Tuesday, May 31, 2005

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

Saturday, May 28, 2005

tonight it's grey plainfront twill pants and the short sleeve grey. creases in pants ironed hot and hard so they'll snap like flags in the wind. fruit of the loom blue tee and lowtop air force 1s that are like obsidian blue/sky blue, not sure. up above, the new era blue jays fitted, black and blue, with the newschool streamlined logo. yesterday it was khaki shirt with the shorts to the ankles, 2xl no name white tee from giant tiger, payless timberlands.

"z-ro t-shirt and dickies, ain't no ralph lauren you see" OR "lil wayne, hat tipped, dickies fall to my feet" OR "you gon make me go back into my days of u-city / cornrows, penny bros and new dickies" OR "with my dickies two piece and my hair caught propped to the other side, pink and white interior inside my droptop chevy ride" OR "dickie suits and bulletproofs and steeltoes, no fake-ass niggas only some real hoes" OR "i'ma, rock them dickies, air force 1s til the feds come get me, air out guns." yeah. always looking hard, looking serious, looking like a uniform.

native kids in the hood way up here wear them cause that's what they've got in those mid 90s west coast gang movies. (dickies aren't even that cheap up here. i just dropped 80 bucks for a new khakis). still romanticizing that throwback gang shit up here: white indian posse rags (rarely, red rags from manitoba warriors/native mafia) and chucks and dark blue dickies with the emblem of their reserve/first nation pressed onto a front pocket or a mural on the back (ONIKAHP SAHGHIKANSIS INDIAN RESERVE #165E CANOE LAKE SASKATCHEWAN or MUSKEG LAKE CREE NATION, places way up north that these kids came down from before they finished highschool, cause anything beats living on sparse and violent and dangerous and isolated reserves, sounds better to live with extended family or off the streets in the city, hustling however to make money to live [doing whatever temporary physical labor for money under the table, cooking/packaging/delivering coke or meth or pills, sucking dick, running a squeegee, stealing cars (car theft capital of north america. highest murder rate in canada, highest rate of violent crime, juvenile crime, property crime.)] cause they can't get social assistance checks when they're minors and off the reserve and basically non-entities), wearing them over bootleg pac shirts with NATIVE PRIDE stamped under his portrait.

pimpsta - dickies and houseshoes -- pimpsta got shouted out by, i think, big tuck in the last murder dog, talking about he was the first guy to really come out of dallas and put it down. just a consistent guy that's been putting out music forever, still dropping new things after like fifteen years. this is from a decade ago, so you know what it's gonna sound like. cheap drums and smooth hook and southern gangsta shit.

i'm dickied down with my house shoes bout every day
so if you don't like what i'm wearing
you can get the fuck up out out my face
the fine freaks say i'm dressin too sloppy for em
they want a man that dress like montell and martin lawrence
i can't do that cause i'm true to the g style
i'm still hustlin, still smokin weed while
there some hustlers that really don't bar none
i know some fools that wore some dickies to they highschool prom
i know this girl i want to marry yeah i must confess
i gotta get a pair of dickies to match her wedding dress

loko - dickies suits -- only thing i know about loko is that he is or was down with oomp camp. -i don't know who else might be on this track. talking about fuck a white tee and a black tee we bang in them dickies suits. "i'm in a khaki dickies suit slangin out on the corner / i'm in a khaki chevy caprice when i'm whippin up on ya / i got a blue one, with them chucks to match / with the blue headband, french braids to the back."

Thursday, May 26, 2005

"I don't f#@$ with Flip. Him and this dude named Z-Ro [got a song] and he shooting a slug at me on the song saying, ‘ni99as thinking they made it before they album dropped/ When they album flop/ They might be signed to Koch.' Somebody had said that I had a CD out saying, ‘f#@$ Flip,'" Slim revealed to SOHH.com.

"...He was mad at Paul Wall cause he was cool with T.I. when their whole little beef sh!t was going on. He on some real gay sh!t. He a cake for real. He a hoe ass ni99a."

yeah, somebody got on the phone with slim, wherever he's been staying, and told him what everyone else had already figured out: flip was trying to plex with tha boss on that z-ro track. a month after getting knocked out in cloverland, appealing to j prince, and giving up ten grand to everyone who got a copy of the footage. a few months after slim shouted his and flip's name together on that kruger track. years after slim and flip had been cool even while flip did everything to crush slim's southside partner e.s.g. (and check out those old e.s.g. disses for why some people didn't expect t.i. to completely end flip's career). (i love slim's phrasing on that: "this dude named z-ro"-- like he's talking about sabwarfare or lil mario). and why doesn't flip just go at paul? that's the sort of target he needs right now! he wouldn't be coming back with anything at all (everyone has heard ever flip diss possible, anyways) and he's not going to come to the southside twenty five deep and knock you out.

b.g. - heart of tha streetz

leaning back on the cover of dirty yellow picture of uptown projects from every cash money video (kids playing in fire hydrant, shot of mannie grinning in the front seat of the silver trans-am with flared t-rex nostrils on the hood, crooked man weaving bicycle across street, old ladies in hats and dresses smiling with clean strong teeth, wayne/baby/juvie/geezy flanked by tall teed coterie). medieval cathedral fresco with his glowing red sacred heart. platinum cross and 13 as in th ward pieces swinging on martyred saint pressed on the front of his shirt.
coming back from lowkey almost classic, life after cash money. doing it to explain his philosophy, reaction to c.m.r. excess: talking about taking his cars off 20s and putting them back on factory, just blowing big behind tint not stuntin. taking it back to the street and coming back to help people any way he could. blowing away t.i. on street niggas and killing sunshiney, beautiful smurf beats. and finally getting things on track so he could live properly, a house with the lawyers and the doctors, commuting from the suburbs to uptown every morning. acting as n.o. ambassador when everyone came to find out about slim, acting wild in the pictures from the second line, investigating and putting money on every rumor. dropping the chopper city mixtapes to show off his new team, talking about building a dynasty like he did with cash money. now, back to just doing his thing, bg thing.
working with that sickly, smoked out voice. newport menthols and heroin since he was fifteen years old. "bitches love the way i slur words when i talk." that accent-- skip back to the start of every track so i can imitate his wazzzzapinnigga? or his sobbing WAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaahhhhhs. bg's croak the best in rap ever, building his legend status half off of it (while def jam flies in xxl writers, tall intelligent denise huxtable black women and slouchy white guys with beards and track suits, to work with wayne on clearing up his accent before he moves north, playing him east coast classics on headphones while he takes notes).
veering back into his boring street raps again, matching generic beats to flow off. working with the type of thing he starting on life after cash money. talking like a veteran now, taking his new position seriously. talking mild and dull about codes and street laws. disappointing. almost looking forward to the questionable sex tracks with geezy talking about pussy in his twisted drawl. none of that overexcited hot boys stuff. and no juvie or wayne or turk to play off against, just his new team made up of grim flatvoiced men with too many punchlines. and no features to take the heat off, test himself against. just his anonymous punchline team and 5th ward weebie for the bounce track. and the hardest track still the one he jacked from homebwoi, added some verses to and shot a video for. just waiting for that slim/geezy to drop for real.

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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Thursday, May 19, 2005


i wrote about this when it first dropped late last year. illustration of the danger of trying to write about something before you fully discover it, half chew it up and spit it back onto the plate. i want to try again.

this is the album that e.s.g. was talking about since two and a half years ago. he was talking about he was finally going to tell his story, go right back to the very beginning. before the rap stuff. before he really started doing it, known for neighborhood freestyles and street shit ("these motherfuckin niggas runnin round talkin bout, 'hey i got shot twenty times, i got shot--'-- well, bitch-ass niggas, you know what? the charge on my record is for killing a motherfucker") and grey tape shoutouts from dj screw to his boys on lock cause he was in prison when screw was really starting to blow up and switch his format so he could start putting on rappers, like he did with pat and keke and c-note. before he got out and hooked up with screw and fat pat for real, dropped ocean of funk with his texas plated lincoln on glass 84 swangs riding high on a cresting wave, doing nasal hardcore raps in simple patterns on bootleg west coast beats. before beefing with lil flip over stolen songs and money ("eh, hump, how much you pay e.s.g. to get on the h$c album?" "man, i gave that nigga three whupped cookies, told him get his ass away, come back and gave him a fifty pack." "eh, yall, e.s.g. snort CO-CAINE! hehehe") and screwed up click credentials and flip getting shot leaving a club. before signing to, then leaving wreckshop. before teaming up with slim thug, sorta moderating the very real northside/southside rivalry, blowing up off 'get ya hands up' and undergrounds and launching slim thug for real-- that's real because e.s.g. was talking about doing an album with slim called already platinum back in late 2001, so you can see why there's some tension in their relationship now that tha boss is spending that advance, getting his release date pushback re-upped every month or so, wearing rootbeer minks and bapes, hanging out with lindsay lohan. (slim thug is on a few tracks on all american gangsta and e.s.g. say something about interscope not being able to fade his click. e.s.g. first addressed him on family business, an underground from his group with carmen sandiego and brandon stacks that dropped a few months after).

this is e.s.g. doing realest talk out the south. still sounding twenty two, excited to doing what he's doing, enthusiastic about discovering that he gets to do this, say these things. heavy and important like z-ro but never cynical or sad or about his lexapro prescription like z-ro. proud of where he came from, proud of being black and southern and coming from nothing to something and helping people out on his way up. flipping between those sad/hopeful tracks and bloody throwback dopegame narrative tracks.

explaining 'all american gangsta' over chocolate milkshake creamy beat,
taking you thru his neighborhood, people struggling, playing football and getting listed and scouted by colleges and nfl clubs, considering florida state or lsu, then getting locked up for almost three years. "let me put this on ya mind: america, thank ya / you're the reason i turned into the all american gangsta." (the original cover of all american gangsta had a george w. bush portrait but he says none of the pressing companies would deal with him unless he changed it. [i know that cause he got a little sidebar thing in, i think, the source (maybe xxl, maybe vibe), explaining that story, talking about bush being the consummate gangsta ("fuck a bodyguard, it's glocks and mac 10s / i'm like that bitch nigga bush, i'm still gon win")].])

'dirty hustle' with e.s.g. getting hoarse and sad. hard to take most of the time. sorta track you skip to preserve that impact for when you really need it, scraping bad memories off the bottom of the pan, making your eyes water. "the whole world is a hustle, home of the brave and free / with penitentiary workers, modern day slavery / what kinda choices they gave me / play ball or stay in school / convicted felons can't get jobs / who in the hell made them rules? / what about basketball bobby, won't make it to the pros / he averaged 24 but his SATs were low / imagine hearin the gun blow, seeing blood all over the bed / see, al had AIDS so he shot hisself in the head / know sometimes we get scared / lookin ahead past the trouble / the world a hustle lord help us through the struggle."

southern 'juicy' on 'gettin money,' even flipping a "birthdays was the worst days" sample and singing the next bar. coming with real, sad stories over hopeful beat with the kids on the hook: "now what you know about sleeping on old sheets that wasn't no silk / i was coo coo for cocoa puffs but wasn't no milk / and when the heat was turned off i grabbed my grandmom quilt / man i swear times was hard, mama look what ya built." shouts to j prince and master p and the old lady that got her garden cut in half by the city building a new road.

'in my cadillac' with slim thug and bun b doing classic houston track on sleepy beat with winks and sparkles, keyboard whistles, stretched out bass undercarriage. riding wineberry over gold and monoblocks in the old caprice with an impala sign on it or the deville with the big daddy grille. "we in the cadillac that's where i'm at / DTS or a slantback / where your candypaint at? boy, where your cup of drank at? / now, think that some people get tired of hearin bout cash and cars / when you never had nothin, that make you feel like a star / navigation, onstar just to tell where i'm at / sedan devilles, chrome grille, wheels with belts to match / new platinum coupe black, wonder where my roof at!"

getting a thousand pounds from the jamaicans on 'snake-n-da-grass' on dopegame history track. storytelling about moving weed and hydrocodone across the northern border to oklahoma, making deals in a room at a shoney's, his connect getting busted and trying to get him on the phone talking numbers, "said, 'i can't hear ya playa / 'the phone sound distorted' / started thinkin bout prison, judges and lawyers / that's the price you gotta pay when you wannabe a balla / can't drive my impala for the rest of the summer / fuck that shit, 'playa, you got the wrong number'."

'i should hate you' talking about violating the number one street commandment of "thou shall not hate," talking severe indictments of american capitalism in the first 16 ("supply my hood with crack and fry / that's why the prison rate stay high ... gave my hoods guns and keys, not college degrees"), his dad in the second ("see, i ain't hatin but it's fucked up / seein an empty chair at graduation"), south haters in the third ("don't wanna see us shine in the hood / but when their rappers do it it's all good / i know i'm real, 600 thousand independent / fuck a cheap deal, nigga").


1) e.s.g. - life of e.s.g.
2) e.s.g. - g-ride
3) e.s.g. - swangin and bangin
4) e.s.g. - the south
5) e.s.g./slim thug/deshawn hill - braids n fades
6) wreckshop family/e.s.g./fat pat - do you love the southside
7) big moe/big pokey/e.s.g. - mann!
8) big moe/z-ro/e.s.g. - we da shit
9) e.s.g./slim thug/lil o - street millionaire
10) e.s.g./slim thug - get ya hands up
11) lil flip/e.s.g./slim thug - realest rhymin
12) e.s.g./slim thug - watch out
13) e.s.g. - dirty hustle
14) lil o/e.s.g. - bend yo knees
15) e.s.g./ajax - tonight
16) e.s.g. - i should hate you
17) e.s.g. - down south
18) e.s.g. - 60 bars]

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.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Heather Hunter w/ Primo - "Freak Like Me"

This reminds me a lot of that Veronica Webb intro track with Jermaine Dupri on one of the early Funkmaster Flex tapes, the one with Veronica repeating some generic 60-minutes-of-funk shit (two or three sentences max, cut up, but she still sounds like a model so it works, and she says, "I am ... PREMIUM pussy", and she was). Veronica Webb is way hotter than Heather Hunter but Heather actually rhymes (her album comes out soon - read here) and rhymes pretty OK. And Heather is a well-documented freak so you can bet she gave up guts subhuman style to Primo, while Veronica probably just hung out with Flex and talked about various upscale products and services.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

az - never change -- last year, giving those half morose, half hopeful interviews about how final call was the last chance, had to do it with the fifth album or he'd be giving up, fielding questions about label troubles and the soul food restaurant ("well, that folded...") and the movie he was trying to do ("well, we're still seeing if we can get that off the ground-- you know everything costs money..."). he got on kay slay mixtapes and blew his hot tracks to get some buzz. but final call got postponed by koch (because it was listless, lethargic and the only guests were c.l. smooth and some b-list terror squad guy) and then leaked and bootlegged and never got an official release. but enough capital to take a couple losses. and about a year later, never change. first, that formulaic, beautiful heatmakerz beat with those clever, crisp drums, spinning creamy screams. az flowing on it as cold as ever. same gentle rasp. new enthusiasm, sounding excited. going straight down and thru the beat. every line balanced internally and against the next line. everything fitted together and threaded in. telling a story. full of careful, perfect details. running into an old friend that he knew from the streets.

handshakin, laughin, and exchangin all they math again
usually lose touch when you travelin
a few dudes bruise up in the battlin
parked up on madison, across from the radisson
we talked about the tattlin some niggas did in maryland
plus discussed old homicides unravellin
i asked, was he dabblin? he laughed and said he managing
his cartier frames was as clear as a camera lens
he hardly changed, i wasn't near in comparison
we joked about how police choked him out
in other words, i was up in clout
and from the curb i need to pull a larry bird before i'm up and out
without a sound, snatched my guiness off the ground
rose up, gave him a pound, and told homie hold it down

taking it to climax,

telly started rockin, i answered, 'what's poppin?'
they answered and said they shot him, now the hood got a problem
i had to stop then, reachin out for my water bottle
trying to figure what nigga, why, and by who, then
before you know it, the other boys told it...

beat half drops out and the sped-up heatmakerz shrieks unleashed... "it was homie from the old click i just seen and spoke with (OH SHIT this can't be serrrrious)." taking it to a hook about big thangs in the range / real niggas never change. telling the whole story but reminding me of a movie opening with credits still blinking up at the bottom, sounding softly orchestrated and seamless, people silent, drowned out by music, taking luggage out of black and yellow taxi trunks and kissing wives goodbye and catching planes and smoke blasting out from tires on touchdown, the music fading and airport terminal conversation rising at the same time.

gritboys ft. paul wall - drank in yo system -- ripping the title and the hook from paul and bun's flow off crunk in yo system (number thirty of thirty on the bun b guest verses list). flowing off a bootlegged and cut up and downtuned version of the crunk in yo system beat, slowed down and stripped to barest elements and redecorated with delicate keyboard bells and half-buried yungstar vocal chop (listen closely for that "MAYYYYNEE" croak). paul wall's "get some drank in yo system / pop the seal and po a fo / and get some drank in yo system" hook copied and pasted from that paul/bun flow, the only thing necessitating or allowing the "ft. paul wall" on the title. again, sort of following the recent pattern of the northside discovering the southside-- or, in this case, since the gritboys can sorta legitimately claim the southside, even if they don't sound like it: the southside discovering the north discovering the southside, their man paul wall moving south in 2002 and hearing him repping for grey tapes and tussionex and doing his southside history with po-yo, mike jones clicking up with big moe and sampling dj screw's voice. working with unfamiliar history. possibly unclear on the actual effects, talking about general intoxication. doing folkloric drank song. track about drank tracks instead of the real thing. vague, careless as possible. irreverent but never really clever. "i'm on a fo so i'm talkin with a slizzurrr / that's how them texas boys do it off the sizzurp."

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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Wednesday, May 04, 2005

aight, may 17th. not next tuesday, the one after that. mark it on your calendar.

weavah's still my number one draft pick out atlanta. he's the sort of rapper i see taking it to a new level every time he comes with something new, whatever sort of road he wants to take it down. that home team was the number one independent cd in georgia and sold over 10k just off his hustle. it stays in my car, still, and the new tracks i've been hearing on the mixtapes have been hot and smart as anything out right now. so, get ready for this so you can get ready for the official album.

"my message to the bootleggers: get shot, folk." if you don't live in atlanta, just wait a minute and you'll be able to pre-order it at the website written on the cd or (very likely) at iap-tv.com.

(oh yeah, and he gave us a shoutout on the cd. cop it just for that.)

Monday, May 02, 2005

mr. 3-2 - over the law

"been on these streets for all of my life / gangster discple, get the shit right / rest of my days, i'm reppin the street game / power, pistols, money and cocaine." posing on lowest budget cover, with his grim face pasted over the bentley from the cover of the 504 boyz album. glowering in gucci sunglasses. pacers fitted tilted over the white rag and braids sneaking out the back. the name spelled out in heavy steel letters. silvertop unmarked cd-r and a booking number inside.
    rap legend like only houston has: put it down with rap-a-lot back in the day AND wrecked screw's tapes AND got on texas classics with scarface, e.s.g., pokey, big moe, and for sure you know him from that opening sixteen off one day on ridin dirty (you know... "and if i die-- or should i say if i go / bury me in hiram clarke next to the come-and-go"). a legend from the southside (way down south, fuqua west, down there by z-ro and mo city, almost in the next county), first rapper in houston to call himself the big boss, got referenced with vague talk about real street activity, but then, dormant, no more undergrounds, and only referenced in anecdotes about seeing him gone off wet, spending a little time locked up, and not being able to get the rap shit going like he was capable of.
    gruff new flow, south park mexican with a different accent. rapping cramped together blue pen on white pad writing. this is more of those simple, boring street raps. but just under the surface, complex and unapparent internal structures that you hear on re-listens, close listens.     doing the traditional h-town stuff that everyone in the city made their name off back in the day. not cartooning it up with the punchlines or smoothing it into inspiration. twelve gauges and pistols. regional details. obsessed with street rules. lil o (remember? BAG BACK BAG BACK GIMME FIFTY FEET OR I'MA GRAB THE GAT AND HIT A NIGGA WITH THE HEAT) for the heartwarming realtalk back in the day/look how far we come track about falling asleep at screw's house while making tapes. z-ro for the grim lost in the ghetto track.
    talking proud about gang affiliation on every track. with symbolic talk about six poppin/five droppin and hexagrams or explicit talk about g.d./folks: "six stars and they shine so bright / disrespect my organization and you dyin tonight / take flight to chicago and visit the wild 100s / murders, dopedealin, kidnappins, we done done it / set larry hoover free, that's on a g, my nigga... / six poppin, five droppin, we some brothers of the struggle."
    half underground, half aboveground: half recycled beats and half original beats. splash waterfalls ("need that yayo, or some handlebars, whoever you are [FUCK (with) ME]), locked up, the rest obscure enough to be half recognized but not named. originals, classic soft houston beats that you need for southside legends.

(bonus: trae ft. h.a.w.k. and mr. 3-2 - screwed up click -- off that trae classic, same thing different day. somber, reactionary southside rappers defining what s.u.c. membership is about. trae flipping, h.a.w.k. giving his history, 3-2 with gruff and vague threats.)

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