Tag Archives: Rich Homie Quan

FME 2016 MVP is Boosie Badazz

FME 2016 MVP is Boosie Badazz

by Dan-O

Most of my frustration with music reviews stems from people judging influence in the moment. We can look back and understand the influence great albums or artists had on previous eras but anyone telling you the influence someone right now is having on the world right now…is pulling that out of their butt. In the moment all we have is the work.

No one put in better work in 2016 than Boosie Badazz. He beat cancer got out of prison and released six fantastic projects.  You could select the worst of those six projects (probably Thug Talk) and still get more out of it (content and enjoyment-wise) than the numerical victors of 2016. Over a total of 103 songs he poured his heart out time after time.

The emotional progression of his work in 2016 was masterful. In January he released a tight and earth shattering collection of music called In My Feelings. (Goin’ Thru It).  It’s a devastating journey; he turned introspective internal monologues into anthemic bangers.  While he roars he also ruminates all the way through going from The Rain to his cancer experience (Cancer) to sleeping in a puddle in his federal prison cell to the responsibility he has to his family and friends(Call of Duty) it makes perfect sense that the last song is I Know They Gone Miss Me where he wistfully hopes that his kids and friends will hold his memory close even after he passes. Nothing he released in 2016 was as uncomfortable as In My Feelings because of the unfiltered level of disclosure he abided by for those ten songs.  Forgive Me Being Lost in the wrong hands would be a humble brag about the depth and unstoppable nature of our narrators vengeance but right off the bat he confesses seeing his first dead body at 8 years old, he describes himself and his crew as roaches and as the song progresses he delivers the blistering “They tried to give me life, said I’m bad for the community. How I’m supposed ta feel about some people tryin’ to ruin me? Why should I stop for the cops if they shootin’ me? Why I get rich now my friends using me? Cold Winters, why us I need answers, if I sin god forgive me but my baby need pampers.”  Every Boosie verse takes place on the lowest dirtiest scariest continuum of existence, and it’s in a very consciously Springsteen way.  No matter how rich he gets he doesn’t want to lose that identity.

Out My Feelings In My Past is a brilliant follow up that hit a month after its predecessor. He makes the transition from internal dialogue to engaging with the world and wrestling with his memory of it vs. the state it is in now. You can see this on World War 6, New School/Old School, and especially on Mann where he talks about how horrifying the newest generation of younger hustlers are compared to his era.  Takem Back is a vivid rendering of his path to success where you can hear the implication that Boosie uses his experiences as parables and abides by the lessons they teach.

Thug Talk came in March and embraced fully the anger bubbling in the first two releases. On the second song (Finish U) he shouts the song into a melee that would make Waka Flocka proud; Off The Chain makes every brag kinetic and might not be his most meaningful song but pumps adrenaline through your speakers(“Say you gangsta I don’t buy that. I can smell where you hide at. Six murders and two attempts you talkin’ that ish B__ you lying! Go to war with any creature B__ you F_ing with a lion!!!”—Off The Chain). This roaring tsunami of anger feeds the soulful seething hopelessness of Menace II Society.  Guest verses on Thug Talk are no joke featuring the holy trinity of Z-ro, Pimp C, and Webbie.

In May Bleek Mode (Thug In Peace Lil Bleek) blew more holes in our available hard drive space. Not only was this project #5 but it is nineteen tracks!   My favorite Boosie song of 2016 is on this one, Hard But Sweet where he refers to his childhood as the Jolly Rancher days because they were hard but sweet.  The image fits him like a glove and defines the project which is full of hard, violent bangers but reveals itself in the sweet songs longing for the companionship of his favorite people. Destined To Blow and Blue Money are full to the brim with swagger but Not My N_ and Family Rules are intensely emotionally. Boosie doesn’t need death to get intense. He doesn’t “get intense” he just is. Dis Morning is just Boosie going off, about Ebola and distrust, paranoia, police violence, & ambition.Boosie is so ceaselessly dialed in to passionate full force response that it is actually difficult to maintain his level of energy. Boosie wears you out! At one point in Bleek Mode Boosie is convinced that in prison the insulin he uses for diabetes is being tampered with in order to murder him. Can you imagine being in that state of mind? Bleek Mode takes you there and it is scary. Still Not as scary as C-Murders voice.

A month before we even got Bleek Mode Boosie & C-Murder came together to put out an album called Penitentiary Chances. I didn’t have high hopes since prison albums(C-Murder is still locked up) tend to sound awful from a sound quality pov. I was wrong. Every Boosie song takes place in Boosie world so all vocals are clean as a new white T-shirt and all beats rumble with bass. The high point of the project is hearing C-Murder dialed into the power of that horrifying voice over the creepy chanting of Dear Supreme Court. If the song was intended to convince people he was innocent I’m not sure it should have been as creepy as it is. As a C-Murder song it is amazing. Penitentiary Chances is a real discussion about prison life from two people who shared the same cell block at one point. Boosie says “Used to have a personal chef…now I work in the kitchen(In The Pen),” let that image really sink in. It is intense. You listen to This Ain’t Living, For My Homies That’s Dead, Blame My Mother, & When We Came 2 The Can and before you hit song ten you feel like your living Donald Goines White Man’s Justice, Black Man’s Grief. Great book, tough read. Same deal here.

By the time Boosie dropped Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas I was ready for some joy to peek in.  No one has dropped a Christmas project this hardcore. The track that made headlines was No Drake On where we have a Boyz N The Hood moment gone left. The protagonist of the song is riding around seething for revenge but he’s not getting out of the car. Instead of Drake playing in the ride he pops on Murder Was The Case. Lil Scrappy is great on the song, Hurricane Chris is vicious on Hurricane, Rich Homie Quan is probably my favorite guest verse of the album but I like my Boosie songs solo. Vlad TV features Boosie hitting that TI level of boisterous-but-he-means-every-word performance.

This isn’t just some paper Burger King crown of an award I’m giving to Boosie. I listened to over a hundred songs of his this year MANY MANY times. I know about his grandmother, his spirituality, his kidney cancer, his childhood love for pickles and hot chips and that level of successful vivid storytelling creates a relationship to the music and its author. I never sit back wondering why Boosie can’t break out into the international sensation the top 3 guys are. I’m just thankful that in 2016 anyone gave this much of themselves.

Stream or download Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas below:

https://www.spinrilla.com/mixtapes/boosie-badazz-happy-thanksgiving-merry-Christmas

Stream or purchase Bleek Mode below:

https://www.spinrilla.com/mixtapes/lil-boosie-bleek-mode

Stream or purchase Thug Talk below:

https://www.spinrilla.com/mixtapes/lil-boosie-thug-talk

Stream or purchase Out My Feelings (In My Past) below:

https://www.spinrilla.com/mixtapes/boosie-badazz-out-my-feelings-in-my-past

If you get this far and like what you hear buy or stream In My Feelings and Penitentiary Chances from the service you pay for or hunt down the physical copy like us old heads do. Best Buy still has music…for now.

 

 

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Song of The Year-Daddy by Rich Homie Quan

Song of The Year-Daddy by Rich Homie Quan

by Dan-O

The newest mixtape from the Rich Gang graduate is called If You Ever Think I Will Stop Goin’ In Ask RR and while it has no concern for cohesion or quality control it succeeds at what it wants to do. The important thing for Rich Homie Quan is to show his own talent since so much of the focus in Rich Gang was on Young Thug.

Daddy is prime evidence that Quan can do things Thugga and many others can’t. It’s the twentieth track (this mixtape is far far too long and if you load it into your mp3 player and delete the boring songs that trail off into nothing you can tighten it into a rock solid 12 track journey) produced by KE On The Track who manages to create a beat that demands the open hearted confession Quan gives, while infusing trunk destruction level bass.

What Quan is able to do is throw his voice all over the song, singing melodically all throughout while making every word important. He’s not just doing cool weirdo Atlanta rap, he’s really telling you about a situation that would ruin most of us to the core. While his voice is pleasant to listen to the pain is also absolutely wrenching. He has as much emotion in his voice as Mystikal did about the death of his sister on Unpredictable (different emotions obviously, Quan is trying to hold it together. Mystikal sounded like he was letting the tears go while loading clips).

I don’t care what you think of Southern Rap. You can’t understand what they are saying because they slur…listen harder. This song is important and if you don’t open yourself up to understanding it and what Quan is capable of giving the game, you are the one who is way behind.

2014 FME MIXTAPE MVP=SHY GLIZZY

2014 FME MIXTAPE MVP=SHY GLIZZY

by Dan-O

Usually someone dominates the mixtape scene; this goes all the way back to 50 Cent clearing the landscape and being the name on everyone’s lips. 2014 wasn’t the year for that. Most artists figured out that a tipping point exists where beyond a certain amount of content you sacrifice the quality of what you put out. If you strike once and strike well its better than dropping three mixtapes of original content where one is great and the others are ok. A bad project makes the blogosphere forget the good one.

I would never have guessed it but Shy Glizzy managed to do both. He released two top ten quality mixtapes within the calendar year loaded with content and it’s all great. The most innovative part of 2014 Glizzy is how staunchly he refused to reinvent the wheel. You’ll find the production list full of names you know: Cardo, Young Chop, and Zaytoven. The trap/drill sensibilities are absolutely the basis of the sound. While trap and drill ,for the most part, sound tired Glizzy sounds through the roof excited; that excitement translates to the effort it takes to get it right.

Young Jefe dropped early in the year and I lived on it. When everything was slow I could count on the pristinely sung chorus on Ungrateful, the bizarre sense of fulfillment in Coca Loca. The reviews on Glizzy say his music is fun because of the horrifying gangsta content contrasted against his strange high squeak cartoon character voice. I have a very different hypothesis: no one cares about their hooks as much and no one commits to bragging as hard.

Young Jefe is marked by hits like Awwsome, I’m on Fire, I’m A Star, and Living It Up where he flaunts invincibility. All the best moments are Glizzy stewing in his own importance without an ounce of doubt(this is why he has a deep history of rapper beefs he just doesn’t care). He emerges from the bounce of Young Jefe like Drago at the end of his fight with Apollo Creed (Rocky 4 is the best one. Don’t mess with me on this).

The MVP moment happened when the DJ Drama assisted Law 3 dropped and it didn’t just live up to Young Jefe but surpass it. Law 3 is so good it doesn’t get weighed down by the guest verses thrown on by the Glizzy goon army (3 Glizzy, 30 Glizzy, Goo Glizzy) and the beats while still within the traposphere are weird. Money featuring Young Dolph (being Young Dolph) is seductive rippling bass and a barely there violin. Zaytoven is behind it and 2 other tracks (Celebration and Everything Golden); he’s been experimenting this year and tweaking his sound in places. This only happens with artists Zaytoven is confident can handle something odd like OG Maco or Glizzy.

Glizzy can make straightforward stuntin’ tracks stunning; What To Do isn’t daring, just the baddest man in town mantra taken to its most catchy. Everything Golden is another decidedly out of sync but in its own sync Zaytoven track, piano driven this time, where Glizzy seems oddly calm as he explains how easy women are to maneuver and sounds as detached and distant as anyone can while telling you they own golden shoes.

The track on Law 3 that fully articulates how clever Glizzy is comes fourth in the tracklist. Funeral is completely and specifically surreal. He unveils what his funeral will look like but gives one detail at a time utilizing clearly contrasting imagery to create a surreal picture Luis Bunuel would be proud of. The first rapped line is “I want all shooters at my funeral, only real N’s at my funeral!” Directly after that he tells you ten thousand women will be at his funeral and celebrities (wait you said all shooters, are these celebrity shooters?). He warns you that you could get robbed there and all the while that beat is a looped soul sample church clap/hum over a heavy piano. Do you think this is somehow unintentionally odd? Some sort of happy accident that sees Glizzy follow the image of leaving his wheel chair bound uncle behind after death with a lament that he didn’t bang more chicks. This is a specifically jarring, in your face, deconstruction of the “When I’m Gone” rap song taken to its wildest outer reaches.

On Thank You Glizzy says Birdman has been in contact with him about joining his Rich Gang collective. That would be fantastic. Anything that puts Glizzy near Young Thug or Rich Homie Quan would be great. All of those artists have shared a wildly successful year where they refused to bunt when they had their turn up to bat. They turned every fastball they got into a homerun that sailed over the wall. All everyone else could do was shake their head. Hell, when Glizzy talks about haters and how he has lots he isn’t lying. When 2013 ended I hated his sound; didn’t understand why he got such attention, now I’m scouring datpiff for old Glizzy to catch up on. That’s the difference an MVP year has. Next year he’ll have a lot of options.

Stream or download Young Jefe below:

Stream or download Law 3 below:
http://www.datpiff.com/Shy-Glizzy-Law-3-Now-or-Never-mixtape.665392.html

Song Review-730 by Young Thug

Song Review-730 by Young Thug

by Dan-O

Young Thug’s takeover of the weirdo trap rap game in 2014 hip hop often times feels like a victory for gibberish and funny noises. It’s a bit surreal to read reviews of Riff Raff that criticize him for being silly and nonsensical when Young Thug is making hits with lyrics like “Everything that comes out your mouth is a fairy, no tooth. I fought them blackberries when I pull up and serve you.”

This song comes off a mixtape collaboration called Rich Gang: The Tour part 1 its Thug and Rich Homie Quan doing the work and Birdman lurking behind the scenes as an organization figure and dropping in for forgettable verses. The mixtape is a prelude to a national stadium tour later on in the year. Young Thug has amazing cadences that are as experimental as Slim Shady LP era Eminem but his verses are a word scrabble.

It’s fine to wave the flag for Southern Rap as being as good as or better than anything out there but let’s hold artists accountable. Don’t pretend he’s doing something I just don’t “get.” What is your favorite Young Thug verse? What does that verse mean? This is a gifted melody creator, vocal stuntman addicted to crafting voices that go terrifyingly wrong or fantastically right but he’s not saying anything (this isn’t a jokes v. dramatic content debate). It’s a good mixtape and a great track but just because it feels epic…doesn’t mean it is.