Breakin Ankles

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Hip Hop Show and 5 Dollar CD's

Let me preface everything by saying that any CD sold for $5 is bound to suck. I'm not talking about buying used CD's for 5 dollars, I'm talkin about buying CD's sold independently by the artists themselves. For example, in college, this guy on my hall made everyone buy his bands cd for 5 bucks. The band played punk rock, and he was supposed to be a talented bassist, so I figured I might as well check it out. It was probably one of the worst CD"s ever, and needless to say, the band didn't go anywhere. Another example: I recently bought a 5 dollar CD of a boy/girl duo that sings and plays here in Madison. I've seen them play live a few times and they're amazing. I'd buy a live CD of their performances in a hearbeat, so when they started selling CDs of their stuff, I thought it was a can't miss. So I shell out 5 bones for a CD with 5 songs, and only one of them is any good. What the fuck!? I know they have good songs, so why did they put their 'experimental' shit on here!! These are but 2 examples of how a CD sold for 5 bucks is bound to suck balls.

This last friday I was walking around town and stumbled upon a hip hop concert at library mall. Usually, most people observe concerts at library mall for a few mins before they move on, but oh no, this was no ordinary concert my friends! I was there for well over an hour and enjoyed every minute of it. The concert was officially called "Hip Hop for Peace" and featured a ton of local hip hop artists. The first act I saw was a girl and a guy rapping with a little big of country harmonica thrown in. The beat was dope and original, and overall, I was really impressed. Next up was a solo rapper who straight tore it up! The lyrics were clever and witty as hell, the crowd was going banannas, and to my right was a 7 year old kid who was perpetually doing backflips, much to the delight of a 4 year old kid watching on. Again, the beat was original and bangin -- which is hard to find nowadays with a lot of mainstream artists (I'm callin you out Snoop!)

A man soon approached me selling CD's. "Does the CD have all the songs being performed here today?", I asked. "Oh no doubt my man! And it's only 5 dollars!" Based on the first song alone I would have bought the CD, so this was a no brainer. I put the CD in my pocket, pumped as hell to listen to it, and watched the rest of the show.

Next up was some dude who looked like a wannabe Eminem. I thought he'd be good for a laugh, but like the others, he had mad talent. After him came a group of beer bellied white guys who looked like they were born and bred in hicksville Wisconsin. The MC said "Don't let their look fool you, my boys got skillz!" -- and sure enough, they did.

Next up, AND I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP!!, was an artist known as the "Blind Thug". As the name implies, he's a rapper who can't see. He gets up on stage and tells the crowd "Yo fellas, this here is a song to sing to your girl when she's mad at you". I shout out to the stage "I feel you Blind Thug, sing it!"-- well not really. Well it turns out that the Blind Thug has a silky smooth voice, and he was just as impressive as the others. At one point he started turning sideways towards a tree and wasn't really facing the crowd so much, so someone on stage went behind him and sort of maneuvered him back so that he was looking at the audience. At least 4 or 5 other artists performed that day at Library Mall and ALL of them were unbelievable. The crowd that stopped to watch kept growing as time went on, and again, I was there for well over an hour.

Anywhoo, the concert ends and I go back to my apartment to listen to my newly purchased CD. Turns out it sucks balls. None of the songs that I heard at the concert were on the CD. More than that, most of the songs on the CD are horrible! Turns out that my 5 dollar CD theory is still in full effect.

Oh well, at least I saw a really cool show with some original beats and some original rappers, so I can't really complain So much rap nowadays is formulaic and it was really cool to hear something fresh for a change. Why the raido is filled with a bunch of similar sounding, and often crappy, rap songs is beyond me - especially when there is plenty of good original shit being made. Sometimes right in your backyard ;-)


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