Tuesday, December 29, 2015
Ayo so I try to keep my ear to the streets, but sometimes that shit gets hot and starts fryin my ear and I gotta recuperate to some Jim Croce and Ricki Lee Jones while my bitch reads my fortune in tea leaves. That's the beauty of the Internet. Instead of some Hands Across America bullshit, we got Ears To The Street Across The Mothafuckin' World! Shout outs to Twitter user @rlydoe for the heads up on some of these lists. Been on that social media platform nigh three months, and while it seems most people use it as an opportunity to air out the phantoms in their heads, occasionally you get put on to some edutainment that make ya go hummina hummina hummina. Anyone got some other shit, holla at ya blogman.
22nd Letter - Blunt On Me (Redlite)
Blvd Mel, Fredo, Gee Money, & YMM Captain - iPhone 6 (Dina Page)
Denmark Vessey - Don't Smoke K2 (Cocaine Blunts)
DonMonique - Drown (Hotbox)
Ezale - I Ain't Trippin Off Nothin (Passion Of The Weiss)
Jadakiss - Synergy (ft. Styles P) (Unkut)
King Los - Glory To The Lord (ft. R. Kelly) (The Martorialist)
Missy Elliott - WTF (ft. Pharrell) (Pitchfrock)
Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire - Nostalgia Aka Funcoland (WatchLoud)
Patman - Son Of Chicago (So Many Shrimp)
Propain - 2:45 (Houston Press)
Ty Money - United Center (Passion Of The Weiss)
Monday, December 21, 2015
The death of authenticity has preoccupied nerds since the dawn of the modern age, just ask ya horny professor who seduced students with Benjamin, Baudrillard, benzos and Bordeaux, or Fat Orson Welles chewin on steak in F for Fake. These days it's hard to tell whether a rapper came up through the traditional community-based channels, or if he/she cobbled together some ill signifiers he/she saw on Tumblr and created a life. They look the same from a distance, but if you squint ya eyes a lil you can tell, as the insufferable meme-phrase goes—who learned this from crime and who learned this online!
Far from me to be an arbiter of what's real and what's not in the rap game, so let's go to the drawing board. Lucki Eck$ I guess is some sad weirdo from Chicago who mumbles through raps that could be described as "dark, gothic, introspective." I dig the dragging yaself thru the desert as you're dying from dehydration, but also still rapping for some reason delivery. The clickbait title is another story. '98 is a landmark rap year, so come correct if you're gonna associate yaself with it. Is it supposed to be ironic? Eck$ couldn't sound less like Jigga in '98. He doesn't even sound like the current "out of breath from killin the elliptical machine" version. Eck$, you gotta do more than cop Iceberg off eBay if you gonna be Jigga in '98. The good: rap seems to be correcting its historical amnesia. The bad: it generally serves no purpose beyond a superficial nostalgia grab.
Lil Uzi Vert has a fantastic rap name and some garbage-ass music. He's from Philly, but don't expect none of the grit or heat you associate wit Broad St. bullies, Lil Uzi Vert is on some druggy cretin shit. Decided to check for him again after a strong showing on "Big Racks," and was once again disappointed. The Sonny Digital beat makes an accessory of his raps. Sonny stays underrated, the Zombies to London and Metro's Beatles and Stones. Philly, you deserve better than Lil Uzi Vert's ATL jockin! Y'all can't let Lil Uzi Vert be your hottest rapper and have some Los Angeleno transplant rep ya city in Creed.
Saturday, December 19, 2015
Ayo wassup cyberspace. This kid DP continues the inexplicable recent trend of SEO-unfriendly two-letter names—his being particularly bad for obvious reasons. Designer Casket is an unexpected slab of Mobb-style formalism, tho more likely he's high off Curren$y's vapors. Between Clipse, Fam-Lay, and the skeletons in Pharrell's closet, these VA Beach cats got ice water in they veins, and we ain't talkin Wet Willie's Call A Cab.
This kid could have a future. More realistically, he'll be championed by a few bloggers until he's discarded into the post-buzz bin limbo where the likes of Maxo Kream and Robb Bank$ send blustery smoke signals into the void.
Thursday, December 17, 2015
One album per artist. Thought about curtailing the list at eight, but I'm a conformist and bowed to convention.
Some closing thoughts: Leave Young Thug alone, Future is good and important, J. Cole sucks, Rosenberg and Ebro suck, Charlemagne sucks, Troy Ave sucks, Travis Scott sucks, New York rap sucks. Jay-Z used to rule, but now he sucks. It's unclear whether Lil Wayne rules again or still sucks. Travis Porter is better than Badfinger, but the Monkees are better than Migos. Now's the time I should say, "See you in the 1-6!," but I know I'll write about some dumb song before the year ends #ocdboy.
1. FUTURE - DIRTY SPRITE 2
56 Nights was a tighter album and better concept. DS2 was more.
2. YOUNG THUG - BARTER 6
Barter 6 lacked the experimental ventures of Slime Season and pop smarts of SS2, but it felt the most like an album and I am a slave to the album structure. Blame Ahmet Ertegun.
3. MOZZY - BLADADAH
Old timers complaining about the decline of rap-as-craft either haven't heard Mozzy, always had horrible taste, or they enjoy complaining more than they like rap.
4. DR. YEN LO - DAYS WITH DR. YEN LO
Ka played Alan Vega, Preservation was Martin Rev. The best thing to come out of New York since Max B got locked up.
5. EARL SWEATSHIRT - I DON'T LIKE S, I DON'T GO OUTSIDE
Earl wasn't lying when he said his new music would have little in common with Earl. Thanks for that. Shouts to Nakel Smith for dropping the most #based verse of the year. Punk is dead, but its greatest contribution to the culture, the under-30-minutes album, is alive.
6. VIC SPENCER - THE COST OF VICTORY
A throwback that wasn't retrograde. What was rapping?
7. THE JACKA - DROUGHT SEASON 3 (NO BERNER VERSION)
Honestly I mainly listened to the Berner-less version cause every time his goofy ass stepped to the mic it bungled any mood and subtlety established by the Jacka and company. 2015 was the year I started paying attention to the Bay beyond the usual suspects, having long associated its music with rich SF kids who love weed and say hella too much.
8. JOHNNY CINCO & HOODRICH PABLO JUAN - POPPI SEED CONNECT
The surprise tape of the year, and a reminder of why I still read rap blogs.
9. JUNGLEPUSSY - PREGNANT WITH SUCCESS
At the end of the day, rap music is entertainment and this album is very entertaining. Rap music took a turn toward seriousness after Illmatic. Albums like Pregnant With Success recall a time when rap, in the form of Geto Boys and 2 Live Crew, was a separate but related entity in the same constellation as Redd Foxx and Rudy Ray Moore. A Vagina Diner for the ladies.
10. AMPICHINO - PACK MONEY
Ampichino continues to write some of the most thoughtful and intricate raps in the game, but he is a regular looking old dude from Akron so no one writes thinkpieces about him. Was Summertime '06 a better album? It was certainly more ambitious. Vince Staples will get his adulation elsewhere. I'm going to use the 10 spot as a vote for the kind of rap I hope continues to be made.
SPECIAL MENTION: KENDRICK LAMAR - TPAB
If the purpose of art is to inspire strong reactions, Kendrick succeeded. That includes being unable to sit through the whole album.
Monday, December 14, 2015
No order. One song per artist, with one exception. RIP to The Jacka, Yams, Koopsta, Chinx Drugz, Sean Price, Pumpkinhead, The Last Mr. Bigg, Dex Osama, Scott Weiland. Let's do this.
YOUNG THUG - WITH THAT (FT. DUKE)
I was eating wings at a suburban Miami bar frequented by white people who dress like a Bass Pro Shop exploded. This song came on the jukebox and the crackers went crazy, hooting and hollering like they was raising Old Dixie. I was like, "Yo, the eagle has landed." Also the soundtrack to one of my favorite Vines of the year, the one where some urban youths are listening to this song in a convenience store parking lot, and a white man who looks like the living embodiment of Daytona Beach starts groovin like Steve Martin in the King Tut sketch.
KENDRICK LAMAR - ALRIGHT
To Pimp A Butterfly garnered more thinkpieces than listens. Corporate radio tried and failed to make "King Kunta" happen. This was the joint that actually connected with the people. Do you want new wave or do you want the truth? New wave, first and foremost.
DIDDY - FINNA GET LOOSE (FT. PHARRELL)
2015 was a year of ersatz funk, and this was its pinnacle. Bet Kendrick wishes he could've snagged this one for TPAB, but your calls get sent to voicemail when the man who made No Way Out is out for a fantastic voyage.
TATE KOBANG - BANK ROLLS (REMIX)
I can't deny this song, even though it fell in my esteem when I was introduced to the Tim Trees original. How can you not like a song so evocative of the My Brother & Me theme? Let Baltimore have this one.
FUTURE - TRAP NIGGAS + MARCH MADNESS
I'm entitled to one cop-out per list. "Trap Niggas" and "March Madness" were the yin and yang of everything that made Future great in 2015—mournful trap bangers, degenerate quiet storm.
RAE SREMMURD - THIS COULD BE US
One of those songs of such ideal platonic pop form it seems to have been around forever. Rap Game 1910 Fruitgum Company, call it bubblegum rap.
PLIES - I GOT IT
Plies is transitioning from rapper to Instagram celebrity as he languishes in Slip-N-Slide purgatory, but he occasionally still makes music. This was some of it.
YG - TWIST MY FINGAZ
The California Livin mixtape with DB and Blanco was like mediocre BBQ where you just suckin the flesh off some ribs like a goddamn neanderthal, talmbout "Holy shit, this is so delicious, bury me in BBQ sauce," but afterwards you realize you was just deceived by a hickory-smoked high. Do ya dance, YG, do ya dance: this is the music we need from you.
EARL SWEATSHIRT - FAUCET
Ima give this one the Ian Curtis Award of 2015. The joint to play as you string up the noose after watching Stroszek.
ILOVEMEMPHIS - HIT THE QUAN
"Hit The Quan" is "Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)" with grassroots credibility, making iLoveMemphis the Bernie Sanders to Silento's Hillary Clinton. Does it matter that I never heard anyone listen to this song in public? In one respect the creepiest song of the year, a de facto aggregator of dancing nubiles for the hip and social media-adept pedophile. On the other hand, if the kiddie diddler is diddlin' himself to "Hit The Quan" Vines, isn't this song a brilliant form of harm reduction?
A-WAX - TRIED AS AN ADULT
Everlasting Money was maddeningly front-loaded. Had it been an EP, Wax might have established his rightful position as the Drake for people who went to juvie. I chose this song because I like it when he talks about being a whiteboy.
YOUNG DRO - WE IN DA CITY
I don't know if I like this song as much as I liked hearing Young Dro on the radio again. Choppas come from Yucatan / You da man, you da man! earns this song its spot on the list. My house, my rules!
JOHNNY CINCO & HOODRICH PABLO JUAN - KNEW THAT
Maybe it's cause I fancy the aweemaway as a nod to Young Dro rather than the Temptations, but "Knew That" took me back to a time when Atlanta seemed like a constant source of alien sounds and voices. Poppi Seed Connect was one of the great unheralded releases of 2015. In 2016, I intend to stake out prime real estate on their nuts.
1WAYFRANK - JUUGMAN
This one got some late night lonely feels, like an emotionally remote "I Need Love." This is what Broward County sounds like. Makes me want to sell Xanax in a strip mall after watching Cassie Steele-era Degrassi, fuck my chemistry homework.
SHY GLIZZY - NO SLEEP
Some enterprising director needs to cast Glizzy as a Shakespeare villain, my guy got that role down to perfection.
YO GOTTI - DOWN IN THE DM
After rapping about Instagram on the Concealed tape, Gotti went full-on computer nerd with this absurdist ode to social media mackin. No one can ever accuse Gotti of being behind the times.
MICK JENKINS - P'S AND Q'S
The alliteration gimmick is a little Daniel Radcliffe does Blackalicious, but hearing this song on the FIU radio station's True School rap show made me realize something important. Y'all like Immortal Technique, I like OJ Da Juiceman, but ain't we all hip-hop heads at the end of the day? Death to wack MCs.
DR. YEN LO - DAY 0
Certain innovations in rap music are so simple yet revolutionary, you wonder: a). why no one ever did it until now, b). how anyone ever had the audacity to do it. Wayne stretching the definition of rap when he crooned on "Lollipop." Lil B throwing out traditional rhyme schemes. Yen Lo threw boilerplate percussion out the window. Been done before, but no one ever took it this far with as much success.
CA$H OUT - GET IN THE KITCHEN
Not since Soulja Boy has a presumed one hit wonder gotten so weird wid it. They ain't listenin doe, so they go write another Young Thug thinkpiece.
DRAKE & FUTURE - JUMPMAN
2015 was the first year without a single Drake song I enjoyed. I wish I could excise him from the official version, but he doesn't do enough to ruin the song. Nobu Nobu Nobu Nobu Nobu Nobu wins this year's Trinidad James Award.
KODAK BLACK - BACK
With the juvenile record and rapid rise to fame, Young Kodak could very well be the next Bobby Shmurda. Drake, the Canadian Kate Moss, has already sunk his fangs into Kodak as he's done to so many other young rappers. Incidentally, both Bobby and Kodak got Haitian heritage—just a couple more Zoes who are running this rap shit.
MEEK MILL - BASIC BITCH (FT. MIGOS)
For a while it looked like this was gonna be Meek's year. Although he was beltin out the bangers DiMaggio style, it turned out to be a red herring when his album was filled with more of the turgid blubbery butt-rap he's determined to inflict upon the public. Call "Basic Bitch" the swan song of Meek's cocktease, his last hurrah before awaking Drake's inner Don Rickles.
TRINA - FUCK BOY
"Fuck Boy" is basically the female response to "Basic Bitch," right down to the old school homage. Fuck Gloria Estefan, Trina will always be the Queen of Miami to me.
VINCE STAPLES - BIRDS & BEES (FT. DALEY)
Summertime '06 desperately needed an editor. Vince Staples might be a singularly annoying Twitter presence, but when he was on—man, he was on. The Ralph Ellison to Kendrick's Richard Wright.
MOZZY - BLADADAH
I look at "Bladadah" as Mozzy's "Blitzkrieg Bop": a concise artistic manifesto, a harnessing of energy somehow contained in pop structure, a seduction by assault. Maybe one day they will play this at football games.
MIGOS - LOOK AT MY DAB
Strange how Migos appear twice in my list. On paper it was a terrible year for the 'Gos: their album was hot basura, they got the dry snitch from a New Media outlet, and their flow is starting to sound like Das EFX's in '93. But we at RMH are nothing if not trend-hoppers, and this slice of dabsploitation hit all the right spots.
CHIEF KEEF - W.W.Y.D.
Although Keef and I will never be BFFs, I have learned we can coexist. You can have your bangers, I'll take the joints where Keef indulges in studio wankery like he's been possessed by the spirit of Robert Fripp in '73.
TREE - HOLD UP
It's, like, the blues, maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan, but he ain't a blue man.
YUNG GORDON - FINNA HIT MY WALK (FT. DJ T-TIME)
As long as there are dancefloors, Miami will keep making dance songs.
LIL HERB - 100 DAYS, 100 NIGHTS
This song meant a lot to me. All there is to it.
BOLDY JAMES - TETERBORO (FT. AZ & RAHEEM)
Guitars blazin like it's the Heatmakerz gettin garish in '03, plus AZ says, "I speak that Pig Latin," something he (or Raekwon) should have already said by now.
THE GAME - QUIK'S GROOVE (FT. DJ QUIK, SEVYN STREETER, MICAH)
YouTube is bein real tightwad about some bullshit called "copyright infringement," which I think is their way of saying, "Yo Game, cool it with the Suga Free impression." In the likely event that this link dies shortly after I post it, all you need to know is that DJ Quik raps about Kegel exercises.
VIC SPENCER - RELAPSE
Listened to this joint back-to-back during a rough period of the year, and it was exactly what I needed to hear. The soundtrack to many furious stationary bike seshes, picture me rollin' in Lycra bicycle shorts.
FRENCH MONTANA - OFF THE RIP (FT. CHINX & N.O.R.E.)
French is less a rapper than a crooner, a cornerstore Sinatra who gets by on presence more than skills. Can't say I was that familiar with Chinx's music, but him and N.O.R.E. revisiting "Bloody Money" was a high point of nostalgia gratification in a genre somehow becoming more self-referential. Bittersweet to go out on a high note.
DENZEL CURRY - UNDERWATER
It's Denzel Curry's greatest asset and liability to be a bedroom Outkast. He's angling toward something, but it's not all there yet. Ima keep listenin.
E-40 - GAMED UP (FT. RAYVEN JUSTICE)
While gallivanting through a "Choices" and Larry O'Brien victory lap, 40 Water got Rick Rock on the horn and blessed us with this amber-encased hyphy artifact.
BERNER & THE JACKA - LIVE WITHOUT ME (FT. J. STALIN)
It's on me for paying scant attention to the Jacka until his passing, but it also speaks to how underrated he was during his lifetime. Very few rappers would know what to do with a song like "Live Without Me." Hardly anyone could pull it off without being sappy.
ZOEY DOLLAZ - BLOW A CHECK
This song represents the death of regionalism that so many alarmists feared at the onset of filesharing. Zoey Dollaz is from Miami, but he could be from anywhere. Speaks volumes that two New York rappers hopped on the remix. Still it's catchy, and that ascending/descending distorted synth section is the reason subwoofers exist.
DJ CHILD - BUSS IT (FT. HUSALAH & GINGER)
Mash Out Babylon had a weirdly Mad Decent vibe to it, but I ain't mind. "Buss It Open" has Husalah and Ginger entering the oeuvre of battle-of-the-sexes raps, and I will never get tired of those.
CHAD - DON'T BELIEVE ME (FT. LIL DRED)
If Chad isn't the most talented athlete/rapper out, then with all due respect to G-Reg of the notorious 7th Floor Crew, he's at least the G.O.A.T. Miami Hurricane. On "Don't Believe Me," he and Lil Dred snap over the jacked instrumental of a song very dear to this aging heart of mine.
JUNGLEPUSSY - NOTHING FOR ME
As one of the very few people who enjoyed the Azealia Banks album, it was easy to embrace Junglepussy's funnier, less abrasive riff on the persona.
AMPICHINO - MARTY MCFLY (FT. DUBB 20)
In a year of Back To The Future nostalgia, Ampichino was smart enough to try and make a buck. He also basically succeeds at rhyming the word orange.
CAROL CITY MAFIA - MUST'VE FORGOT
My favorite random YouTube discovery of the year. Video got the ill handheld panoramas, too.
LIL CHRIS - BAD LIL CHICK
You would think rap media would be all over a dwarf repping Chi-Raq who also makes good music, but it seems like Lil Chris couldn't get arrested even if he did an interview with Noisey. The Martorialist is the only true believer out there beating the drum.
TRILL YOUNGINS - I LOOK FLY
It's like Fast Life Yungstaz woke up in the Bay after spending the past six years in a cryogenic chamber.
HD - BALLA BLOCKIN'
Hard as motherfuckin nails.
FOXX-A-MILL - UNNECESSARY MONEY (FT. MOUSE ON THA TRACK)
The Molly Hatchet of this rap shit.
NEF THE PHAROAH - BIG TYMIN'
Nef dropped the ultimate anthem for those of us who consider Mannie and Baby doin donuts in Bentleys and Lambos a pinnacle of rap music.
WHITE GZUS - STACKIN' N MACKIN'
Ayo, what's the sample on this? Couldn't find this on YouTube, so ya only get the Live Mixtapes link. White Gzus is more AOR anyway.
LIL BLOOD - FINNESSIN AND TWISTIN (FT. LIL GOOFY, DJ, BOO BANGA)
Hate to use this overused meme word, but yo, this shit is hella ratchet!
HONORABLE MENTION: JEREMIH - PLANES (FT. J. COLE)
"Planes" isn't on my list because I don't consider it a rap song, and the rapping there is is a borderline speech crime. Give Cole the U.O.E.N.O. Award for the '1-5. But of every song that flooded radio this year, this was the only one I never got tired of.
Wednesday, December 9, 2015
RAP MUSIC HYSTERIA been existed as an outlet for shit talk since 2012, but this was really our first year documenting rap closely. What a time to be alive, am I right? On fleek, y'all. Squad up! Before we kick 2015's racist, death-dealing, fake hoverboarding ass down the temporal trash chute, we gonna chronicle some of the more notable rap phenomena appearing within da arbitrary measure of this planetary revolution. Don't believe me? Just watch!
We'll start it off with the best Zippyshare comps of the year. Back in the day, rap blogs was mostly some fuckin nerd with an eBay account and the Ego Trip book posting mp3s of Damn son! quality and/or obscurity. Except for the nerd part, that era lookin like one of those giant bicycles that thots in hoopskirts used to ride on they way to the measles clinic, so it's nice to know we still got hobbyists keepin the torch a-blazin. We stepped in the game with the Rosco P. Coldchain collection and Surf & Turf Bangers, cause frankly, I feel sorry for kids who will never know the feeling of holding a .zip file in their hard drive.
POP RAPPERS GO HARD (1988-1992)
Hotbox was the Zippyshare MVP of 2015, and this is his masterwork. Technically a very late 2014 release, but fuck it—this act of canon decentering deserves at least two years worth of ballyhoos and hosannas. Which pop rappers are going hard in 2015? IDK, but bet Hotbox will lace us up with a deluxe audiophile edition by the time mp3s is the new vinyl.
MARTORIALIST/SOMANYSHRIMP LATINO RAP COMP
For some unfathomable reason, Latinos still gettin the shaft when it comes to hip-hop hagiography. It's always, "Oh yeah and I guess there was some Puerto Rican dudes in the corner, IDK," then cut to an interview with Fat Joe's embarrassing adult baby lookin ass wearing a baby-blue sweatsuit. A big prayer emoji to Marty and D. Drake for givin credit where it's due. That's word to Crazy Legs, Lee Quiñones, MARE 139, DJ Disco Wiz, all the way down to the young god Yams and RMH's spiritual idol Pitbull.
MOBB DEEP SOUNDTRACK & COMPILATION CUTS
Over the years I've learned a lot from Robby and the Unkut site, but it can get a little tiresome when OG pitches bitter senior citizens like NYOIL as the best shit out; or, irony of ironies, when the very site that popularized the term "weed carrier" hypes some dude whose career highlight was holding a Juice Crew second-stringer's nuts. That said, it's still the best source for old school #knowledge with a minimum of fanboy piety, and the Zippyshare comps are always on point. This aggregation of Mobb stray shots is a nice reminder to the youth that Hav & P's throwaways >>> your dumb mixtape.
Up next: best songs and albums, whenever I get the chance to type em up.
Saturday, December 5, 2015
Hot on the heels of her appearance on a TV show I don't watch, Da Brat Tat Tat is brat tat back with the help of Sage the Gemini and Eric Bellinger. Da Brat been on my mind since ya boy was scarred for life after watching the Making the Video for "That's What I'm Lookin' For," a visual feast of twitching male nipples that really put the jiggy in gigolo.
"#YAK (You Already Know)" feels more like a throwaway Sage joint featuring Da Brat, and that's basically what it is. I like how my girl hashtagged her shit up just like the kids do #ayotechnology. One of the democratizing effects of the post-major label model is that any Columbia House castaway can hazard a comeback with nothing more than a SoundCloud and a dream, whether we want to hear from them or not. Or is my girl still signed to So So Def? Better still, is So So Def even a going concern these days? J.D. needs to go the CBGB route and turn his label into a tshirt factory, 'cause that logo is right up there with the Quaker Oat Man and the mothafuckin Pep Boys.
Monday, November 30, 2015
Before sizzurp went mainstream and molly became a rap meme, rappers generally disapproved of all drug use except reefers. 50 Cent went Ted Nugent on the game, claiming he'd never smoked weed beyond a contact high, while writing off "High All The Time" as a shrewd act of demographic pandering. Part of the reason 50 was able to shit all over Ja Rule's career so easily is cause he rapped openly about being a lovey-dovey sensualist rollin on X pills. Unless you was smokin L's with ya boys reminiscin on the trife life, getting high was generally looked upon as something for the Tommy Tuckers.
So considering the climate, I couldn't help but raise my Peter Gallaghers when an artist as big as B.G. was open about snorting dope. New Orleans is different like that. Under the names Lil Doogie and Baby D, B.G. and Lil Wayne would dis Partners-N-Crime, but they shared at least one thing in common: a love of opiates. "Herion," probably the only ode to shootin 'boy with an R. Kelly interpolation, is a G-Funk creeper in the vein of the Chronic interludes, juxtaposed with a sudden intrusion of the singsong bounce flow. Rap just a nationwide game of raquetball, ya smell me? The title is either a misspelling or a nonstandard phonetic spelling of heron, but junkies are better known for stealing hubcaps than their grammar. Their logic ain't much better. Give me some heron please / Cause powder makes me sneeze? Aight...do you, playa. So sterilize ya works, fix yaself a shot of somethin fire, and nod out to the PNC! Tell the methadone clinic RAP MUSIC HYSTERIA sent ya!
Thursday, November 26, 2015
She used to be thick but now she's sucked up / On the glass dick, lost her butt
It's E-40 and that's all you need to know, but certain production choices on Poverty And Prosperity strengthen my theory that hyphy was not so much a style or movement as an evolutionary necessity, rap finally correcting itself after 40 made do with years of accompaniment that struggled to adapt to how far into the future he pushed the game. "Magazine Street" is a personalized recast of Bobby Womack's Across 110th Street theme, an Uptown anthem that Dipset as a group or individuals should have used in some capacity.
Lyrically Earl is sharp as ever, but I wish he had taken the opportunity to shout out Yaphet Kotto, an American icon who deserves better than having his name jacked for a comedy rapper's song title. New York might be turning into little more than a gated community and borough-wide college campus, but they can never take our rap music and exploitation flicks.
Bonus 110th Street flip for all you turkeys bathin in the cranberry sauce. Since I was a young buck I been looking for the perfect recreation of "Can't Stop Won't Stop" by Young Gunz, the kind of flossy jawn that makes me wanna perform urban dances in an airbrushed XXXL tall-T, luxuriously girthy jean shorts, and white Air Forces. This will do for now.
Saturday, November 21, 2015
Drinkin Casamigos / Fuckin faster than Grand National Regals / I'm in it and the pussy doin Kegels
Never been one to check for new material from The Game. You get the blacklist when your first album is crammed with earnest references to rappers you don't know. Stans be like, "Yo, Game can really spit!" every time a new release drops, but you don't ever recover from that kind of simp-dom. In the midst of G-Unit's campaign against the world, Jayceon even spouted off like, "Golly, I sure would like to collaborate with Jay-Z," so ol' heel-ass 50 was forced to piss all over his scrapbooker's enthusiasm. You're over, son.
The many grudges I nurse usually make me miss out on gems like "Quik's Groove." Forget about the West Coast Joe Buddens for a sec, cause Quik is servin the kind of ageless fonk that wouldn't sound out of place on Matthew Africa's (RIP) DJ Quik mix. Since finding the Berner-less Drought Season 3, ya boy been fixated on edited realities, correcting historical wrongs—strike "Mamacita" from Aquemeni, keep the Great Gazoo out of Bedrock—but Game wears his Suga Free wig with such studied similitude Ima give him a pass this time. Rejoice! Along with "Hate It Or Love It," Game now has at least two enjoyable songs in his catalog.
Tuesday, November 17, 2015
Last time I seen him he was talkin that shit / Found out his new girl can't suck no dick!
Ayo! Trina been quiet for the past few years, but like a sexy strain of the shingles virus, she never really goes away. Over 15 years in the game and counting - add it up, cause it's an achievement for an artist of any gender in this fickle industry. If this song becomes the radio killah it deserves to be, it will be the hardest shit out there by a long mile. Even more impressive how she rescues the term fuckboy from its ravaging at the clammy hands of Run The Jewels fanboys.
Reminds me of the string of refurbished retro-electro bangers Meek was dropping at the beginning of the year, before he returned to making the kind of sappy butt-rap that's just callin out for a Scott Stapp feature. Trina >>> Meek & Nicki any day. "Fuck Boy" ≥ "Boyz-n-the-Hood"??? U can hate me now!
Monday, November 16, 2015
A few months back, Demolition Man cosplayer OG Maco had a Moral Majority meltdown on Twitter talkinbout how Future "destroyed countless lives" by glorifying drug use and other sinful trappings of Babylon culture. Few expected the bastard son of Father and Sisqo to put on the headwrap, but maybe it was his way of making amends for the countless eardrums he destroyed when he dropped "U Guessed It."
One of the main rebuttals was that Future's tales of the high/low life ultimately resonate as numbing and empty, in the same way the seediness of Ty Dolla $ign is more L.A. noir than babymaking music. "One Helluva Night" is one helluva ambivalent night, captured best by this quintessential Future refrain: "I sit in the middle of an orgy." In Future's post-Monster output, bootknocking is usually rendered from a dissociated, addled perspective, like he's watching the shit go down from outside himself, a sad peeping tom peepin on himself.
The image reminded me of one of my favorite stories of Warhol's alleged asexuality, 'bout how he used to go to orgies and just sit there watching: "There was a guy just standing there, not getting involved just watching, very intense, you could feel his presence. I said to my friend, 'Throw that thing out!' And he did. That was the first time I met Andy." Now I ain't sayin Future is asexual or nothin (nothing wrong w/ that, but I suspect he like gettin his nuts off), just that his sex raps are very seldom about sex cause he's trapped in his own head like that.
Friday, November 13, 2015
The 17 1/2 year old I adopted last week be tellin me this is what the kids call a #FBF (I love you, Raul. Ima give my all to provide for you and watch you grow into a man! #ProudDad). Always wack, Terror Squad turned utterly charmless once Big Pun fell through the floorboards of this mortal coil. The chipmunk soul of the Cool & Dre/StreetRunner co-production is crying out for Diplomatic Immunity-era Dips or the 'Ye of College Dropout, but cruel fate delivered it unto the grubby hands of Fat Joe and his clown car. Against all odds, the fantastic hook elevates "Take Me Home" to a poor man's "Hey Ma."
This week Cam'ron dropped his own cocktease in the form of the Contraband EP. As a lactose intolerant dairy fiend will suffer gaseous pangs for an oz. of fire gruyère, Bay Area rap fans have learned to stomach Berner's rap fantasy camp turns to get to the good isht. Berner must be slangin that fuego cause his manner is so flat and devoid of aggression it sounds like he's been chemically castrated, or underwent the same treatment as Mr. Burns on that one Treehouse Of Horror. Berner is a rapping potted plant, but his apparent aptitude for networking and overseeing a project suggest he would make an excellent A&R man. If only he'd drawn more on his Bay/Akron connects instead of wrangling Weed Rap 101ers like Devin The Dude and Wiz Khalifa. The Ampichino feature calls to mind bittersweet notions of what could have been paired with more simpatico running partners. Put the bong down, Bernie, and dial up Hus for the next outing!
Monday, November 9, 2015
When Jay-Z and Nas was beefin ya boy was in the Nasty One's corner, cuz I stay rootin for the underdog. But something in me rebelled when ether became a verb meaning to decimate an opponent, as if everyone agreed that Nas won—as if Nas hadn't lost just by being Nas in 2001. Comparing "Takeover" to "Ether" is apples & oranges. One is the playful provocation of a king shooting peas at his underlings; the other a listing of grievances from a disgruntled rival now fallen from grace. Then there was the bad history of Rockefeller dying of AIDS, which has since been clarified by the Jaz-O scholars of Rap Genius. The whole song relies heavily on a kind of schoolboy homophobia, which is occasionally hilarious - the Tae Bo ho line is classic, "Gay-Z and Cock-A-Fella Records" glitters with dumb brilliance - but mostly amounts to uninspired namecalling.
Let us now turn to one of the sorriest chapters in Rap Beef History, one that would have stayed on Twitter had it happened today. Witness "The End of Joe," in which Ransom spends the final four minutes referring to "Joeback Mountain" as a faggot, fruitcup, and fudgepacker before succumbing to the giggles. In typical scoundrel form, Buddens dropped a 9-minute response: three minutes of trap-flapping and six minutes of preening for the crowd.
Buddens wouldn't be Buddens if he didn't pick on weaker opponents. A few years later he got ethered with the best dis of the decade when he tried the same with Lil B. Buddens would never respond. All said, still a better beef than Drake vs. Meek Mill. James Harden deserves the Based God Curse far less than his fellow beardo Joe Buddens; then again, Joe Buddens's whole existence might be a curse. Word 2 Joe Booty: bet you still jack off with your buttcheeks out reading RAP MUSIC HYSTERIA!
Thursday, November 5, 2015
In the pantheon of unanswered dis songs, K-Rino's "Fuck Eminem" is one of the more baffling entries. Ironic that the man formally known as Killer Rhymes Intellectually Nullifying Opponents would willingly allow himself to become a media stooge*. Curious, too, how he slowly morphed into the kind of rapper Eminem might have been without Dre: a political multisyllabicist rockin tinny over dollar-store Underground Rap™ production.
Yet his evolution into a purveyor of secrete knowledge and wisdom wasn't without precedent. Although Stories From The Black Book and Danger Zone aren't unrecognizable as Houstonian products, K-Rino is something of a regional anomaly, a rapping-about-rapping stylist of the "mystical lyrical scientist" school whose bloody-shirt street narratives and pulp cartoons betray the paranoid skepticism of the street prophet. I ain't mad that he now caters to the no-fun YouTube conspiracy theorists prone to sweat the Illumanti and bemoan the brainwashed sheeple of their generation. There's room enough for "Genius Of Love"-backed cartoon orgies in my world, but like Nas once said in a terrible dis song: K-Rino's just tryna kick the shit you need to learn tho.
*The logic of Benzino's scheme still escapes me. Did he think people would like him if they hated Marshall? Deep down, Raymond Scott is a playground bully who just wants to be loved.
Saturday, October 31, 2015
Forget about Christmas and motherfuck Thanksgiving. Rap's unofficial holiday is Halloween. These are some of the joints we was bumpin as we draped up the offices in fake cobwebs and went hard on them candy corns. No "Mind Playing Tricks On Me," cause even tho we ain't cranky hardliners like Noz, we must concede that basics have tarnished that song in the same way white people at weddings have committed atrocities against poor old "Humpty Dance." No Hopsin either, because let's face it - the man has too many classics to chose from!
So which city is spookiest? Memphis's reputation rightfully precedes it, but H-Town been keepin it ghoulish for years. '80s NYC seems to have embraced the campier side of Hallowe'en, which is all good wit us - we fux wit the second Evil Dead just as much as the first.
Dana Dane - Nightmares
The Fat Boys - Are You Ready For Freddy?
Ganksta N-I-P - Psycho
Geto Boys - Chuckie
Gucci Mane - Vampire (ft. Trina)
K-Rino - Stalkin'
Lil B - Happy Halloween
Prophet Posse - Favorite Scary Movie
Soulja Boy - Trick Or Treat Motherfucker
Three 6 Mafia - Body Parts (ft. Prophet Posse)
Ultramagnetic MCs - Poppa Large
Whodini - The Haunted House Of Rap
X-Raided - That Siccness (ft. S.A.C, Brotha Lynch Hung, Young Meek & CYCO)
Wednesday, October 28, 2015
If Rodney Dangerfield were alive today he'd be bumping reggaeton whilst snorting lines in the back of his limousine, because it gets no respect. You would think being the living product of globalization would earn the bare minimum of critical attention, but these so-called experts stay lookin down on a music they literally don't understand. Why was grime covered obsessively by a US press that acts like a global phenomenon doesn't exist? Gringos, que pinga!? Whether or not reggaeton tickles your fancy, it possesses the same omnivorous capacity for hybridization that made rap the most dynamic cultural form of the past 40 years.
Fortunately, the rap world has not been so shortsighted as to ignore a music you'll hear blasting out of every souped-up Japanese import in any city with a large Latino constituency. Here are some of the mixed, always entertaining results of the rap and reggaeton crosscultural dialogue. You'll notice most of the rappers are from New York. Who said that city had nothing but stagnant, regressive sticks in the mud? Nuff respect to N.O.R.E. for setting the trend again. What I wouldn't give to hear Max B or Cam'Ron bless a manic riddim wit the Spanish guitars goin' full tilt. Young Thug can get it too. If such a song exists, holla at ya cabrón.
N.O.R.E. - Mas Maiz (ft. Nina Sky, Big Mato, La Negra of LDA, Fat Joe, Lumidee, Chingo Bling & Lil Rob)Voltio - Chulin Culin Chunfly (Remix ft. Residente Calle 13 and Three 6 Mafia)
Wisin & Yandel - Mujeres In The Club (ft. 50 Cent)
Saturday, October 24, 2015
The Palestinian you love to hate is back! Picture my schadenfreude when I realized Future stans would have to endure the latest brain dead ad-libs from rap's reigning king of What does he do again? Y'all hate on Khaled, but the man understands the zeitgeist. He saw that millennials was movin away from McDonald's and BK and got on that slow fast-food wave - boom, Finga Licking Chicken is born. And like Finga Licking Chicken, you got options on a Khaled mixtape. You ain't want chicken? Try some of that lobster, son. You don't fuck wit da MMG Session Players? Here's a side of Beans and Jada.
Act like there's been a better major label mixtape DJ since Clue. Like any true mixtape technician, Khaled checks off so many audiences that any rational listener is only gonna fuck wit about three songs, and maybe only part of those songs. But ay, that's the price of admission to this rap game variety show. Anyone puttin Trick on a song with Future is a'ight in my book, even if I'm ambivalent on the lyrical blah of Yo Gotti. Keyboard warriors, stay at home: Khaled's gonna keep makin money and shouting his name like a giant, dumb toddler. Let the haters hate and watch the chicken pile up.
Wednesday, October 21, 2015
(via Flaming Pablum)
Flippin tru Tony Rettman's NYHC book the other day, I came across a flier for a "Rock Against Rent" show featuring the likes of Antidote, Killdozer, and Stetsasonic. First I was like, "Whoa!" Then I was like, "No way!"
Aging New Wavers, high on dreams sold by Fraud 5 Freddy (Dante Ross wit da comment section ether), have long documented the intermingling of gallery and rec room with such relish you'd think we could cure race relations by building a Mudd Club from sea to shining sea. Outside of the Beasties & Rick Rubin, however, the nexus of hip-hop and hardcore is less publicized. Turns out Stetsasonic also played a Rock Against Racism show with The False Prophets, incorrigible rudeboys The Toasters, and the anarcho-punk band Nausea. A group as fresh as the one depicted on In Full Gear make strange bedfellows with this lot, but feasibly it could have ended with a mass burning of TROOP jackets.
Crossovers of this nature will seem old hat to those of you weaned on FADER Forts and the white guy in Odd Future. I can relate. You're asking yourself, Where's the marketing? What's the angle? What does this particular package of youth culture mean? Maybe, just maybe, there was a time when the only thing being marketed was the chance to mosh, skank, and smurf for equality.
Sunday, October 18, 2015
A man of wisdom once said, "There's only two things certain in this trife life: death and Spanish guitars." When civilization finally annihilates itself, bet there's gonna be some cockroaches carrying on the legacy, one in a sombrero wit his legs splayed out and an acoustic guitar restin on his groinals, the other on the M-I-C talkinbout, "Cockroaches is the hardest species outchea, survivin 'n' thrivin while all these soft-serve mammals got punked by the ultimate wedgie puller."
MAX B - 50'S OF SOUR
This ain't Biggavel's only foray into the exotic delights of sultry strums. There were Max B's before Max B, bawdy Orphic bards spittin da raw and real. Some mistook it for transcendence, but it was actually a finer state of mind known as waviness. Charly Wingate was just the ultimate expression, the final evolution in a process that began with the inception of language. Now Buddens free!
FREEWAY - RING THE ALARM (FT. PEEDI CRAKK & OMILLIO SPARKS)
Finally it ain't a gringo blessin las guitarras. Here's Peedi & co. flippin da Tenor Saw classic boricua style. Maybe da rap bloggers of cockroach Earth will finally give Peedi his due when they typin on they lil cockroach computers wit headphones on the antennae. Big up to Freeway for being an early adapter on that hipster crossover money dat Big Boi now chasing on that album I ain't able to manage caring about.
YUKMOUTH - SAD MILLIONAIRE (FT. PHATS BOSSI & BIG LURCH)
If you wanna make your shit paranoid and world weary, holla at a mariachi band to lace your shit with some Spanish guitars. But if you really wanna put some guac on that chip, do like Yuk and tap a cannibal dusthead for tha hook.
HOT BOYS - NEIGHBORHOOD SUPERSTAR
I always thought Spanish guitars was a New York thing on account of the Puerto Rican influence, but it's really the Bay that had this game on lock. Sixth man of the year tho? That's the great Mannie Fresh!
KANYE WEST - ALL FALLS DOWN
Real talk, Kanye couldn't dress for shit when he came out. Ratty-ass baggy blazers, Aeropostale button-ups, Rocawear jeans-as-sweatpants, and some white Reebok Classics? Mu'fucka was about to rock a straw fedora. Crazy how Ye went from tha I'm so normal and middle class! Look at me, I'm rapping about this college girl's problems! dude when Rhymefest was his ghostwriter, to the grrr i'm so weird and i wear leather pants i like triangles and weird symbols shitty art project he became when Travis Scott turned him into the angular haircut of rap.
Tuesday, October 13, 2015
The bulk of Lil Herb's music is unwelcoming by design: cold and cacophonous, with dense word cascades growled by the agitated son of Tone Loc. It don't make no concessions to the casual listener. The term street rap gets thrown around a lot these days, but it's treated more as a straightforward descriptor than a genre with its own unique characteristics. What differentiates street rap from the gangsta rap of yore is the absence of the broad-stroke blockbusterisms and mythologizing of the latter. It's an attempt at no-frills realism - they makin The French Connection, not Scarface.
As a rapper Herb is one of the most conventional drillmen. Whereas Keef came hot out the gate with a viral song and vid, Herb has built his reputation by delivering goods of consistent and dependable quality. With the possible exception of Mozzy, no one of Herb's generation or kind is writing with as much depth and intensity of detail.
Shy Glizzy gets by more on strength of personality. There ain't much redeeming about his music, which is kind of the point. He plays the villain, Lil Zé rappin about shootin up blocks in an absurd Jerry Lewis voice like the dude about to yell, "Laaady!" any minute. The voice can be a dealbreaker, but it's also his greatest strength. You can rap about atrocities if you sound like a caustic munchkin, and Ima still be waitin with the noogie like, "Come over here you little rascal!"
Not to get all Migos > Beatles on yo' ass, but Zaytoven's name is looking less like bravado than fact with the passing of each year.
Straight up homer, if you want me you can find me down in Dade! My starry eyes might be blind to clumsy raps and cornball lines like "My last name ain't Dumpty, I will never fall off!" but I still believe Carol City Mafia made an overlooked banger. In a city flush with rap money, it's a travesty that there's almost no interest in developing local artists. Sad when Jim Jones is doin more for the city than any of the natives, even if Miami Vampin is stuffed with more doodoo than a septic tank. Carpetbaggers watch ya chains. Rozay, keep ya fat ass in Boca. It's 2015 and Rap Music Hysteria is goin for the gusto.
Saturday, October 10, 2015
That's definitely me in the corner. But could that really be me in the spotlight, losing my capacity to enjoy new rap music? After spending a good portion of my day listening to things I hadn't heard, I still could not find a song better than this one. Thanks to ANU for reblogging Murk, without whom I would have continued ignoring Johnny Cinco and Hoodrich Pablo Juan based on their nondescript-ass rap names. Present company excluded, Atlanta has been hiding a pretty shite year behind the extended victory laps of Future and Young Thug. Here are the songs I listened to that weren't as good as this one, accompanied by takes so hot u gwan need ya oven mitts.
Blac Youngsta - Heavy
Ernest Homie Quan Goes To The Memphis Trap
Colonel Loud ft. Ricco Barrino & Young Dolph - California
Admittedly, I would rather hear this lite funkiness on the radio than another anemic Drizzy grouse-fest.
T.I. ft. Young Thug - Peanut Butter Jelly
Was hoping for a Buckwheat Boyz tribute, but this was still OK. Regardless of quality, every new T.I. song is a bitter reminder that we can never return to the scowling ectomorph with the thick drawl and Adebisi headgear.
Tate Kobang - Bank Rolls
Cool song compromised irretrievably once I heard the original.
2Milly - Milly Rock
Shmoney Dance Redux, with half the fun.
Topdolla Sweizy - I Got Ice
DC rap is a decades long identity crisis.
Lil George - Sauce
Were the creative heights of 808 Mafia worth the years of garbage that followed?
Yung Stakks - Stakk Money
This one is kind of catchy and there are tits in the video.
DJ Drizzle Ft. Young Butta & Lil Spigg - Money Dance
Well...they look like they're having fun. Video features rare and secrete footage of Cincinnati brick buildings.
Scarface ft. Rush - Steer
Face can do whatever the fuck he wants at this point, but this particular roll of the dice is indefensible. Old rappers sweat EDM like 50 year-olds in PR departments sweat social media.
Pooh Hefner ft. Pretty Boy & Iamsu! - Riden Through The Rich
Unremarkable but enjoyable slap.
Wednesday, October 7, 2015
First time I heard Antifreeze: Subzero, Ima be honest, I wasn't feelin that shit. Bad enough the tumescent Transformer on the cover looks like an anime club's cock-crazed hive dream. Then they go and use wackass Papyrus, the official typeface of stores selling Third World trinkets, the ones that reek so strongly of incense it make your nostrils sting, but the owners are really nice and wrap ya trinkets up all lovely in a box w/ tissue paper, and ya moms seems to really like getting them shits for her bday. Still, that shit ain't gangsta. Weeks later I'm able to accept it for what it is: solid Bearfaced music, no more, no less. HD is capable of making slappers, but he really excels at headphone music, the kind of shit you play when you're skulking around the streets at night, blunted and paranoid, or just thinkin on life sober as Judge (which is its own trip).
Unfortunately, he chooses to sound like a rapper twice his age on "Homo Thug." Homophobia has a long and storied history in rap music, so I'd be lying if I said I have problem with that, it's more the humorlessness of it all. Tho we ain't homothug-phobic here at Rpa MUsic HIstseria, we are not above laughing at the homo thug as comic type. But HD's "Homo Thug" lacks even these easy laffs, squandering the rich comic opportunities of homo thug subculture to call Young Thug gay and stupid in unimaginative ways. Oh, and the song sucks. Where's Cam when you need him? There's a man who could truly make bigotry hilarious. You ain't funny, HD. Fire your graphic designer and leave the homo thug raps to the pros! <---- Funnier AND catchier than "Homo Thug!"
Saturday, October 3, 2015
If you've thought of Tha Last Meal in the past 10 years put ya hands up! If you've made it past "Lay Low," make noise! Bought this from a vending machine at a rest stop, one of those warm relics of Eisenhower infrastructure where a man can stretch his legs and empty the tank, maybe cop a Do Or Die CD with a side of hot wings. Da 8th graders had told me to save my loot for one of those Dr. Moreau turkey legs, and I immediately regretted the purchase once I threw my whoadie's Country Grammar CD on the Discman.
15 years later and I still wish I'd got Country Grammar, but Tha Last Meal ain't exactly the turd I once thought. True, Snoop had already ceded artistic control to the Snoop Dogg™ songwriting department, but there's still some worthwhile contributions from the Dr. Dre™ concern, Kokane playin Bootsy, and a still chubby Timbaland, even if "Set It Off" needs to be purged of Snoop and Lady Of Rage. Yet none of them pose a question as awesomely filthy as the one submitted by Suga Free on "Bring It On": "Why did the little girl walk around with a gold fish in her pocket? So she could smell like the big girls!" Game recognize game. Snoop might flirt with the pimp persona, but he's a mere weekender in the presence of the meticulous pageantry and immersion that led a senile Robert Christgau to deem Suga Free "the Klaus Nomi of pimp rap." If anyone can turn out Taylor Swift, it's you playa!
Tuesday, September 29, 2015
I like groups that hit upon a unique signature sound and then run that shit into the ground with minute (and ultimately inferior) variations of the original thing, provided they've articulated something singular or sui generis. Better to strike genius once than spend ya whole career being competent in new and impressive ways.
I think Doughboyz Cashout have that something. So pleezbelieve I'm not really hating when I say "Raw Shit" sounds like they been gettin high on their own supply (and we ain't talkin bout that Amy Adams). New Doughboyz is better than nothing, but with each release it's increasingly apparent that they're doomed to making good but inferior revisions of "Da Mob," their urtext and manifesto, on which their collective youth and bravado added up to a hustler's "93 'til Infinity." Hurts, too, when that song's video, a vignette of Detroit life structured loosely around the Slacker frame, is a minor classic in the age of Final Cut hacks. Yeah "Raw Shit" bangs, and I like HBK's "It's ironic how I ball and I'm travellin" line, but that ineffable quality is missing. Could be the Boyz came upon their "Ante Up" too soon. As it stands, ya boy would rather continue banging "Down Bottom" on repeat until the rest of the tape drops. Real hip-hop, kidd!
Monday, September 28, 2015
Slug Christ forgive me, but I'll never love Rakim as much as I respect him. Yeah you might see me twisted off the peppermint schnapps flexin on "Microphone Fiend" with some fierce and fabulous pantomimes, but I've accepted the sad truth that I'll never relate to him in the same way as someone who remembers the days of dookie ropes and Dapper Dan. It's the same wit a cat like Moses. I can read up on his movement and respect all the mainey shit he did, but it's a triflin' substitute compared to the visceral trouser shitting enjoyed by the fruitflies who actually saw him part those seas. I'll never be able to step outside the reality where a group of elders put The R on a pedestal when my moms was still shovin a spoon of Gerber at my face tryin to tell me it was an airplane. It is what it is.
So in spite of the obtrusive guiding track, it's a revelation to see him rock the Apollo in his prime, as a tangible figure who put on his jean ensembles one arm and pant leg at a time, whose primary concerns were crotch thrusts and moving the crowd. Much love to the reverential white guys and old timers attending his shows today, but a rap show ain't supposed to resemble Sunday mass. It's glorious to behold: the only person standing still is Eric B, and you're allowed to look like a gargoyle when you're as heavy as that MF. That's word to G. Rap and Extra P.
Thursday, September 24, 2015
Buckwild is the dark horse of the '90s super-producers. Maybe it's his name, so generic it could be a self-referential parody of the East Coast ruffneck style, but he's the kind of paradox who's so consistent and omnipresent that he can fade into the background, until one day you pull out an old chessnut, peep the credits, and bug out: "Oh shit, he did that?"
I didn't know, for example, that he produced the best song on The B. Coming. A couple years later he was working with Playaz Circle. If you heard anything from those sessions it was probably "U Can Believe It" off Supply & Demand (co-produced with JR Rotem, a riddle who deserves his own debunking). You'd be forgiven for not knowing "You Ain't Got Enough," which appeared on a DTP comp fated to rot in dusty corners of FYEs across the nation, absorbing the exhaust of the Cinnabon and Wetzel's Pretzels stalls as Fast & Furious movies came and went. Lines like "My ring look like I peed on my pinkie" are why I consider the erstwhile Tity Boi to be the greatest bad rapper of his generation.
Looking back, although it already seemed like New York had been dead forever, the mid-'00s were more textured than that - a strange transitional time when Primo hit the pop charts, Buckwild worked with 2 Chainz, and Ego Trip had a show on VH1, before the formalists closed the borders and became a micro-concern unto themselves.
Tuesday, September 22, 2015
I'm drowning in all this content, mayne. First Barter 6, then Rich Gang got hax0red on some Johnny Lee Miller shit; now Slime Season drops in the same week Future and Drake subject the world to a friendship bracelet on wax? Too much is too much when it's too much! Pretty soon you find yaself wild-eyed, screaming,"The Unabomber had a point!" to the drive-thru crew at Jack in the Box, until you fall to your knees in your supervillain moment of self-realization, arms reaching toward the heavens in bewildered supplication like, "What have I become?"
Remember when a leak could compromise an entire project? A guy like Dr. Dre might have scrapped the whole thing and shot some more steroids into his butt, but Yang Thurg just goes ahead and puts em on his new 'tape - six of the joints on Slime Season are reprinted courtesy of the Rich Gang Liberation of 2015. Some might see this as a sign that the artist has effectively liberated himself from the commercial apparatus, that it's just about the music now that records don't sell, but I don't know. I'm no economist, despite the numbers I'm doing slangin meringue, but I do know this: commodification don't die, it multiplies.
Since Young Thug killed words and inaugurated a post-verbal order, each post on this website will now be a series of baby noises recorded in .wma format. Googoo gaga, bitch. Also, does anyone care about Rich Homie Quonset Hut anymore? My man needs to kiss 'n' make up with Yurng Thag 'less he wanna end up like Shelley Long when she left Cheers.
Saturday, September 19, 2015
DJ Chose: "Where you're from is who you are." MC Beezy concurs: "I'm just a product of my environment." This the same shit Naturalists was pushin in the 19th century. Basically, these funboys jocked Darwin & Rous to the I.Z.Z.O., and said it ain't a person's fault if they're a lame or a Herbert or even a thot - they just a product of their environment. Nature vs. nurture.
In Vol. 2 of his My Struggle mixtape series, Karl Ove Mausberg is like, "Naaaah, Ion really fuck with that bruh." That kind of thinking might sound humanistic at first glance, like we all born equal until society comes out to hate on us, but later on you realize it's just a fuckass "expression of a mechanistic attitude to man, who, born empty, allows his life to be shaped by his surroundings." Boom, hot fire. He quotes his weed carrier Geir quotin some Scandinavian MF quotin the OG Bergman as saying, "...he would have been Bergman irrespective of where he had grown up, implying, in other words, that you are who you are whatever your surroundings. Yung Lean would have been wack no matter where he was born, his wack rapperness is intrinsic. By no chance could he be rare or secrete." Jay-Z follows this line of thinking on "Public Service Announcement" when he goes, "Man you was who you was 'fore you got here."
This argument can be traced back to the dawn of time, when Rakim declared, "It ain't where you're from, it's where you're at." In the New Testament, Havoc flipped it with the ill rejoinder: "Fuck where you at, kid, it's where you're from." DJ Chose & MC Beezy contradict themselves cause they sound less like H-Town constituents than DJ Mustard affiliates, with a little ATL glitz thrown in the fondue pot - specs on factory setting like they grew up in a Clear Channel focus group. It ain't where you're from, it's wherever motherfuckers are spending money. These rappers are lyin to you, mayne, but it's all good - they gave me a hot single and helped me deal with some deep-ass questions I be askin when I talk to the Holy Ghost from my Bugatti bunkbed.
Tuesday, September 15, 2015
Though ultimately a reminder that JT and Trick were the first *great* rappers to come out of Miami, Induce's mix of Miami rap obscurities adds some new swatches to the big tapestry. For instance, I wasn't aware that boomshackalacka! rap ever took root down here. In what must be evidence of the universal language of aggressive onomatopoeia, the "I HIT SKINZ IN BLACK TIMS!" subset of '90s East Coast rap somehow carved a niche in a city that has never been shy about its love for the color pink. Raider Klan may literally owe its existence to the emissions of G-Shorties.
Don't know anything about I.B.M. except the backronym (Innovation Brings Music), but the street content and horn-y loop of "It's All In The Game" is more representative of Miami rap's eternal East/South dialectic than certain refugees of the Fat Beats budget bin. Thanks to Drew Huge for liberating this enjoyable yet overpriced rarity. Collecting random rap: not even once.
Saturday, September 12, 2015
YouTube killed the video star, and that's aight with me. I was tired of seein the same cheeseburger in paradise visuals, bunch of dudes hangin out on the beach wearin wifebeaters and plaid shorts, presumably poppin boners from watchin all them callipigeons saunter by in pieces from Satan's summer line. I'm only interested in one thing, rarely answered by the waist-up framing: Are they rocking sandlogged Air Forces or the effete open toe? Cam don't get enough credit for ending an entire footwear's career. Nigh ten years later, ya boy still dealin with unresolved sandal issues.
Today there's 100 sub-minor masterpieces in place of every gauche cumshot of the Clinton era. It's better that way, provided you're on the side of quantity. In spite of the apparent sausage party in the hotel room, the video for "Way I'm Acting" faithfully transposes the narcotic slop of its source with the modest workmanship that now defines the independent rap featurette - real people, real stories. In addition to the fantastically arrogant and hateful break-up jam "Mr. Perfect" ("Bitch left me for a spot on the couch, at her baby daddy momma house!"), Down To The Wire 3's one-two punch of "Way I'm Acting" and "Finessin & Twistin" got ya boy sloshin his Vicks, screamin "Izzo Kizmet!" at the Brazilians next door. A come up and come down for sloppy nights of unspeakable activities. Central bookings is thatta way, man!
Wednesday, September 9, 2015
Cash Money and No Limit homages might be the easiest way into the hearts of rap enthusiasts of a certain age and sensibility. Call it pandering if you must, but I'll gladly lap it up until Post Malone drops a shot-for-shot remake of the "Ha" video in ironic blackface.
Having grown up knowin nothin but Esham, Royce, and revolting D12 side projects, I can almost forgive myself for ripping my Van Winkle on the D. Now I lay in wait for the day Officer Morton descends upon the city, washing all the trash and scum off the streets one comical juxtaposition at a time. So what if the commissioner thinks he's a loose cannon? That's the kind of guy who'll earn a shield or die trying.
Sunday, September 6, 2015
What mean the world to Pimp? / My paper, steak and shrimp
The semiotics of Surf-N-Turf. The signification of Steak & Shrimp. I know y'all been clamoring for a mix showcasing the shifting valences of rap's favorite dish. Y'all in ya whips puttin ya swerve on the lil mama who works the counter at Rite Aid, or you're tryna get some of that salciccia from Jose down at the bodega, and you want them feckless little impoverished miscreants to know you got that paper, that shrimp and steak money, but ya ain't got the right mix to show off how your prodigious Surf-N-Turf consumption barely registers on your itemized income report cause you're paid like that.
Well thank me later, cause ya boy done cooked up the hardest Surf-N-Turf bangers out there. None of the weak shit over here - we strictly eatin Pappadeaux's or better, praise Lil Cease for correcting LL's déclassé Red Lobster indiscretion on the OG "Big Ole Butt." Some of these joints take Surf-N-Turf as the central theme. Sometimes it's mentioned only in passing, a shorthand signifier for the spoils of success as contrasted with the basic slop they was eatin before they got crabcaked up. Gastroeconomic metonyms, ya feel? On occasion it's a significant background detail on which the narrative depends. Surf-N-Turf: rap's secret hero.
You'll notice that the Spirit of Sweet Jones suffuses the mix. Only right cuz he remains the Surf-N-Turf King. If he were alive we'd be putting a $50 Pappadeaux certificate in the mail right now. Since he ain't, we gonna let that shit devaluate and watch Fredo and Dolph scrap it out for the title of Surf-N-Turf Dauphin. Enjoy it, cuzzo, and try not to let another chilling-in-retrospect South Park Mexican song fuck up ya chi.
GET IT HOW U LIVE
1. GETO BOYS - "1, 2, The 3"
2. PUFF DADDY - "Big Ole Butt" (ft. Lil Cease)
3. DAVID BANNER - "Like A Pimp" (ft. Lil Flip)
4. LIL ROB & LUCKY LUCIANO - "From SD To H-Town"
5. GUCCI MANE - "Damn Shawty" (ft. Young Snead)
6. PLIES - "I Got It"
7. TRAVIS PORTER - "Aww Yea"
8. YUNG NATION - "Pimp" (ft. Beatking & DJ Chose)
9. CAM'RON - "What Means The World To You? (Remix)" (ft. Ludacris, Juelz Santana, Trina, UGK)
10. SPM - "Runaway"
11. MAC DRE - "Fortytwo Fake" (ft. PSD)
12. RICH THE KID - "Goin Krazy (Remix)" (ft. YG)
13. YOUNG THUG - "Foreign" (ft. Hellacoppa)
14. FREDDY G - "Paper, Steak & Shrimp" (ft. Kevin Gates & King J)
15. GUNPLAY - "Numbers On The Board"
16. CURREN$Y - "Talk My Shit"
17. AUDIO PUSH - "Do It All" (ft. James Fauntleroy & Vic Mensa)
18. UGK - "The Pimp & The Bun" (ft. Ronald Isley)
19. RAPPIN' 4-TAY - "Playa 4 Life" (ft. Master P)
20. LE$ - "Steak N Shrimp" (ft. Paul Wall & Slim Thug)
Friday, September 4, 2015
Thursday, September 3, 2015
Bun B vs. Bol. Heems vs. Noz. Tyler, The Creator vs. Eskay & at least 1 of the Dopeboyz. Guess you ain't no one in this blog game until you earn your first beef. As Stanley Crouch said before suplexing Harry Allen for the honor of Wynton Marsalis, "If you can write, you can fight." And while my offers to fight everyone from Jay Electronica to Joey Badass still stand, these MFs are just too chickenshit to knuck up 'gainst tha kidd.
But with Louis Logic, People Under The Stairs, and Jean Grae comin for that ass, Oliver Wang remains the beefmaster - that AZN backpackers love to hate. So what if these names ring more bells in a food co-op than the streets? After all the anemic Drake-Meek e-thuggery, it's so necessary to revisit the days when hate was hate and beef was more than a marketing strategy. Here's hoping O-Dub got a sharp No. 2 in his pocket if Jean ever catches him slipping.
Tuesday, September 1, 2015
Plies will never be a critic's darling, but he has something infinitely more valuable: co-signs from Star and Lord Jamar. Although often painted as a homophobe, L.J. didn't seem to mind when Star got handsy after Vlad plied em with orange juice and vodka like a creepy upperclassman.
Anywho, Plies test-drives some Jahlil Beats on Ain't No Mixtape Bih, but them shits is like ascots and cravats: great if you can pull em off, but they ain't for everybody. The best songs are produced by Shawn T. "I Got It" is G-funk meets Miami Vice - one hand on the strap, the other on my Keytar. Plies rides the wave with goon exuberance, cause this one's for the ignorant MFs riding Sea Doos into bridges (apologies to Sean Kingston).
Apropos of nothing, Plies could have had a second career as a horror movie villain if 40 Glocc had successfully kicked down the mens room door. It's the end of the movie. Our protagonist is in bed, finally safe. They never found Plies's body, but surely nothing could have survived that kind of immolation...Or could it? He blows out the candle and closes his eyes when he hears a voice braying against the silence: "Pussy ass..."
Thursday, August 27, 2015
As far as media representations go, AZNs been takin it on the nose for a long time. The Mickster rocked yellowface so egregiously in Breakfast At Tiffany's ya boy was spittin out his egg roll. More recently, Long Duk Dong became the Stepin Fetchit of '80s teen flicks, while Matthew Moy is somehow allowed to continue mincing and jiving on the Goebbelsian laffer Two Broke Girls.
Then again, Tom Cruise got to be The Last Samurai, so maybe dubious acknowledgements are better than no mention at all. Rap has its fair share. We all know about "Black Korea," and Bun B's unsatisfactory transaction with a store clerk of Chinese origin. Buzzfeed recently did a list, but the choices were tame and entry level. As good as the Ego Trip list is, it's time for an update. Here are some of my personal favorites.
"THE HOOD" - DRAG-ON, ET AL. (1999)
You know how may chinks and Jews / Drag done dragged out / On a cash route?
In addition to resuscitating the spirit of Charlie Chan for the Great Yellow Hope's "Learn Chinese," Ruff Ryders allowed Drag-On to rap about murdering "chinks and Jews" on their first comp. You were dragging out Chinese-Americans on a cash route, Drag-On.
"COLD COLD CAPPER, PART 4" - MAC DRE & COOLIO DA' UNDA' DOGG (1994?)
You half breed, Korean and black / Is your mom in the kitchen cookin dog and cat?
"Cold Cold Capper, Pt. 4" deserves laurels in at least three categories. Not just a great "Genius Of Love" flip, it also features some of the most vicious and most racist lines ever committed to wax. In the same breath that Mac Drevious refers to Bruce's Korean mom as a chink, he speculates that she was knocked up by a hit-and-run serviceman in the Vietnam War. Thomas Dolby blinded y'all with science, Mac Dre disrespected Bruce with geography. The Chosin Reservoir of rap disses.
"DISCOMBOBULATORBUBALATOR" - MC BREEZE (1986)
He said, "Oh my Buddha, I apologize!" / Tears were coming from the Chinese eyes / I said, "Look you chink, your damn food stink..."
The classic. Breeze is meticulous with the stereotypes, but it's his screeching Chinaman impression that really stops the show. You'd be offended if you could stop ya ass from shaking. Racism never sounded so funky!
"SKRILLA" - KODAK BLACK (2014)
And my diamonds come from Tokyo / Yoi yoi yoi / Power high (?) come from Tokyo / I call em Ching Choi
"Skrilla" is "Cold Cold Capper" without the teeth. In the span of two bars, Kodak confuses three distinct nationalities. Gotta take off my coolie hat for that kind of absurdist racial insensitivity.
"DIRTY WORLD" - HOT BOYS (1997)
Them bitches got a nigga trapped / They ain't givin us shit / But they'll give it to them Japs / They buy property and don't even pay no tax
Juvie's point on the lack of black-owned business in predominantly black neighborhoods is valid. His statistics are not. Because the Census website is a nightmare of bureaucratic incompetence, I'll have to work with a data set on minority-owned business from 1997 against data from the 2000 Census. In 2000, African-Americans accounted for 67.9% (329,171) of New Orleans's population, whereas Asians made up 2.5% (12,212). On the breakdown, the Census switches its number to 10,972 Asians; Vietnamese were the majority (7,118, or 1.5% of total population), Japanese the minority (283, .01% total pop).
In 1997, New Orleans had a total of 98,166 businesses; 17,777 were minority-owned. There were 9,747 black-owned businesses compared to 3,210 owned by Asians. Of those, Vietnamese owned the vast majority (1,757) compared to 64 in Japanese hands. It is statistically improbable that Japs were benefiting from preferential mortgages and loans to any appreciable extent.
Notwithstanding its cultural imprecision, Juvenile's criticism checks out. At the turn of the century, New Orleans was overwhelmingly black, yet black-owned businesses accounted for less than 10% of all businesses. Relative to their population, Asians - primarily Vietnamese - wielded disproportionate economic power. At the end of the day, however, it was white people killin the game on some Mafia shit. Don't know if Japs were living tax free, but somehow I doubt it. Although back-owned businesses increased to 28.9% of the total market by 2007, the stats remain skewed - less reflective of social progress, perhaps, than the economic devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina.
This post been borought you to by Texaco. Texaco: we ain't THAT racist no more! FIolow me onTwitter hoes