The remix of the Lil Kim/Charlie Wilson/T-Pain masterpiece “Download” is, well, a lot. Featuring The-Dream and Official First Web Native Rap Star Soulja Boy, the track doubles, triples, quadruples down on the conceit of the original, which flips Zapp’s “Computer Love” for the social networking era. The-Dream tenderly shooby-doo-wops and then shit-talks bloggers (always a great tactic), and Soulja Boy talks about iChat, Twitter, and the nonexistent SpellFinder. Extremely chill, but not as chill as T-Pain referring to his boner as a “hard drive.” And even though Zapp’s version isn’t an explicit rewrite of Kraftwerk’s “Computer Love,” it’s pretty inarguable that the former wouldn’t exist without the latter. Which is to say, I would like to formally add this song to the list of reasons why Soulja Boy came up out the water just as important as Kraftwerk.
OK first of all, I can’t even begin to talk about how incredible an album title Thizziana Stoned and the Temple of Shrooms is. We cannot continue this extremely short blog post without establishing this vital fact. Second of all, we must acknowledge the excellence of Droop-E’s beat, which I’d need an entire 33 1/3 book to discuss. Third of all (this is not a thing), “Slobba” is an extremely good song about blowjobs.
Even though he’s very much a known quantity, Snootie Wild is sort of a tough sell—he’s essentially a quasi-soul singer with a deep Memphis accent who’s at his best when he’s talking about all sorts of street shit and flyness over spacey beats, a la “Fashion” or “I Can’t Help It,” the track were having a fireside chat about right here. On the other hand, he’s had a couple of bona fide hits in “Yayo” and “Made Me”—the Boosie and Jeremiah-featuring remix of which is almost comically solid—and he’s signed with Yo “I Made ‘Down in the DMs’” Gotti, who after his decade or so of making regionally renowned quality street murrrrrzic is finally experiencing a genuine pop crossover moment, even if his pop crossover moment has come in the form of a novelty song about sexting.
But, yeah. Snootie Wild. “I Can’t Help It.” It’s good. You should listen to it, because it will enrich your life.
Look man, Dru Down would be one of my favorite rappers ever of all time even if he and I didn’t have the same name. Dude was dripping with pimpery and excellence (both sartorial and sonic), squeezed out two straight up perfect albums, and as a pure rapper has probably gotten… better… with… age? In rap I feel like this happens more than people tend to admit, or perhaps are fine with admitting it but they just don’t care because the internet is a cesspool that rewards youth and beauty. I guess I’m trying to say I’m 26 and have grey hair and therefore have a lot of career anxiety so I can’t imagine what it must be like for someone who is actually old. ANYWAYS, the point is no matter what job you have if you do it a bunch for like ten years you’re gonna get better at it, y’know?
Uh I kinda got off topic there. I guess just listen to this posse cut Dru Down was on off Cobra’s Playaz in Paradise from 1996.
Pretty good, right? BUT, below, listen to FaceTheStreets’ “G’z and Hustlaz,” a slap from a few months ago that Dru takes the last verse on. The track takes “This Is How We Do It” and basically turns it into a hyphy track, which, like, fine, sure. That was bound to happen at some point, maybe it has already happened multiple times. Point is it’s not the most original idea in the world, but the beat to this is slamming enough that you could fart on it and it’d still sound kinda hot. But Dru Down, who comes in around 2:35, just fucking parachutes down into the beat and starts DESTROYING everything in sight. He does the stop-start flow thing he’s great at doing, but it seems like he’s weaving through the beat with the short of casual intricacy that means you’ll probably notice his shrieks and general mastery of inflection before you realize he’s just riding circles around the whole affair.
Man I just got back from a festival in the Dominican Republic and it was like the coolest shit ever. Me and my mans Holy Mountain spent like 15 hours next to a lighthouse on Santo Domingo’s malecon eating burgers and catching vibes from a bunch of bands while waves crashed around us, and I cannot explain the degree to which I only want to listen to chill ass music ever again. Speaking of chill ass music, Kokane and Too $hort’s “Luvin a Pimp” is a chill ass song, it feels like it was invented for smoking weed on a beach while wearing an overly large hat to keep the sun out your face. Kokane’s verse is kind of “I’m an old man who doesn’t understand political correctness,” but hey what the fuck are you gonna do, Kokane’s an old man who doesn’t understand political correctness. I guess what I’m trying to say is Kokane’s fellow Pomona resident and Chief Pimp of All Hip-Hop Suga Free could have rapped his part and I wouldn’t have batted an eye.
Rejoice, fellow Rich Kidz heads, for a new Rich Kidz tape has blessed the front page of your preferred mixtape download site. While on first blush it’s nowhere near as essential a listen as Everybody Eat Bread or A West Side Story—both of which are swag-rap classics that predicted way too much of the modern Atlanta sound to have been overlooked the way that they were—THERE IS A NEW RICH KIDZ MIXTAPE Y’ALL!!! Skooly is obviously great on his own, but I really feel like he needs somebody to bounce off of or almost serve as a counterbalance to his wild style. And who knows Skooly better than HunchoKae? Nobody, that’s who.
This tape has its fair share of great tracks—the six-song run from “FR FR” to “Can’t Trust ‘Em” is fantastic, and the title track is fun in one of those “the influential and underrated rap group making the case for their place in history” ways, but mainly I’m just excited about the fact that a new Rich Kidz tape exists, because now that they have new music out there there’s a chance that Rich Kidz might become as big in real life as they are in my brain. I posted “FR FR” below, because I like it and Will A Fool is an underrated producer. This is the end of this blog post.
His perhaps deserved rep for weed and permanent vacation-oriented lyrical content aside, Curren$y is legit one of the best writers in all of rap—dude can cultivate a mood with the best of ’em. When he’s really got his motor running and he’s waxing laconically about pulling jobs, hitting dealerships, and partaking in all kinds of opulent elegance he really reminds me of, like, a character in a Raymond Chandler novel: hard-boiled, non-nonsensical, and preferably smoking on something. He’s also one of the few rappers dedicated to sonic cohesion—he’s done a fairly high number of single-producer projects, including the Pilot Talk albums with Ski Beatz; quick projects with Harry Fraud, Cool & Dre, and Chase N. Cashe (I’m not looking up dude to see if I spelled his name right cuz he subtweeted me one time YEAH I’M PETTY); #The1st28EP where he and Styles P rapped and Mostabeatz produced; and the Alchemist collab tape Covert Coup, a high-water mark in both Curren$y and Al’s careers imo. (if you don’t believe me, listen to “BBS” and report back to me)
SEE WHAT I DID THERE I BROUGHT IT ALL TOGETHER SORT OF BY TALKING ABOUT CURREN$Y WORKING WITH STYLES P AND ALSO ALCHEMIST THEN EMBEDDED A SONG THEY ALL DID ON THE NEW CURREN$Y/ALCHEMIST THING
Anyhoo, probably my favorite Rap Thing out right now is Curren$y and Alchemist’s Carrollton Heist tape. I don’t know if you blog hogs have listened to it or not, but but if you haven’t, then listen to it. If you have, listen to it again, especially “Disappearing Ink,” which I have taken the liberty of embedding above.
Styles P is another one of rap’s great writers, one of those guys who really clearly puts a ton of thought into every line he writes and wants it to be as airtight as humanly possible. It’s a style that, while it might not offer the immediate dynamism of some young swaglord with beads in his hair who just buttchugged some mollywater going all Animaniacs over a beat, isn’t trying to mask a lack of substance with some off-the-wall bullshit. (Not that I’m saying that I don’t also enjoy said off-the-wall bullshit or that everyone who raps in a straightforward manner is automatically good, I’m just saying that it’s harder to hide the fact that you don’t have anything interesting to say if you’re rapping in a more conventional manner, which makes the fact that Styles P is always so compelling even more impressive to me. Anyways, I’m digging myself into a hole, I’ll stop.) He’s also got the best Twitter feed in all of hip-hop—funny when he wants to be, goofy when he wants to be that too, wise when he has to be, and offering you daily affirmations that you need to be drinking your juice.
Honest question for all you real blog heads: How the hell did 2$ Fabo’s We Amongst U not become a ubiquitous ass motherfucking mixtape? To me this tape should have been to Atlanta what Danny Brown’s XXX was to Detroit, except instead of adderall-addled desperation and grime idolatry Fabo rapped like he pissed mollywater and shitted moon rocks (both in the “drugs” sense and in the “Fabo was an alien who lived on the moon and ate and therefore also shitted moon rocks” sense). Fabo had been left for dead by the industry after his D4L days (which cannot be discounted, because D4L were the fucking shit), and We Amongst U should have been his comeback. He managed to meld absurdist party music with a couple “oh shit your actions have consequences” comedown songs that hit you right in the hangover, PLUS he rounded shit out with the honest-to-gosh funk song “Keep Your Mind On Dat,” the most amazing left turn straight into the old school on a rap record since Petey Pablo fucked around and made the final quarter of his second album all gospel. Point is, Fabo has never been a human being, but he was perhaps less of a human being than any rapper has ever been on We Amongst U.
And goddamn man, Fabo really rapped his ass off on this shit. He was melodic, hilarious, heartfelt, and menacing, usually all at once. One thing that really bums me out about rapping as a technical exercise is when dudes confuse the act of rapping well with, like, actually saying something. And the more words you jam into a verse, the greater chance that you’re going to end up embarrassing yourself by saying a corny line or espousing a dumb worldview. Which isn’t to say that Fabo is dropping knowledge or anything here, but he definitely shows a really impressive technical range without ever saying an embarrassing line. And when he does get serious on “How the Fuck Did I Get Here,” the gravitas feels earned, unlike way too many rappers for whom self-seriousness is their default demeanor. Topics broached on this tape include: Doing drugs, being from outer space, being a robot, doing so many drugs that you nearly die, doing so many drugs that you end up becoming a totally different person, being abducted by aliens, why you shouldn’t grow up too fast and the world is a harsh place, etc. Shouts out to Meaghan who wrote about why We Amongst U was the shit back when it dropped, WHERE WERE THE REST OF US WE FUCKED UP BRO WHY ISN’T FABO PLAYING THE RAP STAGE OF EVERY ELECTRIC ZOO OR WHICHEVER EDM FESTIVAL HAS A RAP STAGE I FORGOT
Anyways here are a bunch of good songs from the tape, if for some reason I am ever invited to DJ a Ham on Everything, I’m gonna play all Fabo until they knock me out with a Thrasher hoodie soaked in Chloroform.
Seriously “Share No Blunts” is like the most thunderous shit bro, like I think I might cry every time the hook hits, or at least really rhythmically roll a j while nodding my head lookin like the total jobless goofball I am.
Speaking of rolling stuff—the most narc I have ever felt is when me and a friend who shall remain nameless tried and failed to roll a blunt for Mike Jones while we were in the studio with him. As a result I decided to get really fucking good at rolling joints so I would never look like a narc again. EXCEPT, recently I was at a shoot and someone gave me a bag of weed to roll a joint with and I was so nervous that my hands were shaking and I ended up rolling the loosest most terrible joint of all time. This, along with liking Yung Lean, is my greatest shame. Now I will be able to write whatever my version of The Life of Pablo is. Which would be, oh, I don’t know, a really good Soulja Boy profile or something.