24 Hour Karate School Visual Mixtape

While we continue to wait in thick anticipation for (the very elusive) “24 Hour Karate School” to drop September 7th (fingers crossed!), let’s take a moment to appreciate Ski Beatz’s “work-in-progress” process. Now, I’m the first to criticize the emergence of trailers for music videos (mediocre ones at that) but the above “visual mixtape” demands some respect. Rather than looking at Ski Beatz and Creative Control’s aural and visual teasers as mere “hype” building, I think of it as generous glimpses into their creative process. Imaginatively conceived and masterfully executed glimpses. I already anticipate that folks will argue that the series of leaks ultimately eclipsed the final project in quality and innovation. In truth, some ideas are more provocative as thought exercises than manifest realities. For example: while I was seriously disappointed and underwhelmed by the Blakroc album, I could appreciate the initial ambition of the project (to mix and juxtapose genres + sounds). At the same time, I’m not trying to make excuses for mediocre music. If it never lands, we should re-route it’s flight circuit. That said, I think Ski Beatz is onto something. I appreciate the way he brings process into view — playing with footage of each artist in their element (recording at studio, lighting up, tweeting on their crackberry, writing or simply talking to themselves). The intersplicing of film clips and “whapshh whapshh” is a clever way to add structure and construct a broader narrative to the mixtape. Of course, I could raise questions about the strange (and ubiquitous) martial arts and “thoina thoing” sample (a la Rkells) fetish in hip hop but frankly, I don’t have the energy. I will say that this project smells more of intelligent satire than cultural appropriation. Beyond sharing their process, I think Ski Beatz and Creative Control make beautiful things. I may be just as eager as the next dork to hear the final version of 24 Hour Karate School but in the meantime, I plan on looping the leaks and re-watching the videos they’ve released along the way. Let’s take a stroll down memory lane…

Peep and support: 24 Hour Karate School + Creative Control. Catch Ski Beatz on LiveStream!

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