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Deaf people: Don’t masturbate. Also, 50 Cent


 
Some smartass/genius has procured a sign-language video, evidently produced by Jehovah’s Witnesses, meant to instruct the deaf on why it’s important to avoid the evils of masturbation, and set it to the music of rapper/actor 50 Cent (that’s pronounced “FIDDY Cent,” in case you didn’t know, he said, whitely), of Get Rich Or Die Tryin’ fame.

I really wish there was something… anything I could add to this, but the sign language gestures for tossing one off turn out to be pretty much what you’d expect.
 

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Discussion
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Unhappy Valentine’s Day: Kim Gordon’s Break-Up Playlist
02.14.2014
10:12 am

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Hip-hop
Music

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Kim Gordon

kgscream
 
The break-up of Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore in 2011 caused an amount of dismay and grief normally reserved for fictional characters or mentally deficient royals splitting. What was interesting and somewhat surprising was the music Kim turned to for comfort in the aftermath. She told Elle,  “Rap music is really good when you’re traumatized.”

Not country revenge songs about cheating in which someone gets shot? Not Nick Cave’s “Your Funeral and My Trial,” Leonard Cohen, Morrissey, or a single song from Frank Sinatra’s Only The Lonely album?

For others, the only things that helped them through the first stages of a broken heart are copious amounts of alcohol, gallons of ice cream, Patsy Cline, early Kiss albums, Dio, or The MBD Band’s Hot ‘N Sticky. For Kim, it was old school and new rap.

Having her share her break-up playlist is like having Brian Greene explain the Higgs boson, Richard Stallman expound on software liberty, or Henry Rollins talk about self-reliance (or list his twenty favorite punk albums). It’s time to pull up a chair.

gordonmoorewedding
 
Kim and Thurston’s wedding day, 1984. Do you feel doomed yet?

Kim Gordon’s “Traumatized Good Time Tunes,” as told to Refinery 29 after the jump…

Posted by Kimberly J. Bright | Discussion
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A 7-year-old’s drawings of classic rap albums


 
Via the fantastic So Bad So Good blog comes word of the talented lad Yung Lenox, who at age 7 is filling his Instagram account with his own re-creations of classic hip hop album art, with some punk and metal in the mix as well. Now, I’ve never known a kid who didn’t love to draw, but this kid shows some promise a bit beyond his years. He’s also admirably prolific, and enterprising to boot—he has an online store where he’s selling prints of his work. There’s little else I could add but to question whether he’s even allowed to listen to any of these, but since that does little to illuminate the actual work, let’s just have a look at the images.
 

Raekwon, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx
 

Ice Cube, Amerikkkas Most Wanted
 

Dr. Octagon, Dr Octagonecologyst
 

2Pac, All Eyez on Me
 

A Tribe Called Quest, The Low End Theory
 

Slayer, Live: Decade of Aggression
 

Minor Threat, Minor Threat
 

2 Live Crew, As Nasty As They Wanna Be

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Discussion
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Public Enemy’s ‘It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back’ Deconstructed
01.13.2014
05:49 am

Topics:
Hip-hop
Music

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Public Enemy


 
Public Enemy released It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back in 1988. Few albums have made a bigger impression on me or meant as much.

Today, Flavor Flav is a former reality TV star and Chuck D is a former Air America Radio personality and an elder statesman more generally. It’s difficult to reconstruct just how weird and scary Public Enemy once was to White Amerikkka. In 1989, when I first heard Nation of Millions, I was a college freshman who listened exclusively to radio-ready pop music and classic rock, with the exception of the speed metal I had recently gravitated towards—in fact, the inclusion of a snippet of “Angel of Death” by Def Jam labelmates Slayer on “She Watch Channel Zero” was one of the first facets of the album that attracted me to it.
 
Public Enemy
 
We didn’t know it then, but 1988 was the heyday of intensely sample-heavy rap LPs before the lawyers ruined everything—other masterpieces using that approximate technique include the Beastie Boys’ Paul’s Boutique and De La Soul’s 3 Feet High and Rising. For a dopey white kid from the suburbs, the texture of Nation of Millions was heady, intoxicating. I could obscurely categorize all the talk of “white devils” for which Professor Griff would soon be jettisoned from the band as “wrong,” but most of the other stances, even the incoherent ones, were far more difficult to rebut. The sound of the album was insistently “hard” and justifiably angry, funky and brainy, an album to drive you to bone up on James Brown and Malcolm X. The purpose of the approach was to change minds, but I often wonder if Chuck D and the Bomb Squad had any notion of the appeal the album might possess for impressionable white kids. I suspect it wasn’t much on their minds.

The densely multilayered nature of Nation of Millions cries out for a deconstruction—preferably one that can be imbibed via the ears. Fortunately, on the Solid Steel Radio Show a few months ago, DJ Moneyshot released a remarkably enjoyable hour-long episode that does precisely that. For anyone who loves the album, the show is a singular treat, nothing less than an aural essay on its sources, of which there are many. Civil rights speeches, immortal soul classics, contemporaneous rap gems, and interviews with the likes of Hank Shocklee are all mixed together, Bomb Squad style, into a delightful stew.

Oddly, I’d learned only days earlier that one of the key opening samples from “Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos” stems from Stevie Wonder’s Innervisions; I also had no idea that David Bowie’s “Fame” was used as the bed for one of Griff’s mottos in “Night of the Living Baseheads.” I’m going to assume that many DM readers, being less ignorant than myself, will still derive considerable enjoyment from this head-scrambling mix.
 

 
Thanks to Lawrence Daniel Caswell!

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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‘Beat This!’: Must-see document of Hip Hop’s golden age with Malcolm McClaren, Afrika Bambaataa
11.15.2013
07:13 am

Topics:
Hip-hop
Movies

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Beat This: A hip hop history


 
1984’s Beat This!: A Hip Hop History is one of the very first films to document Hip Hop culture at a time when it was entering its golden age. Made for British TV, the film is smartly done and includes lots of terrific footage of pioneers of the genre, including Kool Herc, Afrika Bambaataa and The Soulsonic Force and Malcolm McClaren (in his role as yoof culture’s Richard Attenborough) describing his exotic journey into the depths of the Boogie Down Bronx. There’s some ultra-cool footage from Herc’s original dance parties.

Beat This! was directed by British filmmaker Dick Fontaine who has a history of intelligently chronicling the early days of R&B and modern jazz. This one’s another significant feather in his creative cap.
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Discussion
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Ballin’ Oates: Hall & Oates meet hip-hop mixtape
11.14.2013
10:56 am

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Amusing
Hip-hop
Music

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Daryl Hall
Ballin' Oates


 
More than anything, the thug-ish artwork for Scott Melker’s Ballin’ Oates mixtape caught my eye. I LOL’d.

Here’s what Melker says via his SoundCloud page:

Ballin’ Oates is the third EP in a series of compilations produced by The Melker Project, each focusing on a different classic artist. Each Hall & Oates song was completely replayed and remixed by Melker, before blending them with different acapellas.

Enjoy!
 

 
Previously on Dangerous Minds:

The story behind Hall and Oates’ ultra-WTF? video for ‘She’s Gone’
 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
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Magic numbers from De La Soul’s hip-hop masterpiece ‘3 Feet High and Rising’
11.04.2013
11:52 am

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Hip-hop
Music

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De La Soul


 
When De La Soul’s monumentally groundbreaking album 3 Feet High and Rising came out in March of 1989—a few months ahead of The Beastie Boys’ Paul’s Boutique, it should be noted—it was a significant moment, a high-water mark, if you will, of the era when the lessons of “The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash on The Wheels of Steel,” “Rapper’s Delight” and Run DMC had been taken on-board and refined by a younger generation of musicians.

The “sample” wasn’t exactly a new thing by the late 1980s (Faust sampled The Beatles in 1970, and there must be dozens of historical examples prior to that) but knitting together entire songs from parts of other songs was still a relatively “new” thing to do at the time. The way forward pointed out by these earlier pioneers of the form, could be perfected and expanded upon. The gear was there—and was coming down in price—there was a will and there was a way.

The groups who were heavily sample-based could simply wow you with the depth of their musical knowledge, their crate digging prowess and the sheer wittiness of their samples. A Tribe Called Quest, Deee-Lite, the Dust Brothers/Beasties, Public Enemy/The Bomb Squad, and De La Soul/Prince Paul were all doing something so startling and creative in the context of the late 80s/early 90s, that many people—myself included—who were disappointed with the sorry state of music after the post-punk era had tailed-off started to pay attention.

Yes, there was a brief moment there before the lawyers got their teeth stuck in and ruined everything…

Nevertheless, a small handful of classic albums that mostly consist of samples did get made—and released—despite the best efforts of the music industry’s own legal eagles to strangle them in their crib. 3 Feet High and Rising is one of these records and considering that the samples come from Led Zeppelin, Michael Jackson, Jefferson Starship, Kraftwerk, The Turtles, Parliament, Otis Redding, James Brown, Barry White, Sly and the Family Stone, Johnny Cash, Steely Dan, The Bar-Kays, The Monkees, Cymande, even Liberace and Richard Pryor, it is something—like Paul’s Boutique—where it’s just a miracle that it even exists.

3 Feet High and Rising is one for the ages. The Village Voice dubbed it “The Sgt. Pepper of hip hop” and the good people of the Library of Congress evidently feel the same way as they inducted it into the National Recording Registry of culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant American creations in 2010. It’s an album that’s been included on practically every “of all time” list known to man.

Enjoy the sounds of the D.A.I.S.Y. Age (“da inner sound, y’all”)...
 

“Me, Myself and I”
 

“The Magic Number”
 
More magic numbers from De La Soul after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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Famous Beastie Boys sample revealed!
10.25.2013
08:47 am

Topics:
Hip-hop

Tags:
Beastie Boys
Mantan Moreland


 
Goggle-eyed comedian Mantan Moreland is most famous for being chauffeur “Birmingham Brown” in the Charlie Chan movies, for his supporting role as one of Lucifer Jr.’s “idea men” in Vincente Minnelli’s all-black musical Cabin in the Sky, and for playing the hapless mailman in the “sick humor” cult favorite, Spider Baby. You know how some people are just so naturally funny that the minute you see them, you’re primed for laughter? Mantan Moreland has always had that kind of effect on me.

I can’t tell you the number of times I have inflicted King of the Zombies on unsuspecting friends in the 1980s. It’s a terrible, terrible film, but his scenes are hilarious. I’ve watched it a lot. Too many times!

The Beastie Boys must’ve been Mantan Moreland fans, too, as there is a particular punch-line from one of his rude-n-crude “party records” of the 1970s sampled in a song called “B-Boys makin’ with the Freak Freak” from 1994’s Ill Communication album. The line—“Shit, if this is gonna be that kind of party, I’m gonna stick my dick in the mashed potatoes!”—is (inexplicably) hilarious on its own, but here’s the entire routine from Mantan Moreland’s album “That ain’t my finger!”
 

 
It starts a bit slow, but stay with it.
 

 
Below, Moreland is basically the star of King of The Zombies, but he’s not given top billing, the white actors are. My favorite scenes are when he gets hypnotized into believing that he’s a zombie and the scene where he leads the zombies into the kitchen to be fed. He says a line in the scene that begins at the 54:00 minute mark that I have used as a “catchphrase” for decades: “As I member, I has privileges.” No one ever knows what I mean when I say that, but I laugh.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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Beastie Boy Mike D designed some wallpaper
10.15.2013
08:18 am

Topics:
Art
Hip-hop

Tags:
Beastie Boys
Mike D

Beastie Boys
The one in the middle… he designs wallpaper now
 
And it’s pretty clever and cool! Available in blue or red, the print is done the style of a French Country Toile, but depicts the imagery of Brooklyn. There’s Biggie Smalls, Coney Island’s famous Cyclone Roller Coaster, pigeons, and even a Hasidic Jew!

I’m sure a few curmudgeons will scoff, but come on; Mike D is actually Mike Diamond, a 47-year-old father of two. He’s been married to the same woman for 20 years—a music video director who wrote a vegetarian cookbook. He was born to an upper middle class Jewish family and he went to Vassar. How has he not already designed a wallpaper?

The idea was his, but it was executed by Vincent J. Ficarra and Adela Qersaqi of Revolver New York. Flavor Paper produced the design as wallpaper. The product is eco-friendly, and available for as low as $7 per square foot. That seems pretty affordable for an accent wall, right? (I have no idea, my walls are all crumbling drywall and exposed brick.)
 

 
Mike D's hallway
Here it is in Mike D’s very own hallway!
 
Via Brokelyn

Posted by Amber Frost | Discussion
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MAKE IT STOP: See how far you can make it through Dee Dee Ramone’s rapping!

Dee Dee King
 
Poor Dee Dee. He went through so much in his life! An erratic childhood with an alcoholic father, heroin addiction, working with Johnny Ramone—the list goes on! But nothing, and I mean nothing excuses his foray into rapping. Below is his single, “Funky Man,” recorded in 1987 as “Dee Dee King.” Listen, if you dare.

One thing in his favor, Dee Dee was a legitimate hip-hop fan, and he was really dedicated to trying to contribute something new and meaningful to the genre. Unfortunately, this also meant that he started to wear track suits and gold chains. According to legend, Johnny Ramone refused to board a plane with him until he changed back into his Ramones “uniform.” He even quit The Ramones in 1989, citing a focus on his rap career as the impetus for the decision.

Dee Dee later expressed regret at his rap venture, acknowledging the project was a bust.
 

Posted by Amber Frost | Discussion
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