September 21, 2008

Diversionary Tactics: Ten Things On Max's Mind

I'm currently working with a sinus infection. The antibiotics have kicked in, so let's see how long I can last.

1. Kanye West claims on his blog that he's been using the vocoder ever since The College Dropout, and has no plans to stop anytime soon, regardless of how over the vocal effect has been for, say, the past year. That would mean that "Through The Wire" might be the only Kanye song that wasn't recorded with a vocoder, and that may only be due to the fact that his fucking jaw was wired shut. Hopefully 'Ye will catch up to the rest of popular opinion soon, because "Love Lockdown", the first single from his new album, kind of sucks the balls. I can handle Kanye not rapping on his next opus, but I can't relate to music not sounding good. The drums that kick in sound really great, though. For those keeping score, that is now officially two first singles from Roc-A-Fella artists (Kanye and Jay-Z), with albums dropping in December 2008, that don't sound very good.

2. M.I.A. actually has a top ten Billboard pop single with her "Paper Planes": who knew that Pineapple Express wielded that kind of power? (And yet, the song is not in the actual movie. All of this stemmed from its prominent appearance in the trailer.) You would think that she would have been more popular in the States, because she's kinda cute, but I suppose the radical militant terrorism talk is an effective deterrent to album sales. Anyway, the first sign that M.I.A. is starting to get played out comes to the hip hop genre in the form of "Swagger Like Us", a ridiculous posse cut featuring Kanye West, Lil' Wayne, T.I., and Jay-Z, none of whom sound comfortable over the shitty beat that simply loops M.I.A.'s vocal over some barely-registering drums. I understand that this song was originally intended for T.I.'s Paper Trail, but has apparently been dropped, and Shawn Carter is planning on running with it for The Blueprint 3. Truthfully, this song would be better off in sample clearance hell, but given the star power involved, I'm sure these fuckers could rhyme over seventy-two Beatles samples all mashed together and still have enough money left over to purchase the planet Earth.

3. Yes, I have Royce da 5'9"'s The Bar Exam 2, just like the rest of you two, but due to circumstances beyond my control, I have yet to listen to it. Please don't spoil the ending: I want it to be a surprise.

4. In listening to Funplex from The B-52s, I realized that "Juliet Of The Spirits" sounds exactly like a New Order song from the Waiting For The Siren's Call era. In fact, if you replaced Kate Pierson and Cindy Wilson's vocals with Bernard Sumner, it would probably be the next New Order single. I realize this has nothing to do with hip hop, but I don't really care: I like New Order.

5. Here's the video for the Dr. Dooom single "R.I.P. Dr. Octagon". I'm a fan of Kool Keith's alter ego (First Come, First Served has some awesome moments), but this song is pretty terrible. I'm actually afraid of what the new album will sound like. However, the video is pretty gruesome and gory, and even though it looks like the budget was negative twenty dollars, it at least looks cool.

6. I'm attempting to put together another post involving free tracks from both unsigned and signed artists, so if you are looking for some exposure, or just like seeing your name in print, hit me up at, and I'll do what I can. Also, I'm putting the call out to my two readers for suggestions: I'm looking for more female emcees to review, artists that have only ever released one album during their entire career (and I'm not talking about newer artists), albums that I should review in general, complaints regarding past reviews - I'll take them all. Shoot me a message and I'll appreciate it.

7. My wife is suffering through the complete series DVD for My So-Called Life, with Claire Danes and Jared Leto, pre-30 Seconds To Mars, and I have to say: my god, that chick is whiny as shit! Unfortunately, she's the main character, so you can't not watch her. I think I understand why the show got cancelled in the first place. In contrast, a show that shouldn't have been cancelled is Paul Feig and Judd Apatow's Freaks and Geeks, which my wife and I just finished watching in full. The show is still fucking great today, and it's interesting to see that essentially all of the actors have moved on to more prominent roles today (shit, even Samm Levine will appear in the new Tarantino movie). Seth Rogen's acting comes off as completely wooden at first, but a few episodes in, he lets his hair grow out into that curly Jew 'fro, and all of a sudden he's able to handle drama. Who knew?

8. If Edgar Wright ever got around to really making this movie, this shit would rock. I know that this trailer for Don't! was taken from Grindhouse, a flick that nobody watched, but it's still awesome. And Arrested Development's Will Arnett has a great voice for, um, voiceovers.

9. Blur's "Coffee & TV" played on my work's satellite radio the other day, and I couldn't get the image of the milk carton out of my head, so here you go.

10. Finally, I'm putting all of my two readers on notice: November 2008 is the next stunt-blogging month. I already know what I'm writing about, and even though I won't actually tell you about it, I have no doubt that you'll be able to figure it out quickly. Just mark your calendars.

Stay tuned.



  1. Swagga Like Us is on Paper Trail.

  2. That doesn't change the argument that it isn't a very good song. Maybe The Blueprint 3 will still have a fighting chance, though.

  3. FYI MSCL got cancelled because
    Hollywood was knocking on Claire Danes door and she wanted to do films instead of a teen angst TV show. She put the axe in the series no one else did. Winnie Holzman had the characters paths mapped out including her parents getting divorced. That series touched on alot of relevant issues even though it is angsty it was well written. Jared just looks pretty which is what he's supposed to do and the main reason he landed the role. The guy that could make ALL the women melt durng auditions and screentests got the role

  4. Female Mc's?

    Well, you asked for it:

    - P-ski, mac - Boegish
    - Boss - Born gangstaz
    - Nikki D - Daddy's little girl
    - Simple E - Colouz uv sound
    - Menajahtwa - Cha-licious
    - JJ Fad - Supersonic
    - Roxanne Shante - The real Roxanne
    - Mc Lyte - Ain't no other
    - Hoes With Attitude - Livin in a hoe house
    - Bytches With Attitude - The bytches
    - Oaktown's 357 - Wild & loose

    *****and the english girls*****

    - Cookie Crew - Fade to black
    - Monie Love - Down to earth
    - She Rockers - ...
    - Wee Pappa Girl Rappers - ...

    Try yourself on

    - "Made Men - Classic limited edition" (Benzino and his dude over there)... That would be fun as hell!
    - Terminator X and the... - Super bad
    - Paris - Sleepng with the enemy
    - Too Short albums, up to "Cocktails"
    - Geto Boys albums, up to "Till death do us part"

    - Kay -

  5. I think when Kanye refers to using the vocoder for all this time, he means, for example, in "The New Workout Plan", and what he did to John Legend's voice for "Jesus Walks" (yes that odd tune in the background is his voice)..

  6. Did I strike a nerve with the My So-Called Life comment? The fact of the matter is that both ABC and Claire Danes are at fault. ABC was considering cancelling the show anyway because of its low ratings, especially since teenage girls just so happened to be the demographic that ABC didn't actually want, since most teenage girls don't purchase the products that advertisers want to promote in prime time television. The fact that it lasted nineteen episodes is commendable, but in today's entertainment climate, that shit wouldn't have lasted beyond five, unless it was on the CW. (If it aired on Fox, they probably would have cancelled it midway through the pilot.)

    After the news hit the press that ABC was considering deading the show in order to make room for something more profitable for them, fans hit the Interweb with a strong showing of support for the show, and were backed up by the show's producers, and Claire Danes herself, who later revealed that she wanted to leave the fucking show ANYWAY because she wanted to do movies (a career move that hasn't quite panned out the way she hoped, I'm guessing: the Baz Lurhman Romeo and Juliet was alright, but does anybody give a fuck about The Mod Squad?), and once that shit hit the fan, the show was dead in the water, so the producers gave up.

    But don't get it twisted: ANC was waiting to pull the plug on the show in the first place, because broadcast television is an industry, and if a show isn't making any money, all of the critical acclaim in the world (which this show received lots of, no matter how undeserved, after watching some of it today) won't do shit for you. Case in point: Arrested Development.

    You'll note that I only complained about Claire Danes on the show, and the reason why is because she was the weakest link on her own show. I actually thought the other characters were much more interesting and better written, and had the show been a true ensemble pices as opposed to the Angela Chase show, my opinion may have differed. Teen angst may be a true problem, and we've all either gone through it or are currently going through it, but it doesn't always make for entertaining television.

    I also never understood the appeal of Jared Leto. I like him in the David Fincher movies and in Requiem For A Dream, but otherwise, who cares?

  7. just a few albums i would like to see

    mase harlem world
    dr.dre the chronic and 2001
    nas god son and untitled

    hope you get to them in ur stunt blog

  8. Go suck a rhino's cock Max

  9. Max, would love to see you review the following:

    Little Brother - The Minstrel Show
    Nicolay - Here
    De La Soul - The Grind Date
    9th Wonder & Jean Grae - Jeanius
    Reflection Eternal - Train of Thought

  10. Alright Max, out there question

    Who's better

    Stephen Colbert or Tina Fey ?

  11. the most felonious vocalist in the wide world of showbusinessSeptember 23, 2008

    Wordsworth- Mirror Music
    I've requested a review of this overlooked gem in the past. Now that you're fishing for review requests of artists who have only dropped one album in their career, you should really check it out. It dropped in 2004 and is the only solo studio album of his listed on Amazon. Even if you want to disqualify him for his work with Punchline or as part of EMC you should review Mirror Music. Please? My other requests don't fit the category but I would appreciate reviews of The Testament and Nature's For All Seasons. As for female emcee's I'll continue to suggest Shapeshifters by Invincible. That lady knows how to rap. Also, The Best of Lauryn Hill Volume 1 mixtape by J.Period. On the indie scene I've gotta request a link to the MySpace page of Kats The Musical. Don't sleep dummies!!!!!

  12. In honor of her jail stint, take a look back at Da Brat - Funkdified. Plus, if I remember right it will only take you about 30 min to listen to it.

  13. yes !!! the B-52's mentioned on a hiphop blog ... and New Order !!!

    Good one Max ,

    i bought the "funplex" and was dissapointed : when you play them at enormous volume the riffs sound cool but when you tone it down and listen a few times more , the songs sound just not that good as on thier best albums ( the yellow and the red one !!! )

    What did you think of "funplex" ?

    BTW, what you think about Madness ? I'm going to see them live in December ... ONE STEP BEYOND !!!!!!!