Another quick rundown of the stuff that’s been clogging my in-tray (no Peter Tatchell)…
Jay-Z – Show Me What You Got (Def Jam)
He’s back, and it sounds like he’s never been away. Unfortunately this is not a good thing – Shawn’s big return from ‘retirement’ sounds like an offcut from the old “Blueprint” sessions. His flow is of course as poised and confident as ever, and Just Blaze’s PE-sax-sampling beat is polished to within an inch of its life, but this all somehow sounds less like the return of the triumphant hero and more like the 3rd Vegas cabaret performance of the day from the weary king who knows that beneath the bluster and pomp, there’s a new career waiting for him after the show. And it involves wearing slippers and cardigans and planting your own small flowers in the front yard. And as beezer quite correctly wonders, what ever did happen to Jay-Z’s umlat?
RATING: 6.5 / 10
Rich Boy – Throw Some D’s (Interscope)
Buttery smooth production from um… Butta provides Alabama’s Rich Boy with stunning backing as he chants deliciously ignant nonsense about the rims on his Caddy. Its one of those tracks that seem to pop up every few months, which has absolutely nothing positive in its lyrics, its message, or its entire existence, and yet it just fucking KNOCKS. (See Yung Joc – ‘Its Goin’ Down’ etc.) I know Jude and Sear have been playing the shit out of this on Sirius (one time for the AOA), and with good reason. This is a winner, and I love it to bits (nh).
RATING: 9 / 10
Ying Yang Twins – 1st Booty On Duty (TVT Records)
Despite the fact that I am one of the few sensible people in this world who actually like Ying Yang, and support them by BUYING their albums, this track makes me wonder how many times they think that Collipark can recycle ‘Wait’ and ‘Play’ and still release it as a new song each time. WTFIGO?
RATING: 5 / 10
Ying Yang Twins ft Wyclef – Dangerous (TVT Records)
Despite the fact that I am one of the few sensible people in this world who actually like Ying Yang, and support them by BUYING their albums, this track makes me wonder why the hell they thought hooking up with Wyclef would be a good idea. This is bloody awful. Its got shit guitars – like every other Wyclef record every invented. Its got a shit hook from Wyclef where he repeats the same line over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over – like every other Wyclef record ever invented (plus this time it borrows from the awful Hall and Oates track ‘Maneater’.) Its got Wyclef singing – even though everybody
loves Raymond already knows this muhfucka sings like DMX avoids crack. In fact, its total poo. On a stick. Melting in the hot sun and running down your arm.
RATING: 2 / 10
Pitbull – Ay Chico (TVT Records)
Rounding off the TVT hat trick, comes Pitbull’s second single off his upcoming album, “El Mariel”. This ain’t a patch on ‘Bojangles’ though, which we all know is one of the top 5 singles of the year. Here Collipark recycles ‘Shake’, keeping the same beat, but replacing the “umm-daa-daa-umm-doh-doh” with some Spanish ladies chanting all over the shop and some tropical-flavored bongoes bongoeing (is that a word?) in the background. Women with big asses in Miami will love this though. Because of this, so will most of the men. I don’t live in Miami though. But this doesn’t mean I don’t like women with big asses. But I’m married anyway, so this is where I finish this review.
RATING: 6 / 10
Snoop Dogg ft B-Real – Vato (Geffen)
When did Snoop move to Geffen? Why does this sound like ‘Stunt 101’? Why does B-Real’s hook really make me grind my teeth because of the way he pronounces all his ‘i-n-g’s’ in full (he didn’t ‘start firin’, he ‘started firing’, but he pronounces it as ‘fire-een’ like some kind of Latino Paul Barman with a bad tobacco habit)? Why does this seem really slow? Why has Pharrell’s production work for anyone but the Clipse sucked major anal fissures for the last couple of years? Why is Snoop still rhyming like a 9 year old and getting away with it? Why does Snoop’s reggae ‘toasting’ (arf!) sound worse that KRS-One’s worst attempt on the worst day in history in Worst-Town?
RATING: 5 / 10
Bone Thugs-N-Harmony – Just Vibe (Mo Thugs Records / Interscope)
Hmmm… why did this get a release and the infinitely better ‘Still No Surrender’ didn’t? This is all happy, sparkling goodness, with whatever members of Bone aren’t locked up all chirping brightly at 100 miles an hour about all manner of stuff I can’t make out. Every so often they sing the hook to ‘First Of Da Month’ though, so that makes everything peachy, I guess. Honestly though, this is like some background music to an old reunion segment on “Surprise, Surprise”… “You haven’t seen her for 54 years when she was packed away to the Mental Ward in the white bus with the tinted windows, but now straight out the strait-jacket – its your next door neigbor – Betty Hightower! Surprise Surprise, Chuck!”
RATING: 6 / 10
The Game – Lets Ride (Geffen)
Mr Taylor on the mic. Nein Numb on the beat. Its Diet Dr. Dre. (“The Aftermath chain is gone” dontcha know?) Its complete wank.
RATING: 2.5 / 10
Magic ft Detroit – Shorty (TVT Records)
Hey I just found another TVT single. Although this one sounds like Juvenile rapping over the ‘Cleanin’ Out My Closet’ instrumental, it is in fact Magic. (Ain’t this the ‘I Smoke, I Drank’ cat?) If you read the small print carefully, you’ll find his full name is Magic Johnson!!! Must have taken a minute to think that up, eh? This is painful. (The song not the review.)
RATING: 1 / 10
Beck – Nausea (Interscope)
I have no idea why I was sent this single, but its aptly named.
RATING: 0 / 10
Young Buck – I Know You Want Me (G-Unit / Interscope)
I fucking hate Jazze Pha. He’s a fat, happy little cunt, who deserves a 9 iron right in the face. He uses the same soundbank all the time, the same way Jermaine Dupri used to, and his stupid adlibs at the start and end of every song he produces serve as an instant prod towards the skip button. Buck meanwhile sounds sluggish on this – its obvious that he intended this to be one of the filler records on his new album, and that someone else made the decision to push this as a single. Another piece of overpolished crud, I’m afraid.
RATING: 4 / 10
BMS ft Li’L – Baby Doll (LaFlame)
Sigh. I really don’t mind all you no-name rappers and producers sending me stuff to review – its nice that you feel I can offer some critique towards your careers. Here’s some handy tips for you though, before you send in your next package…
– Master yo’ shit, homie! If your track sounds like it was recorded inside a shoebox and burned onto a cd that your dog played frisbee with first, then there’s a great chance that its not going to a positive review. Because I can’t hear it.
– If its obvious you’re punching in every line then you are being haunted by the ghosts of Eazy-E and Big Pun, and they have cursed your vocal performances until the end of time. Give it up.
– If your beat sounds like every other second rate Fruity Loops-produced southern beat ever produced since Lil Jon dropped “Kings Of Crunk” then I will call you out as the fool you are.
This is shite.
RATING: 2 / 10
Fam-Lay – Da Beeper Record (Star Trak)
Does anyone actually carry a beeper anymore? This is a weird record – on first skim its annoying as fuck, but somehow the combination of Fam-Lay’s rubbery flow and Andrew Coleman’s (who?) squelchy organ stabs burrows its way into your brain, forcing you to bounce around like a demented man with dementia the longer the track continues to run. I’m still actually surprised that this is a Star Trak record that doesn’t feature Pharrell in any kind of audio appearance (despite the fact that this SOUNDS like a Pharrell beat – and a bloody good one at that.) Anyway – buy this. Its lovely.
RATING: 8 / 10
The Neurologists – Pagan’s Helmet / The Staff Of Ra (Edified Gems)
Double entredres ahoy! The Neurologists are a production team out of NYC who have decided to concoct some average beats and then get some second string emcees to come and rhyme over them. On ‘Pagan’s Helmet’ (nh) Killah Priest rambles for a while over some drums that rocket on at a fair old pace while doing their best to trip him up and annoy the listener. What he’s saying is not altogether clear, because his vocals are mixed down waaaaaaaaaaaaay lower than the shitty instrumental. Flip to the other side though for even more fun, as Lil Dap from the Group Home mumbles over an even faster beat like Prodigy’s longlost drunken cousin. No wonder so many cats are ‘poisoning their brains’ with mindless commercial drivel – if this is the underground’s best example of an alternative, then we’re all fucked. This is the best imitation of shite UK rap from 1990 that I’ve ever heard. Bag o’ wank.
RATING: 1 / 10
Mekalek – The Gritty Bop / Love Life Money Guns (GITD Records)
Yay for Percee P then! On ‘Gritty Bop’ the BX Rhyme Inspector dominates Mekalek’s horns and snares and kicks and organs to produce an instantly collectible slab of wax. Flip to the F side where Fedd Hill lisp threateningly over Mek’s lilting strings and Nas samples, and marvel at the fact that somehow, someway, underground Hiphop can still produce listenable music despite being hampered by cats like The Neurologists. This is more like it, people!
RATING: 8 / 10
Olive Green – The Doo Bad Hustle / Concrete Cavalier (Candle Wax Records)
Wow – a 7 inch record! I’m already loving this. Then I realised that I’d put it on at 33rpm instead of 45rpm… At 45rpm, ‘The Doo Bad Hustle’ features insistent percussion and precise electric guitar basslines… however if you slide it back to 33rpm, the funk turns sloppy and Blake 9’s cutting and scratching enters the chopped and screwed dimension, and I’m in audio heaven. ‘Concrete Cavalier’ meanwhile is a rock music construction interspersed with pieces of movie dialogue – at both 33 and 45, this made my ears hurt. Please stop with the dirty tricks, Olivey people, and stick to doing unintentional screwed goodness (nullus).
RATING: 6.5 / 10
Nine:Fifteen – Deluxe Laminated EP (Candle Wax Records)
Time Machine’s Jaysonic features on first cut ‘Freak Out’, and its of little surprise that this track sounds like it could have been lifted straight from “Slow Your Roll” – fast paced, with hard-edged beats, and little horny horns flitting in and out of the mix. Producer Blake 9 shows however that he has more tricks up his sleeve, jacking the 3rd Bass ‘Derelicts Of Dialect’ sample (that I can’t recall the name of at this precise moment) for ‘NoStylegia’ with impressive results, while Comel_15 gets his reminicse on. ‘You Deserve Less’ introduces a slice of funk into the mix, though Blake’s golden backing track powerfully overshadows Comel’s lyrics for the first portion of the song before giving way to a more traditional kick/snare combo which lets Comel clamber back on top (nh). The B Side carries instrumentals for all the above plus a bonus beat that is only interesting for its horn sample. Overall though, this is one worth seeking out.
RATING: 7.5 / 10