Another post about OJ

Gorilla Zoe ft. Gucci Mane and OJ Da Juiceman – “Helluvalife”

Haven’t heard the whole Zoe album yet (do I want to?) but I was naturally HIGHLY INTRIGUED by the Gucci/OJ collaboration. It’s about the fifth best Zoe/Gucci song that exists in the world (and about the 1,800th best Zaytoven beat), and it’s really only notable for OJ’s verse, made possible by the fact that Gucci appears to not be trying and Gorilla Zoe is now apparently incapable of not singing. OJ’s verse packs the vitality that all his verses seem to have, and it’s almost the quintessential OJ verse in a way because he rides along shouting as he does (actually starts off the verse biting Gucci’s Michael Jackson diamonds line from “Light Show”) not saying much but commanding attention, but he hits this line where it’s almost like he should be taking a breath except he goes “YOUNG JUICE MAN/ GODDAMN I’M A HUSTLA” and it’s an almost unexplainable “aahh” moment, like all the gears in his verse finally locked into place. It’s the kind of thing that seems tossed off until it’s chopped and screwed on an “anthemic chorus”, except with OJ the anthemic part is completely instant.

Tomorrow I’m going to post this video of Zaytoven that’s probably old news but dude is basically my favorite producer doing it right now and it shows him fucking around with a keyboard to get the burbly bleep noises that are almost his trademark so it will be a cool nerdy thing at least.

Streets Made Me

With the recession looking like rap’s new AutoTune, the game straight-up needs Boosie. His rap is basically blues music at this point, and I don’t think there’s anyone cutting through bullshit quite like him right now. His sad, mournful tracks— “Dirty World” from last year’s Da Beginning or “Life of Crime,” which Noz posted a few days ago— are pretty gut-wrenching, so much so that I wonder if dude’s actually doing alright. His songs about girls, cars, money, killing etc. sound to me to be borne out of so much anger and pain, like Boosie really wants to make a dude who can’t rock as much Coogi as him feel like the biggest pile of shit because of it.

This Streets Made Me tape isn’t as strong as Da Beginning (what mixtape is though, right??) but it has some really really serious tracks. I don’t have production credits on these, sorry.

“So Tired”

The back half of the tape really leans on his depressive shit, and “So Tired” is the most immediately arresting of these. To me, Boosie’s biggest strength is how soulful he is, and when he raps softly and calmly like he does on “So Tired” his voice sounds so weathered and emotive. When he starts singing he could almost be mistaken for a classic Delta blues singer, which really puts the AutoTuned emotion of Wayne and Kanye and Zoe (endeavors which i support, btw) into perspective. The beat here is this really dreary organ thing, just perfect.

“Got Something Fast”

For all everyone says about Boosie’s voice, I’ve never really heard anyone mention how versatile it is. If he could only rap in a seething rasp it would kind of dull the effect, and on “Got Something Eat” he kind of strikes a balance between the laconic drawl of songs like “So Tired” and the fire-spit of songs like “Wipe Me Down”. Backed by this sad, jazzy horn sample Boosie talks about shit that happens when you’re running around as a kid.

“Out Da Way”

There’s a line here that maybe goes along way towards explaining what’s going on with Boosie: “Niggas talkin shit but I just lost my grandma/ Bout to introduce you bitch-ass niggas to Rambo”. When this leaked a few weeks ago I was struck by how angry he sounds— “Thugged out and I love it, dawg/ Fuck around, Boosie turn your face to a Chuckie doll”. Gotta say as well that these reggae songs really vibe well with him.

“Please”
Apocalyptic is probably an overused adjective, but Boosie’s violent tracks really have that feeling to me. It’s hard to listen to them and not get this feeling like they’re fighting for their life down there (which I guess might be true)— when Boosie raps about violence he makes it sound like a necessity not a luxury.

Top 50 Gucci Mane Songs of 2008

Here’s our final list of the Top 50 Gucci Mane Songs of 2008. There’s just one last thing I’d like to touch on:

In the climate that the press— especially the music press— is in right now, I’d feel a little out-of-place, if not guilty, telling the people who run rap journalism what they should and should not have covered last year. I have no idea how Dipset is selling magazines in 2009, but apparently they are. People need to eat, and if it means Asher Roth then it means Asher Roth, and I know that’s what it comes down to. That said, these are 50 hot songs (and we had to leave some off), yet, if you picked up any magazine last year or read any website, you read, fawningly, about how any number of rappers were gaming the Internet era and releasing x amount of songs or mixtapes in x amount of days or weeks. For the Nah Right Trust Funders, I understand that their proliferation across blogs is straight (self-)marketing, but I wish someone, anyone, would’ve stopped for a second and criticized these very self-serious artists for their brazen lack of quality control. I didn’t know Charles Hamilton in 2007 and I do now, but I don’t find that particularly praiseworthy, especially when it came at the expense of his music, which is what we’re all supposedly caring about anyway. Even when guys like Freeway jumped on the train last year I felt myself respecting their recognition in needing to meet the web halfway but being let down by the way it felt like those guys were putting in Work. For all intents and purposes, Freeway put in his 9-5 for a month and then pretty much disappeared. Gucci, on the other hand, did not.

50. Gucci Mane – Smoke
49. Gucci Mane – I Hear My Mama Talkin’, I Hear My Mama Prayin’
48. Gucci Mane – Fast Break
47. Gucci Mane – Body Language
46. Gucci Mane – Jewelry
45. Gucci Mane – Get High
44. Gucci Mane – H2O
43. Gucci Mane – Yellow Diamonds
42. Gucci Mane feat. OJ Da Juiceman – Mo Money
41. Gucci Mane – Mr. and Mrs. Perfect
40. Gucci Mane – I’m the Shit
39. Big Tuck feat. Gucci Mane – Not a Stain on Me (remix)
38. Gucci Mane – On Deck
37. Gucci Mane – My Plug is an Alien
36. Gucci Mane – I’m Radric Davis
35. Gucci Mane – Pampers
34. Gucci Mane feat. Yo Gotti & Rocko – Lots of Cash
33. OJ Da Juiceman feat. Gucci Mane – Make the Trap Say Aye
32. Big Tuck feat. Q6 & Gucci Mane – Pussy & Patron
31. Rich Boy feat. Jackie O & Gucci Mane – Ms. Pacman
30. Gucci Mane – Freezer
29. Gucci Mane – Grapey
28. Gucci Mane feat. Frenchie – Ghetto Supastar / Sun Valley
27. Gucci Mane – Photo Shoot
26. Gucci Mane – Slumber Party
25. Gucci Mane – Lodi Dodi
24. Gucci Mane – Let’s Go To War
23. E-40 feat. Bun-B & Gucci Mane – The Recipe
22. Gucci Mane – I Live in a TV
21. Gucci Mane – Haunted House
20. Gucci Mane – Mr. Perfect
19. Gucci Mane – Feelin’ Myself
18. Gucci Mane – Kill the Parking Lot
17. Remi feat. Gucci Mane – Bubble Up
16. Gucci Mane – I’m A Star
15. Gorilla Zoe ft. Gucci Mane – Georgia
14. Gucci Mane ft. Yung Ralph & Yo Gotti – Bricks
13. Question feat. Gucci Mane – That Boy Bad
12. Gucci Mane – Nickelodeon
11. Gucci Mane – Like a Lambo
10. Gucci Mane – Hot Damn
9. Sino feat. Gucci Mane and Hydro – I’m That Guy
8. Soulja Boy feat. Gucci Mane and Shawty Lo – Gucci Bandana
7. Soulja Boy feat. Gucci Mane – Bands
6. Soulja Boy feat. Gucci Mane and Yo Gotti – Shoppin Spree
5. Gucci Mane & Yo Gotti – Mo Money
4. Gucci Mane – Laughin’
3. Gucci Mane feat. Yo Gotti – Light Show
2. Gucci Mane – Colors
1. Gucci Mane – My Rims Dancin’

Don’t need a drank I’m eatin Frosted Flakes

Trap Squad Cartel – “Pop Tags”

Trap Squad Cartel are from Dallas. They are called Trap Squad Cartel and they have a song called “Pop Tags” and another called either “Icey” or “So Icey”, which you can request at your local radio station. Their mixtape is called On My Grind Vol. 1. The whole thing should be the most generic rap exercise in the universe, yet “Pop Tags” is, uh… completely bewildering and the most exact opposite of tedious.

Basically, I think dudes infiltrated my brain cells since four of the five verses on here are from guys that sound like Lil Boosie, Fabo + AutoTune (yes), Gorilla Zoe + Autotune and Gorilla Zoe again. Then on top of it someone cooked up this fucked up beat of Mannie Fresh snare rolls, Trill Ent synth blasts and keyboard drip-drops and this dagger of a sample that sounds like a millisecond snip of the “Still Tippin” violins. The chorus — I POP/ THEM TAGS/ SO THEY JOCK/ MY SWAG — is straight rap-libs shit but it ends up scraping the anthemsphere last entered by “Pop Champagne”.

Then as if it couldn’t get any better, the Gorilla Zoe dude tries to one-up “Wipe Me Down”:
JEWLERY, GEAR, NOTES
CHECK
MONEY, WHIP, HOES
CHECK

He fails of course, but only barely.

This new Fabo

Here’s the mp3: Fabo – “Spaceship Man”

Cherish new rap’s original weirdo streamlining his outlandishness into an actual song, a kind of rap/kind of singing thing that’s more in the vein of quicksilver modern r&b like Janelle Monáe or John Legend’s “Green Light” (an André 3000 feature) than snap or post-snap or whatever. Just as much as we love Fabo wilding over empty spaces in his schizophrenic hyena howl, it’s just as nice to hear him doing a fully-formed song that doesn’t sacrifice that singular personality and vision. Pray for reign.

David also posted about the song here and got sad when no one commented

FREE THIS BEAT

I get the point of mp3 blogs, duh: post mp3s, get linked, maybe a bad rapper will hit you with an exclusive track or if you’re the luckiest maybe an exclusive mixtape. But still, how is the whole internet gonna post this new Juelz track without admitting — no contrarian Dipset hate here, by the way — that Juelz is a. no longer a good rapper and b. that he’s completely ruined this incredible beat.

For one, I’m surprised that people are still checking for new Juelz verses, but beyond that, did no one think by the time that Juelz was dropping played out napalm and BAPE references ten seconds into his first verse how much better it would be if a good-in-2009 rapper was on this beat? Something this vintage, this creeping and grimey (yet still elegant) deserves better than a dude who jumps on and implies that he sticks his whole head inside vaginas. Where is the clamoring for Jada or Freeway or Twista? Imagine Big L or Mobb Deep. I can’t believe that people actually think he went hard on this beat, so why hasn’t anyone said it? I know, I know. But, still.

In order to end this post on a positive note, I’m posting this classic Rap City freestyle from the Big Tigger era of The Dips blazing the “My Block” beat. Jones and Juelz are WEARING THROWBACKS and Cam is in all pink and raps his verse while counting money. The good days.

Here’s another dope Juelz freestyle over that Lloyd Banks song “The Cake”. Lol @ Juelz saying I Can’t Feel My Face was coming soon. In 2006.

Juice

OJ Da Juiceman: “Trap Work”

Working out why I like Gucci understudy OJ Da Juiceman hasn’t come easy to me. On one hand, dude is almost like an elaborate joke, just some ad-lib crutching no-name co-signed by the right ATL people to see exactly what we’re willing to accept in our post-Jeezy, post-snap rap landscape. Juice’s ad-libs sound like Chappelle’s Prince being punched in the gut, and his flow is so flagrantly one-note it’s basically celebratory. But on the other, Juice has emerged as a dude to watch in 09, another in a lengthening line of trap-not-rap stars reveling in the understated brilliance of post-D4L everyman rap.

If Juice is not a pure Gucci facsimile then he’s unabashed about copping style. He loops his raps in that same singsong playground cadence that Gucci settles into when he’s really got a foothold in a beat, but Juice’s flow is a little more stilted, and in a way it’s kind of got the same lockstep qualities of a marching army battalion — predictable yet dope. If anything, his songs are hypnotic in a way, at once because they all kinda sound the same and because Juice raps non-stop. The tape has a propulsive quality that basically every other mixtape lacks these days, and Juice raps his ass off like rap might get him somewhere, which I guess isn’t totally unique but it still jumps out off the speakers.

As far as the rapping goes, Juice doesn’t stray far from trapping and its benefits (also touches on fucking), but he’s got a trap star’s flair for making the old seem just a little bit new again, or at the very least still (dope boy) fresh. And maybe most importantly, he sounds like he’s having a great time rapping, and if that’s not his most redeeming quality then it’s eminently notable, cause I’m not getting tired of ATL good times rap anytime soon.

BONUS FOR BUDDING OJ DA JUICE FANBOYS: The FADER meets up with Juice at a French restaurant or something and let’s dude speak his mind. He seems like a good dude. More people should do this.

Ring the alarm

Jamie Foxx ft. Lil Wayne – “Number One”

Shit Just Blaze produced this year by my count according to Wikipedia: bonus tracks for the Game album, a Common song for Smirnoff, an unreleased Jay Electronica track and one of the biggest singles of the year. In Just’s time off, Ron Browz has become the King of NY (pop champagne!!), Jim Jones has remixed indie rock songs and Charles Hamilton has come to save us from it all by releasing a personalized mixtape for each and every single Nah Right commenter.

Blaze also has a song on the new Jamie Foxx album no one cares about (including myself) and it’s either completely bonkers and going to decimate radios and brains or it’s an elaborate parody of rap production in 2008 (maybe both). The beat is basically the bass rumble from “A Milli” + the handclaps and fire alarm synth from “Single Ladies” + the ayyys and ooohhs from “Live Your Life.” Then there’s Jamie Foxx half-singing about winning Emmys (?) and making it rain and convertibles and having “swagger on a billi” and whatever else people rap about. To finish it up we get an AutoWayne verse prominently featuring the line “Baby if you’re gay I can be your Marvin”. The chorus has a synth or something that sounds like a hovering helicopter.

At first it sounds like the ugliest mess but eventually you feel like you’re in the eye of a hurricane watching everything around you getting leveled. It’s the antithesis of “Pop Champagne”‘s am-I-even-trying? minimal genius and I expect it to turn the game upside down for a minute just the same, no Juelz Santana verse necessary.

Mixtapes 08

I wrote a feature about mixtapes. I’m sure a lot of you have heard of most the tapes I talk about but either way it’s a pretty good summation of what I thought was a truly great year for pseduo-underground Southern rap. If you haven’t heard some of the shit I write about— Boosie, B.o.B , Gucci Mane, etc.— then there are Datpiff links to click on.