‘Thou Shalt Make A Post Commenting On The XXL Freshman Cover Where Thou Complains That _____ Isn't On It’ is now the 2nd most salient Rap Blogger Commandment of 2011 behind ‘Thou Shalt Fire Shots At Eskay’, and, as with previous Freshmen covers, half the rappers on the 2011 edition have been releasing music since 2005 which makes them less freshmen and more 25 year olds playing teenagers in a John Hughes flick. So, since I haven't seen anybody else tsk-tsking his exclusion yet, here's my entry into the cavalcade of today's XXL Freshmen blog posts where I ask where in the hell was $tarlito/All $tar since he had a regional hit in 2006 like so many other Freshmen luminaries over the years and he droped 2 of the best projects of 2010 in Renaissance Gangster and $tarlito's Way 3 : Life Insurance :
$tarlito - Until Then (2010)
Free At Last came out as precursor 'tape to $tarlito's Way 3 and where the latter worked as a legitimate album, the former was a proper rap mixtape in that it was just a bunch of crappy studio scraps, a few freestyles, and 2 joints of 'lito at his wistful best with this and Last Song. The difference between $tarlito and a lot of the other current crop of southern blog darlings is that he actually possesses a personality, and whilst the country-rap 2.0 of the rappers he often gets lumped in with has now become a cul-de-sac of UGK, 8Ball & MJG, and Goodie Mob rehashes, he uses records like Underground Legend by Lil' Flip and T.I's Trap Muzik as a vague blueprint, rather than a crutch. It obviously also doesn't hurt that he's pretty great rapper with a distinctive flow who can weave these fairly intricate rhyme-patterns which still somehow sound like streams-of-consciousness, either, but I guess he just doesn't look similar enough to a melted Big Momma's House fat-suit of Jadakiss to warrant inclusion.
BONUS SORTA RELATED BEATS :
Young Buck ft. The Outlawz - Lord Have Mercy (2009)
This is so much better than a Young Buck & The Outlawz song from 2009 should ever have the right to be, and even though I've kinda grown to love all the cliches about The Outlawz that I used to hate about them, it's near impossible to listen to this and not find yourself thinking : "oh man, why didn't Burn One save this beat for $tarlito's Renaissance Gangster?"