Kat and I made this mixtape over the past few days. We recorded one tape yesterday, and I’m about to finish recording side B today. A lot of it is getting on a few months (or years), but I wanted to share it as it’s a pretty good overview of how well things fit right now (2010-2012). I might soundcloud or 8tracks it in the future, but for now I was just going to post this up.
A collection of some of the ‘spookier’ shit that’s been featured recently -I’m gonna keep on making these from time to time based on the (relative) success of the Trapwave//Chillgrave mix. This mix attends to the trippier side of having evil fucking strength. Title from an Antwon adlib. Enjoy:
1. “lef†” // fa†e 2. “Trippy Phonk 1993” // Denzel Curry 3. “Manishewitz” // Children of the Night 4. “||King Cup||” // Trap Arnold 5. ”20 Zig Zags” // Juicy J 6. “Hands on the Wheel” // ScHoolboy Q 7. ”Swervin’ (Remix)” // Clams Casino 8. “Darby Crash (Stacy Remix)” // Antwon
This video isn’t exactly new news, it’s a week old, and the song is nearing 9 months. Still, the record is worth a mention. It’s actually the record that formally introduced me to ScHoolboy Q (though the first time I heard him was likely on “The Spiteful Chant”). On that note, while A$AP does fine here, the second verse, Q’s appearance is pretty great. His flow flips from the Black Hippy half ad-libbed outside the measure flow that’s defined a lot work between ScHoolboy and Ab-Soul, to a sharp staccato in a matter of measures. That kind of control, pacing the verse, is something that very few MC’s can really boast at this point.
There’s been a lot of talk about how much Rocky has been inspired by placed that aren’t New York. He, in his own raps, mentions his debt to the dirty south and there’s plenty of woozy otherworldly non-NY beats to match this sentiment. That may be what New York needs. For the birthplace of Hip-Hop, the community really seems to be stuck in a rut… there’s no large scale culture promoting change in a forward direction. Whereas, the national (and international scene) have been highlighting their variation and finding new influence probably every other day.
It’s not all variation from New York though. One thing that does tie this to NY is the consummate album-making process. When you think about the great NY albums, they were always more focused than other places (with notable exceptions, of course) -whether it be Ready to Die, Illmatic or Enter the Wu Tang they arranged a consistent, theatrical veiw of their lifestyle that allowed outsiders a look in.While LiveLoveA$AP is a mixtape, it plays like an album. The attention to detail, consistent narrative and characters, and the choice of producers make if fit as a cohesive package. “Keep it G,” with it’s Spaceghostpurrp production actually has more New York vibe than anything else. Much like Purrp’s recent redux of Camp Lo’s “Luchini,” it filters grand horns through the lo-fi lean of the DJ Screw.
“Out of this World”/ASAP Rocky LiveLoveA$AP (Mixtape - 2011)
A$AP is taking his damn sweet time with this mixtape. This isn’t quite the next level stuff on “Trilla” or “Peso,” but it’s swagged out nonetheless.
“4 Loko”/Smoke DZA & A$AP Rocky Rolling Stoned (2011)
(This is obviously kind of old. But it’s Saturday and you deserve a 4 Loko)
In all reality, this is really cool beat choice, especially for Smoke DZA, who seemed otherwise to be an inert Curren$y hanger on who I mostly knew for his assertion on “Nothing but Us” that he was “higher than giraffe pussy.” Smoke DZA almost reminds me of Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire here while A$AP deals in his trademark swag on the chorus, and that’s all well and good. But that beat is what really does it. I’d tag it “Saturday Music,” but it really isn’t -it’s sickly sweet neon electronics sounds like a 4 Loko can looks, while dramatic piano trades with slow burning guitar in a way that’s more unsettling than celebratory.
“Trilla”/A$AP Rocky, Twelvy & Nast LiveLoveA$AP (Internet - 2011) Produced by Beautiful Lou
This is exactly what NY rap needs. One of the things that has been so great about the A$AP’s songs coming out has been the total lack of pretension -absolutely nothing about it feels forced (As opposed to the numerous Joe Buddens and Joell Ortizes populating that section of the country, this is a big deal). The first thing to come to light in this track is the Beautiful Lou beat which accounts for nothing less than a laid-back banger. It’s Texas lean delta blues, with slow reverberating guitars and a vocal distortion on the chorus that’s every single bit UGK. It’s Bone Thugs riding slab though harlem twisted up slow and twiced purped. Speaking of Bone, there’s even a bit of inpired rapping where Rocky shows off his fast melodic flow in contrast to his otherwise strangely intense drawl. The A$AP features kick it as well. Particularly Nast, who channels free-form Wayne circa ‘07 with his best lines, rhyming ”God bless America/ My flow is scarier/style wild like my nigga Common after Erykah.” The best line definitely goes to Rocky as he embodies in short what A$AP is bringing to NY Rap, “A weirdo… but I’m rare though.”
“UGK”/Main Attrakionz & ASAP Rocky (2011)
I think today is as good a day as any to post UGK tributes.