hope is fading fast
[Freshjive Hope Is Fading Fast t shirt | The World’s Got Problems]


G-Side – So Wonderful feat. Chrystal Carr, G-Mane, and SupaKing


G-Side – Who’s Hood feat. Yelawolf

G-Side‘s latest effort the Huntsville International project was liberated last week, leaked in its entirety and contained some extremely solid moments for those of us who are still into rap music! Slowmotion Soundz, ST 2 Lettaz and Clova, Block Beattaz, and the various producers and guest artists offer strong, and even exceptional performances.  ST 2 Lettaz and Clova delivered moving verses on “So Wonderful,” “In The Rain,” and “This Is Life.” On “So Wonderful,” ST raps about difficult times, not just the current recession– more specifically, the lack of assistance, the extra huddle, and debt young folks incurred while making their way through college, the double-digit unemployment figures and lack of opportunity in black and brown communities, which predates the current financial crisis. ST also echoes the words of Young Jeezy and P. Dukes (my president is black, but we’re still in the same mess– Obama administration maintaining continuity.  By the way, P. Dukes made my favorite recession rap jam with “Make Me A Way,” and I regret not including it on the podcast.)  Clova is on-point also, with an interesting mix of low-key, sharp darts grounded in realism, at times interrupted with “next-level”-swag-so-advance raps (and oftentimes, he’s incredible with those lines.)

Yelawolf offered a crucial performance on “Who’s Hood,” delivering a dense, rapid-fire verse about Cadillacs, pit-fights, and nightlife in the Bible Belt (he sounds like a young Big Boi or something! last week we heard him channeling Bob Dylan for Juelz Santana.) Other highlights here include the solo track by ST “This Is Life,” which I heard in August when Traps N Trunks unleashed the Huntsville Alabama: Rochet City mixtape/compilation and the defiant and unforgettable “In The Rain” featuring Bentley. “This Is Life” and “In The Rain” are those outstanding rap songs you hear every now and again, and they stay with you– emotionally raw and honest lyrics delivered by a smart, ambitious/hungry rappers.  In the era of free musicsounds now move faster than the speed of contex– we are bombarded with ephemeral songs and disposable mixtapes. G-Side is offering music with lasting quality. The majority of tracks on their previous two album, Starshipz and Rocketz and Sumthin 2 Hate have held up well, withstanding countless listens and every now and then certain sounds warranting repeated listening.  The Huntsville International project has that– freshness, durability, rap music for 2010 and beyond.



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.

French Montana feat. Max B – In The Morning

Max B feat. Mack Mustard – All My Life

French Montana  – Playin’ In The Wind


This is probably the craziest rap video you’ll see all year. I saw the preview for it, but slept on the actual video. Thanks to The Times writer Caramanica for the reminder. You might remember Pill from my Recession Rap Jams.  Juvenile’s “Ha” immediately comes to mind, as a point of reference and, to a lesser extent, and so does Goodie Mob’s “Cell Therapy” to a certain extent – using the rap video purposefully, to unmask black poverty and show real human suffering that we rarely see in mainstream American media.  Also, look for the Amnesty International “JUSTICE FOR TROY DAVIS” poster.

[vimeo width=”500″ height=”400″]http://vimeo.com/5282853[/vimeo]




Mos Def – Revelations

“Revelations,” a mellow and extraordinary post-Obama, ridiculously pro-black, one-verse track with shots directed at the CIA, the US Federal Reserve/bankers/money-grubbers, doubters and none-believers, the recession, race, violence, etc. New York has been very hot and sticky lately, and Mos Def‘s latest album The Ecstatic has been in heavy rotation, especially the tracks with themes that are seemingly nonsensical/irrational/unhelpful for the times we are in. Just yesterday, we played two cuts from it on WFMU’s Mudd Up! with DJ Rupture. While we’re talking Mudd Up! radio, here are two more joints Rupture played (on his first and in all likelihood last cumbia-free show)  – another Mos track titled “Wahid”, and a song by “the most unusual star on the planet” (at least, that’s what he, himself claims.) Please check out Dan Hancox 10 Essential Wiley tunes on Fact Magazine, timely reminder of why the tireless genius can’t be stopped.


Mos Def – Wahid


Wiley – Eyes of the Lord


Due to the recent election, people feel no need to keep pumping their fists. It’s as if they’ve been tricked to believe that the years of hatred has been erased with one achievement. If you’re one of the ones that fell into this trap, stay tuned… for some post-election rap jams/news from Playboy Tre, who last month dropped a brand new street album/mixtape titled Liquor Store Mascot.

Playboy Tre – Breakin’ News

My partner Tally put me up on Tre’s excellent 2008 mixtape Goodbye America, which noz called a near classic— I think it’s an absolute classic and one of the most criminally slept on street albums of last year. In a sense Liquor Store Mascot feels as if it should have been the precursor to Goodbye America, rather than the other way around.  LSM continues with the same themes, same relentlessness, but it is more dramatic, more nightmarish, and even funnier (Bobby Ray asking “what about HAM Squad? How am I supposed to smoke all these HAMs by myself?” gets me every time.)  The themes here, on the track above and on the mixtape about crime, poverty, race, alcoholism, police brutality and the recent increase in gun sales and gun club membership in the Obama era.

I still haven’t fully wrap my ears around the tape or even this track, “Breakin’ News,” which is dense, and Tre is reflecting on deep, serious problems (like Oscar Grant‘s shooting in the Bay) but his flow is so deceptively disarming with that Georgian accent and Southern drawl, the grand social comments (and criticisms of Obama) like “ain’t nothing change in the streets we walk” or “the president’s black but the neighborhood sad” just breeze through, as if they are of no significance– just a drunk talking shit over beats.

DJ Drama – People Will Be Heard feat. Ludacris, Willie Da Kid, Busta Rhymes

I don’t like Luda, but he’s alright– I have been saying that for a decade.  Here, Luda warns the government about trampling voices of dissent and encourages said voices to reassert themselves, after the euphoria and noise.  Busta shouts out Obama, empathizes with struggling people, –the starving, the evicted, the unemployed, etc. In the middle, there’s that Willie kid. Why is Barack O’Drama always shouting? We are already listening to our music at very dangerous dBs. Deafness descends upon all of us.  Sounds bleeding out of our earbuds and headphones, in trains and buses, the constant blasts of noise in New York, sound levels at clubs are usually over 120 dBs.  I was at Que Bajo?! for about three hours last night, and my ears are ringing right now.  I was briefly exposed to that wobbly monster Geko was in search of in Colombia.  To conclude this, a whole generation is at risk of premature deafness and the DJ business is loudness.

Capone-N-Noreaga – Dead Broke

Empty fridgerator and pissy elevators… welcome to Queens? And it’s 1997 all over again! The image of the pissy elevator as a prominent identifying feature in mid to late nineties New York rap is as significant as say the scuffed timbs. I liked Wallabees and Mountain Gear better then.

Recession Rap Jams, mixed with the struggle, alcohol, and the kick!


dead prez – Stimulus Plan

Never mind the global economic crisis, what are your plans to feed your family? Food prices on the streets of Senegal, Malawi, Egypt and other less affluent countries are rising while people are loosing jobs. While all those powerful world leaders are in London trying to settle their differences and tackle the economic crisis in comfortable and safe trappings, away from the protesters and the grime. Here in Brooklyn, USA (while I was getting my shape-up yesterday I saw a man eating a butter-roll/bread and butter and said that was his dinner-~he might have been joking, but in these times, you never know) “our favorite major label, corporate owned black radicals” dead prez is telling you to come up with your own solution, your own fiscal stimuli, and navigate your way out of economic darkness.  From their forthcoming Pulse of the People project, said to be produced entirely by DJ Green Lantern.  Props to Nah Right.

Recession Rap JamsMy grind is my stimulus plan


Themselves – Rapping 4 Money (ft. Why, Odd Nosdam, and cLOUDDEAD)

from theFREEhoudini mixtape

Themselves are currently on tour and performing in Brooklyn this Friday.  I’ve never seen Doseone (or any of the Anticon crew) perform live. But I must say as an artist, Doseone is an unrestricted creative force. And the world of underground hiphop is/was too restricted for his drive, so he’s constantly pushing boundaries. “Rapping4Money” is enchanting, accessible, even with the intricate rhymes and rhythm patterns.  We still get the psychological complexities and ambiguities (which is also why I appreciate and enjoy works by Dose/Jel/and some of the anticon cats.)

When mics is hung in these times of crisis…

One of my favorite lines from Dose – “You can tell a lot about a man from the sound of his music…/Anyways, yours is hollow-sounding” -  and it’s by no means one of the best or most intriguing lines from Dose or even from that particular track “Good People Check” (“From underground to mainstream, pioneers to fireplace rap/This is the voice of our rage/Come see me, I’ll serve you, give you free music, and step!/It was nothing!/I did it just to save our rep!”)


Recession Rap JamsIn these times of economic crisis

If you’re interested in hearing even more fresh, happening, avant-garde rap ish, here’s some new wayne + even more new wayne, along w/ T-Pain and Juelz co-starring.


Demarco f/ Busta Rhymes – Hustlers

Busta superimposed his own interpretation of Demarco’s new song “Hustlers”

You see I’m ready and determined and I’m willing and I’m able to get money regardless how the economy is unstable… – Busta Rhymes

Post-Arab Money Busta Rhymes has been bombarding us with a plethora of verses, freestyles, guest appearances.  Much to his credit though, it never appears as if he is over-imposing (at least, the excess this time is not as profound or as outrageous as it was in the very late 1990s and early 2000s, and some remarkable results came out of that period). Look here/here/here –I can easily point to a dozen live links of tracks he’s unleashed within the last month.

Here are two more- Brooklyn rappers adopting recent Dancehall hits (well, a classic in the case of Vybz Kartel’s “Don’t Run”) The other joint is Maino’s version of Busy Signal’s “Jail”, which is off this Bad Boy Riddim.


Maino f/ Busy Signal – Nah Go To Jail Again



Hunt f/ Vybz Kartel – Last Man Standing

pic by tatyana-k

Well, I suggest you subscribe and check out the previous podcast, before we jump into this one.
All set? Alright, here it is-Recession Rap Podcast, a compilation of rap songs addressing the worldwide economic recession/depression, or more generally the everyday struggle and pain of financial pressure, the bread-n-butter hustle (or should that be food-n-gas?) that it comes it. Except for songs like Lil Wayne’s “Real Rap” which clearly is more about the post-Katrina nightmare that is now New Orleans and David Banner’s “Faith” which is about keeping faith and not collapsing or folding under pressure, nearly all of the raps here are directed at the economic suffering that is going on right now.

With that said, I’d also like to add that I did not necessarily/intentionally/exclusively look for a collection of rap voices of  depression or voices of the global gloom. In fact, some of the rap jams I have been posting here for the last few weeks are (on the contrary) very funny, and compassionate as well.  There’s a lot of struggle and darkness in the economic depression and it’s reflected in the music, but that’s not all it’s about.  For example, listen to Cam’ron’s “I Hate My Job”a song which is partly about a “everyday workingwoman,” whose job and workplace is toxic for her well-being ~financially, emotionally, and physically-“Being here 8 hours sure will get you nauseous...” On that same Cam’ron song listen to the chorus –“I put on my pants, put on shoes. / I pray to God, paid all my dues. / I’m trying to win, it seems like I was born to loose / All I can say…” It’s simple and very affecting, the virtue of getting up in the morning, putting your clothes on, one step at a time, and saying your prayer ~something struggling people do every morning, preparing themselves psychologically and spiritually for whatever the day brings, heartbreaks, knockdowns, and whatnot.

All the songs here are in that vein, impressive and amusing. It would have been impossible or just very lengthy if I had decided to cram all RRJs I gathered or posted, but I’m happy with this batch.  Download it, bump it in your car/ on your subway ride to work, play at home/ walk in the park, listen and enjoy.


Jahdan Blakkamoore Intro (Buzzrock Warrior coming soon on Dutty Artz)

Attitude f/ Jackie Chain – Money (off T.I.M. (Time Is Money) Warner Bros. Records 2009)

Gangsta Pill – Back Outside (off 4180: The Prescription mixtape, Grind Time 2009)

Cam’ron – I Hate My Job (from Crime Pays, Diplomat Records 2009)

Jadakiss f/ Barrington Levy – Hard Times (from The Last Kiss, Roc-A-Fella Records 2009)

G-Side f/ Shyft – Hit Da Block (from Starshipz & Rocketz, Slowmotion Soundz 2008)

Diata Sya – Saria (from Move It Chaleh! Akwaaba Music 2009)

Joell Ortiz – Bout My Money (off Free Agent, ???, 2009)

Kano – Paper (from 140 Grime Street, Bigger Picture Music 2008)

Rhymefest – Exodus 5.1(off El Che, J Records 2009)

Amanda Diva – Rebels (from Spandex, Rhymes, & Soul, DivaWorks Inc. 2009)

Young Jeezy – Circulate (off The Recession, Def Jam Records 2008)

Lil Wayne – Real Rap (off ???,??? 2009 )

David Banner – Faith (from The Greatest Story Ever Told, Universal Records 2009)

Willie Isz – In The Red (from Georgiavania, Lex Records 2009)

Good Enough!!


Amanda Diva – Rebels

This is from Diva‘s recent, excellent FreEP titled Spandex, Rhymes, & Soul, and the zShare link is still live.  I saw Diva perform a few months back, and she ripped it.  She’s also a brilliant poet/lyricist, and her wordplay and spirit on “Rebels” effectively conjures images of people tired of living in oppressive situations and marching up “to the Capitol, front lawns, and gardens” and rebelling against the political and social system.
I can actually picture her (in all her loveliness) standing on the steps of the Capitol screaming at the top of her lungs to other protesters “…I’m tired of them thinking I’m less than! Well, it’s time to stand up! Come on, get up! Gather ’round! —repeat after me.  We gon take this thing and take it over!”

Lookout for the Dutty Artz Recession Rap Jams Podcast, coming sooner than you think!

If you can’t get enough of Amanda Diva, like me -here she is in “ManWomanBoogie” from Q-Tip’s The Renaissance


Willie Isz – The Grussle

Here’s some amazing heat from Willie Isz. Please don’t sleep on them, open your ears and expect greatness.  Goodie Mob was briefly reunited last year (at a Nelly concert–you can skip the part where Nelly shows off his kicks and performs a song dedicated to sneakers and grills, you’ll find the Goodie reunion at the last minute I think) so there’s still chance, but if that fails and falls apart, we still got Willie. Matt, this one’s for you too. “Grussle” is from the upcoming album Georgiavania and it drops April 21.  I have high hopes, plus two more recession jams at the bottom, London to Brooklyn– grime-hop.

courtesy of cocaine blunts


Kano – Paper


Duo Live f/ Billionz & Pop Off – Work Ethic

props to Xclusives Zone


Recession Rap Jams, choppin’ thru the trap like a lumberjack in timbs

When Cam’ron rapped from the perspective of the everyday workingwoman and from a felon applying for a job in delivery, we were all caught off guard, napping. But when Joell Ortiz approach a recession rap song from the angle of a UPS worker (or a petty crook or a block boy,) he doesn’t sound like a displaced rapper. In fact it sounds amusing and even a bit more real, if I can say that.


Joell Ortiz – Bout My Money

Recession Rap Jams, on a grind mission..

It must be a wonderful feeling to know that what you’re doing grew out of something that is directly connected to your past, and to know that what you’re doing is honoring your own history.  Diata Sya are descendants of the great warrior and founder of the Mali Empire Sundiata Keita, and they’ve been around since the early ’90s under various aliases, making music addressing modern social problems in Bamako, while drawing inspiration from the past and thoroughly devoted to restoring/recovering African culture through music and activism.
“Saria” is included in the Akwaaba Music compilation Move it Chaleh! It’s incredible.
The above picture is of MC Dree (on the left) and friend. MC Dree performed the first verse, and the lead vocal in the chorus.

Diata Sya – Saria


I’ve been coming across Recession Rap Jams faster than I can listen to them, or even post them.   Two bonus jams below, and the music is all over the place, from the south to the west to the motherfucking east © Filastine

P. Dukes f/ Joseph Lowery – Make Me A Way

props to BLVD ST


Mickey Factz – Sensibility

props to Nah Right

After repeated listens to Starshipz and Rocketz, perhaps the most admirable thing (and a recurring theme throughout the album) is G-Side’s work ethic which is rooted in the idea that through hard work, constant grinding, focus and perseverance you can get over obstacles and discouragement.  If you’re worried about your job (assuming you still have a job), constantly struggling to make ends meet, especially as the US/global economy continue its rapid deterioration, and if like me, you’re into outer space Southern rap music, then this album is vitally yours.

G-Side – Hit Da Block (feat. Shyft)

In my last G-Side/Slowmotion Soundz post, I asked the question: Why is the duo’s name missing from the album cover?  CP from the Slo crystallizes things –

…G side’s name isn’t on the album cover for one reason. We do everything we can to eliminate individuality. Nobody or person is bigger than the slo. Starshipz and rocketz is a slo album. G side happens to be the specific performers on the record and block beataz just happens to be the production, but done for a singular cause. Its 7 or 8 people that actually make this company move and operate efficiently. We have admin department, management, audio/visual production, marketing department, IT department, legal counsel, and a goon/muscle dept for things that are beyond talking about. Hope that clarifies a little bit. All groups fall when 1 person thinks they can carry the weight. Respect.

Thank you, CP.

Recession Rap Jams, eyes on the prize, ears to the f**k!n’ streets.