Friday, December 09, 2005


McEnroe & Birdapres — Nothing Is Cool

I first discovered hip-hop during its old-school “golden age”, the late 80s/early 90s. For a number of years I believed, like an idiot, that for hip-hop to be “real” and “authentic” and good, it had to be black. The few undeniably striking exceptions (like the Beastie Boys) I chalked up to pure chance. This, of course, was utter nonsense: good music is simply where you find it. The white hip-hop artists I like best are those that don’t try too hard to sound black. They sound like who they are: white musicians in love with a black musical idiom, but injecting something original and personal into that idiom.

McEnroe, a protean MC and producer based in Vancouver, is probably my favorite white hip-hop artist. Because Amazon doesn’t even carry his music, I had to go direct to the record label, the high-cred indie outfit Peanuts & Corn, to order it. I hit a Paypal snag, and emailed the label’s one-man customer service department, a guy named Roddy, for help. He was prompt and helpful, straightened out the accounting and billing tangle, and mailed the package to me the same day. Come to discover: McEnroe and Roddy are one and the same. He owns and runs the label and whips up beats and rhymes and also raps. The track is from the crackingly good 2003 album Nothing Is Cool that he made with fellow Vancouver rapper Birdapres (pronounced Bird-a-prey). It's hip-hop satire at its best.

More: Robert Christgau’s review; and an interview with McEnroe.


Blogger girish said...

This is Matt's last week at film school.
He's just 20.
But wise beyond his years.

December 09, 2005 7:57 AM  
Blogger girish said...

Spreading like fire:
La fièvre Samouraï.

December 09, 2005 8:00 AM  
Blogger girish said...

Just had to google "worry balls" after reading this.

December 09, 2005 8:15 AM  
Blogger phil said...

AH! funny, i just read the overheard lines post right before i read yours....

interesting post on the hip hop know, we're going to have to have a session where you turn me on to all of the good hip hop that you know...

December 09, 2005 9:56 AM  
Blogger girish said...

Love to, Phil...
Are you snowed in?
There's a sea of white out my window.
And the department Christmas party to go to.

December 09, 2005 10:07 AM  
Anonymous Filmbrain said...

Oohhh...department Xmas party! Remember Girish, no matter how drunk you get, you are not Alain Delon and should not make moves on that cute ethics professor.

December 09, 2005 12:04 PM  
Blogger girish said...

Drat, Filmbrain.
Just as I was going to whisper something unethical to that cute ethics prof.

December 09, 2005 12:54 PM  
Anonymous Peter Nellhaus said...

Speaking of ethics: what is the thought on gray market


December 09, 2005 1:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I bought some grey market DVDs that weren't available as Region 1. Mostly they're anime, some of them fairly obscure and not likely to get U.S. distribution because of prudish companies. I'm not sure I understand this thinking all animation is for kids and so, you know, if it's not Disneyfied it's suspicious or just short of criminal--it's the same thing with comics in the U.S., pulling R. Crumb and others from public libraries, filing lawsuits against stores selling them, etc. It would be silly if it weren't so damned short-sighted and annoying.

December 09, 2005 1:23 PM  
Anonymous Mikey D. said...

It was a treat to hear this song today- one of my favorites from a hip hop mix you made for me titled "Luxurious." In terms of white rappers, I really like "Old Paul" from that same mix.

Hearing this song reminded me of rapper MC Solaar who you introduced me to. I can't find him online or through iTunes. Do you have any leads?

Thanks for the kind word on the fluxblog comments section yesterday.

Back to neurology. Keep up the great blogs!

December 09, 2005 2:42 PM  
Blogger girish said...

X-mas party rages outside my door.
But I'm ducking in to quickly check the blog.
Because I'm an Internerd, that's why.

December 09, 2005 2:53 PM  
Blogger girish said...

Peter, never even heard of the DVD gray market. Wow, Je T'Aime, Je T'Aime is actually available? Amazing.

Mikey, I just made you a Michael Franks mix. You'll have it when I see you next week.
I actually had to order the MC Solaar CDs from Amazon France. The one I like best is Prose Combat. And it even has a lyric sheet, which is a big help considering all the rapping is in French.

December 09, 2005 2:59 PM  
Anonymous Filmbrain said...

Has the Religious Studies prof put the lampshade on his head yet? Too bad you don't have a webcam. ;-)

Peter -- that Ebay link is already dead.

I have mixed thoughts about it. I have no qualms about buying/owning a DVD-R of a film that is otherwise unavailable, but I wouldn't buy, for example, a bootlegged copy of the Criterion Salo.

December 09, 2005 3:00 PM  
Blogger girish said...

"Too bad you don't have a webcam. ;-)"

[hiccup] Yeah. [hiccup]

December 09, 2005 4:43 PM  
Anonymous Peter Nellhaus said...

Sorry about the dead link. It was live, and then I touch it, and it died.

December 10, 2005 10:07 AM  

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