It’s easy to see Ghostface’s recent court victory against Wu-Tang Productions—in which he was awarded $158,000 in unpaid royalties—as further evidence of the shady business dealings of the RZA and Wu-Tang Corp CEO “Divine” Diggs. After all, the pair have suffered similar allegations in the past, most notably when U-God launched a similar suit in 2008. However, a recent article by the RZA, in which the producer vows to appeal the judgment, casts doubt on the validity of Ghost’s claims.
Show feat. Big L & Party Arty — “Back In My Hood” (download)
Just got my hand’s on Show’s last album, Street Talk, and I’m loving it. The fact that I didn’t even know about this joint until a couple weeks ago—and I consider myself up on most things D.I.T.C.—should testify to its absolute lack of marketing. It’s a shame that an artist of Show’s caliber is releasing music on a label with no promotional budget, and in what appear to be very limited pressings (Street Talk dropped in ’05 and is already out of print), but at least the music is still crack. There are quite a few highlights on this album (in particular, several appearances by a refreshingly gully Fat Joe) but a track that really jumped out at me on first listen is “Back in My Hood,” which showcases the talent of two fallen emcees, neither of who got the respect he deserved during his lifetime. Unlike Tupac Shakur, Big L was no more prolific than the average rapper not anticipating his own death, and most fans who’ve put in the effort have likely heard pretty much everything he recorded (although Finesse is apparently sitting on some unreleased tapes.) But L’s verse here, whether originally intended for the song or not, is new to me, and it’s a nice one at that. Meanwhile, longtime Crates affiliate Party Arty kicks a verse that, like his work on seven more of the album’s tracks, proves just what a blow his death was for lovers of that hardcore, unadulterated hip-hop. I’ll admit to sleeping on this dude during his lifetime; his gruff voice made it easy to dismiss him as a gimmick, and I guess I just wasn’t listening too hard. I’m listening now, though, and I’ll be searching out all his work in the weeks and months to come (should be fun, too, considering he worked with some of the best producers in the game.)
I finally got a check from work today, which combined with the last (and probably final) unemployment check I recieved (and then spent most of) brought my bank account to like 400 dollars. Though I know I should be saving every cent I make (at least what I don’t put toward my student loans) I couldn’t resist going on a bit of a spending spree, culminating in a long-delayed purchase of Raekwon’s OB4CL2. Yes, that’s right—while most of you reading this probably can’t remember the last time you paid for music, I dipped into my woefully inadequate savings today to drop 18.99+tax on a CD I could have easily downloaded for free. I’m not sure if that makes me noble or an idiot, but I do feel happy to have supported my neighborhood music store (I see you, Joe!) as well as Shallah Raekwon, who more than deserves my twenty dollars for having done the impossible and meeting—hell, surpassing—the staggering expectations for his perpetually-delayed, damn-near mythical fourth album. Simply put, Cuban Linx 2 is incredible, and I say this having had only part of today to digest its 22 tracks.
E-40 ft. Young Jeezy & B-Legit — “Get Money” (download)
Finally, a lead single worthy of 40’s name. No Akon, no T-Pain, no Lil’ Jon; just a hot track and three hard, uncompromising verses. Jeezy and 40 display a natural chemistry, and B-Legit contributes one of his best verses in years. If the rest of the album stays in this lane, Revenue Retrievin’ could be the E-40 album we’ve all been waiting for. Welcome back, Earl.
Bout to go kick it with this brown-skinned cutie from Argentina, so I figured I’d share some of my inspiration. Old Finesse from 1995’s The Awakening (an album I’m ashamed to say I don’t own), with appearances from Big L and Buckwild. It’s a shame that white people can’t really get away with talking to women like this. We just come off corny. But I’m gonna be operating in Spanish, so all bets are off. Ya tu sabes.
This September has been dominated by rap veterans, with Raekwon, Jay-Z, M.O.P., and the duo of KRS-One & Buckshot all dropping new full-lengths. Aside from the Jay-Z joint, I’d really like to cop all the aforementioned releases, but, alas, my current finances don’t permit such extravagance. So I stay buying $1.00 CDs from Amoeba’s clearance section and assorted obscurities from Amazon’s online sellers (currently waiting on McGruff’s Destined to Be), while looking forward to October, when presumably I’ll have the funds to cop at least a couple of these September releases. Not to mention a few from October, which with releases scheduled from Cormega, Masta Ace & Ed O.G., and A.G. & O.C. (as well as the Pied Piper himself) is shaping up to be another great month for aging rappers and aging pedophiles alike. Let’s take a look at some of what October has in store.
O.C. & A.G. — OASIS (Oct. 27th)
O.C. & A.G. — “Think About It”
The first track to leak off this was solid, but this latest is straight fire. I love how O and A can kick basically positive rhymes, and yet still sound so hard. Both emcees sound as good as ever, and their natural chemistry is undeniable. This is grownup rap at its finest, and my gut tells me the album won’t dissapoint.
Awww. Now this is just sweet. Props to Havoc for showing his emotional side; making one of these “letter to” songs requires a lot more vulnerability when the recipient is alive. Especially with the whole “no homo” thing going around. Hav’s definitely stepping his pen game up; let’s hope when P gets home he does the same. As it is, he’s in danger of becoming the East Coast’s Kurupt. Hopefully this “letter” will inspire him.
Imagine P listening to this in his cell and silently shedding a tear. Can you say ADORABLE?