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Dennis Hopper’s unforgettable music.

Dennis Hopper’s unforgettable music. (photo)

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I’m not going to go into a break down of the highs and lows of Dennis Hoppers career or write a eulogy, I leave that for many others who will continue to do so throughout the week. Suffice to say the dude blew my mind more times than I can count and I’m happy the last film I saw him in was “Elegy” where he so brilliantly delivered the goods. If you’ve not seen it, you must, but be warned it’s not an easy film to watch, however beautiful it is (certainly even less so now for Hopper’s part).

We’ll all be re-watching Hopper’s roles with greater gravity for a while, but I’d prefer to celebrate his work as a filmmaker at the moment. I still find it unbelievable that after debuting as a director with a film as genius as “Easy Rider” that we do not know Dennis Hopper first as a director. Paul Joyce writes in a Guardian piece that I recommend reading, “It was Dennis’s great regret that he only achieved eight credits as a director (against over 200 as an actor) and he felt that those talents were badly neglected.”

I couldn’t agree more, though I’m still so happy we have all those roles to rejoice in, “Blue Velvet,” “Basquiat,” “Hoosiers,” “Apocalypse now,” it makes no sense to list them, “The Osterman Weekend,” there are far too many, “River’s Edge,” “Rebel Without a Cause….” But with music on the mind, it’s easy to focus on some of Hoppers finest contributions. Specifically, one of his most underrated, the 1988 film “Colors.” You know, 70,000 gang members. One million guns. Two cops (Robert Duvall and Sean Penn). This was during the height of late Reagan-era gang violence. Bloods and Crips were all the rage. Hip hop was exploding and people still called rappers, rappers.

Along came “Colors” and just nailed it, shit had cred. Real gangsters, real rappers, fools getting shot and Sean Penn beating the shit out of people on set. The music was awesome then, and I think the use of Ice-T’s song, “Colors” during the prison scene where Crips pour in one end and Bloods pour in the other, will forever sum up the absurd reality of inner city urban decay from the period.

And we can’t forget other elements of the soundtrack either, like Eric B & Rakim’s contribution, “Paid In Full.” That song was so hard and so dope, you can still throw it on to this day and just blow a place out. Simply put, it’s one of the best songs ever recorded, regardless of genre. Thank you Eric B, Rakim, and Dennis Hopper.

Eric B & Rakim’s Paid In Full from the “Colors” soundtrack.

Of course, “Easy Rider” remains the most alluring film to talk about, especially in regards to soundtracks, but there’s plenty enough talk about that already. The film and it’s music are as much a part of our National identity as a full tank of gas an open road. As much as Dennis Hopper, whose finest works as a director were so brilliantly pertinent to the time in which he made them, they’re like time capsules now – with unforgettable soundtracks.

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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