Sunday, November 30, 2008

Odds and Ends

Well the cover was hot...

Some odds and ends:

  • Alabaman Paper Route Records' long awaited Diplo-anchored mixtape, Fear and Loathing in HuntsVegas, is actually a bit of a disappointment for folks like me who thought off the strength of shit like 'Wood Grain' that they were some kind of new-school Three 6 Mafia, but it's insanely well-produced, so be sure to pick that up if you haven't yet or never heard of them until now (unlikely given that anyone who reads me is a rap blog nut, but who knows). Plus, I'm advised that the cast of characters in '07 standouts like 'Rollin' and the aforementioned 'Wood Grain' aren't actually on most of this mixtape, so if this is really just their JV, that changes things. G-Side's new album, Starshipz and Rocketz, though (G-Side being yet another act under the Paper Route umbrella), is kind of a disappointment - again, great production, but it's all very space age and the two rappers are mostly occupied with talking about how they've never seen astronauts in their hood (me neither guys), so as kids they looked up to the nigga with the fattest knot (here our childhoods diverge) - is this supposed to set up some kind of poignant, outer space dreams/all too terrestrial lifestyle contrast, as the cover would suggest? Maybe, but I'm afraid it's not that well thought out, and our heroes are just rapping what they know - namely, moderately tricked out cars, poverty, etc. - over lush beats that totally don't match the subject matter. Plus they're just not very interesting rappers.
  • Kanye's album sucks, you know this. Putting what a poor singer he is to the side (and no Breihan, it's not like Ron Browz at all, Pop Champagne is a fantastic joke record, this is some sanging from the heart we're meant to take seriously, apples and oranges), he can't write songs, write lyrics, write hooks, write bridges, figure out how to avoid coming off like a male version of Lindsey Lohan having a temper tantrum, etc. Oh, and the production on this isn't amazing or anything. It really is like he just walked into the studio and freestyled some shit, finetuned the beats a little, and called it an album. But nice 2003 Neptunes homage on 'Paranoid.' Lord knows we miss the 2003 Neptunes.
  • Freeway announces a month of madness!
  • Jada and Wayne's Death Wish, which samples, I think, Master P's 1997 reissue bonus track, 'Always Look A Man In The Eyes (Before You Kill Him)', is great. Hopefully this will spark off a trend of people rapping over old No Limit shit on mixtapes. Jada's fantastic as always, and Weezy raps like he gives a fuck. Maybe he recorded it before his latest autotune-fueled sizzurp binge (or should that be sizzurp-fueled autotune binge?).
  • Rick Ross freestyles over 'Pop Champagne,' thinks he's so cool that he can get away with calling himself Ricky Rose (accent on the e) and repeating himself 50 times. Might be right.
  • If you haven't read We Eat So Many Shrimp's post on Soulja Boy's shockingly good mixtape work with Gucci Mane, you really should. At least two of these songs are better than anything on the Kanye album.


Jordan said...

I don't know, the lush, space age production of that G-side album works fine with the subject matter for me. I just wish they were better rappers. Also they have this unfortunate tendency to reference Comin' Out Hard era 8ball and MJG (eg on G S I D E R "123 points I gotta get across 1 don't 2 make me 3 set it off) while ignoring all the over the top ridiculousness that made those guys great then. Like, why aren't there people quoting "I'm big as a motherfucker, I don't look fast/but I'll run up quick and stick my dick in your ass" or "blow up niggas cars cause I heard they called me fat?" Why isn't "got a fleet of bitches and they all call me Mister" a screwed up hook by now? Still, this album is better than the Paper Route mixtape.

Did Freeway put on weight recently or was he always kind of fat? I don't like this idea of two rappers named after the same guy both being fat and having beards. Perhaps Free needs to kill Rick Ross. Also it was weird hearing his non-rap voice.

I'm basically neutral on that Wayne/Jada song but my father had the most violently negative reaction I've ever seen when I played it for him.

tray said...

Yeah, I mean, they're not even under the top ridiculous. Like 'Speed of Sound' sounds like some cruising around the galaxies in your spaceship shit, and it's about his... momma Jackie? Who would be proud to see him now? And driving around in a Hummer? Like maybe that's the point, that a Hummer sighting in their part of Alabama is like a UFO sighting where I'm from, but I don't know. Even their flows are pretty dull and straight line. Freeway's always been kind of fat, I think. The Wayne/Jada - I mean, Wayne's done much better in the past, it's just a pleasant reminder of how good Jada is when he's not making albums. I'm kind of behind on my D-Block mixtapes but another tape on the level of The Champ is Here, in this arid rap climate, would be huge.

Jesus Shuttlesworth said...

yea, freezer's always been pretty fat. though, when i saw him a couple weeks ago, he looked like he had gained a bit more weight. his voice sounds higher and his rapping less, how do i say, out of control in that video clip. good to see him putting his music out there more.

i miss the days of jada/styles tag team raps. really, i miss any and all tag team raps.

tray said...

Well, there's always Mariah Carey remixes. You know, it just occurred to me a few weeks ago that their being on We Belong Together was this kind of Bert and Ernie "we belong together" deal. They're so good that they can get away with that sort of questionable shit. And even make it endearing. Like you have to give them credit, I don't think a lot of rapping duos could pull that off without getting the "mad gay" sticker.

Huntsville said...

Slowmotion Soundz G-Side

To all that left comments I thank you. Pay Tray thanks for your opinion. I was looking for someone not to like the album. I just would like to know what you listen to. As far as the name of the album and the sound we are from Huntsville Alabama the home of NASA. A UFO sighting in Huntsville LOL that was funny too.But for somebody not to like the album you know a lot of the lyrics.

tray said...

Yeah, I loved the beats and listened to the lyrics, so yeah, I remember a few lines. It's a decent album, but I don't really understand what you were going for. Like there's only so much that can be done with two really average rappers, but production that's still good, while not calling tons of attention to how average they are, is usually a better way to go when doing work for mediocre rappers. In my opinion.

Huntsville said...

what we were going for was a true representation of our city and our culture. As far as the MCs that's everybody has there choice. What we were also going for was a real album full, a motion picture feel. Just keep us on your radar. Oh yeah we are not part of paper route they formed from us and we dont deal with Diplo so to speak.