20060513

Takes Two To Tango, But It Takes The Whole Mix Hut To Do This

Purple City [ft. Max B & Jim Jones]: Knick Knack
Purple City: The Purple Album

Holy living fuck does somebody need to make a Baltimore house poster about this album. If there's one thing I've ever needed more of, it's more Agallah, hanging out in the purple city, rapping about stuff. Razah! So here's the truth about the PC's TA: bananas. Un Kasa is a man. Angry about his lesser role in Killer Season ("Seven minutes, yeah, definitely Kas. You're like the next Hell Writer," said Cam), he bum rushed Jeezy's listening session on the roof. He aired it out on Slam. He's not a man. This is a serious problem. Really. I've got four years of urban planning so I'm sniffing for slum clearance. Broken windows theory or not, I'm not forseeing any white flight to the Purple Suburbs. Did we mention D-Dot Angelettie lays his nuts on the dresser? Just his nuts. And Shiest Bub comes thru and bashes them shits with his brain piece. And we're not talking about his cock. We're talking about his cerebellum. Literally. He was gettin' some head. Get it? Basically, dudes fuck. Like, lots of groupies, who fuck. Cause it's Purp City ya'll. Shiest Bub, Agallah, that third dude that no one can remember? Dudes fuck. You know, while rocking Cam's madscrewface, that one he wears while dry-humping through gym shorts. Ya dig? But besides that point, these dudes eat crack and spit death. D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-Damn.

20060509

Stage Left

Black Moon: Who Got Da Props? (Video)
Boot Camp Clik: Video Surveillance

This isn't a relic, it's goddamn tear in the universe where lawnmowers and beach balls and loose fire hydrants and stop signs get sucked into the nether sphere. You know, when you could wear a windbreaker and a goofy-ass knit cap in a rap video and get spek. When DJs weren't just part of a group but might have actually been the most talented person in the crew, as Evil Dee's cuts are the sharpest Hanzos this side of Buck Knives. Moon shone, or something. And yes, they're wearing Jansports in this video. Cats just hung out in alleys (not alley cats, though) and grimacing wasn't just a gerund, it was the essence. You know who does the Screw Face better than The B.D.I. Thug Buckshot? Nodamnbody. OK, maybe not nobody. Save the "It was all so simple" sobs, shit's fine. But it is bright outside. I can't even remember the last good hip-hop vid set at night. And don't come at me with that Red Flag Rick Ross shit, that dude looks like he wants in on some NASCAR action. Jeff Gordo, holler (making blowed-cheeks fat face right now). Finally, bucket hats? Yeah, Buck's got a bucket. Difference is, he's got a head full of water. How else is gonna carry all that brain around?

Ain't Even Have To Do The Makeup Thing

Rashad [ft. Young Dro & T.I.]: Tell Em What They Wanna Hear
Day One: DJ Drama and Young Dro

Wanted to speak on Dro proper, but got caught up lovely with this one. Already a page-load fave on the Black College MySpace Circuit in its Tip'n'Dro-less incarnation, Ray-Ray/Rashad's "Tell Em" starts off innocuously enough: (thematically: "Watermelon car/ watermelon guts/ damn shawty fine wit a watemelon butt") Dro + beat, both on the 1. Proceed through '3am-now-I'm-almost-splittin'-with-her' talk -- we still good. Cue syrupy-sweet sang-sang, saying much of the same. But the way Dro winds up his verse all puppy-cutesy, more Gipp than anything, hints at more. Not until the song's titular, spoken sample cuts in, undercuts in even -- and Wy'Cliff, pay attention, cos it sounds just like a white guy doing "the white guy voice" -- do we know what's up, imploring us to... Tell. Them. What. They. Want. To. Hear. Hilarious.

Call me Cynical, but in't this the most honest love song of the year? It's all lies.

I realize I sound like my ruefully lovestruck 15 yr-old self, but that's useful. Both the inverse of that Sonnet you memorized in high school and its mirrored twin, the most interesting idea here's the song that's not being sung. Is honey-dip Strobe-lit or the genuine article? Does it matter? It's all game, sure, but it's negligible, just like all these half-to-no-truths. And they're supremely well-intentioned ones (for the most part): the sweet, erm, white-lie answers to those bear-trap questions that make a day with your lady extra-pleasant ("You not too big, you just thick in the waist"). There's more tenderness in that than some kisses. Sure you can't trust a damn thang here, but duality's part of the pleasure. Try listening to T.I., with that same "Why You Wanna" cadence, slanging game like, "You say you're 27, but you look 19," and not smiling. He's never had to say that, ever.

Pardon Me If I Lost My Voice

Ghostface [ft. Ne-Yo & Kanye West]: Back Like That (Remix)

Kanye doesn't have the ability, wherewithal or grime-grit expertise to son Ghost on a regular basis but that's what it is here. I'm sorry. And it's a two-level toppler to boot. While Dennis does the motions, flopping a "how could you" outtake, it's West who's moving the fuck on after listening to "So Sick" four or five times. He's mapping out future video conquests (Eva Mendes), piggy-backing Katrina once again (his new chick is a "Creole ho" who never says "N-O, so…") and hushing gawker stalkers like a life-long retardo tutor with a classic 1-2 ("Second I walked in the whole room got still/ Don't know how to put this but I'm kind of a big deal"). It's all fun, games, the like. Yet, I'm overcome with sadness. It's Tuesday, sure, but dude really couldn't put this nonsense together when it would have mattered, say, a few months before fish didn't really scale? As Ghost languishes at No. 60--touring like an indie van band high on bologna-on-hand--surrounded by Korn's new one and a Poison greatest hits, Kanye's chilling on a recliner on a Maybach on a yacht on a movie set trying to make "Touch the Sky" push him past four. Rumor has it Fishscale's delayed release was partially due to an expected beat/hit/smasheroo from Mr. West. He didn't come through and we got a sample-neutered Blaze track instead. So, as he blows in now, taking "Back Like That" back like that, it's funny but also a little insulting. Who owes who what--not going there, but Ghost deserved more.

20060508

Hands Like E. Honda

Lil Wayne: "Bitches"
The W. Carter Collection Pt. 2

"Alphabet Aerobics" to "Alphabet Slaughter" to "(Alphabet) Bitches" and I think we all know why so few rappers actually do the 'go through the letters' thing--they don't know any R words. So why Weezy? "Mama, please don't be mad at me for this one," he asks Mama before he spouts off letter for letter every girl he's known and a key fact to remember said knowledge by. "This is my story." Well goddamn, if it's your story by all means.

I know we're supposed to be really amped about this guy's borderline Suffenian output but "Bitches" a/k/a "Alphabitches" is classic case of zero quality control--dude shoulda cut 16 of these letters, maybe spelled a funny word like P-I-P-E-T-T-E-S or B-A-R-R-A-B-A-S or something instead. Imagine that, a chick named Barrabas. Instead we get a demo beat for "Hot in Herre", a few connects (cf. J for Janessa, who "didn't make the bed but she still doing quite fine," or W for Wanda, who apparently has "hands like E. Honda," or the chick whose name I forget but, says Weezy, "If I don't fuck her once a week she'll probably go on strike"), and an obedience to form that really spells out, hardy har, why stuff like the fucking alphabet best flow subliminally instead as the main trope. Everything you need to know about pornography, bad teenage poetry, lower back tattoos of the word "TATTOO", and sneakers made of hemp is in this song.

FWIW, there's a part in the song where Wayne sounds like he's totally given up on the "idea" of flow, picks up this barfy street Sinatra singsong that I really don't know what to do with just yet except marvel. It's that grotesque.

I Came To Get Down

House of Pain: "Jump Around"
Hard White: Collectors Edition of the Illest White Boys

Not the best look for ill white boys when according to Rob-N Hood and Sam Cuddy, Kevin Federline's "Popozao" is worthy of inclusion here--and I like "Popozao." 26 tracks of white guys either pretending to be black guys and acting like they really have the same concerns and inheriting the mythologies for crossover possibilities so the CMJ "hip-hop showcase" in Webster Hall isn't the pinnacle of their careers, or, worse, struggling in the booth about how they're white and they have to fake the negritude if they really want to succeed because the genre is fucked like that. There are exceptions, many of which make Eminem at least partially stomachable. In fact there's this part towards the end of HW:CEIWB where the DJ says something like "Eminem, we know you the cream of the crop," and you know maybe he is. But I wonder what that makes Fort Minor and "Epik" and "the Beastie Boys"--a napkin full of ejaculate?

Turf war. Kravitz loves this shit, so does Grundle on the flip, and I've been known to spend hours thinking about Pharrell's "I'm black on the outside and white in the middle" and how properly fucked that is. But what I love about "Jump Around" is that it's so unabashedly white--or should I say not-black, not-hiphop, just rap. There's a fucking bagpipe on this track. He doesn't rep Scarface, he reps the Terminator; he "came to get down" and that just means "jump up and get down" not any sort of elaborate ebony fuck routine; he doesn't like basketball or football, instead he "serves your ass like John McEnroe"; he plays Sega, not Nintendo; cops don't hate black people, they just eat a lot of donuts; he doesn't use 44s, he brings a shotgun to battle. Plus he doesn't hide his ridiculous accent, unlike several of these probably college-educated douchebags either (a) slurring their words like they don't summer in the Hamptons or (b) talking so retardedly white that they're merely executing the black person "white guy" stereotype. I probably like the Pete Rock remix more, but House of Pain, this is hard white--really what could be harder or whiter than a fucking shamrock?