I’ve spent this weekend trying to get up to date with what’s new in music. And, for the most part, that’s involved trying to download everything that’s yet been created by Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All, or OFWGKTA as they’re apparently known to their fans.
This was brought on by an article in The Guardian about the collective’s ring leader, Tyler, The Creative. According to the article, written by Paul Lester, who, in my eyes, is old enough to know better, Tyler’s (free to download) début, Bastard:
is one of the best rap albums ever made, free or otherwise.
It’s not. It’s horrible.
Yes, the beats are sparse and breath-taking, and the melodies, all Wu Tang style jarring piano lines, are infectious, but it’s just so, so, so, bloody depressing. And offensive. To quote the man himself:
Somebody called me a homophobe. I’m not homophobic. I just say ‘faggot’ and use ‘gay’ as an adjective to describe stupid shit.
Yeah, because that’s OK. As one of the commenters on the Guardian article says:
I think this whole uproar over him using the terms ‘gay’ and ‘Fag**t’ is ridiculous…
To paraphrase the man himself:
“Somebody called me a homohobe. I’m not homophobic. I just say ‘faggot’ and use ‘gay’ as an adjective to describe stupid shit.”
I’m just the same, except I ‘just say‘ nigg**r and use ‘black’ as ‘an adjective to describe stupid shit‘ !
For example, this whole row is totally black…really, it’s that stupid…totally black..
But to my mind there are a lot of nigg**s out there who just don’t get this shit and act all black about it…but hey, those ni**ers can go suck a d*ck, right? They’re so black…
Anyway. Having listened to the (amazing & uplifting) new Beasties album for about the 4th time since I bought it (yesterday), I was trying to be cool, young & interesting by listening to Bastard. For the 2nd time.
But I just couldn’t do it. It’s just too damned horrible. And misanthropic.
So, I swapped to a random Genius playlist, and the first track that came up was Easy To Remember by St. Germain. Thank the bloody Lord.
In contrast to Tyler’s never-ending nihilism, Easy To Remember is just a beautiful piece of music.
For those who’ve never heard it, it’s a perfect slice of 90s jazz-house. There’s a beautifully slip-shod jazz drum-beat. A haunting sax melody. An off-kilter piano hook. And, laid over it, is the stunningly wonderful oration that Ossie Davis gave at the funeral of Malcolm X.
Did you ever talk to Brother Malcolm? Did you ever touch him or have him smile at you? Did you ever really listen to him? Did he ever do a mean thing? Was he ever himself associated with violence or any public disturbance? For if you did, you would know him. And if you knew him, you would know why we must honor him: Malcolm was our manhood, our living, black manhood!
So. Maybe I’m getting old. Or I’m just not cool enough. But, do you know what? I really couldn’t give a shit.
I’ll take the uplifting optimism and joy of St. Germain’s Easy To Remember over Tyler, The Creator’s give offence by numbers any day of the week. And, as if to prove my faith in rose-tinted spectacles, as I write this, BBC4, a station for the 35+ demographic if ever there was one, is showing a programme about the 20th anniversary of the making of Screamadelica, which, of course, nearly included this joyous ode to life.
St. Germain by TheDeliciousLife on flickr