Posts Tagged ‘Fly Society’

JR Returns

September 28, 2008


Sober mind power

I’m sure there were likelier candidates than Jereme Rogers to become the handrail version of Chris Gentry for the late aughts, but today, having awoken to the skateboard peanut gallery’s equivalent of Paris Hilton’s two-way getting cracked, I can’t imagine who those candidates might have been. It’s like the final piece of an amazing puzzle has fallen into place: former child star, copious amounts of ostentatious jewelry, sudden and fervent conversion to Christianity, neck tattoos, and now–of course!–rap music.

As a musician, “JR” is surprisingly distinct from Terry Kennedy, his partner in luxury goods appreciation and internet business ventures. Where TK’s rough-edged braggadocio centers on money, women and hitting people over the head with gun-butts, JR plays the role of the elder statesman, imparting the hard-learned lessons of street life which he knows so well. A quick overview of the JR songography as currently available:

“This the Type of Shit” f. Roc: JR’s breathy crooning masks disarmingly smooth disses, akin to Mary Poppins’ spoonful of sugar, and the vulgarity of the hook (handled here by JR himself) belies intricate conceptual thinking on the part of the former Transworld rookie of the year (see the “ten letters” bar). Following the trend recently popularized by Jay-Z, JR apparently does not write down his rhymes, but the instrumental harkens back to the easy-riding G-funk era.
Key line: “This is just step one.”
Rating: 5 neck tattoos

“Nobody Wanna Live Without” F. Eddie Rap Life: A more urgent number, driving and a touch bleak, JR gets deep speaking on the struggles of youth today. Growing up in the hood, a topic JR knows well, isn’t easy and he understands that often kids’ only outlet lies in flights of fancy: “Late night dreams of you and a gold rope, UHHH… how fresh you could look in that pea coat” “You could be the next Jay-Hov…” But JR warns against turning to a life of crime to accomplish these ends, imploring youngsters to instead “open up your bibles, put down your rifles.”
Key line: “Shoulda been content with the life you were used to.”
Rating: Four neck tattoos

“Keep the Faith” f. Renee Renee: JR, despite his deep devotion to Christ and providing a positive and sober urban role model for the kids, is no angel. He’s lived the fast life and still slips up now and then, evidenced by the “smoke trees” line. Yet it’s what one does with these mistakes–JR probably would call them opportunities–that determines the measure of a man, and JR is right up front with his humanity: “Make mistakes, shit that’s okay, me I musta made about 10 today/Just made another one, I just said shit, but I won’t say it again unless the track require.” Too Short-esque wordplay with “Heaven-sent flow”–JR’s just getting started. (Judging by Renee Renee’s wavering chorus, JR isn’t alone here.)
Key line: “Go for your dreams, believe in it, me I’m knee deep in it.”
Rating: Three neck tattoos

Seven things I liked about Terry Kennedy’s Deathwish part

April 30, 2008

TK keeps progressing, sort of, though if I were him I’d stop hyping the fact that he only started skating in 2000 or whatever it was, because each part he puts out running basically the same tricks it gets less impressive and more obvious. But what am I saying here, a Terry Kennedy video part isn’t about tricks, or even skating really. It’s about being young and carefree and well-off and making rap songs in your living room and designing fashionable bulletproof vests. But I’m on TK’s side really. At this point he’s at least as cartoonish as your Jim Grecos and Chad Muskas, but the difference to me is that he seems to take himself a lot less serious. Uh, most of the time.

Anyway, the highlights of Terry Kennedy’s Deathwish part:

1. The wacky and possibly intoxicatory smile on his face when he comes out the door in his tank top and short shorts at the beginning there. Ha ha ha! What is he doing anyway. Crazy guy.

2. His little monologue in the basement with the ping-pong lady in the background. I’ve watched it at least a half-dozen times and I’m still not sure what it is he’s saying toward the end there. It sounds intense though. Is he talking about Lupe? If he was going for the Smack DVD angle he should’ve had Gorecki and the rest of the Ice Cream crew wearing bandannas over their faces and flashing guns. But keep the ping pong lady. It makes you look unpredictable and a little insane.

3. He lets Sammy Baca sit on his couch without even putting that plastic shit on it. I thought that was nice of him.

4. Fakie 5-0 down the white hubba. This was a good trick.

5. His rap song. TK’s producer, or homie, or cousin, or whatever website he downloaded the instrumental from seems to be improving at a marginal rate, much like TK himself on a skateboard. Some of this recent Fly Society material sounds like it could maybe stand on its own near the end of a 30-track Slick Pulla mixtape, which is saying something. TK’s lyrics are pretty standard fare as far as having fancy things and affirming his eternal hatred for snitches but he sounds pretty convincing to me. I wonder if he thinks up lyrics while he’s sliding down handrails, like “it would be hot if when I get into this b/s overcrook, I sing ‘got your wifey on my dizzick.'” Multi-tasking…

6. That last bar he f/s railslides looked like something Rowley would have tackled before he got old and started skating ditches all the time. Tall and beastly.

7. Finally, the bro-down session after his last trick reminded me of “Fulfill the Dream”… in a good way.

P.S. what’s with all the unicycles in this video? Kind of amazing…