Experiences

Beware, for you are stepping into the psyche of an Asian teen named Tri Nguyen. Turn away now if you don’t wanna read…weirdness. Anywho.

XPERIENCE…is a pretty decent indie rapper, but we’re not here to talk about that. Oh no.

We’re here to talk about…EXPERIENCE.

Okay, not this one either. Well, thinking about it, this does come up eventually. We’ll get to that. Let’s get to the point.

So I’m an average Asian kid, which means I’m nerdy, awkward, and anti-social. My entire high school career I tried to either own the hell out of that image, or shed it completely. It kinda worked. I wasn’t that weird-ass kid that people talk about. I wasn’t “that guy”. I got over my weird puberty phase, and just started to take everything in. It was great. It just helped to relax and just chill, while obviously keeping up my grades.

Because I’m Asian, duh.

Throughout high school, I would always hear everyone tell me, “Man, high school was the best. You better enjoy your time in there, because the real world sucks! GIANT. DICK!” I was like dayum, I guess I should enjoy my time here.

So all the things that I’ve always heard about, dating girls, fucking girls, prom, homecoming, all of that stuff! I was gonna do ALL OF IT.

and why not? I had only four years to experience these things, or I would die never knowing. I would never know how prom went down. I’d never go to that homecoming game. So it’s pretty obvious that I had to do everything to get the most out of my life. I won’t ever have any regret. I won’t be telling my kids, “well…your daddy didn’t go to prom…cause he was a loser. sad face”.

As you can tell from my previous posts, I’m a cinephile: I live and breath movies. However, I also love music and video games and all forms of art. All of them have romanticized prom, homecoming, etc. I was expecting a lot of of these things. I expected…

going to prom, and having that romantic dance and kiss…

going to homecoming, and kicking the other team’s ass…

dating 999 girls and having sex with them all…

Then. reality punched me right in the nuts with a well placed hook. I went to prom, without a date. Stayed for an hour, left, went home, and slept. I went to homecoming. We lost. I dated a few girls.

I’m a virgin.

So I guess that was a punch to my ideals. I wondered…why didn’t things happen like the movies? huh. oh well.

I shrugged it off and went on to… MOTHERFUCKING COLLEGE.

COLLEGE IS WHERE THE REAL SHIT IS, ALL THE STRAIGHT-TO-DVD AMERICAN PIES, ANIMAL HOUSE

FRATS FRATS GIRLS GIRLS 24/7 SEX OMG I’M GOING TO HAVE SO MUCH SEX MY PENIS WILL BE SO SORE BUT WHATEVER IT’S COOOOOOOLLLLLLLLLLEEEEEEEGGGGGEEEE BOOOOOOBIIIIIIIIEZZZZZZ

IT’S AN EXPERIENCE, ENJOY IT, THE BEST 4 YEARS OF YOUR LIFE (My dean said this).

I think you know where this is going though.

I got into college, single and ready to mingle. What I found was not at all what I expected. I got…really hard classes, and people that weren’t really…all that enthusiastic. See, I’m a really random (and purposely outrageous) guy, but these people I met were…kinda like cardboard cut outs of what a good AP kid should be. Everyone was polite, no one was rude. I would just feel bad and awkward if I started to act like myself.

I’ve never once said “How are you?” to someone my age, until the first weeks of college. It was always relaxed, like, “what’s up?” or “HEY DOUCHEBAG”.

So everything that I learned in high school, woosh, out the window.

My college experience is the hard-as-fuck version of high school. I’m a commuter you see, so I go to school, go home, and do homework.

The school’s just bigger now.

I also know that it’s probably just me that feels like this. I see so many pictures on facebook of all those guys and girls that are at parties and are grinding up on each other. I’m not being judgmental and looking down on them: I’m envious.

I guess this is where my final point comes in.

So with a lack of experiences that I feel like I should be having, I also feel like I’m not living my life to the fullest. Which adds regret into my life.

Regret on a deathbed, sucks GIANNNTTTT DICK.

Chalk it up to my anti-socialness, or my commuter-ness, or just me not being me, but I’m not getting the promised “college experience”.

I’ve decided to dive into as many movies and video games and music albums as I can to absorb as much experience as I can. I can live through people. I can watch American Pie and say “that’s me!”

I’m living in a huge vacuum of false, romanticized notions, and sometimes, I guess that’s the way I like it.

Ignorant to Ignorant Music

That is me.

I have been on my high horse for too long that I started to annoy myself. I would shun artists like Tyga, Lil Wayne, and 2 Chainz for the fact that they had very shallow lyrics. They don’t have intricate wordplay like other artists like El-P and Eminem (old).

AND IT CLICKED FINALLY.

I would compare the ignorant rappers to action movies. Their purpose is just to entertain. Not to be thought provoking, not to make you ponder life, but to just make you have fun, whether it’s grinding in the club, or jamming it in your car.

I have now embraced the fun of 2 Chainz’ amazing album, Based on a T.R.U. Story. I honestly had so much fun with this album.

“All I want for my birthday is a big booty hoe.”

Quote of the year.

2 CHAINZZZZZ

The “Culture Me!” Project 2013

So, I’ve seen a lot of people do projects of watching 100 movies a year, 50 movies a year, etc. I want to get in on this, but with my own twist. I’m going to do it for three forms of entertainment, not one.

DISCLAIMER: I left out books, because I have 20 books to read for school, classics. I left out plays and musicals, because they’re not big in Houston, so not many big theaters.

So, here’s my list!

25 Classic / Critically Acclaimed Movies

Singin’ in the Rain (1952) 9/10

Full Metal Jacket (1987)

Chinatown (1974)

Amelie (2001)

The Green Mile (1999)

M (1931)

Vertigo (1958)

Citizen Kane (1941)

Rocky (1976)

Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (1966)

The Graduate (1967)

The Chaser (2008)

Annie Hall (1977)

The Good, The Bad, and the Weird (2008)

The Maltese Falcon (1941)

Blade Runner (1982)

Gran Torino (2008)

On the Waterfront (1954)

Raging Bull (1980)

I Saw The Devil (2011) 9/10

Casablanca (1942)

Rosemary’s Baby (1968)

The Godfather (1972)

10 Classic / Critically Acclaimed Games

Ratchet & Clank (2002)

Shadow of the Colossus (2005)

Devil May Cry (2001) 9/10

Journey (2012)

Skyrim (2011)

Doom 3 (2004)

Ico (2001)

Jak & Daxter: The Precursor Legacy (2001)

The Walking Dead Series (2012)

Portal (2007)  10/10

25 Classic / Critically Acclaimed Albums

The Beach Boys, “Pet Sounds” 8/10

The Beatles, “Revolver” 10/10

Bob Dylan, “Highway 61 Revisited” 10/10

The Clash, “London Calling” 8/10

The Velvet Underground and Nico, “The Velvet Underground”

The Jimi Hendrix Experience, “Are You Experienced?”

The Eagles, “Hotel California”

Radiohead, “Kid A”

AC/DC, “Back in Black”

Pink Floyd, “The Wall”

The Notorious B.I.G., “Ready to Die”

Dr. Dre, “The Chronic” 8/10

A Tribe Called Quest, “The Low End Theory”

Joy Division, “Closer”

Elvis Costello, “My Aim is True” 10/10

Metallica, “Master of Puppets” 9/10

Nine Inch Nails, “The Downward Spiral” 10/10

Beastie Boys, “License to Ill”

Talking Heads, “Speaking in Tongues”

Red Hot Chili Peppers, “Blood Sugar Sex Magik”

David Bowie, “Aladdin Sane”

My Bloody Valentine, “Loveless” 8/10

Weezer, “Weezer”

OutKast, “Stankonia”

Wish me luck!

I’ll need it…

A$AP Rocky – LongLiveA$AP Album Review!

A$AP Rocky is a New York rapper that gained a lot of attention from his mixtape, LiveLoveA$AP. This mixtape featured very atmospheric, reverb filled beats, and this had not been done in the mainstream before. He brought this production to the forefront, and is now used by many other MC’s. His lyrics and flow were mediocre however, and it was his unique production that kept him afloat.

Fast forward to the end of 2012, where his debut studio album, LongLiveA$AP, was leaked. I didn’t want to review it at that time, as it seems kind of… disrespectful. Nothing against others that did though. So it’s finally the release date, so here are my thoughts!

The first thing I’ll say is that I would split this album into two parts. One part features the slow, atmospheric beats of his previous mixtape. The other half features big name rappers and a fast and furious beat. The way he structures the album, it really works.

He opens with the title track. It’s a very unique beat, with vocal samples and reverb soaked drums. From the outset, you can hear that his flow has gotten a hundred times better. It’s faster, and is much more fluid. When it reaches the hook, it segues into this finger picked, clean guitar, with a falsetto singer. It sounds pretty good, and is on my good list.

After that, it’s his first single, Goldie. The production by Hit-Boy is impeccable. It sounds molded for A$AP Rocky, spitting a fast, swag filled rap. The hook is sung by A$AP, in his deep voice. It’s extremely catchy, with some clever lines too.

Then he has a song featuring ScHoolboy Q titled PMW. This song has decent production, nothing too special though. At this point of the album, it’s apparent that this album is what one would call, “Sophisticated Ignorance”. This song talks about, well, pussy, money, and weed. However, the execution is done expertly, so the lyrical content can be forgiven. Also, ScHoolboy Q spits a really nice verse.

The next three tracks blend together so much that I forget when the tracks change. LVL, Hell, and Pain have very similar production style, and not a good thing either. They aren’t unique enough production wise, as the lyricism cannot stand on its own. However, I will say that if you liked LiveLoveA$AP, you’ll love these three tracks. They just didn’t work for me.

Onto my favorite three tracks on this album.

Fuckin’ Problem ft. 2 Chainz, Drake, and Kendrick Lamar is an amazing track. It’s fast and fun. Sophisticated ignorance at its best. Drake has the best verse, K Dot seems out of place, and 2 Chainz has a catchy hook. What could be better?

Wild for the Night ft. Skrillex. I honestly thought this track was going to be a dud. C’mon, dubstep and rap? However, Skrillex was reserved enough to make an amazing beat (that I understand to be a remix) that A$AP Rocky can rap over. It’s frantic and captures the energy of going willd.

1 Train. This will go down as one of the greatest posse cuts in hip hop history. The beat is immaculate and classic, the features are mind blowing, everything just falls so perfectly into place…except A$AP Rocky’s verse.

After that is the disappointing Fashion Killa. It’s another ignorant track with a decent beat. It’s hook is extremely annoying, at least to me. The lyrics are even more generic, making this track extremely forgettable.

Phoenix and Suddenly are the first introspective songs on the album. Phoenix is over a very subtle, understated beat, allowing A$AP Rocky to really talk about deeper things. Suddenly talks about how he feels about his sudden rise to fame. I love how he digs a little bit deeper, and it’s a great way to end the album.

Overall, it’s a very good album. The way he structures it is a rise and fall of tempo and energy. There are a few skippable tracks, but they’re mostly good. A$AP Rocky has really grown as an artist, and I’d love to see what he does next.

Overall: 7/10

Hollywood Undead “Notes From The Underground” – Album Review

I’ve been listening to Hollywood Undead for a while, since they first dropped their debut, “Swan Songs”. It was a fun gimmick for a while, a bunch of emo boys rapping over rock/rap beats. However, it wore out its welcome very quickly. Songs became annoying, their voices got whinier, and I moved onto to greener pastures.

Their second album, “American Tragedy” was a bit better, but it still suffered from the same faults. Terrible flow, Mediocre lyrics, and lackluster production. There were only a few tracks that shined on that LP, especially “Bullet”‘.

 

Now let’s move onto the subject at hand: Notes From the Underground.

Let’s just say that getting a new singer hasn’t changed much. He sounds about the same as the previous lead. The hooks are much better than previous outings though, like on the song “Dead Bite”. The hook is really catchy (even if the lyrics make no sense to the song).

The songs I like out of the 11 are as follows: Dead Bite, From the Ground, and the first half of Pigskin.

“Dead Bite” has a pretty cool intro, with distorted guitars that also play throughout. The verses aren’t well rapped, but they are very catchy. The hook is good, as mentioned above.

“From The Ground” has a piano intro that randomly segues into a fast guitar riff. This also happens after the verse, over some screamed vocals. I love the screams at that part, but they last approximately 5 seconds. Then comes a decent, generic hook.

The first half of “Pigskin” is a fun club song that meanders into stupidity. It starts out playful, but then all it does is repeat the same thing over and over. It hurts my brain. Also, it probably has one of the worst lines ever. EVER.

so much swag.

“I’m so icey, I’m like ice cream.”

no. just no.

So the bad tracks. Well, basically everything else. I don’t want to do a track by track review of the other ones. They basically consist of:

1. Terrible production that sounds like they spent about 20 minutes on FL studio.

2. Terrible lyrics that could be written by an 8th grade, wanna-be rapper.

3. A ridiculously bad flow. like. so bad. 

4. An incredibly cheesy hook that doesn’t fit in with the band’s image of “oh yeah, we wear masks, we’re so badass.” 

I know that they’re trying to blend a sort of pop-rap with a pop-punk style, but they fail so hard. They need to focus on bringing all of the elements together more cohesively, and less amateurish. For example, rap artists usually have songs that are very braggy. However, these braggy raps are usually peppered with very personal things. The personal things don’t have to be depressing, introspective things, just personal things. That’s why rappers have such unique and memorable personas. They rap a certain way, talking about a certain thing, having their fan base get to know them. On the other hand, rock songs have a more general feel to them, allowing for interpretation. Rock songs usually have a deeper, more philosophical sense to them.

What Hollywood Undead does is rap, but with very general lyrics. All of the “punchlines” or brag raps is meaningless if we don’t know anything about them. The rest of the album consists of either “I’m so depressed” or “Man, I’m cool” in the most general way possible. I guess what I’m trying to say is that they should all get a personality. Make the flows different, make the lyrics unique, not just saying “I feel like there is a lion inside of me.” Like. What the hell?

All in all, this album was not a fun listen for me. I wouldn’t say it’s torture though, because torture lasts long. This album is 11 tracks, so it’s a lot quicker, like a bullet to the head.

Overall: 3/10 

Zero Dark Thirty Movie Review – Bigelow does it again

Before I start this review, let’s just say that I will not be focusing on all of the controversy surrounding this movie. I want to focus on what makes his film good, and not have any outside influences change my opinion.

SO ANYWAYS.

Zero Dark Thirty is the (supposedly) true retelling of the hunt of Osama Bin Laden. It isn’t a documentary, it’s structured like a film. However, I would label this movie as a fictional documentary, as the characters don’t really have backstory. The sole focus of Zero Dark Thirty is the story of how Osama Bin Laden was captured.

As I said, the characters of this film do not really have a personality. They’re more like pawns used to tell the story. You don’t come to feel for any of them. With that said, the cast is wonderfully acted, despite the wooden writing. The cast is so star studded that I can’t even begin to name them all.

I love this picture.

Jessica Chastain is the central protagonist propelling the story. She plays a CIA agent that has hunted Bin Laden almost her entire life. She is headstrong and stubborn. Chastain does a wonderful job, and is completely deserving of her Golden Globe win. She plays the character with such fire that you sympathize with her when she is down on her luck.

Onto the plot. The movie spans ten years, starting from 9/11 to the day Bin Laden is killed. It is structured almost perfectly. It will show how she finds a small clue in 2003, then it’ll jump 3 years to the next clue. The way the movie works is that you can see the common thread. You see how one thing leads to another, and to the eventual downfall of the Al-Queda leader. Even though the first two hours is a lot of talking and searching, it is still very tense and interesting.

The last two hours are intense. The Tier One team moves slowly and quietly, doing their job efficiently. Kathryn Bigelow doesn’t resort to a big action scene. It is very reserved, just like they did in real life.

There’s not much more to say about Zero Dark Thirty. It is perfectly crafted, well acted, despite the lack of character. It might bore the general audience, but if you love movies, you should go see this!

Overall: 7/10

Link

New Justin Timberlake Single! “Suit & Tie ft. Jay-Z”

I’ve given this a few listens. It’s an old, worn out type of R&B that we’ve heard before. It is walked over by the likes of Frank Ocean or Miguel. The instrumental is so mashed together. It sounds very amaterish. It sprinkles a few horns throughout the song, which tries to give it a classic feel.

I love how the song changes tempo like three times. Catches me off guard, and maybe not a good thing. The other negative thing about this song (and I never thought I’d say this) is Jay-Z’s verse. LIke, really? A slow flow with mediocre lyrics…

“All black at the white shoes
White shoes at the black shows
Green car for the cuban linx
Gotta sit back and enjoy the light show”

This isn’t what Jay-Z is known for.

Oh well, I’m really excited for his new album anyways…