Ayo Technology: The Video Collection

For reasons best left to the footnotes [1], I spent the most of the weekend and then some watching the luxury cable channel MTV Jams. Not having watched rap videos for an extended period of time since college, I sort of expected it to just be a blur of ignorant ass southern rap to fetishize. You know, right where I left the rap video playlist in ’03.

It isn’t. Some of that is there, this VIC character seems to be gaining some heat, but surprisingly a large chunk of the playlist is made up of the rap music I try my best to ignore. Bapesta x Ghey La Soul videos that I just assumed never made it out of the OnSmash window [2] and Post-T-Pain Kidz Bop Pop Hop. Two points on a line: nonspecific nostalgia and cliched futurism. This moment is another moment. And the view of the past is as blurry as any prediction of the future. Which is to say, Native Tongues never wore dookie ropes and in the 21st century I still can’t teleport. The uniform of the future won’t be a sleek silver jump suit. It will be an ugly hoodie that sorta/kinda reinterprets the past.

And where exactly does Pacific Division hail from anyway? I mean, I assume they’re from the Pacific somewhere. But their aesthetic is all one world social network homogenization. No local identity or sound. Some might herald such fusions of e-gypsydom as forward or inevitable. It’s not and it shouldn’t be. Hip hop is lost without a home. Rap is nothing if not about repping your city, your hood, your block, your borough, your ward. These kids are repping their myspace page. They are repping their shoes. They are repping a scene without a time or place. And without that what are the youth of 2028 going to throwback to?

I feel like I may have already wrote this post in the not so distant past. Oh well, chalk it up to ahead of the curve nostalgia. I don’t have time to check the archives.

[1] Somehow the rap game reminds me of my back pain.
[2] I suppose this is what 16 years olds who fancy themselves cooler than other 16 year olds listen to. The 2008 Rawkus.

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  • Detroit P

    Pacific Division is from Cali…they rep it..they just got a different sound than the classic Westcoast sound..Hip Hop is about more than just”repping” a city too me..obviously you have your own opinion..no reason to hate on em though

    • http://www.cocaineblunts.com/ noz

      Not trying to hate on them at all. Haven’t heard enough of their music to hate. “Fat Boys” is okay. Just the first example I thought of.

      • Detroit P

        my bad..I mindlessly threw out the hate card

  • bongolock

    pacific division is from cali hence the ‘pacific’ in their name.

    to each his own but u should listen to em before u hate

  • bongolock
  • gooch

    welcome to rap music circa 2008. Repping your city is so ghey. It’s about repping your block on (insert rapper’s new social networking site) on videos made specifically for youtube

  • smog

    agreed hip hop is nothing without the context of location from which it originated,

  • Elijah

    Interesting that you’d bring this up since I just gave Pacific Division’s “Sealed for Freshness” a listen on my way home today; figured I’d give them a chance.

    That “2008 Rawkus” mentality is definitely in effect there though. They took the time to diss “Laffy Taffy” at least twice, which kinda had me yawnin’. Accused rap of being too childish, and then had a song about how they were basically kids in adult bodies (an ok song out of that context). Other than that the shit wasn’t bad though, took some time to call out touchy-feely type underground rappers too, and when they weren’t being tiresome with that other shit they could rhyme pretty damn good.

    But yeah, I definitely get what you’re saying, Noz, which is why I try to stay balanced: ignant or granola headwrap, it’s all good. For the record, though, I think that MTV Jams aims at a different fanbase than most rap stations/shows.

  • Apollo Moses

    Like the Borg Assimilators on Star Trek (No Skateboard P). These days just about all the youngsters sound and dress alike, but feel as if they’re fresher and more unique than their peers. Trying to to fit everything into one mode, throwback and futuristic.
    Good point, Hip Hop should be detailed enough to know your story along with when and where it is taking place.

  • http://www.xxlmag.com MGG

    Pac Div are from LA…then moved to Sac…then back to LA…that “Taste” song is the shit tho….

  • Jova

    “Paper” is another good song from the group. There’s a lot of good westcoast acts coming up. Please go pick up that Blu & Exile Album Below The Heavens. Best Hip Hop Album of 2007!!

  • Tray

    Who makes the Ghey La Soul stuff? Are these the hipster rappers I’ve been hearing so much about?

  • http://stuntingonprose.com J. Burnett

    somehow i think many missed the point. throwback does not equal vague references to the past that actually show how much don’t know about that era. also, there’s no real differentiation between “this new movement” of hip hop. they all seem to be from vague pop culture land. but i don’t know that’s just my intepretation of what i thought was being said here.

  • http://haterplayer.blogspot.com/ fakerthanfake

    hiphop is more than just musical turf reppin. take a group like de la. how much did they really rep strong island back in the day (look at me getting nostalgic).

    i think the world is definitely getting more and more Matrixelated so it’s only (un)natural that you start to get rappers that rep a digital space, like myspace, facebook, etc.

    it sucks on the level that we’re getting more homo-genized. but at the same time, i couldn’t say groups like pacdiv are frontin.

    • Tray

      How can you “rep” Facebook? Everyone’s on Facebook. In order to rep somewhere or something, it can’t be somewhere that everybody is from, you know what I mean? That would be like repping America or the planet earth.

      • http://haterplayer.blogspot.com/ fakerthanfake

        i mean, they’re not repping the internet as a physical space, but they’re repping the type of people who stay connected all the time as a trend. in better terms, they hold values of being worldly, having a broad scope of general knowledge (though not a deep pool of wisdom). if you get what i mean (hell, i’m not sure that i do)

        they rep an aesthetic of the type of people who stalk the internet as opposed to being on there casually. something like that.

        if someone can shed some light on noz’s quote below, that’d be great.

    • http://www.cocaineblunts.com/ noz

      “Me be the jericho turnpike bandit.”

      • http://haterplayer.blogspot.com fakerthanfake


        i’m guessing jericho turnpike = long island reference.

        touche, noz. touche

      • 08not80

        i feel you are definitely on point than a motherfucker bout these guys, it seems young people these days cant come up with truly shit new, like totally an original idea( even though they are obviously talented), these guys, like cool kids and alot of others feel they can just piggy back the 80s style, but what they fail to realize is that in the 80′s niggas was doing something that was totally new, that had never been done before, and that is what made it dope and classic.pac div might make lil splash but if they continue on this 80′s hipters oldass idea of what hiphop is theyll never reach their potencial could have been. so in conclusion the spirit of hiphop is not 80′s shit(80′s shit is 80′s shit), but it is the spirit of inovation. they are generational biters, and im saying that as a young dude , not a senile oldass man

  • http://www.rawkus.com Drew Ricketts

    The 2008 Rawkus is not that bad…

    Check out the blog and attendant social network for 16 year olds and hip-hop nostalgics.

  • JDizzel3000

    Now what can you tell me//
    I kick it like pele//
    Were pretty young things,who got rings in they belly//
    Welcome to LA,home of the esay,chrome on the chevy//
    Take a few tokes,now choke on the pepe le peu//
    Big Mibbs

    I mean i dont know how you missed this blatant region reppin in the first verse on fat boys..

    Que up Young Hov..Circa The Blueprint
    “Do you fools listen to music or do you just skim thru it”

    anyway maybe these cats just aint your flo noz..but ima say this once you cats need to make your mind up first its “ohhhhh hip hop is dead cause the south killed it,there’s to much region rap and not enuff universal sounding new rappers whaaa whhaa whaaa”

    now it’s “maaaann these new young niggas is to universal you need to rep you hood more rep you block nigggggaaaa!!!”

    i mean wtf ya’ll some confused negros..

  • http://blatantineptitude.blogspot.com mush

    yeah I’m curious about the “Bapesta x Ghey La Soul videos that I just assumed never made it out of the OnSmash window” comment, too

    you mean Cool Kids and stuff like that? or am I off, because I don’t think they’re getting much burn on MTV let alone MTV JAms….maybe they are though??

  • http://www.austinsurreal.com MattSonzala

    This post is utterly brilliant. Well written as well. THANKS NOZ!

  • TKG

    I watch the Jams alot and think some of what you saw is a result of it being April and the month long anniversary of “Yo MTV Raps” stuff.

    Turn to MTV Tr3s for their celebration of the “Yo” anniversary. Watch programmers struggle to figure out how to segue between Pitbull and Mellow Man Ace.

    The “Bapesta x Ghey La Soul videos that I just assumed never made it out of the On Smash window ” easily segues into the “Leaders of the New School Live on Yo” classic videos.

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