The darkest hours
Here’s my Top Ten for 2013 some music tings, some art tings, some popular culture tings alll wrapped up in a boredom friendly internet packaging.
10. Soulection Records - ATU, SANGO, INSIGHTFUL, ABJO, DPAT, TAKUthe best label in electronic music right now is an indy. ATU’s album was crazy, DPAT’s ep was crazy, You should really really fuck wit them if your into that beautiful type shit. on citas. https://soundcloud.com/soulection http://soulection.com/
9. Texas isn’t California or New York - Soo I’m here in sunny Austin Texas, talking to a newish friend of a friend a couple weeks ago. First off as a new resident of Texas, I particularly enjoy talking to native Texans, they truly are a special bunch. Soo we’re shooting the breeze and shit, chillin and the friend says, (in full Texan) “dem Tats looks real real good like on yur dark skin”… I pause… being one with a peculiar penchant to make the awkward lil more awkward, I utter the once hiphop plain english, and the now taboo phrase of "No Homo". In return, with teeth blacker than my untattooed nice skin he says, “wait well isya callin me a fag’er sumpin”… and before I can take him down late 90’s New York hiphop memory lane he says, "Cuz ill take ya over to dat der cooler and only one of us is gonna be walkin out right"… again I pause seeing that this simple misunderstanding of vernacular and figuring I should milk this for allllll it’s worth. I again say "No Homo.. Dipset Dipset". Laughning… after which I quickly quelled the situation by telling him that I was using hiphop terminology that refers to slightly trivial statements that could be misconstrued as homo erotic when spoken in a manner that doesnt mean as such. I watched him internally examining his manhood as if my joke was actually based on the facts presented in his statements as truth. Till this point I had ever seen a cowboy examine his self worth with such a confused disbelief… ohhh well, you shoudda saw his face when I told him that it’s not reallly super cool to use FAG in the negative. Like people aint cool wit that no more homey, you should know better cowboy.
8. Crowd Funding / Bit-Coin - Yes has been around since before 2013 but this year the “whole fuck it we cant pay for this ourselves but the internet surely can together” really has taken root amongst popular culture. You can crowd fund for everything from finally getting you clothes washed, alllll the way to jumping on one of those spaceships to Mars in 2025. Talk about range, I’ve got a friend who’s crowd funding landscaping his yard into a “Shining” like labyrinth. Then I just saw they are crowd funding a Bit-Coin documentary. Which struck me as weird, like cant they just use a few Bit-Coins to make the movie… i mean they cost like a million dollars for .00001 of them now adays anyway….. Like the Bit-Coin makers can’t slide few decimal points over the Documentaries way… fucking America. I’m rabbling soo if your gonna crowd fund something just make sure you get your video right and your meta-tags straight !!!!
7. Bansky / LEWY BTM - Welll well welll Dat boi Bansky came and skipped his way through NYC like the Gingerbread man of fuckin Street Art. On some straight Jimmy crack corn type shit. A regular ol modern Johnny Appleseed, fool just left million dollar painting’s in his path. He was fully on that catch me if you can hype. He had the cops, media, fans and taggers alll trying to get a piece of a nigga’s swag. Like it or not he put talcum powder on his pimp hand and slapped the art game at least twice, really three times of you count the Os Gemeos collab. ( The Twin Towers Piece and the LES installation were G no matter how you slice it) He pulled off a campaign in the street that sucka’s dream of and lie about ie eddie colla. Enter LEWY BTM he kept the most gangsta in the same city and painted one of the hardest and most legendary spots in NYC the Brooklyn Bridge. He didnt get half as much coverage as Bansky but his contribution to the graffiti landscape in NYC this year took 10 times more balls.
6. There’s hella walls to write on in Heaven - Nekst, Jade and very recently Vote all passed away this year. Three super well rounded writers and all great people, put in work that will be remembered by their friends crews and family for a lifetime. for sure.
5. Kanye West / Jay Z - Ive always been a Kanye supporter even in his darker moments publicly, I’ve always felt his music killed alllll the naysayers talk as he is a musician right ? Sooo enter 2013 seems like Mr. West always has something to prove when it comes to dropping an album like he’s always got some kinda chip on his shoulder, like his wife/babymoma’s didnt rise to fame from ashes of a porn video, with an equally untalented musician, cast member and director. Sooo young Kanye hires a team of production hitters, flips the script to drop an album that mirrored a polished version what the Death Grips will sound like in 10 years. The vision and direction was unsurpassed in Hip Hop this year the album was a surprise to most like to Boston bombing was at first. Then turned out to be as planned and calculated as the bombings seemed to be in the following months. Jay Z needs to quit rapping and keep trying to take over the world. He aint a business, he’s a business man. His album was trash, and his verses have lost that staying power they used to have. Your heros cant rap about what they used to do forever and make it interesting forever. What he should do is get Blue Ivy that speak and spell now, get that girl on a track by 8 and get her platinum by 11. Ohhh yeah vote Jay Z for UN Delegate in 2025 !!!!!!
4. Museums love Graffiti - Simple as that. 2013 was the year that internationally museums across the world have embraced and exhibted graffiti / street artists as a whole. “Art in the Streets” opened the door but on the international art scene progress just kicked it allll the way in. Artists who killed it on the Museum tip this year, Hense in Alanta @ the High Museum of Art, Barry Mcgee in Boston @ the ICA, KAWS everywhere, MOMO in Mexico @ the MAC
3. “2013” The year endorsements changed the way rap sounded - Well Officer Ricky Ross got himself some into a lil bit of trouble for his verse referencing date rape with Reebok as did Lil Wayne’s Emmitt Till lyric and his sponsor Mountain Dew. I know my opinions of these incidents are on the wrong side of most’s tracks but I do feel like these problems fall under artistic license disputes and poor planning. I dont blame or fault the artists for writing on the subject matters they choose to, even though I may not agree with them. I do blame the corporate sponsors for not considering the reality of their business ventures ahead of time. It’s not like they hired Barney to be a representative and then week later he’s outted out as a baby dinosaur rapist. Or better yet, it’s not like Reebok exec’s brought their kids into a Disney movie and Mickey and Minnie where sacrificing virgins and worshipping Satan over Walt Disney’s headstone. Who the fucks idea was it to make a rapper your spokesperson… c’mon people… let’s be real here…. America is in the Shitter. Rap lyrics are to be taken with as much seriousness and the rappers who create them. While date rape isnt something I would endorse in the physical world, sweatshops aren’t either but who’s gonna hold Reebok up to somekind of standard of human decency. Similes referencing Emmitt Till aren’t that cool, but neither is having high fructose corn syrup as your third ingredient Mountain Drew but who’s counting or dying from that anyways. Let rapper’s be rappers and keep them away from your kids that are under 18 at all costs !!!!
2. Obama Deception - Lupe Fiasco dropped some anti Obama knowledge a while back on fools, that had the local barbershops and beauty salon’s in the hood alllll mad and shit, like nahhh nahhh Obama doeeee thatssss my nigga, my president is black. Sayin “Obama is the biggest Terrorist in America”, at that time it sounded a bit against the grain but was not that far off speaking in terms of presidential figureheads within the american government . Coming from one of the hiphop most conscious luminaries it was a jarring statement within the Obama supporting Hiphop culture. Likewise with Obama being the most hiphop of all presidents it seemed like the soldiers had revolted against their leader. I feel like this year more than any other before it, Obama hit that can’t make everything the right thing kinda season. You could look at him like a Baseball player with a decent 275 batting average… nevermind the people expected 300 or more… that 275 was enough to keep things cool and keep him in the starting lineup thennnnn about midseason that average slips to like 225, the fans start calling you old, you start switching up your hitting stance, the managers and players start rallying against you and within a moment your held to those past mistakes. Even if you get that average back up to 275 even 300 your just not looked upon as the same hitter anymore. Your not what the fans assumed or expected you to be. And your not what the managers marketed you as. You part of the machine and and inturn your being ran instead of making things run.
1. Surprise, I got engaged… - “I got the flyest chick in the game wearing my chain” She’s my April O’neil and my Lois Lane wrapped up into one social working life changing package
Looks like we all made it thru another revolution around the sun. Keep Shining my ninjas, and why not right… we’re all still here.
Now back to making art… I got a busy year ahead of me…
The spaces inbetween and everything else all together
Brett Grimm . Mark Pricks x GESO . LEAD x BEGR . PRICK
Geso . Lake Merritt . May 2013
Will Dodd on view @ Old Crow Tattoo