Three Things (Friday March 17 2017)

Welcome to the inaugural edition of Three Things, a short list of three interesting items found around the internet.

#1Why Rock Can’t Compete With Hip-Hop In 2017 (Genius)

The staff (geniuses?) over at lyric storing house Genius recently dropped an article outlining an argument as to why hip-hop dominates today’s landscape – because it can sound like anything it damn well pleases. An intriguing opinion that definitely has points for and against it.

People have also been proclaiming that rock’s been dead for years (exhibit A / exhibit B / exhibit C, to name a few), so there’s some food for thought.

#2Why We Can’t Give South Asian Artists Who Say The N-Word A Pass (The Fader)

Anupa Mistry over at The Fader details some of the problematic language that recent XO Records signee NAV has been using as part of his music. The Cultural Studies student part of me is eating this shit up like it’s going out of style.

#3An Open Letter to Kendrick Lamar (DJ Booth)

This article over on DJ Booth finds Montreal artist (and all-around good guy) Jonathan Emile penning an open letter to Top Dawg Entertainment / Kendrick Lamar about a verse for a track that Emile had paid TDE for some years back. Seems like JE is getting fed up of getting what’s rightfully his. Let’s hope TDE comes around – the track in question (‘Heaven Help Dem’) is pretty solid, check it out here.

BONUS – A video for your weekend

I’ve always been fascinated by people who speedrun videogames. I remember downloading silent .wmv files over a decade ago, watching people both play in real-time and use tool-assisted programs in order to achieve what some thought impossible.

Youtube user Summoning Salt has begun chronicling the evolution of speedruns from some of the most popular communities. Check out his video about the evolution of the SNES game Super Metroid below.

Apartment Hierarchy

My apartment currently holds a very singular, very distinct hierarchy.

Think of it, if you will, as a tiny ecosystem where I am both deity and participant. And where there is a careful negotiation of space. A delicate balance, as it were.

The hierarchy goes as follows:

1) Me
2) The cat
3) The Blu-ray player

Obviously, I find myself at the top of the list for a few reasons. The first is that I am the sole breadwinner in this little entanglement; no matter how many times I politely ask my cat to get a job, she just continues to lick her butthole then stretch out like an accordion. I’m the one who keeps the lights on, who ensures that there is food (of both the cat and human kind) stocked. I allow my kingdom to prosper as a benevolent ruler should. I dictate which doors remain open/closed, as well as how many lights should be turned on.

For a nominal fee a month, I live in relative peace. My three-room apartment is my sanctuary, my storage space. It is where my collection of well-thumbed, time-worn paperbacks about UFOs remains. It is where my washed socks comingle with my shirts, and where my dishes remain.

Second on the list is the cat. My right-hand person in all apartment matters. Errant piece of paper on the living room table? She’s (literally) on it. There’s an ant marching? She will closely inspect it, using her snout as an advance scout. She’ll let me know if there are people at the door by either running towards or away from it, depending on how she feels. When I am gone, she gets to be in charge of the apartment’s official gun, which is in fact just a piece of cardboard with the word POW written on it. She gets select food scraps depending on my mood. She is also a heat lamp of sorts when I am reading in the evening, and her discarded fur could in theory be packed together to create some kind of cat-powered duvet, should I ever reach that point. She still refuses to answer correspondences I forward to her, however, and that’s also why she’s listed as the second most-important figure. She also harbours low-level revolutionary tendencies, as indicated by the time I found her sitting and listening to ‘I Just Can’t Wait To Be King‘ while biting at the corners of a picture of me that had fallen from a pile of recently-viewed photos resting on a living room credenza.

At the bottom of the list is my Blu-ray player. It feeds into my cinephile tendencies and requires little more than some electricity and some batteries for the remote. It allows me to view gloriously trashy cinema alongside the greats. I pair up Slime City with Sunset Boulevard, The Human Centipede 3 with Giant. I’ll sometimes do one of Jess Franco’s strangely surreal horror flicks alongside Seven Samurai. And the Blu-ray player spins them all effortlessly. It doesn’t ask much of me, but its existence is nearly singular, too. I can’t ask the Blu-ray to talk to the Jehovah’s Witnesses, or call for pizza. I can’t ask it to summarize what kinds of alternate facts exist for particular current affairs. It can’t even remember my name properly.

The reason that the player ranks below my cat is that my cat is able to (accidentally) control the player’s behaviour through judiciously stepping on the remote while trying to reach some nook of my apartment. The cat does not give one whole fuck about the Blu-Ray player, except when it ejects a disc. Then she’ll eyeball it as if it were someone ringing the doorbell and give it the sneer it deserves.