Music

GDP: Involvement

Mark Desrosiers

A slightly hard, mildly funny hip-hop record by an artist who should definitely be part of a trio.


GDP

Involvement

Label: Division East
US Release Date: 2007-10-02
UK Release Date: Unavailable
Amazon
iTunes

I'm not sure what to make of this skinny New Jersey wizenheimer, who decided to thank his fookin' parents first in the credits. Does he have too much time on his hands, or is he an actual hip-hop talent? I mean, that sarcastic lisp and the way he kinda chuckles through all his rhymes evoke nothing less than the early Beastie Boys. Luckily, he doesn't take himself very seriously (let's hope), so his sense of mischief and well-ripened grossout aesthetic (he lists GG Allin as among his influences) triumph over the all-too-privileged beats. "35 & 6" sounds almost like an epic (helps that he evokes Christmas carol melodies there), and "Namedroppers" (alternate title: "Namedropperth") sounds like he's just dissing his future self. Which is very righteous. A slightly hard, mildly funny hip hop record by an artist who should definitely be part of a trio. Gross domestic product, indeed.

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Publisher: W. W. Norton
Author: Jessica Bruder
Publication date: 2017-09
Amazon

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As the leader of pop sensations Haircut 100, he found himself loved by every teenage girl in the land. It's easy to see why, as Haircut 100 were a group of chaps so wholesome, they could have stepped from the pages of Lisa Simpson's "Non-Threatening Boys" magazine. They resembled a Benetton knitwear advert and played a type of quirky, pop-funk that propelled them into every transistor radio in Great Britain.

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Now Truong continues the tale with Saigon Calling: London 1963-75 (originally published in French in 2015), which follows the experiences of his family after they seek refuge in Europe. It offers a poignant illustration of what life was like for a family of refugees from the war, and from the perspective of young children (granted, Truong's family were a privileged and upper class set of refugees, well-connected with South Vietnamese and European elites). While relatives and friends struggle to survive amid the bombs and street warfare of Vietnam, the displaced narrator and his siblings find their attention consumed by the latest fashion and music trends in London. The book offers a poignant and jarring reminder not just of the resilience of the human spirit, but also of its ability to seek solace in the materiality of one's present.

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