06-18-2013 § Leave a comment
On Sight :: The first minute of the track is marred by a terribly electronica type beat, which Kanye changes up for an appropriately suitable soulful sample [Holy Name of Mary Choral Family] (why isn’t this the beat?) to show both that he doesn’t give a fuck, and we apparently don’t know what we want but Kanye will give it to us. Short sample, then Ye chops it back to the electronica set for his short second verse. The track ends on a weird choppy, loopy, on-again-off-again reincarnation of the beat, whilst Kanye stutters “I need right now!” (a nod to “Stronger?”) as a kind of makeshift-y choral hook. Lyrically, the track has a few good lines and an overall misogynistic feel. It’s very Kanye, but I didn’t enjoy it much.
“Soon as I pull up and park the Benz
We get this bitch shakin like Parkinson’s
Take my number and lock it in
Indian head, no Moccasins“
Black Skinhead :: Another track with just two verses, and this one is much better with a melodic and controlled intensity. Subject matter in this track includes some racial themes, some ‘fuck you’ themes and some religious clash-pushback. I believe it’s actually Greece he’s talking about, rather than Rome “I keep it 300, like the Romans / 300 bitches, where the trojans?” but hey I only loved the movie so what do I know? It’s a clever hook nonetheless, and fits perfectly over the outrageous beat. Here we find Kanye again rhyming jeans with means, and in the same context except perhaps more appropriately malicious when compared to Malcolm X’s vision; “For my theme song, My leather black jeans on, My “by any means” on, Pardon, I’m gettin my screams on.” I still prefer his previous lighter version, “I’m like the fly Malcolm X, buy any jeans necessary, Detroit red cleaned up” from “Good Morning” [Graduation]. Kanye’s vocals are fiery, and at center stage – it’s a perfectly executed track really but … I’m still not really feeling it.
“Stop all that coon shit
Early morning cartoon shit
This is that goon shit
Fuck up ya whole afternoon shit
I’m aware I’m a wolf
soon as the moon hit
I’m aware I’m a KING
Back out the tomb, bitch!“
I Am a God :: “Soon as they like you, make ’em unlike you / cause kissin people ass is so unlike you” That line in the first (only) verse here pretty much sums up the way I feel so far about this album. This beat is pretty nice in some ways, I do like the reggae sampling and the build-up intro but in other ways it feels like theme music for an underground roller coaster – like something is about to pop out and scare the shit out of you, but you’re not sure exactly. There is a highlight lyric or two in there, and with one single verse you don’t have to search long to find it.
“Since the tight jeans, they ain’t NEVER like you
Pink-ass Polos with a FUCKIN backpack
But err’body know you brought real rap back“
New Slaves :: I love the sample used in this track, and Kanye doesn’t disappoint for the first time this album. It’s minimalist, yes but I love it. Kanye is on-point lyrically too, rapping about racism (really; classism), corporate rap, the prison industrial complex (yes!), rappers being the ‘new slaves’ the title suggests, and of course bitches. This is a great track.
“They try and lock niggaz up, they try and make new state
See that’s that privately-owned prisons, get yo’ piece today
They prob’ly all in the Hamptons, braggin ’bout they made
Fuck you AND yo’ Hampton house, I’ll fuck yo’ Hampton spouse“
Hold My Liquor :: What little I’ve heard of Chief Keef was not enough to impress, so I’m not really surprised I wasn’t wowed here but I don’t think that was the point actually. This track reminds me a lot of something that may belong on his fourth album, 808’s & Heartbreak. It’s dark, and kind of sing-songy despite being depressing. The instrumental isn’t incredible or anything, but Justin Vernon does contribute a pretty introspective introduction to the track that I enjoyed. Kanye has one long verse, and a cool line about hanging out with 2Pac that stood out to me. “Pussy had me dead, might call Tupac over” I like what he did there because we all know that feeling that comes about after you get some real good pussy, and are halfway asleep afterwards. He weaves that in after a line about ‘one more hit and it’s over,’ which most can relate to being with someone just one last time before walking away. There isn’t a lot to this track to be amazed at, it’s not overly lyrical, or deep – it’s about drinking the night away and the things that happen as a result. It’s about addiction, to sex or women in general despite seeing negatives emerge in life as a result. I can see myself liking it quite a bit with more plays, but only in a certain mood.
I’m In It :: This joint is nice, and typical Kanye braggadocious lines about sex. The RZa beat is funky, and appropriately sensual (it even samples Kenny Lattimore) for the (mostly) single subject matter discussed. There are good one-liners, and fantastic descriptions of what has only been alluded to thus far in the album. You know it’s not a Kanye album without lots of talk about head! “Uh, you know I need that wet mouth, Uh, I know you need that reptile / Uh, she cut from a different textile, Uh, she love different kinds of sex now” Almost every line beings with a resounding “uh!” and there is even a dog barking in the background at some points, this track just gets it done. Agent Sasco and Kanye’s tortured soul make appearances on this track as well;
“Uh, got the kids and the wife life
Uh, but can’t wake up from the night life
Uh, I’m so scared of my demons
Uh, I go to sleep with a nightlight“
Blood On The Leaves :: Immediate use of the auto-tune vocals, ugh. Not that I’m opposed to it entirely, sometimes it works – but Kanye did a whole album and a bunch of guest spots with it, and everything sounded the same. Why is he still relying on it? This is the track that made me think seriously about ditching this review. How long could a 40 minute album really be? I feel like an idiot because I just google “Kanye West married” after hearing this song (and his entire catalog) being anti-women and relationships, and don’t worry – we won’t be hearing of an actual divorce at least anytime soon. This track is really dreadful, but the fourth verse saves it. I feel like the issues discussed in this track are superficial, but the last verse deals with living your life the right way and the unfortunate manner in which young people go about things today. It’s not preachy, there is truth there – along the lines of something like “Gold Digger” just obviously not as effective in 3/4 the verses.
“She Instagram herself like #BadBitchAlert
He Instagram his watch like #MadRichAlert
He only wanna see that ass in reverse
Two-thousand-dollar bag with no cash in your purse
Now you sittin’ courtside, wifey on the other side
Gotta keep ’em separated, I call that apartheid“
Guilt Trip :: More auto-tune right out the gate. I don’t understand this track at all, it samples Pusha T’s “Blocka” track, which is about selling coke and the issues that arise from that line of hustling. Kanye seems to compare being shot to losing his girl, but that’s a reach if I’m even in the same ballpark. It’s
introspective depressing, sure – but we went through a whole album of this and I thought we had moved on. It seems out of place, maybe a leftover track he recoreded years ago and just decided to add to this album? The beat isn’t enough to save it, and Kid Cudi – who I will point out is GOLDEN at producing brilliant hooks for Kanye (“Gorgeous,” “G.O.O.D. Friday,” “Christian Dior Denim Flow”) in the past really kind of drops the ball here. Skip this fucking track.
Send It Up :: Dope ass song for the most part – King Louie, whom I’m not familliar with knocks it out the park in his verse, and Kanye delivers a good one too although he sounds bored while he’s rapping. I suppose he would have had to be at times, to put out an album like this – *zing* Lyrically, on-paper this track does deliver and I do like the beat even though it’s kind of techno and simple, Daft Punk’s influence helped here. Beenie Man has a dope outro, which always takes me back to Mos Def’s “Traveling Man” track – I learned it’s actually a Beenie Man song from the 90’s that Mos borrowed from.
“Success got ’em jealous
Shorty’s killing, while I’m drilling
Tattoos, how they break the news
It was real if you made the news
Last night my bitches came in twos
And they both suck like they came to lose
Dropped out the first day of school
Cause niggas got cocaine to move
I be going hard, I got a name to prove” – King Louie
“When I go raw, I like to leave it in
When I wake up, I like to go again
When I go to work, she gotta call it in
She can’t go to work, same clothes again
And her heart colder than the souls of men
Louboutin on the toes again
Tight dress dancing close to him
Yeezus just rose again” – Kanye West
Bound :: Finally, the track I’ve been hearing so much about. I did dabble a bit into the instrumental and original sample of this track pre-release, I just couldn’t wait after I saw people posting about how dope the beat was. Jay Electronica actually already used one sample in this track [Wee – Aeroplane] for his @FatBellyBella track – and though it was a more simple side of his raps, it was a kind of dope tale of a relationship on the brink of seriousness. Kanye takes it in a similar direction assumed to be about his lady Kim, and this is a good track actually whether the album is or not. I like the double entendres, “They ordered champagne but still look thirsty, Rock Forever 21 but just turned thirty” and there is even a little Wiz Khalifa diss in there before the song really gets going; “All them other niggas lame, and you know it now / When a real nigga hold you down, you supposed to drown.” I do love the samples he used, and this is really perfection as far as the way they were implemented.
“Close your eyes and let the word paint a thousand pictures
One good girl is worth a thousand bitches“
is this a new Kanye West? Let’s hope not.
Final Thoughts :: Daft Punk had a hand in five tracks off the album (including the first four), and I think that threw the album off from the get-go for me. I’m not a fan of many rock / rap albums for the same reason, the cohesive style of an album just isn’t there – it’s a gimmicky sound and no one on either genre is happy with the result. I suppose if you were a huge Kanye fan, and a huge Daft Punk fan – you may have liked it. For the most of us though …
“I love what he did here with this beat / sample / wordplay …” & I don’t recognize that here on this album. This is the anti-album I suppose he was destined to make, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it. This isn’t an album I am going to bump in the car, or anything I really care to listen to much again. It was almost exhausting at some points, and it’s only about 40 minutes long. When an album is short but DOPE, I don’t complain one bit – but a short NOPE is not good for anyone and alienates the fans artists have worked so hard getting behind them.
I really love most of his other bodies of work, matter of fact last night listened to My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Twice. I rewound tracks, and verses because although misunderstood it’s a really deep and cohesive DOPE album. I loved the guest spots, the beat selection and Kanye was on-point lyrically throughout – although he does sound bored on some tracks. Mos Def put out an album a few years ago, Tru3Magic – with no promotion, no booklets or singles – just like Kanye tried to, the anti-industry album concept from an artist who had tired with the industry part of the music. His album had replayability, and some truly dope songs that a lot of people missed out on. If you didn’t get that album, I would recommend it over this particular one. Metacritic has that album listed at 45/100, whilst Kanye sits with an 87 score as of this posting.
New Music :: Album Streams June 2013 :: Kanye, J. Cole, Statik Selektah, MURS, Talib, Action Bronson, Prodigy …
06-16-2013 § Leave a comment
Having all this good Hip Hop music come out at the same time makes it inherently complicated to decide the best way of spending $10, so I figured I would link up all the new and just-released album streams here in one place and then you can make an informed decision.
04-30-2013 § Leave a comment
I tend to download a lot of albums, and mixtapes – and they sit forever in iTunes until I either delete them after a quick listen for lack of staying power or really, really love them from the jump. This album is one of the latter. I listened today, about a year after release to the latest from Minneapolis representative Mally (produced entirely by The Sundance Kid), and it was really a great album. I don’t mean great because it was free, but really just a great Hip Hop album.
From the intro tracks, it becomes apparent that it’s produced, mixed and mastered well – the beats are really well crafted and flow nicely throughout from one track to the next. The first real standout track is number three, “Shine.” The beat hits you, and once Mally starts rhyming I started wondering how I hadn’t heard this before. It’s just one of those quick chopping beats that tends to hit hard and I really got into it. The flow is perfection and rhymes lay perfectly where they should land here.
“I live in Hip Hop, I’m try’na put my name on the house / Who flex better, than the 13th letter?”
Once he had my attention, the rest of the album picks right up and carries on with thoughtful introspective lyrics, smooth instrumentals and lots of wonder about where Mally is headed in his career.
There is a nice feature from the always-focused Brother Ali on “Unplugged”, and the whole album really has an authentic feel of familiarity. Not that it’s just another same sounding record, but that it feels like you’re listening to something much older, and more played through than what was a new album for me today. I really suggest giving it a listen!
“Life’s a bitch with a lovely face, so watch this kid procreate …” – from Bounce
02-17-2013 § 1 Comment
Done as a “Thank You” to his longtime fans, ‘Vices‘ dropped a few weeks ago and it’s been getting pretty heavy rotation from me ever since. The project is also available for retail on iTunes if you want to support the artist (I suggest doing so!)
Drake makes a feature appearance, but only on the mixtape version and after working together much previously in their careers it’s a welcome sight to see the two back on one track. Drake is definitely an artist who hasn’t pulled his underground collaborators up with him (other than his producer) as he has certainly risen to the near top of Hip Hop over the last few years. I’ve been waiting for a Little Brother collaboration, J. Cole and Nickelus F too on a Drake album – why not share the spotlight with some of the artist that got you there?
Nickelus F, who has seemed to change identities into “Sweet Petey” as well as changing to a blunt-thrashed voice over the years has always put out great music be it mixtapes, or individual tracks to the masses. I’ve done one or two posts over the last year regarding his recent studio album “Faces” available on Faces, and some other projects spin-worthy. Check that post out here.
12-03-2012 § Leave a comment
I was able to run through this album today, and it’s quite good actually. I find that when I listen to DMX, the biggest thing against his new music is that it’s not his older music – there is a strong feeling to go back and re-listen to his first five albums all over again. That’s not exactly a negative, the man has a classic catalog before he became inconsistent (in timing) with his albums – but the new one is worth checking out if you’re a fan. One of my favorite tracks below, is “Head Up” produced by Tronzilla (I’m not kidding, that’s what it said). Tronzilla sampled Earth, Wind & Fire’s “Keep Your Head to the Sky” and made a nice track with DMX. Check it out;
Another good one is “What They Don’t Know” produced by longtime friend Swizz Beatz, who had done most his best work with DMX in my opinion. “Have You Eva” is a Dame Grease produced, more slow track but has X’s characteristic rough side over the smooth instrumental. Nice sample of Freddie Jackson’s “Have You Ever Loved Somebody” throughout.
11-10-2012 § Leave a comment
Their debut collaborative album, 2004’s Murs 3:16 The 9th Edition, is one of my all time favorite albums – they’ve done three more since then (2006’s Murray’s Revenge, 2008’s Sweet Lord, 2010’s Fornever) leading up to this seemingly final release on November 13th.
Complex has the full album stream up now. Below is the video recently shot for “Funeral for a Killer,” dedicated to the Day of the Dead.
Pre-order The Final Adventure (Deluxe Version) now!
08-27-2012 § Leave a comment
Since one of my favorite groups, Slaughterhouse is releasing their follow up album this week, I thought I’d post a few tracks – some old, some new and some not officially dropped just in case anyone is not acquainted yet. You’ve probably heard they’re signed to Shady Records, but they’ve been making great, lyrical music for a few years together and many more independantly of one another. Joe Budden started the group a few years ago, with Joell Ortiz, Crooked I & Royce Da 5’9″.
Make sure and get that “Welcome To Our House” album on 08/28/2012!
Off their first album, Slaughterhouse (Bonus Track Version) here is “Lyrical Murderers.” K-Young on the hook kinds of completes this whole track, I’ve yet to hear a wack hook from him & this one is very ominous to the subject matter.
“Lyrical murderer, blame Rakim
I’m a sniper shootin my way into your lame top 10
Pistol at your head if I ain’t next to Eminem
Then I bust in your face like I’m fuckin Lil’ Kim
Niggaz better pray to the lyrical lord
that I fall off like the umbilical cord before I fill up the morgue
This is how a killer record
with the double-edged triple syllable sword, I’m iller than all
Dineri, see I’m a literary genius
Bury niggaz with words, a cemetery linguist
Most rappers are comedy gold
They like they boyfriend’s sodomy hole – they full of SHIT!” – Crooked I
“Now you could walk through the shadow of death next to that shady street
Where the verbal cocaine business and 80’s meet
Where them niggaz is backwards
I’m ridin with my daughter in the front with the A.K. in the baby seat
We them copycat killers, unleashin venom
Commit them lyrical murders and then we re-commit ’em
Lyrics be high quality
Bitches be givin me brain, my dick be deep in they heads like psychology
Independently pennin the best words that were ever said
The mixture of Leatherhead and Everclear
You can’t hide, we everywhere
Now, picture a grizzly standin next to a teddy bear” – Royce Da 5’9″
Hello hip-hop, I am here, you dyin yeah and I’m aware
A beast so at your wake I’ll cry lion’s tears
And that’s no disrespect to the pioneers
If we ain’t who you tryin to hear
Somethin either wrong with your eyes and ears
I came in this game screamin Jers’
Ain’t an MC in our lane to try and merge
Try and run with our wave
But I’m cool with bein Eddie Levert seein my son on stage
Gun gon’ blaze, act up in this joint
And I’ma be Nate Robinson and back up the point
Your run’s over, run with us or get run over
I’m here to save this shit, and I brung soldiers” – Joe Budden
“This is lyrical murder
Me and every track have a physical merger
When I stab it in the chest I’ma bit of a curver
So it bleeds to death, like the middle of a unfinished burger
Or sometimes I wrap my hand around his throat
Cause he think his kick is slick or his little snare is dope
Shoot the bass in the face but sometimes I carry a rope
to hang the piano keys when they hittin every note
I’m what no beat’s able to withstand
If you suffer from writer’s block and your label got big plans
Listen to this fam
Slide a little dough out that budget, and hire the instrumental hitman
” – Joell Ortiz
From their new DJ Drama assisted mixtape, called On The House – this is one of my favorite tracks “.” K-Young contributes another good hook here, and I like the way the beat builds up and crashes before each artist starts their verse in particular – like the track is over and then running again.
“Talkin’ to myself, I tell me “Crooked is real as this”
Life is a bitch and death wanna steal a kiss
Slap you when you’re born, when you’re gone they feel your wrist
To see if your pulse still exist
Living in the belly, of the beast is a real abyss
Walk in a straight line is what you entertain
Then you slang to pay your bills, that‘s your ying and yang
The daily challenge to find balance within your brain
There’s something else, living inside your heart other than your pain
I look at life as a lesson
For me to change is like a Rolex for a gift
No better time than the present
If not, I’ma be smokin’ chronic
Drinkin’ on vodka till I choke on my own vomit cause life’s a broken promise” – Crooked I
“When that Slaughterhouse album comin’? What’s the ETA?
Where that good music at? Where that beat from ‘Ye?
Is Crooked and Yaowa only in that group to keep
From being in the streets to distribute yay?
Is Royce and Marshall ‘bout to link and go their secret way?
Is Joe gonna start a show with all his hoes,
Like he the protégé of Stevie J for easy pay?
Before y’all become a memory
Would y’all please do a song with Kendrick, Young Money, and MMG?
These questions and suggestions they hard to maintain
When you fuck with Flex but you worry what Charlemagne think?
Cause you from the D and don’t get no radio play in ya own home
Long as y’all playing Sean I’m good, I’m grown
Nigga I’m gone”” – Royce Da 5’9″
“Them shots fly in my hood and
Sometimes it’ll force a guy to say bye bye to a good one
Dust some slacks from in the back of that closet and button up
Don’t crumble up, when you approaching his mother that hug is tough
It’ll make you asthmatic, some can’t hack it but look at me
I wear my hat backwards and rap fantastic cuz I’m a G” – Joell Ortiz
“Now after chivalry we was rebels and exciting as before
Or Maybe the fact I’ve been solo so long
It’s kinda spoilt me or when I’m annoyed and try to avoid
Becoming a victim of loyalty
We was so cuttin’ edge
My address is this fucking ledge” – Joe Budden
The official video off the first album, for “Microphone.” This video features a glass booth they are laying verses in, and a bank robbery kind of scenario going on. I don’t watch a whole lot of videos but it’s a good one.
“Too many Indians and no chiefs
I pull out the pistol when I promote peace
I’m the blueprint – I have your clothes
lookin like they was designed by bullet holes and shoe prints
When I bless a joint – it’s like Spock
came up in the spot and grabbed the beat by the pressure point
I got the Vulcan touch
I tell my bitch I’ma, give up drinkin when she give her emotions up
Too many enemies and no killers
Too many that hate snitchin but know squealers” – Royce Da 5’9″
“Too many in this industry I need to rob
And if eatin niggaz made you obese, I be The Blob!
Fuck props, nigga this a different conquest
Listen this hear me spittin think it’s a pissing contest
I’m in it for power, if cowards try to stop me
they better off usin a fishin pole to reel in the Lock Ness” – Crooked I
“Now I’m havin a whale of a good time, I’m a +Free Willy+
Y’all lip singers take a pic, click, cheese really
Fans, who their man, I’m they quick pick easily
None of you kids spit evenly
You body my verse is like a thick bitch leavin me
Ha ha, too many fantasies and no fame
Too many claimin insanity and they so sane
Less than wack Scooby Snack lack flow game
Rappers everything I do be that crack cocaine
Your career is doobie wraps, slap Joe name
In any one of them verses say hello to the hearses
Too many monkey see, monkey doers
I slaughter “pigs” on my “tail” like Punky Brewster” – Joell Ortiz
“Treat old-timers like fags who drop the soap
They mic got Alzheimer’s, forgot that they was dope
Too many dogs, not enough barkin yet
Too many blueprints, not enough architects
Rhyme ain’t started yet, still every bar’s a mess
FUCK record sales or who the machine markets best
I’m the last muh’fucker that y’all should test
I’m the sharp shooter, you the nigga I target next
Too many frontin like y’all that fly
REACH it, cause we set the bar that high” – Joe Budden
A new single from the group, scheduled to be on their upcoming ‘Welcome To Our House’ album, is “Throw That” featuring Eminem. I just got this track last night and it’s bonkers!
“Baby you got some incredible skills
I want brain, You want shoes
true love’s always head over heels” – Crooked I
“I said YO YO!
You got me on a string, I’m hangin like a YO-YO
You string me along and leave me hangin and that’s a NO NO
in my world, cause I’ll throw this dick on you girl” – Eminem
I’m not sure if “Hammer Dance” will make the album, but it was the first official single released in anticipation of the new album.
“Milk crates sittin on the ave
while I’m lookin left to right for them niggaz with the badge
My moms dishes really had crack on ’em
12 twelves and I kept them shits packed for ’em
Yeah they came back for ’em
I could paint it so vivid cause I really lived it
If rap fail I’ll stack bail and show you how to get it!” – Joell Ortiz
“I’m in the club, bottle in hand doin my two-step
While I got my gun in my pants, call it the – Hammer Dance
Uhh, bitches dancin on a nigga
When they feel the gun, I tell ’em we doin the – Hammer Dance” – Royce Da 5’9″
“How would you become me? I don’t do what you cowards do
Flip a thousand pounds of that sour dies’ in an hour dude
I’m out my muh’fuckin mind
Fuck a punchline, salute my muh’fuckin grind
Ditchin Feds on the regular, they tryin +To Catch a Predator+
Not the Chris Hanson type but the Danny Glover kind
I’m a killer, everybody know I’ll body yo’ audio” – Crooked I
“Not a killer at all, I’m just surrounded by ’em
Just a real nigga, straight from my mother’s stomach
Ain’t enough cloth for all of us to be cut from it
Not decided by who toast lead
Cause all of us will be +Angels+ for Pujols bread
Lot of hostility, hollerin is killin me
Screamin over my dead body like it’s not a possibility
On my Jers’ bullshit, never mind me
But if it’s ever problems niggaz know where to find me” – Joe Budden
“Wack MCs” did not make the first album, I think there was a clearance issue but it’s super dope and features a sampled chorus from KRS-One’s “My Philosophy.”
“You just salty, I’m fonder than sodium
Anticipate the shots like Obama at the podium
Me and y’all are nowhere near the same pedigree (nah)
Not in layman’s terms, hypothetically
Metaphorically, lyrically, not especially
Theoretically (I mean) we just different genetically” – Joe Budden
“The Slaughterhouse ain’t no goddamn gang
Show up to the bar where you hang
Shoot at your bottle like, “Hohh, we pop champagne!”
No disrespect to ol’ D’s boy Jimmy
I ain’t Prince Akeem but I will greet you with the sweepers or the +Semmi+’s” – Royce Da 5’9″
“Never lost a fight, I’m like 25-and-O, what!
Except that time in high school but he jetted when I woke up
E’ry time I spit it’s like somebody filled the whole cup
with liquor and just downed it, they hear it wanna throw up” – Joell Ortiz
“From ringtoners to backpackers, I smack rappers
Speak on us and we gon’ be bendin them street corners
to clap actors, after that brrrap, collapse backwards
Shit, that’s when the force roll through
I Malcolm X you pigs, what the pork gon’ do?
I Malcolm X the track, that mean arm-leg-leg-arm-head
Body the beat, the torso too, heh” – Crooked I