Monday, March 23, 2009

That Does Make You Crazy

You were either enraptured by “Crazy” or you were annoyed at its come-out-of-nowhereness to prime super songdom. Gnarls Barkley has an immensely special place in my heart. First off, their music is doper than your favorite artists music, so I wanted to settle that right off the bat. But it’s just the back-story of it all.

You have to be a pre-Gnarls Cee-Lo fan to understand. Since ’94, dude has been one of the most doubly talented artists of any and all generations. That tiny little eight ball shaped man has more soul power in him than an army of … soulful things. Yet he can still out-rap any rhyme spitter from any region you pick out. With Goodie Mob, he was the vocal forefront of one of the most distinguishable rap cliques out preaching real life in the midst of the world’s fakeness. As a solo artist, he was the most daring singer emerging from a musical bouquet of every imaginable genre and facet of lyricism there was. As a featured chorus singer, he was adding elements to peoples’ albums pre-Akon and pre-T-Pain, still remaining true to himself while making bank. He had all the critical recognition anyone could imagine. But the masses didn’t really know him like they should.

Then Danger Mouse’s production came along. And suddenly with a little intense drum intro and some psychotic-questioning vocals, everyone knew him. “I remember when, I remember, I remember when I lost my mind. There was something so pleasant about that place. Even your emotions have an echo in so much space.” Just really deep stuff. Whether you acknowledge it or not, a rapper having to condense his normally long-winded rhymes into smaller singing segments can create some crazy intricate stuff.

Through all his struggles to gain mainstream acceptance through bringing straight knowledge to the world, it was a single pop-influenced effort that got him there. While “Crazy” sounded like nothing else out there, it didn’t really sound like Cee-Lo, either. But the fact that it wasn’t like anything else made it like Cee-Lo. But for whatever reason, “Cee-Lo” wasn’t the outlet to steal the public’s attention. The ingenious promotion of the “no-one-really-knows-what-or-who-Gnarls-Barkley-is” thing stole it. And the “Crazy” song.

So while heads whine about Cee-Lo seemingly laying down his mic ferocity, even going so far as accusing him of not being able to rap anymore, I just appreciate the two hundred and four tracks in the Soul Machine playlist on my iPod. Goodie, Cee-Lo, Gnarls, or a feature, the man’s more talented than whomever you think is talented and has been. And will continue to be. No matter what stylistics persona gives the next musical offering. And “Crazy” is a dope song anyway. Forget you if you don't like it.

... put 'em both together and you got yourself a super spork.

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