Wednesday, June 30, 2004

the songs i've heard from the new lloyd banks album:

i'm so fly -- those banks punchlines sound so much better mixed in with smooth sexy singing and pretty beats than in his deliberate, pausey mixtape flow and hard-to-sing-on mixtape beats. they sound so clever and cool: "banks is cooler than the other side of the pillow." and he's just talking about being fly and going all over the world fucking girls and being fearless and napping on chinchilla. and like all good punchline rappers he's never too specific, no capitalized nouns. and at the end he gets all abruptly serious, putting black roses on the snitch's coffin and the goody goody girls back up.

on fire -- the two best parts in the video: 1) 50 getting wet in the hot tub behind banks. 2) when the girl starts to lift her shirt with one hand and then drops it and uses her other hand to wag her finger no in an awesome way. i like the way it all looks kind of like an outdoor streetfigher background, kind of, the whole video. with all the flat, exciting backgrounds behind lloyd.

warrior -- lloyd's credibility is sort of questionable. he never gets specific about stuff in songs and 50 always talks too much in interviews and lloyd probably doesn't want to sound like he's competing, because he hasn't been shot a bunch of times, and if 50 isn't being interviewed with him the interview is really short because it's just lloyd and who cares and when's the new g-unit album coming out and whatever. this song is about how he's a warrior and more ruthless than rappers with videos on tv. but it's nice to hear and can sing hooks as sweet as 50 but he's still tough and credible.

karma -- it's kind of like his verse from wanna get to know you, all ambivalent and he's all gangsta but he wants to fuck her, too, because she might be the one girl that's real enough to fuck with him and he needs to fuck her to find out if she's that girl and in the second part they're together and he tells her she has to deal with him being grimy and he's from the hood. plus a slow bouncy beat with an anonymous r&b guy on it!

1. Kanye Pisses Free Off
Earlier this week, Kanye visited 106 & Park to premier his "Jesus Walks" video. Minutes before the presentation, co-host Free asked Kanye who he would be if he was a cartoon character. Though he initially answered that he would be "A Bug's Life's main character, Kanye later interrupted Free to address what he deemed an inappropriate question. "Yo Free, who they got writing these questions," Kanye asked. "I bring you a video about Jesus, and you're sitting here asking me questions bout cartoons? Geez!" Free then stared at Ye, visibly heated before giving him a chance to finish his thoughts. An awkward silence followed and they then quickly cut into the video. Since the minor incident, heads have been siding with Kanye and Free. While some feel the episode was another sample of Kanye's arrogance, others believe that the question was inappropriate considering the seriousness of the video's content. More heads have also applauded Kanye for speaking out instead of remaining silence like artists often do.

Damn I wish I had seen that, but I had to work that night. Free's been asking goofy ass questions for way too long, they even play clips on the radio here and clown her about it, I'm glad Kanye had the balls to son her in person. What the hell happened to AJ, anyway? He hasn't been on in a minute, but I thought he was just on vacation, but now I keep hearing stuff about how he left the show, but nothing about why.

g4, the self positioned network for gamers has almost completely failed to entertaine me on every level since merging with the often entertaining TechTV. This contest and the award show it promotes will hopefully end in disaster.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Possible new video trend on the rise: eating cereal outdoors (J-Kwon in "Hood Hop", Jim Jones in "Certified Gangstas"). For some undefinable reason, it just looks so incredibly badass.

Monday, June 28, 2004

why saigon isn't the next 50:

then you got these new york niggas dickridin the south
please get they dicks out of your mouth
i mean come on, we all gotta be proud of the south
but you can show love by simply shouting them out
now all of a sudden niggas is saying shit like bout that
every fuckin rapper gotta do a dirty south track, a bounce track
like a nigga can't blow up without that, i doubt that

lil wayne - raw tunes -- first. i bought tha drought yesterday and there's only two good songs on it. the other song is called so many places and has a really sweet, sad soul sample and it's about how he gets to travel all over the country and talks about airports and cars. it's pleasant. the other good song is this one, called raw tunes. it's called raw tunes because it's a harsh, simple beat that sounds like it was made by white people and it's way harder than all of the videogamey rough beats that mannie used to make and wayne rides it with some croaky singsong thing, sort of slowly toasting over it without a fake jamaican accent and talking about cocaine. "i could run rap but i'd rather run rock." second. here's a picture of lil wayne at a wedding. he doesn't know how to smile.

So the T and the C from TLC are working on a reality show in which they hold auditions for a replacement for the original L, just a few weeks after INXS had the same tasteless idea to replace their fallen soldier. Between Chilli's drama with Ursher and T-Boz's recent divorce from Mack 10, I think they should find another jilted chick and make the angriest R&B album ever.

Sunday, June 27, 2004

"That ain't no fuckin' poetry, that's a run-on sentence"

-Lil Jon, yelling, after reading a poem from Jewel's book "A Night Without Armor"

Saturday, June 26, 2004

the only R&B chick that still be street, betta be glad I had a baby, nigga, that was your chance to eat

Rough Guide To Lil' Mo

1) Lil' Mo - "Superwoman"
2) Lil' Mo f/ Fabolous - "Superwoman" Part 2
3) Fabolous f/ Lil' Mo and Mike Shorey - "Can't Let You Go"
4) Lil' Mo f/ Fabolous - "4Ever"
5) Ja Rule f/ Lil' Mo and Vita - "Put It On Me"
6) Ja Rule f/ Lil' Mo - "I Cry"
7) Lil' Mo - Ja Rule diss (freestyle over the "Realest Niggas" beat)
8) Lil' Mo - "21 Answers"
9) Jay-Z f/ Memphis Bleek, Beanie Sigel and Lil' Mo - "Parking Lot Pimpin'"
10) Missy Elliott f/ Nas, Eve, Q-Tip and Lil' Mo - "Hot Boyz" (remix)
11) Missy Elliott f/ Lil' Mo - "I've Changed (Interlude)"
12) Joe Budden f/ Lil' Mo - "She Wanna Know"
13) Angie Martinez f/ Lil' Mo - "If I Could Go"
14) Comp f/ Lil' Mo - "Be Wit Chu"
15) DJ Kay Slay f/ Lil' Mo, Lil Flip and E-40 - "Don't Stop The Music"

Friday, June 25, 2004

rep your city

Comp f/ Lil' Mo - "Be Wit Chu"

New single from the Baltimore/Def Jam connection! The beat is very sparkly and reminds me of bicycle bells for some reason, and Comp tries to get all grown'n'sexy, despite being neither grown nor sexy. It cracks me up when he goes "gotta look good for the ladies, gotta do it real big for the ladies!", he sounds so goofy and awkward. It's OK, but I kind of hope Def Jam waits until he has a hotter song to push with a video and everything, there's plenty of other 19-year-old rappers coming into the game right now with that soft Cassidy shit, he should do something realer. But anyway it's got my favorite diminutive R&B chick Lil' Mo on the hook! She's not originally from here, but she has mad love for Baltimore, she DJed on the radio here (on WXYV, back when there was more than one rap station in town) for about a year between her first and second albums.

Mullyman f/ the Clipse and Fam-Lay - "Got It"

MD/VA collaboration! With Rod Lee on the beat! And it really makes sense for him to produce a track with Star Trak dudes on it, considering how most of his rap/R&B productions jack the Neptunes' minimalist style in one way or another (the singles he did for Davon and Paula Campbell both used the "Grindin'" kit). But this is so stark and simplistic it makes "VA Banger" sound lush by comparison.

Nuance f/ Neke - "I Can't Go Back"

Neke is a DJ on 92Q, which is pretty much the only reason they ever played this song, but it's actually a pretty slick mainstream-sounding R&B song (as opposed to the relatively gutter local stuff that they try to hype). Neke sounds way too much like Lil Kim on this.

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run up in yo shit and demand some ransom

soulja slim and bg - nigga wazup ft. calicoe and 6-shot - nigga wazup

(from the bg/slim album that got leaked to the streets right after slim got killed and is supposed to be getting properly released sometime after bg drops life after cash money.)

Thursday, June 24, 2004

this heat gonna last for the whole summer

This week I made a summer driving tape. I've already talked about most of the songs here so no commentary necessary.

side 1:
Sunny, Diddy and Ma$e - Hot 97 call-in
Ma$e - "Welcome Back"
Jay-Z - "Public Service Announcement" (Just Blaze remix)
Talib Kweli / Game / Black Thought - freestyle
DJ Kay Slay f/ LL Cool J - "The Truth"
DJ Kay Slay f/ G-Unit - "Angels Around Me"
Lloyd Banks f/ Eminem, 50 Cent and Eminem - "Warrior" (remix)
Lloyd Banks - "On Fire"
Jadakiss / Green Lantern - "The Champ Is Here"
Ghostface f/ Jadakiss and Comp - "Run"
Ghostface f/ Raekwon, Comp and Lil Wayne - "Run" (remix)
Comp - "Harder"
Comp - NBA Live freestyle (over the "Who Gives A Fuck Where U From" beat)
Comp - "Rollin'"
Comp - Harm City freestyle

side 2:
Paula Campbell - "Take You Home"
R. Kelly - "Sex In the Kitchen" (live a cappella)
Alicia Keys - "If I Ain't Got You" (Kanye West remix)
Jagged Edge - "What's It Like"
Nicole Wray - "Destination (Move On Up)"
Usher - "Simple Things"
Big Tymers f/ Ludacris, Lil Wayne and Jazze Pha - "Down South"
Common f/ Kanye West - "The Food" (live on Chappelle's Show)
Twista - "Badunkadunk" (Kanye West mix)
Method Man f/ Busta Rhymes - "What's Happenin'"
Terror Squad f/ Fat Joe and Remy Martin - "Lean Back"
Busta Rhymes f/ Chingy, Fat Joe, Nick Cannon and Just Blaze - "Shorty (Put It On The Floor)"
Fabolous - "Can't Let You Go" (Just Blaze remix)
Jae Millz f/ Cam'ron and T.I. - "No No No" (remix)

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

and you hate rap, I like that, girl

Y'know, I don't wanna pick on that White Chicks movie, because it's way too easy a target to get all high and mighty about. But the biggest fallacy I spotted in that trailer is the premise that real white girls wouldn't know the words to "Get Low". Come on, even Paris is cutting records with Lil Jon.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

our (i mean evan [he's my co-worker, nineteen, skinny and a great driver.] and me, it's ours) work truck is a 1978, i think, white chevy 3+3 crewcab (we joke that we had a crewcab before anyone else), small block, painted flat white (we painted it ourselves, just cheap spraypaint, it looks fine for a worktruck, and the inside is still the original industrial orange [i think that's the factory colour, actually, since the only other ones i see are that colour]). it starts without the key and can tow just about anything we need to tow and doesn't need that much maintenance (we probably mistreat it a bit but it doesn't give us much trouble). it's got peanut butter seats and a tin roof that's covered in promotional magnets from pizza places and magnetic tape measures and a mirror and stickers from rental companies. we have one tape in the truck, full moon fever by tom petty, which we know all the words to every song on and can tap our feet and drum on the doors to, but it's reserved for times when we can't get any radio stations, about ten or so miles south or west of the city. it sits in the ready position in the tape deck.

we listen to the classic rock station, the one that only plays classic rock and no new music except sometimes nickelback to follow canadian content regulations. there are two other rock stations and they both play mostly new music. they're for people who work in convenience stores or don't have jobs. and there's one lite station and one pop station that plays the same songs as the lite station. they're for people who work in offices or in restaurants or stores that don't sell things made of only metal. the classic rock station is the only good one and the only one we listen to. the morning djs are great, funny men who make sex jokes and analyze sports but one of them was addicted to pills and talks frankly about it and they have a contest called "the nearly impossible question" where they give a percentage like "87% of women won't date a man with this" and no one even calls in with sex things or really obvious things because it's never that, it's always something like "long toes" or "dyed hair." they play highlights from the morning show all day, the funniest bits. the daytime djs aren't great and two of them are named harley davidson and bad bill.

our favorite five songs to hear are:

lola by the kinks -- there are certain songs that are evan songs and certain songs that are songs for both of us and no songs that are just my songs, except maybe some fleetwood mac songs but those are rarely played and i have no way to claim them. i do like watching evan quietly singing along to this-- and all of his other songs, too, but they're usually just fast rock song; this one is best because it's kind of delicate, goofy. just moving his dry lips, sometimes no syllables that create open mouth movement for a while. (the last time we heard it there was a trivia thing before it about how the guy from the kinks had to fly across the atlantic and re-record it because he said coca-cola instead of cherry cola).

bohemian rhapsody by queen -- it's still an event to hear it, even though we get to hear it about once a week, sometimes twice. evan and i both love it more than anything else. we sing along and try to do the funny voices, going way up high and way down low and getting soft for the pulled the trigger now he's dead part and sneering and growling the now i've gone and thrown it all away part. we couldn't sing together last summer, only evan would sing. we can sing together now. and evan does this thing where he'll sing a line or two of a song we heard in the truck while we're unloading stuff or stopping for a drink of water or just standing around, the start of the song, "is this the real life, is this just fantasy, caught in a landslide" or any part of any song ever, "give it away give it away give it away now."

down on the corner by creedence clearwater revival -- pulling out of the wal-mart parking lot in the very early morning, after we cut all the grass there, even before it opens. there are a few staff cars, the morning replenishment crew's cars. we've been awake for three hours already and no one else is awake. this song is perfect. hanging brown, folded arms out of the windows. the sun just finishing sunrise and making real morning. this song or another bouncy afternoon song that sounds good in the morning. people on their way to work, as we cruise through greenlight intersections thinking about our powerful truck and the little trail of grass blowing from the mound in the back of the truck and envying our strong brown arms and our youth and our spending all day in the sun and they'll be in an office making telephone calls and no one will notice but everyone will notice our cedar-chipped beds and chushing, efficient sprinklers keeping lawns green and strong and freshly cut. etc. etc. etc.

another brick in the wall by pink floyd -- our favorite songs are events, rather than just songs we like. it's significant that we're hearing it on the radio and the song has deep meaning and has been on the soundtracks to lots of movies and we know every word because we've heard the song so many times and we still care about it. but that means that all of our favorite songs are boring songs like this. this song is about school and conformity. evan graduated from highschool a year and a month ago. he said that today because his brother joked about him still living at home. he said, "a year and" and he put his right hand on the top of his wrist, to the left of his watch, where the sleeve he'd need to roll back would be, "and a month."

rock and roll by led zeppelin -- at seven in the morning and at seven at night there's a "stairway to seven" thing where they play a led zeppelin song, the same one in the morning as at night. we hear the one in the morning--usually the first song we hear, with the radio down really low--and hope we don't hear the one at night. at the end of the song it says: "gonna work my way around the world / i can't stop this feeling in my heart / gotta keep searching for my baby." it's the song that has the part about gollum, too.

ti's flip diss/radio interview.

keep lyin to your fans as long as you want to / tryna to shine, rhymin about shit that you won't do / money you never had and pistols you don't shoot / just ampin em up to do all the shit that you won't do / your rap game garbage, you was over when you started / tryna to overthrow the crown, you retarded? / nigga have you lost your mind? / flip i ain't an artist, i'm an ex-con tryin hard / and ain't about bein hard, it's all about where your heart is / if you're smart, you be thankin god i ain't robbin / nigga yeah if i was starvin you'd be such an easy target-- NEXT TIME THEY TELL YOU HE THE KING OF THE SOUTH TELL THAT BOY I SAID SAY IT IN MY FACE

Mobb Deep f/ Twista - "Got It Twisted" (remix)

Ohh right, twisted/Twista, GET IT, very clever, fellas. Thematically appropriate cuteness aside, Twista doesn't sound very good on this beat, but it's still Thomas Dolby's finest with QB's finest.

Mighty Casey - "White Girls"

BET Uncut's 2nd Greatest Video

Nicole Wray - "Destination"

Nicole is one of the possibly dozens of R&B singers signed to Roc-A-Fella that will never drop an album (how long's Rell been waiting? It's been what, six years since that song on the Streets Is Watching OST!?). But anyway this was on one of Dame's Warriors mixtapes and it's really good, built around a sample of Curtis Mayfield's "Move On Up" but with a dance-y, almost Latin feel.

Monday, June 21, 2004

"Pu--- n---a I'm the leader of the troops, you just following suit," T.I. rapped while the crowd yelled "ooh" like kids in the school yard overhearing a snap session. "What kind of n---a take a picture in a leprechaun suit with a lollypop chain and some leprechaun boots?/ ... Being lame is a curse you can never undo."

When T.I. tried to segue into his next record, "Look What I Got," his mic and music were abruptly turned off. Amidst the chaos, the fans started booing and some people even started chanting, "F--- Flip!"

and flip says:

“I’ve been in so much beef in my life, I’m happy to be here and still be living. I don’t know if dude’s been through half of what I’ve been through. I’ve been living with some real demons in my life, and niggas that know my story know what’s up so I don’t need to do anything extra to draw more attention to myself. I mean, I hear he’s calling out my peoples Luda and DTP too so I guess it’s just part of the game for him, a publicity stunt to move some more units. I guess he’s just mad cause I fuck with everybody else in ATL but him. Look at my album; I got Pastor Troy, Luda, Killer Mike and Baby D. ATL is like my second home.”

While TI claimed that Flip started the troubles at shows in Atlanta by bad mouthing him while he was incarcerated, Flip stated there was a more frivilous reason for the friction.
“I guess he’s mad ‘cause he did a verse for the Game Over remix and I didn’t use it. Bottom line, I’ve put in my time. If he wanna take it there, I mean he got a team, I got a team too, so its whatever. Otherwise, go find another way to sell records ‘cause I am selling records.”

"little nigga named ti think he live like me?? / talkin bout he sip drank and ride candy like me?"

mayne right when the lil flip/ti beef looked to be going nowhere, ti goes crazy nas style at a show in atlanta for 107.9:

"I heard niggas tryna call themselves the King of the South" screamed T.I. from the stage wearing an orange inmate jumpsuit. "Get ya punk ass out here," he continued, calling Lil Flip who was scheduled to perform next.

T.I. performed his hits, including "Rubberband Man" before he began a vicious tirade dissing Houston's Lil Flip, who was scheduled to be next on the roster. Calling himself the real "King of the South, T.I. proceeded to pull out large pictures of Flip dressed in a gaudy green Leprechaun suit.

i love flip but if he responds he's going to get fucked up by ti. flip isn't even the type of guy that would be rejuvenated by beefing with a dude like ti, we want him to talk about cars again!! ti kind of punked him if it really went down like people are saying, going up there alone and flip supposedly thirty deep and running out the back. and doesn't flip seem kind of below ti?? he's lil flip!!

people are already talking about it turning into an atlanta vs. houston thing but i don't see it, flip doesn't carry much weight with any of the major players in houston (esp. not s.u.c. or any sucka free cats) and ti's down with paul wall and z-ro (who are both also down with flip, though!!).


RAP SNACKS (thanks to Jeffy for the heads up)

Saturday, June 19, 2004

Government Names click, Moosejaw for life, and I don't trifle with tricks like Simon Trife

There's been a lot of speculation out there about the beef between Gov't Names and Gel & Weave, so I'm just gonna clear the air and speak on it so people know the truth. We all go way back, but it's only been recently that everybody's formed into seperate camps, and it's gotten ugly. When Plum Drank found out that me and D K were forming a new company instead of sitting off to the side and watching his shit take off, I guess he was worried that we were starting to get some shine, and he tried to pick us apart individually after he heard we were putting out our own energy drink. But he didn't get really mad until he found out that I was putting on Coq, who used to do underground shit as Ramosi that Plum D and Mia Trill liked, but they turned on him when he flipped his style and changed names after becoming a five percenter. As if Ethan/P Drank/Mullah Omar hasn't dropped the same old shit under a hundred aliases himself.

It was mostly subliminal shots at that point, though, things didn't really heat up until Plum went against my whole city and started talking shit about my Baltimore brothers on that "Talk Like Cex" track. He knows I came back harder on "Ethan" (over the "Ether" beat), that shit was on every mixtape for weeks, but instead of doing a response track, he just called into Hot 97 and Angie let him talk shit on the air (they have a relationship from way back, he even bought one of her albums) and he was just wildin, he even called out Mia for not having his back and said she has sideburns like Ashanti.

Things have been quiet lately, but I wouldn't say it's been squashed, dude is a hothead and you never know when he'll start sparking shit again. But for now we're still linking each other and it's staying peaceful and on wax.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

new nas video!

for thief's theme. out of nowhere, kind of. it probably means that the release date won't be pushed back again, though. | he's back to rocking the gold grill! and he's in the shipping/receiving department of a best buy or something! and everyone in the world is wearing masks! | i kind of hope it ends up like made you look, sort of out of place banger surrounded by boring, introspective tracks.

Erick Sermon f/ Sean Paul and Sy Scott

The hook is chopped up from the intro to "Like Glue" kinda like those tracks he did with the Marvin samples, and it's got one of those 'wacky caption' videos, even shamelessly recycling a couple jokes from that Roots video from fucking '96. But there are some hilariously blunt captions that say stuff like "Sean Paul will not appear due to politics" and "insert Sean Paul here", so E-Dub gets points for honesty.

Ludacris - "Diamond In The Back"

Damn, how many so-so singles can dude spin off of one album? I love that line about blowing on Nintendo cartridges, though, that takes me back...back to this past weekend when I was sitting in hotel room in Chicago playing Gameboy and the Lock'n'Chase cartridge was acting up.

Jagged Edge - "What's It Like (Jermaine Dupri remix)"

With the original version of this, plus "Walked Outta Heaven" and that Bow Wow single, JE have been on a great run of beautifully sad songs that make me want to cry like a little bitch. "Where The Party At" notwithstanding, ballads are really their strong suit. So of course JD had to go and ruin it with a horribly ill-fitting faux-'old school' remix with Run DMC drums and all that shit. Don't get me wrong, though, I'm not a hater, Jermaine doin' his thing. I have to admit I cooled on that "Freek-A-Leek" remix when I realized he's just bragging about Janet on his verse, which is kind of creepy.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Tonight was the premiere of Method Man and Redman's new sitcom on Fox, which I caught the 2nd half of out of more or less morbid curiousity. Granted, How High was pretty good for what it was, they're both funny motherfuckers in general, and even their short-lived pre-Punk'd hidden camera show on MTV had its moments. But this show looked pretty damn unpromising, from the title(METHOD AND RED? Who the fuck calls them that? Was Fox afraid that if they called him "Meth" people would get the wrong idea?) to the horrible tagline "Putting The Urban In Suburban".

That said, I was somewhat pleasantly surprised. It wasn't quite head and shoulders above UPN shit, and most of the humor was derived from the ever so bold "black people and white people are DIFFERENT" premise, but the writing was actually pretty sharp, and Meth was a pretty good lead (it's clearly his project, he has twice as many lines as Red, and a production credit). They play themselves, famous rappers and everything, but for some reason both live with Meth's mom, and the pilot centered around their white neighbors trying to get them evicted, except for one family they befriend, getting high with the dad, and sticking up for the pubescent son when he gets into a fight at school.

So I dunno, it wasn't that bad, but it pretty much goes without saying that it would be ten times better if it were on cable and/or was based on Red's classic episode of Cribs.

EDIT: At least Meth agrees that the title sucks.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

you be mad cause you see me in a droptop jag-- fifty gs for a car, that's not that bad...

lil flip's burberry jag on ebay. supposedly being sold by hump, who i guess was the real owner or ended up with it after flip left. look, all that wood inside! and the cloverleaf hanging from the mirror! and zero bids.

Monday, June 14, 2004

that Baltimore shit

Bossman and Rod Lee- "Baltimore (Oh!)"

Since Baltimore club music has a much stronger identity and following than any hip hop that's ever come from here, inevitably rappers are gonna get with the club producers and use that sound, but since club beats are way too fast for most dudes to rap over, you end up with fusions like this, where Rod takes a classic club track (which is itself an old school "It Takes Two"-esque breakbeat) and slows it down from 130bpm to more like 105, there's a remix of Young Gunz "Friday Night" that's like that (not sure who it's by, they say their name in place of Just Blaze's but I can't make out what it is, sounds like "Samir" or something like that), and B Rich's "Woah Now" even had kind of a club sound to it. Anyway this is good, not quite as anthemic as it wants to be but the droning synth horns and shouting on the hook are cool and Bossman gets in enough local references to make it a suitable hometown pride joint.

Paula Campbell - "Lean Back" remix

An R&B flip on the new Terror Squad, and it's pretty cool, although there's only so much you can do with a Scott Storch beat that's at best a slight improvement on "Clap Back".

Nature's Problem f/ Lil Flip - "That Ain't Nothin'"

NP had a big local hit a couple summers back, "Shake It Shorty", which might've gotten some play outside the city but I'm not sure. Either way I'm surprised they managed to get Flip on a song, and it's kind of funny that it's one of those tracks where Flip laughs at anyone who brags that they just got a deal for only half a mil when I'm sure Nature's Problem isn't even doing numbers like that.

Red Dot & Backland f/ Whyte Out and Bone Crusher - "Bedda Not Say Nothin'"

More Bmore/dirty south collabs! BC just on the hook but it's real hype with the beat. Red Dot was a finalist on one of those lame MTV mc battle competitions, and Whyte Out* was a champ on Freestyle Fridays on 106 & Park, so apparently guys in those things like to stick together. Like most white rappers, Whyte Out gives himself away by the way he pronounces R's, and has an annoying labored flow and says stuff about word selection on the verge of perfection, etc.

*I keep making the annoying typo of writing Lil Whyte, the Triple 6 affiliate, when I mean Whyte Out, the Freestyle Friday guy who's from Beltsville, Maryland. My bad.

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if i ain't on sprewells then i'm on 84s. my grill-- yep, it shines even when my mouth closed....

mike jones/chelcie/cyndee - gone head -- i love the sort of desperation/gasping thing he's got going on here, like the southern freeway, rapping about dropping screens in his truck and candy paint. and the beat is all fast choppy big cinematic horns snappy little drums. and with his girls on the track to do the ends of important lines and get on the chorus and just help out in general, "you don't work, you don't eat; you don't grind, you don't shine" "you said that all before!" "i'ma say it one more time: you don't work, you don't eat; you don't grind, you don't shine" "you said that all before!" "i'ma say it one more time," and the giggling after the "who?? mike jones!" bit on the intro! (i finally heard got it sowed up, too! it's okay and it is sparkly but not as good as this.)

Friday, June 11, 2004

damn, that's like the same line I used in the first verse, w-w-wait it gets worse!

Yeah, that Stat Quo track is garbage. You can't blame Kanye for the beat though (I'm looking at you, MIDI Mafia).

So here's one for all the haters, in honor of the fact that I'm spending this weekend in Chi-town, the 2nd draft of a tape I made for the car (or to be exact, the boombox in the passenger seat of my busted ass Taurus), all Kanye's unreleased shit, mixtape tracks, collabs, freestyles, stuff that was going to on the album but got pushed off at the last minute. Some of this shit's so rare I don't think Kanye knows it ever left the studio. Not all of it's solid but it's more of an anthology:

Kanye West - The Album Dropouts

side 1:
"You Know" (aka "I'm Here") f/ Whiteboy, Belo and John Legend
"All Falls Down" (live snippet) f/ John Legend
"Self Conscious" (original version of "All Falls Down") f/ Lauryn Hill
"Changing Lanes
"Wack Niggas" f/ Talib Kweli
"Wack Niggas" (remix) f/ Talib Kweli, Common and Consequence
"Better Than Yours" ("Milkshake" freestyle) f/ Common
"Dream Killers" (aka "Gossip Files")
"Finally Got It Right" (aka "Peace")
"I Need To Know"
"Stand Up" freestyle
"Heavy Hitters" f/ GLC
"Out The Game" f/ Consequence and John Legend
"The Good, The Bad And The Ugly" f/ Consequence
"Electric Relaxation" freestyle f/ Consequence
Akademiks Vol. 2 mixtape intro f/ Miri Ben-Ari

side 2:
"Keep The Receipt" f/ Dirt McGirt
"Nothin's Gonna Stop Me"
"Livin' A Movie"
"Roommates" f/ Consequence
"Take It As A Loss" f/ Consequence
"Arguments" f/ John Legend and Martin Lawrence
"Drop Dead Gorgeous" f/ Murphy Lee
"About An Angel (Got Nowhere)" f/ John Legend
"My Way"
"Hey Mama"
I'm Good intro f/ John Legend
"Through The Wire" (remix)
untitled Talib Kweli instrumental

And I'm out! Deek and everyone, hold it down for me til Monday.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

stat quo ft. kanye west - oooh drama -- this is the song to bring al and i together, shady/aftermath-affiliated southern rapper and kanye west! it's a midspeed, horns, slidewhistle southern beat by midi mafia that kanye sings the hook/sounds out of place/humiliates himself on ("benzino got a benz and they call him benzino / when i get my bentley, they gon call me bentlino") and stat sounds like someone else and talks about girls.

i got drank by the pint, dro by the pound.....

while chamillion was promising for months that he was going to drop his next solo album on a major (but the pre-order's ready and he's still independent) and mike jones might/might not have an official remix with usher and paul wall's crawled back to swishahouse after punking cham, slim thug's signed to a major label, been doing tracks with the neptunes (ten completed, supposedly) and generating jay-z out-of-retirement rumors (he did a new verse on a slim thug collabo, supposedly). "i'm off the northside--north--the northside / represent with pride, watch me take it worldwide."

he's got that deep, smooth voice and a flow that's still flexible and surefooted and can ride anything he wants to and he raps convincingly about the right things and he's handsome and tall and wears his hair in tight braids (i couldn't find a picture of him).


itz ya dog freestyle

from after da kappa 01. slim, cham (kills it)("bout to change after da kappa to after da koopa cause when it comes to ballin yall niggas come after king koopa") and paul wall ("i'm turning the sea wall into the seen paul wall cause everywhere i go they say 'i seen paul wall' in big body, big rims, big iced out chains").

Yesterday J-Kwon guest hosted 106 & Park, and he kept doing that thing where he refers to himself as "the teen president". Man, even Bow Wow knows better than to self-apply a nickname like that. And he kept calling people in the audience his "cabinet members". What a herb. They've had a lot of guest hosts lately, though, I guess AJ and Free are on vacation, today it's Cassidy and Lil Flip.

I had jury duty today, and overheard the following exchange in the halls of the Baltimore city courthouse:

"hey, how's it goin'?"

"not guilty!"

devin the dude - anything

|lowkey and typical devin track|he sits right in the middle of the beat and gets heartbreaking and quiet|identical sample as dj paul/juicy j used way back on da summer for the same super smooth slowjam feel|

Hotel Opera: what's up?
mat: not too much
mat: breaking from dharma and greg
mat: been watching a lot of tv tonight and need to not be
Hotel Opera: haha I have no idea why you're so big on that show
mat: it's totally my life
mat: there are elements that are so like my family and life
Hotel Opera: are you dharma or greg?
mat: both

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

every few years a nigga come that's crazy hot, i'm the next best thing since biggie and pac

five 50 mixtape classics

the good die young -- it has the same sample as monica's so gone. it uses that same chugging flute thing as the main part but with sizzling vinyl noise and windchimes and brittle piano and 50 talking to yayo at the start, "niggas be thinkin i'm crazy, right?" and some endearingly generic ny rapper verses that don't really sound like anything else he's done and it's about how he's going to keep being a thug because grimy niggas live a long time.

corner bodega/ghetto qua'ran -- these were the first two 50 songs i heard, on community radio in 02 right after the first source feature. they played them back to back just like they appear on guess who's back. corner bodega is one of those 50 mixtape miniatures that i've never heard anyone come close to getting right, story of re-upping at a coke spot and getting fucked with over the price and into a bored 50 hook and general rundown of the game and it's over and into ghetto qua'ran. the beats match just right, slide into each other. opening with another bored 50 hook, "lord forgive me for i've sinned, over and over again-- just to stay on top," and fuck the way he starts that verse sounds great every time, "yo, when you hear talk of the southside you hear talk of the team / see, niggas feared prince and respected preme / for all you slow motherfuckers ima break it down iller / see, prince was the businessman, preme was the killer." and contrast between on the come-up hustler and jamaica queens street legends, that corner bodega price/weight specificity and ghetto qua'ran names/places specificity, etc. (when i saw g-unit the dj dropped the ghetto qua'ran beat after stunt 101 and i was excited for a sec but it was just interlude music for banks to talk over).

gun runners -- another mixape miniature track. it's got the phone call wake-up thing, dude calls 50 at four in the morning, got his number from heather, heard he sells guns. they meet on the block, 50 in the brown hoopty and dude in the bmw, 50 pops the trunk to show him what he's got, "first i showed him the tec / told him niggas give these shits respect / but you don't want this, man / them shits is known to jam / this is a little smaller, here / and a little more common, 9 mm ruger / sixteen shots, hollow points will go through ya" etc. etc.-- then 50's got one last piece to show him, "i keep it in the small of my back / it's a two shot, it's chrome, my initials engraved in it," BANG BANG, "look at you now, you had to get it / your bm? i'm takin it-- shit, you don't need it / park it where i can watch it at and see if it got lojack / then take it to the chop shop to my man kojak."

surrounded by hoes -- all the best tracks on 50 cent is the future are built around huge, great hooks. this is grinning joyful hook, half a verse, grinning joyful hook, and he talks over the end of the beat, "fuck them other niggas, niggas can't rap! that's why they give you a hundred motherfuckin bars for nothing, man."

50 bars -- it's some epic, read-along shit like ghetto qua'ran, a new name/place every bar, but with fictional east coast hustlers instead of real drug lords, "the lex 450 rolled up, that's cornbread / them niggas from philly would've called him an old head / but he an og remind me of chaz and bump, real low key," and simple loop hip-hop beat with straight strings and interrupting vocal sample.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Music From And Inspired By The Motion Picture JOHNSON FAMILY VACATION

1. Case f/ Ghostface - "Shoulda Known Better" I think that when two artists whose names rhyme with each other collaborate on a song, and one of them is a rapper, and neglects to make use of this rhyme in the song, it represents a failure on some deep level. In the liner notes there's an ad for Case's album, which is apparently titled 2502: THE CASE EXPERIENCE. WTF, he's on some Life In 1472 shit.

2. Musiq - "Justonight" It's a remix of "Forthenight" (ugh Musiq please use spaces in your song titles next time, k?) over the Herb Alpert sample from "Hypnotize", but it doesn't fit that well, although it makes his smoove voice sound kind of evil for once. I really like that "Halfcrazy" rmx over the Chambers Bros./"I Left My Wallet In El Segundo" beat, though.

3. Joe Budden - "Pop Off" New Budden/Blaze! Actually I was pretty hyped about this back in January but now meh.

4. Ashanti - "I Know" The liners credit the sample to "In Between Us" off Scarface's last album but it sounds more like "Smile" to me. Weird. Either way, more bad Inc. remakes, and she already bit a Face song for "Baby" anyway.

7. Ghostface f/ Musiq and K. Fox - "Love" Ghost sounds surprisingly good over a lush track with Musiq's harmonies (but didn't he already have a solo hit called "Love"? Dude, I know it's your Big Theme and all, but damn, does it have to be the name of every song you're on. Work on that after you find the spacebar on your keyboard). My favorite part is when he goes "love my last album, though the joint went wood". I know that's an old joke, but it always cracks me up, and I like how most rappers distance themselves from their last album if it didn't do well but Ghost don't give a fuck.

8. K. Fox - "Haven't You Heard" I really like this, I need to listen to it again.

9. Bow Wow - "Follow Me" I was really feelin' dude's last couple singles but this, not so much.

10. Comp - "Rollin'" New shit from the boy from Baltimore! It's alright, better than his track on the Cradle 2 The Grave OST anyway.

11. Solange - "Freedom" This is greuling, like Beyonce's ballads but more nu-soul sounding, but then there's this part where suddenly it sounds like the instrumental parts on Peter Gabriel's So for a couple measures out of nowhere towards the end.

14. Maze featuring Frankie Beverly - "Before I Let Go" This is one of the greatest songs of all time, and I didn't even know it by name until it was on that otherwise shitty 'old school' mix on the Paid In Full OST, so it's nice to have a version w/o Brucie B shouting all over it. The last few tracks are throwback joints like, but aside from this and some Barry White, not worth mentioning.


Monday, June 07, 2004

I've always had latent backpacker tendencies, and Talib Kweli is the one token Rawkus guy I still rep for, I liked him way more than Mos from the beginning, and I was rooting for him to get some kind of street/mainstream respect way before "Get By" and all that. The Reflection Eternal album has aged surprisingly well, and Quality was good enough that I still have high hopes for him doing big things. His new album Beautiful Struggle is dropping probably late this summer, a couple months ago a bunch of tracks got leaked and Kweli was mad pissed about it but then dropped a new mixtape anyway. I'm not really feeling the new tracks I've heard so far, so I'm hoping the leaks and pushing the album back meant he went back to do some better shit.

"The Ghetto" f/ Common has a cute flip on that "Moment of Clarity" line: "if lyrics sold then truth be told I'd probably be just as rich and famous as Jay-Z, truthfully I wanna rhyme like Common Sense, next best thing I do a record with Common Sense", tee hee. "Where I'm From" f/ Killer Mike reminds me that I've never heard a MIDI Mafia production that I've liked as far as I know. "Back Up Off Me" is a Kweli/Hi Tek reunion and it's alright, one of Kweli's better recent verses and Hi Tek comes with some of that solid, boring stuff that's got him in good with G Unit lately.

There's some Kanye tracks of course, but they're mostly disappointing. "I Tried" f/ Mary J. Blige has been talked about as the first single, I hope it's not, too much of a "Get By" rehash and Mary doesn't even sound enough like Mary. "Wack Niggas" f/ Kanye West is ok, mostly a Kanye track, and he does that stupid "I push miracle whips" line again. On "Lonely People" f/ LaToiya Williams, Kweli is all "yeah, I like to go out to clubs", and then names a bunch of clubs, like he knows we don't believe him. Kanye jacked "Eleanor Rigby" for the beat and I don't know why he even bothers using samples that definitely aren't going to get cleared, you know they'll have to re-do it as an interpolation to get it on the album.

Actually, the best Kweli stuff lately has been the freestyle. The "Take It Personal" freestyle with Fabolous is hot, although of course Fab steals it, and the freestyle with Game and Black Thought is some heat, best Game verse I've heard so far and even BT sounds alright. I think Kweli's got another collab on Game's album too.

Sunday, June 06, 2004

rough guide to papa reu

1) papa reu - grimy niggas
2) papa reu ft. lil flip and lil keke - represent
3) juvenile ft. turk, lil wayne and papa reu - rich niggaz
4) 8ball and mjg ft. papa reu - lick em up shot
5) papa reu ft. 5th ward weebie and choppa - champion stepper
6) c-note ft. lil flip and papa reu - flossin
7) papa reu ft. lil o - grimy niggas remix
8) papa reu ft. juvenile - bubble-eye
9) lil keke ft. papa reu - we smash remix
10) lil o ft. papa reu - beg, steal and borrow
11) field mob ft. papa reu - shake sumpthin

papa reu ft. lil o, c-note, and tc - shine

it's just a slightly above average bouncy southern beat with okay guest verses from var. h-town rappers but blessed by the amazing !!PAPA REU!! the man behind all your favorite dancehall hooks on southern rap songs!

Saturday, June 05, 2004

Ness - "Bad Boy Soldier"

E. Ness comes out swinging, "every rapper got Da Band at the butt of they jokes, all in they punchlines, screamin' niggas is broke"! The combination of Ness constantly sounding like needs to clear his throat and Dofat's terrible drums makes it so boring that it's hard to even catch if there's any hot lines past that, though.

Monica - "U Should've Known Better"

Compared to her last couple singles, this is on a more generic R&B production tip, it sounds like an Usher ballad, complete with the cheesy guitar solo at the end. But the lyric gets to me, sweet but also kinda sad, saying she'll always be there for him, but like he already did something stupid to jeopardize what they had. It still weirds me out to hear "ride or die" used as a pledge of romantic devotion in love songs, even though Lil Mo did it on "4Ever" too. Young Buck is in the video, and I guess after the last couple Alicia Keys videos with Mos and Meth, it's officially a trend for R&B chicks to cast rappers who aren't on the song or really involved with them as the love interest in their videos.

Shaquille O'Neal - "How To Rob The League"Shaq goes all Fiddy on the NBA, "I got three rings, foo, Yao Ming, boo!". He also does a freestyle over the "Renegade" on the same Streetsweepers mixtape, and at the end he says "I don't have to do albums no more, already did six...two platinum, two gold...and two wood...but I'm still too good". Dunno if those sales figures are true, but if so, that's impressive, I didn't even know he had that many. AMG only lists 5, though, so maybe he's counting the Kazaam OST.

Friday, June 04, 2004

lil flip - u gotta feel me screwed and chopped -- yeah flip has the best voice ever to hear slowed down, according to my top ten (if i had to make the reverse list now, cam'ron would be the number one worst of all time. he sounds terrible on this). take twenty percent off and everything i love about him is exaggerated to just right, the sleepy punchlines drawn out, goodnatured rumble voice, all the weird rhymemaking wordstretching/shrinking, whatever. but if you fucking suck at slowing down records, you're going to make him sound shitty. even paul wall (who gets paul wall to screw their album?? supposedly, he didn't want to get watts to do it because either he doesn't want to upset s.u.c. members/fans by getting down with the dude that stole dj screw's spot and the dude that z-ro and keke are still dissing on records, or watts wouldn't work with him for the opposite reason) is saying now that he got fucked over and some second rate shit got put out. (check the cover, it doesn't even have his name on it [or cool washed out photoshop effects!!]) the story is that sony flew him to, i think, atlanta and gave him half a day to do the whole record. it's not slow enough, slow enough to sound wrong but not slow enough to bring out the slur and murk and plodding and the rest of the stuff you want (it doesn't have to sound like 3 n the mornin but slow it down!!). and repetitive, non-stop, cd skip chopping that isn't helpful and friendly at all! and paul wall can't mix at all! you have to slide between tracks, dude. and bring some blends and shit on the intro. but i guess part of it is the beats flip's working with-- heatmakerz beats weren't meant to be screwed and chopped. so, i don't know. the slowed game over is pretty hot, it's got this trick with a double beat and the chant on the hook sounds like it's compressed, so it sounds faster than the original version but still screwed down. and there's the bonus unscrewed intro track and slight dj screw tribute that is sort of hot and better than most tracks on the album.

I was on change of heart, but that was almost 7 years ago when I was like 17. I was on there witt my baby momma & another bad bitch !!! both of em' was fly bitches anyway but you got niggas tryna use that tape to defame my character by sayin' ah aint no gangsta cause I'm on Change Of Heart witt my bitch !!! Nigga fuck you & if you know like I know ah gangsta will kill you over his bitch !!! Keep hatin though niggas, you only helpin me sell my records bitch !!! ... my gyrl left me, but that show is fixed !!! I knew she was gone leave me before we recorded it, thats why they pay you, all t.v. shows be fixed like that !!!

Thursday, June 03, 2004

"We were broke, and they paid us money to do that shit," says an annoyed Game, discussing an old videotape of him and his girlfriend on the dating show Change of Heart. "You got niggas dissing me for it. But I will not let anyone stop my movement."

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Paula Campbell - Who Got Next?

(pt. 2 in the repping Baltimore series)

Paula is an R&B singer who has had 2 singles that have been big hits all over Bmore/Washington radio for the past year and a half but hasn't blown up nationally yet. Her album finally dropped (regionally, at least) back in April, and last week I finally found a store that stocked it.

"Take You Home" is the current hit and is so far one of my favorite singles of the year and I've been doing everything I can to hype it outside my city where noone knows it. It's got those big bleacher-stomping "Grindin'"/"Tipsy"/"We Will Rock You" drums that people love so much, plus squishy synth bass and random tire squeals. Nothing really groundbreaking for post-Aaliyah/"What About Us" female R&B but still really well done and as hot as anything on mainstream radio right now. The chorus is jacked from Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam's "I Wonder If I Take You Home", which was already jacked just a year or two ago by that Angie Martinez f/ Kelis song, but I think this one is better. And there's now a remix featuring Comp (!), which is unfortunately not on the album, but there is a good ballad version called "Spend The Night" that's a bonus track at the end of the CD.

"How Does It Feel" featuring Tim Trees was Paula's first hit, and is produced by the Baltimore club king Rod Lee, so it's a very Baltimore-sounding record, flat drum sounds and spare synth stabs. I remember the first time I heard this I was driving across the Bay Bridge on new year's day 2003, and one of the 2 rap stations in town at the time (one has since changed formats) debuted it, boasting about this hot exclusive, and then not 20 minutes later, the rival station played it, and it spread like wildfire from there.

The rest of the album is pretty solid, no other Rod Lee productions, but about half of the tracks are produced by Jarod Barnes, who did "Take You Home". There's also a couple tracks featuring Neke, who's a DJ on 92Q and has a MC Lyte-esque voice. On the back cover of the album Paula is sporting a topless-with-strategically-placed-suspenders outfit like Lil Kim did on the cover of La Bella Mafia, and let's face it, it's just not a good look.

I saw Paula open for Kanye/Young Gunz when they played UMBC a few weeks back, and she had 8 (!) backup dancers and only did like 3 songs and wasn't a really great vocalist, but when she has the right material she sounds good, and as long as she keeps doing hot tracks and repping Baltimore I'll be supporting her. Her website has some MP3's but unfortunately they're only minute-long clips.

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partners n crime ft. dj jubilee - n.o. block party

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

rough guide to rappers who've dissed lil flip

1) esg
2) lil flex
3) kenoe
4) lil keke
5) lil 3rd
6) c-note
7) z-ro

beef is when i see you, guaranteed to be in icu

flip vs. t.i.! supposedly from t.i. calling himself the south's freestyle king on some mixtape track and talking down on flip at a show in houston and flip saying some stuff at a show in atlanta. according to iap tv and confirmed by messageboard dudes that are down with paul wall (who's an official member of t.i.'s p$c and semi-down with flip!). people are saying t.i.'s said he won't respond on his album (he's back in the studio-- work release thing).

i don't know if t.i.'s ever gone at someone, other than the subliminal shit allegedly for luda, which isn't the direction i hope this takes. but flip had serious beef with a couple ex-screwed up click members and responded a couple times (check for the girls, girls, girls freestyle [the beat choice is perfect] where he goes at lil flex and esg [both of them got linked to flip getting shot]. it's super gangsta and specific but still in flip's old mixtape mode, sleepy and disconcertingly gleeful).

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