onLoop 11.03.10

Posted: November 3, 2010 by RA in Music, On Loop

N.E.R.D. – “Hypnotize U” – 2010
God in Heaven, this is some funky shit!

I first heard this about six weeks ago. Maybe it was my incredibly manic schedule at the time (hence the prolonged radio silence), but I didn’t really warm to it, despite my excitement at the production credit. Yes, this is the long-awaited reteaming of the Neps and Daft Punk, almost a decade after the spacey, dream-like “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” remix back in ’01. The drums thump hard, yet are so synthetic in sound, it’s like being throttled with a foam bat.  The synths are dreamy yet ’80s yet Euro. Pharrell makes the best use of his amateurish falsetto since “Frontin'”, finally meeting his full potential as Rick James’ super-freak heir apparent. Read the rest of this entry »

Something About Faith… That Grinds My Gears

Posted: October 31, 2010 by RA in Music
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Faith Evans is a talented singer. And songwriter. The woman can wail like none other, and is responsible for some classic party and Pop songs that we’ll remember for years to come. She was also at the center of the most sensational story in all Hip-Hop canon, as the wife of one third of its holy trinity and the alleged lover of another.

She also is a colossal tease. And kind of a hypocrite.  She spends entirely too much time explaining she technically isn’t Biggie’s widow (the two had separated at the time of his death), and she’s been remarried for over a decade. But then she peppers every other song with a winking Biggie reference that seems to stake her claim to her former position in Hip-Hop royalty. Read the rest of this entry »

So, full disclosure: I love Mariah Carey. I think she’s a brilliantly talented vocalist, songwriter, and producer, and that makes up for her bizarre affectations and mannerisms that, frankly, do her no favors.

Also, I’ve pointed out in the past how her fixation on chart dominance makes her forego originality in favor of formula. Some would argue she did it once or twice in the ’90s, but I doubt any will dispute that since her comeback, the Ghost of Singles Past has been stuck in “We Belong Together” mode whenever she called him up for a recording session.

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Greg Giraldo Dead at 44

Posted: September 29, 2010 by RA in Uncategorized
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It’s almost become a cliche to be a drug-addicted comic. Still, I loved Greg Giraldo. Dude was hilarious, and unapologetically filthy without appealing to idiotic stereotypes or childish jingoism to make his point.

I have nothing else to say right now — It’s late, I’m drunk. Greg would be proud.

Nigerian megablogger Bella Naija follows up her brief Oprah appearance with a great segment on CNN, during which manages to offset the inarticulate, juvenile bile that has come to be the public’s perception of the blogosphere. (I’m looking at you, Penis-Drawing Fatass whose name I won’t mention here.) Read the rest of this entry »

I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with Maroon 5. On the one hand, they cite folks like Stevie and Prince as their influences. On the other, they do them absolutely no justice, often trotting out work that’s so derivative yet bastardized, it sounds like Stevie as performed by the house band on Dancing With the Stars.

On the one hand, I can’t stand Adam Levine. He irritates the royal shit out of me, despite the fact that I could never be bothered to learn more about him than that he sings in that shitty band that’s somehow got multiple entries on my iPod. On the other, they’ve somehow managed to get multiple entries on my iPod.

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Sure, “Power” was decent. “Monster”? Meh.

But now we have “Lord, Lord, Lord”, a smooth track with great turns from Mos Def and Raekwon. Melodically the track is like a more mellow “Magnificent”, but with better rappers.

Plus, Ye lets the beat ride out (with Charlie Wilson vamping) for the last 2 minutes of the cut — always a mark of a producer confident in his product.

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