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Life is Aight, I Guess

July 27th, 2012

Nas f/ Mary J. Blige – “Reach Out” (Def Jam, 2012)

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Life Is Good is definitely a 21st century Nas album. It’s exactly the type of record he has been making since Stillmatic – 12% good enough, 63% whatever, 25% completely embarrassing. And yet it will still get hailed as a classic (because it’s Nas, yo) for three weeks before fans forget it and forever and go back to longing for him to make another album with DJ Premier. [1]

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Recent Adds 4/12

April 24th, 2012


Recent Adds is the now yearly series where we check terrestrial radio charts to see what independent records have been added to the playlists recently. The idea is that it will help shine some light on semi-significant or at least payola’d out songs that slip below the blogosphere. Mostly it just results in me wasting hours of my life by trying to describe what Roscoe Dash sounds like when Roscoe Dash isn’t the one sounding like Roscoe Dash. Read more…

Diamond Princess

April 9th, 2012

DJ Diamond Kuts – Live On Power 99 04/07/2012

In my review of the new Nicki Minaj album I made an aside about how “Stupid Hoe” producer and Philadelphia DJ Diamond Kuts does a good job of connecting the dots of urban music anxiety in her mixshows. Since I know that nobody on the internet has the patience for appointment listening, I decided to rip her Power 99 set from last night and post it illegally here on the rap blog I used to run. Read more…

Freshman Orientation, 2012

February 28th, 2012

Today is a day! It might even be the day. The greatest day in all of hip hop, even. The one in which XXL Magazine and Diet Mountain Dew announce their esteemed annual Freshman cover, highlighting some of the best and brightest rising rap talents. Their selection is as diverse as its ever been this year, too, featuring wide variety of rappers from the ones who are presently signed to Interscope to those who are about to announce their signing to Interscope.

Make no mistake, the XXL Freshmen isn’t about forecasting, or even recommendations. It’s about creating an argument and using that argument to remind us that XXL does still exist. Yes, this post only helps to perpetuate that cycle but whatever, it’s also a good excuse to analyze the careers of a few buzzed about rappers. And several “buzzed about” rappers. Hit the jump for the report cards. Read more…

New Rap Music

February 10th, 2012

Metro Zu – “Sell Ma Hoe

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from MINK RUG (Mixtape, 2012)

Metro Zu is a Miami crew that is loosely affiliated with SpaceGhostPurrp, or at least have a song with him. They are hyper-productive, their videos look like this and their songs sound different from other rap songs and they sample the Animal Collectors all of which inevitably adds up to them being the rappers that all of the weird just discovered rap through Clams Casino avant bloggers get really excited about in the near future. Which is perfectly fine. The Zu certainly wouldn’t be their worst choice. Mink Rug has some very high points, the highest of which is “Sell Ma Hoe.” It owes a lot to Lil B, which is to be expected at this point with young fringy experimental underground rappers, but the thing that separates it from most other young fringy experimental underground rap is how hook driven it is. Yes it’s wonderful being yourself and hilarious and weird and spontaneous and lo-fi but none of that has any value if you aren’t actually writing songs that are likable. B’s success was as much about his hook writing ability as it was his personality. “Sell Ma Hoe” is simple enough but it sticks to the inside of your brain, with its “second things first” nonsense and the sheer amount of conviction that’s put into the performance. You can imagine the kid pulling his arms into his chest as he croons, like some sort of demented preacher/pimp hybrid. (Prod. by Mr. B the Poshtronaut)

Torch f/ Meek Mill, Wale, Gunplay, Stalley & Young Breed – “Slow Down

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from UFO 2 (Coming Soon)

There should be a law in hip hop in which any and every rapper, regardless of house or creed, is required to jump on some old Ultimate Breaks And Beats shit once a year. It should be like tithing or a operational exam. Here all of MMG – minus the Bawse who could only phone in some ad-libs from WingStop – hits EPMD’s “Rampage” (or by extension Lowell Fulson’s “Tramp“) running. I can’t tell who of Triple C’s is rapping where in this lineup, because all of these guys went from sounding like Jeezy to sounding like Chubb Rock for this very special occasion, but they all come off. Meek is in his close-to-Peedi mode, which is always welcome while Wale probably has the weakest verse here, which is ironic considering he’s the only one of these guys corny enough to kick the words “one time for hip hop” in 2012. Show us, don’t tell us, Wale.
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