Friday, January 26, 2007

Never Hear The End Of It
Well, this could be entertaining. Pitchfork has rendered judgement on the new k-os record and, somewhat unsurprisingly, their reviewer is not impressed.

"True to its highfalutin title, Atlantis: Hymns for Disco is a conceptual piece, a melodious corrective to two-plus years of ostensible media falsities about its author. In this light, Atlantis resembles De La Soul's sophomore detour De La Soul Is Dead, on which the MTV darlings and granola-rap progenitors attempted to shed the D.A.I.S.Y. Age warmup gear and make an early-career three-point turn. Yet while De La Soul Is Dead showcased the trio's newfound industry-related bitterness, on Atlantis, K-Os goes in the other direction; regressing further into hippiedom, and neglecting to answer his critics in lieu of spiritual posturing...

"I'm trying to be unapologetic about the rules I break," K-Os claims on his website, before explaining that "most revolutionary art ends up provoking classic ideals and it is these same classic ideals that become prisons if they go unchallenged." While not clearing up the jumbled messages of Atlantis, this quote underscores its central contradiction, and the most troubling aspect of K-Os' public persona: the friction between progressive ambition and conservative output. Unfortunately, it's an issue that K-Os recognizes, but sees no need to resolve."

Oh snap. There's even some vague stabs at questioning whether it counts as rap (which comes close to questioning whether it's hip-hop, which totally pisses k-os off).

A Pitchfork/k-os war could be pretty phenomenal. And we do need something to pass the time while we wait for that Arcade Fire record. (Speaking of which, did we all agree that we're going to kill that record when it comes out? What did we decide at the last meeting?)

Anyway. This is really just an excuse for me to recount the NOW/k-os war, which was just about the most entertaining thing to happen in music last year.

Prologue: NOW reviews k-os' Joyful Rebellion, angering k-os immeasurably. Later, k-os speculates a reviewer at Eye magazine may be an "asshole."
Act 1: NOW reviews Atlantis: Hymns for Disco.
Act 2: k-os uses his MySpace page to call the reviewer an Uncle Tom. The comment is quickly deleted and k-os tells fans he is seeking counselling.
Act 3: NOW mocks k-os.
Act 4: Canadian rocker Danko Jones writes NOW to criticize k-os and take a bizarre swipe at Broken Social Scene.
Act 5: k-os compares NOW reviewer to Gary Coleman's character of Diff'rent Strokes and refers to Danko Jones as "Stanko Jones."
Act 6: Danko calls k-os a "half-wit."
Act 7: NOW reviewer and k-os discuss their differences, come to unsatisfying conclusion.
Act 8: During a concert, k-os declares "Fuck NOW magazine."
Act 9: NOW questions hip-hop's relationship with public criticism.
Act 10: k-os claims the whole dispute distracted everyone from the point. "The real story is about two kids—who basically think a lot alike, are of the same culture—who have been duped into putting on a boxing match instead of dealing with the real issue. Which is, can hip-hop be expanded?”
Epilogue: Months later, k-os is at peace. Or something.

"I consider myself a disciple of truth and reality, and I think that why K-OS is an interesting character is because he has a lot of metaphysical, spiritual aspirations. But yet he's pretty much caught in a worldly way of thinking. I wish and I hope that I could just maybe, on a good day, spend more time trying to control my thoughts and understand how I feel as a person instead of worrying about, you know, how many "Ns" I get in the Now Magazine or what someone says about me or if my videos are in heavy rotation. Fuck all that."

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