These last few days have been pretty hectic for me so all I’ve been doing is looking for music to chill out to. With work, revision, essays and other areas of stress the only good way to manage it all is to put on something fun, or something that makes you feel good, or even something else thats just relaxing.
Luckily for me Jay Dilla came to the rescue in all three of these areas. A very talented individual, completely absorbed in creating music, he was one of the greatest hip hop producers of our time. Acclaimed throughout the hip hop world he will be sorely missed for a long time yet. I guess we’re lucky that he did have enough time to make enough music to ensure the progression he was developing in hip hop would last. I just hope there are those out there who can keep it up.
First off, something fun. Slum village were a group from Detroit and Dilla was one of the founding members. This song is produced by Dilla, and on which he also raps. I love Baatin’s line “He’s too damn masculine, he needs to relax and take some lessons on giving you a climax”:
Next up is an instrumental from Dilla which you can’t help but enjoy. Its been really tough choosing one because he’s done so many different ones so I chose the one that first got me hooked:
Finally, to complete the Dilla marathon, here is something which can go on in the background whilst you’re doing whatever it is that you do. Alternatively, stop what you’re doing, lay back and let your mind wander along whatever path this music takes you. For me, I end up stretched out on a warm sunny beach in the early evening, idly tossing a basketball:
On the topic of work, I sometimes head out in my car at night to take a bit of a breather and I listen to this. Its really rather dark but I find I can just have this on in the background whilst my mind wanders. It also shows that house music can be rather good without the lyrics becoming too absurd:
Before I call it a day, I’d like to draw your attention to a song that crossed my radar on Tuesday evening. M.I.A. is an artist who’s music I don’t particularly like and one I wouldn’t listen to given the option, yet her latest video is brilliant. Why? Because it brings home in a very clear way just how state brutality towards ethnic groups operates in the modern world and the sense of hopelessness in the general population. I’ve been studying ethnicity and its relationship to conflict and this video contains many of the techniques used across Africa, the Balklands, India and elsewhere against an unwanted minority. It really is incredibly well grounded in the reality and none of the dramatisations have been exaggerated in comparison to what actually happens (even the ending is plausible).
The most amazing thing about this video? They’ve simply changed the setting to America and the victims are people with red hair. The video is graphic, but no worse than any horror movie you’ve seen. It got pulled from youtube on tuesday [read this after you’ve watched the video] because it upsets people as (I presume) viewers could imagine this happening to someone they knew. I think youtube missed the point with this video: