By Jess Johnson | May 6th, 2011
In the music business and in life in general, the worst events you could imagine can unexpectedly occur. For the genre-bending duo Silver Medallion, such an event occurred when their long time MC Abay “Carnegie” Lattin was killed in a drunk driving accident last September. With what would seem to be the end of the group as we know it, Oren J of the duo is not giving up. He has since relocated from Phoenix to Brooklyn to rebuild Silver Medallion and to take the brand in a new direction.
This is most evident with his latest release titled “Blackmail” featuring LA Boys Noize collaborator and Dip Dive artist Dame Fifty5. The song samples Phantogram’s ever popular single “When I’m Small” and turns it into a punk rock meets hip-hop song about high school indiscretions. We all knew a Susie Sue growing up, the pretty girl who seemed to be heading down all the wrong paths. “Blackmail” is an ode to that Susie you knew, and debuts a new rock sound for Silver Medallion that you will see more of on their upcoming Sex in the City 2 mixtape.
To recreate a song as popular and unique as Phantogram’s “When I’m Small” is a risky move, but if executed correctly, can be something great. I believe Silver Medallion has done just that. The song can fit easily along side one of the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ singles or could be considered a 21st century Sex Pistols-type track. As you could imagine, the song strays far from its indie rock roots, and leans more into punk rock territory with a dash of hip hop. Silver Medallion may be moving in a new direction, but they are still defying the genres that the music scene tries to keep artists boxed in by.
The song’s video accompaniment, directed by Phoenix is Burning’s William Bastian, is inspired by the writer Charles Buchowski and what Bastian calls the “American Lowlife Movement.” The video follows a young female through an angst-filled criminal day on the west coast. The video leaves us wondering what she is going to do next with the gun and handkerchief wrapped around her face as she exits her car. I guess we’ll never know.
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As a bonus, below are two of my favorite tracks off Silver Medallion’s most recent release titled No One Ever Really Dies, presented by DJ Benzi. Both songs showcase showcase Silver Medallion’s penchant blend of electro, pop, and hip hop, which they have come to call “hero pop.” The album is available as a free download on Silver Medallion’s website, SlavetotheCity.com.
Silver Medallion – All I Ask (Overwerk Remix)