Friday, April 29, 2005

z-ro ft. chamillionaire and lil flip - from the south -- cham's unofficial remix of a track off z-ro's album that didn't even fully drop in stores yet. it's that obligatory, gentle down south anthem, dragged and chopped "frrrom the south, i got diamonds in my mouth" on the hook. and, see, the game here is unpacking all the internecine feuding, figuring out who the subliminals are for and why:
       a) cham's bumping paul's verse off the original. (check it, paul actually bites a chamillionaire line for his own verse on the original: that brush-my-teeth-with-windex line off the batter up flow.) payback for paul and his boys jerking cham by bumping him off still tippin, switch the beat and shoot a video. and shooting slugs at the folks that wrote him off (king koopa stays reading gov't names) and the ones that tried to fuck up his career and his cash, "still ride around the city with none of my niggas with me / still ride for h-town and don't none of these niggas feel me / ain't gotta like me or have none of these niggas hear me / i'ma be the mvp if don't none of these pick me / a lot of rumors in the streets / ain't none of it really pretty / gettin money makes all of the money seem itty bitty / make it clear, i don't hang with none of these niggas really / but i'm glad that the majors runnin up in the city."
       b) flip coming with even more serious subliminals for... who? slim thug? possibly revitalizing the theory that there's beef there. flip was never really cool with slim riding with e.s.g.-- the cat that might have caused bullets to get put in flip-- but that was kept cool and subliminal. and flip got caught rocking a THA BOSS shirt in chingy's video (and we know that slim thug is THA BOSS). and talking about "you embarrassin texas" (so, you know it's local beef), and "you just rappin, that ain't platinum, homie you need to chill," and "these rappers think they got some fame and think they got it locked / after your album flop, nigga you gon be on koch."
       and then we can speculate on the fallout: is ro gonna flip on cham for coming off the northside to plex on his track? i've heard he can be temperamental! and if you're going to let paul wall chop your album up, you must be seriously down with him. is e.s.g. gonna stop shooting his own subliminals at tha boss and reunite to diss flip? is e.s.g. gonna squash the lil flip beef so they can take it from subliminal to explicit and diss slim thug together? does cham have any more brothers we don't know about that he can get to diss paul?

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Ying Yang Twins - "Pull My Hair"
People will probably call foul on them making a formula out of the surprise success anti-formula of "Wait", but fuck it, they can keep doing as many of these as they want. Another super-minimal DJ Smurf/Mr. Collipark/Beat-In-Azz (he needs to pick one name and stick with it, they don't even refer to him by the same name(s) in the 2 articles about him and Ying Yang in the current Source) production, metronome click and amazing pixelated bass textures. Instead of whispering, this time both of them talking in the lowest, calmest voice they can manage. Pushing the X-rated shit even further, "I'm walkin' over to you with the rubber/(moan) yo ass in trouble", girl screaming "fuck me daddy, spank me daddy" on the chorus.

Young City - "Lil Daddy"
Chopper from Da Band under his even more generic official name, solo under the Bad Boy South banner now, coming next after Boyz N Da Hood, hanging out in the last 8Ball & MJG video, Diddy on hypeman ad libs. There's a rumor starting to go around that Chopper got Monica pregnant, and these two pages are supposedly their baby registries. Their real names and her hometown and everything. Poor C Murder. This song has nothing to do with that, the title is just kind of a funny coincidence.

T. Weaponz f/ Pitbull and Notch - "Mira Mira (El 3mix)"
I heard this song from Jeff, who really wants to hype it and get it heard, and I like it too so I'll throw a little hype on it. I love the xylophone-ish sound that kind of stutters and falls into weird clunky triplets over the beat.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

young jeezy ft. mannie fresh - then what -- alright, read that one more time quick. has to be hot, right? just imagine jeezy on some cheap, celebratory oldtime big tymers beat, rocking with his goofy adlibs and unfocused bragging shit, talk about those ferraris he got with his advances. or even newschool big money heavyweights warm, grinning mannie beat. nah, imagine smug and clownish mannie doing boom-boom-clap and dull, unenthusiastic background prompting and half-assed FRE-FRE-FRESHHHH fakescratches. same ol jeezy, celebrating on the end of every line: these other rappers act just like patrick swayze (HAHA!!) / i try to tell them but these niggas ain't hearin me / mossberg pump, i'm ridin shotgun literally (DEEEE-AYYYYM).

maceo ft. fats - nextel chirp -- bringing in that squeezed out hook, stretching that voice out, explaining the premise, nigga don't hit me on the nextel chirp / if you tryna conversate about some motherfuckin work. (nextel chirp = the localized direct connection system for nextel customers [your phone chirps when someone tries to connect to your phone] = insecure system that the police won't have trouble listening to you talking about prices and deals on, if they're interested in arresting you). that flowing, ten ton bass and the cold whistling/winking/humming keyboard cycles and sharp chirr-rrrup or plastic-on-plastic flip phone closeup slap sound effects. maceo with somber and serious young man flow and flat atlanta accent. plaintalk advice for a public service announcement, instead of, say, i don't know, young jeezy's overenthusiastic, facile dope game punchlines or t.i.'s trap metaphors. and fats from out maceo's quickflip click, taking his man's flow and trying it with less skill, rough and less serious, talking about what's gonna happen if you slip up, just ask jamal lewis.

z-ro - platinum -- remember listening to the life of joseph w. mcvey while spending a year feeling exactly like that cd sounds. coming off total failure, living in dingiest basement apartments, doing dangerous and impulsive things that i took no pleasure in, crying in a clinic parkinglot after i got a paxil prescription, sad and absolutely fucked up and brokedown for a minute, too shameful to give details beyond that. but ro rapping about the angels at the psychiatric center in his strong, cool voice. most important songs i ever heard, so this is important. ro with the calm and gentle and warm voice to tell me how he's feeling sort of the same as me, overhopeful and overoptomistic and grateful. singing, the tears i done shed led me to the big bucks / it's 2004 i ain't broke no more / cause god is my lifejacket when i sink so low / when i went to a hundred thousand from a hobo / so while you haters hate me as i make a little mo / i'm goin platinum this tiii-ime / i think you felllas better respect my mind. southern fakepac flow, whatever. same bizarrely generic mike dean beats, whatever.

(bonus: z-ro ft. ashanti - first time again -- z-ro floating thru/sometimes drowned out by lightheaded, pastel murder inc. production and ashanti sighs. ro talking love stories about how it's real this time, it's on, won't have to make another 'i hate u bitch' song, and singing softly into the beat, me and you is like the feelin that i get / when i roll on twwaaaaannnny-twoooooos.)

Friday, April 22, 2005

Yesterday in the Baltimore Sun there was an article about iPods that featured the playlists of a bunch of local people, including K-Swift (the online version doesn't have the pictures from the article). Her playlist has the Paula Campbell and Lil Mo songs that I wrote about last week on it.

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Thursday, April 21, 2005

mike jones ft. big moe - flossin -- mike jones is careful. example, bobbed and weaved when cham went at him, and let king koopa spin his tires in the mud and keep pumping xeroxes of the same ridiculous disses. we got cham sending his brother rasaq down to tidwell to do investigative reporting, ambush interviews of random hustlers, asking if they'd ever seen mike jones down there (main result: lots of sorta endearing stories about jones playing playstation in dope houses while his brother walter was out making the birds fly down south). call dyke jones and tell him he just got wrecccccked, but you can't put out a three disc album about a dude and not expect to sell some records for him. this is jones' political track. his tread-careful track for his hometown's rules. for the same reason he's got to put a great big r.i.p. screw in the cd booklet, put "the originator" under that. gotta make sure that people know he's doing things the right way, not getting a big head like watts does when he can't help but gleefully rub more salt in the wound, talking the elevated the game talk that z-ro gon ride him forever for (til his fat ass... apologize ["dies" would have rhymed but ro doesn't talk reckless like watts]). this is a houston track, could be jones singing karaoke over, like, a botany's boy's classic or something. soft soft drums cracking and ticking over top the tympani trunkdrums undercarriage, stomach murmur sparkle twinklers falling from the ceiling, and big moe re-killing those promethazine/codeine syrup respiratory failure rumors. bringing that overjoyed, warm sunshine, big smiles flow that absolutely no one in the city can do anymore. jones is doing this while people are trying to excise that style from their repertoire to get deals. jones keeps coming with those lines about mall tearing-up, gentle cruising, trying to come up even further, mashing sungwords here, "a lot of people now mad cause i'm hot / but they gon be even madder when that jag leave the lot."

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Here are some mp3's I got a request for of a couple Baltimore songs I've written about before:

Bossman - "Oh"

Paula Campbell - "You Make Me"

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Monday, April 18, 2005

2 short clips of Just Blaze in the studio, here and here.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Huli Shallone f/ Mannie Fresh - "Makin' Moves
OK, I've been throwing some dirt on Fresh's name lately, but that doesn't mean I'm not gonna get excited when he collaborates with someone from Baltimore! He talks on the intro and says Huli's name and shouts out Hit Em Hard Records and everything! I have no idea what the title is, I put off writing about it when I first heard it a couple weeks ago hoping I'd find it out but fuck it, I won't bother to guess what it is based on the hook ("hey ma, i know you wanna see me shine, I been lookin' for a soldier I can hold, ma, got some drink, got some dro" etc) or anything, so if someone knows what it is lemme know (EDIT: the title is there now, obviously). I'm kinda surprised something like this is out so soon after Huli's album, which still has a single on the radio. It's nice, though, one of those bright/busy beats that reminds me of early 00's CMR, with an awesome noodly keyboard figure that creeps up in the second half of every verse followed by descending synth brass whole notes. On the blocks of Bmore, witnessin' firsthand, gettin' a hundred grand, standin' tall like Yao Ming, you know how we do things.

Paula Campbell - "Caught Up"
New single! Breezy jam with an early 90's vibe, heard it for the first time in my car on the first really warm day of the year, perfect springtime/early summer vibe for that. That title is kinda tired though since Usher and Ja Rule just had singles called "Caught Up".

Labtekwon - "Uhnnn Huhnnn"
Baltimore dude that's been rapping forever and gets a lot of respect and puts out 2 albums a year, but I've never really heard much of his stuff. Sometimes in the press he comes across as one of those high and mighty humorless KRS types who's trying to protect hip hop as an art form from all the people that want to make money off it and be famous. But here he is w/ a video in rotation on BET Uncut with camcorder quality footage of hanging out with stripper chicks for a song with a weird funny hook and a clunky goofy beat, so maybe there's more to him. Or less, or something.

Brooke Valentine f/ Bossman - "Long As You Come Home" Remix
Probably not official, just a couple new verses tacked onto her song, and the 2nd one is pretty good. Not really one of my favorite songs on Brooke's album, but the beat's a good fit for Bossman.

Ray Lugar - "MTA"
My first guess was Maryland Transit Administration but it stands for "message to adults", sweet conscious joint with kids singing with thick Baltimore accents on the chorus, "stop sleeping on the youngstas".

Lil Mo - "Dem Boys" / Mullyman - "Problems"
New official single from Syndicated! OK, technically Mo isn't from Baltimore but she still lives in Maryland (Odenton, I think, which is out in the sticks/burbs) and will be shooting the video for this in Bmore soon. Dunno if I got the title right, could be "them boys" or "dem boyz" or something, but it's hot as hell, nastiest drums on an R&B record since "1 Thing". / Mully jumping on the beat and making his own song from it with a new hook and everything, kinda hot.

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Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Ogun is the man responsible for for getting tracks from half the MCs in the city for the Movement mixtapes (copped the new vol. 3 at the show, post about it coming soon), so naturally he's gonna put together a big lineup for his own album release party and make it a real event. Skarr Akbar was up in the place too but didn't perform. At the beginning of the night they let a few people come up for an open mic before the billed performers started. It was kinda funny how it wasn't a battle but the first guy that went up busted a written that was clearly worked out to be ridiculing an opponent, and he was the only person onstage.

Tha Plague is a group of three girls, they got a lot of crowd reaction. One of them introduced a song by saying "you ever fuck with a producer and then they want their beat back? well guess what, we're keeping the beat, this is gonna be on the album! take us to court, we don't give a fuck." It was a good beat, too. Paper Trail was a couple of tattooed white dudes wearing tons of Orioles gear. Their best song had a sample of the "herbin' em in the home of the Terrapins" line from "Izzo". I'm trying to remember more about Bas or Real 2 Real. Bas's DJ/producer was this really weird dude with dyed blue braids and a long black trenchcoat with no shirt underneath and he played a song by some alt-rock band, I think Chavelle, before their set.

Bossman setlist: Opening Arguments / Oh / Let's Go / Get Loose / Who I Am / Face Down / Dat Night / Off The Record

There were some technical difficulties right before Bossman went onstage, so he was waiting on the stairs from the backstage with his mic while they were sorting it out and went ahead and did a few bars a cappella until they got the beat worked out for the first song, and he came out in a green/white/yellow Adidas jacket and white A's cap. He had Dollars and Tony Manson from NEK with him, they mostly only did a verse or two of every song and then cut it off, which was kinda disappointing to me, my favorite verse on a lot of those songs is the 2nd or 3rd. He played a new song, "Let's Go", that he said is his next single that's dropping in 2 or 3 weeks, sounded good, kinda different, minimal sounding. He got some crowd reaction for certain songs but overall people weren't really moving for him like they were for some other acts. I think maybe because half the people there are trying to get their own careers going and want to be in the position he's in. Plus Bossman does come off kinda cocky, saying stuff like "charm city's king, fuck anyone else that's on the radio", I can see people being jealous and resenting the dude.

Ogun had a pretty energetic short set with the other Real On Purpose guys, Ammo and Profound. They mentioned a couple times that Ammo is 15 years old, he doesn't look or sound that young at all and he's pretty tall. Apparently he has a recurring role The Wire. Right before Ogun was about to do his last song, the venue cut off the sound and said that it was 1:15 (the curfew for all shows in Baltimore, which is bullshit) and they had no choice, just doing their job. Immediately half the crowd got all heated and a couple people were shouting at the soundman and walking up to the booth. I got a little worried at that point, it was real tense for a minute. But they figured something out and got it together for one more song, the posse remix of "Bmore". Before and after that, Ogun did a cappella verses, and he was hyped up the whole night but at that point he was clearly really pissed off about the whole soundman thing and it was really intense and the best part of his whole set.

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Monday, April 11, 2005

hot boy ronald - h.u.s.t.l.e.r./hate my baby daddy pt. 2 ft. p-town moe and choppa -- first track, not an acronym, ronald's lifestory track. cause you probably didn't know his story, never heard about what he was doing to blow up like he did and how he's still struggling to take it even futher, never heard about real street shit from ronald. pitching his voice down and getting dead serious, putting on his conventional flow. talking about selling dope and getting wild in every project uptown and downtown, getting shot nine times over some bullshit. "hopped out the dope game, jumped in the rap game / but my past had me two steps back, mayne / old cases had your boy on the run / when i wasn't at my concerts tryna have fun / what's done in the dark, came to the light / so an old dope case had me facin life / i got thru it even though it was hard / but even behind bars they treated me like a star / damn, look how good god been to me / even though my brothers got life in the penitentiary / i still got my mother, i got my kids / and that's a damn good reason to live / now i'm bout to bounce back and get this money off the road / cause hot boy ronald make em shake it to the flo." that hook sung by deep, passionate r&b voice, pronouncing it HUH-SuH-Lahhhhh, and slow careful beat with the keyboards sad and sweeping. i don't know, seeming extra affecting in the middle of a bunch of joyous insane bounce.

second track, yeah, that joyous insane bounce, with the first three straight bounce dudes that you'd probably name off the top of your .ead. yeah, ridiculous celebration bounce with skittery drums and all the same breaks. ALL MY BABYMAMA BEATERS GET THE FUCK OUT THE CLUB, CUZ HOTBOY IN THIS BITCH I'M SHOWIN EM LOVE -- IF YOU HATE YOUR BABYDADDY AND YOU WANT YOU A SOLJA PUT YOUR MIDDLE FINGERS UP AND BEEEEEND OVER -- ALL MY BABYMAMAS IF YOU KNOW WHERE YOU BABY AT LET ME SEE YOU SHAKE IT UP IN YOUR BABY PHAT. and moe coming in with the I HATE MYYYYYY SPERM DONOR, SHOULDA NEVER PUT IT ON YA -- YA DON'T WAN TAKE CARE OF MY SEED BUT KICK MY DOOR DOWN WHEN I GOT COMPANY over choppa OOOOO-OOOOOOOOHHHHHs (just in case, that's the ex-no limit choppa, not the ex-bad boy chopper). (download: hate my baby daddy pt. 2 ft. choppa and p-town moe)

three six mafia ft. the last mr. bigg - yeah, i rob -- memorex bootleg of the choices 2 soundtrack. skreaking fucked up wipers on too dry windshield. and windsound and tire roar mixing against subs hitting. at near dusk with sunset in rearview. complex curtains of moving grey cloud. spring highway looking like both halves are tearing in different directions, wild cracking down the centerline. wipers never above the lowest delay setting and passing only long trucks with loads swaying in the wind. surrounded by infinite flat disc of dead yellow field. occasional field of grey water rimmed with browned snow and dotted with white and black geese moving north. past highway towns with gas station slash bars, neon signs, lines of three-quarter tons outside. farm yards and houses against the highway, hidden by bare trees, each with a handpainted for sale sign over tractor/truck/trailer or a leaned and faded sign from a year old election. and how right this sounds against that. dullshine spooky shit sounding right on decaying rural roads. if it isn't kenny chesney or 50, that's what you're gonna hear coming from under the seat of a 89 cummins ram with freightliner mudflaps in a dirtroad smalltown up here. three six or some midwest shit that's on the same tip. old three six for long trains of dust in high summer. bumping ridin spinners when you hit the city, smirking at people at ring road lights. sounds right.

even a track like this, two thousand five hypnotize minds on some confused evil pimp shit, crunchy using a hook stolen off a four year old la chat song. yeee--ah, i rob. yeee-ah, i steal. yeee-ah, i'll put yo body in a field. paul and juicy j coming with same corrupt, credible raps about representing real killers and probably rhyming "slug" with "club." but the last mr. bigg putting down insane, specialized pimp shit talkin about: cutlasses and fake wedding rings, wife don't play so it's a grand to spend the night, wash the dick afterwards to kill the smell, tell your old man i ain't going back to jail, live in the mall, alabama nigga representing mobile, so many diamonds they don't even look real. verse from before someone shot a .38 thru his skull and out his right eye socket, from before posing in murder dog with his face still bandaged, leaning on a faded green deville, showing off three inch nails. (get well soon).

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

tum-tum - the return of o-tumma
dsr have that houston hustle that the city down interstate 45 lost when all the northsiders abandoned that major without a major deal talk and put their names on contracts. dsr run dallas and built off the swishahouse distribution to get their cds everywhere down south and up into the midwest. they got money for real right now, cars for real, houses for real. they sell the cds and drop something new every two weeks, run a label, publish a magazine (called block2block, pick it up if you can), real grinding in the proud southern tradition. five rappers in the core group: lil ronnie, fat bastard, double t, big tuck, and tum tum (aka tum teezy aka o-tumma tum laden)
teezy has that flow sorta between big tuck (serious realrapper out the click) and fat b (um... imagine mike jones but with a more brokedown flow, and way funnier punchlines). he comes with old blownout h-town flow, those goofy punchlines (keep two tools below the waist like a hermaphrodite!) and twisting the flow up but still some street shit. i'm thinking of yungstar and flip and everyone, same funny, raspy voice. like, the powerful flow sorta pushed beyond the physical barriers, running out of breath but they'll never run out of words. and stays rapping about the street -> legal money, reinforcing that h-town rap don't grind/don't shine dictum about grassroots hustling, putting in work in whatever you choose to stay fed and happy. flowing off the hottest current tracks and shit like big poppa (perfect track for sloppy southern guy to wreck on some ridiculous romantic shit).

part of the reason people were checking for tum's cd was this track: screws loose with tite da d3 nutt, dissing everyone on the piggy bank beat. "and dem franchize boys shootin slugs at my homies / thirty thousand sold?? me and tuck did more than that, homie / you got your ass dropped from universal, sales ain't cuttin it / you disrespect the south, that's why i got at joe budden / magno said some shit i don't wanna repeat / 70-30 for a show-- yeah, jones your ass is weak."



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Monday, April 04, 2005

lil keke ft. z-ro and trae - da don, ro and trae -- collection of somber houston realness. grim old thirty two year old men with been up all night deep voice, working off rap credibility and street credibility. spelling everything out on, z-ro spokenword fog horn hook: da don, ro and traeeee, takin over the rap game and connectin, i change everythin...we serious and we don't play... these hoes know we got women at home but still fuck with us anywayyyys. rapping as clear as possible on hot, cheap horns. and then, obviously, killing it with same old ro verse you heard over and over, talking incredulous and fatalist: when i wake up in the morning the first thing i do is roll me up one / and prepare myself to deal with bitch niggas in case i have to touch one / it don't matter cause i love war, from where prositutes and the drugs are / fuck me with or my kinfolk trae, your face is where my slugs are.

baby ft. lil wayne - neck of the woods -- new baby solo, new source cover story with those vague, disinterested questions: you're NOT REALLY a rapper, right? isn't that IRONIC? remember the hot boys? when are they putting out another album? you got a helicopter, right? and his vague, disinterested answers. but ridiculous pictures of him posing in his driveway with a diamond-grilled stuffed gator on a diamond leash. fat cherub face crying in red and green, draped in fake ice. and this, first single, i guess. drifting back from breeeezy big tymers with r. kelly in the video, mannie chasing after girls on white sand beaches, dropped matte red exts thru miami. that new, delicate, expensive sound from the carter, baby singing out the hook for windows down summer dusky cruise down the north service road, past spraywashes, electronics liquidation warehouses, discount carpet galleries, rv dealerships. and wayne wayne wayne wayne taking over every verse except a birdman interlude in the middle, doing that next level weezy, quoting nyc classics again (ALL I HEARD WAS JEEZY DON'T KILL ME NO MORRRRRRE), croaking half the hook. prepared for summery dusty cash money classic video with driveby shots of white tees on corners, kids playing in fire hydrant spray, america's most wanted recreations of drug transactions intercut with baby rapping out the window of a limo tint/24s/flared nostril hoodscoops magnum, closing with that shot of baby coming thru a hundred deep in triangle formation.

young jeezy ft. jagged edge - quit actin -- this is beautiful. jeezy applying that boring specific trap reference shit and the goofy punchlines to slick thug luv track. abandoning that flow and just easing into it all overawkward, talking soft and stupid over that bleepwhimpering beat. jagged edge talking almost filthier than jeezy about they wanna beat it up, jeezy dropping bigsmile pretty lines about smoking sweets in the moonlight, never have i heard my name in that many tones, taking her out for a big breakfast in the morning. (mp3)

Because I posted last year about his Uncut staple "White Girls", Mighty Casey himself recently e-mailed me his new video "Black Rapping School" (warning: it is a huge huge Quicktime file).

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