The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

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December 17, 2010

Jeremiah Tucker: Hashtag rap is 2010's lamest trend

JOPLIN, Mo. — Hashtag rap is a phrase coined by Kanye West, but made popular in 2010 by the young Canadian rapper Drake. Hashtag rap -- named after the practice of making a term searchable on Twitter by appending a hash tag (#) to it -- is when a rapper drops the “like” or “as” from an implied comparison and replaces them with a short pause.

Drake’s raps are filled with this rather lazy route to a punch line. Here are a few examples:

“Swimming in the money, come and find me -- Nemo/ If I was at the club, you know I balled --  Chemo.”

“I could teach you how to speak my language -- Rosetta Stone.”

“Two thumbs up -- Ebert and Roper”

Pretty lame, right? Hashtag rap eventually became one of the more despised trends of 2010, at least among people who follow micro-trends in hip hop, but at least it’s easy to do. Here’s a verse I wrote about shoveling my driveway.

So white outside it feels albino -- Powder

I would totally pay for a snowblower if I had more clams, which is old-timey slang for money -- chowder  

I’m sneezing and it’s really cold -- ah Gorbachev!

Snot’s like seriously getting in my beard cause my nose is red -- Rudolph

I’m sore now. If I could, I would clear this snow like magic -- Gandalf

That’s for sure what a fancy gay wizard would do -- Dumbledore

My favorite Wizzard was Roy Wood -- "Angel Fingers (A Teen Ballad)”

Killed it.

 

Stuff I missed in 2010

~ Joanna Newsom: “Have One on Me.” The first disc is great. I really enjoyed “Easy” and “Good Intentions Paving Company” -- so good! But there are still two discs remaining. The entire running time is over two hours. I’ve probably listened to all of it at least once, but “Have One on Me” is ornate and dense and not the kind of album you pop in to breeze through. Maybe I’ll absorb it all in 2011.

~ Girl Talk: “All Day.” By all account the mash-up maestro’s latest album of a seamlessly woven torrent of myriad samples from pop, rock and hip hop is great. But despite liking his last two releases, I barely listen to them.

How many times do I need to hear 15 different songs brushing up against each other in the space of a few minutes? I get it. It’s a great trick.  

~ Bruce Springsteen: “The Promise.” I really like “Darkness on the Edge of Town,” but I guess I didn’t seek out “The Promise” because its release strategy confused me. I know there are a bunch of outtakes from “The Darkness on the Edge of Town” sessions -- the songs that weren’t “dark” enough -- and I know we get Springsteen’s versions of hits he wrote for other people, such as “Because the Night,” which he gave to Patti Smith.

But it’s available as either 2 CDs, or 3 CDs and 3 DVDs, or a box set and six DVDs, or 2 and 1/2 CDS and 10 DVDs or a re-mastered “Darkness on the Edge of Town” CD, a DVD and an address to a guy across town who will sell you a cassette tape. How does one buy “The Promise,” exactly? I honestly couldn’t figure it out, so I haven’t bought it yet.

~ Janelle Monae: “The ArchAndroid.” I enjoyed Monae’s singles “Cold War” and “Tightrope” a lot. She’s also an amazing performer. But for me, the album -- an admittedly slick collection of soul, funk, folk and pop -- was more impressive than truly lovable.

Part of it was its overarching concept, something about a time-traveling android making the world safe for love. The album felt arch, to me, and I couldn’t penetrate its storyline. Eventually, I gave up, which is probably my loss.

~ Die Antwoord: I really didn’t follow this Internet phenomenon at all. The South African band is a joke, I guess. They had some video that was viewed a few million times on YouTube. The video was weird and funny, but then people found the band was in on the joke, but then Die Antwoord became a real musical group with an actual album? I don’t know. I don’t care.    

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