Sunday, September 21, 2014

Track of the Week: Danger Doom featuring Talib Kweli "Old School"

Nowadays almost all the television I watch (apart from sports, news and the programming my kids demand) is viewed via streaming services.  I'm not complaining, since any time I spend in front of the tube is spent watching stuff I like instead of flipping channels in despair.  That said, I sometimes get sentimental for how I experienced TV as a child.  Back then I had to make time for my favorite shows, or else not see them.  It's a little embarrassing to admit, but I hated the fact that my martial arts classes as a kid conflicted with Alf.

In the kid world, no television time mattered more than Saturday morning.  It was given over to cartoons, and all three major networks (that's all we had back then, and we liked it, goddammit!) were, for a few glorious hours, taken over by the kingdom of kid-dom.  I would often wake up so early that I was greeted by a test pattern (I'll explain what that is some other time, children), but it was worth a little boredom to see all the cartoons and shows from beginning to end.

This experience gets a proper musical tribute on the track "Old School" on The Mouse and the Mask, a collaboration between genius producer Danger Mouse and avant garde rapper MF Doom that involved appearances by several Cartoon Network stars, including Space Ghost, who I used to watch on Saturday morning in his more serious incarnation.  Things got real meta on "Old School," which references watching Saturday morning cartoons, along with some prescient observations about rap music's power before gangsta.  The song mirrors the lyrics, incorporating the appropriately 70s-tastic "funky fanfare." Nostalgia never sounded this good.

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