Expert Whiteboy Analysis Monthly Top 25

Intro to the intro: First off, i have to apologize for the size of this post. It's like a small book. There is no easy way to do those expandable posts that some blogs have, so you will have to suffer. If you want to read a more consolidated version of this list with more pictures, you can head over to the new Expert Whiteboy Analysis blog.

For those of you sticking around, we did this last month, but it kind of sucked (in our eyes at least). This month's is much better. For those of you new to this, a group of dummys (us) keep a running tab of hip hop highlights and make a big, wordy list at the end of the month for everyone's enjoyment. This is technically supposed to come out on the first of the month, but people get busy. If you missed out on last month's, click here to see that mess.

Real Intro:


(not necessarily in any hierarchical order, but at least the most greatest or at least noteworthy shit for the previous month from the opinionated expertise of a crew of whiteboys - new and improved now with a mulatto)

RM: I am Raven Mack. I write rapping songs and deliver them with the imprecise clumsiness of a white man over top of weird indie rock influenced beats my even whiter friend makes on his gay-assed Macintosh computer of some sort. I also obsess over stupid shit and pretend putting words I type onto internet machines means I'm not wasting my entire life. My turn-ons are big titties slapping my face in an up-and-down manner as opposed to side-to-side, dudes sharing joints while walking down roads/streets/alleys/interstates together, and at least 20 inch chrome rims on at least 20 year old cars with at least two dents in the body. My turn-offs internet faggots, people who act like the last The Clipse CD didn't suck especially the cocker-spaniel stroking beats, and women with not much ass who wear thongs and dance enthusiastically to "Baby Got Back" as if them wearing a thong to show their 6-year-old boy butt would magically make me believe they actually had anything resembling what Sir Mix-a-lot was speaking upon.

MD: I am Mike Dikk. If you google my name, there are things on the internet that I wrote when I was barely 20. That's some scary shit. Maybe not to you, but I am not a fan of getting older. You'd figure if the internet has records of me going back at least eight years, I should be famous by default now. I don't know what went wrong. My turn-ons include Taco Bell, being able to open my window without freezing to death and old television. My turn-offs are Chatty Cathys, Negative Nancys and Debbie Downers. BALLIN'!

JD: I am John, and I spend a lot of time in my car. It is such a conundrum finding something to listen to because sports radio is something I can only handle in small doses. I steal so much music, but never burn it to CD, so I have to rely on my box of CDs shoved in the corner of the spare bedroom. That spare bedroom has become my music store. I pick and chose CDs that I haven't listened to in years to satisify my ears for the 3000 miles I spend in my car every month. I have found in a personal experiment the people who change my oil tend to hate hip hop because I put in a CD and leave that shit cranked before I take it to the garage as well as the fuckers in my town where I crank my shit in an attempt to piss all the dudes in General Lee pickups and people in cars with Confederate Flag license plates off.
My turn-ons include Relativos Atomicos, Lince Dorado Jr., Gran Akuma, and a broken-in baseball glove. My turn-offs are ring-tone songs, DJ Clue, Funkmaster Flex, and Masta Ace putting out Greatest Hits bullshit instead of a new album because he is pulling his "I am retired" bullshit.

KM: I am Keenon, King Mob, Keenon Mob, or whatever bullshit nickname floats your boat. One of my co-workers calls me Keke, so feel free to get creative. Percentage-wise, I suppose you could call me the affirmative action member of EWA. Out of four people, 1/8 of the panel is ethnic. Part-time DJ, part-time deaf relay guy, full-time hungry motherfucker. My turn-ons include New Orleans bounce, large Texas MCs who sing hooks and rap, fried chicken gizzards with Sriracha roostersauce, a woman with a nice full booty, and uh.. bomb pops. Turn-offs include Lil 'Rob, mayonnaise, 6 O'Clock Girls (think of a non-digital clock), white people yelling "BALLIN'" all the fucking time, and people who speak in Simpson's quotes. And MIMS, can't forget that shit.


Devin is now being groomed to be the next internet hip hop darling, and it’s kind of weird since he’s been around forever. I’m not going to front like I’m some old school Devin super fan. I just figured out he was the same guy from Da Odd Squad like last year. Before that, I knew he was kind of infamous for that record cover where he’s on the toilet. The only other Devin record I’ve heard besides this one is Just Tryin' Ta Live. I’ll get around to listening to the other two someday, I’m sure.
Anyway, this Waitin' To Inhale CD already has the internet goin’ nuts. It’s really good and all, but it kind of tapers off at the end, just like Just Tryin' Ta Live did. Honestly, if you put the first half of this record together with the first half of Just Tryin' Ta Live, you’d have one of the best hip hop records ever, and that’s saying something.
I have nothing hilarious to add to this. Devin is hilarious on his own and I don’t think he needs my help. It’s the only CD so far this year I’ve considered buying after downloading. I’ll probably buy it soon, since internet acclaim usually means the record will only sell 7,000 copies and I might as well make it 7,001 so Devin has a little more weed money.

RM: This here Devin the Dude CD being hyped as the greatest CD in nineteen full moons is exactly proof positive why hip hop is so fuckin' shitty. And don't get me wrong, I love some Devin the Dude. I had slept on him forever, having had the Odd Squad tape years ago, but it wasn't until late last year that my boy John Dawson hipped me to the inherent perfection of about 2/3 of the Just Tryin' Ta Live CD, that I realized the motherfuckin' genius of Devin the Dude the potsmoking Rap-a-Lot rapper who hangs with whiteboys obviously at least sometimes. It was such a great realization of greatness that I immediately illegally obtained all his other records (except the Coughee Brothaz, so hit me up with a megaupload link if you can), and was underwhelmed by it all. It seems that Devin the Dude is indeed the next Jordan, in terms of the mic, but he can't put it together. This CD shows serious elements that he could be That Guy that puts out the next fuck a five mic review because y'all made that worthless seven mic classic, but I don't know... maybe he smokes too much weed, or maybe Prince J is a great label owner in the sense of making sure the shitty college kid bartenders who make your album covers get their dpis right, and making sure the distribution is set up, but not so much so in trying to encourage the recording artist to have any sort of vision for his record. Because seriously, this CD has touches of greatness - good solid touches - but overall fumbles at delivering up to Devin's possibilities.
And that Lil Wayne song... it was funny, because as soon as I heard Lil Wayne's voice, there was the immediate realization, the first time I heard this song, that he was overexposed. All the radio songs and raindance remixes and mixtape exclusives never gave me that full feeling, but as soon as I heard him on here the first time I played it, I knew he was played out like zodiac killers in sweatshirts. I don't think I even paid attention to Bun B. I was so swayed towards uncaringness.
Seriously though, this is the internet and goofy whiteboys share links with each other all day long every day and every group of goofy whiteboys makes sure to know one cool black dude to justify the whiteboy group's downedness, so maybe, just maybe, this can get back to Devin. Check it out man, you are the one MC out there going today with the most potential of everybody because you don't take yourself too seriously but you take shit seriously enough. If you could make a CD that was like half Just Tryin' Ta Live and half this new one, but it's all new shit and it all tied together and it had the 72 bars of boom and you'd be on some serious every day type shit but still loving the weed and loving the stanky pussyhole, THAT record would be the next 36 Chambers or Straight Outta Compton or Nation of Millions or whatever that turned all this bullshit fratboy 12-year-old girl fucked-up soulless shuck-and-jive dollar bill dancing around a pole called a microphone rap music on it's fat lazy uncaring ass.

JD: I am a 31-year-old student. That is my occupation right now. Outside of the 20 hours I put in a week at an insurance job, I am primarily a student. So with the onset of warm weather this week, I was treated to a day that any man who ever spent time in any type of college situation has fond memories of... that is the first really warm day of the year. My first time around in school that meant girls in sundresses, daisy dukes, and flip flops with music cranking from every off-campus house and dorm room. There would be girls lying out between the dorms in bikinis and on the DMZ right in the middle of campus. Hot girls were seemingly everywhere.
I consider myself a lucky man to experience that phenomenon at age 21 and 31, but this time I noticed a change. Instead of short shorts and skirts girls were wearing cut-off sweatpants and mesh shorts. No girls lying out around campus, but a bunch of pale, white girls playing volleyball in-between the dorms. No girls all hyped up knowing you are checking them out giving you a smile as you walk by. It seemed every girl had a cell phone strapped to their face looking the way I do when I cut my grass.
But with that onset of warm weather and the windows down when driving, I couldn’t have thought of a better time to bust out the new Devin CD. I knew this would be good music to roll around campus in. I hoped Devin’s smoothed out beats would turn some 19-year-old trim to wonder who the fuck that cool dude in the Malibu with the fresh beats cranking out of the factory speakers is. And for like three tracks I was that dude until that "Broccoli and Cheese" song hit. I don’t care how young and cool you are, or you think you are, you don’t want some lyrics about dippin' your cock in chitlins or how clean your dick is to be heard by anyone outside of your car. Fuck it, anyone at all.
I can’t say I didn’t like this album because I did. Andre 3000’s guest verse was brilliant shit that you could tell was mailed in by Andre, but was still fantastic. The line comparing downloading his tracks to coming to your job to steal corn from the cob tripped me out. Outside of a few tracks, it was good. I did get a little sick of Devin singing hooks and songs about smoking weed. But I have heard worst. I do think that this was by far the worst of the Devin albums, but being the worst of Devin’s albums is like being the best (insert almost any rapper here) album.

KM: I suppose I will blurb this to round out the rounded table analysis. There are like four songs on this I don't give a fuck about, and one of those, I wish I liked. Bun B is my fav'rit MC right now, but that song's ass. I enjoyed it as a whole, however, and while it's not as good as Just Tryin' Ta Live, it is still pretty fucking nice. I am a sucker for inappropriate R&B parodies, of which there are two or three. I like that hick impression he does. I'm down for complaining old man verses as long as they're as good as Snoop & Andre 3000's.
This was one I downloaded, but went out and bought anyway. Granted, I was hoping to cop it for $9.99 with a bonus screwed & chopped disc (Rap-A-Lot is schizophrenic about who gets that treatment. Pimp & Bun? Yes. Z-Ro and Devin? Not so much.), but the 11 bucks I dropped on it were well-spent in my book. I'm still 25 and I still get a kick out of goofy shit. Chances are, I'll be back at Best Buy in a few days buying the new Redman CD and I'll dig it for similar reasons, even if I don't care for Scott Storch very much at all.


MD: I wish there was more media hype behind the North vs. South rap civil war. Unfortunately rap music sales are at a pretty astounding low and people are losing their jobs left and right. Rap sucks now and it’s getting to the point where it’s awkward to see a rap video on MTV. Like that short period where glam rock and “grunge” were on MTV at the same time. Rap music is glam rock now. You see it and you can’t believe there are people out there still into dudes talking about the shit in their mouths and the rims on their cars. There may be a cosmetic difference between Poison’s “Look What The Cat Dragged In” pretty men in makeup record cover and Paul Wall’s goofy jewel encrusted grin, but deep down, it’s the same soulless played out shit.
Why does rap suck? Because some record execs decided to sign every single southern person who gets high off codeine and raps along to nursery rhymes. If rap music was still peaking like during the East vs. West fictional media feud, there would already be a ton of people dead, but since no one buys rap records anymore and there aren’t many rappers from the New York area worth a shit at the moment, the whole thing is kind of a moot point. Then again, if I was the Jew guy who controlled the media, I would spin this where Artist X from New York isn’t going to take this shit anymore and then Artist Y from Texas is going to defend his right to decorate his teeth in the most disgusting ways possible. Too bad I’m not Jewish.
Redman and Paul Wall on the same radio show at the same time was a weird occurrence in itself. The fact that they were both supposed to “freestyle” on said show was even weirder. I’m not sure how many Redman freestyles are in recorded existence, but if you listen to one of his early ones (the earliest I can remember hearing is one he did with Biz Markie from a Stretch and Bobbito bootleg floating around the internet), he’s just as good on that as he is to this day. The dude is going to come hard on a freestyle.
Paul Wall on the other hand follows one of the simplest rap templates ever invented. Like, his stuff is on par with the Sugarhill Gang rapping-wise, and anyone not “on that lean” would not be impressed.
I wonder what part of Redman’s freestyle did Paul Wall know he was fucked? He could have faked a coughing fit and ran to the bathroom. Fucking A man, the dude stumbles through three words and quits. MC Serch would have had that dude STEP OFF if this was the White Rapper Show. I bet Redman went back to his shitty house in New Jersey and told his cousin who was sleeping on his floor that he just totally PWNED a white boy on some radio show.
The whole thing makes me wish rap music was still selling millions of records so this could have been broadcast everywhere until Paul Wall had to quit rap music completely and go back to making teeth or whatever he did before rapping. It’s no fair that we all got to see 50 Cent publicly humiliate Ja Rule for like a year, and this goes unnoticed outside of the internet rap nerd blog world. Please, if you’ve downloaded this already, save it somewhere so if and when rap music gets popular again, more people can enjoy laughing at it.

RM: The greatest thing about this is not just Redman's freestyle, which was sick like Darfur refugees having sex in Red Cross shantytowns with Nigerian hookers. The greatest thing is your standard non-chalance Redman displays. Paul Wall was destroyed, and were Redman the type to be Mr. Every Rapper Ever and want to put a notch on his belt and embarrass Paul Wall, he could've went ahead and made reference to the fact or chided Paul Wall into trying again. Instead, confident in what he's done, he just keeps going.
And I don't even think Redman went home and bragged upon it. Just another day being Redman.
As for Paul Wall, if MCing was the proud hobby it used to be, instead of paying dudes to write mother goose tales with cuss words for you to record on overpriced tinkerbell beats, and dudes treated their lyrics like their dick meaning no one else's words would you ever use, Paul Wall's publicly circulated lyrical impotence would mean ridicule and the end of his MC masculinity. But it's not like that no more. He'll have a video late this summer with Lil Wayne throwing hundred dollar bills around during the hook that was robotically manifested by Scott Storch.

Click here to listen if you missed out.


MD: Scott Storch is the creepiest looking white man on the planet. He looks like Jack Skellington from A Nightmare Before Christmas. Outside of my stepdad, he’s the last person I want to see in a rap video, even if it’s a homemade rap video that looks like some public access infomercial from the early '90s.
I don’t know who started this beef, or why it even started. I haven’t even bothered to check out Timbaland’s side of the beef. Scott Storch’s song, along with the homemade video was enough. The whole thing is just... it’s fucking WRONG. It’s like having a dream where you have front row tickets to Wrestlemania and once you get there, you find out the card is S.D. Jones vs. The Duke of Dorchester nine times over. You might have some kind of morbid fascination with it in the beginning, but after about three minutes, you realize it involves two dudes you don’t ever want to see feuding with each other.
I really can’t get over that video man. It’s like the video from The Ring. I can feel my soul leaving my body every time I watch it and my face gets all stiff and distorted. I’m waiting for my room to fill up with water and Scott Storch’s creepy ass skeleton hand to reach out of my computer screen and choke me to death. I bet that asshole smells like Drakkar Noir and Aqua Velva too.
Please Timbaland, I don’t know what you did to anger Scott Storch enough to make him attempt rapping, but I’m begging you to squash this. I know not a lot of people don't like you anymore, but you made Aaliyah’s “Are You That Somebody”, so you are infinitely better than Scott Storch. If this beef involves grown man problems that simply can’t be solved behind closed doors and not on Youtube, then maybe you should call up KRS-One and organize another “Self-Destruction” style rap We Are The World deal to end all this senseless beefing. We have obviously reached groundfuckingzero and Storch’s video was like 48,000 nuclear warheads directly hitting my internet. It’s really time to stop the fake rap violence before rap turns into Hiroshima and all of us unsuspecting fans melt into nothingness.

RM: I think they beefed over production credits over that Justin Timberlake song "Cry Me A River", which makes this a most-hilarious "hip hop" beef, being it's over the best song by a shitty pop music white R&B singer who was on the Mickey Mouse Club in his youth.
As for the beef itself, I am none too proud of a Timbaland. I live in Virginia, and would like to rep Virginia, but shit... all we have for rap influence is shitty cybertronic cocker spaniel-owning producers like the Neptunes and Timbaland. I mean, there's The Clipse too, but I'm not entirely convinced they don't just get good reviews because Pharrell threatens magazines he won't ever do a feature with them again unless they give The Clipse an INSTANT CLASSIC review.
However, there is nothing to like in a Scott Storch. I've got a boy who's wife grew up in Philly and went to high school with Storch, and she said he was a straight chump. She saw him last year in the nearby city, all high-profiling diamond styling at the bar, and they talked, and basically he's the same straight chump, but with way more expensive things on his body. And his beats are about as hip hop as energy-efficient condominiums.
But to the beef, and the Scott Storch video. I, for one, am stoked for this beef, because it's like the special olympics of rap. It will tell us who has more soulful street cred - the bisexual black man or the suburban white man. You would think it would be a close race, and the bi blackie is rolling with Timberlake and Nelly Furtado while the piano man whiteboy is pretty much rolling with whatever scary-looking black man he can convince to be on his video. On one hand, it's almost plantation slave-looking with all those thugged-out black dudes standing on the big steps of the mansion of Scott Storch, but on the other hand, it's pretty funny because I imagine those dudes are mostly using Scott Storch for free bullshit (or at least shit they can take without worrying about him ever calling them on it should he realize they took his shit).
I haven't heard Timbaland's initial brief mention of stupid Storch, but from the video for "Built Like That", I'd have to go ahead and give bisexual black men a TKO over suburban white dudes in who has more street credibility.

Click here to watch the Scott Storch video


MD: It’s like J. Dilla never died! I know you’re not supposed to say stuff like that because it’s disrespectful to the dead, but it’s so true. This Black Milk kid is Jay Dee incarnate.
Like most people, I liked Jay Dee’s production a lot, but at the same time, I wasn’t ever really thrilled with his rapping. Black Milk is the same way. The beats on here are completely brilliant “sitting on your back porch on a warm Sunday afternoon and smoking a blunt” type shit, but I could give a shit about the rapping. There’s something about Detroit rappers that unless they are of the horrorcore vein, are completely bland to me. Maybe that’s how dudes in Detroit get down, but it doesn’t translate well to ol’ Tri-State Area Mike Dikk.
It’s kind of sick to say, but I hope Black Milk takes over for Jay Dee in all aspects (he’s already done production for Slum Village) and begins working with Madlib, then makes a beat collage CD like Donuts. I realize imitation is looked down upon in the rap world, but Black Milk is so good at being Jay Dee that he deserves a pass on that.
This CD along with the new Redman and Devin the Dude are reasons for you to care at least a little about rap music again. I’ll even buy this one too if I see it in stores. It’s on Fat Beats and I have no clue what their distribution is like, but I doubt this dude will be on an independent for too long, unless he chooses to. In two years, he’ll be doing production for all your favorite rappers (as long as your favorite rapper is Ghostface).

JD: Now this I loved. Like Mike said, if you dig Jay Dee, you are going to enjoy Black Milk. He chops up the vocal samples much in the same way Dilla did, and outside of the vocal stuff, it is obvious he is a disciple of Dilla. Mike said this was a “sitting on your porch...” type of album. I say this is an album you can stick in your CD player and just keep in there for weeks at a time. I would become so focused on one track, I would then start to listen to another track and be stuck on that track.
In the realm of producers who rhyme, Black Milk is not offensive at all. I can really only think of a few off the top of my head who are like that: Dilla, Madlib - when not doing the Lord Quas stuff, and Pete Rock. His rhymes are simple, but the beats are the star of the album.
I stumbled on to Black Milk through another message board in which someone linked a Youtube clip of Black making a beat. It was your typical producer in a basement fiddling around with a Mac, but what made me want to find out more about him was how he was that producer who can make a track out of any sample. He was pulling out his record collection and talking about the horns, drums, or vocals he took from them, which was all cool. But then he played a track. It shook me into hopping out on the blogs to find any of his stuff. The bonus disc on Popular Demand was most of the tracks from his Broken Wax EP, and they are especially Dilla sounding.
I do hope he becomes the next hot producer of the moment. And he does fit in perfectly with the non-ICP Detroit sound, and it would be amazing if he stepped in to produce more Slum Village stuff or at least an Elzhi from SV solo project. I think he is going places, so go out and get this so you can tell your friends that you were on his dick before everyone else was.


RM: Been playing a combo lately of his CD from last year and the Thought for Food mixtape, probably partially but not entirely in a retro mood. I don't know exactly who he is in the Wu-Tang chronology, as I abandoned my internal Wu-flow chart not too long after Wu-Tang Forever (I know that album's seen by many as a penultimate record, but that was always for me the turning point when they went from being the motherfuckin' indivisible Wu to being just another million dollar rap video investment on MTV). I do know towards the end of my utter Wu-markism, I had sort of came to the conclusion that 4th Disciple was easily the greatest producer to ever touch a sampler and drum machine, having surpassed RZA around the time of the second Gravediggaz CD and first Killa Army CD. I am not sure how Bronze Nazareth relates to this or who he is at all (I know I could look that shit up on the internet, but fuck knowing everything; why the fuck should I care who the fuck he is or think I need to know every bullshit livejournal detail about dude... I been bumping his shit because I dig the fuck out of it, that should be enough for me), but I'm loving the beats, combined with lyrics that are street scientifical, which is refreshing after internet bombarded me with indie sunshine intelligence good life health food rap for so long. And God, I'm sick of cybertronic alien club beats.
Nazareth is like the best throwback to early Wu flavor I think I can expect. It's hard to make music like you're hungry when you're not literally hungry, so a grand-anointed Wu reunion on a marketable format might be great for retro-minded marks who missed out the first time around, but it won't be the same. Those reunion things never are. Still, modern derivatives with that same starting spirit makes my brain not be so filled with hate.

MD: I don’t have the Bronze Nazareth solo CD, but I do have that Wisemen CD that just came out, which I downloaded by accident because I thought it was the Bronze Nazareth solo LP and I wanted to listen to it so I could write something about it. In case you weren’t hip to the jive, The Wisemen are some Wu Tang D-Team group comprised of Bronze Nazareth and some other guys. Like Raven, I too have lost track of the Wu Tang lineage, but I was actually still somewhat paying attention until the triple disappointment of the new Inspektah Deck, Masta Killa and Method Man LPs. Excluding Ghostface, who continues to make excellent music, the Wu Tang Clan has become this mythical beast that has outsourced its name and logo to some jobbers and journeymen. It’s kind of like when Stevie Ray was the leader of the N.W.O.
Bronze Nazareth is one of the shining lights in the new Outsourced Wu Tang New Delhi Squad - the proverbial decent match on Thursday Night Thunder if you will. I could be mistaken, but I believe he became a part of the Wu Tang lineage sometime around the RZA “Birth of a Prince” CD. The Wisemen CD showcases his production skills well enough. He’s as close to a modern day RZA/4th Disciple the Wu is going to get, unless they convince MF Doom to join their cause (I’m just saying, his song on the last Ghost CD was the closest thing to sound like classic Wu Tang since..umm... classic Wu Tang). I do like most of the production on the CD, but the CD as a whole is not without its flaws.
For the most part, it’s mired in mid-tempo Hell. I don’t know if you’ve noticed as much as I’ve noticed, but just about anyone representing Wu Tang these days has this stoic rap style where it sounds like they’re ready to fall asleep. Mid-tempo joints aren’t going to help that out. Once the rare up-tempo track shows up, it's way too late, and all the rest of the guys (including Bronze himself) lack any kind of enthusiasm or charisma. It’s really bad when Vaste Aire comes off like early '90s Busta Rhymes on a track because everyone else sounds like they’re in a coma.
The griping aside, Bronze is really good at making Wu Corp. Approved Grade A Beats. I’m just not in love with his rapping, or his friends rapping for that matter. I doubt this guy is going to resurrect the Wu to their past Olympian heights, but he may be able to get me to update my WuTang flow chart for another six months or so.


RM: Donks are those cars you've probably been seeing in bad southern rapper videos - old muscle cars with candyflake paint that undergo suspension lifts to accomodate 24, 26, and even 28 inch rims. They make 30s nowadays, and I'm sure somebody's been street-fab enough to spend the money to raise a Cutlass high enough to hold those, but that's pretty far out and hardly common on old school donk cars.
When Rides magazine (which I hate by the way) put their first Donk specialty issue last year, I was pretty stoked, as it spoke a language I understand. I mean, a '78 Caprice all lifted on floaters whose pictorial location was a shitty convenience store in Reidsville, North Carolina, that's the type of south that makes me proud to be southern. The bizarre unacknowledged multiculturalism of the south contributes to this (meaning no one says, "Hey, look how many different races and shit we all are! We're so forward-thinking!", and multiculturalism is far too polysyllabic for a couple of middle and lower class cats trying to sneak a joint behind the car wash to be talking about), because the donk is that blend of cultures personified. Pimped out ghetto fab cars, but old school clunkers acquired on the cheap, and lifted like rednecks do almost anything, to fit the largest shiniest rims one can afford. That first issue of Donks had a story about some whiteboy in Miami who built the first official donk, but anyone who's grown up in the south has seen a lifted Camaro or Mustang or something trying to be funny by sitting on some big fat mudding tires.
There's a string of route 6 between my house and Richmond that goes through the part of Fluvanna County where all the black people got forced (including Columbia, which was gonna be the capital of the South at one point, thriving town with daily trains to NYC and shit, then a couple of floods and suburban sprawls later, it's nothing but abandoned houses, a couple of Christian thrift stores and a shitty country store that doesn't even have fried chicken), on into Goochland County, and I've driven that stretch so often I can do it blind... and have a couple times. There's this one crappy little shack of a house, and late last year I saw the dude had a late model Dodge, not sure what, but definitely a Mopar car, and it was all primed up and shit. A few weeks later, I come back through and it's General Lee orange, sitting on some 24s. Very pimp, and you could see the kid sitting outside waxing that shit, and it made me feel good just to see it. Hell, I've thought about stopping to take a picture of the dude with his car. Just last week when I rode through, I saw he had a '64 Impala painted like a burnt umber color and lifted to sit on some 24s as well. It fills me with joy.
Were I to hit the lottery, no shit, I wouldn't buy any fancy sports car balding dudes drive around on road courses and crap; I'd get me a '69 Chevelle supersport, lift it up, throw on some 26 inch Daytons, get it painted a real shiny lime green, put in some obnoxious interior but with the stock bench seats and all, none of that crazy swivel chair bullshit, and definitely none of that Lamborghini doors crap that people are doing everywhere (how long before there's like an Escort with Lambo doors?). That's definitely my dream car, the morphing of redneck and low rider.

KM: I don't know why, but Dunk Riders makes me laugh every time I see/read it. I think of that 12 Gauge song, "Dunkie Butt". Tangent over, the fact is I am actually the owner of a hooptie that I plan to convert into a donk before I die. She is an '87 Ford Crown Victoria, my battle-scarred all-metal boo, she has ears and feelings. I bought her off an old roommate for $700 when my old Escort died back in 2003, and within the first month of our relationship, she'd been hit twice by dipshits driving bigger vehicles in parking lots. I have two very small dents, both of the other folks fucked up their bumpers and had to deal with it on their own. At the time, I didn't have insurance, registration or inspection on mine and instead of holding them up for cash like I should have, since they were both at fault, I took the prudent route and let them bail.
We've been through some times, me and my boo. We've been stranded in sub-zero weather out in the middle of Texas. We've had some run-ins with the law. I've had to MacGyver some things and ghetto-rig others. Through it all, she may protest a little but she's a trooper. I'd retired her a year-and-a-half ago because my dad gave me his newer truck, but I still planned to keep her and fix her up eventually. In January, the truck and I had a bad run-in with a median wall, so the tables were turned and I had to fall back on my boo. Of course, it was hard to get her back up to speed (truth be told, I still have some work to do), but now the plan is to either get the truck running again and go back to Plan A, or sell the truck and get started on donking my boo.
I don't know the first thing about this shit, though. The '87 Crown Victoria is great, because they still make parts for it and they are fairly cheap. If I was to install a new engine and shit, it would be expensive from here out, but I would have an easier time if they ever discontinue making those '87 parts. It's a conundrum, really. I want to restore the paint and top (white/burgundy), I'd have to get a new grill & bumper, and I'd keep the interior burgundy but wouldn't do cloth seats. For sure, I would get a new glove compartment (mine hasn't been opened since before my old roommate bought it in the late '90s) and a new system. Right now, my boo does not bump with her one working speaker. But she will bump someday, bet on that shit.


RM: I read an interview with Trick in the new Mass Appeal, which I guess is the print version of online rap nerd now that Elemental has gone awol at the newsstands, and the funny thing about Trick is how he plays up this man-of-the-people image. But it made me dig out my Slip-n-Slide All-Stars mixtapes and play them in the camper out back since it's warm this weekend and now I can sit in the back yard and drink beer free from the psycho-social entanglements of the machines in my house. And I love some damned Trick Daddy. He is like David Banner in that when I hear an awesome, on-the-point, street conscious but with old school roller skating rink bells plus bass boom song, it makes me wish there was a whole genre of heartfelt shit like that existing in this world, free from pimp-glorification and lyrical murders and all that shuck-and-jive shit. But there's not, so all I can do is cherry pick the good shit.
Another plus for Trick Daddy is how, if you've ever seen an Ozone magazine and you're looking through the 39 pages of tiny snapshots of people, he always has bloodshot eyes, like all he does is sit around smoking crack blunts and getting mad about how politically fucked the world is. I know calling himself "The Mayor of Miami" is just a schtick right now, but I could see that shit happening one day. And that will be an awesome day. Motherfuckers get their keyboard panties dripping wet blogging over Borat Obama being the first black President, but that don't mean shit for the average broke-ass motherfucker on the planet earth brand name America, but you throw a dude like Trick Daddy into office, and some good shit is gonna happen. Probably some crazy shit, too, and stupid shit as well, which will get caught on camera and then he can get charged with law-breakings of some order or another. But still, he'd be making some good shit happen before he got set up by some bitch.

KM: I copped the new Trick Daddy CD because I like that motherfucker a whole lot on principle, but after giving it several listens I only care for maybe one song ("So High"). That saddens me. The farther back you go in the years, dude really did come into his own sound. Originally, Trick Daddy Dollars was a straight-up Miami Bass MC with a few street bangers. You could get an odd mix of grime, random social commentary and jiggling titty music, and the oddest thing was they hovered around the same speed. Initially, it was almost like you'd imagine Freddie Foxxx or MOP would sound if they had to spend their formative summers with Uncle Luke down at the Booty Farm. Trick's thug/pensive thug shit seemed kind of uncharacteristic for the MIA, but slowly that started to take hold. Gradually, the man pared it down to one or two bootyrap joints while at the same time upping the level of content I would imagine he wants to be doing. Trick love the kids, we love him for it. The last Miami Bass single I can think of from a Trick album is "Sugar," and just barely because that's hovering around the Ciara crunk speed. The only other thing coming close would be that "Stay Fly/High" remix, which I love as much as the original. There is nothing like that on Back By Thug Demand.
On one hand, I like the fact that he managed to get a foot in the door with Sound A and made a path to whatever the fuck he wants in Sound B. Now, half of Florida is riffing his current style - he IS the Mayor of Miami. I really hope someone like Tego Calderon can hit on a similar path because he's talented as fuck and shouldn't be mired in reggaeton hell forever. BUT I honestly miss the bass. Pitbull's probably the closest to that old Trick Daddy spaz mix now, which makes sense. He came up with Luke, Trick Daddy and Lil Jon. I don't dislike anything off Back By Thug Demand, but most of it just doesn't grab my attention. It doesn't sound like he's enjoying himself, and that was part of what made me like him in the first place. Luke gets in interviews talking about how it sucks that Trick's kinda shunned him in recent years, I'm not one to give a fuck about beef it just made sense when you listen to albums. He's uninterested in that sound. I'm not mad at him, I respect it, but I will probably cop his stuff used from now on.
That sounds a lot more negative than I intended. I really hope he sells a fucking ton of albums and is successful to a fault. They were talking about giving him a cooking show, that would be must-see TV. Furthermore, I would vote for Trick Daddy. He would make a hell of a Vice President.


JD: A few days ago, I was watching TV with my wife and a ring tone commercial came on for a “Throw Some D’s” ring tone. I then turned to my wife and asked what the fuck is that Skeletor dude talking about - D’s? She told me all the kids in her school sing it all the time and the D’s were Dubs. It didn’t hit me right away. As a matter of fact, it didn’t hit me until yesterday when I started to think if hip hop is passing me by? Have I become too old to appreciate some candy-coated shit like "Throw Some D’s"?
My friends who dug hip hop and I would always have these conversations about what it is going to be like when we are 40? Will we still be listening to hip hop as we take our kids to school? Will hip hop be playing in my music machine as I am waiting for my grandkid to be born? At the ripe-old age of 31, I have really painted myself in a corner. I listen to nothing else other than hip-hop. Sure my ipod has some “other” stuff, but of the 7000-plus tracks, 95% of them are hip hop. Is there an age when you become too old to listen to it?
I say fuck no. I don’t know the meaning of “Throw Some D’s” because it is fucking bullshit. It is awful one-trick pony type shit. Hip hop is not passing me by. I passed it out years ago when stuff like “Bust a Move” and “It Takes Two” became trite and meaningless. Hip hop is turning into a 1950s and '60s mentality in which these starving artists with a good image are given a lame song with a catchy hook that would either sell a ton of singles, make a good ring tone, or a good beat for some other dude to rhyme over (see Talib Kweli’s "Lie A Lot").
I will continue to live my life in my little cocoon of hip hop I like and I find interesting. But, I sure hope my kid digs MF Doom.

RM: This song has been a guilty pleasure of mine for a while, since it came out, and the standard remix is not as enjoyable for me as the original, mostly because I identify more with Tru Life's side of the Dipset/Everybody postured beef, and stupid Jim Jones is on the remix, not even having a Cadillac because he's too cool for that shit. (The dude having a Cutlass instead didn't bother me though, because Caddies and Cutties ride side-by-side in the parking lot of cinderblock car washes in the small town south.)
As for hip hop passin' me by, no doubt. But I've been wondering, thinking on the old dude listening to hip hop image, where's the grown folks hip hop anyways? Why's it got to be ultra-intelligent bullshit or about financial success like with that bullshit Jay-Z "My Stupid Age Is The New Your Cool Age" song? I am 34 now, and still love hip hop, but I also still love putting my dick inside some pussy and putting substances inside my body that alter my sensibilities into something quite enjoyable. That ain't gonna change any time soon it seems, or at least I hope it doesn't change. (The day my drug abuse involves swallowing prescribed pills which allow me to get pussy is a day I'd just rather swallow a hollow-point to end the misery.) I have grown and learned a ton through experience's trial and error, but shit, I'm as ignorant as ever. We all are. If you don't think you're an ignorant fuck, then you're a stupid fuck. For real. But still, being grown, hip hop should speak upon something more than just putting 20s on a Cadillac. Can't somebody do a cookout song or some shit?


MD: A lot of movies are time sensitive. For instance, Weird Science couldn’t have been made in any decade outside of the '80s and Encino Man wouldn’t have worked in any decade besides the '90s. It seems each decade comes up with some new niche genre exclusive to that era. So far, the '00s have come up with a genre I like to call Dance Fighting.
Now the movies I place under this category don’t have to contain dancing or even fighting in them. I just named it after You Got Served, which I view as the genre-defining Dance Fighting movie. Basically, movies have exhausted all their resources when it comes to making a story about a pack of lovable underdogs competing in a legit sport, so now we get the same basic premise, but the events the movie revolve around are completely ridiculous. You have the aforementioned You Got Served, Drumline, Crossover, etc, etc.
I do realize ATL came out quite a while ago now, but I’m late to the game and only saw it for the first time a few days ago, so bear with me. I don’t think ATL falls directly under the Dance Fighting flag but it contains some of the same elements, along with a kind of cross-pollination with Hood Reality movies.
In the beginning of the movie, you get a sense it’s going to be a glossed over Hood Reality type of movie, but then after a few minutes into it, you get the promise of SKATE WARS, which is some kind of roller skating battle that piqued my interest enough to not fall asleep. For those of you who have seen ATL, you’ll know there is never a SKATE WARS finale. I mean, there is one, but it’s off camera as the movie reverted back to Hood Reality and skipped over the real meat and potatoes: SKATE WARS.
ATL represents a first for modern day movies: the tease of Dance Fighting with no visible climax. I don’t know if this was a cruel joke by the writers and directors or if they planned on making a sequel based strictly around SKATE WARS, but I know I’m anxiously awaiting a sequel to see if T.I. and his gang of misfits can beat The Preps on the roller rink.
Seriously though, I’m a sucker for dumb shit movies like this, and there is more than enough dumb shit in this movie to keep any dumb shit aficionado satisfied. It never reached the level of Roll Bounce (which I saw in the theater) in the Dance Fighting parts, and it never got as ridiculous as forgotten hood movie South Central when it transitioned back to the exaggerated PG-13 Hood Reality parts, but it maintained a nice happy balance somewhere in the middle. Plus, you get to see near 30-year-olds play high school aged children, and that hasn’t been done with this much aplomb since Beverly Hills 90201, or even Grease.

KM: When viewed on its own, ATL isn't half bad. You have to look past the fact that T.I., Jason Weaver, the girl that plays New New, and most of the other people in it are all at least in their twenties. You have to look past the fact that T.I.'s little brother looks like Chris Brown. You get down to how it's kinda cool to see Big Boi act like Cutty from Dead Presidents. Hell, Keith David plays a Gucci version of Kirby. It's a decent way to burn an afternoon, no doubt.
But I watched Roll Bounce before I ever saw ATL, so for me it's like the difference between Saved By The Bell and Beverly Hills 90210. There are some hot-ass women playing Fake Lolita, and dudes who would only fit in a high school setting if they were cruising the lot for sophomores. While Roll Bounce will tackle some issues (poverty, single parenthood, death) it will do so with the imminent promise of a laugh track. ATL has funny bits, but it's supposed to be deeper social commentary. You're supposed to feel like you learned something meaningful at the end.
Much like their '90s predecessors, there are too many disconnects. I have a hard time feeling too badly for high school kids who drive tricked out El Caminos, survive getting shot up in an alley and also have DJ Drama and Jazzie Pha spinning at house parties and the skate rink. Maybe Dallas Austin and T-Boz really did live like this, but I worked shitty jobs and rode the city bus in high school. Bougie motherfuckers...


MD: I was kind of late on the Kanye West phenomenon. I thought his name was dumb and I couldn’t figure out if it was real or if he got it from that David Bowie "Ziggy Stardust" album cover. By the time I actually got around to listening to his first record, the word “amazing” was being thrown around about it by a ton of people. I did like it, but it definitely wasn’t the instant classic people were making it out to be. It had a lot of common Producer’s Record flaws. The songs went on for too long for no good reason, there were way too many skits, it was based on a convoluted concept, and it was just overall too over-produced.
The reason I bring this up is because Consequence’s debut CD is like a Kanye West “College Dropout” Expansion Pack. A lot of the same ideas are there but it’s not as robust as the original. Kind of like the Rhymefest CD from last year. I’m sure it’s no coincidence that both rappers have probably done their fair share of ghostwriting for Kanye. Hell, Rhymefest partly won a fucking Grammy for his ghostwriting on “Jesus Walks”.
I don’t think it’s documented anywhere that Consequence has actually done any ghostwriting for Kanye, but I wouldn’t doubt it. How else does a journeyman rapper who was forgotten about a long time ago just up and have a debut album years after his actual debut? Oh yeah, it’s on Kanye’s label too!
That aside, it’s a decent enough record if you were into “The College Dropout” but hate Kanye West. I mean it’s not stupendous or anything. The concept on here, which is very similar to the “The College Dropout”, is a little less fleshed out, and things like Consequence still living with his mom is kind of weird, since the dude has to be in his late twenties at the very youngest, but I guess you’re not supposed to know that. He does quickly allude to his days with A Tribe Called Quest but doesn’t make a big enough deal of it for you to realize the last time he was on a non-Kanye project was around ten years ago. On the plus side, I was in Best Buy this weekend and the CD was on sale for $7, which is maybe the cheapest I’ve ever seen a brand new CD in a real store in my life, so cheap that I almost bought it without hearing it. That’s saying something.

JD: “I used to have to stay in this clogged up basement/ Now I am getting calls for product placement/ They say that song Spaceship gave my career a facelift/ Now I’m on the comeback trail to make a statement”

You ever see that brother rocking the ref’s shirt in Foot Locker or that dude checking your bags as you slip out of Macy’s, and wonder how he got there? Would you ever think he could have appeared on some of hip hop’s most classic albums as well as be the cousin of Q-Tip?
Meet Dexter Mills a.k.a. Consequence, who first appeared on wax in 1993 rhyming on "The Chase Pt. II" off of A Tribe Called Quest's classic album Midnight Marauders. Quence was later featured more heavily on Beats, Rhymes, and Life and was looked at as the fourth member of ATCQ. Then Quence dropped off the face of hip hop’s earth, finally to resurface with a hot verse in 2004 on Kanye West’s "Spaceship" off the Grammy-winning The College Dropout. Quence is now signed to Kanye’s GOOD Label with platinum artists John Legend and Common.
The one thing that was not complete in Quence’s career though, was a full-length studio album. Starting in 2002, Quence dropped the first of the six mixtapes that created a hip hop buzz, peaking at 2005’s Tribe Called Quence in which his Tribe career was revisited with a little help from his friend and some say recipient of hot verses, Kanye West.
Move on to 2007 which finally produced what the people in Chicago and all over the hip hop map had been waiting for - Consequence’s first studio album Don’t Quit Your Day Job. This is the album of a grown man. You won’t hear verses about D’s, why he is hot, and how his chain hangs low. Quence takes you on a journey from living in his mom’s basement as a 30-something lyricist who was at the lowest of the lows to being part of a "Grammy Family". The album is sprinkled with Kanye verses that would satisfy even the harshest Kanye critics as well as spot-on production that will make you forget where the skip button is on your ipod. It is a slyly-disguised concept album where the subject matter of the tracks paint the picture of an artist making it somewhere better than he was before dealing with the problems living at home with moms, as well as problems with the opposite sex, then finally reaching the top. The main drawback of the album is the recycling of three tracks. "Grammy Family", "Night, Night", and "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly", and "Uptown" are tracks that have been featured on previous mixtapes dating back to 2002, as well as "Night, Night" on a boxing video game. For someone who seemed to struggle so hard and wait so long to release an album, one would expect an album full of fresh tracks. But the Queens native’s proverbial rhymes are sure to relate to many, and his impressive rhyme style can keep others interested.

(Above preview was my lame attempt at a “real” album review)
This is John for real, and these are my real thoughts on the album. I do like it. I do not think it is spectacular. It is amazing to see how much Consequence and Kanye are interchangeable. I really didn’t even realize who was who for a few songs. It is pretty obvious, like Mike said, that Consequence really influenced Kanye and I hope Kanye didn’t put his chipmunk paws all over this so as to not overshadow any of his stuff.


MD: I didn’t want to pollute this list with two separate Kanye West entries so I compacted it into one.

1. Kanye West “Throw Some D’s” remix: I kind of ignored this until there was an easily available Youtube video to watch. I’m not the kind of person who sits around downloading random Kanye West mp3s (though I did download the song he did with the Teriyaki Boyz; fuck you. I like the Teriyaki Boyz, and if you want to challenge me on that, we can have words and I’ll tell you why I do). I won’t lie and say I didn’t like his first album, but after that, he kind of got absorbed by his own hype and became a total douche nozzle instead of the half-douche nozzle he used to be.
With that said, this song is fucking hilarious, and I think Kanye really found his calling. If he decided to make an entire record making parodies of horrible southern rap songs, I would buy at least 12 copies. If you’re like most of the internet and you hate Kanye West, you might have missed out on this gem, so go download it right now, or watch the video.
2. Kanye West spends $3,900 on takeout: I’m not sure how much of Kanye’s pompous asshole gimmick is real, and if it’s just a character, then I kind of respect that. Rap music needs characters to stay interesting, and if he wants to pretend to be a spoiled rich brat, then whatever. It doesn’t bother me any. If you missed the story, Kanye was throwing some kind of dinner party in New York with big time record dudes and decided to show off by ordering takeout from FUCKING LONDON. Actually, it was just somewhere in England outside of London. Either way, the place actually agreed to do it for some dumb fucking reason, probably publicity, and it cost him $3,900. I’m sure that’s small fries for him right now, but as we all know, EVERY rapper ends up broke at some point, except maybe Redman who doesn’t seem to spend his money on anything except weed. I imagine Kanye won’t be broke for at least a little while, but you have to wonder when he’s back working at the Gap at age 45, if spending $3,900 on 10 plates of food to impress some other douches will be one of his biggest regrets.

RM: On one hand, I hate everything about Kanye West. From the stupid tweaked out vocal samples he's made famous, to him joining the argyle sweater club, all the way back to him making a song about rapping after wrecking his shitty car acting like he'd just been shot 39 times by Jamaican drug gang machine guns and it was a miracle he could even make a shitty pop-ready song. But on the other hand, I don't give a fuck about Elvis either, but the story of him having a private plane that he flew like eight cop buddies out to Colorado or some shit to get those big hoagie peanut butter fried bacon jar of mayonnaise sandwiches or whatever, that's a great story. Kanye sort of blew his spoiled rich rock star chance at glory by just ordering takeout like he did instead of getting something that was extra retarded and would've killed anybody who ate it if they ate it more than once in their life. However, I guess I can give him credit for being stupid with his money. Financially, he is hyphy.

Watch Kanye's "Throw Some D's" remix video

Read the $3,900 take-out article


RM: There are three very separate equations going on right now from the shit my eyeballs looks at in word form. First off, every other interview with some dude releasing a majorly-hyped release, he's all talking about how they recorded 139 songs for the album, which is why he has four mixtapes out, and also suggests to me - the idiotic consumer - that this CD offering by a company is the greatest hottest most ridiculously slammin' 15 tracks or so out of that 139. But then secondly, in any interview you read with even a shitty producer who's had like one hot drumbeat for a club banger, they talk about how they ask for like $20,000 a beat or whatever, something ridiculous. I sort of have a built-in mind rule for prices new jacks claim they get paid for. The second-tier is the Ant Banks level. If you claim to be making more per beat than Ant Banks, I consider you a lucky dumbass who had a hot stripper song somewhere along the way, and rather than flaunt and flash, you probably ought to be tucking money away in your grandma's mattresses. Then you get to first-tier, which is DJ Quik level. If you are claiming, regardless of what you might be or might not be getting, that you make more DJ Quik for a beat, and you're some dude I've never heard of, and on top of that your artistic pseudonym sounds like an evil robot from the Tron series had there been a Sci-fi channel back then to launch such a series, then you are not only lucky but full of shit.
But what this breaks down to, in my mind, is if rappers are doing like 139 songs and obscure beatmakers are making $20,000 per beat, then the average major hip hop release costs at least about $15 million dollars to record (and this isn't even taking into consideration studio time, much less guest artist appearance and ghostwriting fees, not to mention the normal Jew-controlled record industry's shady "recoup" rip-offs).
Which brings me to the third equation... if nobody's buying CDs anymore, then how the fuck are these people making money? I mean, I know the labels make their money because the artist will be contractually indebted to pay back whatever money is spent on their release because that money is more of a loan than an investment on the label's part; but how do these rappers act like they make a billion dollars and buy up gold-flake chrome Lamborghinis with stripper poles in the trunk for imported midget strippers to get rained on?
But even more, I wonder how the fuck the shitty records that come out are so shitty when dudes have 139 songs to pick from. I know the Tupac legendary myth was that he did at least one song a day, which is why we can have Tupac Shakur CD-of-the-month clubs all the way up till 2007 where dead Tupac is rapping with Lil Wayne's second cousin over a Scott Storch beat for nobody to care about. But come the fuck on. This shit is at an all-time low. I'm gonna start getting into ringtones before long.
By the way, you heard them new screwed Chamillionaire ringtones? That shit's tight. Wish I had a motherfuckin' cell phone.

MD: I’m going to try and reveal some of the hardcore reality to these equations. First off, all rappers lie about everything. None of them are as rich as they say they are unless they own other shit. Puffy’s rich, he owns stuff. Jay-Z’s rich, he owns a lot of stuff. Other dudes, not so much.
It’s not as bad as it used to be since before the big rap boom in the late '90s, a lot of rapper record contracts back then basically gave the record labels permission to treat them like indentured servants. A lot of rappers didn’t own their own publishing, and I think now a lot of them (I hope) kind of wised-up when it came to that. Tha Rillest thing one of those Lox dudes ever said was “I want my ASCAP or you get your ass capped.” They are now signing to deals where they might actually see some money from a record.
Regarding the producer’s ridiculous fees and the guest artist situation: all of those people work on a point system. Something like they get a small amount of money up front and they make X amount of money from albums sold and royalties and such depending on how many points they have. I think there’s a surefire mathematical formula of 100 points where a rapper gets so many, the producers, guests, Jew industry men, etc., that you can look up somewhere on the internets.
About no one buying CD’s and them losing money from it: that’s probably true. No artists make a killing off of CDs because so much goes into it for advances and studio time and what not. However, they do make a pretty hefty amount of money from live shows (and sometimes merchandising, but I don’t think rappers do a lot of merchandising) and sponsorship deals, and ringtone sales (if they own their publishing). That’s why when someone says you’re stealing from an artist when you download a CD, it’s kind of bullshit. Unless it’s a relative unknown who just got a break with a major label, where record sales might decide whether or not they stay signed, no one is going to suffer that bad, except for the actual evil major label (and there’s basically like three major labels left because they all ate each other in a gluttonous fit of greed), and that’s their own fault for being such assholes about things like charging $14 wholesale for CDs when they can charge like $5 and still make a decent profit.
This got a little more serious than I would have liked, but to sum up, all rappers are liars. Producers probably make a lot less than $20,000 per beat what with the way record sales are these days (which is why Premo is doing Aguilera records now), and everything revolves around money that rappers don’t actually have that major labels do, but are losing rapidly for being royal assholes all these years. I imagine it will take a few more bad sales years for rap music for it to be completely eradicated from the major label slate. Buy independent music; steal shit that retails at $17.


MD: I’m from the northeast, which means I am obligated to wear a hoodie or some kind of jacket at least nine months of the year. I’m not the most fashionable dude ever, but I appreciate a nice hoodie when it’s going to be something I wear almost every day. This whole All-Over Print craze has really caused me some problems.
The first ones I saw a year or two ago were pretty reasonable. Well, reasonable looking, not reasonably priced. I remember a BAPE one that was just the BAPE gorilla logo printed a billion times to look like camouflage. That was pretty cool. Now all the prints look like if someone vomited Fruit Loops all over your clothes. It gets even worse depending on how lowly the clothing label is.
Back in the day, the store to get cool-looking clothes for not so high prices was called JW, or Jeans West. Now there’s one in one of the malls around here called PCX, or Pocket Change Xchange. I’m not sure if that’s a chain though, so I figured I’d throw in the JW reference as those seem to be more well-known and you’ll know what the hell I was talking about.
Those types of places have all these clothes that look like whatever is in style at the time, but they’re made by some fake label exclusive to the store. The all-over print hoodies there are fucking RIDICULOUS. They’re obviously considerably cheaper than actual name brand stuff, so you see a lot more people rocking these third-rate badly colored hoodies over some BAPE stuff, which is near impossible to afford. I mean, this shit just looks like the thug version of something Fashion Bug Plus would have sold twenty years ago.
My gripe is that now every clothing company is obsessed with making these things so I can’t carelessly spend my money on overpriced clothing because I don’t want to look like an asshole. I still like looking at other people wearing them though. There’s nothing like seeing a group of dudes walking all hard in the mall with ice grills wearing clothes that make them look like giant toddlers or old fat ladies from the '80s. I’m going to go ahead and thank Japan for this because who the fuck else will want to claim responsibility two years from now?

RM: The cheap shopping experience near me is a Rugged Men's Wearhouse place that has all the marked-down shit from last year or last month or wherever. I go regularly, especially in the early fall to get mismade NFL jerseys for five bucks a pop that don't have numbers on the front or sleeve or something, but come with the NFL patches. Well, we go there and can buy pimp clothes for me and my wife, but not the kids because I have two daughters and prefer for them to not dress like Bratz dolls (who in turn dress like hookers, but toy hookers with big eyeballs like they're half-anime, half-Barbie). Well, last time we rolled through, my wife got a print hoodie that was little white owls (the animal, not the blunt paper) all over a light green hoodie. She's all into owls and shit, so it made sense, but I was sort of confused as to why there was an all-over print hoodie like that. It was sort of one of those moments where all of a sudden you hear a word you never heard before then you hear it like seventeen times in two days. All of a sudden I was seeing dudes walking around pretending they looked cool in what looked like a Wonderbread bag made into a hoodie. Seriously, it was fucked up. And in the months since then, it's only gotten stronger. Now I grew up in a racist family, so when I would wear like caution sign yellow pants or bobo Air Jordans, older family members (luckily for me and my upbringing, not my mom or dad) would talk about how I looked like that word I can't ever type but if I type "n-word" I look like a fag, or if I type the one with the "er" ending like they said, you'd think I was the racist, or if I typed the "a" ending one, it wouldn't be what they were saying, but you get my point. But the goofy styles back then are nothing compared to the shit they're putting on hoodies now. It's like somebody realized they could screenprint the entire hoodie and not just the back or front, so they went insane with gay shit. No one even makes t-shirts that look that stupid.
Oh well... if hip hop has taught me anything, it's that one man's stupid is another man's stoopid.


MD: Redman’s last CD was all the way the fuck back in 2001, and I barely remember it. I’m assuming it kind of sucked. I had my reservations about this new record, but how are you going to have reservations when you’re on the fucking internet and everything is free anyway?
This new Redman CD is the shit though. Straight up. I don’t know if it’s because rap is at such a low point that anyone beyond the fat/cat/hat rhyme style seems like a super genius, or if it’s really just that good, but lyrically, no one is fucking with Redman right now, at least for this month.
There’s nothing on here that screams “hit single”, which is kind of amazing since bitter hit making rivals Scott Storch and Timbaland both appear on here, but this record doesn’t need a hit single to be off the hook. Even Red’s new B-Team, Gilla House, comes correct, even if they all have silly names (Runt Dog? Really?).
I’m an old white man, so I would obviously prefer more vintage Erick Sermon funk beats on here, and you don’t really get much of that. It’s more of the same futuristic synthesizer nonsense that both Red and Meth fell in love with in the late '90s. Erick Sermon and even Pete Rock are on here though, trying to give us old folks a taste of the good old days, with some success.
If you are actually a fan of hip hop, you need this record. I know it’s going to sell horribly, because I’m assuming that the first single will be “Freestyle Freestyle”, and I don’t see that song selling a ton of records or making Red relevant with the 14-year-olds, but fuck them anyway. I wish I could say this is the best Redman record since... something or other, but it’s been so long, I don’t even remember what his last great record was. I know the internet pretty well, and I can see this becoming the Fishscale of 2007, and you won’t want to miss out on that because then you can’t brag about how you knew all along that Redman was a genius and blah blah blah.

JD: I guess for once I am not the one trippin' over an album on this, but I really didn’t like this as much as I hoped I would. I think Redman is one of the most brilliant lyricists out there, and his Gilla House mixtapes were really, really good. But something about this was off for me. I think what did it was the production on about 60% of the tracks. Some of the beats really turned me off from Red’s lyrics. I guess this was the type of album in which I would love to get a vocal version of, instead of an instrumental version. Outside of the Timbaland and Scott Storch beats, I am guessing the production was done by one of the Gilla House people and they didn’t make the type of beats to accent Red’s delivery. My favorite part of Red’s albums is when he does his insane lyrics over a smoothed-out track, but this album had only one track like that, the rest with some of the more “futuristic” sort of production that made Method Man’s latest album tough for me to listen to.
But, fear not. Supposedly this is the first of three albums Red is going to drop in 2007. There is a Muddy Waters 2 in the works as well as a Blackout 2 coming this year. I am hoping this was the More Fish of the releases where Red wanted to get his crew out there.
While I appreciate someone as well known as Red getting his crew out there, I was a little sick of hearing Gilla House after the third song. In closing, this was good, not great. But it is new Redman and I would much rather hear a Red album rhyming over EL-P beats than no new Red at all.


MD: It’s been all over the news by now, but in case you missed it, Michael Jackson wants a 50 foot robot of himself built in the Las Vegas desert so you can see it when you’re flying into Vegas. It is also supposed to shoot neon laser beams
Sometimes when I get bored, I like to think who was the craziest of the '80s mega pop star triumvirate, which obviously consists of MJ, Madonna, and Prince. At this point, you’d be crazy yourself if you didn’t recognize Michael Jackson as the craziest pop star to come out of the '80s. He’s the craziest ANY kind of star to come out of the '80s.
You have to look at Madonna and Prince on a case-by-case basis, but in the end Madonna gets second place, because she’s still pretty fucking crazy and Prince is Born Again now, and has kind of settled down despite his penis guitar at the Super Bowl. Plus he never really did anything too crazy outside of fuck a lot and change his name to a symbol. He is still the third craziest pop star of the '80s hands down.
So this whole thing is kind of cut and dry and MJ always comes out on top of course, and keeps adding to his legacy by doing shit like building 50 foot robots of himself for no real reason outside of the fact that he fucking can. However, my new thing is to think who would be the crazier pop star if Elvis Presley had never died. It’s a lot harder because Elvis died before I could remember, so I only have second-hand stories to go on instead of witnessing all the dumb shit MJ has done in real time. So the jury’s still out on who would be crazier if Elvis was still alive, because I imagine if he never died, there would have already been an Elvis robot somewhere in the Las Vegas desert, and then MJ would have his built right near Elvis’s except slightly taller, and the robots would do duets together every 7 minutes like how Ol’ Faithful spurts on time every day, and that would be our crazy post-apocalyptic future world’s New Old Faithful: two giant robots of highly-crazy pop stars in the desert of the sleaziest city in America.

KM: In a perfect world, this 50 foot robot would also be Michael Jackson's house. At some point, he would be able to use it not only to destroy his enemies with lasers and giant robot stomping, but also to make an escape into deep space - to seek out new life and new civilizations. I encourage him to build this and do that because I don't live in fucking Nevada and it would be cool to see on the news. Someone needs to alert Joe Pesci so he can go into hiding before it's too late.
I read an interview with some West Coast dude in Ozone that summed up Michael Jackson perfectly. He said that even if dude diddled little boys, if R. Kelly can come back after having tape leak of him peeing on a minor, then MJ can probably do the same if he puts out decent music. Because that shit wasn't on tape and people have memories like parakeets.
RM: I think the most important thing to remember here is not how crazy Michael Jackson is and his 50 foot robot, but where will it go. Because Michael Jackson was filthy rich like he could molest boys and no one cared. But then he stopped making hits and that money started to dwindle so he started getting hassled about molesting boys and now he lives in one of those weird Arab countries that's building sand islands in the shape of greek letters and shit. And when American shit hit the fan a while back with the grown-up alarm and all that at Neverland Ranch, I think Eminem was one of the guys in the market for buying that fucked place. So my real concern is not the Michael Jackson robot - which is highly disturbing to say the least - but who will eventually control it once Michael Jackson uses up all his Jewish record exec credit by making one or two shitty albums that no one cares about. I mean, it would be great if like Three Six bought it and put gold teeth on it or something, but what if like Scott Storch ends up owning the 50 foot Michael Jackson robot? We don't need something like this falling into the wrong hands.


RM: I am no fashionista by any means… mostly I buy shit and wear it till it’s falling off my body because chicken grease stains have eventually ate through the cheap Sri Lankan stitch work. But fuck, there’s seriously like 7000 variations of every possible pro baseball hat nowadays, which is intriguing. Used to be, dudes trying to rock the odd style lid were wearing some faggot minor league baseball logo of a catfish or lumberjack or a black stallion in big smiley Cleveland Indians mode, but now, with the plethora of alternate designs done by the major league team’s themselves, combined with the endless array of versions done by New Era, you can rock whatever. I remember reading that Bloods in L.A. loved to wear Cincinnati Reds hats and mark out the C, but now I bet they can just get Red Sox hats with the B in red, or shit, I bet Crips can get Cincinnati Reds hats in blue or purple or whatever.
However, even though I see all-black Braves hats all over, or even this one all various shades of light grey pimp-ass Indians hat I saw one dude wearing one time, the real moneymaker is the simple N.Y. Yankees lid, in a thousand solid shades, plus every imaginable combination of colors in checkers or smears or argyle or stripes or anything really. I bet there’s translucent Yankees hats you can get with glow-in-the-dark thread.
I remember going to this ghetto-ass place on Broad Street in Richmond back in the day, the type of place that had an autographed Snoop Dogg picture on the wall from the time he rolled in and dropped six grand on hats and shoes, to check their selection of hats. They had the throwback Detroit Tigers with the orange D that I bought, and got my wack-ass rap name of the time – Ned Wreck (yeah, I know) – embroidered on the back in cursive-ish letters… that shit would’ve been tight as fuck except I’ve always had longhair and there’s no real way to rock a baseball hat with longhair without looking like a chump. Do the slightly cockeyed thing and you mad whiteboy chumpish, and turn it all the way around and you scream “HI! MY NAME IS STONEY MCRESINHIT!” at the world. Which means, even with all these wonderful choices in stupid baseball hats, I’ll never buy one.
Also, I imagine if they have all that shit in so many variations and it’s all advertised as being specifically a New Era brand hat, I bet that shit is mad expensive, meaning even if I could rock a baseball hat over my dreads and not look like a goddamned fool, I wouldn’t want to shell out money for that bullshit. I mean, let me guess like thirty bones for a hat – that’s six mixes from the bootleg man at the flea market, and I’ve never seen a baseball hat in my life worth six mixtapes. And anyways, the flea market in town, as shitty and small-town as it is, will have the China lady set up selling bootleg baseball hats if I really want one, plus she doesn’t just have baseball logo rip-offs, she has all those great bootleg Mexicana baseball hats too with chickens fighting and evil clowns and shit embroidered on them.
And lime green Yankees hats. I am a simply entertained individual, and one thing that always fills me with immense joy is seeing some overweight wigger redneck kid, about 13 or so, trying to look harder than fuck in his lime green Yankees hat. That shit is hilarious.

JD: If you walked up to me to say hello, you would probably never guess I was a hip hop nerd of sorts. Every person who I have ever told hip hop is all I listen to are surprised because I am just a regular dude. Outside of wearing some clean sneakers, I really have no connection to hip hop in my dress. I would guess most of us are the same way. But it wasn’t always that way.
Back when I was 13, moms did not approve of my little fetish for fresh kicks and made me get a job as a dishwasher at a local bar/restaurant. This job served to feed my sneaker addiction because mom agreed that from now on, we go halves on any sneakers I want to buy as a penance for putting my young-ass to work in a hot, smelly kitchen for 50 hrs a week in the summer. Back then, west coast hip hop was blowing up, and with that, my boss’s cousin came to our tiny corner of northeast PA. from Vegas, where he was a UNLV student and knew all the Runnin’ Rebel dudes, to work for the summer. When I met the kid, what immediately drew me to him was his cap - a fresh, UNLV Starter cap, which was about a summer before that craze started to work its way east to every shopping center and young hip hop thug in PA. After that summer, I was feenin’ for Starter Caps and the L.A. Kings hats that Ice Cube and Dr. Dre used to rock on the N.W.A album covers and videos. That hat love consumed me and it was my small tribute to the hip hop culture I was consumed in growing up. I rocked the odd-team shit way before that became “cool”. I would wear Texas A&M caps and those black hats with the cursive script in N.W.A style of all the west coast basketball teams to school and around town. As I got older, the hat thing cooled off. I wore the comfy hats made of cloth and moved away from the hot, thick, black wool hats I wore for years. Then I moved into wearing the regular New Era caps, in regular styles for regular baseball teams, and broken in until I found my hat wife. The breaking in of a brand new baseball hat was like the first hook-up with a new girl. You take it out for a day; take it to dinner, then for a walk around the mall, and then if you are lucky, it makes it with you into the shower. Then you would go to sleep with your new baby next to you, and in the morning, you look at it again in the light after a night to sleep on it and see if it still looks and feels the same. Sometimes, it worked out and that hat was glued to your head for months, and sometimes it went under the bed never to be seen again. With some being your “go-to” hats you wore drinking or to a family function when a hat stained in algae from the pond you dove in with the hat on to escape from the cops at a kegger in the woods wouldn’t do. Then I moved away from wearing hats in college, not wearing them at all. Then my baby came back.
New Era started making the funky batting practice caps I am guessing about five years ago, first starting with the caps made of mesh, moving into the flex fit caps (3930 model) made of a more breathable, stretchy mesh. I will wear these hats forever. They are the most comfortable things that ever graced my oddly-shaped peanut head. The fit is sometimes inconsistent, but they are fan-fucking-tastic. Now the MLB has decided to switch the batting practice caps to these ugly, heavy, high-tech shits that are awful. But some of the BP caps come in alternates to sell to the masses, which I am sure will make the bastards sell, and they do have a red Boston Red Sox BP caps for the Bloods who read this and want the Red B on their cap.
But, to touch on what Raven said about New Era, and how retarded they have become with hats, the other day I went on lids.com to look at the Padres caps. Now the Padres are not the Red Sox or Yankees by any means, but they had 10 pages of Padres caps with four of those pages being Padres caps by New Era made of denim, in green, and in any other tacky pattern the mind can conjure. New Era has totally forgotten about where their bread was buttered and now caters to people who are willing to buy an alligator skin Yankee cap, or some other sort of limited cap that comes in a wooden box. They even made a cap after J.Dilla for his mother’s foundation after he passed that was really cool looking, but that fucker was $175 and had like a silk liner. I am sure there will be a day when teams on the field rock these ugly-ass hats, and that will truly signal the end of the innocence for New Era.


RM: So I downloaded that Amy Winehouse bitch because she was supposed to the mad soulful white chick from Limeyland whose voice sounded like fuzzy gin shots or some bullshit, and also acquired that Lily Allen chick because my wife was bugging me for that shit constantly, and both of them, after much listening (well, not the Lily Allen so much), I realized are crap. Not necessarily terrible crap, because it's listenable, but the Amy Winehouse especially, and some of the Lily Allen shit, it's like Fatboy Slim remixes of Nina Simone songs. (Also, I am sorry if this comes off inconsiderate, but Nina Simone is some straight up homosexual music to be playing, so don't try to convince me how great she is. The only two types of people who can play Nina Simone and it not seem stupid are actual homo dudes and fat art chicks, and those two circles sort of roll together anyways.)
But also, upon heavy herbal analysis with headphones on, I realized this shit, which both have had some Brit fuck named Mick Ronson behind the boards on, is like the second wave of Gnarls Barkley. And Gnarls Barkley, let's face it, we all hate it now even though we loved it the first two times we heard it, but you knew every fratboy, pre-teen girls, and even your grandma who thinks illegal immigrants are stealing her mail was gonna end up getting into them. It was going to spread like infections because it was so poppy sounding and feel good it was sickening. Winehouse and Allen are not on that level, but they're trying. And this is hip hop 30 years later - weird suburban kook characters like tattooed drunk girls or record store mulatto kid who make something that's considered hip hop-infused even though your grandma likes it. This is the next wave. This shit's gonna be going on for years and they'll be bumping this type of shit on the fade outs of NPR and in grocery stores like it's normal shit for Mr. and Mrs. Everyday America to be hearing while they try to decide how many cans of beans they'll need for their one packet of pre-mixed chili seasoning for the big Final Four party on Saturday night, where everybody in the neighborhood is coming by to watch the 48-inch plasma screen in the family room. People standing around on tile floors in nice clothes pouring their beers in glasses, drinking wines from bottles with corks, eating bean dip, and there's "Crazy" and that rehab song pumping on the Ipod speakers in the background, and it's all normal and great and nice and chill. Just real chill. Nothing exciting, nothing dangerous, just chill... and in the background.

MD: I really have nothing great to add to this, but we are approaching our imaginary deadline, and it needs to get done. Mark Ronson (which is what his name actually is) makes some real sterile sounding music. I don’t even know if he was really the guy behind that Lilly Allen CD, but that CD is fine by me. The Amy Winehouse CD is definitely Gnarls Barkley-ish in the way that it’s taking a lot of old grandpa music genres and using hip electronic doo-dads and whatchmacallits to make it sound futuristic.
I downloaded a Mark Ronson Essential Mix, because I am huge fan of DJ Shadow’s Essential Mix, so I download anyone I see that sounds vaguely interesting. It was very boring. I don’t know how anyone could make it through the full 2 hours of that thing.
I guess he’s really just a pop music producer, so I shouldn’t even give a shit, because it’s not like I listen to that much pop music, but yeah Mark Ronson isn’t that great.

RM: (part 2) Ronson did some remixers for that Lily Allen chick... I knows it to be so because I saw big glossy ads for it in Fader magazine. I also refuse to believe that dude's name is Mark because the guy who created the Price is Right can't be making wack-ass music like this. Also, I find it amusing for there to be a brit dude named Mick because the stupid Irish hate the stupid British. I wanted to somehow work in something disparaging about the Irish because we sort of have an EWA rule that the three sensitive categories of people we like to mock are Jews, gays, and the Irish. Armenians would easily be on that list too, except they don't have any sense of humor about it like those other three do. Armenians just get all pissed and start sending you emails about how they are uber-jews and all of them got killed a long time ago yet nobody acknowledges they all died and shit. I bet Armenians love some Amy Winehouse too. All dancing and shit with stupid gold chain and silk shirt, all geeked up on ecstasy.


MD: I think this ended up on the list just because we’re plum out of shit to put on it. None of us actively like El-P. I thought Fantastic Damage was a huge mess with a few actual songs on it. Most of it was just noises and real fucked up drum patterns and it was hard to tell where one song ended and another began. Of course, this was the record college kids claimed as their own, inspiring them to make their own bad pseudo-rap music.
This new record isn’t as bad as Fantastic Damage. There are even a few songs I would consider “great” on here. There isn’t a lot of self-masturbatory tracks like Fantastic Damage, though I’ve grown to expect that from anyone who is more known as a producer that releases a solo CD.
It still has its fair share of sci-fi nerdery, but I’m probably never going to listen to this CD again in full so they’ve already been forgotten. I highly doubt this record will spark the same kind of nerd revolution the last one, along with other seminal Def Jux releases did. It’s just going to be another rap record that undersells, and nothing more.
Regarding the indie rock all star list that makes appearances on here: you can hardly tell. I wouldn’t be able to tell you which song Trent Reznor was on if it wasn’t pointed out to me. That’s the one element where El-P really excels on this record. He’s managed to take top shelf indie music talent and reduce them to background noise. I’m not sure why they let him do that to them. I could see if El-P was Bjork or something, but maybe other musicians regard El-P as a Bjork-type character because he’s slightly more creative than your average musician.
I would recommend this to any of the dorks that came in their Dockers over Fantastic Damage, but I’d wager that most of those assheads have moved on to some other shit by now, because those types never stay in one place when it comes to whatever eclectic bullshit music they’re into any given month. I guess that means that this record has the potential to appeal to no one, which is kind of cool.

JD: I work at a job that a majority of the time I do nothing. I DL a few wrestling matches, get homework done when I can, and really just become a giant business casual-dressed vegetable. Tonight this goddamn phone hasn’t rang in about two hours, which can be a good thing because it means there are no drunken fuckers wanting to go into rehab or any crazy fuckers who need to be put in a hospital. But I wish I had the capability to listen to music and had some sort of thing on this fancy-ass computer that would play said music. I used to work in an even more stuffy office at a bank doing this insanely important job where I released funds for shipping companies and double checked shipment invoices and all that junk, but they let you listen to music at work. I would sit in my cubicle with this MTV radio deal they supplied us with, and I had the hip hop channel on, which caused many stares and requests to turn the volume down on my computer.
Where does all this lead to? Well, it leads to me writing this without even listening to the EL-P album. It is really only half being at work’s fault. The other half is that I don’t really even care about it. I have a hard time getting into some of that Def Juxy things like RJD2 and the like. When I first started to dive down into the pool of underground hip hop, I would use this archaic, virus spouting system and would DL random singles. I DLed Stepfather Factory by EL-P and I thought it wasn’t half bad. I then started to read a little deeper into him and found out he was one of the people behind Company Flow, who I respected for the sound of their stuff, but then again didn’t like it. As I became more knowledgeable, I started to really dislike him even more. I blame El-P for single-handedly mauling Cage’s last album as well, and found it funny people were drooling over a Ghost/El-P collab on one of the Prefuse 73 albums where Ghost rhymed El-P about three feet in the ground.
To sum it all up, I do not like music that sounds like it was made to be some cool-ass coffee-shop frequenting hipsters’ favorite music. With the taste in hip-hop I do have, I still like to have a little bit of soul in what I hear. I think there is something to taking a tiny loop of drums, vocals, and horns and turning it into something that makes your head nod, not have a seizure. But the critics seem to dig it, which will probably make me avoid it even more.


KM: I would think that since it's closer to B.I.G.'s death, the rap world would have more people comparing themselves to him. (For the record, Fat Pat is the South's Biggie.) I would be wrong. Saying you're the next 2Pac is an activity for all seasons. Five years ago, music journalism re-discovered the word "ubiquitous" and then ran it into the dirt unironically. Now, music journalism is doing the same with 2Pac comparisons. Of course, people have always tried to put themselves on the same level as previous greats (Rakim, Nas, B.I.G.), but the Pac thing is its own coded speech now. You put that out, and force the audience to immediately draw upon a whole gimmicked persona. The problem is, none of these people fit that bill.
It didn't really hit me until I read this interview with Lil Boosie where he's seriously and repeatedly trying to convince people he's New Orleans' answer to Makaveli. Fuck, I LIKE Lil Boosie, but I don't know if there are enough drugs on the planet to make me confuse him with 2Pac. He doesn't even remind me of the guy when you slow it down to Screw speed and cover your ears to muffle the sound a little. Dude rhymes about his car, fucking bitches, and diabetes. As a diabetic, I am all about repping my set. (Did you know Dame Dash is one, too? Yeah, motherfucker, we're taking over.) If 2Pac was alive, he'd probably have a throwaway dis on Boosie, some "You lil Wilford Brimley ass nigga, go check your blood sugar" thing.
But you can't exactly fault Boosie, every third fucker in a rap mag is claiming to be just like Pac. Ivy Queen (of reggaeton fame) claims she is the boriqueña 2Pac. I'm sure NORE might take issue with that but he's busy mouth-fucking some full steezies somewhere. At least one out of the half-dozen no-name people you will find plugging their demo and myspace page in any issue of Ozone, Rime, XXL, The Source or Down magazine will say similarly insipid shit. Guys like DMX and Trick Daddy used to be the next 2Pac. Adrien Brody may be channeling 2Pac now. Even nerdcore internet darlings like Lupe Fiasco and Slug get drawn into this. Seriously, what the fuck is wrong with you people? I'm waiting for someone to create some kind of intricate link between Barack Obama and good ol' Makaveli because it seems that bus is never late. Maybe it's a rite of passage now.
The only person I would even compare to 2Pac in terms of style and amount of recorded material would be Z-Ro, and ain't nobody really talking about him because he's in jail again. You could probably kill Z-Ro tomorrow and there would still be enough unreleased songs and freestyles to have an album every year for the next 5 years (if not longer.) I don't want that to happen, but it appears Z-Ro is prepared for the possibility.

RM: Of note we talked on Trick Daddy, because Trick is the one dude who makes me think of 2Pac, but not real 2Pac more the mythical 2Pac, who was an enigma wrapped in a bandana. Like, I could imagine (and have always wanted) a Tupac velvet painting where he's got his hands together praying with the ever-so-slightest touch of silver bling paint on his pupils, and I could see that shit with Trick Daddy too, except Trick hasn't been over-marketed to everybody on earth, or didn't get needlessly deaded over some dumb shit so as to make his ultra-rare last CD ever even more coveted, even if it ended up being the first in a CD-of-the-month club that will never die.
As for wanting to emulate Tupac, I could see that, because he got a lot of head, but I'd rather try to be like some dude that got a lot of blowjobs that didn't end up with bulletholes myself. Posthumously, you can sell all the records in the world, but if you're not hear to get ripped off on your royalty checks, some Jew dude's grandkid is gonna get all the blowjobs off your hard work.


JD: I have the TV viewing habits of an early twenties female, BUT I REP HARD FOOL!
This show is the spin-off of the Flavor of Love minstrel show with Flavor Flav, and New York is the girl who was on two seasons that Flav didn’t decide to dump till at a later time, or plant a seed in. The premise of the show is the same as the show with Flav except all these dudes want New York. There was your typical parade of gay white men, regular white men, white/black men, gay black men, and thugs. Out of the final three, two of the dudes were brothers. Coming at this from a hip hop angle, the thug shit is what I really dug, mainly two thugged-out little fools that are brothers. These dudes rock the hip hop uniform of the hooded sweatshirt with multi-colored dollar signs and what appears to be homemade hats with bedazzled dollar signs in all different colors. What blew my mind further is these dudes were born on a horse ranch in Cali and the name of their crew is the STALLIONAIRES. Jesus fucking Christ... is this where it is at? The opportunity to go on Myspace and make a profile pimping yourself to random people and to go on TV to be on one of those reality shows to put yourself out there is causing assholes like Ghostface Flowers (real name of someone who sent me a friend request on Myspace) and all other assorted dreamers trying to be the next Mims. The stupid thing is these dudes never even took advantage of being on TV to rhyme to her or some dumb shit to put them out there. On to New York: I would venture to say she is about two steps from being Wendy Williams. I don’t know if that is good or bad, but avoiding being Flav’s baby mamma pt. 8 makes her a winner. I don’t recommend anyone watching this unless you enjoy brainless TV as I do.

RM: This shit is already in my Netflix queue, because my ol' lady loves stupid TV, and I loved the Flavor Flav show because of the giant asses it gave love to. Big-assed women mostly get unloved in pop culture, but I love a big ass. And for all the minstrelly qualities that the Flavor of Love show had, it was still funny as fuck, and basically it broke down to the fact that Flav just wanted to chill the fuck out.
That being said, I am intrigued by this show because, even in the dim limelight of reality television, I find it amazing someone would pretend to love up on New York. That bitch was ugly, she was crazy, and she was annoying as fuck. Watching physically-grown men compromise their pride to pretend to love her so they could be on a cable television show, that's the type of thing that's funny to me. Except I'm sure it'll suck, so after I watch the first DVD, I'll just revert my stupid Netflix queue back to all Sanford & Son and Good Times reruns.


MD: it’s far from perfect, but Mick Boogie’s mixtape is a lot better than those official Notorious B.I.G. Duets releases. It has the pacing of a mixtape (duh), everything is so rapid fire that you can’t dwell too long on the fact that there are live people rapping with someone who died ten years ago. Plus it concentrates more on B.I.G.’s incredible verses than pairing them up with whoever is hot right now. There’s nothing on here that’s trying to be pawned off as a “new” song like with the Duets records.
The only real gripe I have is with “Gimme The Loot '07” featuring Ray Cash. They couldn’t find anyone besides Ray Cash to do this song? I don’t want to hear Ray Cash rap ever, no less on one of the greatest songs ever written.
Outside of that, this mix is incredibly dope, plus it’s legally free. If you feel burnt on all those other posthumous releases because you’re a dumbass and you actually bought them with your own hard-earned cash, this is like an apology to make up for that.
On the same note, That Mister Cee Best of Biggie mix has popped up on the internet again. I’m not sure if it was redone with new shit on it, but I doubt I’m alone in saying that enough is enough. This should be the last chapter in Biggie’s Exhumed Corpse releases. Fuck man, last year I downloaded Gnarls Biggie, which was Gnarls Barkley beats with Biggie verses. The Mick Boogie and Mister Cee mixes are as good as they’re going to get, so let’s stop right now. Elvis wasn’t making songs ten years after he was dead. Let Tupac keep the CD Releases From Beyond The Grave market to himself, since he sucked anyway.

RM: I was supposed to download this and review it too, but I am on internet welfare (all they have where I kick it is dial-up), so I have to set shit up before I go to bed and then if I hit the snooze button enough times, it's done before I get out of bed. Except right when I was gonna start remembering to download this, I wanted Z-Ro instead. But I never even remembered to DL that either, but that's more important than a Biggie Boogie mixtape rest in peace-age piece.
Sometimes I'm really thankful Biggie died because when you look at what a fool Fat Joe has become, standing around beside Scott Storch and wearing tarheel blue furs and shit, it makes you wonder how much of a goofy fuckwad Biggie could've been coerced into becoming by Puff Daddy's influence. Like, it's great to imagine hardcore Biggie ripping tracks forever and lacing wack rappers with beatdowns like no other, but the reality of it is if he was still alive he'd be rapping in a cologne commercial by now.


JD: It almost seems stupid to say, “Man, they are selling out,” when you see celebrity/musician/whatever signing up to do a reality show. This does strike me as odd though. I am not sure what Three Six is looking to promote in doing this MTV show, but judging from the trailers, it looks like typical MTV reality show stuff. Take the stars, this being Three-Six and their friends, add in contrived situations like meeting with a Hollywood director, going to parties, etc. And spit out a month worth of tape into a few months of shows.
I blame Flavor Flav for all of this. Taking hip hop legends of sorts and making it okay to do a minstrel show for cable TV. But fuck this; I am putting my internet foot down. I refuse to watch this bullshit again. I don’t want to see DJ Paul tongue kissing some video whore with delusions of grinding their ass in the next video. Fuck you MTV. Fuck your reality bullshit straight to hell. Aren’t there enough teenagers and people in their mid '20s with no lives willing to make asses of themselves for us old people to laugh at? And stay away from MF DOOM YOU BASTARDS!
MD: I keep missing this Three Six Mafia Spring Break thing which is acting like a preview of their upcoming reality show, so I can’t comment too much on this. I did read an article a few months back where they talked about it, and how the show basically came about when they met up with a bunch of Jews and Ashton Kutcher at a sushi restaurant to talk about doing something, and DJ Paul and Juicy J had never eaten sushi before so comedy ensued, and they got the show on the spot.
I really want to like the show because I’ve liked Three Six for a long fucking time now, and I’m so glad they’ve managed to win an Oscar and become megastars despite having a group name that conjures up satanic images and being abusers of prescription cough medicine. I’ll be real disappointed if the show sucks, since in the same article they said they don’t need a bunch of fancy shit in the house they’re moving into specifically for the reality show. They said all they needed was alcohol, a TV and bologna.
This has to do with MTV and Ashton Kutcher though, so I have my reservations. I mean, odds are it will turn into a modern day minstrel show with all the shady editing techniques MTV utilizes, but at the same time, I don’t see Three Six letting themselves get portrayed like assholes, and they won a fucking Oscar, and I’ve won nothing except a clock radio tape deck at a Pizza Hut Christmas party in 1996, so if they approve of the show, I’m going to approve of it too.


I think Andre 3000 is on some weird next level shit. His rapping has been AWOL for years, to the point that the Idlewild soundtrack mostly sucked a dick. People have long speculated Outkast was dead, and Andre "nu-Prince" 3000 was responsible. Then all of a sudden, I'm driving around in my car and hear what seems like a familiar, favorite voice on that goddamn "Walk It Out" beat. I didn't believe it the whole way home, thinking they'd found some dude to ape Andre (like Guerilla Black with Biggie), but the internet confirmed it was Dre. Shocking. Tomk's assessment was spot on - he sounds like a cranky Bill Cosby MC - and that shit is a riot. Why whoever was responsible for this guest spot didn't bother to get Big Boi for a verse until months after the fact is beyond me and that person should be kicked in the dick. That dude deserves way better than to be treated as an afterthought. Then, Dre pops up on that Lloyd song ("You") and throws out some space cadet Whole Foods bullshit, yet still manages to mop the floor with both Nas and Lil Wayne (who got his own solo remix). The guest verse on "Throw Some D's" is more of the same, and rounding out the bunch is Devin the Dude's "What A Job." There, you get to hear both Dre AND Snoop Dogg bust out some hip codger verses and neither one seem out of place.
Andre is a lot closer to Michael Jordan than most would think. They had a stellar start, made names for themselves, hit career heights and then retired unexpectedly to go pursue other eccentric interests. I think Dre was better at singing than MJ was at baseball, but he's undeniably a better MC. All I hope is that he doesn't completely ape Jordan's graceless decline into a cockpunching shell of his former glory - right now I'm okay with the game changing the rules and letting Andre get away with murder since he's good at it. They should reunite the Dungeon Family and go buckfuckingwild while everyone's still talented and civil. Maybe the hip-hop Bulls will bust another championship run before Cee-Lo decides to implode or Sleepy Brown retires.

RM: I'm not gonna lie, I hate some recent Outkast so much it's like them dudes were my friend and then fucked my fat half-retarded cousin even though I asked them not to. I feel betrayed by how wack that double album shit was, and from what I heard of that Idlewild shit, I couldn't handle it. Seemed like the type of shit baldhead 37-year-old white dudes who wear thick black rim glasses and drink PBRs in hipster bars that have tofu barbecue on the menu would be into.
But somewhere along the way, after doing a really long Saturday Night Live skit about Sly Stone called The Love Below, Andre all of a sudden became relatively awesome again. First I heard that wack-ass R&B song remix where his verse is not stellar but pretty funny because he picks up some chick at Whole Foods, which has long been a fetish porn site I think should exist, where like some hot young Hip Mama riot grrrl/hippie goddess chick with pagan tattoos and a toddler can't afford to get the organic cantaloupes much less the a big jar of olive oil, so she ends up fucking a guy in the park who buys her groceries. But I digress.
Then along through the wack-ass radio came that "Walk It Out" remix where Andre fully takes on the crotchy yet confident old man role, and rips it. I mean destroys it. He made that song not suck, and completely overshadows Jim Jones, which, other than a catchy echo-effect Pavlovian catchphrase, that's not too hard to do. I think this came out before the wack-ass R&B song above, but still, this is the order I hearded shit.
After this comes the "Throw Some D's" remix, and the original version was two months ago's catchiest stupid jingle in Raven's head, so I don't mind Richboy in the context of catchy stupid jingle jangler; but on the remix, Andre 3000 again just overshadows everybody. Makes the shit a greater song, stepping further and more comfortably into that grown folks role that perhaps he was running from by wearing boa feathers and argyle socks and shit in urban black man hood reality fear-based mid-life crisis at age 32. Now he seems like, "Fuck it, this is who I am, and anyways, y'all suck," and then he'd do some dance from 1987 that would get all the kids in their Flippin' Birds screenprinted t-shirt and fake medallions from the jewelry store (meaning the Vietnamese dude's booth at the flea market) laughing.
But then, this here "What A Job" song is like the greatest song in ages, and even with Devin's great sing-songy style and Snoop's standard above-par-but-nothing-spectacular performance, Andre just stands out. And it's interesting that on remixes of note, he's usually the first guest rapper, and then on album songs like this, he's last, because with the CD song you don't want to play second star on the track, and on remixes you want the hottest shit to come out right away so that people don't start rolling their eyes and go, "Damn, didn't they play this song 13 times last weekend?"
I think for the first time since Stankonia was such a piece of butt am I actually excited to see what Outkast may come up with next time. I mean, not really, because I'm sure if Dre is on some next level don't give a fuck middle-classed weird black dude tip, then Big Boi will be on some retarded retro-ghetto shit where all he talks about is 30-inch rims. But maybe they can both catch a fire simultaneously for one more time and we can actually get a classic-assed album out of those dudes to match all the goddamn peckerwood music critic fellatio they've gotten the past five years.


My man Embryo hooked me up a data disk of blog-jacked stuff, as I'm on internet welfare until they bring satellite rays to rural America on the affordable tip. A lot of what's on the disk is stuff I don't care about, which usually always happens when people do that for you because they think they know what you'll like, and half the time I end up liking the stupid stuff they just added on to fill up the space more. But this disk had instrumental versions of Return to the 36 Chambers, Ironman, Liquid Swords, and Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, plus a couple later Wu solo joints, but those four are a pretty strong wave of music to come from one crew in a steady stream (which isn't even taking into consideration Method Man's first CD). Not to sound too much like an old head, but you could make a Best of Dipset from the last couple years and it'd probably not be better than any one of those four CDs on their own.
But to have the instrumentals of all that shit... I just made like two 80 minutes CDs with them all jumbled around back and forth and have pretty much been playing that constantly lately. Instrumentals... they just seem to get along with the way my mind works better than any other music. If I had one of them white people little robot beat machines with the earplugs, I'd probably just fill it up with old instrumentals. Well, maybe a couple vinyl rips of some old 45s as well, but mostly just those two formats. I probably won't have one of those robot beatpods though until they're like two forms of technology obsolete though. I got my wife one last Christmas, and the other night I was playing a CD I had boughted, and it struck me that there's probably people who are all like, "Yo man, I don't even like listening to them new ipods and shit. I'm old school, just throw like 10 CDs into the CD-changer and hit shuffle and let 'em play all the way through. That's music, motherfucker!" Fuck, I must be like a thousand years old.

JD: Raven and I seem to have some sort of odd parallel in our hip hop fandom. We both really seem to dig the same shit. Sure I am not as much into the southern stuff, and I think he is not as into some of the more obscure shit I am into. But I am sure that if he grew up down the road from me or vice versa we would have real-life bonded over hip hop. We would internet talk a long time ago about how amazing it would be to have all the Wu stuff as instrumentals to have that brilliance of RZA, 4th Disciple, Mathematics, and whoever else produced tracks for them at the tip of your fingers. The fact he has them and I do not makes me a tad internet jealous. I just recently on one of the many hip hop blogs out there found a 4th Disciple/Hell Razah mixtape and it sucked assholes, but not because of the brilliance of 4th Disciple, but of the Sunz of Man B-squader Hell Razah. That was a situation where I wished for an instrumental album.
Instrumentals I think are the next step for someone who digs hip hop. In my white man opinion, it takes you being at a different level to listen to an hour CD straight through with no lyrics. I guess I would equate enjoying hip hop instrumentals to being a jazz fan, and maybe that answers my question as to what type of hip hop I will be listening to as an old man?
I remember buying a MF Doom’s Special Herbs album at the local record store. The skully cap-in-the-summer, Aceyalone t-shirt-wearing kid, before he rang up the CD, asked me if I really wanted to buy it because it had no lyrics on it. Unlike that little bastard, I appreciate putting in an instrumental CD as I find that shit the ultimate driving music. With the Wu solo album instrumentals it would more be like some brain jogging karaoke. Much like most of the people who wore those albums out, I could recite most of the rhymes, and there is nothing more fun as rhyming as you are driving. Sure, I know the lyrics, but I find enjoyment in making verses about the broken down tractor driving in front of me, or the lady walking out of the liquor store at 9 am rocking the Mark Martin black, flea market t-shirt. When you are in a car a lot, you need to make the time pass by because the radio just doesn’t cut it and you can not carry your entire CD collection in the little thing under the console, so I always keep an instrumental album on hand.
And I expect those instrumentals with the quickness...


RM: So I maxed out my credit rating to get a $7000 truck off this dude, and now all I can probably get credit-wise is those $500 limit cards where you apply on the phone and the prompts are automatically in Spanish and you have to select to make them English, meaning it's tailor-made for broke-ass Puerto Ricans. Well, the truck is sharp, so now I don't look like some piece of shit self-employed painter with 32-foot ladders strapped by bungees to the top of a beat-up late model Volvo stationwagon, but instead a respectable business dude with a clean-ass truck, ladders properly positioned on ladder racks, riding around, making money make money money.
The dude I bought the truck off of had Sirius satellite in that jank, and I've been bumping that all week, hoping holmes just doesn't remember to cut it off or they don't remember to cut it off (like, does that shit work like cable TV in the city?) or whatever, and in two days time I've heard like a fifth of the songs on the Expert Whiteboy Analysis Hot 100 Jamz of All-Time list, so I'm all dorked up, riding around in my clean gold tone truck without a dent (so far) bobbing my head like the wack-ass 34-year-old I am to shit like "Smooth Operator" or "Ice Cream" coming through the speakers, and I was doing such a thing today after having just stopped in the hot global warming springtime heat to buy myself a delicious fifty cent can of Pepsi soda from the drink machine at the country store, and the can had all this crazy turntable shit going on all over it, and I'm riding around listening to some back in the day jam in my financed truck, and it occurred to me that fuck! Hip hop is played out. I mean, I'm a pretty degenerate minded malcontent who happily lives grimier than a majority of folks, but still, riding around in a new-looking truck listening to satellite beams drinking soda all with F! R! E! S! H! spice to it, it made me realize how homogenized hip hop has become, because White America is a giant giant vat of sterility, and if you take like say a 50-gallon drum of white paint and shoot like two beer cans of black tint into the middle of it and put a lid on it and shake it all up real good, mix it together, infuse the white vat with a shot of black, and open it up, you know what's there? A giant vat of white paint that's hardly any darker than it was to begin with. And plus, the black is completely dissipated. That's how we end up with satellite radio hip hop and turntable Pepsi cans and Puff Daddys and Pharrells and shit.
It also made me sad to realize all that, and wondered how the next big thing, the next Wu-Tang or thrash metal or any fuckin' thing musically to fuck the world up could ever blow up again because with internet and media, as soon as like five people like something, one of them starts a blog about it, and two months later it's on the cover of Spin as the Next Big Thing, so then the people who originally liked it won't like it because we all know that most people are stupid so if something is liked by most people then it must be stupid to an extent.
Now, I've got to get me a $500 credit card so I can pay for the satellite radio waves if that shit ever stops coming on when I get in the truck.

MD: I had a similar experience with the satellite radio. It’s actually not that similar, but it has to do with Satellite radio none the less. I was at my mom’s house last summer, and she just got satellite TV, which I imagine is doing real horrible sales-wise, because they throw in all these extras to get you to buy it.
They gave her some kind of budget version of Sirius Satellite radio. It’s like 40 something channels, and it plays over your TV, but I guess you can buy one of those satellite receivers if you wanted to, but she just has the TV version, and none of these logistics are important anyway.
I was listening to the “Old School” station while dicking around on the computer one day, and of course “Old School” means anything over five years old by Sirius satellite radio standards. My sister walks in, who was 18 at the time, and she’s like “What are you listening to?...oh it’s music from YOUR era," like all condescendingly and shit, like I’m some ancient dinosaur that doesn’t understand the ways of the modern man. I love my sister and all, but fuck her. I called my mom up last Christmas and asked what kind of gift I should buy for my sister, and my mom wasn’t really any help. I figured everyone likes music, so I asked my mom if there were any CDs she was looking for, and my mom’s like “I don’t know, she listens to something called reggaeton.” No one who listens to Reggaeton should be allowed to comment on music in any way.
Seriously though, you do start feeling old when shit you listened to back in the day you were all hyped up on actually sounds old to younger people. I don’t really let it bother me too much, because I know for a fact music sucks right now, and it’s not just because my ears are getting old. Music really does fucking suck, and everyone who is young and teen-aged right now is going to have the worst, most awful taste in music in the history of the universe, and it’s only going to get worse when shit like “BALLIN!” is considered old school. By then, people will literally fart on records and that will be a song. Just a bunch of BRRRAAAAAHHTNNS and PFFFFTTTSSS sampled through some computer machine to sound rhythmic, and by then no one will be able to rhyme, so there won’t be any lyrics, only grunts that sound vaguely similar.

KM: Oldness is a matter of context. At the ripe old dinosaur age of 25.9, I should not and do not normally feel like a geezer yet. Thing is, I live in a college town and work with (and for) college kids in both of my jobs - they keep getting younger. I'm usually oblivious to this, but last week I walked into a gas station to order some fried chicken gizzards while wearing my I SHOT J.R. shirt. See, there's actually a gun there instead of the word shot, and it's a play on that old Dallas thing. People had those shitty homemade shirts with that on them, or so I am told by VH1. I wasn't even alive when it happened, but my grandparents were Dallas junkies and so I was aware of what went down on the good ol' Southfork Ranch. I had to watch a lot of that goddamn show.
Anyway, this girl who was kinda cute but obviously not my age looked at me and said, "Cool shirt, but who's J.R.?" I was on a 30-minute lunch break, and in a hurry, but at that point I felt kinda old. Don't get it twisted, though - the feeling didn't last long, you geezers.

JD: It is sort of funny to think about it, but fuck, we are in an "era of hip hop". How it will be looked back in during a VH1 Black History Week special is the tough part? Will it be looked at as the "make money hustla" era, or will it be the "everything you hear on the radio is vomit" era? Starting to move into my 30s, I think hip hop "eras" ended a long time ago. I think everything past Wu, Biggie, and Nas in the mid '90s has struggled to become something that will make a substantial blip on the hip-hop radar.
For me, that time in '95 was my absolute-geek pinnacle of hip hop. Everything you put your hands on ended up being something you would listen to today.
As I mentioned earlier, I am in my car alot. Adding to the abuse of my car, I go to wrestling shows once a month out in Central PA. The places I go to the most are in the Reading/Allentown area, and to a hip hop fan, it is the line where you can just start to get Power 99 in Philly. I went to college in that area, and it seemed that my campus was the imaginary line of being able to get this station or not. Really depending on what off-campus college ghetto you lived in determined if you got Power 99. A few weeks ago I passed Reading and knew I could tune it in on my dial, so I popped out the CD, and put the tuner to 98.9 for old time's sake.
I tried....I really did. It was one of those MAGIC MIKE POWER MIX HOUR type of shows, and I will be damned if it didn't sound like one song over and over again. I am old, I do not want to hear what the general public likes in terms of hip hop, well what Philly likes at least, and I will be happy being a hermit in the world of hip hop. I will be out in my personal woods with my stash, sometimes trekking out into town to find some more stuff to add to the pile. The way I see it, everything I download and/or buy is like building the bomb shelter for the future when hip hop is truly made by robots, and the real talented people are buried behind rappers who will appeal to the masses ghostwriting for them because they got that coffee grind thing going on their face like Seal. I periodically check my music folder to delete that shit that isn't essential anymore because I don't want to waste space in my bomb shelter with perishables when I can put another two dozen cans of baked beans in there.
These are the words of an old, cynical dude. But don't get me wrong, there is stuff out there that wakes me up, like Black Milk, and makes me venture into the world of hip hop websites and whatnot to find out more about him/her. This stuff we are doing here does it too. So maybe I am not the troll I think I am? Maybe all is not doomed? But I do know for the next CHIKARA trip, a few cases of lettuce will be taken out from the bomb shelter when I do my best to avoid Power 99 in Philly.