Himalayan Project’s Broken World

The Himalayan Project, consisting of the duo Chee Malabar and Raymond “Rainman” Lie (see some previous posts here, here, here, and here) recently released their third album, titled Broken World.

Himalayan Project’s third studio album, Broken World, is finally available for audible consumption!… The crew would like to thank everyone who’s waited patiently for this labor of love to get done, you won’t be disappointed. For those of you who would prefer do legally download your copy, hang tight, it should be a couple weeks tops before it gets to your favorite digital distributor.

One last note/favor, if you like what you hear, don’t be shy… hit up the comments page of the store you bought it from (CDbaby, itune, Rhapsody, etc.) and write a review. Hell, if you didn’t like it, write one too and let us know what you didn’t like (if you really don’t have a life and like stomping out the dreams of independent artists just trying to do their thing ;) . [Link]

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p>Here are the lyrics of the track Manchild (which can be heard on their MySpace page):

I read brown’s the new black, thanks to henna and bhangra,
Shit, I’m thinking lock-up in a Guantanamo slammer,
Geronimo Pratt style, panther type stances,
To keep raisin’ questions till they can’t suppress the answers,
Camphor based prose, C10-H16-0 flow,
I brandish the stress my pops’ handsome face shows,
Homes I don’t dance for dough or pamper hoes, case closed
No rest haven, I’m Wes Craven when they bring the breaks in,
Murderous Raven, staving off your blocks’ onslaught,
Playa, break down lines like Ray Lewis and make music,
That’s makes Buddhists embrace Uzi’s,
And let the spark from their shot light the darkest region in your
heart. [Link]

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p>HP’s older song “Postcards From Paradise” has also been made into a video:

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A review of Broken World [via RapReviews.com] discusses how some of the themes on this album focus on the future of the Himalayan Project:

… as the boys who knew each other since middle school grew up to become men, their interests began to diverge, with Chee Malabar emerging as the driving force behind the group. As his partner admits: “After school ends / I was all about makin’ moves that had nothin’ to do with the music / but Chee kept the fuse lit.” “Go-Back” ends in suspense, uncertain whether Rainman will continue to rap. The similarly themed “Satisfied” sheds more light on the process many musicians go through when some members of a band or crew are more motivated than others. But instead of calling it quits or burying their heads in the sand, Himalayan Project talk it out, turning “Satisfied” into a genuine dispute. As the potential quitter, it is Rainman who is on the defense when he is confronted with reproaches like “You’re givin’ up on me by sayin’ fuck hip-hop.” He counters,“My mind on the rent, the debt / whatever’s left after the taxes spent / so don’t sing me a sermon ’bout my passions left / when I’ve given my limit to my last extent…” [Link]

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p>I love that last line. It’s hard sometime to convey your remaining youthful passion about something when you’ve been at it for so long that it is tempered by an old man’s doubts.

These are interesting observations for those who are already familiar with this act. For the rest of the world these group therapy sessions might not be quite as compelling. But if you can sidestep the fact that you’ve never heard the referenced releases in the HP catalogue, “Satisfied” and “Go-Back” become rare displays of honesty in hip-hop. Himalayan Project manage to do what EPMD, OutKast, or Organized Konfusion failed to do – write songs about their frail partnership. [Link]

50 thoughts on “Himalayan Project’s Broken World

  1. It’s hard sometime to convey your remaining youthful passion about something when you’ve been at it for so long that it is tempered by an old man’s doubts.‘ …That’s a great line too.

    It is the dissonance leading to surrender.

    I think when artists start to talk more about dynamics within the group or inner world, more than observations about the outside world, it usually means the end. I like that they’re using the inner conflicts to fuel the fire of their work.

  2. Doug, I disagree. He speak ‘more proper’ than Eminem. He doesn’t have Eminem’s hardness. It’s the way the chorus sounds that probably brings him to mind. Yeah, the beat needs a better hook, but he’s got his own style.

  3. I read brown’s the new black, thanks to henna and bhangra, Shit, I’m thinking lock-up in a Guantanamo slammer

    Please! Brown the new black as in now it’s cool to be brown? Possibly.

    Fearing lock up in Guantanamo due to being desi? Highly, highly, highly unlikely.

    Like it or not, Indians are the model minority in USA. Trying to pass off that we are suffering the same sort of discrimination that African or Arab Americans are is really ludicrous and insulting to African and Arab Americans.

    Neither African or Arab Americans are labled “model minority”. Face it, we got it good. Real good.

    If they wanna rap about real issues in the desi diaspora then I would suggest gender issues.

  4. If they wanna rap about real issues in the desi diaspora then I would suggest gender issues.

    They do rap about “real issues.” Try listening to the previous album Oblique Brown. And not all desis are “model minorities” (not that this needs to be pointed out). Your “we got it good” sentiments are pretty naive. Not all desis in this country are wealthy.

  5. their style sounds very blah with a generic beat, a casio synthesizer tune and really weak rhymes. it damn near put me to sleep before their 4 minutes were up. and that is perhaps the worst video ever made. constant dissolves…wtf? very distracting and not in a good way.

  6. Not all desis in this country are wealthy.

    its really easy to think that in suburbia. i thought that untill i moved to nyc, and saw all sorts of people. was told that by most older desis growing up.

  7. I’m not saying all diasporic desis are wealthy, or even the majority. But most are doing pretty good for themselves. Model minority status takes more than just wealth into account. That being said, most of the desis who participate here on SM are probably doing very, very well for themselves, from what I gather. Money is not the enemy, neccessarily. However, to appropriate another group’s plight is insulting to that group and just lame, just in bad taste. It’s like, “oh we want something to complain about too so we can be the cool underdog like these other groups”, when really, what is there to complain about when you consider the very real hardships these people you’re trying to identify with are facing?

  8. However, to appropriate another group’s plight is insulting to that group and just lame, just in bad taste.

    Have you ever met Chee? Then don’t assume he is appropriating someone else’s life. Because he is not. There is some lameness going on here though.

  9. Trying to pass off that we are suffering the same sort of discrimination that African or Arab Americans are is really ludicrous and insulting to African and Arab Americans.

    I agree that we haven’t had it anywhere near as bad as the centuries of oppression against African Americans, but most people can’t tell the difference between desis and Arab Americans, so I encounter a lot of anti-Arab bigotry. Furthermore, in some limited circumstances, as in harassment on airplanes, you’re now better off being black than brown. I’ve also started to experience some treatment that in the past was solely reserved for African-Americans, like cops pulling me over because I’m inherently suspicious and they want to run my plates. It’s still a far cry from being black, but in the midwest, I get treated more black than white.

  10. Carlita, no one is here to play oppression Olympics with you. I don’t think anyone’s got the market cornered on racist oppression in this country. This is not to understate the extreme and systematic oppression against African Americans in the U.S., but acknowledging the oppression of another group does not minimize or detract from the oppression experienced by another.

    There is a history of disadvantage and racism against desis, and the meme of the model minority is just another way to divide and conquer. I am not arguing that this history is comparable or “as bad” as it has been for other groups, but it has been real bad at times. The concept of a “model minority” didn’t even exist as a paradigm until the restructuring of U.S. immigration policy in the 1960s. And guess who one of the largest populations are in Guantanamo? It’s Pakistanis, and in case you think the folks making decisions re: security policy in this country can can tell the difference between a brown person from Pakistan and a brown person from Sri Lanka, or a brown person born in the U.S. for that matter, they can’t.

    HP are a really great group of guys, and there’s an emerging body of literature around the role of hip hop expressionism in desi communities. I think it would help to read up on them before accusing them of appropriating oppression. Also, here’s an article from my favorite person studying the experiences of desi hip hop artists, including those who grow up in low-income, urban, predominantly POC communities, and those who identify as progressive but come from more affluent and less diverse communities: “Rotten Coconuts and Other Strange Fruit.” This is a cursory view of her work, but it’s an interesting alternate perspective that also illustrates the diversity within American desi communities.

  11. All apologies for the grammar errors and typos above, my brain is fried. I am excited about this album. I miss HP. That’s all — thanks for the review, Abhi.

  12. And guess who one of the largest populations are in Guantanamo? It’s Pakistanis, and in case you think the folks making decisions re: security policy in this country can can tell the difference between a brown person from Pakistan and a brown person from Sri Lanka, or a brown person born in the U.S. for that matter, they can’t.

    If they can’t tell the difference then why is it Pakistanis in Gitmo and not Indians or Sri Lankans?

    Obviously the folks making security policy CAN and DO tell a difference. That is what they are being paid for. They are not Mr. and Mrs. Smith from Rosewood Lane around the block, they are trained and paid professionals (not that I’m supporting the war or anything, just making a point that those in power can and do tell differences between people because that is what their job is, whereas it’s not the job of your next door neighbor).

  13. If they can’t tell the difference then why is it Pakistanis in Gitmo and not Indians or Sri Lankans?

    Your point isn’t making much sense to me. The Pakistanis detained in Gitmo were captured in Afghanistan – there were very few Lankans or Indians in Afghanistan so …

    Gitmo detainees aren’t brown people in America who are sent off to Cuba. They’re always individuals captured abroad. If you’re talking about racism in America, and whether people can distinguish between different types of browns, Gitmo is irrelevant since Gitmo detainees didn’t come from America in the first place.

    Furthermore, much of the racism in America comes either from regular folks or local authorities, precisely the “Mr. and Mrs. Smith from Rosewood Lane around the block”

  14. M.I.A does what desis should do with hip-hop —- mash it up and make it her own.

    Because the vibe of hip hop means something to her, but rapping in a style and accent of an African American makes no sense for a London Tamil girl. She puts it in a blender, with her own patois, lingo and cockney accent, making crazy unique beats and sounds, and all of a sudden Hip Hop is freshened up and she’s is TRUE. Her music is real, her lyrics are real, because it’s her music, original and true to her.

    That’s how to make Hip Hop brown.

  15. Why do we gotta make hip hop brown. Hip hop was and is universal. That is the probelm now folks wanna seperate hip hop into different racial groups I think that is just plain stupid.

  16. Hey Doug, I’m not saying that Hip Hop has to be made brown, just that desis can bring something unique and enrich the Hip Hop culture a little by enlarging its experience and sound. If M.I.A just copies what’s already there it’s not true to her experience. That’s all.

  17. @ STUSSY and DOUG

    To be able to take a form and use one’s influences to create someting new; That has always been the case with art of any kind. MIA does it very well and HP feel weak/lame in comparison. The same reason why Indian rock bands suck. They imitate their heroes instead of building on them and are really lame. Pakistani rock bands are a lot cooler in that regards (they infuse sufi influences) probably because they don’t have to deal with competition from Bollywood for popular music.

    Also, perhaps the reason why Indian filmakers emulate (copy) whereas Tarantino synthesizes…

  18. Carlita, I don’t want to argue the details, but many of the folks they’ve detained were either in Afghanistan or detained in Pakistan, which is part of why there are so many Pakistanis in Guantanamo. My argument, though, was that those making policy cannot tell the difference between brown (subcontinental, and occasionally Latino) men nonetheless. It’s not hard to catch brown guys in a country that is overwhelmingly brown. Within the U.S. and within U.S.-based security, no one is going to cut anyone who looks subcontinental slack anymore than they’re going to cut anyone who looks “Arab” any slack. That was my overarching point — the issues facing Arab-Americans in the U.S. are the same, if not parallel, to desis with issues that fall under the umbrella of “homeland security.”

    ::

    I understand this idea of moving music forward, but I seriously wonder if other folks ask people from other ethnic/racial groups to do this. Example: let’s say you’re desi, born and raised in a black community in the U.S. and that for all intents and purposes you identify more with the experience of being black than anything else. Maybe you were introduced to hip hop that way. Should you then be expected to mix up your flow with a qawwali because your ancestry is subcontinental? Or would your style be more regionally-oriented (within the context of the U.S.) because you felt more in common with your hometown? I ask because this is similar to the convo we had on Aarthi Meera when folks expressed dissatisfaction that she hadn’t “applied” her Hindustani classical training directly into her songwriting. Despite the amazing beats, for me hip hop is about the story and flow, delivery and technique. I mean, producers have already been “Making hip hop brown” by remixing using elements of Bollywood songs. I’m not saying it couldn’t be taken further, but does it need to?

  19. That has always been the case with art of any kind. MIA does it very well and HP feel weak/lame in comparison. The same reason why Indian rock bands suck. They imitate their heroes instead of building on them and are really lame.

    I’ve been front stage at an MIA concert. So close I could have touched her. Guess what? She was lip-syncing. I’ve also been to several performances by HP and left feeling charged by the way they keep the audience listening with their storytelling style.

    I sense an undercurrent of bigotry in some of these comments. It is almost like the problem that some people have with HP isn’t the music so much as they just don’t like to see desi’s rap because they think rap “isn’t a brown thing but a black thing.” And Indian Rock bands suck? Really, which ones have you seen?

  20. It is almost like the problem that some people have with HP isn’t the music so much as they just don’t like to see desi’s rap because they think rap “isn’t a brown thing but a black thing.”

    I would take it a step further and say that the problem is not only the perception that it’s a black and latino thing, but that you shouldn’t rap, because as a desi your experience doesn’t have the street cred to be authentic, and why would you wanna do something that for blacks do, anyway?

    Onna side note-It’s funny, I was just talking to a DJ last night about how so much American rap and hip-hop sucks to me now.

    We were sitting out back by the firepit and he was saying he just didn’t have the energy/passion to keep mixing and spinning in bars and clubs. He poked at the fire while saying this, with his head down, like he was defeated.He’s only gonna keep his radio show, because he can have discussions with artists on it, especially ones about the direction that a group or musical genre was heading.

    This relates to what Abhi said earlier in his post, about conveying youthful passion…This is interesting to me, and what gives a different dimension to the above post and reviews, where the struggle of the artist to remain in the game becomes a part of the art, keeping it real and making it grow with the audience.

    I think a lot of folks who didn’t come up from places like Jersey City or Queens, etc. just can’t fathom the idea of a desi dispora that reps the urban U.S. through rap and mirrors what is experienced there. What is it about rap and hip-hop that makes so many people question whether a desi can have the street cred to be a rapper? Why the microscopic analysis of whether a desi has suffered enough in da street, as if THAT were the end all, be all to hip-hop and rap? That’s only a part of what fuels hip-hop culture, if at all anymore.

    Later in the firepit discussion, I corrected myself. American hip-hop and rap don’t always suck. I think desi-american, arab-american, latin-american rap are the future of hip-hop. If people can just tell the naysayers who only see boundaries and make judgements to fuck off, than we’re gonna see an explosion of rappers with a good story. They might start saying some real shit about what it’s like to be a puerto-rican-guju lovechild in Jersey City, trying to get money for a plane ticket to the sub continent. Or what it’s like to be a haitian-punjabi in governors school. I’m looking forward to that.

  21. I will say this I like M.I.A, but a friend who is Desi has seen her live and said that she is a horrible performer, I don’t have any thing against anybody rapping be they brown,white or asian,my probelm stems from folks of other races who do hip hop but don’t want to give respect to the pioneers of the art. I am not saying that this dude is not doing that I think he is pretty good but his flow is too much like emimnen’s for my taste, now I know that South east asians have some hot beats in their arsenal he could have came up with a more orginal flaver for his beats.

  22. Come on now Coach there are still some African American hip hop that is innovative and fresh it is just no one will play them on the radio,you have MF Doom, punch and words,Mos def and Planet Asia the stuff is out there,but what you are getting feed is the corporate rap crap and please don’t forget about Common. Don’t be so fast to write out the black folks as not having a future in hip hop.

  23. Doug, I know there is still lots of great hip-hop being made by African-Americans and I should give props where due. I’ve just been getting fed up with American hip-hop, whether it be african american, latino, whatever the so-called race of the artist, as a whole.

    People keep startin out good and turn to shit sometimes in a single year, regardless of race. I’ve been listening almost exclusively to Spanish/latin hip-hop for some reason and the American-latino hip-hop has been seeming stale to me. I’ve been dreaming in Spanish again, for almost the first time in 10 years and that’s probably part of it. The future of hip-hop is probably as much in getting away from radio play and quitin trying to use rap to “get outta the neighborhood” and get rich. I was getting wrapped up last night in the whole ‘Lil Wayne inside my skull discussion.

    Fuck the big radio stations.

  24. The future of hip-hop is probably as much in getting away from radio play and quitin trying to use rap to “get outta the neighborhood” and get rich.

    BTW, I’m not against anyone trying to make it outta Soufside and own instead of rent.

    I just can’t stand it when artists repeatedly are just vomiting up any old thing or recycling, trying to get that summer hook hit, instead of being innovative and taking a risk. I can be beat driven, like anyone else but ultimately, I do want it to be more than about the body. I want my mind blown too.

  25. I see where you are coming from on some of your points,but as you saying radio stations are the ones killing hip hop in America if your lyrics have anything upbringing to say and a message trust me they will not play, I had to do some digging just to find some rap that I could stand to listen to for over thirty seconds. I feel that when rappers start making big money they lose their sls in the process, I just hope that when these new groups that are hungry and trying to get themselves heard don’t lose their minds when they make it big.

  26. Folks, radio stations don’t even play hip hop. They haven’t for about 20 years. I hate to use this phrase but new “real hip-hop” songs can only be heard on internet radio and a few independent stations (e.g. KEXP Settle, or KCRW LA).

    I have a teacher friend who told me that her students call it “old-people hip hop,” even if it is brand new.

  27. “I’ve been front stage at an MIA concert. So close I could have touched her. Guess what? She was lip-syncing”

    I saw her in the summer, and was close enough to touch her, she did stage dive on top of us. she was awesome, she used the whole stage inch by inch to play with the crowed, leaving them after an hour wanting more and more!

    Having said that, I had never heard of these guys before this post, and it is really refreshing.

    “for me hip hop is about the story and flow, delivery and technique” for me too, and from what I have heard from these guys, they tick all the boxes. It’s simple folk music, and folk music takes many forms. as far as the credibility of these guys, I don’t understand what the abuse is about, do people think the same for the Asian Dub Foundation?

    Even if they are rappers from suburban towns does that make them any less credible, de la soul for example?

    I’m waiting for the desi Johnny cash to come on to the scene!

  28. I’m waiting for the desi Johnny cash to come on to the scene!

    I’d pay for that! Maybe I’ll be the desi Johnny Cash:

    Arranged Love is a burning thing and it makes a fiery ring bound by her parents and mine I fell in to the wedding fire…

    I fell in to a burning wedding fire I went down,down,down and the flames went higher. And it burns,burns,burns the wedding fire the wedding fire.

    The taste of love is sweet when families like ours first meet I fell for you like an obedient child oh, but the fire went wild..

    I fell in to a burning wedding fire…..[etc]

  29. Your point isn’t making much sense to me. The Pakistanis detained in Gitmo were captured in Afghanistan – there were very few Lankans or Indians in Afghanistan so … Gitmo detainees aren’t brown people in America who are sent off to Cuba. They’re always individuals captured abroad. If you’re talking about racism in America, and whether people can distinguish between different types of browns, Gitmo is irrelevant since Gitmo detainees didn’t come from America in the first place. Furthermore, much of the racism in America comes either from regular folks or local authorities, precisely the “Mr. and Mrs. Smith from Rosewood Lane around the block”

    Yes, Ennis, and that is why I agree with you. Sounds like you are arguing Camille’s points below (which I was arguing as well), instead of mine.

    And guess who one of the largest populations are in Guantanamo? It’s Pakistanis, and in case you think the folks making decisions re: security policy in this country can can tell the difference between a brown person from Pakistan and a brown person from Sri Lanka, or a brown person born in the U.S. for that matter, they can’t.
  30. Abhi, I saw MIA twice and i was pretty certain that in one show she was lip syncing atleast part of the time. She gave a heck of a show nonetheless. I have nothing against desis are anyone rapping. I wanna hear the music first and then decide if theyare any good and HP just doesn’t cut it. That they Indian roots is incidental. When I say Indian rock bands, I mean bands from India. Growing up in India, there were a lot of bands that played the engg and medical college circuit till they got a record deal. Names like indus creed, pentagramm etc come to mind. This was in the 90s though and they all sucked camel’s ass. These bands in the 90s were still channeling led zep and dire straits and iron maiden when there was a revolution going on in terms of grunge and the rise of punk again.

    it is very hard for original music/sounds to come out of india outside of bollywood. bollywood makes sure that there will never be an independent music scene and that is the big difference between Pakistan and india. i am certain that good hip hop will come out of pakistan before it does out of india.

  31. Maybe I’ll be the desi Johnny Cash

    Nice. Now that would be refreshing and new.

    Abhi, great post–I’m a fan of HP.

    Anyone heard that song “i heard they are trying to kill hip hop” by Ellay Kuhle…at least I think that is the title. Anyway, this whole discussion made that song pop into my head. Not that we are trying to kill hip hop at all.

    Coach, I think staleness can happen in any genre of music, right? I mean we all remember the 90s and boy bands, Brit pop invasion, hell even Carnatic musicians get too staid sometimes because they don’t risks – I do understand ‘classical’ means exactly that, but even the ‘classics’ can be reinterpreted/presented in a new way.

  32. I’ve just visited their Myspace and heard all the tracks. Their mellow sounds and thoughtful lyrics remind me of J Dilla. They get my thumbs up although I agree a bit with Doug about the beats.

  33. Abhi Cash(#30), that was really funny! How about Folsom Prison Blues?

    “When I was just a baby, my mama told me, son Always be a good boy, don’t ever play with girls

  34. “Maybe The Boy Named Su(jatha) or Su(nitha)?”

    well done, priya was the first name that came to my head, was trying for the one Syllable desi name. never came to me. :)

  35. Coach, I think staleness can happen in any genre of music, right?

    Of course. But it’s especially annoying when the musical genre(s) that you listen to the most, start to suck more and more. I’ve felt the same way about Cumbia and Salsa at times, until some artists came on the scene and reinterpreted/innovated.

  36. I think it’s interesting how we try and knock our own when it comes to desis breaking into new realms, artistic and otherwise. Instead of actually encouraging South Asian talent, artistic expression and socio-political discourse, some are quick to dismiss an artist as trying to be like “Eminem” or what have you. In terms of the “model minority” myth – we need to stop perpetuating it because post-9/11 I think we’re not viewed in the same light, and people of color, are people of color, are people of color – so I think Black and Arab people would actually be offended at desis thinking that they are somehow in a different “category”, than they would be with desis believing that they too are people of color. Racism and xenophobia is still at the forefront of societal problems and to ignore them as something that does not affect “South Asians” as “model minority” is naive, at best. Additionally, racism in America is deep seated roots through the industrial revolution (with mass migration and change in skill sets) it is systematic and prevalent on multiple levels and does NOT come solely from “either from regular folks or local authorities, precisely the “Mr. and Mrs. Smith from Rosewood Lane around the block.”
    Finally, as someone who looks traditionally Indian (is a BROWN girl as opposed to a light-skin Indian girl) and grown up in multiple cities, I would be hard-pressed to dismiss Himalayan Project’s lyrics/message – they are extremely intelligent, talented and I’m proud there are south asians like them who are willing to challenge the status quo.

  37. Hi, Ray FROM Himalayan Project speaking… for the record, I’m not South Asian, only Chee is… Love all the discussion, I wouldn’t say it’s the reason why I make music, but it’s probably my favorite byproduct… And yeah, we do sound too much like Eminem for my tastes ;)

  38. one of the members of HP isn’t desi…but aparrently nobody on here cares. it’s mighty ignorant to completley disregard half of the group because he’s not desi. shame on you. also M.I.A. is not hip-hop…it’s dance music that feeds as much from club music and dancehall as it does from rap music. and it’s a gimmick. HP is hip-hop.

  39. crap…rainman already made one of my points in a much less aggressive manner. i hate rainman! he always ruins everything! plus he’s not even desi! boo, rainman!

  40. Delerium writes: “To be able to take a form and use one’s influences to create someting new; That has always been the case with art of any kind. MIA does it very well and HP feel weak/lame in comparison.”

    This is precisely what HP has done: Taken the blueprint of hip-hop, respectfully studied it without exploitation, and added their own personal narratives to it.

  41. also M.I.A. is not hip-hop…it’s dance music that feeds as much from club music and dancehall as it does from rap music. and it’s a gimmick.

    Taking beats and chatting over them is inspired by and a branch of the tree of Hip Hop. And it’s nothing like a gimmick.

  42. Taking the hottest dance producers of the moment (switch, diplo, etc…) and putting a whiny chick all over them is not hip-hop. M.I.A.’s album was put together by folks who don’t even know her. and whining over the beat is not rapping. sorry. not hip-hop. gimmick. interscope markets it as gimmicky dance music. nobody will remember it in 5 years time. sure, it’s great to dance to right now. real cute, too. might even make a kickass commercial for a Honda Civic. but she has no lasting power. she will last about as long as punjabi MC did a few years back. and there’s nothing wrong with that (i actually like her album)…but to bring the argument back around, HP knows that they aren’t going to be selling cars with their music. they aren’t doing this to sell records. they’re making some pretty cool social and personal commentary over beats. they barely break even each release, but still spend their time doing hip-hop. even if you don’t like the music, you gotta appreciate that some people do it for the love of the craft.

  43. Stussy writes: Taking beats and chatting over them is inspired by and a branch of the tree of Hip Hop. And it’s nothing like a gimmick.

    How is this not a gimmick? If it ain’t part of your regular repertoire than it is a gimmick, or at best an accessory. This is like saying Billy Joel is rap because he kind of rapped/talked his verses in “We Didn’t Start the Fire”.

  44. They’re alright. Gotta say i got the same feeling that Carlita got from the ‘brown’s the new black’ line…bhangra and henna? really?

  45. Maybe the whole ‘Brown’s the new black’ line is referring to how mainstream popular culture is commodifying desi culture by mass marketing things like henna and bhangra, much like they’ve done with black american culture for the better part of a century. maybe that’s why he follows it up with the wake-up of being locked up in guantanimo as a more realistic view of how mainstream america views brown people. maybe.

  46. the line does say, “I read Brown’s the new Black, thanks to henna and Bhangra”–it’s commentary! I really don’t believe he’s saying it is true…especially when it’s followed up by the second line, “shit i’m thinkin’ lockup in a guantanmo slammer”…. i agree with pickle….