Obligatory wrap-up post of those songs I've played most during the month when Something For The Weekend unfortunately meant Rappers dying every week. Pour out a little beverage of your choice for Shock G and Black Rob. DMX too, though I only like a handful of his songs tbqh.
Some shit I wasn't expecting to find this morning: a new Cajmere choon based around James Brown's I'm Satisfied which sounds as Dirt McGirt Cajploitation as I'd hoped it would. Crazy visionz, BOOM: Cajmere's alter-ego Green Velvet is the ideal person to bring James Brown's batshit crazy late 70's TV show Future Shock back to life amirite?
Bonus beats:City Girls recently interpolating Percolator got me thinkin' about other Cajmere songs primed for rappers to use. Somebody could REALLY have their wicked way with Let Me Be, though that somebody preferably wouldn't be Kid Cudi, Vic Mensa or Makonnen.
Cajmere - Let Me Be
(From Underground Goodies Vol. 4 EP; 1992)
Walked in and shit got spooky the way this one has grown on me. It's definitely the most P-Lo Type Beat™ of his last four singles, but in a Hella good way. For best results use Walked In as the B-Side to Yours - an Oakland Yin & Yang combination of sweet romancing & dumb dancing which Shock G would be proud of.
FFS is this 2021's new normal where a Rapper dies every Friday? R.I.P to Shock G AKA Humpty Hump AKA Piano Man AKA MC Blowfish AKA The Packet Man AKA Rackadelic AKA the musical genius who did think with his penis. Half the Rap eccentricities Kool Keith brags he invented, Shock G has a more legitimate claim to, and, as I recently realised, Humpty Hump even pioneered Hyphy. It seems like Digital Underground have been shunted into the margins of Rap history but this shouldn't come as a surprise - any Rappers who dare to display a sense of humour get deemed "non lyrical" and end up derided as glorified novelty acts no matter how great their music is.
Homeboy Sandman - Conjugal Visit To The Prison Of The Mind
(From Homeboy Sandman Is The Sandman EP; 2014/YouTube; 2021)
This older Homeboy Sandman song recently got blessed with video outta the blue. Conjugal Visit To The Prison Of The Mind sounds nothing like Waiting On My Girl but my point about the latter song applies here too: when Sandman's music and my taste do converge it's always on some idiosyncratic bugged-out shit which could only come from him. True story: Killah Priest is still pissed that he didn't think of this song title first.
Bonus beats: if I'd heard Conjugal Visit To The Prison Of The Mind back when it first dropped in 2014 then I woulda had that shit up in my playlists next to Kurious' Best In The World. Call me Freedom Williams because I'm just a squirrel tryna get a nut - f*ck Rotten Apple Rap, gimme more Pecan Rican Rap.
Kurious Jorge - Best In The World
(From YouTube; 2014)
Black Rob - Up North (This is What it Is)
(From Game Tested, Streets Approved album; 2011)
This month is starting to feel like a new Final Destination movie where the Grim Reaper is on the hunt for everyone who appeared on 24 Hours To Live. F*ck White Cop, R.I.P Black Rob. Readers from the dayz of wayback will remember that I was a big B.R fan and why wouldn't I be? Rob was one of Harlem's vividest authors with an eye for detail and an ear for good old fashioned songwriting. Alongside Biggie, he was the only Bad Boy Records rapper to parlay Puffy's factory farm system into a couple of good albums; Rob also had an enviable stash of officially unreleased music dating back to 1991 when he recorded his first demo with Dan The Automator - still one of the unlikeliest rapper/producer pairings ever or wot? In and out of prison up until he hit the age of 40, a tiny crumb of solace can be taken from B.R spending his last decade on Earth as a free man who could transform a 2011 graduation party into The Tunnel circa 2000.
PS: the upload of my Black Rob deep cuts compilation is still live. I'd throw it up on Audiomack as a playlist but songs from the Bad Boy catalogue tend to get nuked by the DMCA within hours.
Nowadays my main Friday night ritual is watching BBC4's re-runs of old Top Of The Pops episodes, and two hall of fame Pop-Rap classix were performed on last night's 1990 shows. And I do mean performed because this was the era when Top Of The Pops began insisting that artists played live in a bid to make the show more credible/as a sneaky ploy to stop Rave acts with songs extolling drug use appearing on TV. If you were in high school or up in clubs when Vanilla Ice's Ice Ice Baby and Dream Warriors' My Definition Of A Boombastic Jazz Style first dropped you loved both songs and you either lyin' or you were listening to Timmy Mallet if you claim otherwise.
On the evidence of the Ice Ice Baby clip, Vanilla Ice was a far better live performer than many of the G.O.A.T's including Rakim and Nas. Get yourself a Rapper who can dance and rhyme at the Same Damn Time!™
"Mosh pit, I'm 'bout to put a hole in 'em
Better have on Calvin Kleins 'cause I'ma knock ya out your denims"
CupcaKKe - Mosh Pit
(From Mosh Pit single; 2021)
Then we squashed it, Instagram let me know "watch it", it's time to join Chicago's filthiest rhymer in the mosh pit. Definitely tryna hear more saxobeat in 2021 Rap. Gimme that TOOT TOOT and lemme get that BEEP BEEP.
Major Weight Media - Natural
(From Music Speaks Louder EP; 1997)
Fave song on that recently reissued Major Weight Media EP. Some late 90's earnest everyman Seattle G-Funk with proper luscious bubble bath production. If Woodie's favourite rapper had been Snoop rather than 2Pac then his music probably woulda sounded like this.
Poor etiquette by the label who reissued this EP to not include a digital download with a release that's tape/vinyl only innit? Download codes with both formats should be mandatory, but this is what happens when reissue labels are run by music collectors as opposed to music listeners. Me, I like to jam the shit out of the physical releases I pays my money for, so you can catch me with my boombox ridin' shotgun in the passenger seat just so I can listen to this EP in its intended habitat of a car.
Talking about the Chili Peppers' Give It Away and Metallica's Enter Sandman in this post got me thinkin' about other elite examples of songs I love by artists I loathe. Not so much One Song Wonders in the vein of Jay Electronica's Exhibit C, more detestable artists who somehow managed one Godly fluke in an otherwise ghastly catalogue à la Weak Become Heroes by The Streets. Here's five diamonds from their artist's respective seas of shite - all genres, all gems.
Tricky ft. Martina Topley-Bird - Christiansands
(From Pre-Millennium Tension album; 1996)
You, a square: Tricky's Maxinquaye is the Illmatic of the Hardcore Continuum.
Me, a connoisseur: STFU Grimey Simey junior. Christiansands is the one song where Tricky's Worzel Gummidge whisper wap doesn't sound like a wet fart after a night on the cider. For that we can thank his backing vocalist bird, the subtle use of a Slick Rick sample, and John Woo for giving the song big villain's penthouse energy in Face/Off.
U2 - Desire
(From Rattle & Hum soundtrack; 1988)
You, a square: I hate U2, you hate U2, we all hate U2. Really doe, Brian Eno coaxed a few jams outta them in the 90's.
Me, a connoisseur: I wanna talk to you shorty 'cause you be trippin' sometimes. There was nowt more embarrassing than 90's U2 tryna be all arch and knowing. U2's one legit 10/10 classic came at the arse-end of their Christian cowboy cosplay era when they brought out the Bo Diddley beat for Desire. The result: MTV's answer to Mystic Eyes innit.
Big Sean - Paradise (single version)
(From Paradise single; 2014)
Me, a connoisseur: You all up in Da Game with the answers missin'. As anyone who went to a Westwood party in 2014 knows, Paradise is the one song where Big Sean's hyperactive valley girl steez worked. In my personal canon of Detroit spazz-Rap, Paradise is the mainstream club banger counterpoint to Pablo Skywalkin's All Facts.
Cliff Richard & The Drifters - Move It
(From Move It single; 1958)
You, a square: I refuse to believe that Tennis-loving Tory nonce Cliff Richard has ever made a good song.
Me, a connoisseur: Me too TBF until I heard Move It. Shit cranks. The Truth like Beanie first LP: Move It would be universally acknowledged as the G.O.A.T British Rock & Roll banger of the 50's if it didn't belong to Clifftiano Richnaldo.
Azealia Banks - Miss Amor
(From Broke With Expensive Taste album; 2014)
You, a square: I wish Azealia Banks would stop being such a troll edgelady and start putting out great music like 212 again.
Me, a connoisseur: LMFAO she's a far better troll than she is a rapper, m8. 212 was just a dry-run for Miss Amor where she did her usual Ya Kid K karaoke over an R&S Records classic and accidentally recorded a lost Lil' Kim song from Diddy's Last Train To Paris album.
"Bitch, I know my mathematics, I just keep countin'
Another sucker in the dirt and he ain't sprountin'
Ain't no playin' in that water, n*gga, they drownin'
They ain't even comin' outside, n*gga, they grounded
Bitch, you know that I'm the shit, you can't piss me off
I just called God, he missed mi call
I get in that pot, my wrist evolve
Never had a pet, I miss mi dog"
Mac J - Gotta Grudge
(From Tricky Situation EP; 2021)
Ah, that's more like it from Mac J. Subaquatic slap, sub-zero zingers, a soupcon of vulnerability, and he's actually spent time composing a chorus. His best song since Sparky or wot?
A buncha unreleased peak-era Casual songs? YAY! A 'vinyl driven release'? NAY!
Limited edition boutique Rap records are for Hypebeast teenagers on Instagram and middle-aged men who'd be stamp collectors or model railway enthusiasts if they'd never discovered Hip-Hop. Wax is a vastly-overrated format anyway - I give 12" singles their props but that's where it stops because vinyl has always been a useless format for Rap albums. Picture me paying money for an album on a format I can't play in a car or I can't even program out all the stupid skits about farts and blowjobs? GTFOH and take your pleas for crowd funding with you, m8.
Someone tell Dante he can keep the song with Everlast, though. I dunno what if it's Plastic Paddy-era Everlast or Wooden Guthrie-era Everlast but ain't nobody wanna hear any incarnation of that guy on a 90's Casual song.
Was 1991 as good a year for Other Genres™ as it was for Rap? This is the post where I prove that, yes, it was even tough that damn Bryan Adams song from Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves was utterly inescapable for most of the year.
Since my comments turned into a surprise P-Lo fanclub meeting the other day, here's another of his recent singles I'm all over like Heinz ketchup on fish & chips (other ketchup brands are available!) Much like Yours and Get Me Lit, Boomerang puts the Fun into Function Music and comes as a welcome relief when so much current NorCal Rap is barely functional. Seriously - have you looked at Thizzler or Siccness recently? Both sites are near-endless successions of wannabe Da Boii, Mozzy and Lil' Yase clones whose music has more tickle than slap. Rap's grim up North California right now so these P-Lo singles are a much-needed blapp of Vitamin D.