Ok so I’ve been swamped at work, I really want to talk about three incredible records – Isaiah Rashad, Vince Staples, and Freddie Gibbs/Madlib. I’ll get on it soon, but until then – enjoy this MF Doom mix.
Ok so I’ve been swamped at work, I really want to talk about three incredible records – Isaiah Rashad, Vince Staples, and Freddie Gibbs/Madlib. I’ll get on it soon, but until then – enjoy this MF Doom mix.
It’s a snow day in DC, which gives me more time to give a quick review of all the new music that has hit us recently. Plus thoughts on random sh*t.
Schoolboy Q – Oxymoron
A bit hit or miss,
Hits like “Break the Bank” are DOPE.
Overall, Schoolboy Cool.
Pharrell - G I R L
Prepare dancing shoes.
Summer vibes dropped in Winter,
Love that Daft Punk joint.
Rick Ross – Mastermind
King of finding beats,
His ad-libs are still on point,
Cool mash-up for sure,
with Mos Def and Marvin Gaye,
Soulful, dope, and free.
Smoke, smoke smoke, smoke, smoke,
smoke, smoke, smoke, smoke, smoke, smoke, smoke,
smoke, smoke, smoke, smoke, jeeeeeeeeeeeeeetttsss
Thoughts on other sh*t:
Typically the NFL is pretty garbage on issues, like shoving the public financing of stadiums down America’s throats. Also that whole lockout thing, but they stepped up on equality issues when it told Arizona that it would move the Super Bowl from Arizona to Tampa if Arizona passed its “religious freedom to be a jerk to gay people” bill. It wasn’t good common sense that forced Governor Jan Brewer to veto the bill, it was the fear of losing money. Also, you know Arizona is a garbage place to live when the better alternative for the Super Bowl is Florida, the state where being scared of black people allows you to shoot them free of guilt.
I’m hot and cold on President Obama these days, but I loved his recent speech announcing “My Brother’s Keeper” program which focuses on providing at-risk youth with mentors so they can better navigate their tough circumstances. Beyond the program which doesnt spend government money and appears to be a good idea, I’m impressed with the President’s candor when he admitted that he made bad choices and got high. He wasnt punished for those mistakes at a disproportionate level like young poor kids today. While this is a small step on inequality issues and I think he hasn’t been wonderful on these matters, I’m glad we have a President who can be himself on certain issues at least.
I know I already did my haiku reviews, but I have to say I’m legit surprised that I enjoy the Rick Ross album more than the Schoolboy Q on first listens of each. Rick Ross just has an impeccable ears on beats. And if you told me he rapped over a Biggie beat, I’d think that would be a bad move. But “Nobody” came off flawless, Ross killed his verse and French Montana was perfect for that hook. Kudos to Rozay for another solid record.
I saw Earl Sweatshirt live recently, and he killed it. I was expecting a less hype show considering his discography, but dude came out with craaaazy energy. The best part besides Earl himself, was his rhyming partner Vince Staples. He mirked his verse from “Hive” acapella. He has a new mixtape coming out, mostly produced by NO ID, featuring the fireeeeee track “Nate” (produced by Scoop Deville). Vince is the future, folks.
Ok, more lounging for me for now. Peace out.
It’s Valentine’s Day, and my lady is out of the country visiting family – so I have to dedicate this to my first love, the Filet-o-Fish. Sure, you may think it’s weird that I’m in love with the Fish Filet. But after I had that first bite, I never really had a choice in the matter.
Our story begins before I was even born. My dad moved to this country in the 70′s from rural South India. He moved to Boston solo, to a land of strange cuisine. When you are used to chicken curry, bland American food doesn’t cut it. He told me that the one sandwich that agreed with him was the “Filet-o-Fish”; and he ate them pretty much everyday until Mom and rest of the family moved to the States. So you see, my love and appreciation for the Filet-o-Fish was passed down like any other hereditary trait. I never really had a choice in not loving the Filet-o-Fish, my genes were pre-wired to love it.
To the sandwich itself, and my is it a beautiful creation. Let’s start with the bread. The bread here is different than the bread in other McDonald’s burgers. The bread was raised like it had a top-notch private education and was told that “anything is possible.” Instead of going to Harvard Medical school, the bread decided to follow in the family business out of the love.
The fish in the sandwich is a perfect square of excellence. You take a bite out of the fish and you feel the exhilaration of the good parts of the movie “Finding Nemo”, all up in your mouth.
The tartar sauce isn’t too hard to explain, tartar and fish go together like peanut butter & Jelly, Jordan and Pippen, Justin Bieber and poor decisions. But it’s the cheese that puts it over the top. You have yourself a fish sandwich, but it’s that motherf*cking cheese that take a fish sandwich to the Filet-o-Fish. The cheese transforms the sandwich from a mundane plain Jane to a tasteful nude scene in a HBO series (True Detective, holla).
Like any good partner, the Filet-o-Fish is flexible. Replace that tartar with ketchup. Get wild and throw some fries in the sandwich. The Filet-o-Fish loves you no matter how you get down with it.
You’ll criticize my love of the sandwich because it is a chemical creation of McDonald’s scientists. That doesn’t knock down the fish filet in my eyes. The Filet-o-Fish is just chemically perfect. Grab your lady/dude if you got one. Grab a Filet Fish no matter what. It’ll be a good Valentine’s Day, bet.
- Big R
Been a while, I was out sick and working 12 hour days. That’s that shit I dont like. Among other things really, here is a list of things I’m not feeling with some positives to end though.
That’s the Sh*t I Dont Like:
The almost Zimmerman vs. DMX fight – I took to the social medias (facebook and twitter) railing on the potential fight between George Zimmerman and DMX. I legitimately think if this fight happened, it would mark a low point in American history from a pop/social perspective. We would have celebrated a man whose sole claim to fame is killing an unarmed teenage black kid. The concept of the fight was so disgusting to me, that I suggested someone needs to pay DMX more than what the promoter would have paid him to PREVENT him from fighting George Zimmerman.
Number one, this fight is not a good look for society. Number two, DMX can’t afford a lawyer right now, let alone boxing training or protein. He could have legit got mopped by Zimmerman. He was supposedly going to get 1 million dollars – if he agreed to the fight formally, I’d hope Jay-Z/Beyonce or someone else of that ilk would have paid him silently to not do the fight.
In the end, Damon Feldman (the promoter) backed away from a big payday and cancelled the fight. Thank god. I try to put myself in Trayvon Martin’s family’s shoes. They are trying to move forward after the tragedy and what they feel is a miscarriage of justice, and this shit hits the news. How would it honor Trayvon to have a random ass rapper fight Zimmerman? Zimmerman gets paid, his “Fame” continues, and his repugnant presence continues to pollute society.
You dont deal with Zimmerman like this. You dont talk about murdering him either. That is stooping to his level, we are f*cking better than that. Batman didn’t kill for a reason, ya’ll. What do we do? We choose to ignore him. Let him live his life in misery, absent a wife who just left him and with the only financial support being from racists buying his shitty paintings.
Something tells me this isn’t the last we’ll hear from him. He has a sneaky good PR team – I mean, how is he getting these opportunities in the first place? Let’s hope I’m wrong about that though…
OK that’s pretty much the only thing I don’t like, now to things I like:
Step Brothers LP – Alchemist & Evidence team up for what I expected to be more like a Dilated Peoples album, but instead was more comedic/non-serious than anything. The beats on here are proper, and there are some legit funny points in this album. Maybe it’s the influence of cats like Action Bronson, but it is clear the LA emcee/producers are having fun with this album. The gem to me is the first track “More Wins…” with a trademark booming Alchy beat. The features on here are smart/fierce, particularly Action on “Mums on the Garage” and actor Scott Caan on “Byron G.” Rhymesayers has been on a run as of late, and Step Brothers continues in that vein. To be honest, this is the last rap album I bought in what feels like months.
The next album I likely buy, Schoolboy Q – And his tracklist for Oxy Moron just leaked. The leaked tracks “Man of the Year”, “Collard Greens” are all fresh. ”Break the Bank” (prod by Alchemist”) is surface on the planet Mercury fuego. Apparently 50 Cent is the special guest on Oxy Moron, which is a great move for 50 Cent. His last lead single wasn’t half bad, people were just kind of over his exaggerations of violence. I think Kanye changed the landscape in that regard, making it easier for rappers to be themselves and not caricatures. Peace to College Dropout by the way, which turned ten years old. Anyhow, I expect this is the next album I’ll be buying, as Q has put together a solid roster of producers and features.
KILLA CAM SEASON IS BACK – It appears the dapper pink fur don from Harlem, Cam’Ron, is about to release a new EP with DJ A-Trak. ”Humphrey” recently leaked, and it is soulful like syrup on a pancake served in the 1970′s. Party Supplies co-produced this jam, which feels like a throwback Dip-set joint. Cam’Ron also apparently has a new line of CAPES that he featured as part of Fashion Week in New York. That’s right – CAPES. I now know what I want for Christmas already. Cam’ron is on another level man.
The Winter Olympics – is usually I could give two shits about. This time, however, my friends set up a giant gambling pool betting on 32 events with a winner-take all for whoever gets the most medals. My passive interest has turned to sleepless nights watching downhill skiiing hoping my pick gets a medal. I’m not sure what the moral of the story is other than gambling makes everything better.
Phantogram’s new LP – is now streaming on NPR and it is awesome. Who is Phantogram? It’s indie rock type shit, but they got BEATS. They were the main force behind Big Boi’s last solo LP, and they craft some marvelous shit. Well worth the listen, folks.
OK, that’s it for now – a special Valentine’s day post is coming tomorrow.
Peace peace peace
This is Vince Young’s diary. Written on the second day of the second month of a year I could give a shit about. I’m in my humble Houston abode.
It’s Super Bowl Sunday, and I feel relaxed because of the music I’m listening to right now. My Evanescence Pandora Radio Station is my saving grace. People expect me to be a Hip-Hop fan because you see me in Mike Jones videos, but Hip-Hop doesn’t capture my id., no the morose, heavenly, deep, devilish, rocking music of Evanescence is what moves my spirit. It really WAKES ME UP.
I’m getting sidetracked, STUPID, STUPID VINCE. Again, another Super Bowl goes on without my presence. I dont know why I even bother watching anymore.
I’m beyond jealousy of the competing QB’s in the game. I’m not on a NFL roster even though I have a winning record as a starting QB and I’m broke because I essentially invested my earnings with Nigerian Princes. I mean, they said they were royalty – I thought I was investing with the guys Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall were playing in Coming to America.
I dont know why my chances in the league dried up. Maybe it’s my psyche. When Peyton Manning misses a pass, he is upset at himself and wonders how he can correct his next throw. When I miss a pass, I think about whether or not if the blood in my body could fill a tub. Also, I hate when people call me suicidal, that’s a big misunderstanding. I’m not jealous or angry really. I’m I’m like Eeyore, watching Winnie the Russell Wilson dancing in honey and adulation. I just wanted a little honey for my breakfast toast, that’s all.
I hate when people make fun of my intelligence because of my Wonderlic score. The Wonderlic. The Wonderlic doesnt throw touchdowns, win national championships, or run a fast .40. I’m not stupid, the test is stupid. And who cares if I didnt ace this test? I’m trying to be a NFL QB, not a world leader or anything. Let’s give George W. Bush the wonderlic, I doubt he lights it up.
I feel like Waylon Smithers, constantly overlooked and never appreciated. I dont know who feels bad for Tebow, he tripped into a playoff victory in a nice city like Denver. I played in Tennessee, a state that takes pride in not teaching evolution and pushing intelligent design. The problem was my coach, Fuhrer Fisher, did not intelligently design a gameplan for me. Now Fisher is with St Louis, underachieving per usual, yet earning big contracts.
No, I’m not bitter or anything. I’m just tired of being so good at football without a football job. I miss my time as a Texas Longhorn. I chose Texas as my football destination because I’m like the Longhorn. The longhorn lives a life for the sole purpose of being eaten as a burger after a gruesome death. I lived my life apparently to be chewed up and spit out by the media and NFL.
I’m not sad. I just want a chance. I’m the orphan Annie in a world of asshole Richie Riches and King Joffreys. Give me a chance, there is no way I’ll disappoint you as much as I disappoint myself.
OK Diary, I have some Avenged Sevenfold to listen to before bed.
First, a RIP shout out to a master of his craft, Phillip Seymour-Hoffman. Capote, The Master, Boogie Nights, Almost Famous, etc – dude was brilliant at his job.
Second, it’s superbowl time. Who do I got? I got Seattle with the points. Why? San Diego’s defense, which is meh, was able to make Peyton look vulnerable. Seattle’s defense will do more than that, and Marshawn Lynch will carry that offense fueled on skittles and the fear of public speaking.
Below is a mix of incredible non-single DJ Premier tracks. Most know him as my favorite producer, and here some of his best “lesser known” joints:
It’s your friendly neighborhood rapper, Macklemore. My mother always told me that when it comes to being angry, it’s better to be Mack-le-less, than Mack-le-more. I need to flip the script on that, because gosh darnit, I’m downright angry and Macklemotional. Recently, I’ve been the target of a lot of hateful backlash. A Backlemorelash, if you will.
People being mad at me gets me so darn-tootin angry and stressed out. My hairstyle isnt some fashion choice, it’s an awkward baldness that occurs due to the stress of unnecessary criticism.
I’ve just had the most amazing night of my long career – I won four Grammy’s and performed a song with Madonna in some sort of odd cowboy outfit, that also included over 30 marriages simultaneously officiated by Queen Latifah. I had a perfect moment on that stage, like living a classic 80’s movie montage all in one instant.
Instead of being able to bathe in my success like Scrooge McDuck in that pool of gold coins, I’ve had to be a humble winner. I recognize not everyone will like my music, people say I rap like I’m a Hallmark card. But friends, Hallmark cards can be good too. I’m accessible, and can make you feel better for a birthday, after surgery, or during your Bat Mitzvah. I’m universal, that doesn’t mean I’m terrible.
Because I won a Grammy for Rap Album of the Year, I’ve had to publicly text my good pal Kendrick Lamar letting him know I thought he had the better rap album and he got robbed. Heck, I already said this in an Source interview. Good Kid, Maad City is classic like my Aunt’s Thanksgiving pumpkin pie, there is no denying it!
Also, people, don’t get upset if the Grammy’s dont agree with your music tastes! Grammy’s aren’t the measure of an albums worth, that is determined by how you hold it up in your heart. Holy smokes, I really do sound like a Hallmark card.
Hip-Hop legends have blasted me for winning Rap Album of the Year, because I’m not “Hip-Hop.” My album has pop hits, sure. But gee willikers, my beats knock thanks to Ryan Lewis. Also, The Heist doesn’t exactly feature Katy Perry or Britney Spears – I have Kendrick Lamar’s own team on this album, including Schoolboy Q and Ab-Soul. You are telling me those two aren’t Hip-Hop? Don’t think so, amigos.
Where was this criticism that I wasn’t Hip-Hop when I was trying my darndest as an underground Hip-Hop artist from Seattle? I’m not some 20 year old whippersnapper, I’ve been making music for a while. I came up with the likes of talented independent hip-hop acts like Blue Scholars and Common Market. If you define “Hip-Hop” as mid-90’s boom-bap, then yeah, I guess I may not fit that definition. Trying to fit in that box previously in my career is probably why I did not see lots of success until much later.
I blew up because of my hombre Ryan Lewis’ incredible production and my songwriting shifted to a more accessible lane. Many popular Hip-Hop hits continue to glorify violence, drug use, and opulence – I got famous off of rapping about marriage equality and buying cheap stuff at a thrift store. I got big largely off of conscious jams, shouldn’t conscious Hip-Hop fans have my back a little?
Let’s talk about “Same Love” for a minute. This song got released at the optimal time for effect, as the nation has started to sway in favor of gay marriage state-by-state thanks to President Obama coming out in favor of gay marriage. The release of the single was perfect timing, like when you put all your chips in a game of Blackjack and you get a blackjack immediately. I already tackled the complicated race issues of being a white rapper in Hip-Hop, a culture spawned from socio-political oppression, on “White Privilege.”
Ten years ago on this track, I rapped that I “got the best deal, the music without the burden.” And I can’t be successful in Hip-Hop only because I’m white, but I have recognized its positive impact on my career even prior to being famous. There are literally thousands of failed white rappers who had the same skin pigmentation advantage and flopped harder than Ryan Leaf on a Humpback whale.
With my skills in rhyming about complex issues in a clear manner, I tackled gay marriage and knocked it out of the park. So “Same Love” may not meet the definition of “boom-bap” Hip-Hop or popular Hip-Hop today; but my rhymes still brought people together in a pretty amazing way.
I was getting so much love from Hip-Hop with songs I released a while ago like “Wings” and “My Oh My.” All of a sudden I become successful, I’m a target now for being whack? Do people just hate musicians and celebrities to make themselves feel better?
My friends, let me tell you one thing – hating on me won’t make you feel better. Creating something and trying to improve yourself – whether it be through music,cooking, writing, travelling, learning a new language, etc – that’s how you should try to feel better about yourself. Hallmark better start giving me royalties for these gems.
The Heist isn’t the best rap album by far, but it is a multi-platinum album built with years of creating solid singles and self-earned buzz. What other rap artist in the last decade can say they built their own credibility without a cosign? Drake had his friend Wayne, Kanye had his big brother Jay-Z, all I had during that time was a crippling drug addiction and a bag of Pogs. Let me enjoy my success, dangit.
So friends and patriots, lay off the haterade, go Seahawks, and Save our Sonics.
Ta Ta For Now,
Crazy to think it has been 8 years since Dave left us. I’d like to think he’d be happy with my efforts to finally get off my ass and re-do this website to include his writing. I can hear him making fun of me like “Big R, you rarely write for the site and its mad weak. Get my shit up there son!!!” In honor of the main man, I compiled a Spotify Playlist of certain tracks from Dave’s “Personal Soundtrack” aka the section in his columns where he listed songs he was feelin’. Peep the Hip-Hop focused mix below:
I havent updated the page in a week or so because I was out of the country. Excuses, excuses know. I missed the NFC Championship Game and therefore missed Richard Sherman’s incredible post-game interview. His interview with Erin Andrews channeled his inner Ultimate Warrior. The racist stuff in reaction to the interview was poor, although Erin Andrews should win the Oscar for her interpretation of “White Flight” (too soon?). Sherman is a Stanford graduate who gave a passionate response in an interview, athletes never do that! It’s usually just cliches and nonsense. I doubt we’ll get passion/excitement from athletes going forward, and that sucks. I hope Richard Sherman gets 6 interceptions in the Super Bowl so when he gets interviewed after the game he’ll be so hype he’ll rip out a reporter’s heart, Temple of Doom style. Kali Ma, Seahakws Dev.
Justin Bieber got a DUI and apparently people are surprised, angry, and care quite a bit about his actions. America gives him headlines, showing we care about his indiscretions, yet if you look at Bieber’s mugshot it looks like he could care less. Not one fuck appears to be given, and who can blame him? He’ll get off these charges and use this press to promote a new record.
The NBA is mad good right now. The best player playing at the moment isn’t even LeBron, it’s KD35 aka Slim Reaper who is scoring at will like a deranged Wilt Chamberlain (with less venereal diseases. By the way, if Kevin Durant ever gets a venereal disease I suggest his new nickname be VD35). The Knicks collapse is absurd theater, with some of the best GIFS in NBA history being unleashed to tell the tale of the misery. The Lakers are objectively terrible, with only their real fans standing by that dumpster fire. You know their struggles will last less than a season before they get Love / Westbrook and like Jabari Parker. My Rockets are looking relevant tho, looking forward to a solid second half of basktball.
My favorite political story ever is Chris Christie’s aides using their political power to cause a traffic jam in a city with a mayor who didn’t endorse Christie. Governor Christie blamed his aides and fired them with the quickness, which actually bodes well for his Presidential chances. Christie may actually drop a few pounds to fight the “he’s too fat to lead” criticism because throwing people under the bus is a fantastic workout.
OK people, I’m out for now. Have a safe and awesome weekend.
An emcee formerly known as Print, who had the ILL “Super Friendz” comic-book joint with like fourteen rappers, has a new single under his new moniker aka actual name, Chris Faust. The song isnt just rapping about rapping, but features Faust’s personal issues with poor diet and resulting heavy weight as a kid. The beat is provided by Omid G and features live instrumentation and is sooooo soulful man. Enjoy.
I’m going to try to make this a weekly thing – uploading a spotify playlist dedicated to an artist/producer/etc. This weeks mix is dedicated to producer Rjd2, which means you are in for a mix with dope instrumental tracks, some soulful hip-hop, rock, and other genre-bending goodness. Peep the mix below:
Spotify forever though.