Monday, August 31, 2009

Ahhh, September

Looking forward to the arrival of the ninth month is an odd feeling.  As a kid you learned to dread September.  Sure, there was some consolation in a new pair of sneakers and the return of football, but what September really marked was the end of summer, and the commencement of school and months of cold weather.  In many ways September still means such things to me.  I'll be returning to college and facing the five oppressive months of Oregon winter.  However, as a fan of hip-hop, September is exciting; really it's something of an early Christmas.  With new albums from the likes of Killer Mike, M.O.P., Lil Boosie, Raekwon, Rakim, and Q-Tip I expect to be pretty well occupied.

One of the more interesting stories is Jay-Z's Blueprint 3.  The Tracklist to the long-awaited album was recently revealed.  Given the list of guest features, it seems as if the rest of the album is a stammering apology to anyone who may have been offended by "Death of Autotune." To make things worse, three Timbaland produced tracks were recently leaked, all sounding mediocre at best.  One of the worst is "Off That," featuring Candian soap opera star, Drake.  The beat, the hook, Jay, all sound uninspired and lack energy, which is worse given that this is clearly the album's club track.  A club track needs to cater to women, and frankly women just don't care that Hov is "off" caring about rims and Timberland boots.  Not only does the clunker of a track clutter up the album, but it'll flop in the clubs.  Jay makes his intent apparent with "Ghetto Techno."  He's trying to create the "future sound" by blending the two genres, which he should know has been done before and always ended poorly.  Not only that, but he's doing it with beats that sound like leftovers from 2006.  But I can't buy that he's getting too old for this.  I enjoyed both "D.O.A." and "Run This Town," and it's clear that Jay has the ability to make good music.  Instead, I think Hov is so intent not to seem old that he created an album attempting to fit in with the freshmen club, and in doing so ended up looking like he's suffering a mid-life crisis (the song title "Young Forever" more than hints at some insecurity).  Jay shows he doesn't understand what the new kids like Cudi and Drake are doing...and he shouldn't, because what they're on is a passing fad, not the next defining sound.

Anticipating the release of Blueprint 3?  We off that.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

My Aura

I'm generally going to be avoiding reposting material from other sites, as my intent is not to be an aggregator, but a source of original content.  That being said, I couldn't help but relay this video posted by Noz at Cocaine Blunts.  The song is on some Outkast (c) Speakerboxx spaced-out funk, and the video is nothing to laugh at in the sense that its cheesy, low budget 80's aesthetic will make you laugh.  Here's to hoping more regional rappers take chances with their music like this.  G-Side's Huntsville International mixtape is coming soon, and you can catch it here when it releases.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Ghost of Oz

Ghostface is doing an R&B album...sorta.  He's going with guest appearances from well known R&B acts, and the subject matter is gonna be a little different.  As Ghost explains,  "we gettin' older! And everybody don’t sell crack no more, man. I don’t sell crack, yo. I ain’t movin' no bricks or none of that other shit. I ain't shoot nobody in like…since the early 90's, man."

But the real issue that needs to be explored is his love for "The Wizard of Oz."  Maybe it's the Ironman/Tin Man link, or maybe there's some sort of visceral connection, But it's no surprise; Ghost has always had a playful side.  The classic movie has popped up in his rhymes several times:

I'm like a green and white kickball, I bounce
Spin off walls and cars, the Wizard of Clarks, Tony Oz
- “Ghostface,” The Pretty Toney Album

Mossied off gracefully, New York's most wanted tee-ball hawk
Seen the yellow brick road, lust of pastries
- "Apollo Kids," Supreme Clientele

Walk with me like Dorothy
Try to judge these plush degrees
- "Apollo Kids," Supreme Clientele

None of that matches the cover for his new album Wizard of Poetry

This is easily the best album cover I have seen in the last two years.  If I ever get a chance to interview Ghost, the first question I'm asking is about his affinity for that movie.  Wizard of Poetry drops on Sept. 29.

This Shit Is Automatic Like That Thing Under My Shirts

Jay Rock has been on the grind.  In a fight to get noticed, he's been releasing one song every day for a month, as well as a video each week.  It's not a new gimmick, but it seems to be working for him.  Though everybody and they momma has released their own version of "D.O.A.," Rock (in typical fashion) goes the hardest on it.  He copies Hov's rhyme structure in full, showing his skill within a framework listeners are already familiar with.  It's not his best from this project, but it's a good introduction if you're not already familiar with the guy.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Strictly For The Caddy Lovers

After releasing The Miseducation earlier this year, Freddie Gibbs is back with the highly anticipated MidwestGangstaBoxFrameCadillacMuzik.  The mixtape is full of album-quality material that's sure to earn Gibbs a spot among some of the best newish acts (dude was signed to Interscope for a while).  Gibbs has an immaculate flow that switches in and out of a double-time pace with ease.  On songs like "County Bounce," the Gary, Indiana native channels a little Pimp C and delves into falsetto singing on the hook.  The standout track is a joint with Pill of "Trap Goin' Ham" fame called "Womb 2 the Tomb."  Each MC seems determined not to be outdone by the other which, when you're dealing with rappers of this caliber, is an engaging listen.

Download Tha Gotdamn Thang!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Finna Be Your Favorite Blog

I'm back up and ready to go, just in time for what's looking to be an exciting month. The slew of releases coming in September is overwhelming, but I'll be staying on top of it with reviews and leaks, all while I'm working on moving and releasing my own digital EP. Keep the site bookmarked and look for daily updates. I'll be providing a depth of analysis that you don't often get with other blogs, while releasing fresh material from artists, as well as exposing new and upcoming talent. Stay Tuned.