(TMU) — Wes Tank may be a successful filmmaker and musician, but it seems Wisconsin’s Safer at Home order has provided the Milwaukee resident the opportunity to explore his true calling: rapping Dr. Seuss books to Dr. Dre’s beats.
While the idea of rapping Dr. Seuss’ famous words isn’t new to Wes, who reportedly once stumbled upon One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish in Minneapolis and immediately rapped the book live with the help of his phone, being stuck at home as many of us currently gave him the time to finally sit down and record the brilliant mashups.
“I happened to have an Mp3 of Dr. Dre’s ‘Deep Cover’ instrumental on my phone. I made an impromptu decision to rap the book over the track. The crowd went wild for it. After that I tried other Seuss books over other Dre beats at live shows. People always really seemed to get excited and inspired by this part of the show. Dr. Seuss’ books and Dr. Dre’s beats went so well together that I felt I had unlocked an achievement that had been waiting to be found.”
As any creative person with too much time on their hands would do, Wes jumped feet first into his not exactly lifelong dream—but honorable dream nonetheless—complete with the goal of entertaining other people also stuck at home with too much time on their hands. Or make that less time, since the target audience is primarily parents of kids young and/or old enough to be familiar with either doctor.
“Since the safer-at-home order, my active productions have slowed and I’ve had more time to read, reflect and spend time with my artistic practice,” Wes said. “I realized that I suddenly had time to make the Dr. Seuss videos, and that with kids and parents stuck at home, they could be useful as teaching tools or just positive content to pass the time.”
With his first mashup, Fox in Sox, having been viewed over 1.5 million times since it was posted on March 28, it seems Wes is indeed helping people “pass the time.”
And while he appears to have set out to entertain parents and children, the comments on his six mashups posted to YouTube reveal that the budding rapper is appealing to a wider swath of people than simply his understandable target audience.
“This guy just filled a niche I didn’t even know existed.”
“I’ve listened to this maybe 7 times so far. Still not sick of it.”
“I’m devastated to think that there are only a finite number of Dre beats & Seuss books. Please don’t ever stop.”
“Dr. Seuss’ books weren’t part of my childhood. Rap isn’t really my thing. Why do I find these videos so awesome? Because they are amazing!”
Wes hopes both parents and teachers can use his videos “as teaching tools to make reading fun for children.” And he hopes it “makes kids and adults excited to pick up a book and read.” But at the very least, he hopes “it helps people to smile and keep a positive mindset during a difficult and uncertain time.”
Check out all of Wes’ videos posted to his YouTube account thus far and consider subscribing so you don’t miss the next one. If the success of his first six videos is any indication, Wes is off to great places! He’s off and away!
American Flag Clad Trump Supporters Rock Out To Rage Against The Machine – Band Reacts
Rage Against The Machine guitarist Tom Morello shared a video on Twitter Friday night, which showed supporters of US President Donald Trump, clad in American flags and “thin blue line” flags, rocking out to the band’s song “Killing in the Name” in Philadelphia.
The video was also shared from the band’s official Twitter account, with the caption “They just don’t GET IT do they?”
In an interview with Rollings Stone earlier this year, Morello said that lyrics of the song make him think of Frederick Douglass, although it is not clear if he was an inspiration for the song, which Zack de la Rocha wrote.
“‘F*** you, I won’t do what you tell me’ is a universal sentiment. While it’s a simple lyric, I think it’s one of [Zack de la Rocha’s] most brilliant. And to me, it relates to Frederick Douglass. Frederick Douglass said, the moment he became free was not the moment that he was physically loosed from his bonds. It was the moment when master said, “Yes.” And he said, “No.” And that’s the essence of “F*** you, I will not do what you tell me,” Morello said.
The lyrics for the song also explicitly discuss the connection that police departments across the country have with white supremacy, in the lines “some of those that work forces are the same that burn crosses,” and “you justify those that died by wearing the badge, they’re the chosen whites.” In fact, these lines account for about 50% of the words in the song, so they are pretty hard to miss.
Morello has previously said that it was encouraging to hear the song chanted at the “Fed goons who are shooting tear gas at American citizens,” but he doesn’t seem very proud of this most recent video.
Political campaigns have a long history of making musicians cringe by playing their music at political events.
In recent weeks, the Trump campaign has been criticized for its use of songs for campaign purposes, including Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Fortunate Son,” which is about how poor people get sent to war, but those who are wealthy or connected with politicians stay out of harm’s way and reap the benefits of the conquests. Many could easily argue that Trump is a representation of the “fortunate son” that is criticized in the song.
He has also used Bruce Springsteen’s song “Born In The USA,” which is frequently misunderstood by politicians and appropriated for political campaigns. Springsteen himself has called the song a “protest song,” partly based on Ron Kovic’s 1976 autobiography Born on the Fourth of July, which tells the story of a Vietnam veteran who becomes anti-war after returning home with a physical disability from the conflict.
Springsteen described how the song was misunderstood in a 2005 interview with NPR’s Terry Gross.
“‘Born In The USA’ is a classic situation of a song misinterpreted by some because of its chorus. My music has been a football where I had people from the far-left to the far-right who misrepresent us. It’s something I live with and I always have the opportunity to go on stage and say my piece about it,” He said.
The Flaming Lips Held A Concert Where Everyone Was In A Plastic Bubble
Although many people throughout the United States have started to get back to work, the live entertainment industry is still on hold for the most part.
Some artists and production companies have come up with creative ideas to keep the shows running, but they look nothing like the events of 2019. The most popular style of COVID-era concert this past summer was the drive-in, with many artists touring drive-in theaters that were repurposed as outdoor concert venues.
However, at these shows, everyone is still required to stay in their cars, and it doesn’t feel much like a real concert.
Last week, the popular rock band The Flaming Lips actually played an indoor concert venue but they performed in giant plastic bubbles, and all of the fans in attendance were inside the bubbles also. The show happened at The Criterion in Oklahoma City, where the band used the strange setting to shoot a music video.
The band’s frontman Wayne Coyne told CNN that he came up with the idea when the pandemic began, but didn’t expect the virus to stick around long enough for it to actually be necessary.
“I did a little drawing… where I drew a picture of The Flaming Lips doing a show in 2019. And I’m the only person in the space bubble, and everybody else is just norma. Then (I did another drawing with) The Flaming Lips playing a show in 2020. The exact same scenario, but I’m in a bubble, and so is everybody else….I don’t think anybody would have thought, in the middle of March that this is still going to be going, you know, eight months later. I think we all thought this is a month, this is maybe two months, but we’re going to get a handle on this,” he said.
The band first revealed the idea on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” back in May, and the reaction inspired them to expand it into a full concert experience.
“We do a couple of songs with about 30 people in the bubbles. And we start to think, ‘Well, you know, just from doing that, we start to get an idea that we could actually do it, you know, and it could actually happen,'” Coyne said.
“Since May, the desire to see the live music has just gotten, you know, more, more amplified,” he added.
Although this is the first time that they have required their fans to wear them, the band has previously performed in space bubbles, so they knew exactly where to find them.
“I like the way this looks, because you can get as excited as you want, you can scream as much as you want, you just can’t infect the person next to you, no matter what you forget about, how excited you get. That barrier is still there, they’re protected, and you’re protected… that part of it is what we really felt like was the success,” Coyne said.
“We, as The Flaming Lips, we like the idea that we are doing something different…. I think it could be cool. It could be fun. And we could all have a, you know, a crazy unique experience,” he added.
University Says Students Intentionally Getting COVID So They Can Sell Their Plasma
There is a growing concern that people who are desperate for some extra spending money are intentionally getting COVID-19 so they can later sell their plasma. People who have recovered from COVID are encouraged to donate their plasma because their blood will contain antibodies that could help others fight the illness.
The FDA says plasma “may be effective in treating COVID-19 and that the known and potential benefits of the product outweigh the known and potential risks of the product.”
Administrators at Brigham Young University’s campus in Idaho announced that they were investigating multiple cases of students intentionally getting sick with COVID so they can cash in on their plasma donation. The school has also threatened to suspend any students who are found to intentionally contract the virus.
“BYU-Idaho is deeply troubled by accounts of individuals who have intentionally exposed themselves or others to COVID-19, with the hope of getting the disease and being paid for plasma that contains COVID-19 antibodies…The contraction and spread of COVID-19 is not a light matter. Reckless disregard for health and safety will inevitably lead to additional illness and loss of life in our community,” the school said in a statement.
Each donation site has different offers for potential donors, but East Idaho News found locations close to the school that offered as much as $200 for their first visits. Many of these locations allow people to donate multiple times.
BYU-Idaho is offering financial help and mental health services to students who are feeling desperate.
“If students are struggling, BYU-Idaho stands ready to help. There is never a need to resort to behavior that endangers health or safety in order to make ends meet,” the school said.
However, many people are in situations where they have no choice but to endanger their health to make ends meet, especially people who are forced to deal with the public every day during a pandemic in order to keep a steady paycheck. Tuition alone at BYU runs an average of close to $20,000, which would likely be a factor that would push a person to put themselves in danger for some extra money.
BYU is located in Rexburg, Idaho, which the New York Times recently ranked as a nationwide hotspot. BYU has confirmed 119 active student cases of COVID-19 and 20 active employee cases as of Tuesday. In response to the explosion in cases, the school recently warned that it is considering a switch to remote learning.
The problem of plasma donation centers preying on poor and desperate people is nothing new. According to ABC, nearly 80 percent of the plasma centers in the U.S. are located in America’s low-income neighborhoods. They also tend to target college students and cluster around college campuses.
Of course, the donation of plasma is important and should be encouraged, but there is also a problem with predatory practices that should not be ignored. The fact that people are putting themselves in danger for a few extra dollars also illustrates how this system is failing people.
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