Sunday, 30 January 2011

Martorial elegance : the Boosie edition # 2

Lil' Boosie - Mind Of A Maniac (2009)



Blatantly swaggerjacked from RealN*ggaTumblr (again), but these FREE BOOSIE beanies are even better than those Waka Flocka Flame Halloween masks because you can actually wear this when you're out picking up your sunday shopping in M&S without security guards thinking you're trying to rob the place :





Now that's Streetwear and they've apparently used a specially treated blend of Biella Yarn Merino wool which'll turn whatever hairstyle you sport into Boosie's hallmark fade within minutes everytime you wear it. Available to pre-order now from IMNOTATOY.

On the subject of Boosie Bad Azz, is there any other song which displays the confusing contradictions of rap music in all their glory quite like Fuck The Police does :

"Wonder why I look at your ass undereye
I get a billion I'ma hit you bitches from the sky.."


Lil' Boosie ft. Webbie - Fuck The Police (2009)



Complaining about police harrassment while bragging about having guns in high school, running various illegal contrabands, and keeping hundreds of thousands of dollars of untaxed money in your crib is some real which-came-first-the-chicken-or-the-egg? type shit, huh? This is one of the best songs of Boosie's apogee as a solo rapper, though, because the menacing tone of his voice gives me the chills like the creepy gypsy 'yatch in the opening segment of At Midnight I'll Take Your Soul does, and the combination of that harpsichord melody with those mushroom clouds of squelchy bass is just too immaculate. If we can't free Boosie on the grounds of him releasing tons of great music or allow him recording equipment in his jailcell, can't we just try and get him off by framing some tedious hack like Freddie Gibbs for killing that Nu$$ie dude instead?

Related : Martorial elegance : the Boosie edition # 1

Friday, 28 January 2011

Ayo post-Donuts instrumental hip hop

You do realise that you really fucking suck, right? Like Return Of The DJ compilation series albums on Bomb Records (a series of unlistenable turntablist albums from the late nineties which made Eric B's cacophonous Chinese Arithmatic sound as awesome as Behold The Detonator by Tuff Crew) levels of dreadfulness?

At least back in those days of the Return Of The DJ cackfests there was the alternative of the Crooklyn Clan 12"s which AV8 Records were releasing. Be Faithful with Fatman Scoop was a club classic which somehow became an unlikely # 1 on the worldwide pop charts 4 years after it emerged in 1999, but, realistically, there's only one east coast party jam from the nineties whose arms aren't too short to box with the godly The 900 Number and it's not Let Me Clear My Throat by DJ Kool, which is cool and a top five live-rap song of all time (Here We Go by Run Dmc being the G.O.A.T in that department), but the Crooklyn Clan track from the Chooze One EP where DJ Riz & DJ Sizzahands gave the Benjamins instrumental a dose of gamma-rays and then added a scattering of incredibly well selected vocal snippets and came up with this leviathan :

Crooklyn Clan - The Franklinz (1997)



A perennial Funkmaster Flex favourite (one imagines Cipha Sounds got "The Shoulder" from Flex a few times trying to sneak this into his sets at The Tunnel), still a Westwood staple to this day, a joint which I've witnessed lay waste to dancefloors on two seperate continents, and I once tried to play it at a sunday afternoon BBQ soiree some friends of mine threw a couple of years back only to receive the gasface from some middle-aged casual dad. Pfffft - what I look like half-steppin' with the clean version, doggie?

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Another Curren$y post



So, this new Curren$y & DJ Hektikt Community Service 3.5 mixtape then; a thoroughly New Orleans release which commences and concludes with songs by C-Murder, which has a new Mannie Fresh joint at its centre, and which then features a grip of random Curren$y tracks including everything from old No Limit-era recordings right up to the original Monsta Beatz demo version of Famous before its Sade sample was replayed by Ski's studio band, albeit now titled Now I Am. Here's its two previously unheard (by me, anyway) highlights :

Curren$y - HotSpitta (200?)



Geez, and here was me thinking that Get Back by the 504 Boyz was the cheapest 'n' nastiest Neptunes reduplication Curren$y was involved in for No Limit Records. I've been tryna find one $pitta solo cut from his tenure with Percy Miller ever since I succumbed to his particular charms and, for once, the sound I had in my head of this mythical early material where dude was thuggin' out with his ornate flow over regionally ambiguous minimal synth beats which anyone from Mystikal to Fabolous to T.I to Philly's Most Wanted would've sounded comfortable rhyming over in 2001/2002 has been fully realized.

Mannie Fresh ft. The Show - We Gone Talk (2011)



Umm, so why didn't Curren$y get this beat since this is, y'know, his mixtape and a $pitta & Mannie Fresh track is long overdue since they were the briefest of label mates back in 2005? Bar the odd great single like And Then What and Front Back (which I've always contended was a much better single than What You Know) Mannie's production skills seemed to deteriorate after he was cast loose from Ca$h Money's safety net with his oodles of so-so album cuts throughout 2006, 2007, and 2008. Gingerbread Man, thankfully, was a return to form and We Gone Talk here is a banger if you fancy a contemporary variation on his vintage sound at its most Mantronix-esque. This The Show kid is alright here, but there's something a wee too Jay-Z-ish about his flow at times for my liking and I'd have prefered this as a Mannie solo cut instead since his much underrated Mind Of Mannie Fresh platter in 2004 saw him finally manage to synthesize the surreal flossin' of his Big Tymers persona with the humourous everyman relatability of DJ Quik and Diamond D into a persona which could carry an solo album.

BONUS POSSIBLY CURREN$Y APPROVED LINKS :

Oh shit, it's Skateboarder Magazine's Video Days 20 years reunion shoot with Gonz, the gawd Guy Mariano, Jason Lee, Rudy Johnson, and Jordan Richter : part 1, part 2, and part 3.

Six degrees of seperation between Video Days and Curren$y, anyone? Easy : Guy Mariano was part of Blind's Video Days team in 1991, Watermelon Man by Herbie Hancock was used as the backing track for Guy Mariano's section on Girl's Mouse video in 1995 and as the main sample in Pocket Full Of Furl by U.N.L.V & B.G on the Uptown 4 Life album released on Ca$h Money Records in 1997, Curren$y then signed to Ca$h Money in 2005 after an unsuccessful stint at No Limit.

Monday, 24 January 2011

Beef Curtains

Curtains' Unsigned Hype feature from The Source spotted on and shamelessly jacked from RealN*ggaTumblr's Twitter page :



Ayo RNT - since you and Curtains apparently go way back, you got any of those demo joints mentioned in this you could maybe upload? I remember reading that but I didn't come across any of his music until 2006 with the Know The Ledge remake plus them 12" cuts like That's What It Is and It's The Shoes, and I've never been able to find any of his earlier stuff besides the 12" with his flip of Chuck D & Sister Souljah's Buck Whylin' from the first Terminator X album on the B. side. Speaking of which, I might as well wheel out That's How It Is and It's The Shoes again, since the last time I posted these was back in 2008 when this blog had as many readers as The Source has nowadays.

Curtains - That's What It Is (2006)



It wasn't until I read a Curtains interview last year talkin' about how Trap Or Die and Thug Motivation 101 were some of his favourite releases of the last decade that I cottened on to his ad libs on here being pure Jeezy. Love this joint, though, because it has the feel of a noughties version of one of those Big Daddy Kane or Big Scoob cuts which Easy Mo Bee did like The Beef Is On or N*ggaz Can't Hang.

Curtains - It's The Shoes (2006)



Possibly the song which best captures the kicks game at it apex of ridiculousness in 2006. Pretty weird how the rappers who made the most notable sneaker-related tracks back in 2005 and 2006 like Curtains, Soulja Boy, Lil B, and Big Krit went on become darlings of the 'net, huh?

I finally need to learn how to rip my wax in 2011 so I can upload BuckWillin' which still doesn't appear to have popped up on the internet. That displays the more cognizant side of Curtains, and when he's on form he reminds me of a young Grand Puba because he can pull off the ol' Step To The Rear-to-Wake Up trick of flitting between flagrant braggin' jams like Exodus and conscious records like Black Folks with relative ease.

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Lil B - the Criterion Collection # 2

Lil B has yet to opine that wenches of questionable morality are swinging on his winky due to the uncanny physical resemblance he shares with David Bowie's Jareth The Goblin King character in Labyrinth, but if he's not going to take my advice on quoting Based God-friendly Klaus Kinski lines from Aguirre, The Wrath Of God or rapping over its ethereal Popol Vuh soundtrack, then may I suggest he uses 2011 to further indulge his blowjob fixation by referring to himself as The Gobbling King when propositioning damsels with requests for fellatio in his songs from now on instead.



The first installment of Lil B's Criterion Collection where I tried to round up all of his songs which had received video treatment into an open-ended post of Youtube videos is now officially closed for business because I could watch the full director's cuts of Once Upon A Time In America AND The Thin Red Line in the time it takes me to scroll down to the bottom of the page when editing it to add his latest vids. But because I feel that B is basically me in the body of a 21 year old black dude (though, his culinary skills are clearly far superior to mine since the last chicken stir-fry I made caused untold havoc with my gastrointestinal tract) here's a follow-up post which'll act as a frame for all his viral singles in 2011. If nothing else, the original post is an incredibly useful device when trying to convince doubters about the charms of Brandon and that in B's catalogue there really is a song for every situation and everyone, so here's hoping this one'll serve the same purpose :

Lil B - Bonafied Hustler



Lil B - Exhibit Based



Lil B - I Cook



Lil B - My History



Lil B - Dr Phil



Lil B - Exhibit 6



Lil B - Motivation



Lil B - The Growth



Lil B - I Still Can't Sleep

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

B-B-Byrd Gang is the word # 2



At some point soon there should hopefully be a The Martorialist X another certain blog mix based around songs which took the whole synth-noir sound of old Ice-T shit like Squeeze The Trigger and Drama and ran with it, but since I promised someone a Byrd Gang compilation after this post, here's my first foray into the realm of themed compilations with a rar file I'm titling ‘Should've Been The Byrd Gang Album’.

The criteria :

1. To create an album in the vein of Diplomatic Immunity without the multitude of irritating Freaky Zeeky interludes which behooves how good a group Byrd Gang were (unlike the actual post-Max B and Stack Bundles Byrd Gang retail album) with songs taken from the original 2005 - 2008 Jim Jones, Max B, Stack Bundles, and Mel Matrix line-up era.

2. To only use real songs instead of freestyles (their version of Black Superman works as a remake a la 'Bout It, Bout It Part 3 so that gets a pass) which came from mixtapes and compilations, rather than any of Jim's albums.

3. And under no circumstance would it include We Roll with Pete Rock because this is also intended as a sort've primer compilation for people whose only exposure to Byrd Gang is that very song.

Byrd Gang - Should've Been The Byrd Gang Album

1. Anniversary
2. New York Minute
3. Sour Diesel
4. Life's Like A Movie
5. Fire Flow
6. Bury Me In My Gucci
7. Prolific
8. Deez My Streets
9. I'm Paid
10. Black Superman 2006
11. Dope Game, Coke Game
12. Whenever I'm Around (with NOE)
13. Which Way
14. Different
15. Ya Dig
16. Hawaii 5.0 (with Styles P)
17. Cold Rocking It
18. 2 Blocks (with NOE)

Download

18 tracks is about the right length for an album to burn to a CD-R, though I might've stretched to 19 if I could find the original version of Man Down with Max B on the hook plus the 2nd verse before it became a Mel Matrix & Jim Jones song. Pour out a little snapple for another song which vanished from the 'net when Murdoch snuffed out Imeem.

"Since the kid was a misfit
I ain't have no best friend, just me and my biscuit.."


Mel Matrix ft. Jim Jones - Man Down (2009)



Kudos to the Kentucky Kid™ for hippin' me to some of the Byrd Gang mixtapes back in '07 when I was a square who was only checkin' their appearances on Harlem : Diary Of A Summer and Hustler's P.O.M.E.

Monday, 17 January 2011

Future fear

After last year saw promo clips for Planet Thug, Canal Street, Feel My Pain, and Figure Four all appear within the space of a few months, I joked that we'd probably end up seeing great new viral video singles by Snagglepuss and Black Rob before 2010 was done 'n' dusted. Lo and behold, Snagglepuss reappeared out of the blue upon the mention of his name like Candyman with the reformed Bounce Squad on 2 new songs including the sterling Jadakiss assisted The Bounce Is Back (still needs a vid', though), and it transpires that B.R's No Fear cut which was floating around last summer was afforded a video a few months back, although I didn't see it until recently when I was perusing his Twitter to see if there was any juicy gossip about G-Dep on there :

"So people throw your hands up and show me where the cash at
matter-of-fact, put 'em down, I might catch a flashback.."


Black Rob - No Fear



Nothing quite says 'hood viral video for WSHH.com more than the the lip-syncing being slightly off from the song at times and and the clip itself being some ol' entirely-too-darkly-filtered Christopher Nolan Batman movie lookin' ass shit. Good joint, though, because lyrically and production-wise it picks up where the likes of Help Me Out and Smile In Your Face from the last B.R album left off and, I dunno who laced it but it definately has that D-Dot or Nashiem Myrick feel to it, no?

By my reckoning, Black Rob has a 10 month window of oppurtunity left to release another mixtape and album before he winds up getting sent back to the bing again for stealing toasters from Wal-Mart, so his Twitter page reveals potentially excellent news for 2011 betwixt his general "'sup, fam?" tweets to Jadakiss and Styles P with the proposal that they record a sequel to the unquestionably classic 24 Hours To Live :



A 24 Hours To Live Part 2 which wouldn't feature the presence of DMX could surpass the song which beget it in theory, but the curse of every Duck Down release since Monkey Barz bar the Heltah Skeltah reunion album (Goldust's entrance music would've been one of the last WWF themes I'd have would ever get sampled, but it sounded mad imperious on That's Incredible) inevitably rears its ugly head to extinguish one's expections :



Sonofabitch. The only way this could ever be welcome news would be if 9th Wonder had finally woken up to the fact that the only great beat he's ever concocted was M.O.P's Instigator.

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Martorial elegance # 42 : N.O edition

Ayo Fiend : either Percy Miller needs to explain to you that basketball and tennis are entirely seperate sports, or you need to fire your current graphic designer and hit up Pen N' Pixel again (the gawd Shawn Brauch would've never let such a blatant faux-pas slip past) because a Jordan Spizike doesn't count as a "tenniShoe", bruv :



Okay, so the Luvin' Life track with Curren$y off this new Fiend 'tape continues their so-far stellar partnership (though Fiend needs to stop allowing $pitta's weedcarriers like Trademark Da Skydiver on his releases, because that guy is a plague on Curren$y songs let alone anywhere else), James Bond Benz lives up to its title even though it doesn't feature enough rapping for my liking, and Absolutely makes him sound like he's in the process of assimilating into a cyborg like Quik did on Jupiter's Critic And The Mind Of Mars (hoes on our dicks 'cause we feel like Maria in Metropolis?), but I remain stuck on the previously leaked Cross The Atlantic because it has that grandiose feel of the J.U.S.T.I.C.E League productions for Rawse which are instantly vitiated for me the moment he starts rhyming on them, and because I enjoy when people rap over full songs a la the 2 Curren$y & Fiend Menahan Street Band songs from last year, Ice-T's Soul On Ice, or Holla and No, No, No by Ghostface :

Fiend - Cross The Atlantic



Speaking of Curren$y, a few words on his Frost freestyle over Young Dro's Freeze Me from the otherwise relatively mediocre Return To The Winner's Circle mixtape :

Curren$y - Frost freestyle



As someone whose entry-point for $pitta was Reagan Era in 2008 (I thought he sounded like Kweli-ized Lupe-lite sap on most of the Ca$h Money-era material I'd heard) who then became a firm believer with Scared Of Monstas in 2009, I'd like him to rap onsome more southern sounding synth production again in 2011. Partially because it's on beats like this where he can have the most fun with his flow by letting his intricate rhyme-patterns do the Dougie, the Harlem-Shake, and the Peewee Herman, but mainly because it might finally stop some of these twerps out here calling him a weed-rapper and comparing him to Devin when Big Boi, Fiend, Young Bleed, Posdnuos, Q. Tip, and Camp Lo are all better reference points. Really not sure about that "listenin' to Dizzee Rascal" line in this, though. Ayo Curren$y - FYI, black ppl abandoned Dizzee Rascal entirely when he dropped this

Friday, 14 January 2011

White man's burden

Who knew that copies of Young Bleed's My Balls And My Word CD had replaced Air Jordans and Starter jackets as the top answer on Family Fortunes during the "things white ppl in Louisiana get relieved for by ethnic gentlemen" round, huh?



Can't imagine the HMF Presents.. Welcome To Mobville Volume 1 compilation which featured a handful of Bleed tracks stimulated the same response from da streetz, though, because I've never seen or heard anyone mention it and I only came across it myself during one of my once-every-few-months perusals of the Amazon mp3 store to see if Bleed's Put Your Stamp On has appeared anywhere yet. Unfortunately it hasn't, but I'm glad my search led to the discovery of this comp' as I'm diggin' the joints of his with Suga Free and 8Ball on there, and Top Back is so catchy that you'd swear it was written by Bernie Taupin, Cathy Dennis, or Max B :



Suga Free & Young Bleed - Baby Brother (2009)



Young Bleed & 8Ball - Top Back (2009)



Also found on Amazon when searching for a CDQ version of Heavy Rain by The Jacka recently was this Rain cut from one of the myriad of local Bay rappers who get Jacka to do a couple of features with them and then pretend they've done a full project with him who've dropped an official mixtape or album with Jacka :

The Jacka & Kel of Western Conference ft. No Gottie - Rain (2008)



Gonna have to consider this one as noncanonical to the Mob Figaz's precipitation-related catalogue since it doesn't have any downpour or thunder sound-fx on it, and rather than resemble anything by the Mob themselves, it reminds me more of when NY thug-rap mixtape dudes were going for the whole low-budget version of College Dropout-era KanYe sound, best typified on Peep Game by Stack Bundles & Riot Squad :

Stack Bundles ft. Riot Squad - Peep Game (2005)

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

A real H.A.M 'n' egger



So Jay-Z & KanYe's H.A.M finds karma restoring equilibrium to the rap-cosmos after that mismatched Next Up song where UGK invited Marley Marl, Big Daddy Kane and Kool G. Rap aboard their ship in 2007, because this is the exact antipode of the forced "hey guys, we're down with the east coast o.g's!!" disparity of that cut with both KanYe and Jay now sounding as utterly out of place on Lex Luger's H.A.M beat as Pimp and Bun did on the dry Marley production of Next Up, and them using the word ham is more cringeworthy than once hearing my uncle Harold describe a Dubai hotel he stayed in as having toilets which were "very bling". The only discernable differences I can hear between the two songs are that the Luger backdrop would be a banger with the right rapper(s) over it, whereas Marley's sounded like a track from his generic 2001 BBE compilation Re-Entry which would've had Troy S.L.U.G.S rapping on it, and Kane and G. Rap somehow sounded less decrepit than Jay does now, which, technically, isn't that suprising since Jay is probably older than Kurtis Blow.

H.A.M is a pivotal song, though, and that's why I've dedicated a post to it because it finally confirms my long-held suspicions that Memphis Bleek was the man-behind-the-curtain pulling the strings as a ghostwriter during Jay-Z's glory years and the evidence for this accusation is now damning : Jay only rapped well on the 5 albums Bleek appeared on; Bleek dubiously remains Jay's touring hypeman when everyone else initially connected with the Roc (Jaz, Sauce Money, Amil, Dame, Big, Beanie & State Prop') has long-since been cast aside; Jay is probably the most awkward interviewee in rap after Dr. Dre, yet Bleek can hold his own tossing out the zings to Dipset next to Tru-Life on 'hood dvds; and it's inconceivable that a man who can make his own extrodinary opulence sound as boring as Jay-Z does in his music nowadays could've ever penned the likes of Imaginary Player and the extended remix of A Million And One Questions.

But such declarations need audio evidence to back them up, so I ask you to compare how maladroit and humdrum Hov' sounds next to T.I, Wayne, and a fucking M.I.A vocal sample on Swagger Like Us to how effortless and comfortable Bleek sounded next to T.I and Trick Daddy on the now classic bi-regional posse jam Round Here :

Memphis Bleek ft. T.I & Trick Daddy - Round Here (2003)



I rest my case, and the only possible explanation I can come up with for Jay's admitedly swell appearances on Big Pimpin' and Get Throwed is that Bun wrote the former and Z-Ro was the author of the latter, which would explain the fishy reason why 'Ro didn't get to actually rap on the song.

BONUS MARTORIAL ELEGANCE BEATS :

Jay-Z - Streets Is Watching (1998)



Man, how did anyone ever buy the mythology of Jay as this cool trend-setter whose swag was off the yeltzebub when he wore a white tee tucked into some bellybutton-high JNCO-a-likes in the Streets Is Watching video? Ol' excess denim bellowing around his navel like a pair of Jeff Hardy's jeans lookin' ass motherfucker.

Monday, 10 January 2011

R.I.P Mr Robinson



AKA the obligatory pourin' out a lil' glass of vodka & cranberry tribute post to Enjoy Records supremo Bobby Robinson, who died at the age of '93 on friday and who was a veteran of the music business since 1946 with a legendary Harlem record store, a succession of record labels, and production credits for Gladys Knight & The Pips, Lee Dorsey, and The Shirelles. Record label big cheeses nowadays are usually some some fella in a baseball cap who looks like your uncle Richard that possibly used to be a mountain climber who played an electric guitar, but Bobby came from the era of the Harlem Beau Brummel and if Spike Lee had ever remade Gremlins with an all black cast then Bobby would've surely played Mr Wing :



Sugar Hill Records may have been the first and most iconic rap record label, but from '79 - '82 Enjoy had the much superior catalogue, since their records had a less glossy feel to them as if they were live routines captured on wax. Most early rap is an acquired, nay impenetrable, sound for yout' listeners, but on the occassions I've put together pre-Run Dmc primer compilations for friends, roughly 60% of the songs on them tend to be Enjoy releases; and so Love Rap/New Rap Language by Bobby's nephew Spoonie Gee is the definitive disco band era rap 12", Treacherous Three never bettered Feel The Heartbeat and Body Rock, Superrappin' by The Furious Five and Rappin' And Rocking The House by Funky Four Plus One More are as good as their more popular songs on Sugar Hill, Funkbox Party by Masterdon Committee was the unlikely source for Master P's Make 'Em Say Uhh, I'm The Packman (Eat Everything I Can) by The Packman is a more than worthy companion to Pack Jam by Jonzun Crew as far electro bangers about video game characters which transcend their novelty beginnings go, and, Fearlous Four had 2 Enjoy classics within 12 months of one another with Rockin' It and It's Magic. The Message and Planet Rock might be the most historically important rap records of '82, Rockin' It is my choice as the year's best banger, even after Jay-Z nearly ruined it with that single even he hated from his otherwise best album Volume One (or, at least, the only Jay-Z album I'll ever listen to again).

The Fearless Four - Rockin' It (1982)



Although Enjoy was on the wane by 1983 with money and contract disputes eventually seeing Bobby's flagship artists all defect to Sugar Hill or Profile Records, the label's place in history was already assured and even their declining years saw them savvy enough to release Doug E. Fresh's official solo debut single Just Havin' Fun in 1984, as well as future random-rap rarities like the vastly overrated Good Old Days and Mighty Mighty (Mike Tyson) by Most Wanted in the late 80s. I've never heard the latter and it sounds like it could be a flagrant sharking of Spoonie Gee & Marley Marl's '87 cut Mighty Mike Tyson, but Fat Lace linchpin Drew Huge apparently rates it, so I'll defer to his knowledge on this one.

R.I.P Bobby; you released my favourite doubled-sided rap 12" ever, you discovered rap's original producer auteur with Pumpkin, you resembled another weird oriental movie character I can't place (from one of the Crank movies, perhaps, and, no, I don't mean Bai Ling), and you were way more important than Roy Hodgson or Joanna Yeattes.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

East of Edan



Here I was all ready to act the highfaluting "oh, his 12"-only songs were so much better than anything on his albums, dah-ling" guy with a post about how Edan was only ever really worthwhile as a singles artist (hardly a besmirching remark since it'd put him in the company of Tweedy Bird Loc, Black Moon, and pre-2006 Ludacris) because you could only find his tracks which weren't hampered by standard white-rapper voice/delivery issues and the whole golden-era pastiche cul-de-sac he'd cornered himself into on them, when I sabotaged myself by skimming through his Primitive Plus debut (bought and, indeed, kept because Rapperfection was the one Edan album track I dug) for the first time in around 8 years and found the likes of '83 Wildin', One Man Arsenal, the original Emcees Smoke Crack, and You Suck! all goin' hard in the 2011 in a way they never did back when I copped it in 2002. Damn.

Still, I maintain the viewpoint that Edan's finest songs were on the Emcees Smoke Crack remix 12", that the Sprain Your Tape Deck EP contained his most entertaining experiments, and that his only effective '88 reappropriation was a rare 7" given away via a website, so let's not allow anything as trivial as my factual reconsiderations about 5 songs from Primitive Plus to act as portcullis to the castle of a pre-planned post which'll now have to be subtitled as ‘5 great Edan moments from his singles’ rather than ‘why Edan's singles were better than his albums’. These are in chronological order and if there is a notable absence here then it's his Jesse B. Weaver Jr tribute Schoolly D Knew The Time, which was a much more successful eulogy for an eighties rap hero than Nas's klutzy Unauthorized Biography of Rakim because, unlike that well-intentioned but ultimately dull testimonial by Jones, it captures some of the spirit of the rapper it's saluting and it also works as a banger that you'll actually listen to more than twice.

Edan - Beautiful Food (2002)
(From the Sprain Your Tapedeck EP)



So, there are 3 key experimental songs on Sprain Your Tapedeck : Run Your Shit, which we'll get to in a minute; the irritatingly zany Let's Be Friends, which Edan probably intended to sound like Biscuits And Eggs by Ultramagnetic but is more reminiscent of I Feel You Dawg by Filipino Frank; and Beautiful Food, which is little more than Edan rapping a list of scran he finds delectable, but he reels off the names of his favourite snacks with such relish that it ends up as an unlikely catwalk between Rae & Ghost in the kitchen and Young Dro's constant food references plus Mm..Food-era DOOM in the food-rap sub-genre we can trace back to starting with the Fat Boys, and which was continued with Lil B's cooking craze in last year. Okay, I'll concede that this joint might be as acquired a taste as the brown rice citrus salad sandwiches Edan bigs up in it, but, at the very least, you have to admit that it's better than that Lupe Fiasco song where he pretended to be a hamburger, right?

Edan - Run That Shit (2002)
(From the Sprain Your Tapedeck EP)



I recently saw someone describe Tyler The Creator as "like a black teenage Edan" and beyond the initial LOLz the comparison drew, I can sorta see what its author meant since Edan was a bugged-out rapper/producer auteur with a D.I.Y ethic like Tyler is. But if we're going to liken Edan to the current breed of young, independent oddball rappers then let's throw Lil B's name into the hat too since Edan had a knack for surreally replicating the styles of other rappers like B does. So, where B eccentrically channels AZ on Age Of Information or both Juvenile and Magnolia Shorty on The Summer, Edan reimagined himself as Kool Keith on Ultra '88 (Respect Due), or, in this instance, plays the Beantown homer by recreating a mythical mid 90s Scientifik cut (that piano sample is pure Buckwild) from the perspective of a kleptomaniac stick-up kid in his own absurd image, where our narrator is so gassed off the idea of never paying for anything that he ends up jacking people for their pet dogs, little brothers, and fried pieces of chicken.

Edan - Emcees Smoke Crack remix (2002)
(From the Emcees Smoke Crack remix 12")



And then it finally happened : Emcees Smoke Crack remix was the song was where all the elements seemed to align for Edan's steez and the problems I've encountered with him beforehand and afterwards - the awkwardness and earnestness all peckerwood rappers suffer from to some degree, the intentional retroism, the misfortune of too many of his records sounding like rap songs made by a white hip hop nerd rather than actual rap songs - all evapourated to be replaced with an obnoxiousness that's as close any other cracker has come to advancing on what the Beasties accomplished on Paul's Boutique, and, production-wise he finally built on the promise of Rapperfection and the interview which initially piqued my interest in him where he opined that his music was a modern take on New Rap Language without feeling as contrived as his later Beauty And The Beat album with all the psychedelic rock samples and moogs did. As mentioned previously, the true litmus test for songs by pilgrim rappers here at The Martorialist is if you can't imagine anyone else over the beat, and that's why this is Edan's one boda fide masterpiece. The B. side of this 12" wasn't half bad either.

Edan - I'll Come Running Back To You (2002)
(From the Emcees Smoke Crack remix 12")



I'll Come Running Back To You isn't quite as brilliant as it's A. side because I can imagine someone else over this beat since it's what I'd hoped Black Sheep's Non-Fiction album would've sounded like, but it's still pretty darn neat and I guess Edan's true strength may have been in inventing fictitious futures which never came to pass for golden-era rappers. After this 12" Edan bookended 2002 with his excellent Fast Rap mix cd, but, alas, it also proved to be a false dawn as his Beauty And The Beat album 3 years later in 2005 was a return to shockingly earnest levels of delivery and its new production style left me unable to understand what all the fuss was about. The only other song of his which came close to replicating the 4 songs in this post for me was another single-only track in 2005, this time an obscure 7" that was limited to 500 copies.

Edan - Funky Rhyming (2005)
(From the Funky Rhyming 7")



See, I can forgive Funky Rhyming for falling into the period-piece pastiche trap of Edan's earlier work because he raps on it with that same Emcees Smoke Crack remix/I'll Be Coming Back To You chutzpah previous records of his like Drop Some Smooth Lyrics were deficient in, and tenet # 43 of rap-law 101 dictates that every east coast rapper who debuted before 2005 must rhyme over Funky Drummer, Champ and U.F.O at some point during their career so Edan acted sensibly here by ploughing through them all on one song. His addressing of internet hataz on this is just about acceptable since the 7" was a HipHopSite exclusive, and history has taught us that it's far preferable option for rappers to respond to their online detractors in a song given away on a rap website than it is for them to get Immortal Technique-ed in the real world after being constantly embarrassed by a trannie-fellating Filipino teenager when posting on a rap message board.

As if to reinforce just how disappointing I found Edan's post-2002 career, even my copy of his Sound Of The Funky Drummer mix cd from 2004 went haywire after track 3 and then refused to play any further. I'm not shelling out for another copy and I've never been able to find a working download to it, but I'm interested to hear his actual 4 songs on there in the vain hope that they're more Funky Rhyming than Funky Voltron.

Saturday, 8 January 2011

More sax please, we're British



Usually, I don't see any point in just re-posting new songs which've already appeared on every other rap blog under the sun before we've even woken up in the UK, but this new Yelawolf track featuring Trae which popped up last night when I was clockin' zzz's is such a perfect pairing of rappers who've mastered the art of the rapid-fire flow which doesn't grate on your nerves after a couple of songs in a row ('sup, Twista) over the most amourous saxophone I've heard since, well, only last month with Curren$y's Famous and Murda by DB Tha General, that it's hard to resist a quick head's up post :

Yelawolf ft. Trae - Shit I've Seen (2011)



Hopefully they don't shoot a video for this, because seeing Yelawolf prancing around with his bi-hawk and shitty tattoos in the You Ain't No D.J promo almost ruined the song for me.

What's the deal with Trae and Z-Ro these days, anyway? They still beefing or are they on amicable terms again? Even if they are at each other's throats still it doesn't really matter because you'd have never known that 2nd A.B.N It Is What It Is album from a few years back was a pieced-together-by-J-Prince-and-Mr-Lee-job for two kin rappers who'd fallen out. Just a pity the o.g Miss My Dawgs got nixed due to the enemy every rapper should fear the most : sample clearance.

A.B.N - Miss My Dawgs (2008)

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Bobby all bound, Whitney with the g's



There's footage of me stagediving as the age of about 16 on Youtube, yet nobody has thought to upload that The Son Of A Preacher : The Black That Ruled Harlem documentary about Clarence "Preacher" Heatley and his crew The Family? Everything is heltah skeltah and the internet done got its priorities fucked up. You're probably thinking this is yet another generic 'hood dvd about a bunch of degenerate Uptown criminals who weren't even a quarter as interesting as Azie, Rich, and Alpo, right? Possibly; where these guys differ from the myriad of other bargain bin versions of Harlem's premier triumvirate is that there's an urban legend which alledges the crew kidnapped a certain drug addled R&B singer who happened to be married to a certain narcotics abusing MOR/R&B diva, and I really wanna know whether the incident is covered in more depth in this documentary. So, until someone ups it or I can find a non-suspicious looking downloadable link, here's the story, as jacked from elsewhere :

Troubled diva Whitney Houston secretly paid a $400,000 ransom demand to kidnappers who threatened to kill her ex-husband Bobby Brown, according to a new bombshell book by former gang member David Collins.

Brown was snatched and held “naked and hog tied” at gunpoint by members of a notorious New York street gang known as the Preacher Crew, according to the author.

He was later allowed to make one phone call to Whitney, in which he pleaded with her to personally deliver the ransom to an abandoned building in the Bronx.

Disguised in a wig and dark glasses, the terrified singer obeyed, and handed over a duffle bag containing the cash 24 hours later to 6ft 7in gang boss Clarence “Preacher” Heatley, says Collins.

He claims the kidnapping, which was never reported to police, happened in April 1993 when Whitney was at the peak of her fame with her film The Bodyguard and its soundtrack album, both huge hits. Unlike the movie, however, in which Kevin Costner co-starred as her heroic minder, Whitney was forced to face her then husband’s kidnappers alone to hand over the ransom before they were both allowed to walk away free.

Former gang member Collins claims in his autobiography, Preacher of the Streets, that Brown was snatched over a $25,000 debt to a New Jersey drug dealer. Heatley, currently serving life without parole after admitting being involved in 13 gang-related killings, allegedly paid the dealer and “took over the debt”.

Heatley – described by Collins as an eighteen-and-a-half stone “mountain of evil” – then told gang members he had a plan “to make a whole lot more than $25,000”. His henchmen were sent to a Manhattan nightclub, where they allegedly plied Brown with high-grade cocaine, later luring him to a Bronx apartment with the promise of more.

Collins claims Brown was taken to a sleazy, abandoned apartment that had been taken over by Preacher Crew members. There, he was “knocked out with one punch” by one of Heatley’s henchmen. “When he awoke, Bobby was naked and hog-tied, his mouth stuffed with a rag,” says Collins.

The Pre-acher then showed up and took the rag out of Bobby’s mouth. ‘It’s a shame we have to kill you,’ Preacher told Bobby. Bobby begged for his life and said Whitney could pay the debt.

“The Preacher left the room and his men then terrorised Bobby for two hours. They kicked him. They told him they would kill Whitney. One of them put a gun to his head. Bobby was weeping when the Preacher came back in the room, begging the Preacher to let him call Whitney.”

This, according to Collins, was the fear tactic Heatley believed would help him score a big financial hit. Brown was allowed to phone Whitney, telling her he would be killed unless she paid the gang. Heatley, according to Collins, then took the phone from Brown.

As Whitney pleaded with him to spare her husband, “they came to an agreement. She was personally going to bring $400,000 to get her man back. The next day, she did just that. She was wearing a wig. She paid the money. Bobby was free to go.”

Collins writes: “Once they were gone, Preacher sat there with the duffle bag of money and split it with his men. Preacher kept over $200,000 of it.” Collins believes both Brown and Whitney were lucky to escape shaken but virtually unscathed.


More amusing mental image : a weeping hog-tied Bobby or Whitney trussed up in a wig and shades wandering around the Bronx with a duffle bag stuffed with 400 grand?

BONUS HARLEM BEATS :

Yes! Thanks to Jasper in the comment section who put me onto a link for a Faith Evans appearances & remixes compilation which includes G. Dep's Everyday remix with her I keep harping on about wanting a dirty version mp3 of :

G. Dep ft. Faith Evans - Everyday remix
(From Everyday remix 12"; 2001)


Already the 2nd best song on G. Dep's Child Of The Ghetto album as it was, the 12" remix with the added crooning by Faith gives the song extra pathos a la the title track on Black Rob's first album. Now all I need to complete my stash of rare Bad Boy moments is someone to come through with an MP3 of Black Rob's Take It Off which was an obscure late 90s mixtape cut where B.R apparently reimagines Spoonie Gee's '86 classic as a stick-up kid anthem. I've never heard it and I don't think it's ever been uploaded to the 'net, but I need that shit in my life. Anybody?

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

The magic number



3 recent songs I'm currently feelin' :

$tarlito - Three's Company (2010)
(From $tarlito's Way 3 : Life Insurance)



His reboot of Yo Gotti's I Shake Life with a new 3rd verse is my preferred car jam of the moment even though $tarlito is a rapper whose nebulous flow and pensive rap persona haven't exactly been well suited to his more uptempo street stompers in the past, but he's still at his best in introspective mode as an exponent of sad-gangsta-rap (which is handy since Boosie's rap career is over and Z-Ro's so hit-and-miss due to his propensity for his own awful production) I've settled on Three's Company as the highlight of $tarlito's Way 3. This breathes new life into rap-as-a-chick metaphor songs by adding another character in the form of a guy. Or is it a drug-game-as-a-chick metaphor song with rap being the intrusive 3rd person? Fuck, I feel like I'm a teenager back in 1995 again listening to I Got 5 On It and interpretting it as a song about gambling or masturbation. Also, is it just me or is 'lito continuing his unlikely penchant for old QB rap with this one, because it sounds suspiciously like a warbling synthesized variation on the orchestral sample on part 2 of Kool G. Rap's labyrinthine fable Thug Love Story?

G. Dep - Gametime (2010)
(From Ghetto Legend)



While G. Dep turning himself in for a homicide he commited in 1993 is probably closure for the family of the guy he shot, I was really hoping him hitting the headlines would result in someone finally uploading an mp3 of the dirty version of the Everyday remix with Faith I've practically begged for twice on here in one of the many tributes/memorials which then appeared about him where all you hoggish bastards just posted Head Over Wheels for the 10875th time instead. Ah well, at least the situation inspired me to check Dep's final mixtape Ghetto Legend from a few months back where we find very little evidence of the mental anguish he was apparently experiencing before he gave himself up in his music, but and there are a couple of joints amongst the dreck, most notably Gametime. He sorta has the same weird drug addict cadence which Ced Gee pioneered on The Four Horsemen going on nowadays but it just adds to the overall griminess with Gametime working best as a distant relative to his most brolic cut Child Of The Ghetto and a decent swansong because we ain't gonna be hearing from this fella again.

G-Side ft. Bentley - No Radio (2011)
(From The One...Cohesive)



G-Side's new album finds them steadily refining their craft as rappers and the Block Beattaz moving into more musically verdant zones which are best described as Peter Gabriel's So album if it was produced by Mike Dean (please believe that's a complimment), but maybe the harsh winter weather has unearthed the unrefined brute in me because the token Burn One joint No Radio is the album's song I'm currently stuck on to due to all 3 rappers coming with them double-time flows (S.T's verse is particularly great) and its more orthodox blend of fuzzy bass squiggles and flecks of country-rap guitar being the intrinsic nuts 'n' bolts pretty much every southern track not featuring a sample of the Paul Oakenfold remix of Mansun's Wide Open Space needs. Ayo G-Side : unless you're gonna employ the services of that PT bloke from My Aura, Sleepy Brown or Z-Ro next project can we have less singing and more Yelawolf and Jackie Chain appearances, plz?

Monday, 3 January 2011

Ayo Fred Flak

From the MobStyle weekend 1 : their beef with N.W.A post.



Pretty Tone Capone - Case Dismissed (1992)



The caps-lock swag barometer is definately registering on the Prodigy level rather than the Necro one here, Fred, and those hardbody early Pretty Tone Capone solo cuts you produced were obviously a huge influence on Big L and Cam'Ron & Bloodshed. I got 5 questions for you if you happen to return :

1. What exactly happened at Def American Records with Pretty Tone, and is there a full unreleased PTC album from that period in the vaults somewhere?

2. Were you in the Case Dismissed video, which is almost certainly a top 5 rap video of all time? If so, which dude are you, who were the 2 white fellas (actors? friends of the crew?) and who was the honey-dip ridin' with Tone who looked like a Puerto Rican Winona Ryder?

3. Ever heard of the DiggersWithGratitude guys? They've put out unreleased material by Tragedy, Marley Marl, Godfather Don etc in the past 4 or 5 years. You should get in contact with them and try and work out a deal to release the songs with Lord Finesse and Showbiz.

4. K. Def has some footage on Youtube of him cuttin' up some unreleased Pretty Tone song on Serato (at 1:36 in) which I assume is with Def's old group Real Live. You aware of that song?

5. Ru-Paul, bro?

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Ay' Bay Bay

Random 2010 Bay jam # 1 :
Cousin Fik - No Gravity


A head's up post since Mob Figaz expert and all-around Bay Area maven Thomas of of 100GrandOnMyWrist looks back on 2010 in the Bay and looks foward to what 2011 will bring. Always a good source for Bay shit which has otherwise passed me by, obscure Mob Figaz cuts, and themed compilations, so check it out if you're that way inclined.

Random 2010 Bay jam # 2 :
NhT Boyz - DJ


I'd like to say a quick thanks to 2Shin for the shout out in the latest issue of i-D, to Noz for the feature on The Wire's site the other day, to Thun, David, and the HipHopIsRead dude who Dom P called a kiddie-fiddler that time for all the recent linkage, and to Lil B for inadvertently getting my posts on him all sorts of ridiculous hits from dudes googling "suck my dick" or "dick sucking bitch" all throughout 2010. Cheers.

Random 2010 Bay jam # 3 :
Keak Da Sneak & DJ Fresh - Favorite Rappa


Also wanna give a shout out to that Mister Jay guy from the Bay who recommended me the Fishscale album by Young Bossi in the comment section a while back because, much like Red And Blue Lights by J-Stalin ft. Jacka, Hus's You Neva Know, No Tears by Jacka & Ampichino ft. D-Rek, and DB Tha General's Murda, the Life Of A Boss cut is the sort of lavish umbilicus-gazing Bay jam I'm all up on like Lil' Flip at a shop which sells magical 3/4 length denim shorts which can cure H.I.V. Anyone ID me the sample?

Random 2010 Bay jam # 4 :
Young Bossi - Life Of A Boss


Wait, is Bossi actually from the Bay or just nearby? Why is there literally no info' about this guy online?

Random 2010 Bay jam # 5 :
Too $hort - Bitch, I'm A Pimp

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