Posted tagged ‘mf doom’

Top Ten Beatles Samples (C.A.T.T.L.E.)

November 22, 2010

Hey Beatles, welcome to the internet! (Photo courtesy DatGif)

Welcome to another installment of Chaz’s Arbitrary Top Ten List Extravaganza. With the recent major Apple announcement that iPhones will now dispence Pez the remastered Beatles catalog will now be available on iTunes, an internet Meme was launched getting everyone to post their favorite Beatles songs. Since I don’t want to just give you my list of the greatest songs about going up-and-down slides ever written, I’m instead going to cover those who’ve sampled/channeled/interpolated the Fab 4. I’m probably saving myself a series of angry comments by stating off the bat that I’m NOT including mash-ups. Yes, I know Danger Mouse blahblahblah but you should be listening to his album with Jemini anyway*. Also, I don’t want the now hyperactive retroactive sample patrol to retroactively go after these artists, so I’m going to keep my comments limited to just these opening paragraphs.

The main reason I’m doing this is to look cool because everybody knows the person who can identify the most samples in a rap song is clearly the coolest guy at any party because I think a lot of my generation who grew up with the Beatles’ music limited to awful sounding CD versions and mediocre covers of the bulk of their material in commercials and movies permeating our subconscious, have been given a faint, and frankly false, familiarity with not only their catalog but how much their influence means to pop culture. Their presence in the homes of the artists listed below, the first post-Beatles generation, cannot be denied. From chopping melodies they liked to merely singing a bar or two in their verses, they have a touchstone that can’t help but resonate in every listener. Even when the concepts seem silly, their efforts are inadvertently a by-product of Beatle-mania. So now in 2010 when some find it hip to not merely dislike the Beatles, but treat them with apathy, these unfortunate souls don’t realize how much they appreciate the group without even knowing it.

That in mind, here’s my Top Ten Beatles Visibly Influenced Songs** -

Poison Clan – “Jeri Curl”

MF Doom – “Tick Tick”

Brother Ali – “Live From the Chippy Bun Club”

Ghostface Killah – “My Guitar”

Boogie Down Production – “Criminal Minded”

3rd Bass – “3 Strikes 5000″ (Vocal Version)

A Tribe Called Quest – “Luck of Lucien”

Organized Konfusion – “Stress”

Doug E. Fresh & Slick Rick – “The Show”

Beastie Boys – “Sounds of Science”

*I’m also not going to be including that Kanye West-produced Talib Kweli song because it sucks.

**Didn’t seem catchy enough for a headline. To quote the Beatles of my generation, “we’re not sorry that we tricked you.”

A Guide to One-Take Rap Videos

May 7, 2010

Take me out to the blog post! One take, that is!

As this site has well established, rap music is awesome. What’s also awesome, is the art of the music video. Once thought to be merely a three minute promotional tool aired for 1-3 months and then never seen again, thanks to the YouTube era they’ve now entered immortality and help determine who is going to direct our Terminator sequels. Being primarily a commercial for a song, record labels and musicians alike have tried cutting costs as many ways possible. Since rock group The Replacements introduced the one-take video in 1986 with “Bastards of Young,” videos that have been one-take or made to seem like they were one-take have been successful as both an eye-catching and cost-cutting tactic.

Since I think we’ve all seen enough OKGO, I’ve decided to compile the definitive list of one-take rap videos.

Xzibit – “What U See is What U Get” (1998, Director: Gregory Dark)

The video that made me a regular BET watcher, a tribute to Hitchcock’s Rope, “What U See is What U Get” follows Xzibit to the store to get some milk, only to have any and everything get in his way. While it’s much more impressive to see on television as there’s A LOT more going on than can fit in a YouTube screen, its sheer ingenuity and replay value has allowed it to stand the test of time much more than its more expensive counterparts*.

MF Doom – “Dead Bent” (1999, Director: Piston Honda)

Once upon a time before he was a no-showing cartoon of himself, MF Doom was an indie oddity whose mask existed as a metaphor for one hiding their scars within rap music. A tragic figure, he was never more visually realized than the 1999 video for “Dead Bent.” A reinterpretation of Cibo Matto’s “Sugar Water,” Doom exists hauntingly as an everyday supervillain. Consider it – domestic Doom.

Scarface – “On My Block” (2002, Director: Mark Klasfeld)

My favorite rapper and my favorite video director team up to make my favorite from this list. One continuous trip around the block shows everything Scarface’s neighborhood has gone through over the course of his life. Beautifully bookended by a life/death dichotomy, this is one of only two videos I ever remember BET heavily promoting the debut of**. Keep your eyes peeled for Scarface’s only appearance in the video selling Uncut Dope out of the trunk.

Lil Jon f/ Mystikal & Krayzie Bone “I Don’t Give A” (2003, Director: Gil Green)

This one is the most obviously not one take, but the choppyness serves a purpose. A rap reinterpretation of Prodigy’s infamous “Smack My Bitch Up” video***, this video follows a night on the town with Lil Jon and the Eastside Boyz as all H*ck breaks loose. With a cameo list only rivaled by UGK’s “International Players Anthem”, the rapid fire jump-cutting to concert footage come-to-life is meant to mimic the experience of live music while on syrup. Consider it visual chopping and screwing.

louis logic & JJ Brown – “The Great Divide” (2006, Director: Jed I. Rosenberg)

What’s cool about former Demigodz member louis logic’s “The Great Divide” video is how it is a direct interpretation of the song without being a literal one. The frozen frame of the camera showing logic walking in place while the entire rest of the world walks past him mirrors the song’s protagonist who can’t get out of his own way and live his life until the very end when he just releases himself and walks along with the world.

Hangar 18 – “Feet to Feet” (2008, Director: Paul Iannacchino)

After not appearing in their 2007 album Sweep the Leg’s first video “Baking Soda,” Definitive Jux MCs Alaska and Windnbreez made a video that rested on the strength of their charisma. Capturing the energy of their live performances, the one-take serves as both a channel of unfiltered Hangar as well as some pretty cool visuals.

Nyle – “Let the Beat Build” (2009, Director: Chadd Harbold)

Finally, the video that was number #1 on YouTube, Okayplayer, Gawker, Google, NASA and everywhere in-between, Nyle’s “Let the Beat Build.” His senior project, capturing the vibrant energy of the NYUterus, the sheer insanity here is that the entire clip is a live performance. A labor of love****, it wound up getting so popular that it bucked the entire corporate music industry label system and landed on MTV*****. Since you’ve probably read everything there is to read about this video, please enjoy this song that Nyle and I made last year as a free download.

YOU JUST NEED ONE TAKE!

So until next time…let’s agree to agree!

*I just rewatched the Busta Rhymes-Janet Jackson “What’s It Gonna Be” video for the first time in a decade, and it’s aged so bad it hurt my feelings.

**The other being Juvenile’s “Follow Me Now,” which has nothing to do with this list.

***Extra props for keeping the original twist ending.

****Love, of course, meaning hours upon hours of rehearsal.

*****That’s MTV ONE! Insert the same “MTV-never-plays-videos” joke you’ve made since 1996 here.


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