Friday, 16 December 2011

Just sayin', bruv...

The Rap blogger guidebook I inherited from 504Nolalive informs me thou must knock out one of these posts at least once before retiring your blog, so what better time than the day after I've finally finished J-Zone's Root For The Villain book for the first obligatory Unpopular Opinions post on The Martorialist?

Lil B's late 2009 - fall 2010 run of creativity and E-40's 4 Revunue Retrievin' albums have yielded more great songs than Big Daddy Kane made in his entire career.

I'd sooner be waterboarded to the sounds of Das Racist before I'll ever listen to anything by Jeru The Damaja, bar his Speak Ya Clout verse.

Song-for-song, Harlem World by Ma$e is a much stronger debut album than Big L's Lifestylez ov da Poor & Dangerous. As an outsider, there isn't a better Rap album about the American Dream than Ma$on's magnum opus, and that ethos is ever more relatable in 2011 with Rap bloggers going from talking about smacking "Terry Richardson opticals" off faces to being photographed by Captain Molest-A-Model himself in just over 6 months.

Maybe I'm just a racist peckerwood who flocks to his own at heart like your average Beastie Boys or Mac Miller fan, but you can keep the catalogues of Lord Infamous, Gangsta Boo and T-Rock as long as I can have by By 2 Da Bad Guy by Lil' Wyte on my MP3 player if I'm ever marooned on a desert island.

Vagina Diner is Large Professor's production masterpiece, and Breaking Atoms is a tad overrated, especially when it came out in the same year that gave us such masterpieces as Death Certificate, A Wolf In Sheep's Clothing, De La Soul ..Is Dead and O.G Original Gangster.

Pharrell has the best verses on Mr. Me Too, Slim Thug had the greatest vocal performance on Hell Hath No Fury, and HHNF isn't touching Lord Willin' or either of the Boosie & Webbie albums as far as '00s duo albums go.

Black Rob has a better catalogue of actual songs than The Lox, and, We Gonna Make It aside, no solo album by a Lox member contains a song as good as G-Dep's Head Over Wheelz, Child Of The Ghetto or the Everyday remix.

Suga Free's Street Gospel is the Ulysses of melodic Mack-Rap, which basically means he elevates the art of pimpology to poetic heights that Life Is... Too $hort and Doggy Style could barely comprehend, let alone rival.

Everything Meek Mill does has already been done with far more aplomb and gusto by Silkk The Shocker in the late 90s and Meek is making a major nuisance of himself by taking up beats which would be much better served by Gunplay.

Killer Mike has made, at the very most, 5 good songs since 2008, and the further away from Adidas he gets, the more he veers closer to becoming ATLanta's post-1993 Krs One.

There are seldom few NYC songs from the last 4 years better than Role Model by Maino, since it manages to combine 2 of the best debut singles of the 90s - Devil's Son and Broken Language - over the sort of jagged bombastic shit I wish Primo still had in him.

If, as I suggested, the bit in the day in the life of V-Nasty video where she and Kreashawyn run up on the kids listening to Lil B and start Rapping along with them in the street is the modern equivalent of the Double Trouble stoop scene from Wild Style, then the video of Treal Lee and Mr Hit Dat Hoe dancing to Get Off Me Now on Prince Rick's patchy lawn was the 2009 version of the Rock Steady Crew versus Dynamic Rockers breakdance battle in Style Wars. Stacks-on-stacks-on-stacks with the knees of Mr Hit Dat Hoe's jeans :

26 comments:

done said...

My dude. Here, I'm gonna have to stop gassing you up at some point pause but thats honestly a very legendary post, at least half those opinions should be popular imo, particularly this one:

"Pharrell has the best verses on Mr. Me Too, Slim Thug had the greatest vocal performance on Hell Hath No Fury, and HHNF isn't touching Lord Willin' or either of the Boosie & Webbie albums as far as '00s duo albums go."

Outside of a great few songs here and there Meeks just some exitable chihuahua yelp-rap I've already heard done better by other dudes from phily.

You hear the young god Yam$ Rothstein III might be coming out with a mixtape?!?? Hopefully its not just him yelling in between a bunch of Rocky & Ferg tunes.

done said...

You said albums but...


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o9N4nu-zWgc

David said...

only ones i really disagree with vehemently are your general take on meek mill (whose shout-flow is much closer to a midpoint between freeway and peedi crakk than anything no limit-esque to my ears ) and your preference for Lil Wyte over Gangsta Boo

Richard Tre Mane said...

I mean, I like Gangsta Boo, but By 2 Da Bad Guy is pretty much a top 3 Rap song of all time.

Richard Tre Mane said...

Done, I think I'd prefer a mixtape by FrankieThaLuckyDog, tbh.

done said...

:(

David said...

The other thing about meek mill v. gunplay is that gunplay is a great rapper but p cartoonishly ignorant & doesn't get moments of pathos like "middle of the summer" that I demand from psychotic genuises (like beanie sigel)

Richard Tre Mane said...

An emo Gunplay record in the vein of What Your Life Like 2 or Feel It In The Air needs to happen.

young yam$ said...

wavyyyyyyyyyyyy

Thomas said...

Harlem World was the first album I ever bought on compact disc at the tender age of 10 and I thought it was tight, especially "24 Hours to Live."

I don't really have strong opinions about most non-Bay Area rap, but I always thought Silkk The Shocker was terrible.

Asher said...

so oddly enough, I am the only passionate No Limit fan in the world who had never heard Ghetto D in his life. Until yesterday. It's not very good. Ice Cream Man and all the major pre-ICM albums are better, as are the earlier Tru albums. Why is it so well-regarded? I can't even figure which songs people would like on this, aside from the 3 or 4 obvious ones.

Asher said...

Oh and in ridiculously depressing news, Baby says Mystikal can't use any Mannie Fresh beats on Cash Money releases, must rap over Drake's production team's garbage. "They have the sound that's poppin," Birdman said. "The sound that's putting 100,000 in these arenas every night."

Richard Tre Mane said...

Tray just made the thread crash with the ultimate unpopular opinion re : Ghetto D.

Can't wait for those Mystikal + Gudda Gudda YMCMB heatrocks.

sisilafami said...

c'mon tray, ghetto d is the pinacle of the no limit aesthetic. How you love true 2 da game and not ghetto d ?

sisilafami said...

i might have an unpopular opinion here : blueprint 2 > blueprint 1

done said...

Hopefully Mystikal blows up & jumps ship after one album once he realizes Hot Boys & Mannie weren't fibbing about royalties.\Then again hes had five years experience sharing a bunkbed so he may not be that fussy.

i'm still naive enough to believe Juvie has at least one good song with Mannie left in him but not naive enough to believe he won't decide to go with an all faux-luger beats album.

Billy Dee Trilliams said...

Very beautiful stuff here. That's really all I need to say.

Does Drake's production team record underwater?

Billy Dee Trilliams said...

Oh and just to add my 2(?) cents.

Lil Flip feat. Big James - On Point will forever be far better than ATCQ "Check the Rhime".

http://youtu.be/XIAondPxIs8

David said...

http://www.hiphopdx.com/index/news/id.17962/title.mannie-fresh-to-continue-working-on-mystikals-project/

hiphopdx claims otherwise re: mannie working on this record btw

scjoha said...

Great post.
But you sure you won't listen to Come Clean?
And please point me to the Black Rob songs that can fuck with anything off Long Live The Kane.

scjoha said...

Ah sorry, I meant to say which Black Rob songs are better than LOX's. But on 2nd thought you might be right. Now that I think about it, I mostly enjoy LOX mixtape freestyles and Jada's guest spots from the "Run", "Rite Where U Stand" and "Knockin Heads Off" era.
Ha, I gotta check out those Lil B and E-40 songs you put above BDK. Cause that's a bold statement. But maybe historical relevance overshadows the actual music. Gotta revisit that old BDK material.

Asher said...

Actually, David Stern just announced that Mystikal and Mannie cannot work together for basketball reasons. Seriously though, while hiphopdx says that talk of Mannie not working with Mystikal is just rumor, this is what the Birdman himself said to XXL:

"honestly, I don’t care to work with Fresh and none of his music. That’s [Mystikal’s] prerogative. If that’s what he wants to do, I’mma respect that. But if it’s on me, I want him with all new music. No disrespect to Fresh, but we ain’t on that sound. He do what he do. We do what we do. [talks about how awesome Drake's producers are some more.]"

And as to Ghetto D, I think it suffers from a few things. One, too little KLC. He did just four songs on the album. Unsurprisingly, out of the 6-7 or so great songs the album has, KLC did three. Two, it's swamped with guest appearances, both too good (Master P and Mac on the same song makes no sense) and really dull (Kane & Abel, Mr. Serv-On, Prime Suspect). Even Mystikal's features, though great, don't quite work in the context of a Master P album and signal No Limit's transition from a cohesive unit of largely blood-related, entertaining hacks to an empire. Three, P himself seems pretty disengaged on many of these songs. Very little that he does on here is memorable or funny. Even when he's animated, which isn't that often, there's nothing like his epic rant on 'No Limit Soldiers' (which among other things features the head-scratching but deeply felt lament, "niggas turning the tables but niggas living like potatoes") or his boast on 'There Dey Go,' of which 'Let's Get Em' is a remake, that he had "niggas frozen like YOGURT, a No Limit SOLDIER, representing from the midwest, to PENSACOLA!!" Four, already on Ghetto D P's producers are beginning to bow to external rap conventions, like semi-competent r&b hooks and little preset riffs that sound like they could come from Swizz Beatz. Parts of it just aren't that No Limit-ish at all. In short, though I love some songs on it, I would happily trade the whole thing for 'Swamp Nigga.'

Richard Tre Mane said...

Scjoha - it's more a case of his discography going rapidly downhill after Long Live The Kane bar Nuff Respect Due and the obvious cuts from It's A Big Daddy Thing and Looks Like A Job For.
(Actually, in hindsight, Lil B might be pushing it, but E-40 definitely does)

Tray, Ghetto D, Let's Get 'Em and I Miss My Homies is the best opening triumvirate since Follow The Leader.

Asher said...

Oh no. Not at all. Ice Cream Man, Time For a 187 and 1/2 On A Bag of Dank is much better. Though Time for a 187 does get really repetitive. I would also add another problem with Ghetto D, that the whole vein of fatalistic lamentation about the ghetto (which always bleeds for P into paranoia, in the post Big/Pac era, about his immediate death), which is such an important part of his prior work, a constant source both of some of his greatest unintentional humor but also moments of considerable poignance and power, is downplayed on Ghetto D. In its place, for the first time on a Master P album you get a series of songs actually aimed at a female audience. Previously, of course, the only songs P wrote about women were paranoid, spooky No Limit counterparts to 'More Trife Life.' Basically, Ghetto D is a much less dark, pessimistic album than its predecessors, and P doesn't find anything equally resonant to replace the pessimism with. And this is why Cash Money will ultimately succeed where No Limit fails - not simply because its talent was better, but because No Limit's only real forte was mournful reality rap of the sort that people, for whatever reason, had gotten tired of by 1998, whereas Mannie and his stable of rappers at Cash Money mastered the art of joyful, accessible pop-rap, which, speaking as an American white suburbanite, really connected with the enormous optimism young people felt in the late 90s and early 2000s. (And, though people forget this, the same could be said for Ja Rule and Murder Inc.) And I don't know if it's a complete accident that in the wake of 9/11, a war in Iraq, the bursting of the Internet bubble, decelerating economic growth, and the installation of a President hated by urban America, Jay, Outkast, Ja and Cash Money are replaced from the radio by 50, Jeezy, crunk, The Game, and an angst-ridden Kanye. Nor can it be a coincidence that the age of Obama has turned out to be, for rap, the age of Drake.

Richard Tre Mane said...

What I love about the Miller Brothers is how they reimagined other people's songs/concepts in their own bizarre way when flagrantly biting them. Ice Cream Man doesn't really manage to do this and just ends up as a passable retread of the Dru-Down & Luniz joint, and, thus, isn't fit to fluff that the sheer comedy of the Millers revamping a Rakim song as a step-by-step instruction on how to cook cocaine, that bit in Let's Get 'Em where Percy says "I made a movie, n*ggas think I'm slangin' coca leaves/nobody questioned Bill when he's smokin' weeeeeeed" or the first "UUURRGGGGHH" in I Miss My Homies, so, no. I'll give you Half On A Bag Of Dank, though.

"And this is why Cash Money will ultimately succeed where No Limit fails - not simply because its talent was better, but because No Limit's only real forte was mournful reality rap of the sort that people, for whatever reason, had gotten tired of by 1998."

I dunno, this seems like revisionism to me - P's biggest hit was a rowdy party stomper backed by a video where he drove a platinum tank out onto a basketball court; the Mystikal, Snoop, Young Bleed and Mia X albums of the late 90s don't really fall under the "mournful reality rap" umbrella and all of them went gold or platinum; the label was still having hits into the early '00s and it's decline can be summed up more simply by its main artists and producers all leaving around the same time around 2000.

Drew Huge said...

Quality list. Wrong on Clipse, though. Very wrong. And on Mase. That Mase album is a bunch of cunt. But apart from that (and the bits I didn't understand), very good.

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