Monday, August 30, 2004

juelz santana ft. t.i. - roll call -- i heard a rumor that t.i. or flip was going to join dipset as like the young buck:g-unit token southern member. flip sounded ridiculous over heatmakerz beats even before he fell off hard but t.i. kinda sounds right even if his serious new york verses sort of carry way less weight when they're on loud action movie dipset beats like roll call instead of real southern beats. i wish them both the best.
juelz sucks dick.

jim jones ft. t.i. and bun b - end of the road -- alright this is actually kind of hot. yeah right jim jones..... but he actually comes with a verse that's halfway decent. the south's realest over this barely chopped sped up soul sample that's all full of screaming woman singer and rough pianos hitting and some hard basic drums over it and serious gangsta verses.
t.i. sounds like he's been drugged or something and has shitty punchlines ("paralyze ya like superman horse ridin") (how you gonna let JIM JONES outshine you??).
jim jones spits a boring dipset verse but, if you haven't heard one in a long time, boring dipset verses over sped up soul samples can kind of surprise you, and he does go pretty hard.
and bun b has just become superrapper legend who's nice to hear on anything and he doesn't give a fuck and still kills it and sounds desperate and amazing with that beat freaking out under his slow smooth tongue.
bitch, my cadillac is candy and my pistol is pearl
my best friend is a pimp and his bottom bitch is your girl
i got the 84s that clank, the big diamonds that blank
plus them hoes that smoke kill, pop pills, and sip drank
fuck what ya think, i'm trying to tell you how life is given and taken
my lil brother in the pen where niggas shivvin and shankin
we got a million dollar team but one gone so i'm takin my five hundred
flippin the game to have somethin for him when he come home
my two older brothers locked up, both of them smokin
homes gonna be fucked up, mayne my little nieces and nephew heartbroken
seein daddy in a cage at that age, it fuck your mind up
so at this stage in the game i gots to really gets my grind up
so you gon see me in your city doin a verse on a show
or maybe even servin one of these nigga a couple of them thangs on the low

This isn't old, is it? Mike Jones responds to Cham

Sunday, August 29, 2004

slim thug ft. pharrell - i ain't heard -- it's kind of depressing to hear slim thug, houston superstar, candy blue bentley driver even before he got signed, bonehard street veteran, turned wooden and out-of-place by a budget nondescript neptunes beat with funny neptunes ticky conga drums and swooshy/pharrell singing bullshit chorus. (he's has to say "big boss of the south" now, because saying "big boss of the north" wouldn't make any sense to anyone, i guess).

az ft. cl smooth - magic hour -- fuck these are the two most depressing songs in the world. az sounds so defeated. dead sped up soul sample hip-hop beat and az starts rapping about sands in tahiti, bare chest, thirty grand on the pinky, grey goose and hoes galore. and. there's this guy at the barbershop i go to who drives one of those little triumph convertibles and seems to be in every time i'm there and he used to sell insurance and own rental properties and then i guess he lost all his money or something and he talks about all his plans, that big brick building right by the 4th ave viaduct, he's going to turn it into big loft apartments, that's money right there, but he's always wearing the same grey clothes and spitting over sped-up soul samples.

summer music about the world: taylor field/samantha

they built the original field in 1923 and called it park hughes, moved it over a block and renamed it park de young in 1928, and rebuilt it and renamed it taylor field in 1948. i can't find any references to park hughes and park de young outside of brief mentions in orange and brown photocopied coilbound histories of sports in regina and official saskatchewan roughriders websites.
taylor field is named after neil taylor. his nickname was piffles. he played rugby, soccer and football, and fought in the first world war. he got taken prisoner, got released, went to england, went back to the war, got his eye bayonetted out and then came home and organized a football league and became a city councillor and died in 1947 and got a stadium named after him. right now i guess it looks like any modern football stadium and it's surrounded by the slummest slums in the whole city, easily some of the worst in the country, in north america, i don't know. (right now regina is in a neck and neck race with i believe saskatoon and winnipeg to reclaim the murder capital of canada title it lost in the late 1990s [we don't have the most murders by far, the number actually seems pretty low, but it's a relatively small city and it's all per capita]). it's old tiny shitty beige and green houses that have been there forever mixed with bombedout apartment blocks and bars/offsales with neon signs and chinese grocery stores and abandoned transmission repair places and old-ass brown brick buildings that got built in like 1910 and have heritage whatever signs in front of them. eastern europeans and everyone else that worked in the factories and warehouses or the cp railyard across albert lived in them until they moved away whenever they all got enough money to move away and the government let natives move around and move into ghettoes and force poor white people into separate ones. on nights when they have games the place is fucking crazy. those big spotlights light up like ten blocks in every direction, daylight. and big speakers rumbling first down announcements and tinny country music over the whole city. every street all around the place lined with dodge caravans and crvs and saturn vues (you can make a lot of money charging people to park in your frontyard). the whole neighborhood is drunk and outside, doors wide open, barbecuing hamburgers on their lawn. they do this thing at the field where they open the big gates on the north side after the first half is done, you can just walk right in and stand between the two temporary cheap seat stands, where the pep band and the guys painted green are (when losing games start to wind down and people begin filing out the drunk green guys abuse them with "fairweather fan! fairweather fan!" chants and "you don't deserve to wear that fuckin jersey"/"you leave then they lose, that makes you fuckin loser!" calls). lean right up against the fence and the field is right there. it's mostly tough boys from the neighborhood who don't have to be home early and lean over the fence smoking in shiny jackets with their band and reservation stitched on the back. and old drunk men with braids that bum cigarettes off the tough boys and scary little girls in pyjamas and lipstick standing under the bleachers with cracked sunflower seeds falling into their hair. (Tamra Jewel Keepness was last seen Monday night, July 5, 2004. Regina police and volunteers combed the city and surrounding area, but ended their search a week after she was last seen. Police then refocused their investigation on Tamra's family. Aboriginal leaders vowed to continue their own search for Tamra. Police are asking anyone who can provide leads to Tamra's whereabouts to call 1-866-80-TAMRA). and people who bought tickets and started leaving when the score got scary but stand around when they come back with a quick touchdown and get the extra point and there might be time to win but not to walk back up to their seats way up there near the spotlights. at the very end, when the play is way down there at the other end, the tough boys have a game over going over the fence in teams, dodging the first group of event staff and security guards until everyone cheers and they're finally tackled or they fly back over the chainlink, under the bleachers and into the parking lot, which always makes everyone cheer even louder.
the parking lot is full of shuttle buses, tour buses, handicap buses, clouds of japanese tourists, boys cruising around in white monte carlos or green cherokees.
boys go there to rob people and samantha and robert and i watch a boy in camouflage grab a purse from a lady in a green roughriders jacket, her husband with a baby in a baby backpack on his chest shouting you fucking fucking you fucking goddamn.

her favorite songs: into you by fabolous, bad boyz by shyne, and thru the wire by kanye west.
the first time i pick her up she's wearing beige velour all over herself, walking right in the middle of the afternoon driving right along my street, shout what's up and she says hey can i get a ride, when she gets in i tell her i wasn't sure if she was working or not (the girls wander big circuits around the hood, blending in, making it look like a walk back from 7-11 to get a pack of smokes. only the old white girls bother dressing like hookers and they usually stay out of this neighborhood and walk one of the downtown strolls in pink shorts flashing their tits at drunk drivers) and she says i guess i don't need to see if you're a cop or not, you're too young to be a cop haha were there any other girls out? nah just one busted white girl (leanne: she let me fuck her without a condom even though i didn't ask and i couldn't go through with it for very long and she gave me a handjob and charged way too much and smelled bad and talked the whole time about how she never got picked up because guys always think she's a cop because she's white and isn't sixteen fucking years old god i hate this neighborhood a cop stops me and says can you tell any young girls you see out here to go home ... what the fuck first of all i'm white and second i'm not going to do that, she says. she's not really that busted really, she looks like a pretty white prostitute).
she's cute and smokes cocaine and says she only works sometimes and her boyfriend is a welder, 'guess how old he is? fifty one, he's away right now, up north.' i give her lots of money and she tells me i look like a guy who breakdances, do i breakdance, no, and we drove out to the edge of nc to the ring road, out through edge of town freshly built umc neighborhoods and. the edges of prairie cities don't slowly reduce into suburb->less suburb->some houses and trees->trees and roads. it's a hard drop-off into flat wasteland. they're like domed cities, kind of. sharp borders because they're new cities, they're all just a few years old and haven't had time to spread out. you hit the edge of town and it's dust roads and fields. she says to me: "is this what farmers grow?" this is less than five kilometers from your street. "yeah. you've never seen this before? the yellow fields, all those yellow flowers: that's canola. it means 'canadian oil.' they make margarine with it and canola oil. the green stuff is wheat." "wheat?" "yeah. it looks like that when it's growing then it sort of dies and turns yellow and they cut it all down and take the tops off."
we ride with windows rolled up, going up and down dirt roads into a field, give traditional wave at farmer in f350 coming our way, airconditioning on full. stop and give her more money and fuck her in the backseat and the airconditioning blows warm when the car is stopped. cum in a kleenex while she pretends to get herself off because she says she needs to go, she's supposed to be meeting her p.o. like right now. i fall in love and tell her while jerking off i love you i want to marry you. and she laughs and goes back to pretending and asking me if i'm ever gonna come.
get all dressed back up. and drive back toward the city. she wipes my forehead with a kleenex while i drive and does the same for herself. stop at a mcdonald's and order her six mcnuggets and a large orange and six mcnuggets for myself, no drink. she writes her name, address and numbers (she says she has five phone numbers because she never sleeps the same place two nights in a row) on the receipt in black pen with hearts around her big SAMANTHA.

Friday, August 27, 2004

Jadakiss f/ Styles P., Common, Nas and Anthony Hamilton - "Why" remix

I love how it starts, with the weird filter on Anthony's voice and then that skronky synth intro that always sounded out of place on the oroginal but I gradually came to love, and a new flip on the beat with harder drums, and SP coming as hard as I wish he did on "Locked Up" and then a new version of the hook. Even Common brings his A game, especially "why ain't Rick James remembered for classic hits, why do we remember Rick for smackin' a bitch?" And Nas, don't even get me started. Why can't every remix kill it like this!?

Mannie Fresh - "Real Big"

First single from the solo album!!! Exactly what I hoped it would be, like a fast silly Big Tymers jam with no Baby, instead of like every Cash Money single of the past year that's had Mannie doing those monotonous hooks and overblown intros that got less funny every time you heard them and all the sub-Timbaland fake vocal scratching fricky-fricky "frih-uh-fresh" stuff. The best part is when he brags about having a fish tank in the dash.

D12 - "Git Up"

I always kind of dug the little snippet at the end of the video for the awful "How Come", so it was cool the other night to see a full video for this on BET Uncut, the weird lighting and them in front of the screens goes great with the sound of the song, I don't even know how to describe the beat, clicky clacky but in this noisy hyper way that I love, I want to hear more beats like that. Em's been doing that grunting phlegmatic voice so much lately that I'm starting to like it, especially when he's just doing that weird singsong like he really doesn't give a fuck, "bananas in our flannels, hands around our colt handles, hold them like roman candles, vannas vo vannas, banana fanna fo fannas, who come back all bananas, banana clips loaded" etc.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Another Summer mixtape:

side a:
1. Terror Squad f/ Ma$e, Eminem and Lil Jon - "Lean Back" (remix)
2. Kanye West f/ Ma$e - "Jesus Walks" (remix)
3. Nas - "Disciple"
4. Young Buck f/ David Banner and Lil Flip - "Welcome To The South"
5. 8Ball & MJG f/ T.I. and Twista - "Look At The Grillz"
6. Twista f/ Ludacris - "Higher"
7. Twista f/ Freeway - "Show's Over (aka Show Go On)"
8. Young Gunz f/ Freeway - "Parade"
9. Ice City f/ Freeway and Joe Budden - "Ride Up"
10. Freeway f/ Mully Man - "Streets"
11. Comp f/ Cam'ron - "So Much Fire"
12. "Diplomats Invading Houston" (screwed)
13. Cam'ron and Lil Flip - Diplomats vol. 5 freestyle
14. Lil Flip - "Ghetto"
15. Bubba Sparxxx f/ Youngbloodz, Rich Boy and Pastor Troy - "Back In Da Mud" (remix)

side b:
1. 213 - "Another Summer"
2. John Legend - "Used To Love U"
3. Jagged Edge - "In The Morning"
4. Paula Campbell - "You Make Me..."
5. Janet Jackson - "Strawberry Bounce"
6. Anthony Hamilton - "Charlene"
7. Jadakiss f/ Anthony Hamilton - "Why"
8. Capone 'n' Noreaga - "People Know"
9. Jay-Z - "Allure" (Just Blaze remix)
10. Shyne - "When I Die"
11. Lloyd Banks f/ Young Buck and Tity Boi - "Keepin' It Hood"
12. Bump J - "Nuthin' But A G Thang" freestyle
13. Talib Kweli and Hi-Tek - "Back Up Off Me"

Tuesday, August 24, 2004


g-unit releases are the most important days in our life right now. we know what to expect and we know it will be perfect. i was at cd plus on my lunchbreak to make sure i got the cardboard packaged one with the ski mask cover (i think that might be the dirtiest, best album cover ever. when i first saw the picture in magazine ads and such i thought the idea was supposed to be that he was dead. his eyes are closed and everything. it reminded me of like al jazeera camcorder footage of the martyr's body propped up in the living room of his parents home, with the mask still on, the platinum grill still in his mouth because no one would violate him by trying to pry it out.) and the dvd. it's got the same supersmooth g-unit photography that they've used since get rich, and pictures of buck blowing smoke, pointing revolvers and interrogating dudes tied to chairs in abandoned houses. tonight we heard stomp playing in like every third car downtown and in the back of dairy queen when we went through the drive-thru to get blizzards.

the songs from the cd that i want to write about:

i'm a soldier ft. 50 cent - WELCOME TO CASHVILLE, MOTHERFUCKERS. why we love young buck:
he raps about dirt roads, looks like tupac and isn't from new york city.

prices on my head ft. lloyd banks and d-tay - i kinda thought he was going to go more southern and skip shit like this, mobb deep beats and soft in-key hooks but i guess that's kind of the idea. he has a beautiful voice that still sound rough even though he's singing very properly and he does a standard, very properly done verse about riding with g-unit even if shit gets fucked up. lloyd sounds defeated and raps about doublechecking every time he steps outside. and d-tay sounds identical to buck!! for a second i was like yo where's this d-tay guy, was that just his voice on the hook or something? i'm still not sure. (after the g-unit show in saskatoon buck and banks were doing an official aftershow thing at a club downtown. d-tay was one of the guys there that started the semi riot by fucking with a guy from stressed street, the local crew that was opened the aftershow thing. all the g-unit dudes ran backstage and their security got fucked up by all the guys who were rolling with stressed street who were right up against the stage. the next day everyone was saying buck and banks got robbed by guys from indian posse and crazy cree.)(d-tay was also the dude responsible for the g-unit spinner piece getting robbed on a different occasion!! what a bitch.)

bonafide hustler ft. 50 and yayo - if you have kazaa or soulseek or any shit like that stop right now and try and download this. this is so so so good, you don't even know. just like grimy nighttime beat with rising strings and twinkling bells and just the most amazing 50 verse since probably get rich, shit like you haven't heard in forever, way different from the arrogant, commanding g-unit stuff (which is fine too) and var guest verses. and buck comes with some serious d-boy horror about filling up needles and running the block around the clock. and! yayo with crazy lullaby sing-song rhyme with more scary realness: NOW I'M HEADED DOWN SOUTH AND THAT'S MY WORD

shorty wanna ride - it kinda sounds like a ny producer trying to do a fake southern beat. it's lil jon but without all the crazy whistles and star trek noises that we all hate now. it's still pretty hard and okay. buck drives around nashville in his cadillac truck and finds a girl to hop up in the truck and drive out to the country.

stomp ft. the game and ludacris - the back of the package has a little black sticker covering half of the title. 12 STOMP f/T.I. & LUD| CORRECTION "STOMP" F/THE GAME & LUDACRIS | and game sucks so fucking bad, "i wasn't trying to get the cover of the double x l / just tryna fuck mya cause dre says sex sells." and the passable luda verse that makes less sense with t.i. off the track but sounds hot like fire after the game's verse.

walk with me ft. stat quo - SPIT MY BARS, GET OFF TOUR THEN GO COOK CRACK. even on the end of album track with stat quo they make him use some corny nyc beat but eh it's okay, lots of cool horns and cool disco-y lady singing in the background and buck singing the hook about all the real niggas walking with him and stat quo is kind of cute with strange punchline about treating gats like tires, he always keeps a spare, spit hotter than hot wings, save the games for the arcade, yea-ah!

Monday, August 23, 2004

John Legend - "Used To Love U"

An early version was on I'm Good over a year ago, but now it's getting a proper release as the first single from John's LP Get Lifted, dropping in October. The new version is more or less the same, with some parts re-recorded and added. I'm not crazy about the synth horns, but the Miri Ben-Ari violins are a nice touch. It's got the "Get By" drums that I wish Kanye used more, probably the best JL solo track I've heard to date, but I dunno how well it will do as a single. But by and large the Legend stuff is better than most of the R&B stuff Kanye's been doing since he blew up, so I have high hopes for it. When they were in town a couple weeks ago for the Usher tour, JL was on the radio to push the song and tell people who he is and sang bits of all the hits he wrote or did hooks on, and the only one that I didn't know was that he did those amazing background "ooh"s on "You Don't Know My Name". He also revealed that because of some copyright issues they might have to change the name of Kanye's label Very Good Music to some cheesy acronym like G.O.O.D. (Gettin' Out Out Dreams).

Lil Flip f/ Lea - "Sunshine" remix

Same vocals over the Herb Alpert/"Hypnotize" beat, which is the exact same thing Musiq did on a remix on the Johnson Family Vacation sdtk a few months ago. Is the idea here that now that Irv Gotti has stopped recycling '90's Bad Boy beats everyone else gets to take turns doing it?

Ness - "My Hood"

Haha, this is the song that Diddy told Ness was "crazy" in the elevator on that one episode of Making The Band 2! You only get to hear a few seconds of it on the show, so it was cool to hear it in full on the radio just now. It is kinda hot, but it's funny to think that this is the stuff that made Diddy want to break up Da Band and take Ness solo. Even when Dofat's beats are good, they still kinda sound like something someone did on Fruityloops and uploaded to their Soundclick page.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

real gs don't die? that's a lie cause i'm dyin inside

that gold and yellow, grey suit, motorola flip phone in right hand, bundle of papers with scribbly writing on them balanced against his waist with his left hand, looking young, tired and efficient, walking past a giant poster for the new shyne album stapled to plywood construction walls, hurrying back to his office after a lunch meeting six blocks down, and in the bottom of his head playing cinematic overthetopc just blaze beats and rapping in a deep warm frightening voice that's impossible to duplicate with his mouth, rapping about shiny black sedans sliding past him in downtown traffic and secretaries hurrying back from lunch in pinstripe pants and caramel boots and being a businessman. on the dashboard of our car when we walk into 7-11, with the music left playing loud and the doors locked, buying diet coke slurpees and a little box of plastic tipped swisher sweets. and cruising our own downtown with windows rolled down to cheekbone level, blaring prison phone raps, holding smoke in our mouths until the slow to a stop at a redlight, blow it out while peeking over the tops of the windows to glare at guys in tiburons. licking the sweet saliva and tobacco honey out of the plastic tip, taking corners very slowly.

number's unlisted, stayed in third district, fo real I'm ready to get naughty

Best of both worlds, so hey shawty!!!!

Also, Tom, say it ain't so! You know you're too good for Pitchfork, right? I mean, if that's what you want to do, go for it, I'm not gonna hate. Their readership is pretty enviable. But you've written for publications that pay in money and print on paper, so it seems like a step down. If I can offer one big of advice, my biggest regret about writing for Pitchfork (of which I have many) is that I didn't use a pseudonym.

Friday, August 20, 2004

Bossman - "I Did It"

I don't know what it says about me as a person that 3 years post-Blueprint I still get off on the untouched-soul-sample production style when it's done well. Still, I kinda wish Baltimore MC's on the rise would get off New York's dick and stick with the hometown style, no matter how cheap Bmore beats sound and how much out-of-towners wanna hate (I was driving through D.C. last week and on the radio they were doing a battle of the beats thing and someone dismissed a song by saying "that shit sounds like it was made in Baltimore!", ha ha fuck you). But anyway, this is nice and cuddly and he sounds good on it, the tune kinda reminds me of the 2nd single from the last Fat Joe solo LP that bombed. And Bossman has a new freestyle over the "Headsprung" that I think I caught a Comp diss on.

Comp - "Slow Your Roll" remix

OK, forget what I said about Baltimore rappers shouldn't fuck with NYC beats, Comp sounds perfect over this kinda shit, even when dropping corny punchlines like "she wanna build with me like Tetris". This is his version of the 'new' B.I.G. song that I asked for info about here and on ILM but noone has helped me identify yet. Anyway Def Jam needs to hook him up with more shit that sounds like this.

Paula Campbell - "You Make Me..."

Her new single, in slow jam mode, so not nearly as fun as her first 2, but ok for what it is. The titular ellipses are pronounced with suggestive moans and clearly meant to imply something naughty, and she doesn't waste any effort on veiling the innuendo beyond that. But what does it for me is the triplet cadence of the vocals on the chorus, which kind of drags in this probably unintentional way that sounds cool when she pulls up to the dirty unsaid parts.

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Wednesday, August 18, 2004

A Rough Guide To DJ Rod Lee the Baltimore Club King's (a) club classics and (b) outside productions:

"Feel Me"
"Where You From"
"Let It Go"
"Latin Groove"
"You Ain't Shit!!!"
"Hey Riders"
"I'm A Freak"
Bossman - "Baltimore"
Mully Man f/ the Clipse and Fam-Lay - "Got It"
Q - "No"
Tim Trees - "Bankrolls"
Davon f/ Tim Trees - "Be Your Friend"
Davon f/ Tim Trees - "Be Your Friend" remix
Paula Campbell f/ Tim Trees - "How Does It Feel"

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Sunday, August 15, 2004

Freeway presents: Ice City - Welcome To The Hood
out 8/24/04 on Sure Shot Records

1. Welcome To The Hood f/Shena Grier (produced by Diverse)
2. U Talk It, I Live It f/Freeway (produced by Francise)
3. Ride Up f/ Freeway & Joe Budden (produced by 100 Milez)
4. They Ain't Ride'N (produced by Tekneek)
5. Lock It Down f/Freeway (produced by Trackademiks)
6. Grind That Stuff (produced by Tekneek)
7. Thru My Rearview (produced by Gooch)
8. Money Makes The World Go Round f/Freeway (produced by Tekneek)
9. The Boy's Not Playin' (produced by Moshe)
10. 1000 Bars (produced by Trackademiks)
11. The Hood Is Crazy (produced by Tekneek)
12. Want You Back f/Freeway & Shena Grier (produced by Diverse)
13. I'll Take Your Lady f/Peedi Crakk (produced by Chad Hamilton)
14. Philly Niggas f/Freeway & Oschino (produced by Chad Hamilton)
15. Da Boyz f/Freeway (produced by 100 Milez)

When I first heard about Ice City I was given the impression that Free and Peedi were full members, which got me kind of excited, since they're my 2 favorite members of State Property anyway, even if it not being on the Roc means no Just Blaze, who was one of the main reasons I enjoyed Philadelphia Freeway (although there are some tracks by Chad Hamilton, who did the fantastic "Parade" on the Young Gunz album). But now it looks like they're both only featured in a guest capacity (although of course Free is on half the songs). Of the songs I've heard so far, "Ride Up" is by far the best, more for the awesome TV cop drama-esque beat and Free's squawky hook than the boring Budden verse (Freeway really should voice a parrot in some kind of animated feature, he's kind of like the Gilbert Gottfried of rap anyway. Well not really, I'm sure someone else fits that description better.) "U Talk It, I Live It" is boring, and I have another one that's ok that's called "Blood" that I guess either isn't on the album or the title was changed.

Friday, August 13, 2004

I know there was that whole fiasco with dk's unflattering impression and all, but really, daps to Catchdubs for pointing out that Mobb Deep and a shitload of other people sampled Little Feat, whose music I totally grew up on via my dad being a huge fan. I actually bought Dixie Chicken on vinyl last year and I feel like a dumbass now for never putting on side 2 track 1 and going "Holy shit! It's the Bonita Applebaum/Killing Me Softly beat!".

Thursday, August 12, 2004


why it's really good: i love the big spreadout picture in the booklet, black and white, nas leaning against the bentley and his crew arranged to his left, wearing the same jacket as him, discreet finger signs and gold watches, range rover behind them, and behind them half of the nyc skyline across a guardrail and flat water. there's all these great pictures of him in the book (especially compared to i am... which is the ugliest cd booklet ever): nas in shiny red leather jacket and pieces and chains coming down his shirtless, smooth chest and belly, rag and tilted fitted, dark glasses; var. shots of nas in brown jedi robe and knotted bandana on his forehead, looking pensive and everything. if you stare at the front cover long enough it feels like he's reading your mind. i have nothing to fear because i wish him well and have always supported him. and i bet he can't use his nastradamus powers anymore because he's already become god's son and then back to being the street's disciple. and, yeah, why it's really good? this is why:

god love us - fuck kanye and his lame even the strippers/doves out of bricks shit, nas gets all earnest and poetic and still sounds real. he sings a hook about god having love for hood niggas (cause next to jesus on the cross was the crook nigga but he forgive us) and responding to himself with sung "i know!"s and it's all these little xylophone sounds on the beat and fake horns and he breaks it down with overrefined nas superverses about life and death and god.

family ft. mobb deep - i think prodigy: i got that i don't give a fuck in me / it's stuck in me / that's our advantage over yall niggas / you too pretty, we too gritty / like sanford and son / too grimey like pig pen with diamonds on!! and the best dopedealer nas verse ever, rapping about getting packs off and robbing prostitutes. okay. cinematic dame grease beat. okay.

nastradamus - i love when nas does a verse that anyone else would shout and go crazy with but he just spits it cool/doesn't give a fuck. play the ante up beat in your head and spit it like lil fame then play the one love beat and spit it to match that: I NEED AN ENCORE YALL, YOU SHOULD WELCOME ME BACK / YOU WANNA BALL TILL YOU FALL, I CAN HELP YOU WITH THAT / YOU WANNA BEEF, I CAN LET A SLUG MELT IN YOUR HAT / CAUSE I'M A WILD BARBARIAN, TOO HARD, I'M SCARIN EM. then he says something about a solar eclipse, which lil fame wouldn't. it's overall hotness, real hip-hop l.e.s. sampling james brown hook and nas all gully and that hook. (the verse about ill will with the beat dropping out halfway through is one of my favorite nas verses ever.)

project windows ft. ron isley - i hope i sound lame when i'm talking about how much i love nas. i don't give a fuck. this is the best nas track. it's everything good about him ever. the first verse is like something he could have used on a ny state of mind iii, just compressed non-sequitorial realness. verse 2: hopeful blunted teacher nas telling people to teach their daughters karate and their sons not to hate because the world kills people slowly. verse 3: we hear about his dad, "pops was smooth / from his top to his shoes / sang the blues, guitar strings / he played, smokin his kools / duke ellington hat, picture this yo 70s cat / he wrote his music in the back of the crib, i did my homework / at night the windows were speakers, pumping life out / a fight, people screamin cause someone pulled a knife out / i was impatient to get out and become part of the noise out there / i used to stare five stories down, basketball courts, shot up playgrounds / and I witnessed the murders and police shakedowns / yo the hustlers and hoes, drugs and four-fours / this was the life of every kid lookin out project windows." the beat has this liquidy fast piano (first track after the intro on cormega's last album) and gently crashing drums and ron isley.

come get me - nas was bringing back real hip-hop four years ago!! this is what real hip-hop is all about right here. premo laces nas with some crazy heat, vintage premo shit, and nas proves he's the realest rapper ever to step in the game. YO POWER AND CRIME / THE THUGS SLINGIN 20S AND DIMES / 20S OF D IS YO NIGGAS WILDER THAN MINE?? / MY NIGGAS BUST NINES PUFF LYE AND STICK UP COWARDS / FOR SHINE, YOU RESIST, THEN PUSH UP FLOWERS / I'M LIKE LUCA BRASI VITO'S BEST HITMAN / THAT'S GODFATHER SHIT, BACKSEAT, NEXT LIT PLANS / REVOLVERS SPIT I'M TOO TOUGH TO BARGAIN WITH. i hope street's disciple is all like this. (he even says "stay crunk like the dirty south"!! he could just straight reuse it.)

life we chose - i meant to put this song first in the list because it's the first song on the album. the first songs on nas albums are always the best (the nastradamus intro sucks dick though). he always puts his favorite songs first. this is like the soundtrack to that big picture of nas and his crew in the booklet. it's got all these big horns (Featuring samples from the Fred Wesley and the Horny Horns Featuring Maceo Parker recording "Peace Fugue") and those shivering bells that l.e.s. always uses and it's just nas taking a boring nas verse and spitting it like a soundtrack to a picture of himself leaning against a bentley.

a brief note on you owe me and general comments on bad songs on nas albums: this is an unpleasant song. it's got a horrible, ugly timbaland beat. nas is always very awkward when he talks about sex. he usually starts off okay and then it all turns into this weird shit about bitches on leashes. still, i think you owe me is the only big dud on the cd. nastradamus has the best hit/miss ratio of any nas album! and you owe me doesn't even come close to being as bad as the bad tracks on i am... and stillmatic (only three nas albums contain bad songs, not counting intros or outros [shit, that reminds me of the horrible little weed drops skit between um come get me and shoot em up, i think. it's supposed to be futuristic like some brave new world future drug thing, i think]).

and the intro and outro: SUCK.

Nas - "Disciple"

I wasn't really feeling "Thief's Theme" or that one where he's all "everybody talkin' bout the new Nas song" and I'm all "yeah and they're saying it's garbage", so I wasn't expecting much from this, and when it started in with the awkward DISCIPLE (streets!) DISCIPLE hook, I was prepared for the worst. But then there's that neat bit where the beat drops out every few measures and the first verse is pretty awesome, "this ain't 50, this ain't Jigga, this ain't Diddy, this ain't pretty, pain, power, pussy and pistols", popping his P's like he must be getting spittle all over the mic guard.

Talib Kweli - "Peace of Mind"

Like the Nas, I'd been underwhelmed by the early leaks from the new Kweli, but suddenly now some new songs I like from both of them. Just a nice generic soul beat by Fresno, but the kind of boring pretty thing that Kweli sounds great over. This would be good right at the beginning of the album, maybe track 2 or track 3.

Prince - "Call My Name"

I was always in full support of the idea of Prince making a major comeback, and such is my general goodwill toward him that it didn't really matter to me, in theory, if it was in a classy, nostalgic, for-grown-folks-who-remember way. Still, it was a little depressing to see him back on MTV for the first time in forever wearing suits and preaching about the true funk soldiers. But I accept the fact that he'll never be "edgy" again, and it would be insulting to presume that he needs the LinnDrum and the innuendo to be interesting. So I'm glad that even if I won't bother buying Musicology (I've still got way too many of the classics to catch up on), at least I like the 2nd single, which proves that he never lost his touch with the ballads. Even the fussy live band arrangement, with all the drum fills and bass flourishes stuffed into every measure, kind of works with the song and not against it. A song like this, combined with the earth-toney BET Midnight Love-ready video, finally puts him on a level playing field with all the nu-soul bores who always unconvincingly claim him as an influence, just so he can show them up on their own turf.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004


I generally don't like to pick on Pitchfork, because it's too easy, and because I wrote for them briefly about 4 years ago so I don't want to come off bitter or anything, but misinformation like this just pisses me off to no end: today they erroneously credited the production of "Crazy In Love" to Scott Storch for not the first time or even the second time, but at least the third time. Rich Harrison produced it, you fucking idiots. This information is not hard to find.

(1995 acura legend)


"lay up in miami with tamyka and tammy / some creole c.o. bitches i met on tour / pushed a peach legend coupe, gold teeth galore" - you're nobody til somebody kills you

"fillin clips, he explained our situation / precisely, so we know exactly what we facin / some kid named jason in a honda station wagon" - somebody's gotta die

"today's agenda: got the suitcase up in the sentra / go to room 112, tell em blanco sent ya" - niggas bleed

"check the pain i inflict, like a convict, the fulton digger / jump in the acura vigor, after I stick ya" - hope you niggas sleep

"i like to max in maximas and acuras / your girl buttcheeks, i'm smackin her" -
let me get down

"pimpin hoes that drive volvos and rodeos / flash the roll, make her wet in her pantyhose" - to all my niggas

"i creep deep with killers without million dollar figures / blessing niggas in ac legends and vigors / cream lizards, cream coogis, i do my duty" - still can't stop the reign

(1992 infiniti q45, 20" giovanna spinners)

"quick to grab the right bitch and make her drive / the q45, glocks and tecs are expected when I wreck shit" - ready to die

"drive a benz or miata" - get money remix

"women spinning in 929 mazdas, tammy and natasha / the menage a trois around my waist" - oh my lord (chamillionaire drives a mazda 929, too! and the first car my parents bought after they were married was a white 1986 626 lx turbo coupe. it was beautiful and fast as fuck.)

"man listen all this walking is hurting my feet / but money looks sweet (where at!) in the isuzu jeep" - gimme the look

(1995 toyota landcruiser)

"cause i'm knee-deep in the beats / in the land cruiser jeep with the mack 10 by the seats" - machine gun funk

"thinking back on my one room shack / now my mom pimps a ac with minks on her back" - juicy

"had to re-up, see what's up with my peeps / toyota deal-a-thon had it cheap on the jeeps" - everyday struggle

"original hustler with the muffler on the tec / respect to the macks and the acs / to the freaks in the jeeps, lick shots to my peeps" - respect

"it ain't nothin, they know big be handlin / with the mack in the ac door paneling," "mad tricks up the sleeve, wear boxers so my dick can breathe / breeze through in the q45" - unbelievable

Monday, August 09, 2004

great blends I've heard on the radio in the past week:

* the Brandy "Talk About Our Love" vocal over the B Rich "Woah Now" beat

* the Lloyd "Southside" vocal over the Lil Scrappy "Headbussa" beat

Both of those don't look good on paper, but sounded amazing, especially the "Southside"/"Headbussa" one.

Also, can anyone tell me what this 'new' B.I.G. song is that I keep hearing? It's got Biggie's verse from Aaron Hall's "Why You Tryin' To Play Me" over a different beat, and the hook goes "slow your roll". Is it on the Duets album or what?

Sunday, August 08, 2004


get wild with it ft. ying yang twins -- hey it's awesome slithery bleats and big warcraft cutscene keyboard stuff and a whole layer of ying yang twins noise and sneaker squeaks and fast bounce drums and it samples the nolia clap ALRIGHT voice and it's hard as fuck and everyone is really filthy and angry.

factory ft. hakim, gar, and sniper -- ex-hot boy bragging about riding on factory rims! "took the chrome off all my whips and put em back on factory." sort of expanding on his ten lacs > one maybach idea he was talking about on the mixtapes. and weird chinesey beat that sounds like down in the clover and has beautiful delicate panpipe flutes. (gar and sniper are nice as fuck too!! on this song and on the rest of the tracks they're on. hakim is okay.)

rollin in my cadillac -- a duet with the scary satan voice three six mafia used to always use, employed to retch on the hook about rolling in a cadillac with car accident sound effects. and bg talking about going back to the streets and how baby fucked him over and how he's rolling in his cadillac.

like that ft. soulja slim -- it's sounds a lot like slow motion, which is okay. bg talks nfl teams + girls and slim does the hook and a verse about what sort of girls he likes.

street niggas ft. ti -- i posted about this before but i only heard the truncated version on southern smoke 11 that only has bg's verse and half of ti's. it's an amazing track. it's all about that subdued plastic beat but it's all about the two realest niggas in the south going one after another on it. bg does plain bg realness and ti sounds so fucking serious and dusty and tired and absolutely kills it. you get to hear ti's version of the hook and the two of them talking shit over the outro where most of the beat gets stripped away and there's just the pumping keyboard swooshes and bumps.

"i tell you what, if i come to the trap when there's a drought in new orleans, i need you to put me on."
"it's all good!"
"cause if there's a drought in the trap, you can come to new orleans, i got a spot for you."
"hey man. you already know, pimp. i'ma take you up on that offer man whenever this rap shit slow down, ya understand?"

my life -- so, he tells his story over a weird fake 1999 timbaland beat. getting kicked out of school, selling dope, meeting baby and his boys, meeting wayne, his dad getting killed, his habit, selling a lot of records, getting clean, going back to the streets.

"i was born 1980, september third / that's the day checks come out and fiends get served / so you know i got the blood of a hustler in my veins / my daddy had three brothers that all gave me some game / they was raised in the projects, i was born in the hood / i was raised on the block, my mom did what she could / always got what i needed, sometimes i got a little more / but i grew up watchin gs on the set gettin dough"

Friday, August 06, 2004

No idea what they sound like or if they'll be any good, but I think it's pretty awesome that Sasha Frere-Jones has started a band with Chris Lee, whose solo records I am a big fan of. If I didn't live 5 hours away from NYC, I'd so be beating their door trying to get the drummer gig.

the yellow one is sunshine, the dark one is bola

xtaci - yes

"four years passed, you can't even sign to koch records"

ti ft. xtaci - let's get away (remix) -- regular girl rappers (one is named sunshine and i don't know what the other one is called, they're official p$c members and that's a picture of them right there) on a remix of a song about girls pattern and their voices on the chorus mixed loud and weird so they sound whispery and breathless but overwhelming. in the first verse she meets him and gets drunk and falls in love with him and fucks him. in the second verse she's in love and her girls are tripping because she wants to spend the rest of her life with him. in the third verse ti doesn't notice that she's in love and wants to spend the rest of her life with him and remembers meeting her and getting drunk and fucking her and nothing else. there's no resolution. "ladies and gentleman, this is a jazze phinzell/ti collaborangell. king of the south! oh boy!"

terror squad - let them things go -- we like the way terror squad has become another rallying point for the oh-let's-give-up-hope-entirely-how-long-has-it-been-since-a-rap-album-actually-you-know-SPOKE-to-me-fuck-this-grim-soulless-shit arguers. because we don't give a fuck. we love scary extreme new york city beat with sirens and everyone with an oldschool flow to match weird drum patterns. we love remy! she's mean and deliberate and flawless. and joe is working in front of us, frantically rummaging in a big bag for potential endlines, every now and then sliding one out very carefully and showing it to the audience, then laying it aside. and we love good, anonymous rappers that we'll never care about.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

8Ball & MJG f/ T.I. and Twista - "Look At The Grillz"

The digital clap has supplanted traditional snare sounds in southern beats to the point that you get weird beats like this where the snarey snare has a tertiary role like a hi-hat, while the lighter clappy snare holds it down on the 3, which is a little disorienting and sounds totally awesome. This is the song in the 2nd half of the "Straight Cadillac Pimpin'" video, which isn't as great a combo as the "You Don't Want Drama"/"Don't Make" video, but it's still nice, and of course they don't use any of the parts with the guests verses, which are all frontloaded at the beginning of the song anyway. T.I. raps in doubletime way better than I would've expected him to, and Twista rocks the same flow as he did on the "Neva Eva" remix but it works. Again.

Bump J - "Nuthin' But A G Thang" freestyle

I'm happy with the status quo where mixtape freestyles are always over the beat from whatever song is hot at the moment, because when you hear someone rap over an indelible classic, it gets hard to disassociate the beat from the context you're used to hearing it in. Bumpy kills it, though, considering. His voice kind of reminds me of Malice from the Clipse. And why the hell did he change his name from Bumpy Johnson to Bump J when he got signed? Is it because there was a real life person named Bumpy Johnson, or did Atlantic just not want a rapper to have "Johnson" in their name? I mean, Bump J has to be the worst name modification since "Method & Red".

Akon f/ Styles P. - "Locked Up"

The thing that always weirds me out about this song is on the verses when the background vocals echo the last two syllabes of every line, so it goes like "the car is stolen (stolen), no registration (tration)", and all I can think every time I hear it is TRATION, THAT'S NOT A REAL WORD. Also it's pretty disappointing how half-assed Panero's verses are, considering that he's got personal experience to speak from.


Wednesday, August 04, 2004

a gangsta pat album from 1995 called deadly verses

the front cover: lightning bolts and lava sidegrounds. pat crouching on yellow grass in front of a big stone cross and spring or autumn trees, orlando magic jersey and matching black/white/blue nikes, gold tapeworm chain and gold fourfingers ring, big fake looking afro and bright fake red eyes, holding a junior high yearbook presumably from which the titular deadly verses are being read. on the back cover: pat leaning against a white bronco, one foot up on the driver's side running board.

pat has a flat white person voice and a plain fast southern rapper flow. there's not much to say about him. it says in the liner notes that he made all the beats. it says he played the bass guitar and lead guitar on every track except one. he thanks: phyllis hall, sly, big nate and god.

all the songs have the same spooky, cheap as fuck keyboard sounds, like totally blewout and fucked up sounding keyboards that never ever sounded right to anyone and not like dj paul/juicy j shit where it's supposed to sound like that. and the same southern drums, big deep ones under everything and crispy skittery ones way way up above them. it sounds like the stuff you'd usually want to fill your ears with, big fake keyboards and throbby drums, but it's all like so realistically dreary that it gives you that not breathing hard enough to fill your lungs properly weakness that you get when you listen to screw for a long time or any old greasy southern riding music that makes your body tired when you listen to it for a long time.

the original version of tear the club up is on it. it's slow and you couldn't tear a club up while listening to it. in the first part he says the name of a neighborhood in memphis and some guys shout in the distance: tear the club up. in the second part he says the name of a guy from memphis and some guys shout in the distance: smoke a blunt fool.

there's a song about how good it is to smoke weed and how he rolls cadillac and is going to float up into the sky and touch the clouds and there are sort of fake west coast keyboards like master p used to like. there's a song about how he's going insane from smoking weed and he goes to hell and meets the devil and there are fake west coast keyboards again and he smokes weed with the devil and asks him what hell is like and the devil starts talking a bunch of bullshit and pat calls him on it and the devil possesses him and makes him kill people and calls him a stupid motherfucker and calls him a stupid motherfucker and they recite the enter sandman prayer together and he decides not to smoke weed anymore.

there's a song called the oj murder story, which is why he's leaning against a white bronco. it's about how he killed nicole and ron. he's picking up some coke in california and takes a wrong turn and sees a white bitch with big tits and smokes a blunt with her in his truck. they go to her house and he sees pictures of her with oj. he beats her up and rapes her. there's a knock at the door, kills ron and goes back and beats nicole to death. it's okay, it was 1995. there's a part at the end where the devil talks again (there's a song called smokin with the devil where the devil is introduced [triple six stole overdoing devil cameos from gangsta pat!! (the only pat song i knew before i got this cd was the triple six diss tear yo club down [YOU TALK THE TALK NOW WALK THE WALK, YOU SUCKAS CAN'T SEE ME / GREW UP BUMPIN OFF MY SHIT NOW YOU WANNA BE ME / I CATCH MY NAME IN YOUR MOUTH AGAIN, YOU GET CLOWNED / FUCK TEAR CLUB, I'MA TEAR IT DOWN, BITCH])]) and says the moral of the song is that anyone could have done that shit and the law says innocent until proven guilty-- but it's the devil, so what the fuck.

Monday, August 02, 2004

welcome back, welcome back, welcome back

Ciara f/ Petey Pablo - "Goodies"

Post-"Yeah!", it's probably a given that R&B vocals can work over Lil Jon beats (actually even before that, since last summer it seemed like every DJ was putting R&B a cappellas over the "Damn" instrumental), but this is really pushing the limits of that premise, and not in a good way. It's got that portamento synth whistle that damn near every Lil Jon beat has in the background, except it's mixed way up in the foreground with not much else to really anchor it besides a weird lo-fi sounding guitar sample every now and then. And then you've got a thin-voiced chick singing a shrill, slight melody about her own naughty bits. In other words, it's "Milkshake" all over again. My first thought upon hearing this was: wow, this is horrible. My second thought: ILM is going to go nuts over this garbage. And sure enough, I ran a search and they already had.

T.I. f/ Jazze Pha - "Let's Get Away"

It's kind of funny how the T.I./Flip beef fired up right at the same time they both dropped slick R&B crossover singles, so that while they're all over mixtapes threatening each other, they're all over TV and radio getting all cuddly with the ladies. If these songs were the tiebreaker in deciding the winner, I'd side with T.I., although I like the weird alternating snare/rim tap beat on "Sunshine". Flip was on 106&Park making fun of T.I. for making 4 videos for an album that hasn't gone platinum, but really I admire that kind of perseverence. It's so rare these days for a rap album to get a prolonged push, usually the 2nd single is out by the time the album's in stores and 3-6 months later the label gives up on any further promotion regardless of whether it sold well, but T.I. kept at it and blew up on the 3rd single. And while this is a pretty 'safe' follow up, it's really grown on me. I like the 3rd verse best. The hook is an interpolation of the same Aretha song that Cam'ron used on a single just a year ago, but at least it's used a little differently.

Untouchables f/ Benzino - "Relationships"

Speaking of Cam, it's odd that Benzino hates on almost every rapper with a real career, but his crew is all really on some Diplomats dickriding shit, shouting "what's really good" over Heatmakerz beats. Benzino really bites Pac's flow on this (although I guess it's supposed to be obvious, since he's wearing a 2Pac shirt in the video), and actually has the best verse on the song, which should give you an idea of how bad the other guys are.

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