It’s only the beginning of 2009, but DC tastemaker/photographer du jour Lady Glock’s housewarming party has already become one of the hottest and most amazing parties of the year. It was also home to some of the most wonderful conversations about music I have had in a long time. I was in the midst of some of the most beautiful people in DC chatting about the underground music topics of the day. Drinks were drank, connections were made, and the artists and fashion forward people in this town have found a new home.
It was a wonderful thing to see for a music nerd lover like myself, even though those mofos were on the wrong side of every argument. (I kid!).
All in all, it was an amazing time. I hope to build on these Here are the top 5 discussions that took place last Saturday night. Names have been hidden to protect the guilty:
London is Too Americanized Now and they think that Wiley is the UK Soulja Boy
Wiley – Wearin’ My Rolex
I was talking to a model about her trip to London, and she went on about how Americanized it was, and how people in the UK are pretty much rejecting thier culture for BET and MTV. She went out there expecting to hear some UK grime and pretty much ended up listening to T-Pain the whole time. For shame. It was like that when I was out there in 2007. If London (for former home for a hot minute) becomes another extension of New York then it will surely drop down my favorite cities list with the quickness. Oh, and apparently no one likes Wiley’s Wearing My Rolex. That’s blasphemy in my opinion.
Pharrell Williams is better than Kanye, and Seeing Sounds Is better than 808s and Heartbreak
Nelly – Flap Ya Wings
For some reason, I found myself going to bat for Kanye the whole night. I don’t know why. Seriously, I can’t stand the dude, but I find him making significant contributions to music as a whole (we’ll get to that later). Pharrell and the Neptunes have paved the way for Kanye to do what he does, and some people including myself say that the Neptunes have made hotter beats than Kanye ever has while bridging the left field and mainstream together in the process. (Check Nelly’s Flap Your Wings, or Clipse’s Grindin’, or Kelis’ “Caught Out There”) But lets face it, the ‘Tunes have fell off, while Kanye has risen to not only be one of the hotter producers now, but the number one topic of discussion among music heads. (Again, more on that later)
As for 808 vs. Seeing Sounds, here is my breakdown: Kanye knows he can’t sing or rap, but has created music around his handicap. Pharrell can’t sing or write a lyric worth a lick and still expects you to like it.
Lily Allen is Better Than Amy Winehouse
Amy Winehouse – Back to Black
Even though I rediscovered Lily’s 2006 album, Alright, Still (don’t sleep on the beats on that album), and think that she’s the type of pop chick that I can really get down with (sorry Katy Perry), she can’t touch Amy. They both play off of the “innocent looking white girl that says dirty things” vibe, but Amy is a far better singer and songwriter that Lily will ever be. Check “Back to Black” and get back to me.
The fact that someone said that their 12 year old daughter only dances to Lily Allen sorta warms my heart though.
Coldplay is just a weak rip-off of Radiohead
Side Note: Have you ever seen a room full of Black people argue about Radiohead so vehemently? Probably not. This seems like would only happen at Lady Glock’s place.
Sorry, my homeboy tried to say that Coldplay Parachutes is a rip-off of Radiohead’s The Bends. Wow. I have no words. I had to walk away from this conversation There was agreement of multiple fronts that Kid A is Radiohead’s best album, and In Rainbows a close second. Those statements are fightin’ words to the OK Computer faithful, so I better watch out.
Kanye West is the Steve Jobs of Hip-Hop
So I got my ass handed to me on this one. I figured with so many forward thinking people in the room, someone would have my back. But alas, my ‘Ye/Steve Jobs connection was taken out behind the barn and shot. I will however, offer Murphys Law’s defense of Kanye to silence the haters:
I’ve finally accepted things as they are. It’s taken me four albums and nearly five years, but I get it now. Kanye West understands music better than we do.
How else can you explain the fact that every time he drops an album, he sends the whole of the critical world into an existential crisis about “where rap music is” (or drop the “rap” and let’s talk about music wholesale); they lambast his cheeky sound, his would-be populist approach, the hubris that he seems to wear just barely under the surface of his Prada. He’s out of touch. He’s out of his mind. “Kanye’s finally gone too far,” they say. “This time, he missed.”
And then a funny thing happens: two weeks, two months, two years later we’re still bumping those very same songs deemed duds by those in the know. Somehow the music doesn’t stagnate. Tracks off College Dropout still fill headphones from Tokyo to Toronto. A witty line dropped on Late Registration is still being quoted years after the fact. And perhaps most tellingly of all–the true test of what the masses crave at their most unguarded–DJ’s can still invariably pack a dancefloor with at least half a dozen cuts off of any single one of his albums. WHO ELSE DOES THAT?