Victory (Nine Inch Nails Remix) (Featuring The Notorious B.I.G. and Busta Rhymes) - Puff Daddy

Victory (Nine Inch Nails Remix) (Featuring The Notorious B.I.G. and Busta Rhymes)

by Puff Daddy
album Victory (Remixes)

150 Favorite Songs: #73, “Victory,” Puff Daddy (feat. Notorious BIG and Busta Rhymes) (1998)
Man, do I love this song. Pretty much from the beginning of his career until this very moment, Sean Combs-or-whatever-alias-he-was-using-at-the-time has been a joke of a rapper. And, I mean, I get why: He did have a tendency to lazily jack whatever pop song had a good hook and/or riff and drop unconvincing raps over it. (See: “I’ll Be Missing You,” “Come With Me,” etc.) But he also knew how to surround himself with immensely talented collaborators, and he had an unparalleled ambition for exactly how grandiose hip hop could be; a song like “Victory” is as responsible for the career of Kanye West as whatever well-respected shit you can point to.

I mean, he spent $3 million dollars on the music video for this song alone. It was set in the year 3000! It co-starred Dennis Hopper and Danny Devito! Car chases! Explosions! Rain machines! Helicopters! Busta Rhymes perched atop a gargoyle like Batman! (Go watch it, seriously.)

That grandiosity is part of what made Puff Daddy a joke, but as someone who’s always been attracted to the epic, I love it. The original beat for the song is based on a Bill Conti sample (from Rocky, naturally), for a sweeping, epic, pseudo-classical atmosphere, but the remix linked here is where it gets really interesting, for me. Not only did Puffy bring in Biggie and Busta for guest verses, but he also commissioned Trent Reznor for a remix. This was 1998, mind you, and hip hop and alt-rock did not have the sort of mutual-appreciation-society that they do now. This was before rap-metal became a fad, even, and when everything besides rap and country was something teenagers might say to describe what they considered omnivorous musical tastes. Reznor chops the fuck out of “Victory.” He changes the order of verses, moves lines from the end of the song to the beginning, takes subliminal background vocals and drops them right into the forefront, and transforms it into something else. 

The result is a weird, super-aggressive (naturally), and incredibly dynamic song that doesn’t really sound like Nine Inch Nails or a hip hop song; you don’t really nod your head to the Reznor remix of “Victory,” even when Biggie is dropping lines like, “Real sick, raw nights / I perform like Mike / anyone — Tyson, Jordan, Jackson, action / pack guns, ridiculous / and I’m quick to bust / if my ends you touch” (which would be continually referenced by other rappers for over a decade, even as recently as on Watch The Throne and Cruel Summer).

But it’s not all about head-nodding; at least not if you were a white kid from Indiana trying to learn how to relate to hip hop when this song came out, which I’m pretty sure is a big part of who Puffy was trying to reach when he commissioned the remix. It’s also about that 12-second break after the first verse where the beat drops out completely, and Puffy and Busta’s voices are intercut into a weird conversation (“Can y’all hear me out there?” “What? What?” “What’m I gonna do now?” “Where you at?” “It’s all fucked up now!” “Where you at?”) before an extended and unlikely pause, and then Busta’s voice drops the hook over an extremely Reznor-ian wall of guitars. That shit is mind-blowing. It’s what I imagine teenagers today feel like when Skrillex drops the bass or something — tension, build-up, release. 

That tension/build-up/release is present in the original version of the track, too. It just works in different ways — the strings that steadily rise over the first verse until they’re as loud as Puffy’s voice, the drums that come in to get your head nodding when it’s Biggie’s turn, the way that the verses flow easily between Puffy and Biggie (at least partly because it’s obvious that Biggie wrote both parts) and then Busta’s hook breaks it up sharply just by being in such a distinctly different meter. 

There aren’t a lot of songs like “Victory,” in either its original or its remixed form. It sounds dated in some ways, not least because Biggie’s voice will always sound like the 90’s, and (in the remix) Trent Reznor’s guitar sound is very much the mid-period Nine Inch Nails effect, but there’s a lot about it that’s ahead of its time. There are plenty of reasons to criticize Sean Combs’ music, but “Victory” went places that it took other rappers a long time to go. 

15,925 plays

Here is an unlikely sentence to type in 2013: Alongside Mark Waid’s Daredevil, Brian Vaughn and Fiona Staples’ Saga, and Matt Fraction’s Hawkeye, Joshua Dysart’s Harbinger reboot is one of the very best full-color adventure comics currently being published. 
I really loved Harbinger when it was originally published, when I was first getting into comics as a kid. The concept is fairly timeless, a more paranoid take on the basic X-Men idea. “Harbingers” are people (almost always teenagers) born with special potential to possess super powers. There are only two people alive who are capable of unlocking that potential, both of whom are able to do so as a result of powers that also allow them to read and control minds: A billionaire named Toyo Harada, and an abused teenaged runaway named Peter Stanchek. Harada runs a multinational corporation that recruits Harbingers by the bucketload, while Stanchek tracks them down where he can, recruiting his fellow misfits to fight Harada’s evil empire.
It’s special kids against the world, with a strong amount of moral ambiguity running through it. Those “special kids” are developing really well in the current series — the team, at this point, is three girls and two boys, with a girl leading the team, and the character featured on this page, Zephyr, as the breakout star. 
There’s an element of early X-Men or Buffy or maybe Wolfman/Perez-era Teen Titans here: a big teen-based adventure story with vividly portrayed, idiosyncratic characters whose idiosyncracies aren’t played for laughs.
Hawkeye and Saga are getting a lot of attention — and deservedly so — but Harbinger might be my favorite of them right now. 

Here is an unlikely sentence to type in 2013: Alongside Mark Waid’s Daredevil, Brian Vaughn and Fiona Staples’ Saga, and Matt Fraction’s Hawkeye, Joshua Dysart’s Harbinger reboot is one of the very best full-color adventure comics currently being published. 

I really loved Harbinger when it was originally published, when I was first getting into comics as a kid. The concept is fairly timeless, a more paranoid take on the basic X-Men idea. “Harbingers” are people (almost always teenagers) born with special potential to possess super powers. There are only two people alive who are capable of unlocking that potential, both of whom are able to do so as a result of powers that also allow them to read and control minds: A billionaire named Toyo Harada, and an abused teenaged runaway named Peter Stanchek. Harada runs a multinational corporation that recruits Harbingers by the bucketload, while Stanchek tracks them down where he can, recruiting his fellow misfits to fight Harada’s evil empire.

It’s special kids against the world, with a strong amount of moral ambiguity running through it. Those “special kids” are developing really well in the current series — the team, at this point, is three girls and two boys, with a girl leading the team, and the character featured on this page, Zephyr, as the breakout star. 

There’s an element of early X-Men or Buffy or maybe Wolfman/Perez-era Teen Titans here: a big teen-based adventure story with vividly portrayed, idiosyncratic characters whose idiosyncracies aren’t played for laughs.

Hawkeye and Saga are getting a lot of attention — and deservedly so — but Harbinger might be my favorite of them right now. 

If you’ve written any copy on the post, it’s likely that your post falls under fair use of the copyrighted material. In fact, it’s ONLY the contextless photo and other posts that pretty obviously exhibit copyright infringement (though even then, reposting specifically for discussion — even if the poster is not the “discusser” — is considered to be one of e.g. the best practices in fair use for online video creators).

As a community, Tumblrers need to file counter-claims EARLY and OFTEN. Don’t let up until they reinstate your post. Threaten to leave Tumblr if your post is not reinstated. Cite your right to repurpose material for criticism and comment under the Copyright Act of 1976 and specific exemptions to the DMCA for online video and content creators.

If a copyrighted image or song is the jumping-off point for a direct commentary, criticism, or discussion on that image or song, your use of it almost certainly falls within the boundaries of fair use.

Get familiar with the four factors of fair use — the nature of the copyrighted work you’ve used, the purpose for using it, the amount used, and the effect on the potential market of that song (e.g. posting to Tumblr audio does not make a song downloadable to others and can only be heard in the context of the post, whereas posting a download link allows others to acquire the original song file for themselves). And then write to Tumblr INCESSANTLY until they reinstate your post. Be aggressive. Be annoying. Cite relevant best practices; cite other websites’ counter-claim policies; cite whatever you can cite. Tumblr is just intimidating you.

Reblogging this commentary, which is relevant and worth considering for anyone who posts music they don’t own on Tumblr. 

(via cureforbedbugs)

Source bmichael

Reblogged from bmichael

natepatrin:

katherinestasaph:

bmichael:

PSA: Don’t write a lot on your copyright infringing posts.
Notice I didn’t say “Don’t copyright infringe.” That’s because, well, Tumblr is basically all about copyright infringing. The massively popular social media site is built on the back of anonymously copyright infringing images and porn. When someone reports a contextless pic (I’m assuming rare, since there’s usually no text/metadata to tip off the copyright holder) and it gets shoved down the memory hole it’s not big deal. If you, like me, like to write thousand word essays about songs you don’t own and also make it easy for a reader to hear said song, then you’re in more of a pickle. I suppose that’s why the smart people just embed a YouTube/only listen to music on YouTube. (I’ve actually seen this asserted three times in different places over the last month - that smart people don’t download MP3s anymore, they just listen to individual tracks on YouTube or Spotify, so I guess I’m super stupid because I still download MP3s.)
I’ve had a handful of these notices so far this year, and I usually just reply and ask for the text of my post, which then gets emailed back to me. No harm, no etc. Still - something to be aware of.

They told you what post it was? I’ve gotten one of these notices and to this day I have no idea what it was about. 

Well, that stinks. I might switch to YouTube embeds for 500 Favorites, then, though I’d like to find out if it’s possible to use audio-only with no visual component in the event that the only available YouTube clip uses eyesore photomontages.

It is possible! Here’s a link to how. 
Also, I wonder if downloading mp3s is a generational thing — if you’re old enough to remember buying CDs and then switched over to downloading mp3s via Napster/Audiogalaxy/Soulseek/Oink/whatever, then there’s maybe a mental block involving not possessing anything, even some data on your computer, that represents the music you have access to. I know that streaming everything feels weird to me, and I know that people I know who are in their late teens and early 20’s do not feel that way at all. 

natepatrin:

katherinestasaph:

bmichael:

PSA: Don’t write a lot on your copyright infringing posts.

Notice I didn’t say “Don’t copyright infringe.” That’s because, well, Tumblr is basically all about copyright infringing. The massively popular social media site is built on the back of anonymously copyright infringing images and porn. When someone reports a contextless pic (I’m assuming rare, since there’s usually no text/metadata to tip off the copyright holder) and it gets shoved down the memory hole it’s not big deal. If you, like me, like to write thousand word essays about songs you don’t own and also make it easy for a reader to hear said song, then you’re in more of a pickle. I suppose that’s why the smart people just embed a YouTube/only listen to music on YouTube. (I’ve actually seen this asserted three times in different places over the last month - that smart people don’t download MP3s anymore, they just listen to individual tracks on YouTube or Spotify, so I guess I’m super stupid because I still download MP3s.)

I’ve had a handful of these notices so far this year, and I usually just reply and ask for the text of my post, which then gets emailed back to me. No harm, no etc. Still - something to be aware of.

They told you what post it was? I’ve gotten one of these notices and to this day I have no idea what it was about. 

Well, that stinks. I might switch to YouTube embeds for 500 Favorites, then, though I’d like to find out if it’s possible to use audio-only with no visual component in the event that the only available YouTube clip uses eyesore photomontages.

It is possible! Here’s a link to how

Also, I wonder if downloading mp3s is a generational thing — if you’re old enough to remember buying CDs and then switched over to downloading mp3s via Napster/Audiogalaxy/Soulseek/Oink/whatever, then there’s maybe a mental block involving not possessing anything, even some data on your computer, that represents the music you have access to. I know that streaming everything feels weird to me, and I know that people I know who are in their late teens and early 20’s do not feel that way at all. 

Source bmichael

Reblogged from bmichael

Divorce Song - Liz Phair

Divorce Song

by Liz Phair
album Exile in Guyville

150 Favorite Songs: #74, “Divorce Song,” Liz Phair (1993)
Kat asked me the other night, as we were listening to Exile In Guyville for the first time in a really long time, if I’d had a crush on Liz Phair when I was a teenager.

I hadn’t, though I’d had to think about it for a minute. I was thirteen when Exile In Guyville was released, and while I’d owned and listened to a copy of the CD*, she wasn’t on my list of teenage crushes. How could she be? She wrote songs like “Divorce Song” and “Fuck And Run.” She was a grown-ass woman. I was just a kid. I didn’t know what she was singing about. 

The songs were good, though, and it makes me realize what a unique moment the early 90’s really were, in some ways. Because you could have a record that is so explicitly from the point of view of a woman navigating the dating and relationships world I’d spend the next bunch of years learning about — that calls out the bullshit that men do, that expresses that women often want the same things that men are supposed to, that breaks down the ways people can hurt each other in really simple and subtle ways — and that record would be marketed to men as well as women. I didn’t buy Exile In Guyville because I was a burgeoning 13 year old feminist boy or whatever; I bought it because Rolling Stone and Spin and Jim Derogatis told me to. 

A lot of the songs on Exile On Guyville meant a lot to me, and probably helped shape me in ways that I have not really given much thought to. I never had a crush on Liz Phair — I admired her, and I was intimidated by her. But there are few ways to help boys understand how to navigate relationship dynamics with women better than having a straight-talking woman they both admire and are a little bit intimidated by lay it out how the world works in very direct ways. I didn’t want Liz Phair to be my girlfriend, when I was a teenager; but the songs did make me want to grow up to be someone who could attract a woman who reminded me of the sort of person she was on Exile In Guyville

"Divorce Song," meanwhile, is a something of an outlier on the album. Most of Exile In Guyville is brash and empowered. Even “Fuck And Run,” which is a sad song, too, in its way, is those things. But “Divorce Song” stung a little bit. It’s still forceful: “You’ve never been a waste of my time / it’s never been a drag / so take a deep breath and count back from ten” is a powerful invocation of expectations, but it’s also vulnerable in ways that few songs about a relationship that isn’t working are vulnerable.

So often it is the little things — the things that we express when we’re upset, that we immediately regret, and then have no ability to undo. It’s funny, because “Divorce Song” is about grown-up things that, when I first heard it, I had no real experience with. But “when you did the things you said were up to me / and then accused me of trying to fuck it up” more or less summarizes the way I broke up with my first girlfriend my sophomore year of high school, the same as it does some that would happen once I was an adult. These things don’t necessarily get easier.

Which is what’s so special about “Divorce Song,” and Exile In Guyville in general — there’s wisdom in the song that I needed when I was thirteen, but it’s not sophomoric or simple. That’s the power of songs like these, that are so straightforward and smart. They have a universal truth that belies their idiosyncrasies. 

*I’ll confess that I did marvel, in those days before the Internet made photos of pretty ladies with their shirts off something that every adolescent boy had easy, immediate, and discreet access to, at the semi-naked photo of her in the liner notes.

69 plays

150 favorite songs.

I’m officially halfway through the list! I started this project in 2011, expecting it to take me about six months, but this is an ambitious thing and so it’s been slow-going. But I posted #75 last night, and to celebrate, here are ten of the first batch that I am proud of and would like to highlight. 

#126, “Over The Cliff,” Jon Langford
Lessons on doing things on your own terms.

#133, “Common People,” William Shatner
What makes pop music magical.

#77, “Save Yourself,” Sharon Van Etten
On being one of the thousand monkeys at a thousand typewriters, and watching someone you know get famous.

#142, “Beautiful,” Mary J. Blige (feat. Black Star)
The difference between first-love songs and lasting-love songs.

#79, “Renegade,” Jay-Z (feat. Eminem)
On Eminem’s squandered talent and why he didn’t really murder Jay on his own shit.

#117, “Say Yes,” Elliott Smith
Just a lot of sad thoughts about Elliott Smith.

#138, “Hell Yeah,” Neil Diamond
Why, of all the old-man-aware-of-his-impending-mortality-songs, Neil Diamond’s would of course be the most joyful.

#140, “The Bullpen,” Dessa
It’s surprisingly subversive to get men to rap along to a song by a woman.

#81, “Babe, I’m On Fire,” Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
Lessons on how to stay relevant as you get old, as interpreted through the life of Nick Cave.

#86, “My Molly,” Katharine Hepburn’s Voice
Introducing an alternate reality where this song changed thousands of lives.

My Curse - Afghan Whigs

My Curse

by Afghan Whigs
album Gentlemen

150 Favorite Songs: #75, “My Curse,” Afghan Whigs (1993)
Greg Dulli gets a rap sometimes as a sleaze and a misogynist in his lyrics, and I get why he does: the depictions of relationships he offers are ugly, and he his male narrators are gleefully cruel to the women in their lives. You get lines like, “Allow me to present you with a clue / If I inflict the pain then only I can comfort you” and “Angel, come closer / so the stink of your lies sinks into my memory,” and they are certainly unkind. 

But what always stood out to me about Dulli’s writing was that he didn’t revel in the first person-ness of his writing. Not after his very first songs, anyway.

(“You My Flower” is a fairly standard “look at how bad she treats me!” alt-rock number; though for a while, in the 90’s, he changed the perspective of it from the first-person to the second and it became infinitely more interesting. Let’s digress for a minute to look at that before we get to “My Curse,” because it’s one of my favorite examples of how a dull piece of writing becomes totally compelling with just a little perspective. 

So, in the original version of “You My Flower,” the song’s climax involves this series of lineups, culminating in a gotcha punchline: 

"Better get myself a drink
better get a couple so I can look you straight in the face
and tell you that I think of you
almost as much as you think of you”

I mean, not a terrible kicker, but, like, okay — she’s selfish, you want us to know about it, you’re the wronged-man stuck in a relationship with somebody who doesn’t treat you so well, though this is all coming from your point of view, and who knows what song she would sing…

But in the version that the band played on the Black Love tour, he flips it to: “Better get yourself a drink / better get a couple so you can look me straight in the face / and tell me that you think of me / almost as much as I think of me!” 

And holy shit, does that change everything. The cruelty in that set of lines is just staggering. You know she’s in pain, you know she’s trying to figure out how to deal with it, you know that your selfishness is the reason — and it’s all a hilarious joke to you. You see it coming, and if you cared at all, you wouldn’t be singing about it like it was funny. But you don’t, and that’s the point of those lines now. How do you take your eyes off of that sort of writing, when it was otherwise just another grunge-era whine?)

Okay, so out of the parentheses now and back to “My Curse,” which is the same sort of thing, but with the added bonus of Marcy Mays’ absolutely tortured vocals. Because Gentlemen is a vicious portrait of a failing relationship, one that tells a fairly coherent and linear narrative.And it never sounded sexist to me because I never felt like we were ever supposed to identify or sympathize with Dulli’s narrator. (I don’t think you introduce a character with the line, “Ladies, let me tell you about myself / I got a dick for a brain / and my brain is gonna sell my ass to you” if you want us to feel bad for him later.) 

You get all of this from Gentlemen, and then, about two-thirds of the way through, after you’ve heard Dulli’s narrator make his case, you get the counterpoint. Suddenly, the sad song isn’t sung by the man who’s screaming about the betrayals he’s both suffered and inflicted; now, we get her point of view. Marcy Mays’ voice, which is not anything that could be described as “pretty,” starts singing the missing piece of the puzzle — the endless reconciliations, the unending deceptions, the way that these things are reciprocal. They go both ways. Gentlemen isn’t Pinkerton, or even Blood On The Tracks — one of those one-sided accounts of a bad breakup that privileges the voice of the person doing the singing. It’s a portrait that makes time for a counterpoint.

What that means is that Gentlemen is honest in a way that very few breakup albums are, and it’s because of “My Curse.” When we hear Mays sing about the relationship, too, we check it against everything that Dulli had told us. All of the ugliness and cruelty in Dulli’s songs have to match up with the depiction of the relationship in “My Curse,” or we don’t believe either of them. 

It’s a remarkable trick, and one that convinces me, at least, that Dulli’s songs are much more of an exploration of cruelty than an example of it. There’s no good guy here, no one to root for. Gentlemen, like a lot of the songs that Dulli’s written, is about the way people hurt each other, and “My Curse” makes it abundantly clear that in a broken relationship, everybody’s guilty, and that guilt is nothing to celebrate. When Marcy Mays boasts of how she pulled off her end of the betrayal (“zip me down / kiss me there / I can smile now / you won’t find out, ever”), it’s no better or worse than anything Dulli’s narrator admits. That’s the whole point. 

9 plays

the20000:

“Say you’ve dated a girl for a few years and you finally decide to propose. She says yes. You’re madly in love and can’t believe how perfect you are for each other. Your fiancée suggests that you go out on the town to celebrate. So that’s what you do. As the night wears on, your friends buy both of you more and more drinks. You both get hammered, but you don’t care — you’re in love and that’s all that matters. At some point later in the night, your fiancée goes to the restroom. Five minutes later, as your buddy is looking over your shoulder, his jaw drops. You turn around to see that your fiancée is standing on top of the bar with her shirt pulled up, giving everyone in the place a good look at her chest. You turn back to your buddy, give him a high five, and say “That’s my wife!” because you don’t fully comprehend what’s going on.

When you wake up the next morning, you remember what happened and now that you’re sober it doesn’t seem quite so awesome. You confront your fiancée. She says she doesn’t remember anything after 9 p.m. and thinks you’re lying about what happened because she would never do something like that. Now what do you do? Do you believe her and try to move on like nothing ever happened? Or does the fact that she just flashed her breasts to the world (including your friends) raise a huge red flag that leads to you backing out of the wedding? You want to treat the event as a minor mistake made by an otherwise perfect woman, but a small part of you thinks you’ll never get over it, and every time you and your wife hang out with your friends, you’ll think about the incident.”

Mark Titus, you are an embarrassment. That’s some Simmons-level hackery, you insecure goon.

A+++ WHAT A GOOD POINT ABOUT FLORIDA BASKETBALL

Reblogged from the20000

Real Time Web Analytics