Wednesday, May 18, 2005

‘milk’ is chillin’

where does ghost milk come from? (no homo-genized)

Futurism Ain’t Shit… Is it a criticism or a defense (‘I wish I was a Balla’?).
Right now it’s my number one supplier-of-things-flyer.
The latest goodies let out the jar include an inevitable Diplo rework of Stefani’s Kelis song and a Dipset / Swishahouse blogger-wet-dream.
But the post of the new Ghostface single “Milk ‘Em (Benny Cassette version)” just made my week. Others have been up on it for a minute but it’s still a fresh, frosty serving for me…
Theodore Trife and vocalist Tara Ellis share mic duties with the Iron (and Calcium) Man as they get with producer Cassette on the hottest version IMHO (y’know IMHO) and a slew of fellow super Cali fragmentistics on an intriguing collection of versions.
Ellis elicits allusions to vocalists who make up for off-key notes with on-point charm. The ‘You Are My Sunshine’ monotone rework floats in over the funkiest construction-site noise since the Cross-Bugs-Bunny-Expressway. Pile-driver thuds and echoey hammer-taps are joined by handclaps and more click-clacks as Tony sunshines over the factory noise (Starks Enterprises?). The minor eastern string plucks provide an off kilter ‘music’ and Tony adds menu options…“style-shakes, Frosted Flakes flood the plate”… and they’re grrrreeeeaat! Theodore Trife adds a splash (no homo-genized) of rhythmic braggadocio scooping his “dairy queens” in “all flavors” and then gives way to the track breakdown as Ghost simplifies his rhyme pattern to ride the thump-thump towards the bridge. Tara Ellis winds up the break by proclaiming she’s “living by the gun” but then takes the tune skyward as a droning keyboard provides the bed for her “champion sound” chant. Ad libs and new higher-pitched keyboard stabs take us to the rewind.

Ghostface Killah with Trife and Tara Ellis - Milk 'Em

Friday, May 13, 2005

every section where my connection lies

some shine, some spins

Someone holler at ya boy and tell me which DJ has been playing the Whodini second-wind classic “I’m a Ho” into “Still Tippin”. That genius blend works even better with the remix-remix which provides the quite cut-friendly line “it's pimpin here, i'm a ho bleeder, jet black fo-fo heater.”
Well I might have another nice blend for dem TX tracks. Claiming no DJ status, but I had a ‘vision’ of Paul Wall’s “Sittin Sideways” tumbling keyboard loop getting all Voltron with Dizzee Rascal’s “Do It.” Those tones tumble like an Asian pitched-up pipe version of the slowed down people’s champ run. If that ain’t the same sample…. Well I guess that’s why I ain’t spinnin’ for dough. Of course, others are already brewing the Grime/Screw concoction that is bubbling like some fi-fi delish limey sizzurp. Mattsoreal hosted the Dizzee / G.R.i.T. Boyz freestyle session providing the first juxtaposition of the UK hyper staccato cutting between the TX laid-back ‘slow-down.’ But of course we’re all waiting for the team-up of Bun-B and the Raskit…
SOHH: One of the illest collabos you did was with the UK emcee Dizzee Rascal. How did that happen?

Bun B: A friend of mine, Matt Sonzala, turned me onto him. I heard a couple of his tracks and it was a different sound, but he's a real emcee and I liked his flow. No matter what different styles the music has, if you're real about emceeing you will always recognize flow. Just like he's in London with the cockney slang and then he's Jamaican as well, but at the same time he was listening to my sh!t and he could feel the vibe. He could understand flow. So when we met we had a mutual respect for each other. We stayed in contact with phone calls and e-mails to make sure that we got together and got a track recorded without leaving it up to the record company or the management.

Bless Bun! This is how we duet!
Always Underground and current cameo King, Bun B has done far less interesting collabos including an odd match-up with Cashmere called ‘The Whole Hood’ (over the ‘Where You At?’ beat). ‘Odd’ shouldn’t be taken as a dis to either MC though. It’s just odd because although Cashmere has dropped quite a few underground joints that deserved more play (The ‘Brooklyn, Where I’m From’ joint being my fave) he’s not bringing enough ‘push’ to the combo that a more established nor'easter would bring. His latest (potential) hit ‘Over’ has been getting some mix show spin over the last few months but one has to wonder if this self-described MC “without a deal” is still just making the rounds with Slay and Enuff or is the multi-artist show at Speed this weekend the sign of signings. The fragmented frantic beat for ‘Over’ is heat and the reworked Doug E./Rick (or is it ‘Sigel / Freeway’ now?) “Rock the Mic” line is addictive but it’s not clear if ‘Over’ describes his underground status with double irony. Cashmere could never claim NYC UGK status because the field has just been too crowded and, unfortunately, underwhelming. I’m loving the fact that Papoose is crossing over with some socially relevant stuff on ‘Monopoly’ and ‘Charades’ but do I really expect him to be TONY?
Another NY/YO UGK contender (I suppose Jadakiss and Paul Wall are division champs), J Hood, has been kicking it steadily with D-Block and he’s still looking for that breakthrough hit. His addictive ‘Like This’ should have been banging dance-floors and car systems but somehow the ‘Peer Pressure’ mixtape didn’t get the buzz that Supa Mario’s latest will get. The ‘Like This’ booming reverb overwhelms the MP3 file but the crispy click-clacks come through with the synthy-string runs. J-Hood brings his restrained delivery well and seems to be comfortable giving dance-floor instructions (“shake ya hips… do it like this”). He spells out his name like the OGK Jay-Z “H to the Izzo, Izzo to the Dizzee” inspiring another vision of the UK Rascal on THIS minimal beat...
Another long-time underground buzz bringer Jae Millz connects with Diddy’s latest ‘NY street MC project’ Aasim for ‘God with the Flow’ from Aasim’s mixtape from some months back. Although Millz holds down three verses over the dramatic strings (that sound like a Beatles’ ‘Long and Winding Road’ vocal) Aasim slashes ‘em “faster than Mexicans” with his flow hitting multiple vowel rhymes reminiscent of Eminem and Big Pun (who allegedly, and believably, planned on working with Aasim). His combination of street and (the dreaded) ‘positivity’ works well on many other cuts but, as usual, 'flow' takes the cake. Will Diddy have the vision to mix up Aasim’s fast flow with his new southern supergroup Boyz N Da Hood? The multiple Aas syllables cutting between Jeezy’s crawling drawl... could be as interesting as… I don’t know… a Dizzee Rascal and Bun B collabo?

Whodini - I’m a Ho
Dizzee Rascal - Do It
Paul Wall f. Big Pokey - Sittin' Sideways
Bun-B and Cashmere – Whole Hood
Cashmere - Over
J Hood – Like This
Aasim and Jae Millz – God With The Flow

Thursday, May 05, 2005

numbers runner

(numbers in black, white, brown...)

Wall Street Journal ‘Numbers Guy’ Carl Bialik sheds some light on the mostly unchallenged phrase “Most folks that buy rap are white!” He runs down statistical history (“…the company was using statistics from Vibe Magazine. Vibe, in turn, was using stats from Mediamark…”) and often into dead ends…

SoundScan… says the company has never tracked the race of music buyers… a related company, SoundData, may have reported the stat in 1999, but SoundData no longer exists and (a spokesman) couldn't locate anyone who recalled the details.

Bialik’s research leads him to a conclusion that “the statistic could date from a time when hip-hop was half its current age.” He goes on to describe the Mediamark Research Inc. method for compiling the demographics of the buying public.

Each year, MRI researchers go into about 25,000 homes nationwide and talk to residents for an hour about their media habits. Then they leave a thick booklet -- last year's is 104 pages -- full of questions about 6,000 brands in 500 categories.

And then it gets very intriguing…
MRI researchers no longer decide for themselves the race of their respondents, and the group has expanded the number of races and allowed respondents to check more than one. In fall 2004, using the new method, MRI found that just 60% of rap buyers are white, though 78% of Americans self-identify as white. Apparently, a significant number of people whom researchers thought were white wouldn't identify themselves as such.

It seems that, yes, white folks still buy a majority of rap recordings but the power of the ‘non-white’ dollar was predictably underestimated.

Maybe Ryan Suda over at Blacklava will sell a few more of these this year. And let me tell you, MY aura's so mean in my red tee!

Monday, May 02, 2005

ben, there, done that

(little 'big ben')

D’s “3” 3rd ‘D’!

hurts like brand new shoes

baby, i-i-i can't wait

Female’s cannot talk a ‘mean shoe game’ until they’ve hot-stepped to bad gal’s kicks.
And figure old girl already placed her order…