Thursday, June 17, 2004

Non-Profit is another word for "HUG ME! I'M LONELY!"

Todays all about da Anticon. A collective of San Fran by way of Maine, NH, and Minneapolis MC's Who are simultaneously doing some beautifully old school and thoroughly groundbreaking shit, and aren't scared to be political. I was going to post a new Beastie Boys track today, but that would be boring. Do yourselves a favor though, and go check out "An Open Letter to NYC" anywhere you can track it down. The rest of the album is okay, but not great. But the Boys love letter to the city we both call home is a fantastic song.


We'll start with the Non-Prophets, a trio who are not strictly members of Anticon, but who run with the same crowd, and bring it like it's 1992. They're fronted by Sage Francis, who you may have heard of.

The Non-Prophets - Xaul Zan's Heart - the title of todays entry is taken from the intro to this track, and first off, it's damn true. Now to the track itself - a song from the perspective of one of Francis's alter ego's, this is a hysterical celebration of the pimp life as an actual pimp life, (I'm not hard on women, I put my hard-on on women!) of mysoginy, rape and pedophilia. It's tongue in cheek, funny as hell, and will make you take a step back and wonder what the fuck you're laughing at.

The Non-Prophets - Damage - I go to Fugazi shows requesting Minor Threat songs. - This song, and more specifically, this line was my introduction to Sage Francis. I felt immediately upon seeing the lyric that I simply HAD to track down the MC that has the skills and the breadth to name drop not just Fugazi but Minor Threat. Overloaded with Francis's classic punchline/personal style, this song is a manifesto for the Non-Prophets. Francis came up out of a series of battle rap championships, and it shows here. The rhymes flow perfectly, and the tone is that perfect combination of arrogancce and spite that allows a track to be completely and totally meant smash another MC's dreams without ever even considering the idea of actually addressing the opponent in person. Other MC's are beneath the mighty Sage Francis's time.

Also, do yourselves a favor and track down the song The Cure. Most fantastic.

[Buy "Hope" by the Non-Prophets from Amazon.com!]

Passage - The Unspectacular White Boy Slave Song - Passage, a proper Anticon member, has a totally different, and totally unique take on this. I hate to quote press-kit type stuff, but I couldn't say this better if I tried. In short, Passage plays "electro-new-wave-industrialfolk-hospital-waiting-room hope-hop that you can dance or die to." In other words, an aesthetic drawn as much, if not more from the indie rock world as from the Hip Hop world. In general, Passage operates in 2 modes. One is a lo-fi, rap with acoustic guitar combo that is at once haunting, unsettling, and unspeakably daring. The Unspectacular White Boy Slave Song operates in the other mode, opening with Passage's typical singsongey rhymes over an electro beat. The chorus though, is catchy as hell. Utterly infectious and weird. Sadly, I just don't have the answer to his question.

Passage - Poem2thehospital - a dreamy, bouncy ditty that continues to push things forward with Passage's unique, poetic style. This song more than any other really shows off his strength and his uniqueness as an MC. Quite simply, rather than declaring, he sings. And not sings as in singing the songs hook. No. Passagee sings whole songs. His raps have a definite sense of melodocism to them that so many lack. Passage is pushing things forward. I can't help but wonder where he's headed next.

Listen to more MP3's by Passage and the rest of the Anticon collective at their website. Especially The Unstrung Harp.


[Buy "Forcefield Kids" by Passage at Amazon.com!]

More Politicks tomorrow. Stay tuned.

And remember, the title of this entry is very true. This is a Non-Profit blog, and I work in a Non-Profit organization. I'm very non-profit. How about a hug? Or at least a comment?

6 Comments:

At 6/17/2004 03:35:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw Sage Francis for the first time at Coachella and I was stunned. I never seen such an amazing performance! The man is a genius. It goes Einstein, Edison, Francis.

 
At 6/17/2004 09:18:00 PM, Blogger John said...

I'd LIKE to do the Diz/Streets bit, Keith; I need to look at my upcoming work schedule (which changes weekly) to see if I can.
In the meantime, ya wanna dropload their respective albums on me?

 
At 6/18/2004 04:14:00 AM, Blogger Justin said...

"xaul xan's heart" is suchhhhh a killer non-prophets song. i was planning on posting this sometime, good pick!

 
At 6/18/2004 10:17:00 AM, Blogger Pete said...

I just worked out why the Non-Prophets are called as they are.

Do I get a medal?

 
At 6/22/2004 11:29:00 AM, Blogger chrisp said...

Nice.

Hadn't heard the Passage stuff before. Kind of a lo-fi, "TV On the Radioish" vibe.

You're also right about "The Cure" by Non-Prophets - love that track.

 
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