Chippy Nonstop is fast emerging as Kreayshawn's new BFF. Based in the Bay Area, the diminutive rapstress saw her profile bump earlier this year when Kreayshawn directed the video for her "Kicked Out Da Club" track. Now she's on the road with Kreay and Rye Rye for the Group Hug tour, which touches down in New York City tonight at Irving Plaza. The pit-stop is something of a second home-coming for Chippy, who decamped to Bushwick for a few months earlier this summer. Here's her NYC travelogue.
Clown-fingers crossed "Ghetto Rainbows" is a sequel to "Miracles."
On August 14, Insane Clown Posse will deliver their 12th studio album, The Mighty Death Pop! The last time Detroit's finest punching bags released a full-length original album, September 2009's Bang! Pow! Boom!, they gave the world "Miracles," an unintentionally hilarious viral-video ode to giraffes, "fucking rainbows," and the magic of natural phenomena that brought the wicked harlequins a flood of renewed mainstream attention/derision. Throughout the ultimately favorable 18 months that followed -- as Insane Clown Posse went from mean-spirited meme to unlikely Jack White collaborator to Kitchen-sponsored performance-art indulgence -- the facepainted white-rap scrubs haven't had a new traditional product to sell. So the Saturday Night Live ribbing, the George Lopez cameo, the recent Tosh.0 appearance has mostly been a result of ICP's evergreen existence, bolstered by those unbelievably unbelievable YouTube clips and the band's annual tradition of staging the Gathering of the Juggalos -- a primal, affordable, independent, and somewhat hazardous music festival that atrocity-minded tourists could easily infiltrate.
So what to make of the fact that Insane Clown Posse will finally have a new product on shelves of your local Best Buy? One with guest appearances by Color Me Badd, Ice Cube, and Kreayshawn, plus covers of Christina Aguilera's "Beautiful" and Tears for Fears' "Shout"? One with tracks entitled "Juggalo Juice" and "Scrubstutite Teachers"?
Let's not answer that now. Let us instead examine The Mighty Death Pop!'s contents.
If 2011 had one takeaway, it was this: It's really, really easy to write a song that's by-the-numbers lousy. Rebecca Black's "Friday," the mushmouthed ode to getting down on the weekends, is a prime example; made on a budget, it nonetheless had enough brain-sticking properties to get inside the heads of thousands of Americans, making people wonder just what, exactly, was happening as their mouths formed the words Black was singing. But there are tons of other garden-variety bad tracks out there, from the lead single off that last Red Hot Chili Peppers album to Rihanna's loop-de-loop "We Found Love" to Karmin's whiteface raps.
And since flipping the proverbial dial to something, anything, else is easier than ever these days, it's even less of an achievement for a song to be bad. To succeedto scale the heights and be the best of the worst in 2011a song had to infuriate, to cause a reaction so visceral that listening to the offending piece of music in its entirety was the only way to properly "appreciate" its awfulness. To that end, Sound of the City presents the 11 most infuriating songs of 2011. Our first, least-worst entry is below.
Last night, Lance Bassformer 'N Sync member, aspiring astronaut, and now apparently boy-band guruoffered a tutorial on how to get your probably-jokey, possibly-somewhat-serious musical project noticed by those folks on the Internet who are looking for things to giggle at as they while away at work.
Welcome to Sound of the City's liveblog of the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards, the cable channel's annual paean to musically borne decadence and its own self-storied past. Tonight's roster of performers includes Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, Bruno Mars, Chris Brown, Pitbull, and Young the Giant, as well as a "surprise" performance by Jay-Z and Kanye West, a tribute to Britney Spears (not dead and celebrating the 10th anniversary of her dancing uncomfortably with a snake), an homage to Amy Winehouse (R.I.P.), and the looming possibility that Tyler, The Creator will crap himself onstage. The blogging starts below.
Better than: no other concert I've ever been to, and I've been to a lot.
Maybe Kreayshawn is hip-hop's Andy Kaufman, a high-concept satirist pulling an elaborate cultural prank with her sister V-Nasty acting as the crowd-baiting Tony Clifton. Maybe she's misunderstood, an artist to be looked atyears from nowas a genius. Watch it through that light as Kreayshawn putters around the stage in her mom-jean shorts, muttering her quasi-lyrics while staring downward and flipping her arms up like a parking lot gate. That's her statement on performance as an artform; that's her stretching the boundaries. When she opens up a songher third, "Wavey"by meowing repeatedly and drooling out non-sequiturs, those aren't the untended musings of a stoner; they're the scrawlings of a modern-day Picasso.
Or maybe, and more probably, this was an exercise in how far down rock bottom can be.
Justin Bieber and Ludacris: Congratulations. A lot of people watched your video.
On August 28, MTV will throw the 2011 installment of its Video Music Awards, honoring achievements in the art form that used to make up the majority of its programming. While it's all too tempting to note the irony that the channel has been marginilizing videos in favor of longer-form programming for nearly two decades now, the fact is that the music video as a pop culture force is in good health these days, with or (more often) without MTV's support.
The internet, broadly, has helped revive excitement around the music video, but credit can be specifically given to YouTube. The music video probably reached its nadir of interest and influence around 2005, just before the site exploded into popular consciousness and made streaming video more accessible both to watch and to upload. Not only do major-label stars finally have a place for their big-budget videos to be disseminated in a mass way resembling that of MTV's heyday; new artists have an unprecedented universal portal for their own low-budget clips, a development that's launched a constellation of stars from Justin Bieber to Kreayshawn and Pomplamoose.
Better than: Not being in an air-conditioned room.
Kreayshawnan Odd Future outlier and Lil' B acolytehas skyrocketed upwards since her arrival on May 16, 2011. In the immediate days after "Gucci Gucci" hit YouTube, she spent time in the studio with Snoop Dogg, partied in Las Vegas with Diplo, and signed a contract with Sony Records for reportedly one million dollars. An offer to direct the music video for the return of the Red Hot Chili Peppers dangled in front of her, as well, with a budget of 150Kno matter that she hadn't been behind the visuals for her own hit single. Just this week, Drake interrupted his own studio session, calling in to DJ Green Lantern's satellite radio show to giggle, flirt with, and co-sign Kreayshawn on-air for an uncomfortable four minutes. On Wednesday, she picked up a nomination from this year's VMAs for Best New Artist.
And yet, nine weeks later, so many people think her career is over; a Rebecca Black fluke with Jerri Blank hair and Minnie Mouse ears, a million-dollar abortion a la Papoose. It's not that "Gucci Gucci" was badit wasn't, it isn'tbut rather that there's nowhere for her to go but down. Critics feel she's just the latest example of record labels throwing money at whoever is standing next to the almost-next-best thing. (In recent years, we've seen the Jerkin', Houston, and Hyphy bubbles come and go. This current thing could be a Tumblr Bubble or a Swag Bubble.)
The much-blogged about Bay Area rapper Kreayshawn, whose track "GucciGucci" sent her to the top of the trending-topics charts earlier this summer, will play a concert in New York City this Thursday. And we are giving away three pairs of tickets to the show, thus allowing you to check her out and render your own opinion of her stylings and spitting; to enter, just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org before 6 p.m. today (Tuesday). Winners will be contacted by us on Wednesday, and will get information on the show's location and start time on Thursday. (If you don't win the tickets and are still curious about what she's like live, fret not: She'll be at the Highline Ballroom on August 18.) Good luck!