Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Lowkey - The Model U.N. (a misshapedmixtape)

First of all, I'm fucking annoyed with the U.N. I may or may not have been at a film festival last weekend that was sponsored by the local chapter of the U.N. and that may or may not have something to do with it. But whatever. That's not for this blog. My filmmaking is work. This is meant to be fun.

My favorite show on television right now (because "Mad Men" is still on hiatus) is "Community." It's guaranteed hilariousness... and is often times transcendentally awesome (my favorite episode all time is the one where they play D&D for the whole show). This season, their third, has been fucking KILLER. And (to circle back to the U.N.) their "Model U.N." episode was right on the money. Brilliantly executed.

Somehow, this episode seems like a perfect pairing to Lowkey's latest album, "Soundtrack To The Struggle."

Well, wait... actually it's not. Actually "Soundtrack To The Struggle" is pretty much the best COMPLETE hip-hop album I've heard in a LONG time. I feel bad about even doing a Lowkey misshapedmixtape for this reason (but I think he's flying under the radar in the US, so that's my justification). In truth, "Soundtrack To The Struggle" is an album that needs to be heard in its entirety. It plays like a documentary (like a documentary SHOULD be... not a promotional video done by the U.N. about dying kids in Africa that makes poverty somehow sexy... damn it, I need to stop on that).

In short, just promise me that you're going to buy "Soundtrack To The Struggle" after you listen to this mixtape. It'll make me feel MUCH better. Coz this mixtape, though it does feature my top-favorite Lowkey songs, feels quite incomplete in comparison to his proper album. So many GREAT tracks and poignant interludes that hold the album together. Oh, and for further Lowkey awesomeness, check the youtube linklings that I have to his official music videos down below (they are the bluey/purple songs in the track list) because they are pretty neat also.

Quick note on Lowkey (in case you're still like, "What the fuck kind of mixtape is this?... Can you please get to the point?"): Lowkey is an English-Iraqi MC/activist. He raps about shit that is important. He's wicked smart. And he flips some pretty dope rhymes too. Anything else I could possibly say about him is CERTAINLY better said by Lowkey himself.

And as for "Community." I love it. If you want to see the episode that I culled samples from (to intersperse throughout this mixtape), you can check it out here on Hulu. Of course, you can only watch things on Hulu if you live in the USA. If you don't live in the US, well, then... sucks for you! (actually this link expires tomorrow, so maybe it sucks for everyone)

Maybe that last line irreverently sums up the point of this whole post/mixtape. It's the smugness that is captured poignantly within the model U.N. episode from "Community." It's the anger Lowkey expresses on "Soundtrack To The Struggle" when he's blasting Obama and America's heinous international relations. And it's me, grimacing to see my film packaged into a festival promoting the good work that the U.N. is doing world-wide. Ummm... remember the work I did in Kosovo six years ago? Fuck.

Here's the tracklist for Lowkey - "The Model U.N. (a misshapedmixtape)" [with yr download link in the "comments"... I also highly recommend checking out the jumpoffs to his music videos below]:

01 - "look it up!" (community s3e2)
02 - Obama Nation
03 - Hand On Your Gun
04 - Terrorist
05 - Something Wonderful
06 - Dreamers (ft Mai Khalil)
07 - "crisis alert!" (community s3e2)
08 - Cradle Of Civilisation (ft Mai Khalil)
09 - Long Live Palestine
10 - Dear England (ft Mai Khalil)
11 - Haunted (ft Mai Khalil)
12 - Terrorist Part 2 (ft Mai Khalil & Crazy Haze)
13 - Million Man March (ft Mai Khalil)
14 - "blue u.n. wins!" (community s3e2)


  1. I'm intrigued. For you, Mr Lanctot, I may be willing to check this out, although it is definitely stretching my usual genre tastes. And as a former model UN participant myself, thanks for the shout out, I do believe your take on the UN is just about spot on.

  2. oh man... you HAVE TO see the episode of community if you were a model un kid! it's quite hilarious. and yes, i do think you guys will actually like this. you liked k'naan, right? lowkey's in a similar camp... maybe check the music videos first (esp. Cradle Of Civilization). i must say, the sweet spot for this tape is tracks 8-11. articulate and beautiful.