Plenty of times the last few years I’ve longed for a rapper passionate about storytelling. I love punchlines, brags, money, cash, hoes etc. But the art of storytelling felt lost amidst a foul sea of mindless turn up. Then this “new New York” ship sailed in, rather hilariously though, since New York has never gone anywhere in terms of sonic importance. Yet out of the blue we were blindsided by this new crop of NY artists more concerned with quality and flash.
Tucked away nicely somewhere in Spanish Harlem is Bodega Bamz. He made waves around these parts with 2013’s Strictly For My P.A.P.I.Z. On that tape he laces the menacing “Glorious” (produced expertly by V-Don) with the phrase, “I’m from the east, who am I to fuck tradition up?” He believes in his roots, and is figuring out the fickle tightrope walk of the hip hop game by flipping it the bird and stepping hard.
Sidewalk Exec is a wild east coast opera, full of quotable bars and memorable moments. Bamz pays careful attention to the violence of his past complete with a studio twist, to remind us how much showmanship it takes to make it. There’s nothing fake here, but Bamz has mastered the larger than life persona that’s sorely lacking (sorry Rozay,it’s just unbearable) in today’s mainstream market.
Nothing on Sidewalk Exec is tailor made for the radio and simulatneously nothing is out of reach. V-Don’s exclusive production is haunting enough to harken us back to that moment you first heard “Shook Ones”. It’s almost too real, but flashy enough to easily recognize the bravado. “Raw Deal” is the song I’ve been looking for since Biggie fucked that chick who dated a New York Knick. It’s a blast. Woopty Woop Blahzay Blah.
Yelawolf’s highly anticipated Love Story is set for an April 21st release. He’s been dropping insane singles for months, cementing the notion of walking a line entirely of his design. There’s not much room for argument here. Love Story has one feature, and it’s creepy old Uncle Eminem on “Best Friend”. Em’s not in show stealing form here regardless of their night and day flows. Rather than going for the neck, the two trade verses with a haunted kinship that brings Yela’s vision to life. Call me crazy, but Love Story is going to change things for this Alabama MC.
The pre-order is up at iTunes and through Shady Records. Go spend a few dollars on quality art.
While we wait for A$AP Rocky’s next record, A.L.L.A., you can head over to datpiff and pick up this five song EP. Not sure if this is compiled or if it’s official, but it captures all of Rocky’s recent singles in one package. “Multiply”, “M’s”, and “Lord Pretty Flacko Jodye 2″ are all here, along with features from Joey Fatts and Rich Homie Quan.
According to Rocky, A.L.L.A. will showcase less of the flash and more of his intellectual and musical side. No need to reinvent the wheel homie. We’re perfectly satisfied with the pretty motherfucker.
Spitta Andretti is back with the long-awaited third installment of the Pilot Talk series. Today he unleashed the visuals for “Sidewalk Show”, shot on location in Cleveland while on tour in brilliant ultra HD.
Curren$y’s less is more vibe is part of the reason I appreciate his art like I do. There’s nothing to showcase here besides solid verses and a ridiculously comfortable beat. That Undefeated x Bape hoodie is tough too. Grab the physical bundle from Jet Life here, and be prepared to spend $100.
The weather in upstate NY is finally starting to change towards something somewhat bearable, which means for sneaker enthusiasts it’s time to crack open boxes you’ve stacked this winter. While I’m still skeptical to step out in my Infrared 6’s …here’s a few pairs that will see the light of day this month.
Major out of DC killed this collab with Reebok dubbed the “Cherry Blossom”. The Ventilator is a shoe that will be dropping all over the place this year, and I recommend grabbing a pair. Super lightweight and breathable, this model pays homage to DC in bloom. Highly detailed at every angle, this is one of the flashiest pairs in my collection. They’re available on ebay for about $130.
Keeping with the cherry blossom theme, Kith and Puma teamed up to do a 698 runner in a mid, something Puma’s never done before. Inspired by the cherry blossom season in Japan, Ronnie did two shoes showcasing the different parts of the season. I grabbed the mids because I fell in love with that suede and the gradient midsole transitioning from white to navy. Excellent execution all the way around. These sold out quickly, and if you want them it’ll cost you around $200 via ebay.
Lets talk impulse buy. I’m in the local mall a few days ago looking around, and I pass one of these in a display window. I walk into the store, grab the shoe and it’s a 10.5. I immediately took it to the counter and cashed out. I love Jordan 1’s and I love Space Jam, so these “Hare 1’s” were an instant cop. The white and grey upper is offset by a red outsole and a multicolored tongue featuring Bugs as the Jumpman logo. Love it. You’ll find these online from various sellers around $150 a pair.
I nabbed these for a touch over the $190 price point a month ago. The “Oreo” color way isn’t OG, but that doesn’t matter when the shoe is so clean. The Jordan remasters are supposedly about better quality, and these 4’s prove it. A light gray speckled midsole, lace grids, and a silver Jumpman on the tongue contrast fantastic black tumbled leather all over. Gorgeous. The Jordan reseller market is slowly dying, so you’ll find these slightly over retail all over the internet with ease.
Rock what you like. Feel free to comment below, and happy spring.
Kintsugi, the eighth studio album from Death Cab For Cutie is a careful tiptoe towards unfamiliar waters. 2015 sees the band working with an outside producer in Rich Costey for the first time, and moving forward without original member/guitarist/producer/engineer Chris Walla.
Kintsugi is a form of Japanese art where broken pottery is reassembled. The piece, the break, and the repair are all seen as part of the objects history. Old haunts are woven into the fabric of this album much like the pain connected to something smashed and scattered. Frontman Ben Gibbard’s divorce, sobriety, and the realignment of his band take center stage, and it’s a pleasure to ride along.
The record boasts moments of grandeur that seem too calculated, but are outweighed by bursts of actual feeling. “Black Sun” and “The Ghosts Of Beverly Drive” are reminders of the power Death Cab has possessed for over a decade. Fans will flock and critics will pan the sentiment. Either way, Kintsugi is a fitting record for a band in need of healing.
On Tuesday Wale dropped his long awaited Seinfeld assisted, The Album About Nothing. Let me be the first to ironically mention…it’s certainly about something. Wale continues to impress us with his effortless delivery of thought provoking and at times brutally honest lyrics; separating himself from the sea of dime-a-dozen rappers and more specifically his MMG brethren with each release.
Wale has established a cult-like following comparable to that of Kevin Smith’s Clerks. Like Smith, Wale’s proof is on paper. Whether he’s rhyming about new shoes or that he’s in his late 20’s and never been to a wedding, we can’t help but relate. He’s built a solid foundation without having to resort to boring trap references dominating popular culture of late.
Wale is on the cusp of something really special with this album. Question is, are people going to pay any attention?
Stand Out tracks: White Shoes, Middle Finger, The Matrimony. Dandy Fields out.