Writer from Queens, covering hip-hop and comedy mostly. But in reality, I only care about two things: good Mexican food, and finding the man who stole my bike.
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MUSIC VIDEO | Fidget spinners, BMX bikes, and $100 bills, oh my!
It seems like as long as there's been rap music, there have been weird white kids trying to do it. And this time, I'm not talking about Lil Dicky.
Last Sunday, the Working On Dying collective released a video on their Youtube channel for the song "Overwhelming," produced by their own in-house talent OogieMane. The rapper spitting over the track? A prepubescent white boy by the name of Matt Ox.
The video itself is like a perfect time capsule of this weird point in our history. It's young-bull Matt Ox, flexing for the camera with a proper stack of 100s in one hand, while simultaneously balancing a fidget spinner on the other. The truly bizarre thing about the video is that, if only Matt Ox were a grown man, the setting and production quality would make it look like a completely by-the-numbers trap video for 2017. But it is not a grown man. It's… it's Matt Ox.
It's only been a few short days since the video was released, and the Internet has come out in full force to either embrace it, reject it, or do both through ironic memeification (I think this is a good time to announce that I'm trying to make the word "memeification" a thing). Of course, there are a couple of select tweets that we just had to run by you:
"overwhelming" by matt ox was originally written for adele but got turned down because she "didn't have the vocal range to pull it off" pic.twitter.com/keG6aiAGUh
— bitch (@yungjake) May 23, 2017
└📁 Matt Ox
└📁 Bad Songs
└⚠️ This folder is empty
— lame nigga (@childishputo) May 23, 2017
IF YOUNG @MATTOX215 DONT TRUST YOU DEN HE GON LET THEM FIDGET SPINNERS RIP 🗣🗣😈😤💪🏽߷߷߷߷߷߷߷ 💯
— wicked erv✡💐💓 (@ervlegnd) May 23, 2017
But that still doesn't answer the question: who the f*ck is this kid?
Since the Working on Dying clique is based out of Philly, and the video itself features way too much dirtbike riding on too little actual dirt, we can only assume that Matt Ox is also from the City of Brotherly Love. Everything else, we can only glean from his Twitter account. That's right, Matt Ox is active on Twitter. He's not a bad kid either, look at this tweet from him promising to help out his mom, along with some other highlights:
Finna retire my mom before she 30 💯
— MATT OX (@MATTOX215) May 23, 2017
i was lost in the same year i was found 💯💯💯
— MATT OX (@MATTOX215) May 21, 2017
People don't under stand that just because i'm young doesn't mean im not smart because mentally i'm older than alot of people for real!
— MATT OX (@MATTOX215) May 20, 2017
And just to drive home that last point, here's a great nugget of wisdom from the 11 year old trapper:
Indeed, we should.
Kung Fu Kenny is set to take on all of news broadcasting
This last Friday, Kendrick Lamar released his third studio album DAMN., blessing us with 14 hot
new tracks right in time for the summer. One part of the album gaining heat in the press though, is Kendrick calling out Fox News anchorman Geraldo Rivera, who he directly references in the song, "Yah.":
After the release of To Pimp A Butterfly in 2015, the chorus to the hit single "Alright" became a popular chant during various demonstrations against police brutality, which Geraldo (and Fox News as a whole) chose to spin as yet another "criminal rap artist" attempting to inspire violence. A clip of Geraldo reading aloud the lyrics of "Alright" on his Fox News show can be seen below, where he reprimands the rapper's "violent" message:
Now what you might not know about Kendrick Lamar, if you're only a fan of his party tracks and don't really listen to the lyrics, is that this actually isn't the first time he's sent shots at Fox News.
Here are 6 times that Kendrick took shots at Fox News (and you didn't even know it)
1. "Rigamortus," from Section.80
Even from the start of his rap career, when he began slowly gaining mainstream appeal with his mixtape Section.80, K. Dot has had beef with the right-wing news network. Look at his heated bars regarding Ted Stossel, who once had a nightly programme on Fox News:
Yikes. Good luck bouncing back from that one.
2. "F**kin' Problems" by A$AP Rocky, feat. Drake, 2 Chainz, and Kendrick Lamar
It's 2013, and Kendrick's now been featured on A$AP Rocky's hit track "F**kin' Problems," along with Drake and 2 Chainz. But the spotlight wasn't enough for our boy from Compton, who had to go in a little deeper with his verse:
Woah, I've never seen Sean Hannity ever do anything but sit down, but that's gotta hurt.
3. "Backseat Freestyle," from good kid, m.a.a.d. city
The album that cemented Kendrick's status as one of the GOAT rappers out right now, GKMC could arguably be considered the beginning of Kendrick's reign. It's on the fast-paced, grittier song "Backseat Freestyle" where he really starts coming at Fox News' neck.
Tucker Carlson: consider your career over.
4. "Control" by Big Sean, feat. Kendrick Lamar
Fast-forward a little bit to his feature on Big Sean's "Control," which might as well be called "The Feature Heard Round The World," where Kendrick took the kiddie gloves off and came straight out punching. But there was a certain somebody he mentioned who most of us seemed to forget about:
Wait...huh? I mean, I get the part with all of the other rappers, but this seems more... oddly specific? Should we be concerned?
5. "i.", from To Pimp A Butterfly
One of the first singles we heard from Kendrick's second album, "i." carried with it a whole new spirit of positive energy and growth, one that we hadn't really gotten from his music in the past. Even then, our boy just couldn't pass a good opportunity to get some punches in:
Okay, so apparently Kendrick hangs out with Bill O'Reilly? And they give each other food dares? I really can't make heads or tails of this.
6. "DUCKWORTH.", from DAMN.
This one really threw me for a loop, especially since it was in the last song on DAMN., after a huge earth-shattering story that he shares in the last verse. Seriously, take a look for yourself:
No! That was you, Kendrick?! You were the one who threw that pie at Rupert Murdoch, Acting CEO of Fox News, during his 2011 UK Parliament hearing on phone hacking? No, that's impossible. There's video and everything–
Wait a second...
Maybe Geraldo was right about you after all, Kung Fu Kenny.
Listen to DAMN. by Kendrick Lamar, below on Amazon Music!
How to get started reading the best storylines, starring Frank Castle
From Iron Fist to Luke Cage, Netflix has been really playing around with Marvel's name, and if you've been keeping up with the reviews, it's not been too great. But we can't forget what started it all: the wonderful, epic, gritty adaptation that was Daredevil, where we finally saw the Man Without Fear done right on the screen. Sorry, Ben Affleck.
Last year though, with the premiere of Daredevil's second season, it was The Punisher who ended up stealing the show. Jon Bernthal, who most of us recognize as Shane from FX's The Walking Dead, absolutely killed it in his performance as Frank Castle, acting as a merciless, vengeful foil to Matt Murdock's calculating and usually tempered justice. The second season was received so well, Netflix ended up giving Bernthal's Punisher his own spin-off, set to be released in 2017.
So what do you do while waiting for The Punisher? Believe it or not, there's plenty of Punisher stuff already out there, in these old, sticky things called "comic books." It was actually in these comic books where Frank Castle was born, and morphed into being the no-holds-barred, take-no-prisoners force that we see today.
Here are three essential runs of Punisher comics to read before seeing the show:
The Amazing Spider Man #129 (1974), written by Gerry Conway
His first appearance ever, this storyline was originally supposed to portray Punisher as a one-off, second tier character, according to then-writer and creator, Gerry Conway. The vigilante with no remorse was such a hit with fans though, that he eventually started showing up alongside Spider-Man more and more. His characterization here is obviously not what it would become in later years, considering that all we know about him at first is that he's an ex-Marine who isn't afraid to kill criminals, but any Punisher reading list would be remiss without including the OG issue.
The Punisher, Vol 5. (2000), written by Garth Ennis
By this point in time, many things had happened to our boy Frank. He'd been fleshed out with a proper story that rationalized his need to kill (a family killed by the Mafia? say no more!), but some really weird stuff had happened to him too. The 80s-90s were a… weird time for comics. Just ask any nerd about the name Rob Liefeld.
But this is the start of Garth Ennis' run on the character, and from the start, it's a match made in heaven. Ennis is a writer who loves to push the reader's sense of comfort into unsettling, morally ambiguous storylines, and the Punisher is the perfect vehicle for that. There's no sparkle or super-powered fluffery going on here, it's Castle back to his roots: killing thugs and wiseguys who prey on the weak and innocent.
Punisher: Born (2003), written by Garth Ennis
Before I begin, I should issue a warning here: this is a genuinely graphic, explicit Punisher storyline that goes to really dark places, even for Frank Castle. Instances of violent, sexual imagery frequently take place, so if that's not your thing, then this won't be the run for you.
With that out of the way, let me tell you why this four-issue one-off by Ennis starts f*cked up, only to get more f*cked up. Born is about Frank Castle's time as a Marine in Vietnam, before his family was ever killed and he became the Punisher, before he ever became a dear frenemy to Matty Murdock. You can imagine that for Frank Castle, Vietnam was no cakewalk, with a lot of that experience influencing he would become afterwards as The Punisher. It's a doozy of a story, but a fascinating insight into Castle's morals and characterization brought to you by Ennis.
Further recommended reading:
if you don't mind the whole gore/sexual imagery of Born, I'd go further to recommend PunisherMAX, also done by Garth Ennis. This was Marvel's stab at taking off the kiddie wheels from the character and letting Ennis get as explicit as he wanted. Meant for more adult readers, if you like Punisher doing his thing without having to mess around with weirdos like Dr. Strange or The Thing, then look this series up!