Monthly Archives: March 2015

RAP JOURNEY #24 – FROM MISTAH FAB TO THE WHISPERS

I’m embarrassed, but not too afraid, to admit that I had little knowledge of The Jacka before his untimely passing last month.  Before February 2 he was just a name that I vaguely recalled being featured on a smattering of E-40 songs, but in the wave of tributes and conversation about Jacka’s contribution to Bay Area rap and music in general, I’ve had the opportunity to explore his catalog more deeply and begin to gain a true appreciation for his unique style and powerful messages.  It feels in poor taste to pay tribute to someone that you didn’t have a proper appreciation for while they were alive, so I won’t be that presumptuous here.  I’ll leave that to those more qualified.  I feel the best tribute to Jacka I can make is to be more thorough in educating myself about the lesser known artists I’m exposed to so I don’t make the same mistake I did with his music.  What better way to start than another name that I only vaguely recall from a smattering of E-40 songs?

Joe Blow – Million Dollar Dream (feat. Mistah F.A.B.)

I remembered Joe Blow from this mini Jacka tribute on Tumblin’ Erb, and Mistah F.A.B. was a name that I’d seen inside the parentheses of tracks like “In This Thang Breh” for the past few years, and I also remembered Jacka mentioning him in this interview as an example of the diversity of Bay Area rappers, so I made the extra effort of deliberately listening to this song I normally might have let slip past my attention.  My efforts were rewarded before I heard a syllable from either rapper.

Lil’ B – Silent President

Speaking of the diversity of Bay Area rappers.  If I spent the time to track down every sample in a Lil’ B song I liked, I wouldn’t have time to listen to Lil’ B anymore, so they usually remain obscure to me until moments like these when I’m given the occasion to chase down a particular one.  I’m so glad I did.

The Whispers – In the Mood

Bonus Beats

14KT – Step N2 the Shower

RIP Jacka

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ONE TIME

The first time I watched this video I missed the YouTube/Kia logo splash at the beginning and thought “Wow this is the first big-budget rap video I’ve seen in a long time with no shred of product placement from start to finish!”  Then I rewatched it to make sure I didn’t miss anything, and of course I did.  I don’t really have a problem with the commerciality of pop rap but wouldn’t it be cool if that became a status symbol among rappers, like “I don’t need a check from Beats by Dre to make my video lavish.”

Migos – One Time

Also, I wish they’d done that thing they do with Takeoff’s mouth and hands more, it’s real unsettling but also very appropriate.

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I THINK 56 NIGHTS CRAZY

Think of it like 10-Day except instead of Jones College Prep High School it’s the Dubai government.

Future – 56 Nights

Full mixtape here.

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YOU DON’T REALLY WANNA LET THE CHANCE GO BY

If copyright law was more conceptual, Pharrell and Robin Thicke would owe way more to JT & Timbaland than dead Marvin Gaye.

Robin Thicke – Blurred Lines (feat. Pharrell & T.I.)

Justin Timberlake – My Love (feat. Timbaland & T.I.)

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DAY 3

Dr. Yen Lo – Day 3

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I MIGHT AS WELL DID IT

Listen to Starlito during hard times.

Starlito – You Can’t Fail Until You Quit

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TONY MONTANA? MORE LIKE BRAXTON

Nice to hear somebody besides Tree rapping over samples with some intensity.

Bad Lucc – Get ‘Em (feat. Problem & Jay Rock)

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NO WAR NO RIFLE

Flatbush ZOMBiES – Redeye to Paris

Alice Coltrane – Wisdom Eye

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EWW OOH EWW

I don’t know how it didn’t dawn on me until I read the newest Martorialist post today that this might be the perfect microcosmic example of both the similarities and differences between Thug and Quan.

Young Thug – Eww, Eww, Eww

Rich Homie Quan – Flex (Ooh, Ooh, Ooh)

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YO DRE, I GOT SOMETHIN’ TO SAY

Simon hit me with this yesterday.

Straight Outta Compton (official trailer)

It’s silly to judge a film based on the trailer, so I won’t.  I’ll just say that I’m worried that the writing crew for the film, at least 4 out of 5 of whom are white (is Jonathan Herman white?), may have felt the need to play up the political aspect of NWA’s music to make the group and their music more palatable and respectable to white audiences.  Sure, there seems to be some (pretty tame) “grittiness” in the preview, but it definitely leans hard on the whole social justice/political commentary stuff toward the end, and I really feel it would be a disservice to make that the “point” of the movie when those things were quite frequently not the main focus of the music.  I just can’t help but wonder if Alan Wenkus has ever heard “Nutz On Ya Chin“.

Eazy-E – Nutz On Ya Chin

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