So last night, I downloaded Kid Cudi’s new album Man On The Moon: The End Of Day (and actually waited for the real release date…see, I’m getting better…baby steps though). This post is in no way, shape, form or fashion represents any type of album review, as I haven’t given it the obligatory three attempts necessary to really get a feel for a hip-hop album. Knowing in advance from reading reviews on the album, I got in the proper frame of mind, so to speak, that you need to be in to listen to most music from Cudi and proceeded to listen. I’m feeling some kind of way. Granted, it took me about a month to warm up to Kanye’s 808s & Heartbreaks and I still am not completely sold on the rap-Phil-Collins thing…it just had several undeniably good tracks and rock-solid production quality, as is to be expected. Like 808s, I at least expected to hear at least one song where Cudi just raps…not so much. Cudi is clearly channeling Pink Floyd on a lot of the tracks, which I’m not mad at because I love Floyd, but yo…Cudi’s not Floyd. To be fair, I’ll give it a few more listens and give you a final verdict on it at some point.
Listening to this album made me think of how people tend ot automatically give people props just for doing “something different”…like giving School of Fine Arts students fashion cred for wearing aubergine, Cal-Trans orange, hot pink, and Nickelodeon-slime-green in the same outfit just for wearing something no one else would…sometimes there’s a reason for that. Now don’t get me wrong, there are definitely cases where people do something different and it turns out to be fresh. In many cases, though, when you get the feeling that someone deliberately thought “oh, nobody’s doing this, son” before they do it, it comes out lame. Any you can think of? Post it in the comments section.
Different = Good
Bilal – As I’ve said before, if you’ve never seen Bilal live, get your life together. I’ve seen him twice and think homeboy’s a genius…one of many reasons it would be rare for me to ever pay to see a rapper live. The man’s band is kickin’ and his onstage antics almost make you think he’s having a seizure, but what’s a live show without energy and originality?
Ol’ Dirty Bastard – The video for “Brooklyn Zoo” disturbed me at first (the last place it seems you’d want to be is in that hallway…dude was on one, not to mention Method Man lurking in the background looking like he’d eat your firstborn), but now it’s one of my favorite songs of all time. Definitely top 20. The late great ODB took strange to a whole other inebriated level. Method Man once explained ODB’s name best: “bastard” as in “he had no father to his style”. Nobody was like him before and no one has tried since. Oh and nothing says crazy like a pair of shades with one lens out.
Andre 3000 – Even back in the ATLiens days when you saw him in the Foot Locker referee shirt and his grandmama’s silk church-turban (you know, for when the wig was too itchy to wear on Sunday), Andre Benjamin has been on some other. Long before Kanye was pseudo-crooning, Andre dropped The Love Below on that a** and changed the game up. I don’t recall anybody (successfully) switching up their style that drastically.
Holly Weerd – A kinda trip-hop band from ATL that I could only find one song for, but that song (“Weerdo“) is dope.
Grace Jones – Stran-jay! People didn’t know what to do with themselves when Grace Jones showed up in Boomerang (or in Conan or in that Bond movie) looking like a gender-bending dominatrix, but Grace was on her own planet and you really couldn’t tell her sh*t…and wouldn’t risk it.
Christopher Walken – His little monologue in Pulp Fiction about the watch was enough to convince me that Christopher Walken might be a biscuit short of a snackbox.
Different = Yeah, Not So Much
Bjork – Sorry, I just do not get it…
Pink’s flying trapeze performance at the MTV VMAs – Just because nobody else has done it doesn’t mean it’s a good idea for you to do it. And the one-breast-out outfit? Yeah, that’s been done and much better (Li’l Kim). The girl can sing, but singing while swinging off of a trapeze isn’t conducive to a good performance. The VMAs were enough of a circus as it was.
Anything Li’l Mama has ever worn to anything – What, I’m wrong? Look to the right. Yes, that’s a pacifier. Voice of the young people or voice of the wardrobe-impaired? No further explanation needed.
Dennis Rodman – This was just unnecessary wierd but thank God, a wierd we haven’t had to look at in the pas ten years. It was always like “could you please jsut play ball? Please?”
90% of the entire inventory at any Urban Outfitters – Way to re-produce and distribute a 40-year-old cotton T-shirt and sell it for $28, awesome. And the pounds and pounds of useless crap marketed toward college students who think they’re being original not knowing there’s 8 million dorm rooms decorated the exacct same way? More awesome. Can’t knock the hustle but buying cool, unique stuff from a chain store immediately makes it not unique and not particularly cool at all.