St. Germain – Easy To Remember

I’ve spent this weekend trying to get up to date with what’s new in music. And, for the most part, that’s involved trying to download everything that’s yet been created by Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All, or OFWGKTA as they’re apparently known to their fans.

This was brought on by an article in The Guardian about the collective’s ring leader, Tyler, The Creative. According to the article, written by Paul Lester, who, in my eyes, is old enough to know better, Tyler’s (free to download) début, Bastard:

is one of the best rap albums ever made, free or otherwise.

It’s not. It’s horrible.

Yes, the beats are sparse and breath-taking, and the melodies, all Wu Tang style jarring piano lines, are infectious, but it’s just so, so, so, bloody depressing. And offensive. To quote the man himself:

Somebody called me a homophobe. I’m not homophobic. I just say ‘faggot’ and use ‘gay’ as an adjective to describe stupid shit.

Yeah, because that’s OK. As one of the commenters on the Guardian article says:

(Begin Sarcasm)

I think this whole uproar over him using the terms ‘gay’ and ‘Fag**t’ is ridiculous…

To paraphrase the man himself:

“Somebody called me a homohobe. I’m not homophobic. I just say ‘faggot’ and use ‘gay’ as an adjective to describe stupid shit.”

I’m just the same, except I ‘just say‘ nigg**r and use ‘black’ as ‘an adjective to describe stupid shit‘ !

For example, this whole row is totally black…really, it’s that stupid…totally black..

But to my mind there are a lot of nigg**s out there who just don’t get this shit and act all black about it…but hey, those ni**ers can go suck a d*ck, right? They’re so black…
(End Sarcasm)

Quite.

Anyway. Having listened to the (amazing & uplifting) new Beasties album for about the 4th time since I bought it (yesterday), I was trying to be cool, young & interesting by listening to Bastard. For the 2nd time.

But I just couldn’t do it. It’s just too damned horrible. And misanthropic.

So, I swapped to a random Genius playlist, and the first track that came up was Easy To Remember by St. Germain. Thank the bloody Lord.

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In contrast to Tyler’s never-ending nihilism, Easy To Remember is just a beautiful piece of music.

For those who’ve never heard it, it’s a perfect slice of 90s jazz-house. There’s a beautifully slip-shod jazz drum-beat. A haunting sax melody. An off-kilter piano hook. And, laid over it, is the stunningly wonderful oration that Ossie Davis gave at the funeral of Malcolm X.

Did you ever talk to Brother Malcolm? Did you ever touch him or have him smile at you? Did you ever really listen to him? Did he ever do a mean thing? Was he ever himself associated with violence or any public disturbance? For if you did, you would know him. And if you knew him, you would know why we must honor him: Malcolm was our manhood, our living, black manhood!

So. Maybe I’m getting old. Or I’m just not cool enough. But, do you know what? I really couldn’t give a shit.

I’ll take the uplifting optimism and joy of St. Germain’s Easy To Remember over Tyler, The Creator’s give offence by numbers any day of the week. And, as if to prove my faith in rose-tinted spectacles, as I write this, BBC4, a station for the 35+ demographic if ever there was one, is showing a programme about the 20th anniversary of the making of Screamadelica, which, of course, nearly included this joyous ode to life.

Peace.

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St. Germain by TheDeliciousLife on flickr

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3 comments

  1. Chungaiz

    Ok… so you kew I would have to comment, right?

    You’re right on the “faggot” comment – in fact I think that there are a lot of people who are to blame for not bringing that up or taking the world at large to task for that sort of language…

    But to blame Tyler would be silly. He’s just a voice of misspent youth… something that your beloved Beasties know a lot about.

    The world has moved on from their “Fight for your right” days, but the sentiment surely still stands. It’s the sound of teenage rebellion. It’s emo… (like that genre or not).. it’s punk… it’s hardcore… it’s backpacker hip hop… it’s in the tradition of Company Flow, Cannibal Ox and Rawkus records, expressing itself in more pointed and offensive terms to make the THEM vs US even more poignant.

    Nothing more should be expected from music for teenagers/the rebellious, no? The fact that the last person to cause this much of a stir was Marilyn Manson or Eminem says a lot – that there’s a need for it, and that no one’s caused so many column inches.

    It’s not all good music or leasy listening, and hey you dont have to like it…but damn, Yonkers is fucking next level scary.

  2. Ciaran

    Yeah, I know that I’m almost making his argument for him: a 35 year old English white guy saying the music is offensive is probably what his record label dreams of. But that doesn’t change the fact that I think the level of malevolence in this record takes it way off of any artistic scale I’m happy to be a party to, no matter who’s fighting for it.

    The fact that Earl, of Free Earl fame, has asked the fans to stop the chants, says a lot to me about the mindlessness of this whole schtick.

    And if we get to hold him up for his use of the word faggot, what about for his rape fantasies?

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