20060402

Ten Toes Down

Scarface [ft. Lil' Flip, Bun B & Chamillionaire]: Platinum Starz
Lil’ Keke [ft. Pimp C, Bun B & Paul Wall]: Chuck Up Da Deuce
Cory Mo [ft. Pimp C, Bun B & Slim Thug]: If It Ain't Me (Remix)
Southern Smoke 25

Linked by succession and banging certitude, these three, each anchored by what was and will be again, amusing or thorough Bun B meta-duper-verses, are the obvious in Smallz' pile. Sandwiched healthily in the ever-important 13-15 track spots, those middle passages that can bend, break or eviscerate a tape's otherwise wise start. Or they can fuck it up. See, sequencing is for suckers on the tape trap, unless, of course, you care about your audience (say it with me now: AWWWWW-dience) and not just the folks who buy, listen and chuck away. As we are prone to do every now and again here at the Hut, perhaps when Styles or Ab Krav cop something filthy (bad) from Amad. Murda. Like anything with Kochese's name on it.

Smallz stuff, however, is less concerned with "New-New" new shit as it is with classically composing fairly recent slam-bang-sing stuff. "Chuck Up the Deuce" and "If It Ain't Me" couldn't be further friends, one skippy-dippy, disco bounce, as Kravitz pointed out. The other is thick, surly, screw from an O.G. Screwed Up Click-er. Keke is a cracked pinky nail in this Manicure game, but his peddy is fly as shit. Ten toes down to the grass. Follow me. Paul jumps out front on some silly Foreman sno-cone stuff, pish-posh. Wrist game, too. Between Arkanoid lazers and tension-mustering string work, there isn't much space for tomfoolery. Keke is proletariot with the wizdom: "Try to take the Young Gunz spot." Ha! "Roll the green like I'm playing golf" is also Dare iz-era Redman good weed metaphor, which is truly stunning. Pimp and Bun own songs like this and I have no more time for idolatry than you do. Also, this is a five minute song on a mixtape and it slays without sacrificing sync, saying something seriously. Test me now.

"Platinum Starz," which is incorrectly labeled "Stars," is off 'Face's new sorta joint, which is fine, even good, but sad. The beat is on some real-real Newsies stuff. Same jam that Killa Cam'ron sampled when he wrote the Purple Haze bootleg epic "To the Top" (find that Interweb hounds). It's slowed here a bit and importantly setting up men with flows less menacing, less dexterous, less slithery than Cam'ron's. Not disrespect in the least. It's only now, after years of hating Lil Flip, that I realize I love Lil Flip. His oblivious confidence ("I AM THE KING OF THE SOUTH") is crushingly endearing. Like the kid at the picnic in the three-legged race who hasn't realized he's lost already, all the while Daddy shouts at him. Daddy in this case is quite clearly Jesus H. Christ. Chamillionaire is, turns out, still an incredible rapper and didn't "forget" how to be good. He just stopped. Willfully. Going Gold ought to teach him how to burn and yearn rather than lope and slope on the track ("Southern Takeover" still wrecks.) He reps isosceles triangles here. That almost hurt me. Bun, again, does Bun things and whereas we were thrilled before, now we are thrilled but in the less than thrilled way. He is also still talking about your daughter. Even though he also has a daughter.

The final is the aforementioned "If It Ain't Me" which might as well be called "I Saw the Sign" because it is on some Ace of Base + Tom Tom Club stuff. If there's something missing from Texas, it is funk guitar stretched thin. Well, that and the Soutbeach diet. This time Bun goes first and please thank you your welcome my best sincerely any time hope all's well au revoir merci one time for your mind. He's polite. Cory Mo is the best rapper here and he's a producer. OK, I lied Slim Thug is the best rapper. Do you think Z-Ro and Bun B and Slim actually hang out together at the club. That would be cool.

Like I was saying, rhythm and groove, bass for your taste. Just cuz the shit cost five bones (5 for 20, holla) doesn't mean we're not listening. Pay attention. I look at tracklists.