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OMB Shawniebo – 4 Minutes All Me

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This is just too smooth for me to even handle right now. Saw this on the sisilafami Tumblr and have just been just basking in its hazy lushness all week. I feel like I’m in heaven.

I’ve been listening to a lot of OMB Peezy this year but I have to start checking out OMB Shawniebo’s output more because it seems like he’s a force to be reckoned with in his own right, and that’s probably an understatement. I like his sort of guttural flow the way he spits out each word in a sort of a Mozzy-esque manner but is still doing his own thing.

The beat (by Ant Beatz) is so perfect that the first time you listen to the song you almost might overlook how raw and heartfelt the subject matter is; just as one example that stands out “Call from the bros and it’s cracking I’m coming bout action, heart full of passion that they broke when they killed my daddy” or “They don’t really want it, b*tch they only pop for a moment, crazy how I gave my brother money and he feel like he owe me.” “I used to watch my pops whip it up in a pot, then KO’d every shot he had up under the couch. I don’t think they really want to play. I pray to God I live another day. Damn, stupid niggas f*cking up the stilo, get it, that’s how the game go, run up bust it and reload.” Also, I couldn’t get the exact lyric down and didn’t want to misquote him, but the part about wanting to give his younger brother good advice but knowing that he isn’t living right himself hit hard. Shawniebo goes so hard on this one you can really just feel what he’s saying.

This isn’t a fashion blog but I also have to commend Shawniebo on the sharp black Adidas tracksuit with the ‘Three stripes’ wording on the piping. Not to mention his boy in the Gap sweatshirt, which I can get behind because unlike a YSL jacket it’s something a rapper is wearing that I can actually afford, and I like the ice blue with the dark blue color combo. Last but certainly not least the guy in the wolf mask is also firing on all cylinders with the sweater that looks like the bastard child of a Coogi and a drug rug, a nice silver chain and watch, NOT TO MENTION THAT HE’S WALKING AROUND RICHMOND IN A WOLF MASK.

I really hope 4 Minutes All Me blows up because he definitely deserves it. There are a lot of songs that come out that you get hyped about and bump for a few weeks and then they inevitably fade into the sunset but this song is just so well-made, so real, and so epic between the beat and rapping that I honestly can picture myself still bumping this in my regular rotation 10 years from now, it just has that kind of classic staying power.

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Top 10 Songs July 2017

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Top 10 Songs July 2017

It’s been a long, hot July out here, but we’re still hanging in there and I finished my top 10 songs in a bit more of a timely fashion this month. This month took me down a lot of interesting paths as I stayed on my Lil Chicken/Milwaukee grind that started last month via Rap Music Hysteria, then a post from the Martorialist on Berner had me go down a huge Berner rabbit hole and after studying his back catalogue as if I was writing a dissertation on him, made me realize that this husky Bay Area renaissance man actually has quite a few jams, then from there I was bumping another large white rapper Jelly Roll for a couple of days to see what he’s been up to lately, checked out the new projects from A-Wax, Meek Mill, and 21 Savage before getting really into Mac J and having him take over the end of the month.

Lil Chicken – No Grease 

This song is from the end of 2016 but Lil Chicken wins the award for hardest first verse of 2017 and maybe hardest song in general with ‘No Grease’ – “See the pain in my eyes this sh*t gettin tiring, eyes get bug as hell when I hear them sirens. Money, diamonds, gold, we a bunch of pirates, watching out for narcs trapping out a hybrid. Fiend keep nodding off man he can’t fight it, this dog biting nigga’s ears punching like Tyson.” I’m not sure what I like better the very apt pirate comparison or the image of him trapping out of a Nissan Leaf or Toyota Prius. I also love the weary, almost strained voice that Big Chicken P raps in on this one; the trap has been good to him but he’s also growing tired of the unwanted complications that come with it.

“All these motherf*cking grits I feel like Rich Porter, b*tch we ain’t no small fries we taking big orders, these niggas b*tches I’m finna change my hustle to extortion, phones slapping back to back they sound like walkie talkies.” Lil Chicken just goes too hard on this one.

Berner – Float 

As I said in my mea culpa on Berner, “In a more just world, with this type of chorus and vibes, Berner would be making royalty money off of Sandals or Atlantis or one of those other Caribbean all-inclusive resorts using his song in their newest commercial.” After a long journey into this affable weed/fashion entrepeneur’s catalogue,  I have to admit the man certainly has some gems I’ve missed over the years; the highlight of which would be the airy and enjoyable ‘Float’ from his 2016 Packs album.

Mac J – Differences 

I don’t know much about Mac J and only heard about him after reading about him on Rey’s Cafe a couple weeks ago but he certainly has some absolute bangers in his catalogue, my favorite of which thus far is ‘Differences’.  The beat for this one is ridiculous too. Based on the Mac J playlist Rey’s Cafe put together I definitely want to start listening to more of this north Sacramento artist and check out the rest of his output, including his new mixtape ‘Local Celebrity‘.

Lil Chicken – Pitty Pat

“I’ve got it all on me riding round in the foreign, Ballys on, white folks staring at me, make me feel important”

““Me and Max posted up in the stash house playing Pitty Pat, I feel like Chris Brown all these junkies hollering gimme that. Spanish ho like Dora that b*tch pulled up with a mac, said he want 44 watch me pull up with them racks.”

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Lil Chicken – Pitty Pat

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Lil Chicken – Pitty Pat 

Over a month after Rap Music Hysteria’s primer on Milwaukee rap got me infected on the Lil Chicken fever (which sounds like it could be an actual unpalatable avian disease) I’m still feeling it. I’ve taken a brief foray into the world of Berner and taken a break to check out the new A-Wax and Meek Mill albums but Lil Chicken is still holding steady as the top dog on my summer soundtrack.

Perhaps a bit confusingly, in ‘Pitty Pat’ Lil Chicken hails himself as ‘Big Chicken’ numerous times to start this video, as the camera pans to show his Milwaukee neighborhood and then he and his compadre Max studiously counting up bills in their traphouse. I see you with that warm A&W root beer 2 liter on the table Chicken, not a bad choice. Lil Chicken certainly gets an early nod for most inventive chorus of 2017 in this one, “Me and Max posted up in the stash house playing Pitty Pat, I feel like Chris Brown all these junkies hollering gimme that. Spanish ho like Dora that b*tch pulled up with a mac, said he want 44 watch me pull up with them racks.”

My other favorite line was “I’ve got it all on me riding round in the foreign, Ballys on, white folks staring at me, make me feel important”

Big Chicken P is combining an aggressive flow with some of the best lyricism coming out right now and he also has the personality and charsima, that certain unqauntifiable quality that you need to have ‘star power’. The stark, aggressive beat is by Melo aka Melodroppin30 who seems to have a great chemistry with Chicken on numerous songs together (No Grease, Big Chicken P, Pitty Pat, etc.).

Let’s hope we get a Lil Chicken mixtape to round out the summer because he’s at the top of his game right now

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A Mea Culpa on Berner

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Berner – Float 

I certainly didn’t think that 2017 would feature a post about Berner on this blog, but that’s where we find ourselves today. Inspired by The Martorialist’s recent earnest decision to give it the old college try and delve into Berner’s voluminous back catalogue, on a recent long drive upstate and back I decided to make the perhaps reckless decision to do the same and jump head first into listening to multiple Berner albums in a row since I had many an hour to kill. I was fairly skeptical, and to be sure, there were certainly some forgettable songs, but I have to admit, I was pleasantly surprised by the overall quality of the Cookies purveyor’s portfolio. And with so many projects out over the last couple of years, Berner is nothing if not prolific. I can kind of get into his luxorious yet relaxing vibe that he promotes in much of his material, and as a fanboy of mid-2000s New York rap I can definitely get behind a dude that reaches out to Styles P to collaborate on an entire album with him and also does an EP with Killa Cam. What’s not to like about that? So let’s do a mea culpa and give this affable weed and clothing entrepenuer  some much-deserved and belated credit.

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Smokin’ Cookie Nigga, Chips Ahoy

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21 Savage – Baby Girl 

Given the uhhh let’s just say risque lyrics of the chorus I unfortunately think it’s safe to say I won’t be playing ‘Baby Girl’ off 21 Savage’s new album at the middle school birthday party I’m DJing next week but it’s definitely one of the bangers off of 21 Savage’s new ‘Issa’ album.

Admittedly, it was fickle of me but I had gotten a bit bored of 21 Savage after the initial wave of hype when he first came out, but I gave Issa an earnest listen and it definitely has some jams on it, like ‘Baby Girl’ and ‘Bank Account’. Menacing, cold-hearted jams to be sure, but jams nonetheless.

21’s ad lib game and flow are both on point in this one; for example when he rattles off perhaps my favorite 21 Savage couplet of all time – ‘Smoking on cookie nigga Chips Ahoy, had to block her number ’cause that bitch annoying’. We’ve all been there, 21 I feel you homes.

I also love the wierd voice he raps ‘Got an island girl and she comes from St. Vincent’ in (perhaps a faux Caribbean accent?), and how geographically specific he gets. He unleashes quite a few colorful and imaginative lines and references like that in this song, perhaps more than I’ve ever heard from him in one song before, from ‘Bitch I’m John Gotti I stay round a lot of henchmen’ to unexpectedly delving into U.S. history with ‘I pull up with the stick and let that bitch spark, I swear I would have shot that cracker if I was Rosa Parks’. I feel like Rosa Parks was pretty pacifist so I’m not sure how down with this line she would be but I’m not opposed to 21 Savage exploring some revisionist history with himself as the focal point.

21 21 21!

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Vince Staples – Homage

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When I saw a track called homage on Vince Staples’ new ‘Big Fish Theory’ album I was assuming it would be a homage to some sort of West Coast legend or whatever so your boy was surprised to say the least when the ‘homage’ was to none other than Rick Ross and his ‘Hold Me Back’ song that became a surprising hit 5 years ago. Yup, the one with the video where he just refuses to wear a shirt (see below for your reference – I also love the look on his face they captured of it in the picture of it for Youtube).

Staples sort of updates Ross’ riff and speeds it up and adds some wierd haunted house sounding techno into it and changes it from more of an aggressive vibe to a more dance/party vibe. I feel like Staples has a knack for these types of things; I actually don’t know much about him and I think for whatever reason I missed the period a couple of years ago when he had was getting a lot of hype but I remember on his last project on one of the tracks (Loco) he had a brief hook where a girl sang ‘Party at McDonald’s for our birthday’ as part of it and it was so infectious and fun to sing that it’s stuck with me ever since.

I decided to give the full album a listen and it wasn’t bad, I’ve noticed that ‘BagBak’ and especially ‘Big Fish’ seem to be getting some radio play and Big Fish is pretty solid but Homage is definitely my favorite track on the album hands down.

In any case, I like the message of the hook and it still rings true today (although let’s be honest, it’s from 5 years ago so it’s not exactly like we’re talking about a James Joyce novel still being relevant in modern times). Some might say 5 years is too soon to pay homage to a Rick Ross song that wasn’t even one of his biggest hits, but with how fast rap moves nowadays and changes and how quickly the hype cycle eats up and spits out new artists before we ever even really get to know them, I say why not. I kind of like the idea of going back to this late 2000s/early 2010s era of rap to pay some homage and mine for ideas; I still think that there’s going to be a big wave of Chief Keef nostalgia coming at some point soon.

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Top 10 Songs June 2017

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Whoa way too late this month since your humble host here didn’t even realize June was already just about over but better late than never, check out our top 10 songs for June 2017 with the added bonus that my tardiness and lack of awareness of time means we had more time to add in a late entrant or two at the very top.

MT ft. Lil Chicken, YBN Kenny, Mari Boyz – All Stars 

For the second month in a row (last time was Creek Boys with ‘With My Team’), a previously (to me) unheard of group of youngsters comes out of the woodwork late in the month to take the #1 spot. I have to give a hearty thank you and shout out to the guy at Rap Music Hysteria here, who has emerged as one of my favorite blogs both for the new music he introduces me too but also perhaps even more importantly for writing some of the funniest blog posts I’ve ever read in my life.  His recent post serving as a guide to Milwaukee rap a la a Lonely Planet for trap music was what introduced me to ‘All Stars’ and then the rest of the stuff I checked out by Lil Chicken and his cohorts.  He makes a great point about the fly athletic gear bringing him back to earlier times, I was thinking the same thing, I could watch the video again and again just for the wide array of gear ranging from NBA warm ups to the requisite Milwaukee Brewers jerseys. I’m all for seeing Lil Uzi Vert walk around with a Goyard bag or traipsing around town in some Fendis or Margeilas but there’s something very refreshing about seeing the guys rocking Cavs and Raptors gear in the video that seems like it brings us back to a simpler time, like when you used to be able to get away with walking around in an oversized white t and still be acceptably stylish. Anyway on to the song itself, a lot of highlights here from the dope chorus to the agile dance moves. I’m not going to lie I’m also a sucker for the clips they splice in here and there of Lebron and other NBA titans posterizing hapless defenders. All the verses are pretty solid and have their own charisma but I’d have to go with YBN Kenny at the most charismatic and entertaining, I like his voice and love his line where he rattles off ‘Last name YBN first name Kenny, don’t want no hugs from you hoes mane I ain’t friendly’ and “Aye baby come and ride with an all star, he ain’t make the cut, cause he don’t ball hard’.

Something about this song surfacing just as NBA free agency begins just seems so right; with all these juicy rumors of all stars like Carmelo, Wade etc. joining forces with Lebron on the Cavs to try to take a shot at the Warriors.

I’m an All Star baby I don’t ride the bench!

Thanks again to Rap Music HysteriaRap Music Hysteria!

Lil Chicken – Big Chicken P 

I’m not sure what it is that I like about this quick sub 1:30 by Lil Chicken from the aforementioned ‘All Stars’ video so much but for whatever reason I’ve found myself listening to it over and over again over the past week. There’s just something nice and menacing about the stark beat and his voice/the lyrics. I have a feeling it somehow takes me back subconsciously to some old mixtape/freestyle songs from the late 2000s/early 2010s where guys would just make threats over really bleak/simple beats so a nice trip down memory lane yet again. I wish it was a little longer but I guess its brevity leaves you wanting more.

Young Thug – Do U Love Me 

If it weren’t for Lil Chicken, YBN Kenny and these aforementioned Milwaukeeans Young Thug probably would have taken top spot with ‘Do U Love Me’ from his wild ‘Beautiful Thugger Girls’ album that I’m still trying to get a grip on. I wrote a previous post about ‘Do U Love Me’ here. It makes the list based on its absolutely ridiculous chorus that I couldn’t stop singing to myself for a month. Thug does bring up the important life lesson that no matter how many lustful admirers you have, what’s really important is that you love yourself. London on the Track makes such a crisp summery beat for this one too. As I said in my post on it, I think the subject matter and language precludes this one from radio play BUT in a just world it would be the perfect ‘summer song of 2017’.

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“They Don’t Want Me in those Gucci Shoes, with God with Me How Could I Lose?” Polo Hayes – Gucci Shoes (Official Video)

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Polo Hayes – Gucci Shoes (Official video)

Rising star Polo Hayes brings his whole hood out for his ‘Gucci Shoes’ video and makes the whole Island proud. Gucci Shoes came out a while ago and has racked up tons of plays to become a hit on Soundcloud and elsewhere, while garnering considerable local and national buzz, and now one of my favorite songs of 2017 so far finally has its own video. We were on the Polo wave early here, recognizing him as one of the most unique and best artists to come out of Long Island, and the wave has only continued to grow and pick up more momentum since then.

Polo recently performed at SXSW and Gucci Shoes even broke on Hot 97 recently and hopefully will become a staple in the playlist. The video has 5,000+ views just since being released a couple of days ago and I’m definitely expecting it to get to six figures sooner rather than later. Gotta love seeing him stomping around in the namesake Gucci Shoes here and even cleaning them with some Moet and a Gucci bandana, a truly baller-esque move if there ever was one. Polo and his whole crew get pretty wavy in this video; check out the video and see how Long Island rocks. He’s done a lot of production work and also has some other great songs like Nighttime which I would love to see get the video treatment too. Check out some of his other work on his Soundcloud here.

Definitely looking forward to getting an EP or mixtape soon.

So many sick lines in this song…

“All I wanted was a foreign coupe, South Beach good morning view, trying to stay up out an orange suit, all I wanted was some Gucci shoes”

“They don’t want me in those Gucci shoes, with God with me how could I lose, you couldn’t last a day in my shoes, family used to live in a room, all I wanted was a foreign coupe”

“They don’t want me in the Louie, they don’t want me in the Benzes, with the Versace lenses, none of my niggas got pensions, I ain’t never learn my lesson, my AK need extensions, bullets same size as wrenches”

Don’t sleep on Polo. Even if you’re sleeping on Gucci bed sheets.

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Gettin Thuggish and Ruggy, I Love Me

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Young Thug – Do U Love Me 

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I think it’s a bit too uhhhh let’s just say ‘risque’ to garner mainstream radio play and truly become the ubiquitous ‘Song of the Summer’ for 2017 I think Thugga’s ‘Do U Love Me’ is a pretty worth usurper of the crown (‘I’m the One’ is safe for now, if only because Thug is making art at a level so advanced it’s beyond the realm of some philistines to comprehend). Does it get any more luxoriously summery than this amazing London on the Track, dancehall-infused beat with Jeffrey pushing rap to it’s outermost limits and crooning over it to his heart’s content?

The chorus is so epic I wish they founded a way to add into the song a couple of more times, like in the middle where we go for quite a while without it – ‘L-O-V-E, do you love me? Poppin’ bubbly, in the tubby, smokin’ musty, I love me’. I love the message too, because despite Thug’s well-known voracious appetite for all kinds of polyamorous encounters, he reminds us that at the end of the day, no matter how many romantic admirers you may have lusting after you,  what’s most important is that you love yourself.

There’s a lot more that I want to write about ‘Do U Love Me’ and Beautiful Thugger Girls in general but I feel like this album is so ridiculous (in a good way) that I need to fully immerse myself into it more before I can even feel qualified to talk about it at length. There are a lot of mysteries here to unfurl, many of which we may never find the answer to, for example, like Miguelito from DJ Booth mused, “I’m real curious what getting “thuggish and ruggy” means specifically in this context.”

P.S., just wanted to add in, I never thought I’d live to see the day where Thug, Snoop Dogg, Lil Durk, and Young Chop all appear on the same track.

Tell the White Boys Sniff it up like an Aardvark

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Cam’ron – Lala 

After your humble blogger here met Cam’ron at a Zumiez in midtown Manhattan last week, I decided to act like a middle-aged classic rock snob and go down a wormhole of sifting through nonstop Cam’ron ‘deep cuts,’ so to speak, for all my listening last week. ‘Lala’ from one of his ‘First of the Month’ projects from a few years ago, was the crown jewel of the songs I’d never heard before and actually may rank up there with even my longtime favorites.  I feel like this bouncy, piano-infused jawn by Killa Cam is a spiritual ancestor of Kodak Black’s ‘Patty Cake’. Does anybody rap over these types of beats better than Cam? Whether it’s rapping “weighed 220, with 2 honeys I moved money’ over the beat from Journey’s ‘Any Way You Want It’ or ‘The animals I grew up with? They extinct nigga’ over that ‘in the jungle’/’the lion sleeps tonight’ song, no one else obliterates these types of beats like Cam. A lot of other rappers would sound silly over them but he makes them into classics. (And let’s not forget some of the others like his songs over Journey’s ‘Don’t Stop Believing, the Four Seasons’ ‘Oh What a Night’ or even songs over… the Golden Girls theme song and Facts of Life theme song?!)

A lot of good lines in this one but my favorite has to go “Cocaine, we ain’t even in the ballpark, tell the white boys to sniff it up like an aardvark”. I have a weirdly disturbing mental image of ‘Arthur’ partaking in the illicit pleasures of the white girl now but hey that’s a small price to pay to add ‘Lala’ into my playlist of Cam classics.

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