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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

stay fly

i have a column in TN2 called "wanderlist". each issue i pick a random theme and then detail a small compendium of songs relating to said theme. i initially thought this was an excellent idea but then i stumbled across a mix tape tracklisting entitled "songs to have an abortion"* to and realised that nothing i could come up with would be as peversely amusing as that. so defeated, spirit-crushed and really jealous, i decided to write an article on purple drank.


“Syrup”, “drank”, “lean”. Popular amongst the Houston hip hop scene and NFL players alike, the cough syrup based cocktail comprised of Sprite and crushed Jolly Ranchers is responsible for codeine induced highs, several cardiac arrests and the vast majority of Weezy’s musical canon. First brought to the fore by Texan producer DJ Screw, in a cruel twist of fate it was in fact the “sizzurp” that brought about his untimely death. Fortunately, his legacy can live on through a myriad of seminal odes to the drank. Warning: may cause tooth decay, obesity and cardiac arrest.

Three 6 Mafia- Sippin’ on Some Syrup

Lyrics such as “we eat so many shrimp I got iodine poisoning” and a Marvin Gaye sample makes this an instant classic

Lil’ Wayne- Me and My Drank

According to the Phoenix New Times, Lil’ Wayne’s a lot funnier now he’s in jail and off the syrup. On the flipside, no syrup = no lyrical content = his musical career will probably go to go to shit. Anyone for some Weezy stand up?

Nicki Minaj- Mind on My Money

A self-styled “ninja Harajuku Barbie” whose song would be entirely neglible if not for a brief reference to lean and a feat. Busta Rhymes. Who is awesome.

Jim Jones- What You Been Drankin’ On?

Regrettably, not the People’s Temple one.

Black Lips- I Saw A Ghost (Lean)

A curveball! Psychedelic garage punk band from Atlanta, Georgia sings of the purple. They may not spit verse, but they’re hardcore because Tesco refused to stock their CD due to explicit content, so it’s ok.

aside from googling recipes for the sweet sizzurp online, i have, of late, been unstoppably enamoured by an act called cloud nothings, the brainchild of 19 year old dylan baldi. technically this means i should hate cloud nothings on account of my propensity to feel suffocating hatred for and bitterness towards anybody who is more successful and of the same age or younger than me.** truly though, this band is brilliant. "lo-fi" is a genre that has been ascribed to so much music in the past couple of years that its mere mention is beginning to irk me more than "chillwave" or "witch house"***, mainly because, like indie and DIY, it's a term that has begun to lose any semblance of meaning. unlistenably shoddy recordings and general talentlessness are given credence and passed off as "lo-fi" it's as if using a four-track nullifies the need for actual musicianship.

but i digress, and find it impossible to extend such bitterness to cloud nothings' fuzzy power pop. it's the musical equivalent of crayons and kaleidoscopes and the feeling of immense pride you get when you ride your bicycle without stabilisers for the first time, emanating warm and '90s nostalgia. the endearingly ramshackle instrumentation is reminiscent of pavement circa slanted and enchanted, there exist sloppy and joyful elements that recall jay reatard's more fizzing pop moments on watch me fall, whilst baldi's vocals evoke and uplift whilst being the just right side of whiney.

* including tracks such as the knife's "we share our mother's health"

** i genuinely felt a lump in my throat upon discovering that nika rosa danilova of zola jesus is only 21. i'd also like to take this moment to mention i have never denied nor tried to suppress my pettiness.

*** i only found about this pitchfork spawned abomination today. are people scared of adjectives these days, they have to condense a multitude of musical elements into one wankery soundbite? am i simply trying to justify my own over-verbosity? either way, i genuinely did use the sentence "what is a witch house?" in conversation today.

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