Tuesday, May 03, 2005

I've spent the better part of the past week in a cabin in the middle of nowhere, a non-existant town called Stanley, VA, completely shut off from everything, watching basketball on satellite TV (Wizards tie the series! Juan Dixon reps B-More!), drinking Corona and reading the New Yorker on the rickety front porch, watching my dog chase cows away from the fence, getting unbelievably terrified going up Skyline Drive, picking a tick off Bridget's arm, not seeing any Confederate flags until I started looking for them (at which point they started popping up all over the place), sleeping until I don't feel like sleeping anymore, moving slow. It's been beautiful. Only moment of contact with outside culture and its ramifications: filling the tires at a gas station when a white kid rolls up in a Nissan with an enormous sound system in the trunk, blasting the Lil Jon album, leaving the engine and stereo on while he goes inside (presumably for my benefit, since no one else was there). OK, also I saw the video for "Wait (The Whisper Song)". It's a good video. One thing I've noticed in catching up on blog-reading since my miniscule break: Y'all are some good writers. I'm in good company.

I like the Perceptionists' Black Dialogue in most of the same ways as I like the Three 6 Mafia's Choices II soundtrack: both groups finding their aesthetics, figuring out what sounds best, staying there. I think I agree with everything the Perceptionists say, but I don't even really listen to the lyrics. It's more about the clipped cheap Casio drums snapping all over like fireworks, voices mixed low, Lif's virtuosic staccatto woodpecker righteous flow, Akrobatic's goofy fatguy swaggering interplay almost-hypeman stuff. It's like: this is how you do an indieground rap album. You get some tight rinky-dink synth beats and some OK hooks and you stay right in their pockets. You learn to rap. You have some fun and toss a few punchlines back and forth with your friends. If you have to talk shit about mainstream rappers, you don't say you're the keepers of the flame of true-to-bone hip-hop culture; you just get Humpty Hump to help you make fun of guys with guns who can't rap. It's that easy/not easy. The Choices II soundtrack is total water-treading after Da Unbreakables: punchy drums, evil piano, beat-you-up chants, bad lyrics delivered impeccably. It's as good as a soundtrack to an unwatchably bad straight-to-DVD rapper movie could possibly be. Only noteable development: Lil Wyte is on pretty much every song. I can get behind that.

Do you think Mike James gets people yelling "Miiiike Jaaames! Who? Miiiike Jaaames?" ever since he got trades to the Rockets? Does this annoy him? Confuse him? Does he like it? I think about this stuff.