Watsky - Sloppy Seconds in the Online Lounge
This Watsky guy is all over YouTube. His videos draw reasonably big numbers, and I never even heard of him! First, I gotta say that I absolutely hate it when I find out that there is a cultural phenomenon in progress, I mean a significant one, and I am not even aware that it exists. Makes me feel out of touch and old. And then, when I realize that there are things like videos for me to view and ponder and learn about these things I feel better because then I'm dealing with something I can get some kind of a handle on. And it becomes even better after a few views and some reflection, because sometimes I feel like I'm actually on the inside, one of those who is (at least in a small way) in-the-know about this thing that I just discovered's been going on without me. Amazing how the mind works, isn't it?
Watsky is a good entity for me to focus on. He is young and I'm not. He's big into Hip Hop and I most definitely am not although, lord knows, I've had many years to warm up to it. He wears plaid shirts and I don't. And while I can be good with words and talk it up, this guy is in some kind of a class of his own in that respect. But there's more...
Although, clearly I'm clueless about Hip Hop and the inner lives of the generation that spawned it, I'm kind of like a little, old Margaret Meade about it. You know, a sociologist/anthropologist who's dropped in out of the sky to visit with a niche of life here on planet Earth.... and I am busy figuring it out. In my fantasy life, at least, I feel that somehow I'm equipped with enough brains and life experience to do so. At least I hope I am because there damn sure are some real things going on here and I'd much prefer to, at least, understand them, then not...
Here goes... It seems to me that The Rapper, already an entertainment/cultural icon, if you peel a few layers away - you know, the stupid ball caps and neck chains and swagger in walk and talk - underneath all that you come to an idealized, self-styled, 'hero' who, due (what he acknowledges in himself) to great inner strength and extraordinary insight, not only understands that it's Him against The World, against Society so stupid and unjust, but has the strength and wherewithal, he's got the game to win in that struggle. How am I doing young people? I mean those of you with vocabulary and language sufficient to understand what the hell I'm on about in these reachings?
In the case of Watsky, we see the self portrayal of an urban poet, but not a dumb one, in fact a very smart one. Still, he's a trash talkin' truth teller, but also a bit of a sensitive, erudite, educated guy. But no pussy, mind you - skinny, weak arms or not, Watsky is worldly wise, understands the streetness of the world, and in his extreme cynicism he is coping with the unfair way of the world. And he's here to fix all of that... for himself at least. You know, just on a personal level so that he can live and breathe free, free of the bullshit Rat Race, the trap of buying into Society's false promise. And you, too, if you become one of his fans, you can feel like you are on top of the shit, as well -beyond the reach of 'The System' or whatever it is that keeps people down. At least that's how this young gentleman's message seems to me.
OK, OK, OK, Yes - it's very much a young man's thing. An illusion, delusion, silly fantasy trip, but one that's a reaction to a real, nasty world that really will swallow young people up if they can't somehow rise above it. And from my 67 years of age I have to admit, that if you change the trappings, it's a fantasy-fueled understanding that we who came of age in the 60's can relate to, that is IF we can get past the trappings... which is NOT so easy.
Did I make it look in the paragraphs above like I actually believe I have some idea of what's going? I did, but then I went and watched Watskys music video Never let it Die. What? This one's way different - Bitter Sweet with children singing in the background, kind of like Pink Floyd's The Wall, and Watsky appearing as characters in paintings hanging on a museum wall. First, as an old Masters' portrait, maybe a Rembrandt character, and then as a Mondrian and then a Jackson Pollack that come alive, but to a Hip Hop track in the background. I'm still working on that.
But thanks for the quick, furtive sneak peek into something other than my reality, Watsky. And, truth be told, I have to admit. I like your videos, really like them!