I don’t know much about hip hop, except I know when I like it. And I like Broken Ankles by Girl Talk and Philadelphia Freeway.
The combination of Girl Talk and Freeway is unlike anything you’ll hear in Top 40 radio—mostly because the music industry is way behind modern art. Record labels can’t, or won’t, touch Girl Talk because of copyright laws, but I challenge you to argue that Broken Ankles isn’t original work. When does a sample no longer become a sample? You can’t copyright a drum beat or a guitar note, so it must be the arrangement of the music that holds value. What happens when you deconstruct the original arrangement of a song, then combine it with 5 or 6 other deconstructed songs, and create something entirely new? Well, awesome is what happens, but just as the music industry fought the internet, they’re also trying to silence this new emerging genre.
I came across Broken Ankles because I’m a big fan of Girl Talk. The dude is a living mixtape—I love how he takes music from all genres, all songs you know, and edits the shit out of them to make them his own. You can’t really consider him a DJ or mashup artist as he goes way beyond the notions and conventions of the field. Girl Talk is a true musician himself; a modern artist mastering an entirely new generation of tools and instruments. His music sounds like an epic party where everyone is invited, and then takes things to the next level with a driving hype-building backbone, reminiscent of EDM.
Philadelphia Freeway was the wildcard that could have spoiled the whole EP for me—but he didn’t. This kat has a ton of underground hip hop cred, which I know nothing about, but his talent is undeniable. The way he delivers a verse with energy and raw emotion transcends the microphone, and instantly captivated me. He plays with classic rap stereotypes but cuts the fluff and gives depth to his struggles as an artist and human. I guess that’s why I like it, there’s a lot substance beneath the “bitches” and trendy lines. He’s not trying, he just is—with his own unique candor.
Broken Ankles is relatively short, the EP running under 20 minutes and is meant to be enjoyed as one giant song. Each track blends and bleeds into one another, often changing pace every minute. Girl Talk’s arrangement and production, his bridges and builds, brings a rock n’ roll soul to the electronic samples and beats. Listen closely and you’ll even catch a few notes and bars of classic rock songs that will drop your jaw. You’ll be amazed at how well it works with Philly’s grit rap prose.
That’s not to say that Broken Ankles is a rock rap album—it is not. It’s pure hip hop, or at least what I understand hip hop to be. The EP is an intense marching line of brutal beats and blood-thirsty lyrics that blend beautifully to give you the courage to walk with a little extra swag while you have your earbuds in.
There’s nothing to lose as you can download the Broken Ankles EP for free from DafPiff. It will take you out of your comfort zone but you’ll rewarded with a fresh dose of an entirely new genre of music.
One YouTube video of a Girl Talk live show will do more justice than any amount of words can: