Sunday, November 19, 2006

I get money, be quiet

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So many different things make him trill.

Jim Jones f/ Jha Jha and Princess (of Crime Mob) - Get It Poppin
Kidz in tha Hall - Wheelz Fall Off ('06 Til...)
Kidz in tha Hall - Cruise Control


Robert Gates doesn't have to do much to make a big difference in our Iraq policy. Rumsfeld's head was so far up his ass that every single move he made was detrimental to American interests. If Gates shows up and just naps all day in between press conferences, he'll be an improvement. This is more or less why the new Jim Jones joint is actually pretty good.

I have to write up the album for PopMatters, so I'm not gonna say much here. But I will bless the world with "Get It Poppin", which more or less confirms that "Knuck If You Buck" wasn't a fluke. Jimmy and Jha Jha whatever, Princess drops some gully-ass bars that fit the beat's dirty bells perfectly. One of those "yo who was that?" flows. Maybe I should have checked out Crime Mob's album. (Did they even have one?) Also, Juelz jumps on two songs ("Pin the Tail" and "Emotionless"), and it's clear dude's been spending some time around Weezy F Baby, if Santana's quote that titles this post is any indication.

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Lowered expectations also help out the Kidz in the Hall album, School Was My Hustle. There was no reason to not assume the worst here. This was a brilliant move by Rawkus, choosing an Ivy League-educated (from Penn, no less...GW9K, tell em why you mad!) old style DJ/MC combo to fuel their resurgence. After all, nothing pleases the coffee house chicks and white dudes quite like smart rappers who trade in calling out other rappers for being dumb. Add in yet another "93 Til Infinity" cover, and they had me thinking this was just gonna be some real tepid shit.

Instead, School Was My Hustle sounds exactly like what Rawkus Records should be putting out in 2006. MC Naledge is from Chicago, and it's easy to hear touches of Kanye and Lupe in his flow. He's not really an outright bite of either one, but he's your average modern-day rapper with a notable Chi-town influence. DJ Double-O has that intangible power which allows him to make pretty simple combinations of drum and loop into captivating tracks. And "06 Til..." is more a nod to the Souls than some male groupie shit. Mad respectful. School is also staunchly aimed at the elusive minority middle class, most overtly in the Too $hort-inspired "Dumbass Tales", about dudes who sold dope even though they didn't have to. "Cruise Control" just bangs, at like 110 bpm no less. Fit it in between "New Jack Hustler" and "Know the Ledge" "Ghost Is Back".

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Hell Hath No Fury (aka the gangsta rap Yankee Hotel Foxtrot) finally leaked, and I can't decide if it's really not that good or if it's just being crushed under unreasonably high expectations. There's something hollow-sounding about half the beats. Chad and Pharrell used to have that this-might-not-be-finished-but-who-cares vibe all the time, and it's a big part of why "Grindin" was so brilliant. But the weird beats really do sound out of place next to ginormous finished products like "Wamp Wamp" and "Mr. Me Too". And Pusha and Mal sound strangely apologetic. We want heartless kingpins, dammit, not reconciliation and love songs about the youth!

Regardless, "Trill" is probably the best track on Hell Hath. "Sell Bolivian / Feds in oblivion / bitch Brazilian / her purse reptilian..." I'M SAYIN IN A MAJOR WAY.

(And yo, how are you gonna listen to Clipse and still want "the Decemberists' The Crane Wife (on vinyl!)". And bad looks for basically saying "we don't have an opinion, but we will mock someone else's.")

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AND SOME LINKS.

-"Is you child a tagger?"
STOP SNITCHIN.

-Interview with Donovan Ryan
He's the world's foremost expert in obscene rare sports cards. Them Billy Ripkin jawns, nahmean?