Saturday, September 8, 2012

In Revue- "601 & Snort"

Face it, at this point in 2012, MMG is the biggest thing in rap right now. Oversized general Rick Ross dropped God Forgives... I Don't, which debuted at #1 on the charts and proceeded to sell over 200,000 copies in the first week, rarefied air for rappers in the MP3-era. Philly firebrand Meek Mill debuted "Dreamchasers 2," which brought Datpiff to a screeching halt and racked up more downloads than any mixtape ever. Stalley, the group's resident working man unveiled his Savage Journey to the American Dream tape, a welcome follow-up to last years introspective Lincoln Way Nights. Even the lifeless corpse of crooner Omarion has been re-animated since enlisting in the MMG ranks. However, all of that seems nil the moment you press play on MMG madman Gunplay's new tape.  

601 & Snort is the sort of tape you hardly hear anymore, one that adheres to the Wayne recipe of ripping through others tracks, with utter abandonment for the source material. On this tape, Gunplay could care less if the track is from: Dr. Dre, The RZA, or the late Pimp C, he is going to destroy it. On "187" he promises to get in some "Bart Simpson s**t," climbs up "Sugar Hill," and shout-outs his forthcoming Medellin album. "Another molly and I'm out of this ozone," he spits on the shimmering "Criminology" beat, courtesy of The RZA. Here he outclasses Raekwon's Scarface aspirations, describing an entire banana-boat of "fishscale" and  challenging all comers by asking, "who wanna swim down piranha row?"

While Gunplay manages to sound comfortable on these classic rap tracks, he's most inspired when backed by his MMG brethren. On a remix to Ross'  stuttering "So Sophisticated," he kills any notion of him being a "lyrical rapper," hilariously quipping "I ain't a poet and you know it." The heavy-hitters of MMG join forces on a remix to Future's "Same Damn Time," and burn the banger to the ground. Rozay resumes his role of "captain boy, cooking crack." Wale snarls about getting "facetime" and Milly details his "James Bond lifestyle." Gunplay outclasses them all though, mentioning "b****es popping monkey," and shouting out his "crocodile kicks." Finally, "Bible on the Dash" proves to be the rare moment of introspection, where Gunplay admits he's got "a problem and a plan, revolver in my hand." Over the quiet electro-beat he laments "not even 101 could bring back how it was," and tips his hat to a time when "rapping was an art." On 601 & Snort, Gunplay's art is the gangster-rap equivalent of Jackson Pollack: explosive, volatile, and alluring.

"So Sophisticated (Remix)"
"Bible on the Dash"

Friday, September 7, 2012

Track Attack- "& It Was U"

When listening to tracks by How to Dress Well, the words: glacial and murky instantly come to mind. Tracks like "Ready for the World" and "Suicide Dream 2 (Orchestral Version)" have a calculated coldness to them, grasping you with their frigid hands and dragging you into the R&B ether. "& It Was U," the third track to be released from the forthcoming Total Loss (set to drop Sept. 18) represents the thaw. The track has a lilting swing to it, conjuring up images of "Oh Sheila," and the entire 80s new-jack swing movement. "You don't have to worry," Krell coos in a multi-tracked falsetto voice. Even with the warmth, the inescapable longing that's come to define HTDW's work is there, threatening to freeze the track at any moment.

"& It Was U"