Posts Tagged ‘De La Soul’

Two of us

April 22nd, 2008 1 comment

My friend Liz, who works for a London magazine publisher, e-mailed to tell me that she had spotted my Doppelgänger while doing a page layout (apparently he’s more heavy-set than I am, which is a relief).

I find the idea of a double very spooky indeed (as would, presumably, my look-alike). I once saw a spitting image of myself sitting at a bar. It was disconcerting observing this incredibly handsome man. Like myself, he his excess of charm, wit and intelligence was observably steaming through his delicate pores. I did not approach him, of course, taking heed of Doc Brown’s warning to Marty McFly and the dangers of upsetting the time continuum. Perhaps that handsome specimen of a man was my future self on a time travelling mission. Which might mean I’ll become a barfly. A good-looking barfly. Not Mickey O’Rourke. Or perhaps my future self had the sense to obtain a sports almanach. What did Doc Brown say about that again?

I suppose meeting my exact double would put to test the promise I (a vain man who favours unrealistic ego boosts over self-deprecation) make to my mirror image every morning: “Hmmm, I would do you.”

Kid Creole & the Coconuts – I’m A Wonderful Thing, Baby.mp3
Michael Jackson – Man In The Mirror.mp3
De La Soul – Me, Myself And I.mp3*

Lame hip hop for lame whiteys

October 14th, 2007 2 comments

Take a look at ‘The Top 10 Rap Songs White People Love’. Not because it hits the nail on the head (it doesn’t), not because it’s amusing (it mostly isn’t), not because we can learn anything from it (we can’t). I’m flagging it because the idea is at once interesting and ridiculous. Is the dude saying that white people are lame for supposedly liking these tracks, or is he saying that the tracks are lame for white people supposedly liking these songs? Either way, is he advocating some kind of a Taste Apartheid?

Of course, it seems evident that cap-in-yo-ass-bustin’ charlies such as 50 Cent, The Game or Fabolous, and even Snoop Dogg, are now marketed primarily at an audience in the ‘burbs, not that in the ‘hood. It would be fair to say that “Whitey” digs Fiddy probably more than Whitey’s African-American counterparts do. But by establishing a racial link between music and perceived audience, one risks engaging in the same silly stereotype which assumes that black people cannot possibly like rock or pop music due to some cultural or genetic proscription. Which, of course, is not true (and here is a blog about non-hip hop music black people like ).

Some rap acts will lack credibility, for a variety of reasons. Some had cred, and lost it when they sold their image to be used in kids’ cartoons (MC Hammer); some entered with no credibility in first place (any number of cash-in copycat herberts); and some are accused of not having any credibility when that is just uninformed nonsense, sometimes based on race (Beastie Boys, by people who know nothing; I’ve heard that even Vanilla Ice had credibility on the rap circuit before he sold out to MTV). Surely credibility cannot be based on whether a melanin-disadvantaged character dances poorly to Eazy E. Because — ha ha ha — Whitey ain’t got no rhythm. Flip that stereotype for a laugh.

A poster on my favourite message board suggested the following juxtaposition: “Transpose the post as ‘Top 10 country songs that black people love’ written by some redneck and see what responses it would garner.” Nail. MC Hammer. Bang.

Incidentally, the latest poll suggests that most readers here don’t give much of a damn about hip hop. I asked: What is the state of hip hop today?

Better than ever…………………..1%
Doing OK………………………………4%
Dying on its arse…………………26%
Who gives a 50 Cent…………..67% (that would be the Sir Mix-A-Lot fanbase, presumably)

Count me in the ‘dying on its arse’ constituency. But, frankly, hip hop has become so corporate that I’ve stopped giving much of a 50 Cent. Can rap be saved? We’ll have our old CDs and the memories should all these gimps invariably featuring Akon on their albums succeed in killing rap.

In the spirit of rap songs being liked by white people, a few random tracks which this (non-nasal) “whitey” likes:
Scarface – On My Block.mp3
Common – Real People.mp3
Jay-Z – Izzo (H.O.V.A.).mp3 (live unplugged)
Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five – The Message.mp3
De La Soul – Me, Myself And I.mp3
Gil Scott-Heron – The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.mp3 (proto rap track)

And for the fun of it:
Chris Rock – Rap Standup.mp3 (“love rap, tired of defending it”)
Chris Rock – Real People Of Ignorance.mp3 (a few laugh-out-loud moments!)
Ben Folds – Bitches Ain’t Shit.mp3 (live on 3FM)
Richard Cheese – Hey Ya.mp3

(Image borrowed from