Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Greenspan - Got Green? (Federal Reserve Music Group)

This week I reviewed a couple local discs in the City Paper, including this one by Greenspan. I wrote about him in Noise a couple times last year and noted that he has "one of the tightest live shows in the city," and earlier this year I included him in my Gov't Names 20 Most Anticipated of 2008 list of artists that I hadn't heard a full length release from but really wanted to. So I was definitely primed for this album/mixtape, and I was not disappointed at all. I pretty much explain why in the review, so you can read that, or just listen to it on This dude can really just flow his ass off, he needs to get his props from people here who care about that sort of things. I could make my usual stock complaint that I wish there was more original beats and fewer freestyles, but it's whatever, this is dope and I'm sure Greenspan's capable of making a real album. The CD features a guest appearance by Paula Campbell, production by DJ Booman, samples of Blaq Starr and Ogun, and drops from Darkroom Production (Greenspan had a dope song on Hamsterdam 2), Ahk from Strictly Hip Hop and Vicious V.

Greenspan - "Playing Dead" (mp3)
I referenced this track in the review, which is a freestyle over "The Turn" a song by M.I.A. that was produced by Blaq Starr. It's funny how things have come full circle lately; three or four years ago, I was so sick of this girl M.I.A. that a bunch of other rock critics worshipped and thought was gonna be this big crossover star on urban radio, and to me her music sounded like bad videogame techno with awkward vocals and terrible lyrics and had none of the appeal of the American genres she was influenced by, including hip hop and Baltimore club. But suddenly, this summer, her song "Paper Planes" is in a big movie trailer, climbing up the charts, and getting remixed by a different mainstream rapper every week or so. And even here in Baltimore, where I thought the only people feelin' her were the same kind of hipsters feelin' her in most other places, suddenly it feels like she's crossed over; you've got Greenspan doing this version of one of her songs (there's also a clip of her song "World Town," which jacks the hook from Blaq Starr's "Hands Up, Thumbs Down," on Got Green?. And before DJ K-Swift passed away, I'd heard her spin the M.I.A. song "Boyz" both at Artscape and on 92Q, right in the middle of a Baltimore club set, and it actually sounded alright to me.

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