I was walking down second street with my lady the other week when we spotted this nutterholding a sign that said something along the lines of “REPENT! GOD KILLS!” Then there was some sort of website you could visit for more insanity I guess.
While I admired his guts to just stand on the street corner and let his freak flag fly, I was also amused with the flip side of the sign that read “Little Wayne is the Antichrist!” Now, I can’t say I like Little Wayne’s musical stylings that much…but the antichrist?
You’ve probably heard me deride the current state of hip hop, and I think Little Wayne may be a part of said problem. But as I’ve always said…DJ’s invented hip hop, and it’s the DJ’s who will save it. And my newest DJ savior comes to us in the form of Israeli DJ Kutiman. Yeah I know taht for most of the Internets, this is not new news, but for me this is what this site is all about.
See, original hip hop was all about taking something old and making something completely new from it. That’s the essence of hip hop. Now, I’ve been waiting for something like this to come along since I first heard of the advent of DVD turntables…and more recently the new video functionality on Serato. But Kutiman gets the proverbial X-Prize for reaching the mountaintop first…with his groundbreaking work ThruYou.
Kutiman, real name Ophir Kutiel, has been making electronic music for some time now. He grew up playing music …mostly classical jazz until college radio and a friend introduced him to AfrobBeat and Funk…I have his earlier work and it’s pretty funky. So anyhow he was hanging out…putting together some tracks, just chillin when he realized he needed a bass line. Not wanting the prepackaged sounds of the music programs on hand, he decided to take a look on YouTube.
If you’ve spent an obscene amount of time on YouTube, you may have seen some of these videos. Just some guy and a camera giving a music lesson, jamming solo or something of the like. The site is lousy with em. So anyways, he finds his bass clip..and he’s pretty stoked on it. Then he realizes he needs a drum track and heads back to YouTube when it struck him…
Why go anywhere else? Here it all was. Videos of people from all over playing, jamming, singing…and he had the editing software that could tie it all together into a cohesive whole!
Compiled and produced over the course of two months, it was Ophir’s secret project. He planned on having a big debut, sending out links to only twenty of his friends. But his friends were not good at keeping a secret…and once something is on the web…it’s pretty much there to stay. Through Twitter, Facebook and email it spread.
For me, ThruYOU is more than an album, but in experiment in almost global collaboration. He gave credit to every single artist he used…and so far none have complained about the attention. This album simply couldn’t have existed fifteen years ago…it couldn’t exist without YouTube and it couldn’t exist without the Internet. Even as I sit here writing about it, I’m adding a little bit more to the project.
What’s more is that it’s an album that isn’t meant to be owned…it simply exists on the Internet. It belongs to everyone.
ThruYOU is one of those things that arrives incidentally one day and shows you just how far we’ve come…and how much farther we have to go. I hope it sets off a brush fire of new music and collaboration. It can only mean good things for us all.