King Louie - G.O.D. (2014)
It almost can go without saying that a track by Louie called “G.O.D” sounds more like Satan lost his car keys.
Skepta feat. D Double E, Tempa T, President T and two other blokes - That’s Not Me RMX (2014)
As one of the commentators below this video astutely suggests, they should have replaced the other two blokes on this with Wiley and Trim or something. Actually the black guy’s quite good (Jaykae?). Daily Star headline today: “White MC in below par shocker!” A middle class white rap blogger without self-loathing issues re: white rappers, that’s not moi.
Too $hort - Cuss Words (1988)
I’ve got a feeling I’ve posted this on here before but let’s just put it like this: “‘Cuss Words’ so good Blog Liddle posted it twice”.
At one point I was hoping to do a Blog series going through ALL the classic rap albums from the 80s up to the 10s, but never got round to it. Perhaps I will soon, it would be an education for both me and you’lot.
Young Jeezy feat. Jay-Z - Seen It All (2014)
I don’t know if Cardo did the beat for Meek Mill’s “On The Corner” but I wouldn’t be surprised if he did because the beat for “Seen It All” is pretty similar - a whispy, whistful sample, heavier drums and bass beneath it. This isn’t as good as “On The Corner” in my view, but it’s good.
Usher. feat Nicki Minaj - She Came To Give It To You (2014)
Pharrell on the buttons, here, and he hits it on the button. I’m not sure if the verse melody is a deliberate draw on The S.O.S. Band’s “Just Be Good To Me”. This is slick and club-and-wedding ready ala. “Blurred Lines”, hardly approaching “U Don’t Have To Call” levels but definitely a hit. Speaking of slickness, you hardly want to gripe when you’re dealing with pop music this good, but I suspect that might be Pharrell’s Achilles heel as a producer, certainly when comparing him to the great Soul and Funk artists he so obviously admires and seeks to emulate. Everything is arranged just so, with utter precision and pristine sonic quality; the beats are funky as you can get but even so there’s a certain lack of depth to songs like this and “Blurred Lines” that perhaps comes from the air-tightness of Pharrell’s perfectionist nature.
Casey Veggies - The Boy (2014)
Production courtesy of HS87 (Hit Boy, Rey Reel and Hazebanga). This one will have you saying “Dese gurls luh the buhh” all day like Rocky in a dementia ward. This beat is great because it never gets too busy but also has proper development and structure to it; a tough act to pull off.
Wayne H & Aaron Jackson - Play That Record (2014)
Ripped from the Marcus Nasty set I posted a few hours ago.
Marcus Nasty & MC Shantie on Rinse FM July 9th 2014 featuring a guest mix by Arun Verone.
If you click through to this mix on SoundCloud you’ll see an embarrassingly long list of comments left underneath it by me. It’s mostly stuff like “ohhh” and ”fuck the fucking fuck off you fuckcunt”, and I’m not going to get much more articulate here but to say that this show is at least 80% the tits so far.
I’m loving this stuff Marcus is playing now which is essentially bassline house with emphasis on the word BASS. Instead of mid-range wobbles like you’d get on older bassline house its now all basslines that sound either like a Transformer laughing or that Triceratops in Jurassic Park that’s lying on its side in a state of mild distress. It reminds me of jump up DNB by producers like Taxman and Hazard and pre-clownstep Clipz. Wouldn’t surprise me if this stuff went over big in Bristol, actually, given that its a slightly less refined version of minimal jump up of yore by Roni Size, Die et al.
I haven’t even got to Arun Verone’s mix yet, which I’m assuming will showcase some of the nastiest Deep Tech riddims of the moment. On that subject, I’m reaching Frequency warehouse party on Saturday 19th July in London. Marc Radford b2b Carnao Beats, Lance Morgan and Majesty. Hoping it will live up to my cautious expectations.
Gucci Mane - D.I.G. (Dipped In Gold) (2013)
To quote Johan Van Der Smut: “I love Guhhhld!” I also love Gucci Mane, but I haven’t kept up with him in the last year or so, which might have been a mistake. At a certain point I decided that his new mixtapes aren’t as good as his 2006-8 era mixtapes, so I concluded there wasn’t much point bothering with the sixteen thousand new ones he releases every week. This was perhaps just a way of letting myself off from having to bother listening to the sixteen thousand new ones, especially as they tend to be twenty tracks long each. I’ve got Gucci Fatigue, especially since Gucci himself sometimes sounds like he’s got Gucci Fatigue; increasingly depressed, increasingly fatigued, the nihilism coming off as less insolently triumphant.
The thing is, though, you listen to any recent Gucci tape and there’s generally not that many outright clunkers to be heard, and there’s always about five or six great songs. His stuff with Zaytoven is of course always worth hearing but some of his most interesting beats lately have come from his other long-time collaborator Drumma Boy.
Gucci is a pretty creative rapper in some ways. Saying that, he more or less does the same sort of thing on most of his songs, and so lives or dies on how distinctive/good his beats are. Producers like Drumma Boy (and MikeWillMadeIt) tend to have interesting dynamics going on in in their beats which make their Gucci collabos stand out from the pack.
(Chicago’s Lil Kemo “Bopping”. Source.)
Good news, fans of words written to describe and criticise rap music and musicians! The latest issue of The Wire features your boy Lil Mark DurKermode offering opinions on the following mixtapes/albums:
- Various Artists / DJ Moondawg - We Invented The Bop! Vol. 2
- Open Mike Eagle - Dark Comedy
- Slaughterhouse - House Rules
- Sasha Go Hard - Feel So Good
- BadBadNotGood feat. Ghostface Killah and Danny Brown - Six Degrees
This is only to be expected. An extra treat is in store this month, however, as I’ve also written a (slightly) more lengthy review of the short documentary “One Day In Detroit" presented by Motor City native - and producer for (amongst others) Elzhi, Danny Brown and 50 Cent - Nick Speed, which can be watched in full on YouTube via the above hyperlink.
I’m actually hoping that this month I can write a similar “column” looking at six releases for this blog. Hopefully this will keep me on my toes/fingers and enable me to bring you even more pithy and pretentious opinions than you’re usually subject to receiving if you follow my blog.
Young Thug - Cash Talk (2014)
Young Thug and Metro Boomin’s forthcoming ”Metro Thuggin” might be the best bangers-and-mash rap album since 2010’s “Flockaveli”. It might also turn out to be the best rap album ever to be, on a lyrical level, borderline incomprehensible.
Perhaps the greatest thing of the many great things about Young Thug is the madness his madness brings out in his stock producers, Metro Thuggin and 808 Mafia. There’s not going to be any twelve minute long avant garde jazz-techno excursions on “Metro Thuggin”, thank Based God, but within the rigid metal framework of “Trap” production there will be weird sounds which will only be exceeded in weirdness by Thugga’s lady-pushing-a-pram-full-of-rocks-through-the-streets routine.
Rap music and, well, culture in general has tended to given up more and more on ‘reality’ in this day and age. “Metro Thuggin” could turn out to be the most unrepentantly crazed document of this chaotic cultural moment to emerge from rap music yet.
Of course, it might just be shite; and then I’m going to look like an even bigger pretentious cunt than I already do. Que Sara, Sara.
Lil Wayne - Krazy (2014)
Ordinarily if you ask me about Weezy I’ll automatically think of the fucked up penguin from Toy Story 3, but “Krazy” thumps like the headboard of a wank-crazy adolescent with WiFi and Wayne drops some jewels such as:
"The people that I rose with will leave holes in what you drove in…"
Has he always sounded like a housewife on the edge of a hysterical breakdown or is he swagger-jacking Young Thugga? I probably have this arse-backwards cos I let the whole Weezy phenomenon pass me by unchecked.