Saturday, February 28, 2015


I get that GUCCI is tryin to remind the fickle rap public of his existence as he sits in the clink catching up on Nora Roberts novels, but there's something to be said for leaving the public wanting more.  Whether it was intentional or not, BOOSIE's silence behind bars created huge anticipation for Life After Deathrow.  Fans missed him.

Even his biggest fans won't say that about GUCCI.  By now his prolific output behind bars is an in-joke along the lines of 2PAC's bewildering beyond-the-grave activity.  It seems he's got that Richard Nixon gene where he's so obsessed with leaving a legacy he documents his every ad-lib.  That backfired on Prezzy Big Dick, and it seems to be having a similar effect on GUWOP.  The brevity of Views From Zone 6 is a relief from the bloated heft of some recent mixtapes, but its slapped-together feel betrays its origins.  For an eight song EP, there are a staggering number of features: QUAVO, LIL REESE, 2 CHAINZ, PEEWEE LONGWAY, LIL B, etc.  Also present are CHIEF KEEF and ANDY MILONAKIS, the worst rap combo since KANYE and JOHN MAYER.

Clearly the features were a product of necessity, but the collaborations lack chemistry in consequence.  GUCCI should tell his people to cool it with the vault clearing and focus on himself, maybe take up meditation or explore the possibilities of stick 'n' poke.  The only real highlight here is the mesmerizing "Bitter," featuring YOUNG THUG and YUNG GLEESH, a welcome entry in his ongoing Word Series.

Thursday, February 26, 2015


Philadelphia: brotherly love, grit, gun violence, and anger.  Few rappers embody their city like BEANIE SIGEL and the boys of SP.  I been goin through hard times lately, and The B. Coming been my grim companion.  BEANS got on for his realness, and though it's a cliche by now, Chappelle was right bout how that shit can go wrong.  Let's hope for a speedy return to health.

STATE PROPERTY was one of the most exciting things percolatin in the streets a decade and some change ago, but they didn't have much to show for it when the Roc-A-Fella gravy train stopped.  BEANS and FREEWAY had gold records, but outside of  YOUNG GUNZ's "Can't Stop Won't Stop," they never really made a crossover push.  Come to think of it, it makes more sense that they didn't blow up than labels thinkin they were gonna sell em as the next WU-TANG or whatever.

It didn't help that the industry was in a transitional state, sluggishly preparing its ass cavity for the long dick of filesharing and diminishing record sales.  Soon they'd be pushin a different product from a different region and resigning 'emselves to the fact that they couldn't sue every granny who downloaded an ENYA B-side.  SP came on at the end of that window, before a new model came in place.  So now when MEEK MILL's album flops he keeps his buzz going through free mixtapes and palling around with certified hitmakers.  Can't hate on that - he found a lane, cause DRAKE needs help appealing to the testicled population.

Label hell put the brakes on PEEDI CRAKK, who was so nice and ready to pop he dropped the surname and and named himself twice.  One of the more marketable cats in SP, he was a whimsical rake in the mold of SLICK RICK, welcome relief to the world-weary piousness of BEANS and FREEWAY.  Then nothing really happened.  He dropped a bizarre dis against a certain camel-faced Brooklynite, crooning hurt feelings like a brokenhearted drunk at karaoke night's last call, and continued to drop uneven mixtapes with flashes of brilliance. As it stands, he will be remembered as one of most talented rappin-ass rappers of his generation to never blow up or really even get the respect he's due.  He still kicks those spastic, protean brangdangdang verses like a Puerto Rican KOOL KEITH, but I can't help but wonder what could have been.  CF 5 saw him awkwardly tryin to jock the South, but he's a dude who sounds better goin over that ol boom-bap without comin off like a Madame Tussauds piece.  "Born in the wrong era" like the kids of Tumblr say.

What kind of world is this where MEMPHIS BLEEK gets four proper releases while PEEDI sits in limbo?  Them discs is fillin up half of Staten Island by nowYou might be driving around with a copy of M.A.D.E. melted into your dashboard.  Maybe PEEDI can rehabilitate his career with a DAN DEACON collab.  Hope he isn't goin out like that, but he's already clockin time at the Harry Fraud Old Folks Home with LIL CEASE and BLACK ROB.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015


I fucks with Mexican cuisine and this borderline novelty song, so don't get it twisted, but I can't get a solid grasp on the meaning of "taco" as used by JOHNNY MAY CASH and CA$H OUT. 

We servin tacos / Like we from Mexico

The references to kitchens and water-whippin suggest the tacos are cocaine products of the hard variety - we talkin krillz, Marion Barry, the gutter reggiano.  But how does crack resemble a taco?  I suppose you could argue that the tacos are hard shells, but even then it's a stretch.  The one time I smoked crack - failed attempt, that's another story - it didn't much resemble a Gordita Crunch.   They're also piling these tacos with a load of toppings: lettuce, cheese, sour cream, tomatoes.  Confusion mounts.

I just left the kitchen / Young Chop wanted me to whip up a taco

Maybe YOUNG CHOP was just hungry for tacos?  Could it all be an elaborate callback to Johnny Cash's own Taco Bell commercial?

Sunday, February 22, 2015


Main reasons I don't fuck with CHIEF KEEF: 1). his music is nothing special and 2). I don't particularly dig the point-and-laugh idiot savant treatment he gets from the media.   How is it cool to pretend an emotionally troubled manchild making stupid music is some kind of tetched eccentric genius?

But that's beside the point.  It's time to give ANDY MILONAKIS the gasface once and for all.  How is this creepy bottomfeeder still around, much less makin features on a major mixtape?  Like a lot of cats my age I watched his stupid MTV show until I learned he was not some cherubic wunderkind but a 37 year-old man.  No offense to ppl with congenital growth disorders, but that shit left me feeling violated, like that episode of The Law and Order SUV where that grown-ass woman keeps goin to different high schools and bonin the debate club.  When his comedy career stalled, I guess ANDY thought he could parlay his meager talent into rapping because rapping is easy and he can make fun of it while incorporating his wacky brand of humor.  I'm sure his love of the genre is "genuine" or whatever, but there's something gross and condescending about his ironic novelty-raps - not quite a minstrel show, but not that far either.  So he linked up with a more successful perpetrator of the same scheme in RIFF RAFF, who at least puts more effort into his heinous charade, and that Sunset Boulevard piece of garbage from MTV who, fun fact, also made a few beat-off videos (I'll let y'all Google that on your own time).

I can't understand why a genre that continually produces some of the funniest moments in pop culture lets these geeks get a pass.  Fortunately most of the good ones don't.  Fuck ANDY MILONAKIS and fuck CHIEF KEEF.  And while we're at it, fuck that moronic ODD FUTURE show.  Remember when y'all were writing think-pieces on their rape raps?


Miami's got an inferiority complex that goes like this: everyone got a cousin or a granny or a sexy au pair from New York, so they put that shit on a pedestal like it ain't been infected by a rash of cornballs under Bloomberg and Giuliani.  Everyone say "305 till I die" until their wack ass ends up riding a fixie through Bushwick, rubbin elbows with lames rockin Desert Boots and cardigan sweaters.  They ain't got the vision to put work into their own city, so they jump ship and fuck up someone else's.

Can't really blame em, cause we got no love for our own.  GUNPLAY gets way more love from Internet nerds than from local radio or clubs.  Meantime we let Art Basel yuppies define our city during the week they "capture the local color" like tone-deaf anthropologists, as if they understand why it's in our DNA to fuck with RICK ROSS, fuck what anyone thinks of our beloved, maligned Wing Stop magnate.  It's the same reason why a Memphis-jockin' museum archivist like SPACEGHOSTPURRP and a weird weirdo like LOFTY305 get buzz from bloggers, even tho no one actually fucks with em like that.

This MIKE SMIFF joint "No Otha Way" is a prime example of what modern Miami rap is all about: joyously ignorant, swaggering come-up music.  Ain't gonna change the face of music or nothin, but one of the best features of rap music is its regionalism: when someone from your neck ov the woods puts on for your city.  When SMIFF hiccups prosaic lines like "Cruisin through the city bumpin Trick Daddy / Dro in the wind up in this mothafucka!" it means more to me than any of the turgid statement-raps RUN THE JEWELS are purveyin these days.  It's something I can relate to cause I know the feeling, and that's what this rap shit is all about.  End of the day I'm a simple man.

Friday, February 20, 2015


Yo, who said DRAKE ain't respectin the forefathers of hip-hop?   He bringin back the old school hip-hop elementals with this one, conscripting fellow Canadian JIM JOE to lend his fresh chickenscratch handstyle to the new LP.  Y'all might remember Mr. JOE for his adorable Yeezus cartoon, and you've certainly seen his work if you've had the misfortune of spending any time in Lower Manhattan lately. 

Now we all know hip-hop and graff are tied up inextricably, so it's real cool to see the brotha from the north goin back to the rec-room days.  The similarities between JIM JOE and DRAKE are uncanny.  They both Canadians whose commercial and artistic pretensions clash with the roots of their artistic forms.  The purists hate on em with the same passion, often for the same reason: they're corny carpetbaggers cloggin up the airwaves and streets in a city they got no claim on and their success sets a toxic precedent for the future of their respective artforms.  They even say JIM JOE would've been vicked for his YSL peacoat back in the bad ol' days just as DRAKE would've been laughed off as a Newjack Swing cornball.  I ain't one of these people!  Every generation needs to define itself against its forebears.  Aligning himself with JIM JOE, DRAKE is basically sayin, "Fuck the haters, I'm the JIM JOE of hip-hop!"  He's pouting to JIGGA, "Sit down, old man.  I'm da new king, and JIM JOE is my Basquiat."

So what it is?  Will JIM JOE be the next Cey Adams?  Has DRAKE been successful in ushering in the Microphone Friend Era?  One thing is clear: these aren't the artists gentrified NYC needs, but the ones it deserves.

It's extremely hard to Google specific graffiti pieces.  I can't find decent pictures of CAINE's Welcome to Hell whole car, or SANE's "nailed to a cross" Agnostic Front(?) inspired skinhead joint, but I found this Bieber burner with no trouble at all.  In my fruitless search, I learned the mother of leftist scion turnt conservative ideologue David Horowitz took a photo of the CAINE piece that hung in the Museum of the City of New York.  The more you know!  If anyone can send me good flicks of these pieces, you will receive an official RAP MUSIC HYSTERIA t-shirt (2015, Sharpie on Hanes).

Thursday, February 19, 2015


From a young age I been burdened with hiphopcephalus, so I ain't immune to tha drippiness that afflicts so many lovers of the genre.  But I'm about tha weird shit as much as the good shit.  While the MSM bugs out over KANYE's collaboration with PAUL MCCARTHY, I find more titillation in the subtler left-field pairings that make you go, "Damn, they usin the same eggs, they in the same kitchen, but those ain't the same omelets."  An otherwise forgettable mediocrity, "How Much" pits together occupants of vastly different worlds of tha rap ecosystem.  We have a legit OG in JUVENILE, a literal gangsta rapper in REDD EYEZZ, and the being known as FLO RIDA.

What is FLO RIDA?  He ain't a rapper.  I ain't even sure he's a natural organism.  His face look CGI, his hair and beard seem to be made of Play Doh, and his body looks like someone sculpted the human clay with a homoerotic action figure as they model.  Although he dominates Zumba playlists and raucous evenings at TGI Fridays, FLO RIDA is essentially a pariah within his own genre.  Tha peanut gallery hates on him the most, but no one's really callin upon him for guest verses or mixtape drops either.  How can a commercial powerhouse also be a nonentity?  It's not accurate to call him a sellout cause he never fronted like he had integrity.  He came out the gate as a schlockmeister, an audaciously commercial rapper whose sole aim was to become your mother's favorite rapper.  His music is a neutered revision of hip-hop, bowdlerized of its roughest edges yet retaining enough bawdiness that when it comes on at an office party Mabel from accounting all fanning herself like, "Oh, that FLO RIDA is something else!"

That kind of brash cynicism kinda makes me love the dude.  FLO RIDA knows who he is, never tried to "spit bars" or be taken seriously as an "artist."  From a technical standpoint he ain't even that bad: a little NELLY, some TWISTA fast-rappin mixed wit BONE THUGS sing-rappin.  He just chooses to make the corniest shit imaginable and takes it to the bank.  More power to him.  You can't eat prestige.

So here he is appearing with JUVE THE GREAT and original ZOE POUND goon REDD EYEZZ. Over a chintzy mid-'00s ATL-style stripclub banger, amidst gyrations of booty, the trio make concessions to everyone while appealing to no one.  JUVE tosses off a forgettable rap for the aficionados, REDD EYEZZ growls a bunch of generic sub-T.I. posturing for dudes who only watched the first half of Scarface, then FLO RIDA comes out of fuckin nowhere with his weirdly grating melodic hiccups, totally hijacking the song like that Michael Bolton SNL joint from back in the day.  It's terrible and it's great.  Bonus points for the video's opening segment, featuring a cheeky young man who could learn a thing or two about the insidious evil of catcalling.

Sunday, February 15, 2015


It only makes sense my Alice Waters ass is bloggin about 2014 a month and some change after Ryan Seacrest necromanced Dick Clark's spirit in a truly magickal New Years Rockin' Eve, but I adhere to an older process - call it artisanal blogging.  There is but one handmaiden for this sudden outburst of productivity: lovely, nourishing Contempt, whose bitter milk has sustained me for so long.

Fuckboy:  I used to love the word, but now I wince every time I encounter it.  IDK about the exact etymology of the word and ID-really-GAF, but in my recollection it became popular as an inclusive alternative to the irremediable taboo of "fuck nigga."  For understandable reasons, it became a popular term amongst rap fans.  It was fun, succinct, and it packed a punch.

What is a fuckboy?  Essentially, a pussy and a poseur.  Where did it all go wrong?  When the fuckboys started using it.  When did they start using it?  Hard to say, but it reached a breaking point around the time the fuckboys started jizzing all over the decent but highly overrated RUN THE JEWELS album of last year.

NOISEY INTERNS: I just heard the dopest post-chlorophyll ficuscore with my patna dem in a Bushwick loft.  Très on fleek!  Wait till the fuckboys at STEREOGUM choke on this exclusive!

The oversensitive harpies of the Internet cry racist like it's nothing, but that shit is irritating and irresponsible.  But because we talkin' bout rap slang here, the old knock against white ppl appropriating shit has to get some shine. See me after class if you wanna chop it up about the aesthetic merits of appropriation, but the criticism is not wholly out of line in a media age where white ppl are increasingly appropriating a form of subversion once relegated to whispers from the back of the room: talking shit on white people.  Ayo, manifest destiny!  Guess the sky was the limit after Lance and the boys took FUBU.  I feel like a bully in Mask who wanna bust on Eric Stoltz, but he already snappin on himself like a motherfucker and you're just like, "Shit, his Vulcan material is too fresh.  Not even worth it anymore."

Why are white ppl having pissing contests to show how much they hate whitey?  It's like The Exceptional Negro, Part Two: Electric Boogaloo: Whitey's Revenge.  Whatever happened to good old-fashioned white pri--nah, scratch that one.  But like hipster, yuppie, and gentrifier, fuckboy gets thrown around with an alarming lack of irony by the very people it describes.  It's a smug, self-exculpating, pussy-ass way of passing the buck: "I'm not a fuckboy.  They're the fuckboys!"  Embrace your inner fuckboy, you hipster-ass, kale-smoothie-slurpin', crossword-puzzlin' yuppie scumbag fuckboys.

I am a fuckboy, as is anyone who's ever written about rap on the Internet.  I also like kale.  If we rely on an aggregate value system of Fuckboy Rap, we're left with a Gordon Gekko of the streets.  Makes for fun raps, but it's not something your New Favorite Rapper KILLER MIKE would cosign.

Let's put this one to rest, fellow fuckboys.  Let's make 2015 the year fuckboy dies.  Y'all can decide what to do with "on fleek," cause I already washed my hands of that shit.

Monday, February 9, 2015


Miami, LMNT, 2/7/15

When the bell rang out I was the last man standing.  Summoning my inner Vanessa del Rio, I vanquished the competition in an epic Rocky Mountain oyster eating contest.  The next day I was on a plane to Miami bedecked in the finest floral print ensembles, bankrolled with the lavish lucre of my champion testicle-chomping abilities.

Second day there I copped some OG oysters off a one-armed fishman posted up on Flagler, splendid with gold tooths and blurry tats, a silky doo-rag rippling playfully behind him in the east-blowing wind.  I was slurpin hard on the oysters til them shits made me sick, G.  I was makin it rain all over the toilet water, though I must admit his mignonette sauce was on point.

I caught his skeezy ass out on the same corner and we squashed the beef for an industrial-size tub of mignonette sauce and a ticket to that night's Dilla Fest festivities.  By the time I got there, I'd already missed CAMP LO and M1 cause I was at the Versace store buyin out the adult diaper section, fucked outta my skull on Immodium.

MOBB DEEP was supposed to play, but it was just PRODIGY cause HAVOC was sick or some shit.  Guess he ate some of them oysters.  I can't hate on the set tho, cause the li'l old man got some impressive lung stamina.  I seen NAS a couple times and he fuckin collapsed on the ground like the meaningfulness of the songs was just too much to bear, but I knew he was just milkin it for a breather.  That bein said, what do you do at a MOBB DEEP show?  You can't dance to gothic street raps and mean muggin and nodding your head is the exact opposite of having a good time.  The crowd, who looked a streetwear sweatshop exploded, awkwardly put their hands in the air when instructed, but it was half-assed and embarrassing to everyone involved.  You know you're at a rap show when forced hand motions are involved!

The youths went crazy for JOEY BADASS tho, understandable since most of em was fetuses when The Infamous dropped.  I'm not the biggest fan of Mr. BADASS's doctrinaire preservationist antics, and nothing short of a whole album in autotune will change my opinion.  So take it with a grain of salt when I say his performance was like watching someone's little brother bouncing around his bedroom to a BUSTA RHYMES record.

What does it mean when your favorite part of the show was when STATIK SELEKTAH played a snippet of "Let's Ride?"  If Mr. BADASS was doing anything beyond pandering to old heads, it might mean I need to stick to my MIC GERONIMO bootlegs and focus on my 401k.  That's the weird thing about my indifference to Mr. BADASS - I'm too old to think he's doing something new, but not old or cynical enough to be suckered by nostalgia.  In one of his last songs, Mr. BADASS tried to start a moshpit but called all the girls to the front for reasons of safety.  Yo, this dude is jockin the '90s hard - he even tryin to bring riot grrrl back.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015


The booty eating was a non-issue trumped up by VladTV and the distinguished analphobe LORD JAMAR.  I can even get past the cousin fucking, although I pray the young lady is on some form(s) of birth control.

But KEVIN GATES has pushed me too far on this "Perfect Imperfection" schlock.  It's the kinda corny sentimental dreck hormonal Tumblr users quote in handwriting font over "evocative" images of moody nature scenes and young people having fun.   Yo, this shit belongs on a needlepoint throw pillow in an apartment full of IKEA furniture and some fuckin vases and mahogany bureaus from Pottery Barn.  They're the kind of lyrics someone with a heavy arsenal of bath bombs would have in a frame surrounded by scented candles.

Guess we know what the teardrop tats mean: homie is mad emo.  And I don't mind emo, but this is just bad art.  Z-RO went full emo on "Happy Feelingz," but he restrained himself from the kind of maudlin self-pity in which GATES indulges.  Both rappers get lachrymose, but where Z-RO approaches it with a degree of perspective ("Yeah I'm a grown man, but I still cry sometimes") and unaffected confessionalism ("Cause I'm a sponge soaking up pain, trying to come out the rain"), GATES blubbers some of the most laughably histrionic lyrics ever penned by a postpubescent ("Is it okay to cry when you're dying inside?").  When did I walk into a LINKIN PARK song?

I'm a perfect imperfection and I don't find interest in the radio

Is that really true?  Seems like he'd fuck with some NATASHA BEDINGFIELD or SAM SMITH.

Emotionally I'm a introvert, but it comes off as aggression
No one understand me and everybody can't be slow
It's refreshing to find someone who thinks like me so I can't be wrong

No one wants to read your journal, my dude.  Art is a kind of alchemy: you gotta transform the content with some detachment and artifice, otherwise it's just some whiny dude embarrassing everyone with his emotional outpourings.

If I wanted some I'm OK, You're OK bullshit I'd hang out in the self-help section at Barnes & Noble.  I don't wanna say there's no crying in rap music, but KEVIN GATES really comes close to ruining it for everyone.  You can thank him, sensitive rappers of the future.