I’ve got a confession to make. I hadn’t heard the Asher Roth song “I Love College” until five minutes ago. My computer’s soundcard has been busted for a few months and I didn’t have time to get it fixed (until the last few days – thus the blog vacation) and I can’t imagine where else I could have heard it. I’ve read a lot of critiques of it online and I have insinuated to some people that I had heard the song and that I didn’t like it. I apologize. On the other hand, my instincts weren’t wrong: the song is uniquely terrible. Like not Vanilla Ice we-make-fun-of-it-but-we’re-not-really-as-disappointed-as-we-pretend-to-be-that-it’s-not-David-Bowie-and-Queen bad, but really truly bad. The thing that really strikes me is that it doesn’t really sound like music. It sounds like some guys from my freshman-year hall having a conversation while O.A.R. fucks around with a turntable. I debated embedding it, but I’m pretty sure I was the last one to hear the song so it didn’t seem necessary.
On a tangential note, here’s some Atlantic writers complaining about the state of hip-hop, which is an article that never gets written. Two things I want to point out in reference to that piece.
1. When Nas said he wasn’t “political,” he meant in electoral politics. No one can say he isn’t a politically relevant artist. Listen to the last few songs on Stillmatic, you don’t hear a lot of shout-outs to Patrice Lumumba and Che Guevara on apolitical albums.
2. Jeezy’s “My President Is Black” is great. It just is. Get over it.
The discussion is pretty weak and Ta-Nehisi Coates looks smart for not getting involved. Here’s a tip for rap critics. Instead of writing an article on the state of hip-hop (Is it dead? Is it dying? Is it coming back to life?), write a piece on an underground artist you really like. There are plenty of good ones, just agree on one you all like and make them famous. Rock critics do it all the time, it’s fine.
And in a 3/4 hip-hop addendum: did anyone know about Achozen and not tell me? It’s a collaboration between RZA, Kinetic 9, Reverend William Burke and System of a Down guitarist Shavo Odadjian. If that sounds awesome to anyone else, check out their MySpace. They’ve got one track up, but you can tell it’s a rough cut. Sounds really interesting though. I’ll definitely pick up the album when it comes out in January.