Wednesday, July 25, 2012

U-God's Resume #26, RZA "Domestic Violence"

--Official Stats--
Artist: RZA

Song: "Domestic Violence"
Producer: RZA
Album: Bobby Digital in Stereo

Release Date: November 24, 1998

This post is a major disappointment. I completely skipped this song on my journey through U-God's resume and now I have to go back and play clean up. Why am I disappointed? For one thing, I forgot U-God was on this song and now I have to update like twenty posts. Second, I HATE this song, I like Bobby Bobby Digital, but this song I can skip forever.Third, U-God is barely on here. He's just talking on a phone. In the background. While RZA and his woman argue loudly over a garbage beat.

This one shouldn't even count toward U's resume. 

So, should I leave it out or write it up to the max with a full video review and ten pages of text?

Yep, let's max this bad boy out.

So here is the video. Enjoy.

"Domestic Violence"

It's such a pleasure to hear/see a master at work? So what is this song about anyway. Is it a story rap? Is it a verbal assault? Whuz the deal?

Let's start with a little background. I'll assume that you know the RZA has an alter ego named Boby Digital, and RZA recorded his first solo album as Bobby Digital. Which basically meant that all the smart, higher level Wu-rapping could be thrown out of the window so that RZA could just have fun.

As for the album, I found it to be an oddity. On one hand it is incredibly dope. I mean, some of the beats are legendary (Unspoken Word, Manits, Terrorist, etc...), and some of the guest spots are the best that the Wu has ever delivered  (Mantis, Holocaust (Silkworm), Terrorist, Bobby Did It (Spanish Fly), Handwriting on the Wall, Kiss of a Black Widow, etc...). Mantis is especially a stand out for me because it locked Masta Killa as one of the best in the Clan, and made his collabo tracks with RZA mandatory spins.

On the other hand, Bobby Digital, has some of the WORST tracks ever on a Wu album. I mean a lot of this album is unbearable: all the Slow Grind crap, B.O.B.B.Y., Love Jones (that one is debatable), and especially this song. This song is the worst. The beat is too rugged, and yet somehow smooth, the hook is taxing and irritating, the lyrics are filled with anger (and I never say that) to the point I think that Bobby Digital might have real issues with women. And that is a very odd thing for someone like me to say...someone who hears like a million rap songs a day (all of them pretty derogatory toward women), and is jaded to pretty much everything. But this song takes the stereo.

Okay, so the song and video start out with Bobby (presumably) and the listener getting berated by a lady. Basically, she is attacking everything that men in the hip hop culture seek to represent: you as a person, your father, your brother (your family), your wealth, your home, your jewelry, your clothing (how you present yourself), cars, friends, you get the idea EVERYTHING YOU HOLD DEAR AND REPRESENT IS WORTHLESS to the RZA's lady friend here. The way this song is produced, her words are being said directly to the listener. When her voice says "you", your brain says "me".  You own this criticism, whether you want to or not. Even though she says "Bobby" specifically, you as a listener are the one being addressed. She then elevates herself above you ("I'm the shit").  This goes on for over a minute. It's exhausting and the worst. What's the point, to get you angry? To make you feel insignificant? Probably. Stir some emotion...hate? Bingo. It worked, I hate this song.

In the video, the woman is taking a lecturing posture as the Bobby is shown lookin' cool, but taking it. Is he going to strike back? Is he going to set this young lady straight? You bet.

His response to the verbal abuse is threats of physical violence. Domestic Violence. So fun. The video puts images along with the words, and now we have a party. A violent, violent party. And like before, Bobby's words serve as a surrogate for you, his words stand in for your words. You and him are on the same team.

Now, I'm going to stop right here and make a quick point. I understand that this is a hammer on the head social message...something like "domestic violence can go both ways" or something..."domestic violence is bad". I've also heard that it is all a joke, over the top and so hilarious. I know that the RZA produced a video under the Wu Filmz banner to go along with this song. Not a music video, but an R rated fifteen minute film that I've never seen. I'm sure it clarifies the message of this song, I HOPE it clarifies the message of this song, because as a stand-alone unit, this song has a muddled message and a trash beat. Here is a description of the film from the A.V. Club:

"The short film is abstract to the point of incoherence, though it conveys the theme of domestic violence much more viscerally than the track that inspired it"

It sounds good? I'll pass. Maybe I'll review it someday? Hopefully not. Okay, onward...

So RZA goes on and on, he comes back to the insults laid out at the beginning of the song by pointing out how bad his life has become because of the woman. He has a big list of offences, and then he starts in with some insults of his own. You know, attacks on everything that women value. This is just a great club track! "HEY LADIES!!!" - Beastie Boys.

Sigh 4 realz. We have all kinds of fighting and assaults going on in the video. We have a lady pulling a firearm on a dude. Based on the tone of this track I would expect that she's going to regret that #nasdaughters. Let's see, someone is on the toilet. A gun is held to someone's neck. Classy stuff.

FINALLY WE GET TO U-GOD and his contribution to this terrible track. We hear a phone ring and a muffled voice is on the other end. THAT VOICE IS U-GOD! There is no telling what he is saying! Next time you see him, make sure you congratulate him on his guest spot on Bobby Digital! So we have RZA and the woman arguing with each other, U-God is yelling at the woman over the phone! The argument breaks down to RZA yelling "hoe" over and over, while the woman yells "bastard" over and over. Then RZA hangs up. Can it be all so simple? And that's it. U-God's time to shine is muffled, yelled over, and hung up on.

U-God wasn't in the video. But the woman with the gun did end up shooting someone, and all the men ended up in jail. Just like in real life, right?

IN CONCLUSION: This song is the worst, this video is the worst. I hate it on every level.

Track Score: 0/10
U-God’s Score: 0/10
Impact on Rep (+,-,=): Zero, nobody even knew it was him

Next Week: The whole Clan came together for a song on a soundtrack (meaning a few guys): "Fast Shadow" from Ghost Dog: The Way Of The Samurai – The Album.

About this series: U-God’s Resume is a series of posts which looks at each line of U-God’s entire career to determine if his status as ‘wack’ is justified (as labeled by internet morons). I think it is not. U-God is dope. We'll prove it. Leave it to the Tort Team.


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