Archive for the ‘Videos’ Category

h1

Talib Kweli feat. Curren$y and Kendrick Lamar “Push Through” Video

August 9, 2012

I’ve always been a fan of rap songs about perseverance. Yup. Love um all. Talib’s newest “Push Through” is particularly good. Best in a while. Since every song on the Roots’ undun.

I didn’t always think that. The first time I heard it, I thought the song was kind of random and forgettable. Seeing the video and hearing it again gave it new life for me.

The song joins Curren$y, Talib Kweli, and Kendrick—three rappers with distinct styles, from very different backgrounds, very different careers—seamlessly. Their verses deal with different subject matters:

Curren$y talks about the struggles of coming up and keeping his career fresh.

Talib waxes on the awful new trends in rap, making a handful of his classic calls for revolution and consciousness.

Kendrick raps about overcoming poverty and destitution in a city that’s dragging.

The common feeling that their stories express pervades through the differences. I’m gonna push throuuugh…The chorus is beautiful. I sing along with it every time it comes around. It refocuses the song thematically, melodically.

The verses flow over slideshow shots of the rappers’ hometowns—Nawlins, BK, and Compton. The urbanscapes meld into one another. The geography becomes seamless. It’s a cool effect, and it makes a profound statement. Solidarity! The music and message unites the three rappers, their peoples, their cities, all their listeners of various backgrounds. Universality! This is exactly what good hip hop should do—what good music should do: It should unite. It should create harmony. Music should motivate. It should make a statement. Talib Kweli’s “Push Through” does all that. It’s a strong single.

Hopefully will be a strong album. Late-career rap albums can still hit. Nas proved it. Raekwon’s done it. I say it’s got a 50/50 shot.

Prisoner of Consciousness in October.

h1

Slaughterhouse “My Life” Music Video

June 25, 2012

When I first heard this track a few months ago on its initial leak before the music video, I admit I was disappointed. I thought it was too poppy—like a field set to be eradicated in Afghanistan. The beat forced bouncy, cheesy flows from the members of Slaughterhouse; rhythms not fit to accommodate the amazing lyricism they are capable of.

Giving it a second, third, and fourth listen on release of the video I’ve found that I’ve warmed to it. I like the hook, and I started to feel motivated and persevering and optimistic, which is what they’re trying to rouse. The beat and the video highlight the best of the wordplay, which is humorous and quotable: “Now babes with the 34Fs adore me/ I took the rock and the hard place and made the best orgy”.

I still think the song a bit too poppy, but so is everything Eminem touches nowadays.

Introducing the video with the extended Eminem Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous gag fits with the general cheesiness of the song, and is appropriately camp.

I find it strange that there are more shots of Cee-Lo in the video than there are of any of the rappers in Slaughterhouse. He’s placed in the center of the group and has more close-ups than any of the others. The members of Slaughterhouse and their verses seem to take a backseat to fanfare created by Cee-Lo and Eminem. The two of them seem to be cashing in on their household names, acting like glorified hype men, trying to boost the group into the limelight. Whether that will pan out when Welcome To: Our House drops remains to be seen.

All in all, I respect the Shady business model of releasing super-poppy singles peppered into albums full of harsher, core-hip-hop. Let them make the money, as long they deliver with the bangers…

Welcome To: Our House—coming July 10