Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Tek and Steele came off their hiatus post Dah Shinin as the Cocoa Brovaz due to legal difficulties with the firearms manufacturer. They also seemed to leave their style and entire aesthetic in the early 90s, trading in their collected, laid back flows for a higher energy approach over some particularly awful production here on The Rude Awakening. In their videos off this release, The Cocoa Bs (I shudder at typing that name) traded in skullies, random hockey jerseys and rapping on the other side of honey comb wire fences under the BQE for those crazy goggles that were cool for half a week in Middle School, dancing around on generic Hip Hop video sets masquerading as fucked up Project apartments and rapping in bath tubs filled with blood. My take is they (or their label) were looking at the mega success of Jamaica's own Lost Boyz on their debut Legal Drug Money and tryied to emulate the accessible gangster Mr. Cheeks and co. pulled off so well. They did on the Wu Banger "Black Trump", if only for a moment. At the bottom, below their two singles you'll find "Super Brooklyn" and the Brownsville party that was "Bucktown USA Remix" ft. MOP. One's a shot at another Brooklyn anthem that plays like a sad gimmick. The other is one of the far too few Beatminerz contributions on The Rude Awakening. The contrast is startling, "Bucktown USA" sounds like Da Beatminerz grown up, still morose and dark but clean and lush. Perhaps a glimpse at what could have been. How does the quote go again? You sold out, homies.
Bucktown USA (Remix)
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Group dynamics and chemistry are one of my favorite aspects of Hip Hop. Often this study takes the form of realized groups but in some cases it's something a bit more casual and maybe as a byproduct more rewarding. Busta and Q-Tip, Jay and Biggie, AZ and Nas. This drop is dedicated to two Puerto Ricans from New York City, the Bronx and Queens, Big Pun and Noreaga. I once heard Noreaga talking about their first collab on NORE back in the late 90s. The track was all but laid and ready to go, Pun happened to be in the studio and without asking charged the booth and dropped a classic. The two make for an unlikely combo. Pun's concentrated internal rhymes and multi syllabic punchlines via tongue twisting rapid fire delivery couldn't be further from Nore's chaotic, off time nasal bark. But both are New York Ricans with big personality and a great sense of humor. Here is a comprehensive history of their work together:
Banned From TV (N.O.R.E.)
Thug Brothers (Funkmaster Flex: 60 Minutes of Funk Vol. 3)
Verbal Murder 2 ft. Common (Pete Rock- Soul Survivor)
Rep My People ft. Tony Touch & AC ( Tapemasters Inc. Hector Lavoe and Big Pun- Twins)
Onyx- Shut Em Down (remix)
Block Party (Kid Capri- Soundtrack to the Streets)
Fantastic 4 ft. Cam'ron & Canibus (DJ Clue- The Professional)
Clap Your Hands (Royal Flush- Section 8)
Oh No Remix ft. Capone, Jadakiss, Maze-N-Musaliny and Angie Martinez
Monday, May 4, 2009
What can I say, sucks being unemployed and Jeezy just isn't doing it for a brother at the moment. This has always been my favorite song off Resurrection. (an album which seriously requires a minimum of a good week of rotation a year) Ynot only has two beats on the album but he certainly makes the most of this one, a warm key and horn number that lends an appropriate degree of serenity to Com and Not's lament. There's about five Leon's BBQs in Chicago so who knows which Com was referring to 15 years ago but if anyone decides to beat on a white man, steal a China man's business and start a rib shack holler at your boy. I'm posting the Youtube so readers can check the hilarious comments should they be so inclined.