Wine, Coffee, and A$AP Rocky: The Transformative Power of Hip-Hop Music (a piece by Chris Carson)

April 19, 2013 at 7:59 am

Wine, Coffee, and A$AP Rocky: The Transformative Power of Hip-Hop Music

Roland Barthes wrote in Mythologies that wine “is above all a converting substance, capable of reversing situations and states, and of extracting from objects their opposites- for instance making a weak man strong or a silent one talkative.”

The American equivalent of France’s “totem-drink” is drip coffee. The kind working Americans make in the morning with breakfast and drink throughout the day at the office or on the construction site and the French sarcastically call jus de chausettes.

Like wine, our coffee is transformative. It sends resting bodies whirling into motion, turns ideas into actions, fuels the market economy. Coffee has the powers of inversion, as well, making a slow man fast, a lazy man ambitious, and according to legend, a poor man rich. Coffee is emblematic of the American drive to work and earn and, like wine for the French, has become part of America’s mythology.

So perhaps the dissolution of traditional drip coffee from cafés and homes is symbolic of the dissolution of the American Dream.

Who could have guessed? When unemployment spikes and the wall separating haves from have-nots looks unbreachable, that’s when we see decadent trends of coffee drinking, like Japanese style cold dripping towers and Nespresso machines.

If Americans no longer believe the good life can be had by hard work, they no longer believe in Mr. Coffee.

I felt desperate for a cup of black coffee as my girlfriend and I drove down to San Jose’s HP Pavilion to see Rihanna a little more than a week ago. The concert would be long, I knew, so I wanted to stay awake. I also wanted to be alert during the opening act.

I had seen A$AP Rocky on Pitchfork, in Paper, on Jimmy Fallon, but never fully engaged his music, or the music of the other viral names swirling around as the answers to hip-hop’s future. Was I missing out on something?

I grew up listening to hip hop music. The first CD I can remembering seeing was Ready to Die, by The Notorious B.I.G., with the afro headed baby. Then there was the Pharaoh’s head on the cover of Nas’ I Am. 2pac, Jay-Z, D.M.X., Big L, Big Punisher, The Wu-Tang Clan, Redman, Three 6 Mafia; the list goes on. Hip-hop music became very important to me when I was younger. As I’ve grown, however, I’ve abandoned the genre for other types of music.

Diving back into hip-hop after seeing A$AP Rocky has taught me two things. First, I was missing out on some things; mostly Frank Ocean’s channel ORANGE and Kendrick Lamar’s Good Kidd, M.A.A.D City.

And second, hip-hop is a far more powerful transformative element then both wine and coffee. While all music allows you to tap into different aspects of yourself, be it your angry side, your romantic side, or your sexuality, other music doesn’t allow you to do it the way hip-hop does; wearing a vizard.

For the fans of A$AP Rocky at HP Pavilion this included baggy flannel shirts, thick chains usually seen securing bikes to telephone poles, and thick black beanies with the words A$AP Mob, or A$AP Worldwide covering their predominately straight hair.

After weeks of listening to Rocky and others, myself, I’ve noticed my body feels like it has slacked, taken on a new feeling of elasticity. In many ways I feel more confident and I found myself, alone in the apartment emptying the dish washer or doing some other chore, singing “pussy, money, weed, pussy, money, weed.”

Hip-hop offers its listeners a way into a world they are unable to otherwise access and has had the power to transform almost every aspect of our culture. This is far from a new or unique idea, I know. Just look at this Three 6 Mafia video.


hope the day is well ; )






The Mowgli’s #JamInTheVan

March 29, 2013 at 11:26 pm

Before they left for tour, The Mowgli’s decided to take some time and get some extra practice cramming into yet another tiny space.  It seemed wildly appropriate considering the fact that they were preparing to embark on a 45 day van trek across the states and back!


The band is currently hold up in a motel somewhere in Indiana COMPLETELY surrounded by snow and the prospect of a continental breakfast.

Tomorrow they’ll be headed for Virginia Beach and a glimpse of that ‘huge’ Atlantic Ocean.

Best of luck on their missions.




Upcoming Tour Dates


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The Mowgli’s are touring the US w/Family of the Year!

March 11, 2013 at 4:36 pm

The Mowgli's

Date Venue Location Tickets RSVP
Mar 13 SXSW- Rusty Spurs Indoor Stage Austin, TX   RSVP
Mar 13 SXSW T-Moblie Party- Papi Tino’s Austin, TX   RSVP
Mar 14 SXSW- Maggie Mae’s Rooftop Austin, TX   RSVP
Mar 15 SXSW-Hipstamatic Haus Austin, TX   RSVP
Mar 15 SXSW- Bayou Austin, TX   RSVP
Mar 15 SXSW- Stubbs Bar B-Q (outside) Austin, TX   RSVP
Mar 16 SXSW- Brew Exchange Austin, TX   RSVP
Mar 17 House of Blues New Orleans New Orleans, LA Tix RSVP
Mar 18 Juanita’s Cantina Ballroom Little Rock, AR Tix RSVP
Mar 19 The WorkPlay Theatre Birmingham, AL Tix RSVP
Mar 21 Alabama Music Box Mobile, AL   RSVP
Mar 22 The Ritz Ybor Tampa, FL Tix RSVP
Mar 23 Brittlebank Park Charleston, SC   RSVP
Mar 23 The Royal American Charleston, SC Tix RSVP
Mar 25 New Brookland Tavern West Columbia, SC Tix RSVP
Mar 26 The EARL Atlanta, GA   RSVP
Mar 27 3rd & Lindsley Nashville, TN Tix RSVP
Mar 28 The Thompson House Newport, KY Tix RSVP
Mar 29 Radio Radio Indianapolis, IN Tix RSVP
Mar 31 The Jewish Mother Hilltop Virginia Beach, VA Tix RSVP
Apr 01 Rams Head On Stage Annapolis, MD Tix RSVP
Apr 02 Vapor Saratoga Springs, NY Tix RSVP
Apr 03 World Cafe Philadelphia, PA Tix RSVP
Apr 04 Brighton Music Hall Boston, MA Tix RSVP
Apr 05 Mercury Lounge New York, NY Tix RSVP
Apr 07 San Francisco Half- Marathon San Francisco, CA   RSVP
Apr 09 The Auricle Canton, OH Tix RSVP
Apr 10 Blind Pig Ann Arbor, MI   RSVP
Apr 11 The Loft Lansing, MI Tix RSVP
Apr 12 Schuba’s Tavern Chicago, IL Tix RSVP
Apr 13 Triple Rock Social Club Minneapolis, MN   RSVP
Apr 14 The Rave Bar Milwaukee, WI Tix RSVP
Apr 16 The Record Bar Kansas City, MO Tix RSVP
Apr 17 Black Sheep Colorado Springs, CO Tix RSVP
Apr 19 Neurolux Boise, ID   RSVP
Apr 20 Barboza Seattle, WA   RSVP
Apr 21 Wonder Ballroom Portland, OR Tix RSVP
Apr 27 Edgefest- FC Dallas Stadium Dallas, TX Tix RSVP
May 18 The Hangout Gulf Shores, AL Tix RSVP
Jun 01 Cricket Wireless Ampitheatre-Buzz Bonner Springs, KS Tix RSVP
Jul 04 Mohegan Sun Casino-Wolf Den Uncasville, CT Tix RSVP
Jul 13 Bunbury Music Festival Cincinnati, OH Tix RSVP


and be sure to grab their EP “Love’s Not Dead”  ( ( ( ♥ ) ) )

loves not dead

hope your day is well ; )


Ladies & Gentlemen The Collective CA is HONORED to give you . . . “traps” by MUSHU.

December 26, 2011 at 11:47 pm