go get that money.
You Ain’t Bout That Action – G-Eazy & Carnage’s “Guala”
I'm baffled the fuck boy that hate on me
I give the game that they don't see
If they know me, they don't pay no fee
I'm the weather channel man at KOD
- “Guala,” G-Eazy x Carnage
Culturally speaking, we’ve been in an age of superlatives. We all relish giving superlatives to the culture we love and hate. We build so many Mount Rushmores (Mounts Rushmore? Could be an Attorneys General kind of thing) to television and film and music, that we lose sight of two things: all the great art that falls into the wide middle in terms of greatness, and addressing superlative pop culture experiences over products.
I’m about to do the latter.
The best pop culture experience I’ve had with music, probably since walking around a lake in downtown Orlando in the summer of 2013 while listening to Random Access Memories, happened last week. I was flipping through YouTube videos on my couch with my girlfriend, and YouTube recommended a brand new video. It was “Guala,” from G-Eazy and Carnage’s new EP Step Brothers.
This will be the best music video watching experience you will have in a good, long time. The black and white video is just G-Eazy and Carnage walking around Los Angeles with CGI-enlarged heads. That’s it. The big heads are CGI’d just poorly enough to make the video funny, but the rest of their physicality is serious enough that it straddles the line between novelty-ish pop rap and serious west coast hip hop.
They are each other’s hype beasts, just doing all the subtle things friends do when they’re feeling themselves. The vibe of the video is exuberant confidence and satisfaction. They don’t rush anything—the song and video are over five minutes in length—and they both flow incredibly slowly. The video is so completely committed to creating a mood that you can’t help but laugh along and buy into the myth that these guys are selling: that they are the two coolest people they know.
Welcome to the Sanctuary – Hulu’s Harlots
My search for a new period drama has happily ended. I’m riding with Harlots, the new Hulu series created by British actors/writers Moira Buffini and Alison Newman. Inspired by historian Hallie Rubenhold’s book The Covent Garden Ladies, the show dramatizes the rivalry between two competing brothels in Georgian England.
Fans of British television shows and movies will recognize virtually all of these actors, whether they are former probation workers from Misfits or former daughters from Downton Abbey. But the standout here is Samantha Morton, an English actress who plays Margaret Wells, our anti-hero grande madame. She is trying to position her oldest daughter to marry out of sex work and into high society, and sell her younger daughter’s virginity to the right bidder in the hopes of securing her a similarly upward trajectory. Morton first popped on my radar ten years ago when I saw her in Control, the Ian Curtis biopic from Anton Corbijn, but she has been on a tremendous run recently too, with great work in The Last Panthers and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
Like Cinemax’s The Knick, Harlots uses pulsing electronic music to contrast with the period-specific milieu. But unlike more staid dramas, this show revels in every opportunity to inject color into the costumes and production design of each episode. Even characters without speaking roles come off the screen with vibrant colors and make-up.
Visual feasts aside, the show has serious statements to make about hypocritical attitudes towards sex, social mobility, and the ways in which slut-shaming is never really about the shame of the alleged slut. And interestingly, the show’s treatment of race reads very differently from American-set period dramas, with black and bi-racial characters having prominent roles in the show that aren’t about their blackness, but are instead about their desires, their friendships, their despair.
This show should make a good pairing with The Handmaid’s Tale, the adaptation of the dystopian Margaret Atwood novel coming to Hulu later this month.
 “Guala” is Spanglish slang that doubly means “money” and “Hispanic.” Carnage AKA Thirty Rack is Guatemalan-American.