"Your rap's a corporation/A soft drink, nigga/What can y'all tell us?"
So Mountain Dew recently pulled its commercial directed by Tyler, the Creator. In it, a battered white woman faces a lineup to identify her attacker. The lineup is made up of black men, yes, and a goat (Tyler has long had a goat fetish)—which is voiced by Tyler himself. Now is it just me, or is everybody missing the point, being stuck on the race thing here? How about the fact that it depicts a traumatized woman, too scared-to-death to identify her attacker—a real-life scenario—in order to sell some fucking soda? Sometimes I think "missing the point" is one of hiphop's so-called elements. Still, I like that the outrage is sparking some kind of pushback in the love affair between money-grubbing rappers and bloodsucking corporations. Some accountability might even get learned. Even still, I doubt highly that Rick Ross understands exactly why his lyrics about drugging and raping a woman were wrong—or that Lil Wayne really gives a shit about the feelings of Emmett Till's family. My opinion: He's not repentant; he's protecting his money. Well, it's a start, I guess.
Look ye now to Seattle's youngest in charge, Porter Ray, who stole the last breaths of the Physics' "Zones in the Twilight" off their sumptuous Tomorrow People from last year. As reported last time around these parts, Porter opened up for the illustrious Mobb Deep. I noted at that time that Porter had low-key become the prince of the city in reputation but hadn't released a damn thing—and, by my count, had played all of one show.
By the time you read this, I will have returned home (from a month across North America with Shabazz Palaces, THEESatisfaction, and Malitia Malimob), and hopefully, I will have felt social enough to go peep young Porter that night, because he just let fly a 13-track release called BLK GLD—a downright masterful string of lustrous jewels that demands a straight-through (g)listen. If you fancy yourself an appreciator of your native sounds, an inhabitant of the scene, then sleeping on Porter will get your motherfucking deposit rejected. At one listen-through, BLK GLD is a classic local debut that more than lives up to the considerable hype placed on his name's shoulders. Porter is a classically gifted master of poetic, slick shit—no hyperbole meant, but my first instinct was to compare his ice-water style to that of Nas and Reasonable Doubt–era Jay. Unlike most young heads looking to evoke their titanic cool, however, he never gets lost in a wordy haze. Even more important to his appeal, he at times kicks perfectly gameful bars for ladies without having to resort to basic-ass Drake-isms. (Don't do it, please don't do it.) What we appear to have in Mr. Ray is an MC of rare sensitivity, deftness, and subtlety—and I for one am damned excited to see what it is he does next.