Tuesday 31 January 2023

Generic list post: January 2023

Chief Keef - It's Cracking
(From Bang mixtape; 2011)

Obligatory wrap-up post of those songs I've played most during the month when 2023 got off to a cracking start in more ways than one. It ain't all fun and games, though: R.I.P to Gangsta Boo, Dangerous Dame, and The Rap Internet's very own Nyquil.

Lebra Jolie - What Kinda (2022)
Day Day Sustaaa - B.A.N.P (2022)
Coi Leray - Players (2022)
Max B ft. DJ Drama - Lemonade (2023)
Homeboy Sandman - Dia de Los Reyes (2023)
Mic Terror - Juiceman Freestyle (2023)
Gzus Piece - Globetrottin' (2023)
MoneyBagg Yo ft. GloRilla - On Wat U On (2023)
Gloss Up ft. GloRilla - Best Frenn (2023)
Eatem - Europe (2023)
Everything But The Girl - Nothing Left To Lose (2023)
Real Lies - Valentine (2023)

Other notables: that new Nef The Pharoah song with the Da Brat & Tyrese sample is pretty cool; also notable on the nostalgia-bait tip is BiC Fizzle's Kris Kross beatjack.

Other stuff: making a list of my favourite Rap songs of 1983 was a fun parlour game; Xanaxfantasia came through with a zipfile for my best of Seiji Oda playlist; some Bork label put out a remastered CD of all the Children Of The Corn songs so of course I had to order a copy.

Monday 30 January 2023

On my worst day you couldn't even sit next to me, respectfully!

"Bitch, I'm tryna break that n*gga pockets, break a n*gga pockets
I'm tryna break a n*gga pockets, break the n*gga pocket
Ain't got no cash, can't get no ass, that's just how we rockin'
Don't want no feelings or no dealings if you can't take me shoppin'
Bitch, I'm tryna break that n*gga pockets, break a n*gga pockets
I'm tryna break a n*gga pockets, break the n*gga pocket
Me and my guhs want the plug, we ain't talkin' sockets
Who got the p's, not the ones who don't make no profits"

Day Day Sustaaa - B.A.N.P
(From B.A.N.P single; 2022)

Here at The Martorialist we've been feelin' Da Ladeez talkin' flagrantly on tracks this month, so here's an insanely 'ard Baton Rouge song to go with Lebra Jolie's What Kinda and Gloss Up & GloRilla's Best Frenn. Sisters on that back like a bra strap or wot? Turns out this Day Day Sustaaa lass already has an internet-hit with a C-Murder beatjack, so fingers crossed the TikTok massive work their viral magic with B.A.N.P too. Sharing is caring.

Saturday 28 January 2023

That's what you pay your licence fee for!

Apropos of the BBC repeating Public Enemy's Behind The Beat special last weekend, here's P.E's live performance of Rebel Without A Pause filmed at London's Hammersmith Odeon in 1987. You might not have seen the Behind The Beat special, but you've definitely heard it because it's Public Enemy's infamous live show which was used throughout It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back. Peep Chuck D's very rare onstage outfit: #athleisurewear white jogging suit, Flavor Flav clock around his neck, and the brim of his baseball cap flipped up like he's Mike Muir from Suicidal Tendencies.
First live Rap concert ya host ever saw was Public Enemy in 1992. I was still in high school, but I was already 6 feet high & rising so I got in the venue no problem. Incredible show featuring all the classics from the first 4 P.E albums, and the group hadn't yet ruined their own live performances with Real Musicians™ playing Real Instruments™. You just can't recreate them Bomb Squad beats with a backing band, even if the backing band includes a low end auteurist like Davy DMX on bass guitar.

Wednesday 25 January 2023

A Banner year part 2

"What type of n*gga wear his homeboy shit?
In his baby mama crib, ridin' his baby mama whip
Man, what type of n*gga tell lies on his dick?
Always runnin' to the 'gram every time he hit a lick"

Lebra Jolie - What Kinda
(From Lebra Jolie EP; 2022/YouTube; 2023)

File this alongside YRB NY's Replace Me in the canon of Like A Pimp beat refreaks by Da Ladeez. We're equal opportunity haters here at The Martorialist and so of course we appreciate when a lass comes through talking disrespectful big shit about the lads. Essentially, this song is the latest entry into the sub-genre of Rap known as Roxanne's Revenge-core.


Monday 23 January 2023

Generic list post: can you believe 1983 was 40 years ago?

Gonna tell my kid this was Reservoir Dogs.
I might be the wrong side of 40 in 2023, but even I was a mere shorty in 1983. Truth be told, the only Rap song Young Marty had heard in '83 was Kenny Everett's Snot Rap because my primary interests were the Star Wars toyline and the Star Fleet TV show. But as an adult Rap connoisseur I find myself continuously returning to the music of 1983 since it was a particularly vintage year: Rap underwent its first big change in sound; some great Rap songs with no rapping were released; and a handful of songs which came from outside Hip-Hop were embraced by The Culture™ and have gone on to be bona fide classics. Here's proof in the form of my favourite 1983 Rap choonz. As ever, no particular order of preference and one song per artist.

Best Rap songs of 1983 IMHO:
Run-D.M.C. - Sucker M.C's
Jimmy Spicer - Money (Dollar Bill Y'all)
Spoonie Gee - The Big Beat (7" edit)
Love Bug Starski - You've Gotta Believe
The Fearless Four - F-4000
Herbie Hancock ft. Grand Mixer D.ST - Rockit
Dr. Jeckyll & Mr. Hyde - Gettin' Money
Disco Four - Throwdown
Cybotron - Clear
Rammellzee Vs. K-Rob - Beat Bop
Sexual Harrassment - I Need A Freak
Newcleus - Jam On Revenge (The Wikki-Wikki Song)
Whodini - Haunted House Of Rock
Beastie Boys - Cooky Puss
Hashim - Al-Naayfiysh (The Soul)
The Furious Five - New York New York
Grand Master Melle Mel - White Lines (Don't Do It)
Crash Crew - We Are Known As Emcees (We Turn Parties Out)
West Street Mob - Break Dance - Electric Boogie
Dimples D. - Sucker D.J's (I Will Survive)
Chris Stein & Fab 5 Freddy - Down By Law
Jonzun Crew - Space Is The Place
G.L.O.B.E. & Whiz Kid – Play That Beat Mr. D.J
Art Of Noise - Beat Box
Malcolm McLaren & World Famous Supreme Team - World Famous
Uncle Jamms Army - Dial-A-Freak

Bonus beats: 1983's best Rap song which isn't exactly a song? Double Trouble's Stoop Rap routine from the movie Wild Style. Obviously, it was the inspiration for Nas & AZ's Sprite commercial and Jurassic 5's shtick. Less obviously, it was the precursor to Suga Free's kitchen table freestyle and Alpoko Don's steez.

**EDIT** Robbie Unkut tells me this list needs a track by The B-Boys so I'd plump for Two, Three, Break. David Drake suggested Fresh 3 M.C's Fresh and, fair play, that's a good pick. Fred asked whether Too $hort released anything this year and I remembered that there's an underground Too $hort & Freddy B song over Smerphies Dance which could possibly date back to 1983? Party Sparty reminded me that Roland Rat's Rat Rapping dropped in 1983 and, as it turns out, that was the first Rap single I ever bought; my m8 Dave says I should have included Fantasy Three's Biters In The City.

Saturday 21 January 2023

Did somebody say Just Eat?

"I don't count my blessings, but God steady sendin' 'em
Repentin' for the same thing, I'm so tired of synonyms
Bet you gon' die a BD, now you gon' need insulin
They say EATEM YOU'RE UP, they thinkin' that I'm from Switzerland"

Eatem - Europe
(From Eat Vs. Eatem mixtape; 2023)

Over on Instagram, Eatem has been doing a Jackin' For Beats video song series called Eat Vs. Eatem where he talks turkey back-and-forth with himself in the spirit of T.I. vs. T.I.P.. Watch the videos/cop the tape here. But before you do, plz identify me the beat from this clip here.

Thursday 19 January 2023

The Bintstones

"I be bustin' out the windows, got him switchin' up his cars
He won't find shit in my phone but them lil' pictures of his cards"

MoneyBagg Yo ft. Glorilla - On Wat U On
(From On Wat U On single; 2023)

Just when it looked like GloRilla was the latest victim of Rap's cosmetic dentistry curse, she forgets to floss and starts 2023 by comin' out hard (yes Eightball & MJG.) First there was MoneyBagg Yo's battle of the sexes single, and now there's this tag-team battle single with fellow Sisterhood of Hitkidd member Gloss Up. Gangsta Boo ain't dead, she just moved into Gloss Up & GloRilla's bodies on some spiritual miracle physical manifestation type shit. If there's a harder brawl music song/video combination than Best Frenn in 2023 then I'll eat my Mac Dre cap.

"Why these bitches hatin? I don't know, they gettin' shitted on
Ridin' 'til the wheels fall off like The Flintstones"

Gloss Up ft. Glorilla - Best Frenn
(From Best Frenn single; 2023)

One thing, though: I best not see any corny Poptimist Prime dullards from Pitchfork claiming that GloRilla steals either of these songs. She perhaps deserves co-billing on the MoneyBagg Yo track, but plz believe she delivers nothing more than an assist on the Gloss Up joint.

Wednesday 18 January 2023

Mondays are Terrorble

"See me with a white chick, know she a heiress
And not one of them bitches from them trailers
That's my milk of magnesia
She 'bout to pay for this Roc Marci feature"

Mic Terror - Juiceman Freestyle
(From YouTube; 2023)

Last Monday Gzus Piece dropped a new single, this past Monday Mic Terror popped up with a new single. Juiceman Freestyle is a Lyrical Exercise track but with a whopper of a chorus. As with the Gzus Piece joint, it feels more like an intro than a single, but both songs are good (re)entrées to whatever music Mic and Gzus intend to drop in 2023.

"N*ggas say they ryders, but n*ggas couldn't ride a bike
With ya punchlines about ya China white
In high school you was Napoleon Dynamite
Your Napoleon complex will make you die tonight"

Mic Terror - Cold As Hell
(From YouTube; 2007/The Terror Dome Vol 2 mixtape; 2008)

In hindsight, I regret not including Cold As Hell in my best of Mic Terror playlist. Back in 2007 it was the first Mic T song to catch my ear/eye, and alongside The Cool Kids' Black Mags it announced there was a new wave of suburban Chicago irregular regular-kids creating Rap music from a Back To The Future angle. Discovered Cold As Hell and Juke Them Hoes via MySpace and searching for the MP3s led me to Drew Barber's Fake Shore Drive blog. An exciting time as new avenues for discovering/obtaining Rap music opened up just as the 12" single and mixtape CD era was drawing to a close.

Mic Terror might be one of the few rappers to wear Iron Maiden merchandise who actually listens to Iron Maiden. Not sayin' that's necessarily a good thing, mind, because I've never liked Maiden, meself. Operatic vocals over widdly-widdly guitars are the antithesis of Positive K's Good Combination™. Gimme summat more primal like Motörhead instead.

(PS: it wasn't until years later that I found out Cold As Hell was a Timbaland production beatjacked from a 2003 Skillz single. I don't even care though - in my world it'll always be a Mic Terror song.)

Monday 16 January 2023

My Mind Spray 6.5

Sum shit I learned when that Jeff Beck bloke died the other day: he played the insane guitar riff on that Yardbirds song sampled by Jacka's Murder Somebody.

Anyone with a passing interest in graffiti knows that Kase 2 only had one arm, but Skeme recently said that Kase also had a prosthetic leg. Graffiti guys - is this true or is Skeme indulging in some Five Percenter Arm Leg Leg Arm Head rhetoric?

Another way Marvel has negatively impacted modern culture: getting the video for Timbaland, Magoo & Missy Elliot's Here We Come perma-banned from YouTube due to its Spiderman copyright infringement. Luckily the video can still be found on Dailymotion.

November 13th 2023 is the date when Uncle Murda & Rocko's Wu Wuu Wuuu celebrates its 10th anniversary. Murda and Rocko flipping and bouncing a Martin Lawrence catchphrase over some Jahlil Beats production should have been a disaster, but it ended up being a killer multi-region collaboration which soundtracked a Brooklyn pawn shop commercial. I eagerly await Pitchfork's thinkpiece about Wu Wuu Wuuu being a key song in the post-language Rap canon.

Friday 13 January 2023

Sorta late pass: Coi blimey

Coi Leray - Players
(From Players single; 2022)

Ladies - rub on ya titties if you love Real Hip-Hop! The Message is truly timeless because Duke Bootee created a hot track which makes each successive generation melt like hot wax. Coi Leray's Players is the exact sort of nostalgia-bait pop-Rap I can't resist, the exact sort of nostalgia-bait pop-Rap I wanna hear when I'm out drinking in a generic high street bar, the exact sort of nostalgia-bait pop-Rap I hope inspires JayQuan to drop his full 40th anniversary of The Message documentar.

Thursday 12 January 2023

R.I.P Nyquil

Pour out a little Baileys for Galen AKA Nyquil AKA Mike Menopause AKA Cobraswag AKA Snitchy Tycoon AKA a host of other names on the Rap Internet AKA the biggest Messy Marv fan I knew. Feared the worst when he vanished last year, and Jesse confirmed the bad news today. Gutted right now TBH. I've BEEN missing sending each other songs and him getting pissed at me for not liking all that trendy Stockton Rap and me getting pissed at him for not liking any New York Rap released before 1998. I hope Heaven got a half pipe and an Iomega hard drive full of Messy Marv albums & DVDs.

Touching tribute by one of his IRL m8s can be read here.

Monday 9 January 2023

What happened to Piece? (part 3)

Gzus Piece - Globetrottin'
(From Globetrottin' single; 2023)

As Mic Terror sang on that White Gzus song, it's the Return Of The G. Craig David met that lass on a Monday, Gabriel Gzus reappeared on the same damn day. Some Midwestern waviness goin' on in this song, a vibe that's best described as Bone Thugs-N-Biggaveli. That said, Globetrottin' feels more like an intro than a single, so hopefully it's the prelude to another capital A Anthem in the vein of Forever Gangster.

There's a breezy little new Max B song on that new Coke Boys compilation. Max & the guy who runs the This Is Biggavel YouTube channel have even done a video for it. Who else but Biggavelz is out here shooting music videos from inside their prison cell?

Max B ft. DJ Drama - Lemonade
(From French Montana & DJ Drama's Coke Boys 6 compilation; 2023)

Mountains aside, I usually loathe Paul Couture's Von Dutch soundin-ass beats, but this one has caught me off guard during the January blues. Reverse-seasoooooowwwwwnal effect innit? Song's more of a splash than The Wave, but it'll work lovely soundtracking some winter warz this January.

Friday 6 January 2023

First time I saw Sandman I thought he was Italian...

"Better learn the difference between brain and brawn
Before you go and try to date Eva Braun"

Homeboy Sandman - Dia de Los Reyes
(From 12 Days of Christmas & Dia de Los Reyes album; 2023)

Boy Sand starts 2023 proper with a club banger, albeit a banger created for Fatman Saso's nightclub in Carlito's Way. The unlikely scenario where Homeboy Sandman is the missing link between Fatman Saso and Fatman Scoop! Times have changed. What happened to the Salsa? Where’s all that Cha Cha? Now everything is social media platforms, codeine, and dancers that don't dance. What a (Sand)man gotta come to when he finds a spicy Latin sample?

I know I wasn't the only person who shelled out money for the Carlito's Way soundtrack back in the 90s and was left fuming when Tito Puente's Para Los Rumberos wasn't on the album. Arguably the best song in the whole movie - no mean feat when the movie also included Santana's Oye Como Va, Cheryl Lynn's Got To Be Real, and The O'Jays' Backstabbers.

Monday 2 January 2023

My Mind Spray 6

R.I.P Gangsta Boo. The only rapper to outdo Project Pat with his own flow on his own song.

On one hand, Fortified Live is the best song Mos Def & Talib Kweli made together. On the other hand, guest rapper Mr. Man had the song's best line with "I cut ya ass in half and leave you with a semicolon."

If Ezale drops a new album, he should do a movie to accompany it. He's got the chutzpah and stuntman skills to do something more longform than music videos, and it could only be better than Andre Nickatina's Conversation With A Devil movie.

Messy Marv's Playin' Wit My Nose is one of those songs which was never a single but has basically become a single. So now it needs a fan-made video to cement its status as one of Marv's biggest songs.

Am I bugging or is the vocal sample used on D4M $loan's Swiper the same vocal sample used on Benetton by Kurious, MC Serch & DOOM?

Peeping the video for Kurious' latest single Come Back and he now looks more like an middle-aged scouser than a middle-aged boricua. Cool song, though, if you enjoy some old man Jorge From The Projects music.