Ringin’ in my ears

Photo by http://www.flickr.com/photos/netzkobold/
Photo by http://www.flickr.com/photos/netzkobold/

My ears are still ringing from seeing Santigold (formerly Santogold) and Amanda Blank at the Warfield last night. It was an amazing show that I’m still trying process, here are some highlights:

-There was a fight right next to us, this group of tall arrogant pricks tried to push their way to the front of the stage and this amazing group of badass Latina lesbians beat the shit out of them. It was a sight to truly behold, as many times as I’ve seen assholes rudely push their way to the front of a concert I’ve never seen them put in check like this-it was quite fulfilling. Shouts to that posse of homegirls that threw down.

-To the left of Mariela and I was the posse mentioned above, to our right was a couple in their 50’s. It felt reassuring that we weren’t the oldest ones there and that this couple could dress up and get wild at a concert like this.

-Amanda Blank was the bomb diggity. I’ve been following her since I heard Bump on the first Spank Rock album back in the day. Her show was all new material so I was totally unfamiliar with everything she performed; it was a mix of pop music with the occasional x-rated rap thrown in. She busted out with the most adorable White-girl dance moves during her performance, she moved just like Sarah Jessica Parker in Girls Just Want to Have Fun.

-Santigold singled out someone in the crowd who was waving a Wesleyan soccer jersey. Like my homegirl Lex, Santigold is a Wesleyan alumni. She talked about the recent shooting death of Wesleyan student Johanna Justin-Jinich and requested a moment of silence in recognition of her.

-Santigold’s two back-up singers/dancers were amazing. They busted out with all sorts of moves but their faces remained completely blank and stoic for the entire show, it must have been an extreme effort on their part to keep their faces from changing while they moved like that.

-Santigold closed the show by bringing out Amanda Blank and performing their mash-up of LL Cool J’s I Need Love and I’m a Lady with Amanda rapping LL’s verses. They then performed Spank Rock’s B.O.O.T.A.Y. (itself an homage to 2 Live Crew’s Too Much Booty) and eveyone danced their asses off.




To download Amanda Blank’s Might Like You Better follow the link on the image above.

To download Santigold’s Your Voice follow the link on the image above.

While on the subject of Amanda Blank, I’ve been looking for an excuse to share this video of Amanda Blank, Spank Rock, and Benny Blanco sharing their Top 10 songs to do it to. Amanda is hilarious in it and there’s a great clip of her rappin’ in the end. Enjoy!
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A Challenge to Chicano Rappers

Something that has always vexed me is the act of laying claim to Chicano identity without bearing any political responsibilities or consciousness. To me, Chicanos don’t always have to be Mexican-Americans but the line in the sand is that calling yourself Chicano is identifying with a leftist political ideology. That’s why it burns my ass to no end that there is a genre of Hip-Hop known as Chicano Rap that is all but devoid of politics.  The only references to identity in most Chicano Rap albums has to do with identifying as a Norteño or Sureño aside from vague references to “Brown Pride.” At this point in our political culture the idea of “Brown Pride” has been exhausted of its political meaning and we’ve now progressed way beyond it.

Pop in almost any mainstream Chicano Rap album and you’re more than likely to hear stories of popping caps, being king of the block, representing a clicka, slanging ‘caine, getting respect, and other acts of depoliticized patriarchal bullshit. Despite all of these Chicano rappers trying to out-badass each other there’s one person that’s got them all beat. That person is one Ms. Lily Allen.

These Chicano Rappers aint got shit on me
"These Chicano Rappers ain't got shit on me"

This weekend I was cycling through Lily Allen songs on my ipod while riding on a train to San Jose and came across Nan, You’re a Window Shopper. The song is Lily Allen’s version of 50 Cent’s Window Shopper. It’s a cheeky diss track against Allen’s own grandmother. What’s so revolutionary about it is that the song covers territory that’s essentially forbidden to Chicano Rappers. Think about it, Chicano Rap songs are filled with predictable tropes of  violence and nostalgia but even the most baddest of cholos still hold some things sacred. Lily Allen was brave enough to break one of our most basic social conventions and for that she is more dangerous than any Chicano Rapper.

Question: Despite all the hyper-masculine posturing, can you ever picture any of these supposedly hardcore Chicano Rappers cutting a track against their own dear abuelitas?

The bar has been set by Lily Allen. I dare any of you calling themselves Chicano Rappers to reach for it. Put up or shut the fuck up.



The Difficulties of Being a Latina Hipster

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I’m officially declaring my love of Holly Valentine from Hyper Crush. I’m bummed that I missed their show last night in San Francisco. This video illustrates the difficulty of being a Latina hipster. No matter how much of an ironic hipster you are, being bilingual and code-switching is still a novelty that will get you mocked. You can see the look of inner-turmoil on Holly’s face as Preston and Donny clown her, it’s burning with angst and conflict.

Seriously though, I love Hyper Crush. I can’t front either, I mess with Mariela all the time when she speaks Spanish on the phone (especially with her mom). She and Holly both can code-switch like seasoned pros; I am merely a humble pocho.

Hyper Crush are also leading the charge in reclaiming the animated gif. Someone on their team has amazing gif making skills, the second one will give you a seizure:



Best of all worlds


I should be working on some artwork right now but I came across this amazing photo of Verbal and Kid Cudi. These are two of my favorite artists working in music right now and I was both shocked and amazed to see them in the same photo. Taken from Verbal’s blog: http://ameblo.jp/m-flo-verbal/

For the record, Kid Cudi’s mixtape Plain Pat & Emile Presents a KiD named CuDi was my favorite album of 2008. Download it for free at http://sharebee.com/3194c039

As always, Verbal and m-flo continue to amaze and inspire me after ten years.