Somehow we (inexcusably) forgot to post this absolute Gem last week, but better late than never I guess. Philip Grass is a new member of Portland’s Dropping Gems posse and has contributed the delectable first entry into the label’s third comprehensive compilation, Gem Drops 3, which happens to be the first entry to be released on vinyl. “Onit” falls somewhere between Madlib’s Quasimoto and the more aggressive side of the Low End Theory sphere and is a more overtly genre-bending offering than we’ve come to expect from DG. It’s easy to get caught up in the stuttering, heavy synth work in “Onit”, but the heavily distorted vocal sample, faltering FX and cracking drums are the real driving force here. Gem Drops 3 is out April 16 and also feature DJAO, City Mouth and M. Constant.
The below quote in from David Foster Wallace and Mark Costello’s Signifying Rappers, a discussion on hip hop and race, as well as a thorough criticism of rapidly changing, turn of the century media forms. I felt it was probably more worthwhile than the brief commentary I was going to plaster here instead.
You may now be getting some hazy idea of the sorts of really quite scary possibilities with which the rap we like is replete. And, hazier, of how complicated this stuff of sampler-from-outside can be. What’s remained passing strange, for use, is the vague threat’s appeal. The unease and ambivalence with which the rare white at the window loves rap renders that love no less love. Whence the fear, though, is really no matter. For look at the world, at the masses we’re part of. At what you look at closest. The plain 80s data is that, whereas love, devotion, passion seem only to divide, it’s fear and strangeness that bind crowds, fill halls, unite Us, somehow, as audience, under the great tent.