20060612

STREETBALLERS

The Clipse [ft. DMP]: "VA Streetz"
DJ Green Lantern Presents AND1 Streetball: The Official Video Game Mixtape


Hey mixfuckers. Haven't been a video game guy maybe ever, definitely since 94 95 or so when my neighborhood had its bout with Final Fantasy and decided to make me their DIME--designated instruction manual expert. I had a fling with Tony Hawk Pro Skater, whatever edition of the game had Styles of Beyond and Pennywise and, I think (hope?) "Jerry Was a Racecar Driver." Even that ended quickly though when I realized doing benihanas in space (dressed as Spiderman) wasn't nearly as awesome as doing triple ollies on my curb outside my house and not wearing a helmet. I didn't have a curb outside my house, and I don't even know where to begin with this triple ollie business, so you know where I'm going with this:

I fall for this shit nearly every time.

The Lantern tape here looked like bad news from afar. It's promo material, better for Lantern than us, better for the game than the music. Still there was this Clipse track on it and I wanted to see what they could pull off, all pressures and parameters considered. This is a post-Catchdubs world we're living in here. Who knows who got the remix anymore. Nobody just has it.

My guess/hope is Clipse and all the other jokers on here (including Bun B; not including, amazingly, Uncle Rape) picked up long paper, otherwise I can't imagine anybody dealing (ahem) with such ostensible top-down content control. Everything on this fucking mixtape has to do about playing the game of basketball on the streets, a/k/a streetball. There's some room for casual metaphor, streetball=coke game, and the chorus has a line about how "you gotta put your gameface on," which is something I'm sure rappers have to remind themselves to do from time to time. And it's pretty awesome that somebody at AND1 figures that people who are playing a game about basketball want to listen to music that's about playing a game about basketball. I mean that's just hilarious.

But except for that guy, this track does nobody good. Not particularly great rapping, so outsiders won't give a shit when the full-lengths hit late 06. And obviously I feel clowned too, the nervous fan who anxiously waits for Google News reports on The Clipse and buys all the DJ E.Nyce mixtapes that have Clipse on them even though I know E.Nyce just ripped off the WGI4Cv.2 tracks and gave them new titles to trick me.

So who's this mixtape for then? Are we getting into the culture of mixtapes being a thing people mildly interested in rap are buying? Is it more than an ear to the streets thing, more a hot look? What will these people do when they finally hear The Hood News Volume 2?