Tag Archives: Hip-hop

Cool Songs : November

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Tracklist:
Panama – Always (Classixx RMX)
Arcade Fire – Afterlife
Flume & Chet Faker – What About Us
múm – When Girls Collide
Anushka – Never Can Decide
White Denim – Under Mi Pretty Green
Childish Gambino – Sweatpants
Grizzly Bear – Will Calls (Diplo RMX)
James Blake – Bills, Bills, Bills (Destiny’s Child RMX)
Dornik – Rebound
Busta Rhymes – Thank You (Feat. Qtip, Kanye & Lil Wayne)
Bombay Bicycle Club – Carry Me
Doc Daneeka – Walk On In (Feat. Ratcatcher)

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Cool Songs : October

We all are.

Remember when I made a pledge to supplement this space with fresh new content throughout the month of October?

Well that was a bold-faced lie. 

As it tends to do, life has gotten in the way of my beloved domain, and thus it’s time to be honest with myself and anybody left reading this blog.

We’re done here. 

I’ll construct a more proper obituary in a post at the end of the year, because there actually will be about 3 more – all of which rounding up a period of time by it’s musical highlights.  We’ll do the last two installments of “Cool Songs” along with a Top Album/Tracks of the year roundup.

It’s worth mentioning I couldn’t hunt down tracks from either of my favorite albums from October because they weren’t on Soundcloud.  Those albums were Dreamboats by Sleeping Bag & Rozwell Kid and  Savior by Shark?.

Tracklist:
Baio – Welterweight
Odd Future – Look
Danny Brown – Lonely
Sufjan Stevens – Take Me
Swearin’ – Dust In The Gold Sack
Pusha-T feat. Tyler the Creator – Trouble On My Mind (Rustie RMX)
Ben Khan – Eden
Janelle Monae ft. Miguel – Primetime
Flume ft. Freddie Gibbs – Holdin On
Star Slinger – Free
Ryan Hemsworth feat. Sinead Harnett – Small + Lost
Azealia Banks – Work Bitch RMX

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Cool Songs : September

Smart move by Floyd with the 6-14 demographic largely up for grabs in boxing.

For about the 5th time, I’ll start a post with an apology.

After an August that saw a bit of a renaissance around these parts, we damn near laid egg this in September.  If it not for an incredible Natty Morrison piece that had been sitting in the drafts for about a month, we assuredly would have given you no original content for 30 days.

I hereby pledge October will be different.

If you pay attention to this blog at all, you’d know that I always make time for a monthly playlist.  This is due in large part to the fact I make these into CDs for when I’m sitting in L.A. traffic.  I realize this is a very 2004 move.

So without further ado, 44 minutes of choice cuts.

tracklist
Kwes – 36
Celestial Shore – Valerie
Drake – Hold On, We’re Going Home
Twin Shadow – Old Love/New Love
Polica – Smug
Movement – Us
A$AP Rocky – R. Cali
The Range – Metal Swing
BANKS – Bedroom Wall
Nowhere – Dead Live
SOHN – Lessons
Four Tet – Parallel Jalebi
Say Lou Lou – Feels Like We Only Go Backwards

Also s/o to my favorite Lafayette, Indiana independent record label, Jurassic Pop, who sent me some shit I didn’t order a couple weeks ago.  Since they refuse to comply with my desires and put shit on Soundcloud so I can listen to in my car without paying them, I will embed this fantastic track from Nowhere’s self titled album here.

EDIT: The gentlemen of Nowhere reached out on Twitter with a soundcloud link! As luck would have it, it nestled perfectly into the back half.

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Five Rappers Who Kinda Made Me Want to Sell Drugs

"Give me my motherfucking money, bitch." - Natty, age 3

“Give me my motherfucking money, bitch.” – Natty, age 3

(Writer’s Note: I am white.  I am not sure if this is a relevant fact, but it is a fact.  Do with it what you will.)

I don’t sell drugs.  It’s not that I wouldn’t, I just can’t.  I don’t believe I have the necessary skill sets to be effective in drug dealing.  Dealers need to be tough. They need to be good with money (i.e. good with math). And they need to not do drugs.

I am none of these things.

BUT, I am a lover of hip-hop.  The way it sounds, the way it feels…even just the way the artists say certain words inspire a geek-out reaction for me.  So…there is an innate, immediate, inexplicable mental reaction that I have from certain songs or albums.  It’s always more a fantasy, not even realistic…but it is undeniable.

And that reaction is that it makes me want to sell drugs.

I realize I am treading on dangerous ground here. Rap is often made by black persons. Not always, but fairly often. Additionally, I do not believe the drug culture is specific to any race or creed.  Everyone who does drugs loves drugs, and THAT is what drives the drug empire in the world.

But I don’t think I’m the only one who thinks that sometimes…sometimes it sounds fucking dope to sell drugs when the said narrative is accompanied by ill beats and a dude who sounds amazingly cool. So. with all that being said, here is my list of the Five Rappers(s) who kinda made me want to sell drugs.

1. Notorious B.I.G.

Holy shit. Just the way his flow fell on the beat sounded like someone counting money. No. Wait. It sounded like one of those money counters. The ones that sounded like a dude shuffling cards. Biggie was effortless. It never seemed like he was breaking a sweat (even though if you know what he looked like, you’d just assume he was sweating, constantly) but he managed to drop a wealth of knowledge on a generation of heads. He was almost shouting, but you simply got the impression he was just calmly stating, “THIS SHIT IS WORTH LISTENING TO.” Also important: He was one of the first rappers to illustrate and live the persona of the internally conflicted.  To me, this is an essential writing tactic of a true hip-hop artist. Also, this one time, he said: “You don’t have to say shit/ I’ve been robbing motherfuckers since the slave ship!” That was sick.

Sample tune: “Things Done Changed”

At first, the beat sounds charming, almost happy. But soon  – very soon – it becomes apparent that, while things used to be happy, things are indeed not happy.

2. Wu-Tang Clan

Totally not one rapper, but these guys’ rhymes made me want to do shit of which I was totally not capable. This is really one of those groups that didn’t necessarily want to make me sell drugs; it’s never entirely clear whether they support the game that they (mostly) met through. But they DID make me want to  be in a gang. Not a real gang. I mean, I don’t want to brag, but I’ve seen quite a bit of the television program “Gangland.” And if that show has taught me only one thing, it’s that white people need an unneccesary amount of definitions for pretty understandable words (Seriously! “The Wire.” I thought you all you honkies watched that!).  But if it’s a second thing, it’s that I could not make it in a group that required an application process more complex than, “Question 1: When was the last time you did something for the first time?” But these homies had serious skill, and the beats from RZA have shaped the way I bob my head. Seriously. I fucking love every album from these dudes. Even the ones that kinda suck.

Sample tune: “C.R.E.A.M”

Honestly, this song wasn’t really a pro-dealing cut. But the way Rae says shit like,” A young tooth, rocking the gold tooth and ‘Lo goose, Only way I began to G off was drug loot,” made me want to find my nearest dope house and rob it. Instead, I probably just went to Arby’s. Side note: when I first realized what C.R.E.A.M. stands for, I was sitting in the Sagamore Parkway Payless parking lot and I was like, “HEY GUYS, GUESS WHAT?”

3. Gucci Mane

Just a quick note: “Trap God,” including mixtapes, is Gucci’s 27th studio release.  27th.  That is a staggering, staggering, fucking STAGGERING number considering the dude started eight years ago. That is far beyond prolific, even in comparison to music’s greatest contributors. In his first eight years, Elvis recorded and released ten albums. Ten. THAT DUDE IS A BITCH. So what if he was in the army?  He was a racist, anyway.

Like Son of Hilljack’s creator, Matt Bailey, I really wasn’t made aware of Gucci until he co-starred in Harmony Korine’s 2012 masterpiece, “Spring Breakers.” But since then, I have found his (for some reason, questionable) flow is the first one that feels like drug dealing.  It’s shortened, minimized, gruff, both full of dialect and dialectic, and beautiful to boot. Such a rare artist, Gucci is able to convey a wide array of viewpoints and mindsets. But in the end, “Trap God,” would be an AMAZING soundtrack for a huge coke deal gone right. I do not want a coke deal gone wrong.

Sample tune: “Street Nigga”

This guy is believable. Like, I believe this guy.

4.  Snoop Doggy Dogg

Yeah, that’s what I call him. Sorry, but I’m not referring to Snoop, or Snoop Lion, or the new spokesman for Overstock.com. I’m referring to the guy formerly known as the Artist I Used to Give  a Shit About. Before he would literally do ANYTHING for money, Calvin Broadus made selling dope sound smooth. It wasn’t shitty and painful, like a piece of Brillo Pad you scratch against your hand before smoking crack, it was beautiful and liquid, like the state of the steel being formed to make the Brillo Pad you would use to smoke crack. He never seemed like the Tony Montana type of dealer, one who would exact precise revenge on any of his enemies. Snoop seemed like the kind of guy who would watch you rip him off, spit a few sick bars and then tell Suge Knight to fucking murder you.

Sample tune: “Deep Cover”

Never has murdering an undercover police officer sounded so fun. I do not support killing police informants, but if I was a guy who did, I probably would support this song. Snoop’s verse is the highlight, by far, and that includes the painstakingly uninteresting opening. So much exposition. Snore. Remember, I don’t support killing officers of the law, ever.

5. Jay-Z

Okay, first off: Fuck Jay-Z. I don’t mean this in a hyperbolic sense. I seriously, realistically and honestly think Jay is a fucking joke. Okay, yeah, “Reasonable Doubt,” is a dope, dope, dope album. Even parts of, “The Blueprint,” are great (not the KRS album; THAT whole album is fire).  But this guy has not tried in probably ten years. And yet, despite his reliance on a stupid fucking laugh and his tongue twist (you know, like, “Tiggity-tongue twist, I diggity-done that”), Shawn Carter has somehow gone from shitty Brooklyn coke dealer to being biggest rap star on the globe, married to Beyonce, worth $500 million, and owning the Nets. This makes me insanely jealous, and who the fuck wants the Nets? No one, that’s who. But this rags-to-riches story makes petty drug dealing seem worth being a goddamned imposter. Get off that throne, Jay-Z. No one likes you. You straight up ruined, “Suit ‘n Tie.”

Sample tune: Fuck Jay-Z. He doesn’t get a song.

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Cool Songs : August

Let’s put August in the distant fucking rearview, please.  That month just didn’t cut it for me.

A Recap of The Month That Was:

Some of you got up in arms about some fairly predictable shit : Starlet kicks off adulthood by pushing the boundaries of her sexuality and experimenting with drugs.  Then again, the uproar was pretty predictable in itself.  Keep fighting that good fight people…

College Football happened, and I shouldn’t try to escape it this time.   Personally, I’m not much of a College Football fan, but 90% of the people I follow on social media love the fucking game, so I was completely bombarded this weekend with unwanted commentary.  Well, maybe not all of it wasn’t unwanted.  Here’s a friendly reminder of what exists in the south:

Sweet jesus.

A very solid month musically, with one of the better albums of the year dropping in Doris from Earl Sweatshirt.  Kendrick Lamar claimed himself the King of New York on his verse in “Control” and the only fallout was a sea of journalists producing paltry quotes from rappers not yet too annoyed to address it.  This playlist is a strong one, with a predictably summery vibe that might just be perfect for that Labor Day BBQ tomorrow.  Maybe the best track of the bunch I yanked off because of audio issues, but here’s all 45 seconds of it, compliments of Flying Lotus and Thudercat.

And the playlist.  Enjoy Friends.

Tracklist
RAC – Let Go (Feat. Kele & MNDR)
Le1f – Damn Son
Holy Ghost – Okay
Parquet Courts – You’ve Got Me Wonderin’ Now
Danny Brown – ODB
Alex Smoke – Dust
Misun – Hills and Trails
Big Sean – Control (Feat. Kendrick lamar & Jay Electronica)
of Montreal – She Ain’t Speakin’ Now
Marnie Stern – This Was It
Courtney Barnett – Avant Gardener
Earl Sweatshirt – Hive (feat. Vince Staples & Casey Veggies)
Frankie Rose – Street of Dreams
Chloe Howl – How Proud
A$AP Rocky – Thuggin’ Noise (It’s Hemsworth, Bitch Edit)

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Best Albums of 2013 (thus far)

Matt Bailey @SonOfHilljack

Parquet Courts – Light Up Gold
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I turned 24 the other day, and this shit gets a little more depressing every year.  Thankfully we have Brooklyn pessimists with Squire Stratocasters pledging their discontent through feedback and razor sharp wit.  A soundtrack for post graduate despair that radiates with slacker quirk, I can blast this in my compact economy car while some lady next to me at an LA stoplight in an Audi purses her lips and thinks to herself “Get a job.”  Conversely, I’m thinking to myself, “Atleast 3 people just ran that red light.  And why does nobody have their turn signals on?  Did none of you people have stable father figures in your life?”
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“Domo 23”- Tyler, the Creator

By: Natty Morrison

Goddamit, it’s great to have Odd Future’s leader back.  Not that the rest of the nihilist, fuck-everything-and-everyone, futurist weirdo clan haven’t been hard at work making hip-hop and R&B safe for artsy-fartsy types (see: Earl Sweatshirt, The Internet, Mellowhype, Domo Genesis, that one bisexual dude who sings about Pyramids), but Tyler’s quick-tongued guttural growl has been oddly absent over the past few months.  So imagine my gleeful surprise when last Thursday night, seemingly from out of nowhere, Tyler dropped “Domo 23,” presumably the new single from his upcoming solo cut Wolf.  This album has to be one of my most anticipated records of 2013, as it is rumored to be the third installment of his “Dr. TC sessions,” to which we were introduced on the brilliant intro to Bastard.  Tyler has said that this album will be more beat-centered and features less rapping than his previous solo efforts, even containing numerous instrumentals he’s been perfecting since age 15.  This gets me even MORE giddy, because the instrumental tune AU79, on 2011’s Goblin, along with the psychedelic “Gotta let them go,” section to Goblin’s “Radicals” were two of my favorite moments from that sophomore LP.

ANYWAY…back to the video.  Tyler’s oft-hilarious Twitter showcased his anxiety and excitement over posting the new video, saying things like

@FUCKTYLER 20 MINUTES TILL I DROP SHITTY NEW VIDEO

And

@FUCKTYLER IM SO NERVOUS WHAT IF EVERYONE HATE IT AND I GO BROKE FUCK AHHHH

And

@FUCKTYLER YOU ALL ARE GONNA HATE IT. SERIOUSLY. ITS NOT GOOD. 3 MORE MINUTES!!!!!!

My thoughts?  Dude has nothing to worry about, this tune is motherfucking solid.  The video makes me laugh (his hair is incredible; Taco’s slow motion faces are also incredible; EVERYTHING IS INCREDIBLE), and his rhymes sound far less self-conscious than they tended to veer on Goblin.  But the truly realest moment (TRILL, Y’ALL) comes during the abrupt change at 3:37.  One can only hope this diabetes-grade sweetness continues throughout the album.

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Natty’s Top 5 or 6 Favorite Producers, Right Now

“I fucking love drums and I fucking love drumbeats.”-” John Phillip Sousa

 

As a white dude with a beard and internet access, I know I’m supposed to really love high-brow rock music.  But in reality, I just really, really, really like beats.  Like dope beats.  Super dope beats.  Even somewhat dope beats get a significant number of plays in the Natty household. Basically as long as a particular beat has a dopeness rating greater than zero, I will most likely be listening to it.  And perhaps at a certain time in history it would have been vaguely laughable for a white bro to love “black music,” (as racist fucking people call hip-hop), but for now it’s not a matter of white or black.  It’s a matter of dope or not dope.

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