couple things

watched “boyz n the hood” the other night, for multiple work/research purposes, for the first time since the ’90s. saw it like 30 times when it came out, so i was surprised when i lost it like a lil bebe, like heaving-crying at the end even tho i already knew the outcome. what a brilliant, important film–the part where a young Dough Boy gets carted away by the cops for shoplifting while the five stairsteps’ “ooh child” plays in the background still ranks as one of the best uses of irony in film ever–so subtle and that song is a melancholy wilter, anyway, and i think, always held some inherent level of irony: for one, the five stairsteps were kids themselves, in their teens when they recorded it–for two, it came out of chicago in 1970, this resonant young-idealist soul track, a year after COINTELPRO went fuck-all on Chicago Black Panther party & assassinated Fred Hampton. “ooh child, things are gonna get easier.”
i think back then i read an interview w/boyz’ director, john singleton, about how he used “the godfather”‘s death scene/boistrous happy music method as template, but i could be mis-remembering.
been emailing about ying yang twins’ “wait: the whisper song” with the dapper young Dylan Hicks to be printed in a future episode of City Pages. we talked about its greatness, its rudeness, the fact that smurf wrote the beat directly after hearing “drop it like it’s hot” in pharrell’s studio, at least according to caramanica’s excellently subtle piece in the new issue of XXL.
so anyway, after days of this, i’m walking back to my apt. from the store, and a ford astrovan rolls up to the light and it is bumping “wait” at 499 decibels, and i look over at the dude driving, and he looks back, and screams out his window, “skeet skeet, ho!”
empirical sociological reportage, thank u v. much.

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9 Responses to couple things

  1. Sean says:

    There’s this pandemic going on with “Wait” where men – smart, sophisticated, socially cunning men – regress before one’s eyes when that snake rattle starts shaking. Women start looking like meat freezered sticks of Grade A. Pretty incredible.

  2. reacher says:

    say — thanks for the thoughts — just read the pitchfork bizness about this same song and I gotta say it seems pretty obvious to me that this “manipulation of the funk” concept is way misleading. If the song’s any good at all the beat is part of the content —- not like a neutral slice of toast where you can spread whatever kind of content you want on top — the reason we like Miami bass and crunk is basically cause they’re the sound of impolite fucking! Complicated questions surely remain, but the instrumental version of that Ying Yang song is still about ‘beating the pussy up’—no way around it!

  3. jck says:

    the key to that song to me is that it is unmistakably a black man’s voice, and also its not a pop voice

  4. jshepination says:

    obviously the beat is part of the content; in this case, smurf wrote the beat and twins wrote the lyrics, so it’s not directly ABOUT “beating the pussy up”–besides, impolite fucking? if you mean “impolite” as in “heterosexual power dynamic in which men are dominant and women are submissive, as an across the board rule, always,” then yeah, that’s impolite and frankly, pretty unsexy and boring.
    last night at king sunny ade, these three ladies came out and performed essentially a fully-clothed booty show, total ass dancing and hot gyrations but because the power dynamic in the room was non existant/non-gender based, because the whole thing was about respect and love and not nihilism and control, it felt like the message was “we all have sex in this room and that is awesome and look at these beautiful women we admire doing beautiful sensual sexy things with their bodies” as opposed to “i fucking own that ass bitch, get on the floor.”
    there was also tons of low-end, incidentally.

  5. Jck says:

    “it felt like the message was “we all have sex in this room and that is awesome and look at these beautiful women we admire doing beautiful sensual sexy things with their bodies” as opposed to “i fucking own that ass bitch, get on the floor.”
    this is totally what i wish the world was like

  6. danyel says:

    I haven’t watched B-in-the-H in a long time. But I did recently post about JS’ Baby Boy. I always loved the Ice Cube fadeaway at the end of Boyz.

  7. reacher says:

    muchas gracias for the post —-
    unsexy: “heterosexual power dynamic in which men are dominant and women are submissive, as an across the board rule, always”
    I have never been in a situation where there was any danger of this — (I’d even go out on a limb and suggest that neither have the Ying Yang twins)
    sexy: “we all have sex in this room and that is awesome and look at these beautiful women we admire doing beautiful sensual sexy things with their bodies”
    at the same time, I’ve never been in a situation like *this* which was uncomplicated by desire —i.e. where a complicated intersection of power dynamics was not brought to bear on the all-important question of who’s gonna go where with whom when the show’s over —
    nasty-ass lyrics and all “wait” is at least as close to sexy as unsexy is all I’m saying —

  8. bebe says:

    what ever what is going on in this world.

  9. jck says:

    sometimes there is no question of who is going whom with whom at the end of the show bc the deal is…..why is he going home with her…thats the key, to me
    is he going home with her bc he’s a nice guy and she likes his style, or bc he was the loudest guy there, and was dominating over other people in a sly sorta way?
    i think the whole, he’s going with her bc he’s alpha male, and shes going with him bc she’s the hot one really deflates a room
    but i have been in those situations in which it was more egalitarian and free….and even if i didn’t go home with no one, i felt sexy and fullfilled

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