Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Yung Gist - The Baltimore Son

The first time I heard of Yung Gist (pronounced with a hard G, not like a J) was a few weeks ago when someone named Rashaad commented on a Gov't Names post, talking up Yung Gist and this CD, saying stuff like "he's easily the Best Rapper Baltimore has ever seen" and "not only will it be the best street album by any nigga in baltimore but it will rank up there with some of the best mix-tapes in Hip-Hop ever," and so on. And of course some people took issue with those statements and started arguing for like 50 comments. It was pretty out of hand, and after a while it didn't even have anything to do with the comments that started it all, but a few arrogant words basically set off a lot of negativity. I don't know if this Rashaad dude is even associated with Yung Gist so I won't hold that incident against Gist and his music, but I'm gonna say right now to whoever's reading, that's not a good look! Don't spam my site (whether you're promoting on someone's behalf or are just a fan) and expect people not to see through it! That viral marketing bullshit doesn't work and thinking it will is an insult to everyone's intelligence. But a few weeks later Yung Gist contacted me personally and had his brother drop off a copy of the mixtape to me, which is the right way to get coverage on this site, so it's all good. I think I saw Gist at the last Style Warz but I didn't get a chance to say what's up to him. Again, no disrespect, I just had to get that off my chest first.

All that aside, it's a decent mixtape. The whole concept and packaging of it is hot, the newspaper theme with artwork by Miami "Kaos", one of the biggest mixtape cover artists in the game, and thematic interlude tracks called "The Cover Story" and "The Business Section" and so on. There's a lot of freestyles, one of my favorites being over "A Baltimore Love Thing", which I'm surprised more Bmore MCs haven't rapped over. He also does a Baltimore-themed version of "I Know You Don't Love Me," but the Gritty Gang already beat him to that idea.

Some good original tracks, including one that samples the Backstreet Boys' "I Want It That Way"(!), and even a screwed & chopped track (generally I'm a little sick of non-Southerners jumping on that style but that's actually one of the best tracks on here, they picked a good song to S&C). And there's a few guest appearances from Style Warz champ Hazardous and frequent SW competitor Iceberg. Yung Gist kinda raps in a low key monotone, and sometimes I wish either the vocals were mixed higher or he'd speak up a little, but lyrically he's got talent. He's originally from Park Heights, but spent the last couple years in Philly, I think he's up there going to college, but still reps Bmore. He said he's already moved over a thousand copies of this, so props to Yung Gist for representing Baltimore all over the region.

Yung Gist - "Don't Let Me Be Mis-Understood" (mp3)
This is pretty much my favorite song on here.

Yung Gist - "The Real Mr. Postman" (mp3)
Starts out with the "Oh Yes" beat, then Yung Gist comes in saying "wait a second, ya boy Juelz did his thing, but I'm from Baltimore, I know I heard this shit before," and the beat switches to one of the greatest Baltimore club tracks of all time, the DJ Technics remix of the Marvelettes' "Please Mr. Postman." Some cool chops and edits while Gist raps over the club beat and then the beat from the new Ying Yang Twins song. With more and more Bmore rappers appearing on club tracks like D.O.G.'s remix of Blaq Starr's "Rider Girls" and Bossman's remix of Rod Lee's "Dance My Pain Away," the whole hip hop/club music fusion thing is really blowing up right now. Some people are calling it "club hop," but I don't know if I'm ready to embrace that label, the game is all fucked up right now with the media trying to slap catchphrases like "snap music" and "trap hop" on everything. But I'm not mad a the style itself, I've always thought that Baltimore rappers should be able to take advantage of the unique sound this city's got and find ways to make it part of their records without necessarily selling out or just making party records out of it. Part of that is just that I like real fast tempos, and really you can spit over a club track and make it gangsta or whatever, it doesn't automatically make you B. Rich. To me it's no different than Southern producers like Lil Jon and Mr. Collipark taking the Miami bass production style and making hip hop out of it.

where can i get it?
if you look at the upper right corner of the back cover picture, there's an e-mail address and a phone # listed where you can probably ask about getting a copy.
Very cool of you, Al. The love means a lot to people. I hope they let you know. Yung gist is a true grinder. I can vouch for that!

I don't have a scanner so I'm glad that you were able to post the cover art...I thought it was tres' phat! So unlike the typical style Miami Kaos has become famous for...

Keep up the good work, Yungin! Baltmore's Son!
Hey is Kenneth Yung Gist is serious I'm definately going cop his mixtape when I can! Peace!!
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