Benga & Kano “Forefather”
Benga’s new album Chapter II will be out May 6th. He drops his new track “Forefather” early, just in time for Record Store Day on April 21st. First off, let me just say that Kano kills it on this track. He compares himself to many of the greats saying things like, “You can hate me now, like I was Nas and ‘em. You can hate me now, like I was Puff and ‘em”. My personal favorite is, “Kanye West can’t dress like me.” Burn, Kanye. The video shows the progression of a rap artist. We start in a room with just Benga and Kano. Kano gets on the mic. Benga has little more than his turntables. Jump five years and they’re in the club dropping it hard for the club. Another five years and they’re up on stage to a sellout crowd. So many rappers seem to forget where they came from once they get what they want. In this video, Benga and Kano at least remember they started with nothing more than a mic and some turntables.
Wavves “Demon to Lean On”
As Wavves plays SXSW this week, they have a new album Afraid of Heights due for release on March 26th. Their new song “Demon to Lean On” is out, and we have their new video for it. A staple of the bad day is getting your car towed. This poor gentleman leaves his car for literally a few seconds when his car is towed. But this guy isn’t the one who will be having the worst day. That privilege belongs to his son who is sleeping in the back. When he wakes up he finds himself at the garbage pound. He gets out of the car and calls for help only to find out that he is in some sort of Thunderdome type world where children run rampant. He is captured and taken to the leader, a teenager. Here he is initiated into the tribe by having grease smeared on his face. He eats some beans, and then watches as two of the boys fight for the entertainment of the others. He takes off trying to escape while the others are preoccupied, but a chase ensues. I don’t know if we’ll ever learn of what happens to him or not. Don’t leave your kids in the car in a tow away zone.
Foals “Late Night”
Straight from Foals’ new album Holy Fire, we get the video for “Late Night”. The video was shot in Romania and depicts a night of regretful behavior. While the band plays downstairs to a rather morose crowd that smokes cigarettes and drinks, shadier behavior is taking place up above. One room has a couple getting ready to have sex. Then room next door features a woman who is taken care of another that is about to give birth. Bring it back to the band getting heckled by a drunk. Back upstairs we get the juxtaposition of a woman moaning in the thralls of pleasure while next door another moans from pain and agony. Alone in his bathroom, another man silently prepares to kill himself. The drunk is tossed from the club only to go upstairs and find his friend dead. He begins to cry as you hear the cries of the newborn in the other room. From noise, to silence, back to noise. One thing passing to another. Life, death, and all the frustration and chaos that comes with it are depicted in this video.
Murs “What Up Tho”
Murs and producer 9th Wonder are working on their collaborative album The Final Adventure. The lead video from the album is “What Up Tho.” I have to give it up to Murs. Getting paint thrown at you is not an entirely original idea. Murs does it while rapping. Yeah, there are a few shots that make him crack up, but he recovers nicely. I also like the type of cafeteria kitchen employee he is. He has terrible serving skills, even throwing a cream pie in some poor kid’s face. Instigating a food fight is frowned upon. I remember that from highschool. Yet, Murs does an excellent job of having fun in this video which is something most rap videos try to do. The others tend to try and make dancing girls, alcohol, drugs, fancy cars, and parties seem like all the shit in the world. There’s life without that, and this video shows how regular people get silly. Thanks Murs.
Iggy Azalea “Work”
Iggy Azalea is like Australia’s version of M.I.A. Or at least that’s how she comes off. She’s a white girl in a genre heavily dominated by black men. She deserves some credit as she is on tour with Nas and 2 Chainz. Her first album will be called “The New Classic”. The first single is “Work”. The video features a lot of things on fire, and a very pale Iggy. We see Iggy walking on a road in a desert. Her outfit is suspect, but it’s clearly her style. I do have to say, those shoes are banging. Still, I don’t picture her walking like this much since I don’t think her skin has felt the sun, well, ever. And there I go being like a hater and just assuming as Iggy says, “People got a lot to say, but don’t know shit about where I was made”. Look, you get your exotic outfits. You get your dancing women with big booties. You get your tricked out bicycle. You get your stripper. You get your stealing of a car. These are the ways that sometimes you have to work just to get by. There is a sense of real effort to it. And rap is all about hustling to get your grind. I think Iggy’s going to be just fine.