As the story goes, thirty kids at a high school in San Diego made a twerk video. Presumably because they love the fine arts, specifically dance. The video goes up on YouTube, school officials find it and suspend all involved (28 ladies and 3 dudes—great odds by the way) preventing them walking in graduation and participating in prom. The game is fucked up. Let me repeat myself for clarity, the game is fucked up. We’re living in some straight up Footloose, “dancing is evil” throwback times, where a bunch of old heads come down on motherfuckers for trying to #expressThemselves. Old principal, out here mad as hell no one taught him how to bust a Douglas. Very upset he can’t get Mrs. Principal to bust it all the way open. Beware, dear reader, of jealousy. It is the green-eyed monster, which persecutes.
These stiff backed, ultra beige cats are around every corner waiting to dull your shine. If the world was just, we’d be applauding the three dudes in the video for their very strong Birdman like poses and high levels of composure, in close proximity to “that thang” as Lauryn Hill might say. If we respected the arts we’d be saluting the ladies for the part they’re playing in the emergence of a new American artform.
Shoutout to the animated GIF. The lowest budget image format on the internet, when a still image doesn’t say enough but a video says too much. These joints still exist solely because the world has an unquenchable thirst for short loops of cats doing “cute” shit, people getting hurt, slow motion asses jiggling, Birdman rubbing his hands together, and out of context clips from movies. Respect the game. If dudes that made Tumblr ever win a Grammy, they ‘re gonna thank God, their moms, and animated GIFs in that order. If I ever win a Grammy, I’m dropping this GIF and walking out.
This two minute documentary traces the history of the animated GIF from conception, to the dark days of the early 00′s, to it’s recent resurgence as artform/bandwith devourer. Luckily the documentary is very short, because if you use a lot of GIFs you probably don’t have the attention span for anything much longer than 2 minutes.
Come down to the LA or NYC Мишка stores on Thanksgiving night at 11PM for the beginning of our Black Friday sale. There’ll be up to 50% off of everything Мишка. Holiday ’12, Fall ’12, Cruise 2034*. Everything. As an added bonus, we’ll also have these exclusive Black Friday shirts for the first 100 customers at the NYC and LA stores. Remember to get to the store early, the 50% off sale will be from 11PM to 12AM, the 40% off sale is 12AM to 1AM, 30% off goes from 1AM to 2AM. After that it’s 25% off for the rest of the weekend. Shirts will be available until they run out, so don’t be surprised if you roll through at 1AM and don’t get one. Early bird, worm, fresh shirt.
We’ve got ridiculous sales, free shirts, what else could you want? What’s that, you need help with a paper you’re supposed to write over the Thanksgiving break. Oh, you need to decide how many deductions you can claim on your taxes without drawing the ire of the IRS? We’ve got you on all that, as long as your paper is about the history of cyclopses in art and you’re fine with paying taxes with a crude drawing of a middle finger. We’re here to help.
For those that don’t live in NYC or LA, remember thatselected items will be up to 50% off online, and using code MOPSTER will get you an extra 15% off!
Our home city of New York, along with much of the Northeast Coast is still struggling with the effects of last week’s hurricane. With power still out for thousands, supplies dwindling and temperatures dropping, people need help now more than ever. Along with everyone else, we want to make sure we do our part, and so we’re selling this new Sandy Relief Keep Watch tee, with 100% of the proceeds going to Sandy relief.
Appearing for the first time in Black & White, this Keep Watch design – featuring the words “Relieve, Support, Rebuild” down the back – is not only very exclusive, but entirely for a good cause. Once again ALL of the proceeds will be going to The Mayors Fund, the charity we think will do the best job providing immediate relief. You can donate separately to that fund here. Currently there are 65 of these shirts, but the faster they sell out the faster we can print another order and get more money to relief efforts.
Outlandishly resilient as we all are, our fellow New Yorkers still need a helping hand sometimes. The past week has, of course, unfortunately been one of those times, as Winter begins to settle in and the fallout from Superstorm Sandy continues to take its toll. Along with innumerable others, we here at Mishka wanted to make sure we were doing something to help the hardest hit areas. Which is why we partnered up with the absolutely amazing team from the 666Burger Truck and Warby Parker to bring electricity, food, and warm clothing to the Rockaways this weekend.
I can’t say enough what an awesome job the 666Burger crew is doing. They brought photographer Wayne Price with them this weekend, and the images he captured were nothing less than shocking. I know we’ve all heard a lot about what’s going on in the outer areas of outer boroughs, but to see the devastation like this really boggles the mind. With another Nor’easter somehow approaching the city, getting people clothing and hot food is more important than ever. So the 666Burger Truck is trucking out to Staten Island tomorrow, where some of the most intense damage was done. If you’re in that area please follow their twitter for updates on location, and go avail yourself of their services.
Like many of you, we want to do as much as possible to help our beloved city and its denizens through the difficult recovery from the devastation of Superstorm Sandy. For Mishka customers we’ve offered you a 30% discount using the code “sandy”, but much more important now are the thousands of NYC residents still without power, food, and basic amenities. With this in mind, we’re teaming up with our friends from 666Burger and Warby Parker to distribute free food, charging stations, and warm clothing in the hardest hit areas this weekend.
Tomorrow we’re starting at the Rockaways, and you can follow the path of the 666Burger truck (which will serve as the mobile ops center) from their twitter. If you want to donate goods or services to this particular effort please email this address. If you are in need in any of the affected areas please track down the truck for a free hot meal, an opportunity to use electricity, and some warm clothing provided by Mishka and other participants. We <3 you NYC!
for the beginning, a review of boyparty reviews installment two: normally i am not so into that mushy gushy stuff but this was very good and transcendent. i like how he is not afraid of his own heart or anyone else’s.
now for the business of now: now that it is october and fall and the seasons have changed, it is a time to be a little bit nostalgic about summertime, when there is less school and more heat and all of the pretty girls are walking around in sunglasses. so the theme for right now is:
summertime and girls and america
color coordinated summer streetwear: not for me. today’s weather:i don’t know, i’m staying inside. they’re showing batman and robin on FX. a weekend i had in the middle of july:squashed by the tremendously poor attitude of hyper athletic roommate’s visiting long distance girlfriend. our nation’s pastime baseball: very good choice by us. easy to learn difficult to master. better than cricket.
kickball: underappreciated pastime. recommended. easy to learn difficult to master. tom sawyer shorts: 98% effective. the butts on broadway the week of june 15: a wide range. horrifying to excellent. boobs on the verge:fwoop
denim cutoffs and XXXL deep v-necks: this summer’s official uniform of freedom. mike’s hard cranberry lemonade: excellent summer look. corduroy camo pants: excessive, overbearing. bellies that show just a little bit under sundresses: ummm yes of course obviously yes to those
a hangover i had in early august: horrible. a giant flaming boulder my eyes were chained to. made better when i left my bedroom and remembered that my good friend had thrown up and fallen asleep on the kitchen floor! we got fresh squeezed juices and bacon and saved the day! very thin gold chains on hairy chests: scary. bad. symbol of internal pain. driving a cadillac: smooth. the cadillac of driving.
last night’s vry laym croo: intolerable, night ruining. haunting me still. the guy a couple months ago who I thought was Dutch then turned out to be Argentinian: a drunk and sweaty mystery. the evil man with the ponytail and expressive eyebrows who hangs out at the same place as i do and gave me a threatening look the other month: terrifying, actually dangerous. the stuff of nightmares.
crewneck sweatshirts: fashion forward. leaves something up to the imagination. pair well with cut-offs. the bald, red-headed foreigner with mole on forehead who walked by a bench i was on: oblivious and beautiful. a good person i think. slightly chipped teeth in the mouths of girls:charming. for staring at in the best way. girls with good scars not on their faces: a+
muscular calves: impressive. sign of regular athletic activity or good genes. big pretty lips: objectively the best physical feature available on female humans. the social network badoo: very evil digital portal to internet hell. users possessed, avoid. the short and mean police officer who followed me a couple blocks then frisked me then gave me a disorderly conduct ticket because i was being too happy for the neighborhood: very dumb guy who makes me sad. a scary person to have a gun. not the finest.
my idea for a coffee table book that’s all just pictures of the fingers of different girls and descriptions of how the rest of them is really beautiful: worthless. very uncool. rethink. how about it’s just boobs? my idea for a coffee table book that’s just me on every ferris wheel in the country: excellent idea. mass appeal. only flaw is maybe i never return to this place. my idea for a coffee table book that’s about me searching the country for the best whole wheat everything bagel: excellent. loving the high concept, loving the specificity. pursue immediately.
my ten favorite american celebrities in no particular order: one. Val Kilmer two. Kurt Russel three. Patrick Swayze four. Metal Mike five. Shane McConkey six. Theodore Roosevelt seven. Gwen Stefani eight. Wyatt Earp nine. Doc Holliday ten. John Steinbeck eleven. The Carradine Brothers
Now, with this whole controversy emerging surrounding whether or not Nas has used ghostwriters I didn’t think I’d be weighing in. This isn’t an issue that even registers a bleep on my radar. But, I wound up clicking through some links out of sheer boredom, and wound up at this article over at Rappers I Know. So, given that Nas has been a huge influence on me as an artist, I figured I’d at least give it a read and find out what all the fuss is about. It didn’t take long to realize that the fuss has very little to do with Nas, and a whole lot to do with people’s hip hop ideals wherein Nas figures as a central figure.
The Andy Warhol comparison is by no means arbitrary. Andy Warhol and Nas are actually pretty similar if you think about it. Neither are really respected for their art so much as the impact their art had on their respective art communities. It’s less about Warhol’s silkscreens, and much moreso about what those prints did to the art world that surrounded them. The same can be said for Nas, his championed reputation has more to do with how he changed rap, than his actual raps. Nas made two good albums: It Was Written and Illmatic. And that’s generous. I don’t like Illmatic at all. To me it’s a really boring album, but I recognize that when it was released it was largely unprecedented. To me, It Was Written is a great record.
But, I have always been quite obviously outside of the realms of the accepted when it comes to hip hop. Well, until recently, but that’s somewhat tangential (for right now, although it’ll probably be relevant at the end of this post). For a dude like me, there was never a reason to spend much time with Nas after my 2-3 year hip hop initiation. Of course, I’d revisit It Was Written endlessly, but we all know that after It Was Written Nas didn’t put out another solid album. But, that has not had ANY affect on Nas’ reputation. In fact that has even made his reputation more fascinating. The fact is, Nas is a dude who will decrease the overall potency of his artwork every single time he releases a song because the value of his art is connected to a very specific time and place which does not exist in the present. And for people who did exist in that time and place, Nas is an analog for the importance of that time and place. Thus, people’s championing of Nas winds up being less about Nas, and more about the merits of the tenets of a paltry but integral conception of hip hop music.
People don’t talk about Nas in terms of his art. People talk about Nas as an archetype for what are now pretty dated hip hop ideals. Illmatic is essentially the Campbell’s soup can. The can itself is pretty basic, anyone could replicate the image given a modicum of training and discipline. The same can be said for Nas’ music. His skill has never been his strong point. And, the same retort that is used for much of Post-Modernism’s critiques (well yes anyone could do it, but Warhol thought to do it first! Sure, anyone can paint a Jackson Pollock painting, but Pollock did it first! etc.) is apt for Nas. Sure, lots of people could have made Illmatic, but Nas did. And when Nas did make Illmatic it changed rap forever.
I think there’s 2 kinds of people in this world: folks that were deep into hip hop before Illmatic dropped, and folks that got into hip hop after Illmatic dropped. This is a pretty profound divide right here because even though it transcends age, it’s really a generational thing. If you were listening to hip hop before Illmatic came out, then Illmatic marked the beginning of an era. If you started listening to hip hop after Illmatic came out it has grown more and more difficult to appreciate the shift that it inaugurated. That is because you have absolutely no connection to the pitifully small conception of hip hop that it altered to a slightly less pitiful, but still exceedingly small conception of hip hop. That’s not throwing shade on anyone, just stating the facts. From 1990-2010 hip hop was defined by adhering to a strict code of dont’s. And Nas was, and is, the poster child for adhering to that code.
That strict code of dont’s can largely be traced to Illmatic, and thus Nas. For a rather large group of people with very firm ideas about “real hip hop” Illmatic is the tabernacle, the sacred scroll that must be guarded and protected at all costs. People champion Nas not for his music, but for his integral place in the canon. To concede that Nas isn’t that great, is likewise to admit that for at least 15 years folks had their priorities fucked up in hip hop. To take Nas’ ghostwriting in stride is to admit that for 15 years the basis by which we measured the merit of works of art was a lie.
To me, an It Was Written fan, it’s fine if Nas is a ghostwriter. I never saw the dude as much anyways. He was never a rapper who I respected for his lyrics. I don’t think I ever heard him rap in double time. I’ve never heard him flip a tricky cadence, and come to think of it, has Nas ever blacked out on a track? I never listened to a Nas song and said, “Damn, I can’t believe he thought to say that.” He was just one of the first to really put the package together. He was really fuckin cool, and good enough at rapping that the rest didn’t matter. Nas’ reputation doesn’t suffer from having ghostwriters, because the words in his raps are not where the bulk of his merit lies. Who do you think was pulling the ink on Warhols prints? Not Warhol. But it didn’t matter, because Warhol’s work was not bound to a canvas. I know it’s really hard to think of Nas as some kind of Situationist rapper, or a dada emcee, but that’s what he is. If you look to the object—in this case the raps—you miss the majority of the merit. But, if you weren’t invested in the art world that Warhol or Duchamp shook up, it’s very difficult to appreciate the weight of their actions. The same goes for Nas, if you were never talkin about “real hip hop” there’s probably very little here to be concerned with.
Hey, people with a lingering sense hope for the future, I have someone I’d like to introduce you to. Her name is Mindy Meyer, she’s from Flatbush, and she’s running for New York State Senate to the tune of “I’m Sexy And I Know It.” No really, that goddamn bassline is playing ad-infinitum on her homepage right now, go look, I dare you. She also claims to be the first young woman in state history to run for the office, which, I’m sure is going to go over just fine with the eleven women who are, I don’t know, currently New York Senators. And that’s not all, oh no.
In addition to sounding like the sound of your optimism being stabbed to death in an alley, her website looks like it was designed by someone whose last job was either creating Myspace graphics or Angelfire layouts. Shockingly, her “on the issues” page is legible, but that means she’s either a gimmick or rich enough to hire an actual PR guy, so whatever. What’s actually brain melting about this whole deal is that there are people who have gone on record endorsing her and… wait, where’d that flask come from? ”Doomed” isn’t a place, and you can stop saying it already, I heard you the first time. You know what, fuck it, give me a swig. If Michelle Bachmann can win national office, anything can happen.
We all know how the saying goes, “beef is when your moms ain’t safe up in the streets,” though I sincerely doubt Deadmau5 is gonna get to clappin’ (and have your body parts mix-n-matchin’) any time soon. But that didn’t stop the foam-domed producer from spending his Rolling Stone cover time taking shots at pretty much anyone who he saw as violating the artistic integrity of EDM:
“David Guetta has two iPods and a mixer and he just plays tracks – like, ‘Here’s one with Akon, check it out!’,” he said. “Even Skrillex isn’t doing anything too technical. He has a laptop and a MIDI recorder, and he’s just playing his shit … People are, thank God, smartening up about who does what – but there’s still button-pushers getting paid half a million. And not to say I’m not a button-pusher. I’m just pushing a lot more buttons.”
And it didn’t stop there, because when this video surfaced of a desperately-trying-to-stay-relevant Paris Hilton (not) DJing, the Grammy-nominated rodent went off on his blog, typing out an even lengthier rant about the state of EDM and his desire to “put on my life jacket and swim as far away from this shipwreck as fast as i can.”
Only problem is, the mouse is pretty mainstream his own self, and Dave Clark had to put his “way too overstretched opinion on everyone and everything” on blast, in part leading to this post, where DM5 detailed the (lack of) involvement in his own live show. But the most scathing criticism came from A Guy Called Gerald who is just as protective of the genre he loves:
I know who you are. You are some record company or failed journalist asshole left over from the last century who is jealous of the way electronic music is working in this brave fast new century. The only button you and people like you are interested in pushing is a nuke for the Palestinians. You come into our system that we have nurtured for the last 25 years, trick hardworking people into giving you their money, con honest promoters, take large sums of money out of the system and then spit back into our faces that YOU are tricking everyone.
I agree there are loads of people like you who do fake it. It is easy with the software you are using. Don’t worry we are going to find ways of stopping you. You greedy rat head fuck.
Ruh roh, Raggy. Deadmau5 has since replied (without actually replying), but expect this war of words to continue to make its internet rounds for the rest of the week at least. Is anyone in the right here? Personally, I’m on team Paris… wait what?