So… if nothing else, 2012 proved that by George the Mayans had it all kinds of right: this year proved a renaissance of apocalyptic proportions – a year when the culturally amnesiatic cynics failed to recognize a sea change over the screams of their own skeptic scoffs… alas, even in the midst of privately-backed Super-PAC pocketed media, bindered women, NRA publicity stunts, mass school shootings, a deluge of false formations and knowledge starvation, the spectacle’s continued triumph over literacy shrugged – and oh, Sandy; even in the midst of all that, there was music – glorious music – because after all, to mark the fall, the birth of tragedy is forever conceived in the spirit of music.
Somewhere along the 365 steps on the road to perdition, albums debuted, someone named Frank caused an Ocean of tears, a boy named Ken lamented the m.a.a.d. urban terrain, and Fiona spun the wheel while time idly passed by… but this isn’t about them – although everything else prior has unremarkably revolved around the former two – this list is about five albums I listened to, five albums I didn’t need people to tell me I liked, five works that are tragic in their own right, five that may not be cool, may be too young for school, but five that at the end of the day reminded me of what “those” Mayans might play had they lived to see this day…
Food and Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album Part 1 – Lupe Fiasco
Lupe is to the educated, the other culture connoisseurs, those presently existing from an existential perspective, what Kendrick became for those who don’t have the time, patience, attention span, or concern for anything external of the mainstream myopic. Fiasco is the good wiz in a mad capital to Lamar’s maad citied good kid. Food and Liquor 2 is the gospel opus, this Great American Rap Album is Part 1 is a raptrospective on the imperial collapse of a nation unchained in a state of voluntary mass surveilled servitude. If this black everything is too long winded, too creatively intertwined between vocabulary and vernacular, too scriptural with slang, too substantial for contemporary tastemakers’ slacker style – that’s the point. Much like Lauryn sitting atop her hill – Lupe’s distance from the nucleus of now is what grants inevitable goodness: Fiasco’s Tiresian opus remains forever sitting mad pretty.
Fellow Americans, it is with the utmost pride and sincerity that I present this recording, as a living testament and recollection of history in the making during our generation.
Let me tell you dudes what I do to protect this: I shoot at you actors like movie directors [laughing] This ain’t a movie dog
Kid Rock and Sean Penn would like to borrow a moment of your time and illustrate the grave importance of overlooking the narcissism of minor superficial demographical differences in light of the larger union we share as an American people… that while the differences we hold as private citizens are what made this country great, it is the collective freedom granted to the public which defines those who call the United States home… celebrities: because they’re just like U.S.
“Mitt Romney” and “Paris Hilton” are going hard-press-in-the-paint right now. Note the quotations, because when it comes to celebrity and public figuration: there’s the brand, and then there’s the (wo)man… here, beyond the (yet-to-be-determined) human factor behind the individuals, their enterprises are functioning like well-oiled machines.
It’s kind of like best week ever, right?
Paris is a mistress of the mishap-turned-publicity-masterpiece, Romney is not far behind in his ability to grab headlines with oddly well-staged gaffes.
The past week has seen both go viral with unsuprisingly on-par brand pushes: Romney doesn’t care about untaxed people, and Paris “Puddle of AIDS” Hilton thinks gays are gross… in other news: citizen paparazzi caught The Cookie Monster smuggling Snickerdoodles packaged as Sprouts’ Summer Squash into his Sesame Street penthouse…
So how does one figure these “mishaps” and “private conversations” gone public play as brand determinants and not character detriments… let’s delve a bit #itsaprocess
This year has been quite a year… Diesel like 90s WWF Denim – needless to say the VMA have been millions of miles away from my spectral proximity: that said, it’s in my blood… no matter how few nominees I know, no matter how irrelevant the proceedings, no matter how cruxed upon pop cultural cannibalism – a festival of juggernauted feasting upon the legends and legacy of old – I will always have an opinion, and the VMA will always have a story and a place in contemporary culture. Though I know a record low number of nominees this year – and hold an even more subterranean affinity, or regard at all, for the nominees of which I do have some cognizance – this year is epic and masterful for so many subtle reasons: the first and last, the alpha and omega of which revolve around this year’s pulse player – The Bajan Queen of Body Parts: Rihanna.
VMA are obviously critical this year though… I’d wager to guess the biggest point is the revisitation of 2007. #neverforget
This deal is getting worse all the time… #thenudeal
He just sits and waits for them to kick in the door
He once was a hero they don’t love him no more
There’s a blast, every time a foot hits the floor
His gift for not fighting another man’s war
And if they can get their hands on the mask that he wore
On his face, they can put somebody else in his place and restore
The state, the illusion that it’s safe – the faith, that being a slave is so great
As gas fills the room and rockets destroy everything around him
He stands to find himself surround
By thousands of soldiers that his once trained to never miss their targets
Some folks are born made to wave the flag
Ooh, they’re red, white and blue
And when the band plays “Hail to the chief”
Ooh, they point the cannon at you
Lord, it ain’t me, it ain’t me, I ain’t no senator’s son
Son, it ain’t me, it ain’t me; I ain’t no fortunate one, no
Inject me building; I’m a free bride, baby…