Even though a great deal of my posts are about Hip Hop, the declining state of Hip Hop, and how my Hip Hop tastes are better than yours, I have a strong love for rock music that I feel I hardly touch upon here. I guess my love for the art-form stemmed from my parents playing Jimi Hendrix records when I was a kid, or my sister playing her "Beatles" vinyl so much that I surprise Karaoke goers when I can sing "Penny Lane" or "Eleanor Rigby" like its "Rappers Delight" and shit, or possibly my love for rock stems from the "Pre-black folks" MTV years where Billy Idol and Van Halen found their way in my life more than a "Whats Happening?" rerun. It's weird, I can talk about my favorite Hip Hop groups with confidence because I am an all out Rap snob who thinks my opinion should be a new fucking commandment, but I really wonder how a rock purist who has the same snob tendencies feels about my rock choices. I guess we'll see, here a few of my favorite rock bands.
Red Hot Chili Peppers: This group holds a special place in my heart because one of their songs saved my life. As someone who contemplated taking my own life in the midst of a parents passing, my mother's cancer, and being dropped like a bad habit after a five year relationship, "Under the Bridge" was like a best friend telling me that life won't always look so bleak. These guys, regardless of some of the harder rock fans who think that they are too mainstream, can kick ass with the best of them. With a sound influenced by funk, punk, and traces of Hip Hop, it seems that it is virtually impossible for these guys to make a bad song. Anthony Kiedis, while not blessed with the best voice heard by man, truly makes up for it in his song writing, passion, and energy. John Frusciante is one of the best guitarists out there, while Flea is the one bass player that I always put in my dream "super-group".(Along with Questlove on the drums, Prince on the guitar, and Stevie Wonder on the piano/vocals) Besides that I occasional sing "Give it away" while dancing in front of my mirror naked watching my flab shake like gelatin as I tell myself that I'm one "sexy black bastard", other personal favorites include "My Friends", "Scar Tissue", "Suck my Kiss", "Breaking the Girl", and about a thousand other songs I could take up this post citing. By the way, as a Stevie Wonder fan who hates most people who dare to remake his material, the Red Hot Chilli Pepper's version of "Higher Ground" is the best Stevie Wonder cover ever.(Name an artist who has covered Stevie, it won't fucking compare) A few years ago, when I was backstage at one of their concerts, I had a joint in my ear as I approached Anthony Kiedis to talk about music. As I got closer, realizing his lifelong battle with heroin addiction, I quickly put the marijuana cigarette in my pocket out of respect. He caught on to what I had done and gave me a huge smile, and hugged me for like an entire minute and said that he appreciated the gesture.(It's probably the only man on man hug I have ever been comfortable with) He gave me the "OK" to smoke in his presence as we spoke for minutes about a plethora of topics, he truly is a great guy. Even though we had a lengthy talk, I forgot to tell him that he saved my life. I guess I'll tell him the next time I see him.
Rage Against the Machine: Some groups inspire you to do things just by the power of their message. Run DMC inspires me to represent Hip Hop to the fullest while rocking my shell-toe Adidas, M.O.P would be the group that I would play if I planned on going on an impromptu killing spree, Barry White is the artist I would play if some porn stars randomly showed up at my residence to show me how much they enjoyed my blog, and Rage Against the Machine is the band I would play if I planned on crashing a George W. Bush town-hall meeting in hopes of cursing his ass out before getting shot by Dick Cheney. Besides Public Enemy, no other group that I could name at the moment exemplifies defiance, and a anti-establishment stance. After hearing songs like "Bulls on Parade", "Testify", and "Killing in the Name of", you suddenly get the urge to kidnap your local elected official and make him do right by the people of your particular state. The driving beats, Zack De La Rocha's lyrics and anger, and Tom Morello's innovative guitar licks that rival nobody who ever picked up a six string.
The White Stripes: I should have every reason to despise this group, from their pasty "I really need some beef in my life" complexions, them only being a two piece band, and a drummer who plays like she just picked up a pair of drumsticks yesterday, I really should have no reason to like them. But like a significant other that you love so much that you find their "snoring" and "burping" adorable, the reasons that I should hate them is the exact same reason that I love them. Jack White, belting out awkward tunes that exposes that his influences probably range from Muddy Waters to Johnny Cash, performs each set like its his last performance. Not only does their two piece band make you focus more on the overall performance, Meg Whites lack of drumming ability actually works when you get used to their sound. "Fell in Love with a girl", "Seven Nation Army", "Dead Leaves on a Dirty Ground", and the playful adolescent themed love song at the beginning of Napoleon Dynamite entitled "We're going to be friends" is a truly great listen.
System of a Down: Based on my potty mouth, many of you will probably think that I love this group simply for the song "Cigaro" where they defiantly belt out "My cock is much bigger than yours!!" Even though that line makes me chuckle, hell it even makes me belly laugh when I sing it mid coitus to a woman just see the puzzled look on her face, this is a wildly talented group that I have enjoyed from day one. This Armenian quartet out of southern California has a very broad subject range, from political to introspective lyrics, having something for everybody who is a stickler for the written word like I am. Hard driving guitar riffs, wild vocal arrangement, and a adrenaline fueled pace to make your ardent Hip Hop head nodder bang their head and throw up the bull horns hand sign like your favorite show was "Head Bangers Ball". "Chop Suey"(The song that was put in the "Do not play list" for a while after 9/11), "Aerials", "BYOB", "Toxicity", "Fuck the System", "Violent Pornography", are just a few songs that will make you put down that vomit inducing Young Jeezy album and pray to the rock gods ad nauseum.