“I was making a stand, and in that moment I was free. You can’t get in, and I can’t get out. But in my space, I’m free. I’m making the decision right now, and that decision is fuck you.”
A little fetishizing of gunplay to start out my Top 10 Or So Oh Word moments of the week. I had some heavy emotions at the laundromat on Thursday night, thanks to the LA Times magazine and its article about the LA SWAT team using the Black Panther Party for target practice/political gain in late 1969. The whole affair is depressing and the article is hard to read in some places, with all the COINTELPRO nefariousness; fuckin cops I said softly to myself while reading it. Mixed in with that, though, was some emotional uplift courtesy of the quote from Wayne Pharr (above), and knowledge of the sheer existence of epically-named humans Geronimo (it says Elmer on his birth certificate, but I’m ignoring that) Pratt and Alprentice “Bunchy” Carter.
More heavy laundromat emotions (same visit as the SWAT team article), only this time it was humor tinged with irony. Pepe the architect was 2 machines down from me, being nice during the spin cycle. “Beautiful eyes; you are part Basque!” (nope. Sorry, Pepe.) I always fall for that stuff (nice words) because I figure everybody means everything they say, all the time. Then Pepe commented on my ass and I wanted to cry. I mean, I was asking for it in those jeans, but still. Anyway, the stat above is from Harpers index, the section I always flip to first.
And from the Logan Index:
Number of visitors to apt. 680 as of this writing: 6.
Times today the Time Warner tech verbally marveled at the number of records I have: 4.
Number of girls in the world who listen to Kool Keith, according to the Time Warner tech, upon seeing First Come First Served on my shelf: “not a lot.” PUMP YOUR BRAKES, homeboy. I didn’t ask for that kind of attention; I just wanted some Internet. The intimacy level he and I experienced during this, his first/last visit to my apartment, felt a little rushed for me. I handled it with grace, though. You guys would’ve been proud.
3. Aesey’s “Free hook” giveaways!
4. a) “Greed, money, useless children,“ Reatard sang. “No. It’s not for me.“ Yep, I say in reply. I mean nope, it’s not for me. Me too/me neither? Yes, it’s not for me. What Jay said, is what I’m trying to say.
He also b) had that cover where he’s in a tub with a bunch of 45s. And even though the act of being a white man screaming into a mic about being a white man with burning-hot emotional pain/numbness like death inside is nothing new, he c) somehow made it sound new.
If you slow down when you’re driving so you’re going the exact same speed as the cop car in the lane next to you, like you’re skeered to pass him, I am afraid your brain’s anti-fear device is faulty, you’re unabashedly wack, and therefore my naked body is not going to be yours for the taking/defiling. The “I’m scared to get a ticket” way of going through life is not something that will serve you well. Dudes don’t all need to be like Reatard but they do all need to have a little DGAF in order to make it in this crazy world and see girls naked. On the current things-to-GAF-about list: friends/fam, words in songs, being nice, and telling people how much you like em ’cause life’s too short.
5. “Left Brain extract bitches minds and give ’em left brain
Soft synths, hard drums, give your bird chest pains.“
Still listening to Dome and Hodge’s “Tanggolf.” Still. Can’t let go. Can’t stop listening. Plus it gives me energy while moving from one tiny apartment to another. (I’m still draggin crates)
a) The spirit of Gary Grice guides these young men through their journey. And b) the raspy-voiced stuff, the mark of a good passionate rap song, starts around the 2-minute mark. Plus c) SOFT SYNTHS, HARD DRUMS means they check this blog from time to time and understand what this particular bird needs, even though they are probably fornicating their way through Los Angeles due to their fame and that does not bode well for our love affair. Dudes who give me everything I need but also make me cry are still worth it because they give me everything I need (wordplay, bass, hugs, kisses).
6. “Yo, every gang, every hood’s in my veins
It’s my thing, it’s real, I’m in tune
I chill like the cold side of the moon
Silence you dudes like an empty room.“
I heard the Kings of Queens (Prod, Hav, Nas) were linking/building, squashing USDA prime beef (wait, was that beef ever confirmed?), and I got excited…until I heard the song (“Dog Shit”) and listened to the cliched lyrics, and the sleepytime beat made me take a nap, and then when I woke up I remembered what I heard and I wanted to cry. I chill like the cold side of the moon. First, no you don’t. Second, that’s a stupid thing to say. The Wu one was terrible too. Listen, dun, I’ve had it. No more songs called “Dog You-Know-What.” You had your chance and you squandered it.
7. The realness, however, is foundation. STILL. And is shall remain so until I say otherwise. The realness is foundation; who else would think to say such a thing? You wouldn’t think that it works, but it does. Really, who else would think to put that particular string of words together. Who else. OH MY DEAR PROD, you are catnip to an English major.
8. “I just bought a coupe, the roof is translucent
Pockets on etc., money talk, bullshit walk like George Jefferson.“
Mack Maine on Baby’s “I Get Money.”
Money talks; bullshit walks. We all know and we’ve known for a long time. But my goodness what an awful song, mostly because of the presence of T-Pain and yet another verse by Wayne talking about his dominance of planet Earth (“I hold it in my hand” – although at least he’s not describing how he penetrates it like that one time and that other time). At first I hated those church bells laid on top of the beat but they’ve grown on me. And making a cliched phrase come alive by adding some ’70s sitcom flair is the best way to make my Oh Word awards for the week.
(Additionally: did Cash Money ever chop n loop “Cash money ain’t nevvvvver gonna play out” from “New Jack Hustler” in one of its releases? That would’ve been Fresh, super Fresh, so MANNIE – call me*! I got a million ideas!)
*before you left Cash Money, I mean.
9. “One critique: 100% not buying Lil B’s heavily not-based claim that he does not go down on girls.“
HA, Fader mag regarding Brandon’s new jam “Salute to the Bitch”! We’re all adults here so I figured it’s OK to mention grown-up stuff (sex stuff). Some of us are based, some of us not so much. Some of the more based individuals among us have scratch-offs, flat screens, pink bandannas, 65 bitches. Some of those same people lie about their sexual practices. That needs to stop.
10. “Just hanging round with older boys
Oh big thighs
Creepy, creepy in the dark
Shiny, shiny Joan of Arc
When the moonlight starts its glow
Cold hard Helen, Queen of Troy
She’s got Christmas, got thunderstorms
Like a baby, never, never been balled
She’s got fat men, vermin in disguise
In the cold rooms of her eyes
Oh, Helen Of Troy.“
Rollins has a radio show out here on Saturdays (not sure if it’s national or just a regional thing) and he plays some good stuff in between overly-enunciating everything and injuring his big toe with all the names he drops (“…So then Ginn and MacKaye took me to Olive Garden and I had the all-you-can-eat salad and breadsticks and blah blah blahblahBLAH“). He played John Cale’s “Helen of Troy” during his most recent show when I was driving, and I liked it (it’s an OG “Logan walking down the street” song, but during the walk I’m probably wearing short shorrrrt shorts like a little tease, instead of my usual sundress). And he played Eno’s “Blank Frank” and I liked that (the Bo Diddley beat). Then he went into some blah-blah tale about Here Come the Warm Jets and the best part of that was it made me wonder if Curren$y will ever do a funny take on that for a mixtape. PS, is it true that that title isn’t about actual jets that fly in the sky?
11. “Sliding in the back screamin MMG
10 bitches and they dime so it’s Tennessee.“
Meek Mill on Rawss‘ “Tupac Back.”
OK. Sigh. Oh kayyy. Not sure where to begin here.
Invoking the name of Tupac in your rap song title is sacrilege on the level of a Blink-182 member calling his record something that James Joseph Brown used to say regarding the god Clyde Stubblefield, or Leto trying to do Cobain (“Kurt debe estarse revolcando en su tumba!!” – YouTube commenter, whom I adore). Busta, you’re a member of this club too, with your “featuring Biggie” attempt to move units. Ugh.
Anyway, this makes Top Oh Word of the Week because the song’s concept and lyrical content is so awful, so tragic. It’s hard to believe it’s real. Meek Mill’s pun in particular – it’s awful. 10 I see. Tennessee. Here’s an example of a good pun, for future reference: Orion’s belt is a waist of space.
12. “All these bitches is my sons
And I ain’t talking ’bout Phoenix
Bitch I get money so I do’s what I pleases
I live where the motherfucking pools and the trees is.“
MINAJ, of course.
I DOOOO’S WHAT I PLEASES. This is like her version of my beloved “I’m grownnnn. I do what I wanna do,” which is appropriate for all situations in which people try to constrict me with rules and regs. Nicki says everything I want to say, only in a fiercer way and with a Queens accent. I mean, bitch I live up in some trees too but unlike Meek Mill I know when to shut up about such mundane things unless I can give it a colorful spin.
13. “The medicine often given to Parkinson’s patients is L-dopa, which is converted into dopamine in the brain.“
Gucci upset me just recently and that confuses me (just recently). Jimmy Jones did a good thing and that confuses me. And Ashley Judd makes me cringe, as her particular white girl hustle (“rap music is sexist and violent; buy my book”) is boring and misdirected. I also promised myself I wouldn’t read the RapRadar comments about Mister Cee’s arrest, but then I did, and now I feel disheartened.
And then it just takes one spectacularly fine grouping of words, like the quote above from that time-sucking science site I always look at, to make it all better. L-Dopa was ‘Clef’s original nickname for Lauryn. (In the end, L-Boogie won out.)
14. “Whenever you call, baby I roll up, I roll up, I roll up
Whenever you call, baby I roll up, I roll up, I roll up
Whenever you call, baby I roll up.
No matter where I am, No matter where you are
I’ll be there when its over, baby
Cause I was there from the start
No matter if I’m near, don’t matter if you’re far.“
What a goddamned fool. Khalifa is the worst and he’s all over my car radio. I roll up, I roll up, Irollupirolluppppp. Shawtyshawty, baby, weed, shawty, Taylor, rararah. Please save me. I’m trapped. Feels like in every song there’s a hidden message just for me – play it backwards and he says “Ha ha, Logan! I’m a terrible rapper and I’m RICH! WHEEE.” Just, I mean, what more can I say. C’mon, everybody. In your most secret places, in your heart’s tiny spaces, you know Khalifa’s a terrible rapper. Cornball city. But because this is the world in which we live, and its system of rewarding people is hideous and flawed, the fact that he is a terrible corny rapper means he’ll make a billion by next week.
15. “Even before I wrote any songs, I had this idea of a triangle where the voice was at the top, some sort of guitar element on one side, and then some sort of really basic rhythm on the other side. That’s where I started from in the recording process. So having everything filter through this one brain, this box, seemed like a really good idea. It’s a hellish thing to mix live, but I liked how it would connect the dots in the songwriting sense, because everything has these weird little tongue licks of certain types of sound. There’s an effect matrix in the thing with five effects you can run through.“
Panda Bear, on his Korg sampler thingy mod. I’m still writing my secret-admirer letter to the “Kurt’s Jag” guy from a couple weeks ago, and then I see this interview with PB, and now my heart is conflicted, tied up in knots. “Panda Bear, I like you; do you like me? Circle yes or no and pass this note back.” I’m in love with the Carl-Sagan-ish levels of detail/nerdery on display here, and the phrase tongue licks of sound, which describes nice things that, when placed in various combinations, give a young lady good feelings.
Oh wait! I like him, and his little speech about Dilla*, and he would probably suggest Reatard’s “Tiny Little Home” as the first song played in apt. 680 to christen it. That’s dope. But Panda seems sorta pretentious and would probably not like to discuss the skrip club with me. He also would not understand my appreciation for gigantic raspy-voiced ridiculously named Brick Squad representatives. Bye bye, Panda. Our love affair was fun while it lasted.
* “And then the last thing is J Dilla’s Donuts, just in terms of pacing. The first two times I listened to that album, I couldn’t wrap my head around it because it would go from piece to piece really fast. The rhythms really ground it, but I had no idea where everything else was coming from. It might have been alien music for all I knew. Nothing really waited around for very long. But after listening to it a couple of times, it was like a sea change– my mind just totally connected to it, and suddenly it was the best thing. After doing these songs that took their time going where they were going on Person Pitch, I wanted to take those songs and squeeze them down into your hand like a little ball.”
16. “Feels like I’m doomed to dealing with women whose
Relationships with their fathers won’t allow us to bloom.”
Pusha T, “Alone in Vegas.”
Probably the weakest song on terrence_thornton_mixtape.zip, but that fathers line right there is a good one.
I think the problem for Pusha is that he is not choosing the women who have/had good relationships with their fathers. Those are the ones who aren’t showy or hardboiled like Marlowe liked ’em. They are shy, but they’re good, solid, won’t run away when times are tough. He should talk to ’em at Vons sometime. (they are sweet)
17. “Three piece band on the corner played ‘Nearer My God to Thee’
But Delia whistled a different tune, what tune could it be?
The song that woman sang was ‘Look Out Stagger Lee’
The song that Delia sang was ‘Look Out Stagger Lee.’“
Please indulge me, pretty please, when I want to a) pick the songs on the radio during car rides and when I want to b) go on and on about Robert Hunter lyrics. In both cases, I do sort of an excited wiggly thing and open my mouth out of sheer joy.
a) Like when I screamed with pleasure when I heard the opening bass of “Walk it Out” earlier tonight, Glendale and Montana, eastbound, sitting in traffic – it was, after all, not the stupid original but the remix! With Andre! I haven’t heard that version in, what, 2 years? “Real talk”! Cars – metal instead of plastic! Westside walk it ah-ah-out! (Aw, I’m not typing it right. You know the part I mean.)
b) As far as Hunter’s lyrics go, there’s “Stagger Lee,” which has been swimming round in my head ever since I saw that compilation of murder ballads (not Murda Muzik; that’s something else). I’d appreciate some new MC coming out the gate calling himself “Swagger Lee.” Anyway, then I read Tom Waits’ quote about murder ballads being “just a cut above graffiti…the oral tabloids of the day,” and speaking of –