Photo by Maxine Builder
The crowd at Das Racist’s sold-out show on Wednesday, September 28 at the Middle East Downstairs was varied. There were some hip-hop heads, some hipsters and many hangers-on who came to see what the hype was all about. And since Das Racist – a New York hip-hop trio made up of Heems, Victor and hype man Dap – released their first studio album “Relax” at the beginning of the month, they have been getting a lot of attention.
You don’t need to know much about DJs or sampling or music producers to know that when DJ Shadow collaborates with Talib Kweli and Posdnuos its an event worth notice. An eminent Hip Hop producer at the forefront of instrumental Hip Hop, DJ Shadow just released his new album, The Less You Know, The Better. “Stay the Course,” the third track on the album is a rare combination of DJ Shadow’s artful sampling and tight beats with Posdnuos (of De La Soul) and Kweli’s keenly intelligent verses. Listen to the track or just stream the whole album over at NPR.
Stephen Malkmus (photo by Catherine Maldonado)
Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks played a tight, laid-back set Saturday night at The Royale in Boston. The setlist relied mostly on new material from their current album Mirror Traffic, a solid collection of Malkmus’ complacent lyrics accompanied by catchy tunes.
Das Racist’s most well-known song to date is by far “Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell,” but their first single off their album Relax could give that song a run for its money. “Michael Jackson” follows a very similar formula to their rap group’s first major hit in its repetitive chorus, but this track also features a great verse from Heems. The recently released music video only adds to the already quirky sound. A Michael Jackson impersonator features prominently, and Das Racist’s use of green-screen technology is flawlessly tacky as they are transported from a Polynesian island to a desert to somewhere in Japan. Quite honestly, the video makes little to no sense. There’s no storyline and it often feels like a bunch of clips thrown together. But that eclectic mix is what makes Das Racist what it is. Besides, who doesn’t want to see Heems in a banana hammock? If you feel me, holler and watch the clip after the jump.
The collaboration of Jay-Z and Kanye West has been long-anticipated, and “Otis” is the first single off of their joint album Watch the Throne. The song itself lacks a chorus, and although some of the rhymes are clever, the lyrics aren’t as colorful as one is used to hearing from these two rappers. This music video is nearly as lackluster as the song itself, until you realize that Kanye and Jay-Z have just destroyed a Maybach for their own pleasure. And why not have some models in the backseat? “Otis” gets its charm from the smiles and the giggles that Jay-Z and Kanye share (and I did just describe Kanye as “giggling”). The video is a good reflection of the song: it’s just these two fabulously wealthy rappers who are just messing around and having a good time with their ridiculously hot models. Check it out after the jump on this week’s MVP. (more…)
Remember that song “Lights” by that band that was founded by that kid with the curly hair from the Tufts Bubs? That kid is Matt McCormick and that band is All Out and, quite shockingly, All Out is actually somewhat popular with the broader, non-Tufts community. They’ve even been signed to a label, and their songs can be found on iTunes. This also means that they’re making music videos. Their newest clip for “We Don’t Need Nothin’” is much better produced than their first video for “Lights.” The song is saccharine sweet pop, and the video is equally as fluffy. A lot of the elements just scream “cheesy” like McCormick’s fake hipster glasses and the text that pops up on screen in case you wanted to sing along or forgot the name of the band. It’s not exactly an intellectually challenging three and a half minutes, but it’s made by a Tufts alum. So show him and the video some love, after the break. (more…)
Avicii is a 22-year old Swedish house producer who’s hit the scene by storm. Over the last year, his profile has skyrocketed, and he has even been traveling with IDentity Fest this summer across the United States. The newly released music video for his song “Fade Into Darkness” begins with a clichéd story line. Boy and girl fall in love, girl leaves boy, boy finds girl, but it ends with a twist. That isn’t to say that this is a creative music video; it isn’t, and even the “twist” at the end isn’t exactly clever. However, this is a worthwhile video because of the song itself. The piano riff is infectious, and I promise that it will be stuck in your head for hours afterwards. Get this Swede’s tune stuck in your head by watching this week’s Music Video Pick, after the jump.
Fresh off of his win at MTV’s VMAs for Best New Artist, Tyler the Creator has refreshed his presence. His music videos are all well thought out and well produced, but now is as good a time as any to re-watch his video for “She.” The video was originally censored by MTV, but they consented to showing the video after Tyler (reluctantly) made some edits. The beat for “She” is creepy, and the video sets the mood for this. One of the most haunting images is when Tyler rapping his devotion to the girl of his dreams by the lake. He is wearing a t-shirt covered in kittens, but his eyes are huge. His pupils are completely dilated, which gives him a look of incredible innocence, but this image runs entirely contrary to the track and the lyrics that are coming out of his mouth. Watch the uncensored clip – as Tyler meant it to be shown – after the jump.
Die Antwoord is, in a word, crazy. Hailing from South Africa, Ninja and Yo-Landi Vi$$er are provocative, outlandish and wildly inappropriate, and this newest video for “Rich Bitch” is no exception from the Die Antwoord rule. But instead of featuring Ninja’s hard rapping style as most of their other songs tend to do, this clip showcases Yo-Landi in all of her glory. Clad head-to-toe in gold lamé – and once even dressed as a nun – her distinctive voice cuts through the track. Most importantly, if you want to see Yo-Landi with her gold American Apparel leggings around her legs and rapping from a gold toilet, then sneak a peek at this week’s MVP, after the jump.
I wish I had Lil Jon’s voice. He could totally turn a morgue into a dance party, just by yelling a few words really loudly with his Pimp Cup in hand. Add Steve Aoki, one of the hardest partying DJs on the scene today, and a clip from this year’s Ultra Music Festival in Miami, and you’ve got a music video that could make your conservative, 89-year-old grandmother from Kentucky shake her booty. Besides, Steve Aoki looks mighty fine in a flight attendant’s uniform. So if you need a quick reminder of your sanity, watch this week’s MVP after the jump.