Beats for your Sunday by two artists from cities with hills, Hong Kong and San Francisco, easily two of my favorite cities.
First up is FLOYD from Hong Kong. I know nothing about dude except that he makes really nice beats. Short tracks, like those on Dilla’s classic Donuts. He’s just released one tape out on the new SVBKVLT label and an EP on Singapore’s Darker Than Wax, both dope. Peep the A-side to the SVBKVLT tape here and clean yo house or make an omelet.
And this one by the young Seth Steelo, one of the original Come Correct members who had to move back to San Francisco suddenly before the night really took off. He’s been back in The Bay producing loads and really stepped his game up over the last year. Take this jazzy cut for example.
I’M STRAPPED UP IN THE RAIN. BOUT TO GET ON A BOAT TONIGHT AND DRINK OPEN BAR CRAFT BEER.
KNOW WHAT’S BEST ABOUT DJING ON A BOAT? NO ONE CAN LEAVE. I CAN PLAY SLAYER, LIL B, OR AN INTERVIEW WITH CHARLES MANSON, AND 没办法. WHAT U GONNA DO? JUMP IN THE HUANGPU RIVER? THOSE PIGS WERE ALIVE BEFORE THEY HIT THE WATER. THEY WAS THIRSTY. NAW DON’T WORRY I’M GONNA DIG IN MY “WHIIIIIIIIIITE PEOPLE” CRATE.
LOTS OF WAYS TO SPEND UR 元 THIS WEEKEND, SO HERE’S SOME IDEAS.
1. PURPLE SOUL ALBUM RELEASE @ SHELTER ON FRIDAY – ALL CHINESE HIP HOP CREW COMING DOWN FROM BEIJING TONIGHT WITH DJ CAUTION AND CHA CHA ON DECK. EVER WONDERED WHERE ALL THE LOCAL HIP HOP IS? WELL, 说实话 THERE’S NOT MANY RAPPERS IN SHANGHAI, SO SUPPORT THESE GUYS RIDIN THE TRAIN DOWN FROM BEIJING AND PUTTING OUT THEIR ALBUM ON A REALLY LIMITED BUDGET.
Purple Soul – 忙碌的人-龙胆紫
2. TODD TERRY @ ARKHAM ON FRIDAY – ONE OF THE LEGENDS OF HOUSE MUSICS, PLAYING PURE HOUSE MUSICS.
3. REDDIT MEETUP @ ??? ON SATURDAY – IMA BE THERE. SHOUT OUT TO THE REDDIT FAM. ONE OF YA’LL CAME THRU THE VINYL NIGHT LAST NIGHT.
4. VOLUNTEER @ A HOMELESS SHELTER ON SATURDAY – PLAY PING PONG AND CHILL WITH SOME HOMELESS PEEPS. SOUNDS LIKE A GOOD WAY TO MAKE UP FOR ALL YR SINNING IN SHANGHAI U FUCKING DEGENERATES. RSVP AT firstname.lastname@example.org AND THEY’LL SEND U THE INFO.
5. POPASUDA @ DADA ON SATURDAY – COME WIND TO MUSIC WITHOUT ENGLISH LYRICS (MOSTLY). LOADS OF BASS, SOME BOOTY. PLUS YRS TRULY AND DJ SAL ON DECK.
PROBABLY SOME OTHER STUFF GOING ON, MOSTLY INVOLVING:
a) DIFFERENT STRAINS OF HOUSE MUSICS
b) BEAUTIFUL, COOL PEEPS
c) VENUES THAT WILL CLOSE IN ROUGHLY SIX MONTHS
SEE U ON THE STREETS OR ON THE WATER FAM. WHAT UP WITH THIS RAIN?
You’ve heard dirty hip hop before – 2 Live Crew, Ice-T, Too Short, Three 6 Mafia, but do you know about Blowfly from Miami? This guy used to write number one hits for R&B and soul singers back in the 60s and 70s, but also released some X-rated tracks with titles like “That’s What Your Pussy’s Made For,” “Too Fat To Fuck,” and the nine-minute “Beggin’ For Pussy Medley.” The groove on “More Than One Pussy” really stands out.
Lookin like a pro wrestler, he performs in a superhero suit, blue mask, and cape to this day, and the website for the documentary “The Weird World of Blowfly” claims he wrote the first rap song ever, back in 1965. If so, that far predates Gil Scott Heron’s 1974 “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” and Sugarhill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight.”
I just discovered Blowfly and his 1984 LP “X-rated” in a folder of 80s hip-hop a homie recently passed me. Funny tunes with a really 80s vibe. Something like an X-rated Weird Al meets the Egyptian Lover and Dam Funk. He even raps over other popular beats from the time, like Lional Richie’s “Hello” and Cybotron’s “Clear” on “Electronic Pussy Sucker.”
Love the intro, “You know I saw this fine bitch the other day, in a store that sells computers and video games…”
Without Blowfly, we may not have other classic dirty rap like 2 Live Crew, also from Miami, who were arrested for performing songs from their 1989 album “As Nasty As They Wanna Be” after a federal court judge ruled the album obscene. Music shop employees were even arrested for selling the CD until the obscenity ruling was overturned by the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in 1992. Funny how the courts in Florida worked then, but not during the 2000 election recount with Bush vs. Gore.
New rappers like Tyga, YG, and 2 Chainz just sound vulgar when they rap about the P because they lack the weirdness and creativity that made Blowfly and 2 Live Crew so appealing. That’s why I’d rather listen to Lil B than the aforementioned rappers, because he’s a weird character who doesn’t seem so serious, e.g. “I popped three pills I look like Harry Potter…I’m finna eat that pussy.” Really wanna know if The Based God knows about Blowfly, the OG nasty rapper.
My mom never let me buy Doggystyle, Snoop Dogg’s first LP, back when he was Snoopy Doggy Dogg. This was during the post-LA riots moral panic about gangster rap and Snoop’s murder trial (not guilty!). I was eight years old with a brand new Sony CD player. Luckily, my cousin had all the good CDs, i.e. those with parental advisory stickers. We used to play that unicycle racing game on SNES and listen to Doggystyle. Remember this track from the first pressing of that LP? It didn’t appear on any later pressings due to sample clearance issues. What a gem.
That was 1993, and in the 20 years since, Snoop Doggy Dogg has not only transformed into Snoop Dogg and then Snoop Lion, he’s made the top-selling porn video of 2001, coached youth football, and become a cultural icon, appearing all over TV and film, both as himself the actor and through others parroting his “fo shizzle bizzle” and other nonsequitors – he was a meme long before the meme era. He is a brand.
Was Snoop Dogg’s late-90s, early-2000s ubiquitousness proto-Gangnam Style? Is Snoop as important as Andy Warhol? How did brands, trends, and globalization collide to make Reincarnation happen? I dunno man, I ate taxi driver food at 2am and woke up hella sick.
Don’t know how many non-English social networking platforms Snoop Dogg/Lion posts on, but he’s all over Weibo, the Chinese Twitter. Bilingual posts from his Snoop_DoggCN account cover wide-ranging topics from Chinese holidays to sports to strange shout-outs and blatant attempts to get marketing data. Some are probably just re-posts from Twitter, but others are clearly for the Chinese market. Some tweets/posts are just straight up advertising.
After digging through Snoop’s Weibo page, here’s my picks, in no specific order:
1) “I’m Bob Marley reincarnated so faded – 我是Bob Marley的化身，他是最棒的”
2) [odd] “Shoutout 2 tha homeyz SOUNDGARDEN congrats on tha new album KING ANIMAL – make … – 支持我朋友Soundgarden，祝贺他们发行了新专辑《King Animal》.”
3) “My president is black – 我的总统是黑人”
4) “Charlie Murphy, ay fam need u on my show!! get at me – Charlie Murphy，我需要你来上我的节目！！联系我吧。”
5) [attempt to get marketing data?] “So many artists in China are dropping new albums in the next months – which one are you most excited for? – 许多中国艺人将在接下来的几个月里发行新专辑 — 你们最期待谁的呢？”
6) “Happy Mooncake festival from your Uncle Snoop Dogg! Eat a mooncake today!” and “Happy singles day in China – sorry I won’t be celebratin witchu, I have my lovel… – 中国的粉丝们，光棍节快乐 – 抱歉我不能和你们一起庆祝节日了，我有我可爱的老婆S…”
[SERATO FACE! prlly not even Serato, probably some proprietary Snoop Dogg DJ software that no one else can get, kinda like the Magic Johnson cure for AIDS that no one else can get...]
7. “Live in Korea wit 2NE1! – 和 @2NE1-YG 在韩国现场!” (2NE1 is a major K-pop group and this shows the growing global reach of K-pop…compare this to 20 years ago when rappers were spitting anti-Korean lyrics).
8. “Get high wit me – 和我一起来嗨吧.” (this is the transliteration of “hi” and not the character that means “high” like uncle snoop means…)
9. “Also heard bout the stabbings in china – my heart goes out to those families as well. Sad day 2day”
10. “Lunch meat n eggs so good. – 中午吃的肉和鸡蛋好美味啊。” This looks like Hong Kong lunchmeat but in an American shape..what’s the cross-cultural significance of this? Is that paprika? What rare spices does Snoop Dogg/Lion have?
11. “My girl tchin taught me how to write my name in Chinese – how’s my handwritn?!”
12. “Whaddup china – love me some kungfu!! 功夫.”
13. “jus touched down n india n heard that tha US has more land, but indias got 4x more people – 刚刚抵达印度，听说美国的国土面积要比印度广，但是印度的人口却是美国的4倍”
14. “The Tao of Snoop – Snoop之道” + “Jackie Chan donated props from “Chinese Zodiac” to the National Stadium – who’s gonna hit that up? @成龙 – 成龙将电影《十二生肖》中的道具捐赠给了国家体育场“鸟巢” – 谁会去那参观？@成龙”
and this one:
15. “Happy Chinese New Year of tha snake! givn my niece a red envelope! 新年快乐恭喜发财 shoutout to my girl t-chin for the chinese”
Actually Snoop doesn’t have that many fans on Weibo – just 77,000, compared to his 10 million+ on Twitter. In China, that’s less compared than 泸州MC石头, this guy (sorry for the lengthy ads):
This guy has 170,000 fans and brings a desktop PC to DJ with at his live shows. So how can we explain a legend like Snoop’s low-numbers in China? Look for some possible answers in an upcoming piece here about hip hop in China.
I wish this tweet made it to Weibo:
“Im takn over as tha CEO of Yahoo. Need sum of tha Snoop Dogg content ya digg. Nuff Said.”
Anyway, I can’t wait to play Doggystyle for my grandkids someday, and “Snoop Lion: Reincarnated” is a terrible symptom of the post-modern condition.
I woke to a WeChat messages saying “Rap is in such a golden age u are sound asleep on. Feel bad for you.” Him talkin Chance The Rapper’s “Acid Rap” mixtape. Mahanadan also warned me not to sleep on this. Twice in twenty-four hours; I had to cop.
We may be in a golden age of rap. Music like this proves that creativity and new styles still exist in a genre that’s at least 35 years old. This mixtape might be on par with Kendrick Lamar’s debut LP, especially this track “Juice.” This kid is 18 years old, on a lot of drugs, and getting kicked out/suspended from his elite high school in Chicago. Crazy flow, so fresh. Download the whole tape for free over at DatPiff.
Another 18 year-old kid, not chill like Chance The Rapper, kept flashing a cell phone in my face requesting Jay and Kanye’s “____ in Paris” and I never played it. Boy got all angry was huffing around real fierce. Kids need to learn song request etiquette and context. I had 17 year-old girls requesting “something more upbeat” at 10:17PM when a) was still plugging in my Serato b) her and her Becky friends were literally falling on the floor repeatedly, at 10:17. Anyway, this is the only version of that Jay/Kanye I still play. Shout to Chicago, again. Still remember leaving Love Bang last December, walking into Shelter, and hearing Kode9 drop this.
But god damn this song/melody. I stayed in a few Saturdays ago, laying on my bed at 2:00AM, looking up at the ceiling in silence and all the sudden from seemingly four floors above… “Deen den Deen Den…” came through the wood. Funny to drop this version in the club. People expect the verses but everything crashes into noise until “don’t let me get in my zone…” reemerges. Brilliant.
Moving on from Chicago to New York. I’m confident that Wu-Tang Clan’s Ghostface is definitely a real life gangsta who just happens to make brilliant music sometimes. His new LP with Adrian Younge is incredible. A full story, beats made with antique instruments, the sound of death in the rain…don’t sleep on this one.
Trying to do this every week. Feeling a bit south of Florida this Tuesday so let’s get it started with some Spanish hip hop from Tego Calderon (Puerto Rico) and into Shyne (Belize), who at age 21 rolled into a Manhattan club with Puff Daddy and J Lo, shot some peeps, did ten years in jail, then moved to Israel upon release.
Tego Calderon – Slo Mo’
广告一下: You already know the only weekly hip hop party* in Shanghai is Come Correct every Wednesday at The Shelter. Well, this week Come Correct gets Friday night too.
*that i know of..maybe there’s some secret hip-hop function under an overpass in Baoshan district or something, but I seriously doubt it. i’m also not counting Muse “hip hop” nights and other actually-not-hip-hop-at-all affairs.
That’s right, Come Correct doing a special Friday night called “SHANGHAI ALL-STARS” this Friday, with a dream-team lineup featuring:
-DJ Caution and Choyce Cutz on four turntables and two mixers,
- T-Plus, scratchmaster LJ from Guiyang, and DSK.
- 还有 DJ Cavia and yrs truly back-to-back
It’s free before 10:29 and RMB40 after. See you there.