TUESDAYS WITH HIP HOP, FUTURE

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Some might lump Atlanta’s Future in with Lil Wayne, Migos, and other current Southern rappers who make throwaway tracks for ratchets. I did at first. In fact I hated his Pluto album so much that I pitched it in the trash.

But then I heard the Karate Chop Remix and realized that Future’s sound has more in common with the Dungeon Family and Outkast than other current southern rappers. That makes sense because his cousin Rico Wade is part of Organized Noize, the crew who produced a LOT of Outkast and Goodie Mobb’s solo material and even worked on TLC’s “Waterfalls.”

As much as I dislike Auto-Tune, Future uses the pitch-shifting vocal tool tastefully, almost like vocoders in italo disco or the Talkbox on Chromeo’s tracks. The auto-tuned voice becomes an instrument instead of just an effect, rendering the songs something like like a trap version of Giorgio Miroder’s epic tunes. Forward-thinking and epic.

Future – Karate Chop (Remix)

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Just ignore Lil’ Wayne’s verse on the remix above and check these other Future tracks:

Future – Turn On The Lights

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Big K.R.I.T. feat. Future – Just Last Week

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No one sounds like Future, but you’ll hear a lot more rappers trying to sound like him in 2014.

Sunday Sleaze

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Another fast weekend in Shanghai. Big thanks to everyone who came out to Shanghai All-Stars on Friday night! Next one is on February 7th.

Here’s a few tunes from my late-nite set at The Shelter on Friday. I got inspired by DJ Ozone’s 80s hip-hop set last week and wanted to mix early 80s hip hop with the Paradise Garage disco/morning music sound from around the same time in NYC. That early hip hop was so much more creative and positive than the “pop a molly get turnt up” shit that dominates the charts nowadays (not that I don’t play that sometimes). Time and place for everything.

T La Rock – It’s Yours

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Taana Gardner – Heartbeat

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The Treacherous Three – Feel The New Heartbeat

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Gwen Guthrie – Ain’t Nothin’ Goin’ On But The Rent

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Midnight Star – Midas Touch

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Rah Band – Messages From The Stars

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I first heard “Messages From The Stars” when Stones Throw Records boss Peanut Butter Wolf played at The Shelter last month. His set, basically a retrospective of dope music from the second half of the 20th Century, convinced me that Serato Video doesn’t have to be corny. Easily one of the best shows of 2013. Shout out to Henri for requesting and identifying this one!

LOVE BANG SEX TAPE #1

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WARM WINTER LOVE NEXT TO YOUR HOLOGRAM FIREPLACE.

You’re stuck inside but you’re not alone – it’s time for love. Here’s some timeless baby-making music to light your candles. Songs for winter foreplay under warm covers or just on the floor, mixed by Shanghai’s LOVE BANG crew with help from Pleasure Robot #8888. Look out for the X-rated sequel dropping on Feb 10th 2014.

外面冷死了, 想做爱在全息照相的壁炉旁边 ? 听这个MIX就可以.

IF YOU CANNOT ACCESS SOUNDCLOUD, JUST CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD:

TRACKLIST:

1. “If I Was Your Girlfriend (热狼 Jr. Wolf Edit)” – Prince
2. “I Wanna Be Down” – Brandy
3. “All The Way Down” – Cassie // Mijimisha // Elash Gorilla
4. “One In A Million” – Aaliyah
5. “Inside My Love” – Minnie Riperton
6. “The Buzz” – Med, Blu & Madlib feat. Mayer Hawthorne
7. “I’d Rather Be With You” – Bootsy Collins
8. “As Long As I’ve Got You” – The Charmels
9. “U-Luv” – J Dilla
10. “Sweet Stuff” – Sylvia
11. “Computer Love” – Zapp & Roger
12. “Go All Night (Let Me Roll)” – Kelela

WHIPPO

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This is Wippo, an Alpha Critter. I’ve had the Alpha Critter letters that spell my name for twenty-five years, but I always thought they were some locally-made toys by old hippies in Michigan. Turns out that Alpha Critters was heavily international. They even had a cartoon and it sucks. It’s like some bootleg Schoolhouse Rock with an annoying girl who can’t read until she meets some letters who talk too much. But the letters are so plush.

This fascination started a few months ago while digging through an old-toys store in Macau and I found Wippo and freaked out like wtf I grew up with these letters now they’re in a box next to some Dragon Ball grandpa and sexy anime figurines. No love for Wippo apparently cause he was 90% off and had been floating around Asia in his original package since 1986! Sounds like some English teachers I’ve met. Well I asked the internet about these Alpha Critters and here’s some of the best, shout out to Ghost of The Doll for these pics.

Fuzzle

Fuzzle. As in I just tried to talk to that girl but I fuzzled hard. DJs be like ” I fuzzled up that mix mate…”

Lopper

Lopper the L. By the way the idiom “Quiet as a church mouse” does not make sense to Chinese people they think Mice are mad loud.

Have you ever tried to spell out a letter?

Xif

The rather intense Xif, but I’d be intense too if I had ears for arms.

Yotto

Yotto’s Confucian-lookin ass.

Keagle

Keagle. Wow kids back then could read better the youth now would be like wtf is a Ke-agle but actually Keagle is a cousin of the bird called Eagle.

Reebit

At least one animal had to look high as fuck. Reebit like “oh dammmmmmn….W is double-u.”

I wore Wippo on a chain and won a DJ battle once. True story.

Anyway this is one of the realest Fonts ever. If someone makes this into an downloadable font I’ll put money in your Paypal.

Did anyone else grow up around these letters?

cartoons and mopey tunes.

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If you find yourself in Instagram galaxy you should check out the @lovebanguniverse. That’s the club night and label side of all this. Got cartoons coming every day as long as it stays rainy and probably longer, plus a lot of what’s going on in Shanghai and random culture bits that you won’t generally find on this blog.

To match the rain and sky in this countryside Blade Runner megalopolis, here’s some dreary classics that I hope the youth will know.

You may find danger walking down the sidewalk sometimes, whether it’s muggers or e-bikes. This song revels in that danger. Some Michigan Music right here, from 1973.

The Stooges – Gimme Danger

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I don’t know what Morrisey is on sometimes but the band killed it. Guitar like no other. This one from 1985.

The Smiths – How Soon Is Now

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Another pretty obviously classic but it’s so good let’s put it up anyway. One of those tracks you recognize from the first eight bars. Coming at you from 1979.

Joy Division – Disorder

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And then comes the calm…”Psychocandy” by The Jesus & Mary Chain is an album to put when you feel mad fucked up, especially after traveling/benders/etc. These guys were infinitely way more fucked when they made this music, and it shows. If you like Yeezus you’ll probably feel this album. Got this stone cold classic from 1985 at a record store in Tokyo a few years back.

The Jesus & Mary Chain – Just Like Honey

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Shanghai All-Stars @ The Shelter This Friday

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Aside from LOVE BANG I’ve also joined the Come Correct crew. We’re down at The Shelter playing hip hop every Wednesday and once a month on the weekend. That weekend date happens to be this Friday.  It’s the place to be for DJs, MCs, B-boys, B-girls, hip hop heads, music lovers, party monsters, and those who want to dance. We bring the best from Shanghai and around China straight down into the Shelter. More about the venue in this VICE article.

1月10号周五,上海最具影响力的HipHop地下团体Come Correct将请来SVBKLT厂牌的创始人Drunk Monk送上冬日特别曲目!妈妈都知道Shanghai All Stars是热爱HipHop小伙伴的天堂!本次还特别请到驾着七彩高铁来自杭州的D’Rocc,以及DJ Caution, Heatwolves, T-Plus和MC One Con!票价40,晚十点,不容错过!

This month we’ve got D’Rocc coming in from Hangzhou plus boss of the SVBKVLT/Sub-Culture Drunk Monk playing a hip hop set. It’s the only place in China you can catch a hip hop show like this so don’t complain about the 40RMB cover – that’s less than you’ll pay for a beer at most bars! See you at The Shelter on Friday.

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Sexual Harassment

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Many advise against taking red cabs in Shanghai. “Sketchy” is an adjective that gets thrown around a lot to describe these vehicles. Red cabs are privately owned, unlike those blue/yellow/green cabs or the nicer Expo taxis that belong to companies that own thousands of cars. There’s more variation within the red cab category than all other colors combined. Once, the driver of an immaculate red Kia gave me an architectural tour through the Jin Qiao suburbs in perfect English. Another time, some friends piled into a ragged old red VW Santero and the 司机 (driver) proceeded to casually light up a crystal meth pipe while cruising down the bund. A wide range, red cabs.

Before the night in question, my girlfriend said the drivers of red cabs naturally take more pride in their car’s upkeep and provide better service because it’s their car not the company’s. Makes sense. Maybe that’s why I chose to take this sad red cab in front of 88 Bar on Fumin Lu. I wasn’t in there, just down the block.

I get in. The car smells like cum. Older red Volkswagen, tinted windows, middle-aged driver wearing glasses and some kind of leather hat with a short brim. Car smells strongly like semen. I start thinking about that scene in Taxi Driver where Travis Bickle says “Each night when I return the cab to the garage, I have to clean the cum off the back seat. Some nights, I clean off the blood.” But I’m past tired and it’s a short ride so fuck it, I tell him the address and on we go. Driver puts on some “high” Chinese club music which makes things less awkward.

“Oh you like electronic music too? When you drive a car, you gotta have music. I don’t understand those people who drive in silence,” I say.

“Oh you speak Chinese? You have been in Shanghai for a long time I bet.”

And we start talking, and dude is dropping some serious knowledge. At one point he calls me “the new Chinese” (“你是新中国人!有的人从外地搬到上海,他们是新上海人,你是新中国人”!).  In six years, no Chinese person has ever called me this. This concept does not exist in China. Americans take it for granted that almost anyone can just become an American through struggle and luck. I said “wow, that’s really polite of you because Shanghainese never say ‘new Shanghainese;’ most just say Wai Di Ren” (外地人 = outside people; mildly pejorative depending on tone/context).

More wisdom imparted – the driver says I’m getting older, and I should get home and see my parents more. “都回家看看父母.” Sound advice, and dude has a weird aura about him. Like, “ayyyyy, you know what I’m saying right? 对吧。”  What some would call a “smart crazy person.”

We pass the worlds cutest kitten shop on Huaihai Lu, across the street from gay bar dungeon Shanghai Studio where cabbies wait outside for hours on weekends in hopes that they can get some cock. The topic shifts to women, and driver says “What kind of girls do you like? I don’t like those skinny girls with twig legs, I like a women with meat on her. Something I can feel. What kind of girls do you like? Do you like girls like that?” The excitement in his voice rise as he speaks.

“Yeah I do like girls who are more robust, voluptuous.” 丰满.

“Ayyyy now we’ve reached a common point, as men. We both like women who have meat. It’s more comfortable when you make love with them right? You really get what I’m saying right?” And he keeps asking “我讲话有没有到你心里了?” Which literally translates to “Is what I’m saying entering your heart?” but actually isn’t quite that strong. I didn’t know at the time though so this sentence was really freaking me out.

Then the driver asks if I have a girlfriend, and I say yes. He’s visibly excited about this and though I’m visibly uncomfortable with the topic, he keeps saying “It must be comfortable when you make love to her, and her lips must feel good on your dick.”  He repeats that same sentence “Is what I’m saying entering your heart?” and asks more creepy sexual questions until we get to my corner.

As I’m waiting for my change, he asks if I live with my girlfriend, I say no and and then he says “ok, I hope it feels comfortable when you make love to your girlfriend.”

I exit the cab and the driver says Zai jian, and I’m standing on the side of the road feeling uncomfortable. I thought about this for the next week. What a strange dude. Is this driver just rolling around in his cab talking sexual to people and beating off when he’s got no customers? I mean, his car smells like cum and he’s asking me intensely about how good it feels when I make love to my girlfriend. Bizarre.

Sexual Harassment – If I Gave You A Party (Palmbomen Edit)

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Thank you to Nick for identifying this rare tune from 1983 by New York’s Sexual Harassment. So catchy you’ll never forget it. It will enter your heart.

 

Best of Everything 2013

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Top Five New Songs

1. “Bound 2″ – Kanye West
2. “Bank Head” – Kingdom
3. “Hit The Pavement” – 7 Days Of Funk
4.  “Without You” – Thundercat
5. Pusha Man – Chance The Rapper

“Get Lucky” was the “Save The Dancefloor” track of the year for sure. Also really loved “Kisses Down Low” and wished it hit harder. And…can’t help but love “23.”

Top Five Club Nights/Shows

1. J.Rocc at The Shelter
2. Egyptian Lover at 390
3. Love Bang at Dada Beijing in March
4. Baijiu Robot Christmas Eve. Didn’t know what to expect but that went off.
5. Kingdom…at The Shelter

Honorable mention to the Gang of Four show.

Top Five Meals

1. Anything in Xi’an China. Best food in China, hands down.
2. That giant chicken sandwich, still the only sandwich i couldn’t finish in my whole life.
3. Thanksgiving in the Orient.
4. That one time when KFC was perfect. We’ve all been there, don’t front.
5. Any breakfast made by my girlfriend.

Also, Sbarro stuffed pizza in the Crossroads Mall and anything at Frontera Grill in Chicago.

Top Five Bad Scenes

1. Getting so blazed on medical kush in Michigan and feeling too scared to drive with trees in the car so hiding the herb in a tree and coming back the next day.
2.  Quitting my day job, writing an extremely critical ten-page treatise on the company and CCing it to over 3,000 people all over the world. Random people in Africa? Check. Anyone named “Vivian”? Check.
3. DJing at a high school Halloween party and having twenty expat brat kids yelling “what else you got?!”
4. Arriving in Amsterdam with no cash and a Chinese bank card that wouldn’t work anywhere in Holland, having to find wi-fi and message my friend in London to wire me $200, after walking like two hours from the bus station to downtown with the smell of skunk all around and not one public toilet.
5. Missing a flight in Shenzhen, paying $250 on the spot for a new ticket to Chongqing, then driving five hours up a mountain in total darkness while drinking Baijiu with new friends, getting to the music festival to find DJ Caution already on stage and a lot of bad characters touching the decks, throwing punches, and generally just causing total chaos, then going back down the mountain at 8am and flying back to Shanghai in a total oblivion.

Looking forward to 2014.