Posts Tagged ‘hip hop’

Reincarnated

Friday, April 26th, 2013

tn_reincarnated“Snoop gets Lionized”  –headline I predict Rolling Stone or somebody will use for their review

Like anybody, when I heard that one of my all time favorite but past his album recording prime rappers Snoop Dogg was changing his name to Snoop Lion and doing a reggae record, I shook my head and laughed. Ah, what will he think of next? But I saw the trailer for this Vice-produced documentary about Snoop going to Jamaica to record the album and suddenly I had to take the whole idea more seriously. The movie looked good enough that I would’ve gone to see it in a theater if it had played here. Instead here it is on DVD in time to promote the album of the same name, which came out Tuesday.

BTISLAnd holy shit you guys, this is a great documentary. I watched it last weekend and it overshadowed all the other things I’ve been watching lately, most of which I liked. I loved it so much I decided to invent this new medal just to make sure you guys will know I’m not fuckin around. This is an acclaimed documentary now, otherwise it wouldn’t have won a prestigious medal like this. If you love Snoop Dogg, or are even open to the idea of Snoop Dogg, you gotta see this. Regardless of how anybody feels about the album this is a great document of a man trying to find himself, of a historic bridging of musical cultures and generations, of the process of songwriting, of an awesome trip to Jamaica.

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Murder Was the Case: The Movie

Friday, September 28th, 2012

When I did my NATURAL BORN KILLERS retrospective a little while back there was one last piece I meant to write, which was about this short film directed by Dr. Dre. I could swear I read a long time ago that Oliver Stone wanted to play the short before NBK but the studio wouldn’t let him. I don’t know, I might’ve imagined it, because it’s not mentioned in the Killer Instinct book and all I can find on Google is references to Stone giving the short “props.”

MURDER WAS THE CASE comes form a song on Snoop’s first album Doggystyle, but it also spawned a hit soundtrack, and it’s on a DVD padded with other videos and various interview and performance clips, all poorly non-anamorphically transferred, but that seems to fit the material.
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Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

“The Art of Rap is the first Ice-T film.” –first line in Ice-T’s first film The Art of Rap

Some of you may know Ice-T as a kangaroo man from TANK GIRL, or a Lo-Tek in JOHNNY MNEMONIC. Some may know him for his appearances in whichever Law & Order crime drama it is. For others he’s the guy for some reason you always confuse with Ice Cube even though they look and sound totally different from each other. But you may have also heard that before all that he was a pioneering west coast rapper. I still bust out his albums Power and O.G. – Original Gangster every once in a while, and they hold up well.
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Tougher Than Leather

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

TOUGHER THAN LEATHER is a unique specimen – a time capsule movie vehicle for a musical act at their height, but a legit act with street credibility that they did not lose by being in a movie. This is not the Fat Boys or Meth and Red making a comedy. It’s Run DMC in a gritty action movie made independently by the same people they made their records with. Maybe a good comparison would be Isaac Hayes in TRUCK TURNER or Jimmy Cliff in THE HARDER THEY COME, except they weren’t playing themselves.
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Song of the day: “Way Back Home” by the Jazz Crusaders

Friday, May 4th, 2012

tn_crusadersFor some reason I was thinking of this song the other day. Like others of the 21st century, I got one of these iPods, although I got it specifically to drown out the sound of people talking on cell phones on the bus when I’m trying to read or write. Somehow I got “Way Back Home” going through my head but I didn’t have it on my iPod so I couldn’t listen to it.

At home I didn’t have it on CD, but I had it on a “the Crusaders at their best” LP that I tracked down after I first fell in love with the song. I’d been meaning to get it into my iTunes but I hadn’t figured out how to hook up the turntable since finally getting a new computer last year. But today I decided it was time to do it.

See, I never knew about the Jazz Crusaders back in the day, but I started trying to find out about them when I heard this song on a documentary in 2006. Specifically, it was AWESOME, I FUCKIN SHOT THAT, the Beastie Boys concert doc directed by Adam Yauch, who died this morning.

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Juice

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

tn_juiceJUICE is an early ’90s “hood movie” about four young friends in New York who fall into some stupid shit. Tired of getting picked on by the Puerto Rican kids and the cops and not having money, they decide to get a gun (just one between them) and rob a little mini-mart where the guy is an asshole and yells at them sometimes. It’s not exactly The Thomas Crown Affair they’re trying to pull off, but they’re amateurs so they fuck up this small time crime and have to deal with the aftermath. (read the rest of this shit…)

Saturday, February 5th, 2011

fyc

House Party 3

Friday, December 17th, 2010
Kid, you look different. Did you lose weight or something?

Kid, you look different since Part 2. Did you lose weight or something?

kidnplayOkay, I’m not saying it’s very good, but I gotta admit, HOUSE PARTY 3 wasn’t as bad as I expected. Actually I was kinda impressed that each installment covers a different part of Kid’s life. Part 1 he’s (improbably) in high school maintaining friendships, bonding with his dad, starting his first serious relationship. Part 2 he’s going to college, learning about his heritage, facing challenges in keeping his girlfriend, dealing with loss. Now, for part 3, he says goodbye to childish things. He’s lost the fade and is thinking about cutting his hair altogether. He must decide how much he believes in his future as a rapper, accept that his parts 1-2 girlfriend Sidney wasn’t who he was meant to be with, and trust that his woman Veda (Angela Means) loves him even when she’s around naked dudes. All this because he’s about to get married. In HOUSE PARTY 3, Kid becomes Man.

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Who’s the Man?

Friday, December 17th, 2010

tn_whosthemankidnplayYou know how nowadays everybody wanna talk like they got somethin to say, but nothin comes out when they move their lips, just a bunch of gibberish, and motherfuckers act like they forgot about Dre? And this despite the widespread recognition of Dre Day, and everybody’s celebratin? Well, that must be tough for Dre, but it’s even worse for Dré.

Dr. Dre – title abbreviated, name spelled with an ‘e’, not an ‘é’ – is the famous producer/rapper, the genius behind NWA, discoverer of Snoop and Eminem, headphone consultant, Dr. Pepper advocate. He still produces, is still highly respected despite unleashing 50 Cent, appears on commercials all the time but somehow still has a mystique about him. He recently released a song from the album he’s been working on for ten years, so he’s on the cover of magazines and people are really believing it’ll come out in February. And plan to buy it. Most rap careers don’t last as long as just the time people have been anticipating this one album by Dre.

Meanwhile Doctor Dré – title spelled out in full, name spelled with a little wavy thing above the ‘e’ – you could definitely make a strong argument that motherfuckers weren’t acting, they sincerely had forgotten about that particular Dré. (read the rest of this shit…)

Bebe’s Kids (plus two documentaries about Robin Harris)

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

tn_bebeskidskidnplayThe best thing about HOUSE PARTY was missing from HOUSE PARTY 2, that was Robin Harris. Of course they probly would’ve worked him in somehow if he was available, but he died of a heart attack in his sleep shortly after the release of the first one.

Harris seemed like he was on the verge of much bigger fame, at least according to two DVDs about him: ROBIN HARRIS LIVE FROM THE COMEDY ACT THEATER and WE DON’T DIE, WE MULTIPLY: THE ROBIN HARRIS STORY.
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