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Thread: Revenge of the Nerds: Backpack Rap Appreciation Thread

  1. #16
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    I find this art history/rap history idea fascianting and I want to see it more fully explored in a book. You did the Spotify list now write me a book.

    I see what you're getting at. ROC Marciano to me is like Kool G Raps flow slowed down and then mixed with a sort of It Was Written era obsession with designer clothes, yachts, Mafiosi, etc. All over beats that obviously evoke the Wu Tang.

    Leaving aside all these influences though I just think his style is very enjoyable to listen to on headphones on the train. He's weaving these images together with rhyme patterns, and the images are often memorable and unexpected like talking about "three drops of olive oil in the wok".

    But yes this is what underground hip hop is, in a way, this refusal or inability to tap into popular taste, and instead to be deliberately esoteric and introverted

  2. #17
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    What's Young Thug, e.g., Pop Art?

  3. #18
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    Did technology kill off NY hip hop? Not only the legal problems with sample clearance but also the rise of soft synth software making it easy to make electronic beats and taking all the grit out of sample beats?

    I'm probably talking bollocks. But there's something over-smooth about the premier-a-like stuff I've heard in recent years (including Premier's).

    But as you might say, the cultural vitality went into trap production. It's hard to see that ending atm but it will definitely decline at some point.

  4. #19
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    Like mobb deep is high renaissance this is mannerism. Aesthetically accomplished but without cultural vitality
    thats a good description. explains why i admire roc marci and these guys but cant really engage with it. it sounds hermetically sealed, vaccum bag rap, disinterested in anything that might contaminate its purity (also seems like a sort of high minded take on raekwon, kool g rap etc).

    ive not heard old rawkus in a long time but i was a total devotee. i knew i didnt like it as much as what was around just a few years earlier (didnt know why though), but i bought into the whole 'real hip hop' thing. i dont think the original late 90s artists thought they were being arty or anti-populist, they (and their fans) honestly thought they were carrying the torch and making hip hop how you were supposed to make it, and it was puffy and everyone else who were bastardising it. i liked a lot of the plain underground stuff, rather than the indie stuff, people like street smartz, godfather don, thirstin howl, scaramanga, el-p (fandam is one of the best things to ever come out of new york, its better than the cold vein IMO), etc. have a soft spot for ra the rugged man, and non phixion and necro (up to a point).
    Last edited by rubberdingyrapids; 04-02-2016 at 12:26 PM.

  5. #20
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    Again I appreciate your POV but I think it's something of a mistake to characterise ka/rocmarci as 'high minded'. I think it's a question of atmospherics rather than intelligence. As for 'purity', a lot of the samples Marciano uses, for example, are hardly the type you'd hear on a Mobb Deep song, e.g.

    I do think your description of vaccum-packed rap is apt, but I see that as a strength in the music, really - it seals you into its own world.

    I guess what makes it seem austere is the lack of emotion in either rappers voice. It's all flat-toned, poker-faced, ice-cold. Although actually that DOES make me think of Mobb Deep. On the face of it its joyless. The joy in it comes from the exhilaration you feel (and which they must feel, one assumes) at the intricacy of the rhyme schemes.

  6. #21
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    Cmon the voices are mobb to the point of pastiche. The entire atmosphere is mobb pastiche. There's very little wu in there to my mind. Rae lyrically but the blueprint is infamous

  7. #22
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    Hermetically sealed/vacuum packed definitely fits

  8. #23
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    i used to love those rawkus compilation albums, stuff like this that i imagine won't be popular here:



    this is undeniable



    On the subject of Mos Def/Yasiin Bey, what the hell was the 'world passport' he produced when trying not to get thrown out of South Africa?

    is it this? http://www.worldservice.org/docpass.html I agree with it in principle of course, but I imagine it's a fairly long shot when dealing with the SA immigration authorities
    Last edited by baboon2004; 04-02-2016 at 02:41 PM.

  9. #24
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    This says it all.


  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Corpsey View Post
    Again I appreciate your POV but I think it's something of a mistake to characterise ka/rocmarci as 'high minded'. I think it's a question of atmospherics rather than intelligence. As for 'purity', a lot of the samples Marciano uses, for example, are hardly the type you'd hear on a Mobb Deep song, e.g.
    idk, marciano's reloaded reminds me of alchemists recent stuff, production-wise.

    by high minded, i just mean it seems like connoisseural street rap. id imagine they do think theyre doing something 'purer' than most rappers, 'truer to the art'.

    i think you can cleave to a certain east coast 'purism', or a distilled, minimalist version of that sound, even when youre not trying to sound like records in 1994 (i.e like The UN). its a very minimal, aesthetically pure take on boom bap, unadorned, seemingly barely produced. boom bap without the boom.

    Quote Originally Posted by Corpsey View Post
    I guess what makes it seem austere is the lack of emotion in either rappers voice. It's all flat-toned, poker-faced, ice-cold. Although actually that DOES make me think of Mobb Deep. On the face of it its joyless. The joy in it comes from the exhilaration you feel (and which they must feel, one assumes) at the intricacy of the rhyme schemes.
    there was a lot of emotion on the infamous. less so as they settled into a certain idea of mobb deep. or maybe that was the samples on the infamous?
    Last edited by rubberdingyrapids; 04-02-2016 at 03:06 PM.

  11. #26
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    But a lot of that emotion was generated by depicting in a chillingly convincing manner, the state of numbness, trauma essentially

    (most memorably "I'm only 19 but...")

  12. #27
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    Leaving aside sonics I think that was their big contribution. New York winters, dead friends, crack zombies, skunk and gin as anaesthetic etc

  13. #28
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    Anyway, this has gone a bit off topic. I was intending to flood dissensus with Planet Asia videos.

  14. #29
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    yeah fair point. it was half scary, half vulnerable (again maybe it was just the samples that lent it that sort of tragedy/pathos, idk). like hell on earth was all the stuff youre saying, but also kind of beautiful/pained in places (the diff between the title track and something like the totally numb godfather part 3). the later stuff went more for just the cold, apathetic, emotionally dead, trigger happy angle.
    Last edited by rubberdingyrapids; 04-02-2016 at 03:37 PM.

  15. #30
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    ONE OF THE ALL TIME GREATS -



    this whole album is excellent

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