Tag Archives: conan

FAREWELL, KING

prodigyhnicteaser

Many wars and feuds did Conan fight. Honour and fear were heaped upon his name and, in time, he became a king by his own hand..
Narrator, Conan the Barbarian

Farewell Prodigy. The Mobb changed my life, and I definitely wasn’t alone in this sentiment, from those introductions in seeing the strangely named duo advertising their debut album on 4th and B’way, mentioned in the same breath as accomplished young acts like Illegal and Da Youngstas around that time (despite being comparatively senior at 16/17), to that Black Moon cameo to the Loud-assisted coming of age when that Nudder Brudders sampler hit in late 1994. While many of their equally acclaimed industry friends and foes flamed out post-millennium, the self-contained nature of the crew (having Havoc and Alchemist in the fold meant that the production side never faltered, (a key contributor to the demise of so many other acts) and P’s prolific approach to guest appearances and solo EPs and LPs paralleled the work ethic of one-time nemesis 2Pac. Incidentally, size jibes are irrelevant when you’re that willing to go to work with absolutely all-comers — something that’s even more admirable in the era of the subliminal. Instead of pursuing the A-list or becoming an enigma, despite extolling the no-new-friends mentality long before Drake, Prodigy’s man of the people accessibility was apparent by the glut of beaming fan photos showcasing those tattooed knuckles (and who else was that inked in the rap realm before he got covered around Hell On Earth?) lighting up social media during the last 24 hours. He was a poet who never papered over that pain and the world is significantly worse in his absence. How many other two-man acts have managed to create their own universe, dress, sound and aesthetic like them? They even went full Droog and had their own language (dun beats nadsat). We lost him as a standalone artist and we lost Mobb Deep — condolences to his family and friends. Even at 42, I don’t think he ever reached the physical age of the mind state he hinted at in his late teens. Fortunately, we’ve been left the ultimate soundtrack for shut in the room gloom.

Given that he brought the quotables from 1992 to 2017 and factoring in that take-no-prisoners approach when it came to letting off those opinions, it’s impossible to single out one highlight. I know exactly which portrait was best though. Around summer 1999, The Source ran ads for the much-anticipated H.N.I.C. portrait with a jewel swoosh mid and grey marl clad Prodigy on an ice throne. In his essential autobiography, My Infamous Life, he mentions the campaign,

Steve Rifkind was serious about promoting my album and Loud started running magazine ads for H.N.I.C. six months in advance. Since my album was called Head Ni**a in Charge, I was sitting on a throne in the ads. The idea came from the end of the movie Conan the Barbarian, when Conan sat on a throne like the king of the world.

SUNDAY BLOG STUFF



Being a fan of Alejandro Jodorowsky’s filmic output is becoming increasingly like having a weekend dad break your heart fortnightly with grand promises that never manifest. ‘King Shot’ sounded magnificent, but never made it out the gate. Then we were promised an ‘El Topo’ sequel, ‘Abel Cain’ again (after those ‘Sons of El Topo’ press packs in 1996, I was a little skeptical) that seems to have stalled too (though it’s promised after his next movie). Now, Alejandro’s talking about bypassing the industry entirely to make his autobiographical ‘La Danza de la Realidad’ (‘The Dance of Reality’) via a Kickstarter style method of crowd-sourced funding. You can see his plea for dough here, and given the great man’s presumed difficulty to work with and a studio situation where the remake is announced before we ever see the original, it’s probably the last opportunity to see Jodorowsky’s work onscreen. Alas, there aren’t equally volatile rock ‘n’ roll accountants like Allen Klein around to put up the money any more. If you’re wondering what the fuss is all about, I recommend (as I have done here many, many times) picking up the ‘Santa Sangre’ Blu-ray that plays in any region’s machines or watching the excellent ‘La Constellation Jodorowsky’ documentary from 1994 that some kind soul has upped onto YouTube in one piece. Watch and consider contributing. Hopefully our hard-earned cash and the great man’s shamanistic zeal might combine to instigate a miracle.

On the remake front, apparently there’s already a ‘The Raid’ redux on the horizon before the OG hits cinemas. The film’s had a western renaming to ‘The Raid: Redemption’ for its Sony Pictures Classics distribution later this month. The new trailer isn’t as hyperviolent as last year’s taster, but it still makes it look amazing. Collider.com’s lengthy making of sells the film in nicely, rather than spoiling it. Apparently that new title was applied because it’s the first part of a trilogy and for legal reasons. The new poster isn’t the greatest, but it gives you a little idea as to what to expect. It all sounds a little like a zombie—free ‘La Horde’ with some superior fight scenes and no undead….okay, it sounds nothing like ‘La Horde,’ but that double tap to the noggin from the original trailer indicates that there will be blood. Tons of it.



I strongly recommend that you stop by Jason Jules’ Garmsville for a shot of Dexys Midnight Runners looking very sharp indeed. I wasn’t expecting much from ‘Jocks & Nerds’ magazine at all, but the new issue caught me off guard, with a particularly good piece on Rowland and company via Jason. It’s a shame that this portrait never made the cut. While we’re talking sharp-looking musicians, these images of a press mode Bo Diddley taken by Phyllis Juried around 1973 are fantastic too.

The Undercover Uniqlo UU collection still has yet to knock me sideways. Crop trousers and a scattering of cargo pockets on garments is a little “Oi Oi saveloy” pallid Brit in the beer garden and skinny jeans with a zip aren’t my thing, but the UK pricing seems reasonable enough to warrant a closer inspection to change my mind. The latest range of GYAKUSOU seems to be the point where everything comes together, from the branding to the apparel to the footwear and all the innovations that have been developed over the past three seasons, so I was anticipating an extension of Uniqlo’s Heattech via the mind of Jun. The actual offerings seem more in line with the Uniqlo spirit of basics. I’m reliably informed that it doesn’t come up triple extra smedium like the Nike apparel product, but I’m assuming that the sweat/motorbike jacket is a pleather affair for £79.90. The equally priced Hooded Blouson looks pretty appealing though.

Can every brand with the same narcolepsy look books and irksome talk of “shirting” please take a leaf out of Our Legacy‘s book and just be excellent? OL’s got its share of Euro-imitators, but it just goes beyond the call of duty with the prints for spring—summer. Their already well-documented photoshoot by Oliver Helbig is a pitch perfect showcase of what they offer, and the split between the quirky and everyman offerings is a smart move. Saniforized non-shrink tees? Red Melange sweats? Even last year’s ’50’s-styled Arrow shirt pales alongside the Indigo Potplant 1950’s Shirt and Floral Camo and Jungle Pattern First Shirt. And if you can pull off the Ethnic Pattern Sunday Messenger Shirt and matching Reform Trouser together then you’re a thousand times cooler than I am. The white-on-white Snow Leopard print Success Shirt is a nice wildlife print too that’s a conservative compromise. Our Legacy has lapped the dull competitors vying for rack space over the last few years — surely APC levels of success are beckoning?

I won’t pretend I’ve ever paid much attention to North Face footwear — even when Show & AG decided they were going to wear their footwear above Timbs. I was interested by their PUMA Disc style fastening a few years back and their Back to Berkeley boot with the olde hiker design cues, but I’ve never cared too much for their shoes. I like some of their newly released European-made offerings though, like the S4K GORE-TEX design though — Italian factory, Vibram soled, cradle comfort aided, TPU caged future footwear. Its been a while since I associated the brand with any alpine exploration, but these are built to accommodate crampons if you really want to tear up the carpets of your local cool kid hangout. This video’s pretty cool in depicting the development and production of a pair:



1982 is the year I became a non—believer and became preoccupied with movies — my true religion (word to Max B). Few things had an effect on me like ‘The Thing,’ ‘Conan the Barbarian’ or ‘Mad Max 2′ did (incidentally, I had to wait several years to see those ’15’ and ’18’ releases, even after they were released on video the following year), so Texas’s Alamo Drafthouse showing the ‘Summer of 1982’ on the big screen in 35mm with OG trailers on the 30th anniversary of their release dates sounds like a dream come too. This needs to tour the UK. The poster for the project is pure, distilled 1982.



STYLE WARS & THE BEASTMASTER

“Born with the courage of an eagle, the strength of a black tiger, and the power of a god.”

If you had to push me for the greatest crossover between films, it’s the lowkey meeting of ‘Style Wars’ and ‘The Beastmaster.’ I’m not here to educate you about the scene that links both flicks, but if you’re under 25, you get a pass. With the documentary screened on PBS in 1983, and the motion picture in question released in Summer 1982, two huge influences for me collide on a train platform, on what looks to be an unremarkable afternoon in NYC, as the Fresh Extra Terrestrial/Tellestial Brothers (bear in mind E.T. came out that same year) meet up.

Before a rap session ensues, Kase, Dez (aka. Mr. Slap Your Favourite DJ) and D-5 gather and are distracted by the ‘Beastmaster’ half sheet on the wall in the background. I’d like to know what song Kase is singing on the approach to the poster (“Do you wanna see, do you wanna take a chance?”) Edit -Thanks to rap scholar Mr. Craig Leckie for informing me it’s ‘Do You Wanna Rock’ by Funky 4 +1 but he promptly begins a deconstruction of the art.

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