Better Than B.S.

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Archive for May, 2007

The Party Post

Posted by drmilktrain on May 25, 2007

As I’m sure most of our readerbase is well aware of, or anyone that took a moment to peep Elijah’s dedication, good friend Noah Waterman is leaving for the Freshcoast and shall never be seen as regularly as liked. And I can’t be mad at a brother, he’s gotta do what he’s gotta do, so instead I’ll give him my best blessings, with 100 party jams to get busy with now that he’s moved to the left, to the left.

Thr tricky part, since Noah always provided the party ‘pod, was to craft a list of songs I don’t think he has, or the very least hasn’t considered for a party yet. Unforch for all you bay-heads out there, this rules out a large chunk of hyphy and West Coast in general. But it’s about time. Anyway, the songs are available in their sets of five. Download what you like and bitch about what you don’t.

So here we go. This one’s for you, bro. A BTB5 mega post for everyone’s favorite party starter: Noah Waterman.

5 Old School Misogony Jams

  1. N.W.A.-“A Bitch Iz A Bitch”
  2. Stingee-“Take Dem Panties Off”
  3. II Nazty-“Pussy Whipped”
  4. MC Brains-“Oochie Coochie”
  5. 2 Live Crew-“If You Believe in Having Sex”

5 Bad Boy Party Jams

  1. Notorious B.I.G. feat. 112-“Sky’s the Limit”
  2. Craig Mack feat. Notorious B.I.G., Puff Daddy, LL Cool J, Rampage & Busta Rhymes-“Flava in Ya Ear (Remix)”
  3. Black Rob-“Whoa”
  4. Harlem World feat. Ma$e & Kelly Price-“I Really Like It”
  5. G-Dep feat. Ghostface Killah, Keith Murray, Craig Mack and Puff Daddy-“Special Delivery (Remix)”

5 R-O-C Party Jams

  1. Clinton Sparks feat. Memphis Bleek, Beanie Siegel & Joe Budden-“Roc Cafe”
  2. Cam’ron feat. Ludacris, Juelz Santana, UGK & Trina-“What Means the World”
  3. Freeway-“Where You Been”
  4. Memphis Bleek feat. M.O.P.-“First, Last, Only”
  5. Young Gunz-“Friday Night”

5 Native Tongues Can Throw a Party Like Your Favorite Rapper Jams

  1. Black Sheep-“B-Boy’s Theme”
  2. A Tribe Called Quest feat. Erykah Badu-“ICU (Doin’ It)”
  3. The Beatnuts feat. Method Man-“Se Acabo (remix)”
  4. Brand Nubian-“Brand Nubian”
  5. De La Soul feat. Busta Rhymes-“I C Y’all”

5 Other Coast Rappers Trying To Sound West Jams

  1. Method Man feat. Redman & Snoop Dogg-“We Some Doggs”
  2. Jay-Z feat. Dr. Dre-“Watch Me”
  3. Ludacris feat. DJ Quik-“Spur of the Moment (remix)”
  4. Fabolous feat. Nate Dogg-“You Can’t Deny It”
  5. Jadakiss feat. Snoop Dogg & DJ Quik-“Shine”

5 Ladies Turn Jams

  1. Lil Mama-“Lipgloss”
  2. Missy Eliot feat. Ciara & Fatman Scoop-“Lose Control”
  3. Lauryn Hill-“Doo Wop (That Thing)”
  4. Will.I.Am. feat. MC Lyte & Fergie-“Mash Out”
  5. Platinum Pied Pipers feat. Invincible-“Detroit Winter”

5 British Jams

  1. Lethal Bizzle feat. Fire Camp-“No!”
  2. Kano-“Remember Me”
  3. Low Deep feat. Kano & Doctor Ghetto-“Get Set”
  4. Wiley-“Reasons”
  5. Dizzee Rascal feat. Marga Man-“Girls”

5 Midwest Jams

  1. Bone Thugs-N-Harmony-“Thuggish Ruggish Bone”
  2. Nelly feat. Murphy Lee, Freeway & Beanie Siegel-“Rock the Mic (Remix)”
  3. Lupe Fiasco-“Tilted”
  4. Hi-Tek feat. Talib Kweli, Slim Thug & Snoop Dogg-“The Nati Streets”
  5. Slum Village feat. MC Breed-“Do You”

5 Tennesse Jams

  1. 8Ball & MJG-“Ridin’ High”
  2. Crunchy Black feat. T-Rock-“Don’t Trust ‘Em”
  3. Project Pat-“Good Googly Moogly”
  4. Three 6 Mafia feat. Trick Daddy, Slim Thug & Project Pat-“Stay Fly (Still Fly Remix)”
  5. Young Buck-“Shorty Wanna Ride”

5 Florida-Squeezed Jams

  1. DJ Khaled feat. Lil Wayne, Paul Wall, Fat Joe, Rick Ross & Pitbull-“Holla At Me Baby”
  2. Dre feat. Keiysha Cole-“Be Somebody”
  3. Trick Daddy feat. Slip-N-Slide Allstars & Trina-“Take It To The House”
  4. Rick Ross feat. Dre-“Blow”
  5. Will Smith-“Miami”

5 Timbaland (Produced Only, Don’t Worry!) Jams

  1. Cee-Lo feat. Timbaland-“I’ll Be Around”
  2. Petey Pablo feat. Bubba Sparxxx-“Get On Dis Motorcycle”
  3. The Game-“Put You On The Game”
  4. Ludacris feat. Timbaland-“Phat Rabbit”
  5. Jay-Z feat. Sean Paul-“What They Gonna Do”

5 A-Town Jams

  1. Lil Jon feat. Bun B, Jadakiss, T.I., Nas and Ice Cube-“Grand Finale”
  2. Ying Yang Twins feat. Trick Daddy-“What’s Happenin!”
  3. Dungeon Family-“Crooked Booty”
  4. TLC feat. Lil Jon and Sean Paul of the Youngbloodz-“Whatcha Gon Do?”
  5. Yung Wun feat. DMX, David Banner & Lil Flip-“Tear It Up”

5 Lone Star Jams

  1. Devin The Dude feat. KB-“Party”
  2. Trae feat. Three 6 Mafia & Paul Wall-“Cadillac”
  3. Z-Ro feat. Devin the Dude & Juvenile-“The Mule”
  4. Slim Thug feat. Bun B & T.I.-“Three Kings”
  5. UGK feat. T.I.-“Hit the Block”

5 Philly Jams

  1. The Roots feat. Dice Raw & Malik B-“Here I Come”
  2. Will Smith-“Wild, Wild West”
  3. Freeway feat. Peedi Crakk-“Flipside”
  4. Cassidy feat. Swizz Beatz-“Get ‘Em”
  5. DJ Jazzy Jeff feat. Chef-“Shake It Off”

5 Slightly Older Than The Next List West Coast Jams

  1. Kokane-“Bakin’ Soda Free”
  2. Black Eyed Peas-“Tell Your Mama Come”
  3. Cali Agents-“Take It Back Home”
  4. Dr. Dre feat. George Clinton & Snoop Dogg-“Let Me Ride (Remix)
  5. Warren G-“This Is The Shack”

5 Slightly Newer Than The Previous List West Coast Jams

  1. Tha Dogg Pound feat. Snoop Dogg-“Cali Iz Active”
  2. Blackalicious feat. Gil Scott-Heron-“First In Flight”
  3. Snoop Dogg feat. Jamie Foxx-“Psst!”
  4. DJ Shadow feat. Keak da Sneak & Turf Talk-“3 Freaks”
  5. Suga Free feat. Blaqthoven-“Person 2 Person”

5 Remixed R&B Jams

  1. Janet Jackson feat. Jermaine Dupri-“Someone to Call My Lover (Remix)”
  2. Missy Elliot feat. Nas, Lil Mo, Eve & Q-Tip-“Hot Boyz (Remix)”
  3. R. Kelly feat. Sean Paul & Akon-“Slow Wind (Remix)”
  4. Wayne Wonder feat. Elephant Man & Bounty Killah-“Got Somebody (Remix)”
  5. Michael Jackson feat. Eve-“Butterflies (Remix)”

5 Instrumental Dance Jams

  1. RJD2-“Iced Lightning”
  2. Cut Chemist-“A Peak In Time”
  3. Mark Ronson feat. The Daptone Horns-“God Put A Smile Upon Your Face”
  4. Praful-“Moon Glide”
  5. Gary Wilson-“She Makes Me Think of Endicott”

5 Petro-Approved Party Jams

  1. T.I. feat. Young Jeezy, Young Dro, Big Kuntry & B.G.-“Top Back (Remix)
  2. Cypress Hill feat. Redman & Method Man-“Red, Meth & B”
  3. Ying Yang Twins feat. Wyclef Jean-“Dangerous”
  4. R. Kelly feat. T.I. & T-Pain-“Ima Flirt (Remix)”
  5. Redman feat. Ghostface, Ludacris & Icarus-“Future Thug”

5 Party-Closing Jams

  1. Sa-Ra-“Bitch”
  2. Lil Kim feat. Lil Cease & Notorious B.I.G.-“Crush On You”
  3. T-Pain feat. Trick Daddy & Youngbloodz-“I’m Sprung (Remix)”
  4. Terror Squad-“Take Me Home”
  5. Will.I.Am-“Tell of Tales (Tell Me When You Need It Again)”

Party on, playboy. Party on.


Posted in btb5, east, jamaica, midwest, south, uk, west | 9 Comments »

Play Ya Like the Government and Give Ya What I Think Ya Want

Posted by Elijah on May 24, 2007

Jungle Brothers – “Jungle Brother (True Blue)”

Jungle Brothers – “Black Man On Track”

Jungle Brothers – “Brain” featuring Black Thought

Jungle Brothers – “How Ya Want It We Got It (Native Tonuges remix)” featuring Q-Tip & De La Soul
Raw Deluxe, 1996

So awhile back I threatened ya’ll with the possibility of a look at one of the J. Beez underappreciated later records (and the last one to not deserve underappreciation) and so here we are at 1997’s Raw Deluxe. This was their last record as a trio, and came out at the tail end of the mid 90’s attempt at a Native Tongues renaissance, which saw a more subdued and less fun sound come to the crew. Overall, it really didn’t succeed. Ah well.

The thing about Raw Deluxe is that, while it isn’t quite as much of an obvious departure from the classic Jungle Brothers sound as, say, 1993’s bugged out J. Beez Wit the Remedy (I’m still heavy on the prowl for those original Crazy Wisdom Masters versions, by the way) in a way the ’97 record is even more divergent because it’s really a pretty standard rap album. Although that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. To their credit, Mike G and Baby Bam still hadn’t quite taken on the grumpiness of De La’s Stakes Is High at this point, nor the… I dunno, whatever it was about Beats, Rhymes and Life that everyone didn’t like. (I enjoyed both those records, so sue me.) As I’m writing this I’m finding it hard to pinpoint what it is that I really do like about this album–I mean, it doesn’t have the creativity of their earlier shit, and it is darker than what we normally want from the J. Beez… but as I look over the tracklisting I just don’t see a weak point. I genuinely enjoy every song, and that’s something, ain’t it?

“Jungle Brother (True Blue)” pretty much gained a second life for the crew in its many, many remixed-for-techno-clubs forms, getting them huge in the kind of crowds that I honestly couldn’t care less about. (Not that this was anything new for them.) The album ends with the Stereo MC’s mix, and I believe the real famous one was the Aphrodite mix, (which was apparently on the soundtrack to some shitty Marlon Wayans vehicle) but it’s not my area of expertise (what up, Peet, help me out here!) so I could be wrong. For my money the original version is by far the strongest. What do you want from me, I’m a rap fan after all. Besides, it uses that “children grow and women produce etc etc” sample that we I love. The many remixes would go on to, I’m pretty sure, shoulder the blame for the J. Beez next couple albums, where they courted that particular fanbase way too damn much. But who knows, maybe it was the departure of the DJ, Sammy B, that made them 75% leave behind hip-hop. (We can hope that Mike G’s appearance on one of Nas’ excellent “Where Are They Now” remixes will do something good.)

“Black Man On Track” is, I think, a good example of the overall sound of the record. Kinda fun and catchy, but kinda dark and East Coast-ish at the same time. Some good horn samples (the record is full of those) and a certain undercurrent of frustration–quite likely due to not really having had a hit in the rap game since ’89. Hmm, maybe I can’t blame them for turning to the electronica-or-whatever club crowd, at least someone was feeling it. “Brain” is probably the album’s most mellow moment, it’s listed as “produced by The Roots” although I’m not entirely sure if that just means ?uestlove or what. It’s got Thought on the hook though… um, singing, but that’s ok, I guess. I’m pretty sure any regular reader is already clear on the fact that Elijah loves him some chill shit, so of course I like this one.

And then we come to, by far, my favorite moment amongst these twelve tracks. The little Native Tongues reunion may have ended up going nowhere, but at least we essentially got a “Doin’ Our Own Dang” part two out of it, so that’s something. I love this track. I seriously do. Roc Raida came through and brought a gritty-as-fuck beat, and somehow a bunch of guys who last rhymed together dancing around wearing neon colors fucking rocked that shit.

So yeah, Raw Deluxe is not Straight Out the Jungle, nor is it Done By the Forces of Nature, but it really is a solid record worth giving a real listen to. (Plus you can buy that shit for, like, three bucks now.) It’s a darker sound, sure, but the fact is that the J. Beez can put together some great rap music when rap music is what they’re trying to make. Here’s hoping we can get them back someday. But, of course, I’m an unabashed Native Tongues stan, so what do I know?

Posted in east | Leave a Comment »

Noah In the City of Angels

Posted by Elijah on May 19, 2007

Makaveli (or 2Pac if you prefer) – “To Live & Die In L.A.”
The Don Killuminati (The Seven Day Theory), 1996

Tha Dogg Pound – “Big Pimpin'” featuring Nate Dogg, Snoop Dogg & Big Pimpin’
Above the Rim: The Soundtrack, 1994

DJ Quik – “Inside Out” featuring Suga Free & AMG

Elijah is on some personal shit today. You see, in about two weeks the gleaming, smog-enveloped streets of Los Angeles are set to claim my best friend of 20 years (and for the record, I’m only 23). Noah and I grew up together on the northern side of the Golden State, and then somehow both found ourselves in New York City, but the acting world calls and so my boy is going (going) back (back) to Cali (Cali). He is not only moving to the land of silicone titties and broken dreams, but also to the ground where much of the best rap music originated–so he needs a proper, BTBS send off.

I opted, for this little dedication, to not even try collecting the best or most important pieces of L.A.’s many, many contributions to hip-hop because, well, you’ve all heard that shit, and it would be a hard fucking decision. So instead I’m goin’ with a few of my own favorites; two of these are lesser known, and all double as pitch-perfect summer songs real easy. Most importantly, however, is that I went with tracks that I can fucking picture Noah gettin’ on down to.

Ignore the Dr. Dre diss at the end of “To Live & Die In L.A.” and you’ve pretty much got exactly the Los Angeles anthem that ‘Pac was clearly trying to make. One of the few more serene moments on an otherwise compellingly dark and disturbing record, he manages to channel the breezy feel of the City of Angels while still speaking on more than just low-riders and weed. “We’ll burn this bitch down, get us pissed.”

Death Row’s soundtrack album to “Above the Rim” is overall an incredible time capsule of mid 90’s L.A. rap and R&B, and I recommend getting your hands on the whole thing if you can. By far, though, the highlight is Tha Dogg Pound’s “Big Pimpin'”–you may remember part 2 from Dogg Food, but this one is that shit. Blah, blah, blah, rap and misogyny, yadda yadda. Whatever, this is the most relaxed, fun song in the world. Marvel at Nate Dogg at the height of his wonderfulness, and then prepare yourself for the best spoken-word pimp wisdom that you have ever heard!

I got “Inside Out” off of So Many Shrimp about a year ago, and I still don’t know where or when it’s from. What I do know, is that it’s just about the most perfect shit for dancing to or just chilling in a lawn chair with a beer. Really, it was summed up best by David on the Shrimp: “‘Inside Out’ with the underrated Suga Free and almost-as-underrated AMG, driving bass-heavy handclap pimp funk with this great sing-song hook that sounds like some 80s pop song, like the chorus to a Police track or something.” Yup. (P.S. DJ Quik & AMG are comin’ out soon with a record as The Fixxers, that shit’ll be fire!)

So, Noah, this one’s for you. Whenever you throw parties in your new home on the edge of Compton I hope to God you play at least one of these tracks. Stay in touch, you motherfucker, and never stop screaming “Oakland”.

Posted in west | 3 Comments »

A Little Less West and A Little More…West?

Posted by drmilktrain on May 16, 2007

Word on the street, or, says that Kanye West’s next album, Graduation, is coming out sometime in September. As usual, Kanye’ been rather tight-lipped about the guest spots I actually care about (i.e. the good rappers that will probably kill their spot), yet he still assures me that he’s working with Jon Brion and has Chris Martin on “Homecoming,” which will probably be the first single. How…done before.
In my search for anything of interest about the album, I came across the full version of “Can’t Tell Me Nothing,” a track where West shares production with DJ Toomp. This alone made me curious enough to want to take a closer look.


To be fair, the track sounds much more like College Dropout than it does Late Registration, which, for the moment, silences my worries that this album was going to try and out-grand his last effort. But several things about this track bother me. I don’t really need those Jeezy adlibs throughout, the threat of a Jeezy verse just around the corner is not the kind of four minute anxiety attack I really need. The production is…not really the finest either. You can most certainly here Toomp’s influence all over the track. However, with all the “emotion” and “soul” that Brion and West respectively program overtop of the track really water it down. Additionally, it should be noted Toomp really only makes two kinds of tracks-angry or loud, sometimes both, always really fucking good. Oh, and this. I’m not really feeling this marriage of styles. The only reason it doesn’t bother me more is that plenty of leaked tracks got flipped and changed up before Late Registration. My two largest gripes with the song I blame squarely on Mr. West. The hook is bad, rivaling that one from “Hey Mama” for worst ‘Ye hook. Second, I’m tired of the modestly superstar, humbly corrupted, wonderfully flawed schtick that Kanye’s been working since he started wrapping. It made a good point on “Breathe In, Breathe Out,” but now he’s effectively managed to make it a part of his emcee character to the point that he can utilize it and still say nothing on a track. Think Blackout! but for just this song.

What Kanye needs to do is a take a page out of another Mr. West who has an album coming out soon: Cornel West. Never Forget: A Journey In Revelations, is scheduled to be released June 19th. Now, I recognize this album will be far from perfect, and probably too preachy for me to really enjoy that much save for a few cuts (no disrespect to his writing though, West is a genius). However, Cornel has the right formula. Get some ill like minded MCs to come in and make an album you really believe in. I’m sure “Mr. President” featuring KRS-One and M-1 is going to pure fire. I’m certain Killer Mike is going to destroy his guest spot. The joint with Prince, which you can stream here (click “Dear, Mr. Man”) is pretty nice. And I most certainly ain’t gonna be mad at the line-up: Rhymefest, Kweli, Black Thought, Rah Digga and Tavis Smiley. I’m also extremely curious to see how the deja-vuish “Chronometrophobia” featuring Andre3000 sounds.

Ideally, these two albums could merge into one super “power to the people” album. Kanye handling the “black people are imperfect” part, Cornel handling the “white people are imperfect” part until everyone (somehow) feels good.

Just a thought.

Posted in midwest | 5 Comments »

What’s That BHS Without the High?

Posted by Elijah on May 10, 2007

Mod Squad – “Stroll”

Mod Squad – “B-Town Theme”
People’s Park, 1992

I’m not sure how well received my retrospective on the works of Richie Rich was, but one way or another I’m going to go in a very different direction with my Bay coverage today.

It’s a real pity that I didn’t discover a fun little rap group from my own hometown until I’d moved across the country and saw them on another blog. When scanning a list of obscure albums that I’d never get to listen to on Bust the Facts (because that’s what I usually do there) I came across a colorful cover that caught my eye just long enough for me to realize that the album was named after a rather famous park in the land of my birth, and so I had to download it. Awhile later I bought the actual CD for a cent on Amazon in hopes of finding out something, anything, about the group. All I discovered was that one’s a white boy, and their names are Sam and Julian; though I have no idea which is which, nor which is the rapper. Needless to say, if anyone knows anything about these fools, speak up in the comments.

You can kind of guess this from the cover, but People’s Park is in that psychadelic, hippie-ish vein that some hip-hop was going through in the early 90’s. Think Arrested Development, P.M. Dawn, short dreads, neon clothing, and circular tinted glasses and you’re there. Thing is, there’s not really any place I can think of where such a sound would more naturally originate than Berkeley, California. See, Berkeley’s kind of like Oakland’s burnt-out-hippie little brother; a strange, almost too eclectic, and almost too leftist college town. I’ll stop here, ’cause really you’ll have a pretty good feel for Berkeley soon enough.

“Stroll” is the kind of thing you’d expect from such a group. It’s a chill, surreal kind of a song–very good when it’s what you’re in the mood for. If you’re walking down the street on a sunny day it feels great in your headphones, but it doesn’t exactly fit every occasion. Our rapper (Sam/Julian?) comes across kinda like Speech rapping in a sometimes-Brotha J voice, not that I’d quite put him on the level of either. This shit is definitely all about the vibe–just pretend it’s the early 90’s again.

“B-Town Anthem” essentially sums up the Berkeley that I grew up in. I first heard this song about a year ago, yet upon hearing it I was immediately struck with a fucking wave of nostalgia for my childhood. It is dead on. Even though the rapper’s teen years were clearly a good deal before mine, his reminiscences describe my high school days shockingly well–and I wasn’t even one of the fools smoking up in the park. Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but I think he perfectly pinpoints the feel of living in a place that, despite its cosmopolitan atmosphere, is still really a small town where there isn’t that much to do–especially for teenagers stuck in a city geared towards college students. So yeah, much as I love all that mobb and d-boy shit that I grew up hearing, fact is that this song is what the Bay really was for me.

A fun album if you’re into this sort of thing, Mod Squad capture a specific time and place almost frighteningly well… and that time and place being especially close to my heart doesn’t hurt. Besides, far as I know the only other rap group to come out of my high school is The Pack (who I also like, despite the opinions of my fellow Better Than Butt Sex bloggers) and we need our hometown pride too.

Posted in bay, west | 4 Comments »

Butter Than Butt Five Week 4!

Posted by drmilktrain on May 7, 2007

Since, I’ve had quite a few songs that I’ve wanted to comment on/share, it really seems only right that I turn it into what is an already horribly delayed week 4 list. So here we go:

Better Than Butt Five Week 4: Songs I Would’ve Made Seperate Posts on Anyway Edition

1) 50 Cent-“Amusement Park
So, 50 makes it big with “In Da Club.” Not surprisingly, his follow-up album’s first single, “Disco Inferno,” is laughably bad like the Billy Baldwin this song was. However, he strikes big again with “Candy Shop,” and here we are an album later with a song that lets us remember just how magical a year in rap 2005. However, I won’t call this rehash, as, somehow, this song is both better and worse than “Candy Shop.” Of all my “Candy Shop” related gripes, the largest one was that the song, save for the first two seconds, didn’t remind me of a candy shop at all. At least this single manages to conjure up images of Curtis riding the merry-go-round (I’d assume some bullish, dull-witted animal like the Tony Yayo) while dropping gems like “I smile when I speak, but I’m being sincere/ And your pass is valid all summer my dear.” I can already tell this is going to be the best summer of my life.

2) R. Kelly-“Rise Up
Good move, Robert. Let’s face facts: playing “I Believe I Can Fly” at graduations is about as cliched as that Vitamin C song these days, so why not update it and make it a little more topical? Corny as it may be, “Rise Up” is probably the best thing I’ve heard from the hip-hop community in response to the Virgina Tech incident…which means it beats out that Jin freestyle. Now, don’t get me wrong, Nazty Fresh loves him some of that real raunchy Kels, but it’s refreshing to be able to listen to an R. Kelly song every once and a while that I know I could enjoy with my moms.

3) R. Prophet-“Run Tell the DJ
A little while back, Eli and myself got drunk and did what we do drunkenly best-talk about rap. Now, somewhere along the way, we got on the subject of this obscure joint, and I promised a posting of it. Recorded sometime after Wooden Leather, I believe this track was supposed to be the first single off the solo R. Prophet album. Rewind: For those of you not sure, R. Prophet was that funny sounding MC from Nappy Roots. You know, the one not actually from Mississippi. I think he’s from…Oakland, maybe? I don’t know, one of those places without much of a rap scene. Anyway, this track really should’ve been fire. With Mannie Fresh on the boards and Prophet doing a much nimbler Juvenile, I really should not have been disappointed like this. Alas.

4) Common-“The People ft. Dwele
A few weeks back Kanye mentioned how his production style for Finding Forever, an album dedicated to Dilla, was going to actually emulate, or the very least try, the chopped up soul style he was best known for. Well, if this track is anything like the rest of the album, my hat’s off to ‘Ye for doing a pretty damn good job. The drums, while not as sloppy, smack like a Dilla track, as does the frantic yet reliably repetitive horn and soul singing. Not to mention that beat’s good too. Now as long as Common doesn’t rhyme like he’s on an album produced by Dilla, than we’ll be good.

5)DJ Jazzy Jeff-“She Was So Fly ft. Kardinal Offishall
Now here are two brothers that really don’t get the shine they deserve. I could’ve picked any track off The Return of the Magnificent, but I’m really feeling this one at the moment. Listen and love.

Posted in btb5, east, midwest, south | 1 Comment »

All Night, I Think Of You

Posted by Elijah on May 6, 2007

In the bigger version of this picture you can see Simon, Noah, and what I think is the right eye of your elusive author.

Due to internet issues my own output on this wonderful space will be a bit limited for awhile, but I’mma do my best.

Anyway, the following is a public service announcement:

If you live in NYC, and you’re over 21 (sorry, my fellow Better Than Butt Sex-ers) you need to go to The Rub. No, seriously, you do. The first Saturday of every month, at Southpaw in Brooklyn, is the best party I’ve experienced in the five boroughs. And that’s coming from a man who’s been to some crazy shindigs in Brooklyn warehouses with shit like torch juggling, stilt-walkers, illicit substances, and people fucking underneath paper-mache demon heads.

The Rub is, technically, just a club night. DJs, drinks, music, dancing, but it’s just the best damn thing ever, and I make it a point to go every month. Let me put it this way, when I walked in last month they were playing X-Clan’s “Funkin’ Lesson” and people were real into it. During a dancehall set later on they teased us with the first few bars of Sister Nancy’s “Bam Bam” about five times before finally playing that shit and driving everyone nuts. Last night there was “Ante Up”, “P.S.K. What Does It Mean?”, “White Gurl”, “Soul Clap”, and motherfuckin’ “My Boo”!! That’s just the smallest sampling of what I can remember off the top of my head, and not even getting into funk and 80’s shit that they played. They also aren’t too elitist to mix in some of the big current club hits either. Also last night, Stretch Armstrong came through, and yes the man crowd-surfing in the above picture is in a banana costume.

What’s really great though is that it always attracts an eclectic crowd that can really appreciate the varied musical selection… plus the girls are fine as hell. Up on the official website there’s also a bunch of mp3s and a link to The Rub radio, which I haven’t listened to yet, but I’m sure it’s some fuckin’ quality. So if you can, whoever you are, you should come through. Always. How can this not look like a good time?

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Go Ninja, Go Ninja, Go

Posted by Elijah on May 3, 2007

The Smoking Section has a great little article up today on why Vanilla Ice is more hip-hop than you. The list of reasons is pretty brilliant stuff, and I just wanted to give it some shine.

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A World Gone Mad

Posted by Elijah on May 2, 2007 has a very nice little rundown of news concerning older rappers making comebacks. The Rob Base and Fu-Schnickens thing is pretty funny (I haven’t decided yet if it’s good or bad) but can we please ruminate on something here?

X-Clan and Insane Clown Posse touring together.

X-Clan and Insane Clown Posse are touring together!!

What the fuck? Why is one of hip-hop’s most militantly afrocentric crews touring with that aggro white boy bullshit? I’m all for racial unity, but Insane Clown Posse? Really? And that’s not even getting into the talent gap between them… I mean, I’ll admit I didn’t hear the new X-Clan record, but that first single gave the impression that Brother J’s still got it. I just don’t understand.

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Busta Phree… (Richie Rich Part 2)

Posted by Elijah on May 1, 2007

Richie Rich – “Half Thang”

Richie Rich – “Busta Phree”
Half Thang, 1996

Richie Rich – “It’s On” featuring E-40

Richie Rich – “Check ‘Em”

Richie Rich – “Do G’s Get To Go To Heaven?”
Seasoned Veteran, 1996

When we last left our hero he was in lock-up and his old crew 415 had gone on without him… today we pick up with his release in the mid 90’s.

Richie Rich came back real hard in ’96, with Half Thang, which was followed almost immediately by Seasoned Veteran. Any fears that he wouldn’t be able to fit in with the changes that had come to the game in those intervening years were put to rest pretty much immediately. I’d say he sounded even more comfortable over mid 90’s style g-funk beats than over the old 415 shit.

On Half Thang‘s title track he explains what got him sent to prison in the first place. Then on “Busta Phree” he goes on to take a shot at his former 415 crewmates. Damn, I could listen to that voice over slow-rolling funk for hours–what else needs saying?

Seasoned Veteran is probably Richie’s best, it’s got the big guest shots (2Pac, E-40), pitch-perfect production for Double-R, and loads of charisma. This record sounds like 90’s Oakland, straight up. “It’s On” and “Check ‘Em” are just two of the best examples of what I’m talking about; Rich’s cold menace is in full effect. “Do G’s Get To Go To Heaven?” might get a bit corny, but at the same time I find the whole part about seeing a man die incredibly poignant. Rap gangstas are usually the ones killing, it’s interesting to see the bystander’s take.

So there you have the incredible influence of a Bay legend summed up in a rather large nutshell. Richie Rich is a man who goes under appreciated most of the time, so hopefully this will get at least one person to take notice of him. And I mean damn, look at the number of songs you got, don’t say I never did nothin’ for you.

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