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Kitty Pryde: This makes sense.

This is Kitty Pryde.

You are going to want to, at least, know about her.

Why?

Because if you want to intellectualize about the state of music and the “blurring of boundaries”, she is a great example to name-drop.

Kitty Pryde has been talked about on ComplexVulture, Fader, Vice, HypeTrak, Idolator, PopDust and other culture blogs.

Even the New York Times has talked about her.

She is, as Fader describes, “the internet’s preeminent coy white girl rapper”, and her video “Okay Cupid” has been making the rounds.

Now, I’m sure her music will get A LOT of flack.

Because, damn it, when I was watching the first 20 seconds, all I was thinking was “whaaaaaaaaat.”

In fact, I’m impressed that the blogs picked this up pretty quickly.  Her main Okay Cupid youtube video only has 85, 475 views, which kind of suggests this topic is at its infancy.  Of the 1,429 people who actually cared to click a button on what they felt about this, 38% clicked the thumbs-down one.

And, she gets comments like:

“what the fuck is this shit”

“omg please stop singing”

and “She’s 17 writing the lyrics of a fucking 14 year old girl trying too hard.”

and, one of my favorites: “its like rebecca black all over again :/ with more.. words.. ”

along with: “i give up on life”

From HypeTrak, there’s also: “Really Hypetrak? so many trill nigggas doin they thing and this is what you post? smh….RIP HT”

So what’s there to like?

I actually don’t enjoy her Okay Cupid song as much as her Justin Bieber song.  Which is actually a response to his cult of fans and the baby-daddy incident.  Listen to it.

But, as usual, I love her in a “meta” way.

What do I mean?

I mean: I love what she represents.

For one, I love the whole “package”, the whole “non-marketing marketing*” approach.

(*Yes, like “no makeup makeup”).

I love that her EP is entitled “The Lizzie McGuire Experience”.

I love that her Bandcamp page has close-up, self-taken pictures of her face with black mascara trails streaming from her eyelashes and showing off her inner lip tattoo.

She is authentic.

Or, at the very least, feigns authenticity.  The kind of current “real-ness” that proper adults and “good values” see as icky.

But, she does precisely what teenagers on tumblr do.

This is the best example to support how one teenage girl (who I interviewed last year) explained her liking Miley Cyrus, as a personality, over Taylor Swift.

Because, she said, Taylor Swift is “less real”.

Her songs are all about love and liking the boy who doesn’t like you back; she beams heart-shapes into the world, which might be relatable for her 12-year old fangirls.

On the other hand, you have Miley Cyrus, who is out there making mistakes, trashing her own name, trying to break out of the mold her parents brought her up in.

Which sounds much more like a 17-year old.

And, I think authenticity especially matters when making music.

In my opinion, successful music is authentic.

Meaning it represents something true about a culture, an image or an experience.
It’s why, for me, although many great songs have universal appeal, the way they sound and the way they’re made is culturally specific.
We tend to laugh at people who just mimic or copy musical styles. But, as it has often been said, good artists steal and we now have a culture where “everything is a remix“.
What gives away that something is just a copy is when it isn’t owned.  South Korea creates successful pop songs, because they embraced it.  They got Western ingredients and made it their own.  They practiced it from childhood and honed their pop sensibilities.

Try to listen to popular songs about the social condition from the 70’s, and from the present decade.

Popular music about society’s ills in the 60’s or 70’s were either folksy, rock or reggae. Sardonic, weary or lashing out.
Now, you have the addition of hip-hop.  Which, I think, also represents society’s ills, like poverty, and violence.
But it has swagger, a gritty machismo not present in the aggression of the 70’s.  A swagger that developed from the earlier years of blues, which was also a form of dealing with slavery and sorrow.
How does this relate to Kitty Pryde?

Because if Kitty Pryde made music any other way, it wouldn’t have made sense.

She can’t rap like Nicki Minaj because she doesn’t talk like Nicki Minaj or live like Nicki Minaj.
It was a lot more valid for Eminem to rap the way he did because he lived in the same kind of anger and survivalist aggression.
It’s probably like how it’s annoying to hear non-American musicians, who try to sound American when they rap, when you know they didn’t grow up talking that way.
It’s just fake.
Kitty Pryde’s songs are about her crush and social media culture, and she ‘raps’ the way she talks because that’s how it makes sense to express herself.
Not everyone’s a songstress, you know.
There have been weirder things — like Miranda July’s spoken-word songs, yet those are considered art.  More on music appreciation in a future post. (Seriously.  If you think Kitty Pryde was weird, you should listen to these.  I almost find them disturbing.)
[Watch video at your own risk.  I tend to get traumatized.]

I guess I’m just not a “hater” when it comes to people who write their own music. I may not always like the songs, but I respect the difficulty in creating them.

Lastly, I like that they actually can’t pigeonhole her.

I think that if they stopped calling her a rapper there’d be much less negativity surrounding her video.

What this means for culture is that her music can’t really be defined as…anything, which is going to be a good description for the media genres of tomorrow.  Hip-hop and rock have crossed over for a while, and I’m pretty sure I recently read an article on the alternative sound of today’s R&B. Or was it the other way around.

This kid sounds like a teenager talking on the phone crossed with a Garage Band track from someone’s basement crossed with frozen yogurt.

I don’t even know what genre you’re supposed to call that.  And that’s why I think she signifies the start of something interesting.  Because this’ll open up doors for girls who just want to sound like they’re talking on the phone, and want to express themselves, but feel pressured by Taylor Swift and Jessica Sanchez.

Link to her tumblr account: kittydothedishes

Random “Top Links” link from Complex: 15 Sexy GIFs of Celebrities Dancing

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Does anyone else wish their life were like a Vimeo video?: 5 of my favorites

Or is it just me?

Sundrenched.  With lens flares here and there and saturated or overexposed color, with blur in the right places.  Clear skin and glowing eyes, “hip” musical accompaniment all around.

And I know this is heavily affected by my search queries, but all the free time, sense of adventure, dedication to making videos of yourself having fun in an attractive way.  Surf, sand, sea, not a care in the world and free-as-a-bird youth lifestyle.

Presenting, my favorite vimeo video: Taj Burrow’s Fiji Vignette Part 3

The best lookbook I’ve seen so far.  Pretty, pretty girl.  Cute storytelling.  And the coolest girlish swimsuit designs I’ve seen.  Granted, the model’s body is amazing, but besides that, the designs themselves are simple, but smart.

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dove3

Nike: Chosen

Ah, Nike.  I see you are starting to be more aggressive about pandering to the microtrend of individual sport.

In 2007, Mark Penn published the book Microtrends.

Apparently, he’s the man who coined the term “soccer moms”.

In the book, Penn discusses other emerging trends that were sparked by at least 1% of the American population, which, he proposes, could become significant in the next years.

In the field of sports, Penn noted the growing interest in niche and individualized sports, and the decreased involvement in the mainstream and more established team sports (e.g. football, basketball).

In this stunning video by Instrument, Nike shows its ready to beat, okay maybe match Vans, Converse, DC and Roxy at their games.

Nike “Chosen” by Instrument

Even if the niche sport “microtrend” may seem a bit dated (“discovered” 4 years ago), the Nike “Chosen” campaign still makes me proud of how Nike seems to have a good nose for youth culture.

Even the copy for the campaign tries to talk to a new audience — no longer the same market that their physical potency- and determination-centered communication used to target.

Instead, the campaign’s copy recognizes the present youth’s inclination towards uniqueness, flair and self-promotion.

“Take the stage and own the spot light. We’re looking for crews pushing the boundaries of style and creativity. Because the further you go, the further we all go.”

via fubiz

I have to correct myself now, though.  It apparently isn’t the first time that a Nike campaign featured skateboarding.  In my search for more old school testosterone-y Nike ads from the 1990’s (to feature in this post), I came across a blog entry which was a collection of Nike ad graphic design that the blogger was impressed with.

This particular ad was released in 2007 – the “This Is How I Fight” campaign.

I love you slightly more today because of this, Nike.  I have to find the agency or communications group that came up with this campaign.  I’m sorry, “Chosen”, but “This Is How I Fight” edged you out in my heart.

And, while I’m at it, I might as well post the very first Nike ads (from 1989) that sparked my liking for the Nike brand, and for copywriting and branding.

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