Read Everything That Dunks Must Converge

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To their own devices: Pablo Larrain's 'The Club'

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Thanks Teach

December 12, 2008

Before we started the blog I had gotten into a string of listening to classic rock and metal. I got into this mode while at golf school; the metal pumped me up to shoot low and block out the bad thoughts that go through the mind of a golfer. This technique worked I played the best golf of my life, continually shooting lower scores every time I teed off. It certainly worked when I played in my PA.T., helping me pass the test the first time I played. It made me feel at home on a golf course even if I was hours away from Virginia.

The classic rock never ceases to let me down; unlike a lot of the bands I started to follow in high school. Great music brings back memories of good times and bad. The Beatles, Dire Straits and Talking Heads have always affected me that way. I am not entirely sure why, but no matter how much I change and grow the music that I grew up on will always be there. It has always been a comforting thing for me. With my career path changing I have outgrown the metal, however I will never leave the classics behind.

Teach's love of musicians like Common and Q-Tip recently inspired me to open up the cd catalog and delve back into the music I listened to as a teenager, hip-hop. I started off with the newest albums from The Game(LAX), and Kanye West (808's and Heartbreaks). These two artists and their albums couldn't be any different from each other..

The Game is routinely criticized for his name dropping, the consistent reminders of his home-town, and his all-around awkwardness. But for myself he is easily one of my favorite rappers. Its not because I see myself as gangsterish, any of my friends can tell you that I am anything but. However like Game, I am annoyingly proud of being from LA. I can also acknowledge he has his own deficiencies and may be lacking in lyrical abilities, but he manages to have one skill that manages to make his music oddly compelling. He’s able to channel all of his dramatics into music that is palpable and real. When it comes to picking out beats for an album, he may have the best ears in the business. The production level is sick. It contains these intimidating, West Coast bangers that help enhance his fierce, rough delivery on songs. The only thing I would do to change this album is cut all the R&B songs, they take more away from the album than they add. Generally speaking this CD is worth the money. It is entertaining throughout, proves Game has staying power, and is an all-around pleasant West Coast album that can be enjoyed by everyone.

Kanye West's most recent venture 808's and Heartbreak is a home-run swing, as his need to become "the number one artist in the world" was evident on this album. He is already a rap superstar but to become a superstar in general he needed to change his style to be all-encompassing. So with the lessons learned from T-Pain, Kanye went the route of using Auto-Tune, the now omnipresent pitch-correction technology.

The continuous use of the technology throughout the album (the heartbreak) makes this CD horrifyingly bad. The heartbreaks include one song about his mother (who he tragically lost earlier in the year), "Coldest Winter", while the rest are centered on his break-up with his former fiancé Alexis Phifer. The heartbreak make this album hard to stomach as he wallows over the loss of his love throughout the entirety. Thankfully there are some songs (808s) that make this worth at least one listen. The 808's beats were made using a drum machine, and the results are a satisfying surprise: harsh, spacey tracks, that remind me of the Eighties more-so than anything in hip-hop. In summation, the fourth album from Kanye was a home-run swing but he missed the ball. Failing to even bat one runner in. If he used the Auto-Tune technology more sparingly we could be talking about an entirely different album. But he didn't and we are not. The 808s were not enough to save this album from the heartbreak, so I suggest you bug one of your friends dumb enough to buy this for a burnt copy.

2 comments:

Teach said...

Common and I are in the middle of a falling out.

December 12, 2008 at 7:43 PM
Langston said...

Its a shame he put out a record more suitable for someone closer to our age. I got the CD and it reminds me of the comments Wilbon and Kornheiser make when referring to women. When your closer to 50 then you are to 25, its more creepy than cool.

December 13, 2008 at 10:11 AM

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