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Sheck Wes – Mo Bamba

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Rap songs named after NBA players just seems like a natural combination and a tale as old as time, really anything from Young Dolph’s ‘Lebron’ to Starlito’s ‘Black John Stockton’. We get another addition to that proud pantheon with Sheck Wes’ ‘Mo Bamba’ except that not only is Mo Bamba not an NBA player, he’s actually yet to enter the college ranks and suit up for the Texas Longhorns for the first time. The 7-foot tall center out of Harlem, the #4 overall player in 2017’s ‘ESPN 100′ chose Texas over Duke, Kentucky, and Michigan, and will be starring for the Longhorns this fall, so I figured Wes Sheck was from Texas but he and Bamba are fellow Harlemites.

“I be ballllllin’, like a motherf*ckin pro, I be baaallllin’, like my nigga Mooooooo”

The way Wes sings and drags out the words, pro, Mo, etc. in his gravelly voice is almost so abrasive that it becomes instantly catchy and melodic, almost like some of Tay K’s recent songs, or Chief Keef’s more experimental work, or of course XXXtentacion, but it is also his own unique spin on it. I also like the way he switches up his flow at about the 1:40 mark and goes into overdrive. The light beat by 16yrold and Take a Day Trip is really nice and goes perfect with the blunt vocals.

I would love to see Texas Longhorns run out onto the court with this as their intro music for home games this season but I’m not quite sure that that will happen, but alas a blogger can dream right?

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Tay K – Dat Way

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After ‘The Race’ mania from the last few weeks I decided to check out Tay K’s “Santana World” mixtape (which admittedly wasn’t any huge commitment on my end since I’d be surprised if the 8 tracks clock in at more than 20 minutes) and there were definitely some more slaps on there.

My favorite of these was ‘Dat Way’. While sunnier and more cheerful sounding than ‘The Race’ it’s similar in the way that Tay K takes an extremely simple, lo-fi kind of catchy beat and just kills it. It almost reminds me of vintage Chief Keef from when he would crush fuzzy, simple, happy-sounding beats like on ‘Citgo’ and the cheerfulness or haziness of the beat would belie the menacing flow and subject matter. Tay K seems to be another master of this art, between this song, ‘The Race’ and also check out his latest ‘Lay Low’ for another good example. This is definitely one of those short, 2-minute type songs that you’ll play 20 times a day the first few days after you hear it.

Tay K’s future output is obviously uncertain given the extensive legal troubles facing him, but it seems like new songs are coming out post-incarceration, so hopefully he has a stockpile of material in the safe somewhere that can be released periodically going forward.

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Berner ft. Young Dolph, Gucci Mane – ‘Knuckles’

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Ohhhhhhh yeah. Stop the presses, stop the presses! We interrupt this broadcast to bring you good tidings and news of Berner’s new collaboration with Young Dolph and Gucci Mane, ‘Knuckles’. Seriously could there be any better news for an erstwhile, newly out of the closet Berner fan such as myself than news that not only does he have a new song with The King of Memphis and Wop, but that he has a whole EP coming out with Dolph? (Berner is carving out quite the niche market for himself with these ‘collaboration’ albums/mixtapes he’s got projects out with everyone from Cam’ron to The Jacka, including his most recent ‘Vibes’ project with Styles P which was a very solid release). I feel like Big Bern’s stock is at an all-time high right now. Ask the rap gods for new Berner material and ye shall receive. Honestly at this point I may need to make a new category on this blog for Just Berner. At this point it’s too early to say but Knuckles may be my favorite Berner song, and you’re talking to a man who listened to a good 4 Berner albums on a long drive last night.

According to Dirty Glove Bastard, the upcoming project with Young Dolph, entitled ‘Tracking Numbers,’ will have features from Gucci Mane, Peewee Longway, OJ Da Juiceman, Juicy J, Philthy Rich, and more. I can’t wait to hear the one with Project Pat. I loved DGB’s tepid/noncommital reaction to news of the Berner/Dolph project – “Berner & Young Dolph were probably the last 2 people you’d expect to collab for an entire project, but here we are.” You’ve got to love the ‘But here we are’ as the way to end your thoughts on something that you’re just not sure what to make of. Also, are the ‘Tracking Numbers’ referred to in the title referring to shipments from the Cookies clothing line that this hard-working fashion entrepeneur is senidng out to his customers, or to ‘cookies’ of a more illicit nature? Only time will tell when the album comes out.

I was excited enough just to see an unexpected collaboration between these 3, but the beat by TraxxFDR (who has collaborated with Berner previously  and whipped up some magic with him on my previous favorite Berner song) is absolutely delicious and takes this song to a whole different level. I’m curious who made it and what the sample is from. It has me feeling like I’m at a roller rink in the 70s with Berner, Dolph and the crew just casually skating around, smoking some cookie, chatting up the roller girls. If I do a ‘beats of the year’ type article at the end of the year this one has staked a strong claim to the top of the list.

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Young Scooter ft. Future – Can’t Play Around

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Young Scooter goes hard AF on the Future-assisted ‘Can’t Play Around’ off his new album ‘Jugg King’. The piano-laced beat is so harsh and foreboding, I feel like I’m ready to scale the castle walls and go to battle with this Black Migo Gang/Freebandz horde. This is one of the best songs I’ve heard out of ATL’s legion of trap rappers in a while and it feels great to blast it out of the car.

Future sounds great on the chorus; “I stay working through a hard rain and thunderstorm, I’m gonna stack this paper up again like I’ve never done. I’ve got these rose gold jewels I feel better now, I put the city on my back and I can’t let ’em down.” There’s just an unmistakable heaviness to this track, with the way Future extols hustling whether it rains or shines, and how Future and Scooter both reflect on losing everything and getting it back.

I love Young Scooter’s first line, “They like Scooter where you been, bitch I’m in Saint Laurent. My nigga VL keep that stick like he play lacrosse.”

This is more my fault than any reflection on Scooter himself but I guess I had overlooked him a bit, with so many rappers coming out of Atlanta during that sort of first ‘post-Gucci Mane’ era/wave and sort of all being part of that same scene and aesthetic. I had always more thought of him as Gucci’s old cellmate/a guy being featured on songs with Gucci, Future, Chief Keef, etc. but he certainly seems to be rounding into form as his own artist and making his own name for himself; Jugg King was a really strong project top to bottom so I’m interested in checking out some of his previous output now.  Also even with all of the work we’ve gotten from Future this year, by year end I think that Can’t Play Around is going to be amongst his top few tracks of 2017.

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Tay K – The Race

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A lot of ink has already been spilled over this barely over a minute and a half long video by this teenage Texas rapper Tay K so I’m not going to go too far into the backstory. ‘The Race’ has already racked up over 12 million views in a mere 3 weeks since being posted on Youtube and is currently the #2 song on all of Soundcloud (behind only the seemingly insurmountable ‘Bodak Yellow’), thanks to the infectiousness of the song combined with the dark back story surrounding it.  Tay K is almost like a rap game Icarus, with a meteoric rise to fame quickly followed by a shockingly fast fall from grace. (I’m aware that he had somewhat of a following before ‘The Race’ but let’s be honest this song took his fame to a whole different level and put him into the mainstream consciousness). At the risk of sounding like I’m trying to make some kind of bold statement, the whole thing kind of reminds me of an XXXtentacion, in that they’re both rappers who were finding some baseline of fanbase via their output but then whose notoriety from their criminal exploits propelled them to previously unforeseen levels of infamy.

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Ryan Hemsworth, Yakki, E40 – Hunnid

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File this one under unlikelist of trios I would have expected to link up and make a song together. Not only do these guys join forces, but unlike some other unexpected combinations where the actual track underwhelms and is less interesting than the combination of names itself, these tres amigos bring the fire on Hunnid.

Yakki (nee Yakki Divoshi) absolutely manhandles the chorus on this one as he gleefully booms out ‘I can make a hundred in a daayyyyyy’ and between Hemsworth’s bouncy, summery beat and Yakki’s catchy chorus this song really should get big and be one of the songs of the summer. I feel like Yakki should start blowing up to and start getting even more buzz than he already has, with a couple of bangers under his name now like ‘Trust Issues’ with PNB Rock and the Lil Uzi-assisted ‘Xans’ from his recent album ‘Yakkistick’ which was a pretty enjoyable project. “Every night I’m eating steak and shrimp ’cause I ain’t going back to Church’s”, howls Big Yak at the end of his verse about grinding day and night and then ungrateful people wanting things from you.

Approaching 50, E-40 has shown an amazing knack for longevity and staying relevant in the rap game. I’d imagine life is pretty good for the Sik Wid It CEO right now, with his young bols on the label like OMB Peezy and Nef the Pharaoh making a ton of noise over the past year, but on ‘Hunnid’, like a grizzled player-coach that can still step off the bench and hit a few 3’s in a pinch, E-40 shows that he’s still got it. I’m feeling the Backwoods hoodie E-40 is rocking here too; as one of rap’s elder statesmen he’s not out here rocking skinny moto jeans or some  designer shirt with sparkles and rhinestones on it, he’s just keeping it simple and relaxed wearing a comfortable hoodie and winter hat with shades, which is more befitting of a legend of his stature at this point. Shout out to E-40 for the casual, self-aware swagger.

I don’t know much about this dude Hemsworth aside from the fact that he’s from Canada, he produced this sick beat, and apparently he’s one of Yakki’s coworkers at the autobody in the video. From the looks of it this song is from his own album that he’s working on. It looks like he does work both inside and outside the rap genre, which I actually think is a good thing because it gives artists different types of beats to work with and brings in some different perspectives, and between this and working with Adamn Killa on his other recent rap foray ‘Commas’ I’ve definitely got to give the guy credit for having good taste in rappers.

I also like the choice of the yellow Firebird for the car in the video; an underrated American icon in my humble opinion, and the Nef the Pharaoh cameo rocking out with the Sik Wid It chain. I wish they added in a verse from Nef at the end since he was there anyway, but I guess we can’t get TOO greedy since it was already a great song.

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Berner Deep Cuts Vol. 2 – ‘Gone’ aka Berner Links Up with Mozzy; the Jacka

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You thought we were done with the Berner exploration journey over here? Nah bruh we stay on this Berner grind all summer long, can’t stop won’t stop. I’m not sure if I should thank or blame The Martorialist for inspiring me to go down this treacherous but also sometimes rewarding path. About 10 Berner albums deep, imagine my surprise and pleasure when I saw that his 2015 album ‘Harvest Season’ featured not one but two separate tracks featuring both The Jacka (RIP) and Mozzy on each, along with two other songs featuring the Jacka and one more with Mozzy. Say what you want about this affable Urban Farmer, but the man has an undeniable talent for getting great rappers to work with him and join his projects, as well as getting great verses out of them.  I didn’t even know who Mozzy was in 2015 showing that as usual, Berner was ahead of his time.

‘Gone’ has the added bonus of not only featuring the Jacka and Mozzy but also one of my favorite Nor Cal artists who I had gotten into for a while and completely forgotten about, Lil Rue, so it was good to hear him again as well. (Push It and Self Made were both in heavy rotation five or six winters ago I remember bumping them on a New Year’s Eve).

Mozzy raps a bit slower on this track and seems like he has a little bit of a different flow, and it sounds great over the triumphant, battle-ready beat. It actually might be one of my favorite two or three Mozzy verses to date, he absolutely bodies this one…

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OMB Peezy ft. Yhung T.O – Try Sumthin

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There are few greater pleasures in life than two of your favorite up and coming rappers unexpectedly coming together to link up for a new track (OK, I can think of a few, but you know what I mean). OMB Peezy has quietly become arguably the king of the blogosphere this year and Yhung T.O has been making plenty of noise of his own both as a part of SOB X RBE and increasingly as a solo artist. His solo debut On My Momma from May was a pretty dope project. Sometimes when two artists you like link up for a track the end result doesn’t live up to the sum of its parts, but ‘Try Sumthin’ is an exception as it’s definitely a slap.

A couple of notes and thoughts on this one…

  • The ‘Sick Wid It Records’ chain with the pig greedily eating money out of a trough is one of the coldest chains in the rap game (also as a side note, how much momentum does Sick Wid It have right now, with OMB Peezy AND Nef the Pharaoh? They’re like the rap game Golden State Warriors with E40 in the background as like a wizened player-coach.)
  • The abandoned gas station setting for the video looks so dystopian and sick
  • The bouncy, melodic beat for this one slaps so hard
  • Alright Peezy I see you in those Jordan 13’s
  • I love the red and gold box Chevy (Wow we’re only 19 seconds into the video and already 5 things that I liked)
  • I have no idea what that sweatshirt with the cat on it that Yhung T.O is wearing is but I’m kind of feeling it (This site is really starting to inadvertently feel like a rap fashion blog these days!)
  • OMB Peezy – “F*ck all of that typing/twitter beefing b*tch I’m pulling up, playa sh*t, eating steak and shrimp it got me full as f*ck” hell yeah
  • I like the way Yhung T.O’s voice/flow kind of changes the vibe a bit, his voice goes well with the beat
  • Yhung T.O – “Ain’t no sympathy for no opps nigga, glock .23 with air holes for a hot nigga” this song is hard af
  • Cameo from Da Boii from SOB X RBE!

These guys just keep getting better and better and are already two of the best artists out right now

 

 

OMB Shawniebo – I’m Gr8: The return of wolf mask

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After chilling out listening to ‘4 Minutes All Me’ all week I decided to check out some more aggressive OMB Shawniebo cuts before I turned into some sort of happy lazy walrus or sloth or some other lazy animal. His newest track, ‘I’m Gr8’ certainly fit the bill.

Shawniebo’s Mozzy-esque voice is perfect for an aggressive track like this. A couple of highlights and quick notes here…

  1. THE RETURN OF WOLF MASK! This guy is quickly becoming my favorite rap video cameo
  2. I’m feeling the Arizona Diamondbacks hat that Shawnie is rocking
  3. Great chorus/hook. You are Gr8 Shawniebo don’t let anyone tell you differently.
  4. Anyone know what the deal with the lanyard with what looks like laminated photos on it is that Shawnie is rocking around his neck? I noticed he was also wearing these in the ‘4 Minutes All Me’ video. I’m speculating that it could be photos of fallen friends and he’s wearing it like a chain as a tribute to them?

One minor quibble I had here is that I wish he got rid of that producer tag that you hear numerous times in the video; I checked out his full project ‘Problem Child’ today too and it was a pretty hard mixtape overall but for some reason a lot of the tracks on it had that same tag over and over again.

In any case, good new song from OMB Shawniebo as he builds on his recent momentum and continues to quickly move up the power rankings of bay area rappers.

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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