Today on Unkut.com the top video was of Action Bronson’s (AB) song “Brunch.” If you have no clue who I’m talking about, then this article is for you. But first, feel free to familiarize yourself with AB on Twitter or Youtube. http://twitter.com/#!/ACTIONBRONSON
Here’s a good compendium of his videos. Try to ignore the snarky, Tyler-worshiping Odd Future references.
But what can I say about this guy that is not transparently dick-riding? He’s fat. loves food. from NYC, and absolutely owns any beat he’s on. Pretty much what I aspire to get paid to do. A lot of people have been describing him as playful, or charming, or even easy to cheer for, and while all those things are true, to an extent, by no means should they be seen as a detriment. He’s from Queens, is in his mid-twenties, got a start tagging with the Smart Crew, and as of late has been dropping Youtube videos like storks drop babies over Catholic’s homes, or even more aptly, like David Guetta drops club bangers and really hot chick’s panties. At least in every picture I see that guy in (Guetta), he’s surrounded by dimes. Back to AB, though.
This album review, http://www.unkut.com/2011/04/action-bronson-dr-lecter-album-review/, speaks pretty highly of his overall work on the Dr. Lecter album, but it’s important to know how to gauge hype. People like him because of his unabashedly self-conscious lyrics and raw delivery. More importantly, he doesn’t spit it as if he was a depressed teenager, but rather like a trained pitbull, seasoned and bored of straight up killing every pup that comes in the ring. His delivery is…pretty good, but it is his use of metaphor and pace that reminds me so much of Big Pun. At times, his smoothness most closely mirrors Notorious B.I.G., but he also exhibits technique like Ghostface or Raekwon in that sort of “list of words to create an environment” sense. THE GUY IS VERSATILE, and not to take away from the lyricism he does display, but AB is all about imagery. He enjoys building each syllabic rhyme after another with similar content.
So if you’re looking for someone fresh to listen to, or even just someone who isn’t rapping about popping bottles, Maybach coupes, and his own inflated sense of credibility, then this cat is for you. Along with Yelawolf, he’s definitely holding it down for the white bois, and like Biggy Smalls, he holds it down for Phat bois from Queens. Although neither of those traits define him, as his passions: cooking, pussy, hip and weed, seem to characterize his persona more. AB is such a breath of fresh air, especially considering last summer’s monotony within Hip Hop. I don’t know how many times I heard Monster, but after the 500th play, even Nicki Minaj, who unanimous consent deemed killed that track, got annoying.
The much used line, “Our founding fathers intended-” seems to be one of common use in political debates today, whether it be on a televised national level, or just some average Joes talking amongst themselves. Now before I dive into this, let me just say that I have a very strong admiration for our founding fathers and am eternally grateful for everything they did in making our great country great. That being said, the founding fathers created the foundation for a nation based on what they believed needed to be done AT THAT TIME. “That time”, however, was the 1700s. So why is it that so many American’s seem to magically know what it was the founding fathers would have wanted today? Furthermore, why is it relevant? We live in a world that has an exponentially higher population rate than theirs did, and we now have knowledge of things that they could never even begin to comprehend. Yes they are all great men, and yes they were VERY intelligent, but they could never have understood just how successful, and just how much growth their nation would yield through the centuries. We owe them our respect, but we do not need to reference them at every political crossroads or problem we encounter. Common sense worked in the 1700s, heck MAYBE even in the 1800s. But as a nation, we cannot continue spreading the belief that COMPLEX economic issues, based in one of the most complicated economic machines known to man, all have COMMON SENSE answers. I tip my hat to the founders, but they are not the instruction manual on how to run a country over 200 years later. It’s like using a Playstation 1 instruction manual to fix your Playstation 300.
While I once prided myself in only listening to the politically and socially conscious musical stylings of independent artists like Ani Difranco or State Radio, I have to admit that possibly the best concert I have ever been to wasn’t at a hole in the wall seeing some band no one has ever heard of (as every hipster wants their best concert to be) but was at the First Mariner Arena watching Rihanna kick off her Loud tour.
In what was more like a Broadway production than any concert I had ever been to, Rihanna captivated us for almost two hours and for 24 songs (yes, I know how many because I looked up the setlist the next morning). Now, I was a fan before the concert. Maybe a closeted, guilty-pleasure fan, but a fan. Rihanna has moved up on my fan meter from the “I’ll stop on a radio station when they play her songs” level to the “I own several of her albums” platform that is only occupied by maybe three or four other groups.
I’ll leave the concert reviews to those who have been to more than one arena style concert before, but I am much more concerned with what this means for the future of my music listening. How can I feel legit in a coffee shop with my head phones on, knowing that if the they fall out of the outlet, “Rude Boy” will be played to the other patrons who choose to be there at 11:00AM instead of at a job. Will my facebook account really be taken seriously with Rihanna listed next to Rilo Kiley and The Postal Service under favorite music (actually, this is not a problem given that I made an effort to create the most generic facebook account ever — under favorite artists I have only “the Beatles” and “anything but country” listed).
Also, I struggle with what Rihanna stands for. Her lyrics, all written for her by others, run the gamut of cliches and hyper-sexed mainstream pop culture. I remember when I first heard “Russian Roulette,” except I didn’t know that title or hadn’t seen the music video; I had just heard it in segments on the radio. And I took the stance that she had finally made a song with some depth to it. While not particularly nuanced, the lyrics were clearly a commentary on the Iraq war; examining a soldier’s view of partaking in a military where she is unsure of her own support of it and coupled with the fear of possibly losing her life. I mean, read these lyrics:
As my life flashes before my eyes I’m wondering will I ever see another sunrise? So many won’t get the chance to say goodbye But it’s too late to think of the value of my life
Right? It wasn’t completely crazy to think that this song may be a political commentary? Of course it was! Rihanna is a carefully crafted pop sex symbol. When she was labeled as being a Beyonce rip off, she released her 4th album, Rated R, to remake her image. And that image is a sexy bad-ass.
But after the concert, I really don’t care what she stands for. She is no longer a guilty pleasure; I am a fan. She is an incredible performer, has a phenomenal voice and carries herself with a swagger that I can’t help but respect. And as for a message, a deeper meaning behind the art and craft of her music–or music in general? I guess it doesn’t really matter as long as it’s performed Loud enough.
The 1985 Toyota MR-2. A little 1.6 liter, 112-White-Horse-Powered automobile that first caught my attention in the year of 2005, when a brushed steel (read ‘primer grey’) version of this little number cut me off in traffic to park in front of a vintage clothing store. The whole thing probably would have gone unnoticed had not a stunning twenty-something Van Halen groupie emerged anachronistically from the passenger seat of this marvel of 1980s Japanese automobile design. Seeing her there, cigarette dangling from her lips, light-sensitive eyes shielded from the sun by a pair of enormous sunglasses, it was as if I had traveled backwards through time to a white sand beach somewhere in Noriega-era Panama. I knew then that I had glimpsed t-top heaven, and its name was the 1985 Toyota MR-2.
With the superhero flick The Green Lantern hitting theaters on June 17th, I thought I would remind everyone that Blake Lively is a super babe. Despite computer generated pig-men and Ryan Reynolds not in Van Wilder mode, the movie has potential thanks to the lovely Miss Lively. She totally won me over as a legitimate actress in The Town when she showed her versatility and really proved she had some acting chops.
Whether you’re cooling out by the pool with your homies or sweating it out on the way to work in your busted hand-me-down ride with the battery powered boombox buzzing in the backseat, we’ve got what you need with a collection of these cool like lemonade in a cotton hammock Summer Jams.
The 2011 Republic of Texas Motorcycle Rally is well underway in Austin, Texas. Every year, the event is the largest collection of bikers to convene in the lone star state. In fact, the Guinness world record for “Longest Parade of Motorcycles” was set a few years back during the ROT Rally.
50,000 bikers are expected to participate in the rally this year. There will be tattoo expos, stunt shows, bikes shows, women, musical acts, booze, and of course, motorcycles.
The event is expected to draw 200,000 spectators. Be careful out there, as the event has already claimed one casualty due to a traffic accident. Share the road!
Lately there seems to be a resurgence in “blaming the bums” amongst residents in the Texas area. The unemployment rate is rather high right now, yet the number of times I’m hearing the “Why don’t they just get a job?” argument seems to be increasing with it as well. However trying to point out this blatant contradiction in the argument will likely get you nowhere, and instead will cause the topic to shift over to…you guessed it, President Obama. It seems fairly commonplace in the South for people to dislike him first, then they decide why and how they reached that conclusion after the fact. Discount or disprove any of their stated reasons and its on to the next myth/completely made up accusation. One woman, who shall remain anonymous, claims she was laid off from work solely because of President Obama. I then asked her when she was laid off from her long time job. After checking her paperwork she said she was notified of the lay offs on January 1, 2009, almost three weeks before he took office! I mentioned that it was actually impossible that she lost her job because of him and explained that he was not sworn in until January 20. “No, he swore in before that” she said. So I thought to further prove her wrong by showing her the official record of his inauguration online. Her husband promptly called me ignorant and something other than my given name, and asked me to leave. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for debating policy and facts, what could be done better or should not have been done at all. But it really does begin to wear a man down, arguing against phrases such as “He never dun did put his hand on the Bible when he swure in, I seent it!” That’s an easy one right? Just show them the video and prove them wrong. Nope. Tried that one too. I suppose I should just resign myself to people blaming anything and everything that doesn’t go right for them to be Obama’s fault. So if your dog just passed away, you cut yourself shaving, or you didn’t ace that last exam, don’t fret! Rest easy knowing it isn’t your fault, Obama did it. “Now Bush…he was a good ol’ Texas boy.” says one Texas native. “Isn’t he from Connecticut or something?” I ask. I’m promptly given the stink eye and reprimanded with “You one of them liberal types ain’t ya?” And that, at least, is true.
The new “Robomow” sounds cool in theory, a mower that just requires a press of a button and it gets to work. But exactly what it gets to work on is what has me excited. With about three dozen Robomows, I could lay siege to any house of my choosing. Simply press the buttons for an instant swarm of mindless, blade whirling death bots to patrol that pesky neighbor’s yard and keep him inside the house while the Robomows destroy his flower garden. Have some in-laws that need to be taught lessons? No problem. Simply bring over a Robomow as a gift, set it out in the house, press the button and leave. The next time you return your in-laws are guaranteed to “Respect your authoritah”. But seriously, is this thing cool or what?
Perhaps one of the best non-mainstream rap artists in the business, Lil Boosie, was arrested on June 17, 2010 on federal first degree murder charges. The Louisiana rapper now faces three counts of possession of narcotics, three counts of conspiracy to commit possession with intent to distribute narcotics, and two counts of conspiracy to introduce contraband into a penal institution. Talk about getting into trouble! Personally I feel that his music is good enough to warrant a full pardon, but the justice system just isn’t having it. While I remain hopeful that he will get off, it does seem unlikely at this stage in the case. Interestingly, some of Lil Boosie’s music is now also under investigation by the prosecution. His song “F’em All”, is currently being looked at for the possibility of threats towards the D.A. and prosecutor’s office. As to whether or not the prosecution could actually use the music against him remains to be seen, but the fact that they are trying to and not being outright laughed at by the presiding Judge, says enough. I hate to see him go, but we’ve probably seen the last of Torrence “Lil Boosie” Hatch.