Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Go Go Gadget Genremaker

Procrustean F. Manhandles, blogger new jack and general pookie-about-town, reps D.C., sordid puppies, and Go Go music. I don't know what Go Go is, but its regional popularity reminds me of hyphy and B More, who are similar only in that neither style will ever blow up on a national scale. E-40 is hyphy, I guess, although it seems like he just decided that recently; I doubt seriously that anyone hearing Hall of Game would have predicted that this guy would one day be called an architect of a scene that produces acts like Rick Rock's apostles, Federation. Plus, "U and Dat," unquestionably E-40's biggest hit of all time, bears no resemblance whatsoever to hyphy, save perhaps for those kids with dreadlocks that shook their heads around one too many times and now find it impossible to stop doing so. So I guess the Ballatician wanted to help these upstarts get noticed -- he namedrops hyphy all the time now (as well as the fact that he invented such phrases as "Good Morning," "How's it going?" etc.) -- or maybe he was just hoping to jump on the bandwagon (or Vespa, or whatever) and finally get the sales he's always deserved. Don't get me wrong -- I like Rick Rock and I really like E-40 and Too Short is the MAN but besides these two aging pimps and a beatmaker who's making plenty of scratch making beats for Busta Rhymes, is there anything more to the Bay Area's rap scene right now than putting your car in gear and getting out of it so it drives itself down the road? I mean, it's hard not to draw up a trend's obit when its new product is an outfit of teenagers that you'll probably see on Nickelodeon in the not too distant future. If you like this song, it's only because you made the mistake of never buying real sneakers as a kid, are now stuck with a load of these, and the track makes you feel all right about it.

Speaking of the Bay Area, the NYTimes seems to think Oakland's not such a great spot at the moment...

I'm not quite sure what to say about B More Club Music, because like Go Go and Hyphy, I don't really know what it is (I know even less about whether to capitalize the names of recklessly invented musical subgenres). I thought Spank Rock was going to be the first big name to come out of the scene, but then I heard that they're not even from Baltimore (or if they are, they don't live there any more), which I think disqualifies them, and their first album never got big, so that's that. So who else is there? I've heard of a guy named Bossman, but his website says his new joint is dropping soon...in December 2004. Doesn't seem to be much doing there. There's a wikipedia entry re: this stuff that would lead one to believe that this style is dead and gone, though it sounds like when I was still bumpin Raffi this was a great scene. I'm sure Tom Breihan over at the Village Voice would have a great deal to say about all this, being from the gritty streets of Charm City and all, but ever since his careless post "previewing" the new Outkast album, through which he made it perfectly clear that he hadn't opened his ears to the tunes in the first place, I haven't frequented his site. I guess we'll just have to move on...

I'm left, then, with Go Go, of the three certainly the most difficult to really follow (sort of like this post). Go Go Radio's internet stream provides 24/7 access to D.C.-area advertisements and the truly bizarre mash-up (?) music that is Go Go. Mash-up probably isn't the right word -- it's more like if you (can possibly) imagine 80s and early 90s era house beats being pillaged by some guy who's had too many Zimas and is yelling out the hooks and call-and-response bits of every southern rap song or east or west coast rap song that sounds like a southern rap song. These, at least, are the jams that are easy to decipher. Juelz Santana's "Whistle Song" slams into Da Musicianz's "Camera Phone", which bellyflops onto a stirring rendition of the Purple Ribbon All-Stars's "Kryptonite (I'm On It)" that you could have heard at your local karaoke bar on Sunday night. In general, it's just the bits that everyone at the bar would know -- the choruses, as I mentioned before. That's sort of genius, really -- you can be sure that everyone knows the words to every song, so no one has a bad time. Go Go is like karaoke if karoaoke was acknowledged as a musical style unto itself and got you chicks and "respect". Go Go is pretty sweet.

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