Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Single, Please Mingle: Young Dro "On Fire"




Young Dro! Ay! You know the deal, don't play. This track is most likely a leak off of P.O.L.O (chorus shouts out the album title after all). While it's not as great as "Clean With it" or "Dro Rock Diamonds," it's far from shabby. Nah Right also posted another single ("You Nasty") off the album that arguably has got more interesting production but it has an Akon hook that sounds like ..an Akon hook. So yknow... Sidenote: Why Akon, my dude? Investing heavily in Croc (NYSE: CROC) stocks have better payoff prospects. I mean seriously, what kind of cache does Akon have in 09? Maybe tweens who know him as the dude that brayed "WOOOHOOOO YEEEHOOOO" like a castrated mule on that one Gwen Stefani track might be intrigued, but I don't know if that's the target market you're chasing. Akon on the other hand. But I digress.

This Jim Jonsin-produced joint is cartoonishly upbeat but Dro's flow makes sure it doesn't drift totally into Corny Central. Chorus is a winner too. No major eyebrow-raisers or grin-stretchers here but Dro's joy and energy remains intact.

I personally hope for waay higher highs when P.O.L.O finally drops but as for now, I'm not mad at all.

Cop a
zshare via NahRight.


Saturday, June 20, 2009

Single, Please Mingle: Killer Mike "My City"




Tropical beat for your tropical weekend. My bad if it's raining wherever you are. Anyways, Don Cannon always makes such supremely serviceable beats, no?

Yo, could you hold on a sec while I adjust my Captain Obvious hat? All aboard? OKKK, here we go: Killer Mike is a great rapper. I Pledge Allegiance to the Grind 2 was definitely one of the best rap records of 08, no ifs, ands or buts. Totally worth the wait. That being said, Killer needs to make up for lost time and drop another solo record right quick.

Killer's on point on this track, in case you didn't notice. Though he spits with an obvious "same shit, different day" vibe, it's not hate-filled rhetoric. There's disappointment sprinkled in there but there also seems to be a fondness for his past and his present, a strange love and comfort towards the surroundings he's grown up around. There's still immense pride and respect for his upbringing. He calls it the "filthy, nasty dirty south" but he's also adamant about claiming it as his city. There's dark humour in the absurdity of it all, yknow?

This track might not be the type of scorching social commentary that Killer's probably most famous for, but it's still potent. Even when spitting a loose 'day-in- the-life-of' rhyme, Killer remains a storyteller at heart. That really shouldn't come as much of a surprise. He's a proficient lyricist and rhymer for sure, but it's always been his narratives that have taken centre stage, not his technique. He's just got this gift of sounding magnificently conversational even when he's rapping circles around you. Like here, for example, you really aren't analyzing his rhyme scheme or his similes, you're just walking along with him through his city, totally absorbed by whatever he has to say.

And I guess that's why Killer Mike is a great rapper. He's smart but not snarky. He doesn't bowl you over, he connects with you. Why settle for being deemed "impressive" when you can be engaging, right?

GET.
ON.
HIS.
LEVEL.
HO.

P.S Track spotted over at
Maurice Garland's blog, where you can peep more details and another dope track "Pay Up"

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Anal-ytical Appreciation: Karl Wolf "Africa"



In case you didn't know, I currently reside in Canada. I'm happy to be living in such an awesome country. It let my immigrant ass in after all. So I don't lose my shit over the fact that this song is #2 on the charts over here. It's a small price to pay.

But let's talk about the price tag on this one, shall we?

This song is called Africa. My very first reaction when I heard about this song was: "Oh yet another African singer making an ode to their homeland. Yawnsville." But then the video popped up on MuchMusic and I noticed that the singer Karl Wolf was actually some tanned white dude (He is actually Lebanese, for the record). I was about to burst into a glorious WTF but my conscience kicked in with a 'Dude chillax.' Other people have sung about and/or appropriated the glories of Africa. Plus, its not like you have to be African to be appreciative of African culture. So I decided to continue watching.

But then it got kinda weird coz the song kept going and I never got where the "Africa" title fit in. I mean aside, from the fact that the chorus has a line that goes "I bless the rains down in Africa" (Seriously?), lyrically its pretty much a standard love song.

Even weirder, this dude decided to NOT include a single black chick in the video. Not even a light skinned token! Closest thing to someone black in this video is his budget line, Fat Joe-during-lent lookalike of a weed carrier, Culture (Btw peep his dance moves, they will brighten your darkest days). Weirdness continues: Culture's dancehall raps are on the song, and he's on screen a whole lot but for some reason, they never show him spitting the lines until the last minute. As if making a love song titled 'Africa' but making no mention of the continent or its people wasn't weird enough. In a strange way, it seemed like a pretty ballsy move (pause?) that I had a bit of respect for. Nonetheless, my restrained WTF had already begun loosening its shackles.

So I decided to take a breather. I'm not the brightest crayon in the box. Maybe I was missing something, maybe I wasn't reading between the lines. I think to myself - Maybe he didn't want to make a big, pompous statement about Africa. Maybe I should take in to account the fact that he subtly celebrates Africa by shooting the video in Africa. Until I realized that
the video was shot on Muscat, Oman. LOLercoaster goes off the rail. Muscat? Muscat ain't gully, fool! Man, I have family in Muscat. I was actually there once to visit them in Grade 3. It's a nice little city. When I was there, I actually went to a farm, drank fresh goat milk and took a dump around a date palm. Karl is probably two-stepping in my fermented poo. Just thought you'd like to know.

So yeah, basically this 'Africa' song has nothing whatsoever to do with Africa. Impressive.

P.S I am aware that this is a remake of Toto's
Africa, but my wtf will not budge.
P.P.S Here is a tremendous line off of
Karl's wiki "Word of his talent spread quickly, with such stars as Christina Millian, Glenn Lewis, and Mya requesting that Karl send them material. However, at the time, he was busy at work on his first solo album, Face Behind the Face" LOLmeter on a hundred. thousand. trillion.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Single, Please Mingle: Jackie Chain "Diamonds and Cadillacs"




I was wary of posting this shit since you've probably already caught it tanning itself under glowing reviews on tastemaker blogs like Traps N Trunks or Blvd Street. I was like: I have nothing new to add here, so why bother posting it? But then I realized that I just LOVE this song and that just the mere act of posting it would bring me lots of joy. And since this blog has always been about me and not you, here it is. Bite me naysayer!

So much radness to absorb here:

1) The beat! Those guitars, those strings, that thump! Producer of this beat: Identify yourself or forever face my wrath!
2) Jackie Chain's vocals: syrupy swing and southern twang gels so well with this beat.
3) The fact that Jackie Chain looks like he does. You know what he reminds me of? That one Simpsons episode where they decided to introduce that
Cool Dog into the Itchy & Scratchy show. Jackie Chain = Human incarnation of Poochie. Disagree? Liar, liar, pants on fire.
4) Also dude is Asian? I thought hip hop was done with its Asian inclusion affirmative action quota after Jin joined Ruff Ryders (FreestyLOL). Plus I thought rappers referring to their marijuana-assisted states of mind as "chinky" counted too.
N-E-ways, it is a big deal for my racist ass to be bumping some sorta-Asian guy's music coz as you all know, ever since Grade 11, I've been prepping myself for the inevitable 2020 World Domination Olympics between India & China. Think of it as Terminator Salvation: Bollywood Edition. We might be outnumbered, but us Indians have a fair shot at defeating the Chinese because their robots are built by the same 3-year-old terrorist tots that make Happy Meal Toys. They hate to see us smile.

But yeah man. This song really makes me feel good. And regardless of whether you've already heard it or not, by the time you press play here, you'll feel the same way.

P.S Cop a download via Blvd Street.

P.P.S Maybe we should check out one of his mixtapes.
P.P.P.S UPDATE: The badass beat was apparently produced by DjayCas. Nicely done, sir.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Single, Please Mingle: London feat. Lil Wayne: "B4 U Go"




So, it's hard to argue against the fact that R&B's been running shit for a while now. Back in the 90s, R&B artists miming rapper steez wasn't uncommon. But now the tables have turned, and rappers seem to be cribbing notes from R&B in order to remain chart contenders. See: the fact that it is illegal in most states for you to release a rap album without a hook from Ne-Yo, Akon, T-Pain &/or The-Dream; the existence and success of 808s & Heartbreak; the fact that everyone's clearing their schedules as Jigga bravely attempts to set a date for auto-tune's funeral. Btw, rappers beefing against autotune reminds me. This one time in kindergarten I fought a girl. And I won! In your whiny-ass face, JJ! There's no way in hell you were gonna get that last cherry-crowned slice of the birthday cake. No way, no how. Cry me a river and wipe those crocodile tears on that ridiculously frilly birthday frock of yours, poser!

Moving on. This song might not be the greatest way to justify my pointless half-rant. I don't think the song's blown up quite yet. Minus one weird line in the intro, it doesn't even have any autotune. But it is R&B, and it does have Wayne rapping (sans autotune + a really fun first verse). Plus lots of heavy synth. I'm a fan of all of the above obviously.

P.S Cop a
zshare from Nah Right
P.P.S I can't find his myspace but
Southern Hospitality's post on this track reveals a few details about London's geographically-challenged existence: London is actually from Oakland but currently residing in Atlanta. Jeez.
P.P.P.S I just realized the acronym for the song spells B.U.G. Just thought you should know.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Fossil Fuel: Lil Scrappy "No Problem"



So since everyone’s having a laugh at Lil Scrappy’s extremely NSFW attempt at getting back in the limelight, I thought I’d post a throwback to ‘04, back when he was known for his music. 'No Problem' was a highlight off the solid “The King of Crunk & BME Recordings Present: Lil Scrappy & Trillville” album, a debut of sorts for both Lil Scrappy and Trillville, if I’m not mistaken. With Lil Jon’s production expanding its reach and stomping its signature all across radio waves, crunk was alive and thriving back then. Good times, no?

This was a song that a younger, dumber me (if you can believe in such a possibility) scoffed at for weeks as it stayed perched on the 106 & Park countdown. Stupid-ass crunk coonery, I thought to myself. Then one fine day, I realized that I knew and loved all the words to the song's first verse. Plus, I just couldn’t stop bouncing and bobbing to it. In retrospect, I can’t believe I ever dismissed a song that delivered imagery as evocative as “You don’t wanna be out in the streets/ Mouth full of blood and a soul full of heat.” I mean, sheeeeeeit.

The version you see/hear in the video is actually a bit different (and imho better) than the one you hear on record. Aside from the fact that certain words have been tweaked for TV viewing purposes, Scrappy also added some great inflections to his lines for the video version. Minor as they may be, the swing he adds to his 'ayys' and his 'whaaats' really does make a world of difference. Lots more to groove to this time around.

(Warning Note: The following para is so full of questionable thoughts, I’m gonna have to ask you to stay on your toes and add in your own pauses. I’m a little tired.)

Though I love the video version of the track, I do however find the video itself very distracting because of Lil Scrappy’s lips. For real, it’s like Lil Scrappy’s lips decide to take a life of its own in this video. Seriously, I dare you to try watching the video without getting distracted by his lips. I almost think that the video should be labeled as “No Problem - Lil Scrappy featuring Lil Scrappy’s Lively Lips.”

Regardless, it’s an awesome song. Scrappy’s now switched to Ludacris’ Disturbing Tha Peace label, but I hope he can make time to collaborate with Lil Jon for more gems like these.

P.S Lil Scrappy- No Problem Remix featuring Fat Joe, Cam'Ron, Bun B & T.I

P.P.S In case you’re curious: yes, this video is the main culprit responsible for instigating my excessive and annoying usage of OKKK at random situations. Don’t judge me, OKKK?