The more I listen to The Guys the more I think that this group’s greatest strength isn’t versatility, not exactly at least. It’s the ability to take modern rap and infuse it’s inherent moral frivolity with something much more personal and often political. Some day soon they might manage a very rare feat – make a ‘conscious’ rap album that really has something to say AND doesn’t sound painfully dated in both style and perspective AND is not aesthetically boring. Fingers crossed for that.
Didn’t love Lese Majesty at first but after a closer listen and a bit of osmosis it has really grown on me. It’s admittedly a tough one to crack at times, but worth the effort. Videos like this go some ways to correct the first impression that this album is more style than substance; it’s much easier to see what it’s all about when Ish’s dense abstract verses are fleshed out into a poignant narrative. Of course this is still Shabazz Palaces, so you’re not exactly getting an easy step by step walk through here by any means.
Nice breezy jazz beat by Jason Dean with Az and Mega on the raps. Taken from Dean’s Straight out the Projects EP, which looks like one of those things where a younger(?) producer collabs with a bunch of his favorite vets.
Giftz hops on a beat from an old Freeway track of the same name, which feels very fitting considering how much the dude sounds like a very good turn of the century ganstga rapper. His voice actually kinda resembles Freeway’s (at least in passing).
EDF pays homage to Big Pokey’s classic with the title (and a little snippet in the end), but the shit talking is all his.
Another good loosie that would’ve fit in well on Body High.
Pretty much self-explanatory. Some really good stuff on this, and a solid feature/production lineup.
Been waiting for a Duppy Gun full-length compliation/album for a while now, today the info for it was finally officially announced via Stones Throw. I love this label’s fractured and occasionally abrasive but always interesting experiments in dancehall and dub, the first new single is right in line with their past work, so I’m really all about this. My only concern is that the album’s tracklist only shows the vocal takes. Hopefully the dubs/versions will be released as well, as they have occasionally proven to be the more interesting sides of the Duppy Gun singles.
Two new tracks from Rast. ‘Jesus Saves’ is the more poignant of the two, but I think I prefer ‘Drive By’ – the history lesson on drive bys followed by the great NY-specific punchline of ‘New York ni**as don’t drive by, they walk up and introduce ni**as to Left Eye’ really hit the spot.