That 70s show pt. 3

I checked the Rock the Bells tour last night when they came through Chicago, got to see Ghostface in place of Keith Murray – GF came out for “Ice Cream,” performed “One,” and did track off his upcoming cash-in More Fish, among other shit. Smif-N-Wessun were good, Supernatural was funny, and Redman was alright too. Raekwon was the best though – I copped this Raekwon mixtape because I thought it was novel to pay too much for something I could download, and because he kind of ripped shit on stage.

There were posters for Cuban Linx II everywhere; there’s something so contrived about that shit to me. I mean, Dr. Dre’s involvement doesn’t mean the same thing it might have even a year ago – 2 of his beats on Snoop’s album were trash, and how long did it take everyone to forget about The Big Bang, about a week? – and there hasn’t been a good New York EVENT album I can think of since 50’s debut. No reason to think this will be different, another case of label dudes and rap impresarios mining New York history in the hopes that some of the past’s shine will rub off on inferior product. Never mind that Rae promised at Rock the Bells that the new album would be ‘strictly crack rap,’ which is some weird boast about when the only rapper who prolly has touched less dope in the last few years than non-ODB Wu rappers is Busta (sans the ‘roids). Either that or dudes are pushing crazy weight on the college campus tour circuit.

But then – Raekwon’s actually kind of killing it right now. He sounds focused, like lots of time spent on writing, that classique intricate NY style, carefully thought out and memorized, line by interlocking line. Straight up, Rae is just not being lazy – check the recently leaked track Da Destroyer, knocking the crown off Jay’s lazy head, “some nights I feel like stickin up exxon/ my gun game experienced, came from robbin Louis Vitton.” And then there’s this mixtape, a salute to the 70s Heroin era with a Mayfield & Mary Jane Girls funk soundtrack, the prequel to Cuban Linx 2’s 80s crack culture electro shock. Its got densely written drug talk that sounds more immediate that most anything coming from Ghost or Papoose or certainly Busta. Its like despite everything working against him – history, age, his peers falling off, the death of NY rap – Rae can shoulder the load and bring quality when it matters, with hard work and an absolute resistence to gimmickry, keep his shit focused and worth dissecting, rewinding so you can deconstruct each lyric like you did back when you first copped OB4CL. At the concert, Rae mentioned growing up in crack-era NY as his continued inspiration, the same inspiration that triggered his verse on “C.R.E.A.M.,” the first Rae verse I ever heard and connected with, the same inspiration that continues to drive him; so even though NY is post-crack, even though Cuban Linx II could inevitably disappoint, hyped beyond belief with Aftermath marketing muscle and selling off of history like classic rock radio and Lenny Kravitz CDs, Heroin Only (or any of the other 5-6 mix CDs he’s dropped recently) can slot right next to this year’s AZ album and maybe the new Prodigy mixtape as a record of well written NY classicism without the obnoxious pressure that warps yr expectations. Its no classic but its nice to see some old dudes aren’t ready to hit the beach chair.

Blood on the chef’s hatchet i’m here for the action
kill a hundred n***az with asprins and piss in they casket
4 5’s rip thru your glasses, all mines Mr. Gymnastics
give me more time or visit the blasteds
cuz i’m starvin, hungry but classy
i’m dead up ya lassies
cuz its nothin press a few buttons
see city disastors
and yo, anthrax em and axe em with cyanide acid
choke em out, left in the cold and skate thru lake placid
stop frontin
know you a pastor, you know i’m a master
i’m like 6 6’s in traffic, you n***az is taxis
hard bodies, come thru jurassics
its all about mossberg rugers
loadin them ratchets and blow em like napkins
cuz i’m elevated at the top of my floss pile
the m’ll stay young fly and rich as a rothschild
with transaction gram action n***az on the stove maxin’
throw a thousand birds off the road while my soldiers catch it
playin all the lobbies the gottis the red mazzeratis my collegues’ll blow somethin, show you karate
we know the code
pyrex and pottis the live section keep em on his toes take off them chromes and pass em to mamis
cuz federados watchin us gambi’s is everybodies laundry they huntin for we can get more if we fuckin prolly
we hang n***az bang pistols take a piece of yr finger the same whistle you better respect it cuz my name sizzles HUH

One response to “That 70s show pt. 3

  1. Pingback: New Raekwon album — Exclusive somanyshrimp review!! « WE EAT SO MANY SHRIMP

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