JC chose the letter J. This was an inspired choice as it reminded me of something that happened a couple of weeks ago.
There are a lot of people that I really don’t like. Phil Collins, CJ from Eggheads, most of the current UK Government to name some people I don’t like but have never met. However a couple of weeks back whilst sitting in a room for two hours with only an iPod, a copy of the Great Gatsby and the Guardian for company I met a man who within twenty minutes I loathed, and that people I am afraid to say was solely down to his musical tastes, well that and the fact he was a bigoted old fool with a face like Keith Richards scrotum. So what follows is a true story revolving around one artist beginning with J and at the end I add two songs by artists beginning with J on to it to give it some form of meaning.
So I’m in a room, I have to stay there until it is my turn to go into a bigger room and say some stuff. It’s a work thing. I’m reading the Guardian and listening to the iPod (Thirteen by Teenage Fanclub since you ask), no one else is there and its quite nice.
Nothing else happens for the next hour, I change reading material to The Great Gatsby and change music to a random shuffle. Ten minutes later this bloke comes in, so my peace is kind of disturbed as we do that blokie kind of head nod greeting thing we do. Six minutes pass, the music keeps playing I’ve just had Over and Over by Hot Chip.
‘This your paper?’ says the man, unfolding it and starting to read it (straight to the sports pages, just so you know). It is my Guardian, ‘Help yourself ‘ I say and he does. Three minutes pass. ‘Lefty nonsense’ he says throwing it down in a heap on the table. He read two pages of the sport. It was the morning after Chelsea lost to PSG (the first leg) so I think it was a bad performance (I should say, my team, are languishing in mid table obscurity in League One).
‘What you listening to?’. Aah, the question I dread when I have an iPod on. I think I sighed. I probably shouldn’t have done. Right then I was listening to Amethyst Rockstar by up and coming East Coast Rapper Joey Bada$$.
Joey Bada$$ hails from New York and is part of the Pro Era Collective that have been gaining attention in the US for a while. He is 19 years of age and is quite a talent. My knowledge and liking of hip hop is limited. I loved Kendrick Lamar’s last album, think Chuck D is a genius and think Lil’Wayne is over rated, oh and Snoop Dogg fits into the category discussed at the top of the page. For me Joey Bada$$ is one of the most exciting things to happen to hip hop in a long time. I’ve posted ‘Amethyst Rockstar’ for you to make up your own minds about it. He is 19 people, what were you doing when you were 19? I was smoking Marlboro, moaning about student grants, and wearing Levellers T Shirts (mainly), I wasn’t writing songs and lyrics as fantastic as this, oh and having a $ in your name means something in hip hop, I don’t know what I’m 38 years of age, I can just about remember where I left my shoes, but A$AP Fergie, A$AP Rocky and a few others might be able to tell you.
mp3 : Joey BadA$$ – Amethyst Rockstar
Anyway…’Joey Bada$$’ I say to the man,( lets call him Keith). ‘Never heard of him’ came the predictable reply – I should state here, I’m not a musical snob, I’m really not, but he was over 45 had a moustache, I’d bet my house on him not having head of Joey Bada$$. ‘Is it rap music – well rap with a C, as I call it’.
Now as you can imagine it took every strain of my soul not fall about laughing at this wonderfully original joke. I sighed again and did that fake cough/laugh thing we do when want someone to shut the fuck up. ‘Yes, its really rather good’.
His turn to cough. It transpires that according to Keith, all rap music is terrible, going on about bitches and hoes and guns all the time, they promote violence and that is a bad thing, he then uses the N word over and over again like it was going out of fashion. Which is uncomfortable, I think he tried to use it in an ironic way, but white men over 45 with moustaches shouldn’t use it, ever. End of.
He continued, his music tastes were quite eclectic apparently. ‘I love everything from Queen (quote ‘Freddie was a bit of ponce, but you know, good songs’) to Elbow, oh and a band you might not have heard of, Nickelback’. Aarrghhh , please make him leave. I humour him.
‘I’ve never heard of Nickelback, they any good, what do they sound like?’ (correct answer, they sound like the musical equivalent of having your balls kicked by a buffalo. Twice. In quick succession. Whilst the buffalo is wearing concrete shoes.). ‘They rock, big time, they are quite cool’ (are they? Really?).
I genuinely like most music, I have previously bought a Simply Red album (I was thirteen) so I can do mainstream MOR, but I’m was thinking right now that I am willing to bet that he doesn’t own a single rap album, or a single techno album or for that matter anything that isn’t centred around a man singing whilst accompanied by an electric guitar. I was wrong… he went on ‘Adele, I like her, bit fat mind you’. I apologise he likes Adele despite her podgy arms. Lucky her.
Twenty Minutes he’d been in the room I genuinely thought about pretending I had a call on my phone. Then he said that The Great Gatsby was ‘a bit gay’ but I think he’s probably never read it. Then my saviour’s voice came over the speaker, my name was called out. I stood up and then Keith said ‘Nice to meet you’. The pleasure was all mine, Keith.
So, Keith, if you are reading…these two are for you, a little bit of variety….And I don’t want to waffle on about these songs both are great – one features a cover version of a Joni Mitchell record and doesn’t feature guitars, just a piano. The other does contain guitars but has a woman singing who isn’t fat (but she is Welsh). Isn’t she clever.
mp3 : James Blake – A Case of You
mp3 : The Joy Formidable – The Greatest Light is the Greatest Shade
I’ll be in a better mood next week.