Same Old New School 13: Chance’s Criticism, Juice Wrld, Dinner Party & More!
Written by Vocalo Radio on July 14, 2020
Every Monday at 8:30pm Kevin Coval and Idris Goodwin take over Vocalo’s IG Live to look at how Hip Hop intersects with culture, politics, fashion and more. It’s a half-hour of Hip Hop, laughs, and wisdom from some of the best guys in the game. It’s Same Old New School.
There were a few technical difficulties to begin tonight’s episode…perhaps because there are simply too many people going “buck wild” on social media right now, as Goodwin suggested. But that didn’t stop our favorite two poets, authors, thinkers and Hip Hop Heads from diving into another full episode! Tonight’s topics included Chance The Rapper’s latest internet downfall, today’s pettiness in social media ‘battles,’ as well as new music from Juice Wrld, Kid Cudi & Eminem, and Dinner Party.
Unfortunately, there is no podcast for this week, but you can watch the full episode above or get the highlights below.
Chance The Rapper’s Recent Criticism
Often on this show, Coval and Goodwin discuss the integrity of the battle, but lately it hasn’t felt like a lot of that has been shown among today’s stars. As Coval stated:
“What we’re seeing a lot is social media tiffs…just kind of odd arguments that people will take up!”
This comes as, just hours before the show, Chance The Rapper put out a video of Doctor Donda West (Kayne West’s late mother), on reciting “Black Cop” by KRS. From there, Kanye put it over a soundbite and chopped up a bunch of videos to celebrate what would have been her 71st birthday. After that – and when the drama started – is when Chance came back in and commented on how “but y’all are rocking with Joe Biden.” From there…the internet descended.
After laughing about the audacity of someone else trying to “y’all” him, Goodwin had this to say:
“For the record, no one under the age of 68 is “Rocking,” capital R, with Joe Biden…okay?! [laughs] We’re smart enough and understand enough to contextualize Joe Biden for what he is. Right now we are seeing the battle of the 70-year-old white man.”
In a perfect segue from the previous topic, the two bring up the topic of the pettiness ever-present in today’s rap beefs. Coval started it out by saying:
“Social media rap-pettiness takes away from essentially the sport and import of the battle.”
Rappers are most skilled, in many cases, when they rap. And to unleash their beef in a verse gives them space to wrestle in the format they are skilled in. Furthermore, rap battles were partly started to eschew violence in the first place, and to take things out with words instead. This new age brings up worries of festering divisiveness and actual violence.
Goodwin jumped in to point out that many of the skills learnt in battle-rapping are transferable and effective on social media. To him, perhaps this is a new branch of what it means to be a public MC, intellectual and wordsmith. He also noted that we, as a people, have been so confined for so long – due to stay-at-home orders – that our social media feeds have become a flow of things to be angry about.
Juice Wrld’s Posthumous Album & Drugs/Mental Health In Music
The aptly-named Legends Never Die dropped on July 10, almost exactly seven months after the young singer’s untimely death in December of 2019. While reviewing the album, Coval couldn’t stop thinking about how sad it all was, especially as the more he read about Juice’s death, the more it sounded preventable.
“Listening to this record…it’s a foreshadowing of his own death,” he said.
Throughout his career, Juice saw a meteoric rise in just a few years as he bent the genres of Emo, Hip Hop, Rock, Punk and more. And in this album, he really dives into his depression and anxiety as well as the prevalence of medication in his life.
Once these young musicians sign contracts, our hosts talk about the need for the corporations behind the contracts to provide mental health and wellbeing resources. So it’s heartbreaking to listen to years of Juice’s very public recordings of his own mental health, and wonder if anything was done to help him.
“We were just talking about the Pop Smoke album – another young man who just recently started rapping – and similarly the imagery, the motifs, are eerie,” said Goodwin.
He also talked about the tragedy of being a long-time Hip Hop fan and witnessing the continuation of these sorts of circumstances. There’s always someone benefitting off of the artists dealing with drug and mental health struggle.
“We never think to ask what are these folks numbing,” said Goodwin. “What kind of pain are they numbing with these substances, you know?”
Both agree that no one is doing anything to help young people vulnerable to and suffering from drugs, particularly in Black and Brown communities who are regularly dealing with PTSD.
Eminem & Kid Cudi’s “The Adventures Of Moon Man & Slim Shady”
And speaking of mental health, both Kid Cudi and Eminem have gone on record several times to talk about substance abuse and mental wellbeing. Now, two of the ‘Midwest Greats,’ as Goodwin says, have joined together on a new track.
While Coval isn’t the largest Eminem fan, he is a big Kid Cudi stan and admits that this might be one of his favorite Eminem tracks.
“It’s a good song, man!” said Goodwin. “I like the tone of it, I like the vibe of it, [and] I think it balances Eminem out in a good way.”
Both agree that the sheer reflectiveness of Kid Cudi helps tone down the reactionary tendencies of Eminem in the best way.
The New Supergroup, Dinner Party
Ten seconds into this topic and it was easy to tell how our guys felt about this new group…
“I have one criticism,” said Goodwin. “I just want it to be longer.”
Dinner Party is made up of the icons Terrace Martin, Kamasi Washington, 9th Wonder and Robert Glasper: the instrumentalists of Hip Hop itself. Perfect, exceptional and flawlessly beautiful were just a few descriptors our duo threw out to describe this self-titled album, which they also said was the type of music we need right now.
“This was that kind of record that will just enliven your mood, your spirit,” said Coval. “If the sun is out, what better record to [put on]?!”
Tune In On IG Live Every Monday At 8:30pm For More Episodes
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Written By Shelby Kluver