pitbull monday
by Sean
Please note: MP3s are only kept online for a short time, and if this entry is from more than a couple of weeks ago, the music probably won't be available to download any more.


Coming soon, the music of Poland. On this Monday morning, however, as I complete the unfinished business of the saidthegramophone.com host-move, I feel like talking about hip-hop. From the United States.

Pitbull ft. Lil John - "Toma". I'm not sure why I'm so moved by Lil' John's fat crunk beats. I find something so alienating in those moon-man metal beachball bounces, the inhumanity of it. And yet here I am just as I was with Usher's "Yeah", not just moved but propelled, sent spinning into Toma's hot landscape. It's a party beat with the typical misogyny, Lil John yelling like a glorious moron, Toma explaining that "with these women I'm O.J., I get away with murder". The half-rasped spanish chorus is fierce and compelling, this thick vocal embrace - the track lifts you and then puts you down, it slaps your back so hard you're shoved around, and all along that little bronze electric guitar line, the real scale of your mischief. [buy M.I.A.M.I.]

The next track comes to me entirely via Rap Nerd, an awesome (and fairly new) mp3blog, where there's been an extended series called "Beatlemania," showcasing hip-hop tracks with Beatles samples. Yeah yeah, gimmicks, blah blah blah, but I like that kind of stuff. Besides, as with everything at Rap Nerd, the writer is knowledgeable, articulate, and picks the wheat from the chaff.

Nas ft. Pitbull - "Imagine". In many ways the total opposite of "Toma", "Imagine" is build around that most twentieth-century of samples - John Lennon's tune of the same name. For me, however, there's much more to this track than the cribbing of a good melody -- as a serious, focused response to 9/11, it's one of the best I've heard. I'm pretty skeptical with songs that aim to speak directly on the Twin Towers, some singer/rapper's composed monologue on the tragedy and our new future. But Nas and Pitbull more than justify this track's existence - it's earnest, it's got pretty wise things to say, and more than that, the rhymes are great. Nothing's been sacrificed in either man's flow, for the sake of a "political" rap. Instead it's just sad and strongly felt. Pitbull seems on the verge of tears. Weepy as it may be, emo has hell, I'm compelled by their passion, their strength of feeling. There's real grace in the poetry. "We breath the same air / we bleed the same blood / imagine all people treated equal / imagine one love."

If anyone finds anything broken on the new s.t.g pages (I know the search pages look kind of weird), please let me know in an email.

Posted by Sean at April 11, 2005 5:57 AM

Here lies a comment.

... Is it possible to make it so that tabbing will put the cursor into this comment box rather than hopping it from the URL field to the captcha field? Because that would be supercool.

Posted by Tuwa at April 12, 2005 11:31 AM

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about said the gramophone
This is a daily sampler of really good songs. All tracks are posted out of love. Please go out and buy the records.

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All songs are removed within a few weeks of posting.

Said the Gramophone launched in March 2003, and added songs in November of that year. It was one of the world's first mp3blogs.

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"And I shall watch the ferry-boats / and they'll get high on a bluer ocean / against tomorrow's sky / and I will never grow so old again."
about the authors
Sean Michaels is the founder of Said the Gramophone. He is a writer, critic and author of the theremin novel Us Conductors. Follow him on Twitter or reach him by email here. Click here to browse his posts.

Emma Healey writes poems and essays in Toronto. She joined Said the Gramophone in 2015. This is her website and email her here.

Jeff Miller is a Montreal-based writer and zinemaker. He is the author of Ghost Pine: All Stories True and a bunch of other stories. He joined Said the Gramophone in 2015. Say hello on Twitter or email.

Mitz Takahashi is originally from Osaka, Japan who now lives and works as a furniture designer/maker in Montreal. English is not his first language so please forgive his glamour grammar mistakes. He is trying. He joined Said the Gramophone in 2015. Reach him by email here.

Site design and header typography by Neale McDavitt-Van Fleet. The header graphic is randomized: this one is by Neale McDavitt-Van Fleet.
Dan Beirne wrote regularly for Said the Gramophone from August 2004 to December 2014. He is an actor and writer living in Toronto. Any claim he makes about his life on here is probably untrue. Click here to browse his posts. Email him here.

Jordan Himelfarb wrote for Said the Gramophone from November 2004 to March 2012. He lives in Toronto. He is an opinion editor at the Toronto Star. Click here to browse his posts. Email him here.
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our favourite blogs
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Back to the World
La Blogothèque
Weird Canada
Destination: Out
Endless Banquet
A Grammar (Nitsuh Abebe)
Ill Doctrine
A London Salmagundi
Words and Music
Petites planétes
Gorilla vs Bear
Silent Shout
Clouds of Evil
The Dolby Apposition
Awesome Tapes from Africa
Matana Roberts
Pitchfork Reviews Reviews
i like you [podcast]
Nicola Meighan
radiolab [podcast]
CKUT Music
plethoric pundrigrions
Wattled Smoky Honeyeater
The Clear-Minded Creative
Torture Garden
Passion of the Weiss
Juan and Only
Horses Think
White Hotel
Then Play Long (Marcello Carlin)
Uno Moralez
Coming Up For Air (Matt Forsythe)
my love for you is a stampede of horses
It's Nice That
Song, by Toad
In Focus
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The Rest is Noise (Alex Ross)
My Daguerreotype Boyfriend
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