“We Found Love” is a song that on the surface I can’t stand. That pop/dance feel, the instant attraction the Top 40 crowd will have to it, thus making it a repetitive part of my part-time, part-legitimate hustle (if you have to ask, you’ll never know)…it was just a bad formula for me personally. But for some reason I saw someone tweet a link to the video, and I clicked. And I watched. A few times. Then the song got stuck in my head. Now a few days later, I’m watching it…again.
Somehow this shit speaks to me. First of all I fuck with Rihanna’s not-giving-even-a-fraction-of-a-fuck attitude. Frolicking around topless in a field in Ireland? Sounds amazing, but yeah, I’m too shy for that. I can’t even let the top down while sunbathing on my Bushwick roof where no one ever seems to go. Her disrespect and nonchalance…I dig it. In a weird way. Some of that shows in this video, but I relate to it not because I’m a disrespectful “cunt,” (I wouldn’t have the balls to wear one of those necklaces either) but because the video is full of cheap thrills. Emphasis on cheap.
As a young twenty-something in the U.S., I’m like most of the “99 Percent” in that money doesn’t come easy, and stress levels are high. I’m trying to live in one of the most expensive real estate markets in the world, dealing with questionable landlords, job difficulties like dwindling opportunities and hours, negligence of my own health just because I don’t wanna drop $25 on a co-pay to see my doctor, all that struggling youth shit. And I don’t even have it that bad. I know a ton of people in the same situation as I am, and you know what most of us do to deal with it? We try to counter the bad with some kind of thing that makes us feel good. Love, alcohol, weed. Maybe some other type of drug if you got a connect like that and won’t end up spending massive amounts of dough on it. Some of us turn to crime. Some of us freak out and end up depressed. For some of us it’s all of the above. I’d say that I know more people that turn to shit like this to relieve their stress than, say, working out.
This video is the twenty-something struggle. It’s so much more than just “oooh that guy she chose in the video looks a little too much like Chris Brown!” It’s our generation’s everyday lives. The duo’s drug-fueled shenanigans that they base their eventually destructive relationship around are commonplace. I recently met a guy on the train who, though I didn’t know at the time, had somewhat recently gotten out of jail. Something random happened, long story, and though I had never hung out before with him, I invited him to crash on my kitchen floor with me (where I’ve been sleeping due to some apartment issues). Here we were. Both under 25 years old, killing a bottle of wine, sleeping on a mattress in a kitchen, sharing our woes. He about trying to live a legit life as an ex-con and his hopes for the future, me about trying to find a better place to live when all my cards are stacked against me. The whole situation was reckless…letting a near-stranger into your residence, consuming alcohol around them, falling asleep with my iPhone, a few hundred bucks cash, and a kitchen full of knives around me, etc. Everything my mother would probably tell me not to do.
I woke up the next day alive, and smiling. Well, not quite smiling, I actually was really sick, but it just felt good to not wake up alone and to feel that someone else was sharing my struggle, and understanding it all. I ended up spending about 36 hours with this guy. We hopped in my new(ish) car and sped off to Manhattan at 1am to find food. We ate, and hung out in Central Park after hours since I’d never been there before and he swore nobody would rape, rob, or kill me as long as he was there. By 4am we were back in Brooklyn sitting by the water lost in thought. We sat in my car for like half an hour outside of my crib because it was warmer in my whip than it was in my crib. We had an honest conversation about where in the five boroughs it’s safe to sleep in your car, just in case my situation ever came down to that at some point. Again, we slept on my kitchen floor, we woke up the next morning laughing about how my neighbor was playing “I Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing” by Aerosmith at full blast, then he got up, took a shower, and left.
After he left I realized we had just based a whole two and a half days and beginning of a friendship around our hardships. Neither of us ended up on that Bushwick kitchen floor for a good reason, and we both did some seriously stupid shit just to solve the immediate problem and take our minds off of our general stress. I was grateful to this no-longer-a-stranger for making what would have been a horrid few days for me a whole lot better. He also told me something important: “un amigo es un peso en tu bolsillo.” Translated – a friend is a dollar in your pocket. How long does a dollar last in your pocket? Not long, right? Exactly.
For the twenty-somethings of the 99 percent who have nothing stable in life – no job, no solid living situation, maybe not even a healthy relationship, we are in a hopeless place. Much like everything around us, at times it feels like even our love crumbles to bits, kind of like those hopes of a better life after college. How do you foster a happy relationship when everyone is so stressed out? I’ve recently had a falling out with a few really close friends, all of us going through our own significant struggles, and I reached a point that I no longer even wanted to mend the relationships because I know I should be putting my time into other things like the pursuit of money, housing that doesn’t make me sick, or a better plan for my future. I had (have?) genuine love for them, but I think our situations helped fuel our collapse. Yet at the same time, none of us want to be alone through this. Companionship does make things easier, but when we all have our own serious problems to worry about, how good of a friend can we afford to be? It’s no wonder that I wasn’t surprised in the least when I read about the Occupy Wall Street crowd starting to partake in pleasures of the flesh down at the protest grounds. I get it. They’re cold, tired, fed up, and feel like they have nothing. Sex is free. It’s a stress relief. Especially with someone else who is sharing your same struggle. It’s all conjuring up thoughts of Woodstock and that ’60′s hippie movement, except probably with a slightly fewer hallucinogenics. I bet #OWS looks crazy if you’re on mushrooms. But I digress.
So what do we do? We drink away the pain, maybe pop a few pills if you’re as not-giving-a-fuck as our cunt necklace-wearing Billboard chart topper (I suggest you don’t though if you’re like me and looking for employment), dance the night away at some bar/club with someone you might never see again, speed down Broadway with your favorite music on blast, and just hope that things get better. Be reckless because we feel like we don’t have anything to lose. Wonder if we’ll even still be talking to our new friend by the time he gets off parole. Waking up wondering how we’re still alive considering the abuse most of us put ourselves through. And then smoke a cigarette because we’re doing too much thinking. The vicious cycle of the struggling youth, stuck in a hopeless place. Because just like the video, though we have these fleeting moments of happiness, the way we go about getting them isn’t solving any of our problems. At the end of the day, we’re still all fucked up, trying to find a place for ourselves in a society that doesn’t seem to have room for us.
Posse cut. A dope one. Let me also take this time to apologize for the lack of constant content here at the site lately. Sometimes real life just takes precedence. This is one of those times. I’ll be back at it full force soon! Still loving some of the dope shit that is dropping lately…just from afar.
Technique has a very loyal set of fans, but believe me when I tell you that he’s about to gain even more followers, and this project is going to fuel that fire. The tracklist is crazy, and this evening the free album (I say album because it’s all new material…one of these “street album” deals, not quite a mixtape, not quite a album, but more of an album than anything) and trust me it’s worth your time. Features include Dead Prez, Brother Ali, Chuck D, Killer Mike, Mela Machinko, Styles P, Vinnie Paz, Poison Pen, Joell Ortiz, Cornel West, a never-before-used J. Dilla beat, and more.
Did I mention it was worth your time? He also kicks off his tour in conjunction with the project tomorrow, so be on the lookout for Technique and his crew in a city near you. And also stay tuned for more Technique-related content. You’ve been warned!
The DMC DJ battle world championship recently happened and Colorado’s own DJ Vajra emerged victorious. He’s been DJ’ing for over fifteen years, battling since 2000 if I’m not mistaken…and is dope. Ridiculously dope. I can’t find footage yet from this year’s championship but peep this “vintage” (2002 is “old school” now, at least to 106 and Park standards) clip from his routine from the 2002 DMC finals. We here at UntitledType (by “we” I of course mean “I”) have a lot of love for DJ culture, and we salute those who keep the true school alive and well.
Mr. Green finally leaves his bedroom (in case you haven’t been following, he did a series of videos where he was going nuts on a turntable setup that he had in his bedroom) and hits the streets, this time recording people on the street and then going home to turn the recordings into some beats. Producer nerd shit, and I love it.
Real talk, Gilbere Forte has my attention. I’d like him to have your attention, too. I’ve been listening to the project he dropped this week and I dig his style. In case a whole project is too much for you at this point, here’s a track he was featured on alongside Buddy James and Young L. If you want more, the link to his The Hundreds-backed free release “Some Dreams Never Sleep” will be below as well. I think it’s worth a download, obviously, or it wouldn’t be on my site. And in case you need more persuasion, the track list features people like Big K.R.I.T., Pusha T, Get Busy Committee (stop sleeping on them!), Jim Jones, Maluca, Bun B, and more. Yeah…worth your time.
There’s a lot to say about this Occupy Wall Street protest, as well as its various offshoots, but the fact of the matter is most of the talking is already being done which is exactly the reason why I haven’t felt a need to say much of anything.
And then Kanye West showed up. *Please note the above photo isn’t of him at OWS, it was from this year’s Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival. I’m just proud of my paparazzi skills.
Oh my God Based God, there were so many witty and sarcastic things I wanted to say when I heard that news. Of course I didn’t need to, because the Twitter massive was already doing that for me. But there are some things that necessitate more than 140 characters.
Just so you know what kind of mindstate you’re dealing with, here’s my stance: I dig the core ideals of the Occupy Wall Street protest. As a struggling freelancer going against dwindling budgets and shit, trust me I know. As someone who has been having employment issues outside of my writing work, trust me, I know what they’re fighting for. That being said, I also know what naysayers are getting at. How I look like camping out in a tent in the street when I could be at home blasting out my resume to the job opportunities that are out there? And then there’s the point my mother brought up – it’s getting cold out…why not fill up the tents with the NYC homeless guys and give them a bit of really low-quality shelter? We can’t see who’s in the tents anyway and if it’s power in numbers, why not address two problems at once?
It’s great that people are coming together to speak out against something that really holds weight, and it’s even better that it’s getting the attention it deserves. Maybe some change will come.
But then Kanye West shows up.
Did he roll up in his Maybach? Complex already reported that he showed up in a Givenchy shirt that I’ve also heard has an MSRP of $355. Kanye West is the 1% they are talking about and alienating themselves from. For him to show up is just…it deters from the point. He just dropped, alongside Jay-Z who is arguably the greatest businessman Hip Hop has seen, what is perhaps his most pretentiously wealth-flaunting album we’ve ever seen in the shape of Watch The Throne. It’s a free country, he can show up, but really though?
This just gives me a good opportunity to speak about some of the #OWS flaws.
First of all, #OWS has suspiciously turned into a perfect Stuff White People Like post. In a way it’s advantageous, since that will make it easier to get media coverage since it makes it all slightly more shocking and sanitized all at the same time. When that many white folk are mad, people notice. Think I’m an asshole for saying that? It’s 2011 and Troy Davis is dead. Need I say more? All I know is that I’m broke, I need to get money, and camping out in a tent and holding up signs isn’t about to make me any. How are these people paying their rent? My guess is they’re all the sons and daughters of people with loot or sitting on a hefty heap of savings anyway (so getting arrested and getting your bail posted is light work), in which case I still wonder about how much they have to protest. The other people I know who are truly broke and suffering in this economy haven’t been out there either. Why? We’re too busy hustling our asses off to stay fed. In fact, even being near that area with all the police waiting for an excuse to arrest you or mace you scares me shitless. Even in a good economy a criminal record is going to make it way tougher to get a job. In a shitty one? Fuhgeddaboutit. And good luck browsing those Monster ads with pepper spray in your corneas.
And now it crossed the line and has become too large. It’s an entertainment spectacle now. Blogs are doing “Best Signs From Occupy Wall Street”-style posts, rumors of Radiohead concerts are flying around, and Michael Moore is showing up to mingle in the crowd. Now the media isn’t just covering the protest, they’re monopolizing off of it. The big names are coming out, the page views are rolling in, the advertisers want a piece, and the cycle begins. I also find it a bit backwards when they interview some of these people on TV and they’re all smiling and happy and shit. Protesting isn’t supposed to be happy. Get mad, dammit! And then there’s the obvious – when celebrities like Kanye West come through, it’s basically a slap in the protest’s face. It’s so shitty that 99% of you guys are feeling used, voiceless, poor, and disadvantaged. Excuse me while the paparazzi follow me into the crowd and take pictures of my $350 shirt and my chains. My concerts are still going to cost you a week of your unemployment payments to attend. I love me some Kanye, and I love Watch The Throne, but mixing that with #OWS is just confusing. Watch The Throne gives me delusions of grandeur just by listening to it. #OWS makes me feel even poorer than I already am.
Kanye does have a way with social commentary from time to time (really rare moments here people, but they happen), and if he believes in the movement then I’m all for him showing up and mingling. But do we really believe he relates to this anymore? As a child before he ever made a hit record, maybe. Now? Not so much. If anything Kanye West is the anti-#OWS. He’s proof that even in a craptastic economy, with the right determination, connections, talent, luck, whatever, you can still make it in America. You too can chop up a Maybach one day. You too can criticize our president on T.V. for disliking black people. And you’ll still be paid. And still ultimately pay taxes to the government.
My point? Kanye showed up. So what? He’s not the only celebrity that has undermined the message, or will in the future. I think the 99% could learn a thing or two from people like Kanye. If we paid more attention to how he got to be where he’s at, rather than the price tag on his shirt, maybe our panties wouldn’t be in a collective bunch over him showing up.
I just wish he would have brought Jay-Z with him, so Hov coulda rolled up and said “what’s up, motherfucker, where my money at?” That would have been great.
Heard this track once, and it hasn’t left my iPod since. It finally got a video to go along with it, too. Thank goodness for that. Made this early start to my Monday (read: late end to my Sunday) a little more worth it.
I heard the Heavy Hitter DJ Absolut play this joint late last night while I was leaving NYC for VA and it was in my head the whole trip. I woke up kind of missing Brooklyn today and decided to search this out, and lo and behold a music video for this came out this week. Brooklyn shit, Brooklyn, Brooklyn shit…I’ve definitely never eaten at Obama fried chicken though, but then again I’ve only had a Brooklyn address for not quite two years so maybe it’s in my future.