Sunday, September 9, 2007

all my heroes are weirdos.

(Joshua Masayoshi Huff)

Slate has a good article up about the Kanye v 50 showdown coming up on Tuesday. Of course, the story is that Kanye couldn't really decide on a date, and 50's record label kept pushing it back because it couldn't get one of the singles to stick...and here we are.

You all know the back story: 50 said he'd quit if he was out sold by Kanye and said that Kanye would change the release date. He hasn't, and we're set for a September 11 showdown.

(I guess we really like Slate here at the Collective--so they're probably a must-read for any regular reader out we have any?)

A couple of things on 50 (of what I have heard..I won't release any final verdict until the 11th):

I heard that the 50 album was going to have a lot of Motown/Soul samples. It sorta does, but they're not that impressive.

"Amusement Park" is a bad almost re-tread of "Candy Shop" in it's sexual innuendo, "Straight to the Bank" is vintage, generic, color-by-numbers 50...and "I Get Money" sees 50 at his absolute egomaniacal best/worst.

"Ayo Technology", which is a social commentary on how dating is so diluted because of texting/myspace/etc is interesting. Musically, it sounds like a video game on crack/speed--I guess this is something we should expect from Timbaland (who sounds like he literally and figuratively "phoned it in" on this track--his vocals do sound like they're being done over loudspeaker and are incredibly generic...and like he was forced out of bed to do it)... but the fact that 50 would critique technology's place in society and, essentially, by extension, just amazing. This is something you'd expect from the college drop-out from Chef Boyar-50?

A couple of things on Kanye:

Dude is on fire. Get with it.

I wasn't impressed by "Can't Tell Me Nothing" (the first single off of "Graduation")...bsto liked it, I didn't. I have since changed my mind a bit--I'm not entirely sold, but it's a decent song.

I was surprised that it took a mainstream rapper so long to use Daft Punk's "Harder, Faster, Stronger" for a beat (as on Kanye's "Stronger"). Kanye doesn't come hard on the verses, which is surprising, considering that his mom said that this album is Kanye's best musically and lyrically, but the track is lighting up radio and myspace and there we are.

"Good Life" (featuring Mr. TalkBox himself, T-Pain) is a true, outright banger. Really. Kanye is still riding the old soul samples speed up a bit, but his utilization of fuller keyboards and different musical keys is definitely impressive.

September 11 has releases by a lot of good bands--Animal Collective, Pinback, Go! check those out as well.

Anyway, like I said--Tuesday.

Stay tuned for big announcements from the JJ Team. Big ones.