See that guy up there? He’s the guy who’ll have his iPhone out next time you’re on the floor amid a flurry of feet cracking your ribs and eye sockets. It’s his Kubrickian vision that masterfully frames a blonde lady getting a flying plate to the head in this WSHH entry. In a masterfully meta moment, the director himself becomes the star, going from narrator (“Oh shit! Oh shit! Worldstar Hip-Hop!”) to the focus of the camera itself. It’s a near Brechtian, brutal allegory of Vietnam’s violent legacy, played out in a Toronto-based Vietnamese restaurant. And it’s a lot more coherent than ‘Prometheus.’
You can blame the WSHH shriekers for making the good Samaritan an extinct breed and allude that it’s symptomatic of a societal sickness on a grander scale and while everybody got a comment in regarding Lil’ Reese’s savage,disgusting on-camera assault, in a world where everybody enjoys a vicarious hit of ignorance from behind a screen, we’re all culpable. You want ratchet? You want goonery? Reese’s antics delivered. There you go. If somebody’s got a correctional officer past, then “realness” becomes a concern, but if a rapper talks about beatdowns and bitches, and delivers on those lyrics, it’s another concern. Make up your damned minds.
Dr Dre beat up Dee Barnes, Pepa says that Treach was prone to physical attacks and Flavor Flav is always in the mix. They’re lucky their grandest misdemeanors seemed to occur when cameras were shoulder mounted. A noisy woman on a bus gets an uppercut from a man and it’s a comedy viral. 17-year-old rappers talking about guns seems to shock people unaware that Nas was a teenager when he went to hell for snuffing Jesus, Prodigy was 17 when ‘Hit it From the Back’ dropped and Illegal were pretty much fetuses when they were threatening to shoot Kris Kross in the gut. Rap’s been just as aggressive for a long, long time. People just rapped a little fancier and didn’t live their lives in a room full of cameras.
While we’re lapsing into nostalgia, R.I.P. to pioneering Nottingham rapper K.I.D. K.I.D. was a talented guy as this blog entry attests, and having spent some time in that city, I can confirm it’s a place that loves hip-hop like few other cities do. If you thought US rap, despite the kind of predilection for mourning that Boris Johnson would berate, can be a little dismissive of its early legends on their passing or at a time of crisis, our scene is so niche (and pebbled with at least 97% dreck) that a Kold Sweat legend like Lloyd McDevitt’s gets even less coverage. This and Mike Allen’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis are both very sad. The impending ‘NG83’ Nottingham/UK b-boy documentary looks extremely promising and a year on, talk of a screening in Notts as part of an event dedicated to K.I.D indicate that it’s complete and fully funded.
Because it’s Halloween, I’m into ‘Return of the Living Dead’ all over again. That film’s the apex of comedy-horror, with some genuinely terrifying moments and some great little touches courtesy of that pesky 245 Trioxin® like that cheap but subtle moving butterfly warning of what’s to come. If you’ve never seen it, break it out next week to celebrate. Then watch ‘More Brains! A Return to the Living Dead’ documentary. Afterwards. if you’re still obsessed, track down Christian Sellers and Gary Smart’s ‘the Complete History of the Return of the Living Dead’ book if you can get it at a price that isn’t the wild Amazon Marketplace asking amount. The notion of Tobe Hooper, a patchy director with more misfires than classics in his repertoire, directing the film as originally planned and in 3D, is truly scary. He wouldn’t have come close to what Dan O’ Bannon delivered. Maybe O’Bannon would have had to get hands on like Spielberg supposedly did with ‘Poltergeist.’ This pre-shoot industry press ad shows just how close we came to getting a lesser product.
Remember when your mum scoffed at the price of shoes? The old, “They should run by themselves for that kind of money” maternal quip was rife and you sure as hell didn’t get the Nike Air editions of any model either — non-Air if you were lucky. Wouldn’t you have liked to wield this as a pamphlet in your pocket to justify owning a pair of Jordan 2s in miniature? I wish my mum had picked this up when it came out in August 1987.