Saving the world one poster at a time.
“The universe is listening, be careful what you say in it/
My grandma told me every bed a n**ga make, he lay in it/
The church you go to pray in it, the work is on the outside/
Staring out the windows is for love songs and house flies…“
– Jay Electronica, “better in tune w the infinite“
Another video about hip hop to show my understanding on the subject to a non existent audience. The fear present in the first video persists. Still, I think I make a strong case and make my points clear. And I believe the content will attract some kind of following eventually, but I thought the same thing about my Twitter account in English and look how that turned out. On the other hand, You Tube is not a dying social network… but I digress. The thing is, Chance the Rapper is an industry plant.
The formal info that accompanies the video: Continue reading
I opened a You Tube channel in English. It’s a huge leap of faith, considering my twitter in the language and this blog haven’t gained any traction. And that in speaking form I’m much less eloquent and my thick accent is unavoidable. On the other hand, I can’t be writing all day and I need other outlets. And since the expected audience is different that my channel in Spanish I can touch other subjects related to all the media I consume in English, hence this very specialized video about hip hop politics and legacy artist.
The formal description says:
My conspiracy theory about why Jay Electronica hasn’t put out an album yet. I have zero proof of anything, this is a media analysis video. But Jay Z is responsible. Obviously.
Oh, by the way, English is my second language. Bear with me.
And yeah, it was the only hat I had available.
The Everyday Struggle clip I’m responding to: Continue reading
I wrote this as a sample piece for a magazine I was applying to and I totally missed the mark. My usual low-key-joke-filled stile was not appropriate for this publication in particular, I realized after I sent it. Luckily, I convinced them to let me write another one and this time I’ll adapt to their tone and get that spot in their staff, but that’s neither here nor there. The thing is, I finally have a new text to share with you, my non-existent audience.
The funny thing about it is that the last few paragraphs don’t really represent how I feel, I just saw the opportunity for comedy and went with it to the bitter end. I couldn’t care less that Kendrick is a millenial, an artist is an artist is an artist.
I hope you all enjoy it, people of the world: 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
So yeah, I didn’t follow through with the whole getting-this-blog-into-shape thing. The world has been incredibly distracting, but I have another excuse: I’ve been writing in Spanish. I stopped publishing around when I started with “La Tormenta” a million years ago, and now that the alchemical process is about to give results, I’m getting a head start in reclaiming my old journalistic career back.
It’s been harder than previously anticipated, but I got a semi regular column in Venezuela’s premiere electronic music site Dj Profile, in which I have written about Massive Attack and Justice so far:
And I wrote about my favorite female emcees for Spain’s sexiest literary site, Culturetas:
Last but not least, I keep my music tumblelog at the edge of everything with constant updates:
That’s my story and I’m sticking with it.
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:
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.