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Cash Click Boog ft. Rockin Rolla – Southwest Gangin 

Even more heat from Cash Click Boog, one of the nicest in the game right now. Boog and Rockin Rolla would have already had a contender for my favorite/most listened to song of the month with Tap Out but then they unleashed this slap which took top spot. I don’t know who did this beat but it’s nasty. Perfect type of production for Boog/Rolla, they absolutely float over this. “Paid the bouncer 200 just to get the rifle in, can’t leave without the strap that’s the life we live.”

“Instead of doing 9 to 5 buddy doing 5 to 10, I ain’t handing out no deal take this dime for ten.”

Boog’s shirt is fire; equally at home in the trap or at an art gala. I’m usually not a fan of these shoulder bags some of these rappers are rocking now but I’m not going to tell Boog that when you’re Boog you can rock whatever you want.

Rolla is stepping over the bodies of the lyrical myrical rappers, “I be coming off the head ’cause writing easy.” It would be hilarious to see him get into that lane and just put all those guys to shame. I love Rolla’s attitude “Where they count on me to lose, I’ma show they ass.”

That Oakland tattoo with the guy with the bandana and the bags of money is super intense.

“Rolla hit me on the phone what’s the deal with it, I done lost some but I deal with it, don’t be talking bout them murders we kill witness, all these Percs in my system I feel different, Southwest that’s west Oakland the real Richmond.”

Boog and Rolla have just been lining them up and knocking them down lately, maybe my new favorite tag team in the game. I finally checked out Rockin Rolla’s most recent solo tape and he’s got some joints on there too. We need a whole album of collabs from these guys at this point, with Chris On The Beat and whoever made this beat handling production.

Little Brother – The Feel

I’ve honestly never really gotten into these guys and admittedly I haven’t checked out much of their previous stuff that I can think of off the top of my head but I’ll be damned if this intro off of Little Brother’s unexpected comeback album May the Lord Watch isn’t some serious heat.

North Carolina is having a really nice year between the surprisingly good (to me!) Dreamville album, DaBaby planting his flag on the map and now this unexpected comeback from Little Brother.

I don’t know why but I love the ‘Raleigh…Durham… Chapel Hill’ of the intro right before the beat kicks in. This beat is so smooth and laid back.

My favorite part is the mental image the chorus conjures up of a turned-up Phonte about to go so hard at the bar or club just stomping onto the dancefloor one step at a time and warning his companions that they may literally need to reel him in because he can’t promise that he won’t get completely out of hand.

The rest of the album was also a very nice listen as well and I’m usually not a huge skits guy but even some of the skits weren’t bad. I agree with Ray Garraty that unfortunately a lot of new albums/music these days is just made for the sake of being made and don’t really need to exist and just blend together into one big forgettable haze, but thankfully, unlike those I feel like May the Lord Watch is one that while not my usual style, stood out from the morass and needed to be made.

E-40 ft. Rexx Life Raj, Lil Boosie – Blossom 

THIS is the type of song I want to hear for new music from a legend with three decades in the game. Rising up above the circumstances to not only grow but blossom in a hostile environment.

“They outed me doubted me didn’t want me to flourish, I come from the ghetto where we was famished, malnourished. When people first heard me they thought that I was a fluke, but I’m a real nigga like Kunta Kintae from Roots. I’ma keep running even without any shoes.”

“Broken towel racks and bullet tissue holders, used to keep the bacon fat up in a can of Folgers, and if the heater ain’t working and it’s freezing cold? We open up the oven and turn on the stove.”

I’m absolutely loving E-40’s verse it’s low-key one of my new favorites; Simultaneously inspiring, reminiscent and defiant. I love his tone and flow/cadence on it whether it’s the affectation on ‘keep running without any shoes’ or the way he raps ‘We open up the oven and turn on the stove’ like he’s answering a question. The Kunta Kinte line and the part about how he keeps running even without shoes is just too fucking real. I wish it was a little longer!

As soon as I saw that Practice Makes Paper was out and browsed the tracklist, this was the first song I jumped to as it seemed like the most interesting combination of features and it did not disappoint. (And I’ve got to hand it to 40, he did a really good job of putting together some interesting features on this album and some unexpected combinations of artists, i.e. Tee Grizzley and Rod Wave, or putting together an all-star team of Detroit hustlers with Payroll, Peezy and Sada Baby. Some people don’t like when an artist has too many features and guest appearances on his solo album but I for one love it; variety is the spice of life, and when done organically, it’s interesting to see who artists you like are listening to and who they respect). I like that he tapped Rexx Life Raj for the hook here and I look Raj’s take on it. Raj is great with these types of reminiscent more serious songs, i.e. his verse and hook on my song of the year for last year. The Boosie verse wasn’t one of his all-time highlights or anything like that but I’m never opposed to hearing some new Boosie.

As a side note, elsewhere on the album, I have to salute E-40 for his ‘I keep a stick like Moses’ line; at this point in time rappers have made so many references to staying strapped that it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find original ways of saying it but comparing yourself to Moses is definitely a new and inventive way to do it. And lastly let’s all take a step back to appreciate E-40l this guy has stayed strong in the game for over 30 years now and has done it his own way the whole time. It’s been a good year for 50+ year old West Coast rappers between E-40 and Suga Free.

Cash Click Boog & ChrisOnTheBeat ft. Rockin Rolla – Tap Out 

Pretty much exactly what you want to hear from Boog over typically harsh ChrisOnTheBeat production that’s perfect for all these Bay/Detroit guys. I love Boog’s voice (pause! pause!), definitley one of the most unique in rap.

Boog is sounding like every old, grumpy suburban dad here when kids are playing outside near their car; “Tipped the valet at the door told him grab my whip, I’ll put my foot in your ass if you scratch my shit”.

Another hightlight is Boog bluntly telling the squares to get out of his way – “Nigga shut the fuck up if you ain’t making flips, on the plane with a roll I had to take a risk”

From what I gather from features etc. it seems like Rockin Rolla is one of Boog’s top right-hand men. I like his name Rockin Rolla it has me picturing a greaser from the 50s or an Elvis type instead of a rapper. But Rockin Rolla quickly puts that notion to bed because he comes out firing here – “Boog I’m tired of niggas saying all this hating shit, take a trip with 10 bags that’s a baby trip, I just bought a Draco with a baby Kick… Southwest we the army and the navy bitch.” I didn’t know much about Rockin Rolla when I first checked this out but after this and Southwest Gangin’ I’ve been bumping a bunch of his solo stuff and he definitely has some joints on there too he quickly becoming one of my new guys that I’m checking for every time I see they have a new video.

Cheers to ChrisOnTheBeat for putting his name as one of the artists now instead of just a producer credit in parentheses at the end of the title. I’m definitley a fan of this guys’ menacing production.

E-40 – Bet You Didn’t Know 

People use phrases like spitting knowledge/dropping knowledge/dropping jewels or ‘putting us onto game’ pretty loosely these days when a rapper talks about any type of life advice or (usually) financial advice in a song i.e. someone like a Rick Ross talking about investing or stacking up for a rainy day etc. But E-40 takes it to a whole new level in ‘Bet You Didn’t Know’ because the ENTIRE SONG IS JUST E-40 DROPPING KNOWLEDGE.

After the first two points, I was kind of like ‘Alright, I see where this is going, it’s going to be a political/socially conscious song from E-40’ but then I did not see the third point coming at all ‘You can bring your own bottle of wine and pay the corkage fee in the restaurant. You can have your own wine locker and you don’t have to pay the corkage fee in the restaurant.’ Not what I was expecting but nonetheless helpful advice for those who don’t know. After that, E-40 really blindsides us by schooling us (in order) on some grammar, anatomy and the corporate structure of Volkswagen as the crowd behind him implores him to ‘Teach, teach, teach’ and encourages him to ‘Drop gems on them’ over and over again. From there, it’s a pretty wide-ranging cornucopia of topics, from the genuinely useful and insightful like helping your kids build their credit and quite a bit of health is wealth advice to less applicable in daily life such as ‘A maggot morphs into a fly, a caterpillar is a butterfly’. There’s quite a bit of animal talk (my favorite of which would have to be ‘A dolphin can beat a shark’) and religious musings. (By the way is it just me or does the ‘glass of wine a day keeps the heart attacks away’ sound like a credo you would see on like some wooden wall art from Walmart in a middle-aged woman’s kitchen? Then again based on the name of my site I guess who am I to judge).

The beat is actually fairly fire too. In short, 30 yeas into his career E-40 is still one of the most colorful and unpredictable characters in the rap game. Elsewhere on the album E-40 makes references to everything from Moses to Ashley Graham.

OMB Peezy – Big Homie

Hadn’t really listened to anything new from OMB Peezy in a while for whatever reason to be honest, and kind of out of nowhere, he unleashes probably my favorite song to date “I hope you niggas ain’t forget homie, young nigga still’ll kill a nigga’s big homie, word around town I ride around with a stick on me, and I’ll do a walk-through like Rich Homie.” That hook is just so fucking savage. Peezy just goes so hard over this Lil Baby/Gunna/Ghetto Guitar-esque beat and it works perfectly. On a side note I kind of slept on One Me when it first came out and Onmi Erstig and Ray Garratywere talking about it but I gave it another spin after how much I liked Big Homie and it really grew on me now I can’t stop playing it.

Little Brother – Work Through Me

Nice joint to end the Little Brother album. I’m primarily posting this because I have no choice but to be impressed by Phonte’s ability to rhyme ‘no cap bitch prove me wrong’ with ‘catfish courtbouillon’

Little Brother – Sittin Alone 

People throw around the phrase ‘Grown man rap’ or pretty loosely but no one lives and breathes it more than Phonte, the utmost purveyor of grown man bars. “After 35 the club’s a different type of torment, pretend to be excited watchin’ bitches ditty bop, when you’d rather be at home watching Flip or Flop.” Damn I felt that Phonte, maybe a little too much.