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Sunday, August 26, 2007

Toni L. > Jan Delay?

Not too long ago, I mentioned my general dissatisfaction with the current rapper + live band phenomenon. For the most part, it makes no sense to me -- I mean, at the very least from an economic standpoint, since:

Rapper + DJ = splitting the money 3 ways (rapper+DJ+concert organizers)

Rapper + 6 person band = splitting the money (at least) 8 ways.

It drives up the ticket price for the concert goer and tends to leave everyone just slightly more pissed off than they were beforehand, with slightly less money.

As far as Germany goes, I sort of blame Jan Delay for the whole band thing. Sure, Die Fantastischen Vier did that whole instrument thing with their unplugged album -- but that's the entire point behind an unplugged album. If you unplug the turntables, then basically what you get is a whole album of acapellas. Or slam poetry. Take your pick.

But Jan Delay...first he goes and gets the Sam Ragga Band for Searching for the Jan Soul Rebels -- then last year, he ditched the reggae sound and got himself a funk band for Mercedes Dance. I don't know if dude is a trendsetter or a psychic, but I think artists in this country weren't clamoring for live bands (as much) before he did his thing.

(Click Below for More)

Don't get me wrong, though. I really like Jan Soul Rebels and Mercedes Dance. I don't know if I'd call them good reggae or funk albums in general. However, I'd definitely call them good German reggae and funk albums, respectively. If you move the albums out of that "German" context, then you've almost got something completely different on your hands (in a big pond, small fish kind of way).

On Friday, I went to see Toni L. (one of the "Godfathers" of German hip-hop) and his funk band Safarisounds in the Mandarin Kasino. Honestly, my expectations weren't that high. Rapper + Funk Band. I was just thinking, "Alright, we had this already. Last year." Granted, I like Toni L. and he's been the "Funkjoker" for a few years now. He's got this really weird, nasal quality to his voice that I suppose some people might find annoying. I personally, find it distinctive (in a good way).

But then again, Jan Delay also has an extremely "distinctive voice". The boy also loves to sing. The jury's still out on whether or not I find this to be a positive or negative thing. However, I think there might be a reason why he was cast as the voice of the goat in the German version of the movie Hoodwinked.

Anyway, I was very pleasantly surprised by the concert in the Mandarin Kasino. So much so, that I'm kicking myself for not taking Toby up on his offer to use his extra ticket to go see Jan Delay live on Saturday. Just for comparative purposes, because I kinda think that Toni L. + Safarisounds > Jan Delay + Disco Nr. 1. The concert was just that good... and they're coming back to Hamburg in October. I think I might just go again.

I was looking for videos on YouTube in the attempt to give this post some video evidence. And I stumbled upon perhaps the greatest music video ever made... It adds nothing to my point, but it features Toni L. rapping while dressed up like a pirate.

Awesome. And I'm being totally serious here. Pirates are the hottest shit ever.

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