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Top 10 Songs April 2018

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03 Greedo ft. Drakeo the Ruler, Fenix – Wake Me Up in Traffic 

I usually like to joke around on this site and keep things light/entertaining (or at least I hope!) but on a very serious note, please pray for Greedo as he is facing some very serious time in prison in Texas. The circumstances are particularly unfortunate as he got hit with this big sentence just as he was starting to blow up and create a huge wave for himself. In the same month that Meek came home, we sadly lost one of the most creative and innovative, truly interesting artists to come out in a long time. I’m glad that apparently he has tons of unreleased music still in the vaults that we can enjoy but sometimes real life and whats at stake for the artist facing all these years just feels bigger/more important than the music itself. Originally it was being reported that it was a life sentence but now it seems like places are saying it’s 20 years… maybe he can appeal or get out early.

‘Wake Me Up in Traffic’ featuring him, Drakeo the Ruler, and Fenix from Shoreline Mafia is my top song for April; from the original article

Even 03 Greedo’s unreleased loosies are better than 95% of other current artist’s best material that they would choose as the singles for their new album. This guy really is on a different level. Almost reminds me of an in-his-prime Gucci Mane with all the vaults upon vaults of quality material he has laying around. I really hope this one doesn’t get taken down from Youtube! This is going to be a dope summer driving song.

“And I got my mask and my gloves, dead presidents chasing bank do some drugs, every day I repent but I keep fucking up, only my God can judge me, too rich for a judge…Unless I get paid I don’t go to clubs.” This line was so dope and mind-blowing to me because it was so braggadocios but also simultaneously so humble, which you would think would be impossible but Greedo pulled it off.

03’s cohort, Drakeo the Ruler, who if not for Greedo would almost certainly be the most dynamic rapper in L.A. right now, also contributes a dope verse as does, according to Youtube, someone named Fenix of Shoreline Mafia. Let’s keep our fingers crossed/prayers up that Greedo and Drakeo both beat their cases and we can keep getting awesome collaborations from them for years to come.

03 Greedo has easily usurped the Dos Equis guy as ‘The Most Interesting Man in the World’ at this point.

This post was too sad man…

At least I did it big before i left my family

A post shared by Lucrative.mgm@gmail.com (@03greedo) on

Kooda B – Walking Through the Ville

From yesterday’s post

Man fuck Hot 97 and the current headliners, Kooda B should be on center stage getting the star treatment at Summer Jam this year. KOODA B FOR SUMMER JAM MAIN STAGE!!! Or else I’m boycotting.

The Kooda GOAT is ridiculous. I wasn’t sure if I had ever pondered the concept of whether someone could rework Vanessa Carlton’s ‘A Thousand Miles’ into a foreboding message to potential foes warning them not to run up on them in his neighborhood or risk becoming a victim of gun violence, but Kooda certainly comes about as close to achieving that odd task as humanly possible.  But more importantly, his heartfelt ode to gun crime is also undeniably catchy as fuck.

Tekashi’s bodyguard(/wingman/handler/subject of the song ‘Kooda’) has quite a bit of charisma and even some star power of his own. He reminds me a bit of a Sonniebo in that while some of the songs are clearly trolling and made for comic value, they also stand up on their own as songs that whether you want to admit it or not, just straight up slap.

Favorite part: About 0:40 to 0:45 in – ‘I was walking through the Viiiillllllle, fans ask me how I’m doingggggg!” I also love when the beat ‘drops’ at about 1:00 like in the real song and he goes ‘TONIGHT – we gon get you… we wont’ miss you!”

I don’t know how he pulled off driving that piano around through the streets of Brooklyn. Also – he DEFINITELY picked up those two girls at Starbucks and asked them to be in his video, and let’s be honest, how could they have resisted?

Quando Rondo – Paradise

A late entrance to the list, ‘Paradise’ is an amazingly catchy song by rising young artist and apparently aspiring herptologist Quando Rondo out of Savanna, Georgia (the home of Camoflauge! RIP!). There are so many new rappers out of Atlanta and the surrounding areas all the time right now that it’s hard to keep track of them and to be honest a lot of them are kind of generic/blend together but this young bol Quando Rondo is different and has an absolute gift for creating catchy, anthemic songs as well as deep, introspective ones. This is one of my favorite choruses of the year so far. Paradise should definitely have more than a million views!

Jim Jones – Never Did 3 Quarters

These recent posts about Cam, Lil Flip, etc. have got me feeling like it’s the mid-2000s and that’s definitely not a bad thing in my book. Jimmy brought his A-game on his new album Wasted Talent and after multiple listens through it this week ‘Never Did 3 Quarters’ stands out as my favorite track off of it. You really can’t go wrong with the capo, or really any Diplomat, over a soulful Heatmakerz sample like this one. Jim gets introspective and reminisces on this one, creating a narrative that goes perfect with the reflective vibe of the beat.

“Gotta look both ways before you cross the street, you’ve got to watch out for them strays from across the street. In my day I was clapping at all the beef; start beefing now these rappers might call the police. I grew up in a country that rather war than peace, in my hood there’s always war so I wore the piece.”

If it’s possible for an artist who got as popular as Jim did at his height to be ‘underrated’, I’d say that Jim Jones is criminally underrated, especially from a lyrical standpoint and from the perspective of how impactful he was on the rap game and the culture. Between his material with Dipset, his solo work, and things he was working on with Max B and Stack Bundles, Jones has compiled a pretty impressive catalogue and almost 20 years in the game.

Drakeo the Ruler – Big Bank Uchies

I’m a little late on this one but I’ve been bumping a ton of Drakeo over and over again all month, probably more than any other artist. I love his guttural flow and his unique lingo. Him and Greedo have the West Coast rap game on lock right now. Unfortunately like Greedo he’s also in the midst of some questionable at best legal troubles; I’m not sure what the exact status is right now but hopefully he’s home and can get back to living his life and making dope new west coast music; I hope we can still get that Greedo/Drakeo collaboration album one day.

Drakeo the Ruler – Flu Flamming

I’m a Flu Flammer

Jim Jones ft. Mozzy – Bangin’ 

Another highlight from Wasted Talent. One of my favorite rappers from the mid to late 2000s linking up with arguably my favorite rapper of 2016? I didn’t expect to ever hear them on a song together but sign me up. And the results weren’t disappointing at all as they often can be in these types of collaborations.

Capo really crushes both the chorus and his verse on this one and it’s also nice to get a little bit of a look back at a different time in history from him…

“I loved the gang I even banged when I was famous… I put the city on my back, had my biddy screaming blatt, all the main events with 40 niggas in the back. I was bicking back booling, skipping all the schooling, small .22 in the Timbs to get my tool in…They called me Billy the Kid, Sex Money Murder we was killing as kids, I send a missile and get you killed on your bid.”

“I used to rock a vest cause in my streets no love, I was the first to hit the West and show them East Coast Bloods. Everybody screaming gang but nobody put in work for it, my whole gang was putting bodies in the church for it.”

It looks like there may also be a video coming out for this at some point soon which I certainly wouldn’t be opposed to.

Quando Rondo – My Motivation

Another nice melodic jam from Quando Rondo as he gets his Rich Homie Quan on. This is off of his Life B4 Fame mixtape which I definitley need to finish listening to the rest of. I love introspective songs like this, he really gets a lot off his chest and takes you through some heavy things that he’s been through. “RIP Quafee 3 times, and my niggas they with it we just buried about three 9’s”. I also always love videos where rappers walk you through their hoods that you’ve never seen before, like Savanna here.

Drake – Nice for What 

Your humble host must be getting soft in his old age, because I used to be known as a bit of a Drake hater but lately I’ve been oddly at peace and down with pretty much each one of his latest string of singles. Is Nice for What clearly pandering to female fans? Probably, but the song and sample are both fire so I can’t complain.

Cam’ron – Harlem Streets

From my post earlier this month…

With the passing of Steven Boscho earlier this week I kept hearing the ‘Hill Street Blues’ theme song on the news radio that I listen to for traffic info etc. in the car and I kept thinking to myself damn this song is so smooth, where have I heard it before? It’s sampled in one of the all-time great (and dare I say underrated?) Killa Cam songs, ‘Harlem Streets’. I love when the saxophone (or trumpet?) kicks in. We need more rap songs over these type of samples like Cam sampling Hill Street Blues or Peezy (and others) sampling Herb Alpert’s ‘Making Love in the Rain’. I loved the classic Heatmakers sound/beats that the Dips usually rapped over but they sounded so dope over these more jazz/soul-infused samples too. So many Cam quotables here…

“And I get it cheaper, I cop bricks like sneakers, and if the cops come I just hit amnesia, but i give them an earful, it’s tearful, told my mom I hustle and she said be careful.”

Including perhaps, gun to my head, my favorite Cam sequence of all time…

“And when I rap it ain’t no punchlines. I be on the highway, dirty, crunch time. No timeouts homeboy, just one time, if they find that stash box just one time? Shit, they put the dogs in the trunk, side of the road, holding you up, cold as a fuck, they want that button, lunge it and push it, as soon as they lunge it and push it, I run in the bushes. That’s how I play mine, jump over the grapevine, take my chances one on one with the canines, steel and a clip for anyone squealing their lips, fuck y’all if y’all ain’t feeling the Dips.”

Got me feeling all nostalgic right now. KILLA!

Bonus 

Not really a song per se but to celebrate Meek being free I’m also throwing in this clip by the Hoodies celebrating the news with this great freestyle snapping over the ‘Monster’ beat

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Kooda B for Summer Jam!

Kooda B – Walking Through the Ville

Man fuck Hot 97 and the current headliners, Kooda B should be on center stage getting the star treatment at Summer Jam this year. KOODA B FOR SUMMER JAM MAIN STAGE!!! Or else I’m boycotting.

The Kooda GOAT is ridiculous. I wasn’t sure if I had ever pondered the concept of whether someone could rework Vanessa Carlton’s ‘A Thousand Miles’ into a foreboding message to potential foes warning them not to run up on them in his neighborhood or risk becoming a victim of gun violence, but Kooda certainly comes about as close to achieving that odd task as humanly possible. (I was also partial to Cam’ron’s 10,000 Miles from last year but I like this Kooda version the best). But more importantly, his heartfelt ode to gun crime is also undeniably catchy as fuck.

Tekashi’s bodyguard(/wingman/handler/subject of the song ‘Kooda’) has quite a bit of charisma and even some star power of his own. He reminds me a bit of a Sonniebo in that while some of the songs are clearly trolling and made for comic value, they also stand up on their own as songs that whether you want to admit it or not, just straight up slap.

Favorite part: About 0:40 to 0:45 in – ‘I was walking through the Viiiillllllle, fans ask me how I’m doingggggg!” I also love when the beat ‘drops’ at about 1:00 like in the real song and he goes ‘TONIGHT – we gon get you… we wont’ miss you!”

I don’t know how he pulled off driving that piano around through the streets of Brooklyn. Also – he DEFINITELY picked up those two girls at Starbucks and asked them to be in his video, and let’s be honest, how could they have resisted?

Part of me wishes this was longer but if I’m honest with myself 1:40 is probably just about the perfect length without overdoing it.

P.S. Belated Top 10 songs for April coming tomorrow! Your host has been out here lacking for the last week or so but I’m back in the saddle.

Only My God Can Judge Me, Too Rich for a Judge. Unless I Get Paid I Don’t Go to Clubs

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03 Greedo ft. Drakeo the Ruler, Fenix – Wake Me Up in Traffic 

Even 03 Greedo’s unreleased loosies are better than 95% of other current artist’s best material that they would choose as the singles for their new album. This guy really is on a different level. Almost reminds me of an in-his-prime Gucci Mane with all the vaults upon vaults of quality material he has laying around. I really hope this one doesn’t get taken down from Youtube! This is going to be a dope summer driving song.

“Wake me up in traffic, fell asleep at the wheeeel. Lately I’ve been trapping, kush, lean and the pillllls”.

“And I got my mask and my gloves, dead presidents chasing bank do some drugs, every day I repent but I keep fucking up, only my God can judge me, too rich for a judge…Unless I get paid I don’t go to clubs.” This line was so dope and mind-blowing to me because it was so braggadocios but also simultaneously so humble, which you would think would be impossible but Greedo pulled it off.

03 showcases so many different flows, voices, and cadences on this one it’s almost ridiculous. His cohort, Drakeo the Ruler, who if not for Greedo would almost certainly be the most dynamic rapper in L.A. right now, also contributes a dope verse as does, according to Youtube, someone named Fenix of Shoreline Mafia who I know nothing about but if he has Greedo’s approval than he’s alright by me. Let’s keep our fingers crossed/prayers up that Greedo and Drakeo both beat their cases and we can keep getting awesome collaborations from them for years to come.

03 Greedo has easily usurped the Dos Equis guy as ‘The Most Interesting Man in the World’ at this point.

Image result for 03 greedo drakeo

I Used to Shop at Sears, Now I Appear in Movies like I’m Richard Gere

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Lil Flip – Freestyle on BayBay Show K104 FM

20 years later and The Leprechaun has still got it!

It takes a minute or so to get going but once Lil Flip hits his stride he burns down this freestyle over the G-Eazy ‘No Limit’ beat, which is awesome, because the beat isn’t bad but I can’t stand the actual song or most of the artists on it. Just replace them all with Lil Flip and the chorus to Bay Bay marching in place yelling ‘Rock with us and get some money’ like in the video. Side note – I love how hyped up BayBay gets for this freestyle, and his antics that go along with it like acting like he’s riding a motorcycle or sprinting like a track star.

“I be in these Texas streets. Last night, threw 500 at XTC!”

“I still do this for Pimp and Fat Pat, free Twisted Black, and I’m still here, in a white Wraith looking like veneers, cheers, I used to shop at Sears, now I appear in movies like Richard Gere. One million wasn’t enough I had to get 3. I tell ’em smoke something B, that’s for Pimp C, I’m an underground king like Bun B, 25 choppers if you jump me.”

“The Wraith paid off, the Bentley truck next, you ain’t nothing man you know we rep Tex. Man this is H-Town, the real H-Town, if rap don’t work we got bricks on the Greyhound. 25 lighters on my dresser, yessir, you ain’t smoking gas like a Tesla. This a freestyle dog I ain’t write this. If you gon pimp dog, you better get a white chick.” (The real H-Town line was my favorite of the song but I couldn’t pass up the Sears/Richard Gere line as the title of this post just because of how ridiculous it is).

I love the look on Bay Bay’s face when Flip says ‘Shoot you and then give it to Bay Bay now that’s a flea flicker’ he looks like he’s excited but then he’s like ‘Oh wait a minute I don’t want to be holding this’ lmao. “Wooooo!”

I also like all the Texas/Houston pride here from the shoutouts to departed Texas legends like Pimp C and Fat Pat and imprisoned ones like Twisted Black, to naming restaurants like Ojos Locos and local streets in Dallas plus of course about a half dozen Houston and Dallas strip clubs, of course. The Houston Rockets t shirt is sick too.

I love all these OG’s in the game dropping stuff lately to show that they’re still a force to be reckoned with. The mix of Flip’s great voice and clever punch lines mixed with his high level of Texas/Houston pride and local references makes this a dope and memorable addition to the canon.

And I Was Born on Highbridge, Raised on Courtlandt

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Don Q, A1 – Freestyle on Funk Flex Show 

I took a break from blasting Don Q’s ‘Trap Phone’ to check out his freestyle on the Funk Flex show from a couple weeks ago. I’m definitely down for Don Q freestyling over the Blocboy JB ‘Rover’ beat and as dope as that was, the real highlight here is Don astutely handing the spotlight over to his talented Highbridge protege A1, who certainly makes the most of the opportunity.

Things really pick up around the 5:00 mark or so…

“I was born on Highbridge, raised on Courtlandt, I thought y’all should know that cause I’m telling you to be cautious, I love my Highbridge niggas, I call them, they’ll off him, then my Courtlandt niggas come and spit on the coffin. And we from the bottom we dealt with plenty of losses, I sat in the trap the residue had me nauseus. We went to war with some suckers and then it cost us, now my brother sitting in prison cause niggas crossed us. We ain’t comfortable with the workers, only deal with bosses, they try to take me out so we bulletproof the Porsches.”

“Any nigga that stood on my corner gotta pay rent… you niggas that go against me going to be starving to death. All these chains on my neck telling me I’m blessed, toughest thing I ever did was lay my father to rest.”

“Niggas only carry their pistol so they can make it known, man I carry my pistol so I can make it home.”

Don Q cuts in at this point declaring that anyone he cosigns is fire, and thus far based on what we’ve seen how can anyone really disagree with him? But instead of ending there, Flex throws on the all-time classic ‘Banned from TV’ beat and A1 proceeds to slaughter that as well…

“These fraud niggas couldn’t walk a mile in my sneaks, bro home it’s time to smoke a pound in the jeep. My heart cold, I’m tired of seeing murder when I sleep, the park closed, niggas got murdered every week… It feel good to stand on corners we took over, niggas got the mind of a kid but they look older, me I got the mind of a king I don’t pull over. Hard to really count all the bodies a nigga stood over, hard to really count all the product we had to cook over, and you know that body don’t count if you don’t get closer, … if that pistol not around me that’s when I get sober.”

I don’t know why but I also loved the ‘Now my stomach getting big I feel like my Uncle’ line; a lot of people are stunting by talking about the chains they have, the designer clothes, the cars etc. but in reality one of the oldest and truest ways that you truly can show your status is because you’re eating good and getting fat, eating steak and shrimp, a status symbol going all the way back to biblical times. Now this hasn’t really worked for me or enhanced my status thus far at this point in life, instead it’s just made me an easier target of more fat jokes, but I still support the sentiment nonetheless!

You’ve also got to love the Karlton Hines shoutout and the Oun P shoutout, Oun was one of my favorite battle rappers/freestyle DVD type rappers of the late 2000s/early 2010s scene.

Don Q’s young protege showed a ton of potential here and really put his name on the map with this video, I’m looking forward to checking out more of his stuff and seeing what he does next as he continues to grow as an artist especially being under the umbrella over a successful brand like Highbridge. Highbridge really is starting to look deep with talent, and I haven’t even mentioned A Boogie! (Side note, I really hope that A Boogie really is working on something with 50 Cent like he recently alluded to on Instagram). A1 mentions his new mixtape ‘God’s Favorite Child‘ which I’m going to check out next.

Jump Over the Grape Vine, Take My Chances, One on One with the K9s

Cam’ron – Harlem Streets 

With the passing of Steven Boscho earlier this week I kept hearing the ‘Hill Street Blues’ theme song on the news radio that I listen to for traffic info etc. in the car and I kept thinking to myself damn this song is so smooth, where have I heard it before? It’s sampled in one of the all-time great (and dare I say underrated?) Killa Cam songs, ‘Harlem Streets’. I love when the saxophone (or trumpet?) kicks in. We need more rap songs over these type of samples like Cam sampling Hill Street Blues or Peezy (and others) sampling Herb Alpert’s ‘Making Love in the Rain’. I loved the classic Heatmakers sound/beats that the Dips usually rapped over but they sounded so dope over these more jazz/soul-infused samples too. So many Cam quotables here…

“And I get it cheaper, I cop bricks like sneakers, and if the cops come I just hit amnesia, but i give them an earful, it’s tearful, told my mom I hustle and she said be careful.”

Including perhaps, gun to my head, my favorite Cam sequence of all time…

“And when I rap it ain’t no punchlines. I be on the highway, dirty, crunch time. No timeouts homeboy, just one time, if they find that stash box just one time? Shit, they put the dogs in the trunk, side of the road, holding you up, cold as a fuck, they want that button, lunge it and push it, as soon as they lunge it and push it, I run in the bushes. That’s how I play mine, jump over the grapevine, take my chances one on one with the canines, steel and a clip for anyone squealing their lips, fuck y’all if y’all ain’t feeling the Dips.”

Got me feeling all nostalgic right now. KILLA!

Top 10 Songs March 2018

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03 Greedo – Baytoven 

It was a hard choice between this and Never Bend but Baytoven is my favorite song for the month and overall my favorite song off of Wolf of Grape Street, which is my favorite project of the year so far. From the original post…

“Another ridiculous banger off the new Greedo album. The drums on the beat hit hard AF as Greedo melodically yells about how he’s quick to dog a bitch like Beethoven (presumably the sloppy but lovable St. Bernard from the 1992 movie Beethoven as opposed to the more famous 18th century composer by the same name, although it’s certainly plausible that that Beethoven would also similarly ditch a female companion) and then gives a nice homage to one of his main producers Ron, Ron, comparing him to Zaytoven (and also favorably compares his other producer Beat Boy to Metro Boomin’).

“Dog a bucket head bitch like a cocker spaniel, 03 Greedo got it lit just like a Roman candle”. I’m not entirely clear on what a bucket head bitch is but presumably it’s not a desirable trait and the line flows nicely. So many other wild rhymes and rhyme schemes in this one; “Dog a little bitch like a Pomeranian, I’m in Dubai, hair-tied like Arabian, tryna know if niggas pulling triggers all my bitches gradient I be on some player shit”. I would pay to see 03 Greedo exploring Dubai and the Middle East.

I can’t get this one out of my head and I keep blasting it in the whip. I hope 03 makes a video for this one, for some reason I can picture it having an awesome dance to go with it. 03 Greedo is playing above the rim right now.

NO LOW RIDER BUT I’M MOBBING AND JEFFING!

03 Greedo – Never Bend

From the original post…

“03 Greedo has me feeling grapey with Never Bend, the monumental nightcap off of his ridiculous new Wolf of Grape Street album. 03 has about as much charisma and star power as anybody in the game right now and keeps things interesting with his unique, larger than life personality, adept lyricism, and dope production.

Greedo produced the sick beat for Never Bend himself on a laptop while he was laying in a hospital bed after being shot. I really can’t compare him to any other artist right now; the closest analogy I could make would maybe be a more experimental Sada Baby, but if you ask him, he wouldn’t compare himself to any rapper at all, but iconic figures like Prince and Michael Jackson and he describes his sound as “emo music for gangbangers.”

I love the droning, self-produced beat for Never Bend, with that recurrent noise that interrupts it intermittently, and I love its resolute, defiant message of the chorus; “I’m thanking God, I could have died in the pen, you haven’t been against the odds like I been, you haven’t been where I been, I never fold never bend.” Greedo also briefly alludes to being shot by someone he loves and being betrayed/snitched on by family members. This is definitley one of the most compelling figures in rap and we’re only beginning to scratch the surface of his backstory.

The entire album is filled with amazing songs, and I don’t want to overreact/be too hyperbolic as bloggers often can be, but Wolf of Grape Street is an instant classic in my book and an early choice for Album of the Year for 2018. After listening to it a couple of times front to back this weekend, there really are no tracks that are skips, which is saying a lot for an album with 21 full-length songs on it (and keep in mind this is only half the length of previous releases like Purple Summer. Sitting down and listening to full 03 Greedo album is making a commitment but it’s a worthwhile one). If I were to name my favorite 3 tracks on it so far I’d go with Never Bend, Baytoven, and the Yhung T.O-assisted Bacc to Bacc, but it’s hard to narrow it down. What would it take to get a collaboration between 03 and his fellow Grape Streeter Blocboy JB?

Don Q ft. Desiigner – Trap Phone 

Favorite song off Don Q’s new, all-too-short Don Talk project. The beat is just so triumphant; it sounds like something you’d blast as you ride through a city you just conquered. A lot of people are saying they don’t like Don Q rapping over trap beats but he sounds dope to me on this one and a lot of the other ones on this tape. I didn’t expect to be rocking out to a Desiigner feature in 2018 but this goes. Ultimate song for the whip.

03 Greedo ft. Yhung T.O – Bacc to Bacc 

Yet another banger off of Wolf of Grape Street. SOB X RBE is everywhere right now and Yhung T.O complements 03 nicely on Bacc to Bacc.

Fat Tone – Juicy

Kick back, put your feet up, and soak in the nostalgia! Obviously this song isn’t actually from this month but I found myself bumping it over and over again this month after initially hearing Fat Tone thanks to the Martorialist last year. I love the ‘Sprewells on my car’ in the chorus. Fat Tone’s take on ‘Juicy’ is now up there with the one with Fat Pat and DJ Screw as my favorite of all of them. RIP Fat Tone!

Rich Homie Quan – Fuck Wit Me

RICH HOMIE BABYYYY! Here’s one I didn’t see coming. Rich Homie Quan seems to be making a nice comeback for himself in 2018 with his new album ‘Rich as in Spirit’. It may seem like a long time ago now but it was just a few years ago that Rich Homie could basically make an undisputed claim to the title of hook god. I remember listening to some of the earliest, pre-Rich Gang Quan songs like ‘Can’t Help It’ and ‘Where Were You’ (probably still my two favorites by him) and feeling like this guy was on a whole different level at the time.

Obviously he had some success thereafter with Rich Gang but it seems like while Young Thug’s career catapulted from there, Rich Homie just completely fell off the map. I’m not sure what he was up to or what he went through in the time period since he was last a marquee name, but from listening to Rich as in Spirit you can tell he’s been down in some dark places and bounced back/worked his way out of it and is eager to perfect his craft again. ‘Fuck Wit Me’ was probably my favorite song off of Rich as in Spirit but there were plenty of other contenders, like ‘Achieving’, ‘Foot Soldier’, and ‘Changed’. Honestly the whole album was really good and there were no songs you feel like you have to skip on it, which is saying something for a 19-track album.

I’m interested to see what Rich Homie does next, I feel like he’s almost comparable to a post-hype high NBA draft pick that doesn’t live up to his lofty draft position, than people write him off, but then he comes back in a new role on a new team a couple of years later and is a force to be reckoned with again. A lot of new guys have come in and set up shop in his lane that he carved out but he can definitely reclaim his spot amongst them.

Trouble – My Boy 

“I AIN’T EVEN ATE YET, DRINKING LEAN WITH MY BOY”

Substitute Lean for Coors Light and I’ve been there before with you Trouble, I know that feeling.

Speaking of Atlanta rappers of the early 2010s making a comeback, Trouble just released a really solid project called ‘Edgewood’; produced entirely by Mike Will Made It. ‘My Boy’ was the highlight of ‘Edgewood’ in my opinion. I remember bumping his stuff 6-7 years ago and then kind of losing track of him/not keeping up with him anymore but it seems like he’s back. He’s in a good spot for himself here working with Mike Will Made It and getting features from Drake, Quavo, Boosie, etc. ‘My Boy’ seems like one of the more unassuming tracks on the album at first especially given some of the superstar features, but it’s stayed in my head for weeks and has become my favorite.

AR-Ab ft. Lik Moss – Blood Brothers 

You know the old saying; hell hath no fury like an AR-Ab scorned. Ab is in fine form here on Blood Brothers as usual. This is quintessential Ab – Ab being provoked brings out the best in him, as he mixes hilarious bars with brutally violent threats and just a downright sneering mockery for all who dare oppose him. Those who have read my ‘homage to AR-Ab‘ from last year know he’s one of my all-time favorite artists and a rapper who I feel truly embodies the gritty spirit of Philly.

“I’m purple-hearted I done been to war; you kill one of mine I kill ten of yours. Ring his bell than I riot pump through your door, then I try to stomp your head through the fucking floor.”

“Tell my brother if you spot him get brutal with him, my only problem is deciding which shooter to send.”

“I watch Instagram I seen what you said homie, now I’ma fill your whole page with your dead homies.” (P.S. I love the idea of Ab reluctantly joining the social media age).

You’ve got to love Ab’s ever-present charisma and how expressive he gets with acting out his lines as he raps them, like how he jumps down and stomps the floor when he says about stomping his opp’s head through the floor, or when he motions to his homie behind him holding the pool stick like a rifle when he says his only problem is deciding which shooter to send. Or when he acts out throwing a no-look pass. (Not to mention his illustration of ‘stab you with both hands like Wolverine’ at the 2:55 mark).

“They was on the Gram talking murder, I was no good, now I declared martial law on your whole hood. I heard your corny mixtape, did it go wood? My plug pass me the brick with the no look.” This sequence is classic Ab – deftly maneuvering from threatening violence on his enemy’s whole hood, to mocking his mixtape and gloating about how he’s sold more copies than him.

While Ab’s brother Lik Moss doesn’t get as demonstrative as him, he brings a lot of raw bars and the self-assured veneer of someone who knows they’ve earned their stripes over the years and earned the respect of their hooddd, sneering as he raps lines like ‘Call Moss and see if he scrimmage, but I ain’t leaving off the field until the evil is finished’ and ‘They don’t try me here and they don’t try me there; niggas try me anywhere there’ll be a body there.’

“I’m laying dirt broke before I compromise what I stand for, these niggas laying down they manwhores… keep my foot on the gas as soon as they slam the can door, right back to putting niggas out like a landlord.” Steadfast would be a good way to describe Lik Moss.

AR-Ab – Glory Road

The booming opener to AR-Ab’s new ‘Protocol Volume 4’ mixtape is textbook Ab; in 3 short minutes he discusses the ups and downs of selling dope to his uncle, seeing his old head become a junkie, his murder trial, and having to take Percocets to fall asleep at night. Alright admittedly that sounds like more downs than ups but Ab made it through it all to tell the story, and now he’s cruising around town in his luxury vehicle, literally and figuratively looking down on the girls that used to curve him for having holes in his sneakers as they comb through the trash. Other highlights from the tape include ‘Biggest Fear’ which has a pretty dope chorus, his remake of Pac’s ‘Hail Mary’ and ‘Come Home’ which has a beat you wouldn’t expect to hear Ab rapping on.

Yo Gotti ft. 8Ball & MJG – Walking in Memphis

Another blast from the past I found myself bumping all month, something about the start of spring has your humble host here feeling nostalgic. I’m not even really a big Gotti fan or that into most of his recent hits but his remake of ‘Walking in Memphis’ where he links up with Memphis legends 8Ball and MJG and repurposes the hook of the famous song of the same title is a personal classic of mine; they just use that sample so flawlessly. My favorite part is 8-Ball coming in at the end and just knocking over everything in his path; “Boys hatin’ cause their hoes be so in love with it, that pussy might jump off a bridge if he knew I hit it. That’s why I keep my pistol closer than my boxer drawers, handle my business without ever getting the law involved. Fake niggas get the Ruger to their fucking chin, mama don’t raise punks I ain’t gonna say it again.” 8Ball manages to be both chill and intimidating in the same time in that way that only big dudes are able to. Hotbox Social just put up a dope tribute to 8Ball with a big collection of his best features on his site a week ago.

Yeah I Watch Instagram I Seen what You Said Homie…

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Lik Moss ft. AR-Ab – Blood Brothers

You know the old saying; hell hath no fury like an AR-Ab scorned. Ab is in fine form here on Blood Brothers as usual. This is quintessential Ab – Ab being provoked brings out the best in him, as he mixes hilarious bars with brutally violent threats and just a downright sneering mockery for all who dare oppose him. Those who have read my ‘homage to AR-Ab‘ from last year know he’s one of my all-time favorite artists and a rapper who I feel truly embodies the gritty spirit of Philly.

“I’m purple-hearted I done been to war; you kill one of mine I kill ten of yours. Ring his bell than I riot pump through your door, then I try to stomp your head through the fucking floor.”

“Tell my brother if you spot him get brutal with him, my only problem is deciding which shooter to send.”

“I watch Instagram I seen what you said homie, now I’ma fill your whole page with your dead homies.” (P.S. I love the idea of Ab reluctantly joining the social media age).

You’ve got to love Ab’s ever-present charisma and how expressive he gets with acting out his lines as he raps them, like how he jumps down and stomps the floor when he says about stomping his opp’s head through the floor, or when he motions to his homie behind him holding the pool stick like a rifle when he says his only problem is deciding which shooter to send. Or when he acts out throwing a no-look pass. (Not to mention his illustration of ‘stab you with both hands like Wolverine’ at the 2:55 mark).

“They was on the Gram talking murder, I was no good, now I declared martial law on your whole hood. I heard your corny mixtape, did it go wood? My plug pass me the brick with the no look.” This sequence is classic Ab – deftly maneuvering from threatening violence on his enemy’s whole hood, to mocking his mixtape and gloating about how he’s sold more copies than him.

While Ab’s brother Lik Moss doesn’t get as demonstrative as him, he brings a lot of raw bars and the self-assured veneer of someone who knows they’ve earned their stripes over the years and earned the respect of their hooddd, sneering as he raps lines like ‘Call Moss and see if he scrimmage, but I ain’t leaving off the field until the evil is finished’ and ‘They don’t try me here and they don’t try me there; niggas try me anywhere there’ll be a body there.’

“I’m laying dirt broke before I compromise what I stand for, these niggas laying down they manwhores… keep my foot on the gas as soon as they slam the can door, right back to putting niggas out like a landlord.” Steadfast would be a good way to describe Lik Moss.

He also voices his disdain for people wearing jackets in the summer for attention, which I can certainly agree with although it’s not a problem I frequently witness. I see what he’s saying though, someone of his age and stature doesn’t have a lot of patience for some of the antics and fashions that some of these younger guys will pull for attention.

I don’t know the specifics of the beef between Ab and Trendsettaz Shady, but damn, couldn’t this guy have picked an easier/less threatening Philly rapper to beef with? Like going after Lil Uzi Vert or something?

Ab’s new tape, the fourth installment of his ‘Protocol’ series came out recently as well, so he’s certainly been active lately. I’ve listened to it 2-3 times in full in the car so far and so far my favorite two tracks off it are ‘Glory Road’ and ‘Biggest Fear’. Ab also just recently put out his own spin on ‘Hardaway’.

P.S. I don’t know who the producer is, but I feel like I keep hearing that Yogi Bear ‘Hey Boo Boo’ tag more and more.

I Dog a Bitch Like Beethoven, Ron Ron just like my Zaytoven

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03 Greedo – Baytoven 

Another ridiculous banger off the new Greedo album. The drums on the beat hit hard AF as Greedo melodically yells about how he’s quick to dog a bitch like Beethoven (presumably the sloppy St. Bernard from the 1992 movie Beethoven as opposed to the more famous 18th century composer by the same name, although it’s certainly plausible that that Beethoven would also similarly ditch a female companion) and then gives a nice homage to one of his main producers Ron, Ron, comparing him to Zaytoven (and also favorably compares his other producer Beat Boy to Metro Boomin’).

“Dog a bucket head bitch like a cocker spaniel, 03 Greedo got it lit just like a Roman candle”. I’m not entirely clear on what a bucket head bitch is but presumably it’s not a desirable trait and the line flows nicely. I also love how he always says the full ‘Oh three Greedo’ instead of just 3 Greedo or Greedo in songs.

So many other wild rhymes and rhyme schemes in this one; “Dog a little bitch like a Pomeranian, I’m in Dubai, hair-tied like Arabian, tryna know if niggas pulling triggers all my bitches gradient I be on some player shit”. I would pay to see 03 Greedo exploring Dubai and the Middle East.

I can’t get this one out of my head and I keep blasting it in the whip, it’s a perfect car song. Baytoven is in contention with Never Bend for my favorite song off of Wolf of Grape Street. I hope 03 makes a video for this one, for some reason I can picture it having an awesome dance to go with it. 03 Greedo is playing above the rim right now.

NO LOW RIDER BUT I’M MOBBING AND JEFFING!

The Big Bad Grape Street Wolf

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03 Greedo – Never Bend

03 Greedo has me feeling grapey with Never Bend, the monumental nightcap off of his ridiculous new Wolf of Grape Street album. 03 has about as much charisma and star power as anybody in the game right now and keeps things interesting with his unique, larger than life personality, adept lyricism, and dope production.

Greedo produced the sick beat for Never Bend himself on a laptop while he was laying in a hospital bed after being shot. A lot of people are talking about how they’re wavy right now but few if any can say that they’re as wavy as Greedo. I really can’t compare him to any other artist right now; the closest analogy I could make would maybe be a more experimental Sada Baby, but if you ask him, he wouldn’t compare himself to any rapper at all, but iconic figures like Prince and Michael Jackson and he describes his sound as “emo music for gangbangers,” and they’re certainly not unwarranted claims.

I love the droning, self-produced beat for Never Bend, with that recurrent noise that interrupts it intermittently, and I love its resolute, defiant message of the chorus; “I’m thanking God, I could have died in the pen, you haven’t been against the odds like I been, you haven’t been where I been, I never fold never bend.” Greedo also briefly alludes to being shot by someone he loves and being betrayed/snitched on by family members. This is definitley one of the most compelling figures in rap and we’re only beginning to scratch the surface of his backstory.

The entire album is filled with amazing songs, and I don’t want to overreact/be too hyperbolic as bloggers often can be, but Wolf of Grape Street is an instant classic in my book and an early choice for Album of the Year for 2018. Even the cover art is epic. After listening to it a couple of times front to back this weekend, there really are no tracks that are skips, which is saying a lot for an album with 21 full-length songs on it (and keep in mind this is only half the length of previous releases like Purple Summer. Sitting down and listening to full 03 Greedo album is making a commitment but it’s a worthwhile one). If I were to name my favorite 3 tracks on it so far I’d go with Never Bend, Baytoven, and the Yhung T.O-assisted Bacc to Bacc, but it’s hard to narrow it down. What would it take to get a collaboration between 03 and his fellow Grape Streeter Blocboy JB?

I’m a little late to the 03 Greedo wave but I don’t think I’ve been this excited about a new (to me) artist since FMB DZ and Sada Baby last year.

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