Tag Archives: pink floyd

Opinion: Video Killed the Hip Hop Star

I’m going to go off on a bit of a tangent with this article, mainly because it’s a non-issue that has bugged me for some time. I personally haave never really considered music videos important to the music industry, and I’m beginning to believe that the industry itself is beginning to share this opinion, with the likes of mainstream channels such as MTV devoting most of their airtime to reality shows that go a long way to suggest the lack of brains evident in Americans.

But I’m not going to talk about music videos generally today, instead I’ve got a bone to pick with the trend for rap and hip-hop artists who merely use the video as a vehicle to give the impression that they are irresistable to women, loaded with money and proper ‘ard. I’m talking harder than Grant Mitchell from Eastenders, who to this day still remains one of the hardest men ever born, much harder than that celebrity sell out Chuck Norris.

I kind of touched on this a little bit earlier in my Five of the Best feature when I confessed my hate for Fiddy Cents. Two offer my two cents (haha) I think the man is an inbred idiot devoid of any talent or humilty, and what angers me even more are the mindless tools who accept what spouts out of his mouth as music. But before I get carried away and make this an assaination on Mr Cent’s persona, let me reluctantly drag things back to the point – when did music videos just become an excuse for artists to strut around women juggling their oversized breasts and wobbling their full moon arses? Do musicians just need the video as some form of self affirment of their status?

I think to be fair I’m coming at this from the wrong angle. I’m a bit of a critic when it comes to pop/R’n’B/rap/hip hop music, as I don’t really see it as a valid type of music compared to stuff that actually raises questions, or even answers them. I’ve never been able to think about that kind of music in the same way I would spend hours analysing and delving myself into say, a Pink Floyd song or even a Tool one if I’m feeling particularly bullshitty. The idea of a man talking fast about his ho’s and his bling just doesn’t do anything for me, and it’s such a tired idea that has been repeated ad nauseum.

Jurassic 5

Concrete streets: Jurassic 5 remained down to earth and damn good to boot.

The thing is, I know that there is good hip hop and rap stuff out there. One of my favourite summer bands is Jurassic 5, who kept an irrepressable funk about them, whilst dealing with subject matter that didn’t revolve around how many women had licked their lollipops. I can even go some way to appreciating Eminem for his sickly sinister storytelling and the fact that he’s one of the few white guys out there who can show the predominantly black rap community that whitey’s can do it just as good.

Anyway, the point is that all this arse jiggling and bling business needs to stop, and if The Game or Fiddy don’t start considering issues and problems other than their dicks and guns then rap is likely to remain in a turgid bowl of mediocrity and poo. Is it any wonder the kids that listen to this stuff turn out the way they do?


Opinion – Musicians and Politicians

The worlds of musicians and politicians are ones that should be kept entirely separate, and yet it would seem that both parties have a fascination for each other. Politicians, the people who hold true power and yet are usually cursed or hated by the people they control and musicians, the people who more often than not use their position as a popular figure in society to shout off about how they would improve the world if they were in charge. It would seem the two different spectrum’s are obsessed about swapping sides.

This editorial comes just after Roger Waters‘ (ex-Pink Floyd, current money grabbing bastard) headline slot at the Coachella music festival, where during his performance thousands of leaflets supporting American presidential candidate Barack Obama were dropped upon the crowd in an effort to rally support for the politician.

I’ve never quite understood this – why would a musician want to actively support and campaign on behalf of a politician who, for the most part, stands against the morals that said artist has imbued into all of his or her work? In Animals‘, Pink Floyd‘s 1977 follow up to Wish You Were Here‘, Waters‘ lyrics likened the ruthless leaders of the world to pigs – greedy, selfish and with no mercy. However, now Waters‘ uses the iconic floating pig as a mere tool in the propaganda war for a man who, for all his charisma and charm, is likely to inherit a country that is to blame for many of the greatest tragedies we’ve seen.

The iconic pig flying over crowds at Coachella

The underside of the pig was adorned with pro-Obama imagery – using a classic British icon as another tool in the monotonous campaign trail of US presidential candidates.

As a musical artist, you have a certain amount of influence and power that no politician could ever hope to achieve. People listen to your words, people shape their lives around your music and your morals, and people, just like the sheep in Animals, need someone to look up to and follow. So why you would abuse this position of influence to promote a political race that already burns up money and resources that would be better spent on other, more important, things?

The only justification I can put forward for such unashamed free advertising is the senseless belief that offering your support to such a cause is either a pitiful attempt at encouraging others to improve the world via another man, or more likely the inevitable shock tactics of a musician who has for years struggled to gain anyone’s popularity or respect for his past actions.

There are other examples, such as the bandwagon jumping of the last presidential race that saw the likes of R.E.M and Pearl Jam leap at the chance to support John Kerry in his bid to beat Bush, but this recent example just seems a step too far, with Waters‘ selling out what little integrity he had left after the disastrous split of Pink Floyd to get in another American man’s good books. Just like the dogs in ‘Animals’, the cutthroat businessmen, Waters‘ has sold his soul to America.

Opinion: Money.

What to begin with? Well, there’s always the popular topic of Radiohead, who after releasing In Rainbows to the world have been in the public eye more than the government, which I guess for them must be some small victory, but I think at this point the majority of people have grown fed up with the bombardement, so I’m going to avoid that metaphorical elephant.

Instead, I’m going to take a look at another musical giant, Pink Floyd, a band that have been in my ears for a very long time. Having a father who’s Pink Floyd collection consists of every studio album and every bootleg, every live show and released single, often multiple times over, there’s a certain inevitability that I have a great deal of respect for these now aging rockers (that and no decent christmas presents for years because the old man spends all his money on rare Japanese versions of the ‘Dark Side of the Moon’). However, having been disbanded so long, I can’t help but laugh when I found out yet another box is about to be released by publisher EMI. As if the overelaborate opulence of ‘Shine On’ wasn’t quite extravagant enough (or perhaps didn’t rake in enough money) or the re-release of the first album ‘Piper at the Gates of Dawn‘ to coincide with the much publicised death of original vocalist Syd Barret didn’t sell quite well enough, the cash cow is being raped once again for evey last penny out of its worn, tired udders. So, for around a mere £149.99 you too can be the owner of every Pink Floyd album. Probably again.

Oh, you also get an awesome couple of posters. That’s totally worth the money. They’re collectable!

It baffles me. It really does. Here we are, just about near the end of 2007, where the music industry is fighting a war against music piracy and rapidly declining record sales and here, the big wigs at EMI, such as Guy Hands (who was absolutely lambasted by Thom Yorke in this months interview with the Observer Music Monthly) have decided the best way to combat these problems is to re-release the same old shit, with a different packet for a quick buck.

Time will tell when the recording industries wake up and smell the ashes of a failing market tactic. Downloads are (unfortunately) getting more and more popular among casual music listeners and piracy will never be stopped. It’s been no secret that Radiohead’s recent experiment has proven that there is another way of thinking within the industry. Next year is sure to be the year we see massive changes in how the business works. I look forward to seeing it crumble.