MC Chris is Dreaming (album)

Happy Wednesday!

I need to start with an apology.  I mentioned previously that I got MC Chris to agree to an interview and despite repeated emails and facebook messages, MC has refused to acknowledge me further one way or the other despite saying he would do “what ever I can to help a fan.” I’m not going to spend this piece chatting shit (I don’t want to get hit), however before this I was going to write something like “They say not to meet your heroes but that doesn’t apply to MC Chris because this guy is LEGIT!!” however I guess timeless advice is timeless for a reason.

Don’t get me wrong, I still respect the hell out of the guy as a musician and an artist.  His work has been a really important part of my musical enjoyment over the last 10 years and I’ve made some really great memories over this guy’s music.

me-and-mc

Speaking of great memories, probably the best show I’ve ever gone to.

Anyway, the show must go on.  Thankfully this year MC Chris has released a new album so I do have something to write about and the good news is that his new album MC Chris is Dreaming is easily his best album to date and as a fan I’m really happy to say this.   However with a disclaimer like that, you know I’m going to be pretty honest.  Let’s get to it!

If you’re not already a fan, there are a few things you should know about MC.

  1. He’s a nerdcore raper which is a sub-genre of rap which focuses on the things nerds, freaks, and geeks (1) can relate to such as a love for candy, star wars, trouble with mates/social acceptance.
  2. He really likes skits on his albums to “…break up the monotony of the music…” which are mostly accessible but there is some continuity between albums and inside jokes/jokes about obscure things that may require further research.  I’m a fan of them but they can be polarizing among his fan base.
  3. Dude has a high voice.  It’s not a gimmick, his voice is just naturally that way and personally I think it’s fucking awesome.  I wouldn’t say it’s his thing but it gives flavour to his music that if it wasn’t present, I feel like there would be something missing.
  4. Dude gets vulgar at times.  Examples include The Masturbation Song and Booties for Breakfast (Booties for Breakfast is a personal favoutite, I’m not sure what that says about me though but booty is pretty sweet)
  5. This guy has some really sweet and unique beats.  Take for example songs like Aulpragasm or DQ Blizzard or Reese(2).  I love listening to this guys music on multiple levels.  Many of his songs really are an aural-feast and particularly Aulpragasm is a song I tend to listen to on repeat for like hours.  I didn’t understand the “[x] for 10 hours” thing on youtube for the longest time until I found certain songs like this (not saying that I’ve done a 10 hour of the same song but…okay yea I’ve done it, I’m shameless…in fact I’m currently in a Aulpragasm loop as I write this it’s ridiculous to be honest).

As I’ve mentioned, I’ve been a fan of this guy for over 10 years now ever since I first heard Fett’s Vette (“…you think you can cook, I got a grappling hook…”) and Hijack (“…go take a hike and don’t forget the trail mix, BITCH…”) and Evergreen (“on the first day of xmas my dealer gave to me a bag of shrooms and some lsd…”).

Anyway as I said earlier, MC Chris (in my personal opinion) had a really strong early career with albums like Life’s a Bitch and I’m Her Pimp, Dungeon Master of Ceremonies, and the prime album MC Chris is Dead.

However after that, for a long time, I really didn’t get in to his newer albums like MC Chris Goes to Hell, Marshmallow Playground, or Race Wars.  I mean, he had some solid songs from those albums like Drinkin’ Blunts  from MC Chris Goes to Hell (I LOVE the brass in this song), Best Day Ever from Marshmallow Playground (this song is so cute and this album lacks his usual caustic edge but it is really sentimental which I appreciate seeing the diversity and emotional vulnerability as an artist but most of it is just something I listen too only when I’m in such a specific mood that I still can’t place what it is), and On the Road from Race Wars (since I’m being very honest, I’m just really not a fan of this album overall).

Then MC Chris is Dreaming dropped and my. mind. was. BLOWN. I didn’t even know about the Foreverrr album until MC Chris is Dreaming came out (Foreverrr is a solid album, from skits to songs with Give Up the Ghost, I’m a Fucking Wizard, and Foreverrr) and honestly I’m kind of sad I didn’t know about Foreverrr album sooner so I could have spent more time with it.

Back to MC Chris is Dreaming.  This album has the strongest opening since MC Chris is Dead with the titular song MC Chris is Dreaming (unfortunately, I cannot find individual links to the songs from this album either on youtube or soundcloud however here is a link to his entire album

and trust me, the ENTIRE album is worth listening to and the skits are on point, some of his best ever) which opens with this slow build up for the first 38 seconds then it drops at 40 seconds and gets to work.  This album, like Marshmallow Playground feels like one of his most honest and vulnerable fitting the theme of Freddy Krueger being a central character in the skits.

freddy

For those of you too young to remember, Freddy was a dream demon who would find your insecurities in your dreams and kill you by invading your dreams and killing you in an ironic way that related to your insecurities which would manifest as a death in real life.  Rick and Morty had a good time with this character as Scary Terry.

He touches on some sensitive subjects as childhood obesity (Spanky), growing up with an alcoholic father (Pop Run), and substance abuse struggles (Ditched).  The last song, Ditched, really hits a chord with my personal struggle as I’ve mentioned before I am an alcoholic in recovery and despite having some sober time it’s still a real fucking struggle.  Lately it’s been extra tough being an American abroad, being almost 30 with no savings and a “colourful” resume/CV, and Cheeto Voldemort and the League of Unqualified Millionaires (Billionaires?)(3).

chetto

I am beyond giving a crap if people get offended about my opinions about the current administration.  We have a fucking REALITY TELEVISION STAR and repeatedly failed entrepreneur and FUCKING PEDOPHILIC RAPIST as a president so pardon me if I refuse to respect anything about the orange idiot.  However, now that the presidency is basically a joke and open to anyone I’m starting a new hashtag #FinandLouie4President2020  

Anyway back to MC Chris.  Dude’s a great rapper, he’s a funny guy, and his kid is probably too young to realize yet but he’s got a cool AF dad.  Yea, he’s kinda been a flake but he’s still a pretty fuckin’ good rapper.

 

signatie

Dude signed my notebook. I guess he’s pretty legit.

 

Footnotes:

  1. Here’s how I delineate the differences: Nerds – really smart, but are happy being reserved socially.  Geeks –  usually more passionate than traditionally intelligent and more sociable but usually focused around niche things like tabletop gaming, book clubs, LARPing (Live Action Role Playing).  Freaks – pretty much the crazy artsy types who kind of don’t really fit in with any one social group but are happy to be accepted or not a long as you don’t fucking judge us for our eccentric bodily modifications or outfit choices.  I personally identify as a Freaky-Geek.
  2. I can’t stop here, there are so many good ones like Older Crowd, Fett’s Vette, MC Chris is Dead…I could keep on but my word count is already getting high.
  3. Just to list a few: Betsy DeVos the new head of Department of Education has no experience with the public school system and WANTS TO SHUT DOWN THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, Steve Bannon as White House Chief Strategist is a outspoken racist, Rex Tillerson who is the ExxonMobil CEO secretary of State (guess what? as CEO has done plenty of business with the Russians, which is the extent of his foreign policy experience, has pretty obvious conflict of interests, and is very anti-global climate change advocacy), and my personal FAVOURITE Rick Perry picked for the Department of Energy DIDN’T EVEN KNOW WHAT THE JOB DESCRIPTION ENTAILED BEING IN CHARGE OF THE NUCLEAR STOCKPILE AND NUCLEAR INFRASTRUCTURE.  I cannot fully express how fucking mad and anxious I am about this living fucking nightmare of a situation.

Let’s Start a Revolution! (playlist)

Happy Wednes…wait wait wait, I just can’t do it today folks.

Yea everyday is supposed to be a happy day or something but I am really angry and you should be too.

Being an American abroad I am painfully aware of my nation’s reputation outside of our boarders especially after the results of the November 2016 presidential election.

nov-2016

My face when Trump was declared the next president of the United States.

Regardless of where you stood before the election, now that he has taken office he has done some objectively questionable things for someone who is supposed to be the leader of the free world. Some examples include but are not limited to:

All this doesn’t even begin to touch his litany of flagrant actions regarding control of the press by ordering the EPA to remove climate change statics from their site, his intention to cut safety regulations by 75%, nor his reinstating of the Global gag rule which bans international NGOs with US funding from providing abortions or providing information.

Don’t get me wrong ALL of these things horrify, disgust, offend, embarrass, and infuriate me.  However one thing that has me deeply worried is his pick for the head of the FCC: Ajit Pai.  Ajit Pai is against Net Neutrality and that is very very bad.

If you don’t already know what Net Neutrality is, watch this short video by CGP Grey and find out.

While we’re at it, let’s me provide a video also from CGP Grey explaining how, even though Trump lost the popular vote, he still won the election and why that’s a major problem in our system.

Now that you’re familiar with Net Neutrality and as most of my audience are fellow bloggers, I’m sure you can start to see the nature of the problem.  People like you, fellow blogger, and me, a person who can barely afford groceries and is going deeper into student debt, there is NO WAY I will be able to afford to pay fees to keep a fair amount of bandwidth coming to my site to provide you with wonderful content three times a week and this is just the smallest of concerns.  What really terrifies me is the implications on independent media outlets or really any media outlets that the FCC, aka Trump, doesn’t like and want’s to deny service or any media company that wants to squish the competition even further from the already small number of companies that provide 90% of the media to the country.

Picture getting clearer here? I really hope so.  Now it’s not all bad news.  Massachusetts is setting a good example by going full green by 2035 and in not American news India banned all forms of disposable plastics in it’s capital.

However great these pieces are,  they’re still a drop in the bucket.  The way we can really fight is to back a grass roots political REVOLUTION! Want to know how? Sign up and support Justice Democrats for real progressive candidates and the change us the people ACTUALLY want.

I can hear you now, “Fin! It’s Music Wednesday, where are the tunes?!” I’m getting to it.  I’m sorry but I had to get all that off my chest and when rallying up for a revolution, you have to know what you’re getting all worked up for. Anyway here’s some music to get your inner anti-establishment punk rocker riled up and ready to take some action!

To start we have a real classic by Rage Against the Machine, or more affectionately known as Rage.  Lyrically, its pretty basic but so is the message: The forces that be are out of control and this includes police brutality especially against minorities.

Next up we have a classic from the Misfits, Fiend Club. The lyrics are pretty basic here too but the message is simple: we march and we fall, we’re one and for all.  I felt like it was a particularly fitting song given the women’s march is believed to be the BIGGEST DEMONSTRATION EVER SEEN IN US HISTORY! We’re in this together folks, one and for all.

 

Woodkid is one of my all time favourites.  Such a bae but also his music is beautiful, his voice, his music videos all just so so fit! Iron is a a great song to capture that “calm before the storm” feeling of getting ready for some action jack.

I have already written about Dance with the Dead before but this song, Riot just gets me going.  Especially after that scream at 15s.

Now I realize that it’s kinda late for some of you, it’s like 10.30pm here (London time) or maybe you’re just really anxious about the state of affairs and prefer to calm down a bit.  Don’t worry, I got just the thing.

Science discovered that this one song reduces anxiety by 65%.

 

Anyway, remember folks: Democracy is not a spectator sport. We have the power. Not corporations, not the mega-rich, not reality television stars turn politicians. Get Angry. Get Active.

sport

Happy New Years Eve…eve! (comic)

Happy Friday Folks!

Oh boy it’s here guys, the long awaited end of 2016 and what a fucking strange year it’s been.  There are already plenty of articles talking about how many people we lost year, the implications of a Trump presidency and how relations between the US and Cuba will change with the death of Castro, and if the Cubs can take the World Series is that a good omen for the Blues in the Stanley Cup? (like did you even SEE the hat trick the other night?!)

However here I want to just reflect a little bit about my personal year (don’t worry, there is a comic this week) because as you can probably guess it has been a big year for me.

  • I got accepted into Lancaster as an exchange student in March
  • I got sober 25 April 2016
  • I started Offbeat On point in May
  • I got to live in one of my “Dream Neighborhoods” over the summer(1) (June – September)
  • I ran my first half marathon (110 minutes) in July
  • I moved to a new country (October)
  • I got to meet my musical hero MC Chris (November)
  • I got accepted into Lancaster as a degree seeking student (December)
  • I celebrated my first Xmas away from home

Overall it’s been a good year but it hasn’t been with out struggle.  Most of this year I’ve spent in one form or another of extreme isolation.

Before getting sober, this was my life:

Monday – Thrusday: School (12 credit hours), work (30 hours), drink alone at home until I couldn’t remember passing out(2).

Friday – Sunday: Friday I would work then go home and drink.  Saturday and Sunday I would do 12 hours of homework each day then come home and drink.

I had no friends left and I sort of tried to make friends at work and school fell kinda flat for numerous reasons. After getting sober, school was out and I started working a lot more, got promoted to manager at the sandwich shop and got back an old job I had in light construction. Between the two jobs I was working 80-100 hour weeks, which has never never really been a problem for me because ever since high school I’ve kept a kinda manic schedule where I would be “on” for a few months to a year and “off” for a few months to a year (“on” = working and/or in school; “off” = unemployed and not in school or unemployed and in school) which is partly why I’m 28 and still working towards a bachelor’s degree. All of this considered, you can probably start to see why I didn’t have friends.

When I got here, I knew from pretty early on that I was going to spend winter holiday alone on campus and that isolation kind of scared me a lot.  Like a lot a lot.  The week before xmas was my first week alone here and I might have been alone but I felt so so loved because every single day I would wake up to a phone full of messages from friends who lived in my block and others from school (and the odd person from the states) texting me “Hey how’s Lancaster?” “How are you doing?” “What’s the weather like there?” and it would literally take me about an hour every day to respond to everyone(3).  I’ve mentioned before that I feel the warmth of community here and that sense of community has really changed me.  Not dramatically but it’s helped me heal quite a bit.  It’s been a hard year for everyone but let’s not forget to take stock of the beautiful little moments that we’ve enjoyed this year.

Have a happy and safe New Years Eve, folks.

img_20161230_201549_716

 

Footnotes:

  1. I mentioned in a previous article about the Webster Groves area but basically it’s one giant botanical neighborhood just on the county/city line where people who make much more money than I ever hope to live but what gives me (a little) hope is the guy I was living with was the original editor and chief of a few small local news papers and he had a nice place. If that writer could make a good living, I can too (maybe).
  2. I could hold my own when in company, as in I could drink upwards of 30 drinks in a night and not vomit, but when you develop a long term drinking habit you start to experiment and see if you can get that nail that precise amount of alcohol to time ratio for the “daily ritual”.  Mine was a 6 pack of beer, 3 nips (this is what we called airplane bottle shots, usually 1.5 floz/50mL), in the space of 3 hours.  I had it down to a science because when you’re a functional alcoholic, having “leftovers” is a really bad idea because when you wake up: you already have booze and because of that I found it very very hard to get my day started.  I needed to not have booze in the house so I could be motivated to get some work done and then walk to the shop for my “reward”.  Also if you don’t have enough booze, woah that is like seriously the worst.  Like you drink and drink then if you’re still awake and booze free then you’re at a conundrum: walk to the store and pray it’s not too late to buy booze (legal limit was 3am in St Louis but frequently grocery stores, they had the best prices, would shut down their booze isle by 1 or 1.30am) or try to tough it out.  Guess what won most times.  This set amount played deeply into the psychology of being in control. See I knew even if I ate, I’d pass out; I knew if I got this much, it would be enough and if I wanted leftovers I knew that I would need more; I also knew when to start drinking to be in bed by a certain time, I could even tell by texts and other time stamps precisely when I would black out and just about how long I was conscious before I actually fell asleep.  All these things are important in the addict’s mind when trying to maintain the illusion of control because as long as you’re in control, you don’t have a problem.
  3. Taking so long is probably mostly my fault because I like to talk and my average text is probably 160-300 characters.