Trill Shit: Cacophonies Part 5
“The satyr who had lost to Leto’s son
The contest when he played Minerva’s pipe,
And paid the penalty. ‘No! no!’ he screamed
Apollo stripped his skin; the whole of him
Was one huge wound, blood streaming everywhere,
Sinews laid bare, veins naked, quivering
And pulsing. You could count his twitching guts,
And the tissues as the light shone through his ribs.”
(Ovid, 2009, pp. 133)
Marsyas’ punishment was as gruesome and macabre as anything threatened by Method Man or Ghostface on 36 Chambers. With regards to possibilities in the realm of musico-sonic capability the apollonian producer will always have the advantage, the producer will always flay a rappers being, destroying the lyricists presence and semantic weight in order to furnish his masterpiece with fragmentary vocal sonics. As Robb Bank$ and ASAP Rocky’s vocals are increasingly phonically phormulated as sonicized instruments rather than semanticized voices/raps we may sympathize with their penchant for Rick Owens brand clothing.
"Raf Simmons, Rick Owens - usually what I'm dressed in" – (ASAP Rocky)
"Saggin' and my drawers showin'
You like Rick Ross? Well bitch, I like Rick Owens
Say it cause you ain't noticed
How cashmere my dressed clothes is" – (Robb Bank$)
“I try to make clothes the way Lou Reed does music - minimal chord changes, and direct. It is sweet but kind of creepy. It's about giving everything I make a worn, softened feeling. It's about an elegance being tinged with a bit of the barbaric, the sloppiness of something dragging and the luxury of not caring. At Revillon, I felt it isn't about displaying one's wealth, but rather giving the woman a selfish pleasure. It is about using sable as the lining under a very humble jacket, the luxury is all hers." (Rick Owens)
“With both men and women, I’m kind of more into how a garment feels than how it looks. Personal luxury and a discreet tone is what I’m going after more than display of status – not caring who you impress is one of the biggest luxuries of all” (Owens, 2011, pp. 89)
“Let the music follow the sense of the words. Keep it simple and ingenius. One must condemn pretentious music which is devoid of sense and effeminate” – Chinese emperor Chun (c. 2200BC) (Dolar, 2006, P.43).
“let us dispense with the flute-girl who just made her entrance; let her play for herself or, if she prefers for the women in the house. Let us instead spend our evening in conversation. (Plato, 1978, Symposium 176e)” (Dolar, 2006, pp. 46)
We can appreciate the coincidence of the new generation of rappers succumbing to their sonicorporeal position of voice (of themselves as instruments and not, platonically, metaphysically aligned speakers of isolated masculine semantic reasoning) and their fondness for one of the most conspicuously androgynous designers of modern fashion(6). Rather than wax lyrical about the beauty of such androgynous silhouettes and aesthetic compositions I will simply presuppose the readers appreciation that in menswear history a denial of the body, and an insistence on the wisdom-concealing-shell paradigm is the established norm. Alcibiades also references the idea in a mundane outer and an inside of infinite wisdom: “I think he’s (Socrates) very much like one of those Silenus-figures sculptors have on their shelves. They’re made with flutes or pipes. You can open them up, and when you do you find little figures of the gods inside.”. The notion of wisdom and semantic power as a masculine, inner kernel, separate from corporeality and music is not new. For the stoic story telling, poet rapper we can liken his stance to the old Grecian, his words reveal his inner wisdom whilst the sonic and corporeal is left for others. The embracing of such a corporeally sensitive designer such as Rick Owens (who in his earlier years experimented with drag) by rappers signifies their repositioning away from the supposedly ‘masculine’ mantle of a-music word play and arrival at the role of corporeal voice and musical component. I hope to have triangulated ASAP Rocky’s and Robb Bank$ aesthetically manifested metaphysical difference to the Platonic emphasis of logos/the concealed semantic via their choice in fashion and sonic. Especially in the Clams Casino produced tracks of ASAP Rocky and Robb Bank$ There is a fundamental departure of the man and woman, logos and phone, semantic and sonic, story and music, poetry and pussy division from previous rap generations such as Dr Dre.