Z-Ro - Mo City Don Freestyle
(It starts at around the 1:15 mark).
When I say video, it's just 'Ro in a blue hoody standing around in an undisclosed location as Trae, Lil' Boss, Jay'Ton and some other weed-carriers mill around in the background, but that's it needs to be. As far as rap-merchandise goes, I'd really like one of those A.B.N vests Jay-Ton is wearing to lounge around the house this summer. Where can I get one?
So, according to the rankings on my Mp3 player, this is one of my 10 most listened to songs of the last 5 years alongside such imperishable all-time favourites like Vocal Test by Integrity, Area by De La, Real N*ggaz Don't Die by NWA, and Walk Like A Man by Frankie Valli & The 4 Seasons, yet despite the fact that I've apparently listened to it over 500 times I still don't know if I could flawlessly recite the whole thing acapella when inebriated and packed toe-to-toe with the local riff-raff in a grubby watering hole like your average Houston resident can :
A fact which Wheelchair Jimmy exploited when he happened to be in town. This is basically the rap equivalent of Mick Foley's shameless playing to the crowd where he mentions the city he's in mid-shoot and then gives a thumbs up to the assembled rabble as they whoop with delight :
I initially thought Mo City Don Freestyle was intended to honour DJ Screw as it has the feel of a classic Screw tape freestyle (though it doesn't sound half as good Screwed And Chopped as Respect My Mind) with a tip of the hat to Paid In Full, and I suppose there's elements of both present, but an interview with 'Ro a few years back brought forth the revelation that the track was in fact a homage to DJ Jimi & Juvenile's N.O classic Bounce For The Juvenile :
DJ Jimi & Juvenile - Bounce For The Juvenile
And it's like "Oh shit!". And not just because he's obviously rapping over the Paid In Full remix like Juve' did, but stylistically, you can hear it with his delivery and the way he drifts from rapping to harmonizing so effortlessly. I always tend to think of the key influences to 'Rother's harmonizing being Pimp C, Bone Thugs & Harmony, Nate Dogg, and 3-2, but you listen to this and slightly later Solja Rags era Juvenile tracks and it dawns on you just how big of a Juve' influence there is to Z-Ro's style in genral too.
Dennis Edwards - Don't Look Any Further
So, I guess this would be as good a time as any to look back at some key Southern uses of Don't Look Any Further and the Paid In Full remix sample. Let's completely ignore I'm A D-Boy by Weezy & Birdman, though, eh? Partially because it neither works as a tribute to an N.O classic (unlike Go D.J) or a token track designed for the N.Y market (unlike, say, Tha Mobb which is just a perfect filtering of Dipset through an N.O Lense), but mainly because Univeral Records are firing Cease And Desist orders at rap bloggaz posting songs by their artists left, right and centre and your boy here is hiding in the trenches right now. Man, why didn't I read that post by Rafi on Oh Word about the situation more carefully?
Lil' Slim - Bounce Slide Ride
Ain't gon' lie, I was completely oblivious to the existence of this track and Lil' Slim's first tape The Game Is Cold (which is so impossible to find outside of the south that a copy has never appeared on eBay and it isn't even listed on Discogs) until Noz posted this as part of his 2nd N.O Bounce compilation. You thought trend records were the domain of the Roxanne saga in the 80s and the more recent Crank Dat craze? Me too, but we've got eggs on our faces right now as Slim's semi-tribute to Bounce For The Juvenile came hot on its trail in 1992.
Scarface - Mr Scarface Part 3 The Final Chapter
Scarface's The World Is Yours was a weird album which found itself caught in a limbo between DJ Ready Red's 1991 N.Y/L.A-derived sound on Mr Scarface Is Back/We Can't Be Stopped and N.O Joe's 1993 Till Death Do Us Part gumbo-funk where a good portion of the songs didn't quite knock accordingly due to the production nexus they found themselves a part of, so it's no suprise that the 2 best songs on the tape were so successful because they fell squarely into either camp; You could imagine Dying With Your Boots On as another 'Face solo track on Till Death Do Us Part next to It Ain't and Cereal Killer, and Mr Scarface Part 3 The Final Chapter still sounds fresh despite the played-out Dennis Edwards and Commodores samples, and closes the Mr Scarface trilogy on a Army Of Darkness styled truimphant note, as opposed to, y'know, an anticlimatic Godfather 3 or Return Of The Jedi type one. Seriously, is there a finer trilogy valediction than Army Of Darkness?
UGK ft. Three 6 Mafia - Like A Pimp
It was odd that two groups with such distinct sounds which helped define their respective regions would opt for a backing track drenched in New York history for Three 6's first appearance on a UGK song, but the Country-Rap is strong on this one as it's a replay by Pimp C full of lavish guitar flicks rather than a sample giving the song a looser, more trunk-friendly feel. Throw in a classic Pimp hook, pronged scratches and great verses all around (my, doesn't DJ Paul rip it?) and a song which makes you curse the fact that both groups only made a handful of records together.