Monday, February 29, 2016
Life is terrifying, mane. As Ferris Bueller said in the film Ferris Bueller's Day Off, "Life is short. You come into this world same way you leave it: alone and shrieking. So don't be a pussy, Cameron, pass me the nina." Lately I been pondering on that knowledge Ferris dropped. Outwardly I'm a success. Had sex before. Owner of a fast Chevrolet Camaro. Three time employee of the month at Arby's. But I'm getting old, and I can't help but thinking: What does it all mean? Nothing sounds good except that ol' reality rap: Jacka, Face, Mozzy, Mega, UGK. Deep thinkers who've had their souls dragged through the dirt. I can't appreciate no avant-garde Young Thug yodels right now! I can't listen to Future packaging addiction and vacuum-sealing sadness for entertainment value! Shit is real!
Then there's D-Lo's Tonite Show, which reminds me of bein young and derpin around to the "No Hoe" remix, back when life was simpler and Arby's wasn't making ya boy desecrate his grill with Jalapeno Roast Beef 'n' Cheese sliders. Only other things keepin this cold heart warm are the films of Brian De Palma. I got this VHS full of classic De Palma long takes I labelled BonerJams '03, cause I don't want anyone knowing the only things turning me on these days are self-indulgent cinematographic techniques. Everyone laughs and says, "Oh like that movie," or "Oh you're horny," and they don't know how empty and confused I really am.
So after finishing Snake Eyes for the 15th time and pumping my fist in ecstasy, I knew it was kismet when I dialed up Thizzler and heard D-Lo (joined by Mozzy, Lil Blood, Sleepy D, and JuneOnnaBeat) talkin about siccing the bees on a foe, an obvious reference to Wicker Man (2006). Yeah, clearly Mr. No Hoe has also been enjoying the films of Nicolas Cage lately. When critics talk about "seriousness," they usually mean the work engages the inevitability of death in some way. Mob music and De Palma movies do that, so clearly I'm consuming media properly and have nothing to worry about. My life has meaning. Chuuuuuuuuch!
Saturday, February 27, 2016
Johnny Cinco and Hoodrich Pablo Juan's 2015 collaboration, Poppi Seed Connect, came at a time when it seemed like Atlanta was generating a lot of sound and fury and not much else. Not unlike the first time I heard Future, it sounded like something Marty McFly or Pluto Nash had accidentally brought back from their respective travels through time and space. It's music for replicants smacked up on lean and xannys, gone off that melting-into-a-couch high.
Pablo Juan followed it up with 1'5, an a'ight mixtape bogged down with the usual tiresome antics of the weed carrier platoon. On the cover of Cinco 2, our man Johnny appears in art deco style, a vector of pure energy and zootedness. Fitting representation for a man described by eminent minds as "lean personified." Cinco 2 hits a lot of RAP MUSIC HYSTERIA! sweet spots, including a No Limit homage and a reference to eating shrimp and lobster, so you know Mr. Cinco has his values in the right place. Initially I thought "The 1st" was the highlight of the tape, but really it's just "Knew That" redux. Nah, ya boy is growing more emotional as old age and senility creep up on me, so I gotta give it to the YFN Lucci duet "Gotta Stop," a heartfelt song about cutting all the dumb kid shit out ya life and focusing on your goals. Between this, the equally great "Talk," and last year's Weight Of The World, Johnny and Lucci are making a strong case as the bargain-brand Rich Gang. Call 'em the U.S. Polo Assn. to Thug & Quan's Lo.
Wednesday, February 24, 2016
Like Lil Yachty, a/k/a Yung Wesley Willis, SelfMade Espy runs with that slurred drunkard drone that fanboys and -girls would ascribe to Chief Keef's pervasive influence on 2K16 rap. To that I can only say: "Yeah, probably." What's good about "SkyWalker" is it's got the joy and ebullience that trap music sucked out of swag-rap, without all the sus eyebrow sculpting of the latter. Yeah they got MCM backpacks, but they also got guns and shit. Apparently Cook LaFlare got a collab w/ the real Keef in the works, so Espy's days as blunt-instrument wingman may be numbered. LaFlare even look like an actual cook, so if any of his people readin this, please consider restaging the Chef Boy Cellski cover with ya boy in full culinary garments.
Monday, February 22, 2016
After a decade of gleefully hating on anything comin out of NYC, ya boy has finally grown tired of the company line. Yes, NYC rappers are a pompous, narcissistic, entitled bunch, but that's just what New Yorkers is like! It's come to da point where even New Yorkers is hatin on NYC rappers, which is surely a sign dat we need Trump to make America great again. And it's da very same people moanin about New York rappers bein reactionary prisoners of influence who's always longing for the city to return to some non-existent idealized version of da bad old days. What is it, y'all? Do you want Desiigner or do you want "The Truth?"
We at RAP MUSIC HYSTERIA! are done hating on New York. Instead we gonna celebrate a true Harlem legend, and one of da most excitable gents to walk da planet, Mr. DJ Kay Slay! Forget that the title 50 Shades Of Slay conjures images of the Drama King in nipple clamps. My mans is expanding his mindframe, dunn dunn. He even got Mistah F.A.B. and DJ Paul on this bitch! Dezzy Dez is mad worldly, unlike that toy Fat Joe a/k/a Crack TATS cru. On the second Cannibal Ox sounding ass track of recent vintage, Kay Slay expands his horizons to exotic Philly and gets Young Chris to crawl out the Tastykake wrapper he been hidin under to beat the "E" phoneme into the ground. Real lyrical craftsman, ya feel? Strap on ya chancletas young blood, cause Kay Slay even holla'd at Miami and said, "Yo, I need a Miami rapper that sounds like he from Newark!" Boom, Gunplay closes the shit out. But don't worry my New York chauvinists, we got some battle rapper named Loaded Lux w/ the opening verse, and you know he talkin bout shit like "lyrical acumen!" New York lives, boy, fuck what you heard!
Friday, February 19, 2016
BILL COSBY INNOCENT !!!!!!!!!! - Kanye West
They say Bill Cosby rapin' people / Not the Jell-O man! - Boosie Badazz
In spite of the premise that rap forgets its history, the genre increasingly shows reverence for its past in the form of Cash Money (and No Limit) homages. The shortlist: Bankroll Fresh's "Hot Boy," Nef The Pharoah's "Big Tymin," Jacquees's "Like Baby," "Get It How U Live" by Zoe Realla & Baton Rouge's freshmen class*, and 23.7% of Lil B's catalog. Future retooled "Ha" on Beast Mode. Kodak Black owes outstanding debt to the estates of Juvenile and Soulja Slim. This month Boosie threw his rag in the ring with "BG Shit," while Shady Nate and Lil Blood flip "400 Degreez" on the Bitches On Dope collaboration. Both are somewhat easier to explain than some of the trend's more mystical entrants. Bitches on Dope is a collection of new takes on old standards, and BG is Boosie's peer, roughly—a real person, not a play-actor in a multimedia Southern rap ideal. Trickles in a groundswell, maybe, but what does it all mean?
A pinkied-up treatise on nostalgia is not hip-hop, so we ain't about to prance down that lane. Suffice it to say that while nostalgia is a trap, it's a shot of Botox that not every moment in time enjoys. It might devour songs good and bad, but it doesn't happen without reason and cause. The Cash Money homages wouldn't exist if they didn't satisfy a common demand. Kanye West, a man obsessed with his own place in history, borrows the ándale and E.I. from Nelly's 2000 hit on "30 Hours"—a campy tip o' the hat in a song engaging directly with the past. It's a blatant act of Millenial pandering from the guy who invented Millenials, and one not likely to take root as anything more than another ironic swatch in the great Post Malone patchwork. In 2016, Cash Money is cool and Nelly is not, except maybe in some inverted way. Yet Nelly was more popular than any Cash Money artist, and the "E.I." and "Hot In Herre" callbacks will inspire winces of recognition from everyone who had them play soundtrack to the erectile mishaps of 7th grade slow dances. Which begs the question: is nostalgia more about self-love or self-loathing, or does it operate on a sliding scale?
All these Cash Money homages, and Meek Mill still won't release the unabridged "Ha." Ya boy still tryna process The Life Of Pablo over the din of a thousand white bloggers typing with reckless fury. For a son of College Dropout, there's no exercise in nostalgia like wallowing in an album where levels of Old and New Kanye fluctuate like the balance of urine and water in a kiddie-pool. Sustained by the search for truth and a big box of porn, this is RAP MUSIC HYSTERIA! signing off from the darkest corner of your public library.
* Credit: Hotbox
Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Back in '09 or thereabouts, DB Tha General's name had the same currency Mozzy's enjoys today. Even if it meant fuck all to most rap listeners, a small but enthusiastic group of aficionados swung defiantly from the curly tendrils of DB's bozack. And they was right! But shit never popped, as happens so often, and the highlight of DB's 2015 was playin the beef 'n' broc to YG's sesame chicken and Blanco's fried rice on the Panda Express combo order that was California Livin.
Come to find out DB just dropped a video for a song called "Gas Chamber," which sounds extremely hip-hop. U know the chamber has a long and storied history in the rap game, cause it sounds like some kind of mystical intellectual rhymespace, and also it is part of a gun. Yeah I was expecting something hip-hop, but I didn't expect the General to spit bars like he on a Clue tape in '97! Ya boy is a stan for culinary details in rap songs, so of course I threw my chef hat at tha ceiling when DB justifies past BNEs cause he was tired of oatmeal and cream of wheat. Even Earl Manigault gets some love. In my humble opinion, the video should have been ALL green screen, cause really you can't beat the Xavier: Renegade Angel absurdity of the CGI desert and Texaco pumps, the random ogre walking thru the frame at the 1:16 mark, or tha Lil Fame lookin MF materializing in front of the DB Tha General gas station and makin googly eyes at the camera.
Monday, February 8, 2016
Been a minute since I dropped the critically declaimed Greetings From The Gunshine State bootleg, and while I'm content with the final product, like Jiggaman Clay and his inscrutable chinky-eyed Koreans, I got to learn to live with regrets. First and foremost is the great "Lip Biting Animal" by the late Liberty City rapper Bizzle. Was jook South Florida's response to thizzin—a separate yet parallel MDMA-inspired ripple in time—or was it more of a clubland waviness? Maybe the real essence isn't anything that can be comprehended by the rational mind, something to be intuited only when you're rolling off a triple stack (no molly anachronisms), shirt half-buttoned and sweaty, caressing anything with a pleasing texture.
Next we got "Paralyzed" by Oak Hill Boyz. This more of a crunk ode to gettin blotto than the X pill enlightenment of jook's best moments. If we was playing Pokemon, it would be a rock Pokemon to the psychic Pokemon of "Lip Biting Animal." So go 'head, crack open a refreshing Budweiser beer and get ya Geodude on!
Friday, February 5, 2016
Da horror, da horror! Like "Trap Out The" Brando, I done seen horrors during my time on the Twitters. Banal industry gossip 'n' navel-gazing. Future and Young Thug knobslobbing like u wouldn't believe. Out-of-pocket cornballs using Max B's name in vain. Mane, a lot of these cats be live tweetin the gradual loss of their marbles, and I'm just hopin they signed up for Obamacare in time cause sometimes u really do need to speak out ya problems to a trained professional, even tho they ain't gonna fave or retweet ya shit.
Every now and then you come across somethin delectable and dandy. Heard this one on FWM Radio, a podcast out of San Diego. Lookin like Hammer during the gangsta era, Mitchy Slick plays tha Nate Dogg to his young charge OsoOcean on one of those diaristic day-in-the-life raps California rappers do so well. Fortunately OsoOcean got ill mundane lines like A nigga just left the fish market / Mouth full of fries / Had to get the shit to go / On the way to see this ho, so he ain't really beatin you over the head with how normal and boring he is.
An artistic fellow named Nate James dropped a compilation of Detroit rap, all very nice and aggro. Like great hardcore compilations of yore, Stay Ready stands on the sum of its parts. If certain songs are better than others, let's not forget This Is Boston, Not L.A. had those wack Proletariat tracks too. It's a niche artifact for a niche sound, and devotees of tear da club up street-rap will be pleased and edified. Me? I like da juxtaposition of grimy lyrics and melodramatic arrangement on BandGang's "Trappin," like the repressed feels just emerging all displaced-like, all Dionysian-like, from da street-hardened outward presentation of these babyfaced hustlers. Zippyshare rap comps: the best part of rap in 2016!
Wednesday, February 3, 2016
BOPPERS MEET DRILLERS UPTOWN: OR, CHARLIE AHEARN WAS JUST A GUY WHO OWNED A CAMERA AND PRESSED RECORD
Is there a name more misleading than Sicko Mobb? Sounds more like a horrorcore collective or an '80s hardcore band than some bubblegum boppin Willy Wonka weaboos. If bop was bizarro world drill, "Foreign" is its "Love Sosa." Tho I've since come around to Keef's bedroom-neanderthal minimal wave excursions on Back From The Dead 2, "Love Sosa" will always sound like a showtune sung by gay sailors about to partake in an old-fashioned maritime orgy. "Foreign" remedies that pernicious erotic association, infusing the lugubrious structure of the original with swag-rap superficials and the terrifying optimism of soca.
Chicago filmmakers missed their chance at immortality when no one made the bop-/drillsploitation Wild Style-meets-West Side Story the movements deserved. "Foreign" would be the product of a peace alliance, when the bop and drill crews—rendered in Warriors-style grotesqueness—decide to settle their differences and join forces. I can see it now: stonefaced drillers cuttin loose and boppin! Boppers holdin Teks and blasting caps at the sky! It's a moment that should belong to celluloid history. Now, however, it belongs to RAP MUSIC HYSTERIA!