Sunday, 26 March 2023

My Mind Spray 8.5

While Kool Keith's new song with Edan ain't bad, it's also not a patch on Edan's own Kool Keith homage Ultra '88.

With all due respect to Like A Martian by Lil B, this Mac Dre picture was the Bay Area's O.G "like I'm rad, like I'm Brad, like I'm Chad" moment.

Last year 70th Street Carlos deleted a buncha his classic videos from YouTube including Cross Me and Keep A Glock, and now Eatem has set his whole YouTube channel to private. When did Baton Rouge rappers become such temperamental luvvies?

More proof rappers are terrible judges of their own music: Dove from De La Soul didn't like Breakadawn. No disrespect to the dead, but that's the worst opinion I've heard from a rapper since Ad-Rock said Intergalactic is the best Beastie Boys song.

Thinkpiece guys - mark May 13th in your calendars as the 10 year anniversary of P.Rico's Gladiator. One of the 'ardest Chicago Drill songs ever or wot?

Thursday, 23 March 2023

Generic list post: Lucky 13

3's company and I'm out here tryna repair the number 13's bad reputation. So lemme hit you with my top 13 Rap songs from 1983, 1993, 2003 and 2013. Originally planned to do each top 13 in order of preference, but ranking songs in lists is for fools, fanboys and folks whose editing finger is less itchy than mine. Like Real Lies said: numbers rule my life, but I'm a man of words.

Best Rap songs of 1983 IMHO:
Run-D.M.C - Sucker M.C's
Jimmy Spicer - Money (Dollar Bill Y'all)
Spoonie Gee - The Big Beat (7" edit)
Rammellzee Vs. K-Rob - Beat Bop
Herbie Hancock ft. Grand Mixer D.ST - Rockit
Dr. Jeckyll & Mr. Hyde - Gettin' Money
Disco Four - Throwdown
Cybotron - Clear
Beastie Boys - Cooky Puss
Jonzun Crew - Space Is The Place
Grand Master Melle Mel - White Lines (Don't Do It)
The Furious Five - New York New York
Hashim - Al-Naayfiysh (The Soul)

Best Rap songs of 1993 IMHO:
Snoop Doggy Dogg - Tha Shiznit
De La Soul - Breakadawn
A Tribe Called Quest - Electric Relaxation
UGK - Pocket Full Of Stones (Pimp C remix)
Kool G. Rap & DJ Polo - Ill Street Blues
2Pac ft. Digital Underground - I Get Around
Notorious B.I.G - Party & Bullshit
Eightball and MJG - Armed Robbery
Wu Tang Clan - C.R.E.A.M
Pete Rock & CL Smooth - One In A Million
Mac Mall - Sic Wit Tis
Digable Planets - Escapism (Gettin' Free)
Geto Boys - It Ain't

Best Rap songs of 2003 IMHO:
T.I. - Be Better Than Me
The Diplomats - Dipset Anthem
King Geedorah ft. Mr. Fantastik - Anti-Matter
Mac Dre - Dipped When You See Me
Ghostface ft. Jadakiss - Run
Andre Nickatina - Conversation With A Devil
David Banner - Cadillac On 22's
Too $hort - Burn Rubber
Freeway ft. Peedi Crakk - Flipside
Bubba Sparxxx - Jimmy Mathis
Blaq Poet - Poet's Comin
Twista ft. KanYe Pest & Jamie Foxx - Slow Jamz
5th Ward Weebie - Supa Sunday In N.O

Best Rap songs of 2013 IMHO:
Max B - Take A Flick
Ezale - Foreal Foreal
Migos - Hannah Montana
YG ft. Rich Homie Quan & Jeezy - My N*gga
Mouse On Tha Track ft. Level - Get It Back
Gunplay - Drop Da Tint
Lil' Wayne ft. 2 Chainz - Rich As F*ck
Grip Plyaz - Ray Lewis
Boldy James - Moochie
Rocko ft. Future & Rick Ross - U.O.E.N.O.
Uncle Murda ft. Rocko - Wu Wuu Wuuu
Z Money - Regular
Suga Free & Pimpin' Young ft. Nate Dogg - 15 Minutes To 5

Bonus beats: Mac Dre's Pawns In The Game also dropped in 2013. Possibly my favourite unreleased 90s Rap song to finally see the light of day last decade.

Monday, 20 March 2023

One 4 the Britz by the Yank

Good news: Joe Massot's 1981 Dance Craze documentary about the British 2 Tone Ska scene is finally getting a Blu-Ray/DVD release by the BFI on March 29th. Great news: it's also getting a big screen release at various independent cinemas across the U.K from March 22nd. You better believe Dance Craze is a documentary worth seeing at the flicks because it's 80% comprised of concert footage and those remastered live performances by The Specials, Madness, The Beat and The Selecter are gonna look/sound incredible on the big screen. Night boat to the pick n mix.

**EDIT** some background info about Dance Craze by the BFI here.

Friday, 17 March 2023

Street Smartz

"Almost anything you wanna know, you can talk to me
But if you wanna see it... walk wit me"

DA Smart - Walk Wit Me
(From Walk Wit Me CD single; 1997/YouTube; 2011)

Hat tip to Mic Terror for hippin' me to this Chicago classic. Essentially, it's a walk-thru tour guide of Chi-Town's roughest neighbourhoods with production by Legendary Traxster. The devils are in the details here, so this is a very vivid song for outsiders which was/is probably very useful to hometowners. Evidently Walk Wit Me still rings bells as a Danger Zones For Dummies audio-manual since the song dropped in 1997, got blessed with a video in 2011, and now sits at a couple of million views.

DA Smart - possibly the O.G Mr. Chi City, definitely the only husky Chicago blk guy who kinda sounds like Yelawolf.

Tuesday, 14 March 2023

Sustaaas are doin' it for themselves

"Me don't speak no English to detectives so don't ask me
I ain't seen or heard shit - ain't no egg, you can't crack me"

Day Day Sustaaa - Hit They Block
(From Hit They Block; 2023)

Another slab of Baton Rouge granite from Day Day Sustaaa. In Day Day's Bayou tapestry, Hit They Block is too short to work as a proper single so it jams hardest if you use it as the B-side to Get Somebody Else To Do It.

Yay: a reference to Phat Baby's Proper Play (FWS).

Nay: wearing KanYe Pest's ugly shoes in 2023.

Friday, 10 March 2023

So, who we rollin' with? We rollin' with Windrush

Busy Signal ft. M24 - Badman Ting
(From Badman Ting single; 2023)

Hooooooold up, wait a minute - who and who on the same song? Even the dearly departed Mystic Meg couldn't have predicted that the Jamaican Dancehall artist Busy Signal would drop a London Drill riddim with the We Don't Dance Brixton breh who looks like Ivan Toney. Nor could Mystic Meg have predicted that the aforementioned gentlemen would go together as naturally as rice & peas. A yard 2 yard type big choon, and when I say yard 2 yard I ain't talkin' about that Consequence & Rhymefest song, booiiiiiii.

No shotz @ that Consequence & Rhymefest song, mind. - that's the jam and you can read that in Genesis.

Wednesday, 8 March 2023

My Mind Spray 8

Had a lotta fun at Souls Of Mischief's 93 'Til Infinity 30th anniversary show last week. Very surprised by the amount of zoomers ìn attendance and particularly liked how the group came on stage in matching S.O.M bucket hats and fisherman coats. Excellent chemistry/energy from the Hiero lads, and they even performed the album's sample clearance victim Cab Fare.

And speaking of live shows, Duke Deuce & his hypeman hitting a stage invader with a DDT/body slam combination was clearly part of the performance. Nonetheless, the Julianne Escobeda Shepherd lookin' ass stage invader took one for the team because that shit looked painful.

Already mentioned in a previous My Mind Spray post that I wish some reissue label would do a deluxe remastered CD of Boosie's Bad Azz Mixtape Vol. 2. I'd also like deluxe remastered CDs of Sean Price's Donkey Kong Jr., D-Lo & DJ Fresh's The Tonite Show, Mouse On Tha Track's Millionaire Dreamzzz, and Z Money's Rich B4 Rap.

I'm starting a petition to ban people from people describing Rap songs having "punk rock energy." 95% of the time "punk rock energy" translates as "this is some first-take freestyle brainfart throwaway I'll listen to three times and then forget ever existed."

So, anybody got an MP3 of Say It Loud by Big Scoob? If not, I'm gonna have to cop the 12" and take Step One up on his offer to post the single to him so he can rip me the audio.

Sunday, 5 March 2023

Like A Martin

P-Lo - Regular
(From STUNNA (deluxe) album; 2023)

If you're a seasoned NorCal Rap connoisseur then you already know that P-Lo singles often contain easter eggs which reveal his inspiration/intention for the song. And so when Young Bay AZN God breaks into that Lil B flow in verse 2 the penny drops: Regular is big Like A Martian energy crossed with giggin' HBK Gang synergy. Peep that video too - P-Lo went from HBK producer to HBO production which looks like it was partially shot in Narnia. Shouts out to Mr. Tumnus, we in this bitch.

Friday, 3 March 2023

Generic list post: Desert Island DVD Discs

If Party Sparty posts a Desert Island Discs movie edition, I want in...

Here we go, yo, so what's the scenario?: you're marooned on a desert island with plentiful food & drink, a solar-powered TV/DVD player combo and you can choose 40 movies by 40 different directors to while away your time. What are you gonna pick and what's the best method to whittle your choices down to your essentials? Obviously variety is important, but honesty and rewatchability are paramount innit? So, as much as I love prestige canon classics like The Third Man, Rear Window, Rio Bravo, The Apartment, The Wild Bunch and Aguirre, The Wrath Of God, none of them made my list. Unapologetically, I'm a late '70s baby who was raised in the '80s and the movies I grew up on tend to be the ones which I find the most rewatchable. Of course, you could accuse me of succumbing to nostalgic soothing comfort viewing, but you'll never convince me that Stanley Kubrick ever made a movie as good as Back To The Future, Stand By Me or The Lost Boys. Anyhoo, If I'm stranded on that imaginary desert island then I'm stuck with these movies and they stuck with me.

White Heat (1949)
12 Angry Men (1957)
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)
Carry On Screaming (1966)
Point Blank (1967)
Once Upon A Time In The West (1968)
Deep End (1970)
Monty Python & The Holy Grail (1975)
Jaws (1975)
Dawn Of The Dead (1978)
The Wanderers (1979)
The Warriors (1979)
The Thing (1982)
Wild Style (1982)
Rumble Fish (1983)
Repo Man (1984)
The Breakfast Club (1985)
Fright Night (1985)
The Quiet Earth (1985)
Back To The Future (1985)
Stand By Me (1986)
The Fly (1986)
The Lost Boys (1987)
Withnail & I (1987)
Evil Dead 2 (1987)
Beetlejuice (1988)
Heathers (1988)
King Of New York (1990)
New Jack City (1991)
Juice (1992)
Reservoir Dogs (1992)
Groundhog Day (1993)
True Romance (1993)
Casino (1995)
Buffalo '66 (1998)
The Truman Show (1998)
Chopper (2000)
Sexy Beast (2000)
Shaun Of The Dead (2004)
Toy Story 3 (2010)

Bonus beats: some old music VHS tapes which really need a DVD release - Run-D.M.C's Live At The Ritz 1985, Beastie Boys' Licensed To Ill collection thingy, Faith No More's You Fat B*stards - Live At Brixton Academy 1989, and Ice-T's O.G. The Original Gangster Home Video. The latter was the first Rap album to be released on VHS tape with a video for every song, so don't ever try and tell me that Ice-T in his 1986 to 1991 pomp wasn't a trailblazer on multiple different levels.

Tuesday, 28 February 2023

Generic list post: February 2023

Obligatory wrap-up post of those songs I've played most during the month when I found out that Jeff from De La Soul's The Mack Daddy On The Left later guested on their Bionix album under the name of Philly Black. How did I not know that? Rest in peace to Plug Two.

Tung Twista - Back 2 School (1992)
Children Of The Corn - Fair One Part 2 (1995 or 1996/2023)
Me & My Cousin - The End Tho (1996)
Day Day Sustaaa ft. Eatem - Get Somebody Else To Do It (2023)
Luh Tyler ft. Trapland Pat - Can't Move Wrong (2023)
Trapland Pat ft. Luh Tyler - Backstreet (2023)
Kookei - So Icy (2023)
Mic Terror - Take My Soul (Mic T-Mix) (2023)
Real Lies - Valentine (2023)
Donae'o - Let There Be Light (2023)

Other notables: played Nef The Pharoah's Back Of The Class freestyle a buncha times; for some bizarre reason the biggest U.S Rap song in the U.K right now is Goated by Amani White & Denzel Curry.

Other stuff: Okay Player ran a great piece on how Above The Law #actually invented G-Funk; Party Sparty did a Desert Island Disc movie list which has inspired me to have a go at it too; the artist formerly known as Juiceboxxx did a great interview with the director behind the We Were Hyphy documentary and all I'd add is that Mac Dre's Hy Phy and Off Tha Rictor are the two songs on which the foundation for Hyphy was built.

Saturday, 25 February 2023

My Mind Spray 7.5

When Grand Daddy I.U died recently, someone suggested he was Kid Capri's ghostwriter for The Tape album. Never caught wind of that rumour before but I can definitely hear imprints of I.U's flow in Capri's words and how they're delivered. The Tape is a very enjoyable album, and finding out that Grand Daddy I.U possibly contributed to it only adds another layer of enjoyment for me.

My favourite non-2023 Rap song discovery of 2023 so far has gotta be B.A.N.P by Day Day Sustaaa. It's possible I'll find another non-2023 Rap song that's better than B.A.N.P but unlikely I'll find one that's harder.

Someone needs to ask Devin The Dude why Yo' Ho got cut from the retail version of Just Tryin' Ta Live. What possible reason was there to shelve a bonzer Dr. Dre production which was beggin' to be the album's main single?

Life's a bastard when I've become a big Homeboy Sandman fan, but the only U.K show on his current European tour is in London. Would recommend catching him live because his 2019 Liverpool show with Edan was a blast and had me going back searching out the older songs he performed like America, The Beautiful and Talking (Bleep).

I thought Jim Jones' 2007 Simon Cowell lookin' ass bootcut jeans were the nadir of rapper denim, but those bellbottomed skinny distressed jeans rappers are wearing nowadays are a new low.

Tuesday, 21 February 2023

Operation C.O.C Block

"I had a fight with a 7 footer, he wouldn't drop
Pulled the glock, left him frozen like a pudding pop
My laughter couldn't stop"

Children Of The Corn - Fair One Part 2
(From the vaults; 1995 or 1996/Welcome To The Dangerzone CD; 2023)

Ya host had totally slept on Fair One Part 2 until I copped the recent deluxe remastered Children Of The Corn CD; a big mistake on my part because it's far superior to Fair One Part 1: better beat, slightly different lyrics, and Murda Ma$e all up in the mix not sounding like he was auditioning to join Onyx. The USP of C.O.C's best songs is that they were the rawest Harlem group since Mob Style, and Fair One Part 2 definitely ranks alongside A Star Is Born, I Remember When, American Dream, and Harlem U.S.A (Harlem version) as one of C.O.C's best songs. If I ruled the world, all 5 woulda dropped together on one killer EP in 1996.

Fair play to Dope & Dust Recordings for the job they've done on the Children Of The Corn CD. Sounds great, looks great, and the two booklets feature contributions from the Rap Internet's Werner Von Wallenrod and Big Sleep.

Cam'Ron sure loved that Schneider's One Day At A Time line of his during the C.O.C era, huh? He used it almost as many times as Busy Bee kicked his line about the stickball bat.

Saturday, 18 February 2023

I'm tryna get in where I fit in, what's your throat size?

"You the type of n*gga catch a body then go get baptized
I don't know what the f**k it is but I hate fat guys"

Kookei - So Icy
(From The Incredible Hulk album; 2023)

Like I said, Kookei makes his best music when he picks beats which slightly deviate from yer standard boring interchangeable Michigan Rap formula. What makes So Icy hit just a little bit different is that bass which sounds like it was programmed by Juan Atkins. It's all luv to the basic bloggers who love generic Michigan beats, but here at The Martorialist we're tryna hear some Detroit Rap that's designed for cosmic cars.

Thursday, 16 February 2023

Because it's 11:30 and the club is Jukin', Jukin'

"She fakes it when y'all sexin' it
You ain't know your girl was a thespian?
When she with me she a lesbian
Her and her girlfriend let me hit it
I hit it out the park like Joshua Gibson
Kinda thick yellow skin like she off The Simpsons"

Mic Terror - Take My Soul (Mic T-Mix)
(Break My Soul beatjack; 2023)

**DJ Kay Slay voice**

Yeah, hittin' the G-Spot is cool, but have you ever hit the Juke spot like Mic Terror? Mic T understands that smut-rap songs are a framework for comedy & zingers the listener can use in their own sexploits, not in-detail wank fantasies for a rapper's own weird kinks. I'm reliably informed Take My Soul is a beatjack of some 2022 Beyonce single, but since I'm not a gay guy or a Pitchfork poptimist I've not heard the original and hopefully never will hear it. In my head, Take My Soul will always be a Mic Terror song just like Cold As Hell will always be a Mic Terror song.


Tuesday, 14 February 2023

When Doves Fly: R.I.P Trugoy

"Just as a reminder from the last step
Negative ones are lost in the footsteps"

Tell me what's more frequent: the deaths of goldfish, wrestlers or rappers? Generalist music fans get sad about boomer singers from the 1960s and 1970s dying off nowadays; try being a Rap fan where it seems like long-time favourites and promising young talents die every other week.

And so we bid farewell to Dove from De La Soul as he hops aboard the Chattanooga choo choo to Rap Heaven. The biggest compliment you can pay a rapper like Dove is that he rhymed shit no other M.C could or would have ever thought of saying. Dove had a problem... seriously: he was almost too good a fit for soulmate brother Plug One Posdnous because their partnership in rhyme was the gold standard for Rap duo chemistry during De La's peak. I am I be a British bloke who's been a fanatic of the DLS words since 1989 so their music really does Hit Different™ for me: they changed in speak what Rap could sound like, flipped the script on what rappers could look like, and inadvertently tapped into the spirit of Acid House's second summer of love here in the U.K. Ain't hip to be labelled a hippie, though, thus De La were masters of reinvention which left square listeners lost like high school history.

Since so much of The Discourse™ around De La Soul in recent years has been little more than basic bastard Rap fans moaning about De La's music not being on DSPs, here's one of their best B-sides which you can only currently stream on my Audiomack page. Peace out, Plug Two - I hope Heaven got a buncha bitties in the B.K Lounge.

De La Soul - What's More?
(From Me Myself & I 12"; 1989)

Personal highlight: bumped into De La in Manchester on the day of their 3 Feet High And Rising show circa 2014 and hit Dove with an "alright, Dave?".

Monday, 13 February 2023

Take it day by Day Day

Day Day Sustaaa ft. Eatem - Get Somebody Else To Do it
(From Get Somebody Else To Do it single; 2023)

I'll return to this song properly when the full music video drops. For now, all I'll say is that Day Day Sustaaa versus Eatem on the SAME DAMN SONG is catnip for us mavens of modern Baton Rouge Rap.

Friday, 10 February 2023

Biannual post about a new Donae'o single

Donae'o - Let There Be Light
(From Let There Be Light single; 2023)

I'll get back to Rap music next post, today I need to sing the praises of Donae'o's new single. Donae'o has the swag of a youth club team leader, but he's recorded more good songs than all of his trendier washed-up peers from the Wot U Call It-core post-U.K Garage/proto-Grime era. Let There Be Light has gotta be the most feelgood song since Max B's Lemonade - some joyous Gospel Garage shit which he could perform on Songs Of Praise. Friday thru sunday, we singin' this shit like Aled Jones.

Wednesday, 8 February 2023

My Mind Spray 7

I'm starting a petition to ask MF DOOM's wife to release the shelved 1994 video for KMD's What A N*gga Know. That shit has to be the only footage of how Zev Luv X & Subroc were acting and dressing after their heel turn for the Black Bastards era.

Dear regional Rap reissue labels, please do a deluxe remastered CD of Boosie's Bad Azz Mixtape Vol. 2 with liner notes from Frankie Tha Lucky Dog. One of the best mixtapes ever or wot?

I wish Kookei would do some more songs like Incredible and Toknight because I much prefer him over those two beats than I do over them boring interchangeable Michigan beats which sound like every other boring interchangeable Michigan beat ever.

That said, I should be careful what I wish for. In the last My Mind Spray post I hankered for Ezale to do summat more longform than music videos, and now he's dropping loadsa stupid YouTube clips of him & his m8s watching UFC instead of releasing new music.

Grown men who buy Rapper toys are the absolute worst, but I couldn't resist a a Mac Dre Ronald Dregan bobblehead when I last visited Oakland, and a couple of days ago I pulled the trigger on that new Slick Rick figure. My justification: they're not toys for adults, they're Pop-Art ornaments!

Monday, 6 February 2023

Real Lies Shit

Real Lies - Valentine
(From Various - RIFT Two compilation; 2023)

The thing about Real Lies songs is that what you take into them is what you get out of them. And so, to me, Valentine is a surrender to emotions; being sobered by feelings; what would happen if Giggs were a sad lad who fronted Everything But The Girl; the perfect companion to Everything But The Girl's actual new single where Tracey Thorn sounds a dead ringer for Holly Johnson. Real Lies sanger Kev Kharas did a brief guide to Valentine video and it turns out that what I get out of the song kinda tallies up with what he took into the song when he wrote it. Consequently, it felt like I was part of something 4 real.

Bonus beats: shout out to Larry-O & K-Def and all the lads.