Wednesday, February 10, 2010

As Good As Our Options

So this song should be a momentous occasion. Two of New York's finest, two of our only established working artists in their primes getting together over an Earth mover, so why does "Beamer, Benz or Bentley" make me nervous? Well it's coming on the heels of


So what's the issue? New York is a struggling market at the moment. We have very few viable artists left and even less hits to those artists' names that have potential to play outside of the region. In an environment so dire, it's easy for rappers to fall prey to trend-watching, trying to capitalize on a current sound or style. Lloyd Banks and Juelz Santana, two rappers who were running this city when Red Cafe was fighting for play at the back of Kay Slay mixtapes, have clearly taken that route over this sound alike Ky Miller production, not to mention Banks' suspiciously simple club hook that he wants so badly to be chant-able.

I covered "I'm Ill" a few weeks ago and in my review compared the beat to Neptunes style instrumentation, but listening to these three tracks in succession with the subterranean super echo effect I'm leaning more toward a dumbed down Dilla on his murky "Lightworks" shit. Whatever the sound is it's beginning to dig it's claws into the Gotham market. Both rappers have their moments here (with Juelz the clear show stopper) but the lack of courage on this street single is disconcerting. It's easy to look back and say "A Milli" was a slam dunk, but who knows what that instrumental sounded like the first time in the studio? Innovating goes beyond spit, it has as much if not more to do with the beats you select and the general style in which you approach them. (As any Nas hater will scream at anyone who will listen) If our best artists don't have the courage to step out, New York's current Hip Hop Depression could become a Nuclear Winter.

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