Tuesday, July 16, 2019
My rap dirty like the piss pissed out by white men,
In Celebrity RE-HAB -- but this ain't RE-HAB!
So when Danny Bonaduce check out of RE-HAB!
I'ma be right there, fat sack of crack,
Sayin, "First hit's on me, here go a free gram!"
Vinyl sucks, dude. No reason for you to be spinning LPs unless you're old enough to remember them. Ya mans is fully digitized. YOU ARE NOT WHAT YOU OWN, as them Fugazi boys said. Ha ha!
Like a good resigned subject, I listen to most of my music on Spotify. Better than protecting my sleeves in clear plastic condoms, fretting about whether my manly natural oils will reduce daddy's copy of 30 Seconds Over D.C. from VG+ to VG-.
When I can't find something on Spotify, I look for it on YouTube. The 'Tube has everything but the most elite and super-rare, so why doesn't it have this Killer Mike song? Sunday Morning Massacres was a big deal when I was coming up; why is it now so forgotten that one of my favorites is absent from the re-release and YouTube? Has 2008 Killer Mike been completely eclipsed by the Netflixin' 2016-present Bernie Bro?
We wanted an Ice Cube, kids. Within the contemporaneous rap culture wars, it was a victory for poptimist rap listeners to hear him rhyme rehab with rehab with rehab. 2008 was a different time.
The digital-minded, record-collecting losers on YouTube have helped me out of so many pickles. I figure I'm only repaying a debt by uploading this. Happy listens, and do enjoy the image of Killer Mike I appropriated from an PDF version of Ozone.
To the people asking me to reupload the Rosco P. Coldchain compilation -- I will. It's a matter of weathering my old POS Dell; but for you, the beloved non-reader, I will try to try.
Tuesday, July 9, 2019
Is this drill? Not enough of a dirge. Reminds me more of my 13th favorite song, "Can't Stop Won't Stop" or Steve Miller Band's "Fly Like An Eagle", than some hardboiled drill shit. Too much joy, as them Scarsdale boys used to say, and that's all the more disturbing. It's infectious, it's got a good beat, and you can dance to it!
Genre is useful, but more than anything it exists to make a critic's job easier and important sounding. Sounds more like some vanglorious G-shit over a Pi'erre Bourne beat than anything sniffing the shavings of drill, and yet those few-and-far-between e-critics who acknowledged the jawn called it drill for extra-musical reasons.
This came out in late 2017, when I was only in the early processes of retreating into my cave. Were critics afraid of getting done like The Stranglers did Philippe Manoeuvre if they gave the song a bad review? The song is too good to get a bad review. Was it cancelled on account of alleged misdeeds? I don't know what the rap-crit establishment's current position on IRL violence is, but bad optics didn't keep King Von off Pitchfork.
Who knows? Death of the artist is dead at this point in time, and I'm still sifting through the wreckage of collapsed post-structuralism. Ya boy ain't a Chicago insider of any kind, so he can only ask questions. Chuuuch.
Monday, June 24, 2019
Feels weird writing a RIP post for Bandz, 'cause I rarely even write RIP posts for artists who have meant a lot more to me. I have no profundities or answers to dispense when an artist I admire dies.
But about a week before he went missing he came back to my attention when this joint with A-Wax came up on Spotify shuffle. "First Thing" reminded me of two things: A-Wax's facility for songs of dirtbag melancholy, and the out-of-place chubby white kid in the "Demons" video who looked like an upper-middle FSU fratboy Rebecca Blackin' his way through a Chiraq fantasy. He claimed eastside Chicago and gang affiliation, but all that really mattered was he actually had some skill as a rapper.
Around the same time I was getting deep into the rabbit hole of the equally awful and impressive Chiraqology subreddit, where uncredentialed "insiders" and Swedish thugs catalog the byzantine cross-pollination of Chicago rap and the city's gangland underworld. Fact or fiction, these guys could be historians or true-crime writers if they ever get out of the streets or their grandmas' basement. I was reading these Heredditus's accounts of King Von sliding into K.I.'s DMs and L'A Capone's body count when I read the news that EBE Bandz was missing.
Like any good crime story, the details were cryptic and gruesome. His house was trashed. Police thought his body might be locked in the trunk of his car. Although the car was parked in his garage, they couldn't open it short of a warrant or his consent. Was the body just rotting there on account of judicial process? Adding to the intrigue, prior to his disappearance Bandz allegedly pulled a gun on two young women, one of them 16, who objected to his uncle's (alleged) leers.
The rumor mill churned up its usual glut of cockamamie theories. Bandz was killed by rival rappers. Bandz was killed by rival gang members. Bandz was killed by collaborators or video mob-scene extras. Turns out it was a couple of nerds, one of whom was a friend and looks like a Latin Nick Mullen. They bludgeoned him with a baseball bat, set the body on fire, and left it in the woods of Winnebago County.
As with anyone's death, there's nothing I can say to give this resolution or meaning. I write this to remember a rapper whose songs I've enjoyed, and to relate the peculiar condition of being a rap fan on the internet in the year 2019.
Tuesday, June 11, 2019
Quit that racket about Chief Wayne or Lil Keef being the most influential artist of the past 10-15 years. Let the NBA Young Durks and Drake Boogie Wit Da Future Luccis battle out who popularized the R&B blues style we now accept as rap, cause all this time we've been ignoring the father of a quietly developing and persistent style of rap. I'm talkin' Big Daddy Kane weed carrier and back-up dancer extraordinaire Scoob, f/k/a Scoob Lover.
Ya boy checked out the Zelooperz album to see if it had any good songs besides the Earl Sweatshirt joint (it doesn't really, but it does have a welcome beatjack of Fat Joe's "Bad Bad Man"). Halfway through, I started noticing how Zelooperz often breaks into a muted version of that manic, nasal, cartoonish style Danny Brown uses to mixed effect. Come to find out Zoelooperz is a member of Bruiser Brigade. Connection is clear enough, right?
But then I'm listening to Pressa, and I hear that same annoying style Danny Brown does, right down to the elongated rhyming words delivered with squeaking emphasis. Detroit is close to Toronto. What are the odds?
I was weaving tenuous threads like a paranoiac tackling the Zapruder film until I realized where I'd originally heard the style: Scoob Lover, 1994. For the sake of tender eardrums, I hope the style doesn't infiltrate any further, but Scoob should get something out of its resurrection. For the price of a latte, we can make sure Scoob reaps the rewards. Let's get this man a motherfuckin Patreon.
Monday, June 10, 2019
The best rap video I've seen this year was recorded in 2008 (give or take), and it's Soulja Boy and some erstwhile weed carriers [a] karaoking "Vette Pass By." Holy shit, what a relic. Everyone in oversized white shirts hanging out in front of a strip mall, basking in the grandeur of PEAK ERA GUCCI. This was before Soulja shot Goomp in the butt, before the rise and fall of swag-rap, before Arab got the face tats and fell out with SODMG, before Soulja boy Charla-memed his way back into semi-relevance.
I thought I'd be dead when Soulja Boy became Ice T, but here we are. What to make of Draco's career? Innovator or wave rider? Between '07 and '10 he's a Bowie character minus the pedophilia - lifted like a mother, but always had his finger on the pulse of the zeitgeist. The first two albums are blueprint-level documents of swag-rap, word to Drew Millard. You know all those grunge documentaries where the likes of Poison and Cinderella complain about how Nirvana ruined everything and sucked the fun away? Swag-rap was '80s hair metal, and now we're in the thick of Serious™blowback from dudes in Nirvana shirts. History repeats itself 'n' shit.
And don't forget to text WHOOP to 30303 to get "Whoop Rico" as your ringtone. God rest the DVD era. Excuse me while I kiss this low-ass bitrate.
Shouts to KatKillaLove for the fire comment
Apropos of nathan, but also in the video and a'ight.
Sunday, June 9, 2019
LIL BOOSIE & NBA YOUNGBOY - SOUTHERN SMOKE
Low-end innard tingler (nullus) from Old Man Boosie and Young Boy Youngboy. Bass certified to beat up your erogenous zones, coaxing the safe word from your lips with all the foresight of an impulse. This is the kind of intergenerational mono-regionalism that make a community-minded provincialist say, "Aye!"
Had to detox from Boosie after 2016's mixtape suite left the world blanched, so it's nice to find him in buoyant spirits. He says something about jambalaya, crawfish, and Mardi Gras, and that's enough for an all-purpose tourist like myself. Usually, the young swain NBA Youngboy allows me to indulge in my emotional side without sacrificing too much toxic masculinity, mine beloved crutch, but he is not singing sad songs here - instead he sings the chest-pounding song of self!
CHIPPASS & LARRY JUNE - BOUT ME
It's the year 2019, and it seems Chippass is doomed to make headbangers in moderate obscurity until his sun sets. It's not exactly the most marketable music. Lil Jon snuck it into the mainstream for a couple years at the peak of crunk, a feat only possible through a rare cocktail of media savvy and pop sensibility paired with a keen understanding of vaudeville's continuing thread in American entertainment. How does one explain "Knuck If You Buck?" Three 6 and Jon primed the moment and America was always hungry for a pop song with positive references to Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden. We didn't know, so we didn't ask.
Larry June closes things out with a forgettably somnolent verse. Is he an industry plant or just a relatively unsuccessful act who made the bad decision of signing with a major label? Whatever the case, let's hope his mysterious industry backing catapults Chippass into the pages of J-14 and the walls of lusty teenagers the world over. If not, we always have the #YangGang.
POST WRITTEN ON 2/7/19
Thursday, December 20, 2018
Rap Music Hysteria's in-house counsel, Alan Dershowitz, has advised us to expressly state that the following paragraph is a work of satire. The actions attributed to the names are fictionalized for comical incongruence. Except for one of them, who knows what he did.
Been off the map for the 2K18, but the spirit of mid/late-00s rap blogs compels me to submit my humble list. Jay Smooth showed up outside my window and did the cutthroat gesture. Sach from Oh Word left a bloody Mitchell & Ness in my bed. Brandon Soderberg said he'd leave me alone in a room with Das Racist. Eskay threatened to snap rap my pencil neck and turn my bones into Laffy Taffy. Noz said he was gonna record my death rattle, press it up on vinyl, write a blog touting it as random rap concrète, and flip it on eBay for megabucks. And O-Dub? He straight up threatened to exsanguinate me if I went derelict in my list-making. So here we go.
Mr. Dershowitz also suggested we add the following paragraph for "so-called full transparency, a rhetorical convention wherein the writer seduces his reader with a shallow yet ostentatious display of truthfulness."
End-of-year lists are just an excuse for the circle diddle-jerk to flex and posture, so I'ma be real: I added "Bloxk Party" to my list after consulting other lists, 'cause the CIA psyop department ain't airdrop that one to the cave I been living in. Don't know if I love Rico Nasty as much as everyone else, but I included her because I don't wanna be that rap blogger, even though I inescapably am. In the same vein, I added and removed Doja Cat's "Mooo!," cause that shit's just too goofy. I liked moo cows when I was a baby, but these days the only animals I fuck w/ are the water oxen I use to tend my rice fields. IDK, maybe she got bangers, but I'm not gonna act like I was crankin that Doja Cat all year. "Mo Bamba" is technically a 2017 song, so his dirge shall not appear. Blueface seems like a nice guy, but as I write this he's just an argument on my timeline, so he too punches a ticket to Club Omission.
No order but rough order, for the beginning is what came to my head first, but the middle and end are, perhaps, where the list gets more interesting. I'll see you when I see you.
SOB X RBE - Carpoolin'
E-40, B-Legit, Stresmatic - Meet The Dealers
DB Tha General & Mistah F.A.B. - Dope Era
Husalah - Humpin'
Pusha T - If You Know You Know
Nipsey Hussle - Hussle & Motivate
YG, 2 Chainz, Big Sean, Nicki Minaj - Big Bank
Chippass - Yang Style
Nef The Pharoah, 03Greedo, ALLBLACK - Ball Out
Lil Wayne & Swizz Beatz - Uproar
Lil Baby & Drake - Yes Indeed
City Girls & Cardi B - Twerk
Earl Sweatshirt - Red Water
Valee & Jeremih - Womp Womp
Tyga & Offset - Taste
Iamparis - We On
Rick Ross & Future - Green Gucci Suit
JPEGMAFIA - 1539 N. Calvert
Rich The Kid - Plug Walk
Shootergang Kony, Slimmy B, ALLBLACK - Warm Up
Ralo - Ahk Shit Pop Shit
Valee - Juice & Gin
Saba - GREY
Mozzy - Choke On Me
OMB Peezy - Love You Back
600 Breezy - Who Run It
SahBabii & 21 Savage - Outstanding
Pusha T - Story of Adidon
Gunna & Playboi Carti - YSL
Blvck Spvde, Zado, Bianca Fitzpatrick, Naaji Person - A Toast To The Quiet Life
Cupcakke - Quiz
YoungBoy Never Broke Again - Overdose
Junglepussy - Trader Joe
Camp Lo - Off The Astro
Tay-K - After You
Paris (not that one) - I Want It
Ab-Soul, Anderson Paak, James Blake - Bloody Waters
HD, Fe Tha Don, DJ Fresh - 98 Lexus
Kodak Black, Jadakiss, TXS - Mama
Chief Keef - Stars
70th Street Carlos - Sprite
ALLBLACK - P's & Q's
Kanye West - Yikes
Nickelus F - King Soulja
03 Greedo - For My Dawgs
Koran Streets - Fallin & Ballin
G Herbo & Southside - Focused
Rico Nasty - Smack A Bitch
Ronny J, XXXtentacion - Banded Up
Jay Critch & Harry Fraud - Thousand Ways
City Girls - I'll Take Your Man
WNC Ram Bam - G Warfare
Tierra Whack - Cable Guy
Adamn Killa & Z-Money - Cluckin'
MIKE & Adé Sayyed - Like Mask
Peewee Longway - Jumanji
BbyMutha, $hoey, Michael Da Vinci - Ungrateful
Ripp Flamez - Project Melodies (OML)
Iojii - hoo'dah
Sada Baby & Drego - Bloxk Party
Saul Williams - The Flaw You Worship
The Jacka, Ampichino, Rydah J. Klyde, Planet Asia - One Way In
E-40, G Perico, Vince Staples - Ain't Talkin Bout Nothing
Maxo Kream - Work
The Popper & Rich The Factor - Prospect Ave.
Saweetie, Rich The Plug, G-Eazy, London On Da Track - Up Now
P-Lo - Same Squad
Nas, Future, DJ Esco - Walk Thru
Lil Peep & XXXTENTACION - Fallin Down
Wifisfuneral - Alone As A Facetat
Sheck Wes - Chippi Chippi
Bay Swag - Saucin
Z-Money - Bitcoin
Juice WRLD - Lucid Dreams
The Miami Miracle
Joe Pera Talks With You
LeBron in the semifinals and conference finals
Sorry To Bother You
Dwyane Wade: Game 2 against Philly
David Hammons: Bliz-aard Ball Sale by Elena Filipovic (Late 2017, but I read it in 2018, and we ain't gonna get much more current with tha book shit)
Brett Kavanaugh, under duress, defining excessive drinking as "whatever the chart says"
Project Pat at Churchill's
Love Is The Message, The Message is Death @ The Hirshhorn
Aaron Hernandez Gladiator series in The Boston Globe
Tom Brady losing to Nick Foles in the Super Bowl
old, not rap
The Mekons - 32 Weeks
Suicide - Misery Train
Universal Robot Band - Barely Breaking Even
Warehouse - Reservoir
Bumblebee Unlimited - Lady Bug
Orlando Contreras - Sabor de Engaño
Steve Harley & The Cockney Rebel - Cavaliers
A Raincoat - It Came in the Night
Red Alert - Take No Prisoners
Al Green - Lo And Behold
Baccara - Yes Sir I Can Boogie
Gary Numan - Metal
Soft Cell - Frustration
Marvin Gaye - T Plays It Cool
Neu! - Lila Engel
Alice in Chains - Grind
The Whatnauts - I'll Erase Away Your Pain
The Du-Ettes - Please Forgive Me
Max Roach - Garvey's Ghost
Lucho Gatica - El Reloj
Rowland S. Howard - Pop Crimes
Barrington Levy - Please Jah Jah
Bobby Womack - Secrets
Ennio Morricone & Joan Baez - Here's To You
Neil Young - I Am The Ocean
Grateful Dead - Althea
Donald Byrd - Love's So Far Away