So: Self-proclaimed "runaway slave master" Iggy Azalea matched up with the Beatles' US chart record of simultaneously holding both the number one and number two song with their first two entries in the Billboard Hot 100—and yes, that is the worst sentence that I have written or will write all year. The only solace I can take is that T.I., the guy who initially signed and cosigned her, seems to be falling the fuck off in what must surely be a case of cosmic retribution. Tip has a song with Young Thug, the hottest new rapper out (with, of course, possibly the worst deal), called "About the Money"—but the video looks like it was made cheaply (budget-wise and conceptually) in Windows Movie Maker under severe deadlines. No worries though: The video for T.I.'s horrible, ironically titled newest single, "No Mediocre," featuring Iggy, was actually filmed in a Rio favela, for maximum callousness—just in time to remind us of the mass evictions and protests currently happening around the World Cup.
Yet the racist-rap queen/Australian Kelly Bundy and the felon reality TV star are on divergent paths—Iggy is now on a sub-label of Universal (Island Records), while Tip is on a sub-label of Sony (Columbia). If either were on an indie label that refused to play ball with YouTube's coming subscription-based system, you'd possibly be hard-pressed to find their shitty videos at all. Maybe one day, Google (YouTube's owners) will pull a similar trick on all of us, locking you out of search-engine existence if you don't pay up. (I'd love this.) Of course, by then the whole world will probably have broadband internet via Comcast (I'd HATE that), so you'd barely be able to stream a video anyway—unless you paid for faster service. I digress. Everything is just fine.
Former great white corporate-rap hope Asher Roth is at Neumos on Thursday, June 26—this show should probably sell out twice over—putting to bed forever the aimless-smart-guy-in-the-frat-rap swag of his 2009 debut, Asleep in the Bread Aisle. Just peep his new RetroHash album, out on Federal Prism—the new label from TV on the Radio's Dave Sitek, who also just signed PDX's Natasha Kmeto. The cover was done by the same guy who made the cover to the Beatles' Magical Mystery Tour—and has Roth looking exactly like he poached Willie Nelson's wardrobe, or more to the point, Ben Haggerty's wardrobe person. So much so that if this album had physical CDs (what are those?), and those CDs were suddenly to be sold at Walmart, Prism might well be liable for several teenagers' heart attacks in the flyover states. (Asleep in the Music Aisle?) The single "Fast Life," with its low-key-breathy flow and burbling trumpet accents, certainly could be called "post-Macklemore," but I will say this—Asher's posi/breezy reboot works for him. I'm not even mad at the literally-message-based video for "Fast Life," even if it's a touch mellow-white-Jesus-y. His big message being—spoiler alert—"We are very lucky." Lucky to live in the so-called first world, lucky to just have the problems we do.