These guys Flatbush Zombies are dope. They kinda remind me of The Pharcyde meets The Gravediggaz but rapping about taking acid and yelling ‘Brains!’ a lot. It’s pretty great. I’m happy to hear the diversity of new talent popping up in NYC and especially in Brooklyn. You can download their recent mixtape DRUGS here or watch the video for their breakout single ‘Thug Waffle’ below. I like the production on it a lot and something I like about them as a crew in general is that they have a producer in their group (Erick Arc Elliot) who makes most of the beats so it’s got a nice unified sound. Nowadays everyone is so mercenary about beats things can get a little all over the place so this is a refreshing old school ‘2 MCs and a DJ’ sorta vibe. I’m generally excited about hiphop again lately, which is weird after many many years of feeling kinda comatose about it all.
Right now a lot of people are throwing the word ‘trap’ around to describe the hiphop coming out of Atlanta and the south. The dark bass heavy music pioneered by producers like Lex Luger, Southside and Sunny Digital has been dominant in the hiphop world for a while but has been catching on among the people who are fleeing Dubstep’s sinking ship of un-coolness. In the midst of this it’s worth thinking about where the term came from: drug dealing. I just watched “Snow On The Bluff” last night on Netflix streaming and it does for drug dealing and robbing dealers what Blair Witch did for hunting for witches in the woods. Gritty, low fi handheld camera work follows around anti-hero Curtis Snow as he robs dealers, goes in and out of jail and tries to take care of his toddler son. It’s a crazy look at daily life in the streets of Atlanta and at times is really hard to watch. There are a lot of moments where you are left thinking that what you are watching is real or thinly veiled reality. These people are not actors and the star is a self proclaimed stick up kid and drug dealer. That’s his real son in the movie. Unlike some of these gangster movies where they spend 80 minutes glamorizing that life and then 10 minutes moralizing at the end when the hero gets killed this is pretty much raw from start to finish. There’s not a lot of happy shit in this movie and for that it seems like a more realistic portrayal of this life than we usually see. If you’re interested in a look at the dark side of the trap mythology that everyone is selling you should check this out.
Really been jamming to this new Gucci Mane mixtape “I’m Up”. Hard trap beats and Gucci’s woozily charismatic flow are soundtracking my summer. Young Chop who produced Chief Keef’s “Don’t Like” produced the above video which captures the hazy drugged up vibe pretty well. The whole tape is dope, get it free below.
Marvin’s Room (Shlohmo’s thru tha floor remix) – Drake by shlohmoA question I hear frequently asked about Toronto based Hiphop/RnB rapper/singer/child actor Drake in the press is why his new music is so depressing sounding and what does he have to be unhappy about? He’s young, rich and famous! He’s got a seemingly endless supply of adoring fans, pretty women, drugs, alcohol, money and a venue for his artistic expression to talk about his feelings. Hot97 is his psychotherapy couch.
When he sings: ‘Cups of the XO
Bitches in my old phone
I should call one and go home
I’ve been in this club too long
The woman that I would try
Is happy with a good guy
But I’ve been drinking so much That I’ma call her anyway and say “F-ck that nigga that you love so bad I know you still think about the times we had” I say “f-ck that nigga that you think you found And since you picked up I know he’s not around”
(Are you drunk right now?)
I’m just sayin’, you could do better Tell me have you heard that lately? I’m just sayin’ you could do better And I’ll start hatin’, only if you make me’
Drake strikes me as being honest here. Even though he has all of the above material and ego-enhancing things that many of us want, he is still not happy. When artists are honest and speak about what’s really happening with them instead of repeating tropes that seem like the ‘industry standard’ (I’m balling! I’m awesome! I’m getting money!) it adds a richness of meaning, the texture of personal reality. The current vogue for sipping XO (aka sizzurp, purple drank, or cough syrup made with promethazine and codeine) popularized by many rap/rnb artists including recently Drake and The Weeknd seems to support this pretty well. Codeine is an opiate, the same active ingredient found in heroin. It’s a central nervous system depressant that makes you sleepy and dulls pain when used when you’re sick. If consumed when you’re healthy it pushes pleasure buttons in your brain and feels great. Taking codeine also kills you. If you slow your central nervous system down enough you’ll just stop breathing. RIP DJ Screw and Pimp C. My question is: how much must you be suffering to make this glamourous lifestyle choice? Scientific research has pointed to links between the way we experience physical and psychic pain, like the pain of depression, including the fact that depression sufferers seem to have more acute physical pain. As far as I can tell people who are happy and fulfilled don’t need to constantly take large amounts of central nervous system depressants like codeine and alcohol.
It confounds me when people use the word ‘leak‘ when they really mean ‘release.’ While I like the ideas of studio engineer subterfuge and secret key-logging and usb stick replicating – mostly your media consumption is fairly engineered. ALL YOUR TASTE BELONG TO US/THEM.
We release the first glistening taste of Atropolis to the cloud world this week. His full length drops 4/26. If you missed it the first time- he’s on some next level movement. It’s been a quiet first quarter at DA- but we’re just mining the data and building the killer app.
& here’s the future! Lil B’s new video “Like A Martian,” also directed by Kreayshawn.
This is definitely dumbest track I’ve heard from Lil B this year -mind you, I can only listen to his material in tiny doses so I’ve heard less than one tenth of his output this year. Andrew Noz/Cocaine Blunts has the time and patience/attention for this. Grab the mp3/audio dope here if you dare.
French Montana dropped a new mixtape with DJ Drama last week appropriately titled Cocaine Konvicts/Gangsta Grillz. If you have been sleeping on French Montana and his partner Max B, wake up now. They’re responsible for some of the most interesting mixtapes to come out of New York in 2009. Beyond the horrific, nightmarish images, violence, drugs and guns— we all like some gun shot sound effects in our rap music, right? The sound here is remarkable, cinematic, moody, and funny. French Montana was born in Morocco, and grew up in the Bronx. I came across a footage/trailer for one of his Cocaine City DVDs sometime in early 2008. Montana was pretty much under the radar as an emcee (known more for his DVD business than for his mixtapes, Live From Africa, etc.) until sometime last year when he linked up with Max B (poor Max B is currently holed up in a jail cell somewhere in Hackensack, NJ pending a 75 years or life sentence.) The two began collaborating on songs, both of them rapping and singing over beats by Dame Grease and other less known producers. Montana and Max released the mixtapes Coke Wave, Mac Wit Da Cheese (Montana), and Quarantine (Max B) this year. “In The Morning” is from French Montana’s Mac Wit Da Cheese mixtape and “All My Life” is from Max B’s Quarantine tape — easily two of my favorite rap songs of the year. The tracks here should serve introduction to Max & French. Both are at their best on these tracks, in my opinion. The first leak from Cocaine Konvicts/Gangsta Grillz “Playin’ In The Wind” continues the Coke Wave tradition (Coke Wave 2) brilliant sing-along chorus with great/good enough rap verses. French Montana recently signed a deal with Akon’s label Konvict Music. If only for a moment Akon would stop popping bottles with models and watching them drink, they’ll do a mixtape title Live From Africa part 2 or something. Look for French Montana’s album next year, and pray for Max B.
Raekwon‘s Only Built 4 Cuban Linx II is a great album! In fact, it is an infinitely better rap sequel than Jay Z’s Blueprint 2 or 3.
…Swastikas on the church, they Satan
Holiday Season is here, I’m vexed
Who the fuck made Christmas up?
I’m fucking broke, it ain’t making no sense
Newport is 7.50, a box of Huggies is of the meat-rack
She’s back, 30 days she relapse
Our troops need to leave Iraq, and rap n****s need to go on strike so we can get more cash… – Ghostface
“In 1993, at the height of apartheid in South Africa, the incarceration of black males was 870 per 100,000. In 2004 in the U.S., for every 100,000 people we are sending 4,919 black males to prison. And the majority of those are for nonviolent drug offenses. But we’d rather send people to prison than give them information and treatment.”
Great article on the benefits of full legalization & the drug-prison-cop industry over at Esquire.
Schlachthofbronx are preparing to release their debut. In meantime, the Bavarian bounce developers link up with South African cribwalkers (them Slush Puppy Kids aka Spoek Mathambo + Big Space) to offer us an appetizer, a taste of what’s to come. This mini-mix, which contains tracks from a forthcoming EP that drops before the album, is a dancefloor scorcher–extreme heat.