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Archive for February, 2007

Life of The Party
Little Brother
And Justus For All, 2007

North Carolina’s finest just put out what pretty much amounts to a new album for free download.

For those unfamiliar, Little Brother are a duo (they were a trio until very recently) from NC that have the underground classic The Listening (2002) and the Minstel Show (2005) to their credit. Phonte and Rapper Big Pooh are the remaining members and 9th Wonder is the recently departed group producer who quickly moved to making beats for hip hop’s commercial elite after the release of Little Brother’s first album.

The new mixtape And Justus For All is available for free download here and here. They made it in conjunction with Cleveland Cavaliers home game DJ, John Caroll University MBA degree earner, and prolific artist-hosted mixtape generator, Mick Boogie. I only poke a little fun because I’m from Cleveland and this guy has done more living in Cleveland than a ton of us who left because we found it too confining (he’s produced mixtapes hosted by Ghostface, Eminem, Common, Kanye West and many more).

None of his previous mixtapes have been available for free download so I have to wonder if the DJ Drama situation (you can read about it here and here) prompted the move to make it free.

Little Brother definitely have a very individual sense of humor that’s noteworthy. “Never Leave” (which is on the mix cd) is a perfect example. Phonte starts out saying “a lot of niggas think that Little Brother can’t do no street joint” and then proceeds into a whole verse seemingly about drug sales:

see the fiends lined up, tryin’a get that fix
anytime day or night they’ll scratch that itch
have you runnin’ to your mans like “this that sh-t!”

i know a lotta niggas gonna have to run this back like
“damn Te, when the f–k you start promotin’ crack?”
and it ain’t as bad as it might seem
i’m just shoutin’ out my niggas down at Krispy Kreme – now holla back! what?
Oh!! Krispy Kreme will never leave the streets nigga!
All the dough boys go crazy!

The of course there’s the song at hand which starts:

Girl, what do you mean you don’t recognize me?!
I’m only the biggest rap star in your apartment complex.

i’m the cow’s milk, i’m the bee’s knees
i’m the life of the party, you know you see me
and all my team in harmony like the Bee Gees
our name in bright lights like it’s 3D
people stop and stare, look what them boys got
we can’t afford Cris, frontin’ like we boycott
we on the same page, we all on one accord
little do they know we all came in one Accord
and them people get sad cause they think we should mad
at all them niggas with big money and big chains
but the way i see it, as long as i don’t blow
each and every year, i’ll be the next big thing
10 years later, nigga still on the verge
same gray nissan, sitting on the curb
i know, you would think that it be gettin’ on my nerves
but man, god damn, this feeling is superb
it’s giving me the urge to write this
even though i say it in jest, i’m not joking in fact
some niggas spend they lifetime trying to headline
but it’s so much better being your opening act
so to all of my almost famous halfway superstar niggas
we gon’ rock up there
we about to get it started, i’m the life of the party
you sheep ass niggas can shut the flock up – baaah!

This version is actually from (the remix is on the mix cd) and doesn’t have the somewhat unfortunate high-pitched “The Commissioner!” drop that Mick Boogie put multiple times in every song. I think it’s supposed to sound like a child but it doesn’t…and I would think that someone calling themselves “The Commissioner” would want someone to say their name with a little bass in their voice anyway. But that’s just me…(yes, still hating on my Cleveland brethren).

>> songs are available for two weeks [9.2 MB]

There Is A Way
Mos Def
True Magic, 2006/7

A track from the “limited edition pre-release” of Mos Def’s new album. If you haven’t already read, Mos Def’s True Magic album was released on Friday (99.9% of albums are released on Tuesday), December 29th and then recalled when it sold an embarrassing 11,000 copies. Apparently, they were attempting to rush it into stores because it leaked online but weren’t able to get it into stores before christmas, despite forgoing any packaging (the album came out in a clear plastic case with a Parental Advisory sticker on the front and a bar code on the back). The album is now supposed to come out again in the spring…with packaging, a slightly different tracklist and it will count as a new release for the second time, despite the fact that the song “Undeniable” was already nominated for a grammy.

I’ve only listened to the album once and was definitely not blown away. Granted, my expectations are always high when it comes to Mos (Black on Both Sides is a lot to live up to!) and it also usually takes me a few listens to get into a new album. “There Is a Way” was the track that I connected with most immediately. Make sure you listen to it loud enough to feel the bass.

>> songs are available for two weeks [4.4 MB]

King Heroin
James Brown
There It Is, 1972

This is another James Brown nugget that I forgot about until I heard D’Nell‘s 1st Magic album recently (“Different Day” samples it). This is “James Brown does anti-drug spoken word” and it is hilarious. The whole song is about a, um…”vivid” dream that he had. The dream is far enough out there that you might have cause to wonder the dream was “influenced” itself.

Obviously the delivery is half the humor but I’ll list a few choice lyrics so you can get an idea.

Ladies and Gentleman…Fellow Americans…Lady Americans…this James Brown.
I want to talk to you about one of most deadly killers in the country today.
I had a dream the other night and I was sitting in my living room
Just doze off to sleep so I start to dreaming.
I dream I walked in a place and I saw a real strange weird object standing up talking to the people and I found it was heroin, that deadly drug that go in your vein, he said:
I came to this country without a passport
Ever since then I’ve been hunted and sought
My little white grains are nothing but waste, soft and deadly and bitter to taste
But I’m a world of power and all know it’s true
Use me once and you’ll know it too
I can make a mere school boy forget his books
I can make a world famous beauty neglect her looks
I can make a good man forsake his wife
Send a greedy man to prison, for the rest of his life
I can make a man forsake his country and flag
Make a girl sell her body for a $5 bag

I’m financed in china, ran in japan
I’m respected in turkey and I’m legal in Sian (spelling?)
I take my addicts and make them steal, borrow, beg
Then they search for a vein in their arm or their leg
So be you Italian, Jewish, Black or Mex
I can make the virile of men forget their sex

Can anyone else think of songs that sample this? I heard another one this week but forgot it already.

>> songs are available for two weeks [5.5 MB]

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