Wednesday, September 20, 2017
Who let these new kids in? I see them with their Thrasher shirts, prescription pills, and prostate-stimulating repetition. What happened to the days when Trick Daddy and Gunplay tried minting Florida rap with a lyricist's imprimatur? SoundCloud rap is just dexontextualized postmodern appropriation, which proves we've reached the end of culture. Right? Yes. No.
Cry if you want, or blame someone. Not Rick Ross - he exists in a geohistorical void of his own making. It's Spaceghostpurrp. Not just the father of all these reprobates, he is their direct link to the old school ("I'd bring Markese with me to the studio," Morrison says. "He'd just sit and watch Disco Rick work the engineering board. It definitely got Markese's attention."). Now we have a traceable lineage, now we have cause and effect, and we can sleep easily at night knowing that the problematic rock bricolage of a Xxxxtentacion isn't that far away from "Fuck Around The Clock" or "Do Wah Diddy", and Little Pump and Smoke PUrple circle around the same blown-out absurdist drain as "Let's Get Muthafuckin' Stupified" and "Smurf Rock."
Raider Klan inaugurated a distinct break from the half-thizzy club anthems of yesteryear (despite Denzel Curry honoring Bizzle on "Envy Me"). Whether this was a deliberate aesthetic choice, or an effect of generation gaps, urban sprawl, personal enmities, or insider/outsider industry politics, it marks a splintering - a rupture. Existing parallel to Raider Klan and their children, traditionalists like Ice Berg, Lil Dred, and Mike Smiff continue producing content steeped in familiar conventions. Like Kodak Black, who combines new-gen meme literacy with older rap styles, Ballgreezy stands between movements but remains outside them, continuing in a post-jook mode while softening its Dionysian edges with grown-man world-weariness. At times he resembles one of the mournful songmen of today; this might be the case, and yet Greezy was crooning before Wayne and Kanye broke down the R&B doors and liberated moping for the kids of today.
Who will unite the Florida factions? Who will be the self-conscious Jay-Z or RZA attempting to bridge the gap of false binaries, long after anyone cares? I see a fat man in the distance. Who is he? He smells of wings. It's Rick Ross, the man without a country. He holds the key - interlocking Wingstop gift cards. They represent money, fame, industry clout, and $50 worth of Wingstop product at any Wingstop location. As of this writing, he is the key who unites the various schools.
Thursday, September 14, 2017
Denver: home of Don Cheadle, Chauncey Billups, Philip Bailey, the guy who molested Neal Cassady, and my mom dukes. Ya mans spent part of his youth walkin up and down Colfax, sidestepping the methheads and shovin my hands in wat. Shout out to Paul's Liquors and the girl from Montbello who broke my heart.
So it always hit close to home when Quik related a less than positive Denver experience in "Jus Lyke Compton," his Odyssey/"On The Road Again" travelogue. If any of you mumblin Soundcloud whippersnaps need a refresher, Westword and Quik-via-Drake can help you out with that. But the postmodern critique is all about questioning metanarratives - infinite sides and oblique angles to every story, and Quik's fame and clout means his is privileged over all others.
Enter the internet with a new element of hip-hop: unsubstantiated forum rumors. TomTom, a Denver-based user on streetgangs.com, thinks DJ Quik is "SOFTER THAN WET TISSUE!!" Peep game.
OK FOLKS MUCH PROPS 2 THE RU'S BUT QUIK IS A HOE....PEEP GAME...THIS NIGGA CAME OUT HERE BACK IN LIKE 89/90, AND DID A CONCERT RIGHT...WELL HIM AND BOUGHT 10 OF HIS TREE TOP HOMEYS GOT 2 TAGGING NIGGAS UP AND WAVING THEY FLAME FLAGS, AND THANGS RIGHT...WELL THE EASTSIDE CRIPZ, FROM OUT HERE JUST RUSHED THE STAGE AND WOOPED ALL THEM NIGGAS...QUIK VACATED THE PREMISE LEAVING HIS HOMEYS ON STAGE 2 GET RODE ON...SECURITY WASN'T EVEN DEEP ENUFF 2 STOP THEM EITHER..IT WAS LIKE 50 OF THEM CRIPS...HOW DO I KNOW...MY RELATIVES WERE THERE AND TOLD ME EVERYTHING....AFTER THAT THE CONCERT THERE WAS A HUGE GANG FIGHT AND ONE OF MY OLDEST SISTA'S POTNAS GOT KILT....POINT MADE...QUIK AINT BEEN BACK 2 THE 405 SINCE....BOUT 2 YRS LATER HE WENT OUT 2 DENVER AND GOT WOOPED BY SOME DENVER RAYMONDS...THAT'S WHY HE PUT DENVER'S NAME IN THAT "JUS LIKE COMPTON" SONG.....ANY OF U CPT NIGGAS NO HIM THEM THEN ASK HIM WHY HE HASN'T BEEN BACK...LOL.....ASK HIM BOUT DENVER 2 CAUZE I HEARD THAT WAS WORST.....HE DOESN'T GIVE A GOOD SHOWING FOR TREE TOPS....BUT THAT'S JUST MY OPINION....
After user 2%Soda says that Quik got his ass whooped in Daly City, TomTom adds Oklahoma City to the list. The electronic revolution: giving voice to the voiceless. Back in the day you needed a few 16s to set the record straight on who whooped whose ass.
Eleven years after these 2004 posts, Quik returned to Denver with Warren G in tow. As for TomTom? Wherever he is, I hope he's bangin' and postin' and spreading gossip like a punk-ass bitch.
Monday, July 24, 2017
One love to the Baltimore carpetbaggers sauced out in Old Bay drapery. One love to the Boh sippers and the dope feens leanin' on St. Paul.
Cash Money tributes are more played out than hashtag punchlines and Comme des Fuckdown longsleeves. But in that deluge of superficial aesthetic mining and cynical nostaljack bait, few attempted to make something that actually sounded like vintage Cash Money. T.S.O. Tadoe, who made some noise in 2015 w/ "YSN," runs with Cash Moneys public-housing thematics over a bed of that anime-fight-scene woosh Mannie often used (e.g. "Trigga Play"); Noz could probably tell you what synth he used if you study at the Red Bull Music Academy.
VERDICT: Better than Tyga's "Cash Money." Not as good as "Whores In This House."
As a teenage Noz stan, I co-opted his single-minded hatred of Birdman. Noz regarded Birdman as the Big Tymers' fatal flaw, kind of like how El-P's rapping, beats, concepts, beard, red hair, wardrobe choices, and existence are the fatal flaw of RTJ. He finally understood what Birdman brought to the table after a magical weekend listening to Poncho Sanchez with Lil' B, but he never explained what caused the sudden about-face. Perhaps it was a mix of Brandon's charisma and the realization that Birdman's sneer and lavish no-nonsense raps enabled Mannie's tomfoolery. Ya boy been listening to a bit of Big Money Heavyweight 'cause it's one of two Big Tymers albums on Spotify, and it dawned on me that Mannie and Baby don't quite get their due in the annals of rap duos. Big Tymers >>> Nice & Smooth >>> Group Home >>> Black Star.
Tuesday, July 11, 2017
Ayo! Last I heard from Yee, he was mobbin w/ Yid on "Keep It On Me." Yeah they sounded like a Sino-Borscht Belt vaudeville act, but the way they brought that spirit-of-'01 Orientalist approach to Bay street-rap had this blogga C-walkin in his honeycomb AIs.
Yee is back with a sensitive gangsta ballad that's somewhere between YFN Lucci (a/k/a New Akon) and Yhung TO. For all the ink spilled about the nihilism of gangsta rap, the Pacs and 'Faces of da world balanced it with serious moral engagement. Actually, dumb man, it was the most moral music being made in the '90s, especially when you consider all the indie rock bands writing songs about nothing. What damaged the youth more: irony or deeeeeez nuuuuts? Clearly the Soundcloud and mumble-rap gang is following in the footsteps of the morally vacuous likes of Stephen Malkmus, 'cause they ain't rapping about nothing. It's just bitch this and Molly that, repeated to the point that they lose their meaning. Based God, Based God, what have ye done?
Soon we'll have a whole generation gettin head in the whip and poppin Xans but feeling nothing. That's fine wit me 'cause I don't believe in anything either, but I'm glad we have moral sages like Lil Yee and other street-rap believers keepin the moral focus in the age of entropy. Listening to street-rap is a moral imperative.
Saturday, July 1, 2017
Wassup y'all? Ya droog been knee deep in this Milwaukee shit, and I ain't talkin Schlitz (tho I have been abusing alcohol). Finna cop me a self-driving car and ride up on some cross-country shit, find me a Native American potna and take moody photos of abandoned factories. You know, really discover the meaning of America, and through that...myself. To that, I can only say CHUUUCH.
LIL CHICKEN - NO GREASE
One of the best songs I've encountered in this Milwaukee crop. Is it gimmicky to call yourself Lil Chicken, title your song "No Grease," and feature interstitial footage of Church's, Popeye's, and KFC in the video? Perhaps. But gimmickry, like hand motions and a passion for fashion, is an unspoken element of hip-hop.
YPN DOUGIE - DUMPER (FT. YPN KES & LIL CHICKEN)
YPN Dougie says it ain't a dance song - it's a dump song. But we in the non-binary age. Why can't it be both? Context tells me a dumper is a hustler, but a fat man talking about dumping suggests only one thing. Points to the rhythmically challenged YPN Kes for a great quotable ("Hop in this bitch, you gettin' dumped on / We don't listen to radio, just ringtones") followed by a problematic imperative to a female companion: "Bitch ridin talkinbout she gotta piss / Bitch you knew the rules before you hopped in this bitch / No drive-thrus / No bathrooms / No piss stops / And no issues!" Riding passenger ain't been this cold since Santana made his ladyfriend sit in the car without touching anything.
Tuesday, June 20, 2017
Milwaukee has a viable rap scene. I hear a lot of Chicago, some Bay Area by way of Detroit, and a dash of inescapable Atlanta. Question: Has the internet colonized the regional sound, or is it the sole reason we get to hear music that would have been damned to the random-rap afterlife in another era?
In b4 a reputable publication's MILWAUKEE IS THE NEXT RAP SEATTLE thinkpiece/link-dump gets passed around for a week by middle-class rap enthusiasts, who, when the thrill of discovery fades, dispatch its artists into the post-buzz hospice where Tate Kobang and G-Side mumble ciphers into the void. Chuuuuuch.
Lil Tre - Pain
The one that led me down the rabbit hole. Nothing fancy, just some laid-back reality rap for the goth bitch in your soul.
MT ft. Lil Chicken, YBN Kenny & The Mari Boyz- All Stars
Lil Durk making an ATL dance song with a couple guys rapping in the flat Bay Area accent? A light-hearted 3 Problems? SOBxRBE for beer brewers? Whatever the case, the fly athletic gear and sports theme bring ya mans back to earlier days. However, that's not to say I don't think it's totally PUNK when Young Thug wears a stately evening gown on some Audrey Hepburn shit. I'm more tolerant than you.
Mari Boyz - Jugging [sic]
Bleak, singsong street-rap is perhaps the biggest style breakthrough of the late-'00s/early-'10s. Who is the progenitor? Methinks Durk should get some of Keef's reevaluatory shine.
Wednesday, June 14, 2017
Honeycomb Hideout, nigga you be pickin em out
After I take my dick out, then we kickin em out
Stickin the flow, shrimp in my mouth
I won't pass, Ima show you what this pimpin about
Overlooked 2016 Jam now resurfacing on a collection of Ampichino duets. Like most things 'Chino, this is unpretentious roll-up-ya-sleeves rap executed with the professionalism of a plumber who'll unclog ya toilet, hand you a reasonable bill, and sell you a li'l blow while he's at it. A chipmunk soul sample and the back-and-forth patter of two MCs trading greezy quotables on bitches: word to Phil Oakey, these are the things RAP MUSIC HSYTERIA! dreams are made of. Holla at ya engraver, this one deserves a spot in the hallowed halls of the Honeycomb Hideout.