Ballout's 'Ballin No NBA' Mixtape Cover Is Very Beautiful, Bizarre, and Important
What was the most important thing to happen in Chicago rap this weekend? Was it Kanye premiering two provocative, challenging new songs on the sides of buildings and on Saturday Night Live? Nope, it was when Chief Keef leaked the mixtape art for Ballout’s new tape Ballin No NBA.
The art depicts Ballout ballin’ in both senses of the word: he’s playing basketball and buying a lot of expensive shit at the same time. He is shown mid-dunk, wearing a Hermes belt over his Bulls jersey (which is number #3hunna, naturally). He doesn’t even have opponents; he’s just dunking on a bunch of duffle bags and shopping bags, and also some loose bills and a basketball for good measure. With his left hand, Ballout carelessly lets his double-cup spill all over the parkay floor. Presumably it will be sopped up by a GBE towel girl with an LV towel made of the finest Egyptian cotton.
The court in Ballin No NBA is also apparently a high-end shopping district. The witnesses to whatever game he’s playing are Gucci, Louis, Versace, Neiman and True Religion. It says a lot—maybe everything—that True gets the same billing as these signifiers for fashion excellence, but then again the True Religion store appears to actually be inside Neiman Marcus. Meanwhile, the hoop itself looms almost twice as tall as all the stores, yet appears to be posted behind the buildings. A jumbotron dangles over the whole landscape.
The skewed perspective suggests worlds in conflict. “Rapper does two things at once” is a recurring motif in album art and content. It usually serves to illustrate the conflicting worlds and resultant cognitive dissonance that they face, as in TI’s TI v. TIP or Master P’s Good Side, Bad Side. But Ballout isn’t struggling with identity as much as he is subliminating into visual metaphor. His spending is so lavish he bends his surroundings into an alternate universe; the boutiques fade into the distance at near light-speed and the giant rim appears from the ether to meet him. If this is the case, the light bursts in the background are less likely to be fireworks than artifacts of the relativistic Doppler effect.
The tape itself just dropped and I haven’t listened to it yet. It has a song called “Diamonds For Everyone” on it; one can assume Ballout has diamonds to give to everyone because he keeps stealing them from Soulja Boy.
Skinny Friedman woke up in a new Honda Civic. He's on Twitter - @skinny412
The Charcoal Grills of Fang Island’s Jason Bartell
Gold and charcoal, together at last.
Banoffee Owes A Lot To Soundcloud
Navigating The Realities Of Finding Yourself Internet Famous
This Modern Love: We Are Scientists
Do you rate 'BASEketball,' love Hanes v-necks, and dancing to goofy-ass, Prohibition-era jazz? You may be the lady Keith from We Are Scientists has been scouring the planet for.
A Conversation with New York Legend—Photographer Maripol
Photographer/Designer Maripol's styled Madonna, Deborah Harry, and Grace Jones. She talks about her experiences in NY in the early 80s, her new book, plus here's the premiere of her song and video for "Tuesday."
Here's 11 Awesome Things About Petite Meller's Video for "IceBear" ft. Joe Fleisch
Parisian pop princess goes winter wonderland weird.
Here's "Hero"—The Brand New Tune by Diplo, Frank Ocean, and The Clash
We hung out with the boys in Brooklyn about this unlikely collaboration
"Daughter, Daughter" by D/C Will Make You Root for the Supposed Bad Boy
When will parents understand that when they butt into your love life, you're gonna run 100 miles per hour in the other direction?
An Interview With Georgia Nott of BROODS
Gorgia Nott has a lot to be happy about. At 19, the New Zealand musician is half of BROODS, one of the quickest rising duos in electronic pop music at the moment.
Keep Up With Our SXSW 2014 Coverage Here
Hopefully, we don't die.
The Score: Mapping the Music and Style of 'That Thing You Do!'
Sixties chic via the 90s and that one song over and over and over.