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4/30/21 | 15/52

I've spent the past week occasionally searching websites for some Junior Soprano frames that I could get for my reading glasses. I would also settle for DeNiro at the end of Casino glasses. I also ate a burrito on Wednesday that was so good I took a huge bite and bit into the foil wrap. How are things with you? Good I hope and ready to make the most of this beautiful day.

Dharma Vampire

Colossal Sized Picasso's

I'm sure you didn't think you'd start your Friday reading about Puff Daddy but here we are. How'd we get here? DMX passed away which reminded me to watch one of the best movie openings of all time put together by famed 90's music video director, Hype Williams. I don't love the whole movie but that intro cuts glass. This led me to go through his catalog of fish-eyed spaceship lit videos. I thought he did the original "Benjamins" video but it was someone else with a similar style. Biting? Homage? That led me to the rock remix directed by skate video pioneer and friend of Mark Gonzales, Spike Jonze. In addition to directing Rubbish Heap and Video Days he's won an Oscar so he knows about putting magic up on the screen.

The premise is pretty straightforward. Puffy and the Bad Boy crew are on a tour bus that gets a flat tire in front of a high school prom. They jump on stage and rock the bells. If I remember correctly someone at MTV saw this video and said, "that!" and then made a show about big time bands playing at proms. My memories a little fuzzy so I'm not sure if it was just proms or also sweet sixteens. I wouldn't call myself a Puff Daddy fan but I'm very aware of his music. I can sing several of his songs without owning anything from him based on repetitive background exposure when his videos were on regular rotation. I can also recite all the Hot Boyz anthems from the years I didn't have MTV and my music video content was served up by The Box. I'm sure decades from now I will have a similar ability to recall "the horses in the back."

Back then I thought Diddy's music was too pop. I looked down on his Police sampling. At the time I thought every sample should be from an obscure record someone rescued from the ashes of a burned down haunted library. I didn't see the future of mashups and Girl Talk and I'll be the first to admit it, I was wrong. Catchy is catchy and catchy is hard to resist. The Benjammins video is not bad if you skip the intro and get to the performance. "Dressed in all black like the Omen," that's a great line, it really sticks with me. "Spaghetti fettuccine and veal" that sounds like a real "tuck you in and put you to sleep" meal. Two pasta courses to start off?

The video ends with Puffy leading the prom attendees in a wild run down the hall. This is my third favorite example of "running in a hip hop video." My second favorite is at the beginning of the flawless film for, "Bomb's Over Baghdad." The coloring makes it feel ecstatic and hallucinogenic. My favorite example of "running in a hip hop video" is from Kayne's West art film "Runaway." If this was the only thing he ever released music nerds would speak of him as a folk hero, rap's Jeff Magnum. It's my favorite because he is really running. Fully sprinting until his lungs hurt. I'd recommend watching the whole 17 minute film if you have any interest. It's not perfect but there's so much ambition and beauty. If you've never seen it and you watched that clip I'm sure you're either intrigued or confused.

When I was watching Puff and the young dance attendees run chaotically through the school tearing down banners and smashing trophy cases I wasn't cheering on their reckless elation.Who's going to clean that up? Now they're going to have to call a repairman to get that case repaired.  A tour bus packed with partying high school kids? Where's the voice of reason? Get those kids off the bus. This is a pit of potential legal quicksand. The real lesson should be when your bus breaks down find a trustworthy mechanic to make the necessary repairs. Go to a local bar or eatery not a school. Adults without kids shouldn't be hanging around high school proms busting up the infrastructure. So that's where we are. Rest in Peace DMX! Keep ruff ryding in Heaven!

Friend of the Week

Mimsy! MIMSY! I saw her recently being transported by a papoose wearing a crown of flowers. She is a little one and should be revered accordingly.

If you would like your friend to be a friend of the week simply email me 3 pictures of them and I will do my best to try and capture their essence.
Thank you so much for choosing to spend these moments together. I know it had some twists and turns. If you ever miss a week you can always check out the archive link on the Serial Dispatch instagram.

Solid,
Tim
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