Welcome to the South Easy
Peace all. So, the big homie Koaste over at the 273 got at me to put my balls on the line (no homo) and place all of my trust and faith in the most ridiculous place imaginable….the shuffle button on my itunes. My trigger finger is poised and ready to push the button (no Sugababes), my brain ready to be ashamed and dismayed if something unexpectedly faggy as fuck pops up. So, without further ado, here we go.
Marvwon – Happy Birthday
Dope song. For those not aware, Marvwon has been and still is a staple on the Detroit Hip Hop scene. Initially recognised for his appearance on the first live televised MC Battle on MTV a number of years back, he can also be seen battling Eminem in the deleted scenes on the 8 Mile DVD (super geek shit). The main thing about Marvwon is he actually inhabits that seemingly unreachable no-man’s land where a ‘battle rapper’ is also able to succeed in making good music, an endeavor in which many others have failed, and continue to fail miserably.
I have no idea where the sample comes from but it is obviously someones version of Happy Birthday, and Marvwon has taken this concept and applied it to the fact that he basically gets fresh every day on some never-wear-the-same-pair-twice, open up a new parcel vibe. “I wake up every morning with the intent to look sweet…It’s like my birthday.” This track comes from his FREE LP, The Way Of The Won, and is available to download at his bandcamp. His retail LP, Wayne Fontes Music is also available for the paltry sum of $10 and is well worth it. For battle fans, just type ‘Marvwon vs’ into youtube to see his bouts. Dude is legitimately hilarious and makes good music. Sewn up.
Smashing Pumpkins – 1979
So, this could be seen as an embarrassing selection, but in all honesty its really not. Before I became a fully fledged Hip Hop geek at the age of eleven I used to listen to a lot of grunge and rock, mainly cause my boys back in Cornwall were all into it. I don’t have any other music by The Pumpkins on my mac (although I think I still have a couple of CDs back at my dad’s crib) as I downloaded this one specifically. It’s one of a handful of joints that fully transports me back to a bygone age like only good music heard at the right critical periods of your life can.
Back in ’96 or so me and my little crew of homies (big up Jup, JC and Neil B) were big into skate boarding; we’d cane around town all day and all night on our decks, getting high, chirpsing birds and drinking booze stolen from JC’s dad’s ‘secret’ stash. That summer we’d stay up as long as possible getting baked until the early morning, and at about 2 or 3am MTV (JC was the only dude I knew with Sky) would basically just play 2 songs on repeat until the morning; at that point in time it was What if God was One of Us by Joan Osborne (jokes), and this joint. We’d stay up all night, getting drunk and high, talking about girls and all things teenage, the intoxicants fooling us into believing that we were modern day philosophers with a real grasp on THE MEANING OF LIFE (makes me laugh just thinking about it) with this tune playing in the background as we did so, kind of like a soundtrack to our immature but sometimes insightful bouts of verbal diarrhoea.
Listening to this makes me think of a better time when life was a shit load easier and a shit load more fun. Have a think about the tunes that do that for you, split a dutch and reminisce; its a good feeling when you crack a smile remembering your mate puking up his fried chicken after pulling the ugliest girl in the park while the rest of you are busy getting lean and draining stolen brews after a hard day doing not much. Good stuff.
Michael Jackson – Carousel
Wow. Kind of faggy in a sense, but I’m so comfortable in my ultra heterosexuality that I can simply enjoy this joint for what it is, regardless of what the fuck anyone else thinks. I’ve been a Jacko fan since day; on my fourth birthday my uncle copped me Bad on cassette and a few weeks later my babysitter (I was four) dubbed me copies of Off The Wall and Thriller. This track is actually off of the Thriller Special Edition CD that was released a couple years back and, for some reason, was dropped from the final cut of the original LP. Basically, it seems Mike knocks into some bird who works at the circus, falls in love with her, then she gets ghost and leaves him heart broken. “She’s from a world/Of popcorn and candy/Pony rides for a dime/Little children laughing/I’m from a world/Of disappointments and confusions/But I want her to be mine/I started talking/She kept on walking/She disappeared into the crowd”. Its only a minute and a half long, which is a shame, but maybe goes some way to explaining why it didn’t make the LP. Pity. Fucking killer tune though and I’m glad it made it out of the vaults. Oh, and R.I.P. Jacko.
Patti Labelle – Stir It Up
Wow. Hidden gem. Not much I can say about this, but for those not in the know it’s one of the 2 (I think) standout tracks from the Beverly Hills Cop OST. In a similar vein to the Smashing Pumpkin’s joint, this jewel conjures up images of Eddie Murphy driving a crappy blue Chevy Nova, Michael Tandino getting popped in the back of his head for stealing German barobonds from Victor Maitland and bananas getting shoved in a tail pipe (pause). Patti Labelle had (and probably still has) an incredible voice and she beats the shit out of this track on some proper soulful yet outrageously powerful 1980’s vibe. Whitney Houston understandably, but unfortunately, took a lot of shine off of Patti when she came out but the real heads know what the deal is. Go watch Beverly Hills Cop right now and tell me this track doesn’t make you want to hijack an 18 wheeler full of stolen Lucky Strikes. Banger.
G-Unit – After My Chedda
Hahaha what a fucking BANGER. Haven’t heard this one in a minute. This is off of the No Mercy, No Fear mixtape that 50 dropped immediately after signing with Em and Dre. I’d been a fan of 50 previously as I was lucky enough to get my mits on a promo copy of Power Of The Dollar, which never dropped due to him apparently being shot nine times (a story I think we’re all too familiar with).
As you may know, 50 (and to a lesser extent, Dipset) revolutionised the mixtape game by dropping volume after volume of CDs featuring himself, Tony Yayo and Lloyd Banks rapping on jacked beats, which he then parlayed into a million dollar deal with Shady Records. On this cut the Unit take LL Cool J’s sweeter-than-sweet Neptune’s produced Love U Better and transform it into something a billion times doper (in my humble opinion, of course). Its a comedy track, which is reflected in the verses, the chorus and 50’s own admission of his bad singing at the end, likening himself to “Luther Vandross in the shower”. I first heard this on Westwood on a Friday or Saturday night while I was busy mopping the floor after a hard shift at a restaurant; Timmy put it on blast off and then proceeded to rewind the fucker about 6 or 7 times. I managed to scramble to the radio, scrounge up a cassette and stick it on record, catching the track and all of the ones played after.
All of the original G Unit mixtapes, volumes 1-7 (infinitely superior to any which came out after Get Rich dropped) are available to download from www.datpiff.com and come highly recommended. 50 has certainly lost a lot, if not all of his musical appeal for me since Get Rich or Die Trying (still a dope LP) dropped, but these mixtapes are so full of humour and swagger that they have stood the test of time far more than any of his subsequent albums. Enjoy.