Here's 5 songs that every self-respecting rap fan should have in their arsenal of musik.
G-Unit - True Loyalty (2003)
Thug lovin' indeed. Essentially, a 2pac-inspired homoerotic bromance between 50 & Banks in the vein of Jay & Bleek on Coming Of Age or AZ & Nas on The Essence which gives way to one of the main reasons why some of us have been cheerleading for T.O.N.Y ever since the Best Of Tony Yayo mixtape was released during his incarceration that I'm posting because the internet is now finally starting to become stricken with Yayo fever. I still occassionally wake up in a cold sweat cursing myself that I didn't get a picture of the fat white-trash dude I saw with a full Get Rich Or Die Trying back-tattoo a couple of summers back for a Martorial Elegance post.
Yelawolf - Beer Buzz (2008)
The whole concept of musical guilty pleasures is pretty silly unless you're a member of the Aryan Brotherhood risking ostracization for having Buck Tha Devil by Da Lench Mob on your iPod, but I should probably feel a few twinges of embarrassment at liking pre-Trunk Muzik Yelawolf in frat-rap mode over All I Wanna Do by Sheryl Crow on his Beer Buzz cut as much as I do. This is, after all, a song I prefer to the quintessential Yelawolf joints from the same period like Boyz In The Woodz and Brown Sugar; a song I always end up listening at least 4 or 5 times in a row; and a song which once caused me to slip down an escalator when I was shimmying to the "we are drinkin' beer at noon on tueday" refrain at the end and misjudged my footing. Upon further reflection, that Sheryl Crow joint is clearly better than the entire career of Bruce Springsteen as far as the blue-collar Americana singer-songwriter shtick goes and Beer Buzz is precisely 87% better than 85% of what will consist of Yelawolf's Interscope debut.
Casual - Classic Material (2003)
Man, I always foolishly ran hand-in-hand with the narrative that after Fear Itself Casual became an artist we could only think about in terms of singles because his He Think He Raw and Truck Driver long players lacked any kind of knock factor other than the cuts taken from his 12"s on Stimulated Records until Boothe pointed out that the former does indeed have a few other joints, particularly Studio D. This then lead to a re-investigation of the latter which revealed that Classic Material is precisely what it says on the tin and almost as good as Turkey And Dressing since Cas' spits that "technique magnifique" of his and, with an arpeggio of sinewy G-Funk synths, a robotic cartoon bassline and all manners of other dramatic electronic stabs, it sounds closer to something you'd have heard on E-40's Breakin' News album than some boring retro noughties record by a past-it Hiero member.
Soulja Boy ft. Gucci Mane & Yo Gotti - Shopping Spree (2008)
This first and - still - best of Soulja Boy's forays into PG13 ATL trap-rap where, unlike his other handful of songs with Gucci Mane and/or Yo Gotti, he's the song's main attraction. Because rap is currently bogged down with rappers who make their success sound like a chore (Eminem, Wayne, KanYe, Drake, B.o.B etc) and the still lingering Jay-Z somehow making bragging about his immense wealth and jet-setting lifestyle sound as mundane and irritating as a co-worker's recount of their weekend's drinking in a provincial pub on a bleary-eyed monday morning, we should be thankful to Soulja for the wide-eyed delight in his voice when he raps about copping Lamborghinis and items of home furnishing which cost over half a million dollars. It's also worth mentioning that the kid is quietly morphing into one of this blog's most beloved rapitalists : he's a ridiculously wealthy self-made entrepreneur with a penchant for grunting, chanted choruses, and blatantly pilfering the nuances of his contemporaries who's now also making in-roads into the realm of movies, so all we need now is the revelation that he he has 2 rapping brothers and his transformation into the new Percy Miller is complete.
M.O.P - What The Fuck? (2004)
The year, 2004 when M.O.P were around 20 months deep into their tenure at Roc-A-Fella; the album, the bonus disc of rare & unreleased odds 'n' sods on the Marxmen Cinema indie album they'd tossed out via Koch as The Marxmen to express their displeasure at not receiving a release date writ large; the mission statement, "let's try and top Code Of The Streets and AZ's I Don't Give A Fuck as far as flagrant pitch-perfect Primo facsimiles go"; the song, a total success because this shit went harder than everything on the first disc including the actual Primo joint and squared up toe-to-toe with such 10/10 Mash Out classics as Downtown Swinga and Half And Half that it found itself amongst on the bonus disc. Anybody fancy helping me sacrifice Termanology and the Nick Javas cracker (Ayo Intuition - dude has totally swagger-jacked your image, son) that Primo did a song for last year to the Aztec god Quetzalcoatl in a trade off for one last M.O.P & Primo banger in the vein of this or Stick To Ya Gunz?