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A unique 45 will be released on Record Store Day, a split effort between Black Lips and Icky Blossoms. The aforementioned Blossoms gang will be covering Siouxsie & The Banshees’ “Arabian Knights” while Black Lips go country by embracing Waylon Jennings’ “Mama Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys” and offering it to a new audience. Before you buy the record, you may listen to both tracks here. If you’re wondering if the picture sleeve features a photo of a monkey revealing its brain, why yes it is.
Upon waking up on this, the first day of November 2010, I head to Twitter and a number of people in my timeline are talking about the new video by MC Hammer. Now, if you are to cater to what people say about artists who are “past their shelf life”, then MC has been irrelevant for over 15 years. He has become reality show fodder but yet you cannot deny that he was the man partly responsible for moving rap music into something deserving of “rock star” status, and not just something that was good for basements. Say what you want about his music, but some of it was damn good, the guy can entertain, and he knew how to promote himself.
But then comes this new video that comes from nowhere. It’s a song called “Better Run Run”, and it disses Jay-Z for something that the public accuses himself of being: Satanic. You know, there was a time when rappers kept it real by blasting someone for something you actually saw or heard. But blasting someone for an accusation, then going in the video to show how top dog you are, and then committing yourself as a holy man to baptize him for his sins… Hammer, I’m sorry but you’re not hurting Jay-Z, you’re hurting yourself.
In the video, he is shown in a business meeting with what I assume is supposed to represent “his people”, those involved in making sure his career is in check. But look at the people in the conference room: is this really a true representation of Hammer, or is he trying to say that this is what hip-hop has become, a bunch of P.E. teachers who bought a laptop at Best Buy and said “we know what’s best for you” Then to make things interesting, Hammer is not just MC Hammer, oh no, there was a time when being an MC meant you were on the top of your game. However, Hammer dropped the MC from his name for awhile because he felt MC was too old school, too tired. That coincided with the demise of his musical career, he revived the MC but it was too late. In 2010, he is King Hammer.
Now, I’m not into validating one’s status in any fictitious hip-hop monarchy, I like who I like and I respect who they are and what they may have been. L.L. Cool J of today is certainly not the kid on American Bandstand doing “I Can’t Live Without My Radio”, or the guy who was so bad he could suck on his own dick on his Walking Like A Panther album, but for many years he reigned supreme, just as Hammer once did. But Hammer, I know you still feel you are too legit to quit, but this video and song was unnecessary. Are you unhappy because you feel, as a Christian man, that Jay-Z is walking down the path, holding hands with the devil? Hammer, were you not the man who signed a contract with Capitol Records, a contract that like all others, is a way for your music to be exploited by a company so that you can prosper and make money? Hammer, were you not the same man who wore leopard skin bikini briefs, did your pumps and a bump in a video with you outside strutting yourself in your decadent ways, displaying what you had earned with your music being exploited so you could achieve that status? Hammer, were you not only the same man who may have done a few bad financial transactions so that you were forced to file bankruptcy? Did you blame that on the devil too? What do people think about Hammer?
Let’s be honest, we all love it when artists talk trash, it makes our unfilled days worth it. Well not really, but the last time someone was serious about dissing MC Hammer was twenty years ago, back when guys like MC Serch and Prime Minister Pete Nice had a legion of fans who liked them not because of skin tone (although that was a factor), but because they had skills that were true to the NYC traditions of hip-hop. Those guys were blasting “that silver spoon having, buckshot acne showin, L.A. weak-ass sellout
Non-legitimate, tip-dogging, Jethro pseudo intellectual, Dust-smoking, pretty boy playright posing, Folks wigging, whining annoying Def Jam reject devil, White bread no money havin slum village people clonin’ step children!”,
As I’m watching this video of Hammer being chased in a forest by a devil, I wanted Siouxsie Sioux of Siouxsie & The Banshees to run out and tell him how spellbound he could be if he understood that Jay-Z’s alleged evil aways are nothing more than lures that he uses to solidify his longevity, perhaps a tip Hammer himself should take to heart. Nonetheless, keep running Hammer. You might find the devil you’re running from is yourself. Spellbound, indeed.
Where bloggers from around the world can network
Discovered this book review blog when someone had posted a review of a music book. Went through it and saw a number of books I immediately put on my want list. Created by Maria Popova and features a number of contributors.
Cool slew of goodies from books and diaries to T-shirts, bags and soaps. Now based in Portland.
The show is no more, but you may explore the archives of this great Portland-based podcast while you can. You may now listen to Cort & Bobby in Welcome To That Whole Thing, listed below.