Friday, November 21, 2008

friday video premiere

Every Friday, we're highlighting a specific video (or two, or three) for your end of week enjoyment.

Next week Tuesday brings Kanye West's newest release "808s and Heartbreaks". While we at the Collective are at loggerheads over Kanye's new direction, we all agree on the fact that 'Ye really brought us into appreciating rap, hip hop and other general goodness. "The College Dropout" was the first rap album I purchased (though I was given Jay-Z's "Life and Times of S. Carter Vol. 2" in sixth grade), and it really made me get into music outside of rock.

We also touched on Kanye's last release, "Graduation", here and here. Kanye also talked about the "808s" here and compared it to how you can't judge a grandmother's love. Wow.

The albums first single, "Love Lockdown" had crowds and critics confused when Yeezy first performed it at the MTV VMAs this year, and for good reason--it featured no rapping and instead had Kanye heavily using Autotune, usually used to correct minor mistakes done by pop princess starlets in the studio (and a favorite of Lil Wayne and T-Pain--watch this T-Pain video, the song is immense). Instead of fixing little flubs, rappers set the correction time in the autotune to 0 (minimum) and boost the frequencies in order to get that effect present in Cher's "Believe" (to which my friends in sixth grade and I responded "What, is she old that they replaced her with a robot?").

The second single from the album, "Heartless" is even more sparse and almost reminds me of Hawaiian style "Island Music". The video itself features rotoscope, used in the film "A Scanner Darkly" and "Waking Life", as well as in these creepy Charles Schwab ads.

My personal picks for best tracks on the album?


The Vegas glitz is on full here--electric symphony, great synth lines...and, surprisingly, no discerningly obvious bass line.


I'm sorry, but I can't hear this song and not tear up. Yeah, it borders on Coldplay mope, but it's so touching because of how it seems to just open up to loneliness, alienation and despair--something incredibly rare in mainstream rap/hip hop.

And, lastly, the Herbie Hancock produced "Robocop"


And, if Kanye isn't your style, surely Slick Rick is?

And, Sto did a great job last week with the Tribe entry, but he left out my personal favorite (though the "Scenario" video is by their best)

Which was the precursor to this song, one of my fondest memories from childhood.