Los Angeles, CA-Taylor Swift finally proved once and for all that she’s definitely done proving anything that may or may not require proof. By manufacturing an edgy new music video for the cover of Eiffel 65’s Look What You Made Me Do, Taylor has proven that she’s willing to sacrifice it all for the art of music and the ability to make money for the marketing machine overlord that birthed her.
The video is classic Avant-garde Taylor as she dances furiously in a black dress, her own unique color interpretation of death, and then proceeds to chug an entire tube of ICY HOT muscle rub from an abused bottle of ranch dressing…an ode to contrarianism and the imaginary war of good vs. evil being waged inside the empty shell of a multi-million dollar mannequin.
She closes the video by provoking a fight with an ostrich at a rogue children’s zoo on the outskirts of Hammond, displaying her final evolution from a small town girl and the ability to close out a childhood grudge by slitting the throat of a prehistoric bird.
Artist: Western Tink & Beautiful Lou
Album: Mobbin’ No Sobbin’
Release: April 2013
Free Download: http://mishkanyc.bandcamp.com/album/mobbin-no-sobbin
Mobbin’ No Sobbin’ is a gift. Mixtapes like these fall on the other end of the spectrum. Not questioning how someone could make a complete and utter nuisance like OJ Da Juiceman but rather how they could be giving such an incredible treasure away for free. The majority of songs find an admirable symmetry between wiry lyricism, militant drum machine beats and the subtle manipulation of samples and sounds that could probably be found in a Hans Zimmer score. It’s weird how weighty a song sounds when there isn’t a lot of variation in the sample. It becomes reflective and ruminative thriving off of the simplicity. Arouses a feeling of floating or swimming.
Another song on the album with a really unique beat gives you that feeling of being the last one up at the black jack table after a 48 hour binger in Sin City. Several novelty drinks deep and now on to the well whiskey cokes trying to dig yourself out of the perpetually growing debt. Sitting solo at the table with just you the dealer and a lipper going toe to toe until the sun pierces your evidence noirs and you attempt to stumble your way to the pool to sweat off the nights excess in the Vegas sun.
Title: OJ Da Juiceman
Artist: Return of the Juiceman
Album: Juice World 2
Juice World 2 has to be a farce. An intricate labyrinth of a prank. I compare this abomination to Tommy Wiseau’s “The Room” sans hilarity plus vexation. Listening to a blunderous oaf rapping can provide a certain amount of cheerfulness but it spoils fast. Aggressively simplified beats coupled with even feebler rhyme schemes that are most of the time indistinguishable. Calling them rhymes is downright generous. I would compare Juice World 2 to brushing your teeth with Arm and Hammer tooth paste and promptly chugging 1 gallon of balmy,tepid Sunny Delight, whilst soaking in a public Jacuzzi. You’ll see what I mean below:
I get that the album is free so us as consumers are really actually owed very little. I guess my thought around the creation of free mixtapes were a promotional tool to generate hype for a studio album or get an initial signing, obviously my thinking here was completely wrong given the existence of this mixtape. Aimless, futile and inane there is no good reason why this should be in existence. Stay far far away.
Artist: Blue Sky Black Death And Deniro Farrar
Album: Cliff of Death
Release: December 2012
I’m not really certain what the contributing factors were to slumbering on this album for so long. It may have been the tight fisted miser inside saving $7 for nothing but the sake of saving it. It may have been the relative obscurity of rapper Deniro Farrar occupying the Blue Sky Black Death (BSBD) beats rather than Nacho Picasso. I finally copped it this weekend and it has effectively expunged any inhibition/skepticism I had about the album.
A strange amalgamation of shrouded ambient beats and marvelously grainy and unwelcoming rhymes. This was released on December 20, 2012 and it is written and produced as though both BSBD and Farrar had resolved that the world was undoubtedly ending that day or any day for that matter. The beats and rhymes coupled together are profoundly contemplative sometimes even bordering on meditative, there were times when the beat became so hypnotizing that it completely consumed Farrar’s forcible rumble. That isn’t to say Farrar didn’t exceed expectations too however, his marriage of regret, nostalgia and anger is incredible and it melds perfectly with those aforementioned beats. You will be instantly consumed when Farrar begins chanting “Just in Case the World Ends” in the title track. As the album progresses you will find yourself cast deeper and deeper into the mind of Farrar and the haunting beats of BSBD. On the track “You Ain’t A G” Farrar speaks with such intense conviction it actually seems like he is accusing the listener of never selling any dope or hugging any blocks. This is a must buy for not only rap lovers but lovers of outstanding production and the uncanny.
Artist: Pusha T
Album: Wrath of Cain
This song is Pablo Escobar, Carlito Brigante, Latrell Walker (Exit Wounds), Big Meech type of glorified cocaine rap. It’s MEAN. It’s immediately apparent that Pusha is going to be in am exhaustive frenzy in this song (as he starts out with his patented coke drip YUGH), snarling and ripping his way through calculated and poignant verses overpowering you with every punch line. Every verse is as raw as the bricks Pusha is slinging, each, tearing it’s way into your ear drums like the pebbles up a fiend’s nose. Plain and simple Pusha T loves/loved vending and doing hulking mounds of cocaine, and he makes no attempt to disguise this.
Pusha is boundlessly confident too, you think calling yourself the best rapper alive takes a pair? What about claiming that “This shit cook up hard don’t it, yall gotta beg my pardon on it, but this shit sounds like God don’t it?” Pretty sure comparing yourself to the voice of God (Morgan Freeman) is about as inflated as it gets, and it’s well deserved. The production isn’t necessarily the greatest on this song, but the chorus is there and the verses are too. The only problem is Rick Ross virtually disappears under Pusha T’s superior word play, would love if Malice came back, really the only one that could survive on a track with Pusha Ton. This exalted coke rap is always a pleasure to listen to, sit back and enjoy.
Artist: Paul Banks
Album:Everybody On My Dick Like They Supposed to Be
Release: January 2013
Download: Not providing because I don’t want this turd to get anymore downloads than it should
Best Line: There isn’t one coherent lyric so this is N/A
I’ve never really listened to Interpol, and now I officially never will. Paul Banks (allegedly lead singer of Interpol) released what I assume he believes is a hilarious parody on the mixtape subculture. This album stinks worst than that puddle of hobo urine that’s been rapidly incubating on the last car of a Red Line one stop before Howard, or that mysteriously stained SARS mask on the 66 bus, or those tailgate farts that everyone always get that somehow always take on the same identity of cigars and yellow mustard. His attempt to be clever by using the contradiction in album title vs. content is a tremendous aberration at best. The album is disorienting to say the least, full of horrible sounding samples and more bloops and blips than PAT from the Disney Channel Original Movie SmartHouse.
I foresee anyone liking this being the same people that claim that Atlas Shrugged is their FAVORITE book, pickling, saying that they actually like more than one Ariel Pink song (Round and Round is the absolute only tolerable song) or people that claim Animal Collective is good live. A bombastic, highfaluting ode to pretentiousness. A true unlistenable chore. Thank you Paul Banks for eating goat cheese for a year and then passing this enormous chicken shit fart directly in our face.
Now that that’s all our, I feel like I have to share something worthwhile here, this JJ Doom song/video is disorienting in the right way and beyond dope:
Title: I’m 4rm Bompton
Album:Just Re’d Up 2
YG seems really irritated in this song, incredibly peevish and uncomfortable. There are actually times in the song where it sounds like he is about to start weeping, barely able to hold a verse together before spiraling into a full out temper tantrum. The illustrious whiny rapper career is a complete conundrum to me, straddling the hazy and blurred line between delicate craven cowardice and absolute credible, reliable thug.
It’s really tough to execute and YG does it masterfully, constantly being on the verge of tears but somehow still terrifying/angry is something I could never quiet wrap my head around (though had a brief stint with it in college.) I would imagine this is exactly what Paul Pierce always talks like, or perhaps a young James Vanderbeek. The beat of this song is riddled with that vintage club beat that seemed really popular in 2004. (think Mystikal and Lil Jon) YG seems to really know what he loves and hates in life and that is not snitching, buying choppers and not attending funerals because he hates coffins. Some of his rhymes don’t really make a lick of sense, but he says them with such poignant urgency they somehow work. Plain and simple an incredibly song to listen to and subsequently mean mug to.
Artist: Ace Hood
Release: January 2013
Best Line: Any lyric and no lyric all at the same time
I’ve never really understood the hype around Ace Hood. The rapper himself-exceedingly underwhelming at best, he even makes guest rappers (generally energetic and creative) dullards, about as sharp as a marbles. The entire album is passable as a rap album, there appear to be rhymes and beats there but all of them are completely indistinguishable and lack any sort of coherent personality. I found myself gazing off and thinking of absolutely anything more interesting to take away the boredom…in this case it didn’t take much as this album makes Season 2 of JAG look like a total romp.
I couldn’t even tell you what the best song of the boring lot were because each song sounds like a filler on any other mediocre rap album. Those songs when you were in 8th grade and bought a CD but it was really only for one song…but then you kept trying to convince yourself the other songs were good? THIS IS FULL OF THOSE. (Sisqo’s Unleash the Dragon REALLY only had Thong Song but you KNOW you wanted to like Dru World Order) Do yourself a favor and avoid this album…I would rather watch a bonus disc of Tyler Perry’s House of Pain outtakes than listen to this again.
Artist: Rockie Fresh
Album: Electric Highway
Release: January 2013
Best Line: “I came a long way to rose’ from that andre”
I regularly unveil the song mid way through the review but this mixtape demands immediate consumption, relishing and savoring.
I am proclaiming that this mixtape, in it’s entirety, will beat from the first coatless afternoon in Chicago (or anywhere) and never stop playing until old man winter devours the last breath of hot summer air and we all retreat back into an elusive hibernation. It will undoubtedly compliment Wrigley blackouts, it will provide ardent, unwavering support for festival pregames, and champion another unforgettable summer. I just reviewed a Rockie Fresh song off of his first album a couple days ago, Electric Highway the mixtape just dropped today, and Rocky’s evolution is nothing short of divine. It’s mixtapes like these that make me wonder why I would ever spend money (or even go through the hassle of torrenting) an album again, when rappers are producing content like this for free.
He slides and slices through the beats like birthday candles out of a cake. (or teeth out of a receding gum line). Every word calculated and precise as he playfully dances across any beat furnished to him. His unabated and unflinching coolness is apparent through out, he’s airy and careless and so are the beats, that’s why this mixtape is such a delight to listen to.
Another true gem:
Artist: Juelz Santana
Album: God Will’n
Release: January 2013
Best Line: “Fuck the gym I got a real n***** membership”
I love the paranoid rapper persona, grandiose illusions of perpetual stalking, listening and snitching. There’s a lot to worry about when you embody this, old/current girlfriends, drug cartels, feds, family and close friends are all valid, irrefutable suspects in the imagined pending coup, assassination attempt or drug stealing scheme. Juelz Santana has officially transitioned from the fun loving frat party favorite (There It Go “Whistle Song) to a calculated, introverted, paranoid hermit.
It’s surprising because both angles actually work for him. You won’t be listening to this album post Bicardi 151 shots soaked in Natis furiously and fervently grinding it up at a frat house. It’s absent of anything close to the Whistle Song, but that’s not a bad thing. My favorite song on the album is “What I Want”
A very agreeable beat (almost sounds like a throwback Aliyah). The lyrics are great, rich with those aforementioned paranoid delusions. I think perhaps the most compelling part is the detachment from reality. I find it both amusing and fascinating that Juelz thinks the brevity of his phone conversations could potentially detour/evade anyone who may be listening to his phone conversation. Also that any women he may be courting would have the where with all or technological savvy to install a bug on his phone. Most of the album follows suite, lots of paranoia a couple songs about smoking weed and a couple murdering songs for good measure. There’s surprisingly few fillers here as you can almost listen to the album from start to finish with very few skips.