Things I’ve Learned from “Watch the Throne”…or SomePeopleThink White People are the Problem

This past Monday, at midnight, “Watch the Throne”, the highly anticipated album from Kanye and Jay-Z, became available on iTunes. On Tuesday, I downloaded it illegally and have been listening to it non-stop ever since. I literally have not listened to anything else (save for some Disco Biscuits, courtesy of my dirty hippie boyfriend).

I can't even think of a joke for the absurdity of this album cover.

Anyways, I was first going to write a review of the album for this post but then realized there probably isn’t a whole lot more for me to say that hasn’t been said already. Google “Watch the Throne reviews” and you’ll come up with a whole lot of reviews written by much more musically-knowledgeable, articulate people (now is the time for a sympathy comment – “Jenny, you’re so smart and pretty!” Perfect.)

So, rather than a review, I’m going to write a listicle (list + article, Google that shit) for this post: Things I’ve Learned from “Watch the Throne”…or Some People Think White People are the Problem.

1. Kanye and Jay-Z are rich. Like really, really rich. And they really, really want us to know it. Now, rappers have been displaying extravagant, and often tacky, wealth for decades. One of my all-time favorite music videos, Biggie’s “Hypnotize”, has P. Diddy and Big on a yacht, spilling Cristal all over hundred dollar bills, then throwing more bills into the wind. This is – how you say – ridiculous.

But on this album, Kanye and Jay-Z have stepped up their game, not only with the amount of high-cost items they casually throw into their lyrics, but with the high-culture value of these items.

Doing just a quick survey of the lyrics from the album, the following are mentioned (and I will say, I didn’t even know what the hell many of these things were. Thank you, Google and Urban Dictionary, without whom this post could never have been possible):

Yachts, Louboutin slippers, Hummers, Rolls-Royce Corniches, black Maybachs, 1985 white Lamborghini Countach (2 of ‘em), Polo, Manolo, Lanvin thousand dollar tee with no logos, oversized Rollies, big face Rollies, Dries, sheepskin coats, no cheap cologne, the Black Card, Gucci, Audemars (hidden behind all these big rocks), gold bottles, Louie, Margiela, my other Benz (and my other, other Benz), G450, Hermes, marble floors, champagne, Grey Goose, cases of Ciroc, Porsche 911, black cars, so many watches I need eight arms, no limit on the Black Card

2. Kanye and Jay-Z are cultured. While ‘Ye and Jay want us to know they have more watches then any freakin’ human being should ever have, they also want to be quite clear that they are more cultured than any of us will ever be.

As Jay raps on “Illest Motherfucker Alive”:

Basquiats, Warhols serving as my muses
My house is like a museum so I see ‘em when I’m peeing
Usually you have this much taste you European

There are mentions of Picassos, boutique stores in Paris, Larry Gagosian, Le Meurice, Rothkos, the Mona Lisa, the MOMA, the Coliseum, Plato, owning 5 passports (though to be honest, this seems a bit of a liability), et cetera.

3. White people are most certainly the problem. After Kanye’s appearance on the Hurricane Katrina telethon, we all finally knew that “George Bush doesn’t care about black people”. What ‘Ye wants us to remember with this album is that it’s not just George Bush, but really all white people. We just suck altogether, and I really couldn’t agree more.


(skip to 1:33 for the best pop culture moment of the past decade)

A few of my favorite black-power lyrics from the album:

White America, assassinate my character –“Gotta Have It”

Heard Yeezy was racist, well, I guess that’s on one basis
I only like green faces –“Who Gon Stop Me”

In the past if you picture events like a black tie
What the last thing you expect to see, black guys? –“Murder to Excellence”

Only spot a few blacks the higher I go
What’s up to Will. Shout out to O.
That ain’t enough…we gonna need a million more –“Murder to Excellence”

And my all-time favorite, with Kanye rapping about his future son:

I mean I might even make him be Republican
So everybody know he love white people –“New Day”

4. Kanye and Jay-Z have a softer side. One of my favorite songs on the album, “New Day”, has ‘Ye and Jay singing to their future sons. (Of course, irony suggests that they will both be blessed with three or more daughters). The song is very sweet and reminds us that even bazillionaire rappers have feelings too, goddamnit!

5. Kanye and Jay-Z are interested in helping the economy. With the crazy American economy this week, “Watch the Throne” really couldn’t have dropped at a better time. Americans are freaking out, nobody has jobs, and who better to figure out how to stabilize the volatile markets than these two moguls? So, my dear readers, I leave you with these words of wisdom from Jay-Z, who may just be the Warren Buffet of our generation…

Mmm. Yummy.

I hit the club, order some Grey Goose
Switched it for Ciroc to give Puff’s stock a boost –“Primetime”

Peace and love,
Niffy

SomePeopleThink This Is Cool Artwork

Photography inspiration

Graphic design inspiration

Photography inspiration

Illustration/Painting/Drawing inspiration

Are you adding a note or a person?

photo

Amsterdam Train Station by my good friend, Ross Culliton.

Photography inspiration

Vector inspiration

Enlightened

SomePeopleThink that one is me.

Some People Think I shouldn’t be listening to techno at 11:45 pm on a Monday

But unfortunately for my sleep schedule, I had a fucking AWESOME weekend. You know, one of those weekends where you wake up Monday morning with a little bit of a headache still from Saturday (don’t judge me, I’m not in college anymore).  Anyway, I went to a show Saturday then went to a bar with a killer DJ and as a result I can’t stop banging techno. Below are a few songs that I cant get out of my head, hope you enjoy.

Eric Prydz – Pjanoo

Brenton Duvall – Mean Planes & Taylor Gangs (Wiz Khalifa and Taylor Swift)

Afrojack – Take Over Control (Feat. Eva Simons)

Crystal Castles – Pap Smear

Paper Diamond – Imagine the Possibilities

Crystal Castles – Not In Love (Ft. Robert Smith)

Ellie Goulding – Lights (Bassnectar remix)

Thats it for now, I have a few more that I’ll save for next time. Saw Crystal Castles again this weekend (see above) and it was freaking awesome as expected. I highly recommend everyone checks out both of their albums (both self-titled, so hipster) if you enjoy the songs above.  And definitely see them if they come to your city.  Also Brenton Duval is the same guy who put out the Lights! mash-up with Ellie Goulding and Wale’s Guilty Pleasure, above is another version of the vocals by bassnectar which I also like. Her voice was made for techno. Anyway I’m waiting on the setlist from the DJ from Saturday so maybe ill have a few more goodies for ya later on, but enjoy these until then.

one!

-piff

SomePeopleThink Inspiration is Contagious

SomePeopleThink I am a sucker for inspirational quotes, regardless of how cheesy they may be (It’s true). SomePeopleThink we are just a bunch of passionate individuals who refuse to settle for anything but greatness in our lives. SomePeopleThink fulfilling our souls with meaning is why we wake up every morning. SomePeopleThink inspiration is amongst the most powerful things in the world. SomePeopleThink it’s funny that I paid 8 bucks for a Domino’s pizza, but can give someone all the power in the world for free.

Enjoy.

I have that one on a coffee mug at work…

Typography inspiration

Typography inspiration

Typography inspiration

Some People Think We Made This… we didn’t…

…but we wish we did. SomePeopleThink we finally found a way for artists to become employed by the government. SomePeopleThink I would pay more taxes for this. SomePeopleThink this proves why Amsterdam is 100x cooler than us.

These pictures were taken in Amsterdam and posted on the blog  http://wemadethis.typepad.com/we_made_this/2008/10/roadsworth.html . The actual art was created by a Canadian stencil artist by the name of Roadsworth.  There’s some really cool other work too on this site if you’ve got the time… SomePeopleThink it’s well worth checking out.

SomePeopleThink Top 10 Albums of the Year Can Be Explained with 10 or Less Words Each

So I have been reading all the year end top 10 lists and I think it is time to throw mine in the ring with the experts. But I am gonna one up them. They spend hours writing their long narratives on why one is better than the other but nobody cares or even agrees with them about. In response, my top 10 will only be accompanied by 10 (or so) words or less on the thoughts each album immediately put in my head. SomePeopleThink is for the people and we aren’t here to waste your time, start the debate:

10. Rick Ross- Teflon Don

“Remember when this guy used to suck? Still fat though”

9. Broken Bells- Broken Bells

“Cool, the guy from the Shins and Jew from Gnarls Barkley”

8. Sleigh Bells- Treats

“This is really loud but I can’t turn it down”

7. Best Coast- Crazy for You

“This song is catcy. So is this one. Look at that cat”

6. Mumford and Sons- Sigh No More

“I am definitely a Little Lion Man.”

5. The Arcade Fire- Suburbs

“How many people are in this fucking group? Noises everywhere”

4. Janelle Monae- The ArchAndroid

“It’s cool to put every different genre on one album”

3. Vampire Weekend- Contra

“I would never hang out with them but I love them”

2. The Black Keys- Brothers

“OMG, this actually might be better than what Kanye is gonna put out in December”

1. Kanye West- My Beautiful Dark twisted Fantasy

“Sorry Black Keys, this album can’t be touched”

Some People Think Everyone Could Use Some Inspiration

It’s now December 23rd. This has always been one of my favorite days.  Partly because today is really the eve of the big holiday in my family (us Italians celebrate Christmas Eve much more than Christmas itself ) and the anticipatory excitement is becoming unbridled. I get that way before rice balls and escarole cakes. But mostly the reason is that the day itself – December 23rd – is important to me. Of the 23 December 23rd’s I’ve lived through, over a third of them are marked by major life events – mostly good and a few bad.  I have always been curious and slightly inspired by the power and influence of this day in my life. Whatever the cause of this anomaly may be, this day is inspiring to me in hopes that something major will occur. Therefore, I figured I’d post some great inspirational quotes I came across while looking through great design work.  Some are better than others, but I am sure you can find one that rings true to you. These are a couple that I really enjoyed or  found hilarious. Here’s the gallery of the entire set of quotes, as I posted just a few. Enjoy. ( There’s a link at the bottom for the source page)

here is the blog that I found it on  (www.fromupnorth.com ) literally hours of inspiration…. enter at your own risk of getting addicted and not getting last minute christmas errands done. It’s thats good.

Some People Think This Artwork Hits the Trifecta

Some People Think great artwork is aesthetically beautiful, tells a story and beckons a call to action. The trifecta. (Please don’t ask for citations because I don’t have them). Maybe it’s just because I think this is great artwork. I am not gonna ramble on here like some know-it-all pompous Brown grad student and explain the intricacies of this set. Only because I am not smart enough to do so (cause I totally would if I could). I will step away from my comfort zone of being a pontificating smart-ass and just simply leave you with this great set of photography. The pictures are beautiful and interesting to look at. Each picture clearly engages the viewer and tells a story, but most importantly makes a social statement in a smart way. It doesn’t use scare tactics. it doesn’t dumb down the content for the lowest common denominator, and most of all, it doesn’t throw unfathomably large numbers at us that ring meaningless the average person. It points out the problem and suggests solutions. Some People Think simple solutions to sustainability may be obvious enough to work…. ok I won’t get all political on you. But I’ll leave it at this. Artwork like this is what inspires me to tap into my inner creativity.

This one is my favorite.

Click here for the whole set.

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