Tuesday, October 11, 2005

cuizin’ art

abstract attitudinist

Just had to big-up Nick Barat’s Cuizinier profile ‘Pimpin’ all over the world’ in the already-old Royal Purple Fader. You would think it impossible to top the Cuizi quote in the article, “The next level is pure attitude music” but the final line is simultaneously the years most enlightened assessment of current hip-hop as well as the most disturbing. Cuizi describes a future song construction as “… a Dipset song, throw away the verses, and maybe just keep the AY!s and YEAH!s and THAT”S RIGHT!s, the crazy clothes and the dance moves, the way Juelz Santana wears his hat. That’s the future of rap, total abstraction.”
Cuizi’s focus on ad-libbed interjections could explain Young Jeezy’s rise to rap royalty while still confounding many rap fans that think his lyrics and flow are ‘too simple.’ Juelz, another contemporary MC icon that is almost impossible to explain to fans of more traditional lyrical prowess, is granted as much weight for his fashion-sense as for his lyrical-style. But how does a French kid reach the same lyrical moment as black ‘product’ dealers from Atlanta and Harlem? I suppose it might be difficult to explain how Jeezy and Juelz reached similar ‘attitude’ moments in different locations. But kids have always latched onto other moments in hip-hop’s history and spun it out into a local imitation (at least) and a local sound (at best). Sometimes it seems as if the Dipset phrases are part of an isolated language-form known only to them. In some instances, I’m guessing, Juelz’ language can be as foreign to me as they are to a French kid… or as familiar.
The Cuizi / Dipset connection continues in the mixtape track selection. At times the selection of extremely ‘soft’ music (‘3 Wishes’ / ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun’ respectively) look like counterintuitive choices for a group trying to come off as ‘hard’ but the mistake is the assumption that rappers still associate ‘real’ with ‘hard’ or can’t express humor with a dry dead-eyed ice grill... or pure silliness. The between song banter is almost worth the price of the mixtape (the fact that they are spoken in a beautifully broken American slang interpolation only adds to the entertainment… and Dipset allusions). The intro of Ciara’s ‘Oh’ has The Genevan Heathen dropping some of the best timed pauses since Special Ed (“You burn me……. Really?”).

Oh!… That’s right, Oh!... It’s what you say, girl… When you see Luda-Cuiz… Walking down the streets of Paris… With his brand new hat….

A good friend recently said he wished that T.I. rapped in a different language so that he could just enjoy the flow without the content. With the French language barrier I face, it is true that I can enjoy most of the Cuizinier mixtape ‘Pour Les Filles’ only in the abstract… but, luckily, that’s more than enough.
Sadly my friend also speaks French so the chances of the Cuizi content offending, I would guess, are pretty high.

Here’s an ancient interview with the TTC crew worth reading for folk out there that would say ‘Yessss!’ after Cuzi answers the question “What's the forthcoming album called and what can we expect?

I was out of town for the TTC show at the Knitting Factory and for my folk that also missed it here’s some joints from the mixtape. ‘Walking on Thin Ice’ put ‘Ça Continue’ up awhile ago and it might be the essential song off of the mixtape so it’s re-upped here. I’m including ‘Catalogue’ the TTC interpretation of a C&S track which sounds nothing like Texas but achieves some of the ‘scary’ sound of a Screwed track without the laid-back aspect… and possibly creates a whole new genre (‘CuisinArt?). ‘Elle Me Saoule’ is to give you sense of the textural variety of the collection with an R-Kellyish free-floating vocal melody. Note to Cam’ron: This track has your name all over it!

All from Cuizinier Pour Les Filles (Street Tape Volume 01)
Ça Continue featuring Craiz
Catalogue (Screwed and Chopped by DJ Raze)
Elle Me Saoule