New Rap Music
I am doing this again now. Sometimes. Shouts out to Jimmy Pitchfork and Jaron Lanier.
Joey Badass f/ Ab-Soul – “Enter The Void”
from Waves single (Cinematic, 2012)
I’ve already said my piece about Joey Badass and it’s not the word to play but here his new jack old head style is stripped of its borrowed aesthetic and left butt naked next to the most underrated retired keystyler in the TDE camp. Joey was even kind or foolish enough to let Soul rap first here. And rap he does. It’s always great to hear him spitting about chakras and shamen, especially if you are like me and keep an Abstract Rude poster hidden behind your Gucci Mane poster like that Bo Derek shit concealed by a Rand McNally world map in a 1970s jail cell. (∞ NHJIC) But more than that he just sounds great while saying these words over this sort of low bitrate blaxpo tension that’s somewhere between Product Of The ’80s era Sid Roams and Pilot Talk era Ski Beatz.
I bought this off itunes because I always make a point to support independent music before I bootleg it. Strangely though the file took a good hour to download and for that alone I guess I have to begrudgingly salute Joey Badass’ loyalty to even the dial up modem technology of the days he fetishizes. (Prod. by Lee Bannon)
Don Trip f/ Starlito & Danny Brown – “Gold“
Don Trip – “Hold Back Tears“
from Help Is On The Way (Mixtape, 2012)
Hey three of my favorite rappers, all of whom spent most of 2012 in very different corners of rap game limbo, linking up to make a song that is very 2012 (because it is about GOLD). Danny shouts a lot because that’s what he does now but it provides a nice contrast to Litos increasingly mellow flows. Trip gets sort of murdered on his own shit here because, well, he’s probably the weakest rapper here as far as pure rapping ass rapping goes (and because he also raps last! What are guys thinking these days? There are rules to this shit). That’s not a diss though, Don Trip is very good at rapping, it’s just that Danny and Lito are slightly better. I would not be mad if Danny was introduced as a part or full time hip cousin member on Trip & Lito’s Step Brothers 2. It’s a move that would definitely get them a much deserved bump in blog buzz. Pookies are running this blog rap shit in 2012 except I hope Danny Brown never goes back to his home planet.
And not to detract from Trip at all, “Hold Back Tears” is another standout from his recent tape, finding Trip doing what trip does best – writing brutally honest shit about family business. (prod. by The Futuristiks)
Chief Keef – “Love Sosa”
from Finally Rich (Interscope, Dec, 18)
One of the reasons I kinda pulled out of the Chicago drill scene so much this year when I was in on its earliest incarnation hard last is that, while it first functioned as a mess of bugged and distinct production choices, seemed like everyone was deferring to the old Young Chop formula once Keef hysteria set in. Give it a name and it turns stagnant. So few of these kids are great rappers, but so many of them are good rappers in the right context. But when there’s only one context it just kind of gets boring. So it’s great to hear Keef indulging in this sort of darker and borderline demented aesthetic with “Love Sosa” which in some ways might be a better record than his best record “I Don’t Like.” Of course the fallout has already produced some laughable imitations so I dunno is history repeating itself? And is French Montana the new Soulja Boy?
Cue David Drake arguing with me about nothing for a thousand days and nights in the comments and yes I heard fucking “Haters” and it’s outstanding and no I’m not mad at lost kids who want to name their own lost kids DRILL but I’m a grown ass man and I’m not trying to hear a dozen Lil Mice make the same record over and over again. (Prod. by Young Chop)
Rich Kidz – “Kool On The Low”
from Straight Like That 3 (Mixtape, 2012)
And “Kool On The Low” does roughly the same thing for the Rich Kidz/Travis Porter/Roscoe Dash that “Sosa” is doing for Drill music. I’m sure is at least partially informed by Future but probably by some natural maturity too. (It’s probably worth mentioning that Travie were already headed in this direction with their completely overlooked and awesome “Ain’t My Fault.”) (Prod. by London On The Track)
Roc Marciano – “Deeper“
from Reloaded (Decon, 2012)
When I reviewed Roc Marciano’s Reloaded for The Wire last month I described him as hitting a wall as a rapper while his production expanded but the more time I spend with the record the more its seems like the opposite might be true. The production, while perfectly functional, reveals itself to be thinner and less dynamic on repeat spins but as it does so these bluntly hilarious little rhyme bursts of idea and imagery come out to the surface. Here he says things like “i copped a coat in mongolia” and most viciously “dressed understated at the steakhouse,” things that sound better coming out of his mouth than they do coming out of your brain’s mouth. Style-wise it’s some lightweight MF Doom shit, but in terms of humor it’s almost as if he’s doing a more advanced/successful/straight faced take on the referential absurdism of dudes like Action Bronson and Riff Raff. Of course nobody is going to give a fuck in the cooler corners of the internet because he’s not a not a white guy looks kewl when you reblog his photo and he isn’t tight with select members of Odd Future Wolf Gang Befriend Internet Kewl White Rappers All.
Check out my website about beats for an interview with Roc. (Prod. by Roc Marciano)
akaFrank – “Racist (My Dick Ain’t)”
from The Boycott (Coming Soon, 2012)
When I saw one time Diligentz member akaFrank open up for Iamsu earlier this year I laughed at some length at the ridiculously smart dumb concept behind this song. Then I forgot about it and was deeply confused months later when I found the phrase “Dick Ain’t Racist” as a standalone note in my Iphone (along with the similarly perverted take on Bay Area liberal politics “Occupy The Pussy,” which is forthcoming). Well I’ve since figured it out obviously and it still makes me laugh today. (Prod by Joey Cool)
Z-Ro – “This Ain’t Livin”
New Rother, mayn. He is free from Rap-A-Lot but still eternally sad which is good for us and probably bad for him.
Damn I really put two Pro Era records in this post, I’m about to trade in my tattered Air Force Ones for a pencil drawing of a pair of fresh Ones that I reblogged on Tumblr while babysitting my little sister in a pair of Supreme slippers that my mom bought me. Oh fuck now this is going to turn into a fashion blog before the end of the paragraph. Anyway I don’t know who this Dyemond character is or how exactly he fits into the the structure of that crew of young biters but there is something resonant about his particular choice in chew toys. Specifically, he is on some sloppy swing Heiro Emporium dub jazz loop shit instead of some demo tape sent to Stretch & Bob shit (though naturally there was probably a huge overlap in these two demographics). So yeah I am being a hypocritter about all of this but hey I like the way this kid raps on this song. There’s a joy to it that’s absent in a lot of these Tumblr rap records lately. I asked my in-house sample snitch to ID this very familiar and probably quite obvious beat and he said PROLLY THE CRUSADERS. I am not going to listen to a bunch of Crusaders records to find out so yeah sure let’s just call it The Crusaders. You will be hearing from their lawyers, Dyemond. And also from Tajai’s lawyers. And from Lord Finesse’s too, just because. (prod. by Marvel)
Meek Mill f/ 2 Chainz – “Freak Show“
from Roman Reloaded Reloaded The Re-Up Again (Young Money/Universal, 2012)
Here’s to mining superfluous deluxe editions and cash-in reissues for their standout tracks so you don’t have to buy them or spend an afternoon trying to find just the right torrent. “Freak Show” is liver than basically anything on either rapper’s album. The Nicki song is crazy too on some digital blips and boobs boobs boobs moves, even if the world could do without the dudes on there. (Which is true of every song she’s released with dudes this year.) Mostly I just wanted to make that joke about Reloaded Reloaded Reloaded Reloaded. I do not have to make any jokes about a song called “I Endorse These Strippers,” that one writes itself. Love Roman. (“Freak Show” prod. by The Renegades; “Strippers” prod. by Juicy J[!] and Crazy Mike[?])
Mista Cain – “I Try”
from Lou Cain (Cain Music Group, 2012)
Boosie’s still locked up for a little longer at least we have his children – figurative and literal – running around Baton Rouge with something similar to his style. “I Try” is some of that deep dish pain sorry momma rap music that the world always needs more of.
Mouse On The Track f/ Fiend – “Get High, Get Loaded”
from Millionaire Dreamzzz
Also Mouse is still running around BR too. And he rescued Fiend from that resin-crafted prison that Smoke DZA and Young Roddy and all of those other guys who put 420 in their album titles have happily resigned themselves to so he could make some real ass Louisiana funk shit. There is some amazing music on Millionaire Dreamzzz – including a song where Mystikal says “NOT GONNA PAY A LOT FOR THIS MUFFLER” in a strip club – but you guys keep ignoring Mouse in favor of talking about how Trinidad James has next or whatever. *Does Birdman handrub while slowly backing away from the internet.*(via TM)