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
Robert Christgau is basically the ultimate troll
I don't believe you , you're a liar.
As terse as it is sprawling [nonsense]
as labored as it is vitriolic [comparison terms have no relation]
*Yes, this is part of my who-are-you/real-name campaign.
Rockism is essentially a prejudiced attitude to any form of popular music that doesn't conform to the values of rock music (in the most narrow and conventional sense of the term.) The most obvious example of this is the tendency of middle-aged fans of 'classic rock' to describe any music that involves the overt use of electronic instruments as not 'real music'.
Dude, there's a cure!
As one of the many straight camp fans round these parts, I'd like to make this observation...
I don't think camp is big with straight people of Milo's generation because honesty/sincerity was a big issue in regards to Vietnam, Nixon, etc. So when people don't straight talk them, it rankles. So I can understand that.
Camp (and irony) is big with people my age because....
P.S. Evidence that internet friends can be true pals: the venerable Dr. Cam P looked over my personal statement for me. Isn't that nice? Thanks again Cam.
P.P.S. My dictionary consultation (no shame in prudence--sometimes) tells me that in the Catholic sense, venerable is used as a title for "a deceased person who has attained a certain degree of sanctity but has not been fully beatified or canonized." So, in response to whomever was talking about sainthood last post, if Cam dies without showing off his magical powers, he'd be officially The Venerable Doctor Campbell Patterson.
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.
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