Saturday 30 October 2010

Jonzun & Jonzun

And on the subject of Jonzun Crew, here they are doing Pack Jam on German tv in 1983 :

Jonzun Crew - Pack Jam

Hoes on our dicks 'cuz we look like Lord Dark Helmet and the Spaceballs.

That Tron Legacy theme by Daft Punk sucks so Disney really shoulda just licenced Jonzun Crew's Lost In Space LP as the movie's soundtrack.

Thursday 28 October 2010

Young Boobie (no John McCririck's wife)

Even though Huslin' Since Da 80's is a compilation of Husalah songs assembled by a label/management team when he was doin' porridge, it feels like one of those great Mob Figaz solo albums such as The Jack Artist or Headshotz by AP.9. His Dope, Guns, And Religion album, meanwhile, is pretty much your archetypal patched-together-and-patchy ragbag of songs from a rapper who happened to be in prison but it has 3 trump cards in Through The Night and Frozen Heart (2 of his finest moments), and a real historical curiosity in the old demo song he and Jacka recorded when they were 13 and 15 and went by the monikers of Young Boobie James and Ouiny Mac :

Young Boobie James & Ouiny Mac - Shock The Place

It transpires this was recorded at some point in 1995 (a good 3 years before Hus' and Jacka made their debut on C-Bo's Till My Casket Drops) and it's just a bizarre song to emerge at the apogee of G-Funk because it's a tinny 808 electro stomper (the closest reference point of the era would be N.O Bounce, I suppose) which hints at Rick Rock's robo-funk, the Hyphy sound, later Hus' songs like B.I.T.C.H, and that recent NhT Boyz track with Hus' from their Power Triangle mixtape which I've been looking for an oppurtunity to post since everyone else has just mentioned the Jacka cameo tracks from it :

NhT Boyz ft. Husalah - Dope Boy

Shock The Place is even a peculiar how'd-you-do lyrically because two teenage gangsta-rappers from the Bay Area interpolating T-La Rock and BDP lines sometime in 1995 is some Bizarro World Jurrassic-5 level of oddness which I can't comprehend, even for a group whose deep affection for New York rap has always bled through into their music since their official debut .

Nowadays gangsta-rappers from the Bay rapping over old electro/beats by people like Newcleus, Whodini and Dr Jeckyll & Mr Hyde, and Bay producers making music borne of a mid 80s influence of keyboard alchemists like Larry Smith, Davy DMX, and Mantronix is commonplace, but it's still mighty, mighty weird because that's an era generally neglected by New Yorkers and most internet rap-nerds. Does every Bay rapper and producer have an uncle with an encylopedic knowledge of 1981 to 1986 rap 12"s, or does that old stuff get the most play on the radio in the Bay during old-school hours? Whatever the answer, can E-40 and Turf Talk rap over the instrumental to Space Is The Place by Jonzun Crew on 1 of his upcoming Revunue Retrievin' follow-up albums in the place of the inevitable J. Valentine sex jam where '40 goes into far too much detail about his cock for my liking, plz?

Jonzun Crew - Space Is The Place

Props to this ever-so-zany wench here for keeping her 14 cats out of the room when she was dancing and being the only person to upload the full version of Space Is The Place to Youtube. So, this is my 2nd favourite electro song ever after Scorpio by The Furious Five, the Brim scene it soundtracks in the 1984 BBC documentary Beat This! A Hip Hop History is classic, and Michael Jonzun and his brother Maurice Starr went on to clock that Euro-Millions lottery fetti managing/writing for New Edition and discovering/producing New Kids On The Block, which would explain why I always thought Hangin' Tough was such a banger.

Tuesday 26 October 2010

Wanted dead or alive # 5 : Live At The BBQ 2007

Remember that Bad Boy posse track over Nautilus which D-Dot leaked with some old Biggie verse, and new verses by Black Rob, Ness From Da Band, and Aasim? I can't find whatever cd-r I put it on and all the download links are dead now (the audio has even been disabled on Youtube) so does anyone have it? And speaking of Aasim...

"I scream! You scream! We all scream for ice cream!"

Alas, nobody is screaming for poor Aasim because he's a near-unknown after spending the past 12 years as the rap Theo Walcott at the 2006 World Cup/a victim of label-limbo at Loud, some indie, and Bad Boy, and when it did look like he'd started to build a little buzz for his major label debut on Bad Boy with Go and Say New York City back in late 2006/early 2007, Puffy ganked all the beats Sean & L.V had earmarked for him and gave them to Jay-Z to use on American Gangster to rap about Russell Crowe or whatever the fuck the "concept" of that album was. While I'm sure Aasim's ghost-writing/vocal coaching cheques from Puff have probably helped wipe the tears from his eyes, this is one seriously unlucky guy, eh? Is dude atoning for being a Jonathan King figure in a past life or something?

So, I happened to notice the other day that he has another Money Pit street album coming out (or already out?), and while the songs I've heard from it are doo-doo, the first one from 2005 had some joints if you happen to be in the mood for some vaguely AZ-ish cerebral old-man NY street shit which isn't too thugged-out (sometimes a man just doesn't feel like listening to Kool G. Rap pretending to be Sam Giancana or Styles P threatening to dismember cocksuckers with his cutlery) but don't fancy listening to old Gang Starr, Nas, or AZ himself :

Aasim ft. Wise G - The Money Pit

Because every Noo Yawk rapper needs a weed-carrier who sounds a bit like Cam at his most husky. Here Aasim turns his predicament as a rapper trapped in his oppressive environment due to his record labels perpetually shelving him and not coming through with the paper into his persona, which is a preferable option to him sounding like Mark Curry or Loon, I guess.

Aasim - Disrespectful Views

Mid-tempo production was the best vehicle for Aasim's dulcet tones and, hey, at least he delivers the Biggie line for the hook himself here. Remember that Black Rob Y'All Know Who Killed Him song which was billed as featuring Biggie so we got excited that it might be an unreleased/little-heard Biggie verse like Jeans And Sneakers but it just had the Biggie vocal sample as the hook? People have sued for far less.

Anybody have Live At The BBQ 2007 then? Be a dear and hook it up if you have.

Sunday 24 October 2010

Greatest movie scenes ever # 33

It's a pity that Master P's book from a few years back was a "you can make it if you try!" type affair rather than an in-depth breakdown of the central tenets of the No Limit Soldier philosophy back in the 90s because I've often found the sentiments he expressed in his music back then are so applicable in life for us caucasians too. For instance..

Master P ft. Mystikal & Silkk - Always Look A Man In The Eyes When You Kill Him

Ayo, Amy Irving - I know John Cassavetes was the one who urged Scorsese to break out from the exploitation flick cul-de-sac and make Mean Streets and that he'd just whipped up his own masterpiece in the form of The Killing Of A Chinese Book a couple of years earlier, but his evil intelligence-operative character in Brian De Palma & Frank Yablan's The Fury is a playa hater who won't let you ball with them telekinetic powers of yours so you gon' do as P says on this one, post-haste, shawdy :

(Needless to say, if you've never seen The Fury and harbour a desire to ever watch it then it's probably best not to click the play button on this.)

As far as 70s De Palma flicks go, it has to be said that the self-billed "supernatural thriller" The Fury is no Carrie, Sisters, or Phantom Of The Paradise since it's a more convoluted retread of the former leaden with mismatched elements from the traditional spy movie, but it's an interesting overlapping of genres which is worth suffering any incoherencies and shoehorning in narrative sub-plots for the above finale - obviously a precursor to that scene in Scanners - with its grand guignol multi-camera angle shot (done in 1 take, I believe) of Cassavetes's comeuppance, the sorta ethereal Irving being the perfect choice in the role of the post-Sissy Spacek confused teenage girl with paranormal abilities who inadvertently makes anyone who touches her bleed from their eyes, Cassavetes with his arm in a black sling which immediately gives him the duplicitous air of a Bond villain the moment he steps on screen, some heavily stylized Hitchcockian set-pieces you'd expect from our Brian, the magnificent John Williams composed scoring performed by the London Symphony Orchestra, a cast which also included Kirk Douglas as an ex CIA agent trying to rescue his son from the clutches of his old colleague-turned-enemy Cassavetes's agency, and early appearances by an 18 year old Daryl Hannah, Dennis Franz, and, ever so briefly, James Belushi.

As far as hallmark De Palma set pieces go, the operatic slo-mo sequence where Irving escapes the psychiatric treatment centre with a little help from Snodgrass and Douglas set to an evocative Williams composition is the other genuinely remarkable scene the movie has to offer. Man, oafish British gangster/football hooligan movies really did ruin the art of slow-motion :

All in all, a fair few bull's-eyes hit for a movie so flawed, including Amy and the young Daryl Hannah in bikinis at one point, and I've finally found an oppurtnity to post Always Look A Man In The Eyes When You Kill Him (a great song that sounded out of place as a new bonus cut on the 1997 reissue of P's The Ghetto's Trying To Kill Me album when it replaced 1 of the 3 King George songs from the original 1994 press which were removed from the reissue due to legal issues stemming from George leaving No Limit) so everybody wins here.

Friday 22 October 2010

The monthly token N.W.A related post

Only just spotted this recent Vibe piece where Cube breaks down all of his albums and some of his other notable songs like My Posse and Natural Born Killaz, but it's quite an interesting read and it finally answers my question on why he had beef with Arsenio :

I met John Singleton around the same time when I was upset with Arsenio Hall because he had 2 Live Crew on his show, but never let N.W.A . come on. And that show was taped right in L.A.!

Even if you tuned out after The Predator, it's worth continuing with the Lethal Injection, Natural Born Killaz, and Westside Connection blurbs, but I gave up myself when I clicked the page and found him trying to extoll the virtues of War And Peace Volume One. Just a pity they didn't ask him about Two To The Head or this :

Scarface ft. Ice Cube - Hand Of The Dead Body

Devin didn't get an official credit on the song for his hook, but at least 'Face and J. Prince let him up in the video. The Rap-A-Lot cap 'Face wore in this used to be a grail of mine back in the pre-eBay era, but the one with the white front panel the Denim Short Don Craw had on when I saw him recently is even nicer. A Til Death Do Us Part era Geto Boys song with 'Face, Bill, Big Mike, and Cube over some N.O Joe swamp-funk would've been amazing, but I'm content making do with the Willie D line-up St. Ides commercial they did :

This and this were pretty great too.

Thursday 21 October 2010

The rap Fabrizio Ravanelli

2 weeks ago
this fool sucks brah wackest rapper i heard in a minute his pops is a dentist and his mom is a chiropractor how weak can u get this sucka dont move shyt

If you recall my post about the Youtube response to Codename by White, debate raged over whether the colour of White's beard was caused by his near-geriatric age, his alledged diabetes, or some sort of traumatic incident which rendered him prematurely grey overnight a la Leland Palmer, but this otherwise boring video of rappers droning on about weed I found recently complicates matters further as we learn that his beard is now both grey and brown?

While the jokebook overfloweth with quips about White being a stunt-double for Leprechaun In The Hood, his continued dropping of N-bombs (is Slick Pulla okay with this?), and Jeezy apparently not wanting to be seen with him in public, I feel we should also acknowledge that White is the nethermost fantasy of every caucasian rap nerd trudging through life bound by the antiquated rules of polite society. I'm all for cracking a few jokes about rappers, but, yo, let's discontinue the pretense that the supressed alter-ego of White isn't lurking deep inside each of us like a dreadlocked Mr Hyde with a speech impediment just waiting to be awoken by a magical potion of affluence and the acceptance of thugged-out black gentlemen. Or, indeed, a couple of drinks too many in a nightclub after listening to Project Pat as you were getting ready.

Yukmouth ft Young Jeezy - Air Jordans

Jeezy's Air Forces didn't get an official sequel until last year, but this stop-gap came out on some Yukmouth album in 2006. If you can keep a straight face when Yuk attempts Jeezy's patented "THAAA'S RIGHT" plus "YEEEAAAAH" ad libs and brags about fittin' a quarter of a mil' in "these Makavelli jeans" then you're made of sterner stuff than me, and he apparently just ganked the concept of rapping about Jordans over Jeezy's Air Forces beat from a little-heard cut by the Texan group Dirty South Rydaz (why's that song suddenly vanished from Youtube the moment I need to hyperlink it?), but I quite like this since it successfully captures the spirit of the original while managing to add a dash of the Bay to the proceedings, and, much like White's Codename, you should never oppose the dubious charms of any song which can cause you to laugh like a drain.

Tuesday 19 October 2010

6 degrees of seperation : Vanilla Ice to Fabolous?

I can do it in one move with Pharrell as the link between them.

So, can you guess the connection between these three without making a joke about Fabolous and Vanilla Ice having a Filipino grunt doing all the hard work while they take the credit? Here's a hint : it isn't that Fabolous and Pharrell are the other two favourite rappers of Vanilla Ice fanatic/White Rapper Show contestant G-Child, nor is it that Vanilla Ice and Fabolous each have lyrics as worthy of a Mr Humphries raised eyebrow as Pharrell's "just last week I was out in Italy/Italian heartthrobs could not get rid of me" line from Mr Me Too, or that Jedward have also added Frontin' and Toss It In The Bag to their repetoire of cover versions, and it definately isn't that Nigo has hired Ice and Fab to both issue tacky diffusion lines through A Bathing Ape after the success of Pharrell's BBC brand.

The connection seems startlingly obvious once you know it, but you probably won't have picked up on it unless you heard Pharrell's interview on Westwood in 2003 when Cormega also happened to be in the studio and revealed an unlikely seam between the two of them as his sister did back-up vocals on some old Neptunes shit when they were producing for Teddy Riley. Pharrell was talking about various productions of his and how they'd were loosely based on old rap songs so how he'd instruct whoever was rapping on them to channel the spirit of the original songs or adopt the flows or mannerisms of the rappers who created them with the most obvious example being Nothin', which is effectively a Jungle Brothers song from the perspective of a QB thug-rapper and two Filipino production nerds (or half Flip' in the case of Pharrell). Moreover, he confessed, there were certain Neptunes productions where he'd talked the rappers involved into experimenting by emulating something flagrantly corny to see if they could turn shit into shinola, before he dropped the bombshell that he'd gotten Fabolous to mimic Vanilla Ice's rhyne pattern on Ice Ice Baby for Young'n (Holla Back) and had an incredulous Westwood play it to authenticate his bold claim :

Vanilla Ice - Ice Ice Baby

Fabolous - Young'n (Holla Back)

Whaddaya know, right? I still say that's as good a single as Breathe and everybody at my school liked Ice Ice Baby the first time they heard it in 1990. Keep your eyes peeled for an exclusive interview I did with Pharrell recently where he reveals that he's had The Clipse fashioning their rapping on Freedom Williams's stoic lyricalz from C&C Music Factory's Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now) for the last four years, which would explain why they've been so utterly boring and one-dimensional since Hell Hath No Fury.

Sunday 17 October 2010


Sha Deezy on the chop; you crazy for this one, potna :

Who needs a mandatory nine point deduction when Liverpool are quite capable of losing those points on their own, eh?

Bonus beats :

OutKast - Benz Or Beamer

Always the best song to use the Beasties "Drrrrrrrrrrop!" sample from The New Style, and all the more impressive for being a generic movie soundtrack assignment job which they molded to fit their own aesthetic. Andre was one cool bastard in his transitional post-Southernplayalistic/pre-ATLiens period, and dude had a serious pair of grapefruits on him to hit The Tunnel up in trousers which may have possibly been created by Jim Henson a few years later in 1998 when Watch For The Hook was poppin'.

Saturday 16 October 2010

I'm hoping this is gonna be a Rollin' by Jackie Chain situation

"Don't shop in strip malls, I'm overseas for my clothes
jackets handcrafted by a Japanese four year old"

L.E.P Bogus Boyz - Goin' In For The Kill

Yo UK dudes, remember when Rollin' first came out and we were like "ROFL they sampled Robert Miles" but it was kinda cool and then, bada-bing, it totally clicked on the fifth listen and all prior mental baggage involving your raver mate Jason inflicting Euro-trance on you because he was the only one who had a car in 1996 was disposed of? I'm hoping this new L.E.P Bogus Boyz cut which samples that ubiqitous dubstep remix of In For The Kill by that Tilda Swinton lookin' miserable bird La Roux who's not exactly Gemma Arteton in Quantum Of Solace/Joan in Mad Men/Amy in Dr Who/Jessica in True Blood as far as gingers go will tune itself into my wavelength in much the same way Rollin' did to become a quintessential winter jam for the days when the dark eats into all but the in-work hours between 9:30 and 3:30. The five plays which Rollin' took isn't sufficient enough in this instance, though, and I can't see my memories of said ginger bird, dubstep, and 8 out of 10 sales assistants in Urban Outfitters of either sex last year beginnning to evaporate before the 2nd of november at the very earliest, but there's something flickering in this song that I'm digging.

Thomas inadvertently put me onto Chicago's L.E.P Bogus Boys when he posted that Yukmouth song they appeared on a few months back, and, despite the fact they have a name which makes them sound like they're a WCW tag-team in 1994, they got some joints. They even have one with his holiness of ad libbing :

L.E.P Bogus Boyz ft. Jim Jones - Hit The Town

Sampling British chart hits is now the second element of rap after blowjob similies, so I'm considering asking Betfair if they'll take wagers on what songs are used in 2011. I'm thinking Toca's Miracle by Fragma, Rock DJ by Robbie Williams, Gazza's version of Fog On The Tyne, Cotton Eye Joe by The Rednex, the Dunblane tribute record, Turn Around by Phats & Small, and Buck Rogers by Feeder are all absolute certainties.

Thursday 14 October 2010

Slept on songs by Harlem rappers night

"Fake n*gga
I call him Jake-eye, snake this n*gga
before the funeral, awake this n*gga
bruh soft, cup-cake this n*gga
Harlem-shake this n*gga
like Dave Chappelle, Half Bake these, n*gga"

NhT Boyz ft. The Jacka - U Ain't From

And why is it slept on songs by Harlem rappers night? Because than a friend and I both agreed that there aren't enough lyrical references to Harlem-shaking these days after I introduced him the NhT Boyz the other day, because I need a decent topic for a thursday night music post, and because I can use it as a platform to slyly ask if anyone has an mp3 of G. Dep's Everyday remix with the supplementary Faith Evans crooning adding extra pathos to Dep's tales they could possibly hook up since I could really do with it and I can only find the clean version. Let's get to it :

Doug E. Fresh - Check It Out

Let's get the obligatory rap-to-movies analogy of the post outta the way : Doug E. Fresh was the John Carpenter of rap; flawless until 1988 with a large decline in quality thereafter, although his early nineties projects were worthy of brief investigation due to the odd good moment. Ergo Check It Out from Doug's 1992 album is, like, the equivalent of the best scene from Memoirs Of An Invisible Man where Chevy Chase pulls his man dem's kecks down. While this song keeps Mr E. Fresh's steez of rapping over party-rockin' breaks intact, it also bears a distinct Naughty By Nature influence as it's harder than your average Doug tune. I know we're suppossed to turn our noses up at O.P.P nowadays because Naughty jacked the beat from Tony D's Adam's Nightmare instrumental, but that's a pop-rap classic like Gin And Juice right there.

Black Rob - Business Never Personal

It's small wonder Black Rob got caught breaking into hotel room's to steal women's handbags in 2005 when he shelling out whatever extortionate price the Neptunes were charging for beats in 2002 and then ending up having to toss the result away on mixtapes a couple of years later alongside other officially unreleased gems like Permanent Scars AKA Live From The Eastside which Heavy D resold to Beanie Sigel for Feel It In The Air. Anyhoo, this is quite an interesting song as it's one of the only storytelling tracks over a Neptunes production I can think of, it's completely hookless so there's no intrusive Pharrell apperance, and it's full of those squiggly synths present in Neptunes beats before they made Grindin' and then ran variations of it into the ground for the next few years like Primo did with You Know My Steez from 1998 onwards.

Big L - How Will I Make It?

L's definitive sad-rap moment with In The Rain by The Dramatics providing a suitably morose foundation for Lamont to lament his lack of a hot sandwich and a father. This can't have been left off Lifestyles.. due to sample clearance because Bone Thugs, GZA, Master P, and Biggie used it back in the nineties with no problem and Beanie and AZ have used it in more recent times, so I can only assume it was shelved due to it sounding a little bit too downtrodden and grimey in the wake of Juicy and Life's A Bitch and L hastily recorded the more conscious Street Struck in its place as the album's token reflective song.

Byrd Gang - Ya Dig!

Basically, Byrd Gang's boss and the Lupe's deceased bredren Mr Bundles over some Biblical production with a handful of genuine L-O-L examples of Jim's trademark strained ad libbing ("*SHE COULDN'T HELP IT!*"). So, I'm really failing to see why various bloggaz have been rushing to belatedly put a ring on Max B this year. It's not that I don't get Wavy too, but that's just it : a wave can only be surfed briefly and, thus, Max worked best as solo cuts on the Byrd Gang mixtapes and verses/hooks on Byrd Gang & Jim's stuff rather than as a solo artist in his own right. While I'd agree that he did have joints after the Byrd Gang split, the rap game wasn't lacking Max's presence to the point that it needed his six Public Domain tapes, his two and a half Million Dollar Baby tapes, his two Coke Wave tapes with French Montana, and the other five or six various tapes of his released in the space of three years. This is why Lil B's steady drip of mp3s/viral video singles should be the modus operandi for pretty much 95% of modern rappers from this point onwards.

Dr Jeckyll & Mr Hyde - Doing The Do

I've posted this before a couple of years ago not long after starting this blog, but since I've never seen anybody else mention it before or since, it's coming out of the garage for another spin around the block. The B side to the bizarre Jeckyll And Hyde Dance from their 2nd single in 1982, this is a throwback to those 1980 Enjoy Records jams by Spoonie Gee and The Treacherous Three like Love Rap, New Rap Language, and The Body Rock as it's a rawer interpretation of the disco-band sound which was being usurped by the electro-grooves of records like Rockin' It by The Fearless Four, Planet Rock, and the Furious Five affiliated records such as Scorpio and The Message II (Survival) at that point in '82. You could maybe accuse a song like this of retroism, but, like Standing On The Top by Super Three, it captures what I imagine a live show at Harlem World by one of these flashy uptown groups in 1982 would've sounded like. Oh, and it's got some Seinfeld theme slap-bass in it which automatically qualifies as being top 27 of all time.

Tuesday 12 October 2010

Martorial Elegance : the Boosie edition

Young Sleep ft. Lil' Boosie - Adidas Crazy

I suppose you could make a proper fist of a Martorial Elegance post about Boosie since he did that Adidas Crazy song with some jumped-up promoter/DJ called Young Sleep who's decided he needs to add rapping to his arsenal of activities he isn't exactly excelling at (they also did this song together), and because he's responsible for snatching the Adidas tracksuit back from the clutches of nu-metallers and German heep hop producers of das embarrassing breakdancing music :



But today's edition is about liberating Boosie's verse from the remix to 6 Tre G's Fresh. I can't be the only one who finds it hilarious that the only song to emerge from the Huntsville clique which has made any sort of impact outside their local scene/the internet/Norway's answer to Shea Stadium to date is a song by their token Latino weed carrier 6 Tre G, right? G-Side must be pretty darned pissed that Codie G didn't get this beat to them because Fresh began life as an elementary but brilliant beat with a handy Slick Rick sample for the hook, which was then ruined by three verses about terrible clothes for fresh-off-the-boat Polish G-Unit fans who've just bumrushed the Warrington branches of TK Maxx and Madhouse, but the song was thankfully redeemed when Boosie was recruited for a quick verse on the remix where he lapses into that staccato Pimp C on Wood Wheel-ish flow of his a couple of times and mentions POLO, linen suits, Levi's, white Nikes, wearing pink, and how he spends 35 hundred on a fifty to go sit in a movie. Song saved.

Since I've been on a Boosie listening spree the past week or so, I got Step to chop all traces of 6 Tre G's rapping out of the song in return for a compilation of Bay slaps from the past five years. I can tolerate Young Sleep's contribution to Adidas Crazy because he's a minimal presence on his own song and he gives Jam-Master Jay an R.I.P shout-out, but listening to 6 Tre G brag about wearing Ed Hardy for two verses just ain't happenin', man, so here's an exclusive chopped-up Fresh remix which is little more than Boosie's verse with a hook on either side of it. Why didn't he just get this beat in the first place anyway?

Lil' Boosie - Fresh remix verse

Okay, no more Boosie posts for the rest of 2010 unless some unreleased Pimp C produced recordings from Ghetto Stories turn up or Victoria Coren asks a question about him on the new series of Only Connect to explain some seemingly inexplicable link between him, Merv Hughes and Arthur Conan Doyle.

Sunday 10 October 2010

Greatest movie scenes ever # 32

The Thing and Predator : two movies which begin with a scene of an alien spaceship hurtling towards earth before groups of blokes in remote locations deal with the often unseen Extraterrestrial terror which was onboard the craft, and two movies which the dvd extras revealed had godawful alternate endings. The cheesy "oh shit, it's the dog again!" alternate ending of The Thing (at 3:24) that's been used for some tv airings of it over the years is bad enough as it undoes a climax which is both depressing with MacReady and the possibly assimilated Childs facing death, and truimphant with Mac and (maybe) Childs selflessly sacrificing himself/themselves to stop the alien reaching the mainland with a cheap climax reminiscent of the possessed cat in Amityville 4, but, oh man, that alternate conclusion of Predator where the alien's distorted replication of Billy's cackle (sidenote : the only time I've ever been impressed by a stranger's ringtone is when someone on the train a few years back had that as his) is replaced by the same guffawing of a drunken french chef which popped up again over twenty years later in the terrible Adam Sandler production Strange Wildnerness for the scene with a laughing shark really, really stinks. What was John McTiernan thinking?

I'm not sure whether it was John Carpenter's Hawksian sensibility of men-grumbling-at-one-another-in-an-enclosed-environment at play, his notion that a token female a la Margaret Sheridan in The Thing From Another World would be unrealistic amongst such a motley collection of sex-starved men marooned in the Antarctic, or his trepidation that any female character would bring about unfavourable comparisons to Ripley in Alien (or it might just have been because the Antarctic research station was originally intended to have a female in the form of MacReady's blow-up doll before the scene got scrapped), but The Thing is the first Hollywood film I can think of to shun D.W Grffith's premise that "all you need to make a movie is a girl and a gun" as there isn't a single chick present, and even the sled dogs in it were all male. I'm the guy who winces with disgust anytime a canine dies in a flick no matter what the human carnage may be (in theory, this would be the only Facebook group I'd ever join, until I checked the wall and realised it was just 3 girls talking about Marley And Me) but the scene in The Thing where the assimilated dog gets taken to the kennel to chill out with the other sled dogs manages to manipulate me to the point where I'm tangled in a web of contradictory emotions :

Maybe I'm just completely desensitized to loss of human life in movies, but I find that scene far more disturbing than when the alien bursts out of the infected Norris's stomach when Copper is attempting to defibrillate him and rips Copper's arms off :

Finally, one of the biggest cliches in the menswear industry the past year or so has been the seasonal lookbook featuring miserable chaps with facial hair wearing chunky knitwear and heavyweight Parkas in outdoor locations, so you'd think the cast of The Thing would be the ideal inspiration for one of these brands to have a little fun and reference a classic movie in a photoshoot, but, shucks, all these menswear labels appear to be run by humourless hacks and herbs so I've yet to see one where a bearded male model gazes into the camera authoratively as his facial hair freezes up like MacReady's did in The Thing after he was locked out of the camp during the blizzard :

Wednesday 6 October 2010

Great moments in Egyptian-rap

I'm not talking about the Hiero lads, KRS rapping about how ancient Egyptians invented da 4 elementz, I Can by Nas with the third verse about the history of north Africa, Tragedy rapping about how QB is "the new Egypt", that recent shitty KanYe posse track where he said "have you ever had sex with a pharoah?/I put the pussy in a sarcophagus", or 2002 era stuff with weird middle-eastern vocal samples like React or Addictive here, but rather rap songs with exotic synths which sound like a weird modern take on stock Egyptian sitar musik which make you feel like you're a king of the Tutankhamun calibre or a transcendental deity like Amun-Ra when you jam them. You feel me? :

Sexual Harassment - I Need A Freak

Afrika Bambaataa alluded to Egypt with the Planet Rock synths sounding a smidgen more funky than Trans Europe Express and his get-up in the Renegades Of Funk video, but I'm pinpointing this 1983 single by Sexual Harassment as the official Louie Louie of Egypt-rap. So much so, in fact, that fellow disciples of Egypt-rap like Egyptian Lover and Mac Dre remade it (twice!), though Too $hort's remake is probably the definitive version. Little is known about Sexual Harassment who only made the one LP and then vanished, but the most suprising thing about them has to be that they're not a Chicago house side outfit with that group name and song title.

Z-3 MC's - Triple Threat

A 1984 Duke Bootee produced classic from his Beauty And Beat imprint for Baltimore's Z-3 MC's on which DJ Cheese made his debut appearance before finding fame with his two songs with Word Of Mouth and winning the DMC Championships in 1984. If you can listen to this banger with its warped King Tut synth line and not think of the computer game Oh Mummy then you're obviously not a thirty something dude who owned an 8 bit Amstrad home computer in the eighties that came with a pack of twelve free games which also included Harrier Attack, Roland On The Ropes, and Fruit Machine.

Egyptian Lover - The Dark Side Of Egypt

Egyptian Lover - Freak-A-Holic

While he may not have quite invented the sub-genre, Egyptian Lover is the Rupert Murdoch of Egypt-rap : he runs t'ings in this world, son. Dark Side Of Egypt is a slept-on album track from the One Track Mind LP, and I couldn't resist posting Freak-A-Holic to link to the amazing video again, and because it has an interesting backstory behind it as it's a semi-remake of former Revolution guitarist Dez Dickerson's Modernaire which was featured in the Purple Rain movie but omitted from the soundtrack as Dez had left the Revolution by the time of its release. Is it too late to get a Prince and Egyptian Lover collaboration in 2010 now Prince is forced to release albums through British newspapers and Egyptian Lover is treated like Sekhmet by the breakdancing community of Estonia?

Juvenile ft. BG, Turk & Big Moe - I Did That

Of course, Mannie has to have one entry here given that his synth game from, like, 1995 - 2004 was near peerless, but I Did That from Juve's Solja Rags is an interesting one as it falls under the umbrella of Egypt-rap whilst also having a couple of toes in the sounding-like-some-hypnoticly-airy-incidental-musik-by-the-BBC-Radiophonic-Workshop-in-a-Peter-Davison-episode-of-Dr-Who pool.

Mac Dre - Dipped When You See Me

Mac Dre & Mac Mall ft. Rydah J. Clyde - Giggin'

Mac Dre ft. Boss Hog, B-Luv & Husalah - Hustle

While I Need An Eighth and I Feed My Bitch were Dre's most significent forays into the realm of Egypt-rap since both were derived from I Need A Freak neither are anywhere near to being his best examples of the sound. Dipped When You See Me is the soundtrack for kings getting blown by Cleopatra and feasting on Kirsha as beauties fan then with palm leaves, Giggin' is the anthem for when Akhekh is having a bit of trouble with Barukatatau from the pyramid next door after he keeps letting his peasant slaves piss in the Nile, and Hustle is the sound of late-night drinking converasations between members of the Ptolemaic dynasty recounting who's sacrificed the most heathens by mummifying them while they're still alive.

Husalah - Live Life Illegal

I can't think of a current rapper more suited to Egypt-rap than Husalah, but this is his only entry into the canon to date. Rap's third greatest strength after tackling important male issues other genres deem too puerile and its richness in variety of sound is that rappers have this strange ability to make stuff that's seedy and frowned up by regular society sound cool, so when Hus' raps about "hangin' in the parking lot/pull out my cock a lot/on your wife a lot" it sounds like an activity that's as natural as buying a girl a drink in a bar rather than, y'know, a bloke lurking around a car park flashing middle aged women like Edna from Glendale. If Frozen Heart is Hus's best song when operating within the framework of the Mob Figaz template, then was is his best in Thizz mode.

Prodigy - New Yitty

Hard White ft. Prodigy - They Want Me Dead

After Prodigy pillaged the world of Blaxploitation soundtracks for Return Of The Mac, exotic synths bacame his default sound for H.N.I.C 2 and his appearances on his weed-carrier affiliated projects. The theme of Egypt also kept cropping up on in his rapping on H.N.I.C 2 and in prison blogs so I'm fully hopping he adopts a King Tut from the Batman tv show persona when he gets out of the pokey. Poor Hell Rell, man - he killed those two Diplomatic Immunity phone freestyles and he had a song with Styles P which might've been a street anthem in a more propitious era, but what thanks does he get? Prodigy calling him "an ugly dipshit, the black Craig Mack" on New Yitty and Max B comparing his mother to Freeway and calling him a "taco meat faced ass n*gga" in WHHH videos.

E-40 - If I Was A Fifth

E-40 ft. Marty James - Rick Rock Horns

And, finally, back to the Bay. E-40 had two stabs at Egypt-rap on 2003's Breakin' News album : Rick Rock's Act An Ass is the more obvious attempt at the sound but If I Was A Fifth bangs harder, dunnit? When the Revunue Retrievin' tracklists hit the 'net Rick Rock Horns was the most intriguing title on there (Rick Rock channeling the 45 King or something?), so this being another '40 Egyptian-rap slap was a total curveball. Not that I'm complaining, though, because it's a perfect foundation for '40's eccentricies of slanguage, one of the best songs on the excellent Day Shift disc, and it has bonus comedy value with dudes all up in Youtube comment sections like "WHY IS 40 DISSING RICK ROSS???????". Not as funny as fans of British raver-turds The Prodigy writing angry reviews of Prodigy from Mobb Deep's solo albums on Amazon, but amusing enough for now.

So, what else am I missing here? Alchemist's Wet Wipes for Cam, perhaps? Skrung Owt by Fam-Lay as the soundtrack to a deadly sandstorm conjured up by Sutekh? I'm sure Quik must have something which fits the bill since he's a maestro of exotic synths and his Egyptian Lover influence has been fairly apparent at times (the cover of Rhythm-Al-Ism and songs like Jupiter's Critic And The Mind Of Mars) but nothing explicity Egyptian sounding is coming to mind. Maybe Buck Bounce?

Someone really needs to sample the Iron Sheik's entrance music already.

Monday 4 October 2010

Martin & $hort part 2

Am I really gonna have to Paypal Bol $20 to make another "Pimp C was a degenerate" post to force an angry "I KNOW KRS ONE AND DE LA SOUL!!!" response out of Bun B again (sooo wish the old XXL blog archives were still online) just so I can slide in and casually ask him why UGK and their then Jive label mate Too $hort both recorded near-identical songs called Fuck My Car mere months apart ($hort's came first in may, UGK then released theirs in july) back in 1996? It seems a drastic measure to take but, yo, we're mad gully like that here at The Martorialist and we need answers already, damnit.

Too $hort ft. MC Breed - Fuck My Car

$hort's Getiin' It isn't a particularly good album (how could 2 $hort & Parliament collaborations be so humdrum?) and it has a helluva lot to answer for since it was rap's first world-weary retirement album, but I've got no compunctions about the £3.99 I spent on the tape of it from Tempest Records in Birmingham in 1999 because I just look at it as a great cassette single I had to wittle down to Fuck My Car and $hort's I Used To Love H.E.R rip-off Take My Bitch, where he equates handing over the rap game to da kidz with a pimp giving away his oldest whore who's now tore-up but still comfortable like an old pair of slippers. Classy.

Too $hort - Take My Bitch

Saturday 2 October 2010

Du-du-du-du, du-du

Three reasons why I'm posting the I Got It Made video this morning :

Special Ed - I Got It Made

1. It's a top three favourite Special Ed song alongside Taxing and the Primo remix of Freaky Flow, though the order varies according to mood. I Got It Made is a weird song because came out in 1989 amidst singles like Fight The Power, Straight Out Of Compton, Portrait Of A Masterpiece, Me, Myself, And I, and Shadrach which were all collages of multiple samples and scratches, and it sounds so basic and lo-fi in comparison with drums like an ice cream tub being flicked by an index finger and nothing more that that du-du-du-du, du-du from I Don't Know What It Is But It Sure Is Funky by Ripple for adornment, but it still, as they say, goes hard.

2. Although Zhigge may have officially repped for the 'LO Lifes on record before anybody else and Grand Puba helped popularize it, POLO was a fascination for Brooklyn before any other bourough of NYC caught onto it and this was the first rap video to feature a heap of classic 'LO gear, with some absolutely orgasmic jackets on show. Not sure that Ed's proud "never boostin', never shopliftin'" claim and the 'LO Life ethos were quite coalescing at this point, though.

3. There was a Mannie Fresh piece in The Source a few years back (one of the things I miss most about the closure of Borders in the UK is the sitting down with magazines I'd never want to spend money on but still like to have a good rummage through) where he talked about his favourite rap songs and this was one of them. An initially suprising choice, perhaps, but Ed's ostentatious boasts about having 74 Honda scooters, procuring land in the West Indies plus an island of his own, and owning a dog with a solid gold bone here were the missing link between Dr Jeckyll & Mr Hyde and Big Tymers as far as flossed out Ted Dibiase-rap goes.

Mannie Fresh - Real Big