So Far this Week… March 5, 2014

With the expansion of Hush Comics, we have decided to give bi-weekly news updates.  Anything we find news-worthy will be posted here bi-weekly.  Have anything to add?  Post it in the comments!

Those sneaky bastards at Rocksteady took a year off (Arkham Origins was developed by WB Montreal) so they could work on Batman: Arkham Knight, the finale to the Arkham trilogy. Coming out this year for next-gen consoles, my mind is exploding with excitement. I mean, just look at the trailer:

Norman Reedus, Daryl Dixon himself, will be joining Jimmy Fallon on the Tonight Show in just a few hours. I can’t wait to see what kind of shenanigans they pull tonight. Just a couple days ago, Fallon, The Roots and Idina Menzel did a back-stage performance of “Let it Go” from Frozen.

People got legitimately upset when Tony Hawk and Funny or Die duped everybody into thinking hover boards had finally arrived.

The Iron Throne meets the wheelz of steel! HBO has gathered a bunch of rappers to create their very own Game of Thrones mixtape. It should give us enough material for our “Diggin’ Through the Crates” article for months. It’s expected to drop on Friday.

It’s about to go down in Arrow. Ollie may be fancied a hero in Starling City, but he’s made plenty of enemies – namely Suicide Squad and Deathstroke.

It’s been quite some time since Michael Bay has blown some shit up. A full-length trailer of Transformers 4 has been released, and, sad to say, I don’t really care what it’s about; I just wanna see Optimus Prime pimp-slap a Dinobot.

More casting for DC television shows Constantine and Gotham, among them being Harold Perrineau Jr. (one of my favorites on HBO’s Oz), who will play an angel who looks over Constantine.

To promote their upcoming Original Sin event, Marvel will be supplying the retailers willing to put up the big bucks with eyeballs. Awesome…Your move, DC.

As Deadpool has been fighting with and against everything in the Marvel universe, it was only time until he took on one of the symbiotes. Deadpool vs. Carnage comes out within the month.

He might be a nice guy in real life, but Joseph Gordon-Levitt is looking mean in the brand new teaser for Sin City 2.

LeBron James’ 61 point game inspired Marvel to post a drawing of him with a Captain America mask, probably to detract from the Batman comparisons made with the black one.

Lando was one smooth guy in Star Wars, but can Billie Dee Williams still pull off the moves when he joins the cast of Dancing With the Stars?

The Justice League is flying back onto the shelves of your local grocery stores. General Mills cereal boxes with contain comic books starring the DC team of all-stars throughout the month of March.

The conclusion of The Walking Dead: Governor novels is finally here. Released on Tuesday, Fall of the Governor: Part 2 completes a long-winded series of books. We loved the first book, but the rest of them have been so lackluster, we’re debating whether or not to finish it out.

Diggin’ Through the Crates: KRS-One “Nothing New”

ALL BLACK EVERYTHING

Artist: KRS-One

Song: “Nothing New”

AlbumHip Hop Lives (2007)

Lyric: “The streets won’t forgive you man, them guns go BLAM/ Have you crawlin up the wall like Spider-Man… But no, you ain’t made for this/I put my hand through your chest like Agent Smith.”

Character Reference/Meaning:

If you are even going to begin a conversation about pioneers of the Hip-Hop world, KRS-One (Knowledge Reigns Supreme) A.K.A “The conscience of Hip-Hop” A.K.A “The spokesperson for Hip-Hop” better be one of the tops of conversation. KRS-One has been deemed these nicknames by Rolling Stone, The Source and even the Wall Street Journal and the Zulu Nation. With Black History Month coming to an end, it only seemed right to have KRS-One bless “DTC.” Later on, I will speak more on how comic books and being nerdy could possibly relate to someone like KRS-One, but for now I want to take some time to focus on KRS-One – a Hip Hop god.

Above many other KRS was one of the notable Hip Hop heads in the community that used his power of music and reach to make positive progression for black culture. In 1988-89 KRS-One started the “Stop the Violence Movement” in response to the continuing violence heard throughout hip hop music and the black community. Collaborating with some of the biggest stars out of the East Coast Hip-Hop scene, KRS-One release a song called “Self Destruction,” with all the proceeds going toward the National Urban League.

KRS-One has always tried to spread positive messages to the black community, with songs such as “Sound of da Police,” which speaks on how the police treat people of color, and how their power is often abused and unjust. Another positive song that helps deem KRS-One a king of Hip-Hop is “Hip-Hop Vs. Rap.” KRS-One states in this song, “Rap is something you do, Hip Hop is something you live.” You know what else he said in “Hip Hop Vs. Rap”? He said, “When these suckers don’t respect it, check it/ FLAME ON, I know the light is bright but keep on watching me.” Um, excuse me, Mr. One, but your nerdy side is beginning to show.

Beyond rap music, Hip-Hop is a way of life that the black community truly has adopted and made their own. This goes deep down into his bones, seeing that he is the founder of the Temple of Hip Hop. The Temple of Hip Hop is a: ministry, archive, school, and society (M.A.S.S.). The goal is to encourage artists and radio stations to write, and play more socially conscious music, and also to maintain and promote Hip-Hop culture, KRS-One believes that Hip-Hop is more than music, break dancing and graffiti, but rather it is a political movement, a religion, and a culture. This has gotten the United Nation to recognize Hip Hop, as a full-fledged religion. What? Hip-Hop as a religion? YES, if you do not have faith, then I encourage you to pick up at your local book store, The Gospel of Hip Hop: The First Instrument, which has been referred to as the “Hip-Hop Bible.”

I know this is all fine and dandy but I haven’t really tied in comic books at all yet, well hold on to your Underoos because coming your way is some comic related info. When KRS-One was just a 6 year-old Lawrence Parker (1971), he started collecting both comic books and toys in Harlem New York, right around the time he starts to become interested in history, religion and music.  In 1994, KRS-One and Marshall Chess combined both literature and music to inspire urban youth. This combination turned out to be a comic book accompanied by an audio cassette tape both entitled “Break the Chain” under the Marvel Comics imprint. This comic was meant to teach urban youth that they don’t have to be slaves to their past or their conditions, that we must break the chains of ignorance in order to become something positive in this world. With other name drops of comic references I believe that part of KRS-One’s heart still belongs to comics. Either way, without KRS-One hip hop would not be the inspirational movement that is has become today; so how could Hip-Hop be dead if KRS-One is still its savior? To find out more about KRS-One and the Temple of Hip Hop visit his website.

Written by Evan Lowe

Diggin’ Through the Crates: Mos Def and Talib Kweli “Know That”

ALL BLACK EVERYTHING

Artist: Mos Def ft. Talib Kweli

Song: “Know That”

Album: Black on Both Sides (1999)

Lyric: “I Strike the Empire Back/ I Strike the Empire Back/ Fuck the Empire!/ High flying like the Millenium Falcon/ Piloted by Han Solo/ I never roll for dolo, fronting on me’s a no-no”

Character Reference/Meaning:

You know what Mos Def and the Star Wars have in common besides being awesome, ground breaking and revolutionary? One word – Rebels. That’s right, all you nerds out there, if you have been paying attention to Star Wars news as of late you should know about the new animated series entitled, Star Wars Rebels. This animated series is set to drop this year and is to take place between episodes III and IV. Just recently, some of the first footage was released with some new characters fans ought to love; sadly though, Mos Def is not one of them. Especially with great Star Wars related lines such as the chosen lyric of the week, it’s obvious that Mos Def a.k.a Yasiin Bey (he has rebranded himself Yasiin Bey as of late to keep his old record label from making money off the stage name Mos Def) is down for the cause.

Like any good Rebel soldier, Yasiin speaks out against injustice happening in the world and is on a mission to betterment. However, what speaks louder than words? ACTION! Not only has Mos Def spoken out about important tops in his songs such as the right to clean water (“New World Water“), the maltreatment of Katrina victims via the government (“Katrina Klap (Dollar Day)“), Poverty rates among African Americans (“Ni**as In Poorest“), as well as the murder of Trayvon Martin (“Made You Die“), but he has also put his words into action. In 2000 he performed a benefit concert for Mumia Abu-Jamal a death row inmate who is a known member of the Black Panther Party and was convicted of 1st degree murder of a Philadelphia police officer. Popular belief that Abu-Jamal didn’t receive a fair trial, and the court system was unjust to sentence him to the death penalty. He remains in prison today. In 2007 Yasiin appeared on Real Time with Bill Maher where he spoke about racism against African-Americans and the poor response by the American government during Hurricane Katrina, and the Jena Six. A few years later he made a reappearance where he spoke upon the dangers of nuclear weapons and the possible mistranslation of Osama Bin Laden’s terrorist threats.

One of Mos Def’s largest and most “real” actions occurred in 2013 where he sought out to show the world the mistreatment, and violation of human rights people have been portraying on inmates at Guantanamo Bay. He did this by depicting how the prisoners have been forced feed against their will, despite it being an instructional procedure. It has been a point of Yasiin to spread positivity through his music and bring truth and reality to light by his actions. So in this song when he says he strikes back against the empire he is saying that he challenges and battles unjust happenings in this world. Seeing what “empires” have done to cause oppression with imperialism and colonialism it’s no wonder he rebels. Is Mos Def the Han Solo of our day and age, the rebel we need to speak and act out against the empire of today? Maybe he is, maybe he isn’t, but regardless of how you look at it, Mos Def is a social activist for the betterment of civil rights and humans in general. With his ability to spread positivity through his music and social action, I feel the world can be more peaceful, united and just, than it was yesterday.

WARNING: The following video depicts graphic images of force feeding. These images at times can be disturbing and difficult to watch. View discretion advised.

Written by Evan Lowe

Diggin’ Through the Crates: Public Enemy “Raise the Roof”

ALL BLACK EVERYTHING

Artist: Public Enemy

Song: “Raise the Roof”

Album: Yo! Bum Rush the Show (1987)

Lyric: “From the slammer, swing a hammer like the mighty Thor/ God of thunder, you’ll go under, then you’ll applaud/ And fathom the distance, the mad must reap/ Meet Namor, sea lord, Prince of the deep.”

Character Reference/Meaning:

Continuing with our theme of progressive Hip-Hop artists and groups that helped pave the way for an entire generation and culture, we bring to the stage yet another legendary group, Public Enemy. YEEAAAAHHHH BOY!  Through songs like “Fight the Power” and “Rebel Without a Pause,” this group didn’t shy away from topics labeled taboo at the time – they often rhymed about race relations, the lack of equality and standards of living, and the ever-decaying and neglect of inner city neighborhoods.

It might be hard for the current generation, far removed from the Civil Rights era babies, to grasp, but the emergence of hard-hitting Hip-Hop music was a focal point for the resurgence of pride and political awareness in the black community. Public Enemy was views as being an integral part of this movement. They would see the injustice that was prevalent in everyday life and pour it out in their songs, dropping beats and knowledge. Public Enemy wasn’t afraid to let it known to the general population what was happening in their community and that they had no concerns about polarizing political statements. Public Enemy, beyond the music and the group, was a concept, stating, “if you are black, white, Hispanic, blue, purple or whatever, and are sick of the conditions, injustice, and inequality, then you are a public enemy.” Public Enemy transcended all types of media, they have even been blessed with their own graphic novel. With Chuck D, Flavor Flav, Professor Griff, The S1W and DJ Lord here to fight the Man, the New World Order, corrupt governments, crooked cops, slave traders, drug dealers, child molesters and much more; it’s obvious to see the reach and impact they had on society.

Chuck D has once said, “You can show all emotions in comics,” when asked if being in a comic would lessen the importance of the groups message. He also stated, “Those early Saturday morning cartoons got me…CBS’ Superman, Batman, Justice League. Then Space Ghost, the ABC’s Spider-Man and Fantastic Four led me straight into it.” I’m positive they inspired the masses, and led people from the slammer, to feeling like they had the power of Thor. They’ve allowed people to take a look at their lives and see how far they have gone, see that yes, before they could have been drowning in the hardships and conditions, yet those made them who they are. And through perseverance and strength, they now longer drown, but conquer who they are, and where they came from like Namor. Needless to say, Public Enemy is much more than just a rap group. With their reach in music, television, and even comic books, it is impossible to deem them anything less than superheroes.

Written by Evan Lowe

Diggin’ Through the Crates: A Tribe Called Quest “Award Tour”

ALL BLACK EVERYTHING

Artist: A Tribe Called Quest

Song: “Award Tour”

AlbumMidnight Marauders (1993)

 

Lyric: “I have a quest to have a mic in my hand/ without that, it’s like Kryptonite and Superman.”

Character Reference/Meaning:

In honor of Black History Month, we wanted to change it up a little bit and look at some of the artists that really contributed to the culture inside and outside the booth. Well, today I am here to try to bring back some of those hip-hop glory days by introducing A Tribe Called Quest to D.T.C. with their song “Award Tour.” Released more than twenty years ago, “Award Tour” has withstood the test of time with it’s catchy hook, jazzy beat and wise lyrics. Released off the Hip-Hop classic album Midnight Marauders in 1993, “Award Tour” was smack dab in the middle of the Native Tongues movement.

The Native Tongues were a group of progressive Black groups and artists (namely Tribe, De La Soul, Jungle Brothers, Queen Latifah, Mos Def, and much more) that often collaborated in their work. Hip-Hop has had mega-groups like this before, but in the commercialist explosion of the genre in the late 1980’s, it was hard finding a groups with a positive message. A Tribe Called Quest embodied the movement, with songs about racial equality, treating women with respect, and having good, clean fun. Oh, and did you know that Phife Dog and Q-Tip, two of Tribe’s founding members, are huge nerds??

He might be Superman on the mic, but off of it? I can tell you this for a fact: the only thing weaker than Superman drowning in a pool full of Kryptonite is an MC without his mic. Without such tools, a person of poetry who has lyricism crawling through their bones is powerless to change the world around them. However, let’s switch it up and take a look at the rapper that does possess the almighty mic. A power so strong that Thor and his hammer can only wish to idolize it, a bond so deep and true that Superman’s X-ray vision can’t see past the first few layers, a passion so unrelenting that Poison Ivy can’t help but to succumb to its desire. To the rappers that started revolutions and what it meant to be a hip-hop mastermind that spoke to and for the people, that is what hip-hop heads view a rapper and his mic as. And that is exactly what Phife is saying in this particular lyric.

Only with that ability to make music and share it does he feel powerful, whether it be to make music that others relate to, or to shine a light on issues that other previously couldn’t relate to. All of this sounds dramatic and over the top, but I guarantee you, it’s fact for those individuals out there that can recite every line to “Award Tour.” It sounds an awful lot like being a superhero to me. For those of us who are unfortunate enough (or fortunate depending on how you look at it…those are scary places sometimes) to live in Metropolis, Gotham City, or any other city or planet thriving with super-beings, sometimes that music playing in our heads is our Superman. Everybody has their Superman; you just need to go discover what it is. For some it is their family and friends. For others it is music, movies, and books. And in this case of Phife Dog and the lest of A Tribe Called Quest, it’s being able to have the mic in their hand. What is yours?

Written by Evan Lowe and Sherif Elkhatib

Diggin’ Through the Crates: Wordburglar “Rap-Viper”

Artist: Wordburglar

Song: Rap-Viper

AlbumWelcome to Cobra Island (2013)

Lyric: “Back when Big Boa taught me how to box, in between swimming laps with Croc Master’s crocs.”

Character Reference/Meaning:

Have you been feeling a severe lack of G.I. Joe in your life lately? Well, thankfully for you, I’m about to attempt to spit some Cobra knowledge on you. However, I am truly only a messenger of music and my latest delivery comes all the way from Cobra Island and Wordburglar’s pen. This entire song is in dedication to G.I. Joe and Cobra Commander. Scratch that – this whole ALBUM is dedicated to Joes and Cobras. So when looking at this song, it was pretty difficult to choose one lyric that stood out, but I believe the one I chose is pretty badass.

Let me give you a run down on why this particular lyric is awesome. Wordburglar learned how to box from Big Boa.

Oh no big deal, he can fight, whatever. RIGHT AND WRONG.

Big Boa is only the person Cobra Commander looks upon to test the level of a Joe’s pain tolerance. He is basically one bad MoFo.

So what, he can torture real good, but that doesn’t mean he knows how to fight. RIGHT AND WRONG, AGAIN.

Big Boa also has upwards of ten years-experience training the Cobra Troopers and is well known for being a fairly competent fighter who can subdue almost any opponent in physical combat. So if Big Boa is your Tae Bo instructor, you ought to start preparing yourself to be a killing machine; sorry, you have no choice. But hold up, wait a minute. Let me put some crocs up in it.

My guess is that Wordburglar has spent some quality time on Cobra Island, and during his stay he probably had some good laughs, fun adventures, and tons of excitement. So even though the island is covered with security crocadiles supplied by Guard-Gators Inc., whose founder is the one and hopefully only Croc Master, it sure didn’t stop Wordburglar from floating down the lazy and terrifying river. It’s probably a good thing that Croc Master was on the Island with Cobra and Big Boa because those training sessions can get pretty tiring. Trust me, I had a 2 week membership for this same program but I had to quit because I didn’t have enough time to watch my shows, and I need my shows.

And we all know that there is nothing more relaxing and frightening than swimming laps with hostile, psychotic, hungry, man-eating, and fast crocodiles. That’s just common knowledge as well as a common leisurely activity. It’s pretty obvious that Wordburglar is just trying to buy an in to join the Cobra Troopers, and at this rate he might actually do it. So next time you journey onto Cobra Island, be safe, and send a postcard.

Written by Evan Lowe

Diggin’ Through the Crates: Hopsin “Lunch Time Cypher”

Artist: Hopsin – (lyric by Passionate MC)

Song: “Lunch Time Cypher”

Album: Knock Madness (2013)

Lyric: “I got foreign objects/That’ll get you capped in America (Captain America) like Marvel Comics”

Character Reference/Meaning:

I pledge allegiance to the panels of the united comic book universe, and to the trade paper backs for which it stands, thousands of dimensions, under Stan Lee, assembled, with fun and justice (Batman voice) for all. In this song, brought to us by Hopsin in his third studio album, Knock Madness, he wants to kick it old school and send us back to a place where we all use to gather around the lunch table in high school and spit a cypher. Remember what I told you all week one, all nerds grow up to be rappers, so if you were reading comics at your lunchroom table instead of freestyle rapping, your career in Hip Hop is still possible.

Case in point, Passionate MC, who brought us this gangsta-nerdy lyric, which by the way isn’t his only comic book reference in this song. Captain America is a character that stands for freedom, and equality for everyone. He believes what is right should be held in the highest regard over anything else, even over himself. He stands up for more than just the American people and he would even go through crazy extremes to protect what is right. I don’t want to be that dude on the internet that spoils stuff about cool things, so if you are interested in knowing what these crazy extreme things are check out Captain America Vol. 5 #25. Based upon this lyric, I can only guess that Passionate MC knows about Captain America #25. It’s probably what he was reading during lunch (March 2007). With the new Captain America: The Winter Solider movie coming out April 4, 2014 we are going to get to see our star spangled hero in action once again. With the addition of several characters, namely Falcon and The Winter Soldier we are going to get a deeper look into Captain America A.K.A Steve Rodger’s life.

Diggin’ Through the Crates: Childish Gambino “Not Going Back”

Artist: Childish Gambino

Song: “Not Going Back”

Album: EP (mixtape released March 8, 2011) EP was released 8 Days before his official first studio album Camp. You can download it free here.

Lyric: “I didn’t know he had it in him/ Couldn’t see me as Spider-Man, but now I’m spittin’ Venom/ Now you payin’ attention, pick your fuckin’ face up/ When I wanna be a superhero, I just wake up.”

Character Reference/Meaning:

Who brought us the topic for today’s “Diggin’ Through the Crates?” Well It’s just your friendly neighborhood rapper, Childish Gambino a.k.a. Donald Glover. Donald Glover is everywhere; he is one of the stars of NBC’s Community, he is a rising rap star, He has done stand-up comedy on Comedy Central, and he wrote for NBC’s 30 Rock, this kid can do everything. Why couldn’t he be Spider-Man on top of that? I’m all for it! In fact, so were many other people. In news of a Spider-Man reboot back in 2010, a fan of Childish Gambino’s suggested that he would be a great candidate to play Peter Parker in The Amazing Spider-Man.

This news hit the Twitter-verse by storm with people retweeting #donald4spiderman after encouragement from Childish himself. Even Stan Lee, the godfather of comics said he believed Glover would be a great choice to play Peter Parker and should be allowed to audition for the part. Ultimately, he did was not given the role; however, a year after the campaign the new Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man introduced Miles Morales who just happens to be African-American and Latino…and look suspiciously just like Donald Glover. Writer Brian Michael Bendis told popular media that he had developed the concept for Miles Morales before the #donald4spiderman campaign yet he did give him credit for his overall appearance. Also, just another little Easter Egg, in the first episode of Season 2 of Community, Troy (played by Donald Glover) is seen hopping out of bed sporting his Spider-Man full body pajamas and stretching very hero like, possible campaign advertising, I think so! After seeing this Community episode, Bendis said, “I saw him in the costume and thought, ‘I would like to read that book.’” So basically when you are reading the new Ultimate Spider-Man you are reading Miles Morales a.k.a. Donald Glover a.k.a. Childish Gambino. Sadly, Gambino did not get the role of Peter Parker, but based on the new Amazing Spider-Man 2 trailer, I have no doubts it’ll be a fantastic film. Who’ knows, since we couldn’t see him as Spider-Man, maybe we could see him as Venom.

Donald-Glover-Spider-man

Written by Evan Lowe

Diggin’ Through the Crates: Lupe Fiasco “Lupe Back”

Artist: Lupe Fiasco

Song: “Lupe Back”

AlbumFriend of the People: I Fight Evil (2011), a mixtape that followed up his third studio album (Lasers). Free download here.

Lyric: “Reinforced with hardness of Wolverine’s arms with the harshness and overall sharpness”

Meaning/Character Reference:

All you gangsters and hoods out there think you hard? You know what’s really hard?? Adamantium. In Lupe Fiasco’s Black Friday mixtape of 2011, he sets out determined to let the rap world know not only is he coming strong only months after he released his 3rd studio album, Lasers, but he has been putting time and effort into his craft. This mixtape differed quite a bit from Lasers, seeing that much of the studio album contained radio hits and mainstream rhymes, which has never really been Lupe’s style. Friend of the People was no hold barred with lots of strong instrumentals and little to no hooks – just straight up Lupe lyricism and he sets to prove it all with the lyric of the week. Let’s break it down X-Men.

If Lupe can’t shove it through your head that he is lyrically blessed, then he is going to stab it through with his adamantium claws or words or…whatever. He claims that everything he puts out is strong, reinforced, and he can back it all up because the only thing that goes as hard as Lupe, is the claws of The Wolverine. We appreciate the nerdy-ness of this line due to the fact that Lupe seems to understand that Wolverine’s claws aren’t made out of adamantium, but rather only reinforced by it. Score one to Mr. Fiasco! Similar to Logan’s claws, Lupe’s rhymes not only go hard, but they are sharp. Over the years Lupe has gained the reputation of being a conscious, smart rapper. This is prevalent in other songs and lyrics such as his hit song “Dumb it Down” and a more recent lyric from SLR2: “Go to Harvard to be a Lupe Stan,” shout out to Eminem. His lyrics cannot be taken lightly, his intelligence rap requires you to re-read the lyrics over and over and use your best detective skills to decipher the meanings. So basically if you were to fight Wolverine in a one-on-one battle the best weapon you can bring is Lupe Fiasco’s rhymebook. I would pay good money to see that fight! I guess if the pen is mightier than the sword, can we infer that the words are mightier than the claws…sure why not!

astonishing xmen wolverine are you a beer

 Written by Evan Lowe

Diggin’ Through the Crates: Pharoahe Monch “Agent Orange”

Artist: Pharoahe Monch

Song: “Agent Orange”

Album: The Awakening (2003), a mixtape that preluded his second studio album (Desire). Free download here.

Before we begin, let’s just start out by introducing a lot of you to Pharoahe Monch, as not many I’ve spoken with have had the pleasure of listening to this hidden star of Hip-Hop. While not achieving a lot of commercial success, anything that comes out of Pharoahe’s mouth is lyrical gold. Starting out as half of the group Organized Konfusion, Pharoahe quickly gained the reputation of being a cerebral and entertaining emcee. Since his solo debut in 1999, Internal Affairs, Pharoahe has blown up the independent scene, tackling social and political topics with such clarity and hilarity.

Lyric: “It’s not a Game Boy, X-Box or PlayStation/It’s Resident Evil when every President’s a mason/ Robbin’ y’all fools like Dick Grayson”

Meaning/Character Reference:

Holy “Agent Orange,” Pharoahe Monch! That sure sounds scary and intense. In the mixtape leading to his second album, Desire, he reminds listeners that he is not only a wordsmith but is quite comic savvy, as well. “Agent Orange” is a song portraying the horrid war-time nature the United States government has been proved to display, referencing the US’ use of herbicidal warfare in the Vietnam War that left hundreds of thousands civilians starving and/or permanently physically deformed. When Pharoahe Monch starts listing off the game systems of our past, present, and future, he is basically throwing a brick through Congress windows with a note attached saying, “NOT TODAY, GOVERNMENT! DO I LOOK LIKE A BRAND NEW MORTAL KOMBAT VS. DC UNIVERSE GAME? BECAUSE I AM NOT TO BE PLAYED WITH” – sassy finger snapping ensues. Gloriously, Pharoahe Monch reaches out to the comic book world and pays homage to a superhero that only seek one thing – justice. Don’t lie; you said justice in your best Batman voice, didn’t you? What he is saying is that the system is robbin’ knowledge, power, and all that other good stuff from We, the People. For those of you out there who are wondering who Dick Grayson is, he is the only dude who can look badass in a red speedo, green gloves and a yellow cape, ROBIN! Boom, there is that AHA moment!  Pharoahe Monch is similar to Robin because they are both underrated and underestimated. If Dick Grayson can evolve from Robin into Nightwing, then maybe, just maybe, Pharoahe Monch can turn into Ra…sure, let’s go with that.

It's a Dick... in a box
It’s a Dick… in a box

Fun Fact: In Eminem’s “Rap God,” which we featured on last week’s “Diggin’ Through the Crates” piece, actually references Pharoahe Monch, a heralded Hip-Hop artist in the underground community. As a lifetime fan of both, it’s refreshing to hear that even a pop legend like Eminem knows who the real artists are: “I know there was a time where once I/Was king of the underground, but I still rap like I’m on my Pharoahe Monch grind.”

That does it for this week guys! Check back next week for more nerd-infused Hip-Hop. Also, if you’re interested at all in learning more about the artist or the subject matter in our posts, don’t hesitate to ask. Pharoahe Monch’s fourth solo album, entitled P.T.S.D., is slated for a release January 2014. Be sure to check us out for a comprehensive review on that! Til next time, nerds…

Written by Evan Lowe and Sherif Elkhatib