Monday, April 09, 2007

spaceships don't come equipped with rearview mirrors

8ball & mjg (feat. three six mafia & 112) - "cruisin'" (ridin' high, bad boy)
p.s.d., keak da sneak, & messy marv - "burdens of his youth" (da bidness, smc)
prodigy - "stop frontin'" (return of the mac, koch)

here's your 2007 1st quarter wrap-up: rich boy & mims unite to form voltron and take on all for platinum ringtone status. what you know about alternative revenue streams, universal and emi? last year, the very same period of time yielded king and fishscale. the term "vivisection" would be a staggering understatement (winona, holler...). now that's what i call diminishing returns!

however, there were gems to be found in the increasingly revitalized world of independent rap musics. witness major label casualties-to-be 8ball & mjg getting the big payback for the "stay fly" cameo on "crusin'." diddy's forced inclusion of 112 is a total hitchcockian macguffin, or at the very least could be construed as "straight bitchmade" by anyone familiar with the 8ball/mjg catalog. my brother pointed out that this beat was made kells and that's really real. would a single one of these bad boy affiliates know a gangsta walk if it buck-jumped and punched them in the grill? i say no. all this means is...8ball & mjg: stacking chips at koch in '08!

speaking of koch, prodigy manages to attone for last year's g-unit disasterpiece on return of the mac. astute listeners will note that every song on the album is about guns. really. it speaks volumes that one of the best release of the fledgling year has been a koch-sponsored "official mixtape." but at least young p is back on the map. and while it might not be punching dudes in the face for living on some high school shit, we'll take it. 2007!

rounding out the podium for bronze is a hot mess of bay area cats. writing about hyphy isn't in my repetoire and i don't want to misrepresent the yay area lineage with some garbage nerd writing. but i do know a good flip of a sade sample when i catch it. the strangest non-r. kelly moment in any song this year is hearing keak go gentle over some sweet guitar loops without getting too introspective or soft. dude is one sellout record away from being next year's rich boy in the modern major label machine. will bme tell dude when to go? better cop those ringtones...

- billups on kobe, april in boston, newbury comics, and the girls that broke his heart: "they were always from new hampshire." is it safe to declare billups in that top 5 dead or alive category with fennessey, hua, j-shepp, and o-dub (u.g.k./willie hutch/project pat get the same treatment over there...real talk.)?

- dj blaqstarr: HOOD BORN. sure, he was on the mad decent podcast in january, the epk came out in february, and he just tore down the studio b party with rye-rye in march, but it bears repeating. the kids are already rocking off. because def jam can afford it, here's blaqstarr on the beat for young leek.

- finally, perhaps you were not aware that u.g.k. and three six mafia made the summer mixtape anthem of 2007? maybe you would care if, say, outkast was involved and dre was rapping again? you probably wouldn't be interested in that, would you? (thx benzi.)

"then i cc'd every girl that i'd see see around town,"


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