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 I’m The World’s Worst Blogger

Don't worry Max, I'm sure Piff will blog again soon

Yep, that about says it. I’m like a neglectful father, I start realizing I haven’t been around in a while and that causes me to stay away even more. It’s awful, I know. I’m an absentee blogger, and I’m sorry for that. And I don’t promise I’ll get any better either. I’ll just end up breaking your heart again like Max in Liar Liar. So enjoy me while I’m here, faithful SPT readers.

At any rate I realized recently that somehow I went from listening to almost exclusively hip hop, to mostly electronic music. I don’t know how it started, but having Sirius radio in my new car definitely perpetuated it (especially BPM, get on BPM if you have Sirius). Its bad news for my downstairs neighbors, but good news for anyone who wants some more techno. Below are my most recent and most played songs of the last few weeks. As always I’ve mixed a few old in there as well to keep the balance. Hope you enjoy:

 

Pressure (Alesso Remix) – Nadia Ali, Starkillers & Alex Kenji

Feel It – Ferry Corsten

Call My Name (Spencer Hill Remix) – Sultan Ned & Shepard feat. Nadia Ali

Feel So Close – Calvin Harris

Penguin + ID – Avicci

Forever Is Over (Vibekidz Remix) – Basslovers United 

Starry Eyed (Russ Chimes Radio Edit) – Ellie Goulding

Happy Summer

-Piff

SomePeopleThink Album of the Week- “Hell: The Sequel” by Bad Meets Evil

SomePeopleThink there are two types of people left in the world: ghetto thugs (RMcBreezy) or hipster motherf#ckers (TheGreatMikesby). Well, I like to blend the styles of both. The past few albums of the week has paid homage to Mikesby’s clan but now it’s time to get gangsta.

Bad Meets Evil is a rap duo consisting of Eminem and Royce da 5’9″. Their one previous studio released was a song of the same title featured on Em’s debut album, The Slim Shday LP. They are your typical rap friends: grew up in Detroit together, got into a beef when one became a bigger star, rekindled their relationship when a close friend (Proof) was murdered and now making music together again. This will be Royce’s biggest payday ever for sure as Em is a walking ATM. As always keep an ear out for Eminem’s metaphors and wordplay but dont overlook the cagey veteran Royce. Let’s do it:

  1. Welcome to Hell- Intense Em with a Dick Dastardley reference in there. Royce appears in the middle but he is overpowered.
  2. Fast Lane- The lead single has a banging beat and Royce comes out firing on the first verse. A chorus is much appreciated after track one. Good summer mixtape song
  3. The Reunion- Familiar Eminem playful disrespect women track (if that’s possible) with Em singing on the hook.  This is the kind of track we always try to forget when mentioning Em as one of the best of all time.
  4. Above the Law- Cool hook and beat. I love when Eminem comes out strong with energy on a track. Royce with his best verse on the album so far and maybe the best period.
  5. I’m on Everything- Some creative lines about being on different drugs but the last 2 albums are about recovering from drugs so this track is hard to understand. I’d just skip it.
  6. A Kiss- The song everyone is writing about because of the Lady Gaga call out is actually one of the best on the EP. A catchy beat with both MCs delivering strong lyrics.
  7. Lighters- Bruno Mars on an Eminem song? Never imagined myself saying that. I hoped Tyler the Creator finished Bruno off. Uplifting effort from Eminem, a feeling of accomplishment. Funny moment of this song: Royce has a line about LeBron’s jersey hanging from the rafters 20 years from now. HA
  8. Take From Me- Royce takes Eminem’s intense voice and applies it over a strong beat. Eminem follows up with the same and similarly strong results. The negatives of fame are addressed in an emotional outburst.
  9. Loud Noises- I was on the Slaughterhouse tip when they joined forces. I was off of it when they dropped an album. I think they can definitely succeed on Shady Records. I still say Joell Ortiz is a problem
Overall, a decent LP. It won’t blow you away and you probably won’t keep it on replay on the iPod but there are a few tracks that you will come back from time to time when you’re in the mood. Just one of those things, when you’re chilling with your buddy and you feel like doing something. Necessary? No but you’re not gonna pass up new Eminem music.
SomePeopleThink Hell: The Sequel deserves a 6/10
SomePeopleThink you should also peep these new releases this week:
  • Cyhi Da Prince- Royal Flush 2 (mixtape)
  • The Wonder Years- Suburbia I’ve Given You All and Now I’m Nothing
  • Ziggy Marley- Wild and Free

SomePeopleThink Album of the Week- Suck it and See by the Arctic Monkeys

SomePeopleThink the title of this album is offensive and references oral sex. A few American retailers are posting a sticker over the name of the album to censor it in the stores. SomePeopleThink one day we are killing Bin Laden and the next day we can’t talk about head. Just so we are clear this is some British phrase that has no sexual meaning at all. Free America

Off of that political tangent, the Arctic Monkeys were all of the rage in Britain when their debut album, Whatever People Say I am, That’s What I’m Not, came out in 2006. It was the fastest selling debut record in UK history. In the past 5 years the Monkeys released 2 more albums that couldn’t match the hype. Not bad albums, just not up to the high standards they set for themselves. Let’s take a look at album four, which was released today in the US, and see if they can get back on track (by track).

  1. She’s Thunderstorms- Classic rock feel to this song. She’s Thunderstorms must be how they talk in Britain because it makes no sense. Guitar solo with banging drums at the bridge makes all the sense in the world though.
  2. Black Treacle- Another title that I don’t understand but this song hits the spot. More upbeat, more poppy, this is what makes the Arctic Monkeys as big as they are overseas. This is fun
  3. Brick by Brick- “I want to Rock N Roll, Brick by Brick.” This is a pure rock out song. Simple and loud. They say the word brick a lot.
  4. The Hellcat Spangled Shalalala- Mix of great lines with a great beat. Usually a recipe for a good song
  5. Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair- Another song that rocks hard. Funny lyrics over a ballin bass line.
  6. Library Pictures- If you want to rock out, this is the song for you. This song comes right at you. Crazy guitars into a down period. A mix of emotions in just over 2 minutes. Competing for best track
  7. All My Own Stunts- Opens with an infectious beat. I am whipping my hair to the rhythm. The last 3 songs should always be played in a row
  8. Reckless Serenade- This is the song where you sit back and have a beer after rocking hard and sweating from the previous tracks. (BEER!) The lyrics are perfect. Catchy hooks and fun to sing with
  9. Piledriver Waltz- Another chill song. I like the chorus and the lyrics but the instrumental bores me. It’s a song I would put on before bed
  10. Love is a Laserquest- Kind of a physchedelic ballad. A nice song. Showing the diversity of this band. How on point are the lyrics on this album?
  11. Suck it and See- Not about what you think. Really good track. “I pour my aching heart into a pop song.”
  12. That’s Where You’re Wrong- The last half of this album has really been terrific. We have gone from the hard rocking into this mellow beautiful sound.

This album is terrific. The best we have experienced in the Album of the Week era (3 weeks). This album touches on every emotion in all different styles. The band has grown up and put all the pieces together from bright spots on the previous three albums. If you don’t listen to this album, then suck it (and see).

SomePeopleThink The Arctic Monkeys are scoring an 8.5/10.

SPT STAMP OF APPROVAL

Overdid it with parentheses jokes this week. Stay tuned for our first hip hop review next week. Eminem

SomePeopleThink you should also check out these new releases this week:

  • Black Lips- Arabia Mountain
  • Big K.R.I.T.- R4 the Prequel EP
  • Cults- Cults
  • Fucked Up- David Comes to Life

SomePeopleThink Death Cab’s ‘Codes and Keys’ is the Album of the Week

SomePeopleThink Death Cab for Cutie releases their new album Codes and Keys this week. They do. It’s their first since Narrow Stairs was released almost 3 years ago. Since then, lead singer Ben Gibbard has quit drinking and married actress/singer Katy Perry Zooey Deschanel. Those are two pretty major life changes. Gibbard is known around the indie scene as arguably the best lyricist in the business. SomePeopleThink this is a a bold statement. Let’s go track by track and see if  he can live up to his reputation:

1. Home is a Fire- Voice decoder with a weird piano transtition over an otherwise simple rhythm. Not the tone I was hoping they would take on the first track. They did say less guitar and more piano would be on this album.

2. Codes and Keys- More traditional Death Cab. I hope the album follows suit after this. The piano sounds natural on this track.

3. Some Boys- Simple but good, catchy song.  Ben Gibbard doesn’t have to be real deep with his lyrics all of the time does he?

4. Doors Unlocked and Open- Repetitive chorus witheven more voice decoder. The people demand he sing!

5. You are a Tourist- You can see why they released this as a single, my favorite song so far. Upbeat, all Gibbard, relatable lyrics. Why can’t you make this song ten times and call it an album?

6. Unobstructed Views- Pretty song. Nice piano instrumental intro leading into a ballad. TheGreatMikesby will probably consider it for his wedding song.

7. Monday Morning– I was expecting an anti-work week anthem with this song. What do I get? A song where I have no idea what he is talking about. I’m gonna give him the benefit the doubt here and say he is being real deep.

8. Portable Television- This one is a toe tapper. Would make for a concert good sing along. Plus, the title reminds me of days spent during my childhood watching football on a portable television while tailgating at a Patriot’s game.  The stations never came in clearly and you can forget about sound, it was the worst. I guess its fitting for this song.

9. Underneath the Sycamore– Not my favorite. Another song where the chorus is repeated to the extreme. Easy to learn I guess. I was singing along on my first listen

10. St. Peter’s Cathedral- Yay, Ben Gibbard lyricism! Where have you been the last few years? So detailed, paint that picture my man. Do it for Zooey. Seriously this is the a great song though, perhaps the best on the album..?

11. Stay Young, Go Dancing- Cool acoustic melody then some piano thrown in. Jamming to this one. Hard to imagine a Death Cab song about dancing in the past. Certainly an upbeat ending to the album.

Overall Conclusion:

Completely different Death Cab on this album. More upbeat, simpler lyrics, more piano, less acoustic, dare I say happier. It doesn’t really fit. I want to hear Gibbard’s life struggles and emotions straw out across his beautiful yet pain-filled melodies… maybe that is sick to say – but it’s what made him great. As for the sound experiment, it works great on some tracks, not as much on others. SomePeopleThink you should just go download Transatlanticism if this is your first introduction to Death Cab For Cutie, you can save this one for later…the rest of us will be content. That’s all I say.

SomePeopleThink Death Cab for Cutie gets a 6/10

Other releases that SomePeopleThink you should check out this week:

  • My Morning Jacket- Circuital
  • Kate Bush- Director’s Cut

SomePeopleThink Album of the Week: Born This Way

This past year has been the return of the pop star: Britney Spears, Katy Perry, Rihanna, and Justin Bieber… but one remains bigger than all of them – Lady Gaga. Whether she wears a dress made out of meat or arrives to an award show in an egg, Everything Gaga does is front page news. The only woman on her level right now is Pippa Middleton (i mean have you seen that booty?).

This week she released her second full length album, Born this Way. The expectations for this album were unfair and living up to her first album, The Fame, was near impossible. So before we judge her too hard, here’s a few things to remember:

  • Gaga makes dance music, don’t go analyzing her lyrics.
  • She makes hits, have fun and rock out
  • She’s insane.

Now let’s get into the album with some good ole fashion track by track analysis.

1. Marry the Night-Hot Intro. I’m dancing already. This would be a big single.

2. Born This Way– We all know it. Inspirational concept. I’ve always liked it.  I am never a drag, always a queen. Homophobics probably don’t get it.

3. Government Hooker– No song could live up to this title. This song is skip material, kind of like a bad Britney Spears song in her slutty phase.

4. Judas– There’s a reason this single never caught fire on the radio. Not good. I’m hoping “Bad Romance” is next.

5. Americano– Uh oh. This album needs to be revived. Has Gaga ever made 3 songs in a row that didn’t hit like the last three? The next one needs to be amazing or we could have a flop on our hands.

6. Hair– This song is hot. Thank God. Gaga returns with a banger. I just want to be free, I just want to be me, I just want a lot of friends that invite me to their parties. Amen. Again, don’t analyze the lyrics, many of these songs don’t make sense. Listen to what she told us on her last album… “just dance.”

7. Scheibe– No idea what the German says in this but once this song goes English, I’m feeling it. The beat is nice and it kind of sounds like a song in the background of a “Bruno” dance scene.

8. Bloody Mary– There goes Gaga mixing dancing and religion again. Who does it better? I love the bridge. This would be a great live song.

9. Black Jesus Amen Fashion– Cool song. Nothing Groundbreaking. Just a solid dance track. I’ve had my paws up through the last few songs.

10. Bad Kids– Maybe my favorite track I’ve heard this far. This album is heating up. Can we make a run at “The Fame”? Get these songs on the radio!

11. Fashion of His Love– Meh. I like it, I don’t love it.

12. Highway Unicorn– This is gonna be a smash. This would be a popular song at Club Gaga, a night club that I am currently creating the business plan to.

13. Heavy Metal Lover– Another strong effort. It’s a party album, stop thinking soo much.

14. Electric Chapel– This song dragged on for me. I was into it at the start but then got bored.

15. The Queen– Another decent song. Goes on for too long. At some point, she thought we listened to her music for guitar solos to close out tracks

16. You and I– Country Gaga? I’m into it. Diversity is cool with me. Should be called “Nebraskan State of Mind” though.

17. The Edge of Glory– I know many don’t, but I really like this song. Standout track for me and perfect closer to the album.

Overall Conclusion:

Born this Way is not The Fame and many will see it as a disappointment. This album will produce it’s share of singles and keep Gaga on top of the world. Not a classic, but certainly not garbage.

SomePeopleThink Gaga gets a 6.5/10

Other Releases this week that SomePeopleThink you should check out:

  • Friendly Fires – Pala
  • Thurston Moore – Demolished Thoughts
  • Foster the People – Torches

SomePeopleThink Maybach Music is a Good Look for Wale

"That BoA shit we get paper, death over dishonor" -Wale from Pandemonium

Self Made, Vol. 1 dropped today, and I love Wale on Maybach Music. It allows a great (dare I say underground? No, I don’t think so) young rapper the opportunity to get on tracks with one of the biggest and most popular rappers out there (Rozay!). It will do wonders to expand his fanbase. I dig were this is going as long as he continues building on his creative side, i.e. his mixtape with 9th Wonder, Back to the Feature, and More About Nothing. The problem is, getting caught up in pop rap is way too easy; there is too much fame and money at stake. Thats why on the other hand I am cautiously critical of the move because I fear Wale will end up like Drake (I’m going to get crucified for this, I know); over-saturated and lacking creativity. While I understand that Drake is just about biggest thing in music right now, I also know that I don’t like hip-hop when it’s made just for the charts, I’d rather see collaborative and conceptual mixtapes or albums that try to create new and different music. As you can tell, I’m pretty torn here. With that said, I blew through Self Made, Vol. 1 and am really digging it. Especially Tupac Back, Rise, Pandemonium, Play Your Part, Running Rebels and Big Bank. Take a listen and let me know what you think, the download is below but support hip-hop and buy it from iTunes.

1. SELF MADE (PRODUCED BY JUST BLAZE) (download)
2. TUPAC BACK (FEAT. RICK ROSS)(PRODUCED BY MILL WILL/EARDRUMMER) (download)
3. 600 BENZ (FEAT. RICK ROSS & JADAKISS) (PRODUCED BY CARDIAK) (download)
4. PACMAN (FEAT. RICK ROSS)(PRODUCED BY YUNG SHUN) (download)
5. BY ANY MEANS (PRODUCED BY LIL LODY) (download)
6. FITTED CAP (FEAT. J COLE)(PRODUCED BY BEAT BILLIONAIRE) (download)
7. RISE (FEAT. PRINCE CYHI & CURREN$Y)(PRODUCED BY CARDIAK)(download)
8. THAT WAY (FEAT. JEREMIH & RICK ROSS)(PRODUCED BY LEX LUGER)(download)
9. IMA BOSS (FEAT. RICK ROSS)(PRODUCED BY JAHLIL BEATS) (download)
10. DON’T LET ME GO (FEAT. GUNPLAY)(PRODUCED BYTHE INKREDIBLES) (download)
11. PANDEMONIUM (FEAT. WALE & RICK ROSS)(PRODUCED BY THE INKREDIBLES) (download)
12. PLAY YOUR PART (FEAT. MEEK MILL, RICK ROSS & D.A. OF CHESTER FRENCH)(PRODUCED BY THE INKREDIBLES)(download)
13. RIDIN’ ON DAT POLE (PRODUCED BY BEAT BILLIONAIRE)(download)
14. BIG BANK (FEAT. FRENCH MONTANA)(PRODUCED BY YUNG SHUN) (download)
15. RUNNING REBELS (FEAT. MEEK MILL & TEEDRA MOSES)(PRODUCED BY TONE P) (download)

Mayyyyybach Musiiic!
-piff

Download the full album here if you’re too cheap to buy it.

SomePeopleThink Rappers Should Stop Remixing Adele

But not Big K.R.I.T. This dude is the damn truth. Check out this incredible live recording Krit made to Adele’s Hometown.

I’m telling you, if you haven’t started listening to him and his newest project Return of 4eva, then now is the time to get right.

SomePeopleThink that if you Make a Nice Mixtape or Two, You Can Control the Most Powerful People in the Business

New York PostEven Sean “Diddy” Combs is bowing to the wild demands of yet-to-be signed, punk-rock- hip-hop supergroup Odd Future. Music honchos including Roc Nation’s Jay- Z, SRC’s Steve Rifkind and Interscope’s Jimmy Iovine have been fighting to sign the band described as an “urban Sex Pistols.” The anti-establishment band has been having some fun by asking the bigwigs to meet them on their turf — the Supreme skateboard shop in Fairfax, Calif. Rifkind, who sources tell us is soon to make a formal offer, managed to get them to his office, but said frontman Tyler the Creator told him: “If you are serious about the meeting, I want Randy’s Donuts, swivel chairs and a megaphone.” Diddy — who’s said to be “desperate to sign the group to prove that he’s onto something hot” — set up a meeting between Tyler and Justin Bieber after the band demanded he deliver the pint-size pop star. A source said, “Tyler asked Diddy for access to Justin, so he pulled strings.” A rep for Odd Future said, “Tyler did meet with Justin, and Diddy helped make it happen.”

So, just like anybody who knows anything, I’ve been riding these guys hard lately. But when does it go too far? They have only 2 mixtapes as a group, zero number one singles and most people don’t even know who they are. So why are they pulling all the strings? Sure your music is hot, but you ain’t done nothing yet. You can’t just meet Bieber. (I ain’t hatin either, I actually love these guys). Judge for yourself:

SomePeopleThink Toddlers Love Kid Cudi

This just might be the coolest little girl in the entire world. The girl is probably around a year old and she’s already got more swag than Nolan Smith. Big props to the dad in this video. I hope my future wife lets me blast Cudi while the baby (whom I will also call ‘Boo’) is in the backseat one day. I also hope she lets me dress her in lil baby Jordans and teach her to always address me as ‘Daddy F baby’… but thats probably a long shot.

Notice how unhappy she was until my homie Cudi came blaring on the speakers. She had a look on her face like she was a combination of being confused, scared, and close to taking a humongo dumpo in her diapo (I’m a G with baby talk). Very likely it was all of the above. But once Cudder’s jam, ‘Cleveland is the Reason’ came on with it’s heavy base and smooth snare, it was almost like she went immediately into an undescribably excited trance, leading to a shocked face and some pretty impressive dance moves. This might be pure speculation but I believe she was quoted at the time as saying, “[fuck this car seat dad, I’m gonna throw my damn hands up and get my lean on, I see ya Cleveland, Cudder!].” I keep telling people that dancing is all in the shoulders, and this baby girl proves this point in the most absurdly cute manner ever… thanks boo.

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