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Thursday, October 09, 2008

A bad case of earworms

Since I no longer work at FHHM (Fancy Hip Hop Magazine, in case you've forgotten) it's become a lot more difficult to "discover" new music. I'm no longer able to listen to music at work as often as I'd like to, because I share an office with my boss and the rest of the administrative staff and it doesn't seem quite proper to have earphones in my ears.

As such, I've relied heavily on third party sources to be introduced to new music. Frosty, in particular. After first meeting him, I quickly discovered that we have somewhat different tastes in rap music. Over the years, I've gotten to a place where maybe 95% of what I listen to is of the independent label/backpacker variety. Whereas Frosty really keeps up on what's going on in the German scene (something that I haven't actively done for a long time -- even when I worked at FHHM). He is also something of a connoisseur of southern U.S. rap (a genre with which I've never particularly occupied myself, aside from a handful of songs/artists). There are some points of intersection (e.g. "the classics") but typically we tend to go off in different directions. I don't think it's a bad thing, however, because it let's me hear music that I wouldn't have probably heard otherwise.

Schmidt's been hassling me ever since I bought the K.I.Z. album Hahnenkampf (Eng: Cockfight), a purchase made after hearing the bulk of the group's discography over the course of several Frosty mixes. Personally, I think it's one of the most interesting (funny, ironic, sarcastic, foul-mouthed) German rap albums to come out for a long time. Different strokes and whatnot...

At sometime or another I've probably mentioned that having an earworm (Ohrwurm in German) sounds pretty gross, but reallly is just what to say to signify that you have a song stuck in your head.

Anyway, below is a grab bag of songs that Schmidt will most likely hate on principle, but have been stuck in my head for a hot minute now...*

(Click Below for More)

Die Orsons - "Let's BananaHollaDanceWoosh"

The Orsons are a couple of German rappers (Maeckes, Plan B, Kaas, Tua) who formed a rap boygroup. The premise is that they live together on a farm (somewhere in Baden-Württemberg?) and rap about doing stuff like building a swing set (for example).

First off, I don't know what "banana-holla-dance-wooshing" is. And I'll admit, when I first heard the hook, I skipped right over the song to the next one. Later I was standing in line at the only grocery store open in Dresden on October 3rd (the previously mentioned German Unity Day) with my hands full and no way to change the track. It's very catchy and doesn't really rhyme. Well, they replace the words that you think they're going to rhyme with other things that don't rhyme...if that makes any sense. This is the song that I've been listening to everyday for the past week when it's time to leave work to go home.

I'm not crazy about the video, but I can't get this song out of my head.

Gangsta Rap - "In My House Shoes"

Frosty introduced me to a little movie called Gangsta Rap: The Glockumentary. It's a rap mockumentary in the same vein as Fear of a Black Hat or CB4. So not necessarily a new concept. I just think the songs are much better than in the aforementioned movies (meaning that I would actually like to own the soundtrack). I watched The Glockumentary quite a few times while we didn't have internet. This is probably my favorite song from the movie, after the track "My Mama's a Bitch".

Hey Pickles, play this for Remy.

K.I.Z. - "Spasst"

Like I mentioned above, K.I.Z. is my favorite thing about the German hip hop scene at the moment. At first I was leery, since they seemed kind of weird. Lots of their promo/interview photos were of the group posing with cuts of meat and their logo is, well, a treble clef inside a dick. It took well over two years, an interview with the group in the FHHM offices, and a mix cd from Frosty before I sat down and listened to their music (2 mixtapes and 1 album). Their topics include: penises, barbecues/red meat, fucking your mom/girlfriend, cannibalism, zombies and the dangers of smoking cigarettes.

Truth be told, I don't "love" this song, I could do without the hook. But I like the bridge, which translated is a play on the chorus of Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five's The Message: "Don't push me cause I'm close to the edge, I eat breakfast at the pharmacy" (it rhymes in German at any rate). I like the song and I think the video is hilarious. I also get tickled by the line, "Your girlfriend's so wet, she's got seagulls on her shoulder."

Hotstylz ft. Yung Joc - "Lookin Boy"

I'm just about 120% sure that Frosty likes this song for completely different reasons than I do. It's catchy and funny, for sure. However, very line in the song is basically a pop culture reference. It took a couple of listens through my headphones to catch them all. There is a very soft spot in my heart for songs where the main content is just dudes rippin on each other. Personally, I like the remix with R. Kelly, which is a feat in itself, as I can't say that I've liked anything that R. Kelly has done since his second album (which is another story for another time...)

Soprano - "Halla Halla"

I don't speak this French jibberish, but Frosty (like Dr. Evil) spent a few of his formative years in Belgium where he was forced to speak French. He says he doesn't understand a whole lot in this song, but probably more than me, If you listen to enough rap you can get a feel for the posturing in a song (i.e. the call and response, the assurance of the bestestness, references to the rapper from the rapper in third person, words being being spelled out rather than said etc.)
I was listening to this track a whole bunch, but less so now because Frosty's moms kind of overplayed it during my last visit. She's like an adorable mini gangsta. See, here she is all dressed up for Fasching (kinda like German Mardi Gras):

Awesome, right?

* = it seems as though I've completely lost the ability to write some type of coherent introduction to an entry. I will work on this.

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