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I Used to Look up at the Lenox Ave Sign, on my Heart and Pledge Allegiance

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Cam’ron – Lean

I don’t know if we even deserved Cam’ron lacing us with a new album, but I can’t think of anything America needs more right now. I wasn’t expecting this at all so I’m hyped.

Rather than an ode to the purple, slumber-inducing concoction, ‘Lean’ is literally a rap song over a beat sampling the 1972 classic ‘Lean on Me’ by Bill Withers. I guess this should come as no surprise since Cam’ron has mastered this type of song and rapping over these types of samples more than any other artist, whether it was Journey’s ‘Don’t Stop Believing’, ‘Oh What a Night‘ by the Four Seasons talking about the night he got shot in D.C. and drove himself to the hospital, or improbably rapping about IBS over the all-too-short ‘Any Way You Want It’, or one of my all time favorite Cam efforts, his take on Rose Royce’s ‘I Wanna Get Next to You’

Killa is rattling off lines like he’s in the midst of a lengthy, multi-decade prime here…

“I grew up with Big L, all I knew was ebonics; jealousy, crack, greed, homicide and chronic, where niggas catch a body change their name like the Sonics. It was hot like Phoenix, I used to look up at the Lenox Ave sign, on my heart, and pledge allegiance.”

“I share my wealth, humble beginnings, hunger strangled us, Pops had a choice, me or drugs, he chose angel dust.”

I’ve only listened to ‘The Program’ a couple of times so far but it certainly does not disappoint. A few early favorites aside from ‘Lean’ include Coleslaw, It’s Killa (the album opener, which brings back memories of the ‘Killa Cam’ intro from Killa Season), Chop it Up, and ‘Dime after Dime’ which features a welcome return from Sen City, which would also fit in with the examples above, as Cam’ron raps about serving fiends over Cindy Lauper’s prom classic ‘Time After Time’. Because of course Cam’ron would do that.

With this new album and a new song with both Cam and Jim Jones called ‘Once Upon a Time’ coming out a couple of days ago, hopefully this is just the beginning of a lot of new material from Dipset.

*Update: Didn’t realize there’s also already a video for Lean, see below. Dope video for this type of a song and I’m feeling Cam’s New York Lotto hat.

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Smoking Cookie, and my Baby Mama Hating Tryna Jugg Me

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Lazy Boy ft. Snootie Wild – Kinda Famous 

Another highlight from the new Lazy Boy mixtape, this one the eponymous intro track featuring an unexpected cameo from Snootie Wild of ‘Yayo’ fame from a few years ago.

Best Lazy Boy line – “Got the draco on the seat when I’m in the car, I’m going hard for my brothers on the prison yard.”

I had basically completely forgotten about Snootie and didn’t expect to hear from him again especially not on a mixtape by Lazy Boy but I’m enjoying his feature on here as he plays more of a Fetty Wap type role, contributing a sing-song verse where he details how he’s ‘Famous Amos smoking cookie, and my baby mama hating tryna jugg me’ which I love because of how ridiculous it sounds. There’s also a very unexpected Al Bundy reference that works. I certainly wouldn’t mind seeing Snootie make a comeback in this type of a role going forward let’s see some more rappers utilize him on tracks in this fashion.

Had to Fall Off Before I Came Up, Every Single Pic I’ma Throw the Gang Up

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Lazy Boy – Not the Same 

I’m feeling this understated slap off of San Jose’s Lazy Boy’s new Kinda Famous project. I love the melodic, lazy (sorry I had to!) unassuming way he sort of half-raps, half-whispers great lines like these as he lilts over the beat…

“Doubting on me I came a long way, glizzy on me keep it on me all day, ‘Lazy Boy I fuck with you’ is what they all say, but they ain’t ride with me when I went the wrong way. Forty on my hip, gauge in the trunk, speaking on my name I’ll hit his face up. Had to fall off before I came up, every single pic I’ma throw the gang up.”

“I let 100 in the K go, they know my face so it’s kind of hard to lay low. One call have the gang on its Halo.”

“Homie this is real shit, tear drops on my face from the field trips.”

The way Lazy raps some of these lines is basically the same as the tone/timing he uses when he raps “I’m rocking Ralph Lauren, hella missed calls when I wake up in the morning” and gives him a unique flow.

I was a fan of last year’s In My Hood, his debut full-length, and Kinda Famous is shorter but a good release as well. As an added bonus there’s a pretty wild mix of unexpected features from anyone from Snootie Wild to A-Wax. If you’re looking to listen to something by a rapper with some bold face tattoos that ISN’T Tekashi I would highly recommend Lazy Boy.

BILLBOARD GANG‼️ Tully n King📍 San Jose, Ca • #KindaFamous 💎

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Top 10 Songs October 2017

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PC Tweezie – Really

Tweezie brings back that throwing ‘bos in the club type music and takes the crown for top song of October with ‘Really’…

“PC Tweezie opens strong and makes his presence felt right away, pummeling the opening verse, “I was really in the trenches with them wolves, I really tote a .30 hit the gas if I get pulled. I’ll really beat your ass run up on you like a bull, I’m really getting fat them hos say I’m getting full.” I love everything about this verse –  The hit the gas if I get pulled line just sounds badass AF, while in the days of rappers talking about their nose rings and desinger messenger bags it just feels refreshing to hear PC Tweezie rap about doling out a good old-fashioned beating and literally taking food off of other inmate’s plates. Lastly, I definitely respect that his hos are admiring his weight gain, because usually when I put on some extra pounds I end up just getting fat-shamed into jogging so he definitely has some serious clout.

In possibly my favorite rhyme of ‘extension’ and ‘extension’ ever, Tweezie deftly deploys it in two different usages and some pretty evocative imagery that shows he’s absolutely not fucking around: “I really keep a 40 glock that came with the extensions, I’m quick to bat a bitch and drag a ho by the extensions.” (Made even better by the ‘I’m silly’ ad lib right after).”

A big added bonus here is the headlines on the newspaper graphics in the video i.e. “Tensions Rise in Local Prison” with the byline “PC’s First Day in Lockup Didn’t Go So Well for the Other Inmates”

Ball Greezy ft. Mike Smiff, Kase 1, Major Nine – I Deserve it All 

Some more Florida smoothness from Ball Greezy and co., via Rapmusichysteria , the undisputed expert on Ball Greezy and Florida slaps in general.

From Rap Music Hysteria

“Like Kodak Black, who combines new-gen meme literacy with older rap styles, Ballgreezy stands between movements but remains outside them, continuing in a post-jook mode while softening its Dionysian edges with grown-man world-weariness. At times he resembles one of the mournful songmen of today; this might be the case, and yet Greezy was crooning before Wayne and Kanye broke down the R&B doors and liberated moping for the kids of today.”

Ball Greezy kills it with a heavy but resilient verse, half rapping, half singing…

“Niggas wonder why Greezy don’t smile… I’ve been through the ups and downs, the back and forths the round and rounds. A real food stamp baby, born and raised in Little Haiti, I can’t lie the streets ain’t been the same lately. Niggas don’t keep it G no more, see they don’t make ’em like me no more. Red and blue lights behind me, where the heat gon go? Surrender or shoot it out? I heard they don’t care about you and I. I’m tired of even living like this. How the hell do you raise kids like this.

“They told me that I would never ever be shit, now my watch and my chain make them seasick”

Que ft. Sada Baby – 90s Baby

From my previous post

“For whatever reason, I have to admit I’ve been sleeping on Que and have never really gotten into him/checked out much of his stuff. I guess I had heard OG Bobby Johnson back in the day and wasn’t super into it/didn’t see what all the hype was about and then kind of forgot about him. But let me be the first to say, I’ll be DAMNED if his Class Clown EP isn’t a great project with some nice slaps on it. Paramount amongst these was ’90s Baby’ which I’ve been playing over and over again all month. “I’m a ’90s baby, I keep a little .380, it’s hard to tell it’s on me, that boy thought I was naked,’ Que warns potential foes who may be debating whether or not to run up on him.  Even when he’s by himself he’s never lonely because he has his little .380 with him. Delving deeper I’m not sure what being born in the 90s has to do with keeping a hidden .380 but either way I love this song. ‘He got beside himself, and got to talking reckless, he must not got the memo that me and my niggas PETTY!’ Que continues. As one of the pettiest people you’ll ever meet, I can definitely get behind this type of message.

‘He said he don’t fuck with me, well nigga vice versa… said when he see me… said he was gon do what, to who my nigga? How? You just a class clown.” I like the idea of just telling people that don’t like you ‘vice versa’ and I love how ultimately dismissive it is, ‘To who my nigga how? You just a class clown.”

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I’m a 90s Baby, I Keep a little .380…

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Que ft. Sada Baby – 90’s Baby

I have to make a mea culpa that for whatever reason I’ve been sleeping on Que and have never really gotten into him/checked out much of his stuff. I guess I had heard OG Bobby Johnson back in the day and wasn’t super into it and then kind of forgot about him. But let me be the first to say, I’ll be DAMNED if his Class Clown EP isn’t a great short project with some nice slaps on it. Paramount among these was ’90s Baby’ which I’ve been playing over and over again all month after first hearing it on Mobsquad Nard’s takeover of the Dirty Glove Bastard Weekly playlist on Spotify.

“I’m a ’90s baby, I keep a little .380, it’s hard to tell it’s on me, that boy thought I was naked,’ Que warns potential foes who may be debating whether or not to run up on him.  Even when he’s by himself he’s never lonely because he has his little .380 with him, like a reliable old friend or a guardian angel who’s always there. Delving deeper I’m not sure what being born in the 90s has to do with staying strapped with a concealed .380 but either way I can’t lie I love this song. ‘He got beside himself, and got to talking reckless, he must not got the memo that me and my niggas PETTY!’ Que continues. As one of the pettiest people you’ll ever meet, I can definitely get behind this type of message.

‘He said he don’t fuck with me, well nigga vice versa… said when he see me… said he was gon do what, to who my nigga? How? You just a class clown.” I like the idea of just telling people that don’t like you ‘vice versa’ and I love how ultimately dismissive it is, ‘To who my nigga how? You just a class clown.” (Also note the dope creepy clown artwork, just in time for Halloween).

“Your big homie a rat, you a ninja turtle. I’m a big dog, you still on puppy chow. Gold rollie on me and that bitch buss down. He thought I was naked, he can’t tell it’s on me, even when I’m out here by myself I’m never dolie. Yellow gold rollie, cost a pretty token, gotta know I’m holding, so watch how you approach me.”

It would be too tall of an order to ask Sada Baby to live up to Que’s verse and chorus here on his own flagship song, but you know what, if nothing else he certainly deserves credit for backing up Que’s claim from a minute before about how petty his niggas are, with all his talk of showing up at his enemies’ funerals stunting in a white tuxedo and ‘acting bad’.

‘The Ramones’  from this project was another good one (“Back in this bitch like I’m off of parole, black leather jacket on like the Ramones”), while ‘Can’t Complain’ is basically an interesting trap version of one of those easy-listening country songs trying to appeal to as wide an audience as possible where the artist sits back, takes a deep breath and decides that he’s doing alright with what he has so life is pretty good (“crib stocked up full of food and cream soda”), a la Que’s fellow Georgian Travis Tritt on ‘Great Day to Be Alive’, if you can believe possibly the most ridiculous analogy I’ve ever come up with. I like this direction Que is heading in and much like Berner before him he’s transitioned from a rapper I largely just overlook to one who I’m keeping an eye out for more new releases from and for that Que, I salute you.

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“In Prison I Was Beating up Niggas, Snatching Their Drumsticks”

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PC Tweezie ft. Vandam Bodyslam – Lost Key

Last time around I was talking about PC Tweezie’s ‘Really,’ a breath of fresh air that takes us back to the days of club bangers like ‘Knuck if You Buck’ that made you want to start throwing ‘bos in the club even if you had never been to one at that point in life. Tweezie raps about punching dudes, hitting the gas if he gets pulled over, and ‘dragging hoes by they extensions,’ while in the video he menacingly swaggers around the prison literally taking food off of other inmate’s plates. I checked out the rest of his work including his newest project Mouf of da Souf and in another highlight track, ‘Lost Key,’ he takes that imagery a step further with one of my favorite lines I’ve heard in a while…

“Don’t call me a rapper I’m a convict, the Mac in the back come with a drum kit, in prison I was beating up niggas snatching they drumsticks”

I enjoy Tweezie’s ‘king of the hill’ type imagery here; you might be a bad MF since you’re in prison but he’s worse so you’d better show respect.

He and his labelmate Vandam Bodyslam really just snap for the whole song…

“Lost Key the mob we catching bodies if you play with us, keep them K’s with us, free my nigga Brassa I can’t make this up, paper chasin, I’m thumbin through a check getting paper cuts.”

I actually don’t know much about Vandam Bodyslam besides that he’s also from Florida and has a pretty ridiculous name, he’s part of Tweezie’s Lost Key movement, and he absolutely slaughters the First Day Out beat on Instagram, but I want to find out more…

This is purely wishful thinking on my part/I have no basis for saying this but being that he mentions being locked up, I like the idea of he and PC Tweezie meeting in a Florida prison and then deciding to join forces and take over the rap game upon their release, in sort of a ‘getting the band back together’ type thing where they’re like ‘Hey we already took over the prison, how hard could it be to take over the rap game?’

I’m definitely interested in checking out ‘Back to the Old Me 2’ when it comes out. Lost Key is quickly becoming one of my favorite camps in the rap game right now.

“I Really Tote a 30, Hit the Gas if I Get Pulled”

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PC Tweezie – Really

PC Tweezie’s got me ready to fight people at the club with this one, and I don’t even really go to the club. This song goes too hard. There’s nothing overly-complicated or subtle here; Problem Child Tweezie just comes in and throws haymakers in a straight up tour de force. It’s not physically possible to put this on in your car and not start speeding.

PC Tweezie opens strong and makes his presence felt right away, pummeling the opening verse, “I was really in the trenches with them wolves, I really tote a .30 hit the gas if I get pulled. I’ll really beat your ass run up on you like a bull, I’m really getting fat them hos say I’m getting full.” I love everything about this verse –  The hit the gas if I get pulled line just sounds badass AF, while in the days of rappers talking about their nose rings and desinger messenger bags it just feels refreshing to hear PC Tweezie rap about doling out a good old-fashioned beating and literally taking food off of other inmate’s plates. Lastly, I definitely respect that his hos are admiring his weight gain, because usually when I put on some extra pounds I end up just getting fat-shamed into jogging so he definitely has some serious clout.

In possibly my favorite rhyme of ‘extension’ and ‘extension’ ever, Tweezie deftly deploys it in two different usages and some pretty evocative imagery that shows he’s absolutely not fucking around: “I really keep a 40 glock that came with the extensions, I’m quick to bat a bitch and drag a ho by the extensions.” (Made even better by the ‘I’m silly’ ad lib right after).

So many other hard lines…

“I’m really bout to set the record straight. I’m really from the gutter food stamps section 8. I really did time 6 years 30 days. I’m really slangin iron you can check my resume.”

‘I really got a chopper in the rental. I really try to kill ya I ain’t shooting out the window.”

(*Another low key and easy to overlook highlight of the video is the newspaper headline “Tensions Rise in Local Prison” with the byline “PC’s First Day in Lockup Didn’t Go So Well for the Other Inmates”. )

Florida really is quietly perhaps the most diverse and underappreciated state for rap; you have everything from Kodak to guys like Lil Pump and Smokepurp to of course wing mogul Rick Ross, and everything in between, and now we can add Riviera Beach’s PC Tweezie to the list. I’m looking forward to listening to both of his mixtapes and some of his other stuff as well as some of the other guys from his Lost Key Records squad.

Back Then, You Could Give a Knock a Rock for a Book of Food Stamps

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With all the crazy stuff going on out here in the world lately, sometimes it feels good to reminisce about a simpler, more carefree time, for example, by taking a trip down memory lane with Key Loom, who affably leads us on a guided tour of his hood in those golden days of youth where you could “give a knock a rock for a book of food stamps.”

Key Loom really sets the aesthetic in his dope 2016 song ‘Succa Free’; “Back then, orange juice with the old E, on the turf soaking game from the OG’s”. Everything from the picture he paints with the verses and the scene he sets to the infectious chorus are top notch; this song isn’t new but I’ve probably listened to it about 30 times this week.

Another notable moment is Key Loom staking his claim to being the “flyest gang bang nigga that you’ve ever seen.” In most of the videos I’ve seen, Key Loom seems to favor more of a sensible, utilitarian fashion such as Dickies and plain t shirts and perhaps a winter hat (not to mention the obligatory blue bandana),  as opposed to some of the more daring “fly” designer gear favored by many of the younger rappers, but hey I have no reason to dispute his claim to that title. For example, see below for a quintessential Key Loom look…

(*Side note, I feel like this is a pretty underrated album cover/artwork)

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There are a bunch of other standout lines like…

“From the era of the D-boys, with a closet full of Air Maxes, in the trap counting stacks on an air mattress”.

Before he throws an absolute haymaker with this strong verse towards the end…

“Burner glove* full of gun shot residue, stay ready what you bitch niggas better do, couple holes in my body but I’m still stepping, thank God every day that’s a real blessing. Still keep my eyes peeled ’cause I’m on shit, fuck them suckas if they throwing up the wrong set”.

*Note that burner gloves are another go-to staple of the Key Loom wardrobe

P.S. – Can we get a Berner/Key Loom collaboration album??

I’m the Midwest Whale on a Lawnmower…

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The Martorialist, perhaps the chief purveyor of Kansas City’s underappreciated rap scene, got me on a Rich the Factor binge with his recent post on ‘Aristocrat‘ and I’ve been avidly surfing in this Kansas City whale’s wake ever since, delving into his previous work. My favorite song by him thus far is ‘1000’ on his last mixtape, appropriately also entitled ‘1000’. Over a really simple but enjoyable beat, Rich takes us back to the 90s with a flow and bars that seem like they could be preserved in time from the golden era of mafioso rap, and does it exceedingly well. There just aren’t too many guys that rap like this anymore. I also love his laid back flow and voice which makes it sound like he’s such a boss that he’s never had to rush himself for anyone in his entire life. Some great bars in this one from the aristocrat himself..

“We gonna eat with our hands or a fat plate, and I’m good in the jungle like a black ape”

Rich is always on the lookout for snakes in the grass and cuts them down quick, I’m just picturing him riding around a lavish suburban lawn at 5 MPH on a pimped-out looking John Deere…

“Backstabber and a rat and the back door, I’m the Midwest whale on a lawnmower. Grass cut got it looking like it’s Arrowhead, it’s a cannon you can tell by the barrelhead.”

Rich takes the unlikely whale/lawnmower combination to the next level by not only rapping about them but also coming up with these dope whale/lawnmower t-shirts. I see these teenage rappers out here rocking these tight designer shirts where you’re not even sure if it’s for a man or a woman, but give me one of Rich’s whale t shirts, a pair of sweatpants and some clean white Air Force 1’s over that nonsense any day of the week and I’ll be a happy camper. You’ve got to respect a man who just embodies a brand and goes for it all out.

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You’ve also got to love the KC-specific Arrowhead reference. With the Chiefs at 2-0, is it unreasonable for this blogger to dream of Andy Reid charging out of the tunnel (actually can Andy Reid really charge anywhere?), looking like the Kool Aid Man in his red short-sleeved windbreaker, leading  the boys out onto the field to this top-notch mob music in the AFC championship game? Then after the big win Kareem Hunt and Eric Berry dump the Gatorade out on Andy Reid to celebrate as ‘Aristocrat’ comes on over the Jumbotron speakers, but instead of Gatorade, it’s Whale Water. A newly minted fan of older Kansas City rappers can dream, can’t he?

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Top 10 Songs September 2017

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Berner & Young Dolph ft. Ampichino – Win Big

Big Bern stays winning on here as this blog’s unexpected champion of 2017 with my top song for September ‘Win Big.’ Whether it was Berner snubbing Yeezys in the first verse or a Trump reference from Ampichino that was as unexpected as it was edgy, or the heavenly beat, Win Big just stormed its way to the trophy. I wrote previously –

“This song has me feeling like me, Berner, Dolph, and Amp just won a big, hard-fought battle in an enemy city and we’re now realizing it’s over and it was costly, but we gave it our all, we won, and we’re all still here and we’re all good. We’re taking our masks/helmets/visors off and putting our guns down and we’re just triumphantly looking around and surveying the carnage and taking it all in, looking at each other and giving a knowing nod to our brothers in arms. Or we just won a championship and Berner hit the winning 3 at the buzzer against all odds and now we’re all just basking in the glow of knowing we achieved glory.

I was already singing the praises of Berner & Dolph’s collaboration project ‘Tracking Numbers’ because ‘Knuckles’, the first track they leaked from it, was already easily one of my favorite songs of the year. Little did I know that by the time this 8 track mixtape was over that another song from it would be right up there with Knuckles as one of my favorite songs, and beats, of the year. The beat for this one is so triumphant and honest and perfectly captures the ‘Win Big’ mantra. I have to find out who came up with this beat. Berner is like Jameis Winston right now; he’s been around for a couple of seasons but now he’s entering his prime and ready to take the league by storm.”

Lil B – Bad MF

If it wasn’t for Berner hogging the spotlight, Lil B very well could have had the top song for September with not only Bad MF, but Berkley, off his new Black Ken album.

“You can’t see me, even with glasses. West Coast motherf*cker and I’m smashin’. I don’t care if you play this on the radio, ’cause they love me from Oakland to Fillmoe.

Yeah I’m from the ghetto, where motherf*ckers will change your whole schedule. You can meet me at the sideshow, I’m a rap star b*tch I don’t drive slow!”

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