Sometimes a good video can really give you a different perspective on music. There have been countless times I’ve seen a video for a song I probably normally would gloss over and then ended up loving it cause, subconsciously , I connect the music to the visuals. This isn’t always a mirage though. Sometimes, it’s actually a deeper look into the aesthetics of a group. A good video will sometimes help you “get” a groups mission statement.
So, here we have a video by the group SWAG TOOF. It’s just so fucking weird and awesome. Add in the beat is dope and the raps are kinda crazy in a ridiculous way and , well, here we are.
Thing is, I looked through a few of their other videos and , while I see why people fuck with these dudes, it was a case of “eh, this isn’t for my old ass”. As much as i don’t wanna admit it, I still hold on to some old school rap biases. It’s hard for me to look at the members of this group (a white dude with dreads down to his ass and a guy who looks like Stitches but soft) and be okay with that. I realize this is short sighted and unfair. More than anything, it’s just me dating myself. The old rules of authenticity no longer apply to rap music. Funny thing is, you’re reading this and probably on either side of this argument. You agree and are stuck in a similar mindset or you’re young and shaking your head at the old man. But, what can I say? A man can only try so hard to keep his tastes relevant.
That said, this particular video and song? I think it’s awesome. I can’t say if it’s cause it doesn’t show the members of if the song just works but I’m not going to question that.
So, join me in dropping all preconceived notions for just a moment and tell me what you think of this particular song.
Chicago continues to be a hot bed for good rap. Rap of all varieties. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while you know I’m a big fan of Tree. He raps and makes beats, coined the phrase “soul trap” and has been consistently making good music for years now. Well, he’s got friends. Todays example is Giftz.
A little rougher than Tree. A little wilder. Where Tree seems like the wise older dude from block, Giftz is a younger dude he chills with who might duff you out if needed. Still, musically, the “soul trap” sound is there and I really think that’s a winning combination.
Check him out:
Here’s some older stuff. One with Tree and the other with Freddie Gibbs.
Supergroups come in all shapes and sizes. Often the sum of their parts is greater than the whole, though. Expectations can hurt cause people see a line up of familiar names and get excited. Recently, Flying Lotus, Shabazz Palaces an Thundercat have joined forces for a project called “WOKE”. Now, on paper, this is a very sexy looking trio. A great producer, a great rapper and a great bassist/singer. On top of that, there’s the weirdo factor. All three of these guys are outside the box and the thought of them joining forces really is wide open. They could do so much. It’s almost hard to even guess where a project like this could go.
So, the first song leaks and it features George Clinton. That’s pretty big. The question is, can all these forces combine and create something great? Can they live up to the impossibly high standards a project like this sets by even existing? You tell me.
You know, I’ll admit it. i don’t love a ton of Female rappers. This isn’t to say there haven’t been a bunch of very good ones, I just have rarely been drawn to them beyond a song or two. I feel as though this is fairly common amongst many male rap fans. Not sure why it is. Cause, undoubtedly, there are and have been some really talented female mc’s. I clearly remember the first time I heard MC Lyte’s “Eye on this” album and loving it. Or Fugees Era Lauryn Hill. What about Trina? Her content may not be up your alley but she made some dope shit. More recently (meaning the last 15 years) Jean Grae has done a lot of good work. Hell, I may not love her music much but Nicki Minaj can undeniably rap her ass off. I’m listing all these ladies not in a “See! I like girl rappers!” kinda way but more to show the variety that can be found within the genre (is it even a genre?). As much as she was a blueprint for many female rappers, not all of them are Lil’ Kim knock offs. And even some of those knock offs were not bad. But all that said, this is the first female “Yay or Nay” ever so it must be something.
So, I’m probably late to the game but today I discovered JunglePussy. She’s been around for years and the name is definitely familiar. I probably never checked her cause I assumed it was some kinda club/dance/hipster rap that i assumed I wouldn’t care about. Well, turns out I was mistaken. JunglePussy is interesting. She’s funny. She’s contradictory in a great way. She’s also pretty hot but that’s neither hear nor there. She seems to have found a happy medium between the current type of “hot shit”, someone who spits #barz and having a very specific voice of her own. She’s kinda dirty. Topically, i feel as though she might lose some of you more picky, uptight types. But, I’m a believer in “it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it”, when it comes to rap. And I like how she says things.
Now, I won’t lie, I don’t love some of her production but I’m also a dinosaur so it’s not really made for me. I’m curious what you guys think.
If you’re feeling her, i think you should check her new album on Vice Records
I often like to test the interest in new projects by old rappers in this section. This week, we have a little “old meets new” situation as Kool Keith and producer L’Orange have come together to make an album called “Time? Astonishing!”. It features J-Live, Mr. Lif, Open Mike Eagle, and a few others.
There was a time when Kool Keith was the most prolific rapper not named Lil B I had ever seen. in the late 90’s , he was pumping out albums bi-yearly. Not all of them were great but he never made an all out dud. Since that era of crazy productivity, he’s become more human. He still put out music but it’s nowhere near the rate he used to. I won’t lie, I kinda stopped checking for Keith in the last 5 years. Not cause I think he fell off , more cause I just haven’t been paying attention. Every now and then, a new song would pop up, I’d peep it and think “Yup, he’s still doing it…” then I’d forget about. I think part of that dismissiveness had to do with his production choices. Keith has always been all over the map, with the types of beats he uses. From the heavy breaks and samples of “Dr.Octagon” to the more simplified synth based sounds of “Matthew”. So, when he drops something new, you don’t really know what to expect. Well, in the case of “Time? Astonishing!” , he teams up with producer L’Orange who is a guy that will make the Dr. Octagon fans very happy. He’s a sample based guy (Hooray!) whose sound lands somewhere between Madlib and The Automator.
If you’re a Kool Keith fan, this is possibly the album you’ve been waiting years for. If not, you’re probably not reading this part anyway. But , regardless, check it out
Earlier this year I did a post about two different versions of a Future Islands song. While admittedly out of the new music loop (especially for non-hip hop) I was enamored with The Future islands. Part of that post was pointing out that the singer, Sam Herring, was also a part time rapper. From what I could find on the internet, it seemed to be more of a hobby than a job. Little did I know how serious he was.
Well, turns out Sam AKA Hemlock Ernst is actually tied in with some talented people in the rap world. He’s doing an EP with Madlib under the name “Trouble Knows me”. They just leaked a first song and…well, it’s pretty fucking good. It’s a mix of styles that probably shouldn’t work as well as it does.
At least I think so. I’m curious what you think.
This is one of those occasions where I’m not sure what I think of the artist yet. Normally I have a mild agenda ,at best, to push new music to your unwilling ears. This time around, I’m actually curious what you think.
Adrian Lau is a NYC based rapper who just did a whole album with Producer harry Fraud. Off the bat, I will say the beats are all dope. I know some of you cringe at the sound of anything remotely trap sounding but Fraud is a dude who mixes that drums style nicely with some awesome sampling. He has a knack for making really atmospheric stuff that doesn’t sound too emo for it’s own good.
Anyway, let’s talk about this rapper though. Lau is good. He can rap. That’s not really my issue with him. I think what I’m undecided on is if he brings anything new to the table. He’s an artist who I can clearly hear his influences. But, like I said, he’s got talent.
This is one of those groups that I feel I may be a bit late on. Looking at their bandcamp, they have 4 releases thus far plus a brand new EP. That’s a pretty decent amount of work right there. Admittedly, i haven’t had a chance to go through all the music but I perused the old stuff after I came across the new EP “Bears like us too”. Well, from that glance, I feel like this new EP is a jump forward. Not that the old stuff was bad. Not at all. It’s just feeling like they’ve arrived at a sound that is more evolved than the previous projects.
These are rappers from ATL who seem to take influence from all over. The southern bounce is there but they are decidedly lyrical, kinda weird and just interesting all over. The production is versatile too. I’m into it. What do you think? Unfortunately, they don’t allow embedding…which is annoying but, whatever. Check out the new EP on soundcloud. Let it ride. It’s solid and remains interesting throughout.
Lemme know what you think. You can pick more than one choice….
Chicago might be one of the most versatile cities on earth , in terms of rap music. From conscious rap to pimp shit to a rich battle rapper history to drill music , it’s pretty much has all the bases covered.
If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know I’m a big fan of Tree. He’s a rapper/producer who’s been dropping quality music for a few years now. He is the creator of “Soul trap” which is pretty much soul samples infused with trap style drums. I’m a big fan cause he does it with simplicity and good taste. No crazy synthed out breakdowns, not masturbatory drum fills. Just solid samples with head nod beats under them.
His most recent project is a collaborative effort with fellow Chicago mc Vic Spencer. Spencer who , as a rapper, actually reminds me of Tree a little. They both have a growl to them. HE’s kinda like a mix between Tree and Khudjo from the Goodie Mobb. Whatever he is, I’m into it. Tree handles all the beats and Vic handles the rhymes. It’s a solid EP, in my opinion, but I’m curious what you guys think of it. Check it out… (I’d skip the first song, cause it’s an intro and not a good “First impression” of what’s really going on with the rest of the album)
So, what do you think?
So, A month back I threw up a new song by Golden Rules and and asked you what you thought of Michael Biddines. A florida rapper who linked up with a producer from the UK (Paul White) to form “Golden rules”. I was impressed with Biddines off the bat but linking with Paul white seems like the perfect match.
A new song linked and , this time around, it features Yesiin Bey AKA Mos Def. Kinda caught me out there cause I had no idea dude had that kinda pull to get Bey on a track. Good for him.I should probably also point out that I have a strange relationship with Mos Def’s music. He’s a rapper I’ve always thought was extremely talented but, when it came to his recorded works, it never did much for me. I’d like to think it had more to with his production choices and borderline corniness but, at the same time, he’s undeniably good at both singing and rapping. So, while I never really seek out his shit, I won’t turn it off when it’s on cause you never know…you might get one of those songs where he absolutely blacks out and goes off. He’s certainly capable of that. i realize my take on Mos def isn’t exactly a popular opinion but, hey, that’s what it is. Sue me.
Anyway, this new song dropped with both these artists and, guess what? I like it a lot. Both rappers are great on it and the beat is pretty damn good as well.
So, what do you think? (you can pick more than one option)