloaded that I listened to it like 20 times.

The lyrics totally suck, but that Waits shit is golden.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 2:31 PM
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I'm confused. What's dance music, if it's not hip hop? Peaches and Herb? The Viennese Waltz?


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 2:33 PM
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I believe that funk would be considered an example of dance music.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 2:36 PM
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Emerson is right. This is another installment in the you can't make an anti-rape rape movie, anti-war war movie. Gangsterism is more varied and less dramatic than war and rape, so I think it's possible to make an anti-gangster gangster movie, but you'd have to be very careful and most people will miss the point anyway.

Anyway, maybe the beats just seem too slow in hip-hop? I'm genuinely still baffled by how people dance to the stuff.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 2:37 PM
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Oh jms you tease! In Europe it's techno techno techno! Or house. Hip-hop is breaks driven, whereas these genres are decidedly not (though they share common heritage). There are many other (sub-)genres of danceable music that are not hip-hop but I think the two above are the most prevalent.


Posted by: W. Breeze | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 2:38 PM
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This is another installment in the you can't make an anti-rape rape movie, anti-war war movie.

Does it have the same truth-value as the other installments?


Posted by: water moccasin | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 2:39 PM
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Sure, in order for gangsta movie to be fun, the big guys have to be dramatic and interesting. In the same way, if you want people to watch your movie about a homely woman, the homely woman has to be more attractive than 98% of the women in the world. And in 100% of the stories about people facing 999-to-1 odds, the people win. These are the needs of entertainment, but when people start thinking about the real world in terms learned from entertainment -- and they do! -- hilarity and disgustingness ensue.

I'm not agreeing with Plato about the poets, but I'm sure understanding him a lot better than what I did.



Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 2:41 PM
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This is another installment in the you can't make an anti-rape rape movie, anti-war war movie.

Not quite a movie, but there's a compelling case to be made for The Wire being an anti-gangsta series.


Posted by: SEK | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 2:41 PM
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Does it have the same truth-value as the other installments?

What do I, look like a simpleton?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 2:42 PM
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This is another installment in the you can't make an anti-rape rape movie, anti-war war movie. Gangsterism is more varied and less dramatic than war and rape, so I think it's possible to make an anti-gangster gangster movie, but you'd have to be very careful and most people will miss the point anyway.

Careful? Artists may have to be a lot of things, but "careful" isn't one of them. Jesus. If you want careful art, my aunt has a whole bunch of Thomas Kinkaide paintings for you.

I like my art dangerous, provocative, angry, controversial, debatable, and edgy, thanks. Fuck careful.


Posted by: Joe Drymala | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 2:42 PM
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there's a compelling case to be made for The Wire being an anti-gangsta series

I was thinking of The Wire. Maybe. It's a tough case because it's not really about the gangsters qua gangsterism, but about the city and the people in it, some of whom do gangsterish things. But tell me that Stringer Bell isn't an idol to a lot of people. Hell, more straightforwardly: Avon.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 2:44 PM
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I switched over from mainstream pop in the mid-90's because following grunge, mainstream pop was unendurably whiny and insipid.

Can you explain to my why, if you aren't into concerts, one would feel any reason to have an allegiance to any contemporary musical trend?

Obviously if one happens to like a contemporary musical trend on its own terms, that's different, but if you think most contemporary music ranges from mediocre to pretty good, why not spend more time finding great music that isn't contemporary than trying to pick out the pretty good in contemporary music.

[and no comments about me being old and out of touch, since this has been my attitude about music since I started getting interested in recorded music.]

I was literally thinking this morning, heading to work, that there is no shortage of novelty or originality to be found in recorded music without ever listening to anything recorded in the last 10 years.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 2:46 PM
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Omar and Bubbles are definitely role models to many young people.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 2:46 PM
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209: The point, though, is, don't hate the player, hate the game.

No, seriously.

Stringer is likeable and maybe even Avon, to some, but the lesson (caveat: I've only seen season 1) is that the game sucks and will get you killed and make you miserable a lot of the time.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 2:46 PM
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How many times do I have to ban Drymala?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 2:47 PM
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That seems glib, Joe, especially from someone who does this stuff for a living and understands that there's a lot of craft and thought that goes into making art, not just some romantic explosion. There are decisions at every step, and maybe you're saying that how something will be received never enters your mind (though I won't believe you), but whether you're glorifying something reprehensible is surely one consideration.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 2:47 PM
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Ogged, seriously? If you're going to condemn everything in the world of music and literature that has an appealing dark side, then you're talking about basically every great work of art, ever.

Moral ambiguity, people! It's the human story.


Posted by: Joe Drymala | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 2:47 PM
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If you want careful art, my aunt has a whole bunch of Thomas Kinkaide paintings for you.

Oh, I think KinKaide is over the top!


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 2:48 PM
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There are decisions at every step, and maybe you're saying that how something will be received never enters your mind (though I won't believe you), but whether you're glorifying something reprehensible is surely one consideration.

Dude. Of course it enters your mind. I just wrote a damn musical that got me accused of glorifying white supremacists. You think artists don't take this shit seriously?


Posted by: Joe Drymala | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 2:49 PM
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What's dance music, if it's not hip hop?

Ahem. (though I don't think the download link works anymore. Also, 201 and 203 contain sterling truths)

And JoeD, I'm glad you liked that reference in 116. I was afraid for a minute that no one would know it, but your comment in 93 seemed straight out of his early hip-hop histories.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 2:50 PM
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I just wrote a damn musical that got me accused of glorifying white supremacists

Which is why I knew you'd understand. Weren't you careful not to glorify white supremacists?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 2:50 PM
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My dad is an artist (paints) and has in the last few years made some forays into online dating. One woman who he asked who her favorite artist was named Kincade, and him not being American, had no idea who it was, and writes me saying "have you heard of this Kincade guy"? I sent him some links and he was horrified and stopped communicating with her immediately.

Pretty hilarious.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 2:51 PM
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More to the point: the bad guys are supposed to be alluring because they're supposed to have the ability to seduce us into believing their side of the story, because they're supposed to remind us of the dark side of ourselves. The most effective villains are the ones that we most identify with. Tony Soprano is thisclose to your average American climber.

I feel like I'm teaching 9th grade literature here.


Posted by: Joe Drymala | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 2:52 PM
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Gangster movies are dangerous, provocative, angry, controversial, debatable, and edgy?


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 2:52 PM
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Why should art only speak to the good side of human nature?

Should the bad guy always get his due? Shouldn't that question be left often sometimes?


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 2:52 PM
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220: Haha. That is priceless. And a sound and apt response.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 2:53 PM
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Weren't you careful not to glorify white supremacists?

On the contrary. I wanted the audience to identify with them. To sympathize with them. That's what (hopefully) made the show creepy. Anyone can write a preachy rant about how Racists Are Bad. It's way more interesting to write about how racists might, under certain circumstances, make some arguments that are persuasive, if only to make each audience member feel the allure of their hate.


Posted by: Joe Drymala | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 2:55 PM
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201: But there isn't much funk anymore that hasn't been subsumed into hip hop.

203: Seriously? Is house going to get your booty shakin when E-40 doesn't? I thought only people on ketamine danced to that stuff.

This crotchety old lady will now return to her little hole wherefrom she will blast Public Enemy at full volume.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 2:55 PM
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Does the Misfit really pay a price?


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 2:56 PM
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I feel like I'm teaching 9th grade literature here.

What I think John and I are saying is that the 9th grade story is basically bunk and people typically react by internalizing a lot of the unsavory stuff that's portrayed. What you're offering is basically a psychological theory of the consumption of art, and I'm saying I think the psychology is wrong.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 2:57 PM
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I think the most recent Coen brothers movie is illuminating for what people like about gangsters. It's not that they like the glamour; it's the violence itself that makes gangsters glamorous. The Coen brothers went out of their way to make Chigurh an un-glamorous psychopath -- he has an ugly haircut and unflattering clothes, and he has a weird affect. And yet, audiences adore him.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 2:58 PM
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My brother-in-law who teaches in inner-city Baltimore tells me that his students relate to The Wire in the same way they relate to Scarface.


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 2:58 PM
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What do you mean when you say "wrong"? Do you mean a net-negative for society? Because I would argue that they're a net-positive. Which is what I've been arguing.

I'm not offering a theory, dude. Now I'm really getting angry because I feel like you're being obtuse. From where I'm sitting, it seems clear to me that all great works of art explore the darker corners of human nature. How can they not? The dark side is the source of conflict in every one of us. It's the source of conflict in art.


Posted by: Joe Drymala | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 3:00 PM
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But there isn't much funk anymore that hasn't been subsumed into hip hop.

But there is some.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 3:04 PM
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I'm really getting angry

Too much gangster rap, man.

No, seriously, my argument is basically limited to motion pictures (movies, tv, videos), where I think the visual (plus the dissociation of the screen) overwhelms any effort to portray badness with nuance. I've got no beef with Raskolnikov. Hip-hop is a bit difficult to peg in this regard because it's music, but basically inseparable from its depiction in videos which are, near as I can tell, 99% loathesome.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 3:04 PM
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Also, people wish that the dark side of American capitalism was like being a gangster. The dark side of American capitalism is an Excel spreadsheet that says that we can shave 3 cents off our unit costs by switching to shoddier parts, which two years later kills 100 people you've never met. Gangsters at least get to kill their enemies. Nobody looks up to the Tylenol poisoner.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 3:08 PM
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It's not that they like the glamour; it's the violence itself that makes gangsters glamorous.

The violence with impunity.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 3:09 PM
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I'm confused. What's dance music, if it's not hip hop? Peaches and Herb? The Viennese Waltz?

DC, represent.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 3:09 PM
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201: But there isn't much funk anymore that hasn't been subsumed into hip hop.

Actually, this is what I love, love, love about The Coup live. On disc, I find them a bit bland on the production side, which is why I usually listen to hip-hop. Even their clever lyrics can't really overcome my boredom with the backing tracks. But live, holy shit, they're just an amazing, blazing funk band that happens to have a rapper as a frontman (and a soul singer as a frontwoman, since she's more prominent live).

There should be more heavy & dirty funk bands out there, instead of 40- and 50-somethings in a weekend band that plays covers of Average White Band or KC & The Sunshine Band.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 3:12 PM
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231: But is the work saying "you know you want to live like this with the money and the excellent drugs and the hott sex and the power over your enemies", or is it saying "oh by the way there's also the alienation and the ODs and the ruined liver and the AIDS and maybe you or someone you care about getting shot"?

I respect The Wire because most of the characters in it are a nice combination of flawed and tragic and admirable and beautiful and fucked up, player or cop, white or black*.

* with the possible exception of the superpowered Omar and Brother Mouzone, but I haven't yet watched far enough to see how that's resolved, so NO SPOILERS MOTHERFUCKERS


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 3:13 PM
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For the record, gangsta rap is not my preferred genre of hip-hop; I too gravitate toward the Kwelis and the Commons and the Kanyes and the Tribes and the Dead Prez's who are trying to push it in a more serious direction. But that's not to say that I don't think that gangsta doesn't have a legitimate seat at the table; NWA is about as pure an outburst of social and political anger as you can find. It was the next generation of punk, by people who were legitimately oppressed. 50 Cent is fucking lame, and tons of videos are dumb, but jeez, man. So are most things. The crap you're complaining about isn't anything that anyone would seriously defend as artistic effort; it's business, plain and simple. Sex, fear and danger are responsible for selling most of what people buy in this country. When has pop culture not been thus? You seem to be watching the Nelly video with the credit card ass-swipe and calling it All Hip Hop, while you surely scoff when someone tries to conflate Ward Churchill with The Left.


Posted by: Joe Drymala | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 3:14 PM
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233: The Roots poking fun at rap video cliches. As relevant now as when it first dropped.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 3:17 PM
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233: my argument is basically limited to motion pictures (movies, tv, videos), where I think the visual (plus the dissociation of the screen) overwhelms any effort to portray badness with nuance

The Godfather is nuanced. Scarface is less so. New-renaissance TV series (Sopranos, The Wire, Deadwood) are also nuanced. It's not the medium at fault, it's how much of your allotted time is spent on explosions and chase scenes. IMO. And with Sturgeon's Law still much in mind.


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 3:17 PM
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226: I swear on my honour, it is the truth. If you're a white boy in Dusseldorf (I am not) then, ja, techno baby! This entire discussion has been largely ignorant of the state of music outside the US, which is understandable but lamentable. House and techno are by far the most popular dance music in Europe. Admittedly the hey-days of clubbing are over, but the influence lingers on. More contemporary forms such as electro-clash (e.g.: Infidels, Chicks on Speed, Fischerspooner) are similarly quite distant from hip-hop.


Posted by: W. Breeze | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 3:18 PM
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I think that the glamorization of violence and crime in the contemporary American arts has become sort of a cliche. Actually, over the last couple of centuries that's been true throughout the west. It's argued as a form of realism, but it's really escapist. A realistic movie would portray boring, mediocre, somewhat overweight, somewhat homely people living boring lives. People like that don't want movies about themselves. Nobody wants movies about people like that.

So you juice things up with as much violence as you can scrounge.

This isn't serious art criticism or a proposal for censorship. It just tells you how I often react to a lot of stuff. I really hated Pulp Fiction, for example, and I seriously lost respect for the guy I saw it with, who found it tremendously exciting.

As I've said elsewhere on Unfogged, I have had a moderate amount of involuntary contact with thug types, and they're more like Gaer Grimsrud than they are like any of the vital, larger-than-life thugs I've seen on the screen. (Of course, my thugs were at the retail point-of-production level or one step higher at the lower management level, not capos or godfathers.)

I feel pretty much the same way about the military and the police. They're all like the chronic nasty diseases that everyone ends up dying from, realities you want to avoid.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 3:18 PM
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I think that the makers of the The Wire knew they couldn't help but glamorize the gangsters, so they went out of their way to emphasize how smart and organized they are. Since the black male stereotype in the media is one of, shall we say, animal vitality, rather than bourgeois virtues like smarts or planning, it at least does some work in fighting racist stereotypes.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 3:19 PM
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I'm actually a little weirded out, Ogged. I'm a pale motherfucker, and I figured that if there was hip-hop that I liked (Wu-Tang, the Coup, Kool Keith, the Native Tongues people, some of the Def Jux whities, etc.), basically there was nobody in left America under 40 so white that they didn't like hip-hop. Your swarthy ways seem to have broken the very laws of nature.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 3:19 PM
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Pulp Fiction is tremendously exciting, not least because you loathed it and your friend loved it. That's some exciting art right there.

With that, I leave you.


Posted by: Joe Drymala | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 3:19 PM
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231: Joe, John Emerson was trying to help when he banned you.

You didn't listen ...and now you're a wreck.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 3:20 PM
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pulp fiction, reservoir dogs, snatch
i liked all of them, very funny witty good art
what's wrong with liking these movies


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 3:26 PM
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some of the Def Jux whities

Oh yeah! Thanks, snarkout! Ogged, you may just be unable to get over the actual sound of rapping right now, and find it easier to get into these examples of hip-hop as well as W. Breeze's example of DJ Shadow (try the earlier stuff, like Endtroducing and The Private Press first).


This entire discussion has been largely ignorant of the state of music outside the US, which is understandable but lamentable.

Hey! Check out 218 again! That mix was almost nothing but house derivatives, and I think it only included 2-4 tracks by American artists.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 3:37 PM
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But there isn't much funk anymore that hasn't been subsumed into hip hop. But there is some.

The backing track for Jay-Z's "Roc Boys" is from a side project of the Dap-Kings, the Menahan Street Band ("Make the Road By Walking", a nice political touch). It's a convenient choice, since it means they can play live with him.

Baa was absolutely right that sample choice is what it's about, but not purely because it's a "cool sound": a lot of the samples would be as familiar or evocative to the intended audience as, say, "Jump" might be to you.

Cases in point:
NWA, "Express Yourself".
Charles Wright and the 103rd Street Watts Band,
"Express Yourself"
Eric B. & Rakim, "I Know You Got Soul"
Bobby Byrd, "I Know You Got Soul"

(I realize these aren't exactly revelations.)

It's basically an instance of the familiar modernist device of drawing material from the everyday environment, a sort of "soundscape", with the special pathos of the '70s material being quoted being the sounds of Black Liberation (It's Moby sampling field songs).

Also, if you look at rapping as being like critical "metacommunication", which is historically much more the main thrust than the creating of pro-wrestler-like personae, it's a lot easier to enjoy the wordplay. Crack rap is a sideline with some moments, but I doubt anybody will be upset if you don't deeply relate to "cooking them O's".


Posted by: One-Off Device | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 3:43 PM
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Read is one sick Mongol lady.

I might have liked the movie more if I'd seen it with someone other than my excitable buddy. But I didn't see realism in Pulp Fiction. Just fantasy-projection. I don't think that that kind of charming thug exists.



Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 3:47 PM
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251: I appreciated the movie more for its structure than its moral content or realism.


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 3:53 PM
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I don't think that that kind of charming thug exists.

Except in, you know, pulp fiction.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 3:54 PM
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251: Pulp Fiction is Looney Tunes comedy done with live-action gangsters, but sure charming thugs exist. The ones in customer relations jobs especially; drug dealers have a lot in common with insurance salesmen.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 3:54 PM
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but that fantasy projection is what makes art, no?
i for example don't like russian mafiosi movies too, those are all too dark, ugly and all plagiat
though may be really close to real life
but Tarantino movies are just awesome, great art
too absurd to be true


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 3:55 PM
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OK, but the fantasy justification and the realism justification are at odds.

There are charming criminals, but these guys were specialized as hit men.

In a way it's like getting mad because of a missed detail in an epic about Napoleon, or as far as that goes accusing Tolstoy of inaccuracy. But on the one hand, Napoleon is far enough in the past to be somewhat irrelevant to daily life, whereas Pulp Fiction is contemporary. And on the other, never think that audiences don't mistake fiction for reality, because a lot of them do. And certainly a historian would be right to say that Tolstoy garbled the facts.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 4:14 PM
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he-he, when i read War and Peace i always follow Natasha Rostova and Bolkonsky line, and don't pay much attention to Napoleon or Murat or whoever :)
what detail are you talking about?
interesting
i remember just something about Napoleon's ankles
or his son's portrait description something, very distant memory :)


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 4:27 PM
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Read, are you familiar with the Czech writer Hasek's time in Mongolia?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 4:29 PM
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I'm just guessing that Tolstoy garbled something or another. How could he not?



Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 4:30 PM
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no, i'm not, sorry
Yaroslav Hasek you mean? Who wrote the brave soldier Shveik? i'm not sure about right spelling


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 4:31 PM
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This is the whitest thread ever.


Posted by: froz gobo | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 4:46 PM
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What kind of freaky internet are you on, froz?


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 4:54 PM
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Here's my suggestion for ogged's next troll posting:

You're all gay. Except for the ones of you who actually are gay - you're straight.


Posted by: Petey | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 5:06 PM
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Actually, this is the whitest thread ever.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 5:08 PM
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I've been looking on youtube for clips of club dancing and I'm still looking for one where the music is clearly hip-hop. But don't bother looking for one, because I just won't understand how they're moving to the beat anyway.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 5:14 PM
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A better Ogged trolling thread: No, you are the real Mexicans.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 5:27 PM
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I just won't understand how they're moving to the beat anyway.

For what it's worth, this makes sense to me: the dancing usually looks to me like, how did Ogged put it above? Executing (the same) moves to background accompaniment. I suppose someone could argue that all dancing looks like that.

Hey, Ogged, that guy Steve or whatever his name was, the one who dances alone in the street in various places worldwide to various tunes on a boombox -- is he moving to the beat?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 5:33 PM
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ogged, you should go to the next SF hip-hop dancefest. i will let you know when it is and get you a ticket. i find the troupes featuring large numbers of 12-year-olds a bit creepy, the people who are good are really, really good.


Posted by: water moccasin | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 5:36 PM
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and i say this as a person who dislikes hip-hop and hates dancing.


Posted by: water moccasin | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 5:37 PM
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264: I'll see your encryption algorithms and raise you with Tom Tancredo's blog entry on boycotting the Univision debate.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 5:37 PM
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All the discussion of The Wire has reminded me of my resolution not to watch the new season. The undifferentiated approbation has put me off.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 5:38 PM
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hat guy Steve or whatever his name was, the one who dances alone in the street in various places worldwide to various tunes on a boombox -- is he moving to the beat?

Dave? Clearly moving in time to the music (non of which is hip-hop, near as I can tell).


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 5:38 PM
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my resolution not to watch the new season

Don't watch the new season if you haven't seen the previous ones.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 5:46 PM
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Dave? Clearly moving in time to the music (non of which is hip-hop, near as I can tell).

I thought so. Illustrative.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 6:17 PM
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The thing that makes this the whitest thread ever is that many commenters seem to be assuming that if it's not festooned with big gold chains that say "RAP" in six-inch diamond-encrusted letters, then it's not hip-hop. Let's step back a moment from Drymala's accurate, but Bronx-o-centric run-down on hip-hop above. What were all those innovators (Kool Herc, Bambaataa, Flash) listening to? A lot of it was disco, some was funk, some was reggae, quite a bit of it was rock-n-roll. [An aside: except for disco, and maybe reggae, all of these terms, plus 'jazz', 'boogie', 'juke' etc., entered the lexicon as verbs of a very specific connotation.] Looking at the panopoly of hip-hop and trying to fit it into some sort of canon, while at the same time eliding it's influence on virtually every other popular style of the past 30 years is just absurd. (I am not accusing Joe of this, just noting a general trend in the conversation.) Ttam points out that a lot of the more interesting hip-hop has been coming out of London recently. But there's also reggaton, and dancehall, and some of the other London stuff (Asian Dub Foundation, Talvin Singh, etc.) that I think even he is not implicitly referencing. "You can't dance to hip-hop" just doesn't make any sense in the context of a world music (perhaps the first truly "world" music, much more so certainly than the other contenders for the title) that is brilliantly hydra-headed and pit-bull tenacious.

Look, I'VE danced to Grandmaster Flash's ineffable technics, and I wasn't even drunk!


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 6:26 PM
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The thing that makes this the whitest thread ever

I don't think we should be too precipitate. There are lots of very white threads on unfogged.

Also, is not Goodfellas an anti-gangster gangster movie?


Posted by: baa | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 6:39 PM
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uh, minneapolitan, we're not talking about any of those kinds of music. we are all deeply, deeply impressed by your worldliness and sophistication, however.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 6:42 PM
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white thread


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 6:43 PM
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Supposedly Hasek worked with Suke Bator during Hasek's Red period.

For Hašek's lofty reputation in Mongolia, see Owen Lattimore's letter to the Times Liter ary Supplement, April 14, 1978, p. 417; or František Cinger's interview with L. Tüdev, "Nemám důvod měnit své názory," Rudé právo, January 21, 1989, p. 5.
Link



Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 6:48 PM
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275: You're white, aren't you? C'mon, it's OK; a bunch of us are!


Posted by: froz gobo | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 6:50 PM
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Walt and Froz: Dancehall and reggaeton are forms of hip-hop. Maybe not in some super-narrow, Source magazine sense, but the links are definitely there. And are you seriously contending that ADF is not hip-hop? What the hell is it then?

My point is not that I am the worldliest connoisseur of music -- quite the contrary, my musical tastes are very limited, even prejudiced in their specificity -- but rather that if you read a little Jeff Chang here, and listen to a few mp3s there, it becomes immediately apparent that there's a lot more to hip-hop than Outkast, Kanye West and Jay-Z (not that they don't deserve their place in the pantheon, but they hardly comprise the pantheon).

Ogged's contention was that hip-hop is undanceable. Most of the responses thus far have boiled down to "that hip-hop which we hear on the hot 100 stations is so danceable." And that just didn't seem like a very credible or useful argument to me.

I guess if you're just going to be snide and dismissive then there's no point in unpacking the race angle either. Oh well. The only reason I'm feeling so confrontational tonight is the Bhutto assassination allowed a lot of my dread about the permanence of the continuing crisis to crystallize. It was all I could do not to break down crying at work. Pretty worldly, huh?


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 7:09 PM
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Also, is not Goodfellas an anti-gangster gangster movie?

You would think so. You might also think that All Quiet On the Western Front is an anti-war war movie. But the Unfoggedetariat is an unsophisticated crowd that rejects subtlety of message in favor of crude and unmistakable - simplistic, even - framing.


Posted by: water moccasin | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 7:20 PM
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What? 277 is stupid.

And a lot of the hip-hop on the radio is not danceable at all. All the "snap music" for example.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 7:22 PM
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It was all I could do not to break down crying at work.

One of the few times I ever saw my mother cry was in 1981 after Anwar El Sadat was assassinated. She was in the kitchen, and she was wailing about why they had to murder the one who wanted peace. She was (is) that kind of woman.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 7:23 PM
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Most of the responses thus far have boiled down to "that hip-hop which we hear on the hot 100 stations is so danceable." And that just didn't seem like a very credible or useful argument to me.

Why not? It's pretty true. I mean, millions of people across the US, Japan and Western Europe dance to American Mainstream Rap (MAR) at hip-hop club nights, which are now almost the norm more than the exception. If you count popularity and frequency of dancing as proof of anything, MAR is probably up there with some varieties of house as the most popular dance music in the world.

On top of that, most of the dancehall and reggaeton that I'm familiar with tends to be quite fast paced, faster than I bet ogged thinks is danceable (I mean, "BOB" struck him as difficult to dance to). UK Grime is pure breakbeats, with unconventional rhythms that I find fine because my college days were spent dancing to DnB, but probably aren't the most accessible of dance beats. Favela/Baile funk is pretty easily danceable, but not exactly all over YouTube. As for north African and middle eastern hip-hop, I suppose I could link a few DJ /rupture mixes, which include it with everything mentioned above.

But for someone who needs to ask "But hip-hop isn't danceable music, is it? It certainly doesn't make me want to move. And I can't understand most of the words (can you?)", all that would be kind of like saying "oh, you can't swim? Well I've got my boat right here, let's go a couple miles off shore and get started!".

In other words, absence of evidence of broader tastes is not evidence of absence.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 7:32 PM
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after Anwar El Sadat was assassinated. She was in the kitchen, and she was wailing about why they had to murder the one who wanted peace

Yeah, well, my mom thought the American lackey had it coming.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 7:36 PM
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Yeah, well, my mom thought the American lackey had it coming.

That confirms my suspicion that your penchant for taking delight in the suffering of others might be rooted in your upbringing.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 7:39 PM
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Now all I can think of is the speech from 0:55 onward in this clip.

But Minneapolitan, I am actually interested in talking about the minutia of international hip-hop, so I'm fine if you want to take it in that direction.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 7:45 PM
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285: Well, there you have a point. I don't want any of the emo/lo-fi faithful to have their heads asplode.

I'm still not sure what criteria of danceability we're using here (different ones, apparently), but dancehall has "dance" right in the name! Yes, the lyrics which are in the heaviest patois aren't often immediately intelligible to outside ears, but the beats should be, unless the dancing Ogged we posit is utterly insensible to music with even the slightest tinge of African rhythms.

Also, WTF? The more I think about it, the more riled-up I'm getting about these charges of pretentiousness. Virtually every music thread I've seen here degenerates into dreary one-upmanship about who's got the most bleeding-edge taste in esoteric navel-gazing sounds. Or sometimes they wind up focusing on which one or two fairly mainstream performers hews most closely to some classical ideal. And I get shit for name-checking reggaeton? What's next, I mention Lord Kitchener and suddenly people will accuse me of being an Oxford masculinist or something?

Man, I don't know. I just don't know.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 7:47 PM
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But tell me that Stringer Bell isn't an idol to a lot of people. Hell, more straightforwardly: Avon.

You know, I dropped The Wire and then ran away because I didn't want to deal with the inevitable ***SPOILER*** talk, but here's what I'll say:

***SPOILER***

I think Bell is and should be an idol to lots of people. Not because of what he did in his youth, but 1) because of what he made of himself as an adult and 2) his intense desire to remove murder from the drug trade. His decision to run it as a business paralleled Colvin's decision to create Hamsterdam. Treat it as a business and no one gets killed. (Esp. late in the season after O.G. Avon told him about the need to involve Social Services.) If you've read Simon's The Corner, you'll recognize the lament inherent in Bell and Colvin's tactics -- they want to return to the halcyon days of Baltimore drug culture, before people beefed over territory.* So yes, Bell counts as a role model. (Unless you're a socialist.) But Avon? I don't buy it. Unless he makes a miraculous return this season, the ease with which Marlo bested him and the celerity with which he became a non-entity don't make for apotheosis.

*Speaking of which, ogged, if you enjoy the language of the street so much -- that's half the appeal of The Wire, yo, fast prey on my Charles Dickens -- what's with the hip-hop hatred?


Posted by: SEK | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 7:47 PM
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288: PMP, I'm afraid the sound is broken on the home computing machine right now. I would have a go at fixing it, but I'm supposed to be cleaning.

My point, perhaps more fervidly expressed than necessary, was that I'm actually not particularly informed on the minutiae of contemporary music. Call my enthusiasm pre-intellectual if you will, but I don't have a lot of access points around here for interesting discussions along those lines, and what I've seen of the online versions is often too inflected with braggadocio and scenesteritis to make hanging out worth my while. I wish I had more leisure to pursue those interests, but I keep coming back to this place and there's my whole evening gone. Hardly any of my friends even go to shows anymore, and them that do don't share my tastes.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 7:56 PM
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The Bhutto assassination made me feel down too. I am the opposite of worldly, though, since I have no idea who Jeff Chang is.

Ogged was clearly asking about the genre of music of which Outkast, Kanye West, and Jay-Z are members, so it makes sense for people to answer the question he asked. There is a particular rhetorical move of You Must Know Everything About A Subject (As Defined By Me) To Comment that annoys me whenever I see it deployed. Maybe that's not what you were doing, but that's how it came across, at least to me.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 8:01 PM
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There is a lot of danceable hip hop on this playlist:
http://www.wfmu.org/playlists/shows/25714


Posted by: Willy Voet | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 8:17 PM
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Doesn't get more authentic or dancable than this:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9vZ_akgmXU
(title text should be QuadCity DJs.)

Most hip hop is set for a fast Ying Yang of a rump shaking dance
(I saw the documentary at 2am on B.E.T.) . But for a slow dance,
see Akon which, the fist time I heard it, thought it was
The Ladys' Man doing another Ralph Tresvant impression.



Posted by: Econolicious aka freak of the industry | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 9:25 PM
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Doesn't get more authentic or dancable than this:

Authentic Dan Cable.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 9:33 PM
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I mentioned him already, but Deltron. Intergalactic and shit.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 9:35 PM
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All I can say is, if this doesn't make you want to dance, you're dead. Plus, even though it's 13(!) years old, it totally meets minneapolitan's "world music" criterion.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 9:53 PM
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Same goes for this.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 9:56 PM
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this too!


Posted by: water moccasin | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 10:00 PM
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I can't believe Ogged lives in the land of hyphy and thinks hip-hop isn't danceable.

Also, 300 has been sitting here, ripe and tasty and untouched for nearly two hours. What's wrong with you people?


Posted by: Magpie | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 10:58 PM
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Have the rap fans here given The Cool a listen? I just did on the train today and... holy shit.


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:01 PM
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People, people. ogged doesn't dance. ogged refuses to dance. ogged is perversely against dancing. You have all been so trolled.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:08 PM
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You have all been so trolled.

no doubt an attempt to create a diversion before announcing his withdrawal from UDC2 activities.


Posted by: water moccasin | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:10 PM
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302: You misunderstand. At this point, it's not about trying to convince ogged of anything, it's all about one-upping each other's musical taste.

(Has Talvin Singh released anything since OK?)


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:17 PM
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(Has Talvin Singh released anything since OK?)

I think so.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:21 PM
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it's all about one-upping each other's musical taste

at the reverend horton heat show last night, after making a really bad pun about medieval times and serf rock, he launched into something that sounded an awful lot like this.

one-up that.


Posted by: water moccasin | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:26 PM
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also, sf bay area commenters represent!


Posted by: water moccasin | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:28 PM
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one-up that

Well, no, couldn't possibly, really I live under a rock most of the time.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:28 PM
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Watch this. It's a Bob Fosse routine to Unk!

Perhaps that may help. If we're not being trolled, which I suspect is the case. I don't know how someone could have gone in a club in the last twenty years and not seen hip hop dances. You've never seen the Tootsie Roll?

Here's some baile funk dancers. I love me some cheesy baile funk.


Posted by: winna | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:28 PM
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309, I've never seen anyone dance any actual organized dances to hip hop music. Just random movements. Definitely rhythmic, though.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:43 PM
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310: Have you never seen any 1990 (+/- 3 years) rap videos? Public Enemy had a gaggle of dancers called "Soldiers of the Free World" or something like that.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:52 PM
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Organized dances? You mean like this or this?


Posted by: water moccasin | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:55 PM
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Security of the First World


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-27-07 11:55 PM
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I've never seen anyone dance any actual organized dances to hip hop music.

You may have heard of this musical family, the Jacksons? Some of those kids made that hippity-hoppity music look really nice with their routines!


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 12-28-07 12:01 AM
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There was a while there back in the dawn of time when I went to clubs that Tootsie Roll would come on and the whole bar would dance together. There is something curiously transcendent about being part of something moving in the same way at the same time. I have not been in a club in a long time, so I can't tell you if it's the same, but they were almost spiritual moments. The alcohol helps, of course.

I realised on re-reading the post that I never answered the actual question. For me the rhythms of hip hop are infectious. It's a regular beat, and it is slow enough that it's possible to do fairly complex contortions to it. If the ground beat gets much faster than it usually is in hip hop then dancing is just hopping in place. If you want to roll from your ankles to your neck and back again, hip hop is useful. There are other kinds of music which can evoke that movement, but here in the US it's usually hip hop.


Posted by: winna | Link to this comment | 12-28-07 12:03 AM
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Man, I'm remembering this awesome wedding I went to---half Filipino, half whitie-McWhite---where the cultural divide between the families was only bridged when we all got up together to do the Electric Slide (the hip-hop version of the Hustle). It was magic! Like a 1980s romantic comedy!


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 12-28-07 12:04 AM
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314: I don't believe hip-hop music existed at that time (excepting the 1984 Victory reunion tour). Also, I've only seen them in video form, not in person.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 12-28-07 12:05 AM
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To answer ogged's trollish question, one would need to talk about sexual signaling on the dancefloor, and that could get a bit embarrassing.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 12-28-07 12:05 AM
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Michael's solo work counts as hip-hop, though, right?


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 12-28-07 12:06 AM
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I see everyone else replied while I was making tags that were not closed in the right place!

Hurrah!

Popping is also quite organized. There's always some annoying kid poppin away in the club with glo sticks. At least in the year 1435, the last time I was in a club.

The Electric Slide was awesome. I may have to get up and dance it right now out of nostalgia.


Posted by: winna | Link to this comment | 12-28-07 12:12 AM
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Everyone dance along!

Look at everyone joining in. It's infectious!


Posted by: winna | Link to this comment | 12-28-07 12:14 AM
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I would find it hard to dance to this, but it's funny.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12-28-07 12:15 AM
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I do remember the Electric Slide from high-school dances. Not since then, though.

As for that song "Pop Lock and Drop it" by the Crime Mob, I had many discussions with friends over what they were actually saying. We decided that it made the most sense for us to think of the song as "Hot Pocket Pocket".


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 12-28-07 12:15 AM
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Michael's solo work counts as hip-hop, though, right?

This makes me sad.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 12-28-07 12:15 AM
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Did I get it terribly wrong, Josh? Where does one draw the line?

I used to be able to lock and pop with the breakdancing boys in the clubs. I was always shit at the floorwork, though.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 12-28-07 12:19 AM
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This is as good a place as any to link to this very odd clip, with what looks for all the world like breakdancing in 1942 (at min 1:23).

I love the Mills Brothers, cringe at the stereotypes, and have a hard time believing how contemporary that dancing looks.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12-28-07 12:20 AM
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I don't know precisely where one draws the line, but wherever it is, hip-hop is on one side and Michael Jackson is on the other. (Unless it's being repurposed. If "I Wear My Sunglasses at Night" can earn Corey Hart royalties after all these years as a hyphy sample, anything can happen.)

The one thing you can say for Michael, before he became "The King of Pop" anyway, is that his solo stuff transcended genre. It's not hip-hop, but then again it's not anything else either. It's just Michael.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 12-28-07 12:24 AM
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Anything that got airplay on MTV before 1985 is, by definition, not hip-hop.


Posted by: Magpie | Link to this comment | 12-28-07 12:26 AM
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That is awesome.

Since we're posting dance clips, the Nicholas Brothers.


Posted by: winna | Link to this comment | 12-28-07 12:28 AM
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Unless it's being repurposed.

Well, okay then. I rediscovered all of the Jackson music on the dance floors in the late 90s/early 00s; you may understand my confusion!


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 12-28-07 12:30 AM
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before he became "The King of Pop" declared himself benevolent dictator of Poppiana


Posted by: Magpie | Link to this comment | 12-28-07 12:32 AM
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headbanging world music with impenetrable vocals:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I7Gx7wKwqWQ

NWA/EasyE channeled into Asian American dance video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUxviLaRCWU
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MT4pTMHq8v8

And from John Lydon and Afrika Bambaataa:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZuL2kvEaWrw
robot dance-twitch, or pogo like a bastard ?


Posted by: Econolicious aka Hammertime ! | Link to this comment | 12-28-07 12:34 AM
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Okay, that makes more sense then.

329: That's amazing. The leg strength to lift from the splits... yikes.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 12-28-07 12:34 AM
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Winna, they were GORGEOUS. I didn't know about them, so thanks.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12-28-07 12:35 AM
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Flat Eric! Man, I remember that Levi's ad with him making the rounds on the net way back in the day. Before YouTube and Wikipedia, we had no way to figure out what the hell he was.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 12-28-07 12:37 AM
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And from John Lydon and Afrika Bambaataa:

It's a little frightening how much of the stuff mentioned here is on my playlists for the gym.


Posted by: Magpie | Link to this comment | 12-28-07 12:45 AM
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You're welcome, Megan! I love them dearly, so I'm glad you guys like them too.

Most of my gym stuff is happy hardcore.


Posted by: winna | Link to this comment | 12-28-07 1:02 AM
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337: That was absolutely fascinating to watch, winna.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12-28-07 1:15 AM
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Wow, some good stuff posted here recently. I was out with a lot of friends drinking and dancing lately, so I can't really respond in an appropriate manner.

Here's some baile funk dancers. I love me some cheesy baile funk.

That's an amazing mix that the YouTube video provide a trailer for. You should pick it up, along with Favela Strikes Back, the sequel.

Also, Happy Hardcore is enthusiastically endorsed, so long as you don't depend on me for volumes 2-6 (good mixes, but damn, it depends too much on Anabolic Frolic's taste).

I'll happily talk about more tomorrow, when I'm sober and these people are no longer crashing in my place. Until then, I should just hug Minneapolitan if he ever comes to Chicago.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 12-28-07 3:37 AM
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Next time I come to Chi, we should definitely have a meet-up. My bar/restaurant/club experience of the town is extremely limited. Beyond the Metro and Hala Kahiki, it's all terra incognita.

I really wasn't trying to be provoking last night -- I usually try to leave that to the experts around here. Nor to get up on my high horse. And today I am going to try really hard not to think about all of the folx who are getting their lives ruined around the world because of the power games of some rich assholes.

[Talvin Singh does seem to be in eclipse at this precise moment, at least in terms of his above-ground presence, although he does have 6,789 Myspace friends, so surely that counts for something.]


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 12-28-07 5:19 AM
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In honor of this thread, my gf, my daughter and I danced around the living room last night.

There was no hip-hop. But, we faux-tangoed to Guantanemero, bopped around to Late in the Evening and Frankie & Johnny, and slow danced to John Prine.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 12-28-07 5:53 AM
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Currently listening to the DJ / rupture mixes linked above. Good stuff (or, should I say, dope shit?) I propose the remainder of the thread ignore Ogged's white boy spaz, and concentrate on worshipful adoration of the Church of Hip-Hop. Which means links. You got some of mine above. I'll also nominate just about anything on Ninja Tune, of which I submit in particular Amon Tobin (4 Ton Mantis), Kid Koala (Drunk Trumpet) and Coldcut (True Skool). Word.


Posted by: W. Breeze | Link to this comment | 12-28-07 6:55 AM
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comparative dance styles
all are great, a hip-hop duo especially
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XzIK72iFDk4&feature=related


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 12-28-07 7:48 AM
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Perhaps it is time for Ogged to learn the crip walk and head down to LA.


Posted by: Willy Voet | Link to this comment | 12-28-07 8:01 AM
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344: No way, man. He's got a cold.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-28-07 8:04 AM
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Agreed about DJ/rupture. His radio show has some dope ass shit too. And it is danceable ! But not all of it is hip-hop.

http://www.wfmu.org/playlists/DR

His work with Andy Moor (from The Ex) is also really good. Perhaps even danceable (it is improvised guitar and turn-tables).


Posted by: Willy Voet | Link to this comment | 12-28-07 8:07 AM
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I'm a bystander here since I can't dance - too much nerve damage from autoimmune problems over the years. But I must say that a whole lot of the video clips here set my toes and fingers to tapping and my head to swaying in a way that probably would have led to dance if it could. :)


Posted by: Bruce Baugh | Link to this comment | 12-28-07 8:35 AM
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His work with Andy Moor (from The Ex) is also really good.

Ah Ha! I was wondering what led to /rupture's tour wtih The Ex about a year ago, as it seemed a pretty mystifying combination. That would explain things.

For those enjoying the Gold Teeth Thief mix, I highly recommend DJ /rupture's two pretty recent, shorter mixes: Low Income Tomorrowland and Secret Google Cheat Codes. In fact, just try to find an electronic copy of the Shotgun Wedding Volume 6 cd, which contains Secret Google Cheat Codes and a great mix by a middle eastern DJ I hadn't heard of before named Filastine.

Minneapolitan, I would be happy to drink my way through Chicago with you, though I have little faith in my bar-identifying abilities when there's not a concert involved.

Speaking of which, holy crap, I am still not sure what possessed me to go out like I did last night. Mystery of the day: am I too drunk to be at work today? or too hungover? It's currently in-the-middle grey area, though I'm certain the balance will shift to the latter in time, which will be no damn good. Here's hoping for a nap before the eating and drinking tonight.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 12-28-07 8:56 AM
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Have the rap fans here given The Cool a listen? I just did on the train today and... holy shit.

I've only heard a few leaked tracks, but I'm buying it today. Lupe is one of the most underrated guys out there, I think.


Posted by: Joe Drymala | Link to this comment | 12-28-07 9:13 AM
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The thing that makes this the whitest thread ever is that 350 comments in a music thread and no-one has posted a mix.

The Coen brothers went out of their way to make Chigurh an un-glamorous psychopath

What makes him glamorous is the unchallenged mastery and confidence, pace Ned in 235. See the villains in Fargo for comparison.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 12-28-07 9:25 AM
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Unchallenged mastery and confidence at killing. Make him a chess champion, and no one cares.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 12-28-07 10:05 AM
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I just put on GZA's Liquid Swords and how sweet it is. Not even the Wu-Tang Clan, Ogged?


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 12-28-07 10:10 AM
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I thought someone in this thread would mention in passing whether the new Wu-Tang Clan is worthwhile or not.


Posted by: Anderson | Link to this comment | 12-28-07 10:32 AM
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I disagree with 351. In any storytelling genre, unflappable mastery is the most appealing and least real characteristic. Violence and sex are the most popular, followed by athletics and business, but wish-fulfillment will always be entertaining. Especially for boys? Not sure, but I betcha.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 12-28-07 10:42 AM
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wish-fulfillment will always be entertaining. Especially for boys? Not sure, but I betcha.

Wish fulfillment is every bit as powerful for women/girls as it is for men/boys. It's just that the people who have the power to greenlight movies in Hollywood don't have much insight into what women wish for. This is why we get so few women-oriented movies, and the ones we do get are princess movies and romcoms. Oh, and scenes about shopping.


Posted by: Magpie | Link to this comment | 12-28-07 10:48 AM
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So Magpie, for what do the ladies wish?


Posted by: W. Breeze | Link to this comment | 12-28-07 10:51 AM
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I like this. I can dance to it.


Posted by: W. Kiernan | Link to this comment | 12-28-07 10:58 AM
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... for what do the ladies wish?

The envy of other women.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 12-28-07 11:00 AM
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358: And Swiffers.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-28-07 11:19 AM
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359: Valentino was once described as "catnip to women," but today Swiffers have taken his place.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 12-28-07 11:28 AM
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It's just that the people who have the power to greenlight movies in Hollywood don't have much insight into what women wish for.

And how. In the meantime, the Bechtel test is a surprisingly effective measure.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 12-28-07 11:28 AM
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Bechtel's Fun Home is awesome.


Posted by: Lemmy Caution | Link to this comment | 12-28-07 11:33 AM
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"Don't have much insight into" and "don't care about" are not the same thing.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 12-28-07 11:58 AM
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279 Komintern was terrorists of that time, right? and pretty successful org
and almost all of them were repressed and then taught at school that they were heroes etc
if i remember history classes correctly
thanks for the link, i'll read


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 12-28-07 12:43 PM
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So Magpie, for what do the ladies wish?

Skinny, rich, the envy of other women, sure. But also: to be unencumbered by day-to-day annoyances and obligations. Unlimited leisure time. To have someone else to push around the damn Swiffer. Power and control over one's life, and being fabulously fulfilled therein. Being perceived as powerful and smart and strong and worthy. Kicking ass, taking names. Sex with George Clooney.

Some of that may be just me, but I'm pretty sure the Clooney thing is universal.


Posted by: Magpie | Link to this comment | 12-28-07 12:50 PM
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for what do the ladies wish?

BAYBEEZ!!!1!!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-28-07 12:51 PM
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Magpie, that rather sounds like what the gentlemen desire, modulo Clooney of course. Do you think there is any essential difference between the sexes? I would have conjectured there is, primarily around the role of family. Any thoughts there?


Posted by: W. Breeze | Link to this comment | 12-28-07 1:02 PM
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I'm the wrong person to ask that question, since I've never exactly been on the marriage and babies bandwagon.

Where's B and her blanket pronouncements when we need her?


Posted by: Magpie | Link to this comment | 12-28-07 1:55 PM
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that rather sounds like what the gentlemen desire

Huh, imagine that. Women and men are the same

Surely men just want to fuck Cindy Crawford and women want to have cute little babies?

[/sarcasm] I think there are no "essential" differences between men and women when it comes to family, or anything else. Lots of women want to have babies and get married, lots of women want only one of those things, or neither. Same with men.

What were you thinking of?


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 12-28-07 2:08 PM
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Missing close italics after "the same".


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 12-28-07 2:09 PM
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modulo Clooney of course

Not so fast, sailor.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-28-07 2:14 PM
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BAYBEEZ!!!1!!
was so funny i first thought it's some kind of abbreviation :)
what i want
i don't know, i just want to laugh all the time
yeah, make me laugh and you are golden


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 12-28-07 2:16 PM
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Not all women lust after babies. My gf is one of those no babies women. She loves my kids and is fabulous with them, but isnt interested in birthing any.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 12-28-07 2:19 PM
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373: We'll see if she still feels that way after meeting the dashing and debonair Ben w-lfs-n, wooer of ladies, maker of babies.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12-28-07 2:29 PM
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I've met w-lfs-n and my uterus (and black heart) still repels eggs like so much Teflon cookware.


Posted by: Magpie | Link to this comment | 12-28-07 2:50 PM
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Shhh, quiet, Magpie... I'm trying to increase expectations, so it'll be even harder for Bennie-boy to get laid.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12-28-07 2:53 PM
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I've had w-lfs-n. He was okay.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 12-28-07 3:56 PM
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I first got into hip hop when I was teaching high school. In the '80s. And really, what I got into was Public Enemy, and that led to Ice Cube, Digital Underground and Boogie Down/KRS-One. And EricB and Rakim. But not all that much further. I put their work in the conjures feelings category. Strong feelings.


Posted by: benton | Link to this comment | 12-28-07 7:09 PM
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I mostly enjoy it because its the feeling of having conqured. I don't enjoy it frequently, though.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 12-28-07 11:26 PM
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So what is it that you're thinking and feeling when you enjoy hip-hop?

We caress the air like we're buttering toast
Shake our yomma yammas like we're humping a ghost a George Clooney avatar /Maxim Spokesmodel.


But back to the fun youtube links:
I would be ROFL if I saw this available in Karaoke:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pnoaj8b2bGM



Posted by: Econolicious aka anonymous D. | Link to this comment | 12-29-07 11:39 AM
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A sample of Dutch hiphop, local boys done good.



Posted by: Martin Wisse | Link to this comment | 12-31-07 5:40 AM
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379->377.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-31-07 6:07 AM
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