Sunday, November 30, 2008

35. The Yah Mos Def - Stockton to Malone

First of all, I love when musicians that I like throw out references to sports. Really anything will do, I'm not choosy. I love when Kanye raps about "pulling girls off the bench like a sixth man" in This Way by Slum Village. I love this and I also really liked this. My favorite of these ever though has to be The Beastie Boys claim to have "more hits than Sadaharu Oh."

What does this rambling have to do with my number 35 song of 2008? Well, there are two things... first the title is a reference to surefire Utah Jazz Hall of Famers' John Stocton and Karl Malone. Second of all - and most pertinent to ya know, actual music - is Philadelphia's The Yah Mos Def did an awesome job on their debut "Excuse Me, This is the Yah Mos Def" channeling the spirit of the world's three most famous white jewish rappers while being both inventive and unique. The band name is a hybrid of hardcore punk pioneers the Yah Mos and of course every non-rap fan's favorite rapper Mos Def. That is where the comparisons to either the Yah Mos or Mos Def end though as they show no evidence of hardcore and unlike Mos Def these guys actually rap. They've got the tag team flow that makes the Beasties so lovable and are as musically connected to the City of Brotherly Love as MCA, AdRock, and Mike D are to Brooklyn.

In Stockton to Malone, the YMD treat us to absurdist lyrics and b-boy posturing "We give a voice to the voiceless, moist to the moistless" while letting their hardcore flag fly with a Kevin Seconds shoutout. Vocally, the nasal whine of the beat sounds like it should accompany the robbery scene in some shitty 70s heist movie and makes the song feel almost frantic as it builds throughout.

So here's the deal...

Admittedly, I find blogging to be one of the douchiest and most self-aggrandizing things that someone can do. To assume that anyone is interested in reading YOUR thoughts on - in the words of Elaine Benes - the EXCRUCIATING MINUTIAE of everyday life is, let's face it, terrible. I like music and listen to a lot of it but that doesn't make my opinions on it something that you should care about at all. As a matter of fact you should probably ignore the opinions of bloggers entirely when considering your thoughts on anything because their opinions are probably going to inherently be bullshit. So why do people (myself included I suppose) do this at all?

1. You think a girl might read what you're writing and like you more
This is just really fucking dumb and is not all that far removed from thinking the best Storm Trooper costume will get you laid at a Star Wars convention.

2. You have a MASSIVE ego

3. Your job has absolutely nothing to do with your major interests

These were really the only three reasons I could think of... but upon further examination, I realized that perhaps not coincidentally they are also the three reasons why people decide to start bands so I guess I should add one more reason.

4. You have no musical talent and can't start your own band

So why am I doing this? I really just wanted to find a way to put out a Top 30 or So songs of 2008 list for my friends to read... also I want girls to read it, I have a massive ego, the 8th graders I teach could not possibly care less about my musical interests, and oh yeah I have absolutely no musical talent.

So consider that my preface and apology for what I'm about to undertake... I encourage taunting, mockery, really anything to make me feel like less of an asshole for doing this in the first place.