I don’t know about you but I found most of this summer’s new music to be pretty weak.
In fact, I spent most of the past four months listening to old Dandy Warhols and UGK records with a touch of Cool Kids, Crystal Castles and Los Campesinos thrown in.
So I was pretty happy to see late summer releases on the way by artists like the Gza, Beck, The Black Kids, The Brazilian Girls, and Lil’ Wayne.
However the two artists who stole the spotlight from all of the above were none other than a couple of Canadian MCs; Halifax’s Wordburglar and London Ontario’s Shad K. Burglar I’ve known about for some time but his catchy track "Cream of Wheat" really caught my attention earlier this year. Recently I finally got my hands on his full-length album, "Burglaritis," and if you’re looking for some hilarious throwback verses "the best GI Joe vehicle, the Tomahawk," and punch-line after punch-line, check it out.
Shad too has been around for a while as well and while his full-length EP, "The Old Prince," was released back at the end of 2007, it was only recently that I discovered that it had been released thanks to recent videos for "I Don’t Really Like To," and "Brother (Watching)," both of which have surprisingly been on MTV Canada and Much Music rotation of late.
And the album doesn’t disappoint.
In fact, I knew I had a winner when I found Shad constantly dropping basketball references in his rhymes. including this one that had me both laughing out loud, and shaking my head in amazement:
"Yo, when I’m writing I re-pea-ted-ly edit words and rework tracks,
I’m like the Raptors,
I’ve got weak first drafts.
So when I’m dropping a new flow,
It’s probably not aaaallllll that solid at first,
Post, you might call it Araujo."
Did someone not only get the Raptors into a rhyme-scheme but throw in Hoffa as well??
Talk about some creativity.
For those who haven’t checked out the album, pick it up and support some local talent, some that hopefully one day will be able to duplicate Will Smith paychecks instead of just Fresh Prince videos.
Do I expect to hear one of Shad’s tracks opening up things for the Raptors next season?
Well, it’s probably a bit early for our annual "HQ Soundbombing" piece where we discuss the various good musical choices Toronto WON’T pick, but the comments on the site lately have thrown out some great options.
Howland and I have both always wanted something epic, his pick being an extension of the symphonic backing for the Chris Bosh ads on RaptorsTV. I like that choice, but it’s used a lot in cinema and I’d prefer something a little more original. Lux Aeterna as a few readers suggested, is a great option as well, it needs to have that build. That’s why even though it was overplayed and not exactly original, I didn’t mind last year’s Kanye choice. I just thought the Raptors staff did a terrible job of editing the beginning to really capture the beat build. I’d suggest something like Roni Size’s Lucky Pressure, which could be amazing if edited and looped correctly, but I’m sure they’d make a real mess out of it.
So as of now, what song do I think the Raps will pick?
I think my vote would go to Lil’ Wayne’s A Milli.
It obviously won’t be the whole song, but some instrumentalish version. It sort of fits last year’s Kanye choice in terms of having a solid percussive beat and being a popular choice at that, although the lack of a real chorus might make it tough to use.
But who really knows with the Raptors right?
I mean in retrospect, was there anything more ridiculous, than the whole Beyonce-Raptors-dancing-around-like-idiots intro? Seriously, at the time I thought it was a bad idea, but now looking back, it’s 10 TIMES as bad. Imagine you’re an opposing team like the Detroit Pistons, and you see this as you’re about to play Toronto? Unreal. I mean, even comparing the Pistons’ intro to that of the Raptors then was pitting a fire-breathing dragon against a gecko.
Of course Toronto could go in another direction entirely and choose a more well-known anthem like oh I don’t know, Thunderstruck.
Apparently the newest NBA franchise has picked the old AC/DC banger as it’s intro and this is something some fans have been calling for since the team name, The Thunder, was accidentally leaked a few months back.
Um…could the NBA not have come up with something a little better? The team moves from Seattle where it had one of the best and most iconic images in all of basketball and gets this? As Howland said last night, it looks like some kid got loose with his crayons. Either that, or an Arena Football league team.
Why not choose something that has some community roots?
So Cowboys and Sooners are obviously out but why not pick something completely different from the former Seattle franchise, something that speaks to the eventual community the team will be playing in front of?
In fact, the NBA has done a horrible job in terms of naming teams for a while now. Why is Utah the Jazz and not New Orleans? And the Grizzlies, Raptors, Wizards and Bobcats are all just a bit too cartoony for my liking. At this rate, the next expansion team or relocation job will be named Kansas City High School Musicals.
The other curious thing is that Golden State already has a number of "weatherish" themes to its club including a mascot named Thunder. Does this mean Oklahoma’s mascot will be dubbed "Warrior?"
I don’t know.
The whole thing just has me shaking my head a bit.
Sort of like my reaction to last night’s story that Kansas teammates Darrell Arthur and Mario Chalmers were thrown out of the NBA rookie transition program for getting caught with marijuana and women in their hotel rooms.
This I don’t really get, I mean, doesn’t the fact that they were caught with some herb and possibly ladies of the night mean that they indeed HAVE made the successful transition from rookies to full-on NBA vets??
All jokes aside, maybe it wasn’t a kidney issue that teams were concerned about when they were passing on Arthur in the June draft.
As a Raptors fan, reading about things like this and the emerging Monta Ellis fiasco makes me glad that incidents like these are rare occurrences on the team and that perhaps the biggest source of immaturity is now a Pacer.
As Shad puts it on his album:
"We all get older but we don’t all get grown…"