Old Music Tuesdays: Subtle “The Long Vein of the Law”
Subtle is an alternative hip hop band from Oakland, California. They are fronted by Anticon artist Doseone, whom you may know from his work in Clouddead, 13 & God, or Peeping Tom. This Old Music Tuesday features the music video for their song The Long Vein of the Law. This is not the first version of the song that I heard. I stumbled across Subtle when researching Mike Patton’s side projects and guest appearances, and my first exposure was the remix in which Patton provided guest vocals. It’s called The Long Vein of the Voice. (It’s great, but weird.)
I haven’t dipped my toes too far into the hip hop world, but I do find that I enjoy the hip hop bands that use instruments as opposed to samples. Subtle’s earlier work was very ambient, but as they’ve progressed they have become more instrument based. I highly recommend the album For Hero: For Fool, their second full length album.
I think The Long Vein of the Law, off their first record, is a good introduction to the band, so I’ve embedded the video and included the lyrics, below.
Please enjoy the video, and comments are always appreciated. Enjoy!
When the long vein of the law bites his right eye at you from behind his stingy brimmed black hat of all fact.
Yours can only choke, firing blanks all over the floor in front of you until your mouth half-lights,
and all your body water rushes to the soft fillets of your back.
Before you can speak, he touches a very serious finger to the neck of your hand
and your skin breaks out in solid map all spreading from a sizable city some 300 miles east of Dallas, Texas.
Dallas, appearing just below the cheap lamp of your throat chakra.
The 35 East running the length of your torso and disappearing off the soft coast of your hip…
Some moments later your West Central Texas skin display begins to purple.
And there he is feeling for thorns on the stems of your eyes, you jerk them back to the twice-focus shot of your naked rim and begin to dig in your pockets for a first stuffed animal or absent note.
You have a good idea of what’s coming now, so you reach for your mouth to cut words, but…
He speaks! “Son! You seize your grass and sunlight in the film beneath your face!
And wronged between half-writ books on outcoals and medium, no medium, no.”
So he shows you the feather that he grew inside his femur.
You reach for your mouth to cut words, but, all you can say is ‘every day I, every day I, every day I, every day I,’ and ‘never’
so he points to the hole now spreading carefully on your sunken chest, gently shakes his clear blue head and then he teaches you the ‘vacation’ before disappearing up into the open mouth of his fine fixed hat of all fact.
And then it all goes black.
When you come to, something in your throat feels more forgiven and the sunlight seems to have put back the knife it sometimes pulls on you.
Hopefully, next time you see one another, he’ll be all ‘what’s up!’ with his hat off, one fist full of coconut and small umbrella. A young George Washington lounging there beside him, sucking centers from 100 watt bulbs using a two dollar bill. Scoping his naval full of sweat as it steeps in the sun…
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