Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Tape Deck '08 Discussion: Volumes #32 & #33

#32 & #33: Back-to-Back

Hip hop keeps on pushin’ this week with lots and lots of new material. You’ll be pleased to know that a lot of it is… well, pretty good! We start things off with an exciting – but not surprising – collabo track by emcee Termanology and producer Statik Selektah. Together, they are the mighty duo known as 1982! If they make an album together, I don’t see how it could possibly be wack. More gully shit from the east, Blaq Poet spits serious bars on the catchy “Ain’t Nuttin’ Changed” which samples Akon vocals; trust me, it works. Talkin’ bout bars, J.R. Writer goes hard (pause) on Max B. I’ll admit, I haven’t been lookin’ for Writer since his Writer’s Block series got real sloppy, but “R.I.P. Maxipad” shows some promise. I’d love to see Dipset get it crackin’ again… Can’t I dream?

In Volume #32, I’ve included a handful of remixes by the one ‘n only DJ Noodles. His joints are always on point, but I picked my favorite ones from his new blend tape that’s out. Just imagine this shit: Kanye West featuring Jay-Z and Jadakiss over a Premo beat. Your dreams are reality on “The Real Hip Hop (Noodles Mix)”! I also included a pair of remixes from that new Maroon 5 release that no one’s gonna buy. Swizz Beatz and DJ Premier provide some interpretations of songs that I’ve never heard before. Sorry Adam & Co. Talkin’ ‘bout interpretations, I’m proud to include five(!) new tracks by Mos Def covering the legendary Chuck Berry. My favorite song has gotta be “No Particular Place to Go” again, penned by the great Chuck Berry. They’re all incredible fun. What can’t the mighty Mos Def do?

Freeway carries on with his Month of Madness with a continuous supply of heat. Together, Volumes #32 and #33 carry eight new tracks from Freeway. Unlike some other emcees out there who flood the blog-o-verse with garbage (::cough, Charles Hamilton, cough::), Freeza keeps spittin’ some heat from the heart. Speaking of series tracks, Shaun Boothe is back in the building with another one of his Unauthorized Biographies, this time covering The Greatest, Mr. Muhammad Ali. Meanwhile, The Hood Internet, one of my favorite go-to spots for ill blends and other fuckery, put out a sick remix with a bunch of random L.A. shit by artists like The Game, Ice Cube, MURS, Eazy E, Busdriver, Guns N' Roses, and Guns 'N' Bombs. Excited? Good. You should be. Still on the west coast, we’ve got the legendary MC Eiht who provides us with some new joints. Nothing too special here, but 2008’s been the year of old man rap, so I had to include them.

Oh shit, y’all heard that “Jizz In My Pants” track by The Lonely Island, right? You know, that Digital Short from last week’s SNL (Saturday Night Live). I thought the shit was hype as hell (shype, if you will) so I ripped it and included it on Volume #33. More remixes include some new-ish Ghostface tracks from that new compilation that less than 1,000 people are gonna purchase (my guess), as well as a collaboration between the lovely Mya Harrison and Tre, formerly of The Pharcyde. It’s called “Fallen Part 2”, and it’s worth a listen if you enjoyed the first one. A classic.

Volume #32 has three solid, consecutive tracks by Detroit artists. RideOut brings along Ill Poetic – who put out two of my favorite ’08 mixtapes – for “I’m Out”, an interesting interpretation of the Exorcist theme song. Next up, we’ve got a true gem. A demo version of some Slum Village/5 Ela shit. R.I.P. to Jay Dee/J Dilla! Turn it up!!! Finished up the trilogy, Guilty Simpson contributes his gruff-voiced bars to a spectacular production job, presumably by Super Smoky Soul. Don’t know much about them. Will keep my eyes open though!

The Best of the Best

Donny Goines has got a new album coming out soon (we’ll get back to that later) and one of the tracks he’s leaked to us is a little somethin’ called “Ghetto U.S.A.” which draws upon a sample used on Cam’ron’s “Losing Weight, Part Two” featuring Juelz Santana. I loved that Dipset track for it’s content and sample, so I was easily drawn into Donny’s new one. I think this guy’s a visionary emcee, kinda like Joe Budden in his prime before Def Jam fucked him over and wasted his talent. Goines writes rhymes like portraits. My conclusion, Donny Goines is the kind of internet emcee we, the blogs, should be supporting. Again, sorry Charlie.

A while back, my man Rizoh dropped a post about emcee 8thW1. I kinda overlooked it but kept it in the back of my head, somewhere. Well, 8thW1 released a new track recently and I’m hooked. The production is lovely and the lyrical content is really impressive. 8thW1 recruits Fresh Daily and Silent Knight to discuss theology and the epidemic of inter-faith prejudice. The subject matter also delves into socio-political strife in the world. Here’s one of my favorite segments: “They say they want peace so bad they’ll make war for it/ … If you’re like me, you see the flaw in the logic/ Not the needle in the hay, don’t squint, it’s mad obvious/ Terror situation is preposterous/ Niggas dyin’ on the front lines is so monstrous/ All that for oil now look at the consequence/ Holla at you congress, they holla back it’s all nonsense/”. Shall I proceed?

Wale. Brother Ali. This… is… Sparta Awesome!!! I don’t care how long it takes you to download Volume #33. It’s all worth it just for this track. Wale does this song justice, but the almighty Brother Ali, one of the greatest emcees in current hip hop, blows this shit out the water. I mean, he completely murks this shit. I haven’t seen an onslaught like this in a long, long time. This effort by Brother Ali reminds me of Eminem when he was in top-form. The lyrics are so ill that I’m actually gonna post Ali’s entire verse (it’s a long one, too). I know that it won’t be in vain. Enjoy:
Rappers can’t clap me, jackers can’t gat me/
Original meaning of jazzy fat nasty/
I don’t bite rapper’s lines, I bite the captain’s arm off/
I don’t throw shots in the air, I throw that molatov/
Cocktail, reservoir dog my collar off/
Ya’ll scared to get that revolution popping off/
You really got the guns you claiming to track/
Then my question to you is who you aiming ‘em at/
You complain that the rap police caught you with a gat under the seat/
Misdemeanored that twenty bag of weed/
But little old me with the few facts that I speak/
The homeland security gaveled me over seas/
Froze my bank account and seized my guarantee/
And ya’ll are soundscanning like a hundred more than me/
They kicking you off tour for freaking a chick or two/
Verizon dissed me too cuz I was too political/
Ya’ll are all safe and shit, ya’ll are not saying shit/
You just snap your fingers and dance and make your label rich/
Gotta pay back that advance, so they ain't gave you shit/
This is your chance to say something and you’re wasting it/
People are starving, you talking 'bout balling/
Can’t think of nothing more important than that jargon/
Hundred different ways to describe diamonds sparkling/
Eighty percent of kids are listening to y’all shit/
I heard that statistic I almost cried/
Never wanted so bad for 2pac to be alive/
What the fuck happened to rap when/
The gangsters are scared of upsetting they industry masters/
It ain't my place to say and I hear all that/
But fuck that, I live in the hood and we need ya’ll cats/
So as soon as I hear ya’ll on some real pro black/
Then I will gladly go back to my emo rap/
They say the truth don’t belong to nobody, if you see it just speak it/
It would be a sin to keep it a secret/
So if I need to breathe then believe that I mean it/
Quit trying to be somebody’s boss and be a leader/
If it wasn’t bad enough your labels are hoeing you/
You can’t even scan, your fans are downloading you/
There’s no connection, so they’re not supporting you/
You ain't never shed light on nothing that they’re going through/
We aint buying cds, we striving to live/
And these artists don’t need me they already rich/
I ain't hating on you, rock them shines/
Just remember us from time to time when you drop them lines/
Rappers can’t clap me, jackers can’t gat me/
Original meaning of jazzy fat nasty/
Busy raising babies and living on tour/
Signing off Brother Ali, sincerely yours/
Wooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooow © Mase/Flava Flav

Extra Stuff

I wrapped up Volume #32 with an MP3 from Tavis Smiley’s January ’08 interview with the late Odetta. Very insightful. You must hear it. The woman was, is, the inspirational godmother to so many great, great artists.

For Volume #33, I’ve included three unconventional tracks. Number one: You’ve seen that House Party commercial for Adidas, right? You know, the one with Redman, Method Man, Young Jeezy, Missy Elliott, Darryl McDaniels (of Run-D.M.C.), Katy Perry, Kevin Garnett, David Beckham, me, Chad Hugo, and… wait, wait, wait, not me. Lol! Okay, you get the point. Well, I really like this video if not for the crazy attendance list but for the song that plays in the background. It’s a remix by Parisian mix-master Pilooski for a Frankie Valli track called “Beggin’”. The product: “Beggin' (Pilooski Edit)”. It’s worth a listen. I’ve also included my “Fortunate Dunn” remix for those that missed out. Finally, I wrap things up with an oldie: Mac Davis’ “I Believe In Music”. Why? Because I do! Music = Life. Turn it up!!