Everything on the CD is as good as this (incluso mejor…) Booklet includes bilingual liner notes & lyrics, which i’ll share next week. As with the other Totó la Momposina-related song that Timbaland has used (La Curura sampled/rebranded into Indian Flute), the words to this one form deep folky poetry. A disfrutar!
Raquel Rivera’s Reggaetonica has been popping as of late (more bilingual blogs please). This post references recent waves of police violence in Puero Rico, linking to excellent new response songs by Calle 13, Welmo, and Julio Voltio. (I dropped the lyrically stunning Calle 13 one in my radio show last night, approx here.)
[Residente, Calle 13. note Basquiat tattoo!]
if you harbor any doubts about David Banner’s complicated greatness, I suggest you read his Fader interview.
When people come to David Banner they want some pimpin, a little bit of violence, a little bit of God so they won’t feel bad about the pimpin and a little bit of revolution just because they know that that’s me. Past that motherfuckers don’t want shit else from David Banner. I tried to be creative, I tried to change music. Fuck that. We don’t even get the support from our own structures and the shit that we be around. So it’s like, we gotta do safe music, everybody wonder why people in the south do the type of the music they do, because ain’t nobody behind us. We don’t have that support that Eminem has, we don’t have that label support that Outkast has, and then on they last record Outkast didn’t get supported so how can we do something experimental when our label ain’t gonna push it on America? We can’t do what Eminem is doing, like if I had the support that Eminem had…shit I might mix some salsa music with some reggae music and throw some 808s in there, you never know what the fuck a nigga might do. And that’s what movies have done for me. I don’t wanna be David Banner all the fucking time. That’s depressing. With movies I could be somebody else.
a lot of heads know about this record. It’s been sampled quite a bit in underground circles, most recently by Shackleton. In our post 9-11 world, one can’t imagine a major label issuing a (great) compilation called Palestine: Music of the Intifada.
Yet in 1989 that’s exactly with Virgin Records did.
Liner notes are informative. “Not only does [the compilation] summarise Palestinian aspirations but also it reflects the radical social changes that are being brought about by the daily struggle against occupation.”
They translate the song title & explain: “From The Camp Is Born The Vision is an example of the rapidly changing position of women in society. The name of the group, ‘Sabaya al Intifada’ or ‘Young Women of the Uprising,’ for example, reflects the breakdown of restriction of women from the public life. The singing is itself a challenge, as the traditional Mowwal (or introductory solo vocals) is, for the first time, sung by a woman.”
Changing demands of geopolitical reality echo audibly in music.
“I love New York,” says my Brazilian friend as we drive into a promising and justifiably paranoid Sao Paolo night, “but every time I’m there I feel how money is strong. I come home thinking: I need to make more money.”
Right now in New York City, you hear the ominous snare-crack and tech-steppy dystopian synth melody of 50 Cent’s I Get Money booming out of cars, shops, cranked-up portable radios. “I get money” goes the main sample of Milk Dee, “money I got…” Even its percussion-only elements reference & reinforce the main theme: the beat is sampled from Cassidy’s I’m a Hustla. A few months ago the streets here were bumping with Swizz Beatz’ Money in the Bank and Straight to the Bank from the same 50 album.
[50 Cent – I Get Money video]
It makes sense that the current wave of New York rap hits are often about money, about banks. This is capitalism music. It’s difficult to live well in this city unless you have lots of money in the bank. Billowy folds of the European social state — free health care, reasonable rents, unemployment benefits, quality espresso for 1 dollar! — are starkly absent. These songs come from the speakers and you think: that’s what I’m thinking about too, money, how to get it… The geopolitcal reality of this compressed town-nation of strivers seeps into the music, how could it not?
Brooklyn is all ethnic-enclaves (and/or class-enclaves) but in public and semi-private Manhattan the boundaries collapse: rich people may prefer that poor ones remain invisible (Mexican immigrants hidden away in their restaurants’ kitchens, the TV fantasy of a nation of uppermiddleclass, and on) but wealth, especially in an overcrowded walkerly city like Manhattan, is not only visible but it always seems to be just… almost… within reach.
The 50 song in particular is clattery, edgey. A queasy synth tone makes an atonal slide through the track every 32 bars or so. He’s bragging but the thing feels unsettled. (mo’ money mo’ problems; Connecticut tax laws can be so ornate) On some Hot97 mix shows the DJ will cut up the intro — a minute or two of “I get money money I got” and spare aggressive beat – extended, doubled up, and reconfigured under the DJ’s fader. Its sound and meaning amplified by one of the East Coast’s most power radio transmitters.
50’s popularity isn’t just an East Coast thing, or a US thing either. I’ve seen kids rocking his shirts and sidewalk businessmen hawking his albums in a dozen countries, at least…
Google ‘I get money’ and you find Fiddy. Incidentally, at the Harvard Free Culture Conference I spoke at a few months ago, they offered free bottles of Glacéau, 50 Cent’s bottled water business which he raps about in the first verse of I Get Money and sold to Coca-Cola for 4.1 billion dollars, netting roughly 100 million from his 10% share. A billion dollars for what!? How!? Curtis elucidates-
I take quarter water sold it in bottles for 2 bucks / Coca-Cola came and bought it for billions, what the f**k?
Real talk. C.R.E.A.M. talk. New York wallet-eaters stand up.