Triumph – Wu-Tang Clan (assigned to Matt Ramah by The Shipment)

In music, convention tends to rule the airwaves. Certain rules apply in order to make a radio-worthy track. We recently went through the brutal age of the ring-tone, where having a catchy hook was the driving force behind platinum selling singles. It forced the artists to adapt to new styles because without change, a career could come crashing down. Who else would we look to when looking to challenge the conventional? The almighty Wu of course!

Who better to give a giant middle finger to the radio execs than a group that has spit in the face of the musical norms for their entire career. This supergroup has never sought acceptance for anything other than what they could say was entirely crafted by their musical desire, not by what others told them would work. These lyrical geniuses have even been proven to have a larger vocabulary than Shakespeare.

In a review of Shakespeare’s first 35,000 words written, he wrote 5,170 unique words. When compared with 85 hip-hop artists first 35,000 lyrics (The equivalent of 5 studio records), Aesop Rock, Kool Keith and the GZA set the bar much higher level than Mr. Hamlet himself. In the top 20 for hip-hop artists, Wu Tang as a group was 7th in unique words written. Broken down further, GZA is at #2, Ghostface Killah is at #9 and Raekwon and Method Man are at 19 and 20 respectively.

What better way to showcase this verbal depth and originality than to create a 6 minute assault on the senses entitled Triumph. Featured on the 1997 record Wu-Tang Forever, eight of the nine members ferociously claimed all of New York City as theirs and theirs only. No chorus needed, they just spit bars on bars. As they swarmed through the city on an unstoppable rampage, there wasn’t any time for some catchy hook, only time for utter lyrical domination.

When presented to the radio/video execs, RZA was told there was no way this would work and that it had to be edited. There was no hesitation in telling them to fuck off, take it or leave it, this project would be untouched or would be shelved for good. Wisely, the project was moved forward and even wound up having Brett Ratner direct the video (Director of Rush Hour). What came next was 6 minutes of visual madness and eargasmic genius. Enjoy as they do what they do best. They give it to ya raw with no trivia, like cocaine straight from Bolivia.

-Matt R-

Duke Dumont – Won’t Look Back (THE ASSIGNMENT)

My god…..the song “don’t look back” by the DJ Duke Dumont is another one of your typical club dance jams.  Believe it or not it was #1 on the billboard dance charts along with another dance track of his earlier this year as well. So clearly he’s loved by the dance music community. With uncredited vocals by Yolanda Quartey, she is clearly very soulful and lends a bit of old school to the sound.

Now for the video….this shit is pretty wild. The video opens with 3 people in an old ass Van donning rubber masks in the likeness of the British royal family, with the Queen giving a nice parade wave as they drive by in slow motion.  They pull up and and begin and armed robbery of a jewelry store and this is when it gets crazy.

Upon first watching, it looked like they were robbing the store with giant microphones and I was thinking it was gonna be something along the lines of media invasion of our lives or whatever.  Boy was I wrong, about ten seconds later you see that the weapons are actually fucking pogo sticks as they start to hop away. Whoever did the pogo stunts for this video are amazing, some of the shit they pull off on those this is pretty badass.

As usual a stupid flatfoot copper wants to pursue and apprehend the pogo criminals. The piglet has a resemblance to Scott Bakula it seems and rides his Segway and uses interesting measures to get the first two royal family members. My favorite moments are definitely the pogo front flip over a car when they first see the cop, and the cop stealing an RC car from a little kid to sabotage the second royal family member. But once again the queen gets away and seemingly pogos off a skyscraper at the end with a “to be continued” message as it ends.

Overall a pretty funny and interesting video served up for me this week. This song was genred as UK garage, tech house, and deep house (whatever the fuck that means) so not exactly up my alley. But the soulful sound of the vocalist really took me back, and made it much more bearable. I think I might go get a pogo stick and try some freestyle moves……….or maybe not.

-The Shipment-


I started this assignment shit and this is the motherfuckin’ thanks I get?? When a YouTube title is this long – L.T.D. – LOVE BALLAD WITH 8-COUNT ENDING (SLOWJAM MUSIC VIDEO)REARRANGED(1977) – you know you’re in for some shit. That all caps really screams at you, doesn’t it?? Now I’m not trying to hate on L.T.D., Love Ballad or Soul Train, so bare with me here.

Soul Train is an amazing part of television history. Live performances or lip-synched, rather. People dancing their asses off, holding nothing back while they sweat out their problems. Bell-bottom pants, crushed velvet, velour, polyester and the platform boots (note that I said boots) are fucking awesome. Who couldn’t love all of that anyway?? Plus, women with afros always heat things up for me. Mmmhmmm.

Now L.T.D.’s Love Ballad might be on the most passionate love songs of all time. Their namesake actually stands for Love, Tenderness and Devotion – which only solidifies the romantic passion they deliver. These guys had originally played in the band that accompanied Sam & Dave back in the 1960′s, infamous for their hit Hold on, I’m Comin’. Pretty much these guys were born to make great music.

Here’s where things take a turn downhill for me. The fucking 8-COUNT ENDING?? What? Why?? I mean…shit. Re-playing that clip over and over again 8-times was grueling. Even though it’s the same clip, it seemed like the people dancing in the crowd were even irritated by it. YouTube user kevante1 must have needed some extra time to seal the deal with his woman. If he showed her the video though and didn’t just let it play in the background, I bet she left by the fifth count.

The song is magical and has probably pulled more box than most tunes out there. The video started out awesome, but then just kind of fizzled out with that 8-COUNT nonsense. Hopefully that wasn’t a premonition into kevante1‘s special night. However after watching this video fourteen times, I’m definitely convinced he made it with the best intentions (and a lot of haste). Cheers to you kevante1, I hope you get what you deserve in this life.


p.s. Keep your eyes peeled for The Shipment’s next assignment…fucker.

Type of Way by Rich Homie Quan (THE ASSIGNMENT – week 1)

The song “type of way” by rich homie quan was suggested for me by a good friend for me to write a little about.  He knows the significance of this song to a person they bleeds MSU green like myself.  This song was adopted by the MSU football team for last season for whatever reason, and when I first heard it I thought it was crap.

This is the type of song I may have liked when I was younger but not so much anymore. I didn’t pay much attention to this song throughout the MSU football season, not really thinking too much of it. Meanwhile MSU wins the big ten and gets a spot in the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California which is pretty close to where I currently live. So I make the trip out there with some friends and my view on this song drastically changes.

This song was bumped frequently after driving into LA once I mentioned i hadn’t heard it too many times. This trip was one for the ages with a couple fellow MSU fans that have relocated to Arizona as well.  We stayed in a guest house of one of my friends family members out there in Venice and went out and enjoyed the area bumping that song quite often. Then it was game day and that song was being played all over the tailgate area and I was seeing people who I hadn’t seen in years. The game that followed was epic and the victory was marked with the MSU coach quoting the song name and Quan being on the sideline during the game.
This song has little bits of brilliance in some of the wordplay, but overall it really lacks substance in my opinion.  He yells out on a couple occasions that “I write too” implying he writes all of his own rhymes which is a good thing at least, but not necessarily something to be proud of. Although there are a few gems in there mostly in the second verse, “she got a Georgia peach on her rear end like a license plate….no rookie, Girl Scout cookie got me high today.” Great reference to a super premium strain of marijuana and a fine ass on a woman, can’t complain about that, “I set it off like Queen Latifah cuz I’m living single…” Impressive  double reference to a movie and TV show starring the famous Queen of hip hop. The video reminds me of any and all previous cash money records videos, mainly BG for the rapping outside of the project buildings shirtless and various car and crew shots.
In the end “Type of Way” by Rich a Homie Quan leaves a lot to be desired in my opinion, but certainly holds a special place in my heart. One thing that still kinda bugs me is, who exactly is Rich Homie Quan? “Just because my homie’s Rich you feel some type of way” is a line that gets repeated.  So is he Rich homie Quan? or does he have a rich homie named Quan?  Seemingly the answer lies somewhere in the middle, nevertheless this song does indeed makes me feel some type of way, so apparently he’s done his job.
Until the next time,
-The Shipment-

Hunter by Bjork – (THE ASSIGNMENT Week 1)

Is there such a thing as bad music? In those words itself and to the individual, the short answer is yes. But on a much larger scale, the answer is a resounding no. Nobody has the right to tell another that they are listening to bad music, but they sure are allowed to have their own opinion. Yet that is exactly what record labels do for a living. They take someone’s ideas and talent and expect them to be creative, as long as it is creative in a way that makes an ton of money for the suits. I hate how an artist’s originality and creative spirit can literally be extinguished based upon the interpretation of the language of a contract. It’s those that can persevere through the expectations and external pressure that will preserve their identity and legacy.
In the song/video Hunter, by Bjork, she is stripped down to nothing but her own skin and her inner animalistic instincts of a polar bear. She serves as the provider, the only source of sustenance for her family. This is something that she embraces but it is clear that she is trying to shake off her responsibilities as the video drums along. Eventually she gives in to the expectations she faces and delivers yet another feast for her “family” before she is able to fade off back into her own skin.
“You could smell it, so you left me on my own, to complete the mission now, I’m leaving it all behind” speak to the pressures placed upon Bjork for this song to be released. She was ready for a break, she wasn’t ready to go to work, to provide for her record label. A prisoner to her managers and her contract, she had to put out a product that she wasn’t prepared to release. It is in this moment that she had to force herself out into the hunt, to fulfill the needs of the people that depended on her, while maintaining her own pride and self-worth.
When asked about the meaning of “Hunter” Bjork is left describing the personal responsibilities to keep people employed as her motivation towards making this song. As she also says, this can be an inspiring burden to carry. This is almost a way to prevent truly mailing it in and keeping some of your artistic originality intact. Being the provider, the hunter, she is tasked with putting food on the table for so many people. She acknowledged this burden, this inspiration, and put together a piece of music that was well received by the critics.
In the end, this way of thinking is quite admirable. We are all hunters, being called upon at times when we may not be mentally and physically in the best position to do so. Having the ability to step back and view the bigger picture and recognize the effect you can potentially have on others will only allow you to dig deep and produce whatever it is you need, to provide for your “family.” If you allow the inner disdain to consume you, you will jeopardize your character while negatively affecting those closest to you in that situation. It is a mental crossroads that we all face. The ability to find the strength to care for those that depend on you, while staying on your true path, will leave you with very few regrets.
-Matt Ramah-

THE ASSIGNMENT #1 – Big Data – Dangerous

Holy Shit! Where do I begin with this track here? As I sit at my computer trying to figure out what to do with this piece of art, I realize the best thing to do is start with the name and artist. The name of this track is Dangerous, and it is put together by Big Data. Now lets get into this.

I’m not really gonna get into the actual song (as much as i enjoyed it) due to the fact that I couldn’t get past this video. First part was beautiful! I just kept staring at those titays. And before you start calling me a pervert, let me just say…. fuck you. If you watched this video you were staring at them too. Just bouncing around… any ways all that sexual excitement quickly dissipated when the next segments come about.

BLAM!!!! A vicious head-butt to this poor guys face! And what was left was pretty fucking disgusting. It was like a scene out of Saving Private Ryan or some shit. It certainly didn’t help any that I happened to be eating dinner at the time of my viewing of this video. Yes… I can admit the sight of that guys missing face did make me a little nauseous, but I’m a trooper so I carried on.

Now towards the end of this video 2 people have been savagely fucked up by 2 beautiful, albeit bloody women. Now these bloody warriors tag team a defenseless man eating a burger, and royally fuck his shit up. Im talking leg ripping savagery. I’m pretty sure they even resorted to some cannibalism. And to top it all off, at the end these 2 women proceed to make out. Back to the good ole sexual shit we all love. Hahahaha

In summation I fuckin’ loved this track and the video. Oh yeah, did I fail to mention this whole video was shot as a commercial pitch to some ad exes for some fucking shoes?!? Brilliant!! So if you get a chance, and want to see a sweet video and hear a good song check this shit out.
-Ricky G-