Dukes is a beatsmith, historian and mailman hailing from the south of The Netherlands. He knows more about politics than you and is as nuanced as a brick through your car’s front window. This is his exclusive column for TRU. (the opinions expressed by Dukes are solely those of Dukes and do not represent the TRU board of editors).
With the end of the year coming up it’s time to reflect on some things that happened last year. As is tradition in the media, there are the year lists which reflect a political correct consensus. Political correctness and consensus, two things I can’t be bothered with and which annoy the shit outta me. The other problem is that I haven’t peeped much rap releases this year. I read TRU’s producers of the year list the other day and only knew three of them. But since I didn’t have another idea for this weeks column I decided to give my readers an idea of what I could and couldn’t be bothered with this year. Just some things that I enjoyed. Not a good objective overview of last year by any account, but I’ll be the last one to claim that. Let’s go.
Top 5 rap video’s that I actually saw and enjoyed
- Action Bronson – The Symbol. You can’t go wrong with a video where a fat tattooed up Albanian re-enacts crappy 70’s action movies. Same thing applies to fat Albanians in Santa suits waving shotguns. I guess you just can’t go wrong with fat Albanians.
- Game – Holy Water. By far the most materialistic and misogynistic video I’ve seen this year, and we all know that that’s the stuff that makes a great rap video anyway.
- El-P – The Full Retard. We could finally witness what mister Floppy does when he isn’t performing in that cheap bullshit Married with Children knock-off show. His hobbies mainly consist of doing blow, firing off guns and getting sucked off by whores, which is also the kinda stuff that makes a great rap video.
- Freddie Gibbs & Madlib – Thuggin’. This is probably the most gangsta video since Straight outta Compton. Anti-social behavior at it’s finest. The amount of exotic guns in the video is ridiculous, the bald guy smokin’ crack is also kinda cool visually and you just can’t hate on that Scarface jacket. It’s so ugly I really need to get the Rumanian pimps in my local hood those jackets. They would appreciate the gesture. Too bad for them I’m broke as fuck.
- Raekwon – Scroll. It’s not that special really. Matter of fact, it’s not memorable at all apart from the fact that it was shot in my old hometown. Good look. Tilburg stand up!
Top 3 hypes I couldn’t be bothered with
- Jay-Z and Kanye West apparently performing N*ggaz in Paris eleven times in a row in Paris. I think this song pretty much sums up every thing I despise about modern day rap. I saw some footage of the crowd response on Youtube; video footage of the only other time groupies were so excited about a megalomaniacal piece of shit can be seen in Leni Riefenstahl’s Triumph Des Willens.
- Kendrick Lamar’s Good kid mad city. Don’t even know if I spelled it correct, probably not. I again followed Chuck D’s advice and didn’t believe the hype. I think I heard it at a friend’s place but I was so wasted that night I can’t say Kendrick made much of an impression on me really, the only thing I remember is that the drums were ass. I’ll probably hear this sober sometime next year at some friend’s place and say it’s aight out of politeness to my host. Or perhaps I’ll be blown away. Hard to predict right now.
- Frank Ocean’s much lauded debut album. I heard some of it, thought it was just plain, gay RnB and when the dude apparently came out of the closet he proved me right and I still couldn’t be bothered. Give me a reason why I should listen to this guy when I can bump OV Wright? That’s like choosing meth over Moët.
Top 3 albums I was finally able to obtain this year.
- Ad de Laat’s Brabant ge verandert… on vinyl. Never thought I would find it, but a friend hooked a Brabo up. Me being a Brabo in exile this somewhat chauvinistic, nostalgic Burgundian Bob Dylan almost moves me to tears. Almost. It does choke me up tho’. Everytime I bump it I wanna get onto the train to Tilburg and do what the former pope did when he got out of his plane.
- The UN’s UN or U Out. Now I finally warn the local Rumanian pimps when shits pop off by bumping ‘Come And Get Your Bitch’. And force it upon my neigbors in any other situation possible. After all, you gotta give ‘em what they want.
- Supreme NTM’s last studio album, which I regard to be the best European hip-hop record ever. Already had the double vinyl but finally found the cd of it. Since I’m too broke to own a car I now can bump it in someone else’s ride. Zum zum zen.
Top 3 dishes I probably shouldn’t have ate in hind sight.
- The spicy jalapeño spareribs at my local Mexican restaurant.
- Any dish I ate during HiphopKemp, considering they only had one lit toilet for the male visitors which made up for long cues and blocked drainpipes. Thank God we stayed at a nearby hotel.
- The Wiener Schnitzel I ate in Vienna. It was really good, probably the best I ever ate… but the sheer size of it – think Ghostface’s Versace medallion – ensured that I haven’t felt the necessity to eat another schnitzel since last August.
Top 3 personal hip hop highlights.
- One of my older co-workers who saw one of my videos and thought the song was about not ballin’ your wifey anymore. Since neither ballin’ nor wifey were mentioned in that track this makes his interpretation the rap riddle of the year.
- Me and my boys opening up act for La Coka Nostra during their only Dutch gig in the European Masters of the Dark Arts tour. I consider The Future Is Now to be a classic so that was cool. What also was great that night was the face of my friend Fats – a bona fide member of the hip-hop Taliban – when Slaine told us that Jay-Z had six classic albums. Fats just couldn’t believe what he was hearing. Priceless.
- Receiving a shout out in the liner notes of Black Marvel’s debut album – the most anticipated Dutch hip-hop album in years. Felt honored. We waited for it for years and years, and it delivered. Great album.
Top 3 bizarre claims I made regarding Cappadonna’s The Pillage that didn’t make much sense when looking back on it. Blame cheap Eastern European liquor.
- Claiming that it is one of the best hip-hop albums ever made.
- Claiming that I don’t give a shit about the musical opinion of anybody who doesn’t possess a copy of The Pillage.
- Vowing to make a Brabantian revisit of The Pillage. Check for a Brabo!
Top 3 gigs where I could be found strolling around wasted.
- Lee Fields & the Expressions in Nijmegen. Goosebumps. Best gig of the year by far.
- Doppelgangaz at HiphopKemp. Great live act, saw them in Amsterdam earlier this year which was also great, but old Soviet hangars provide an atmosphere you can’t fuck with. The fact that two of my friends and the Willem II jersey one of them was wearing are prominently featured in a video they shot over there makes it one of the more memorable gigs of the year.
- Nas in Amsterdam. Although the support act was a iPod playing all kinds of reggae and dance hall tracks which didn’t make much sense and apart from the fact that Nas had a live band with him, it was a fun night. He kicked ‘Hate Me Now’ which made me react like a retard and thereby being more or less the only visitor that recognized this as the gem it is. Too bad he didn’t had Puffy with him for the chorus.
Top 3 gangster moves of the year.
- North Korea transporting Kim Jung Il’s yacht over thousands of kilometers of rocky North Korean soil just to put it with him in his mausoleum while the country is broke as fuck and the population is almost starving. All that while having a pretty ambitious rocket program. That’s some Tony Montana shit right there. Push it to the limit.
- Russia cracking down on a bunch of girls who decided to it was a good idea to piss off the Kremlin by performing some crappy punk song in a Russian Cathedral. They’re now in Siberia doin’ hard labor or some shit, but who cares? As long as I don’t have to hear their bullshit music and see their retarded dance routine ever again during my lifetime I’ll sleep well at night. The moral of the story? You don’t fuck with the Gods, and definitely not with Vladimir Putin.
- The broad who put coke implants in her titties as an attempt to smuggle blow on an international flight. Probably must’ve been inspired by Killa Hills 10304. Too bad for her she got caught.
As you can see, this year wasn’t too bad at all. The Mayan prophecy was bullshit. Roc Marciano dropped a great album which I bought. Action Bronson and the Alchemist dropped a great album which I wasn’t able to buy, at least not in the physical form. Sean P sold dope to someone’s momma and didn’t vote for Obama. I became a fulltime mailman and so far enjoyed every second of it. I also got the chance to write down my opinions for The Rap Up and bother you with them. Can’t knock the hustle. So have a nice 2013 and make the it worth your while.