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Mickey Rourke is a great Canadian rapper

December 4, 2009

Have you heard Mickey Rourke’s appearance as a rapper of sorts on the credits for the Rogue Warrior video game? Rogue Warrior, for those who didn’t base their reading choices at 14 on a book’s percentage of guns and mayhem like I did, was based on the book by ex-Navy Seal Richard Marcinko, a commie-kicker who was really proficient with his swear words. Stick Rourke spitting a few bars of Marinko’s choicier cuts of cuss over a laid-back loop and boom, instant Internet heat. “Fuckin ninja style,” he raps.

Adding more cred to the joke than the developers at Rebellion Developments likely intended is the fact that Rourke’s ditty sounds like a perfect Buck 65 song. Or is it just me? The gravelly delivery, the seen-too-many-things weariness, the parodic hyper-masculinity and the lazy way he catches the beat? All Buck. Had Rourke wanted to — instead of, you know, winning Oscars and stuff — he could have made a decent career slogging through Canada’s indie scene (especially during that phase when Buck stopped making rap music) and making weeklies music scribes lose their shit.

Hit the jump for a comparison.

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High concepts, low budgets, no concepts, fix it in Photoshop

December 3, 2009

Complex keeps things interesting

When I get drunk and talk about the death of magazines, every Wednesday, I’m mostly lamenting the death of the job market and the PR-approved pap that we’ve come to punch John Lahr in the face with and call profile pieces. But what can I say. I’ve written the shit myself. Mostly because I’m green, but also because I’m easy. You pick your battles so you can pick up your groceries. But the other side of the editorial/production coin is that mags nowadays, those stalwart print survivors still holding it down at your local magazine rack, aren’t just always saying something lame or late, they’re getting kind of uglier too, aren’t they?

This is not an across the board criticism, but really — aside from the consistently lively Complex (above), and I guess maybe Vanity Fair — where have all the exciting photoshoots gone? Is Nylon what we have? (And that’s not a snarky rhetorical, if I’m ignoring the obvious answers let me know.) I saw the Monnaie’s David Lachapelle exhibit earlier this year and I guess yeah, his kind of fully conceived and lushly executed celebrity snapshots have become the territory of retrospectives. “The apocalypse is sold to us on television,” said Lachapelle, and maybe that’s what’s missing — photographers as artists, as pop theorists, as pretentious blowhards, as megalomanical personalities who will sit Tupac fucking Shakur in a goddamn bubblebath, or make Courtney Love hold a Kurt Cobain lookalike in a dead Christ pose; where every inch of the frame is bursting with inspired mise-en-scene and genuine oh shit moments. Someone who doesn’t just snap shots of celebrities, but captures and even crafts pop culture.

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I’m a new old head

December 3, 2009

My budding quarter-life crisis has me waxing nostalgic about “the way things used to be”—seriously, I’ve used that phrase like 150 times in the past three weeks, ask my friends. Discovering that I am part of a budding generation of “old hip-hop heads” has shocked my system as I listen to tracks and albums that aren’t necessarily dated, but represent a different feeling and the last guard of rap.

Like, The Game’s “Hate It Or Love It.” I remember when The Documentary came out my boyfriend at the time was so into The Game (he made me obsessed with this song for a period of time). There were so many things I used to love about “Hate It Or Love It”: 50’s verse and the back and forth between the two, Little 50’s big-ass Queens ring, the hazy West Coast look of the video itself,  a mandatory N.W.A. shoutout and the “oh yeaaaah!” Lloyd Banks reference (where’d that guy go?), Cool & Dre’s breezy beat, and name-dropping Jacob just before Game goes “see how time fly” and they flash their wrists. Sigh, simpler times.

True love over the interweb

December 2, 2009

We’ve all heard of the Nigerian email scam, and I’m not exxagerating when I say I receive about one or two a week in my inbox. While I usually just hit delete, I recieved one this morning that can only be classified as the best email scam letter in the brief history of the information super highway. I would be doing a disservice by not sharing it. Italics and brackets mine. Read more…

Shoe throwing to be named Olympic event; Iraq favoured.

December 2, 2009

Normally, I try to avoid simply posting videos with no context or at least something witty or insightful to add. This clip however, in which the Iraq-shoe-thrower gets a wingtip-of-irony thrown at him is simply too good. (The perpetrator is an Iraqi Bush supporter. No, honestly. You can’t make this stuff up).

On top of this, the original thrower’s brother proceeds to then take his shoe off, exacting immediate karmic revenge on the apprehended fastidious footwear flinger.

Bonus points to the camera man and AP editor for ending the piece on an ominous close-up shot of a shoe.

Word Up: A jail-breakdown

December 2, 2009

Bake 'em away, toys.

The execution of the Beltway sniper in November triggered a few time-pegged stories about capital punishment — this, combined with some “Hey, let’s find out what’s going on in jail” stories that journalists are wont to pitch every now and again, led to an almost-meme that came and went quietly but that I think deserves a little more contemplation. And don’t worry, I left out all those stories about rappers taking the “T.I. and Vick vacation.”

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Show and Tell: K’naan goes acoustic

December 1, 2009

I wasn’t originally going to post this because I thought it was pretty standard stuff, but since I first downloaded this “tiny desk concert” of K’naan performing at the NPR music office while on his U.S. tour, I haven’t been able to get his acoustic version of take a minute out of my head. It also includes great versions of Fatima and waving flag. Well worth the watch.