Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Some cool videos of Rick Rock making a beat and playing drums from his official website.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Lil Mo - "Just A Lil Bit" remix / Paula Campbell - "I'ma Hustla" remix
Mo doing the obvious flip on the new 50 single, "c'mon baby all you need is a Lil Mo", doing some of her better-than-you'd-expect flow, "since I hooked up with Baby I'm off the chain, Cash Money, Fast Money, that's all I'm sayin'", singing a little bit of "Dem Boyz", which is seriously my jam right now, is it getting spins outside of D.C. and Baltimore yet? / Putting a female singer on that beat would've seemed a lot more novel before the official remix with Mary J, but this is still pretty good, and follows the formula of Puala's "Lean Back" rmx, "Still Leanin' Back", which got as much local airplay last year as the original last summer. R&B freestyles (or 'unsanctioned remixes' or whatever) are the best thing in the world sometimes. Like the Mary version of "Hate It Or Love It", at least up until she stumbles on a stupid line like "and my feelings they did hurt".


Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Comp's website has a new section where you can listen to some unreleased songs and vote for which ones should be singles or tracks for his album. Most of them are from the mixtape I wrote about a few months ago, none of them really sound like hits but I like "I'm Tired" and "140 Bars" best. I hear he's got a new mixtape dropping soon.


Monday, May 23, 2005

Fader once again rehashing info from Gov't Names without giving credit. But they did scoop me on the news that Bossman has signed with So So Def/Virgin(!), which is confirmed by Mid Atlantic Hip Hop Dot Com.

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Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Mullyman f/ Memphis Bleek - "Home of the Realest"
Mully's new single, continuing the streak of pulling more national features than anyone in Baltimore (first Clipse, then Freeway, and supposedly he's got a song with Ghostface on the hook that hasn't dropped yet). Remember the Black Album outtake "Ignorant Shit"? Same beat as that but strangely slowed down about 10 bpm's (from 95 to 85) and not nearly as hot at that tempo, Mully already shouting out his appearance in XXL from like a month ago ("double X-L, showin' and provin', page 58"). If you saw Bleek and Jay on 106 & Park this week, when they asked Bleek a question about the first song he made for his latest album, him and Jay kinda mumbled to each other for a minute, like "well, the first song we made didn't make the album...that song that Just did...with the Biggie sample...that beat that (Marco? Demarco?) took, for the mixtape, I don’t know what it's called...Ignorant". They were talking about this song (the beat flips the same Isley Bros. sample that was in "Big Poppa").

This Saturday Mullyman is shooting a video for "From The Heart"/"Buck On Em" with Clinton Sparks and Freeway, out on the west side of Baltimore at the intersection that Mully mentions in his verse ("it’s me again, the same kid from Bentalou and Riggs/used to stay catchin' drama under Lafayette Bridge/food stamps help us a little food in the fridge/ribs touchin’ like lovers so you know what I did") (he's also standing at that intersection under the street signs in his picture in Fader). And that night he'll be in D.C. doing a show, opening for Bleek and the Young Gunz and Free at the Platinum club. His album (called either 'The Leak' or 'Mullymania') still hasn't dropped, it was supposed to come out last July, and then December, and then March, and every time I looked for it in stores I found out later it was pushed back. But now that his buzz has kinda ramped up he's pushing it back again and trying to do a national instead of regional release. I guess he's still with Major League Unlimited, but Mully is listed under "future releases on Unruly Records" in the liner notes of the new K-Swift CD (more on that soon), so maybe they're doing the distro or something.


Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Ogun - Real On Purpose

Still At It
Produced by Niige "Hitman For Hire" for ARS Productions, who does 3 tracks on this album and also did the title track on Bossman’s Law & Order. "Got fans in Japan mispronouncing my name", shouts his phone number on the track like Mike Jones.

BMore f/ Aswad
The hometown anthem that was also Ogun's track on The Movement #2.

Why I Write
One of the best tracks, produced by another Baltimore MC, Skarr Akbar, who does a lot of his own beats. They snuck a quick 16 bars by Ammo, the 15-year-old MC on ROP, over a different beat at the end of the track.

Come On Man?!
Beat by Stay Getting Productions (Cam'ron, Kay Slay, Tim Trees), another standout.

Kind of intense story about a family fight going too far and then the cops getting called on him, and getting thrown in a jail, then fighting in jail and getting thrown in a single cell. Then suddenly he starts shouting about God and the story kind of goes offtrack.

BMore (Remix) f/ Jitter B.U.G. & EJ
This was the big finale at the release party for the album. The fact that Jitter B.U.G. can make "Maryland" rhyme with "whirlwhind" is a pretty great example of a Baltimore accent.

A Ma! f/ Rochelle and Kendra
Sweet bluesy guitar sample with soft organ, song for his mom with his 2 sisters singing along. Reminds me a lot of Kanye's "Hey Mama", same subject matter, same vibe.

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Wednesday, May 11, 2005

David Banner - "Play"
The "Wait" haters are gonna be even more pissed when they find out that DJ Smurf has a whole movement of 'intimate club music' on the way, and that their quasi-conscious golden boy Banner is jumping on the bandwagon. If you've already got beef with that stuff, then you're better off just skipping this one. Oh my god, though, those synth squeaks.

Ebony Eyez - "In Ya Face"
The new girl from the Track Boyz, on that J-Kwon/Petey Pablo soundtrack single too but she only does the hook on that, so this is where you find out if she can really flow. Female MCs coming out first with a song about their ass or whatever is usually not a great sign of their skills but she's got serious flow, especially on the first verse. Been out for a minute but hasn't really blown up like it could yet. It's got that weird high birdcall sound they used on Comp's "Strip Down" and a "Tipsy"-style hook where they say a line, then whisper it, then say another line, then whisper it.

Remy Ma f/ Swizz Beatz - "Whuteva"
"See hip hop needs me, the beats is Swizz, the girl is sick, and please believe that I'm a starter", Swizz back to doing beats for everyone in New York like it's 1999 with his new improved sample-driven approach. Cartoony strings and obnoxious hook and Remy interpolating Biggie's "Nasty Boy" on the last verse.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

ROP presents The Movement Volume #3: Bmore Live 2005

Photoshopped EA Sports mockup with Carmelo on the cover, gathering half the MC's in Baltimore together for the 3rd year in a row. Back to a single disc after Vol. 2's double disc overkill.

1. Ogun/Ammo/Profound
Ogun puts all these mixes together and this time he's making sure his Real On Purpose crew gets plenty of shine, solo tracks by each and a posse cut up front, on the "No Problem" beat, which they also did at his release party. You can definitely feel the shift of Baltimore radio only really starting to play non-crossover southern stuff in the past year, on the first 2 Movements all the freestyles were on Neptunes and Roc-A-Fella beats, now there's songs over Lil Jon tracks and shit. But still a lot of New York beats too.

2. Backland (tribute)
Was in a car accident last year and is still I guess still not in great condition and keeping a low profile, so they represent for him here with a highlight reel of his run on Freestyle Friday on 106 & Park back in I guess late '02 or early '03 (which also appears on his mixtape). He won all 7 weeks and retired as champ and was maybe the nicest MC to ever be on Freestyle Fridays (not necessarily saying much, sometimes they're appallingly bad), I think I only saw a couple of his original appearances so I didn't realize how sick he was until hearing all these in a row. Maybe the perfect MC for a televised battle, usually guys can't get around the no-swearing rule and end up slipping and getting disqualified or stammer and fuck up trying to censor themselves. But he gets away with surprisingly nasty shit without ever really using any dirty words or pushing the envelope, like "brush her teeth with my meat, then gargle my kids/why you usually out shoppin, coppin' and eatin' good/I treat her like a termite and keep her eatin' wood" or "if he the street, I must be the gutter/and if you see me with a freak, hey, must be his mother/ain't touch her in a while but we got love for each other/boy you wouldn't even be here without me bustin' a rubber". Clearly reciting writtens, but so is almost everyone else on there anyway.

6. Tim Trees
"hopped out the game, dropped my first CD on y'all whores/4 years later, I'm still the hottest in Baltimore", on the beat from 8Ball & MJG "Don’t Make", plausible but unexciting claims to being not just a rapper with rote crack game punchlines like "last time you touched a bird was when you workin' at Popeye's" and "only keys you push is the ones you open the door with".

7. Skarr Akbar
The beat that has the same high fluttery thing going on as "My Testimony" from the Huli Shallone album, maybe the same producer. Kind of one of those corny lyrical exercise tracks where he starts every word of a line with the same letter, running through the whole alphabet, but still, hot song.

11. Mullyman
Congrats to Mully on getting featured in XXL! (The May issue w/ Fat Joe on the cover, Show & Prove, page 58.) I heard this song on the radio a couple times at least a year ago, nice to finally have a copy of it. Dunno what it's called, but the hook samples "Baltimore" by Nina Simone. I like the fact that 2 tracks in a row on here (this one and the one before it by Fort Knox) reference chicken boxes. Chicken boxes are big in Baltimore. I mean, people eat boxes of chicken everywhere, right, but it seems like Baltimore is the only place where they call it a chicken box.

17. Clayway
Clayway did a remix of this song for 92Q that's currently the intro music for the 8 o'clock countdown. Alright song, reminds me of Young Gunz type faux-old school tracks. Cappadonna, who's living in Bmore these days, said in an interview recently that he's working with some local MC's and mentioned Clayway.

21. Tha Plague
One of the songs they did in their set at the Ogun release party, over the Terror Squad "Yeah Yeah Yeah" beat. I love that beat, good to hear it in any context.

23. Twin Desert Eagles
Samples the same song as the early Kanye solo track "Nothin's Gonna Stop Me", not flipped as nice but still not bad. It's kind of funny how on a mix like this that showcases a whole scene, some guys come with grimy verses on stolen beats, and other guys go all out and try to make club songs with catchy hooks, but compared to the other guys they come out looking kinda like bitches for pandering and making something radio-ready.

29. Tonto
You know how rappers always call themselves "the black _____(insert famous or historical person here)" or "the _____ of rap"? This is almost like a parody of that, the whole hook is just "I'm the _____ of this rap shit", different names, over and over.

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