Tag Archives: youtube

ACCEPTING YOUR SUPER HUMAN SPEED

I never noticed this compilation of Zoom Air adverts from 1997 on YouTube before — a star-studded collection of athletes in ‘Accepting Your Super Human Speed’ therapy group — that includes Gail Devers wearing the Zoom Spiridon alongside fellow endorsee Michael Johnson. 20 years later, the Spiridon seems to have found an audience again, after a spell in sale rack purgatory. On that subject, the recent boom in popularity when it comes to Errolson and the NikeLab team’s ACG reboot proves that simply resurrecting the old stuff was a smart move. When it game to marketing, the very nature of that division put it in a strange rustic-tech rocky terrain where jock boasting, Futura sloganeering and a collision of rough-hewn neon aesthetics all collided to create a fair few gems promoting some product that is probably better loved in 2017 than it was appreciated commercially on its debut. Old All Conditions Gear commercials and in-store videos were a curious bunch that included great stuff like a Shane MacGowan Sinatra cover and an eccentric Champs one that concludes with an allusion to possible sexual assault at the hands of hillbillies. Continue reading ACCEPTING YOUR SUPER HUMAN SPEED

ASSOCIATED PRESS

zephyr2012

News clip library channels on YouTube are as good place to waste some time as any. I occasionally spend an unholy amount of time trawling places like Getty or Corbis to see the good stuff in static form, but after browsing the AP Archive channel, I found some more recent, subtitle-free footage based around vintage denim and old shoes in London and Japan (where Bing Crosby’s denim tux by Levi’s was part of an auction). I hadn’t seen the footage of ageing writers like Zephyr and LA ROC (with some commentary from Henry Chalfont) before either, even though it’s only a couple of years old. Provided that there’s working Wi-Fi, I can’t fathom how anyone can get bored in 2015.



REASONS TO LIVE: 12 THINGS TO LOOK FORWARD TO IN 2012

Everything’s a preview these days. We know what’s coming out years in advance, and in the age of Instagram, everyone’s a secret agent. No idea’s original and nothing’s particularly surprising. That doesn’t stop 2012 from shaping up to be an interesting year — ignore the Mayan killjoys predicting our collective demise, because there’s some good stuff on the horizon. Here’s some stuff I’m feeling that may or may not drop this year. Usually when I attempt these things, 25% is good, 25% turns out shitty and the other 50% never happens. That Herno Laminar sub-brand, taking Herno’s old world outerwear and giving it some Errolson-aided progression, the Jordan IV black/cement/grey colourway’s return, Sarah Silverman (who I’ve loved since she played Kramer’s girlfriend) naked onscreen in ‘Take This Waltz’, and maybe, just maybe, the much-touted Neville Brody and Kez Glozier magazine project, ‘THE NEW BRITISH’ are guaranteed to instigate buzz of one kind or another, but I decided to list 12 other impending things that could be good:

1. KING LOUIE’S ‘DOPE AND SHRIMP’

Blog favourites keep on blowing up, and Chicago’s King Louie’s mix of gangsterism, sleep-deprived wooziness and sci-fi production is cold enough go huge, after 5 years of local cultdom. Man Up Band Up Remix’ is still effective and LoKey’s production is strong. His ‘Work Something’ video appeared then vanished from YouTube early this week. The ‘Dope and Shrimp’ album drops this month, and it comes out on Lawless Inc, which is co-owned by former Kanye manager John Monopoly. The cover art, as premiered on Fake Shore Drive last summer unites both shrimp and dope in an almost Daniel Johnston or Seth Putnam way, really sold the project to me.

2. ‘CROSSED: BADLANDS’

Comic books can be dull, but when some Garth Ennis is involved, ultraviolence and a certain sense of despair that he’s honed since the ‘Crisis’ days are guaranteed. This time he’s created an even bigger crisis – he first ‘Crossed’ series was a black-hearted complement to the zombie epidemic across popular media when it debuted in 2008. These infected are closer to the madness of Romero’s ‘The Crazies’ than Romero’s zombies, and they’re the kind to forcefully fornicate and bludgeon you with a human appendage rather than simply eating you alive. So is it murder porn for trenchcoated comic book guys? Not really — it occasionally offends, but Ennis is in control of an uncontrollable scenario. The follow-up series’ sans Ennis have become progressively worse, so his return for ‘Badlands’ is a welcome one. Issue #0 is fairly unremarkable, but my hopes are still high —it’s ‘The Walking Dead’ on angel dust, and while I’ve heard rumours, I doubt it can be tethered enough to become a TV series or film. The French method of promoting ‘Crossed’ is particularly impressive. I don’t think they’d get away with that in the UK.

3. T-SHIRT PARTY’S RETURN

The original T-Shirt Party was fun, with Stan Still dropping 52 shirts with accompanying videos over one year. I never thought he’d make the final stretch, but he did it. Mine shrunk fast, so I need more. Thankfully, in an act of masochism, he’s starting the project up again after a year out. There was something very British about the project, without resorting to the obvious, despite little diversions like the excellent Lisa Bonet design. Those raised on an era of yoof TV know what time it is. The last one started around February/March 2009, but I’m not 100% sure if it’s 52 designs again. I hope it is. And I hope there’s a Chris Eubank design in the mix this time.

4. CAROL CHRISTIAN POE DOES SHOE FITTINGS WITH A HAMMER

I like the madness of Carol Christian Poe’s Poell’s designs for men and women. Alas, I could never wear any of it, but for utter innovation, he can’t be stopped. Luxury fabrics, a you’ll-get-it-when-you-get-it approach to fashion in a seasonally regimented world and more ideas in a single garment than anyone else makes C.C.P. creations something special. At its most accessible, it’s like H.R. Giger meets Massimo Osti and this cryptic little video that appeared on the Carol Christian Poe Poell website with a wedge heeled shoe that fits by being beaten with a hammer is some brutalist elegance — I hope it catches on and we have to beat the shit out of our footwear before we can leave the house in it. Custom high-end violence.

5. MOVIES WITH SOME 1970’S GRIT?

I know very little about ‘Drift’ or ‘Duke,’ but I know that the former — a true story of Jimmy and Andy Fisher becoming surf entrepreneurs in Australia circa. 1972 and getting mixed up with bikies and drug dealers and the latter — with two dysfunctional brothers cleaning up the streets with one pretending to be John Wayne and the other pretending to be a cop, sound like the kind of 1970’s films I’d fixate over as a kid. Surf action? Morally ambiguous vigilante heroes? At least the concepts are intriguing. ‘Drift’s marketing materials are significantly shittier in appearance than ‘Duke’s, but it’ll be interesting to see a trailer for either film some time soon.

6. MORE ‘THRASHER’

As a kid I had ‘Thrasher’ covers coating the wall, and now that the magazine’s 30 year anniversary is up, the ‘Thrasher: Maximum Rad: the Iconic Covers of Thrasher’ book on Universe that’s set for a February release gathers them all and adds anecdotes and information about each image. There’s been a few ‘Thrasher’ books before, but every cover in one place is an appealing proposition. A fair proportion of those images remain mind-boggling, and the amount of bones broken in imitating as part of the quest to get a cover one day must be in the billions. John Gibson’s May 1985 pipe cover stays amazing.

7. LIGHT UP NIKE RUNNERS?

Trawling the patents, there’s a technology logged that I haven’t seen in action yet. As a kid I sketched weird light-up shoes in the back of exercise books, but the reality of the situation was those atrocious L.A. Gear Lights for kids. So I put that one on the backburner, because shoes that illuminate was more liable to look like the rope lights on the DJ booth at a relative’s wedding reception than something even remotely futuristic. Seeing the Air MAG with its charged lighting had me pondering as to whether a design for night running could carry a more subtle sense of illumination. “Article of Footwear Incorporating Illuminable Strands” is some sci-fi sounding footwear that seems to keep the light-up stuff looking Flywire-esque on those illustrations. And I don’t even know how a “Fluid-Filled Bladder for Footwear & Other Applications” works, but I’m into it. Will they ever come out? I have no idea.

8. MORE COURTNEY LOVE YOUTUBE COMMENTS

Courtney Love is good for soundbites, but she’s especially good on a name dropping spree as shellylovelace on YouTube. I only clocked the quoted comment here, which somehow links Courtney, Martha Stewart, Jodorowsky and Yoko Ono while looking for images of Phil Spector’s khaki shirt, studded wristband, sunglasses and presumably, a concealed firearm outfit in the studio with John Lennon. Watching John and Yoko on the Dick Cavett show from a link on the Featured Videos section, I came across this mini-anecdotal gem. I think there’s probably more to come, and the most recent made unfavourable comparisons between Nickelback’s lead singer and Dave Grohl. Courtney and the internet is a winning combination.

9. STONE ISLAND’S 30th ANNIVERSARY

Some brands are so progressive that even when they’re being retrospective, they’re still far ahead of the rest. It’s Stone Island’s 30th birthday this year and hopefully that means anniversary releases old and new, plus that rumoured book project. Some brand book projects are a crushing letdown on their release, stylised, but offering little new information or the product archive listings that the geeks want. Stone Island could put out something on the ‘DPM – Disruptive Pattern Material’ level that fellow obsessive Hardy Blechman created. Hopefully they will. Let’s hope the presentation is as innovative as the content.

10. CRITERION DOES HOLLIS FRAMPTON JUSTICE

Hollis Frampton, deep thinker, photographer, digital experimenter and filmmaker always struck me as a solemn kind of chap, but I’ve always found his work abstract but fairly accessible. While his work could easily have fallen into the frivolous pitfalls that make so many artists slip into self-parody, his work seems stuctured with reasonings that, in the mind of Frampton, seem utterly reasonable. And he was eloquent enough to make me feel dumb for dismissing a lemon artfully shot in the shadows. The slow burning of (nostalgia) is oddly engrossing and I love the ‘Screening Room’ footage with him (“Without wanting at least to sound pretentious…”) chatting very, very seriously at a time when people could smoke in television studios. Criterion have compiled and restored his body of work into high-definition digital, and are putting it out in April.

11. THE RETURN OF MASS APPEAL

Having spent a substantial amount of my life hunting down issues of ‘Mass Appeal’ from Tower Records (R.I.P.) during London, Edinburgh and Birmingham trips, and it being one of the few graf publications that warranted more than a cursory read for a toy like me, I was sad to see it disappear in 2008, after becoming increasingly elusive, but still being extremely readable (one of the last issues I read had a good piece on the Decepticons and another fine R.A. the Rugged Man movie feature). Before the ailing days and before publisher Patrick Elasik tragically passed, ‘Mass Appeal’ was my pre-blog information carrier, and offered some of the best cover design of any magazine. The homie Russ Bengston’s shoe column was excellent too. Four years on, the website indicates it’s coming back. Good. There’s unfinished business to attend to and room in the market for ‘Mass Appeal’ to step back into the arena.

12. ADAPTIVE CAMO

I’m not a man of science by any means, but reading this month’s ‘Popular Science’ there was some mind-boggling talk about camouflage that can be customised to your surroundings, with the material containing a display that can be made to adjust to your location for accurate concealment, as well as thermal and radar suppression capabilities for some state-of-the-art sneaking. That sounds like ‘Predator’ in real-life, right?

Special Operation Apps are already developing applications, like CamoScience that can work with site-specific Photographic Camouflage. According to the blurb, the CamoScience app “uses augmented reality to test and create images in real time in the field.” Snap your locale on your iPhone and make it a “wallpaper” on what you’re wearing, or the vehicle you’re in? That sounds outlandish, but K. Dominic Cincotti’s patent contains a diagram of a six-layer “Multispectral Adaptive” technology that looks complicated. This, and quick change deception camo concepts make those battle pattern jackets in your wardrobe look pedestrian.

PARTY

I just finished reading Glenn ‘O Brien’s ‘How to Be a Man.’ A book with a name like that should infuriate me, but it’s all far lighter and more of a general philosophy  than the instructional title indicates. Any arbiter of style offering themselves up as a counsel of cool dressing is usually a sureshot source of bellendery — just think about that wave of websites post ‘Street Etiquette’ or ‘Style Salvage’ run by sartorial tipsters who were in print tees the week before, offering a lightweight imitation of both cited sites’ success by telling you how to wear a suit. Half those dudes do smart very, very badly, and while it’s easy to slum it and look like some kind of secret millionaire, your attempts to do dandyism will inadvertently reveal your bank balance. ‘O Brien however is just very, very well dressed and — looking at old ‘TV Party’ episodes — always has been sharp.

‘TV Party’ is — quite rightly — held up as a pivotal moment in youth TV. Wherever I go, talk of web TV seems to lead to talk of O’ Brien and Chris Stein’s organised chaos. That public access lawlessness offered a fuzzy, wobbly insight into an aspirational world, but it was also pioneering in broadcasting the cool guy (and girl) existence of a cartel aloof characters enjoying varying amounts of fame, but a constant credibility. The angry callers, the weed smoke in the studio, SAMO and Fab 5 Freddy scuffling, live performances that ranged from classic performances to artful tap drip repetition, plus some stoned attempts at situationism might not have been seen by many beyond the transmission range, but as its legend spread by VHS, DVD and flash video, ‘TV Party’ became the thing that many still want to be. Alas, deliberate attempts at that lo-fi feel, plus a lack of O’ Brien style central figure just feels regressive. You can’t recreate a happy accident without looking awkward — like one of those crooked guys who walks in front of cars to get insurance loot.

I always imagined that working life at the Factory would be awesome like ‘TV Party,’ until I read Bob Colacello’s ‘Holy Terror’ and realised that working for Warhol probably wasn’t as much of a laugh as I’d been led to believe.

‘TV Party’s legacy now sits in the web video that’s at your control. Boiler Room’s london broadcasts represent a good use of that televisual democracy. Intolerable hours of USTREAM with some self-centred individual looking bemused and saying “Can you hear me?” to a discordant feedback blast or YouTube videos of guys in their bedrooms talking about the colours of their latest footwear “pickup” are a DIY television evolution that sacrifices the party spirit for solitude. Not everybody gets an invite you see, as those constant queries O’ Brien fielded about getting into the Mudd Club proved. All they could do is wish. Today’s breed of amateur broadcasters prefer to treat their audience as part of the proceedings. Are the new breed of web celebs and “influencers” creating that same sense of envy as Glenn created between 1978 and 1982? I have no idea. The insistence on inciting those viewing to become participants too opened up the velvet rope to anybody who wants to join in.

‘TV Party’s demise coincides with the dawn of ‘The Tube’ on British TV in 1982 which led to a post-acid series of ‘yoof’ classics like Def II’s ‘Dance Energy’ that ran from 1990 to 1993, going from cathode ray party to a strange broad daylight club setting, and a place well worth breaking the Huaraches out for, plus Channel 4’s ‘The Word’ which ran from 1990 to 1995, bringing back that shambolic feel and occasional dazed expressions. Alas, after ‘Passengers’ on Channel 4, compiled some frequently smart documentaries for low attention spans, British youth TV seemed to fizzle in an alcopop addled laddishness and ladette-centric realm of shows that made ‘The Word’ look rather considered by comparison. Reality TV could also be seen as a byproduct of public access egocentricity. Latterly, ‘No Hats, No Trainers’ brought Alchemist and Just Blaze to a weekend afternoon with greater success than Channel 4’s abysmal ‘Whatever’ a few years earlier.

Salutes to MVD for uploading ‘TV Party: the Documentary’, the debut episode of ‘TV Party’ from December 18th, 1978, the Halloween 1979 episode and the ‘Sublimely Intolerable Show’ episode with a technically hindered opening. Watch, be inspired by the attitude (some of it is genuinely intolerable) and endeavour to create something completely different.

This part of a 1992 ‘Dance Energy’ special is a YouTube bonus. Six minutes in, there’s some rare footage of the 1992 ‘1st Annual Rapper’s Boxing Championships’, as covered in ‘The Source.’ You can see Willie D take down Melle Mel, Freddie Foxxx beat down a shook-looking Spook from True Colors (I checked Discogs and they had an album, but I never heard it. Maybe this was an ill-fated attempt at publicity). What I never knew was that Poet of PHD aka. Blaq Poet fought at the event against some bloke called Big B and won. Unkut had the magazine scan up a few years back, but this footage is gold. There’s a lot of tough talk these days, but if the ‘2nd Annual Rapper’s Boxing Championships’ took place as a 20th anniversary sequel, I guarantee the majority would pussy out like Tim Dog did or have their weed carrier let off shots for Worldstar to transmit to the ignorance-hungry masses. Simon Woodstock beating Sticky Fingaz was another great moment in hip-hop boxing too.

While I could never pull it off ever, I’m still preoccupied with Phenomenon’s collaboration with luxury good overlords MCM, resulting in these tiger camo garments that have a Dapper Dan does special forces steez about them. Biker jackets, army vests, half trench coats and some strange skinny pants are the second coming of all-over print for the monied and flamboyant. Who wrangled this collaboration? I respect the lunacy of it all. It’s anti-utiliarian, anti-surplus weird that treats those military markings like a monogram. They’re at the Contemporary Fix store now.

Who listens to music journalists any more? Nobody. But there’s always room for good writing on the topic and ‘SUP’ always delivers. In a world where everyone’s gone design-free, Wood Wood are some of the few who bring it on the imagery, innovation and typography. They’re a brilliant bunch of Danish stereotypes in that regard. The ‘SUP’ and Wood Wood t-shirt collection takes some of the best images made for the magazine and commits them to cotton. Jason Nocito and Bea Fremdermann’s work is great, but the Milan Zrnic ‘King of Pop’ image is the best of the bunch.

"NARCO-SOCCER"

Remember when David Mills’ (RIP) ‘Kingpin’ promised great things, as the ‘Corner’ and ‘Homicide’ man turned his hand to a mini-series about a  drug cartel? Remember what a crushing let down it was, squashed by non-HBO residence? That’s because the real thing is more remarkable than any fiction. Theme parks, pet hippos, discotheques inside prisons, ostentatiousness redefined and wars declared on countries of residence? Yayo money can, as ‘Cocaine Cowboys’ (directed by Billy Corben who made previous ESPN ’30 for 30′ highlight ‘The U’) attested, make people do crazy things. Cartels had a hand in Columbia’s football leagues and national side, with major money changing hands. A documentary about the Andrés Escobar’s 1994 slaying ran on Channel 4 during their ‘Gangsters’ season a few years back, but there was still more to the story. The History Channel’s ‘Killing Pablo’ had me fascinated all over again. As did the Vice article and VBS feature with those downright creepy images of Pablo’s family get-togethers.

Taken from Viceland’s ‘Memories of Medellin’ feature—Pablo’s ‘Three Musketeers’

But the ESPN 30 for 30 presentation, ‘The Two Escobars’ is one of the best documentaries I’ve ever seen. Depressing, gruesome, and shorn of any Corben docu-sheen, it dispels a few myths yet adds to the tragedy of Andrés’s death. Directed by the brothers Zimbalist, Jeff and Michael, it screened earlier last week, and if you’ve watched the film-makers’ ‘Favela Rising’ you know you’re in for a treat. My fellow documentary-heads, especially those with a penchant for the macabre, will go crazy for it. It’s comprehensive but gripping and necessarily grim without being alienating. Plus there’s some suits to make Chopper City envy, big-haired flamboyant football (that scorpion kick save on an offside ball makes an appearance) and one of the best portrayals of a country shattered by corruption on a scale that’s difficult to convey with cameras alone. Best documentary on 2010? Pretty much, and ’30 for 30’s unleashed plenty of sporting competition. The upcoming Tim Richmond one could prove interesting too.

I detest having to use the term soccer over football, but add a “narco” prefix and I’m a little happier to throw it around.

Reading about Joaquín Guzmán when he made ‘Forbes’ last winter, and with the recent Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke drama, it’s clear there’s a few more stories to be told in documentary format over the next few months. Drug lords make good TV.

The best bit? What seems to be an official ESPN account just upped ‘The Two Escobars’ in its entirety on YouTube. Enjoy. It’ll linger in your mind long after viewing.

RAP IS THE NEW SPORTS ENTERTAINMENT

The rap game is the WWF, we inside these steel cages/Outrageous things staged on real stages takin’ pictures with the long faces” Royce Da 5’9

Heavily tattooed with ink spreading from his (red)neck to his hands, JellyRoll, not to be mistaken with the producer of the same name, a shaven-headed white 300 plus pound behemoth sits behind the desk of a mock office scene, flippantly answering a call while hollering out his opponent in a thick southern accent. Oktaine a smaller-framed upstart, who speaks in a curious infliction of crip-talk, terms that sound curious from a caucasian character – particularly one from a reportedly rich family – and street level Memphis slang is the subject of his rant, having dissed him in a YouTube video days previous. While this looks like it could lead to a suplex, we’re talking hip-hop – not wrestling, though inferred physical assaults make up much of the conversation.

Another melanin-free man mountain, fellow Tennessean Haystak is a frequent topic of discussion – the Nashville-based MC who squashed a rivalry with onetime Timbaland associate Bubba Sparxxx , (himself not your average scrawny, pallid MC, attempting to conceal evident insecurities with colour by playing the outrageous class clown as has been the case beyond the region) dropped his own video on the subjects at hand, steaming drunk on a sofa, cackling and hollering out G-Unit and seemingly anyone else in the vicinity. Haystak is something of a local phenomenon – with a career going back over a decade and once signed to Def Jam South, whiteness is a frequent topic – the ‘Crazy White Boys’ C.W.B. crew talk sounds a little eerie given the region’s history.

As an outsider, it’s a curious to see as the ‘Banging in Little Rock‘ documentary, but whereas there was some evident play-slanging on display among the real-deal bangers, white rap seems to have evolved in the south as more than a cash-in with the obligatory post Marshall honky, into something more significant. After all, if you’re still stuck off the realness, while Oktaine’s bank balance is a topic-of-discussion, poverty might be spread across the nation, but folk down here, regardless of colour, know all about being poor, broke and while JellyRoll’s frame betrays it, hungry.

While the talk on ‘Stak is that his career has been hindered by betrayal and a jealously of other whiteys, Oktaine, whose work thus far has cancelled out the lyrical flair with some downright odd promos and tinny sound, promises a Gucci Mane guest spot, which for obvious legal reasons at present is implausible. Jelly however, has just signed to Lil’ Wyte’s Wyte Muzik imprint. Allied with 3-6 Mafia and signed to Hypnotize Minds, Wyte’s built up a vast fanbase, and beyond the pill-popping preoccupation, he’s got some genuine skills and vision – more than a pet cracker cash-in, he’s benefited from 3-6’s ascent, and after Juicy and Paul advised him, given the current state of the industry, to start a label himself while remaining with them, Wyte Muzik came to fruition. It looks like JellyRoll is allied with the right man.

This all seems to be part of whole scene off the usual radar – that radar being one fuelled by frequently viewed, constantly refreshed, tricked-out WordPress setups. That just adds to the fun. And what became of the oft-lampooned Florida native White Dawg? He was last heard in 2007 sampling Richard Marx records. Bubba’s ‘Deliverance’ remains one of rap’s most underrated LPs and he seems to exist in a certain limbo at present- hopefully he’ll have the same luck as the recently Grand Hustled Killer Mike. Where N*E*R*D’s boy Lee Harvey went is anyone’s guess, and the Lil’ Jon and Organised Noise affiliated Po’ White Trash & the Trailer Park Symphony are M.I.A. too. Rappers have been acting like wrestlers in WWF’s heyday with that flash video trash talking for a minute, but when they look like wrestlers too, you know things have gone pleasantly full-circle. It’s enough to jumpstart a while blog post on wrestling and rap.

Ignore the John Cena and Insane Clown affiliations for a minute. If you were fixated with the pre-fight hollering with the lurid logo in the background, mouthy managers to the side, or better still, with the short promo videos, back when the World Wrestling realm of sports entertainment could be confused with a wildlife foundation, and yearn for the pre-WWE subplots and presentation, rap took the mantle. It doesn’t matter whether it’s white boys obscure beyond their locale, Jansporters, Rapidshare rappers, big guns, also-rans or former stars…the dignity of a one-on-one conversation has been superseded by the video address. Rap beef is part and parcel – there’s no point recounting the classics – just know that now, a once obscure war like that between Bone Thugs and 3-6 Mafia (was the Memphis altercation captured by Sacha Jenkins in February 1995’s Vibe the instigator there? Good Terry Richardson shots in that short piece too) would be followed by the masses with traded video threats of violence.

Don’t pretend you don’t love rap beef in 2010. Fanboys and girls, hipsters still haw-hawing at the dumber side of the scene, purists, NYC project rap disciples, occasional blog glimpsers, the barely interested – you love to see some static. Now it’s not just rumours of Q-tip catching an eye jammy. You can watch it unfold. In a post-50 world, where Curtis made warring his marketing tool from feigning innocence over his rapper robbing debut onwards, the rise of 50 Cent very nearly coincided with the rise of YouTube – alright, his fourth LP, ‘Curtis’ ties in with the site’s debut. From then on? Open season, Vimeo, OnSmash, World Star Hip Hop and 50’s beef-heavy This Is 50 made outlets to watch rappers, producers, managers, DJs…everyone talking shit. Curtis was the Vince McMahon of the industry.

In recent years, beyond the webcam, flipcam and phone camera made it even easier to upload some bravado and bad attitude. Forget some beatboxing cornball talking elements to you – we may as well announce that YouTube is one of hip-hop’s main elements. Even the most luddite acts who still feel the internet is borderline herb territory are on there – the “I don’t even care about y’all bloggers but I’ma do this video anyway” brigade are out to boost flagging sales an amass views. It’s a beautiful thing.

In case you were already enraged by this sentiment, here’s another one to rub that wound – most of these videos have been more memorable than the records around them. That’s not to say hip-hop is in a dark place right now – it’s not – if you’ll trawl through the ephemera a digital democracy has unearthed, you’ll still find classics. Studio/frontroom/street videos just make things more fun.

The last few years have dredged up some iconic lo-fi moments – a petulant J-Hood dragging his D-Block chain then regretting it, Tru-Life keen to show how he wasn’t broke by showing you around a rented penthouse, 50 recruiting an ultra gully supergroup of sorts – Bang Bang Boogie to badmouth Fat Joe, Juelz getting his London hood pass revoked, Soulja Boy appearing online to address haters with a new facial tattoo, someone new holding a piece of Yung Berg’s jewellery for the camera, Benzino waving a gun around with a stern look and much more. 2009 was a golden year for beef onscreen – masterpieces included 50 apparently rushed to hospital after being injured by the wackness of Joey’s latest album and Chopper aka. Young City’s now legendary World Star address.

Ah yes. The Chopper monologue. Evidently under the impression he was a boss on the Ric Flair “My shoes cost more than your house!” level, former Da Band member Chopper seemed to have borrowed one of Flair’s suits for an online address on March 9th, 2009. With shoulders on some zoot suit, David Byrne ‘Stop Making Sense’ levels, feedback retribution was swift, unmerciful (“OLE “PATRICK EWING SITTING ON THE BENCH INJURED” SUIT HAVING A** BOI”) and glorious. Classic material. One of the best hip-hop moments of recent years, and it was in e-feedback form. Attempted opulence gone wrong. Consider this a celebration of its one-year anniversary.

This isn’t a co-sign of self-important video bloggers talking about rap-related subject matters. Nor does it tolerate the creeping tedium of the reaction video. But the trawl for anything with “disses” “goes at” or “addresses rumors” that’s rap-related is the current addiction round these parts. Hopefully 2010 will usher in at least a couple of classics. Extra points for anyone suffering post-upload jitters and pulling their outburst down, leaving a “this video has been removed by the user” where bravado was once broadcasted. It’s the new drunk text.

One day, maybe a rap video will hit these heights:

MCs have been hollering out WWF superstars for a minute. As a bonus for reaching this far in this rambling blog entry, here’s some of the greatest lines for the top 10 brawlers (Nas’s Iron Sheik line is excluded – it’s a given and it’s included in this video here, and the Ruff Ryders WWE track is too obvious ):

RIC FLAIR

Ric’s the most hip-hop of all wrestlers – ostentatious and a born baller, his trademark “Wooo” makes him extra quotable. He did try to sue T.I. for performing his trademark walk in the ‘Front Back’ video, but it got squashed.

Wooo! Ric Flair on ’em

Young Dro ft. Lil Cali ‘Ric Flair’

5 for 22 I’m like, Wooo! Ric Flair

Cam’Ron ft. Vado ‘Ric Flair’

Shittin’ on niggas from the top when I get there/So gangster but so smooth like Ric Flair

Curtains ‘That’s How It Is’

Cartier is my wrist-wear (I can do dat)/My bank account similar to Ric Flair’s (I can do dat)

Lil’ Flip feat. Juvenile & Skip ‘I Can Do Dat’ (Remix)

You know me – I ain’t even gon’ sweat her/Ric Flair stay jumpin’ off the dresser

Young Jeezy feat. U.S.D.A. ‘Cold Summer’

MACHO MAN RANDY SAVAGE

Yep, Randy released his own rap album, but who cares? Lil’ Wayne is evidently a big fan, referencing the manic onetime king a couple of times.

I’m Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, Bob Backlund/Paul Akin, ha ha, who they think they car jackin?

Cam’Ron feat. Hell Rell, J.R. Writer & Jim Jones ‘Get ‘Em Daddy (Remix)

And I’ma go so opposite of soft/Off the richter/ Hector Camacho Man Randy Savage/Above status, quo, flow, so, pro

Lil’ Wayne feat. Jay-Z ‘Mr. Carter’

I am hotter than the Sunday after Saturday/I swear I’m a savage like Lil Webbie and Randy

Lil’ Wayne feat. Busta Rhymes ‘La La’

Running away from the habit cause they average/Me and Maj just gots more rap than Randy Savage

Da King & I ‘Flip Da Script’

TED DIBIASE

Scheming Ted might be the greatest of all WWF characters. The hand wringing in particular fired young imaginations – DiBiase might be one of the best performers in and outside the ring. Frequent namechecks are a testament to this.

40. cals with broke safeties/Just try to rob me/Million dollar man, Ted DiBiase

Lil’ Wayne feat. Mack Maine ‘Money in the Bank’

Runnin from the paparazzi/I’m a million dollar nigga like DiBiase

Messy Marv ‘I Don’t Dance’

And I make sure, when I say so/It’s Jay Rock and Weezy, need I say more/Clothesline the beat, Ted DiBiase flow

Jay Rock feat. Lil’ Wayne ‘All My Life’

Dig what I’m sayin yo? D-I-C-E/Shove a mic in your mouth, like Ted DiBiase

The Roots feat. Dice Raw ‘Ain’t Sayin’ Nothing New’

Watch me, you can catch it live on the Hitachi/Poppin shit like a Nazi, iced out like DiBiase

Big Pun ‘It’s So Hard’

Ha Ha – Blood DiBiase/Skully, beef and broccolis

Cam’Ron feat. Hell Rell ‘Y’all Can’t Live His Life’

Million Dollar Man baby, Ted DiBiase/Catch me sippin’ on some Hen, maybe Courvoisier

Lil’ Wayne Feat. Big Tymers ‘Tha Block Is Hot’

JAKE THE SNAKE ROBERTS

So what if he became a crackhead? In his heyday, Jake was the ultimate. His snake-in-a-bag antics inspired the greatest of all wrestling punchlines, courtesy of Fabolous.

In any event it’s fake like wrestling/Get em like Jake The Snake on mescalines

MF Doom ‘Gazillion Ear’

Cubs come to paper chase, I’ve dealt with major cake/Ever since Jake the Snake, all I rocked was Bathing Apes

J.R. Writer & Juelz Santana ‘ Get Used To This’

Yeah, I’m back, fresh off of hatecation/I let the haters take a break/Now I’ma let it out the bag like Jake the Snake

Fabolous from Maino’s ‘Hi Haters'(Remix)

RAVISHING RICK RUDE

Nemesis of Jake the Snake, Ravishing Rick Rude was, like Rick Martel, Mr. Perfect and Rocker Shawn Michaels, ultra-cocky.

Crime figure, rhyme spitter, his gun spit too/Call ’em Sex Pistols, ravishing, nigga, I’m Rick Rude

Ghostface Killah feat. Capadonna, Method Man, Raekwon, Sun God & Trife Da God ‘Paisley Darts’

DUSTY RHODES

Bionic elbowing, elder statesman of pro-wrestling, and thief of Hacksaw Jim Duggan’s battle cry, not even polka dots on a leotard could kill Dusty’s career.

Time to drop these bows, like Dusty Rhodes/Then I yell hooo

Outkast ‘Southernplayalisticcadillacmuzik’

Cuz I was down before the hype like Dusty Rhodes and Bob Backlund/Bruno Sammartino, Stan Staziak/Now The Rock and Stone Cold are my favorite maniacs

LL Cool J feat. DMX, Method Man & Redman ‘Fuhgidabowdit’

KOKO B. WARE

Walking into the ring to Morris Day and The Time, wielding a macaw, recording ‘The Piledriver‘ on the same album that Vince McMahon sung ‘Stand Back‘ on, and rocking a mean pair of shades, you can’t hate Koko, and Joe Crack was right to namecheck him.

Beware like Koko, yo I’m not a slow boat/Got so much dough I va-cate in Acapulco

Fat Joe ‘Flow Joe’

JIMMY SNUKA

A high flying Fijian wrestler who once had a mammoth coke habit should be the subject of many more punchlines. He still re-enters the ring on occasion despite being 66 years old.

So come on light the buddha/Check your honey while I scoop her/The Superfly, Jimmy Fly Snuka rips the roof off

Redman ‘Blow Your Mind’

HULK HOGAN

The philandering ‘Thunder in Paradise’ star gets a lot of namechecks.

My president is black, rolls golden charms/Twenty-two inch rims like Hulk Hogan’s arms

Young Jeezy feat. Nas ‘My President’

ROWDY RODDY PIPER

Cast as the villiain, his furious role in the Cyndi Lauper ‘Goonies R Good Enough’ promo, and star turn in John Carpenters classic ‘They Live’ twinned with faux Scottish heritage makes Roddy the man.

I might get it, hit it, split it but yo I’ll never wife her/I’m Rowdy Roddy Piper, but when she can’t decipher

Cam’Ron feat. Byrd Lady & Skitzo ‘Cookies ‘N Apple Juice’

We Rowdy like Roddy, probably robbin your stash/Catch a body like Charlie up North, stashin knives up my ass

Big Punisher ‘Leather Face’