Category Archives: BARE MINIMUM

BARE MINIMUM PART ELEVEN – SOMETHIN’ BOUT THIS NIGGA GOT ME FEELIN’ IFFY

Jumpin’ on the Peezy bandwagon with this one with the excuse that it (almost) fits into this series.  Sure it’s got a couple bass notes here n there but there aren’t many songs with more exposed vocals than this, and it proves Peezy’s no flash in the pan.

OMB Peezy – Rookie

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BARE MINIMUM PART TEN – HEADS NODDIN’, YO WE GOT ‘EM

Reachin’ the double digits in this series with another banger from the Bay.

Cousin Fik – Perkin’ (feat. ST Spittin’, Kool John, & Flip)

I don’t think anybody in the world is having more fun than dudes in Bay Area rap videos.

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BARE MINIMUM PART NINE – MANTRONIX SOUL SONIC LIKE A LION’S ROAR

Don’t ask me why an energy drink company is putting out much more serious rap journalism than people who are supposedly in the journalism business, but they are, and as I was reading this Kurtis Mantronik interview on Red Bull Music Academy Daily I was very pleased to find a very worthy entry into this series.

Mantronix w/MC Tee – Fresh is the Word (12″ version)

Check the full interview if you don’t know their history, it’ll convince you even more that hip-hop’s roots lie in Jamaica as much as the Bronx (this Luke interview, also on RBMA, has even more evidence and BARE MINIMUM bangers), and it might even convince you that Mantronix laid the foundation for trap music.

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BARE MINIMUM PART EIGHT – THE DEFINITION OF BAD

Thanks to The Martorialist’s hyper-vigilant coverage of Nef the Pharaoh (and his lil’ homies), I’m beginning to appreciate one of Vallejo’s newest and most exciting young talents. I started at the beginning with his 2010 #iamNEF mixtape (that Datpiff claims was released in 2013 but evidence to the contrary abounds in the music itself) and was pleased to find it much more worth my effort than digging through Bloody Jay’s back catalog (which provided some interesting rap precedents but not a lot of enjoyable music).  Not only was the overall quality very high but I got two excellent additions to this recently very active series.

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Nef the Pharaoh – Def of B.A.D.

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Nef the Pharaoh – Freestyle

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BARE MINIMUM PART SEVEN – I AIN’T GON’ FORGET MY WORDS

I know I threw y’all for a loop on the last BARE MINIMUM what with the convergence of two different series’ in a single Audio Two song+video, so this one should be a little more straightforward. If you’ve been keepin’ up with this series so far, “IHOP” will hearken back to PART FIVE except Gates isn’t known for this kind of stripped-down delivery like the Don is, which makes it even more notable.  There’s an immediacy that single-take rap songs have that cannot be denied, and there aren’t many rappers around that would attempt one, much less pull it off as masterfully as Kevin does here.

Kevin Gates – IHOP (True Story)

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BARE MINIMUM / WATCH WHAT I SAY #6 – AUDIO TWO

This song/video coincidentally marks the sixth post in both the BARE MINIMUM and the WATCH WHAT I SAY series that I’ve been working on.  It is an historic day.

Audio Two – Top Billin’

BARE MINIMUM purists might take issue with the subtle background sound effect throughout the song that gets slightly amplified after the last verse ends around 2:54, but this sound is 1) so low in the mix I didn’t even hear it until I listened on headphones, 2) strongly rhythmic in nature, so could be considered a form of percussion, and 3) sounds like it could be a strangely processed vocal sample, which I think is still allowable in a series that only permits percussion and voice.  For the WATCH WHAT I SAY followers, this video is a sweet little missing link between “Subterranean Homesick Blues” (which has frustratingly been removed from YouTube…) and the various modern manifestations featured in the series.  I could also make a RAP JOURNEY from all the songs that have sampled, quoted, reinterpreted, and remixed snippets of this classic but it might break the Internet, so I’ll leave that for your own exploration.

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BARE MINIMUM PART FIVE – YOU KEEP ASKIN’ ME

I’ve posted almost everything this man has ever made for one reason or another, but it would be wrong to leave him out of this series.

Alpoko Don – Married to the Game

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BARE MINIMUM PART FOUR – STICK TO THE PROMISE

This raw percussion + vocals format is far from unique to rap music, as Nina powerfully evidences here.

Nina Simone – Be My Husband

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BARE MINIMUM PART THREE – I’M YO PUSHA

Clipse – Grindin’

I remember memorizing the surprisingly complex snap-CLAP sequence (try it while dancing and rapping every word for full effect) from this beat for those crucial dance floor moments back when this song first came out.  Another great example.

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BARE MINIMUM PART TWO – WHAT THE HELL DOES THAT MEAN?

Here’s a much earlier example of some seriously stripped-down composition by what many consider to be “the first gangsta rapper“.

Schooly D – P.S.K. What Does It Mean?

PSK actually stands for “Park Side Killers”, the gang that Schooly D repped at the time of the creation of his first album.  Ice T credits “PSK” as his inspiration for making this seminal hit that came out the following year.

Ice T – 6 in the Mornin’

The influence is pretty obvious, but not quite as obvious as this one, which came about a decade later.

The Notorious B.I.G. – B.I.G. Interlude

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