The Big Dress Up
Boy, The Black Keys will do anything for marketing. The Ohio Indie-to-Arena rockers — whose music can be heard on TV shows, in movies and on commercials for … well, seemingly everything — hustle so hard, they even found a group of little kids they could force to wear Black Keys shirts a few times a week. Actually, this endorsement deal is a sweet one — the duo is sponsoring a little league baseball in its hometown of Akron (the team is from the same league drummer Patrick Carney played in as a child). The kids with the coolest little league jerseys in all of West Akron will also get some eBay fodder from the experience — The Keys promised to sign everyone’s shirts after the season.
Keeping It Really Real
While some of today’s rappers spend their days clubbing, beefing with their peers or Instagram-ing photos of their weed or other extravagant purchases, actor/MC Yasiin Bey — the artist formerly known as Mos Def — recently spent some time being chained to a chair and having a rubber feeding tube forced into his nose, down his throat and into his stomach.
The modern Hip Hop great wasn’t involved in some new Hollywood diet fad — Bey underwent the tortuous “force feeding” procedure for a short documentary film meant to draw attention to what is done daily to dozens of “prisoners” on hunger strikes at the Guantánamo Bay prison. Organized by human rights group Reprieve, the disturbing video (in which Bey bails before the tube even reaches his stomach, understandably) can be seen at guardian.co.uk. In other Hip Hop news this week — Jay-Z answered fans’ questions on Twitter!
(Warning: This shit's disturbing to watch)
Speaking of Jay-Z, the early roll-out of the Hip Hop star’s new album, Magna Carta Holy Grail, through an Android app available to certain Samsung phone users went about as smoothly as Mos Def’s torture experiment. The New York Times called out the “ugly” app’s excessive information demands and forced social media access and postings. As the Times article pointed out, the album’s “Somewhere in America” ironically references the National Security Agency’s spying controversy: “Feds still lurking/They see I’m still putting work in.” And they’re mighty proud, no doubt.