Monday 29 November 2010

Dear Nas fans

Can you please stop forcing me to wade through your cavalcade of "YO, DOOK NEEDS TO WORK WITH NAS AGAIN!!!" comments on AZ's Youtube videos when I'm perusing his Doe Or Die 2010 remix project songs on there to see if any fruitflies happen to agree with my stance that it's a pointless endeavour to fritter away perfectly good production on a song like the remix of Gimme Yours below when you'll only ever listen to it a handful of times before returning to the original you've been bumping for 15 years and forgetting the new remix even exist by next week, yeah?

AZ ft Josh Xantus - Gimme Yours 2010 remix

While I wouldn't go quite as far as suggesting Nas's career without AZ is tantamount to Arsene Wenger's tenure at Arsenal minus the guiding hand of David Dein, I'd ask you to consider the amount of good songs AZ has made since he and Nas went their seperate ways after Serious (a bunch) and then consider how many Nas has made (literally about 3). If you still remain unconvinced that it's Nas who should be hollaring at AZ for assistance and not vice versa, then marinate on the incontrovertible evidence that the only 3 Nas solo albums which are honestly worth owning (not counting a compilation like Lost Tapes) are the 3 which AZ appears on, because the rest of them shits (including God's Son, which is utterly inessential bar the 3 main singles) are straight up weaker than a post-2006 Arsenal player's legs, concentration, and positioning.

Besides, it's not like AZ hasn't found a consummate new rap counterpart in Styles P if both parts of The Hardest were anything to go by, and he's probably better off shining on songs with his other former Firm affiliates like Cormega and Foxy Brown than he is playing second-fiddle in billing to Nas again, especially if the tin-eared oaf from Q.B picks the beats.

AZ ft. Styles P - The Hardest video mix

This is what regal old-man NY rap which is still pretty damn trife should sound like, and if we can't get any future collaborations between these 2 gentlemen then someone needs to make a semi-follow up to AZ's Memphis Sessions where they blend a grip of great AZ and Styles P acapella verses which were used on songs with terrible production over Large Pro's The Hardest instrumental 11 times and then put the results in a rar file or even on a cd.

AZ & Cormega - No Holding Back

Taken from Statik Selektah's first compilation and easily the best song on there because it featured two rappers with previous form together rather than a ridiculously unlikely pairing like Styles P & Kweli or the immediately nullifying presence of a Termanology verse. I'm quite partial to Statik Selektah beats if they find decent recipients (AZ's Animal, that All 2gether Now State Property track, and the Foxy & AZ jam coming next are all quite brilliant) but did his latest song for AZ really have to be so fleeting in length? Guess it's karma biting me on the arse for complaining about KanYe's G.O.O.D Friday posse cuts being so long-winded.

Foxy Brown ft. AZ - Too Real

Gotta confess that female rappers rank a notch below cracka-rappers in my affections because I look at rap as a musical agnate of professional wrestling, where it's just an elaborately staged excuse for us men to purge ourselves of all our egotistical macho fantasy bullshit in the least messy but most entertaining way possible. Thus, I generally find femme fatale rappers like Foxy talkin' tough and bragging about their dastardly shenanigans as cringeworthy as Luna Vachon gurning and "lemme tell ya sumthin', Mean Gene"-ing her way through an old shoot in the WWF. However, there are those songs like this one which even a sexist pig such as myself can't deny and when AZ comes in on the second verse with a role reversal of Fan Mail then I'm sold.

Friday 26 November 2010

De Nile : where's the luv for Egyptian Lover?

"You see, in this world there's two kinds of people, my friend : those who thought Egyptian Lover's Livin' On The Nile was perfectly adequate as a 1 minute interlude on the One Track Mind LP, and those who couldn't rest easy until it'd been expanded to nearly 10 minutes in length on the remix from the Freak-A-Holic 12". Which are you, Tuco?"

Egyptian Lover - Livin' On The Nile extended remix

When Egyptian Lover was unfettered by time constraints he used the extra space afforded to him on his 12" singles to really unleash his inner-Prince and show his ass off (pause) with extended versions of his album tracks which explored nooks, crannies, and tangents the originals only hinted at. While his persona and image are what makes Egyptian Lover such a great character, the whole "fat bloke with a perm doing electronic songs about Egypt through a vocoder" schtick also works against him with regards to any sort of reappraisal because you'll seldom see him afforded the same sort of critical acclaim as, say, Juan "Cybotron/Model 500" Atkins even though they both shared a similar aesthetic to electronic composition throughout the early 80s until around 1986. Ah well, at least DJ Quik recognises his genius and wears his Egyptian Lover influence proudly :

DJ Quik & Kurupt - Jupiter's Critic & The Mind Of Mars

2 members of The Martorialst mob happened to visit an Egyptian exhibition dedicated to Tutankhamun's tomb and treasures a couple of weeks ago, and as we stood there gazing deep into the replica of his golden death mask listening to the tour guide recount tales of Tutankhamun's higher echelon flossin', I couldn't help but feel that Soulja Boy is the closest we have to someone who embodies his ostentatious spirit today. Btw, purely speculation on my behalf here, but I truly believe the reason Lil B came up with the cooking dance was to save face after Soulja Boy out-boogied him so spectacularly in the Pretty Boy Swag video :

Wednesday 24 November 2010

Diggin' on the 'tube

KLC ft. Fiend & Calicoe - Play It Loud

At least when Boosie dropped 'net exclusive video songs like We Out Chea he had the courtesy to have 'em uploaded in near-perfect quality so they could be ripped no problem, because singles like Young Bleed's Put Your Stamp On It, Down Home by Big Mike & 6-2 ft. Young Bleed, Witchdoctor's Rich And Poor, and Play It Loud here are all songs which only seem to exist on Youtube in such deficient audio quality that it's barely worth converting 'em to Mp3. If this weren't frustrating enough as it is, east coast rap-dudes who were perhaps sensing they were being outdone in terms of viral unobtainability by them pesky southerners just had to go and up the stakes by taking this thorougly modern anomaly to preposterous extremes with grainy video snippets of unreleased 90s songs being cut-up on Serato or unmixed studio performance footage of songs hitherto to surface 3 or 4 years later :

Real Live ft. Pretty Tone Capone - Unknown title

01:37 in. Heavens to Murgatroyd, gentlemen! One assumes this is either a The Turnaround-era track which got cut due to sample clearance or something from their shelved sophomore album, but a cascade of Pretty Tone Capone's idiosyncratic jiggnorance over some deeply macked-out K-Def Blaxploitation production is a personal fantasy come to fruition. Can the Diggers With Gratitude guys stop pestering Tragedy in prison for his unmixed studio scraps and ask K-Def to hand over the DAT of this song instead, plz, because I'd zestfully pay a pretty penny for such a lost city of Atlantis moment on 12". Better still, can't K-Def just stop being so darned precious and release the entire 2nd Real Live album himself already?

Byrd Gang - Unknown title

01:40 in. There's at least 20-odd Max B mixtapes out there and a few fairly extensive Stack Bundles compilations but the studio version of this has yet to appear on any of the ones I've heard - how is this even possible in 2010 when French Montana and DJ Big Mike are probably on the cusp of releasing a mixtape comprised entirely of a computer voice simulator reading out texts Max B has sent from the illegal cellphone he keeps stashed up his backside in prison over Dame Grease beats? Taken from some 'hood dvd which nobody outside of Harlem can even prove ever existed, I'm imagining this must be one of those Byrd Gang demos which Capo has in his stash that he's using to plunder all his punchlines and hooks from now Stacks is dead and Max is in prison. Put this shit out, Jones, or I'm gonna draw attention to that Victoria Beckham remix you appeared on when Dame was briefly mentoring her pop career purely so I can make a terrible ‘Rap Goin' Beckham’ pun (geddit?) with the title of the post.

If anybody ever does find/have a good quality Mp3 of Put Your Stamp On It or any of the other songs mentioned here, then please don't hesiate to drop by with the goodies.

Young Bleed - Put Your Stamp On It

Monday 22 November 2010

Sax, violence, and Jermaine Jackson

Cormega - The Other Side

Curren$y - Famous

Famous is proving to be the most rewindable jam on Pilot Talk 2 for me at the moment because it's blessed with the most bewitching saxophone tooting I've heard since Cormega's The Other Side, and when Curren$y suddenly breaks into that precipitated flow from 01:07 to 01:13 where he makes his voice jitterbug on the beat with the same aplomb his boss of yore Master P had when he once promised to "make that MAC-10 tap dance on datazz" then I'll forgive him for the song with Fiend on the new album not being anywhere near as good as their previous recent collaboration, and for falsely advertising the album would include a joint with Camp Lo when it features nothing of the sort.

Speakin' of recent exotic production, No Tears from the new Jacka & Ampichino album is a godsend because I've been waiting for someone to use Jermaine Jackson's ethereal 1978 ballad Castles Of Sand properly ever since Just Blaze made a complete muck of it when he Chipmunked it up for Some How, Some Way in 2002 and managed to decorticate the sample of everything luxuriant about the original source; namely that Castles Of Sand sounds like the music which'd be playing if you were standing under a waterfall in a white linen suit gettin' blown by 2 mermaids, whilst Some How, Some Way is just the Jay/'Face/Beans track that everybody thought was the runt of the litter when compared to This Can't Be Life and Guess Who's Back?

Jermaine Jackson - Castles Of Sand

Ayo, Jermaine - if your Frontiers LP works best as a companion piece to Off The Wall then Castles Of Sand would be its equivalent of I Can't Help It, and you deserved to win Celebrity Big Brother for having to sit around for weeks on end looking at the chainsmoking blond one from S Club 7 who isn't Hannah Spearritt, bro.

Friday 19 November 2010

Greatest movie scenes ever # 35

When Corey Haim overdosed earlier this year it took less than 15 minutes for the internet to be awash with people using gifs from The Lost Boys as their forum signatures or posting Ebert's review of Lucas in tribute and swearing that they'd always thought License To Drive and Blown Away were better than The Godfather 1 & 2, but even the ghouls who suddenly declared Prayer Of The Rollerboys a cultural touchstone more important than Spike's Malcolm X biopic couldn't find a place in their fickle hearts for 1988's Watchers :

Yet the love for Watchers is lingering out there somewhere because it inspired no less than 3 sequels and people regularly pay 25 - 50 bones for the now out-of-print dvd release of it which is teamed with Watchers 2. Loosely adapted from the Dean Koontz novel of the same name and generally reviled by fans of the book, Watchers is a story about a scientifically-enhanced Golden Retriever called GH3 (he can play Scrabble!) and a genetically mutated super-soldier creature by the name of OXCOM (an acronym of Outside eXperimental COmbat Mammal) who both escape the lab they were created in during an explosion and who both share a telepathic link, which is kinda unfortunate for GH3 since OXCOM's primary function in life is to kill him (make your own Chinese chipshop joke here if you must but the exact reason he wants to kill the poor doggie isn't revealed until the 2nd half of the movie) and anyone who comes into contact with him including a pre-90210 Jason Priestly.

Realising that the actor Corey Haim actually had the most chemistry with in The Lost Boys wasn't Corey Feldman but his dog Nanook, Haim is the perfect choice for the lead role of Travis who takes GH3 in thinking he's a stray hound, and Michael Ironside always makes for a particularly ruthless villain, as Scanners, Visiting Hours, and Total Recall testified; Ironside is an actor who can curdle milk with even the most cursory of glances, so while his special power here isn't as impressive as Revok's telekenetic braindraining ability in Scanners, he more than makes up for it with one of the greatest "it's me, Austin.. it was me all along, Austin!" moments of the eighties :

Wednesday 17 November 2010

Hyde and seek

No legal documentation or map has ever proven T-La Rock's boast that he's the male sovereign of a mysterious land known as Lyrical to be true, and Suga Free's moniker has to be an outright fib given that blood glucose levels in the human body oscillate between 3.6 and 5.8 mM at all times, yet neither dubious claim hinders the sheer awesomeness of It's Yours or Why U Bullshittin'? because authenticity in rap is only important to the most delusional of rappers and dudes in Youtube comment sections with names like YayKingEnt or DAMONEY 187. Listening to Dr Jeckyll & Mr Hyde, you'd imagine their lofty gloats about extreme affluence were escapist yuppie fantasies inspired by them watching Blake Carrington ballin'-outta-control in Dynasty on tv, but, think again, because this snippet from an upcoming interview with Alonzo "Mr Hyde" Brown at The Foundation website reveals that, while the "Rockefeller, he balls for me" line in Gettin' Money may have been a teensy-weensy bit of an exaggeration, Alonzo and Andre "Dr Jeckyll" Harrell really were living that corporate lifestyle when they were moonlighting as the dons of republican-rap in the early eighties before they both went on to become genuinely stinking rich :

Dr Jeckyll & Mr Hyde - Gettin' Money

Troy : Yes I heard a lot of good things about Spivey as a D.J. back in those days. O.k so what turned you guys on to wearing suits regularly during shows?

Mr. Hyde : Well during the early 80's Andre was working at 1010Wins as an account executive and I was working at the American Stock Exchange. I took an internship there while going to Lehman College. I would go downtown and I would see these guys in these suits with this and that and they just looked like they had their shit together. They looked professional and they commanded respect and Dre was on the other side doing the same thing. He wore a suit and a bow tie and all of these things in terms of dealing with business. So it was the thing that we saw that made us go, "We want to be there!" Alright, living in Harlem back in those days your aspiration was to get a good job, you know what I mean.

Troy : Brothers wanted to get money hustling but the real American dream was to come uptown with that suit and tie from Wall Street. That was the real American dream.

Mr. Hyde : Bingo, and I was there! I worked at the American Stock Exchange. I was on the trading floor being a runner not a stock holder or anything like that. But I would work with all of these ballers. So I said I want to dress like the ballers, so it became like a normal thing for us. We didn't wear that in Harlem World because we couldn't afford it but we slowly graduated into that.

Troy : So it is safe to say both of you were getting off of work from downtown kind of late and went into Harlem World with your same suit on...

Mr. Hyde : Basically.

Troy : ...and started rocking the party!

Mr. Hyde : Well not in Harlem World. We started hanging out in Bentley's, Leviticus, Silver Shadow and we use to rap there. So we moved into the circle of the after party, six o'clock crowd, so brothers use to go from work to clubs on Thursday and Friday nights. So that was how we got the term the suit and tie rappers. Have you seen the album cover?

Troy : Of course I remember when I was a young teenager and you two were doing your thing. Ya'll stood out extremely, in fact I don't even remember seeing your face, I just seen the suits!

Mr. Hyde : And that was part of the reason why we did it. How could you tell us apart from Grand Master Flash and all of these guys and this and that.

Troy : You and Andre's name Jeckyll and Hyde was very interesting in itself but the suits took you guys over the top.

On a related note, I just wanna send out a quick "suck dick with piss in it" to Oliver Stone and FOX because Wall Street : Money Never Sleeps was a hodgepodge of about 5 seperate genres, 2 MacGuffins and 1 really annoying female lead, even though the original Alan Loeb script suggested this could be the first decent Stone movie in, well, lord knows how many years.

Monday 15 November 2010

Kay Slayed 'em

Keith Grayson AKA the former graffiti writer Dez and the future Drama King DJ Kay Slay at some point during his transitional period between the two personas in the early nineties. Plaid turn-ups are so trill.

How'd you fancy a Dame Grease produced quasi-remake of N*gga Witta Gun with Sauce Money, Killer Mike, Bun B, WC, Joe Budden, and some weedcarrier called Hak Ditty who once made a song called My Moms Hates Me all crammed toe-to-toe on it? Whaddaya mean you like some of those guys and think Dame is an underrated producer but you're not exactly sure the contrasting styles of rappers from a variety of regions will inspissate together on a song without it seeming contrived, and the death-squeals of seals being clubbed are preferable to the sound of Joe Buddens's voice? Well, tough luck, dickface, because Kay Slay's 4 official compilation albums were full of such songs which make KanYe's G.O.O.D Friday marathons of mismatched personalities sound as organically communal as Day One or Watch For The Hook.

Thing is, though, is that there were always nuggets of gold to be found on them there Kay Slay albums inbetween the posse cuts where the Drama King answered the questions no one was ever likely to have asked in the first place like what would happen if Papoose hopped on songs with Yung Joc & Chamillionaire, Mike Jones & Paul Wall, and OJ Da Juiceman & Yo Gotti? So, here's 5 bonafide great songs from the Kay Slay albums as chosen by me. None of them are from his The Champions : The North Meets The South album with Greg Street because the only tunes I liked on there were the a tweaked version of the classic pre-Diplomatic Immunity track Drama Gang which wasn't as good as the original, and the Three 6 Mafia & B.G song which doesn't really fit with the east coast theme of the post :

Scarface, Raekwon & Fat Joe - I Never Liked Ya Ass
(From The Streetsweeper Volume 1, 2003)

On one hand, Scarface over a sub-Ayatollah/Just/KanYe/Heatmakerz chipmuk-soul banger with Raekwon and Fat Joe is emblematic of the main problem with Kay Slay's albums; on the other, why be so anal when 'Face has always sounded comfortable on east coast beats and there's little aesthetic difference between this and his most hard-nosed tracks like Raise Up or The Diary? I Never Liked Ya Ass is that puttin'-a-mawfucker-through-a-Spanish-announcer's-table-rap, but it's a pity that Joey Crack and not Ghostface or Beanie Sigel rounds the song off with that third verse because Joe really shouldn't be allowed near any sort of decent production beyond 1999 unless you're talking some D.I.T.C jam like Best Behavior or the classic Primo head-buster Who Got Gunz?.

Mobb Deep ft. Big Noyd - Get Shot The Fuck Up
(From The Streetsweeper Volume 1, 2003)

You know what I'm gonna do if anyone even thinks of piping up to tell me that 50 Shot Ya and Purple Haze were better than this as far as songs from the first The Streetsweeper album go? I'm gonna shrug and agree with them before explaining that both appeared elsewhere beforehand or afterwards so they're disqualified. So, that leaves us with Get Shot The Fuck Up, which finds a baronial orchestral sample and scattershot drums as the vertebrae for the Mobb and Noyd, who steals the show here since P had his soul stolen by Jay-Z a couple of years earlier and didn't manage to retrive it until 2006.

LL Cool J - The Truth
(From The Streetsweeper Volume 2, 2004)

'Face and Ghost's Face Off, and the Three 6 Mafia ft. Lil' Wyte & Frayser Boy single Who Gives A Fuck Where You From? were the cuts from The Streetsweeper Volume 2 which I recall generating the most discussion and radio/video play, but LL's wistful The Truth where he reminisced about the Dapper Dan store getting shot up, hanging with Harlem's legendary triumvirate of eighties hustlers, hittin' up The Rooftop, and first hearing himself on Marley's show was the one which led me a merry dance. Who'd-a-thunk Jack The Ripper-turned-Mr Smith would end up doing his best work since Ill Bomb getting introspective over a melancholy flute sample? Moreover, who'd-a-thunk that melancholy flute sample would've been provided by Swizz Beats?

Cam'Ron ft. Chinky Brown Eyes - Harlem
(From The Streetsweeper Volume 2, 2004)

"Them models grasp my fits, they call for fashion tips"

KILLA! So why wasn't this on Purple Haze again??

AZ, Raekwon & Ghostface - See The Light
(From More Than Just A DJ, 2010)

I don't know whether Green Lantern beget this beat specifically for these guys, but I'd like to think his modus operandi here was to create something in the vein of what a 2010 version of AZ & Raekwon's RZA remix of Doe Or Die would sound like. Not a bad song to use as your artistic inspiration, given that the previous AZ & Rae' collabo on a Kay Slay album sounded like the then absolutely-killing-shit Heatmakerz thought "hey, you know how we've just murked Just and KanYe with their own sound on Diplomatic Immunity? Let's abandon that altogether and give Kay Slay something which sounds like a Drag-On album track from 2000 for Prodigy, Raekwon, and AZ to rap on, yeah?"

Saturday 13 November 2010

Martorial elegance # 41

Oi Curren$y - how's the ‘Jets’ motif of your rap persona gonna half-rest on your supposed flyness when your black-socks-with-shorts look in the Michael Knight video is more Wayne from Bootle than Lil' Wayne?

I know rave songs which were big at scouse superclub Cream from 1995 - 2002 are the new Ultimate Breaks And Beats as far as sampling goes, but do we really want rappers dressing like the every-volume-of-CreamClubClassics-owning white trash population of Merseyside during summertime too?

Curren$y - Michael Knight

So, Michael Knight, 4 Hours And 20 Minutes with Killa Kyleon, and a supposed cameo appearance from Camp Lo (love their song on the Ski Beatz album) have got me anticipating Pilot Talk 2 even though the first one ended up being little more than good background music album for me which begins to grate whenever I concentrate on Curren$y's rambling delivery on it, no matter how deliberate and nuanced the rambling delivery may actually be. I also really wish Spitta would quit trying to work with Mos Def and record a grip of songs with his ex Ca$h Money labelmate All $tar/$tarlito instead since they both share the same hazy southern aesthetic and any reference to gay rappers they'd make would be tinged with speculation whether they were talking about Baby and Wayne sharing beds on the Ca$h Money tour bus. Ayo, those aren't pillows...

Bonus Gay Dudes beats :

I hear KanYe sampled a piano from an Aphex Twin song or sumfink? Zzzzzzzzz. Someone let me know when he finally embraces his Chicago-house roots and raps about pumping Amber Rose 'til the early morn' over the effervescent piano intro to Move Your Body :

Marshall Jefferson - Move Your Body (The House-Music Anthem)

Well, you'd presume it was about Amber Rose but it'd be a Baby Rides For Love by Frankie Knuckles & Jamie Principle type rope-a-dope where you'd be initially lulled in by the provocativeness, then enveloped by the music and all tapping into your inner-Frank Booth only for the penny to drop that it's actually about S&M with a trannie about 3 minutes in, leaving you to quickly make like Shaggy :

Thursday 11 November 2010

Lil' Wyte > Eminem and Everlast

And fagget-ass Scroobius Pip, obviously.

Lil' Wyte ft. DJ Paul - By 2 Da Bad Guy
(From Phinally Phamous; 2004)

When them boys hit the corner, I'm a goner
When them boys hit the corner, I'm a goner

There are days when this is my favourite Hypnotize Mindz production ever and today just happens to be one of them. I was gonna try and rank this in the great songs by saltine-rappers canon, but there's little point since it's essentially a DJ Paul song with Lil' Wyte being allowed to lay the first verse before Paul takes charge by providing the hook and second verse. Dang, can't a whigga live on his own shit?

The highlight of this song has to be where DJ Paul pronounces morn like moan when he says "I was in the zone/8:30 in the morn" since it's reminiscent of Officer Crabtree's catchphrase in 'Allo 'Allo. Shout outs to the fallen Madonna with the big boobies :

Tuesday 9 November 2010

Greatest movie scenes ever # 34

Fact-checking this post on IMDB, I couldn't help but notice the arguments about how Alphaville totally isn't as important a Godard movie as Breathless or how it completely doesn't quite sum up Godard's aesthetic to movie making like Pierrot Le Fou does, and it's like, jeez guys, if you really want to troll your fellow Godard fans on a message board then give 'em a c-section with the zing about how Alphaville's now burdened with the indignity of inspring a Kelly Osbourne video for the rest of eternity and keep steppin'. As a fan of Anna Karina and Herrmann-esque themes, I'll take Alphaville over Breathless every time (then again, I prefer the American remake to the original - it's all about the scene where Richard Gere runs through the backstreets to the strains of Link Wray's Jack The Ripper) since it's a gorgeously shot flick which spoofs the multiple American movie genre cliches Godard was fascinated with, and because the movie's sentient computer Alpha 60 (voiced by a geezer with an electronic voice box which had replaced his cancer ravaged larynx, and apparently a homage to the disembodied voice of Dr Mabuse in Fritz Lang's The Testament Of Dr Mabuse) pre-empts the question I might've asked myself after first hearing T-Pain on the Pop, Lock, And Drop It remix had I not first seen Alphaville after becoming a foreign film-fag back in 1995 : what would've happened if The D.O.C had remade The $20 Sack Pyramid with some Auto-Tune software?

Alpha 60 : what do you love above all?
Lemmy Caution : Gold and women.

^^ My man. Even Termanology and John Brown from The White Rapper Show were probably making Auto-Tune tracks during its zenith in popularity, so I never want to hear anyone rapping through the device again unless it's Z-Ro in Relvis Presley mode or Big Twin Gambino from Infamous Mobb :

Prodigy & Big Twin Gambino - Box Cutters

Can you imagine Big Twin rapping via Auto-Tune over some aquatic thug-shit like this, which is like a John Carpenter score to an alternate ending of Escape From New York where Snake and the President jump into the toxic waters of the Hudson River to wait for Lee Van Cleef to rescue them? While I enjoyed a lot of Bandana P's 2006 - 2008 muzak it'd be silly of him to return to rapping as his primary occupation when he gets out of the slammer given his considerable talents in other areas like blogging and viral videos. He's MrChiCity, Necro's message boarding persona, and Jessi Slaughter's dad all rolled into one pint-sized thun.

Sunday 7 November 2010

B-B-Byrd Gang is the word

Like Kurt Cobain was here.

Since Max B is teetering on the tightrope of being the first nu-New York rapper to become a legitimate blog darling, and KanYe's aimless Rapper's Delight-length G.O.O.D Friday posse-cuts are completely lacking in all of the crucial intermutual ingredients any song with 3 or more rappers on it needs, I really can't think of a better time for a quick appreciation of Byrd Gang at their 2005 - 2008 peak than this evening.

Byrd Gang were the closest thing rap had to Mourinho's Inter Milan side where an unlikely combination of longstanding weedcarriers and mercenary rookies were consolidated into a cogent unit and each man played his position with a brawny efficiency as he modelled his role in the group on the greats of the past : Jim Jones as the amusing Eazy-E central villain letting the other members get their hands dirty, Max B as the Pimp C-ish songwriter and hook-singer, Stack Bundles providing the muscle a la Styles P, and Mel Matrix being a reliable henchman with a fine line in disrespectful bars about the fairer sex in the Sheek Louch mold who was also possibly incumbent in picking up the group's amaranthine supply of Ed Hardy shirts, shiny skull-belt wallet chains, and bedazzle-arsed distressed jeans since he wasn't busy composing or ghostwriting like Max and Stack were. Still, at least Byrd Gang had a look, and that's an important consideration here because all great rap groups from Run Dmc and N.W.A to Mobb Deep and the Hot Boy$ to Dipset themselves circa 2002/2003 had a distinct gang look which helped enhance their mystique, even if that look in this instance can only be described as the 4 lads from the Jersey Shore :

So, here's 5 of my most cherished songs by the original incarnation of the group, which were all released on the various Jim and Byrd Gang mixtapes from 2006 - 2008 rather than any of Capo's proper albums or the Stack Bundles and Max B-less Byrd Gang group album from summer 2008. Honourable daps must go to G's Up, Ya Dig!, Beverly Hills Cop, Tell Me Sumthin I Dont Know, the Black Superman remake, I'm Paid, 2 Blocks, New York Minute, and We Roll.

"Screamin' and yellin', talkin' 'bout I bang too hard
you ain't got a problem bangin' on that Visa card"

Byrd Gang - Life's Like A Movie

"I hear voices, making crucial choices
tellin' me to cop the Bentley, Ferrar', or maybe Rolls Royces"

Byrd Gang - Sour Diesel

"Ohhh, there that n*gga go again with the wave
that got his grandmother turning in her grave"

Byrd Gang ft. Styles P - Hawaii 5.0

"Kitchen so hot you can see a mirage
and a n*gga move like he envisioning bars"

Byrd Gang - Cold Rockin' It

"Tell the G's if I have to say bye
bury me in a dark pair so you can't see my eyes"

Byrd Gang - Bury Me With My Gucci's

R.I.P to Stack Bundles; you totally made Lupe Fiasco listenable when he was sharking Fabolous instead of KanYe.

Friday 5 November 2010

Martorial elegance # 40

The Rappaz R.N Kardeez edition.

Suede-front cardigans were almost as ubiqitous as Puma clydes and John Motson sheepskin coats in them old Jamal Shabazz and Martha Cooper photographs of Bronx dudes from the late seventies/early eighties, but, aside from a recent dabbling by Yo Gotti, the only rapper to treat the cardigan as a wardrobe staple is the always dapper Slick Rick. Jay-Z was spotted wearing one in Europe once (a man's gotta have something non-threatening to wear for those evenings parlaying with Chris & Gwynie in the backstage area at a Killers show), but since he took a good year or so of ruthless zings from Dipset for wearing open-toed sandals that time, you imagine he daren't be seen sitting courtside at MSG in a Norse Projects effort or Supreme's classic Chico suede-front lest Capo unleashes a slew of Val Doonican/Mr Rogers photoshops on him; and while both POLO and RRL make some nifty cardigans which range from simple zip-ups to more ostentatious David Starsky type shawl collared affairs, even a more *cough* adventurous dresser like KanYe has only experimented with the cardi' a couple of times, most notably when he wore that hot-salmon Jeremy Scott one with the poodle motif on the back which had fellow Chi-Town knitwear enthusiast stepping his game up by getting his Ronnie Corbett on :

So, we should praise Dru Down for not only sporting a cardigan back in the Can You Feel Me? video in 1994 when west coast rappers were usually decked out in Pendleton flannels, Dickies shirts, and POLO or Carhartt jackets, but for also managing to wear a v-necked, button-up one and not look maaaaad Talib Kweli shopping for jasmine scented candles and Dr Stuarts peppermint-tea in it. We got ourselves a top five rap video outfit of all time right here :

Dru Down - Can You Feel Me?

Will all y'all Bay mavens start wishing I get robbed and stomped in the supermarket like Yukmouth if I say that I prefer Dru's outfit here to Can You Feel Me itself? I'm more of a Explicit Game-era Dru Down kinda guy, personally :

Dru Down - Pimp Of The Year

Monday 1 November 2010


Harlem Forever is one of those singles I meant to post about but never quite got around to mentioning on here like Fabolous's I'm Raw ("her and my dick just became b-f-f/then I threw her out like Jazzy J-e-f-f" - who needs a *new* album of rececyled Big L verses when you have Fab'?), Inkredible by Trae ft. Weezy & Ross (why'd they have to let Rawse on this?), Joell Ortiz's Project Boy (I really like Brooklyn Bullshit in a Chubb Rock sorta way, but dude doesn't have the voice or demeanour for a Return Of The Crooklyn Dodgers and so this ended up being 1 of the 2 bangers a year which Primo averages now which was totally wasted), Back 2 Tha Future (beatjacks of early 90s NY rap totally defeats the whole purpose of why I listen to southern rap) and Money In The Sky (now that's more like it) by G-Side, and HaHa (Slow Down) by Fat Joe & Jeezy (Jeezy seemingly can't come up with a single to lead off Thug Motivation 103 to save his life so who let fucking Fat Joe gaffle the certified jam which can work as a street or radio record?), so here's a post about why it's an incredibly important song :

Juelz Santana ft. Jim Jones & Tobb Cobain - Harlem Forever

This is your conclusive, irrefutable proof that the problem with Drake isn't his songs or even his pregnant pause rhyme-style but the guy himself as Juelz et Jim recast Forever's basic fuselage and, um, Aubreyisms into something kinda fly. Enough has already been written about how listening to a Canadian teen-soap actor rap like Wayne on the most boring The Carter 3 songs would be as ridiculous as Mario Lopez trying to rap like Ice Cube circa Lethal Injection (it goes without saying that Friends Forever > Forever), and how he's a superfluous R&B figure when The Dream and Trey Songz are pumping out music regularly, so I'll just add that I don't listen to rappers who even I could take in a fight, and that the Martorialist crew recently had the misfortune of catching the last 10 minutes of a Drake live show supporting Jay-Z where he concluded his performance by kneeling down on the edge of the stage to give the various chubby 15 year old white and Indian girls in his front row shower-nozzle masturbation material by declaring that they're "so sexy" and pointing them out individually for the JumboTron to let them know that he'd "take you home tonight if I could, baby". Dude is a disgrace to the artform which gave us Poison Clan :

Poison Clan - Put Shit Pass No Ho