Great Music #27

Hello there, ladies and gentlemen of the internet! It’s time for me to ramble about some music that I like again. I should probably also try to do more of these, as you guys seem to enjoy them. Anyway, let’s get into the song.

So for today I chose an odd little song. Not odd in the sense that it has weird lyrics or wacky noises in it, but odd in the sense that it mixes a couple of styles that one wouldn’t think could mesh very well… but somehow it worked and sounds pretty cool. The song in question is “Long Hard Times To Come” by Gangstagrass and T.O.N.E-z. Now how was I introduced to this odd song then? Well, I was introduced to it through the American action-drama series “Justified” (AKA my favorite show). “Long Hard Times To Come” is the show’s opening theme, and that makes it difficult not to notice it and remember it. It’s one of those songs that just kind of fits its show pretty perfectly. I guess I should explain what the show is about to justify (HAHA!) this pick. “Justified” aired from 2010 – 2015 and is about US Marshal Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) as he’s transferred from Miami to his old home in Kentucky after he shoots a bad dude. And after Raylan arrives in Kentucky, we follow him as he, and his colleagues, work to take down various criminals that cause trouble in the area. It’s a show filled with great characters, snappy dialogue, badass action, and top notch acting. I absolutely love it. It’s kind of like a modern day western in how Raylan has that old Clint Eastwood cowboy swagger about him, even though it’s the modern day. And that’s why the theme works so well. It has the bluegrass sound one could expect from the southern hillbilly/cowboy stuff, but then it also has the rapping that fits the more modern crime stuff. It’s an interesting mix that makes for one of the most memorable theme tunes in recent years. A great theme for a great show.

Have a good one and enjoy!

12 Songs of Christmas 2016 (Part 8)

Hello there, ladies and gents! I hope you’re all doing well. It’s now time for part 8 in this little christmas thingamajig.

So this time we go with something a bit different. To be more specific, it is a rap song. And with that said, you probably already figured out that the song of for today is “Christmas In Hollis” by Run-DMC, which of course can be heard in the christmas classic “Die Hard”. I am not the biggest fan of rap, as you might’ve guessed with all the rock music shared on this blog time and time again.  But I also don’t dislike rap, there are some artists/groups that I do like, and of course individual tracks by various artists. Run-DMC is one of the groups that I genuinely like… mainly thanks to their collaboration with Aerosmith, but whatever. But yeah, they made a christmas song and it turned out to be really good. Not much else to say there, unless you guys feel like adding stuff in the comments.
Enjoy!

Movie Review: Straight Outta Compton (2015)

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Straight outta Compton, crazy motherfucker named Ice Cube
From the gang called
I’m not black enough to say this word With Attitudes.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Straight Outta Compton”.

Disclaimer: I know this thing is based on a true story, but I will not base my review on how perfectly accurate to the real situation it may or may not be, but I will instead judge it as a movie… which it is. Disclaimer over.

So this is a movie about gangsta rap group N.W.A that emerged in the late 80’s. The group consisted of Ice Cube (O’Shea Jackson Jr), Dr. Dre (Corey Hawkins), Eazy-E (Jaosn Mitchell), DJ Yella (Neil Brown Jr) and MC Ren (Aldis Hodge). And this movie is basically how they started out easily in Compton, California and then after having met producer Jerry Heller (Paul Giamatti) how they rose to superstardom. And then it follows what happened when some complications rose among the group. And I have to say that I found the development of the story extremely interesting. The basics of it is a “rags-to-riches” story, but it adds a lot of good drama and even a bit of tension to it all to make it surprisingly unique in it’s execution. I was heavily invested the entire time and I never felt like it dragged at any point which feels weird since the movie is two and a half hours long.

The people you see in this movie are all a bunch of interesting individuals. What I didn’t mention earlier is that while the movie is about NWA, it more or less follows Ice Cube, Eazy-E and Dr. Dre more than the other two. And I guess that might come from the fact that Cube and Dre are producers on this film together with Eazy-E’s widow. Anywho… the acting in this movie was good. You know what’s kind of weird in that sense? Ice Cube is played by Ice Cube’s son. Doing a movie like that would feel like a dumb idea A.K.A. tooting your own horn, but here it really worked. O’Shea Jackson Jr. was great as his dad… that just feels so weird to say. Every other actor was great as well in their roles. I don’t wanna say that every individual because then we’d be here all fuckin’ week… yeah.

I think it goes without saying that if you absolutely hate hip hop/rap, you will not be too happy with the soundtrack for this movie. But would once expect a different kind of soundtrack for a movie like this? Not really. However I have to say that I was a little surprised to find out that there was an original score in this movie as well. And I also have to say that it was really good. It was tense, dramatic and just great. Good job with the score, Joseph Trapanese!

This movie was directed by F. Gary Gray and I am impressed, this is a very well directed movie with lots of great shots and little touches to it. And I think that really helps with the pacing of the movie that I mentioned earlier. Ya know, the part where I mentioned that this movie moves at a pretty quick pace for it’s long(ish) runtime. I also wanna mention that if you hate cursing, nudity, violence, drug use and other not too decent things then maybe you wanna keep away from this movie.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 88% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 72/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,0/10. The movie was also nominated for 1 Oscar (Fuckin’ really?) in the category of Best Original Screenplay. 

“Straight Outta Compton” is an interesting movie about the lifetime of a legendary hip hop group. It has a great story, great acting, a great soundtrack and great directing. Time for my final score. Yo. My final score for “Straight Outta Compton” is a 9,87/10. IT most definitely gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

My review of “Straight Outta Compton” is now completed.

Damn, that shit was dope!

 

 

Movie Review: 8 Mile (2002)

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The world of rap music is not one I am heavily invested in. Sure, there are a handful of songs I do like. I can honestly say that I like pretty much anything by The Beastie Boys. And I am a fan of Eminem and his music too. What I am trying to say is that even though the genre isn’t one of my favorites, I still have a fair amount of respect for it. With all of that said, let’s review a movie about rapping.

Ladies and gentlemen… “8 Mile”.

So in this movie we follow Jimmy “B-Rabbit” Smith (Eminem) who lives in a shitty part of Detroit. He is a young rapper who recently broke up with his girlfriend. He also have to try to puzzle his life together in general because, well… everything has kind of gone to shit. He froze up during a rap battle, like I said before he broke up with his girlfriend (who got his car by the way) and his mom (Kim Basinger) is soon to be evicted from her trailer. And the plot was actually kind of interesting. The plot, while familiar, was pretty engaging. You wanted it to go well for this guy which is always a plus when you make a movie. The drama worked pretty well and never felt overly preachy, in lack of better words.

The characters in the movie… I don’t know what to say. I guess they are all decent enough. Not fantastic, but they work. Eminem is fine enough in the main role. To be fair, he was a little than I actually expected. He worked for the character. Kim Basinger as his mom was great. Also damn, she looked great for being 49! Brittany Murphy as Eminem’s new girlfriend was pretty good as well. All other actors were fine too. Also, Michael Shannon was in this movie, so that’s always a plus.

If you are strictly against rap music then you would hate the soundtrack to this movie as it is 100% rap. I however thought it was pretty good. Not fantastic, but pretty good. It worked for what it was used for. Fun fact: This was the movie that introduced the world to Eminem’s song “Lose Yourself” which is actually a song I really like. And like I said, the soundtrack was fine, fit well enough.

This movie could have been directed better. Not that the direction was bad, Curtis Hanson did a good job with it, but I feel like it could have been better. The way this movie was directed was pretty simple and “regular” in lack of better words for it. But hey, at least no dutch angles! But to give some credit where credit is due, the rap battles in the movie are pretty cool. Maybe not in the way they are directed, but just in the way how they are. Those scenes have attitude and raw power and that is something I like to see!

This movie was fairly well-received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 76% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 77/100. Roger Ebert gave the movie 3/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,9/10. The movie also won 1 Oscar in the category of Best Original Song (Lose Yourself). 

“8 Mile” is a movie with an engaging yet familiar story, good performances, music that fits, decent direction/camera work and some pretty cool scenes with people having rap battles. Time for my final score. *Yo* My final score for “8 Mile” is an 8,52/10. It is worth buying.
Worth buying

Review of “8 Mile” is done.

You better Lose Yourself in the music, the moment…