Opinions. They haunt. They hover. They nag. But they always fail to account the power of personal taste. One man’s floor is another man’s ceiling fan and all that. That never stops them damn opinions from being heard. At the store, at the gym, and of course the Mecca of all things opinionated, the Net. Wherever packs of human beings gather they essentially trade in information and opinions. Information such as: The Punisher War Zone sucked. Now I understand that the person who saw it meant well by giving me their opinion about that movie, but I actually thought the polar opposite. I loved it. Please allow me to give you my opinion why.
The visuals were stunning. Fuck it. Dazzling, even. The splashes of color onscreen set the mood of certain scenes perfectly. The gore, though gratuitous, perfectly complements the essence of the Punisher as a character. Widely known, though not as loved as other characters such as Spider man ( for obvious reasons. I mean come on, Spidey is a fucking icon for a reason) the Punisher was essentially a blood thirsty vigilante at heart and this film is my favorite portrayal of the character. Lighter on the emotional content than the previous film adaptation of the Marvel comics character. It packs more punch and endearingly inappropriate humor too. People get stabbed, shot to molecules, decapitated, thrown off buildings, hell, people were getting killed in ways I never even comprehended possible. Cats were getting they whole shit twist left and right throughout this flick. The violence in this piece is thicker than stale syrup.
The plot is not overly complex but it has so many cool references to the Punisher MAX series written by Garth Ennis (such as one of the character being named Ink) that diehard fans will be foaming at the mouth when they come across them. Shit, I know I was. I liked the villain being Jigsaw this time around. I gotta be honest though, the moment he gets turned into Jigsaw is the only part of the movie that still gives me a shaky feeling in my nuts ( That’s hit would SUCK to go through, trust me ). The “Illest cat in the flick” awards goes to Jigsaws brother. Dude is Crazy in a way that makes other crazy people nervous. The second I heard him talk about “Liver and applesauce” I was like “This is the sort of guy I would NEVER hang out with” Dude was OUT OF HIS FUCKING MIND. I can’t type enough caps to put it into perspective for you. The cast was cool and did they thing to move the story along nicely ( BTW Julie Benz is so Hot it makes my head hurt )
So, there’s my opinion. Should you care? Whatever. Just know that someone else gave you their opinion about it and said it was good. But you know what you could do? See it for yourself and judge. But I warn you it’s graphic. If your sensitive to that kind of stuff you may wanna sit this one out. If you’re a diehard Punisher fan ( especially the MAX version ) that likes the portrayal of the character in an ultrarealistic but highly stylized way, This is the one.
What does Socrates have in common with Columbo? The science of the bummy genius. Those people that can break down complex things about human behavior and easily figure out the motives of others but don’t care about the basics of dressing themselves presentably for the public eye. Socrates was considered the greatest of all the philosophers to walk the earth ( check Inspecktah Decks opening bars of “Triumph” to see how far Socrates influence reached ) but he lived his life in poverty, dressed very plain and walked the streets of Athens barefoot. Columbo deduced many crimes on his show but the character was as famous for his rumpled appearance as he was for his detective skills.
What the fuck does that have to do with Terriers? The show carries on that tradition. The two main Characters Hank and Britt solve crimes and help people in Ocean Beach but between the both of them seem Incapable of mastering the art of shaving or popping tags. One of the people in the show sees Hank and says “You know I thought you were undercover but now I realize you just dress like that” Wit like that drives this show to be one of my current favorites on TV.
Hank is a recovering alcoholic ex cop and Britt is a thief that Hank catches but eventually sees the good in. They both start a private investigation agency and combine their streetwise natures to help the people that hire them. Sure, shows like “White Collar” ( another favorite of mine ) have explored the idea of crook and cop working together but while that show is more high society this one is more gritty. Consider this show the Frank Miller’s“The Dark Knight Returns” to that shows Alan Moore’s “Watchmen” both exploring the non pretty side of heroes but placed in different settings and with differing levels of darkness and grit. One theme that runs through the season is Hank and Britt’s relationships with the women in their lives. Hank has to watch ( not idly mind you, he goes all out to stop her wedding any way he can ) as his ex wife Gretchen moves on even though he still has strong feelings for her while Britt deals with the fact his love of his lady Katie scares him ( mainly the thought of settling down and growing up ) as much as it keeps him going. Hank also deals with the relationship between him and his sister Stephanie. A mentally unstable genius whom he feels especially attached to when post divorce he finds her secretly living in his attic. Her companionship filling a void left by his ex wife.
Now as the good guys, these dudes don’t believe in the straight and narrow. They frame somebody for revenge when they cant legally prove him guilty, they break into buildings, sneak in and out of the border and at one point ( maybe two ) Britt becomes a fugitive. These aren’t your typical dashing, morally upstanding citizens more two guys raised on the age old practice of ”kicking ass and taking names” Along the way they meet various members of Ocean Beaches underbelly and even find themselves neck deep in issues with a Mexican kingpin. Old friends and foes pop up to threaten the little semblance of normalcy they try to build and the biggest obstacles they tend to face are their own penchants for self destruction. But DAMN, They stay saying slick shit. This is one of those shows that has dialogue so ILL that you find yourself laughing at what the characters say as much as worrying about them. One episode finds them pretending to be thugs shaking down a tarot card reader for protection money in order to draw out her fugitive boyfriend. They threaten to trash her place if she doesn’t pay when they come back. When they show up her boyfriend, her VERY FUCKING BIG boyfriend kicks their asses up and down her living room, knocking over all her furniture and after he throws both of them out the window Britt says “Well we did say we would trash the place” I bust my ass laughing.
I cant recommend this show enough. The first season kept me hooked and when ever I missed an episode I would catch it online even though I hate watching TV shows online ( I don’t know why that shit just irks me. If its a TV show I like to watch it on TV damnit ) The season ended up on a very crazy cliffhanger that had me going “REALLY?!? How the fuck they gonna end it like that?” But best believe I will be tuning in as soon as it comes back. This show is great and I bet if you ask Socrates or Columbo about it they would say the same thing.
Hood classic. That movie that represented the hood so thoroughly it is revered by ghetto dwellers world wide for showing outsiders ( which I myself was until I moved to Springhill Lake and started seeing firsthand what the hood was about ) the daily operation like Guru and Primo. Hood classics tend to only vary in terms of location. Weather it’s Uptown New York’s gritty sidewalks underscoring “Juice” or the Brazilian trenches that framed the blood soaked saga of “City Of God” the background adds it own element to the story but regardless of slang or fashion senses the drama had it’s own undertones that were indiscriminate of area. To quote Rakim “It aint where your from it’s where your at” Weather your particularly “at” is Far Rockaway Queens or Kingston Jamaica one thing remains. Slugs burn, drugs are married to problems and shit is REAL.
This movie centered around the character Tommy from Queens New York ( played by the kid DMX ) and gave a glimpse into his day to day life. Nas also starred in the movie as Sincere, Tommy’s right hand man, but DMX was the undisputed star of the flick. He came off as the cat he rhymed about on record but with more money. Shit, dude had the JUMPOFF crib for sure. Stacks in stacks but still that grimy project cat that would yoke anybody up over a wayward glance. The ultimate charismatic villain. The plot revolves around an outta town trip to sling dope fronted to them by the Jamaican Kinpin Lennox ( THIS DUDE IS CRAZY!!!! ) They get snitched on by envious local dealers and a police raid stops the music like a drunk cat bumping the DJ’s turntable at a packed house party. The movie is overall a commentary on the glamorization of crime in Black communities. DMX represented the devil in the equation. Overly ambitious and ruthless to perfection. Nas represented the tortured soul. Drawn to the lifestyle he and Tommy have but realizing the fact success in that life still represents a universal loss. Things kind of loosen up structure wise towards the end but the message is still subliminally sprinkled throughout the movie. Like the part where Tommy has an argument with Knowledge ( Played by Power from Wu tang’s camp. Speaking of Wu, Method Man plays a ghetto assassin in the flick too. SUUUUUUUUU ) one of the characters asks “What happened to Knowledge?” and Tommy responds “Fuck Knowledge. Roll up. I wanna get high” Very slick move Hype. I like that.
Hype Williams has a right to be considered the best music video director of all time. Seriously. Dude is a monster with his. He created marvelous epics for most of the certified superstars in Hip hop and RnB. Stuff like “Put your hands where my eyes can see”, “The rain” and “Can it be all so simple” redefined videos forever. The cinematography was beyond belief and his videos played like mini movies. Hollywood was the next logical step for him. His work on this movie is fucking amazing. The club scene with the black light, the parts in Jamaica, hell, every frame of this movie is beautifully shot. It’s one of those types of films that was hard to look away from even for a second because you didn’t want to miss that next fly image that was guaranteed to pop up. Even the image of the snitch ( Played by dude that played Cain in Menace 2 Society ) popping up for the first time rocking a VERY yellow track suit, hair permed, eating a banana just stuck out because of how it looked. ( me, Stix and Troub used to say his line from that scene “I don’t like that. I don’t like that at all” at random times for weeks after we saw it, straight laughing our ass off every time ) I’m not a film student I’m just a cat that knows what I like and believe me I like the way this movie was directed. This flick is the embodiment of the term visually stunning. Hype combined all his tricks for this and stepped it up even further. It’s like when Dre made the Chronic. It had elements of his style from NWA but he redefined and perfected it on that album.
Hood classics may not win Oscars but the effect that they have are just as strong for those that relate to them. My boy called me up today and told me a crazy thing that happened to him and he said that he felt like DMX in Belly. Which caused both of us to laugh because the flick still gets brought up in casual conversations on the regular. And that, boys and girls, is a TRUE HOOD CLASSIC.
I had a conversation earlier with my boy Danimal ( whut up Playboy ) about the DVD series that DC comics have been releasing. At the end of the convo I stated how despite my tremendous respect for DC comics ( Batman is that DUDE ) , I’m always gonna be a Marvel. I wrote about Frank Miller in my last post for his work on “The dark Knight returns” ( shame on you if you haven’t experienced it yet ) because that is, simply put, the greatest graphic novel of all time to me……..even though I’m still a Marvel. My second favorite is another Frank Miller masterpiece. One he did for the house that Stan Lee built.
Daredevil was never a favorite of mine growing up. The stories just seemed too adult to my still developing young mind. If you told me my second favorite graphic novel would be a Daredevil story when I was a kid I would have looked at you like you were stupid ( I probably would have looked at you that way even if you told me something else, I was a real asshole as a kid ) TDKR had already introduced me to the concept of comics being more than just kid stuff, but Daredevil still didn’t grab me. I owned like one Daredevil comic growing up and I didn’t bother to catch the movie in theaters. About a year and a half ago I was online reading up on Frank Millers work to see what I hadn’t read yet and people kept on bringing up “Born Again” So I grabbed a copy and sat back. As I read it I caught the exact same feeling I had when I heard “Method man” for the first time. Which was “What the FUCK?!? This is incredible”
Maturity is a cool thing because it brings a whole new level of appreciation for certain things you just wouldn’t give too much of a fuck about as a kid. Daredevil seems to have always been intended for more older readers ( the character spends as much time working as a lawyer as he does kicking ass ) but when you mature and read it, it makes you feel like a kid again. The plot for “Born Again” revolves around Daredevil ( Matt Murdock ) being sold out by his ex girl Karen Page. Karen is a drug addicted, adult film star who sells Matt’s identity to a drug dealer for a fix. The info gets back to New York City’s top crime lord The Kingpin who has had beef with Daredevil for a long time. The villain discovering the hero’s identity thing has been done before but it usually turns into the villain fighting the hero at home rather than on the streets. What hit me about this is HOW the Kingpin attacks Murdock. He gets him disbarred, cleans out his bank accounts, strategically drives him mad from paranoia, turns him against his closet friends, THEN blows up his apartment. I’ve seen Superman get beaten to death by Doomsday, I’ve seen the Joker viciously murder Robin and his mother, hell, I’ve seen Magneto rip the skeleton out of Wolverine. None of them compared to what Kingpin put Daredevil through. Reading the story, I was like “DAMN!!!”
The art by David Mazzucchelli is very well done. Serving the story perfectly. I don’t find the artwork as mind blowing as works by Todd McFarlane, Norm Breyfogle or the almighty Jim Lee but it compliments the story better than I think even their fantastic talent could. The same way that the sound of “36 chambers” was nowhere near as polished as “The Chronic” but it was the PERFECT medium for the WU to do their thing on.
The magic in this is in the writing. Frank Miller outdid himself with the dialogue, both internal and between characters. If there ever was a comic that played out like a compelling movie, this is it. In one scene a man is murdered while a reporter listen’s in over the phone and the way the scene is set up and written is THE most nerve wracking moment in my comic reading history. The story is so good that I didn’t even notice that Daredevil was barely in costume for the entire duration. This is not a traditional superhero story. Rather than being amazed at feats of superhuman strength the most amazing thing in this is the triumph of the human spirit in the face of crushing adversity.
I recommend this book to anyone going through a hard time in life as it will make you wanna face your tormentor head on a punch him dead in the teeth, even if you don’t have a costume for fighting crime.
There are certain things I miss about England. Sausage rolls, Notting Hill carnival, Walking around London, the clubs etc. One of the things I miss the most is the people. Not the snooty rude muthafuckas, but the normal working class, everyday people. It was such a diverse mix of individuals that it was crazy. The ravers, cool kids, hip hop heads, football hooligans, pub crawlers, smart kids, FLY chicks (a fit bird with British accent is still the biggest turn on for me), West Indians, Pakistani’s etc It was a fucking crazy melting pot of Neighborhoods and little worlds within itself. When I was over there I would get so caught up in life that I would never sightsee. Running the streets at night with my cousins was fun, dangerous and ALWAYS interesting. The spots and lives there were breeding grounds for crazy stories.
I said all that to say this. Those same people I spoke about were dramatized perfectly for this movie. Guy Ritchie dug up the best of England’s worst and polished them up for the screen in this movie. Although the story spans 3 different countries. The heart of the story is in merry old England. The characters in the story are memorable as hell. I cant say the word “Bonjour” without picturing Bullet tooth Tony (Vinnie Jones) slamming some dues head in the car door while some 80’s pop plays in the background. Sol, Brick top, Mickey (man this was the moment I realized the Brad Pitt was a fucking ILL actor) and of course Turkish (Jason Statham). All the characters, apart from their various personality quirks, stuck out for one strong reason: DIALOGUE. Man listen, Everybody in this movie was coming out their face in style. Few movies have had me laughing my ass off as much as this. If you’re a rapper, this is a flick your gonna love cause it makes you wanna step your pen game up. Trust me. The “Desert Eagle POINT five o” speech alone is worth the price of admission.
The other part of the equation is the sequencing. The way certain things are hidden from plain sight adds another layer of humor to the scenes they are used for. Scenes also cut in and out in ways that when pieced together play like a classic episode of “Seinfeld”. The technique of one character setting off a chain of events that affect everybody in the film is used to perfection here (when you see the milk scene you’ll know what I mean). Guy Ritchie really pieced together a well though out gem. Stuff like the “I’m coming to London” section had me like “DAMN!!! Dude wasn’t playing”. I feel it was Tarantino influenced in certain bits but what the hell Tarantino himself was influenced by others so it’s just the natural cycle of creation. Guy Ritchie really put his stamp on this movie and consolidated his own crime flick sub genre style. Previously seen on his other masterpiece, “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels”.
Even if anyone say’s that the movie didn’t “innovate” the gangster genre, you cant tell me it’s not entertaining. This is one of those movies I’ve watched dozens of times and it never get’s old. Seriously. A couple of months back they showed this “Snatch” every other day on cable. I always caught it when ever I saw it was on. It’s like “The Infamous” by Mobb Deep. You pop it in wanting to hear like 2 songs but you always wind up listening to the whole thing. Truly a classic.
So now, tell me one thing…”Do you know what “nemesis” means?”
The point of no return. Once past, nothing can fit the image/idea/sense of what it used to be any longer. At this point that I read this book. Batman was represented by Adam West, zany plotlines and BAM, POW and BANG!!! flashing on the on the screen during the fight scenes. Before that, It was the Super friends adventures and stuff like that. Batman was a “Good guy” in every sense of the word. I had seen the Tim Burton take on batman before but even the darkness there wasn’t enough to erase the image in my mind of who Batman was. When I turned 11 years old and I came across a copy of this in the local Giant store, I bought and read it. That was the moment I first experienced what a mind fuck was. Nah Nobody had even explained the concept to me at that point I just knew that something in my mind had been altered by this book, never to return to it’s original shape.
Frank Miller ( God bless him ) had deconstructed the Batman mythology so intensely in this book that over 20 years after it’s inception it still informs much of the versions of Batman seen today. ( Including the aforementioned Tim Burton movie ) This was the book that turned Batman into the grim, brooding hero he is today. Matter fact I would say that the wave of grimy superheroes from “Spawn” to the new volumes of “X force” owe their dark overtones to this book. Batman as a character has always been as crazy as the people he hunts. ( Picture CNN running a story about a real life millionaire that dresses up as a giant bat to beat up thugs. Seriously, picture what you would think of such a man if he was flesh and blood like you and me ) This book really showed how tragic, dark and ( most of all ) INSANE he really was. It also crowned the Joker as the Yin to Batman’s Yang. A relationship that showed that despite their Polar opposition of each other they were linked as one.
The artwork is stunning and the cinematic aspects of the drawings make you believe that you are watching a movie that you were not supposed to watch as a kid. The violence and sexual innuendos were intense but not gratuitous. Anything lighter would have lessened the impact of the book. But like I said it is INTENSE. Children get killed, eyes get stabbed, suicide and battered women all pop up in the story.
The plot itself is simple. Batman has a midlife crisis and after 10 years of retirement comes to show a new generation of scum that certain things don’t change. Simple right. Now add in the craziness of Batman’s world and what this turns into is a masterpiece of emotions. He faces off against Two Face, The Joker, The Mutants ( Gotham City’s newest generation of degenerates ) and crazily enough Superman. His gritty disposition is enhanced by the fact he is a much older man. Cranky, irritable but still a viciously skilled fighter and peerless strategist. Alfred is present but Robin is re imagined as a girl named Carrie. Which gives the story a cool twist. It doesn’t take away or enhance the plot as Robin has always been a sidekick but it’s just kinda cool that Frank took that turn.
I cant recommend this book enough. A must read for Batman fans. The line that a cop in the story says to his younger partner when Batman is about to be seen in full costume by the reader for the first time sums it all up “were in for a show kid”
Immaculate beauty. That is what one scene in this movie captures unlike any other attempt before or after it in my memory.
I’ll get to that moment when I get to it. Like I said in my last review, Quentin Tarantino skillfully crafted an intricate simple movie. Linked by strands of old cinema and guerilla style edge, he touched upon a million classic Kung fu references mixed with anime styled excess. In this part of the movie the eastern influences play a more background role to the western themed final showdown between the Bride and Bill. The Bride still has her Hanzo sword but rather than get the feeling you got when you KNEW Bruce Lee was about to give 20 dudes a beat down, it feels more like Eastwood about to face an enemy at high noon.
The switch in themes is not the only opposite to the first film at play here. The simplistic dialog that gave the first one it’s playful charm is replaced with dialogue that proves why Tarantino is as respected as he is. Pulp Fiction’s “Royale with cheese” exchanged is topped by Bill’s fantastic deconstruction of the classic Superman character’s egotistical view of humanity. ( I swear I never looked at Superman the same way again, What an asshole ) The only place for the type of old school Kung Fu flick talk prevalent in the first part is during The Bride’s training with Pai Mei ( that’s my dude right there. Son don’t play ) and that is mainly done in Chinese with subtitles. This is a movie where insight into the characters is really shown by what they say. Often funny but very deep in certain parts. Seriously there are so many quotable in this movie it’s not even funny.
The tradition of compelling characters is still intact in this movie. From Bill’s surrogate father Esteban, Bill’s brother Budd and Elle ( who to me was the ultimate villain in the movie ) to the random characters that pop in and out. ( Budd’s strip club boss that said he was as useless as an asshole on the elbow was funny as hell ) Out of all of them though, the ultimate addition to the cast is Bill. ( RIP David Carradine ) You know those bad guys that are so cool you actually don’t want to see them die. That’s Bill. Dude is just so damn down to earth it doesn’t make sense. The fact that the daughter he raised requested her bedtime movie be “Shogun Assassin” ( trust me Wu tang fans were foaming at the mouth when the “Liquid Swords” intro started playing ) is a testament to his quirky but seasoned and wise killer vibe. After you saw what he did to the Bride you still expect him to get what’s coming to him but a part of you is like “damn. I wish they could work it out somehow” cause dude brings such a fly element to the movie. Rather than see him as just a cold blooded killer ( Like Elle ) you see him as a father and a man that was hurt by a woman he loved. But don’t get it twisted, he still always let’s you know what he’s capable of.
Now. On to the whole immaculate beauty thing. I gotta keep it real with y’all. I saw this movie on bootleg for the first time. My man hit me off with the DVD and I rocked it out for like 2 weeks straight. Seriously I would literally play this movie everyday. When it ended I would start over. For 2 weeks straight. The reason I bring this up is because there was one scene I kept on rewinding like a dope Big pun verse. It was the part where the Bride was walking through the desert on her way to kill Bud. As the song “sunny road to Selina” ( Check my remix of “My 1st song” on my Jay-Z remix album to see how much I love this song ) played in the background the image mixed with the music just hypnotized me unlike any other movie ever did. Seriously, this is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen in my life. I rewound that part a million times just staring at the screen and listening to the music. It’s not a major part in the plot at all but IT JUST WORKS. Any other song in that place would not have had the same effect. The music was as important to the scene as the image was and they combined to make immaculate beauty. This movie is full of things like that. Moments that hit you in the heart more than the funny bone. You saw the Bride cut through the Crazy 88’s in the first one. Here you see her train to get that good. Pai Mei is no picnic so when you see her earn his respect you feel for her even more. Even though this movie is the end piece to the saga in many ways it’s a prequel as you get to really see the inner workings of the characters you caught glimpses of in the first one and fully realize the dynamics of the Brides world.
That’s why “Kill Bill” as a whole is my favorite movie of all time. All the references come together flawlessly and the execution is blessed with that special coat of divinity that mark’s all true artistic genius. Hate it or love it, I don’t really care. To me “Kill Bill” is a masterpiece on all levels and solidified more than ever Tarantino’s place in cinematic history.
Remember the first time you really bumped your head hard on something? A cupboard, the floor, somebody else’s head, whatever. Remember the slight feeling of being dazed that hit you as your brain tried to soak in all that just happened. That is what the end of this movie left me like.
Quentin Tarantino solidified his spot in cinematic history way before he made this. But yo, this to me was his Livin Proof/Only built 4 Cuban Linx. This was literally ALL the shit a lot of people grew up on compressed into one movie. ( it starts with a Klingon proverb for Pete’s sake ) Simple in plot ( and brilliantly so in dialogue as well ); incredible in execution. I once saw a flick where I literally did not give a shit about the main character or anyone in the movie. That was never the case with this movie. From “The bride” ( as Uma Thurman’s character is referred to since here name is bleeped out anytime anyone mentions it ) to Nikki Bell ( Vivica Fox’s character Vernita Green’s daughter ) the movie is packed with people that stay with you even if they only appear on screen for a short time. Hell, people still speculate that Nikki will grow up and hunt down the Bride for killing her mother in a Kill Bill sequel.
The movie ( for the five people who didn’t see it ) is about Uma playing an assassin who wants to leave the life behind when she get’s pregnant. She gets betrayed by her former crew and wakes up after a bullet induced coma to seek revenge. Like I said, simple in plot. The execution is where it gets crazy. I think the references are where it really shines. Everything from the fact we never see “Bill” ( R.I.P. to the homie David Carradine who played the part remarkably ) to the fact “the bride” has many unknown things about her even though she is the protagonist gives the movie a very 70’s action drama feel. Everything from zooming into the eyes when she’s about to fight, to the deadly viper name flashes on screen give it enough humor to offset how dark the movie actually is. Parents are murdered in front of their children, people get shot up in Church and the INFAMOUS tea house scene let you know this is some seriously ill blood and guts shit going on.
While the story and Dialogue are purposefully simple in homage to the olden days action/Martial arts features that inform a lot of this movie. The acting, pacing and references is where the true power comes through. Uma really makes you feel for her. When she kills Vernita you may not fully realize her quest yet but by the time she kills Buck ( yeah you know Buck ) you already start rooting for her. The randomness of certain things like the Yakuza argument where dude flips out then start’s fanning himself keeps you laughing and the black and white parts, the animated origin of Oren Ishi and such spark memories of that classic movie/anime you know you saw a while back but cant recall in detail.
Another demographic this film will appeal to is the beat making crowd. Brilliantly scored by The Rza ( if you don’t know who that is KILL YOUR DAMN SELF ) the movie is jam packed with ill music that had producers running from the theater to MPC to flip something. From Nancy Sinatra’s “Bang, bang”, to the raw theme song used for the Crazy 88’s entrance to the tea house, to the Zamfir song that had all Killarmy fan’s yelling “Yooooooo that’s the joint 4th disciple flipped”. The music was such a classic element to the movie that the songs still turn up today in commercials.
Intense, funny, graphic, this movie is what good cinema is about to me. I saw it in the movies 4 times and I still watch it on DVD. Totally engrossing. This ain’t the sort of flick you have on in the back ground. Like the aforementioned Group Home and Raekwon albums, you have to fully pay attention to what is going on to realize that this is one of the dopest pieces of art ever. Some may not be able to stomach the gore but if they close their eyes for those parts and watch the rest, I think even they could not deny that Tarrintino knocked another one out the park with this movie.
“Durable physically fit raps articulate/ you get your whole skeleton cracked something ridiculous/” DAMN !!! It’s a shame that very few artist in the game can still kick shit as visually stunning as that. Ah! Hell on Earth. An album that marked transitions in so many ways it’s crazy. The drums havoc flipped still had that stone hard feel ( perfectly described by my man OX as “the type of snare that makes you blink involuntarily when that shit drops” ) , but also sported the cleanness that would eventually dominate mainstream rap’s sound. The Infamous Mobb appearance was also significant in the sense that The Alchemist was brought in through their affiliation with DJ Muggs. On a personal note 96 was the year that i came back over here after 3 years of living in Ireland doing the boarding school thing. ( Blackrock STAND UP ) While kicking it with my cousins in London ( where i always spent holidays at ) i saw the review for the G.O.D. father part 3 single in the Source and was feinding for it in Europe but copped it in Greenbelt MD ( Springhill Lake STAND UP ) , so the album also represents a big transitional period in my life being where i went from classy to fly and ashy.
Which brings me to the main point about why music is life for me. I went from balling out in spots like Paris and Knightsbridge to busting my ass working over at Alabama ave in Southeast D.C. and living in the Kirkwood apartments in Hyattsville ( where my man Stix from Franklin ave in B.K. swore that the buildings reminded him of some low rise projects down to the corner store ) and no matter where i was at, Music always had a way of overpowering anything that was going on in life. For example, sticking with the Mobb deep theme. I remember waiting on Grafton Street in the city center of Dublin to link up with this chick i met at the movies. To kill time i jetted up the block from the McDonalds i was supposed to meet her to see what was new at H.M.V. Walking downstairs to where you could find their rap section i walked up and i saw it. The big “IT”. Staring me in my dumbstruck face baring a sticker that read IMPORT was the cover of Mobb Deeps “The Infamous”. Top 40 shit was bumping through the in store speakers, dozens of people buzzed around buying and selling shit and the only thing that i was aware of was the the bone chilling guitar riff of “shook ones part 2″, the relentlessly evil undertone Havoc served up using bass and drums spliced together flawlessly on “cradle to the grave” ( the track that made me start putting vinyl static on my beats for extra ambiance ) and the way that the sample used on “if it’s alright with you” ( WHY WAS THIS TRACK NOT ON THE ALBUM )gave me a warm yet sad feeling every time i heard it. Oh! by the way , big up to Tim Westwood for playing these tracks on his show before the album dropped. Needless to say i copped it, stood shorty up ( it’s all good cause i was wrong for trying to cheat on my girl any way ) hopped on the train back to school, pressed play and was immediately struck by the haunting string plucks of “start of your ending”. ( COT DAMN!!!! THAT BEAT IS STILL HARD AS HELL 12 YEARS AFTER IT CAME OUT ) from start to finish nothing else mattered. On the flipside one day coming home from work in D.C. I was exhausted beyond anything i had experienced before. Rent was looming, stress in the crib and various other things were kicking your boy in the the teeth. Jumping off the greenline train in Hyattsville i was mad tight at the world. I had my headphones off for the train ride cause i was reading ( now and then i go through a bookworm phase ) after exiting the station i threw my joints on cause cars, buses and hundreds of people just as tired as you are is not really a relaxing soundtrack. I skipped the J-Love “Hidden darts” Mixtape to “The Sun” and from the intro( with Ghost talking over lush strings and a flute so serene that it could put anybody in a beautiful coma ) to the outro, nothing else mattered. Rent was still due but music was still more powerful than stress. When the headphones came off the stress was still there but for that little while i was bulletproof to that shit and that is why to me music is life. I read somewhere that Egyptians used to say that music was medicine for the soul and i feel that way too. That’s why die hard wu tang fans that never knew each other can stop and have a 40 minute convo with each other based on nothing but the heavy love we got for the killa beez ( whut up Reynard the grandmaster of the wu tang collections )
I thank God for every little good and bad time i had in life cause ultimately it made me a better writer and producer. Cats ask me how i can make sample free beats like “beautiful scarz” that tend to have a lot of emotion seeped in without any formal training. ( shit i flunked music theory class with an incomplete grade ) The answer is this. Any one of my fam that has seen me loose my mind at a show when a certain song drop’s or seen me jump out my seat screaming when they hit me with a cd i had been dying to hear, they have the key, which is. I LOVE THIS SHIT. Fuck it. That’s all. Solo single no more no less. I’m a fully operational music geek. I’m the dude that reads album credits meticulously cause i want to know everything about that shit cause music just has that effect on me. I don’t know if my zodiac sign has anything to do with it. I rock the Aquarius sign ( fellow cats like Dr. Dre famous for his marathon studio sessions know about the love and from what i read about him the late great J Dilla knew too. note: I am NOT comparing myself to these legends so don’t go flying off the handle ) and people say that cats like us bang out joints too much due to a heavy love for creativity, but if that’s what makes somebody happy why brake that love.
Before i bounce let me hit you with this havoc line that just passed ( I really do got that that Hell on earth shit on the side of me ) “hit you up/ from the waist up/ that’s how it is and how it is is kinda fucked up/ but the beats banging/ got your whole click singing/ on the corner while it’s ringing/” Life is gonna stay fucked up and complicated but everyone from thugs on the corner to stressed out white kids in mosh pits, to grown folks catching a show by The Manhattans can attest that just TURNING UP THAT GOOD SHIT AND ENJOYING IT always has a good effect.