Do not say the words "gluten-free beer" to Triumph the Insult Comic Dog. In fact, if Triumph is at the Great American Beer Festival — where hundreds of beer aficionados convene "to see what it's like to not drink alone" — just turn around and leave. He'll ruin your joy in savoring "unnecessary microbrews," and he'll make everyone on the Internet laugh while he does it.
Actually, it flings the bacon straight off the table and leaves Chappelle at home in order to get to dancier places more apropos for an earnest homage to a.m. fornication. It's a perfect jumping-off point for people who are pro-Prince but haven't figured out exactly what's going on with the tweets — nothing but a smooth Prince jam, some choreography, and abundant lyrical allusions to sex here.
Jay Z was 26 when he released his debut, Reasonable Doubt — in rap years, downright ancient. Biggie was 22 on Ready to Die, Nas 21 on Illmatic. Kanye was 26 himself on The College Dropout, but had been selling beats to Def Jam for four years at that point. (And, yes, yes, of course: Bow Wow was only 13 on Beware of Dog). Before Reasonable Doubt, Jay was, at best, an industry fringe player and burdened with holding down a taxing full-time day job: drug dealing. And so it might seem funny now, but it's also not hard to imagine that, then, more than halfway through his twenties, with no substantial piece of music to his name, Jay was worried time was passing him by.
Things worked out.
Now Jay is 43 — even in rap years, that's downright Methusaleh-y. Starting late, he lasted longer than he ever had the right to imagine; more importantly, he will be here forever. And now all this talk about his age has us wondering about one very minor thing: At what point, exactly, of these never-ending career latter days did Jay stop calling himself Young Hova? And while we’re at it, when did he start? And could he ever do it again? So — with a healthy reminder that the ax of death swings ever closer for us all! — herewith: A look at the aging of Jay Z, through the lens of his most ageist nickname.
I first got put on to "Bugatti," at the embarrassingly late date of "a month ago," during a set by Crank City DJ's infamous DJ Horse Hoof Haver (a.k.a. my friend Jackson). In my defense, I'd been out of the country for six weeks — but really, that's no excuse for failing to keep up with the latest in advanced American radio rap technology. Because when you first hear a song as massively and perfectly, to borrow a phrase from the children, "turnt up" as "Bugatti," you feel as if you might not have need for any other musical sounds ever again. These particular windows-down volume-all-the-way-fucking-up jams, you see, they lay waste and salt the earth. And that first time with "Bugatti," I felt that way, even though DJ Horse Hoof Haver was peppering his trademark "horse neigh" drops all over the place.
I have a beard, I own both What's Going On and Thriller on vinyl, my collection of rap magazines with Rick Ross on the cover is impressive, and on overcast days I'm usually posted up inside the crib, making cat videos. This clip settles it: I am only a skull-candle (and several bazillion dollars’ worth of jewelry) away from being Rick Ross.
You gotta wake up pret-ty ear-ly in the morning to outdo Rick Ross. In the hours spanning, roughly, from "late last night" to "real late last night" to "early today," Ricky managed both to throw a star-studded Club LIV birthday extravaganza and survive a drive-by shooting completely unscathed. This is a news story that is simultaneously violent, preposterous, factually muddy, and as peculiar as it is entertaining. In other words, it's consummately Rozay.
In a couple of weeks, Ducktails drops its eagerly anticipated fourth album, The Flower Lane. This time around, front man Matthew Mondanile — whom you may remember for such things as also being the guitarist in Real Estate — got a bunch of his pals to chip in (guesting on the record are members of Ford & Lopatin, Cults, Future Shuttle, and Daniel Lopatin, a.k.a. Oneohtrix Point Never), and the result is a more fleshed-out vibe than he's dropped on us yet. (Check out the sweetly groovy title track for proof.)
And so, as we do every once in a while here at Songs of the Week HQ, we got Mondanile on the phone to chop it up about some of this week's more notable burners. Matt told us he's "stoked" for the album release, and is "busy doing stuff for it," but still had time to chat. He was just a touch surprised, though, about speaking with Grantland: "I thought you were gonna ask me who my favorite sports players are."
On Friday afternoon, Rick Ross announced he was canceling the remainder of his current Maybach Music Group tour. The official reason, according to his reps, is "apparent lack of organization and communication on the part of the tour promoter." The unofficial reason is a lot scarier than poor logistics.
The MMG tour launched November 2, was scheduled through December 2, and was intended to be extended through December 16. And its cancellation came, Billboard points out, "a day after Ross canceled two shows in North Carolina ... [reportedly] due to threats from the Gangster Disciples street gang." You can see the threats online — because this is 2012, and even gangsters beef on YouTube — and they're not pleasant.
Mystikal went to prison for a long time, on some very horrible charges, and so the question, as always, is: How much should we allow ourselves to separate the person from the product? It'd be easier, of course, if the dude had fallen off since his '00s heyday but, somehow, in his fourth decade, he seems to be getting stronger. On "Hit Me" — "even the white people sittingupinthismotherfucka can'tdonothingbutsay WOW" — he channels James Brown shamelessly, and with great might, and cooks up a marvel.
Chris and I recorded this pod late on Monday afternoon, after a long day of transcribing, power-chugging caffeine, and dispatching snatch teams throughout the Middle East. So it’s somewhat understandably all over the map, starting with Rick Ross’s Black Bar Mitzvah (1:30) and ending with an apocalyptic plague of viral vampires (42:50). In the meantime, we found time to laud Pitch Perfect (6:24) (and spar over its perfectly fine star, Anna Kendrick, a.k.a. Millennial America’s Sweetheart) and debate the merits of Homeland Season 2’s surprising second episode (17:00). From there, we let the leaves turn in our hearts and minds: Chris wanted to wax lyrical about the energy-efficient hayride he went on in Griffith Park while I was stuck previewing the new season of The Walking Dead (32:45), which returns on Sunday. A far less bloody, but no less gross program is also returning this week — FX’s The League — and both Chris and I celebrated the fact that one of our favorite things about it is that it consistently provides us with absolutely nothing to say. Ah, silence. The rarest commodity in a podcast. And the best part of any bar mitzvah, no matter the color. L’chaim!
Yesterday afternoon, radio personality Miss Info's blog shared this fun fact:
All the streetwear folks and rappers are over in Vegas for the Magic convention.
Immediate confusion. Rappers in Vegas, yes. That always makes sense. But all the rappers and fashion people in Vegas ... for a Magic* convention? I simply couldn't follow. Call it ignorance on my end, but I just had no clue Jeremy Scott and YMCMB were into The Gathering like that.
Mariah Carey featuring Rick Ross and Meek Mill, "Triumphant"
Mariah Carey's officially on American Idol now, which means her latest career comeback is in full swing, which means it’s time for that first big career comeback single. By the look of that cover art and the presence of Ricky and Meek, it looks like Carey is channeling her "Honey” prime, just swapping out a Bad Boy remix for a Maybach Music one. I am very, very onboard with this decision.
I bought Teflon Don. I can’t fully remember why, but after a full year of listening to my illegally downloaded copy of Rick Ross’s amazing fourth album, I drove to a record store, walked inside, interacted with an employee, and then purchased the album in compact disc form.
I wanted it because I was home in Atlanta, meaning it was one of the few times a year I would be behind the wheel of a car. I missed the experience of rolling down all four windows in my mother’s silver Volvo, driving north on I-75 into the city, and blasting music as loud as I could physically tolerate — and then turning it up a little more. On that summer day in 2011, nothing could make me happier than listening to “BMF” while driving under the spot where the “BMF” billboard used to sit and terrorize northbound commuters.
But I had the album on my iPod, and had a tape adapter, so this dream could still come true without purchasing the album. But I missed the feeling of putting an album into a six-CD changer and letting it run in its entirety. Yes, I could have achieved this by simply spending five minutes burning the album on a blank CD-R, but at that moment, I was unsure if there were any at home, and a pack of 25 blank CDs cost as much, if not more, than purchasing the album.
Here's 2 Chainz, telling Complex about his relationship with his new mentor Kanye West: "I’m not officially signed, paperwork-wise, to G.O.O.D. Music. But I have a great rapport with 'Ye. He called me before Watch the Throne came out. I’m an only child. I've got trust issues. So I don’t have a best friend, a brother, sister — nothing. Stuff was happening in my life that I couldn’t tell nobody. I didn’t have anybody in my life that I could tell, like, "'Ye just called me." Okay, reality show pitch: 2 Chainz's My New BFF?