Sunday, November 2

Knowing without understanding

I'll admit it, I can't understand everything I see in Japan. I am always improving, but it is taking longer than it should. Oh well. Luckily, a lot of the time, complete understanding is not really necessary. Case in point.

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I always loved this sign in my girl's hometown. We always end up visiting the local supermarket where I encounter these 16 people encouraging me to "Take my time shopping" (but way more polite). Even if you can't read it (rest assured...this sign I can read) you can understand the meaning. On our last visit to her hometown, I spotted another sign I enjoyed, and it takes no reading to understand.

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Homeboy looks like he is having way too good a time popping pills! But even without the English writing, the slowest person would peg this as a drug store.

Moving on...

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This is the cover to the Keep Watch Vol. 2: Teki Latex put out by Mishka NYC brand. The mix is really good, although a bit of a slow starter. You can read an intro and download it HERE.

The mix by Teki Latex – being the Frenchie that he is – reminded me of this post I have been meaning to put together for the longest time. See...I have this fascination with foreign/non-English hip hop. The following clips (none of which are new) come from different countries and artists. And they are able to pull "it" off with varying degrees of success. The French for their part, seem be able to do just about anything and look good while doing so.

We have a chubby guy (in two different pairs of colorful Nike's) who infects everything he touches with rainbows. He ain't trying to be nothing he isn't. And he pulls it off with aplomb. I love the electro-vibe of the song.

This is Afasi & Filthy and all I know about them is that they are from Sweden. I do like the beat and can enjoy it, even though I don't understand one word. But, I feel like they are trying just a bit too hard, fronting in some way. It is a small thing, but I'm pretty sure these two homies check the mirror on the way out the door for a bit longer than Teki Latex.

Sexfemman seems to be another Scandinavian rapper, couldn't really find that much info on him. (Didn't look all that hard.) I like this song better than the last one. But again, there seems to be a false vibe of trying to be "down with the streets" here as well. Being down is not necessary to make good hip hop. The sparse beat – featuring a well used tambourine of all instruments – is slick enough to stand alone. (But maybe I am reading all the wrong stuff into the track. How would I know??) [both clips via - Discobelle]

One of my favorite tracks that I have stumbled across knowing absolutely nothing about the artist. This is Peter Fox (according to the meta-data and the fact that he says his name multiple times) and I like the way his German just cuts through the dense track. I love the building of momentum with the cellos in the verses that burst in varying ways into the chorus. The video ain't too shabby either. There is no pretense here...just an artist making a good song. [via Kanye West]

That is about all. No big statement about non-English hip hop. Its just something that has been floating around in my head for ages. For me, if you don't try to emulate something, and just put out good music I will give it a listen.

CAUTION: Since I really know nothing about any of these artists, I really don't guarantee my judgement over their entire bodies of work. I only know these track which could be their best or worst would I know??

Until next time.


iriei said...

ok so far afasi and filthy are quite entertaining... to watch... with the speakers off... he must have a hickey issue as he is wearing that lovely palestinian head scarf around his neck... it must have been fun dancing in front of that screen... Im not hatin', just playin', its better than my video, cause i aint got one...

iriei said...

Seriously, have you tried jump roping lately... let alone double dutch... how about making a paper airplane fly straight... he must have been using paper clips to balance the wings... tight beat, no doubt... simple and thats the appeal...oh, by the way, HOLY SH!T, OBAMA WON!!!!!!!!

JOhn said...

The scarf dates the video a bit, I agree. As for the paper airplanes...I think it was all about using the best take. Who knows how long they sat around throwing paper airplanes?!?

Obama won!