Article Archive

Mental Combat Issue 903

Author: Blaze
Tuesday, 8 April 2008
The NSW Scribble Jam 2006 winner Rapaport (ex J-Rap) has been getting some airplay on Triple J recently with his track Show Em That You Care. It also features a verse from P. Smurf and chorus hook from Billie Rose. And as to be expected, this thoughtful MC throws bigger punches than his frame might suggest. Good things come in small packages, and this is one armoured with a very quick and incisive wit; the kind that comes in very handy when faced with a worthy opponent in freestyle ciphers or battles. The CD single also includes a track called Terrorism (in two very different versions) which talks about the common perception that starting wars just makes things worse. Can’t disagree with that. Rapaport used to front The Alphabetics, in which he also played guitar, but now he’s down with the kooky leisure sport wearing live rap crew The Phonies. In between all this malarky he’s also
providing guitar work for local bands, the world flavoured funk bands Usutu
and Mamacita. An EP is on its way in the next few months.

Finally Stones Throw (left) release a DVD release that contains the last few years’ worth of videoclips that have been screaming for a legitimate non-YouTube
version. If essential for any clip in particular, it would have for Quasimoto’s Rappcats Pt 3. Culling its footage from some well worn VHS copies of late-80s/early-90s clips most likely sourced from tapings of BET/Yo
MTV Raps. There are three excellent animated clips from the Super-Fi camp. One for Madlib’s Take It Back and Madvillian’s Monkey Suite, but my fave is the cute underwater adventures depicted in J.Dilla’s infectious Nothing Like This. For minimalist fans, try Aloe Blacc’s Busking. Visually, we see him walking around the streets of LA during the middle of the day with his headphones on. Sonically, all we hear is the ambience of the streets  Aloe singing along to the hidden sounds of his walkman. Graffiti fans will
appreciate the work on another animated clip for Bullyshit, while those who love the lack of a budget will orgasm for Madvillian’s hotel hallway
shot Accordion, and the most conventional clip would have to be Oh No’s
Move. It has cars, appearances by J.Dilla and Roc, DJ Romes on the decks,
getting lifted, plenty of lens mugging, a barbecue and er…a panther. Nice to
also see the inclusion of probably one of their earliest clips for Lootpack’s Crate Diggin’. A typical effort that is kinda messy with its overly mixed montage of record covers, samplers, turntables and studio
rapping. My Life by Roc C feat Aloe Blacc has the most high budgeted looking clip, especially when put next to the $5 clip by James Pants. Peanut Butter Wolf’s indie-pop venture with his Stones Throw Singers vanity project on Rain of Earth is an odd tree-sasquatch love chase thingo that is both quirky and endearing. Big shout out for the Arabian Prince referenced brilliance of Gary Wilson’s Gary’s in the Place. Dope track, dope video. Might be low budget, but it has that je ne sai quois that is missing from many cheaply shot vids. Rounding off the disc are an assortment of live show bits and bobs; best part being the funk workouts with the Funky 16 Corners.

I just came across some sad news that one of the members of NY’s Rock Steady
Crew, Wayne "Frosty Freeze" Frost, died on the 3 April. He can be seen in Style Wars, Wild Style, Flashdance, The Freshest Kids, the Buffalo Gals video clip, amongst many others. Born in December 1963, he was one of the most recognisable members of the RSC, having being the only African-American amongst mostly Puerto Rican heritage members of the famed Bronx born crew. Apparently he had been on life support since 27 March and had been seriously ill for quite some time. Recently a benefit was to be held on the 11 April in NY for his medical expenses, now that will undoubtedly turn into a massive wake to celebrate his life.

I also must mention that Tony Silver, the director of the seminal graffiti
documentary Style Wars, also died in February at the age of 73. Thankfully
he left behind one of the most captivating films that influenced my life as
a teenager, and it was my bad for not writing about it when it happened.
Probably watched that film more than any other, Star Wars included.