Wednesday 30 September 2009

Rappaz R.N Prizun # 1

Your author is not particularly versed in the minutiae of the American legal system, but if C-Murder, a rapper currently languishing in prison possibly wrongly convicted of 2nd degree murder after his violent lyrics were used as evidence against him, really wishes to push his appeal for a fair retrial, then perhaps recording insanely ig'nant verses in the prison studio with numerous references to guns and murder for A-Wax posse tracks might not be the smartest way to go about it?

A-Wax & Gonzoe ft. C-Murder - Natural Disasters

Similarly, it's touching that A-Wax wants to highlight the FREE C-MURDER campaign headed by Murder's brother Master P, but you imagine there might be slightly more sensible ways to go about it than recording a song which makes Trap Goin' Ham seem like Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now) in comparison.

Still, this video gets the thumbs up for featuring the first use of an umbrella seen in a rap video since that Dipset b-teamer video (was it Un Kasa or 40 Cal?) which included a scene where Jimmy held an umbrella aloft over Juelz as he got his Billy Joel on with a piano handily placed in the middle of a rain lashed Harlem street.

The Nore vs. Perez Hilton Twitter spat was an unexpected and often hilarious encounter, but here at The Martorialist we're eagerly awaiting a reprise of the A-Wax vs. Jacka Twitter beef. Never before has two men, their various hangers-on, a glut of fanboys from either side and various bemused trolls insulting each other on the internet been so entertaining.

Monday 28 September 2009

Pressing matters...

You chaps really need to ease back with your wayward love for pre-Bad Boy Murda Ma$e, because the highlights of his Harlem World album stand as Mason's artistic pinnacle. His C.O.C era tracks were bogstandard chugging boom-bap (the only really great C.O.C tracks are I Remember When and A Star Is Born, where a young Cameron Giles shone) which aren't even playing the same sport as the grandiose posse cut 24 Hours To Live or the effervescent Feel So Good.

So, this looks like a standard UK press of Feel So Good, right? The crap thin paper photo sleeve and 45 RPM speed are in full effect but pop it on and it's actually a 33 RPM copy of Biggie's Hypnotize. What..the...fuck?

The Jam had an infamous pressing accident where 7" copies of Start actually contained Can't Stop The Music by The Village People and Chicago House label Trax Records were notorious for pressing faux-pas as their early releases by Vince Lawrence, Larry Heard etc were often mispressed with various other songs from the label's catalogue and pressed directly on top of old disco 12"s, but I'm unfamiliar with any instances of spectacular pressing fuck ups in rap, bar the ones in the early 90s when labels would purposefully press up bad quality wax which skipped in a rather shiesty bid to encourange vinyl-philes to convert to CD or tape instead (we won't even touch on wax which was pressed so quietly as to be inaudible to the human ear which is a whole other post in its own right), so I asked the homie and wax expert Greenpeace if he knew of any noted mispressings :

Not really sure of too many famous mispresses. There was a mispress of a nice n smooth return of the hip-hop freaks 12" which actually had a warren g track on there instead, or vice versa. My personal favourite mispress is on Tuff City by Priority one. The 12" was I can't go for that b/w showin my stuff. However on the b side instead of the 'showin my stuff' instrumental there was a dub version of a totally different priority one track which is really dope. Finding the original vocal version is my holy grail but unfortunately not even Tuff City could figure it out, they admit it was a mispress but don't know where the original master is.

If anything typifies just what a haphazard, badly organised genre rap is, it would be Tuff City Records themselves not knowing what or where the original song Dan mentions is. Beat that, other genres!

We end today back on the subject of one Mason Betha. Best use of the Hollywood Swingin' break by a rapper with a $ sign replacing the letter S in his rap moniker :

Too $hort - Money In The Ghetto

Ma$e - Feel So Good

Thursday 24 September 2009

Greatest movie scenes ever # 18

Being stuck on crowded, sweltering public transport with a strawberry from your fruit salad caught in your throat and no water to wash it down, next to the mongiest village idiot smackhead who insists on slurring into your face about "that queer porn on the internet" and trying to shake your hand every other minute is an experience so unpleasant even Ned Flanders would emerge wishing for redemption in the form of ending up like Zac Hobson from 1986 New Zealand sci-fi flick The Quiet Earth, who awakens one morning to find that the entire population of the planet has vanished.

You'd be bored to tears of pure salt after a couple of months, but having the freedom of an otherwise people-less planet for, say, one month would be an immensely pleasurable experience : money would be rendered null and void so those 4 weeks would be one long orgy of free shopping and travelling, with a side order of snooping on all sorts of top secret antics you aren't usually privvy to.

Still, it seems that The Quiet Earth sparks rose-tinted fantasy of a fantasy thoughts not worth igniting if the Life After People series on the History Channel Brooker recommended in his saturday Screen Burn is anything to go by. The concept of everyone else vanishing for a bit is all fine 'n' dandy, but some of those everyone elses are responsible for keeping electricity working (crucial for British winter time where darkness is interspersed with a grey clouds and rain between 8:30 AM and 3:45 PM), and who'd have thunk the combined corosive properties of bird shit and rain could be more of a problematic potent combination than the loneliness and bewilderment which drove Zac to run into a church wearing women's lingerie with a shotgun and start blasting the Jesus figurine as he begs for a sign from God in The Quiet Earth :

EvilTube2007 (2 months ago)

Okay, so we have a New Zealander walking around in a dress with a shotgun, desacrating a church. What's so odd about that?

Bonus movie thoughts for the evening :

* Have you seen the state of Carrie Fisher in Sorority Row? She's comfortably resided in my top ten sexiest movie chicks ever list since the bikini scenes in Return Of The Jedi, but she's now less Princess Leia and more Gamorrean Guard. Pour out a little liquor for a former fantasy hottie of every 70s baby now forever extinguished.

* More damning evidence for my case which suggests the entire current British film industry (bar Gemma Arteton, Michael Sheen, Timothy Spall and Tom whatshisface who played Bronson) should be sent out into the most densely shark populated area of the Atlantic ocean on Roman Abramovich's new luxury yacht and then torpedoed : Danny Dyer's next shit mockney gangster caper stars none other than that noted thespian Curtis "Fiddy" Jackson :

Tuesday 22 September 2009

Martorial elegance # 32

1. There are currently no pictures of Melvin Nerdly from Saved By The Bell to be found on Google image search.

2. The Uniqlo X Gilded Age blue zip-up is probably the most ill-fitting item of clothing I've ever tried on, and I'm someone who once bought an INFEST t-shirt from Richard of AWA Records which turned out to be a navel reaching belly shirt with a drawstring hem when it arrived through the post.

3. Chucks are baby-momma kicks status for everyone, bar esses and Cali' gang$ta-rappers. Great on Cube, Eazy, Snoop, Mac Dre, Turf Talk et al, not so great on everyone else. One thing i always wondered about Cali gangbangers is if Bloods can wear blue jeans? If not, it must really suck to have a wardrobe restristed to khakis and black jeans, huh?

4. When Barratt sent me this pic, Sean P talkin' shit at the end of the first verse on Da Art Of Disrespekinazation by Heltah Skeltah immediately came to mind :

"Get the fuck outta here, man
Lookin' like Leroy from Fame and shit.."

5. If black teenagers are going to base their looks on characters from 80s movies, then Debbi from Repo Man would be an excellent aesthetic blueprint for the gurlz :

Saturday 19 September 2009

She returns

Damn, son, baby is not only back but judging from last night's episode she got serious back too.

LFO - We Are Back

Thursday 17 September 2009

The Above The Law 12" cover battle

The UK pressing :

Pros : possibly the better picture of the two with Go Mack's jheri-curl mullet in all its glory, a rare example of a UK pressing minus a crap CJ Mackintosh hip-house remix.

Cons : trademark UK pressing ultra thin paper sleeve.

The original US pressing :

Pros : full length outfit photo, the use of a cane.

Cons : the cumbersome Special 12" remixes by Dr Dre text.

Above The Law - Untouchable

"It's not what chu know, it's what cha can prove"

The original of Untouchable with the Light My Fire by Young Holt Unlimited sample was already perfect as it was, so I never had much love for the What Cha Can Prove remix itself, but as an instrumental the darn remix is some ol' Allied forces marching into Rome after forcing the Germans to retreat as the jubilant cheers from the people of Rome rang out in the air type shit :

Above The Law - What Cha Can Prove remix instrumental

Much in the same way that I proposed the Snoop freestyle from the start of the Afro Puffs should've been tweaked into a full length Death Row posse track a la Puffin' On Blunts And Drinkin' On Tanqueray with added freestyles from Tha Dogg Pound & Lady Of Rage, the What Cha Can Prove remix instrumental really should've been the bed for a DJ showcase track a la Behold The Detonator by Tuff Crew or Eric B Made My Day by Eric B. & Rakim (insert your own favorite golden-era DJ track here ~~~> _______ ) to let Above The Law's wax manipulator DJ Total K-Oss get loose and cut the livin' shit outta some records on it.

Them A&Rs over at Ruthless and Death Row were clearly bereft of my artistic vision.

Tuesday 15 September 2009

Greatest movie scenes ever # 17

The Mostly Tha Voice edition.

If The Guardian can get away with exhorting that Michael Holding's dulcet Jamaican tones saying the words Ricky Ponting is one of the most joyous sounds on earth without accusations of patronising mild xenophbia being levelled at them, then I venture to suggest we can all quietly agree that Wikus from District 9 sounding like Mark Viduka is what bumps the movie into the domain of possible future classic. Every regular fuck became a more humourous fook and throwaway phrases such as "It's the sweetie man" and "I think I've crapped me pants" were elevated into guffaw inducing comedic knock-out blows. Even Woody back in the Annie Hall and Manhattan days couldn't have delivered 'em like that.

How very apt Peter Jackson was the producer behind District 9, since the distinctly amusing accents, offbeat location and protooding limbed aliens reminded me of Jackson's debut flick Bad Taste, which has long been a favourite here at The Martorialist. I would prefer to watch kittens being kicked before I'd watch any of the Lord Of The Rings franchise, and King Kong belongs in the same septic tank as Holy Smoke, Miami Vice and Transformers 2, but Jackson was THE man back when he was knocking out quirky Antipodean grossouts like Bad Taste, Brain Dead and Meet The Feebles.

In fact, Jackson was so good in those days that he could direct a particularly gruesome cliffside set-piece where he played both the victim, paramilitary team-member Derek, and the killer, homosapien munching 3rd-class alien flunky Robert :

Lose the goblins and role playing geeks, Jackson, and make another sordid horror-comedy with a 25 grand budget in New Zealand. Kthxbye.

Bonus beats :

Looka here, boy. Curren$y dropped a new video for my 2nd favourite song from This Ain't No Mixtape. So glad my compadre Sha Deezy became enamored with Curren$y this year, as we can now listen to something other than 95% Lloyd Banks tunes in the car.

Curren$y - Elevator Music

Sunday 13 September 2009

Martorial elegance # 31

Where are the middle aged blokes dressed like Alain Delon as Jef Costello in Le Samourai or the eccentric 30-something chicks going for that whole Cruella de Vil look? Nowhere we've been with a camera in the last week or two, so, all we can do is bide our time with another gander at denim shorts :

This guy pro'lly thinks he has steeze(sic), but, as always, denim shorts will never be able to escape the wrestler ghetto into semi-respectable territory. Just because one wears tailored jean short-shorts, as opposed to some 3/4 length DFS sofa sized ones, it doesn't make one any less immune to the wrestler effect; it just means that, rather than Raven or John Cena, one has achieved the Stevie Richards or Stone Cold Steve Austin look instead :

Our Martorial elegance subject's shirt? Refer to this post for our thoughts on the pressing matter of sleeveless denim, but we'll add Tom Cruise as Steve in The Outsiders to our brief list of acceptable sleeveless denim shirt/jacket sporters.

Lil' Boosie ft. Lil' Phat & Webbie - LEVIS

Thursday 10 September 2009


AKA movie soundtracks bought for some amazing songs you heard in the movie which didn't actually feature the aforementioned amazing songs on the soundtrack album, which you only realised after you'd shelled out for the album.

Christian Slater's suburban pirate-radio outing was notable for a variety of reasons : being the only good flick Slater made inbetween Heathers and True Romance, managing to make Samantha Mathis look foxy in a get-up usually seen on mangy Neds Atomic Dustbin fangirls, inspiring a generation of teenagers to procure 2nd hand CB radios and its superb eclectic soundtrack which featured everything from Ice-T to Leonard Cohen. However, the MCA Records drone who was responsible for collating songs used in the flick for the official soundtrack deserved to have Van Damme circa Hard Target set on him :

Harsh, but then me ordering a copy of this for £15 back in 1991 only for it to arrive and be minus more or less all all the key songs was harsh too.

Where were the songs i'd bought the bloody thing for? Weinerschnitzel by The Descendents, the previously unreleased Scenario by The Beasties, Love Comes In Spurts by Richard Hell & The Voidoids, Hello Dad, I'm In Jail by Was Not Was and Everybody Knows by Leonard Cohen were crucial songs in the movie yet all of them were absent from the soundtrack. Such ridiculousness is akin copping the Reservoir Dogs soundtrack (still Tarantino's best movie, though Inglorious Basterds is a storming return to form after his series of bitchmade chick-flicks post-Jackie Brown) only to find out that Little Green Bag by The George Baker Selection, I Gotcha by Joe Tex, Stuck In The Middle With You by Steelers Wheel and Coconut by Harry Nilsson have all been omitted.

All i was left with for my £15 were songs i already had by Above The Law and Sonic Youth, a throwaway exclusive by the otherwise dependable Soundgarden, the well-intentioned Rollins & Bad Brains version of Kick Out The Jams, which wasn't exactly a cover of the War Pigs by Faith No More calibre, and a bunch of snoozers by The Cowboy Junkies, Peter Murphy and The Pixies etc which aren't even worth hyperlinking.

Pick of the missing songs :

Beastie Boys - Scenario

Excrutiatingly protracted soft-focus sex scene aside, Carlito's Way was Brian De Palma's last classic movie (though Snake Eyes is underrated) with Sean Penn stealing the show as shiesty, balding-permed Jewish lawyer Dave Kleinfeld, Al Pacino doing a pitch-perfect rendition of a world-weary reformed crim', killer minor roles for Luis Guzman as Pachanga, John Leguizamo as Benny Blanco, Viggo Mortensen as Lalin, plus Frank Minucci as Tony Taglialucci and the coining of the phrase Streets is watching.

Pretty damn good soundtrack too, with the movie first exposing me to tunes like Got To Be Real by Cheryl Lynn, Oye Coma Va by Santana, Backstabbers by The O'Jays, El Wattusi by Ray Barretto, and Lady Marmalade by Patti Labelle. But, again, half the songs featured in the movie were nowhere to be found.

Most of the AWOL songs, predictably, were the Salsa flavoured Latin ones such as Che Che Cole by Willie Colon, El Todopoderoso by Hector Lavoe & Willie Colon, and Muñeca by Eddie Palmieri, but in the pre-internet days when a cracker from the United Kingdom didn't know a Tito Puente from a Tito Jackson, it was difficult to ascertain which Latin song listed in the movie's end credits was which, making it near impossible to title one particularly boisterous unaccounted for tune used in the scene when Carlito first visits Saso's club until years later, when a mate bought Jeremy Marre's 1979 documentary on Salsa in NYC featuring Tito Puente performing it live at a south Bronx street jam, thus finally confirming it as Para Los Rumberos by Tito Puente.

Pick of the missing songs :

Tito Puente - Para Los Rumberos

Bonus beats :

I know i wasn't the only one who was sorely disappointed that this wasn't on the CB4 soundtrack tape :

Tuesday 8 September 2009

Greatest movie scenes ever # 16

The car-chase scene : the ones featured in Bullitt and The French Connection are the most iconic; movies like the Smokey And The Bandit and Cannonball Run series, The Blues Brothers, Ronin and Death Proof are little more than a succession of them held together by the flimsiest of plots; and the ones in Die Hard 3, To Live And Die In L.A, Gone In 60 Seconds, The Hidden, The Italian Job and Colors were the set-piece highlights of their respective movies.

But there's one which puts all the others to shame as it bestrides the car-chase scene set-piece world like Dr Manhattan with that Ric Flair swagger; one featuring thrills which are just are just a tad more high-octane than any of its competitors; one which comes from a movie that, mere months away from the end of 2009, we can safely call the best action movie of the decade; that movie is Bad Boys 2 and this is that car chase in all its glory :

The best sequel of the noughties too? Let's just say that Martin Lawrence drinking water from potted plants after accidently dropping E rates higher on our classic celluloid-o-meter than Christian Bale's chalk-on-blackboard Batman voice in The Dark Knight. Sorry, chaps, but Michael Keaton will always be the definitive Batman until Bale sorts his Pete Steele from Type O Negative doing an impression of Kelly Brook reading from an autocue caped crusader tone out.

News that Bad Boys 3 is likely to happen in the next couple of years is pleasing, and not just because it's another oppurtnity for us to witness a movie with a cast including The Fresh Prince, Henry Rollins and Ralphie from The Sopranos. That, The Expendables and Rambo 5 all due before 2012? Bring it on.

So, this is the point to shoehorn some related rap song in. Uh, let's see.. There's a slight resemblance between the filled out Martin Lawrence from Bad Boys 2 and Grand Puba, isn't there? Top Shelf '88 had a handful of great tunes but this was the highlight :

Grand Puba - Let's Go

Sunday 6 September 2009

Martorial elegance # 30

If you grew up as a pilgrim entranced by the gear worn by Run Dmc, Ice-T, Slick Rick, Eric B. & Rakim, NWA, Compton's Most Wanted, Grand Puba, Snoop et al, a tiny part of your soul dies every time you see a black bloke in an item of clothing which is the sole preserve of gormless white 15 year olds circa 6 months ago :

N-Dubz hats ain't trill, potna, and noted seperatist Dr. Khalid Muhammad would not have approved of such saltine inspired sartorial shenanigans :

"I'd rather have some pants made out of the white man's skin.."

Is Barratt's use of pigeons in the foreground a sly Dunk collector dis? A scathing attack on generic ham 'n' eggers who flock to tacky populist trends like pigeons flock to bread crumbs and then foul up the streets? A mere coincidence? We gotta know.

On a race-related topic, we really need to talk about the worrying trend of rappers embracing the most milquetoast of crackafied faggotry : Jay-Z tossing aside Beanie, Freeway and the entire State Property camp to hobnob with Bono, Chris & Gwyneth and work with MGMT; every single rapper gushing over Coldplay; Ca$h Money Records going from the label which put out Mannie Fresh propelled state-of-the-art Southern gang$ta-rap by B.G and Juvenile to a label which puts out embarrassing middlebrow rock records by Kevin Rudolf and Lil' Wayne rock side-projects; any rapper who does a song with a glorified Will Young like Mr Hudson (the term fucking pussy has been thrown around so much that it's lost all power as an insult, but if there's anybody who embodies the term and venom behind it, it would be Mr Hudson)... when does this madness end?

Back when your author's love affair with rap was properly ignited watching Doug & Rick do The Show on Top Of The Pops it felt like the exotic antidote to the cringeworthy togetherness of Feed The World and the depressing spectacle a bunch of earnest, worthy middle aged men with mullets belting out vanilla stadium-rock at Live Aid, which had all but killed off great outlandish UK pop music made by crackers (ABC, Fun Boy Three and Duran Duran never quite recovered from that dad-rock spanner being thrown in the works, did they?). But now, the rap which was once an escape from alabaster MOR, is slowly intergrating with that whitewashed, humdrum world and shit is disgusting, b.

Rappers needs to rediscover that ol' Ice Cube and Lench Mob kill whitey ethos.

Da Lench Mob - Buck Tha Devil

Thursday 3 September 2009

Mama said B.G. Knocc you out

Eazy E ft. Dresta & B.G. Knocc Out - Real Motherphukkin' G's

B.G. Knocc Out & Dresta, in case you don't remember, were the half-brother (same mother, different father) Crip duo most famous for appearing on Eazy's Real Motherphukkin' G's (1:13 to 1:20 with the Dresta "Damn, E, they tried to fade you on Dre Day" to Eazy "But Dre Day only meant Eazy's pay-day" exchange is a top ten ever moment in a rap video) and beginning their career proper with a dis track aimed at Tha Dogg Pound, who'd fired a retaliatory shot for Real Motherphukkin' G's on What Would U Do? in 1994, with D.P.G K, a fairly unfancy acronym for Dogg Pound Gangtsta Killaz.

Tha Dogg Pound - What Would U Do?

B.G. Knocc Out & Dresta - D.P.G K

Not exactly one of the more famed battles in rap, but the comments sections for both these videos consist of page upon page of fans of both groups arguing the toss over who was the most gang$ta, usually by the way of questioning each other's sexuality and casting aspersions about the mothers of the rappers in question and anyone else who happens to have commented, which sure as hell beats another HAY GUYZ - DID N*S BEAT J*Y-Z? internet discussion by fanboy fags. Anyhoo, B.G. Knocc Out & Dresta also had another single Jealousy but that was the audio equivalent of a seagull shitting on your ice cream cone so let's just quickly erase it from the annals of history altogether before we aim our sights at their one and only full length 1995 LP, Real Brothas, which wasn't half bad, y'know.

B.G. Knocc Out & Dresta - Whose The G?

Here at The Martorialist we worship at the altar of the letter G : Grammatical errors in song titles, Spoonie Gee, Gina G when she wore hot pants on TOTP, the O.G LP by Ice-T, Kool G. Rap, The Time Machine by H.G Wells, Huntsville rappers like G-Side and G. Mane, Sienna Miller as The Baroness in G.I Joe, every single rap song with G in its title ever..pretty much any G you can think of, apart from dullard warblers G4 and appalling sub-Diesel eurotrash brand G. Star Raw. Both brothers were allocated a solo trackapiece on the LP and, although i'm fonder of Dresta's straight-to-the-point bluntness, B.G Knocc Out's Who's The G's is the better tune. That's fair enough really since B.G. the Baby Gangsta (who possessed one of the top three jheri curls in rap history) was supposed to be the group's Jerry Dandridge with Dresta playing the Billy Cole enforcer role.

B.G. Knocc Out & Dresta - Real Brothas

So, yeah, Dresta's straight-to-the-point bluntless is almost Melachi The Nutcracker-esque in its poetic simplicity. Witness :

"That's my lil' brother, that's my dawg, that's my n*gga
I'm the big brotha 'cause i'm older and I'm bigger"

"Trust no hoe or no man
Shit, can't even trust each other
And even though i love her, it's hard to trust my mother"

"Never had a daddy, damn right I'm a bastard
Momma was my daddy 'cause daddy wasn't a factor
Don't feel bad because i don't need a dad
It's like this, i can't miss what i never had"

"My and my brother Knocc, he doin' damage in the 90s
I was down straight from '88 up to '9-3
That's was like 5 years my little brother didn't have big bro'
Around to lead him down the right path, yo
But I'm back out and we tighter than we ever been
Tryin' to make some ends so we can go where we never been"

Bittersweet breakdowns of a non-nuclear family bonded by untraditional love and a striving for a better life precipated into profound prose PLUS synthesized quasi-Funky Worm G-Funk production? You're not worthy.

B.G. Knocc Out & Dresta - Down Goes Another N*gga

Since the two previous tunes are breezy G-funk it seems fitting to end with a more brooding closer. From the twlight of their LP it's the album's One Less Bitch and it works as an ominous cliffhanger foreboding the tragedies B.G. Knocc Out and Dresta would go on to expereience in the 14 or so years since where they saw their mentor die of Aids, their career fail to reignite and B.G. Knocc Out spend around 10 years in total locked up for an attempted murder charge and a subsequent parole violation.

A bit of a depressing way to finish this post, one supposes, but as they've both formerly renounced their gangbanging, appeared on a beef-squashing song with Tha Dogg Pound a couple of years back and haven't died from a deadly disease like Eazy it isn't all bad, is it? Chin up, lads.