When this here blog first started up, only the lowest dregs of Internet society visited this place. There was Tim, of course, and Scott was the other nominal (in name and spirit) contributor. But there were also bums like me, MDC, littlevisigoth, Shake, BigTexBD, papabear, beefy, etc. We gave circle-jerk a bad name.
In fact, back in the old days, members were given a UID number, so you could instantly see how long somebody had been a part of the site. Most of the first 20 or so UIDs are long-time SBN admins and Tim and Scott. I'm UID 31. Friday night, I dropped in on txnpwrlifter's account (UID 28), and he requested a special Saturday Night Tunes. Unfortunately, a home project kept me from doing something timely, but here's a single-minded Sunday Afternoon Tunes episode dedicated to tpl. Because, you know, you make some friends along the way.
These first two are like 1a and 1a for me. I hate to sound like a hipster douchebag Pitchfork review, but here goes...
For many years, I didn't particularly care for large segments of rap and hip hop. Sure, I found the occasional nugget here and there, but the lyrics, especially, left me lacking. But the stuff I did like? I really liked.
In 2005, I absolutely stumbled across the Definitive Jux label and fell instantly in love. Aesop Rock was first, but as I explored, there was Blockhead and Mr. Lif and El-P and RJD2 and The Weathermen and on and on and on. I was downright smitten I was.
The Definitive Jux label is now kaput, but the artists are still going. Two from the former label have current releases: El-P's Cancer 4 Cure and Aesop Rock's Skelethon. And they are spectacular.
Look, I know rap/hip hop isn't everybody's bag, and that's cool. Who knew a middle-aged, balding white man would give such music a chance, much less multiple plays? For me, it all starts with the lyrics and powerful imagery. When you add in riffs and spectacular production, these are two of the best albums in the past couple of years.
On my last Saturday Night Tunes, I mentioned Cancer 4 Cure, but it'd just been released. Now, after multiple listens, I'm even more impressed. ALL VIDEOS ON THIS THREAD NSFW. Here is El-P's "The Full Retard."
Aesop Rock continues to amaze me with his ability to rap, and the man is truly a poet with his latest release. He's far beyond writing pure lyrics at this point in his career, decidedly drawing upon history and imagery to create his rhymes. Absolutely beautiful. Here's Aes Rock's "ZZZ Top." NSFW NSFW NSFW.
Rounding out this edition, we're going to stay in the musical genre. On DisplacedTexan's advice, I played Killer Mike, to much avail. While Killer Mike's lyrics and style are much more "raw," as DT so rightly pointed out, he's another outstanding lyricist and artist, in my never humble opinion. He's been around for a while, and it's a bit embarrassing I've just started listening to him. Plus, he was a voice on Frisky Dingo, the precursor to Adam Reed's Archer, and you know all about our Archer fetish on BRB. Finally, if you like epic videos, you're in for a real treat. NSFW NSFW NSFW.
I realize this is a rather single-minded version of Tunes, but these artists have been feeding me as of late. Who's been driving you, BRB?