Gucci Mane f/ Snoop Dogg – “Awesome”FUCKWMG
It’s really smart the way Gucci uses the word “awesome” on this song. It might be his smarterest song yet. He’s way smarter than anybody who was ever on Rawkus (except for maybe Big L because he was a drug dealer). Snoop Dogg, on the other hand, is not so smart. Maybe I will make a list of rappers smartest to dumbest. Gucci will be #1. #2 will be Azie Faison.
OC and Pharoahe Monch think they’re so smart because they use the word “ridiculous”. But Monch went to art school and listened to Sting and probably never sold drugs so I remain unimpressed by his vocabulary. Did OC ever sell drugs? If so maybe he is smarter than Monch. But probably not Gucci, who is the smartest. Either way this song kind of bangs. (via Nahright) (more…)
DJ Quik & Kurupt – “Do You Know”
from Blaqkout (Mad Science, Available June 9)
Early leaks from the anticipated (by some) Blaqkout have seen Quik stepping out of his traditional genius music summertime slaps mold to take a more eclectic approach. Because he’s an artist, not a gangsta, remember. (For those keeping score: “9X Outta Ten” was a successful experiment, in a Prefuse 73x”Grindin” way, but the twooutta three that followed weren’t as effective. Maybe he should stay out of the world music crates.) Well “Do You Know” is more what you’d expect from the duo, on the laid back top down tip. These are the types of beats Quik should be lacing Kurupt with, but if the LP splits down the middle between styles it’ll probably be enough of a success to be better than most summer albums.
Gibbs is from Gary, Indiana and we all have been sleeping on him for too long. The Interscope refugee seemingly salvaged a bunch of tracks from his aborted major label debut for this, yet another album-as-mixtape track. Gibbs is a spitter from the Twista school, but seems to draw on more of a southern demeanor. Hopefully one of these A&Rs ODing on overpriced t-shirts will take note and pick him up again. It would be a shame to see him get Ray Cashed. I’m thinking “Stray” is some Waitin To Inhale era Devin, given the Pitchfork parental advisory warning levels of women hating on the hook “Stray” was on Devin’s Landing Gear but sounds a lot better here: “I can’t stand stupid bitches.” Pretty to the point. (more…)
I hate to admit it but watching Wale’s “Chillin’” fail has been a particularly rewarding experience. You know, the supposed to be the ambassador for my city coming to the table with some lifeless faux hipster Lady Gaga shit that has nothing to do with his home. If Interscope was wise enough to admit that unapologetically regional music still matters, they might want to buy out “W On The Fitted” and make it his street single. (Come on now, my man is just not radio hit material, not in 2009.) The track could use a less awkward chorus, but it is a very DC record with just enough in the pocket go-go signifiers to keep the locals happy but not actually alienate anyone else. TNT also have a nice joint with Bun B up on their myspace.
Gucci finally drops some real heat since getting out of jail. You’re either sold on dude by now or you are an idiot, so I’m not going to make that case again today. “Gorgeous” finds him walking the line between language and commerce obsession by way of voices in his head. We’ve heard the balling as a compulsion defense but never the full on insanity claims. (more…)
Gucci Mane – “Gucci Girl”
from Texaco Shawty (Mixtape, 2009)
Gucci is in fun mode off his new split tape with OJ. Airy beat that reminds me of the type of pop records that were coming out in the early 00ts before everything went all post-Timbaland dark or hyper snap simplistic. It almost seems like the type of record Shade Sheist or some other west coaster could have rapped over this back then and gotten some Rap City play off. Bonus points for Kilo Ali & Sleepy Brown name drops. Could someone closer to Atlanta and/or “that streetz” explain the “Texaco” premise to an up north square such as myself?
from The Reason (Major, 2009)
XVII (pronounced “seventeen”) was signed to Pimp C’s UGK records before he passed. It’s hard to say what the state of that label is right now considering they weren’t releasing a whole lot of music in the first place, but here XVII returns with this underground. The raps on his last album, Certified was certainly informed by Pimp, but the hero worship here is just too blatant. The CDBaby bio is almost exclusively about Pimp and I’m wondering if this isn’t some attempt at a tribute album like those In The Style of Dilla albums that no name producers are always emailing me about. I suppose it’s a respectable outing if that was what he was shooting for – he’s got Chad’s intonation down but is obviously lacking a lot of the tact and passion. This track features Pimp and Short rocking bounce chants over that classic Dennis Edwards/”Paid In Full” loop so, you know, it’d be incredible even if it wasn’t. The album is at least worth a listen on account of the vintage country rap production as well as cameos from Pastor Troy and the always underrated Bohagon. (more…)
I did a Top 10 Mixtapes of ’08 list for NPR. Narrowing down mixtapes is a pretty impossible task, what with eight million of them floating around. I settled in on this a few weeks ago and if you were to ask me today there are some things I might have changed. I am, however, super comfortable with having Boosie at #1. That tape is still ridiculous.