Song of The Year-G.R.E.E.D. by Berner produced by Scott Storch
As a hip hop fan I feel like Berner is one of those good friends I check in with from time to time. He’s always doing well. Most of the time having a great time with a killer guest list. No one has a network like Berner, on his new album (The Big Pescado) he gets guest features from The Game, Conway, Devin The Dude, Too Short, Wiz Khalifa, E-40, Jeremih, Trey Songz, Ty Dolla Sign, and Snoop Dogg. Even for bay area rappers his last ten years have been pretty staggering from a productivity standpoint (go to his Wikipedia discography for confirmation).
All of Berners best traits come through on his first effort of the new year and my favorite song G.R.E.E.D. has them all firing. He’s a smoker which you will know from the first line “We smoke till were numb and we worship the sun,” a great smoker MC has the opposite personality of a struggle rapper. Berner is wild consistent, assured and relaxed. Thank you weed, that being said, he takes his bars seriously and G.R.E.E.D. being a spin off of Wu’s C.R.E.A.M. maintains the toughness.
The best thing I can say about Berner on this song is that he is so good he earns this beat. Scott Storch did not fall off. This beat takes me back to 2004 it is such a monster. The first thing I thought was “G-unit would have made 7 million dollars with this beat in 2004” but as his verses unfurl I found myself completely satisfied and remembered…oh yeah this is the same dude who put multiple collab albums in the books with B-Real and held up bar for bar. Everybody loves Berner not just because he seems like a great dude but because he’s serious with his opportunities and he took this one. I love this song.
Mixtape Review-Prohibition by Berner & B-Real
Mixtapes give upcoming artists a chance to put together something that purely reflects them; not vetted by record executives and plotted for the radio. It also gives the major and middle class artists a chance to drop something cool out of nowhere. Prohibition falls into the second category. Far from a tear-soaked confessional Berner and B-Real come together for a merry celebration of legalized marijuana (in Colorado and other places).
If you need proof this is an A-list event just look at the track listing. Features include Devin The Dude, Snoop Dogg, and multiple stuck in your head hooks from Wiz Khalifa (not to mention a production credit from Harry Fraud).
Berner has been a commodity for a while. His flow moves at a trudge but he knows what good rap sounds like (evidenced here by co-production credit on Faded). His slower assured flow finds a perfect fit in front of B-Real’s pinched voice and faster pace on Prohibitions first song Shatter. Berner is one of those perfectly self sufficient dudes who makes a great musical accomplice. Not only is he used to doing it all himself but his sound is big enough to welcome just about anyone comfortably in it. On Faded (which samples my favorite Jay-Z beat) Berner ends the first verse with a cool tip of the hat to B-Real “sh#t I burned my first joint to…Cypress Hill” acknowledging that you will likely listen to this for B-Real and he’s fine with that. He is the Arn Anderson to B-Real’s Ric Flair (#prowrestlingreference).
Cozmo and Maxwell Smart keep things moving with big screen production that pulses and pounds like a speaker avalanche. All the hooks are super catchy and everyone knows what Prohibition is supposed to achieve. Fun. Beyond the excitement of big names and sweet hooks over car rattling beats its great to have B-Real back.
It was Method Man who said once when you are dope your always dope you don’t lose that. I don’t agree. If you don’t move, your muscles turn to mush and if you don’t spit dope verses….you lose your place in the process of creating them. It takes time to get it back and a lot of veterans don’t ever get it back. Over the last few years B-Real has been WORKING. His guest verse on the Curren$y track ET was remarkable when compared to low points on Stoned Raiders. I don’t think new school artists like Khalifa, Curren$y, and Berner are propping the old dog up. It’s the opposite. B-Real is determined to be dope. He sounds right at home on the Taylor Gang pimptastic anthem Breeze. He can still rip through a hardcore beat but he doesn’t need too. He’s adept enough to adapt without sounding corny. This is still the B-Real that spit smoker verses from your old boom box into the smoke clouds of your cold garage. For proof listen to him on 1 Hit “I got a dab on the nail…inhale. Got the flavors flowing outta my lungs when I exhale. Man I’m riding on a cloud hovering over the crowd…” that could have been from the Friday soundtrack. All that Prohibition achieves it does in only 8 tracks with the title track being a skit. It’s a concise love letter to not only weed but the weed song and all the surreal lushness of its landscape. I’ve never smoked marijuana in my life but man do I love a weed song. The high points of Prohibition are enough to cause a contact high.
Stream of download Prohibition below:
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Tagged B-Real, Berner, Curren$y, Cypress Hill, Devin The Dude, Friday soundtrack, Harry Fraud, Method Man, mixtape review, Prohibition, Snoop Dogg, Stoned Raiders, Taylor Gang, weed songs, west coast hip hop, Wiz Khalifa