15 Best Lil Wayne Freestyles
I think I just got banned from Wikipedia.
25. Yung Gleesh “Lazyness”
24. Le Youth “C O O L (Ben Pearce Remix)”
23. P. Rico “Hang Wit Me”
22. Future f/ Young Scooter “Everything Ours”
21. August Alsina “Downtown”
20. Chief Keef “Where He Get It”
19. Hot Natured f/ The Egyptian Lover “Isis (Magic Carpet Ride)”
Listen to all of this.
Death Grips and nonsense
I will give Death Grips this: they are actually, truly divisive. I guess there are some people that would rather keep them out of mind, but everyone else seems to either really identify with their desire to burn it all to the ground, or they really don’t (that would be me). To admit a bias, I’ve never really identified with that mindset even as a teenager, but there is something particularly irksome about what Death Grips are trying to do when they, say, play an orchestrated no-show.
Death Grips signed to Epic Records in 2011. This sounds crazy now but it happened. They went to L.A. and they stayed in the Chateau Marmont like proper major label artists. They had genuine hopes for their careers as part of Epic Records — they trusted that the stewardship of L.A. Reid would lead to a fruitful marriage between rebel and corporation. Then L.A. Reid went on X-Factor and the entire team that was responsible for bringing Death Grips to Epic was supposedly fired, and it all tumbled downhill very fast from there. You can read about all of this in Jenn Pelly’s long interview with Zach Hill from last December.
But if L.A. Reid never goes on X-Factor, or his team is able to help Death Grips navigate these waters, where are they now? Are they just a popular band cashing nice checks to play Lollapalooza? Are they showing up for their shows at even bigger venues and playing happily? Are they still trying to remain rebellious by bucking even the well-meaning intentions of L.A. Reid? That’s one set of questions. Of course, the other set of questions is maybe more pertinent: Why did Death Grips even entertain that first scenario in the first place? Zach Hill says he and Stefan Burnett really did think that aligning with a major label would work even if — as he says — he suspected they would end up where they were at the end of 2012, which was leaking their own album with a cock on the cover.
Having to rebel against major label overlords is nothing new, of course. If majors can fuck over Prince, then they can fuck over Clipse and JoJo and Death Grips and whoever else. Signing your career away to one of these labels is a risky decision that hundreds — if not thousands — of people still willingly make every year. With that having been said, the entirety of the pop and rap industries were long ago swallowed by a few corporate entities. There are few — if any — avenues for a previously unestablished rap or pop artist to stay independent and flourish. But for an indie rock band — and that is what Death Grips is — the opposite is true: there are a handful of very successful indie labels that would have signed Death Grips and let them be who they are and do what they want. There was no reason for Death Grips to sign with Epic other than to, I guess, give themselves a reason to be where they are now.
Agreeing to play a show during a city’s biggest music weekend of the year at an independent venue that stands to make a nice chunk of money on a Sunday night that they would not have made otherwise but never intending to show up, thus leaving your fans with a wasted night and a venue with a skewed balance sheet is not an ideology. It is a publicity stunt for no greater cause than one’s own ego. Death Grips are not rebelling against anything — not the major label system, not the commodification of indie rock — except their own old decisions. This is destruction — and no longer just self-destruction, mind you — not as martyrdom but as masturbation. Death Grips are not punks. They are living Joaquin Phoenix’s joke.
…they transformed that icy Carrie, pouring her into the warm body of Sarah Jessica Parker. Out popped a chatterbox with a schnoz…”
— I’ve been obsessed with this bit of Emily Nussbaum’s defense of the legacy of Sex and the City in the New Yorker for a few days. The imagery of this description is so searingly vivid, which I think is quite rare in criticism. There’s another bit in here that’s simple but awesome: “A man practically woven out of red flags…” It’s like you can almost see him tightening or unravelling. Biggie’s music is of course so eternally stunning because he was as relaxed and fluid as his rapping was intricate and gymnastic. Sometimes when I’m listening to his music I’ll become convinced that the man literally thought in rhyme. How else could his rapping be so smooth? Anyway, not to say that Emily Nussbaum is Biggie but when I was reading this piece I kept imagining these perfect little descriptions just pouring out of her ears.
I was being a little glib about this on twitter earlier, so let me set the record straight…
I don’t doubt that James Brooks is sincere in his feminism. I also think he seems like a decent and intelligent person, at least based on his internet persona. And I’m sure that his Dead Girlfriends…