Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Transportation Tracks

(Joshua Masayoshi Huff)

We decided to make this a regular feature series--you can see the archive to the right, where it says "Features and Links".


Here are my contributions:

Latyrx "Rankin #1"
This is Lateef the Truth Speaker's rap over this backing track (there's another version with Lyrics Born rapping over it, and live, they just both rapped over it at the same time). The group is sort of a pre-superstardom supergroup--DJ Shadow, Lateef, Lyrics Born and DJ Excel all worked on their album and EP (and have promised another release next year). The beat on the track serves as a way to wake me up on the way to class. Give it a spin!

Utada Hikaru "Traveling"
This is probably my embarrassing track--except that I'm not all that embarrassed about liking it. It has a great beat, and the lyrics (Japanese) talk about a girl in love--the funny thing about Jpop, though, is that a great number of the songs talk about the bad economy and making the best of it. I wish American popstars was as attuned to the economy as their Japanese counterparts are. I don't think I like Jpop in a campy, cheesy way (but I like so much cheesy music that I can't really tell anymore)--I think that it has a lot of artistic merit. Utada Hikaru, Ayumi Hamasaki, Ai Ootsuka and Mika Nakashima are famous for writing their own music and lyrics, and it's usually pretty deep stuff, filled with symbolism and philosophies on life and death (I know! Not really pop culture stuff, is it?). So, yeah, it may sound really cheesy--but it's almost as deep as most of the "socially conscious rap" that we seem to love at the Collective. I have a dissertation on Jpop coming soon--don't fret. I usually put this on as I ride home after my night classes--it's got such a big city with bright lights feel.

The Smiths "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now"

Nothing beats riding around to the Smiths--Morrissey's sad sappy voice on this track, mixed with Marr's jangly guitars and Rourke's lazy bass really make this song great for just cruising around in the afternoon.

Alright, there's a couple of tracks for you to enjoy. This will become a regular feature, with 2-3 links...and they'll be archived to your right in one spot. Ride on!