Posts Tagged ‘Young Jeezy’
Pharoahe Monch – “Mayor“
from Soundbombing 2 (Rawkus, 1999)
Young Jeezy f/ The Clipse – “Ill’in“
from Trap Or Die 2 (Mixtape, 2010)
One of my main complaints about Wayne’s No Ceilings was the beat selection. It was strictly Wayne raps to the hits, like he watched MTV Jams for an hour and just wrote to each of those songs. A great mixtape isn’t just karaoke. DJs like Drama and Green Lantern have earned names for themselves because of their ability to find unexpected beats that fit the artists they are working with. I’m still digesting Jeezy’s Trap Or Die 2 but one of the early standouts is “Ill’in” which revisits this somewhat obscure Pharoahe Monch cut from the Soundbombing 2 comp. The sound is just so incredibly and naturally Jeezy. (It’s appropriate that the The Clipse show up too, themselves long standing masters of finding the right beat to jack.) Here Don Cannon doesn’t just throw on the instrumental, it sounds like he rebuilt the track by hand, even slipping in the opening piano from the original Lamont Dozier sample. Oh yes, down south digging is the theme for today. (You might also recognize the Lamont cut as the same source of Ghostface’s “Saturday Night” and G-Side’s “We Own Da Building.”)
By which I mean “Shawty Redd’s music is being offered here for free,” not “Shawty Redd should be set free.” It’s unfortunate that dude is caught up in whatever he’s caught up in, not because I know anything about the specifics of his case but because this is the most media attention he has gotten in a minute. His catalog and rep – album track/third single status – are both too thin to reflect his talents.
The Jeezy sound is *his* sound and his fingerprints are all over the work of many Atlanta dudes who have had greater successes. But where most of his peers were content with simplistic melodies and presets, Shawty buried some genuinely complex synth compositions under all that trap hop menance/drumroll action. (At the same time he had a real generic streak that probably hurt his bottom line reputation.) There probably isn’t another rap producer better equipped to produce a new age ambient album. It seemed like he was about to start a major trend with his modern bass “Drifter” and “Sexual Seduction” sound but that fizzled almost as quickly as it started. Subletting that aesthetic to a Snoop gimmick record probably wasn’t the wisest move for progressing his solo career. His album was shelved, though leaks are floating around and it sounded really good, if a little bit all over the place.
Below the line I’ve compiled a quick Shawty Redd top 10, some lesser known tracks sprinkled alongside some classics. Youtube probably isn’t the best medium for his sound, but deal with it. I would have also added Drama’s “Left, Right, Left,” except it’s not on Youtube at all. Weirdly, that probably still stands as his second biggest hit, behind “Seduction.” (more…)
This has been sitting unfinished on my hard drive for about a month, but here’s a quick rundown on some of the rap records that I was banging during my self imposed exile. It’s getting to be that time of year where everybody starts complaining about how bad of a year it was for rap and then I write about how I disagree. But this year has seen some particularly great albums drop  and I’m not just blowing smoke about Shawty Lo or whatever. Here are some quick notes on just a few from the summer. (more…)