Friday, November 29, 2013

Tech N9ne -- "Hiccup" (2013)

Just when you get to thinking
Nobody can touch you
Here come a hiccup in your plan

Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday -- don't you agree?  

Did you have a nice Thanksgiving?  I hope you did.

I had a very nice Thanksgiving.  We hosted 18 at our house -- children, nieces and nephews, in-laws, even a fiancĂ©.  I took some photos, thinking I might use them in a Thanksgiving-related 2 or 3 lines but THEN I SAW THIS MUSIC VIDEO AND EVERYTHING CHANGED!!!

Here it is.  If you have a defibrillator in your home, bring it in to the room and plug it in before you hit "play" on the video.  (If you don't have a defibrillator, I'd run right out to Defibrillators "R" Us and get yourself one right now.)

(I'm glad I don't have to pick up the tab for these guys' energy drinks.)

I can't think of a time when I decided within ten seconds of hearing a song for the first time that it had to be on 2 or 3 lines.  But hearing the first few lines of "Hiccup" is like having a prostate exam -- love it or hate it, it's impossible to ignore. 

Here's my suggestion to any neuroscientists out there who are trying to figure out which part of the brain is most responsible for aggressive behavior.  Just stick a bunch of electrodes on a guy's cabeza, hit him with "Hiccup" -- the louder the better -- and see whether it's the hypothalamus, or amygdala, or something else that starts firing the hardest.  

Tech N9ne's real name is Aaron Dontez Yates.  He was born in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1971, and still lives there.  (About 20 seconds from the end of the video, there's a brief shot of a Kansas City Royals poster.)

Aaron Yates (d/b/a/ Tech N9ne)
According to a  2010 Ink magazine story about him, he did not have an easy time of it when he was young:

He was just Aaron Yates back then.  A kid who remembered how to spell his name by rapping it: “Capital A, little A, R-O-N.”

His mom, Maudie Yates, took him to church every day in Kansas City.

He didn’t always want to go. . . . But most often, Tech did what his mom said. He wanted to make her happy, because there was so much making her sad.

Tech’s dad wasn’t around, so he was the man of the house — even when he was in elementary school.  One of his most vivid memories from childhood was walking into the kitchen to find his mom convulsing on the floor.  He ran outside in his underwear, pounding on neighbors’ doors, screaming himself hoarse for help.

At church, he learned that faith in God could fix anything.  But at home, he watched the most faithful person he knew suffer from epilepsy and lupus.  So he began to question God’s existence. . . . He needed answers, and so he went looking for them in strange places.

When he was in his 20s, he crawled into vacant buildings in the West Bottoms with his best friend, Brian Dennis, and wandered around with a camcorder, hoping to capture a ghost on film.

“We’d take a couple girls with us, go act a clown and hope we’d see something,” Tech says.

They never did.  In 2003, Dennis was shot and killed in Overland Park alongside Kimberly Lowe, the mother of his daughter.  They were killed by Lowe’s ex, who then shot and killed himself.

His stage name, which was given to him by fellow rapper Black Walt, is a reference to the TEC-9 semi-automatic handgun (which was featured regularly on the old Miami Vice television show).

Ariel Castro
The lyrics to "Hiccup" are a hot mess.  The most interesting lines relate to Charles Ramsey's discovery on May 6, 2013, that Ariel Castro was holding three kidnapped women against their will in his Cleveland home.

You're kidnapping the women having your way
Threaten to kill 'em all if they don't wanna stay
Got off of work and you thinking you about to play
And Charles Ramsey came and ruined your day

In other words, Charles Ramsey was the "hiccup" in Ariel Castro's plan.

Charles Ramsey
The lyrics also refer to Pussy Riot, pedophile priests, and rappers beefing' on Twitter.  The lyrics do not apparently refer to what is going on in the video, which depicts (in backward chronological order, more or less) the attempted robbery of a convenience store by a young man wearing a motorcycle helmet.  

It's only an attempted robbery because the store cashier pulls a gun and shoots the would-be robber from point-blank range.  

The final moments of the video suggest that the robbery was motivated by the robber's inability to pay his bills and take care of his young daughter.  

If I were you, I'd scroll back up and watch the video again.  And watch it on "full screen."  (If you don't know how to make that happen, just click on the little icon in the lower right-hand corner of the video that looks like the corners of a picture frame.)

Actually, I'd watch it about a bazillion times in a row and I'd sing along, too, which would cause my younger son (who is watching a lot of old "The Office" episodes while he's home from college for the holiday) to slam the door between the family room and the 2 or 3 lines offices very loudly.  (I can't really put into words exactly how he slams the door, but trust me -- he slams it very eloquently indeed.)

"Hiccup" was released less than a week ago.  (2 or 3 lines is on top of sh*t, my brothers.)  It's on the 2013 Therapy EP.

Click below if you'd like to buy the song from Amazon:

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