Eminem. Old white GOAT coasting on geriatric diapers.
You heard the new Eminem single ‘Berzerk’? No? Go listen, it’s a decent enough diversion. Not bad. Obviously not the lead item this bulletin through merit, but you can’t begrudge a man with his history the brand recognition. He’s the guy that told us food stamps don’t buy diapers! He’s worked for the right to put out mediocre records, goddamit! Sounds like he was going for something like Beastie Boys on Licensed To Ill and came up with something like Beastie Boys on To The 5 Boroughs. Still, I wouldn’t be too mad if I was out somewhere, drunk and enjoying myself and the DJ played it.
I’m more conflicted about the news that Eminem’s latest album is being billed as a sequel to The Marshall Mathers LP. Not for myself, it’s no skin off my nose if Eminem spends the rest of his life shitting all over his legacy (in a bad way), but for folks like Roman Cooper of the really quite excellent hip-hop site HHDX it’s more of a problem. I was already a cynical olf git when I got into Eminem. For me the original Marshall Mathers LP was a slightly disappointing follow-up to the mindblowing Slim Shady LP. For Roman it was year zero. His article ‘The Marshall Plan‘ is an eloquent treatise on he felt about the album back then and his thoughts about the sooncome sequel. It’s powerful stuff, should be required reading for everyone at Shady/Aftermath over the next couple of months.
I mean, c’mon. Let’s get real. It’s not a true sequel, is it? It’s not an album about some bum with talent and determination waking up to find out he’s king of America and idol to millions. It’s going to be yet another album about how multi-millionaires have to wrestle their demons too. Nothing shameful about that, there might even be a couple of good tracks, so why do you have to call it Marshall Mathers LP II? Couldn’t you just change the name? For Roman’s sake and for ours, so we can appreciate the new material on its merits (or lack thereof). Trust me guys, you’re winning at this stage. At least compared to Recovery.
Fortunately, for those of us not too hung up on the great white wonder, there’s whole lot of other good and interesting music been released in the last couple of weeks.
- Watching Little Simz ‘3000x‘, open mouthed, taken aback by how damn psychdelic it feels. Wondering if there’s a rich seam of this stuff happening in the UK and I’m late to the party. Dirty South influenced beats somehow expansive in contrast to the usual claustrophobic road rap these isles seem to turn out so well, with such ease. Watching a second time it sinks in, this isn’t Dizzee Rascal saluting UGK when his own music was nothing much like (except in concept), this as much of a piece with A$AP as it is influenced by them. The latest wave of the southern diaspora has reached our shores. I, for one, salute our new space-faring overlords. Three thousand times.
- The hook on Danny Brown’s ‘ODB‘ is brilliant. That’s all I have to say about that song as this point. I’m going to wait until I’ve had a chance to absorb the whole album properly. It’s called OLD and it’s due on September 30, folks. But you knew that already. Got it circled on your calendar, right? Until then that hook, ‘In the end I’m just a dirty old man with a pill on my tongue and my dick in my hand’ will have to suffice. A snappy, if partial, summation of the great man’s appeal.
- One day I’m going to make a mix of tracks that sample Millie Jackson’s Phuck You Symphony. Latest in line is Yo Gotti, in collaboration with his good chum Meek Mill on the imaginatively titled ‘Fuck You‘ remix. On this version Gotti and Meek use Millie’s concept to pour scorn on haters and bitches, advising listeners to shun such frippery and instead invest time and money in business interests. They work well together. Personally I prefer Meek’s more animated delivery, the way he twists the words when he gets worked up opens up room for interpretation, but Gotti’s drawl is a nice compliment.
- I know next to nothing about Meridian Dan, but the second I click play on ‘Talking Too Much‘ and heard the warning that ‘you can’t take man for an egg-fried noodle‘ I started to warm to him. Problem is, I’m not sure I’m laughing at him or with him. I think he’s supposed to be coming over seriously fierce. He’s not the greatest actor, but I was all for giving him a pass until it got to the bit where he warns repeatedly, ‘you’ll get beat with a strap‘ and he pretends to whip one of his cowering (fully clothed) friends with a belt and I had to hold down a laugh that could have been considered disrespectful. His able comrade Mytus is more convincing with his guest verse, his threats of gun violence may be more conservative than Dan’s sociopathy but they’re also more menacing. It’s hard to be frightened when you’re laughing.
- It’s not true that road rap videos without a huge crew of pople partying on a street are always bad, but they are at a huge disadvantage for anyone who’s experienced the anarchic beauty of Krept and Konan’s ‘Don’t Waste My Time‘. The moment when the track drops out and they’re chanting the hook, ‘don’t waste my time‘. The way van loads of police officers arrive on cue to gift a whole new meaning to a track already spoilt for targets. Lots of people have been wasting these people’s time, you can see it’s a relief for them to get it off their chests. Women who ain’t fucking, waste men waffling down their phones. The bemused look on the cop’s face, seemingly unable to cope with the concept of people having fun in a public place. Any video without these moments is, by definition, inferior. The track’s decent, too.