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.