Music Video Breakdown: How to be The Man – Riff Raff ft Slim Thug & Paul Wall

So the time has finally come. Riff Raff, that ridiculous white guy with the crazy corn rows/ zigzag chinstrap we’ve all been seeing more and more of during this past year, is finally about to release his debut album – Neon Icon. Keep in mind it’s original release date was the early fall of ’13. It’s now summer of ’14 and we’re ALL STILL DROOLING FOR IT. That’s because we’re all idiots, and Riff Raff along with his mentor/friend/puppet master, Diplo, know it. They’ve strung us along like a group of quivering baseheads…dropping crack rocks in the form of singles every couple of miles/months. We pick them up, (find the song) load them in our filthy little crack pipes (stream them via a number of different music sources e.g. spotify, grooveshark, torrents, pandora), smoke the shit out of them, (listen) and then talk about crazy new business ideas (gossip about how riff raff ‘is actually kinda sick’). Soon enough it’s been a little while since we’ve gotten that rush, and we’re peeling off our own skin, biting through our cheeks, and screaming like a pack of famished banshees.

ENOUGH OF THOSE STUPID METAPHORS YOU IMBECILE

But honestly….How does he do it? Look at this fucking guy.

RiFFRAFF640

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The Real Slim Shady

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So there’s a special on Fuse TV right now about Eminem. It’s going through his top 20 music videos, and i’m really enjoying it. It’s reminding me of how awesome Eminem was, and the impact, good or bad, that he had on the children of my generation.

First off lets talk briefly about this channel, Fuse. The two women hosting this show look like they should be working in a nail salon somewhere in NJ. On their iPhones at all times, stealing cash from the till, ignoring all paperwork and slowly driving the business into the ground. I also just learned that Fuse has a show that features two members of the Insane Clown Posse watching music videos and just talking shit about them. That’s the entire show.

Without Me is an incredible music video

Introducing the Great Marshall Mathers. This is unbelievably good stuff. I’m not going to launch myself into a dissertation about the devolution of Slim Shady, because that would be a tired piece of writing thats already been perfected. I’m not good enough to gather all the necessary information and prove my point that Eminem spearheaded an entire generation of music and music lovers that finally felt that it was okay to both create, and listen to the music they cared about. Eminem spit in faces that had previously been untouchable. Hawking venom infused bombs at people from Moby to George Bush to his own mother. You get it. He sucks now. I can’t even listen to his new stuff. 

A couple references to ‘The Up in Smoke’ tour. Which featured a ridiculous line up of rappers that were unanimously hated by the mothers and fathers of 7th grade kids. Which is from whom i had to ask permission when the tour rumbled through my home town in 2001. Needless to say that was a short conversation.

up in smoke

A$AP Rocky May Have a Fuckin’ Problem

A$AP and the gang recently released the official music video for ‘Fuckin Problem’ ft Drake, 2 Chainz & Kendrick Lamar, and I just watched it. Of course I watched it. I had to watch it. Look at that lineup. But like pretty much else everything in life, I was skeptical.

But bro…its a$ap…

Yeah I know. The guy has a pretty impressive resume. If you wanna talk a$ap, then I’ll happily discuss how great LiveLoveA$AP was/still is. But if you tell me that the guy is gonna be all over the radio with Drake? and 2 Chainz? before he even released an album?

I’d say maybe it’s time to pump the brakes. Think about where we are in our careers. How far we’ve come…how far we must go. Then I’d hide in my room, smoke weed all day, and write my debut album…and it would be glorious. Because I don’t doubt his talent.

But here we go. Let’s watch this thing together shall we?


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Music Video Review: Thrift Shop, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

I’ll preface this review by stating prior to hearing his new album, The Heist, which I’d highly recommend, I had only heard of this guy a few times..never actually listened to what he had to say. This is a scene by scene, shot by shot review of his music video for the album’s hit single, Thrift Shop. 

So the video begins with a wide shot of a bunch of haggard looking people rocking really weird shit. Roller blades, fur coats, and scooters. Thrift shop shit. The crew is lead by a particularly strange looking fellow with a particularly strange looking haircut wearing a particularly strange coat. We’re thinking this is probably Macklemore, but there’s no way to be sure… because I’ve never seen a picture of the guy, and this dude is very very white.

Woahh a DeLorean. If thrift stores sold cars, they would sell DeLoreans. We’re to assume the driver of the car is Ryan Lewis – the album’s producer.

And there he is again, flanked by two bizarre looking women sucking down big-gulps and pulling him along on his scooter while he just chills. It looks pretty fun, to be perfectly honest. At this point we know he’s our protagonist. He hops in the whip.

0:40 – Macklemore starts rhyming immediately upon entering the club. His opening line, “Walk up to the club like what up I got a big cock/nah I’m just pumped up on shit from the thrift shop” He’s totally jazzed on his get-up. Mink, jeans, hoes. Standard proCEEJah.

“Ice on the fringe is so damn frosty/the people like, damn..that’s a cold-ass honky.” Says the convinced-looking black dude in the club. We’re starting to get the vibe, and we’re starting to rock with it. The song is incredibly catchy, and Macklemore flows quick with wit and we try to keep up, smiling most probably. We’re all starting to think we knew a kid exactly like this guy in high school.

“Draped in a leopard mink, girls standing next to me, prolly shoulda washed this, smells like R Kelly sheets….PISSSSSSSS” and we see an improvised R Kelly roll past the camera, blindfolded, and smiling like a pedophile.

1:06 We are now in a massive thriftstore/warehouse where Macklemore is hopping from sofa to sofa in a billowy mink while a crew of shady looking people dance through the aisles. Intercut with slow motion, and the beat is juiced. We cut to a creepy looking old man as Macklemore references stealing grandpa’s style. “They had a broken keyboard/I bought a broken keyboard/I bought a ski blanket/then I bought a kneeboard.” This speaks to the ridiculous assortment of shit one will find in any random thrift store. We see a cut of Mack kneeboarding, which is funny.

“I’m gonna pop some tags/only got twenty dollars in my pocket/looking for a come-up/this is f*#^ing awesomeeeeeee”

Hook time. We witness, throughout the video, that the hooks are performed by various people..none of whom are the actual artist.. well I’m not totally sure of that seeing as I can’t find any evidence that this person, Wanz, actually exists. But I’m guessing it’s not the first character featured on the hook – A massively obese white woman who stares at the camera like it’s an infant while she flawlessly recites the lyrics. It’s pretty funny, and is paired with solid camera work.

We’re off to the second and third verses, where Macklemore continues rapping about how awesome the items he finds in store are, and we watch as he and his conglomerate of ridiculous looking amigos get buck in the warehouse.

“They be like ohh that gucci that’s hella tight/I’m like yo, that’s 50 dollars for a t-shirt../limited edition lets do some simple addition 50 dollars for a t-shirt that’s just some ignorant bitch shieettttt/I call that get swindled and pimped, shiett/I call that getting tricked by a business/ that shirts hella dough/ and having the same one as six other people in this club is a hella DONT/ peep game, come take a look through my telescope/ tryin get girls from a brand, and you hella WONT”

Keep in mind that this album is currently the #1 selling album on iTunes, and is getting some serious pub. And it’s cool that his message is what it is. I mean, on its surface is completely stupid, but the overall thought is valuable. He’s on top and he doesn’t care about the material stuff we’re all so used to hearing about. The thrift store itself can be a symbol for either an actual thrift-shop, or more importantly for individuality…as cliche as that sounds. He’s from Seattle, this track is one of many quality songs you’ll get on The Heist…so go get it.

Question of the Day: Where is Andre Nickatina

What happened to this guy? Andre Adams. Aka Andre Nickatina, Aka Dre Dog, aka Chuck T, aka The Kahn, aka King Nicky. The Technique Teacher.

I’m in the fast lane/ the cash lane/some think it’s a bad thing/ hittin em off with the C&H pure cane/ I get stuck in ya membrane/I’m like a pimp at a party when you say ‘look at them reins’

Let’s be completely honest. The dude could easily be dead. I once heard he played a show at a USC frat party for a kilo of coke. Sounds like the antics of a dedicated artist… or the antics of an extremely unstable person. Either way I miss him. He was one of those guys that everyone knew about, yet never really blew up. That’s probably(and by probably I mean definitely) due to the content of his lyrics.

I don’t want to call Andre a ‘one-trick pony’, because that’s a stupid phrase and I don’t particularly care for it, but it fits here. Not a ton of diversity from our boy in terms of lyricism/substance. There’s also an element of simplicity to his raps, but people seem to like that stuff today. But I’m still confused as to why he didn’t become any bigger. ‘A Yo’, although not one of my favorites, was a pretty popular song, and I would think that anyone who did any sort of research would have been pleased with his other stuff.

With no apology/ t-t-technology/ some brotha dissin’ me/ or even thinkin’ he

Who cares. I don’t. With his disappearance, he leaves a strong legacy. A small, controlled, and appreciated legacy. He was a staple to the Bay Area hip-hop conglomerate when Bay Area hip-hop was popular…for like a year. I think an argument could be made for Nickatina being the most grounded, well-crafted/witty rapper in that genre. I think it was probably a bit easier to shine when your geographic competition included The Pack, and Too $hort. So why did he fail to achieve the popularity of some of his co-horts?

Well, I don’t think it would be completely outrageous to assume there were some work ethic issues. I don’t want to say at a certain point it becomes an intelligence issue, but I’m thinking there probably were some bad decisions made at a certain point. And by ‘some’ I mean a ton, and by ‘a certain point’ I mean probably daily. If the guy plays shows for coke, I would doubt there is much regulation in terms of his income. Did he have an agent? I mean, probably.

“Hey Jay, me and the boys are gonna do a show at SC tonight.”
“Okay, well we didn’t talk about this. What are they offering.”
“Well they said they don’t have money, but a homie moves coke and he’s gonna take care of us.”
“…….so just the coke”
“Yeah.”

Andre Nickatina is probably just one of those guys who made a few million, which in turn equaled he and his homies chilling pretty tough for a couple years. And they were probably happy. Definitely some crazy stories from that era. But I’d think that by now, Dre Dog is upset he chose to take his 25 friends to Jamaica instead of going on tour and writing new material. He has completely fallen off, leaving us with the smallest taste of what could have been a much more powerful incumbency.