Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Dissecting a Muxtape

Namely, mine. Yes, the new type mixtape, "download proceeding" the new "press record". Since last March, the free service offers the user the opportunity to upload a 12-MP3 "tape" for the enjoyment of the curious.

Some muxtapers care about sequential cohesion. Some of them want to present a clear theme. Some people want their mux to let you peek into their lives. Me? I did this in ten minutes.

"One For Peedi"--Peedi Crakk, Freeway, Young Chris and Beanie Sigel
A hearkening back to the days when Rocafella Records seemed unstoppable, or at least real hard to slow down. This anthemic posse cut not only showcased several of Philly's finest, but necessitated the creation of a video where old white people wear ghetto-ass tees bearing rapper aliases.

"Footsteps in the Dark"--Isley Brothers
Slow, low, sleek...who doesn't want to make sweet curry love to the strains of an Isley Brothers song? Or at least undress very slowly. If this seems weird after a rap song, keep in mind that the delectable lick and cooing vocals were sampled for Ice Cube's atypical classic "It Was a Good Day", while the intro drums were lifted by the late J Dilla for "Won't Do".

"The Pink Room"--Angelo Badalamenti
From the Fire Walk With Me soundtrack, some bizarro Wild West for the ears. This was also sampled for a rap song, Canibus' "Indibisible". (99% of his fans aren't existing!)

"Give It Up"--KC & the Sunshine Band
An almost implausible hit from 1984 for the Once Lord of Disco, both here and in England especially, where the chorus melody has been integrated into many a delightful football chant. Ultimate dumbo brilliance. If you've ever watched the broadcast version of Gaki No Tsukai's 2004 No Laughing game, you may have noticed that the song makes a brief appearance. Possibly my favorite inexplicable use of American music in a Japanese TV show ever.

"Buffalo Stance"--Neneh Cherry
MTV used to be good. Watchable. Listenable. VJs weren't glamorous, but they weren't fargin' idiots either. This ode to empowerment and rebuke to audacious pimps fairly ruled 1989. I can still scarcely believe this was produced by an English guy.

"Union of the Snake"--Duran Duran
If MTV was still good in 1989, it was god in 1984. You couldn't wake up, piss and finish half a bowl of Lucky Charms without a video by the most fashionable British band of ever blessing your eyes. So bright, so sexy, so glam! And yeah, the music was good. Is good, actually. This doesn't have the rep of a "Rio" or "Hungry Like the Wolf" and that's a shame, 'cause "Snake" is an immaculately cut piece of pop, all elegant sonic flourishes, vague versifying, and sky-denting chorus. What the hell does it mean, anyway? Is it about a burgeoning cult? An internal clash threatening to go nuclear? Tantric sex? Well, per Simon Le Bon, the third is the truth. Makes sense when you actually read up on it.

Man will immediately sense that woman is with him, on his side, moving in rhythmic unison. There will be a feeling of “oneness” with a deep bodily “yes” from her, and he won't have to fight for his love, or she struggle to give it. It is true sexual union. To make love in this way, utilizing polarity, begins the process of establishing a powerful energy field between and within two bodies. Bio-electricity flowing within this magnetic field follows a helical path, and this explains why the movement of the famed serpent power , the kundalini energy, located at the base of the male spine will be experienced as a forceful unfolding, jerking, rising snake. In complementary style, the root of the female kundalini energy lies not in the spinal base, as mistakenly believed, but in the breasts. This so, because energy cannot be raised from a negative center. Once the breasts and heart of a woman are fully resonant, this snake will implode, gracefully unwinding, and giving way within.

"Nasty Like College Chicks"--Andre Nickatina
Ain't a damn thing to dislike. Voice like a West Coast Rockness. Hilarious title. Best intro in rap music history. Top 5 chorus in the history of the genre.

"Pussyhole"--Dizzee Rascal
A dis song, but I forget who towards. Dizzee really shines over belabored samples.

"Have A Nice Day"--Roxanne Shante
Now here is a dis track with an unforgettable talent: KRS-One. See, Blastmaster kinda ran his mouth in "The Bridge Is Over", taking shots not only at Juice Crew member MC Shan, but also the sole female of that clique, Roxanne Shante. To many, this couldn't help but be a one-sided swedge: compared to the rest of the Juice Crew, KRS was going after the comparatively weaker MCs. If Kool G Rap and Big Daddy Kane were the Sonny and Michael, Shan and Shante were more like Fredo and Connie. (Biz Markie, by the way, totally Clemenza.) But what if Connie recruited Michael to teach her the art of armed combat? The result was the relentless "answer" to Kris' crude dismissal. (The final verse is the killer, where Scott La Rock gets jibbed and acronyms be mad fun.)

"Hands Up"--Red Collar
What is it about North Carolina rock that's so forceful yet thoughtful? Of course you've never heard of Red Collar and you've never heard the EP from which this song was taken. Get smart like Steve Carrell's agent.

"Jet"--Paul McCartney and Wings
Horns to hearken the arrival of a top 5 songwriter in the history of ever. Oh yes. You may cringe at the fact that Macca wrote this song in honor of his pet horse, but boo to you and all those who. Ooh, I wish it was about lying around in bed to end war!

"Just A Song Before I Go"--Crosby, Stills and Nash
Now that's an end piece. See, this guy says to Graham Nash, he says, 'Man, we're gonna be at the airport in 15 minutes, ain't no way you can write a song in that time! It's like my pimpin' hero--too short!" Graham just rolls his eyes and says, "Kid, I got this." And he did. The ballyhooed CSN vocal harmonies and folk melodies are hit-miss with me, but this one hits heavenly.

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