Jap/Dro/Big Kuntry – “How We Get”

Jap ft. Young Dro and Big Kuntry – “How We Get” (prod. by Zaytoven) (via DGB)

So this is another loopy, sing-song celebratory jam to file next to those K.E. joints. Not surprised that this is coming from Zaytoven either seeing as he’s been killing it with these type of bleepy synths since forever but I’ve never heard a beat from him with such an overt and driving melody so I’m inclined to chalk it up to the influence of swag music. All the verses are pretty dope but Dro’s stuck with me because he so shamelessly cops from Yung LA, but the way he effortlessly slides in between LA-style whiny (and endearing) singing and his typical mealy-mouthed car raps is pretty amazing and organic. And Big Kuntry has the best punchlines \(o_O)/. He kinda sounds like DJ Paul, no?

I’m not totally sure what to think of these songs except that I like them. They’re certainly really positive and happy songs— not that that really means anything generally, but they’re nice to hear in the summer. They remind me of when everyone gets drunk and start singing off-key. Good times shit. Atlanta rappers are having fun.

K.E., producer of the summer?

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Dirty Red – “M.O.N.E.Y.” (prod. by K.E.)
Young Squad – “Turn My Swag Up” (prod. by K.E.)

K.E.’s the guy who did “Swag Surfin'”, which for a “who the hell are these guys?” single that no one will remember in three months is pretty amazing. The chorus is one of the best pop-rap hooks of the year if you care about that kind of thing (I do), and it’s basically built around K.E.’s beat, which is as melodic as it is totally flat and thin. Almost all of K.E.’s tracks follow the same template as “Swag Surfin'” with these totally fake horn blasts burying blippy keyboards and drums that sound like he’s poking holes in styrofoam cups, but his reliance on these plastic midi horns gives his beats a real sense of regality and they work especially well as sort-of underdog anthems. These two tracks sound like kids trying to replicate the, for lack of a better term, kingliness of “What You Know” and they succeed in a sense because K.E. is able to make the tinny feel just as huge as a Toomp beat. This stuff is obviously also post-snap, but where “Laffy Taffy” and “Lean Wit It, Rock Wit It” were all about space and clicks and hisses, K.E. beats smush sounds together like a granola bar. He’s great at writing these circular synth melodies that give his songs a melodic underpinning (to be honest they sound kind of like nursery rhymes, but not in the obnoxious way like “Chain Hang Low”) and on tracks like “M.O.N.E.Y.” and “Turn My Swag Up” he reminds me of nu-Jim Jonsin if the guy wasn’t trying to make it on NOW compilations with every song. K.E.’s production aesthetic is very much “of the radio” and yet he has been able to define the sound of underground Atlanta (along with guys like Nard & B) while at the same time having a melodic sensibility that has helped him carve out a sound that is very much his own.

K.E.’s YouTube channel

The greatness of Jackie Chain

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Jackie Chain – “Diamonds & Cadillacs” (via BLVD ST )
Jackie Chain – “Alabama Dodgers” (via DGB)

Jackie’s perfected this style of rap that is super direct and determined and where there are no wasted words and every line is like a very pointed statement of purpose. I get the sense that he writes every rhyme two lines at a time and then connects them together for verses because all of his songs are about cars, drugs and girls, but it yields amazing results where his songs are just full of incredible couplets that are basically like mottos. Here are my favorites from “Diamonds & Cadillacs”, in random order and in all caps cuz Jackie is a very urgent rapper:

ALL ABOUT MY MAHNEY
SUNGLASSES ARMANI
BOUT TO HOLLER AT THIS BITCH THAT LOOK LIKE GWEN STEFANI

AC BLOWIN
WHOLE TRUNK BOOMIN
BIG BOY SHIT
CHROME GRILL AND WOMAN

LOBES ARE CAVALLI, RC DIAMONDS STUDDED
CADILLAC IS CUSTOM WITH THE INTERIOR GUTTED

CADILLAC PIMPIN, AINT NOTHIN LIKE IT
PUT THE TOP UP SO I CAN WATCH THESE HOES DYKE IT

etc.

He reminds me of Paul Wall (only partly cuz both are light-skinned) in how he shows that simple couplets about material shit can yield great rap if you’re to-the-point, you know what you’re talking about and you realize that words like “studded” and “gutted” make a dope rhyme.

“Alabama Dodgers” is great in its own right:

I BASE MY WEED PRICES ON EXCHANGE RATES
WE CROSS THE BORDER SWITCH CARS AND THEN CHANGE PLATES
I DONT UNDERSTAND MY PLUG, HE GOT THAT FUNNY TALK
AND I DONT SPEAK HIS LANGUAGE, I JUST LET MY MONEY TALK

This is just total chest-thump shit to me and I think it’s the best. Jackie is one of my five favorite rappers right now and he needs to put out an album immediately.

A Gucci Mane lyrics post

“Wonderful” is here.

“Gorgeous”, “First Day Out”, “Hustlers Anthem (remix)”, “Wrist Gliss” and “Tall Rims” (ft. DG Yola and OJ) all after the jump. “Gorgeous” is especially clinical.

corrections/suggestions in the comments.

“wonderful”

wonderful, wonderful, damn i feel wonderful
im lookin at your girl and i feel like fuckin her
wonderful, wonderful, damn she feels wonderful
she ridin with a star and we smokin in the car
i feel wonderful, wonderful, damn i feel wonderful
so many diamonds on that i’m lowering the temperature
wonderful, wonderful, damn i feel wonderful
i know you hate, bruh, but that’s so understandable

red bezel on my jacob looking like a sliced tomato
fuck a hater i blow acres of jamaica in decatur
im so extraordinary while my bracelet so canary
choppers that my niggas carry probably scare the military
half your budget spent on luggage, spent your mortgage on a portrait
purple bud look like an orchid, cant afford it? watch me torch it
tell your shorty, gucci at her birthday party, cost a 40
this imported foreign flying saucer make me feel important
tell big booty gina from virginia if you ever see her
i remember last november and i can’t wait till the sequel
where’s my equal? i don’t see him, never met him, never meet him
if i meet him, i’ma greet him, beat him, eat him up and leave him

wonderful, wonderful, damn i feel wonderful
im lookin at your girl and i feel like fuckin her
wonderful, wonderful, damn she feels wonderful
she ridin with a star and we smokin in the car
i feel wonderful, wonderful, damn i feel wonderful
so many diamonds on that i’m lowering the temperature
wonderful, wonderful, damn i feel wonderful
i know you hate, bruh, but that’s so understandable

[???] like a landshark, tell me where the gills
switching gears, damn look the wheels leave me with the chills
on the real, gucci vacuum sealed, fuck them record deals
selling pills, moving pounds of med, kept a pocket scale
bitches love me cuz my pockets chubby, money stupid lanky
and im drankin while im driving, diamond solitaire on panky
they aint owing, so my money growin, blowin, rollin o and
drop top beemer, yeah it’s foreign, ralph lauren shirt, im sippin don
and then while im managin’, leave you stilted like a mannequin
frantic and they panickin they see we got advantages
only got one life to get, i wish i had two or three
so icey the family so bury me as S.I.B.

Continue reading

Probably my favorite Gucci line of the year

Cuz we aren’t tweeting yet.

“So Icey Boys, baby everything groovy/ hat to the shoes, baby everything Gucci”

Just totally love the fact that he says “groovy”. It’s a truly odd word choice and in a way I think it expresses unbridled joy better than maybe any other word could’ve in that situation. It’s little things like that that make Gucci weird in a singular manner and not Weird in a Charles Hamilton/pink fetish manner (not to always pick on the guy, but) or Weird in a 2008 I’m Lil Wayne, the Alien Rapper manner. You can substitute compelling for weird, too.

A close second: “I can’t even lie, yo/ I be fuckin fly hoes”

Haven’t listened to Guccimania just yet— DJ Empire mixtapes are grating as fuck— but anyone who’s slipped up Gucci-wise so far should download the Gucci the Glacier tape cuz it’s got a bunch of his best shit from earlier this year— like the Juicy J and Project Pat songs— tacked onto the end.

OJ Mix

In the past week or so, four songs have leaked with incredible OJ verses, and it really seems to me like he’s stepped his game up from even just last year. He sounds remarkably confident to me right now, like this little buzz he caught from Gucci and probably even Soulja Boy has really emboldened and solidified his style. He just seems like he belongs right now, and even when he’s on a song with Fabolous and Juelz he doesn’t seem out of place— in fact, guys like that seem lost in OJ’s dust to me. And that’s not to prop up OJ as more than he is, but I think he’s gotten to the point where his style isn’t a substitute for his rapping. Instead it’s a totally unique and singular flow used by someone who is also a great rapper and who just so happens to be blowing everyone else on tracks out of the water.

So, I made this mix of the four verses. This is the first time I’ve ever blended tracks into each other and I did this in about 45 mins on GarageBand so the blending is truly horrible. These are the songs:

“Hustlers Anthem 09 (rmx)” -> “Hottest in the Hood (rmx)” -> “Superman High” -> “Gold Grill Shawty”

OJ Mix

Gotti, Zoe, Boosie, etc.

Cocaine Music 2

Yo Gotti’s always been a sort of nomadic soul amongst pseudo-underground Southern rappers. Despite being from Memphis he never really got entrenched with the major rap forces there (someone else could probably fill in the background better than I) and he never really felt right at TVT, where he released two albums this decade but never fell in with the crunk era there. In the past year or so he started showing up pretty frequently on songs alongside Gucci (most notably on “Bricks”) and I started to wonder if he would see any boost in popularity while Gucci was away in jail. As far as I can tell that didn’t happen— if anything that boost went to OJ, who had an actual promo push and a single and shit.

In any event I still have no idea what’s going on with him because Cocaine Music is basically an album of songs that, based at least on the amount of “Free Gucci” chants, probably have been laying around for a bit, and in the first song he says that he isn’t signed. It’s a really good bunch of songs, too. I haven’t seen production credits but everything sounds like Zaytoven or FATBOI.

“Shoot Off”

Sometimes I feel like Gotti can seem a little detached, like he’s a little too comfortable playing the raspy stoner. “Shoot Off” has a really quick-moving beat so it forces Gotti to ratchet up his urgency and he raps for basically four minutes straight about deals he’s done and whatever, but it stands out for two reasons. One, he’s earned the cynical veteran role that he assumes here, and the indignant and simmering tone he raps in sets the tone for the tape as a whole. Secondly, it’s a surprisingly detailed and varied track as far as these things go with Gotti rapping at Gucci about his incarceration (my interpretation, at least) and about why he didn’t join a gang and about moving coke in Toshibas.

“Sold Out”

“Sold Out” is about selling all your drugs, and so Gotti tries his hand at Jeezy’s kingpin swagger-rap, and it actually works really well in the same way “Welcome Back” did, with the caveat that no one can really replicate the way Jeezy turns into Godzilla on some tracks. But this is still impressive, from the way it makes an overdone ploy— “Showtime, mic check, 1, 2/ *girl screams “I love you Gotti”*/ I love you, too”— exciting to the way its chorus, like the one on “Make the Trap Say Aye”, is almost like an original playground chant.

“Drum Play” (ft. All-Star)

This one flips the gun play conceit pretty coolly: “Gun play, gun play, you don’t want no gun play/ hit em with that chopper, make it sound like a drum play”. Then the first verse: “Drum play, drum play, bitch I got a hundred rounds/ shoot that bitch a hundred times I bet you make a hundred sounds/ Tommy Gun, Mac 11, we can make a drumline/ Hit his ass with one shot, I bet he pray a hundred times”. It goes on pretty much like that, and never gets tiring.

Gorilla Zoe’s disco AutoTune album

“I Got It” (ft. Big Block)

The one thing I’m taking away from the truly weird Don’t Feed Da Animals is something that I kind of suspected ever since “Hood Nigga”, and that’s that Gorilla Zoe has a pretty good and pretty unexpected ear for a catchy melody. A lot of the songs, like “I Got It”, have Zoe sing-rapping in this loopy lullaby cadence, and it’s not exactly always a great look but it makes for an interesting quasi-pop album I think, especially when Zoe is singing all nonchalantly about you “leaking red plasma”. Makes me wonder what his “inspiration” was, and if there’s anything to it beyond trend-hopping, and if it was just him getting caught up in the AutoTune Era, I wonder if he just lucked into these often great tracks or what. There’s a song called “Shit on Em” that’s a pretty graphic song about shitting on dudes but it’s pretty melodic. I guess lots of people hate the album but personally it leaves me with lots of interesting questions. Lots of them are about weed.

Superbad

“Sunshine” (ft. Webbie)

Mad late on this one I know but Boosie basically leaked his album right? I can’t recall ever seeing anything about T-Pain or Bobby V collabos, and Superbad had been floating around for a while as the name of his album. I sort of talked about this in my last Boosie post, but there is basically no trace of “Wipe Me Down” in the guy’s music anymore. Everything is either super-aggressive like the T-Pain joint that leads off the tape (“If you ain’t down with Boosie Boo/ Fuck y’all”) or the pensive, bluesy shit like on Da Beginning that’s like the best rap music around. “Sunshine” is a song about clothes, watches etc. but it’s still restrained, if not somber, and it gives the song a really earned feeling. Webbie, by the way, is an incredible rapper.