Sunday, May 29, 2016

Patriarchy (feat. Dennisaurus Rex)

Track 23 - Volume II
Original Production: Dallas Austin
Arrangement and Additional Production: The Author (Blackbird Productions)

You know, coming into this post I wasn't quite sure how to approach this topic, or even if I really wanted to - I believe the content of the track speaks for itself. Still, posting just a song with absolutely no explanation at all felt a little lazy, and so I decided to see how different dictionaries defined the term "patriarchy". Most had your standard run of the mill definition: "A system of society or government in which the father or eldest male is head of the family and descent is traced through the male line." 

As I scrolled through the results, the top definition on urban dictionary caught my eye (if you don't know what urban dictionary is, well damn, catch up homie), and ultimately made me realize that if I'm going to release a song called patriarchy, I should probably approach the subject at least a little bit. The reason for this is that the top definition on Urban dictionary is this: "A term used by feminists, to blame men for all their problems." 

Okay, let's look at the second: "The bogeyman that feminists blame for women's problems or under-achievements because their big-girl pants apparently don't fit." 

I won't bother posting the rest of the definitions since they're all along the same lines. But I mean, holy shit. Is this really how ignorant some people are? Let's ignore all the political rhetoric attached to the word for just a moment. Even ignoring that, to pretend that this construct (that was and most definitely is a thing) is something that feminists made up, or something that only affects women - well, it's really an incredibly stupid thing to do; Especially if you live in the United States. Sure, we've had a decent (even decent might be a little too generous) amount of social progress in the last one hundred years, but let's not forget that it wasn't until 1920 that women were allowed to vote nationally, and that most certainly wasn't due to a lack of trying to gain support. After all, the women's suffrage movement started in 1848, and getting women the right to vote was something they were trying to achieve from the get go. I choose voting as the example here because it represents the mindset at the time: Women's opinions are not valuable. 

Of course, things have changed, and now we're seeing the effect of the vestiges of such a mindset. There's a lot of internalized misogyny in our society, and it doesn't only affect women either. Just think about how hard it can be to be a male child caregiver or pre-school teacher, or how even something like dating is something the man is supposed to initiate, regardless of who feels what. Not to mention the fact that for some reason having emotions apparently became a feminine trait, and I've heard that sentiment spouted from girls and guys alike. I'm not saying everyone out there thinks this way, I think a good amount don't actually - but at least enough do that you can still write shitty sitcoms using these notions as premises and still get good ratings. Two and a Half men is still a thing after all. 

Again, this is something I wasn't trying to get into, but I can't just look at blatant ignorance and prejudice and ignore it completely. Maybe someone reading this really had no clue, and if that's you, I highly recommend just learning about how early civilizations in different places came about. Alright, mini-history lesson over. Hope ya'll enjoy the track, until next time my peoples. 

(Dennisaurus Rex)
Through these two eyes every woman is a Goddess.
But we live inside a world that fights, calculates and can't be honest.
And it gets hard to separate worship from objectification,
But some clear lines can be drawn with some respectful hesitation, like:
Style, class, and self respect - cause for proper introduction or a tip of the hat.
But cat calling motherfuckers just be holding us back,
and these girls who eat it up just make the whole game wack. 
and it's a madmen meat market managing to maintain a relationship,
human connection with an erection, mental projection, machismo dictatorship. 
Are they people or potato chips?
Machismo dictatorships, it's a patriarchy. 

(The Author)
In my opinion:
The problem starts when you're just a kid.
Disney taught us princesses will need a prince,
happy single? God forbid.
Stay with a dick just cause Belle did.
Friends are looking sideways, but deep inside she thinks her love will change him. 
On the other side we've got motherfuckers like Eric.
Fall in love with a girl when she's never even said shit.
Personality don't seem to matter a bit,
How is it after one or two dances a dude will think a chick is perfect?
Well if the shoe fits, right?
Ain't that how it goes?
A dude will keep searching for that perfect girl while sleeping with hos.
Probably not something he'll mention,
following social convention,
but to keep it safe he'll go for ones that are gullible.
The type that wouldn't only take, but eat fruit from a stranger.
Too young to know that a 25-year old shouldn't be dating teenagers.
But I would wager that they think it's mature behavior,
it seems the worst attract the most naive. I guess it's human nature.

Friday, May 20, 2016

15-mile Radius (feat. Dennisaurus Rex)

Track 22 - Volume II
Production: The Author (Blackbird Productions)

It's crazy how views on the Internet have changed in only fifteen years. Back then, social media was whatever information you chose to put on your AIM profile, in your choice of about eight fonts and ten colors. Friendster was a thing for a little while, but it wasn't until MySpace hit in 2001 that changed how people presented themselves online forever.

Your MySpace page was your online identity, and for many it wasn't quite the same as who they were in real life. In fact, your page didn't have to have any connection to who you were in the real world in the slightest. Sure, it listed your interests, your favorite movies and music, and it even had a section where you could put your favorite quotations. If you were a little computer savvy, you could even use the code to further customize your page with colored fonts and wallpapers, with the added benefit of slowing the Internet down to a crawl for anyone unfortunate enough to visit (GIFS. Everywhere. Suddenly, Linkin Park is blasting out of your un-muted speakers. You hope you can find a way to stop it. You can't.). However, there was no need (or even desire, really) to use your real name on your page. Everyone had a handle, a name that they went by online. It didn't make sense to use your real information. What would the point to that even be?

Enter Facebook. Debuting in 2004 exclusively for Harvard students, and a little later, college students in general, Facebook was a way to keep in touch with people you went to high school with, provided you had a University e-mail. When it first launched it was pretty bare bones; you had your sections for personal information and interests just like MySpace, but unlike MySpace, you could not customize it whatsoever. To those of us that were tired of visiting bloated MySpace pages, this was a breath of fresh air. Also unlike MySpace, Facebook encouraged you to use your real information.
In 2006 Facebook stopped requiring a university e-mail address, and almost immediately it overtook MySpace as THE social networking site. The shift in social consciousness was much more subtle however. All of a sudden, everyone had a Facebook profile, and since Facebook would connect you to different networks based on the information you gave, people started having less and less issues putting up real information. Now you couldn't just present yourself however you wanted. The information you put up had to have some modicum of truth, and so started what I like to call, the "Highlight Reel" era.

As Facebook grew and more creeping features were added, there began a tendency to only share good things, news that made you or your life look good, perhaps better than it actually was. People wanted their thoughts and statuses to be "liked", to the point where people started posting things about their life that had little to no bearing on their online friends.

"Nothing better after a long workout than some grilled chicken and broccoli. Gotta stay healthy!" (Picture of said Chicken and Broccoli, tastefully plated)  - An example of a status you might see on Facebook.

Why is this information important? Well, to be frank, it's really not. This isn't something you would text your friends, it's not something you would randomly say to a co-worker (unless asked of course). A status like this once in a while isn't a problem, but it exists to serve one purpose: to show your online "friends" that you are living life optimally. People only present their best, their personal "Highlight Reels". The goal, I assume, is so that anyone who visits their profile will see that they are living the life they want to live, that they've achieved that elusive happiness. The problem starts when you realize that now, people are comparing their "Behind the Scenes" footage to other people's highlight reels. I've personally noticed more and more people getting down on themselves for where they are in life, often using people that they hardly even know (but are friends with on Facebook) as comparison. Anecdotal, sure, but I'm sure if you really think about the people you know online and in real life, there's at least one that isn't very happy, though you would never know it based on their profile. I feel that as human beings we connect to each other on a far deeper level by sharing everything; the good, the bad, the beautiful, the ugly. By only sharing good things or things that put our life in a positive light we become disconnected from each other.

I personally believe that this disconnectedness is what allowed dating apps like Tinder to flourish. No disrespect to the app or anyone that uses it, but there's no denying that it made dating, what used to be a personal and intimate thing, into something very much the opposite. This track talks about this from two completely different angles, so hopefully this long ass post will provide some context to my thought process and verse at least.

Until next time my peoples.

(Dennisaurus Rex)
Enough tinder matches, I could burn down the Internet.
Less like a relationship, more like a cigarette -  
Still ain't quit yet, still ain't found the patch to your lips yet,
tried a couple of seams, but it seems ain't found my fit yet.
Bet - self absorbed hazes and crazes of going out there and getting my own.
Maybe some Netflix and chill, or some game of thrones,
Brain like Krang, where is my body?
Body is like the Pixies, where is my mind? 
I'm in it for the love and love ain't kind.
Never trust your heart, the dumb lead the blind. 
Maybe we all just tight. 
'Cause the comforts of love, and lessons above, it's love enough for me.
And my heart and your heart and Iman Omari beats,
Electric water bodies gyrating in some sheets like hmm. 

(The Author)
Now, everyone is selling something. At least if they have something to sell,
Some try to sell themselves, for some kind of status or wealth.
Likes and thumbs up are sales, keeping the ego frail -
That's the world we live in now, sign up? You might as well. 
Objectively speaking, it's the right move to make, if you have what it takes
to stay fake along with the other snakes. 
Subjectively speaking, it's pretty clear that most people fear a behind the scenes shot of theirs being mixed up in the highlight reel.
It's not like it matters though. 
The amount of information people give for free shows no desire for privacy.
It used to be, you'd have to talk to someone in person to know about their life, 
but now you can do it profile lurking. 
So nothing is earned, some never learn.
The amount of tinder you put out determines how severely you're burned. 
So keep it going with the swipes, up-votes and the likes, keep sharing for karma that doesn't even affect your real life.