Spoek Mathambo/Big K.R.I.T.
Think Positive--Or Not
Spoek Mathambo: Father Creeper (Sub Pop)
Although I slotted this Soweto-raised 27-year-old's 2010 Mshini Wam as promising kwaito electro, I never imagined it promised a hip-hop record so dark it reveals his labelmate Shabazz Palaces for the arty pothead we can assume he is. Contra the nervous crits who claim to hear a "palpable feeling of hope" or "summery highlife melodies" (highlife, eh? I've heard of that‑-African, right?), even the sweet opener about the sexual maturation of a guy who was feeling it before his pubes came in ends ominously. After that come evocations of oppression only more brutal because they're sometimes dissociated‑-blood diamonds, why we hate our crap jobs, the deadening surrender of the tricking American hip-hop makes light of. The music suits because it's also dissociated‑-beaty enough to keep your foot tapping and your subconscious involved, but devoid of the escapist joy that is the miracle of so much Afropop produced from equally horrendous daily struggles. A
Big K.R.I.T.: 4Eva N a Day (free download)
He was just Kritikal, but the Mississippi underground had trouble pronouncing that word‑-check out the consonant-averse "1986" intro to understand why‑-so he made it Big K.R.I.T., claimed it stood for King Remembered in Time, and continued a rapping career that imagined high school coaching as a fallback. No hip-hopper has ever been bigger on getting up when you're down and making every minute count. Could get tiresome, but on a no-cameos mixtape Def Jam couldn't clear, his proudly drawled, lucidly conceived preachments go undefeated. Almost every soulful track grew on me, with the clincher "Down & Out," one of his periodic explanations of why sometimes he sips and smokes instead of trying yet again. A MINUS
in the interest of liking to advertize lists i've made, voila!
2. Now that I think about it, the alien disguised as a woman is rather draggy, right?
3. I'm a few tracks into Father Creeper--so far so good. I do like the dark-but-uptempo business. "Beaty enough to keep your foot tapping and your subconscious involved" hits it on the head.
4. Nicky told me that Xgau gave the Spoek album an A because "Kites" features an under-appreciated woman character named Irene. (As far as I can make out, she puts on a dumb girl pretense and her man doesn't treat her nice, so Spoek comes to the rescue wanting to make an honest woman of her cuz she's pretty.) Somehow I imagine the Dean wouldn't back such a claim. :)
5. I should always take my amphetamines when EW needs more comments....
we know you're trying to uphold your social order as the natural one.Isn't "natural" a little bit on the assumption side? Wouldn't something like "commonly recognized" or at worst "familiar with" be more accurate? And less blaming? My point being, don't we all do that? Don't your comments do the same thing, with "preferred" being the substitute word? Maybe? Maybe not, I don't know. And better, how would we not do that? Other than to take it on as a full-time project?
Not intending to be critical but more like curious since this is way beyond any field of study I've engaged in. And also not apologizing for my full-time efforts at chipping away at the inequities of the currently existing social order where I find and recognize them.
As I recall you associated him with the "twisted little cult that wastes time fawning over [the] deeply wretched." Then a page or so later you complained about claims that you're rude or obnoxious, which makes your request for mercy a bit funny.
I will let everyone else decide if this is an accurate representation or not.
Mitch--I thought about including a Postal Service or Death Cab single, but I think I wore them out with all my wistful sophomore year mix CDs that coincided with the entire 365 day period I was grounded in high school.
Also Mitch (and k j)--is Mars Attacks! camp? If so, is it queer? Maybe I just haven't noticed it because despite its silliness it still terrifies the heck out of me.
Crazy in Love, Beyonce feat. Jay-Z
Rock Your Body, Justin Timberlake
Hey Ya, Outkast
House of Jealous Lovers, The Rapture
Everyone Choose Sides, The Wrens
Bright Future in Sales, Fountains of Wayne
Outfit, Drive-By Truckers
Beware (Jay-Z Remix), Panjabi MC feat. Jay-Z
Entropy, MC Hawking
Me and Guiliani Down By the Schoolyard, !!!
Such Great Heights, The Postal Service
The Way You Move, Outkast feat. Sleepy Brown
Beer Run, Todd Snyder
The Seed (2.0), The Roots & Cody Chestnutt
Hurt, Johnny Cash
Maps, Yeah Yeah Yeahs
A.D.I.D.A.S., Killer Mike feat. Big Boi
Gay Bar, Electric Six
He War, Cat Power
I should have added a bunch of also-rans, but it would have been overwhelming. Wish I remembered "Wicked and Weird". It's the one thing on that album that works out of context.
Jens Lekman, “Maple Leaves”
The Roots and Cody Chestnutt, “The Seed (2.0)”
The Postal Service, “Such Great Heights”
White Stripes, “Seven Nation Army”
Panjabi MC with Jay-Z, “Beware of the Boys (Mundian to Bach Ke)”
Yeah Yeah Yeahs, “Maps”
Raveonettes, “That Great Love Sound”
t.A.T.u., “All the Things She Said”
Outkast, “Hey Ya”
Belle and Sebastian, “I’m a Cuckoo”
Justin Timberlake, “Rock Your Body”
New Pornographers, “The Laws Have Changed”
50 Cent, “In Da Club”
But that's cuz I like bloodsportFor the record, I absolutely don't. I do not enjoy arguing with people, online or in real life. I find it upsetting and depressing.
I really wish at the outset, Kevin John could have said "you're misunderstanding where I'm coming from" and there would never have been any conflict.
aahhhh goddammit. we we're considering "Through the Wire" as 2003? I mean, i know it was released as a single then, and so was "Slow Jamz," but the album was 2004 (which i thought was our governing criteria) and it was prevalent in P&J's 2004 poll, not 2003.
I've got to think a few voters decided they were 2004 singles, because I was surprised neither made the top 30.
about the blogger
Starting in 1967, Robert Christgau has covered popular music for The Village Voice, Esquire, Blender, Playboy, Rolling Stone, and many other publications. He teaches in New York University's Clive Davis Department of Recorded Music, maintains a comprehensive website at robertchristgau.com, and has published five books based on his journalism. He has written for MSN Music since 2006.