West Coast Harmony

Tony Molina

Tony Molina is a busy dude…I bet his jobs have jobs.  He’s played in what feels like ten bands, and he’s finally gotten the itch to put out a solo record.  After fronting Ovens, singing for Caged Animal, playing in Sopors, and handling lead guitar for Violent Change, this San Fran hardcore vet takes a stab at brainy, melody-soaked indie rock on Dissed and Dismissed, his brief but nearly flawless debut.

The songs are steeped in two-part vocal and guitar harmonies that bring to mind early perfect Weezer .  There’s no room for error or much critique, as the entire record clocks in under the 15 minute mark.  Short or not, the songs are sensible, full of no-filler crunch, and sweet enough to play at your parents BBQ this Memorial Day weekend.  Enjoy.  And grab a copy of the record here http://www.slumberlandrecords.com/.

Mac Miller- Faces

hotnewhiphop.com

Mac Miller is evolving.  Not evolution in the lavish form of selling a million records, but the kind of voluntary growing pains experienced by an artist who isn’t scared to push the needle all the way to the right.  He’s doing his thing on the strength of a small team, Twitter, and a steady stream of projects that have gotten progressively creepier as he’s enjoyed the freedoms that accompany becoming independently wealthy.

Faces is a professional mind fuck fueled on cocaine, bottles of Hennessy, and plenty of jokes.  Mac is openly riffing on his habits, which seem one hundred percent focused on lines of that white girl; which at times gets a tad repetitive but somehow gives the tape a nervously cohesive feel.  Check him out rapping his jittery ass off on “Thumbalina” below.  Grab Faces here http://www.hotnewhiphop.com/mac-miller-faces-new-mixtape.112315.html.

 

Just Two Toof Boyz

Swag Toof

There’s something fishy happening in hip-hop today.  The internet is a wild frontier full of up-and-coming bullshit.  Everywhere you turn there’s another crew, with another look, and another hook that we’re supposed to remember once we close the browser.  It’s saturated to the point of being downright laughable, and altogether forgettable. But every few calendar days something comes across the radar that hits…and sticks.

Enter Swag Toof, a duo who met in Brooklyn after transplanting from different corners of the country.  What came next shouldn’t surprise you.  Like many young and talented upstarts, the digital world grabbed hold of Ouija and Choirboy’s rugged bars and triggered a buzz; but this time for good reason.  Their brand of unique hunger couldn’t be ignored.

I reached out to the Toof Boyz in order to understand what makes their art stand taller and scream louder than the rest.  Here, the duo breaks down their short yet impressive history, the art of the collaboration, and why rappers need to stay thirsty.  Get familiar.

Shiny Glass Houses: Ouija and Choirboy. Two out of towners meet up by way of the Rotten Apple.  How did you two end up crossing paths in NYC?

Swag Toof: We met via a mutual friend, Rob Higgz who ran Dirty Gemz Studio in Bed-Stuy back in 2010. We both chilled there from time to time, chopping it up and fucking around with random keyboards and shit.

SGH: Did you know right away that you’d be making music together?

ST: We knew we’d be friends for sure, being that we both had similar childhood influences and “no fuckshit” personalities; the music just fell into place.

SGH: Once you got the kisses and hugs out of the way, how did y’all settle into this Swag Toof shit?

ST: *shoots the microphone out of your hand* Next Question.

SGH: How did Harlem’s Adopted Children (Side: A) come to be? The sounds, the rhymes, the features…it’s dope from top to bottom. I love how it pays homage to the shit you’ve studied, but stays completely toofy all at once.

ST: We just cracked open some beats from various composers we vibe with, and made a bunch of songs that we really liked. The features chose themselves really.  “THUG P.T.S.D.” needed Pepperboy because he lived a similar struggle and to have him on that song just connected, seamlessly.  “Linger” called for our OG Sole because of the emotion and sentiment we were going for, and also because of his influence on us as artists, songs like that are possible. Wicca Phase and Kevorkian are clearly Dark Princes all day, and D.G.A.F. BOYZ had so much momentum the only way to keep it up was by calling on the lyrical wildfire of kingpin Noah 23 and the D.G.A.F. essence that Bolo Nef embodies. This tape and the (SIDE B) to follow, are really just us doing our thing in the company of some other really great artists.

SGH: We definitely have something in common, we both have a crush on KEVORKIAN. Who else do you guys like working with?

ST: Kev is our dog. Fuck with Kev and you will die….because HE will kill you (we’ll just open up some popcorn and yell, WORLDSTAR!!). To answer the question, we like working with artists passionate about the culture. We really like working alone so if you see someone else on a song, we felt they added an element that was invaluable to the music.

SGH: Papers, wraps, blunts, dabs? What’s your method of choice?

ST: We don’t trip on that stuff man, people are drinking weed tea and juice these days and smoking cyborg wax apparatuses. Next they’ll be injecting THC in their necks. We’re old school we don’t complicate our relationships with Mary.

SGH: What’s next for the TOOF?

ST: Next? Harlem’s Adopted Children (Side: B) is right around the corner with some really strong visuals. After that the Evans Gate EP drops produced by none other than Ryan Evans. Then, the debut tape for D.G.A.F. BOYZ, which is a click we formed with some of the best spitters the underweb has to offer; Noah 23, Supa, Kevorkian, Bolo Nef, and yours truly, SWAG TOOF. We also have some really dope #TOOFGANG shirts with built in TEEF dropping 6/6 if they don’t sell out first. We are taking pre-orders at http://swagtoof.bigcartel.com.

SGH: Let me know… what are your drinks of choice?

ST: Gotta drink a lot of water regularly, ‘cause we trying to stay young and dehydration is damn near killing rappers these days. We invented a little drink called Speedball, a combination of Redbull and Codeine, which is a go-to party drink for sure. Picking a favorite anything is never easy but if you’re getting us something, just make sure it’s cold.—–

It’s easy to get swept up in all this brainless internet yammering and Jordan Brand freshmen hype.  But remember that real will always recognize real.  A massive thanks to Ouija and Choirboy for making some time to chat with us, and be sure to grab Harlem’s Adopted Children (Side: A) at http://swagtoof.com/.  Follow them boys on Twitter at @SWAGTOOF.  The movement has begun.

It’s Dipset, You Dipshits

It’s official…Dipset is reuniting.  Or maybe it’s not official and I’m completely full of shit?  Maybe it’s only in my dreams that the grittiest, most swaggingly oddball crew this side of Wu-Tang would put the money drama and beef aside long enough to reclaim the NY crown that’s so rightfully theirs.

Either way, Cam’s been working with A-Trak on the forthcoming Federal Reserve EP which has me feeling like a 6 year old on December 24th, and it’s almost here.  Today I caught the visuals for “Dipshits” and witnessed an instant classic.  Dancing in alleys.  Slow-mo ass shots. Harlem streets.  Dame Dash wilding like it’s 1999.  Juelz on the hook.

This right here makes me want to dust off my pink Timbs and post up.  Does anybody’s Nana have a full length mink I could borrow for the weekend?

Atmosphere- Southsiders

startribune.com

Atmosphere doesn’t worry about half-stepping.  Late in their tremendously successful “indie” career, the duo are facing the notion that reality is more important than expectations.  On Southsiders, their 8th LP, Slug’s straightforward soul searching deeps a bit deeper than 2011’s The Family Sign, simply because he’s a few years older and slightly less handcuffed to the drunken drama of youth and young manhood.

These songs could be leaking from a townie parked on the last stool in a Twin Cities dive bar where your feel stick to the floor, or from the muffled stereo in a raggedy Honda hatchback whose windows won’t roll down.  The beauty of Southsiders is that it’s deeply personal record for Slug and Ant, but plays like your very own connect the dots of missteps and forced fumbles.

Elder statesmen?  Maybe.  Never better?  It’s not even close.  This one is Atmosphere’s classic, 8 records in.

 

So I Creep…

alternativetentacles.com

San Francisco trio Peace Creep make me jealous.  I imagine making their perfect kind of post punk racket when I’m hopping around my empty house with an air guitar flailing.  Their self-titled 6 song EP on Alternative Tentacles Records harbors similar sentiment to the noisy bands from their collective pasts (see Triclops! and Anywhere), but pushes into nervous new territory with a pissy Nirvana sense of urgency.

Peace Creep has much going for them in just over a year of existence; including (possibly) the best band name of all time, a killer debut, and an undeniable indie-rock pedigree.  Imagine Built To Spill playing Husker Du covers in a bowling alley during a reckless day drink session full of compromising situations and hella gutter balls…now you’re starting to get it.

Grab the EP from http://www.alternativetentacles.com/store.php?sd=QrpOLIBScVI8kcinPe3 or iTunes, crack a can and increase the volume.  Happy Saturday.

Raury- God’s Whisper

chopsandkicks.com

At just 17, Atlanta’s Raury is an old soul born and bred from the digital age of instant gratification. “God’s Whisper” is his rebellious introduction to the world.  It’s a righteous ode to living carefree and high as shit, where he and his boys are unafraid to swig from a Henny bottle in a street surrounded by elementary school kids while en route to the hippest bonfire in history.

Pretentious floppy hat and Montana rancher’s jacket aside, “God’s Whisper” is an unusual anthem that’s more like a call to arms for the jaded little monsters of the Adderall era; from a kid who’s love for Andre3000, Marvin Gaye, and Coldplay seem to ride in tandem without getting in each others way.

Don’t compromise young Raury, you’re on to something here.