DOPE Digest is a weekly roundup of pop culture miscellany, with succinct analysis from our contributors.
Brooke Candy – “Opulence” Video
syvo: The new song by Tumblr-chic rapper/superstripper Brooke Candy isn’t her best song ever, nor is it her worst. (Which is to say absolutely nothing.) Count me among the proud few fervently looking forward to next week’s premier of her Opulent EP, the first actual release from Ms. Candy since, well, ever. She’s released a string of mediocre, mostly irritating singles over the past two years and was featured on Charli XCX’s debut album, but until now she hasn’t put out a discreet product of her own.
While most people, I suspect, are confident in their dismissal of Brooky Candy as a gimmicky, obnoxious excuse for a rapper, I personally maintain that she is underrated. When given the chance, she can deliver a decent verse, cleverly written and with a smoothly attractive flow. (Her hooks need work.)
With all that said, let me be clear: “Opulence” is the best video I have seen in a very, very long time. I love everything about it, from its intimately violent intro sequence to its neon harlequin aesthetic. With collaborators like photographer Steven Klein (known for his concert backdrop videos for Madonna and Lady Gaga’s “Alejandro” video), and fashion director Nicola Formichetti (DIESEL artistic director and another prominent Gaga cohort), Brooke Candy has produced a gorgeous, fun, and visually breathtaking music video.
BK: I was floored by the intro to this video and it only gets wilder from there. I will say that its hard to do something we’ve never seen before in a music video, and the bedazzled face, body and wigs of Brooke Candy are quite unique. Visually, the video is phenomenal. I’m not sure I could handle a whole LP by Ms. Candy; her raps are pretty decent but the beat is a little flat and as you said, the hook needs work (its really the word ‘Opulence’ itself. It’s a mouthful. People want hooks that are no more than two syllables, though I do appreciate Brooke Candy expanding the vocabulary of the world’s youth.) Regardless of her merits or potential as an musical artist, if she keeps putting out innovative videos she’s OK in my book.
Lil B – “Katy Perry”
syvo: Well, this made me happy. After legendary #BASED rapper Lil B released the above video this past week, Katy Perry herself took notice on twitter and ended up asking Lil B out -to prom. His response, that he’d love to because he never got to go to his real prom, was priceless. This has to be the sweetest, strangest pop culture moment in the history of human consciousness and creativity.
BK: I never really ‘got’ Lil’ B – and this track has not changed that at all. He is clearly a person… with a lot of stuff going on. A lot of ‘songs,’ a lot of tweets, a lot of content, and a lot more attention than I would’ve ever expected. By sheer force of will alone, he seems to have made himself relevant and kept himself there. If you’re getting tweets for Katy Perry, you are doing something right. I salute you, Lil’ B. Keep up that #BASED flow.
Call Girl of Cthulu Trailer
syvo: I saw this movie described as “Basket Case meets Pecker with tons of nudity and gore,” and knew it was for me. I’m very much in favor of low-budget gore flicks, particularly when they involve combining classic horror literature with lowbrow humor. When I saw the trailer (NSFW!), I was astonished to find that it wasn’t a Troma film. Rather, it appears to have been financed via Kickstarter, which is great. As Alan Moore indicated in his graphic novel Neonomicon, the work of H.P. Lovecraft and its distinctive prudishness involves all sorts of very bizarre, very uncomfortable sexual connotations. This movie looks primed to explore that unseemly territory with gusto.
BK: Damn, now THAT is a trailer. I don’t know enough about HP Lovecraft to spot the influences, but I know enough to bet that the source material is excellent. This trailer is a campy, gory blast that leaves me wanting more (yes I am hoping they use that quote in the next trailer). The movie looks absolutely ridiculous in a wonderful way. In the age of $200 million blockbusters, I could use a little more indie charm.
Ariana Grande ft. Iggy Azalea – “Problem”
BK: Time to get some POP music back into this post (how else would we get the kids to read?!). The latest track by Ariana Grande, whose name I still don’t know how to pronounce, is going to be burning up the radio and possibly overplayed by the time we post the next DOPE Digest. For now, this song is working in all the ways a Friday track should. The hook is catchy as hell (take notes, Brooke Candy), the Iggy Azalea cameo is perfect, and the horns are reminiscent of another recent radio hit by Jason Derulo. I’m completely onboard, and hope we get more from the latest member of the Scooter Braun (military) school of pop music soon.
syvo: I’m with you on still not knowing how to pronounce her name. In fact, I’m mostly oblivious to just about everything about her. Thankfully, listening to this song has helped me begin working on that. This song is a lot of fun, if a bit overeager in its willingness indulge in an all-out grab-bag of contemporary pop devices. In particular, I too love the Iggy Azalea cameo. She’s sounding better and better.
They Came Together Trailer
BK: This trailer is just OK for me, but I am hoping they are slow-playing me. The cast is absolutely amazing and it is directed by David Wain, who directed one of the most underrated movies of all time in Role Models. I am pretty much guaranteed to see anything that Amy Poehler and Paul Rudd are in, so I will definitely be going to see this in theaters (or On-Demand) as soon as it is out.
syvo: Hmm…I’m not sure there’s enough here for me to get on board. I’m no particular fan of anyone in the cast, and the film’s premise appears to be insufferably banal despite the trailer’s winkingly self-deprecating tone. The reviews will have to be stellar for me to catch this one in theaters, but I’d be happy to watch it on your couch, Braden!
DOPE Digest Throwback: Fountains of Wayne – “Stacy’s Mom”
BK: I’ve had this song inexplicably stuck in my head all week, so I am hoping it will now be stuck in your heads too. Fountains of Wayne made a name for themselves in the 1996 with the song ‘Sink to the Bottom‘ and then went missing for the better part of a decade before reemerging in 2003 (on TRL, no less) with “Stacy’s Mom.” The video is a throwback in itself to Fast Times at Ridgemont High (double throwback!), and the song is so catchy that even 11 years later if you hear it once you’ll be singing it for at least five days. Put this on your weekend playlist and we’ll try to pry it out of your head next week.
syvo: Two words: North Jersey!