Thaiboy Digital Legendary Member

[Year0001; 2019]

Styles: Equestrian, agrarian, wind, lasers, spray, above sea level
Others: Tom Cruise, St. Peter, The Beach Boys

CTD: (in doctors’ shorthand) for expected to die soon. An initialism for “circling the drain,” UK, 2003.
nasodrain: noun, while surfing, the sudden and violent expulsion of sea water through the nose, US, 1991.
drain: verb, (used of a ball in pinball) to leave play at the bottom of the playing field, US, 1977.
draino!: used by a golfer to celebrate a long putt falling into the hole, US, 1997.
drain pipe: noun, in poker, a conservative player who slowly but surely accumulates winnings, draining money from other players, US, 1996.
The Concise New Partridge Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English

In 2013, there was a movie about Bangkok called Only God Forgives by Nicolas Winding Refn. It was in many ways simply the fever dream of Drive (2013) and with swords and in Asia, shot on location. It’s a movie about crime, which some like Refn might find synonymous with Bangkok. (Bladee calls it Gotham City.)

The Bangkok entry in the 1993 Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English reads: “Capital and main port of Thailand. Famous for its temples and often mentioned as a place where there are many prostitutes.” The Thai government was upset about this, and rightfully so. What is written easily becomes image. Everyone knows that image is everything, and everything matters. So Bangkok is for God and romance and danger, which seems cool. And Thaiboy (Thanapat Thaothawong) is the Christ-like redeemer of Bangkok. Maybe a Buddha-Christ crossover. Indeed, just as The Matrix and Neon Genesis seem Christ-obsessed, so does DG. Holy goodness, the wings on my brothers and these horses running in the forest. This shit is crazy.

Poster for the theatrical release of Only God Forgives (Refn, 2013)

Another recent, popular media portrayal of Thailand comes from the early Michel Houellebecq book Platforme (2001), which ended — violently — in Thailand, in the resort town Pattaya. The narrator, a Frenchman by the name of Michel Renault, travels there to die. It is his divine and violent paradise. Is Bangkok really the sin city of Asia? I may never know.

Angelic Thaiboy, evil Thaiboy, Buddha Thaiboy, digitized Thaiboy. Every Thai boy. Commander, legendary member, goon. There are many Thaiboys; the latest emanation is the wisest of them all. You must unlock all the Thaiboys like Xbox achievements to level up to the 30th floor. Legendary Member Thaiboy is like a Final Fantasy VII boss, but you can never defeat him.

Redbubble model wearing Thaiboy shirt mockup

Legendary Member, Thaiboy’s debut album, came out Thursday, September 26, 2019. This was on the tail of Trash Island, the unanticipated sequel to D&G (2017) and the uralt GTBSG (2013). Trash Island has Thaiboy featuring on seven of its eight tracks, so it’s almost like it’s another Thaiboy album. People online seem to have been talking about LM forever, and a few months ago, Thaiboy live streamed him in a small room performing most of the songs of the then-unreleased album. This was an early taste of what was to come.

Thaiboy pre-LM

Someone uploaded it to YouTube, but I can’t find it right now. The Thaiboy-advice-video is still easy to find though, and it holds up better. In it, he riffs on staying with your gang, “the ones you go to war with,” your angels (“I don’t even wanna curse”). And then says: “Ain’t no one here like [expletive] Tom Cruise; Tom Cruise is the one [and] only […] ain’t no time in Thaiboy calendar […] the only time that matters in your life is when you decide to get [expletive] rich.” Time wasted isn’t time; it’s loss. But loss is the same as gain, the absolute change of energy is the same whether it’s increasing or decreasing. Thaiboy is here suggesting his flow of time isn’t constricted by the calendar, because losing and gaining make it relative.

“thaiboy goon gives inspiration for drainers”

Tom Cruise is the only Tom Cruise, but GTB-SBE has replicated much of the cult image that we know from Cruise. If Thaiboy were Tom Cruise, he might be Cruise in the somewhat lesser-known gem Losin’ It (1983). This, too, is important.

Tom Cruise in Losin’ It (1983)

There’s certainly the Mission: Impossible aura as well, as Thaiboy is quite fond of lyrics about commanders, shields, missions, defending, war, and the related (as per the Thai Constitution, citizens serve via mandatory conscription in the armed forces). The martial attitude is significantly more hidden in the tracks on Legendary Member than in the other projects, as a general divine knowledge, peace, and prosperity is at the album’s fore.

The album is crisp and sharp, unlike the other side of Drain Gang that errs towards the grimy, gritty, and evil-energy of trash world and red light moments. Ecco2k raises his voice to alien pitches, and Bladee raps about threes and nines again (K9, D9, three strikes, etc. on “Bentley” — Reichwald has three nines in his birthday, building a non-Euclidean esoteric triangle).

Needless to say, Thaiboy has come into his own : “My ego death, I killed myself/ Changed my life, I feel myself.” Or again with the memorable: “Hating on the kid, I became a man.” So if LM is the maturity project, and Thaiboy is now a man, one can only expect more stuff like this in the future. Is Thaiboy free? Spiritually, yes — #freethaiboy is no longer applicable for this world, because Thaiboy was always free.

Thaiboy lives in Bangkok, the full name of which reads: Krungthepmahanakhon Amonrattanakosin Mahintharayutthaya Mahadilokphop Noppharatratchathaniburirom Udomratchaniwetmahasathan Amonphimanawatansathit Sakkathattiyawitsanukamprasit. It is the world’s longest place-name.

Do not use drugs in Thailand

This city, we know, has quite a notorious identity. It is a place for angels and demons. One might suggest that the same can be said for all cities, but Bangkok is a particular case of purity and demonism. Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia, says that the name itself is made from “Pali and Sanskrit root words, [and] translates as: City of angels, great city of immortals, magnificent city of the nine gems, seat of the king, city of royal palaces, home of gods incarnate, erected by Vishvakarman at Indra’s behest.” That’s wild. All this is to say that to better grasp Thaiboy, one first needs to think of Bangkok, then also of Stockholm.

Abandoned mall in Thailand, many fish.

There is more to say about place and culture than about lyricism. The best line of the album is probably from “Lip Service,” the first single to drop — “She’s a raver, she my angel (she my angel)” — purely because of the love with which it’s delivered. There’s not much to say, you know, because I don’t know much about music and you shouldn’t have to say much about it anyway. As someone on r/sadboys recently put it, “ban music reviewers.” But it only had one upvote.

I’d love to talk to Thaiboy to find out more about his prosperity gospel. Unfortunately, The FADER interviews with both him and Bladee fell pretty flat, and the only interesting thing that came out of them was learning about Bladee getting struck by lightning. Seriously, just try to read that shit on Hypebeast, The FADER, or Pitchfork — that shit is so boring. It reads like a bot wrote it. Zero stars. Wtf is genre?

The FADER also won’t tell you about a little star named Anastasia.

Anastasia Vashukevich in Thailand, 2019.

Belarusian model Anastasia Vashukevich, also known as Nastya Rybka, can be seen in the above photo being transferred between prisons in Thailand for allegedly running an “illegal sex training course.” She claims to have highly important information on Trump-Russia relations and to be wanted by the Kremlin. She was seeking asylum in the United States earlier this year.

Nastya

It might seem like Thaiboy has nothing to do with this, but Thanapat himself is really an enigma for universal connectivity, quantum mechanics, little superpowered strings that connect clouds. International Buddhist drain wizardry — seriously, Thanapat’s polarity between “the jungle” and Stockholm stimulates a somewhat novel understanding of the DG musical universe. Legendary Member, like just about every DG project, isn’t so much about message or meaning as it is about the general synthesis of a new and dynamic universe. It’s basically a video game.

Be careful! If you choose to attend.

As a final thought, I give the album five bags of popcorn — and a white, plastic Fisher-Price horse. Wooden horse. And also a pair of muay thai handwraps, for exercise and regulated fighting. Loss and gain, they’re really the same.

Thaiboy fan art

Eureka!

Some releases are so incredible we just can’t help but exclaim EUREKA! While many of our picks here defy categorization and explore the constructed boundaries between ‘music’ and ‘noise,’ others complement, continue, or rupture traditions that provide new forms and ways of listening. Not all of our favorites will be listed here, but we think each EUREKA! album is worthy of careful consideration. This section is a work-in-progress, so expect its definition to be in perpetual flux.

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