Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Geto Boys Were Big Softies

Scarface is widely regarded as one of the greatest rappers, so maybe I'm crazy if I like Willie D and Bushwick more. Could be my resistance to go with the flow. Scarface is a great rapper, but he can be a little dry for me. Willie D and Bushwick always keep me entertained with their bizarre bravado. Have you heard "Mind of a Lunatic"? That song would stir up controversy if it came out today. Listen to the horrifying second verse...

The Geto Boys were one of the reasons people created the Parental Advisory label. It wasn't The Geto Boys' shocking material that made them legends, though. It was their bluesy, reflective songs. "Mind Playing Tricks" seems more popular now than ever. I've heard it on XM, Sirius, and in YouTube videos countless times over the past decade. I should be sick of it but it's one of my favorite rap songs. One awesome thing about the video is they dramatized nearly every line...

The Geto Boys grew a conscience after being a center of controversy. They were made out to be devils, and in the days of Grip it on that Other Level, they basically were. Every track on that album is bleak as hell. Even critics who admitted to liking the music on the early albums had negative things to say about the group's graphic depictions of rape and murder. Some critics argued that the group glorified a criminal lifestyle rather than condemned it. The Geto Boys made an effort to change that perception. Starting with "Mind Playing Tricks", each album had at least one contemplative song that seemed to try to say, "We're not so bad!" In the song "Street Life" off the album Til' Death Do Us Part (sans Willie D), Scarface distances himself from shallow gangster fantasies and tries to rap with more substance. Ok, maybe he is the best in the group...

On "The Resurrection", Willie D came back into the group and recorded "The World is a Ghetto", which, like the most tender of The Geto Boys' tracks, got a video...

My favorite Geto Boys track might be "I Tried". I've written mean things about old rappers in this blog but sometimes old guys rhyme from a deeper perspective than the Waka Flocka Flames of the world. On "I Tried", Willie D has a great verse about his mom, and in the video he actually re-creates her death, crawling onto the bed after she passes away and shaking her face. It would be hilarious if it weren't sad. Bushwick's verse sticks in my head the most, particularly the lines, "I get pissed over little shit/Little shit drive me crazy/then I start thinking about my babies". Touching and honest...

I hope Bushwick doesn't get deported.


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

New With Us

Long year. Looking forward to the next one. We're zeroing in on a new camera to purchase - the Canon EOS 60D. We're excited to work with an SLR. I like the look of the video recorded with SLRs. Usually the background is kinda out of focus and the images in the forefront are razor sharp. Sharp images fade into shadows. It may be less versatile than a professional camcorder, but its focusing limitations give a nice cinematic feel.

Once we have our new camera, we'll begin shooting (again) on our feature length horror movie, which we want to release on Blu Ray this Spring. Since the video quality of the new camera will be better, we'll re-shoot all the material we've already shot. No worries. It was shit anyway.

Luckily the camcorder we have now is reliable enough to post RSStB (knock on wood). If you watch the new episodes carefully though, you'll notice picture glitches and sound pops all over the place. Oh well. Soon that'll be in the past and we'll be in 1080p.


Monday, November 15, 2010

Thursday, November 11, 2010

I've Only Listened to Kutmasta Kurt Lately

In the fall of my senior year of high school, I made a tape of my favorite Kool Keith songs and then listened to pretty much only that tape until I graduated. I look back in embarrassment at all the times I played "Sex Style" for random people who rode in my car. The tape was highlights from Dr. Octagon, Sex Style, and Dr. Dooom. Back then I preferred the Kool Keith beats that were produced by Automator. It took me time to realize Kutmasta Kurt's genius. I stopped listening to Kool Keith when he stopped rapping, started the spoken-word thing he does on most tracks nowadays. Aside from Masters of Illusion, I never really listened to his music until the past month. I discovered that Keith actually raps on The Diesel Truckers record (and sporadically throughout the rest of his discography), and that his spoken-word thing really isn't so bad anyway. At least he's creative.

The Kutmasta Kurt songs from Keith's catalogue are the special ones, especially the tracks from the final Ultramagnetic MCs album, Big Time, when the group was just Keith with some dude named Tim Dog under the name Ultra. That is a record that I can listen to endlessly, which is what I've been doing lately. Most underrated album of all time. Kutmasta Kurt and Kool Keith are an unstoppable duo, classic status like EPMD.

I branched out and I'm also listening to the albums Kurt produced for Motion Man, Pablito's Way being my favorite. Motion Man is good, but ain't nobody like Keith. Every sewer in the world must run into Kool Keith's brain. Fucking bizarre. Call me crazy but I'll bet he smokes a lot of angel dust.