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October 07, 1993 - Image 14

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1993-10-07

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4 - The Mch an Daily - Weekend etc. - Thursday, October 7,,1993


'Threat': music, not malice"
Rapper Corey Lloyd meets the press in Detroit

Perhaps the most dangerous thing about the written
word is its ability to separate ideas from their voice.
When the words "former criminal" and "rapper" are
thrown on paper they do not speak in the soft, reflective
tones which belong to Corey Lloyd (AKA Threat, best
known for his appearance on Ice Cube's release
Most of all the violence, drama and controversy of the
L.A. riots do not suggest the friendly atmosphere which
permeated Threat Press Day in Detroit.
Threat's debut album "Skinnahead" is a work of anger
andhopelessness, sexism and sarcasm, with someproduc-
tion (courtesy of DJ Pooh and Bobcat) sure to wake up the
neighbors. On the album he's abrasive, but in person
you're instantly comfortable with him. His words may be
interpreted as negative, enlightening or simply a slice of
Daily: What was it like to work with Ice Cube?
Threat: Scary [laughs]. Competition. You could feel it
in the air ... 'cause you got to think, you're up against the
man. If you're up against the man you've got to either
serve 'em or you might as well not even get down with
him, 'cause your gonna make an ass out of yourself. But
you know, it's nice workin' with him'cause he makes me
go all the way out ... [With] 2Pac it's like he trusts you,
he's like "Well, what ever you want to do. I don't care.
D: How do you feel about the [gang] truce?
T: Well, I kind of helped get the truce started ... as a
matter of fact, it was the day after the riots. I think the
reason I did that is because during the riots ... while we
were lootin' and all that, everybody stuck together...
D: Describe the riots for me.,
T: The riots man ... I don'tknow, it's hard to describe,
'cause it was like something I'd never seen before in my
life. It was like, we had control of the whole world at that
time. No police, no nothin' ... It's like OK, whatever you
want to do you can do it. Actually, the gangs could have
acted real stupid if they wanted to, 'cause we robbed all

the gun stores. We had all the guns, we had grenades,
grenade launchers, M-16's,fully automatic hand weapons
[laughs]. And they was goin' for a little bit of nothing,
people was practically passin' 'em out liken"Here, you
want one of these?" And so we could have been killin'
each other, or we could of even been killin' the police but
that wasn't the case. People kind of stuck together, I mean
blacks, Mexicans, whites - they even stuck together.
Everybody. When you were ridin' down the street, there
wasn't no gang signs, everyone was just going like this
[holds his fist in the air].
... It was different, I mean you won't see that today if
you go there [laughs]. But, you know, that day, that
particular day ... and days prior to that, everybody stuck
together, I mean real close, Crips and Bloods and every-
thing ...
[On personal experience with the police:] ... They just
got caught. Man, I done been Rodney Kinged a couple
times. Not where bruises show, but damn it feel like it.
Yeah, that's like a norm at home.
Wayne State U: What kind of power do the police have
T: Well, they really watchin' they step now ... Put it
this way, we get to cuss'em out and everything in front of
they Captain and they don't say nothin'.
WSU: But can they still maintain order after the riotor
did everybody lose so much respect for them?
T: Yeah, and you can tell they still got a little chip on
they shoulder about that too. Sotheykinda like, you know,
stick they chest out a little bit, but other than that ...
WSU: But no other problems since then?
T: Naw. Well, yeah. There's been a couple ... See
that's what the truce was all about. Sayin' "Look, let's
organize ourselves. Let's stop just runnin' around, you
know what I'm sayin', like idiots and killing each other,
shooting each other, and get some rules and stuff goin' on
around here. So we can keep ourselves in order, so we can
keep down the killin' and make it safe for everybody
else." And that's what the truce was all about and it was
happenin' for awhile ...

Rapper Corey Lloyd, also known as Threat, is best known for being a part of Ice Cube's "Colorblind"

Bare essentials adorn 'Gas Food Lodging'

A blistering summer was 1992's.
Blowing somewhere beneath the end-
less swell of candidates' debates,
Batman's bloated return and the un-

comfortable reality of a long, drawn-
out summer, lay a cool, dark breeze,
undetected by most. Slowly and gin-

gerly, it grew. Much like a desert
flower that blooms amidst the dry,
barren wasteland of that summer's
films, "Gas Food Lodging," the star-
tling debut from filmmaker Allison
Anders, gently flourished.
A sometimes campy, surreal
trailer-parkfantasy, the film surrounds
a small, fatherless family living in a
bad part of New Mexico. It's popu-
lated by people as strung-out and
threadbare as the small town itself,
which offers its youths dating, Dairy
Queen and little else. Mom (Brooke
Adams) has a dead-end job
waitressing at the local diner. She
flits from relationship to relationship
with a host of unseemly men, always
trying, but never really getting be-
yond her somewhat bleak existence.
Trudy (lone Skye) wants more than
her mom's seemingly limited life, but
lacks the strength and self-confidence
to go after it. Instead she finds both
her solace and identity in her easily
exploited sexuality.
The only one with any real poten-
tial is the young, tremulous Shade
(Fairuza Balk). Bright and imagina-
tive, she is as equally fascinated by
the local theater's tragic Mexican
melodramas as its tragically hand-
some projectionist.Sweet and accept-
ing, sometimes quiet and aloof, she is

easily overshadowed by her more
demanding older sister, who is more
than their mother can handle.
It is, in fact, Trudy's promiscuity
that eventually disrupts their already
inconsistent lives. When she finally
leaves, Shade and her mother are left
Made for roughly the
equivalent of one
week's milk money on
the set of "Batman
Returns," "Gas Food
lodging," uses all its
resources to their
fullest. What Anders
comes up with Is
with only each other and the scraps of
their somewhatdistanced relationship.
Without Trudy's obnoxiousness as a
barrier any longer, they must face the
fact that they don't really know each
other too well and are not much of a
family. Her mother is too worried
about Trudy and her own problems to
give much focus to this. It is only
when Shade finally asserts herself,
and gains her mother's notice and

respect that the chance for some sort
of future becomes present.
This is ultimately Shade's story. It
is her struggle, her search for identity,
that is the strongest aspect of the film.
It gives it its core. A good deal of the
credit for this goes to Balk. She is
extraordinary. Timid and petulantone
moment, campy and hilarious the next;
she is utterly believable in arole years
younger than herself and more than
makes up for the only competent per-
formances of Skye and Adams.
Clearly, this film is not withoutits
problems. Certain inconsistencies in
thestory, theoccasionalobviousneed
for a retake and the sometimes shaky
camera, are all indications that this is
very much a first attempt.But what a
first attempt.
Made for roughly the equivalent
of one week's milk money on the set
of "Batman Returns," "Gas Food
Lodging," uses all its resources to
their fullest. What Anders comes up
with is stunning. Intelligent and pure,
it is necessarily bereft of all the ex-
ploitative excesses that plague more
high-budgeted films. Cut down to the
bare essentials, that's exactly what it
is: bare, essential and scarce, just as
the title implies.
As complemented by a great
soundtrack, courtesy ofDinosaurJr.'s
J Mascis, the film makes for the per-
fect, soothing viewing; it is a relief
from either a muggy day in the midst
of the heat wave it was released into,
orfromachilling night in the midst of
a snow storm in Ann Arbor.
Like the desert flower itresembles,
"Gas Food Lodging," seems at first to
be an anomaly, but on closer inspec-
tion reveals itself to be a lot more
crafted and beautiful than any one
mighthave expected. This alone gives
it credibility. Yet, beyond that, any
way you take it, it's worth your while.
GAS FOD LOGINGis available
at Campus Video and Liberty Street

9 1 I




2 for 1 Movie Rental
with this coupon
Expiration Date 10/14193
Foreign * Classic
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"Best of Ann Arbor" readers' poll.

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