• The Passion of the Weiss
  • Gorilla vs. Bear
  • Greencine Daily
  • Music Is Art
  • Shake Your Fist
  • Big Stereo
  • The New Yorker
  • The Torture Garden
  • Ear Farm
  • J'ai la cassette à la maison
  • The Hater
  • The Yellow Stereo
  • Movie City Indie
  • Fader
  • Covert Curiosity
  • Chromewaves
  • Sucka Pants
  • AV Club
  • Tinyways
  • Palms Out
  • Girish Shambu
  • So Much Silence
  • Heart On A Stick
  • Untitled
  • Sixeyes
  • The Documentary Blog
  • Contrast Podcast
  • Fecal Face
  • Quick, Before It Melts
  • Muzzle of Bees
  • La Blogothèque
  • The Rawking Refuses To Stop
  • Music For Kids Who Can't Read Good
  • indieWIRE
  • Gimme Tinnitus
  • Conscientious
  • Toothpaste For Dinner
  • Cable & Tweed
  • Culture Bully
  • Oceans Never Listen
  • Juxtapoz
  • I Am Fuel, You Are Friends
  • Subinev
  • Bookslut
  • Filles Sourires
  • Berkeley Place
  • Get Underground
  • Nah Right
  • Motel de Moka
  • Raven Sings The Blues
  • Fact
  • Missing Toof
  • Badical Beats
  • Clap Cowards
  • Chuckmore
  • Anthem
  • It's the right thing to do
  • Something is wrong here, something is terribly wrong
  • There ain't no life for me on land
  • The greatest #8: The Dreaming
  • Still I walk in darkness
  • Home of the cheesesteak, the beef piled sky high
  • Blogiversary #2
  • Blood rain
  • The best 15 films of 2007
  • The best 30 albums of 2007
  • The best 30 singles of 2007
  • The best 30 songs of 2007
  • The Greatest #6: Veedon Fleece
  • Behind the blog: Blogs Are For Dogs
  • It's winter again and New York's been broken
  • Blogiversary
  • Up high and ugly: Xiu Xiu MP3s
  • The Greatest #2: New Skin For The Old Ceremony
  • Behind the blog: The Passion of the Weiss
  • The best 15 films of 2006
  • Good clean fun: Clean Guns MP3s
  • Behind the blog: Music Is Art
  • United 93
  • The best 30 albums of 2006
  • The best 30 songs of 2006
  • The best 30 singles of 2006
  • The chapter in my life entitled San Francisco
  • The Up Series
  • Review #4: Ys by Joanna Newsom
  • Happy Yom Kippur
  • Rock bottom riser: Smog MP3s
  • Justin Ringle
  • Dan McGee
  • Sebastian Krueger, pt. 2
  • Sebastian Krueger, pt. 1
  • Bry Webb
  • Greg Goldberg, pt. 2
  • Greg Goldberg, pt. 1
  • Benoît Pioulard, pt. 2
  • Benoît Pioulard, pt. 1
  • Kevin O'Connor
  • Conrad Standish
  • Chris Bear
  • Owen Ashworth
  • Andrew Bujalski
  • My Photo
    Location: Brooklyn, NY

    The MP3s available here are for sampling purposes. Please support the artists by buying their albums and going to their shows. If you are the artist or label rep and don't want an MP3 featured, let me know. Links will otherwise stay live for about two weeks before they vanish into the ether.

    If you'd like to send music, art, writing or promo material for consideration, email me at nerdlitter[at]yahoo[dot]com. This site is designed in Firefox and may not look optimal in other browsers. You can get Firefox here.

    Powered by Blogger

    Thursday, May 22, 2008

    Crank up my alpine, and my bass crazy kickin' it

    Photo by Ryan Andrew Mihalyi

    I don't know how to drive. I couldn't give proper directions down a one-way street. I failed my exam in near-record-time when I almost slammed into an oncoming car. And as my friend Sarah will happily tell you, her favorite nickname for me is 'Ol Two Legs. Yet when I hear the Pusha T-Cool Kids-Bun B remix for Kidz in the Hall's "Drivin' Down the Block," all I want to do is run out and buy a car. Any car as long as it's got a punishing soundsytem and fridge-sized subwoofers to pump this anthem at full blast. And if it happens to come tricked out with some 22-inch rims and vintage tailfins, hey, all the better.

    No wonder the song sounds so good: "Drivin' Down the Block" was already a sturdy leadoff single from Kidz in the Hall's mainstream-tilting The In Crowd. With its Tribe Called Quest shoutout, ATLiens callback, and indie-crib of Nelly's nursery-rhymes singalongs, it's an eager, earnest, if slightly too calculating, attempt at a hit. Its chorus, sampled from Masta Ace's "Born to Roll," is just about perfect too, a simple, bass-heavy beat designed for windows-down blaring. Still, as likable as the song is,
    the remix manages to improve on it dramatically. By keeping its essential features and upgrading with a few choice extras, the remix is the souped-up premium series to the original flavor's economy-class model.

    Most striking are the guest turns, who bring a jolt of confidence and personality to the track. It's weird/brave that Kidz in the Hall would bring in the Cool Kids, considering they're so often compared and so similarly named. Kidz' MC, Nawledge, has also been getting some Clipse-without-the-coke callouts, so the appearance of Pusha T is another odd/interesting choice. All of them together either sound very consistent or kinda homogenous, depending on your perspective. I happen to think they fit together really well, especially since everybody seems intent on dropping strong, smart, to-the-point verses. And of course, it helps that there's also the palate-cleansing interruption of America's favorite trump card, Bun B.

    It's refreshing/disconcerting that regional differences in hip-hop have been erased to the point of obliteration like this. Whereas rappers used to beef about turf, they're now content to invite guests on tracks almost irregardless of reasoning. The most egregious example was last year's "Hello Brooklyn," which had Lil Wayne inexplicably paying homage to Jay-Z's native borough. Another bizarre (and better) recent pairing found Dizzee Rascal and UGK comparing notes on what it means to be a transatlantic gangsta. Because Bun B's appearance on "Drivin' Down The Block" is nowhere near as strange, his gruff Southern slang and hard-edged presentation provide a sharp, welcome contrast to the other rappers. It's novel without being a novelty, a well-placed rumble strip to keep heads awake.

    Since car culture seems to transcend hip-hop divides, it's fun to see how different artists respond to the same basic cue. For Pusha T, his ride becomes a status symbol housing all his other labels; for Bun B, it's a vehicle to obtaining endo, chickenheads and candy paint. On a separate remix, El-P presents his car as cage, yet another tracking device and institutional deathtrap trapped in the grid. (It would've been more effective if he hadn't already done it even better last year on "Drive.") It'd be cool to see how other iconic rappers imprinted their own versions, getting, say, an freewheeling auto-erotic fantasia from Ghostface or a nostalgic, R&B-hooked cruise down Marcy Ave. from Jigga. Whatever else may follow it though, this current remix is already guaranteed a spot on my 2008 summer rotation. I'm sure it'd sound fantastic thumping out of a speeding convertible, but for now, it even kills on two legs and a bus pass.

    * MP3: "Drivin' Down the Block" (Remix ft. Pusha T, Bun B and the Cool Kids) - Kidz in the Hall from The In Crowd [Buy it]

    Comments on "Crank up my alpine, and my bass crazy kickin' it"


    Anonymous Anonymous said ... (1:00 AM) : 



    post a comment