Published Sep 02, 2008Cleveland-based producer/MC Charles Hamilton is the kind of artist who believes he's different from all of the other upstarts. But one look at his MySpace page with the in your face graphics, the Sonic the Hedgehog obsession, the free mixtape download, and the exhausting autobiography including a done-to-death self-description ("Musician. Producer. Songwriter. Lyricist. Psycho. Hippie. Genius.") and suddenly Hamilton looks like every other MySpace musician who's hired a designer.
I'm gonna leave the nitpicking there (okay, I need to just add his uninspiring "Lollapalooza influences" and how his life is like the movie Antoine Fisher, "but with a killer soundtrack and without a military background" - sigh), because I could go on and on, so I'll just get to the point and go on about how inventive his new cut, "Windows Media Player," is.
Hamilton's genius is demonstrated on two levels. The first is the titular nod to Windows, where he deconstructs and reconstructs Brian Eno's Windows start-up theme - one of the world's most recognizable sounds (even Steve Jobs must have it burned into his memory). Using the actual music, as well as the sounds of clicking your mouse and that irritating thumping note that alerts you when you're in the wrong, Hamilton has built himself a catchy, relatable tune that is certainly destined to become a novelty crossover hit.
The second is in his rhymes, which are dropped with effortless steez. Choosing to tie in the Windows music with some tech-y prose, Hamilton name-drops hip file-sharing sites like zShare and Megaupload with a line like, "So log on, download me and take the chance." But the kicker comes in the chorus, where he markets himself brilliantly by reminding us of his domains: "Charles Hamilton dot blogspot dot com, MySpace dot com slash Hamiltons Music, I am not Charles Hamilton dot com." Surprisingly, his brash self-promotion not only works his websites into our consciousness, but also produces a whipsmart hook that meshes beautifully with the Windows theme.
And if you're looking for more, check out "Stay On Your Level," on his MySpace page, which borrows yet another familiar tune, the goosebumpy theme from The Exorcist, and cements this dude's gift for recycling. I'm hoping these both make it on to his forthcoming Interscope debut.
Charles Hamilton "Windows Media Player"