Tuesday 30 June 2009

Greatest movie scenes ever part 10

Until Public Enemies hits on friday, Drag Me To Hell and The Hangover have been the two cinema highlights of a summer packed with dull blockbuster duds about robots and trite chick flix, but The Hangover is not, as some are suggesting, the best flick about Las Vegas we've ever had the pleasure of witnessing since that honour will be belonging to Very Bad Things for the foreseeable future.

Basically Heathers-In-Vegas, Very Bad Things features Christian Slater, in his best turn since Pump Up The Volume, as the supremely Jason Dean-ish Robert Boyd, an excellent cast including Jeremy Piven, Jon Favreau, Daniel Stern plus Cameron Diaz, and the accidental murder of a prostitute during a Stag night in Las Vegas which weaves itself into a blood soaked tapestry of lies, mo' murder, guilt, paranoia, family dissolution, mo' homicide, post-wedding cuntery, paraplegia and the lengths a man will go to to protect his minivan :

Gotta love Slater's Boyd laying the guilt trip on the cop too. Even J.D wasn't quite that brazen.

Compton's Most Wanted - Dead Men Tell No Lies

Del Tha Funkee Homosapien - Wrong Place

I always thought Del should've done a remix of Wrong Place with his ol' cousin Ice Cube. Cube would've sounded sublime on that beat and i imagine the song itself as a hybrid of It's A Man's World and It Was A Good Day with them both trading backpacker vs. gang$ta rapper jibes towards one another inbetween a narrative where both rappers continually find themselves in the wrong-place-at-the-wrong-time situations with various gangbangers, car-jackers, racist cops, crackheads and hoodrats in the seedy, post-riots L.A underworld.

Tuesday 23 June 2009

The best songs of 2009 thus far

Since we're 6 months into '09 (well, we're closer to 7 now but it was 6 when i first started compiling this in notepad) here's my pick of the year to date.

UGK - Da Game Been Good To Me

Pimp C was a true gang$ta-rap great because he was the South's answer to Eazy E (higher echelon ig'nant shittalking rapper) and Dr Dre (perfectionist super-producer) all rolled into one with a dose of Scarface's self loathing (not so much navel-gazing as small intestine examinations). Da Game Been Good To Me was the first track to leak from the posthumous UGK album and, despite the fact the album went on to give us classic UGK full of bluesy guitar, Superfly horns, falsetto crooning and lyrics covering topics as broad as marijuana use, the Reagan era, the futility of the war in Iraq and the anal hair of 20 year old strippers on tracks like Swishas & 'Erb, Purse Come First and the I Left It Wet For You redoot Hairy Asshole with Webbie and Boosie (let's all just forget the odious song with Akon, shall we?) this is still the one i jam the most.

The Jacka - Crown Me

As a caucazoid who likes some reggae but who can't really enjoy listening to it due to growing up in a place and era when UB40 were ubiquitous and the mental flashbacks of unwashed cracker cunts with dreadlocks and Rasta coloured jester hats encountered during my weed smoking days, it's the one genre of music which definately sounds more comfortable for me with someone rapping about their dick or blasting guns over it. Jacka's dropped a plethora of good stuff this year with the release of his The Street Album mixtape and his long awaited Tear Gas opus but it's due to the aforementioned reggae-rule that i'm gonna go for the highlight of the mixtape as his tune of '09.

Raekwon ft. Method Man & Ghostface - Wu Ohh

If Rae wakes up and stops doing that lame, barely comatose whisper-rap he's been inflicting on us the past couple of years then it's possible that OB4CL 2 might not suck and merely end up being a painfully average affair, but as long as it includes this banger then it's got at least classic Wu moment on there.

Curren$y - Scared Of Monsters

This shit gets me like Vince; Any one - Vaughn, McMahon :

Curren$y's digital album thingymebob turned out to be one of the better releases of the year thus far and while there are a handful of potential picks on there Scared Of Monsters still remains the highlight and his best song since Reagan Era a couple of years back. A better Clipse song than any of the actual Clipse songs released so far this year.

MF Doom - Cellz

As Doom's years in the rap game roll by like the booby trap released boulders during a tunnel scene in an Indiana Jones flick, he seems to have reached a comfortable plateau after the awkward post-Madvillain years by producing his best album since 2004. Never let it be said i'm not swayed by cheap gimmickry as, although, Gazillion Ear is blatantly the best song on Born Like This, i ride-or-die with Cellz due to the Bukowski sample which opens the song. His most creepy tune since Hey

Smitty - Real N*gga Shit

Janet Street Porter could rap over this Gil Scott Heron break and i'd proclaim the resulting song to be better than anything off Illmatic. This video follows the same recipe as Prodigy's Mac Ten Handle with Smitty mugging the camera as he sits alone in a room sippin' booze out of a plastic cup and pointing his pistol at us. I've never heard any of Smitty's albums but i've always liked the few tunes i've heard from him like Belts To Match with UGK, that joint with Scarface which KanYe produced, the Fuck Smitty track from earlier this year and this. Someone needs to recommend me some Smitty releases to check.

Royce Da 5'9 - Shake This

"Fresh outta jail feelin' like Christopher Walken/
the king of my city, swingin' my dick when i'm walkin'"

^ Every time i hear this i'm like :

Some would say Primo looping up some Axelrod is lazy sampling but better that than another dry clunker with the U Know My Steez snares, eh? Anyhoo, this is effective in the same way that Wayne and Swizz's Dr. Carter was effective with the crescendos suiting Royce's, for lack of a better term, Slint-rap steez just lovely. Can Royce finally make the LP he's capable of? It remains to be seen, but hanging out with tone-deaf battle rapper scrubs like Joe Budden - a man whose fanbase primarily consists of the people who type furious keystyles to one another in the comment sections of Just Blaze instrumentals on Youtube - surely isn't going to help.

G. Mane ft. G-Side - No One Duz It Betta

Already posted about this one a while back and G. Mane has dropped a grip of great tracks like Memoirs Of A Geisha and Hard since then but this is still the one. Not only does G. Mane sound like Bun B, he even goes as far as making the music Bun SHOULD be making sans UGK.

Tha Dogg Pound ft. Turf Talk - Y'All Know What I'm Doin'

Tha Dogg Pound's late career renaissance continues with an excellent single which is propelled to classic status by a guest appearance by the mighty Turf Talk playing the middleman and a video which alternates between scenes of men in Dickies gear drinking booze from bottles in brown paper bags outside a 7/11 and pole dancers with their arses cocked up in the air jiglling their wares in a strip club. That said, Turf Talk's Princess Leia style afro puffs are the highlight of the video.

DJ Quik & Kurupt - Nine Times Outta Ten

I know everyone always goes on about Nas and Canibus when they talk about rappers who killed shit on guest spots/freestyles/singles before releasing an album but Kurupt trumps 'em all for me. Who'd a thought that when Quik and Kurupt combined they'd end up making this year's PSK/Do The James/Come Clean/Grindin', though? Tuffest tune of '09 thus far.

De La Soul - Excursions '09

It's kinda sad that one of the greatest avant-garde rap groups ever can now only sound inspired cranking out a remake of an old Tribe tune for a tribute mixtape but beggars can't be choosers and i'll take this over pretty much anything they've done since the first A.O.I album , bar the underrated Impossible Mission mixtape.

Q. Tip ft. Busta, Raekwon & Lil' Wayne - Renaissance Rap remix

One of the highlights of Tip's suprisingly pleasant new LP gets remixed with guest verses from 3 currently washed-up rappers who somehow managed to sound reinvigorated on here and Tip himself sounding awfully like The R. Wayne's verse sounds like it was recorded on a dictophone placed inbetween Lady Gaga's tits but at least he's rapping again.

Curtains - Black Folks

See - he can make tracks about real issues and not just rap about gear 'n' kicks. However, it's his ability to do both which make him the closest we've got to a modern day incarnation of Grand Puba because, lord knows, we don't need the old one any more judging from the snippets i heard from his latest LP.

Young Dro - Dro Rock Diamonds

All i need in this life of sin is me and Dro rhyming 70, Cherokee, Heavenly plus Aunty named Beverley over Love And Happiness with a Biggie cut-up as the hook. It's baffling to me that there are people with similar taste to me who, for reasons i could never begin to fathom or empathise with, rate Gucci Mane over Young Dro since Gucci is a less fancy Dro X the most boring bits of Jeezy + a billion Zshare mixtape links a month. Getcha ATLanta rapper with penchants for comparing jewellery and gear to food weight up, cuzzes.

Gucci Mane - Hurry

So, yeah, he's the most overrated rapper out there at the moment and i'd rather share a portaloo with Phil "The Power" Taylor than hear another Gucci track with a mid-tempo Shawty Redd knock-off beat bought for $10 off some Myspace producer but he's capable of greatness when he raps over something a tad more animated like this crazy carnival type shit here. Best thing i've heard by him since I Move Chickens.

Cam'Ron - I Hate My Job

Crime Pays didn't quite live up to expectations after the Youtube trifecta of dopeness that was I Hate My Job, Cookin' Up and I Used To Get It In Ohio but they remain 3 of the best songs this year has seen, particularly the former with Cam', who, you'd imagine, has never had a proper job in his life, perfectly capturing the mundane horror of office life and feeling the pain of those of us stumbling our way through the rat-race.

Project Pat - Choppa To Ya Dome

What with every Southern rapper rhyming over nineties dance schlock by Robert Miles, Josh Wink and Ian Van Dahl at the moment it's comforting that you can always rely on Hypnotize Minds to lace Pat with some dark Memphis shit built on a bedrock of trademark Carpenter-meets-Colors -esque synths, church bells, machine gun fx and nails-on-a-chalkboard scratching.

Marco Polo & Torae ft. Masta Ace & Sean Price - Hold Up

The Marco Polo & Torae album serves the same purpose that The U.N album served in '04 : a fix of uncomplicated NY boom-bap which treads the fine line between backpack and street without falling into the pitfalls that come with either sub-genre. Masta Ace is drafted in to fill the obligatory veteran verse duties and has rediscovered his mojo after that painfully dull EMC record, while Sean Price adds an always welcome dose of ignorance. Not quite the '09 Crooklyn but, truthfully, it ain't that far off.

Big Mike ft. Rick Ross - Animals

Rawwwwwsse is a hack who doesn't deserve to be on a song with the guy who made No Nuts No Glory, Playa Playa and Havin' Thangs but this is one of the occasions when the moob bearing blob is just about tolerable. I still have to pinch myself to make sure i'm not dreaming when i see a Chops credit on a Big Mike or Bun B tune. From producing a happy-go-lucky Canadian backpacker group who made Jurassic 5 look like old Three 6 Mafia to lacing Houston heavyweights : how the fuck did that happen again?

Cunnilynguists ft. Killer Mike & Khujo - Georgia remix

In my world, the train carrying the Cunnilynguists doesn't usually stop at the station named great rap music so who'd a thought they'd would ever make anything dope, let alone anything dope which features Killer Mike and Khujo from Goodie Mob?

Witchdoctor - Rich And Poor

Some new Witchdoctor is always welcome, particularly if the tune itself is a well executed concept song and it's accompanied by a low-budget Youtube video of him and his mates jigging around in a variety of car-parks. Big Boi could do a lot worse than taking a leaf out of Witchdoctor's book and going the independent route with a bunch of cheap Youtube videos since his label are never going to release his Lucious Left Foot.. album.

Slim Thug ft. UGK - Leanin'

Nobody really wants to hear Paul Wall, at least minus Chamillionaire, in 2009 but i'll always check for Slim Thugga despite the fact, like Paul, he rarely deviates beyond recylcing all the old Swisha House motifs in the cliched way imaginable. The reasons for this, of course, are because of Slim's splendid beat selection, his choice in guests (you can never go wrong with UGK and Z-Ro guest appearances) and his possesion of one of the most unfuckwithably awesome voices in the history of rap. Dude could just say Baaawwwwwwssssss for 4 minutes over a beat made from the flatulence of chiuauas and it'd still be in this list.

E-40 - On Oil

E-40's last album was little more a less consistent variation on his My Ghetto Report Card blueprint of 50% Bay shit/50% joints for da ladeez, with Earl being the only track which still gets regular burn around these parts but, worry not, as he's already leaking incredible solo tracks with Droop-E behind the boards from the next Sick Wid It compilation album to make up for it.

The Dream - Rocking That Thang

The token r&b joint. The Dream's album is the only non-rap album i've listened to this year, which is somewhat of an accomplishment since rap is all i've listened to since two years back in 2007 when Hilary Duff put out Stranger and The Dream released his debut (i tried with the latest Mastodon album but they peaked with Remission for me and have been on a downward spiral ever since). I am not quite a Dream stan of the Breezy calibre - who is to The Dream what Peter Bogdanovich is to John Ford - but when he's good he's the closest we've currently got to Prince in his heyday.

Saigon - Pushin' Buddens freestyle

"Now can you name 5 people that felt Touch And Go?
don't worry i'll wait..HELL FUCKING NO!"

^ That line gets a genuine L-O-L every time and if this track were a scene from Saved By The Bell then it'd be somethin' like this :

As annoying as Saigon can be (you're not the messiah - you're just a decent miscegenation of F.T and Tragedy circa the Intelligent Hoodlum days) when compared to the insufferable mumbling faggotry of the highly delusional Joe Budden, he's as lovable as Biz and hearing him evicerate Budden so thoroughly ("what kinda grown-ass man be sayin' OWWWWWWN?") on his 2nd dis track to him was as enchanting as witnessing the likes of Kevin Nolan and Richard Dunne go in studs-first on Ashley Cole.

Boosie - I'm Tired

I remain wholly convinced that Boosie is better as one half of Boosie & Webbie than as a solo artist and he's a tad too prolific for my paleolithic ass (sifting through 20 track mixtapes every other month looking for gems can be such a chore) but when Boosie feels blue and comes off as Pimp C channeled by Z-Ro then he's one of the top 3 currently active exponents of sad-rap.

Thursday 18 June 2009

Greatest movie scenes ever part 9

Je t'adore : music made by Black people; the lusciousness of Techicolor; scantily clad women who can gyrate sexily without giving the impression that they're trying too hard; beatdown scenes in movies which involve fellas gettin' bottles smashed over their noggins; Lee motherfuckin' Marvin.

So let's combine 'em like Dai-X from Star Fleet (we'll be having none of yer played-out forming like Voltron around 'ere) for the scene in Point Blank where Walker visits the night club looking for info and ends up dispensing with a couple of flunkies from The Organization along the way :

SPC member and former Rap-A-Lot artist Point Blank titling his 2nd LP Mad At The World was probably a mere coincidence or but i'd like to think the rap name/LP title combination was a subtle homage to his favourite flick and/or actor by Point Blank.

Point Blank - Mad At The World

Tuesday 16 June 2009

Great songs from forgotten rap albums part 7

Dungeon Family - Follow The Light

Trans DF Express was cool and all but maybe if Follow The Light had been the main single for the one and only Dungeon Family album to date then it might have secured some of those post-Stankonia crossover sales. This tune is from the Dungeon Family folder with Prince scrawled on the front (first page being Funky Ride by 'Kast) and consists of an infectious hook by Sleepy Brown, verses by Big Boi, Big Gipp and Cee-Lo (okay, Thomas, you've proven that you're a better singer than Andre so you can start rapping again now) all ridin' on a wave of jittery robo-funk somewhat reminiscent of a sped up version of the Purple One's very own Erotic City. True stories : Cee-Lo's normal voice is a hoarse rasp akin to Jack Duckworth but he achieves his trademark nasal shrill tones by running autotune through an Amstrad CPC 464 when it's loading a copy of Target Renegade.

Melle Mel - Drug Wars

Melle Mel - White Lines '89

Although The Message is the most iconic rap song ever, isn't it really a Duke Bootee song with Melle Mel's verse from Super Rappin' re-rapped at the end? As far as the steroid abusing rap god goes, the mid 80s cuts like BeatStreet, Step Off, The Truth, WW3 and King Of The Streets are better representations of his greatness but our own personal favourite Mel moments can be found on his 1989 solo LP (yeah, it says & The Furious Five on the cover but make no mistake that this is a solo album as they barely feature here). Freestyle is the most known track here nowadays as it was featured on Edan's superb Fast Rap mix cd and it's a Herculean stream of pure braggin' 'n' boastin' (E-40 and Snoop casually bicker over who was the first rapper to infuse IZ-ing into words but Mel was doing it here in nineteen-eighty-fucking-nine!) but we've gone for 2 tracks which find Mel in social commentary mode detailing how crack ravaged NYC in the late eighties. Every bit as good as Night Of The Living Baseheads or Slow Down, Drug Wars might just be the most macabre golden-era anti-crack track.

Casual - Turkey And Dressing

What a shit cover, eh? After mentioning Turkey And Dressing in one of these posts which featured Casual's He Think He Raw album a while back our mate Rey pointed out that, although Turkey And Dressing didn't feature on there, it did eventually turn up on Cas's next album, 2003's Truck Driver. This is an album we haven't heard but judging by the Amazon snippets this might just be the worst album recorded by a rapper that's dropped a bonefide classic and, lest you forget, this is a category which includes such cack as at least 4 shitefests by Nas, the excrutiating War And Peace double by Ice Cube, pretty much any album which dropped on Koch in the early noughties, Electric Circus by Common, a bunch of Kool G. Rap albums which are little more than boring acapellas set to beats ganked from Myspace producers and every unlistenable Kool Keith album since Dr Dooom.

Thursday 11 June 2009

"It's the sleeves wot duz it"

A future fashion prediction video from the 1930s about what the world would be wearing come A.D 2000 :

"Ohhhhh swish"

Can't quite remember the William Shakespeare meets King Tut in the Batman tv series dressed as an astronaut/Airbus machine operator hybrid look being big for men 9 years ago but maybe that one passed me by.

Sunday 7 June 2009

TV blues

1989 and 1990 were the years which gave us Seinfeld, The Simpsons, Round The Twist, Blackadder Goes Forth, Twin Peaks, Have I Got News For You, and The Fresh Prince Of Bel Air, so let's pinpoint those 2 years as the genesis for the golden age of tv we've been experiencing ever since.

The one area where tv has rapidly declined, at least here in the UK, is in the music-on-telly department. Even the glut of music channels on Sky are little more than endless cycles of videos and on terrestrial tv we no longer have Top Of The Pops or any kind of genre-specific BBC2 shows like Snub-TV or Dance Energy. Performances on Cretinous shite like T4 and the muso-dullard hades that is Jools Holland aren't quite as exciting as seeing a young Snoop doing Gin And Juice on The Word and being attacked by Rod Hull & Emu after the obligatory Awkward couch interview with Mark Lamarr.

C4 clearly had the best bookers in the early 90s as they were getting Snoop, Onyx, The Pharcyde and Hammer during his gang$ta-rap comeback, as well as rawk groups like Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Sepultura, Huggy Bear (someone needs to upload that performance asap) and Corrosion Of Conformity for The Word, whereas poor old BBC2 could only attract The Fu-Schickens for Dance Energy with Normski :

What's more, the few appearances we do get are just so anaemic and predictable. Compare that fat bird from The Gossip and her anonymous male session musician band plowing through their 5th rate post-punk cack on Jonathan Ross the other night to The Muppet Show having Diana Ross on to perform Love Hangover and Shirley Bassey to do Goldfinger :

Related note : The Kaliphz - a multi-cultural Mancunian hybrid of MC Tunes, House Of Pain and East 17, who are best described as being the crowning turd in the u-bend of nineties UK hip hop. How, prey tell, has the time they appeared on The Word been uploaded to Youtube, yet the performances of Onyx doing Throw Ya Gunz and Pharcyde doing Ya Mama from the show remain a.w.o.l in some dusty VHS tape abyss, which also possibly includes my video tape of an old German porn movie where various hotties were blackmailed into sex by Rudy Völler resembling men and whose wicked webs of lies could only be untangled when all parties involved submitted to an orgy at the conclusion of the movie.

Where's shit at, yo?

Thursday 4 June 2009

Martorial elegance # 22

There are those who theorise that Hell isn't an actual place but, rather, a concept of eternal punishment where sinners are reincarnated smack-dab into various personal nightmare scenarios time and time again. There was, for example, the Judgement Night episode of The Twlight Zone where the kraut U-Boat commander who ruthlessly torpeodoed a lost ship full of innocent civillains suddendly finds himself as one of the innocent civillians on the lost ship, but here at The Martorialist we can think of few worse fates than having to live through being reincarnated as a staggeringly fat dood's cycle shorts over and over and over again until the universe gently implodes one morning trillions of years into the future when Bob from Rotherham accidently forgets to turn off his immersion heater one night.

You can keep having your pre-marital sex with naive students who are easily impressed by your tall tales of being a real dj and easily seduced by bottles of WKD, and you can stay indulding in those lust fuelled self-pleasure sessions over various female cast members of Doctors (Melody > Megan Fox) if you want but, be warned, your future may involve an awful lot of clammy arse and grundle blubber.

Monster Magnet - Sin's A Good Man's Brother

Curtis Mayfield - (Don't Worry) If There's A Hell Below We're All Gonna Go

Tuesday 2 June 2009

Great songs from forgotten rap albums part 6

Mob Style - Wanted By

Ah, Mob Style again. we're plucking the best track from their not-very-good 1993 sophomore platter which suffers from an unfortunate case of lame remakes of the best joints from their debut-itis with a side order of songs with samples which were used to superior effect by other people-syndrome. The choice is yours, whoadies : are you gonna listen to Azie graphically rapping in a rather truncated fashion about prison masturbation or are you gonna go bump 'Cube's Bird In The Hand instead? The shitness of the rest of the album is balanced out by the solitary highlight Wanted By being Mob Style's best cut ever.

G. Dep - Everyday

G. Dep - Child Of The Ghetto

G. Dep, history tells us, was little more than a great singles rapper from his Primo approved nineties indie classic Head Over Wheels/Blow More Spots to his later Bad Boy hits such as Special Delivery and Let's Get It but his album was actually a pretty decent affair with these two tracks being the best jams of his career. G. Dep was yet another inevitable victim of the Bad Boy curse and was swiftly dropped after Puffy deemed his sales figures unsatisfactory. It's ironic that the 300, 000 or so copies this sold at the time eclipses the total units Puff's last album moved and sounds like a positively Thriller or The Best Of..The Eagles type number next to the soundscan statistics for the Jeezy-less 2nd Boyz 'N' Da Hood album which sold about 10 copies in total, 6 of which were probably bought by Gorilla Zoe's mum.

Speaking of the Bad Boy curse and former Bad Boy artists who Puff ganked, that Mark Curry book which details Puff's various nefarious activities sounded like an interesting affair until we saw Mark's hilariously embarrassing posting on a message board about it. Is there anything more teeth grindingly cringeworthy than rappers posting on internet forums to promote their own products and the barrage of defensiveness and gross misuse of the quote function which ensues when someone dares to ask them a question more complicated than "when's the release date?" Still, it might be worth picking up a copy, if only to see if there's any gossip about Yvette Fielding during the Blue Peter years in there.

Mausberg ft. Playa Hamm - Ain't No Doubt

Kam & Mausberg - The Re-Birth

Though this 2000 set was billed as a Suga Free & Mausberg compilation album, the truth is it's more like a Suga Free & DJ Quik album with the sadly late Mausberg in the underappreciated-but-crucial holding midfield role and various affiliated friends like Kam and Hi-C lending helping hands. Suga and Quik, who does much of the production as well as contibuting his own solo tracks, are too of Cali's all-time Gang$ta Rap heavyweights but Mausberg only goes and steals the show here as his tracks and the tracks featuring him are the finest cuts on the album. Perfect listening material for the current weather, though it'll probably be pissing down again by the time you read this.

Suga Free - She Get What She Pay Foe

Since Mausberg was the star of the show on the above album, it's only right we spread some love to Suga Free and DJ Quik too. Suga Free & Quik is as potent a combination as De La & Prince Paul and while this isn't their best work together, it's a solid cd with one particularly fucking incredible stand out track in She Get What She Pay Foe. There's a lot of talk about Andre 3000 infusing the spirit of one Prince Rogers Nelson on The Love Below but this here song manages to channel the Purple One more effectively than Andre could manage over the space of an entire cd. Chalk this one up as yet another brilliantly misogynist Suga Free banger, with Suga Suge sneering at them dudes who be trickin' for poon.