Saturday, January 30, 2010

California Love

2Pac. Dr. Dre (fairly sure he's not really a doctor). "California Love." 1996. All Eyez on Me. West Coast, motherfuckers. A celebration of California life ... or something.

I never really understood the appeal of hip hop songs that extol the virtues of living in one place over another, whether it be a neighborhood, region or state. I can understand having pride in wherever you pay rent, but to commit it vinyl or illegally downloaded MP3s? Seems kind of like it's a sign that you've run out of ideas.

I spent a lot of time in Mt. Pocono in my teen years. I'm fairly sure if I had a hip hop act (named, I believe, Rev. Doug and the Presidential Azzazzins), I would not be throwing down, "Mt. Pocono, motherfucker/Where the ice cream is cold/And the cops are bold/No night life, bitch/But we got huntin' and fish."

It just wouldn't be right.

As most people know, I think current hip hop is more concerned with being like bored Beverly Hills housewives instead of taking a political stance like Public Enemy of old. Hence, I've left most of it behind and retain the old punk standards of things like Crass and newer old music like that which comes out of the house of Voodoo.

My guess is that "California Love" filled Californians with an inflated sense of self and a vibe again to a summer block party while listeners in other parts of the country wanted to come enjoy the wonderous cities that are Oakland and Hollywood. When I hear it, however, I visualize that Mad Max-inspired video and think of wasted opportunities. Hell, Nairobi and the Awesome Foursome's "Funky Soul MaKoosa" actually seems to have more inspiration and it kinda sucks.

Come to think of it, with the perpetual stupidity that seems to run rampant in this state like STDs on campus, "California Love" may be right on target.

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