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RIP C Struggs

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Just wanted to say RIP to C Struggs. I feel bad he died he always seemed like a genuine dude to me and someone who had some real substance to their music. Someone who had been through a lot of storms in life but was still standing and pursuing their dream. He also definitely wasn’t chasing trends or changing his style to try to get more popular, he made real music just telling his own story and in a style that listeners of a certain age will appreciate. It’s sad he died of cancer because I know from IG that he was putting a lot of effort into getting into better health by eating healthier and working out, which I know all too well myself is a hard process to begin and follow through with, and then you get taken out by something like that.

This was one of my favorite songs by him; so many real lines…

“I was 17, tryna win a state ring, niggas gave me hell for tryna do the right thing”

“Born broke as shit, now I run the bands up, still fat as fuck but that don’t stop my grind bruh.”

“My daddy died in 98 that was a bad year, but that was the same year my life got a little clear, I met God, got out the streets, started doing shit right, fast forward 8 years I be back earning stripes”

RIP to the big guy

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Top 10 Songs July 2018

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Philthy Rich, Rexx Life Raj, ALLBLACK – Dope Boy

Another unexpected tres amigos type song here and this one is top notch. Philthy Rich is smartly jumping on the ALLBLACK bandwagon. ALLBLACK is literally everywhere right now, just crushing the feature game.

Rexx Life Raj kills the chorus here; this is definitely one of my favorite choruses in a long time. He’s rocking a very different look with the messenger bag, coat that looks like an old white grandma would wear, red winter hat, gold shades, and gold smartwatch but he can pull it off. If I wore that I’d look ridiculous but Raj has the style and presence to make it work and actually looks pretty badass. I’ve listened to more of his stuff a year or two ago and it didn’t jump out at me (which probably says more about my bad taste than him as an artist!) but his chorus and verse here are his magnum opus thus far and now I want to go back and re-listen to all of his stuff again… maybe he could become my 2018 version of Berner…

Philthy’s verse to open things up is textbook Philthy. “From the regal to the Wraith; I can tell what he’s thinking see the evil in his face.” I love the fact that he’s rapping in front of his own billboard.

It wasn’t my favorite ALLBLACK verse ever but even an average ALLBLACK feature is better than 95% of other rappers’ best efforts these days. As evidenced by the fact that he’s in about half the songs on this month’s and last month’s top 10 lists. The shot of the bus with the ‘Go Warriors’ message was a nice touch.

03 Greedo & Nef the Pharoah ft. ALLBLACK, Chris O’Bannon

There were a couple of other serious contenders but this song and the above were my two favorites this month I couldn’t decide between them. From the original post…

“Could this new choon off the new 03 Greedo/Nef the Pharoah collaboration possibly be any flamier?

I was hyped up enough about getting a joint project (albeit a short one) from two of my favorites and as if that wasn’t enough there are multiple ALLBLACK features on here who like I said last time is quickly ascending to those ranks, as well as a wildly catchy chorus from Chris O’Bannon who I don’t know but who sounds like some sort of benevolent angel welcoming you to the pearly gates here on this song (Pause! Pause!). ‘Choosy’ just may be in the mix for my top song of 2018 so far. My favorite part is Greedo crooning ‘Make project music like Juvie’.

An added bonus here is the always-entertaining ALLBLACK comparing himself to the ‘fat nigga from D12’ because he’s not wearing a shirt. I absolutely was not expecting to get a Bizarre shoutout/reference in 2018 especially not on a banger like this, but I’ll take it.

I’ve talked about unexpected ‘Tres Amigos’ pairings before, i.e. 3 (or in this case I guess 4) guys you would never have expected to hear on a track together working out surprisingly well i.e. Berner with Young Dolph and Gucci Mane – I don’t know if this is so much an unexpected grouping as just a dream team Tres Amigos type of combo that is not to be trifled with.

This is that California sunshine-y type of summer music we need right now. FREE GREEDO!!!”

FMB DZ – Fast Money

From original post…

“DZ with what I guess you could call a homage to his crew over a more somber-sounding but dope beat, just killing it. This is my favorite song off his new album ‘In My Bag’ and one of his hardest songs to date which is saying a lot because those of you who have been checking out this site for a while know that ‘The Gift’ and ‘Washington DZ’ were two of my favorite albums last year and this guy had a heavy presence on my top songs of 2017 list. It’s good to see him not taking his foot off the gas and picking up where he left off in 2018. I feel like this song is both DZ taking a moment to step back and reflect on what he’s had to get through to get to where he is now, as well as to stunt on those who stood in his way or otherwise didn’t believe in him. I wasn’t expecting to hear DZ sing on this album but him singing his own hook here ended up sounding really good.

“Big strap on my lap I can’t lose, where would I be without them motherfucking blues? My nigga Jocka will put a nigga on the news, self defense knock him out his shoes, we’ll hit whoever nigga we don’t pick and choose”

“Got a crib out the way it’s on duck, boss man I’m that nigga you can’t touch, wrong move my young dog know the clutch, it’s all hustle over here it wasn’t no luck, catch a nigga out in traffic flip his truck”

“You’re looking at a made man I got big money, rich nigga bitch my shirt cost your rent money, I know if you’ll go a mile you’ll go an inch for me, test run take this package down to Flint for me.”

FMB DZ – Not the Same

After ‘Fast Money’, my favorite song off of In My Bag was the intro track ‘Not the Same’, which really set the tone for the album and let you know FMB DZ was coming out swinging.

“Ain’t no faking in my blood bitch I’m orignale, I just poured up a four in my ginger ale.”

“That nigga Joseph in this bitch he got another chain, if that boy ain’t got no ice on he ain’t with the gang.”

03 Greedo & Nef the Pharoah – Pluto

Another gem off of Porter 2 Grape. Nef is sounding incredible on the chorus here.

Rick Ross ft. T Pain, Kodak Black – Florida Boy

“It’s hard as hell for a young Florida boy, where we play football and sell dope…”

Alright I’m mucho late on this one since I guess it’s from February and I definitley wasn’t expecting to put up a T-Pain song on my blog any time in 2018 but damn I’m feeling this one this is some ultimate summer/driving music. The T-Pain chorus here is so fire, he’s still got it it just took a tribute to his home state to bring it out of him. I’m loving all the Florida pride here, from the Florida A&M rattlers jacket T-Pain is rocking to Rick Ross’ all Canes gear to the numerous Florida cameos like Khaled, Baby Soulja, and probably a few more that I don’t even recognize, to the Haitian flags flying to just the pride and passion for the state you can feel emanating from the song.

Ross gets all political on us here, “wake up nigga wake up, all these politicians need they face cut.” He doesn’t get too specific but I can’t disagree. “Beefin’ with niggas you went to school with, Easter Sundays at the church I prayed in the pool pit. Rocking rollies with homies I made some moves with.”

I love T-Pain triumphantly exclaiming, “I beat all of them cases, I’M ON!” and Kodak’s “Young nigga in a stolen car with no headlights, I’ll stop at the Wingstop but never at a red light!”

ALLBLACK ft. Shoreline Mafia – Road Run

While I’m generally in accordance with The Martorialist’s edict that “Shoreline Mafia are just Brockhampton if they’d met in the NoJumper YouTube comments rather than on the KanyeToThe message board,” this one was definitley worth it for the ridiculous ALLBLACK verse and I admittedly was kind of feeling the chorus too. I love how just absolutely reckless ALLBLACK can get; “I’m in the Ville tweaking and shit right hand on my tool, I’m high as fuck I feel like white bro who shot up the school.”

03 Greedo & Nef the Pharaoh – Blow-Up Bed

Yet another one off of Porter 2 Grape. I feel like I spent the last month or two mainly listening to Greedo, which made me obviously listen to this tape, which made me go back and listen to a bunch of Nef the Pharoah, and ALLBLACK was all over a bunch of songs with all of them and I listened to a ton of ALLBLACK as well and he’s become easily one of my new current favorites so those 3 have basically become the holy trinity of my listening this summer, with the new FMB DZ and Peezy mixtapes sprinkled in over the last week. I don’t like this one as much as Choosy or Pluto but it’s another cool song off an all-too-short EP, and I like the concept of the blow-up bed as an inanimate object illustrating how far these guys have come.

ALLBLACK – ALLWHITE

Got this one from the homie icebergsweater. No, unfortunately ALLWHITE isn’t ALLBLACK’S Waspy alter ego from New England, but it’s him warning you to stay back from him because he’s rocking all white and doesn’t want you to have to suffer the conseqeunces of getting any stains on him.

03 Greedo ft. ALLBLACK, Prada Mack – Florida Gator

This was my top song last month and I’ve still been bumping it all July.

Dave East & Rick Ross – Fresh Prince of Belaire 

Cheating with an 11th song here… honestly the Fresh Prince homage seemed a bit out of place/half-hearted but the beat was heavy and it also just whetted my appetite for more Ross (Pause! Pause!). We need a new album from the big man soon.

It’s All Hustle Over Here it wasn’t No Luck

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FMB DZ – Fast Money

DZ with what I guess you could call a homage to his crew over a more somber-sounding but dope beat, just killing it. This is my favorite song off his new album ‘In My Bag’ and one of his hardest songs to date which is saying a lot because those of you who have been checking out this site for a while know that ‘The Gift’ and ‘Washington DZ’ were two of my favorite albums last year and this guy had a heavy presence on my top songs of 2017 list. It’s good to see him not taking his foot off the gas and picking up where he left off in 2018. I feel like this song is both DZ taking a moment to step back and reflect on what he’s had to get through to get to where he is now, as well as to stunt on those who stood in his way or otherwise didn’t believe in him. I wasn’t expecting to hear DZ sing on this album but him singing his own hook here ended up sounding really good.

“Big strap on my lap I can’t lose, where would I be without them motherfucking blues? My nigga Jocka will put a nigga on the news, self defense knock him out his shoes, we’ll hit whoever nigga we don’t pick and choose”

“Got a crib out the way it’s on duck, boss man I’m that nigga you can’t touch, wrong move my young dog know the clutch, it’s all hustle over here it wasn’t no luck, catch a nigga out in traffic flip his truck”

“You’re looking at a made man I got big money, rich nigga bitch my shirt cost your rent money, I know if you’ll go a mile you’ll go an inch for me, test run take this package down to Flint for me.”

I’ve listened to the whole album 3-4 times front to back last night and honestly the whole album is great, this was my favorite track and gun to my head I’d say my second favorite was the intro track ‘Not the Same’.

I Make Project Music Like Juvie

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03 Greedo ft. Nef the Pharoah, ALLBLACK, Chris O’Bannon

I’m back guys, sorry for the hiatus, the summer heat of the dog days of summer has just got the bol moving more sluggish than ever out here…

Could this new choon off the new 03 Greedo/Nef the Pharoah collaboration possibly be any flamier?

I was hyped up enough about getting a joint project (albeit a short one) from two of my favorites and as if that wasn’t enough there are multiple ALLBLACK features on here who like I said last time is quickly ascending to those ranks, as well as a wildly catchy chorus from Chris O’Bannon who I don’t know but who sounds like some sort of benevolent angel welcoming you to the pearly gates here on this song (Pause! Pause!). ‘Choosy’ just may be in the mix for my top song of 2018 so far. My favorite part is Greedo crooning ‘Make project music like Juvie’.

An added bonus here is the always-entertaining ALLBLACK comparing himself to the ‘fat nigga from D12’ because he’s not wearing a shirt. I absolutely was not expecting to get a Bizarre shoutout/reference in 2018 especially not on a banger like this, but I’ll take it.

I’m kind of down with Nef the Pharoah rocking the Spain jersey on the cover even though they disappointed me (and my wallet) when they bowed out of the World Cup early to Russia.

I’ve talked about unexpected ‘Tres Amigos’ pairings before, i.e. 3 (or in this case I guess 4) guys you would never have expected to hear on a track together working out surprisingly well i.e. Berner with Young Dolph and Gucci Mane – I don’t know if this is so much an unexpected grouping as just a dream team Tres Amigos type of combo that is not to be trifled with.

‘Blow Up Bed’ and ‘Pluto’ off this album were bangers too and Ball Out with ALLBLACK wasn’t bad. This is that California sunshine-y type of summer music we need right now. FREE GREEDO!!!

Top 10 Songs June 2018

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MAKE ME SAY UHHHHH LIKE A MIX OF MASTER P AND RICK ROSS (Pause! Pause!)

Here’s my top 10 songs from the month that first brought us… this?

ALLBLACK ft. 03 Greedo, Prada Mack – Florida Gator 

The ALLBLACK and Greedo tag team take the crown for June, from the original post…

“Here ye here ye, your host is hereby temporarily abstaining from the Martorialist-issued embargo on listening to rappers with septum piercings, which as you know, I usually strictly adhere to as they are wise words to live by, but ALLBLACK has me breaking the embargo. (Plus, ALLBLACK actually looks pretty badass with his, unlike some rappers who get them and just end up looking like bratty kids that hang out at Hot Topic.). I originally came here for 03 Greedo’s chorus but left as a new fan of Oakland’s rose-gold-grilled ALLBLACK. (I’m definitely feeling this rose gold grill).

ALLBLACK is certainly a character, and he links up with another big personality here in 03 Greedo in this ode to Florida Gators of an entirely different nature (and nothing to do with Tim Tebow or Aaron Hernandez). ALLBLACK mixes that old school, Oakland/Bay Area attitude with the newer vibe of these Soundcloud era type guys that dress like punk rockers. I fucking love what he’s saying here in his verse… “Y’all want ALLBLACK to be like James Stacy, wouldn’t stop running if the doctor amputated my legs… grinding like Chris Cole cause I gotta keep Maxine fed… take the pedals off the bike and I’ma hop on the pegs”. (By the way I feel like Chris Cole and James Stacy are two of the most random/unexpected references ever in a rap song and here they are basically in the same line). ALLBLACK’s verse and whole flow/vibe have grown on me very quickly and now I’m blasting his verse all the time. His song Canadian Goose is a flamer as well.

Could Greedo’s hook here possibly be any more flammable? 03 Greedo on auto tune is on a whole different level. God Level perhaps? It’s just a short cameo from him here on the hook and no verse but it sounds heavenly. My only complaint is I wish they looped it in a couple more times at the end or something.

ALLBLACK is definitely adding his own spin and style to the Bay and really out of nowhere is turning into one of my new/recent favorites and this and Canadian Goose are turning into two of my most heavily-played songs of this young summer so far. FREE GREEDO!

Jeno Cash, FMB DZ, Peezy – Dog Food

The 03 Greedo/ALLBLACK combo is pretty serious but Peezy and FMB DZ is a formidable pairing in their own right. Saw this on Ray Garraty This beat is crazy. I like the idea of Peezy as a hook guy more people should start using him for that. I’ve been on a big Peezy grind for months and it’s always good to hear new stuff from him especially after his near death experience over the winter when he got shot. By the way is it just me or does Peezy’s shirt look like something some flamboyant Italian tourist would wear in the 80s? But when you’re Peezy you can pull it off. Overall it was nice to hear all these guys together on a track and this is so far one of my favorite songs to blast out of the whip in 2018.

ALLBLACK – Canada Goose 

Me and Icebergsweater have been rocking out to ALLBLACK heavy, and Canada Goose is another banger from him. He looks comfy AF in that fleece too I respect it.

“ALL MY BITCHES GOT ON CLEATS, THEY DON’T TRAP IN HEELS”

Freddie Gibbs – Weight / Freddie Gibbs ft. 03 Greedo – Death Row 

I probably haven’t listened to Freddie Gibbs as heavily as a lot of other bloggers or readers and I’m not super familiar with his back catalogue but I gave his new project Freddie a spin and definitley enjoyed it. I mean come on how could you not be down with this album cover. My favorite song was the opener, Weight and I also loved the fairly ridiculous ‘FLFM’ interlude and of course, the 03 Greedo-assisted Eazy-E homage Death Row. I’ve obviously been listening to a ton of Greedo but I wasn’t  expecting to hear him on this album so this was a pleasant surprise. We haven’t even gotten into God Level yet and there’s already 2 songs on my June top 10 with Greedo just on the hook or as a feature.  (P.S. listening to new albums by Freeway and Freddie Gibbs this month has me feeling like it’s 2008 out here).

Waka Flocka Flame – Flava / Waka Flocka Flame – Smoker 

Two songs from Waka Flocka Flame’s fairly unheralded comeback ‘Big Homie Flock’ clock in here too…

“I didn’t realize how much I missed Waka Flocka until I decided to give his new tape Big Homie Flocka a couple of spins over the last week. There’s a couple of bangers on here, including Flava and Smoker.

Flava 

Flava brings forth that classic Waka Flocka sound, like a mix of trap music and just straight up mosh music. “I’m doing shows selling bails at the same time, I’m taking business calls and trapping off the same line.” I love the almost gleeful way he croons about taking business calls and trapping on the same phone, clearly relishing his niche he’s carved out as a businessman who can get paid to do obscure EDM shows in Europe while still having a foot in the streets. I love the ridiculously long, overstated ‘B-rr-r-r-r-r-r-r’ phone ring ad lib after it.

“Hot Boy like I’m BG, broad day you can meet me at the BP”. Flocka has never been a lyrical wizard or anything but there’s just something about his lines like these and the way he delivers them that still make them memorable. Also, in case you haven’t noticed, I’m always a sucker for rappers that post up trapping at the gas station and tell you to meet them there.

“I put Christians on wifey she a walking blessing”

Smoker 

The chours for this one goes hard as fuck…

“Ay my smoker cooking dope for me, they say there ain’t no hope for me, white folks got the rope for me, my shooter bought a scope for me”

I’m loving these over the top Waka ad libs in the background after not hearing them in a couple of years. You’ve also got to respect Waka’s efficient utilization here; having one of his customers cooking for him and a shooter on his payroll gifting him an expensive scope. That’s what I call getting the most out of your investments.”

03 Greedo – Fall Off

God Level certainly lived up to the hype and is a pretty legitimate masterpiece for Greedo as his last album before he begins his prison sentence. There’s a good 10-12 legitimate bangers on here which is pretty ridiculous when you consider that a lot of artists are releasing albums that are 7 songs now. Fall Off is my early favorite from the album but really any of about a dozen of them could be on this list. This is a six minute tour de force by Greedo and a good message of resilience and determination about refusing to fall off or give in before starts his prison term. This one is almost hypnotizing with the beat and chanting, recurring chorus.

03 Greedo – Gun Bucc 

Another selection from God Level. This beat is sick and Greedo kills it as usual.

Kanye West & Kid Cudi ft. Pusha T – Feel the Love 

Kanye West & Kid Cudi – Reborn

Kanye West – Ghost Town 

I wasn’t expecting to be into this string of Wyoming albums that Kanye has been putting out, and there were certainly plenty of misses to go with the hits, but curiosity got the better of me and I’ll be the first to admit that I surprisingly really enjoyed Kids See Ghosts, which is weird since I’ve never been a Kanye fan one way or the other, and I’ve never gotten into Kid Cudi, and have found them to be fairly self-indulgent artists, but this album was pretty epic. The ‘I Can Still Feel the Love’ chorus being shouted out is dope and I love the part where Kanye spazzes out making the gun sounds at about 1:07. I thought it had to be Desiigner at first!

Reborn was another highlight of this string of projects to me. Sort of a similar sentiment to Greedo’s aforementioned Fall Off. 

Ghost Town was my favorite song off of Ye, the album preceding this one, and seems like it could easily have fit into Kids See Ghost as an honorary eighth track. It was pretty out there compared to what I’m usually looking to listen to but it’s another gem from Kanye’s recent slew of Friday releases. A quick side note is that while I wasn’t really into about half of the material that came out from this weekly spate of releases and while complaints about them being only 7 songs certainly are understandable, I have to give this guy credit because it built up a lot of excitement and it really made each release seem like an ‘event’ and something that everyone was talking about, which I don’t feel like we often get to say about album releases anymore in this streaming age so I have to give credit for that.  (P.S. I still wish he used that picture of the doctor as his album cover and really called it Love Everybody becasue it would have just been so over the top and troll-y but alas it wasn’t to be).

 

 

Take the Pedals off the Bike and Ima Hop on the Pegs

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ALLBLACK ft. 03 Greedo, Prada Mack – Florida Gator

Here ye here ye, your host is hereby temporarily abstaining from the Martorialist-issued embargo on listening to rappers with septum piercings, which as you know, I usually strictly adhere to as they are wise words to live by, but ALLBLACK has me breaking the embargo. (Plus, ALLBLACK actually looks pretty badass with his, unlike some rappers who get them and just end up looking like bratty kids that hang out at Hot Topic.). I originally came here for 03 Greedo’s chorus but left as a new fan of Oakland’s rose-gold-grilled ALLBLACK. (I’m definitely feeling this rose gold grill).

ALLBLACK is certainly a character, and he links up with another big personality here in 03 Greedo in this ode to Florida Gators of an entirely different nature (and nothing to do with Tim Tebow or Aaron Hernandez). ALLBLACK mixes that old school, Oakland/Bay Area attitude with the newer vibe of these Soundcloud era type guys that dress like punk rockers. I fucking love what he’s saying here in his verse… “Y’all want ALLBLACK to be like James Stacy, wouldn’t stop running if the doctor amputated my legs… grinding like Chris Cole cause I gotta keep Maxine fed… take the pedals off the bike and I’ma hop on the pegs”. (By the way I feel like Chris Cole and James Stacy are two of the most random/unexpected references ever in a rap song and here they are basically in the same line). ALLBLACK’s verse and whole flow/vibe have grown on me very quickly and now I’m blasting his verse all the time. His song Canadian Goose is a flamer as well.

Could Greedo’s hook here possibly be any more flammable? 03 Greedo on auto tune is on a whole different level. God Level perhaps? It’s just a short cameo from him here on the hook and no verse but it sounds heavenly. My only complaint is I wish they looped it in a couple more times at the end or something.

ALLBLACK is definitely adding his own spin and style to the Bay and really out of nowhere is turning into one of my new/recent favorites and this and Canadian Goose are turning into two of my most heavily-played songs of this young summer so far. I’m also just starting to delve into the new Greedo album ‘God Level’ which I’m only halfway done with but looks like it’s going to have at least a half-dozen bangers on it. FREE GREEDO!

Hit it with the ‘Lac call it Dog Food

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Jeno Cash, FMB DZ, Peezy – Dog Food 

Caught this one on Ray Garraty. Probably my two favorite rappers out of Detroit, and actually two of my favorite overall, linking up with Jeno Cash who I don’t know much about but who puts in a solid effort here. This beat is crazy. I like the idea of Peezy as a hook guy more people should start using him for that. I’ve been on a big Peezy grind for months and it’s always good to hear new stuff from him especially after his near death experience over the winter when he got shot. By the way is it just me or does Peezy’s shirt look like something some flamboyant Italian tourist would wear in the 80s? But when you’re Peezy you can pull it off.

You have to appreciate Jeno’s honesty here; “I ain’t made it I can’t rap about no Mussein”

Overall it was nice to hear all these guys together on a track and this is so far one of my favorite songs to blast out of the whip in 2018.

P.S. in case any of my loyal readers were worried about your humble host since the bol hasn’t posted in a while, nothing bad happened to your boy I actually just had my first kid and have been making a lot of late night Similac runs and playing my mix of personal classics for the baby but I’m back in the saddle now

Big Homie Flock!

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Waka Flocka Flame – Flava / Waka Flocka Flame – Smoker

Image result for big homie flocka

I didn’t realize how much I missed Waka Flocka until I decided to give his new tape Big Homie Flocka a couple of spins over the last week. There’s a couple of bangers on here, including Flava and Smoker.

Flava 

Flava brings forth that classic Waka Flocka sound, like a mix of trap music and just straight up mosh music. “I’m doing shows selling bails at the same time, I’m taking business calls and trapping off the same line.” I love the almost gleeful way he croons about taking business calls and trapping on the same phone, clearly relishing his niche he’s carved out as a businessman who can get paid to do obscure EDM shows in Europe while still having a foot in the streets. I love the ridiculously long, overstated ‘B-rr-r-r-r-r-r-r’ phone ring ad lib after it.

“Hot Boy like I’m BG, broad day you can meet me at the BP”. Flocka has never been a lyrical wizard or anything but there’s just something about his lines like these and the way he delivers them that still make them memorable. Also, in case you haven’t noticed, I’m always a sucker for rappers that post up trapping at the gas station and tell you to meet them there.

“I put Christians on wifey she a walking blessing”

Smoker 

The chours for this one goes hard as fuck…

“Ay my smoker cooking dope for me, they say there ain’t no hope for me, white folks got the rope for me, my shooter bought a scope for me”

I’m loving these over the top Waka ad libs in the background after not hearing them in a couple of years. You’ve also got to respect Waka’s efficient utilization here; having one of his customers cooking for him and a shooter on his payroll gifting him an expensive scope. That’s what I call getting the most out of your investments.

 

Top 10 Songs May 2018

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Guys sorry I’m late with this May top 10 and posting it in June, and have been MIA for the last week, I’ve been holed up in a cabin in Wyoming, wearing wierd clothes, working on my next album…

Kevin Gates – Change Lanes

Gates is really baring his soul on this one. Right from the opening bar this one hits you…”Been through a lot of pain in my life and I pray the Lord take it all away. I’ve got family doing life that’ll never see the sun shine again and I pray it all away. Gates touches on a lot of heavy, real topics in his life in ‘Change Lane’s, including his time in prison in Illinois, incarcerated family members, wanting to pull back from public life/fame, and, also, McDonald’s salads and rocking Islamic fashion out in Paris. This is off Gate’s 3 song ‘Chained to the City’ EP, his first work after being freed, and I’ve got to say, Gates is back in a big way because that EP was ridiculous. Not to mention the work he’s been putting in and posting the snippets of on Instagram; I almost want to include a couple of those as my top songs of May as well but I feel like that would be cheating a little.

Kevin Gates – Vouch

As much as I love ‘Change Lanes’, ‘Vouch’ might be even better. The singing, warbling Gates might be my favorite type of Kevin Gates. “I do for me I feed myself my crew not willing to help me, we either die or go to jail so what the fuck could you tell me. Fully loaded Mac 11 when this pressure get applied; got a brand new Glock 90 and I keep it by my side. That part starting at around 2:15 just sounds absolutely heavenly; “”I ain’t never change up, let’s get that understood, I’m in that 70805 they don’t show love in my hood.”

Lil Baby ft. Drake – Pikachu 

Damn it feels like this came out a year ago instead of a few weeks ago, what with all the sniping back and forth between Drizzy and Pusha T just completely usurping everyone’s collective attention span, not to mention Drake announcing his ‘Scorpion’ album and then of course the new .

From the original article…

While I wouldn’t have gone as far as to call myself a Drake ‘hater’, I think the old, healthier but less enlightened me would have perhaps best been described at the very least as a ‘Drake skeptic’ or a ‘Drake nonbeliever’. I wasn’t that into his early stuff when he first started blowing up and later on I really couldn’t stand most of his hits over the last few years like Controlla and One Dance. More than anything I kind of just considered him to be bland elevator music. But I’ll be the first to admit, and as someone whose been critical, I feel responsibility to give credit where credit is due; I’ll be damned if Drake’s last couple of songs haven’t been absolute bangers. He’s had a good 3-4 songs or more in a row (this one with Lil Baby, his song with Trouble on the ‘Edgewood’ album, ‘Look Alive’ with Blocboy JB, and I’ll admit I was even down with Nice for What even though that was definitely shamelessly pandering to the ladies. I also didn’t mind God’s Plan.) that have forced me to mention them with the same disclaimer every time, ‘I’m not a big Drake fan but…,’ so I don’t know if he’s actually getting better or if I’m just going soft in my old age but I’m slowly…becoming a fan??? That was hard to type!

Whether you love him or have him, (or should I say – whether you’re siding with him or Pusha T in the new World War 3?) the man has a pretty unassailable ear for great beats, and if he retired from rapping he would make a great A&R he has an eye for up and coming talent. He has a penchant for working with hard, down south rappers like Blocboy, Trouble, and now Lil Baby. Drake is like the 2018 version of 2017 Berner to me.

Enough about Drake though, Lil Baby is actually the real headliner here. His verse/flow is crazy. He’s another artist I was kind of tepid on at first, not that I disliked him but just none of his songs really jumped out at me, but I loved this song, and ‘I Remember’ with Quando Rondo, and ‘Day in my Hood’ with Sherwood Marty were pretty solid jams so I’m starting to become more and more of a fan. I’ve also warmed to his hits like ‘A-Town’ and ‘My Dawg’. ‘Trap Star’ while delving into his previous work in preparation for ‘Harder than Ever’.

Drake is doing his best Hoodrich Pablo Juan impression on this one. Side note on the Drake verse – he says ‘my shorty a goodie’; most of my friends have been calling bad bitches baddies have they been doing this all wrong? My favorite part is where Lil Baby sings, ‘Waaah waahhh waaahhh bitch I’m the Baby’.

Another side note – apparently on the album this song is called ‘Yes Indeed’ but when it dropped on Youtube they were calling it Pikachu and I’m still calling it that.

YELLOW FERARRI LIKE PIKACHU, CARTIER LENSES I WON’T EVEN PEEK AT YOU

All Star Lee – Cash Money Flow 

Flammable song by All Star Lee out of Detroit. I’m loving the throwback Orlando Magic jerseys and the soulja rags in this Cash Money homage.

Lil AJ, Joe Blow, Lil Frost 

Dope song from two workmanlike Bay Area stalwarts who don’t get as much love/hype outside of the Bay as some of the bigger names from out there, but who are pretty much always reliable for solid, real music. I’m starting to like Lil AJ’s stuff more and more over time. “Lash Money burning bridges nigga, see an opp slipping in traffic and them niggas get the business nigga, rest in peace Boss Nuge and the nigga Jack, catch me out in traffic riding with the mini MAC”.   I didn’t realize Lil Frost had passed away until I saw this video; and it took me a minute to realize what was going on. His verse being overlaid by old clips of him rapping interspersed with the scenes from his funeral, since he wasn’t here to shoot the video, was straight up heartbreaking and actually hit me pretty hard since I wasn’t expecting it. RIP to Frost man, gone too soon.

Pusha T ft. Rick Ross – Hard Piano 

Some people are mad about the album cover, some people love it. Some people feel like Drake bodied Pusha with his diss track, and other people feel like Pusha ended Drake with his response. Regardless of all that, there were some straight up slaps on ‘Daytona’ (I love that name by the way), my favorite amongst them being ‘Hard Piano’. Kanye really did work his magic on the beats on this one, regardless of his recent controversies and what some would call his subpar rapping on ‘Ye’, the guy is in the zone right now on the boards, this album had some of the best beats/production I’ve heard in a while. I like the combo of Pusha and Rozay. If Ross is sounding like this, I can’t wait for his comeback album.  It’s funny I didn’t realize how much I missed prime Ross until I heard this. Yeah he’s another artist with plenty of questionable moves/songs over the years but at the end of the day he’s still here, he’s been through a lot, he has a lot of dope songs over the years throughout his catalogue and I’m looking forward to what he has to say on his next album.

“The Warhols on my wall tell a war story.”

“Chilling in a condo full of ready rock”

As much as I like my rappers and their music to be ‘real,’ sometimes some straight up luxury/over the top drug kingpin rap can be dope too, if it’s imaginative and really paints a picture for you, which I feel like Hard Piano does.

Mannie Fresh & Birdman

This was uh… unexpected… and ridiculous. Man I love Mannie Fresh. Such a classic Mannie Fresh type beat! I could have lived without the 3 minutes of vignettes that randomly interspersed throughout the song that kept interrupting it but on the other hand I loved the video itself with the New Orleans mardi gras band in the street with them. Any time you get Mannie actually rapping on a track is always a good thing; he’s just so happy and jovial – “$100,000 in a brief case, orange Lamborghini yours with the dealer plates… Bricks, pounds, scales, weed, went to Hiroshima came back speaking Japanese.” The chorus for this one is super menacing; ‘Note around his neck saying get right with the Lord.” I don’t know if Big Tymers is back but if we could get some more stuff from Mannie or even a full Big Tymers project that would be a pretty nice surprise.

Pusha T – If You Know You Know 

Another dope song off of Daytona. The production is so good. ‘If You Know You Know’ is going to be big this summer. I bumped Daytona so many times over Memorial Day weekend.

Quando Rondo – Paradise

I put ‘Paradise’ up in April’s top 10 but I only heard it at the end of the month and I really bumped it much more in May so I’m kind of cheating here. Quando Rondo is dope I’m starting to get into this new wave of Atlanta guys like him, Lil Baby, and Gunna which I wasn’t expecting.

Lil Reek ft. Brodinski – Rock Out

I’m surprised this hasn’t blown up actually. Maybe it’s just because it’s a change of pace but I love this kid’s voice!

And that’s my top 10 for May but here’s a couple of bonus tracks for ya since this month was one of the best in a long time…

03 Greedo – Fortnite 

FREE GREEDO!

Q Money – Countin’ Up a Check 

 

Tee Grizzly – Colors 

Sherwood Marty ft. Lil Baby – Day in My Hood

Playboi Carti ft. Lil Uzi – Shoota

P.S. I usually follow the Martorialist’s embargo on rappers with septum rings but I’m not going to lie this one with Lil Uzi from Playboi Carti’s new album was just too catchy not to mention here.

If I can Pray there I can Stay there I Ain’t Scared of Nothing

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Can this snippet PLEASE come out as a full-length/CDQ song soon?? Gates is in another place right now. People are talking about Kanye being in another world cooking up his plethora of albums in Wyoming but how about this magic that post-prison Kevin Gates is whipping up down in Louisiana? “If I can pray there I can stay there I ain’t scared of nothing, your grandma stay there you don’t lay there boy you scared to hustle.” “I’m pissing clean for my P.O. I’m a living legend. Straight out the clink, fuck every CO who wanna come at Kevin.” “White people showing love, niggas hating on me, say they got a cake baked and they waiting on me.” “I pray five times a day I had to talk to God, in Chicago going hard without a bodyguard.”

And for those who prefer Kevin Gates the singer to Kevin Gates as a rapper, his warbling is sounding as nice as ever in this second one. I’m feeling the beat for this one a lot. “Change Lanes” and “Vouch” off of his new 3-song EP are both two of my new current favorites in my rotation. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that these snippets turn into album cuts along with Vouch and Change Lanes and we could have a classic on our hands.