Since my career as an English speaking journalist isn’t exactly popping, I’ve had to fall back on my Spanish speaking one, in which I have more clout and somewhat of a trajectory. Things are progessing slowly, but we are moving forward.
A whole lotta
love links and stories after the jump: Continue reading
Me llamo Roberto y vengo a predecir el futuro…
Few bands scare me as much as this kids. I’ve never been so sure an act is going to blow up, much less one whose music I don’t even like that much. Continue reading
Look, I’m not saying the demolition of the Twin Towers was necessarily a false flag attack perpetrated by the US government. The walls are.
The “Banksy Does New York” documentary chronicles, through the eyes of selected fans and casual bystanters, the “Better Out Than In” titled, one month residency of the British street artist on The Big Apple in 2013. It’s no “Exit Through the Gift Shop” but it’s interesting and useful if you’re into the mysterious character.
Anyway, up there is the photographic reproduction of Banksy‘s 9/ 11 inspired piece, the orange thing is a real flower; and to its right, pretty in pink, some vigilant citizen intervened: “<—– Inside Job!“. As it usually happens, the image only appears on the screen for half a second, it seems the producers and HBO did their best to conceal the sacrilege. My apologies to them.
BONUS: All of the “Better Out Than In” pieces over at this Spanish speaking site.
“The number and depth of those moments of silence with activity in the production of a work directly influence the true value of the product“
– David Lynch
Unfocused MC/ DC poster out and about in the streets of Caracas.
Saving Venezuela from the curse of Greyface, one poster at a time.
I would love to justify my lateness alleging that I was waiting for the new Run The Jewels to drop, but actually I just couldn’t find the necessary silence to finish this beauty until today. Or the will. This December in Venezuela was odd and noisy, even with fireworks out of everybody’s price range.
Anyway, back to the topic at hand… without further ado and starting at the top:
The third mixtape by the half emcee/ half singer from Chicago is half gospel hip hop/ half club music. On my first spin I thought at last, through Chance, I was going to be able to appreciate this new wave of mumble rap the children seem to be crazy about. It features Future, Young Thug and that idiotic kid Lil Yachty and none of those songs make me want to rip my ears off. I even liked “Smoke Break“at first. On repeated listens though, I tend to skip them and the Justin Beaver one. That sound just doesn’t appeal to me even with Chance and his production team in the mix.
As for the gospel, I propose it’s the reason this album didn’t really blew up worldwide. It was critically lauded across the board, the Grammy academy changed its rules just to be able nominate it, Chano appeared in every screen and became a household name, but the music per se got to a point and then stalled. You can talk about God all you want, just ask Kendrick, but.unlike jazz and funk, gospel is completely specific. It has all those catholic connotations and people from other walks of life don’t want to hear that shit. Also, personally, gospel doesn’t speak to me. I have no memories associated to it like most gringos. Anyway, “Coloring Book” didn’t really explode like it was supposed to.
As for Chance, his singing sounds better than ever in this mixtape, the very musical pieces bring out the best in his voice. His rapping though, It’s not on “Acid Rap” level. He’s got some slick lines here and there, but the melodies and not the lyrics were his main focus and the hip hop part suffered. The exception is “How Great”. On that note, let’s talk about Jay Electronica’s verse: Incredible. It’s not even that good by his standards and it’s still one of the bests of 2016.
In conclusion: Overall it’s a good project, parts of it are great, but Chance, do yourself a favor and drop acid before starting on your next one.
BONUS, the clips:
Until a few weeks back, the only constant in their whole discography was 3D. The first one to run from the toxic and confrontational environment was Tricky, who was a member of the band until the phenomenal “Protection” in spite of what Wikipedia says. For the “Mezzanine” sessions they included live instrumentation; Mushroom wasn’t satisfied with the changes in sound they were experimenting with and, in spite of the album’s success, was the second one to go.
From that point on they were flirting with the idea of working separately and publishing everything under the Massive Attack moniker, but what ended up happening was the conflict between Daddy G and 3D kept the former out of “100th Window” and only semi involved in “Heligoland”, even though he’s credited as a composer in all of those songs.
In 2013 their name returned to the spotlight with unorthodox plans and good news: 1.- They were writing songs with Tricky; 2.- They were releasing EPs instead of an album and 3.- The first one was going to be the work of 3D and the second one Daddy G’s, each working with their own team. Then they disappeared for 3 years, Tricky released his most underwhelming album to date — “Skilled Mechanics” — and when the world was not looking, “Take It There”’s fantastic videoclip starring John Hawkes appeared all over the Internet:
MC/ DC poster on the streets of Caracas.
Saving Venezuela from a total lack of art, one poster at a time.
In November 2015, I predicted Anderson .Paak‘s rise to stardom while discussing Dr. Dre‘s “Compton“. And I had no idea he was such a talented individual back then. I consumed a couple videoclips for the “Venice” singles and wasn’t particularly impressed but his voice was unique and got stuck in my head. Two days later, “The Season / Carry Me” dropped and I was floored. It was exactly what the world needed, it was obvious. As the release date approached, “Come Down” appeared and the funk was within us.
Still, I wasn’t expecting such a consistent and well-thought-out album. When “Malibu” arrived it was already over. Anderson .Paak won by knockout. As the year went by he became the vocalist to call and was invited to participate in virtually every project that came out of the USA. He began appearing as a musical guest in talk shows and, surprise!, Boom!, he played the drums and had a band. Later on, he stole the show at every music festival and his fate was sealed. In a move that surprised no one, Dr. Dre signed him to Aftermath. “… and fuck fame/ That killed all my favorite entertainers”… beware of your own words, Mr. .Paak.
In The Needle Drop‘s “Malibu” review, Fantano made a good point: even with the presence of superstar producers, the album sounds synthetic and relies too much on loops. It has some, but it could be even better with more live instrumentation. His “Tiny Desk Concert” is proof, the already wonderful songs come alive and breath fresh air. Simple and sexy, butter and velvet. It’s ridiculous. Still, I don’t listen to “Malibu” that much. Maybe it’s too R&B for me. Maybe too happy. Maybe I’m waiting for a live album or one for the more aggressive Nx Worries project he has with producer Knxwledge. One thing’s for sure, there are no filler songs in that album and .Paak more than proved himself as an artist. The kid is just starting, let him spread his wings and he’ll burn the world down.