ARTS & CULTURE
Featured Artist: Jeff ery Costa
ONLY BUILT FOR CUBAN LINKS PART II
PHRAZES FOR THE YOUNG
One can’t exactly review Only Built for Cuban Linx Part II without mentioning OBFCL (1995). But you can deﬁnitely get into OBFCLII without listening to OBFCL. Follow? With the Wu-tang Clan member’s break out solo album, he quickly gained critical acclaim and some still consider OBFCL to be the best Wu-Tang Clan album to date. OBFCLII is about exactly what one would expect from a followup album, but it doesn’t suﬀer from predictability. Instead the novelty of the album lives up to its hype unlike many of the Wu aﬃliates solos. Not only does the album restore our faith in the Chef but is also a much needed boost for RZA’s production. While RZA’s grimy, kung-fu inﬂuenced beats were always signature of a Wu song, this reviewer thought RZA had recently slipped into a world of his own, and his beats were suﬀering from it. It’s hard to say if the lyrics got tighter or the beats got grimier, but OBFCLII is a refreshing surprise. Of course one has to give some credit to guest producers like Dr. Dre, J. Dilla, Busta Rhymes and Marley Marl. Speaking of Dre, if Raekwon can pull oﬀ this type of success 14 years later; let’s hope Detox can follow-up Chronic 2001 just as well.
The Strokes meets synth-pop. In the recent Rolling Stone review of this album they compared it to Thom Yorke’s solo work “The Eraser.” While the concept may be somewhat accurate, lead singer of a brilliant band makes a pretty good solo album with a somewhat new, somewhat expected sound, on paper Phrazes for the Young sounds is quite diﬀerent from the Eraser. Casablancas has recently been collaborating with some fairly big names, Santogold, Pharrell, Danger Mouse, Sparklehorse and even SNL’s Andy Samberg. Naturally one could expect his solo work might take on a lighter sound. In addition, PFTY has quite an eclectic sound, with country/folk inﬂuences evident on “Ludlow St.”, gospel inﬂuencing “4 chords of the Apocalypse” and a more “classic” Strokes sound on “River of Breaklights.” Where Casablancas’ rough, dismal voice once provided angst for the youth of tomorrow, it now provides a gruﬀ contrast over soothing melodies.
Notable Tracks: “New Wu”, “House of Flying Daggers”, “Catalina”
Notable Tracks: “Out of the Dimension”
Recommended if you like: GZA: Liquid Swords, Wu-Tang: Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)
Recommended if you like: Discovery: LP, MGMT: Oracular Spectacular
Jeﬀery Costa has discovered a relationship between art and unemployment; that is to say, his art is an investigation of unemployment or the creation of unemployment through the arts. Costa has an interest in rough, pseudoformal presentation, yet with a respect and understanding for the traditional gallery space and use. Costa’s work varies from photography to drawing to sculptures, yet he primarily enjoys working in sculpture, using common materials and familiar objects. A common thread he maintains throughout his work is connection and interest to industrial complex (hence, the cinder blocks). He explores this notion by creating works that unpack some of the sociovisual tropes that form the building blocks of our lives. -Miles Stemp
The Ontarion`s 10th issue.