Sunday 31 December 2023

Generic list post: December 2023

Obligatory wrap-up post of those songs I've played most during the month when Scarface's Tiny Desk performance had me in two minds. The right hemisphere of my brain says "damn, Scarface killed this!" But the left hemisphere of my brain says "I'd much prefer this if he were backed by a DJ playing the instrumentals rather than a buncha session musicians!" Live rap performances with backing bands always sound too Later With Jools Holland for my liking.

Jay Tee ft. Mac Dre - Do The Crew (1990/2018)
Mic Terror ft. Bruus - Big Steppas (2023)
ShyBelligerent - Son Of A Bitch (2023)
Myaap ft. Lil RB - Wham (2023)
Luh Tyler ft. Latto - The Grinch (2023)
The Wild Magnolias - Injuns, Here We Come (1975)

Other stuff: I dropped my best songs of 2023 list, my 2023 late pass list and my best movies and TV shows of 2023 list. I also sung the praises of Ice Ice Baby as one of Rap's best One Song Wonders™. Meanwhile, over on The Spartorialist, King Kos dropped a best 2023 movies list, a worst 2023 movies list and a best 2023 home releases list.

I was flipping through the Daily Mirror this past friday and Garry Bushell had the Danny Brown & JPEG Mafia LP as one of his favourite albums of the year. Gotra be the only time I've looked at a newspaper in 2023 and laughed. The selection makes sense tho - of course Mr. "OI!" punk himself is gonna like a rapper/producer who wears Dr. Martens boots.

Friday 29 December 2023

Dont mind me...

(It was irking me that this was an edited bolt-on to my 2023 late pass list so I decided to tidy house by giving it it's own post. By name I'm Messy Mart, but by nature I keep 'em clean tho like Lil' Fame. Me & this song are already in too deep together, and when I say in too deep I ain't talkin' about Sum 41's best single, boiiiiiiiii.)

Yohan popped up in my comments to skool me that there's a CDQ version of Jay Tee & Mac Dre's Do The Crew. Now THAT'S a magical Mac Dre manifestation for my ears. Proto Ain't No Fun (If the Homies Can't Have None) freaky telly tales. Jonny Z, yous a fool for this one.

Jay Tee ft. Mac Dre - Do The Crew
(From Sig Tapes; 1990/Do The Crew single; 2018)

The Sig Tape joint I really want a CDQ version of is Ride To This by The MAC. Best song he ever recorded no IMHO necessary. Pretty sure a semi-CDQ version exists already because Khayree played a snippet of it during the This Is The MAC interlude thingy on Dre's Young Black Brotha compilation.

Thursday 28 December 2023

Bless the M.I.C

"Head shot - welcome to the Terror dome
I study occult science that was never known
Heroin on the pavement that I'm steppin' on
Listen to me speak to the rhythm of a metronome
I can see your future in a bag of bones
You gonna end up buried in the catacombs"

Mic Terror ft. Bruus - Big Steppas
(From Big Steppas single; 2023)

Good way for Mic Terror to end his productive 2023: one last single produced by none other than Panik from Molemen. Sip the Juice, Molemen still got beats to go around. Call M.T Captain Hook because he knows how to write a boss chorus, most of your favourites don't.

The Titty Song ended being my 2023 Mic T jam of choice. Mic & Gzus Piece snapped when they made that video no f**kin' doubt, those visuals could put a Jack Nicholson smile on The Grouch.

Tuesday 26 December 2023

The best movies and TV of 2023

The Doors and Love during their Polish tour, December 1968.
Contrary to popular demand, the Martorialist best movies & television awards are back! Nowadays I have a "it's complicated" relationship with movies/television: unless I'm indulging in my annual rewatch of Casino I will never sit through another 3 hour movie in my life, and because I don't use Netflix, Amazon or Disney+, I'm limited to what I catch at the cinema/on British TV/on my m8 Deezy's Plex server. This means I'll occasionally miss out on a promising movie, but also means I've never wasted a second of my life watching a trendy mediocre streaming TV series. As Big L nearly said, anti-FOMO, that's a no-no! As a result, I don't always see what I want, but I always manage to see what I need, and ya boi needed these movies and shows in 2023. As always, no specific order of preference.

Best movies of 2023 IMHO:
Talk To Me
Godzilla Minus One
No One Will Save You

Best TV shows of 2023 IMHO:
What We Do In The Shadows (season five)
Ghosts (season 5)
Ghosts (Christmas finale episode)
Colin From Accounts (series 1)
Boiling Point (series 1)
The Bear (season 2)
Jury Duty (season 1)
Doctor Who - The Star Beast (episode)
Doctor Who - Wild Blue Yonder (episode)
Doctor Who (The Church On Ruby Road episode)
Planet Earth III (all episodes)
Only Connect (2023 episodes)
Match Of The Day 1 and 2 (2023 episodes)

* The BBC licence fee is worth every penny for the sport, documentaries, dramas, imports, quiz shows and their archives on iPlayer. Shout outs to the latter because I finally got around to watching all 5 series of People Just Do Nothing and a buncha old 60s/70s Doctor Who stories I'd not seen before.

* I like the 2023 reboot of Neighbours but I don't love it yet. At least Micha Barton's character didn't last long because there's something very jarring about hearing a Yank accent in Neighbours.

* My best cinema experience of 2023: seeing the 4k reissue of Joe Massot's 1981 documentary about the British 2 Tone Ska scene Dance Craze on the big screen. You better believe that's the best live concert footage of The Specials you'll ever see, and it had me green with jealousy of anyone who got to see The Specials, Madness or The Beat live between 1979 and 1982.

* My worst cinema experience of 2023: paying to see The Killer on the big screen. A bargain bucket (hat) Le Samourai which had me enduring the sound of Morrissey's singing through gritted teeth. Fuk that movie, everyone who made it and anyone who luv it.

* If we're talkin' movies and TV then my fellow ex-baby blue alumni Party Sparty AKA Harry Twist Of Cain is the illest blogger.

* Special shout out to the Mo Farah episode of Big Zuu's Big Eats where Mo dropped science that pilau rice & chopped banana is the Somalian equivalent of fish & chips. A game-changer for me - no question, the combination makes my taste buds sing.

* That Ghosts finale episode hit the spot, but it's not my favourite Ghosts yuletide special or even my favourite yuletide-themed of 2023. This got me thinking about my own personal pantheon of Christmas-themed TV classics. All I want for Christmas is 12 gold teeth, a fresh candy blue jeep, a .44 heat, and these festive TV treats:

G.O.A.T Christmas-themed TV episodes IMHO:
The Twilight Zone (The Night Of The Meek episode) (1960)
Porridge (No Way Out episode) (1975)
Only Fools & Horses (Thicker Than Water episode) (1983)
Blackadder's Christmas Carol (1988)
Rab C. Nesbitt (Seasonal Greet episode) (1989)
Round The Twist (Santa Claws episode) (1989)
The Simpsons (Marge Be Not Proud episode) (1995)
Seinfeld (The Strike episode) (1997)
The X-Files (How The Ghosts Stole Christmas episode) (1998)
OZ (Out o' Time episode) (1999)
Christmas With The Royle Family (1999)
The Sopranos (To Save Us All From Satan's Power episode) (2001)
Everybody Hates Chris (Everybody Hates Christmas episode) (2005)
The Wire (Final Grades episode) (2006)
Peep Show (Seasonal Beatings episode) (2010)
Wellington Paranormal (Christmas Special) (2019)
Ghosts (The Ghost Of Christmas) (2020)
The Bear (Fishes episode) (2023)

Those are the best, but what are the worst? Let's talk turkeys.

Tuesday 19 December 2023

My Mind Spray 13

Someone told me I should have included Ice Spice's Deli in my 2023 songs list. I dislike that song for the same reason I disliked Pop Smoke's Welcome To The Party: it's the sound of a New Yorker reciting a buncha generic Instagram captions + luxury Eurotrash brands over a beat which deserved far better. Much like dying, there's 6 million ways a rapper can ruin a great beat.

JayQuan reckons Kurtis Blow's 1980 performance of Christmas Rappin' on Top Of The Pops was #actually live rather than lip-synced. If JQ is right then that means it's the first #actually live rap performance on television ever, predating Funky 4 + 1's appearance on Saturday Night Live by a year. See - the U.K really was an early adopter of rap music.

The most impressive trick Yams ever pulled was convincing us that the rappers in A$AP Mob were big Houston rap aficionados. It quickly transpired that Ferg was laughably clueless and I betcha the only Houston Rap Rocky has ever listened to is Paul Wall's verse on KanYe Pest's Drive Slow. So, it's a testament to Yams' creative vision that he managed to coax Trilla out of those vacuous hacks because that song legitimately sounds like a 2004 Swishahouse posse cut.

Occasionally Rap Genius does come in handy for skoolin' an ignorant Brit like me on 'Murican sports references in rap songs. Case in point: Shaq's "I did it for kicks like my position was Vinatieri's" line from Coyote's 3 Lokos. Expecting me to have a clue who Adam Vinatieri is would be like me expecting David Drake to have a clue who Alan Shearer is.

Whoever holds the rights to 45 King's vaults needs to release the explicit version of his 1997 EP with Lady Champain. Only ever releasing the clean version of it? Like the dearly-departed Maori man said: How Bizarre!

Wednesday 13 December 2023

The obligatory best Rap songs of 2023 post

After The Show, it's the La Di Da Di
Then after the La Di Da Di it's the Hotel, Motel lobby
Then after the Gin & Juice it's time for a piss
And after the late pass discoveries songs then it's time for this...

Yes ma, no Martorialist siesta. Sometimes I feel I should change my name to Mart Adams the way I dislike so much current Rap. Then I'll find a couple of new legit jams and it feels like I've stumbled on some 8th wonders of the world. Maybe I'm a hater, or maybe a lotta people will listen to any old current shite as long as it's by an ageing New Yorker/a teenage gangbanger/Drake/an indistinguishable street guy from Michigan/Earl Sweatshirt & his m8s/a freestyling content-creator. I'm not immune to songs by some of the aforementioned rappers, but other Rap songs are available. So, in no specific order, here's the Rap songs which soundtracked my year including the customary handful of Rap songs which dropped right at the end of the previous year.

Like I said last time around, year end lists are supposed to be a record of your favourite songs, not a résumé of every new song you've listened to four times in the last twelve months. Lemme break it down like dis: a year end list which is undiscerning to the point of being disingenuous deserves to be gently dissed dunnit? Thus, I propse a new rule for all fellow list-making OCD nerds higher echelon Rap connoisseurs: if you didn't like a song enough to buy or rip the MP3 then it doesn't belong in your year end list.


Best Rap songs of 2023 no IMHO necessary:
TREE - 10 Mac 11's
Lebra Jolie - What Kinda
Day Day Sustaaa ft. Eatem - Get Somebody Else To Do It
Max B ft. DJ Drama - Lemonade
Coi Leray - Players
Nef The Pharaoh ft. LARussell - Furley Goat
Sexyy Red - Shake Yo Dreads
Zae Shakur - Donuts In A Benz
Coyote ft. Shaquille O'Neal - 3 Lokos
Homeboy Sandman - Then We Broke Up
P-Lo - Regular
Kaliii ft. DJ Smallz 732 - KToven
Kookei - So Icy
Berner ft. The Jacka - Gone (remix)
Myaap - HTS
Lord Sko - Pimp Socks
Rae Sremmurd - Flaunt It/Cheap
MoneyBagg Yo ft. GloRilla - On Wat U On
Slimeroni - Freak Like Me
Luh Tyler ft. Trapland Pat - Can't Move Wrong
iCandy - Keep Dat N*gga
Mic Terror ft. Gzus Piece - The Titty Song
Gzus Piece - Rich Off Drugs
Lil' Ricefield - Him Burton
BeatKing ft. Sukihana, Diamond & Princess - On Yo Head (remix)
Suga Free & Kokane - Bitch In Da Trunk
BigXthaPlug - Texas
Poe Whosaine - You Bad If You Thought Different
TisaKorean - uHhH HuH.MP3
Curren$y & Jermaine Dupri - Essence Fest
Capolow - You Hear Me Now?
RMC Mike - I'm Back
2Humpy & 2Rare - 2Humpy Anthem
Yuno Miles - Party All Night (video version)

Best non 'Murican Rap songs of 2023 no IMHO necessary:
J Hus - It's Crazy
Dave & Central Cee - Sprinter
Nines - Calendar
CASisDEAD - Venom
Busy Signal ft. M24 - Badman Ting

Best Other Genres™ songs of 2023 no IMHO necessary:
Peggy Gou - (It Goes Like) Nanana
Real Lies - Valentine
Everything But The Girl - Nothing Left To Lose
Kenya Grace - Strangers
Donae'o - Let There Be Light
Tyla - Water
Tinashe - Needs
The Guy - Sorry Buddy
Mean Jeans - I Don't Give A Shit Anymore

Tha blog is hot, but it's cold out here for doz of us who don't do Twitter or whatever. If you've enjoyed this list in any way then gimme a link plz. EOY season is like Heaven - everybody wanna get a seat. How you make it to the gates and forget Marty?

Bonus beats: I only made a few Born To Audiomack playlists this year, but they were all great. Tell me, have you heard them? Yeah, they put together by me, but on the lo they belong to listener folks and their lugholes.

The 45 King - five deep cuts
Various - original bangers better than the official versions
Various - lesser-celebrated songs by Martorialist faves
Cousin Fik - Quinary Of Quality
Nef The Pharoah - best of Neffy
Day Day Sustaaa - Quinary Of Quality

Monday 11 December 2023

The 2023 late pass awards

This is the first year in forever where I didn't discover an old Mac Dre song I'd never heard before/previously slept on. It wasn't for lack of listening, more that I'm thoroughly versed on all Dre's albums nowadays, and my well is running dry on his deeper/posthumous cuts which aren't sullied by guest verses from his guys & goons. Here's hoping mentioning his absence will magically manifest a sick Dre solo slap into my ears before 2023 becomes a citizen of Hades. Until then, here's some old songs which became new favourites this year - the songs which now regularly soundtrack my IRL exploits and make me feel like I've been living life in false contentment without them.

Best non-2023 Rap songs I discovered in 2023:
Fab Five Freddy - Sucker M.C's freestyle (1983)
MC Lyte - I Cram To Understand U 1990 (DJ DOC remix) (1990)
Tung Twista - Back 2 School (1992)
Children Of The Corn - Fair One Part 2 (1994)
DA Smart - Walk Wit Me (1997)
Big Pokey - Hardest Pit (1999)
Andre Nickatina - Awake Like An Owl (2000)
Drama - Big Ball (2001)
Dizzee Rascal - Street Fighter (CDQ version) (2002/2023)
Big Scoob ft. Celph Titled - Floss Filthy (2003)
Devin The Dude - Gotta Be Me (2010)
Kamaiyah & Capolow - Finer Things (2020)
Z-Ro ft. Shaquille O'Neal - Stop The Rain (2020)
Day Day Sustaaa - B.A.N.P (2022)

Best non-2023 Other Genres™ songs I discovered in 2023:
Eddie Floyd - On A Saturday Night (1968)
Thin Lizzy - Showdown (1974)
Fred Wesley & The Horny Horns - Say Blow By Blow Backwards (1979)
The Specials - Concrete Jungle (live) (1980)
Denny Crockett & Ike Egan - The Curse Of The Gods (1981)
Naked Raygun - Rat Patrol (1984)
Paul Hardcastle - King Tut (1985)
Foul Play - Open Your Mind (Tango remix) (1993)
Philip Brophy - Shaan (1993)
Cadillac Dale - Whatever (Bass Soliloquy) (1995)
S-J - I Feel Divine (Dem 2 remix) (1997)
Dag Nasty - One Hundred Punks (2002)
Real Lies - World Peace (2015)
Turnstile - Dance Off (2021)

Bonus beats: shout out to Party Sparty for posting The Web by Abie "Available" Baker AKA the song with the Sleazy Trumpet Horns™ sampled on The Pharcyde's 4 Betta Or 4 Worse.

Thursday 7 December 2023

Switches of Beatwick

BeatKing ft. Sukihana, Princess & Diamond - On Yo Head (remix)
(From the internet; 2023)

I ain't tryna get all Black Eyed Peas on youse lot, but where is the love for this song? The Texan equivalent of ah slumper, this is one of 2023's most ig'nant Rap songs. It's also far superior to the original version and not just because BeatKing reunited Princess & Diamond from Crime Mob - the original suffered from a beat-switch which sucked all the energy outta that shit. It's 2023 and rappers are still making the rookie mistake of recording songs with beat-switches where the 2nd beat is an anti-climax. The trick is that two different beats in the SAME DAMN SONG will only consolidate if both beats are of equal quality and the beat which closes the song is the 'ardest. Rappers need to study Andre Nickatina & San Quinn's Saw A Gangsta Cry as an example of how beat-switches should be done.

Andre Nickatina ft. San Quinn - Saw A Gangsta Cry
(From These R The Tales album; 2000)

Tuesday 5 December 2023

My Mind Spray 12.5

Ezale still hasn't dropped a song in 2023 despite teasing a handful of snippets over the last 12 months. Me, I'm fiendin' for that fun, fun, fun song from the Mike Tyson video. Will he drop it before the year ends? Let's find out.

It's unfortunate that 80% of Hip-Hop fans couldn't care less about 80s Rap. But it's even more unfortunate than most of the Hip-Hop fans who do care about 80s Rap are those irritating raer vinylz blokes who don't listen to anything made before 1986. I'll never take "REAL HIP-HOP" chatter serious from self-styled 80s experts who don't know their Errol "Pumpkin" Bedward from their Egyptian Lover.

My faith in the British public was somewhat restored when J Hus & Drake's Who Told You didn't become the MONSTER ANTHEM everyone expected. You can fool Drake fans 99% of the time, but even the plebs who listen to That Canadian Nonce™ agreed that his appalling/rambling verse completely ruined the song.

It'd be cool if Special Ed's current viral talking-head status caused one of his old songs to blow up. Ideally it would be the Freaky Flow remix because it's a top two Primo remix ever and "get on my nerves like pets" is one of the realest lines ever committed to music.

Did Big Choo ever drop his revamp of Dolamite's Hustlas? I genuinely don't know because that fat bastard blocked me on Instagram when I asked him why he kept posting teaser videos for the song for 3 years straight but would never drop it. Even the song's producer Blaza Da Beat Contractor was getting pissed off with Choo and then died before Choo dropped it.

Saturday 2 December 2023

The Ice Is Right

Vanilla Ice - Ice Ice Baby (live)
(From Top Of The Pops TV show; 1990)

Say what you want about Vanilla Ice, but this clip of him performing live on British TV proves he could rhyme and dance at the SAME DAMN TIME! It's a performance every bit as good as 3rd Bass doing The Gas Face on Arsenio Hall's show, and it lends credence to my theory that the real reason MC Serch hated Vanilla Ice was because Ice was a far better dancer than him (plus Ice had a better flat-top hairdoo.) There's nowt more pathetic than a white boi rapper who turnt green with jealousy.

In hindsight, I probably should have included Ice Ice Baby in my One Song Wonders™ list. The thing about Ice Ice Baby is that everybody liked the song when it first dropped. And why wouldn't we? That shit was/is a legitimately great Rap single where a Zack Morris-type saltine with an aerodynamic flat-top borrowed the High Rollers flow to spray arrogance over the Under Pressure intro. And for that we should be thankful because only ur dad could possibly prefer Freddie Mercury & David Bowie's singing to Vanilla Ice's rhyming. It's this simple: other than Trevor Horn & Anne Dudley, Pink Floyd, Talk Talk, Peter Gabriel's So album, one Yes single, three Kate Bush singles and one Bowie single, the English middle classes have always made embarrassingly bad music. The rest of them should have sodded off back to drama school.

One point I will concede about Ice Ice Baby is that most of the graffiti in the video is pure toy-town shite. That's some "never forgive action" since Goldie was living in Miami at the time and was regularly joined by his New York writer m8s like Brim and T-Kid.