Archive for May, 2012

Modern Explorer Lifestyle…

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

The ancient Silk Road was the route which first connected Europe with Africa and Asia. Exploration thru China is still the inspiration and motivation for this series of Polo Ralph Lauren I.T.’s that I have been featuring recently.

The Modern Explorer series is dynamically detailed to harken back to a time when Western-led expeditions ventured thru the Himalayan mountains and the valleys of the Indus River.

Marshall’s has had some of the short sleeve knits for a fraction of the MSRP. From $155 to $39.99 is the official comeup that I can’t deny. I’m set right now with pieces from this series unless I scope out some more joints for the low (‘Lo).

I found this video on YouTube detailing the overland journey of the ancient Silk Road by students from Oxford and Cambridge Universities driving LandRover trucks all the way.

El-P’s Got The Cure…

Monday, May 28th, 2012

The DefJux rap revival went down crazy last week at Santos. El-P’s movement was rock solid and went line for line with him on his latest project. That is what you call a fanbase.

Matt Raz and I almost didn’t get inside but Despot stepped out and pulled us in. Just in time for the rappy business too. Despot opened the show with some new shit and his classic joint cRap Music. Despot brought out Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire during his set and let him rock some of his bangers for the people.

The rappers we saw that night comprised one of my favorite types of WTF lists with Despot, eXqo, Heems from Das Racist, Killer Mike and El-P. The show was a alt-underground rapnerd’s wet dream and El-P’s backing band kept shit funkier than I expected. Cancer 4 Cure is a DOPE album, but it’s more than a music project. El-P’s album is a testament to survival. In art, in business, in life. I’m gonna put it in the 2012 top list no matter what else drops from here on in. I think this is the future for underground rap music.

When Hipsters Pitch(fork) A Fit…

Monday, May 28th, 2012

Editor’s note: Do you remember the Grandmaster? Well here he is again with a guest drop on why the hipster media exploits rap for its credibility until shit gets real…

“yesterday, [Action Bronson] crossed over into unsettling territory … he posted Instagram photos of a supposedly incapacitated transgender person that a friend of his had poured water on.
“Lame and reckless all around.” – Carrie Battan, Pitchfork News

“Hood” and “hip” are on-again off-again business partners. In the ’60s, Detroit Red sold drugs to slumming Manhattan socialites, while Jean-Michel Basquiat’s ’80s rise to art world stardom was boosted by his connection to Andy Warhol’s pop art circles.

Today, as Cam’ron and the Clipse before them, groups like Odd Future/Wolf Gang, A$AP MOB, and a crop of loosely-affiliated emcees (Danny Brown, Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire, Das Racist, etc.) are being embraced by a White hipster scene craving the authentic voice of the streets.

But as Tyler, The Creator and Action Bronson share Terry Richardson’s lens with Lady Gaga and Kate Moss, is the hood being valued – or exploited?

Pitchfork is a signpost for the hipster music scene: reporting on it while also charting its course. Sometimes that trend-setting (word to Prodigy) can be cutting: they’re notorious for dropping 0.0’s on undeserving albums, and recently Childish Gambino’s Camp received a 1.6.

Considering this, the comparatively high scores that Action Bronson’s last three full-length efforts received – Dr. Lecter and Blue Chips got 8.1’s, while Well-Done copped to a 7.1 – represent a strong endorsement of his style and content. Pitchfork’s string of positive reviews provided him with breakthrough media coverage, filled with comments like “Bronson boasts his own brand of gonzo humor, subtle pathos, and specificity”. By “specificity”, I assume they mean not only references to obscure French cheeses, but also to lines like “7 times she got stabbed in the back / By a regular john… / That’s what she gets for being a whore though”.

So it felt a little surprising this past Thursday when, on a Greyhound to New York, I pulled out my iPhone and saw a headline on Pitchfork: “Action Bronson Stupidly Posts Photo of “Drunk Mexican Tranny”, Rightly Gets in Trouble“.

The blog post said “[Action’s lyrics] crossed over into unsettling territory when he went on a Twitter tear in which he posted Instagram photos of a supposedly incapacitated transgender person that a friend of his had poured water on.”

Oh, word? That’s when it crossed over?

This from the same site that once wrote that “Bronson’s lyrics can be ignorant as fuck (“Take a dyke on a date/ She let me pipe cuz I’m an ape”), but … He’s just kicking silly bullshit, and it’s tough to imagine anyone seriously getting offended.”

Action’s lyrics were “silly bullshit” while they rode shotgun in iTunes; but when he took to Instagram, connecting his lyrics to an actual environment and lifestyle, that was the step too far? While Action plays the part of chubby hood jester, rapping about bruschetta and occasionally slapping women or juxing fags, hey, it’s all part of his “swag”; but God forbid he actually disrespects a woman or objectifies a gay person. That’s when it goes too far.

Here is the problem: Bronson’s New York swagger isn’t just some goofy fat guy schtick. He’s Queens through and through, and the Pitchfork hipsters-in-chief seemed to misunderstand – or not care – what they were co-signing when they call him a “raw Queens charmer, scheming in the tradition of old working class New York”. To be working class in New York is to be funny, a quick charmer, a slick-tongued hustler. It also means not taking shit from anybody, being politically incorrect, and having a big pair of balls. These are traits the left-leaning hipster agenda is happy to support – opportunistically, whenever they happen to support their causes.

In a profile of the young and amoral Odd Future collective, a Pitchfork contributor wrote that they should “Continue on, undeterred by the demands of the mainstream’s social mores and face the wraths of conservatism,” or else “change up and burn away their hard-earned integrity“. Free speech, thumbing their nose at the man (I ain’t a part of your system!) – causes near and dear to any hipster’s ironic-American-flag-tee wearing heart.

But what happens when that “hard-earned integrity” starts butting up against other hipster values? Let’s face it: while LGBT awareness runs deep in the hipster community, you’re not likely to see large sections of “old working class New York” turning out for the Rainbow Coalition, and gay pride parades aren’t exactly “raw Queens charm”.

When that happens, what comes about is a morally confusing cycle of praise and rebuke: Bronson, Odd Future, and others like them are applauded, praised, and promoted by hipster tastemakers for their authentic voices; but as their media profile grows, so does the pressure for them to become inauthentic to the same roots that they were praised for staying close to. So Pitchfork and other outlets like Vice, Vulture, Fader, (I’d say Rolling Stone, but since when were they relevant?), and the like praise the “Talented, hilarious, villainous, immature, precocious… vanguard of modern hip-hop” – but when these artists turn out to resemble the people they rap about – the performing monkeys have escaped from their cage. And those same outlets scramble to distance themselves.

It seems that hipster media has confused “sounding grimy” and “being authentic” – they love the first, and find the latter distasteful. They love hearing raps that push the boundaries of acceptable behavior – slapping bitches, disrespecting gays, selling drugs and pussy, living rough – but don’t want to acknowledge the social reality that, for some people, this is life. So they stay in their bubble, listening to music that hints at a morally and socially frightening world, while being able to ignore its realness – until that realness pops up on their Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook feeds.

Is Action Bronson’s man Bes throwing water on a Mexican tranny “reckless”? Sure. But it’s hypocritical for the hipster/fringe-culture-glorifying music press can call it “lame” – when rapping about this lifestyle is exactly how he earned cool points with them in the first place.

“Queens shit. That real rap, homie. None of this relationship drama rap these faggots be putting out nowadays” – Action Bronson, Respect the Mustache.

Jason Chu (@jasonglchu)
Not a homophobe at all, I’m just surrounded by ’em


Monday, May 28th, 2012

The San Antonio Spurs were too old to compete two seasons ago. The same team core now looks unstoppable on their march to the NBA Finals trophy.

The balding Manu Ginobili, the gimpy old man Tim Duncan and the happily divorced Tony Parker haven’t lost a basketball game in over a month?!

The only team I thought might offer a challenge would be the young and powerful Oklahoma City Thunder with their speed and their length [ll], but even the Thunder appeared outmatched in the late minutes of Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals. We might as well give the Spurs the Larry O’Brien trophy now so I can turn all my attention to the Mets and Major League Baseball.


Sunday, May 27th, 2012

I always give Premium Pete a hard time for going to Uniqlo every other month and buying a dozen deep cut V-neck tee shirts. Only a Fuckyberg Jenkins would wear a deep cut V-neck.

I laughed out loud when I found myself in Uniqlo looking for this novelty tee featuring Wolverine from the Avengers X-Men on the front. DAMMMMMMMN, Uniqlo is sold out!

Are there any Asian internets who FUX with me? I need this tee. BADLY.