I remember the first time I saw the cover art to Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire’s first big mixtape, Lost In Translation. I immediately knew that this was a dude that’s making his own rules, and probably breaking those ones too sometimes. He refuses to have his name listed without the expletive (“Don’t forget the ‘Muthafuckin’ / Without that, it’s nothin“), he shoots music videos in his real house with his real friends doing what they really do, and he writes whole songs where he’s the main character in some kind of weird postmodern comic book/sci-fi/cartoon world. Basically, I knew I had to listen up, and give this dude some room to do what he does.
I’ve been very happy with what I’ve heard so far, and just the other day I was biking around listening to his latest mixtape (which came out on Christmas; hilarious) and noticed some stuff about one particular song that slipped by my usually razor-sharp attention the first couple listens.
Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire – Two 22’s b/w Twenty Two 2’s
I definitely caught the main reference of the song, which is to Jay-Z’s “22 Two’s” from his first solo album, but it wasn’t until I listened more closely to what eX was actually saying (duh) that I thought of this possible reference, or maybe just coincidental similarity.
Ol’ Dirty Bastard – Shimmy Shimmy Ya
Did you catch it? I’ll give you a hint: I totally gave it away already in the title of this post.
See, after that weird break in the middle of “Two 22’s“, he comes back in and raps the whole first verse backwards while the beat plays backwards underneath, and when ODB comes back for his second verse, it’s actually just the reverse of his first verse also (with the beat playing normal). The difference is that with eXquire, he actually raps the words normally but in reverse order, while ODB’s approach is to play the whole first verse backwards, so the words themselves are backwards too. So yeah, it’s not the exact same thing, but I feel like there’s no way Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire isn’t influenced by Ol’ Dirty Bastard pretty heavily. And even if it is just a coincidence that these two pretty similar rappers did the same thing on their songs, it’s pretty cool to notice how experimental and far out these dudes are getting in their music; that’s some conceptual shit that I feel like doesn’t really happen much in other popular music. Correct me if I’m wrong.
As a side note, I was checkin’ out E-40’s Tumblr page the other day and I saw a link to a “west coast remix” of “Shimmy Shimmy Ya” that featured E-40 and MC Eiht. I thought it was some weird fan-made remix thing at first until I actually saw E-40 and MC Eiht come out in the video and start rapping. That shit was actually official. Wild.