Monday, April 24, 2017

TROY AVE IS ONE OUTRAGEOUS DUDE!


Troy Ave was never as bad or as good as people said he was. I'll admit, the guy is not perfect. Between ridiculing a paranoid schizophrenic's suicide, Masta Killing a well-known blogger (allegedly!), and Shyne Po'ing up da club (allegedly!), he somehow found time to become the Poochie of NYC Rap Saviors, shoved down the throats of an undeserving public by trusted guardians of the culture like Rob Mark Man and Brian "B, Dot" Millgram. He could have been another Hot 97 charity project, dropping the occasional ill mootsarel sliceadicciano amidst a sea of dollar slices; instead he became test subject for tastemakers overestimating the scope of their influence.

"Never Switch" is a glimpse of what could have been: a hybrid of 50 Cent and Foxy Brown for the mumble-rap era, garnished wit da oregano and pepper flakes of a Lady of Rage or Shawnna. The NYC Deep State thought they was slick pullin some collusion shit, but da invisible hand spoke and gave us Young M.A. Now pour a li'l Manischewitz out for Milton Fried Mane.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

LARRY JUNE: INDUSTRY PLANT?


Father forgive me if I'm speakin outta line, but wasn't this fellow making trap music not too many moons ago? Warner Bros. says he's an SF native who took a pit stop in Atlanta, but isn't that exactly what a conglomerate lookin for full market saturation would say? He even toured w/ the lomatia tasmanica himself. Now he's kickin laid-back pimp-raps and droppin explicit RBL Posse references. In his defense, he was collaborating with Iamsu! and Mitchy Slick even back when he was tryna sound like Lil Wayne splicin DNA with the Gucci Clone.

Whatever, the song is a Jam, despite the creeping feeling of false reality and liberal Kush & OJ-isms. Da guy got songwriting chopz, word to Clyde Carson. Larry June takin it back to the days of Sammy, Walt Mink, and Hum!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Review #1: Migos "Culture"


Ay wassup bitches? Rap music sucks in 2017 (no DJ Shadow), but it's still better than most things. At the risk of becoming a bitter, hatin' ass manbaby, I'ma try to appreciate life as a wonderful rose that grew from the concrete. So bear with me while I review Culture in the style of FrankieThaLuckyDog, the 21st century Matty C with the street dialect of Bonz Malone. CHUUUUCH!

© 2017 CD Review (Review #1) reviewed on 4.5.2017 by SEThaFortunateHound.

Link To CD: Spotify it or some shit, it's literally everywhere

01. "Culture" feat. DJ Khaled
DY & Tre Pound on tha beat >>> DJ Khaled on the intro. Meme Gods in full alignment. He rants about the fuckboys who don't think Migos represent "the culture." I assumed culture referred to culture at large, i.e. Migos put elements of pop culture in a blender and juice the bitch, but now I'm thinkin it also refers to traditional hip-hop culture. Some Twitter contrarian argued that Yung Rich Nation was the most hip-hop album of 2015 cause they was trading verses back and forth and shit like that. I never heard the whole thing, but it's a dab of ranch for thought...My Rating: 3.0

02. "T-Shirt"
Nard & B + XL handlin tha beat duties >>> What more can be said about it? A great single, mad outlaw country vibes - basically "Mama Tried" without the hillbilly. Even tho they indulge in all that Givenchy & Versace fetishizing, Migos take it back to the utilitarian fashion of the original trapwave and honor the iconic white-T. I shed a tear 'cause a decade-and-a-half later, ya boy still rock the white-T at least 2-3 times a week. Thank you, DFB. Thank you, Jeezy.

Quick thoughts on the video: I guess it's supposed to be a takeoff on The Revenant? Never seen it, I only fux wit highbrow and lowbrow. No middlebrow half-steppin' 4 a brother like me. The ironic art-school video is increasingly de rigeur in contemporary internet-based rap culture, and yeah it's entertaining, but the old man inside me (PAUSE PAUSE PAUSE I'M NOT GAY) misses the wide-eyed sincerity of Hype Williams' maximalist fantasies...My Rating: 4.8

03. "Call Casting"
Buddah Bless on da beat >>> Man, I thought this was a Zaytoven beat for sure. My guy done more for the organ than anyone this side of Charlemagne Palestine. Takeoff keeps it regional with Zaxby's and Shane's Rib Shack references. I hope he ain't tryna get on Munchies, 'cause them boys are snitches...My Rating: 4.1

04. "Bad and Boujee" feat. Lil Uzi Vert
Metro Boomin & G Koop beat >>> I liked this song, then I got sick of it, then I liked it again, and now I'm sick again. At this point it's a "Macarena" that appeals to Marxists. Docking a decimal for Lil Uzi Vert...My Rating: 4.9

05. "Get Right Witcha"
Murda Beatz beat >>> OK song. High point is when Quavo says "chinks"...My Rating: 3.3

06. "Slippery" feat. Gucci Mane
Deko & OG Parker beat here >>> Migos and the Beatles were linked by meme, but they're actually more like a xan'd out Beach Boys, using their voices as another instrument in the mix. Meanwhile, Gucci Mane continues entering the nostalgia phase of his career. Sad but inevitable. Catch tha kid literally turning into Guccirace any day now...My Rating: 4.0

½time: Currently a 4.0 rated CD. I was prepared to shit on this, but now I'm thinkin the Migos are very important cultural critics and Dadaist bricoleurs. This is around the time Frankie takes a shit, so I think I'll do that while I prepare my Adbusters submission.

07. "Big On Big"
Zaytoven beat, finally >>> Anthemic I guess, but I ain't feelin it like I should...My Rating: 3.4

08. "What The Price"
Beat by Ricky Ricks, Keanu Beats, 808Godz >>> Like '80s hair-metal bands with power ballads, Migos have a real sentimental streak. This shit is turgid...My Rating: 2.7

09. "Brown Paper Bag"
Zaytoven again >>> We've heard it a million times. Like the Ramones, they hit upon a sound of pure bonehead brilliance and proceeded to do it again and again, refining the sound without really pushing it forward. Consider Culture their Rocket To Russia. But can you blame a group for not progressing when they came out sounding like nothing else? My Rating: 3.1

10. "Deadz" feat. 2Chainz
Cardo on da beat >>> One constant crescendo with Cardo doin some John Carpenter noodling in the background. My Rating: 3.7

11. "All Ass"
Purps beat >>> Migos doin vaporwave or whatever the kids call it. I fux w/ the dystopian Miami Vice steelo. My Rating: 4.3

12. "Kelly Price" feat. Travi$ Scott
Cash Clay Beats & Deraj Global >>> It's a self-indulgent mess but I kinda like it. Seedy noir type shit. I could see this shit bein on the Lost Highway soundtrack instead of whatever Trent Reznor industrial schlock they used.

The arbitrary reference to Kelly Price encapsulates what makes the Migos annoying and great. They pander to millennials with in-jokes and allusions. We fuckin love that shit 'cause it makes us feel smart and like we belong to something. It's a sad narcissistic effect of bein connected to the internet since we was kids and growing up navigating its contradictory dichotomies: infinite/infinitesimal + atomized/all-encompassing. So we hear the Kelly Price reference and think "Oh, I remember her, she was that fat singing lady," but it's all cheap cause nothing ever actually goes away anymore and nostalgia is artificially accelerated; moreover, I didn't even really remember who Kelly Price is cause I confused her with Deborah Cox...My Rating: 3.7

13. "Out Yo Way"
Purps & Cassius Jay on da beat >>> The one area where Migos definitely improved is the Sad Migos songs where Quavo croons like a drunk doing karaoke at last call. Comedown music...My Rating: 4.1

Overall: Usually I think Migos are like Motörhead if they ran out of speed by the end of the record, but they've gotten better at writing slow songs. That's bottom line with this album - the rapping is the same, the songwriting has improved. Everyone on they nuts cause they got two hot singles and Culture is a brilliant title and the cover art is on some ersatz blaxploitation collagist shit, like a mash-up of the late-period Beastie Boys aesthetic and the cover for Deceit, but whatever, it's a good enough record.

Rankings:
13. "What The Price" 2.7
12. "Culture" 3.0
11. "Brown Paper Bag" 3.1
10. "Get Right Witcha" 3.3
09. "Big On Big" 3.4
08. "Deadz" 3.7
07. "Kelly Price" 3.7
06. "Slippery" 4.0
05. "Out Yo Way" 4.1
04. "Call Casting" 4.1
03. "All Ass" 4.3
02. "T-Shirt" 4.8
01. "Bad And Boujee" 4.9

Average CD Rating Review:
Total Score:                      49.1

Total Songs:                      / 13
-----------------------------------
Average CD Rating: 3.8 (I think. This math shit is a real bitch, don't know how Frankie had the patience to do it for 1700 reviews)

Friday, March 17, 2017

OBLIGATORY RAP POST


Waah waaah! I don't like very much New Rap in 2017! Waaaaaaaah, I'm a baby! The only new shit ya boy rly excited about is SOB x RBE + OMB Peezy, so at the risk of another dancehall post (comin soon bitchez), here is a Peezy feature with some guy named Wntrs, who I guess is one of those mischievous but ultimately squeaky clean post-College Dropout types in the mold of a J. Cole with maybe a li'l Anderson Paak limited-edition Supreme headwrap neo-rap&bullshit t'rown in to cover all demographics. Peezy goes in over some minimal percussion, stumbling a li'l here and there, but delivering them feel-em-in-ur-heart raps that give more credence to Boosie comparisons than his squeaky-ass goblin voice. Skip to :41 for skr8 Peezin. CHUUUUUUUUCH

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

DANCEHALL MUSIC HYSTERIA #9: I'M SO BORED WITH THE USA!


I was at the rap club the other day and some of my rap friends asked me why I'm writing so much about dancehall these days. I stroked my chin intellectually and took a sip of my Four Loko (neat). Maybe it's cause 2K17 rap has been pretty uninspiring so far*. It's great the Migos Meme Team been on hyperdrive, but Culture is the Migos we've always known in a new, even more self-aware wrapper - a few brilliant songs + hi-NRG filler + downbeat filler.

The Migos are who we thought they were! And we let them off the hook!

Meanwhile Future is trying to be Lorde if she made Honest. At least he's past the sad pillhead phase.

Maybe it's cause dancehall hasn't quite reached the inevitable, all-consuming postmodern tipping point, where every song contains a thinkpiece and the germ of an ironic film-school video. Ya we get it, the internet is weird. When the meme instinct consumes dancehall, I'll move on to gospel; and when Kirk Franklin starts putting the Lord in air quotes, I'll move on from that, and so on and so forth until I'm memed entirely out of existence. CHUUUUUUUUUCH!
______________________
*I guess Shy Glizzy (I refuse to call him Jefe) got some joints on the latest

Friday, March 3, 2017

POST-REGIONAL REGIONAL LOOKIN GLOBAL


Things done changed since the 2 Live and Gucci Crews ruled Dade County. When 808 kicks fell out of vogue, the identity of Miami rap splintered into something incoherent and upsetting: the fatboy yacht-rap of Rick Ross, Pitbull's tawdry ¡Latino!™ pap, Flo Rida's corporate team-building pop-rap. With the (arguable) exceptions of Trick Daddy and the Raider Klan, the only true regional sound has been on underground dance songs - the blurred lines of stick, jook, and the grey area between fast music and Philly wu-tang.

In 2015, Denzel Curry recontextualized stick music to surrealist effect on "Underwater." Kiddo Marv welds the same local influence to the Haitian roots-fusion Wyclef mines when he's not mining his charity. Past experience shows this kind of thing can turn quickly into gimmickry; but already responsible for the most recent local classic, it might be the Haitian contingent who rehabilitates Miami rap.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

DANCEHALL MUSIC HYSTERIA #8: THE SONG THAT ALMOST GOT AWAY


Dancehall artistes, y'all need to step up ya social media presence. "Artillery" finally hits the web after getting played on Waggy T's show for months. Thought I'd lost it forever when my Shazams was fruitless, and you know Googling the lyrics is out of the question for a cultural tourist like me. I went home and trawled through Waggy's Twitter playlist, searching every potential candidate on Youtube in the hope I'd identify it through a process of elimination. But you can't identify what isn't digitized. I was like, "Yo, does this song even exist or is this all some cosmic joke?" I saw myself as a crazed 70-year-old man broken by a song he hallucinated in 2017 and spent the rest of his life trying to find. "He said something about a gun from Sri Lanka," I'd say to the nurse, teary eyed as she changed my diaper.

Mad airhorns went off when I identified the pleasant song as Pappy V's "Artillery." Unfortunately, Pappy V is the kind of guy who hasn't updated his Twitter since 2012. It ain't real until it hits the internet! In the meantime, I tried to succor myself with alternate takes on the riddim, but nothing matched Pappy's intensity. This the One Click era, Pappy, get with the times. Give me instant gratification or give me death.