“He had a big damn mirror in front of the piano, with this big spotlight on him, so that everybody could watch his face while he played. You couldn’t see his fingers while he played - just his big old face. Big deal. I’m not too sure what the name of the song was that he was playing when I came in, but whatever it was, he was really stinking it up. He was putting all these dumb, show-offy ripples in the high notes, and a lot of other very tricky stuff that gives me a pain in the ass. You should’ve heard the crowd, though, when he was finished. You would’ve puked. They went mad. They were exactly the same morons that laugh like hyenas in the movies at stuff that isn’t funny. I swear to God, if I were a piano player or an actor or something and all those dopes thought I was terrific, I’d hate it.”—
Holden Caulfield (Catcher in the Rye, J.D Salinger)
Move over dance fitness gurus of the universe, Fabo’s back. It’s about to get extra-physical!
Okkk, so this Gik Tales mixtape isn’t the classic we’ve been waiting for him to drop, but whatevs, there’s a couple of toe tappers in here to help you keep the faith. To be perfectly honest, I really only check for Fabo’s stuff coz I think he’s got a uniquely animated swagger and a gorgeous set of gospel-ready vocals to back it up. Pretty basic expectations. That being said, when he hits his stride, his whole geeked-up, pill-popping junkie schtick goes from being goofy caricature to legitimately interesting case study. Sure drug use is discussed quite a lot in his music but it’s not all one-dimensional enthusiasm, there’s other layers perused: euphoric highs, deafening lows, and all the mania and paranoia that slips in between.
Plus most importantly, it’s all sung and rapped with the kind of soul and vigour that makes you want to headbutt everything in sight. And yes, that includes your frail grandmama. KAPLOW!
P.S If ever your grandma questions you as to why you headbutted her lovely lights out, all you gotta say is: OOOOOHHHHH! FAAABOOOOO! She’ll understand. If she loves you, that is.
P.P.S My immigrant ass will be visiting the US border soon. Who wants to dare me to sing “It’s in my leg, my arm, they take over like Saddam / and my body is the country where the war is going on” while I’m being searched?? STEP RIGHT UP!
Cadence Weapon - Tattoos & What They Really Feel Like (Album: Afterparty Babies)
This song is now always gonna remind me abt how ridiculous Dec 09 was. Here’s why:
So on the second last week of December, I was on the bus to work, trying to make sense of this super confusing/serious issue (Well, even back then I knew that the issue in itself wasn’t all that serious. It’s one of those overblown issues that’s insignificant in the grand scheme of things, but at that moment yknow, nothing seemed to matter more. Silly but serious all at the same time (You’ve had these high school moments in your adult life. You know how it goes).
Exactly then, my ipod starts playing the second verse of this song, which starts like so:
“Don’t go and ask how I got my heart stolen, it’s tainted love like Gloria Jones and Marc Bolan.”
LOLx10. I mean, seriously. Dealing with the complexities of a relationship gone sour by comparing it to Gloria Jones and Marc Bolan??? LOLarious. OKKK so maybe it belongs more so in the chuckle-worthy category, but given the contrast against my serious disposition, that line seemed like the funniest shit ever (ever ever? Ever ever). I just burst out laughing uncontrollably. The last bit of fish fillet that I was ravenously chewing on came spraying out of my mouth. Most notably, this one big-ass fillet chunk did an almost clinically-perfect 180 swoop and landed on the head of this heavyset, Mortiis-tshirt-wearing goth dude ahead of me. Here’s the kicker - the guy had his hair impeccably spiked, and so my chewed up chunk landed within one of those vacant craters between his cliched spikes. Now the goth dude, oblivous to my fish fillet nesting on his head, and obviously annoyed by my random donkey-like laughter, turns around to shoot me this disapproving glare. On any other day, I would’ve shut up right then and there, just to be nice and civilized. But this day is different. As he did his dramatic turn, I could literally see the chunk travel all across his head, bumping between the many spikes on his head. It was pretty much like watching a pinball game unfold on top of his head. So I obviously started laughing twice as hard. Needless to say, the goth dude wasn’t the least bit amused. I was though.
I guess the obvious moral of the story is: When life gives you funky fish fillet, instead of mindlessly swallowing that shit, consider spitting it back at the world. The results may surprise you.
Being proven wrong is a fascinating experience, if you ask me. It’s like when you go to a party, start mingling and eventually find out that the seemingly “snobbish” quiet girl and the “annoying” frat boy are the most interesting people in the building. Weird, huh? You’d have never hung out with them in a million years but strangely enough, there your retarded ass is, leaning against the wall, sincerely dying to hear more from the girl with the Juicy stretch pants and the dude with the pooka shell necklace. BreakfastClubWTF! It’s the kind of confusion you don’t mind cherishing though. It’s also a genuinely great “well, fuck my uptight ass with a rusty dildo” moment, yknow? These moments quietly bitchslap and embarrass us, but more importantly, they force us to rethink our perspectives, our ideas, maybe even ourselves. Pretty neat, right?
Obvious point being: The more narrow-minded our preconceived notions about someone or something are, the better the surprises can get.
The reason I mention this is because it’s precisely the reason I find Gucci Mane to be an immensely likeable, enigmatic figure. I don’t mean to glorify deficiencies, but if you’re a lazy listener like me, Gucci is the gift that keeps on giving. Since he’s so “ignorant”-sounding on a superficial level (the slurred, mush mouth diction he uses, the laconic delivery he employs, the played-out, commonplace subject matter he tackles), he has room to sneak in a ton of surprises underneath the surface. It’s all about the deceptively-simple red herrings, you see. He’s rapping about nothing spectacular in particular but he’s always slipping in tons of wordplay, personality and flair within the nooks and crannies of his narratives. With Gucci though, there aren’t too many overt “look mom, no hands!” showboating moments; it’s almost always hidden bits of fun and intrigue waiting to be unwrapped. So immerse yourself and wade through. Now hit repeat. Voila!
Anyways, abt “Break Ya Self” itself: It was on the BurrRussia mixtape from his ‘Cold War’ series, released late last year. I continue to bump the shit out of this track to this very day. I like it very much. Hope you do too.
P.S Actually on second thought, forget everything I said. I don’t wanna force you to feel anything. Besides, falling in love is so much better when you aren’t expecting it.
So a couple of weeks ago, I was taking a piss at the workplace washroom when this other dude stepped into the stall next to me. I heard him walk past me, but I paid him no mind. But then the dude went “Hey J” and I was like fucketyfuckfuck! (FYI, I hatehatehate it when people talk to me when I’m peeing. Don’t they know that I need all of my attention for focussed urination?). Needless to say, I was quite annoyed with this voice bellowing generic chit chat into my eardrums. But then it got worse. The voice across the stall went: “How’s it going?” Normal banter, you say. Yeah sure sure ….except …I was so focused on peeing that I heard “How’s it going?” as “How’s it flowing?” My eyes widened, my pupils popped, my mind went reeling and I was like: WTF??? Who enquires about the well being of your urine flow??? Molester Alert!
Anyways, I was so weirded out that I just mumbled “umm ….its going well” and just scrammed the scene.
This is an old facebook post, but I’m rehashing it (again) since it decently articulates my agenda and serves as a good primer regarding what I’m all about. Also, I’m lazy. So here we go (again):
Today on my way to work, this random stranger kept talking to me about the top 5 records that ‘defined’ him. He kept yapping about how the Velvet Underground, My Bloody Valentine, Pavement and a whole bunch of other indie artists changed his life deeply. And then he kept bothering me by asking about the records that defined me. And I was like “Um none dude. That’s a pretty ridiculous question if you ask me. My life has been kinda yknow …not sad.” At this point, the dude muttered “fucking cynic” and walked away.
Actually, you know what, maybe I AM being too cynical when I refuse to admit that art has changed my life dramatically. Come to think of it, there has been something that really has changed my life for the better. I bet it changed all of our lives actually. And unlike ahem annoying hipsters who just name drop obscure indie artists to sound cool, I actually have the balls to explain how all our lives have been transformed by this phenomenon.
You know what’s CHANGED all of our lives? Potty training. Yes, Potty training. We have never ever ever ever ever (ever ever?) been the same since we mastered the art of excretion. Just think about it. Were it not for potty training, you’d still be making doodoo in your diapers. You’d be clueless as to how to get rid of shit properly. You’d be at work, doing an important boardroom presentation in front of high profile coworkers and managers, and suddenly you’d feel some irregular bowel movement and your only thought would be: “Aww shit! Time to shit in my underpants again!" KnowwhatImean? You’d be at the club grinding next to someone and be like "Aww shit I don’t think you’re ready for this jelly, I don’t think you’re ready for thissssss…coz my body’s too bootylicious for ya babe" and …well yknow. I actually have a whole list of scenarios where this lack of toilet training can land you in a whole lot of shit, but I’m gonna spare you the details for now. I think you get the picture.
I realize we’re all prone to hyperbole every now and then, but the important thing to recognize is this: Potty training is one of the few underrated art forms that actually deserves the label “life changing.” If you are reading this, stop wasting your life asking stupid questions. Call your parents, start crying, and be like: “Hey mom, dad. It’s me. I just wanna say Thank you. Thank you for teaching me to shit properly. It’s been a life altering experience. I’m on the can right now. I dedicate my next dump to you. Merry Christmas!”