It’s been a long time, we shouldn’t have left you, without a podcast to step to….step to, step to…you get it; it’s like that Aaliyah song.
We gave you a movie commentary to quench that junkie’s thirst for our imminent return, but nothing can prepare you for this month’s podcast that is sure to give you heart palpitations.
From the sultry tones of Al Pacino as he talks nipple clamps and spankings…to us wagering our souls, dignity and enthusiasm on 2017 films…and of course we have a game for you, because we love you so very much.
We return with “Hey Fuckhead,” where we tear apart those in Hollywood that really piss…us…off, here’s a hint; he’s a world leader who probably has a tiny wiener…take that as you may.
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, the newest Simplistic Reviews podcast. Body harnesses and ball gags not included.
Some of the comments in this post will not behoove the irony of what they can be taken as, namely the fact that a well known hip-hop duo like Killer Mike and El-P, collectively, Run the Jewels, was widely attending by an all-white crowd.
This is not meant to be inflammatory at all, it’s just a very basic, and simplistic, observation where I was surrounded by a crowd of people that are my skin color. It makes me think of where hip-hop is going and is there an issue with the way shows like this are being advertised. Is it the pricing of the show, is it the venue, which ironically enough is located in a historically black neighborhood. It just made me think since it’s a paradox that hip-hop has had such a far-reaching effect on the Caucasian community who come out in droves to support artists.
Personally, I’ve always loved hip-hop from an early age; my first tape was “The Chronic,” which was confiscated by my parents despite the fact that they were the one’s that bought it for me, and my love for the genre grew over the years. Until about 2008, which to me so the death of hip-hop for many years. It was a wasteland of just bad music that coincidentally all sounded the same. So shit, on shit, on shit…it wasn’t “boom bap,” it was poop shit (yes, very grade-schooler of me).
Luckily, more artists like Kendrick Lamar, Schoolboy Q, and Action Bronson have come along, as well as the return of A Tribe Called Quest and De La Soul, hip hop is on the upswing, somewhat, but nothing in my opinion matches the intensity of the super group of Killer Mike, known widely for his contributions to The Dungeon Family and Outkast, and El-P, producer supreme and one of the founders of Company Flow, who formed Run the Jewels back in 2013.
Overall, their performance at Nashville’s Marathon Music Works was a grand success. The crowd was into it, the vibe was communal, and the duo of El-P and Killer Mike is one that is tailor made for a road movie about two buddies, one having just broken up with his significant other, and the other wants to get him out of the slump. The two get along that well on stage that I would love to see them star in something together.
There were some low points to the show of course. While the openers were fine, including two DJs, Nick Hook and Gaslamp Killer, and two MCs, Cuz Lightyear and Gangsta Boo, the former a member of Three Six Mafia, the sets went on a little to longer, but that’s not discounting the effort that they put in for the crowd. The audio fidelity was also a little suspect at certain points of the show. Maybe the bass was just a little too much for the venue to handle. Add some extended feedback hi-jinks which had my ears ringing, and that was the short of the qualms I had with the show, which really isn’t that bad to be honest.
The show in it’s entirety ran nearly four hours, which is a lot of hip-hop to squeeze into one night, and Run the Jewels’ set went for what seemed nearly 90-minutes of high energy rhymes. However, while the verbal intercourse was something to behold, there was also the message that the group, namely El-P wanted to get across. It’s no surprise that El-P and Killer MIke aren’t fans of our incoming 45th President of the United States, and the crowd was clearly behind him. But there was also a message of peace and hope. El-P explained that it was amazing to see so many people out late on a Tuesday night for a Run the Jewels show. He also told the crowd to look around and see the types of people in the room. This was a community of people who were all there for a simple purpose; to enjoy an amazing show. A community of like-minded individuals. A community of neighbors. The main point is that we are all one community, no matter what walk of life we might come from. This heartfelt message was in stark comparison to the fact that he just called our incoming president a “c*nt” and a few other choice words, and he also joked about this getting out and the Trump tweet that would likely follow. It hasn’t just yet of course.
Overall, seeing a group like Run the Jewels is a treat for anyone. It features to luminaries of hip-hop at the top of their game, while acts like Drake or Migos or Future off nothing more tales of drugs, bougie broads, or elementary school raps, El-P and Killer Mike are offering a sampling of conscience rap with an injection of the surreal and that same braggadocios-style that has been a hallmark of hip-hop since LL Cool J exclaimed “I’m Bad!”
This year will celebrate the 28th anniversary of the Spike Lee Joint, “Do The Right Thing.” But the question we always ask ourselves is, “What is the right thing?” Is there a “right” thing? And if there is a “right” thing, how does one make the decision on what the “right” thing is?
There’s no doubt that “Thing” was a film that happened at the right place at the right time, and while other films have tried to emulate the race divide and a sign of the times, see also Lee’s “Summer of Sam” for a look into the racial and cultural divide in 1970s New York, there still isn’t a film, for my money, that captures the anger, anxiety, and zeitgeist of a city sitting on a powder keg. Of course, art often imitates life, and in recent years with police shootings, gang violence, political discourse, and attacks on immigrants, minorities, and the LGBT community on the rise, we all live in uncertain times.
Oh, there is also the fact that we have a bullying, fear-mongering, divisive, reality-show starring megalomaniac about to take the Oath of Office as the 45th President of the United States, but don’t worry folks, go watch some foxes jumping in the snow (actually, that doesn’t sound like a bad idea).
Back to the point, in “Thing” the climax reaches a fever pitch when the character “Radio” Raheem is murdered by NYPD officers, a fire hose is turned again an angry mob and our “hero,” Mookie, played by Lee, throws a trash can through the window of local pizzeria, Sal’s Famous. A lot of anger is loaded into the final 15 minutes of the film, but it brings up the question; What is the “Right” thing?
This is an argument that I’ve gotten into with a lot of people. Personally, I’m always interested to hear what people think is the “right” thing. The biggest point of contention is always whether Mookie should have thrown the garbage can through the window of Sal’s Famous. While I understand why this might be a point to argue between people, I’m on the side of this being the “right” thing. Simply, it was rightful rage over the death of an innocent citizen by the “trusted” police force which forces another citizen to act in way that many may never understand how to act. Of course, in turn, this action also saves the lives of Sal and his sons, despite the fact that their business is destroyed by an angry mob. That’s the simple way to breakdown the climax of “Thing,” but there is much more leading to this choice.
Other aspects of the story certainly play a big part in Mookie’s decision. The New York heat, Sal not paying Mookie before the day was up, being accused of being a dead-beat father, the constant harassment by Smiley, there are several aspects of the day that sets Mookie off, but the most reasonable is always going to be seeing “Radio” Raheem murdered in front of him by police who are tasked with upholding the law and having the CPR (Courtesy Professionalism Respect) on the side of their cruiser (the irony). It’s a layered argument that can be tossed back and forth, but the reason we still reference “Thing” as the movie that still commands our attention a quarter of a century after it’s release is the climate we live in currently.
Police still systematically target minorities which often ends in horrific results, and police are overworked with less officers on the ground to do the job correctly, not to mention the fact that many officers are ill-equipped to get the job done correctly. An overburdened and broken system leads to misjudgment and tragedies that will continue to happen.
Is violence the “right” thing…no….however, when you are kicked, prodded, marginalized, and made to feel that you have no rights as a citizen, what are you going to do? Throwing a TV through a window might be a start, but how about throwing your vote in a ballot box on a local level to make the immediate change that is needed to hopefully, at some point, make a bigger change.
Much was made when “Thing” was released, including comments that viewing this film would incite riots. Lee’s response was whether critics believed that minorities, namely African-American’s, were unable to control their impulses while viewing a work of fiction. It was a perfect response for people that just don’t get it, and will never get it. Hell, if “Thing” makes you angry, IT SHOULD! While it WAS a work of fiction it was still inspired by true events, namely the beating and murder of Michael Stewart by NYPD officers, and we are still seeing the endless deaths of African-Americans around the country, sadly at the hands of law enforcement officials. We should all be upset by this, while Lee is being a politician about it, he should have said “Yes, people should get upset about this film, it’s happening, this is the world we live in!”
So, what is the “right” thing? IS there a “right” thing? The “right” thing is to take tragedy and knowledge and apply it in a way that changes the course of your life, your country, and your politics. We are living in scary times, with people in charge that seem to like to “troll” the American people. We literally have an Internet troll who is poised to take the office of The President of the United States shortly. Think about that….someone who made his career firing the like of Lil John and Dennis Rodman from a fake job interview show is going to be hiring people to look after Civil Rights cases and reading the most classified of files, will be running our country for what could be up to eight years.
The “right” thing is to follow the mantra of Public Enemy and “Fight the Power.” But fighting the power is more than just with your fists. Fight with your empathy, fight with your courage, fight with your knowledge, shit, fight for your right to party, because if anything you always have the “right to fight.”
We are approaching the New Year at a feverish pitch, and while November might not have gone the way that a lot of people wanted it to go, at least you can say 2017 can’t get any worse….or can it?
Kanye Being Kanye
So Kanye West cancelled a bunch of his tour dates after people booed him in California for saying that if he did vote, he would have voted for Donald Trump. How could he be so heartless? I mean I’m not saying he’s a gold digger, but with all the flashing lights, he really should be stronger….he sucks. (Not from one of his songs….yet)
This Brings Me To…..
…aka, beating a dead horse…
On this Thanksgiving episode of the Simplistic Reviews Podcast, the boys talk about turkey and Donald Trump…A Minecraft movie and Donald Trump…Shelley Duvall and Donald Trump and who would win in a fight between Dracula and the Wolfman…oh and we also genuflect to our new Presidential overlord Donald J. Drumpf…all that and more on a turkey day episode of the Simplistic Reviews Podcast. And that wasn’t a typo, by the way. Donald Trump’s real name is Drumpf…these are facts.
*I am in no way a political scientist or anyone of importance. Shit, I’m just a working class stiff who also happens to host a podcast with two friends. Take that into consideration when the trolling starts.*
Fret not people, the dream isn’t over…it is merely postponed…it might be a painful four years, but postponed doesn’t mean it’s dead.
Not much solace can be given in this time of division and what people might call one of the biggest mistakes voters have made perhaps ever, but we will persevere as a people, a community, and as human beings.
Oh behalf of DJ Valentine, and Justin Polizzi, none of us agree with how this 2016 Election ended, with a victory for now President Elect, Donald Trump. It’s a scary reminder to never underestimate the power of fear mongering, and pandering to groups of people that feel that they have been swept to the side in favor of people that actual need help and representation. We live in a scared nation right now filled with people scared to lose their guns, scared that they won’t have social security when they retire, scared that they can’t retire on their pension, scared, scared, scared. When people are scared they don’t look for what they have seen for the past eight years, they look to an alternative; they look to someone like Trump who offered them an alternative.
Trump is not an idiot, let’s get that right out of the way. In fact he’s a brilliant guy who conned voters into voting for him because he was an “insider” that saw the corruption that was happening in Washington, and he turned into an “outsider” who knew how to fix the problem. Can he fix the problem? Who really knows, this country has been shattered in 2016, and it’s going to take a while to mend the hearts of minds of a country so greatly divided. I can see it now, Trump 2020 “It’s Not My Fault I Couldn’t Make America Great.”
The other important takeaway is that the Republican Party now controls all aspects of the US Government, from the House to the Senate. The Supreme Court will likely tilt in the balance of the right-wing, and this can be a scary thought, but it also brings about opportunity for this country to finally get work done, albeit work that I will likely disagree with 100%. You wanted change Amerikkka, well now is your time to shine!
The Affordable Care Act will likely be repealed and replaced with something else, and it seems that Trump would like to erase all visage of the Obama Administration. It’s a sad time for many people who think that eight years of progress will likely go down the drain, and you might even consider that over 60 years of progress for this nation will be rolled back as well. That’s a bit of a stretch, but you have to consider that, it’s incredibly frightening.
So where do we go from here? Well for one, we need to carry on and continue to live. Of course it’s good to mourn, for many of us this is a day of mourning. The proverbial rug was just pulled out from under us and we face planted onto the hard concrete of reality. We were promised that Trump wouldn’t go far. He was a nightly punchline for the likes of Bill Maher, the cast of SNL, and John Oliver, but this is the new reality that we have to face; we have this man as our 45th President of the United States. Yes, a man who fired Flava Flav from a reality show, a “man” that brags about sexual assault on women, a man who likely hasn’t paid federal taxes in a long time and brags about it, a man who believes in something called “Extreme Vetting,” and a man who’s Twitter account had to be taken away from him like a child. This is the best that we have right now. This man. Donald J Trump.
So what’s next for this “great” country? Who the hell really knows. It all still seems so surreal to think that Trump is president. Perhaps we were spoiled with eight years of having a Commander in Chief, while not perfect, was an inspiration to millions. Barack Obama had his ups-and-downs, but you can’t take away his class, charm, ability to form proper sentences, and the way that he carried himself. The odds were stacked against him from the start, yet he still found ways to at least try and get things done. He treated people with integrity and dignity, and I was proud to know that we had a leader that at least tried to lead instead instead of “lame ducking” it for the last two years of his presidency. He had to deal with preposterous claims, namely from our new President, that he wasn’t born in the United States, and he handled it with class.
The last thing we need to remember is that the blame is to be shared. We created this monster, this Trumpenstein if you will. We patronized his hotels, we watched his reality TV shows, we went to his universities, we bought his steaks, we putted on his greens, and we all thought he didn’t have a snowball’s chance in Hell. Well I heard that Satan just put on his snow boots because it’s going to be a cold four (or even more) years in not just this country, but around the globe.
The chickens have finally come home to roost….or whatever the fuck that means….
And we’re back….and it’s not A Dinosaur Story….The month of July brought us so many wonderful things, and by wonderful I mean a bunch of things that people bitched about on the Internet. So here….we….Go.