The Passion of the Weiss

Sometimes I rhyme slow, sometimes I rhyme quick. But most of the time, I don't rhyme.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Beat Generation: Will I Ain't

Zilla Rocca, the mastermind behind Beat Garden Entertainment and 1/2 of Clean Guns, (the most OCD fire-arms in the history of automatic weaponry) has returned to once again grace us with his presence. He dedicates this rant to David Banner and Peedi Crakk for respectively melting Al Sharpton's crusade to censor lyrics and for calling Papoose out for flat-out sucking.

I first came across Will I Am (aka Wyclef on a budget) back in the late 90s when Black Eyed Peas' "Joints and Jams" appeared on the Bullworth soundtrack. Like any hip hop head, the song and video was a breath of fresh air during a time dominated by Ruff Ryders and No Limit Soldiers. The Peas were actual b-boys doing actual b-boy shit in their videos—paying homage to hip hop’s past while breaking and spitting the most basic, kindergarten rhymes I’ve ever heard.

But who cared at that point? Hell, The Peas even managed to get a joint from Premier for their second album. And they certainly weren’t as pompous as The Roots, so they had no reason to generate any type of feelings from me. Hell, I didn’t even bat an eye when will.i.am put out an instrumental CD on BBE alongside Pete Rock and J Dilla (yes, this actually happened).

Of course that all changed with “Where is The Love?” And then “Let’s Get Retarded”—oops, I mean “Let’s Get it Started” (can’t piss off the NBA). And then “Shut Up.” And then “My Humps.” And that song no one liked but was on those damn Best Buy commercials where they jacked the theme from Pulp Fiction.
Anyway, the Peas existed for Top 40 radio. (They still receive NO LOVE by mix show DJ’s, mixtape DJ’s, most urban radio stations, most hip hop mags, etc.) As long as I could ignore them, I didn’t care about the fact that their lyrics sounded as though they were written by Young MC after being thrown down a flight of stairs and beaten with burning hammers. Nor did I have to endure their trite “conscious” side or their “positive and fun” (read: gimmicky) production and hooks.

But Have Fergie and Stifler's Mom Ever Been Seen in the Same Place at the Same Time?

And then suddenly, some record label exec had an epiphany; “Why don’t we get that rasta-looking guy from that group with the white girl who just made us $50 million to produce all of these other rappers on our roster?” Thus began my single-handed desire to see will.i.am (aka K-os in poverty) be gone. The problem with Will producing other artists is that he’s only good at one thing: making simple, shiny, catchy beats and hooks for a white girl who pees herself. Forget that, he’s REALLY good at that kind of music. (That Sergio Mendes album he did for Starbucks isn’t that bad either).

But once he gets into the studio with The Game or Common or or Nas, he's exposed as a gimmicky b-boy whose style is straight Silly Putty. You want some lifeless, fake Dilla/?uestlove ambient noodling? Listen to the will.i.am joint on Common’s new album (I literally can’t remember the name of the song) if you REALLY want to hear “Stakes is High” replayed on a Rhodes and then really, really sucking ass, listen to that song on The Game’s last album. And the joint he did on Justin Timberlake’s album sounded like what happens when Pharrell gets less than $50,000 for a track. And let’s not even talk about “I Love My Bitch.”

When I hear songs like “Hip Hop is Dead” or “Fergalicious,” it’s like listening to the hip hop version of the king of ADD comedy, Dane Cook. While Cook packs jokes while telling jokes about a joke that started with two jokes and ending in a pile of jokes. Will.i.am (aka Whoopi’s forgotten son) jam-packs these songs with 342 breaks, interludes, bridges, hooks, pauses, live drums, sampled drums, Spanish innuendos, chopped and screwed vocals, etc. In the end, you can’t remember anything but the hook. Instead of the above mentioned artists going to the real source for actual hip hop-inspired hip hop (i.e. Pete Rock, Diamond D, DJ Scratch, Premier), Will.i.am gets the nod because he wears velvet jackets and riding boots and sells 56 million ringtones.

So Will...The Way I See It...If Adding One Cracker to the Group Doubled Your Sales, Adding A Second Cracker Will Quadruple Them. I Mean, C'mon, I Can't Be Worse Than Apl De. Ap. Can I?

Yeah, He may be an ill breakdancer and he may have been signed by Eazy-E back in the 90s, but will.i.am makes Diet Coke Rap Beats. And don’t even get me started on the movie Be Cool. There’s a truly cringe-worthy scene where John Travolta and Uma Thurman revise their famous dancing scene from Pulp Fiction to the sounds of…”Sexy” by Black Eyed Peas.

Peep will.i.am’s verse Mind you, these rhymes were written by a 30+ year old man whose been signed since the early 90s. Whose name wasn't Cam’ron. Or R. Kelly. Or K7.

Behold:
“You take me to ecstasy
Without takin' ecstasy
It’s exactly like ecstasy
When you layin right next to me
I'm sexin' you, sexin' you
You sexin' me, sexin' me
It's feels so damn natural
But we doin' so naturally
I'm liking you
rubbin' me
And you liking me rubbin' you”
To quote Shawn Carter, what more can I say?

Download: (Because It's Okay, Everyone Kinda' Liked That First Album)

MP3: Black Eyed Peas-"Joints and Jams"
MP3: Black Eyed Peas-"Que Dices?"

9 Comments:

At 6:57 AM, Anonymous floodwatch said...

Lovely - this was your best rant yet, Zilla. I certainly wouldn't object if this was made more of a regular feature on POTW.

 
At 11:10 AM, Anonymous Zilla Rocca said...

Thanks homie. I only write when I'm inspired, and after hearing that new Kweli single/video produced by will.i.am, I had to go off.

He's now the formula for these guys who can't make street/club bangers but still want to be on the radio. Only it never really works out that well.

 
At 3:10 PM, Blogger Dart Adams said...

Ouch, Zilla! This is made better by the fact that I was going to do a Will. I. Am post on PP...now I'll just wait to review "Songs About Girls" instead. One.

 
At 6:25 PM, Blogger Max said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 6:26 PM, Blogger Max said...

Will i am is garbage..ever since they added a girl to the group strictly based on the addition of mammaries, I've thought that the Black Eyed Peas are straight booty..the only surprisingly good thing that Will i am has done is the production that Blood of Abraham album that came out a few years ago..one of my favorites LP's for a good while..but the verse he spits on it is cringingly horrible..

 
At 3:33 PM, Blogger a-one said...

well said! i will be forwarding this article to practically everyone on my moms side of the family. nothing spells bizarro world better than a holiday gathering where a bunch of 60 year old people & their 12 year old grandkids are trying to tell you that you don't know anything about hip hop if you dont like BEP

 
At 11:40 AM, Blogger Jonathan said...

You're right, of course (http://screwrock.blogspot.com/2006/12/producer-report-money-in-bank-fergie.html), but I still fuck with "Compton" off the Game record and Too Short's "Keep Bouncin", which is ridiculously great.

 
At 1:07 AM, Anonymous T.R.E.Y. said...

first off, i ain't sayin' dude's in the same league as the biggest and best producers, but he ain't as bad as you're sayin' here.

second off, "I Want You" slaughters every NyQuil-like beat Dilla produced (and co-produced for that matter) on Like Water for Chocolate. i'm sorry.

 
At 11:29 AM, Anonymous TZR said...

Good shit. You should let 215hiphop.com repost this. Hilarious.

 

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