Sunday, February 1, 2009

ALBUM OF THE WEEK


Ghostface Killah 'Ironman' 1996, Razor Sharp/Epic Records

Whats crackin fam. So unless you've been living under a rock for the past 15 or so years, then you would know that the Wu-Tang Clan was the best rap group that ever happened, period. The way the Wu straight assassinated the rap game during the 90s made it really hard for anybody else to shine in the way that they did. Wu were pioneers of some different shit, they ripped and not before or since has a group done some shit like Wu. The most prolific rap crew ever. Obviously the 90s produced tons of ill rappers and many of those are legends now, but the Wu had it straight goin on with some flavor that just hadn't happened before at all. Anyways, after Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) came out in 93 and then everybody got their heads blown all the way off from that (its untouchable king shit), the Wu did their individual albums and whatnot. Ironman was Ghostface's and that shit slammed everything so hard that everybody else in the Wu had to make sure that their joints were going to be able to like, be next to that Ironman shit. Because it is that fucking ill, and had that raw as fuck sound that only the Wu had (because of RZA's signature production), I'm telling ya'll it made everybody flip out back in 96. Along with Raekwon, Ghost aka Tony Starks had the Mafioso swag going on, which has influenced mad rappers today, all trying to be like Tony Montana and shit or whatever. Grimey doesn't even do it, this record is like beyond classic sound and without a doubt people have been listening to it while they do a bunch of bad ass shit for like over ten years. To declare a 'best member of the Wu' would be silly but Ghostface aka The Wally King has always been my dude. He paints pictures and says his shit in a way that only he could say, one of a kind for sure. Who the fuck else discusses what he does, he raps everything from breakfast cereal mascots to Alfred Hitchcock tales to doing really fucking violent crimes and shit. Many say that Raekwon's Only Built 4 Cuban Linx or GZA's Liquid Swords are the best solo Wu joints, and I love those records, but for me its all about Ironman. Either that or Supreme Clientele, which he put out after this one and that shit slays likewise. "We are the g-o-d's/ so listen to them clear/ and put the box right near your ear/ light your blunts and down your beers/ cause you can never fuck with Wu Tang killah beeeeez" nuff said my friends.

and this week with,
[Xinjiang's Finest]
Nursultan Nastibevrej
[sic.] Лурды Зурды
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.Dinosaurs
Evolution in general, but that’s too big, and Dinosaurs are by the coolest part of the story. I like that some people make it their life’s mission to prove that they didn’t exist, or that they co-existed with humans. I like talking about mass extinctions with geologists. I have difficulty thinking of a negative thing to say about Dinosaurs. Or Crocidilia for that matter.

.Documentary and ‘based on true events’ movies
For example: I like early 80’s DC area hardcore music, but I’m not obsessed with it. I don’t wanna spend 2 or 3 weeks reading books about it. Luckily there’s a dope documentary about it, so I can kick back for like 2 hours and soak it all up with visuals and a lucid narration. Glory is a good example of the ‘based on true events’ type. Touching story, heroic, all that, and I’m really glad I don’t have to exert much energy to know about it, thanks to the magic of filmmaking. Terminator is an inspiring effort.

.Decent to high quality book publishing
Not owning, but smelling and then reading. First edition of China Marches West: The Qing Conquest of Central Eurasia published by Harvard/Belknap is one of the best smelling books I’ve come across. It’s also a good read, if you are really really into that topic. Not enough on interactions with Qipchaqs, but for Zungharian – Qing relations it’s the best single volume in the English language. The paper is kinda smooth and shiny, but really thin, it’s a 730 pg book, but the thinness of the paper makes it look like less. Full color maps and illustrations. Cloth bound. Good paperbacks where the ink reflects light and the paper doesn’t yellow are really nice too. Books in general are the shit, and the fact that there is a discernible difference in the amount of time, thought and resources that go into specific volumes for thousands of years now makes the good ones a real standout.

.Revenge
I don’t give a fuck if its ‘bad for the soul’ or what-the-fuck-ever hippies say about. When you see the arrow tip sticking out the front of someone’s chest, and it’s the chest of someone who wronged you bad, like blackmail or snitching or murder, it is cleansing. You can die in peace. Gotta do it with style though. Otherwise its just petty. Like snitching someone out cause they snitched you out, that’s just hateful and childish. Burn their car.

.Sharp, pointed objects
Spears, knives, arrows, swords, that disc-boomerang thing Xena warrior princess uses. The knife is the original multi-function tool and therefore indispensable, but arrows and hooks are probably my favorites functionally and aesthetically.

.Maps
Have you tried to make a map? Seriously tried? When you were a kid, and you messed around with forts and shit in the wood, it probably struck you to map out the whole area. If you have a decent power of perception and spatial sense, you probably realized you fucked up several times before even getting a section of the map committed to paper (idiots just do it once and think its right cause they can’t tell the difference). It’s really hard to do, and the fact that a lot of the land and some underwater surfaces were well mapped out before things like satellite existed is a true testament to man’s mathematical faculties. (Let’s choose to ignore the nasty, colonial side of the map-making project, which was the engine behind a lot of the afore-mentioned progress)

.Horses, Camels, Deer, Moose, Elk, etc.
I love ‘em. One time I was making out with this girl at in the woods on the mountain and this deer just walked up. We stopped our debauchery and just looked at it, and it just looked at us, then it ran away. That was a long time ago. My uncle and I used to ride bareback when I was a child, to go squirrel hunting. Your pants turn brown and oily, and your hands get fucked from holding onto the horse’s mane, but you really get to bond with the animal, more than you can on a saddle. I haven’t met many camels, but I hear they’re really amiable.

.Tales of obsession and obsessed people’s writing
Moby Dick, Lolita, Count of Monte Cristo, the list goes on. Sven Hedin, Marquis de Sade, Mao Zedong, that’s where things really get cracking. Sven Hedin was obsessed with Inner Asia, geography, cartography, anthropology, all aspects. He was a NAZI supporter and an imperialist. He was one of the last of the ‘explorers’: a person (read: man) who goes where no ‘man’ (read: white European or American man) has gone before (read: written extensively about). His books are painfully detailed and exaggerated accounts of his many journeys through Central and Inner Asia. The most accessible for lay-people is The Trail of War: On the Track of Big Horse in Central Asia. It is a good starting point. Marquis de Sade, well, I know it seems played out, but that’s part of what makes it so good. Most people haven’t actually read it, they just watch that stupid movie Quills and think he’s a nice but quirky guy. Goths are into him for some reason, I think they misread him though. Meticulous attention to detail, no plot, no erotica (contrary to popular belief there is only one scene of erotica in all his writing: in a footnote he mentions that one the men left his knickers halfway on while fucking. A footnote and that’s it), 1000’s of pages, centuries ahead of his time. Sade is to literature what Bathory is to Black Metal: Over-rated and under-listened, taken too seriously for its silliness, and solo works of genius. We all know who Mao is and what his deal was. 毛主席万岁,万万岁!

.Damies and Damettes
Brothers and Sisters, we hold it down together. Power and Unity, Peace and Respect. Unfuckable. Telepathic traction transporting us to heights unimagined, unattainable, or untenable to our fore-bearers.

.Mountains
Mountains are the shit. They are big and when you are on ‘em it is like a different world: cold, indifferent to you, harsh, and majestic. Good places to ponder geology and time, hang out with people you care about, test yourself, learn skills long-forgotten by most. People who visit there love ‘em, people who live there love ‘em, people who die there love ‘em.

2 comments:

King of Daves said...

That may be my favorite magical monday update, to date.

30cent said...

i lile to think of ironman and cuban linx as one continuous record and that is my favorite record ever.