Tag Archives: old school hip hop

Operation Doom Discography/Song of The Year-Phantoms featuring Kendra Morris & Open Mike Eagle produced by 7L

Operation Doom Discography/Song of The Year-Phantoms featuring Kendra Morris & Open Mike Eagle produced by 7L

by Dan-O

I couldn’t have been luckier than to wrap up the Doom discography run with Czarface Meets Metal Face.  The Czarface supergroup that started in 2013 was directly built upon the legacy of MF Doom. The skits the covers the framework was Doom and it united 7L, Esoteric & Inspectah Deck. Pulling Doom in isn’t as awkward as I worried it might be. I don’t expect the album to get a lot of critical love because it is dense and a first (even second listen) can leave you pretty bewildered. The production is also boom bap which most critics are sure is old school not an actual continuing genre within the greater hip hop sphere.

Czarface Meets Metal Face has some great Doom moments, the most Doom punchline in years is “Don’t deal with the Devil on a deep level/they see metal and sound off like a tea kettle” from Captain Crunch. Phantoms is hands down the best posse cut of 2018 thus far. It is a staggering display of lyricism by a room full of hall of famers.  MF sets the table with a chilling story about the price you pay cheating and betraying the people who love you. The phantom in his case is the angel and devil on each shoulder pulling him in opposite directions. While most MC’s use their pen to valorize themselves Doom lays it down awkward ” Wife wonder how you diss fam and disgrace your children/Dudes is wired like that, it’s still an all-case buildin’ ” I didn’t fully fathom how impressive his verse is until I read it.

The brilliance of 7L is flipping the beat for every new verse which can certainly be seen as a nod to Gangstarr’s I’m The Man but it feels very practical in this case. Open Mike Eagle & Inspectah Deck need different sonic backgrounds (Deck gets the best beat). All verses are blinding on this one: Mike Eagle sounds like the voice of a generation funny witty and razor sharp. Deck is a monster with odd references that make you rewind (Haley Joel Osment) and Esoteric might have my favorite performance of the song with his alliterative F sound verse that never comes off as forced.

Reviewers are forced to create a narrative around albums. So Czarface Meets Metal Face can be called out as old school but Doom and Deck were putting out new music back when boom bap was king, would you prefer they grab Sonny Digital and adjust their flow to the high hat? Ew. It can be called a victory lap from a bunch of really important artists past their peak but…what is so wrong with that? Isn’t it kind of cool to hear a bunch of great successful rappers get together and push themselves for the love of the actual art on an album that wasn’t made for charting? When listening tune your ears to the right connotation.

 

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Throwback Thursday-Back In The Day by Missy Elliott featuring Jay-z

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eIc-sz7O_nA

Throwback Thursday-Back In The Day by Missy Elliott featuring Jay-z

by Dan-O

We all know now that Missy was a creative freak, mastermind of both music video and lose your mind dancefloor hip hop. When we go back to those hits we shouldn’t lose track of what she was overcoming. She wasn’t hailed as a genius while she was going double platinum on Under Construction. The counter narrative of the time (I was regrettably one of these dudes) was that Missy wasn’t hip hop at all but some gimmicky hybrid who neither rapped impressively or sang impressively but did enough of both over the right beats.

What I really enjoy about listening to Under Construction now is that it was made as a direct response to that narrative. 2002 Missy was staring down 2002 Dan and saying “I am hip hop. This genre was created by people to have fun which is what I’m creating.” Beyond that, her bars hold up like crazy. Jay brings TOP shelf energy namedropping and chuckling, loose and dangerous. Missy namechecks just as many great artists as Jay (the way she says Big Daddy Kane is full of the perfect amount of wistful longing for the past). Near the end of the song she busts out of her singing and drops a few bars at a fast pace and it’s quick but impressive. The song is full of so much joy and instead of making the case that “this is the old school hip hop and you don’t know” it has an air of inclusivity to it. Missy wishes the old school was the new school and the kids would know the joyful freedom of doing the cabbage patch and not worrying if you look silly. A lot of the younger generation did learn that hip hop has that joy nestled in its center, from Missy’s gleeful albums and blisteringly catchy singles. That’s an amazing legacy, especially since as good as Timbalands career has been front to back….nothing he was ever involved in sounded better than Missy’s albums. That’s not a coincidence.