Posts Tagged ‘heroes’

Unsung Heroes of The Hop.

August 3, 2010

For this instalment were going back to 1989. A year when one Texan sporting a LA Kings Cap moulded a west coast sound that would emanate through the nineties. Let me cut right to the chase here – nobody was spitting like this in ’89. The only people who even came close were sitting on another coast – with another sound.

D.O.C

Without The D.O.C, there is no N.W.A. The Texas native became one of the most prolific ghostwriters in hip hop, helping write classic tracks on Straight Outta Compton & The Chronic. The D.O.C. got his chance with No One Can Do It Better. With Dr. Dre behind the boards, The D.O.C. shined with a lyrical prowess unlike any member of N.W.A. (even Cube). D.O.C. broke all the conventions and rules for rhyming at the time. He interweaved his rhymes in and out of bars, ran off beat at will and never once insulted the listener with a sackful of verbiage. Tracy Curry looked destined for greatness before an unfortunate car accident damaged his vocal chords.

Back when Cube – was rollin wit Lorenzo in a Benzo
I was bangin wit a gang of instrumentals,
got the pens and pencils, got down to business;
but sometimes the business end of this shit can turn your friends against you
but you was a real nigga, I could sense it in you
I still remember the window of the car that you went through
that’s fucked up – But I’ll never forget the shit we been through
and I’ma do whatever it takes to convince you, cuz you my nigga D.O.C

No One

The D.O.C. continued to assist behind the scenes; working closely with Snoop and Dre’s on future releases. He was even introduced to a whole new generation (who may have never heard of him previous) through placements on Grand Theft Auto & EA Sports soundtracks in the mid noughties. Revisiting tracks like ‘It’s Funky Enough” “Mind Blowin” or “Whirlwind Pyramid,” it’s easy to see why The D.O.C. looked destined to be in everyone’s top 10 of all-time. No One Can Do It Better may not be as well known as The Chronic or Straight Outta Compton but it’s on the same level, if not higher.

Unsung Hero of the Hop.

The D.O.C

Dré

The Show Stealers

October 15, 2009

tosser

People love them stars, yes sir they most certainly do. Look at how they carry themselves some mutter. Don’t they look perfect together? How is she so thin? Why is he so brooding? Why am I talking to the LCD?

The fold is always happy to provide the answers:

Physics.
No.
Surgery.
Tosser.
The crystal!

If we were to distance ourselves from the glossed silicone for two minutes, we would see that every acclaimed emmy-coveted docu-dramedy has a support performance of such brilliance and restrained subtlety – you barely notice they damn near made the show.

Heres six of the best.

Hiro Nakamura (Heroes, played by Masi Oka)

hiro

It’s disappointing to see how far our heroes have fallen from season to season. You can fly for Christ sake – go take a trip, look at the Northern Lights. Let’s see if that doesn’t broaden the horizons you sulking little cretins. While many have faltered over the years, one has remained true to his mission statement and true to the fans – Hiro Nakamura. Yes Hiro, the subtitled bit, where the texts jumps around like a giddy school girl and the fans scream Waffle! Hiro is the only realistic portrayal of an otherwise unfathomable high-concept. Put simply, if you had powers you would enjoy them. And Hiro certainly does that. It has now got to the stage where I simply gloss over the screen until that cheery chubby cherub turns up to save the day.

Ari Gold (Entourage, played by Jeremy Piven)

ari

Like it, Loath it. It is probably because of one man – Jeremy Piven’s alter-ego onanist Ari Gold. Piven brings such a high level of intensity to the character that its got many people wondering how does the man do it. I heard through the grapevine he isn’t actually acting. Fair dues though.

Tobias Funke (Arrested Development, played by David Cross)

tobias

While the cast of Arrested Development nailed their roles to absolute perfection, it was David Cross’ Tobias Funke that stood out amongst the rest. Cross plays ambivalence down to a science, and in a strong emsemble, somehow managed to steal the show with each one of his pathetic attempts. Arrested Development went under the radar over here and if you haven’t heard of the program I strongly recommend having a ganders. We could all do with a bit more Funke in our lives (sorry, no more puns – im better than this!).

Jack Donaghy (30 Rock, played by Alec Baldwin)

jack do

Ladies, Mr Jack Donaghy. NBC’s head of television programming and microwave ovens and a voice that would make a wolverine purr. Since I keep throwing out statements as facts, I shall continue to keep balance. He is the greatest suit to ever appear on television, with humour so dry he could pass for cider. Alec may be known stateside for his numerous SNL appearances. Over here we know him for straight to dvd flicks. But I think it’s time Baldwin Sr. got a few more roles thrown his way – we can forgive him for Sisters Keeper.

Benjamin Linus (Lost, played by Michael Emerson)

linus

It’s a piece of piss to play the lead on a primetime show. You got a chin? You got the part stubbles! To play the creep though; you need a solid thespian. Linus has mastered the art of being the unnerving, unknowing specimen that has become the hallmark of the franchise. Oh he’s so evil, so bloody weird looking! The fans passionate disdain for this character speaks volumes of just how good a job Michael Emerson is doing. For this reason, I think he might just be my favourite character on the most frustrating, unrewarding programme to have ever been conceived by man.

Omar Little (The Wire, played by Michael K. Williams)

Omar

There are too many strong performances in The Wire to mention in this one post, but you knew if you had to pick one, only one, it would be Omar Little. The homosexual-gangster-whistling-robin-hood-assassin takes the biscuit for strange hyphenated partners. I’m pretty certain David Simon simply threw contradictory stereotypes into a bucket, tossed them against a wall and brought to life one of the most compelling characters in television history. This takes nothing away from Mr K. Williams performance. Brando put cotton wool in his mouth and talked like a chimp for an Oscar. Omar has not only redefined ethnic categorisation in contemporary culture (listen to Kane and Ghet’s for proof of the pud), he’s done it with a kick in his step and a whistle in his…

Anyways. Keep ya leads, we got these.

Dré

Unsung Heroes of The Hop.

September 11, 2009

Now, Hip-Hop has it’s legends. Held aloft on the mountains of commercial success, or the arse end of the Eighties. But what about the others?

Sure, we know of Dre, the Wu, the 18th Letter, L. Krishna, the niggles with anger, Dre 3k and the Boi. Marshall, Cliff and Reggie etc etc.

Its about time a few others got a mention, a few that possibly slipped under the radar of our die-hard reader(s).

I present to you, the first Unsung Hero of the Hop. Dj Sub-Roc.

The Roc

Perhaps best known as the launching pad for one M.F. Doom, Kausing Much Damage personified the early boom-bap sound that underpinned hip-hop throughout the nineties. While later Doom efforts showcased his ear for the obscure sample, under the moniker Zev-Love X – his K.M.D sound kept the ingredients rather simple.

Mr Hood

Base heavy, Check. Dusty break loop, Check. One bad-ass New-York Eazy-E sounding sibling, Check. While there is no doubt that Zev helped define the style of the group, it was his younger brother Sub-Roc who truly flourished over K.M.D’s distinct drowned percussion.

Just before the completion of the controversial second album Black Bastards, Sub-Roc was struck by a car and killed. A true loss to any fan of expression and more poignently, real hip-hop.

What Sub-Roc embodied more than anything, was a trait solely lacking in hip-hop in recent times. Fun.

Without getting too nostalgic and preachy. Hip-hop truly has lost that spirit that brought it out of the grid systems of New York, the sound systems of Herc and Co, and into the living room of the middle class gin-drinking yuppie.

T Shirt i am hip hop

It didn’t have to threaten to entertain, sure it could and would at times, but it had a point to prove to its fellow genres (no, not you emo! before then). It certainly proved its point, perhaps too much I would argue – given the parody it exudes at times. Perhaps the cover of Black Bastards was not controversial, rather, prophetic of things to come.

Black Bar Stewards

Do you remember when emcees had fun over a track?

If not, then I urge you to turn the volume up, anything less than a Spinal Tap eleven is truly sacrilege.

Ladies and Gents, our first Hero of the Hop.

DJ Sub-Roc (1973-1993)

Dré