Sunday, April 11, 2010

Duck Rock 4 life...

Its the early 80's and to a funkalicious youngun, growing up in small town southern NZ, surrounded by hardnuts whose idea of music didn't extend beyond rock and blues guitar, Hell seemed like a really nice place.

Kiwi music is in it's cringeworthy infancy with the punk inspired 'Flying Nun' sound, while the mainstream charts and airways are clogged up with country, softrock and discopop.

The time is ripe for a ghetto explosion of musical anti-establishmentarianism from the impoverished black streets in much the same way as punk exploded from the white.

Enter Malcom McLaren. Already infamous for his dealings with the sex pistols and looking to redefine the music/art/fashion landscape yet again, he and soon to be uber producer Trevor Horn embark on a world tour, recording bubbling sounds emanating from the global underground.

The result being Duck Rock. A mishmashed pastiche of an album that single handedly introduces hiphop and contemporary african music to a sterile musical mainstream.

An accompanying video for the seminal 'Buffalo Gals' single inspires rabid interest in the latest incarnation of artistic black innovation coming out of New York in the form of Hiphop, with its 4 elements foundation of graffitti, b- boying(break dancing), turntablism and MCing.

This, combined with other forms of media exposure for hiphop tied to an underlying, laissez faire street philosophy towards art, sees it as the first defining attitude adopted by this then youngun in NZ. From there it was onwards and upwards, sometimes sideways for the chameleonic McLaren and likewise for me.

So it was with a tinge of sadness i read of his passing from cancer this week. He, for those who loved his ethics, was an inspiration for the do it yourself attitude of both hiphop and punk and fuck you very much to all the haters who thought him a con man and rip off artist extraordinaire.

For all that, there is no doubt the musical, art and fashion world changed because of him and so did I. BTW Thats my tribute t shirt design at the top and this is another unrelated one...

...pimpin' ain't easy :)

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