RAVEN MACK is a mystic poet-philosopher-artist of the Greater Appalachian unorthodox tradition who publishes zines & physical books & electronic books & music & photography & digital art & just generally whatever feels necessary to survive this deluded earth thru Rojonekku Word Fighting Arts survival systems (Version 69, establish 14 Feb 1973). Comments encouraged.

Monday, August 28

#63 RAP TAPES: Ghetto D


I was way into No Limit at one point, I think once I bought the soundtrack to Bout It Bout It, which was also some of my earliest exposure to Sic Wid It camp as well (that one song "Come On" with B-Legit off that soundtrack is probably my favorite song on something that I've lost possession of). You hear a lot of southern rappers in the zine-ish glossy southern rap mags talk about how NY was always prejudiced against southern rappers, and Master P seems to be an example of that. I mean, he's no linguistical genius, but he also was never trying to be. And there's a catchiness to a lot of the better shit he did which was a pre-cursor to the annoyingly catchy crap like "Shoulder Lean" and "Laffy Taffy" that's blip blooping across the radio dials today.
Strange that P had to declare bankruptcy, because he, along with Rap-a-Lot, was a blueprint for being as independent as possible to increase personal revenue, and you wonder how a motherfucker who was making millions on a monthly basis could've screwed it up. But then when you think about him being Ricky Williams' agent for that initial New Orleans Saints contract that probably ruined Ricky Williams' life, you can see that P probably made some shitty business decisions, expanding into things he ought not to have messed around with.
But all that's beside the point. This is about Ghetto D. I think he explains how to turn coke into crack just as fluently as Biggie did, and I've got a strong weak spot for songs like "Weed & Money", "We Riders", or "Pass Me Da Green". Master P might not've written too many seventeen syllable bars, but he could come up with a hook. Or at least pay somebody well who could come up with a hook. And plus, pen and pixels cover art is still the king. I'm surprised more shitty indy rock bands haven't done pen and pixel covers.

Sunday, August 27

CM NET CLASSICS: The Secret Pussy

[Ahh, this was always one of my favorite things on the stupid website, and it sucks I'm married with kids and had to write it under a fake name, just in case the odd chance my wife would stumble across the site. Now she may stumble across this, but fuck it, we've been married for years so we don't have sex anymore. That just leads to more kids.]
THE SECRET PUSSY
There was once a time when getting some pussy actually meant something. You had to work for it, and more so than hanging out and watching some shitty movie with Julia Roberts or that stick girl with the tits from the Noxema commercials in it. You had to talk shit, pretend to be something you’re not, which means a guy not all about sticking your dick inside of the sugar walls, and go through all the motions. You had to motherfucking sell the angle.
But now, girls fuck a lot. They fuck early in life, and they fuck often in life. Somebody along the way, probably some pornographer low on young chicks to bone in that same mansion he rents for all his movie sets, convinced women that sex was liberating, as men wanted it and you held something over them. So women started thinking by stripping their way through college, or holding pussy over top a dude’s head, they had some sort of Worldwide Power. All they did, though, was make abortion clinics a lucrative business.
Pussy is easy. Guys ride around in vans on porn tapes and pick up chicks to fuck off the streets, just like they were making fun of in Boogie Nights. Kids get pussy. Girls are having sex before they’ve got grass on the field, which used to be what we’d wait for to play ball. Getting pussy is so easy it’s gotten boring.
The thing to get now is ass. You see, it’s all about anal sex.
Girls play it off when you ask them about ass sex, but let me tell you something, all girls love anal sex. All of them. Your mom loves anal sex. All girls love anal sex. The thing is, they know the power they’ve lost, not only in personal enjoyment as well as actual power, by the pussy’s value being lowered by the market being flooded by all these whores. So they keep the anal love on the down low. This is why girls are expected to do anal in porn now, because anybody can watch some flick their boy made fucking some chick in a pussy, but only super-sluts and girls willing to be down with you for real, even if it is a trick on your part, give up the asshole.
You might be with a girl that all your boys have been with, and you all will be talking about hitting her skins, and one of the guys will go, “Yo, I fucked that chick in the ass.” And everybody will get all quiet, because nobody else got to do that. A couple even feel bad because they tried and got denied. The ass is the Secret Pussy.
That’s right, my friends, the Secret Pussy. How much Secret Pussy have you gotten? Are you a Secret Pussy virgin? HAH HAH HA! El Hijo Del Satanico has gotten mad secret pussy, because I remember how to work for the pussy. Young ‘uns expect pussy, since there’s so many sluts out there, and won’t waste time working at it. You have to push the proper buttons to get some Secret Pussy. You have to lay the groundwork, and pretend you care, just like the old days.
Here are a couple helpful hints at getting the Secret Pussy.
When 69ing, it’s always best to position yourself on the bottom, because that’s the laziest position. You don’t want to be exerting yourself too much early on in the encounter. While licking that girl’s cooch, just slip a tongue up to that part between the pussy and the asshole. Usually, they’ll moan. Keep doing that, to feel the situation out. Eventually, the girl will shift her body and be forcing the Secret Pussy downwards for you to flick your tongue at. If you are grossed out by licking a girl’s asshole, you are an idiot. You have eaten nastier shit in the last 24 hours. Have you ever thought about what a factory looks like that cans your vegetables or processes your meat? It’s way grosser than that girl’s asshole. And if she has shit on it, you shouldn’t be messing around with a nasty bitch like that no way. An added benefit of the shift of her on top is that now she will be coming from a higher angle to bob up and down on your dick with her mouth.
Another helpful hint is to get into the doggy style position. When in this mode, suck your thumb real good and rub it on her Secret Pussy hole. Sometimes, they’re afraid to let on to you about the Secret and they’ll act like it did nothing, but usually they’ll be caught up in the moment and they’ll moan heavy and start pushing back and forth harder. If you can work your thumb in there, you’re in good. Though this grosses me out as well, because you can feel your dick moving around with your thumb, but there’s womanly body parts in between those two appendages of yours, and I think about porn flicks with double penetrations, and it creeps me out to think of feeling some other dude’s dick moving around, even if it was buffered by female body tissue.
And the greatest thing about the Secret Pussy is that you can’t get a girl pregnant there. Sure, you can get sexual diseases, but what the fuck, we’re all gonna get a disease eventually, and I’d rather get it having sex than eating undercooked pork or some shit.
Secret Pussy is great. If you are dating a chick right now, and she is not at all about giving up the Secret Pussy, then she doesn’t really care about you. She’s saving it for someone she knows deserves it. And if you are getting the Secret Pussy, congratulations. It rocks, doesn’t it?

#64 RAP TAPES: Regulate... G Funk Era


Dr. Dre's little brother gives Dre Snoop Dogg to make millions with and all he gets is a brief little shine in the spotlight, riding Nate Dogg's one-note wonderful ass through this hit single. I know the G-child has steadily done shit over the years, but nothing on the mainstream consciousness level of the title song off this EP. Part of the problem was, other than Nate Dogg, Warren G had a pretty shitty slew of rappers on his tape. I guess another part of it is Dre wants to be white; I know because I read an interview with Suge Knight saying that. Suge wouldn't lie, because he's all about the kids.

Thursday, August 24

CM PRINT CLASSIC: Issue 1


What a budget ass cover. At this point in my life, I was bouncing from couch to couch, and somehow ended up on the living room of my mom's floor, driving back and forth to Richmond an hour and a half away to work second shift at the newspaper, so I was only awake in the middle of the night at home and never saw my mom or sister who lived there, just watching crap on the satellite I got installed as a Homer Simpson-like birthday present to my mom and drinking ridiculous amounts of beer. Back then I was doing a new-named zine at every house I stayed at (previous ones were The Method Manson Skynyrd, Warship Say 10, and The Gringo Manifesto), but I ended up crashing at my mom's for like 10 months because the rent was free and I could pay off a stupid credit card I'd ran up my last couple months of college.
The Confederate Mack persona was far more over-the-top than now, and a lot less politically correct, which was kinda where I was, still all fucked up with Richmond haze in my head and feeling a sort of self-destructive recklessness realizing I had finished shitty college and now had to work a shitty job. That was eleven years ago I realized looking at the intro to this issue, which is a pathetically long time to do a zine, and not very good numbers considering I've only done 51 so far. Oh well, here's a couple comedic excerpts...
(From a list of misconceptions about the South): "1. We fuck our sisters... bullshit... the closest I've ever come is me and my cousin used to 69 all the time."
(From some rambling thing after watching Rodney Moore's Pussy Fest Vol. 3 after seeing a review of it in a magazine): "I learned a very valuable lesson. The women you can jack off to real good in a magazine may be the opposite of the ones you can jack off to real good in a movie. And when you figure in literary shit like Penthouse Forum and then jacking off on real live girls or just in the bushes by the river because it's a sunny day, you just can't judge right away."

#65 RAP TAPES: Tical


There's a couple of tracks on here I'd label as some of my favorite Wu-jambinos, but I've always felt like Method Man mailed it in sometimes. I mean, he was the first to get a solo deal out of Enter the 36 Chambers, and it's because he stood out amongst a crew of stand-outs on "Method Man", but he's never really put together an album full of that peak level shit. Although he's made plethora of passable tracks over the years, which is kind of like excelling when you consider how much a lot of shit sucks. I've just always felt like he never had his Liquid Swords or Only Built 4 Cuban Linx like you would've expected.
At the same time, when I listen to old Wu shit like this, it sounds so grimy and wonderful compared to most everything they did from like Wu-Tang Forever on, with some exceptions from the rule in recent years. I guess you can't replace grime in your music if you've lost the grime from your life, so you'd think a fan would be happy that somebody came up. Instead though, me being a bitch-ass internet geek, I'd rather complain about how soft and fat-bellied they got.

Tuesday, August 22

Confederate Mack Classics

So yeah, I miss my old website, but have been putting all my stupid energy into the zine instead of wasting my stupid energy on the internet. There's something nice about tangible printed matter as opposed to crap people find on google wasting their lives at work not doing work.
So I'm gonna start each week on this gay-assed blog with Confederate Mack Classics, which is about the gayest most self-important thing I could ever say, but there'll be two a week conceivably, one with something from the old website, hopefully by someone other than me, and the other one each week being a scan of the cover of the zine, starting with issue 1 and working up to present day, with maybe a funny snippet from that zine. No one will care, and the four people who come here will get to know more about old shit I did, which I figure will inevitably lead to six people coming here. Of course that'll be four new people and two of the old ones will stop because they'll finally realize I'm full of shit.

#66 RAP TAPES: Smoke Some Kill


How the fuck this finished 66th is a testament to how screwed up and non-hipster critic scientifical my mad method was in this thing. When I was in tenth grade, this was the greatest tape ever made, and to this day, you can take five gold mics, stuff them into Benzino and Dave Mays mouths as they engage in anal sex, probably with Benzino on the mount and Mays calling for the split-finger fastball, freeze them and paint them with gold-plated platinum paint, put a couple coats of high gloss polyurethane over that, and give that award to Schoolly D. The man's a motherfuckin' legend. Oddly enough, this is one of the few tapes that I can think of where the second side smokes the first side, although first side has the title track. Second side comes with "Treacherous" - which is probably more in tune with what revolution would sound like than Public Enemy or conscious rapper pussies, "Coqui 900" - which is a motherfuckin' party song and a half, plus the great fun of "Signifying Rapper", "No More Rock N' Roll", and "Same White Bitch (Got You Strung out On Cane)" - which might be the greatest song title ever if you forget that she ain't got no panties on out on the dance floor song.
Schoolly D - I saw you on Space Ghost back in the day so I bet you fuck around on the internet a ton if you did some wacky shit like that, and I bet you google yourself (which makes me sad, because typing "smoke some kill" in google images only came up with like four different places this cover was at, whereas I could type in J.R. Writer and there'd be thousands), and if you come across this, thanks for the music. Shit, I still got that "Another Sign" single on vinyl. And Saturday Night on vinyl. I used to have that Education of a Black Man (or whatever it was called) CD, but I gave it to this dude who used to sell weed for me. He ended up getting convicted for raping both men and women, so I would assume when you say Jesus was a black man after reaching in your pocket, I don't think you were speaking of him. At least I hope not. I'm not religious, but I don't like to think of the major prophet of the most major mindwashing religion in my stupid country being someone who is equal opportunity rapist. Then again, I guess it would make sense.

Saturday, August 19

#67 RAP TAPES: Loc'ed After Dark


Yep, Tone Loc. Basically, I'm a sucker for a couple of these beats, namely the "On Fire" and "Loc'in On the Shaw" ones, which were Dust Brothers pre-cursors to the filler bits they'd later do with The Beastie Boys. You could've took any gravel-voiced happy-go-lucky brother and made money off some of these more poppy beats, though Tone Loc fit the bill perfect. And to this day he can get a job doing cartoon voices, which is far better than getting into shootouts with the Boo-Yaa Tribe, like he used to.

Thursday, August 17

#68 RAP TAPES: Business Never Personal


I have recently been in disagreement with the only person who reads this blog over whether EPMD stands for Erick and Parrish Making Awesome or Erick and Parrish Making Suckass (Ds are wild), and listening to this tape over was part of the reason I personally lean, beyond their first two records, towards suck. If you took "Headbanger" off this tape, there'd be absolutely no reason to bother knowing it existed. And the only reason I love that song is because I'm probably the biggest K-Solo mark the internet ever knew. Seriously, Big L owes his whole dead legend style to K-Solo, because sure motherfuckers got all polysyllabic, but K-Solo spelled his shit out, literally. He was the letterman.

Wednesday, August 16

#69 RAP TAPES: Big Thangs


I once lived in a bonafide trailer park, next to a tobacco farm, and my roommate was a college kid who was starting middle linebacker at the local Division III private college, and we would get drunk and mack chicks and he liked Private Stock and I liked Olde English, and his favorite tape of mine to play way the fuck too much was Big Thangs by Ant Banks. It made me love this tape - one of the earlier producer's tapes I came across in my music travels, where one producer makes a bunch of tracks and has like five thousand emcees do guest spots. Ant Banks is a very unheralded super-producer, having been the backbone to the Too Short sound for a good chunk of Short's later career. And plus he spells his name on the tape in the same font of dollar bill words. God Bless a motherfuckin' Ant Banks, and if whatever God might be real ain't down with him, then fuck God. He must not appreciate the finer qualities of an 808 kick.

Sunday, August 13

Prolo - Return of the Loungers CD Hype!


So me and my man Boogie Brown have started tinkering with the music again now, and whipped up a CD - first one we've done in over ten years. Kind of fucked up to think we used to put out 10 song tapes like every other month back in the day, playing house parties and shit. Then we got all hung up with fucked-up women and grew away, but then back together because loungers always end up lounging. Brown used to have a website I think for his homegrown record label, but I think it expired, so I have no idea how you can get this CD through mail or internet, but I know I've got a box full of them in my car to sell out the hatchback. Internet was made for hating shit more than loving shit anyways, so unless we start a myspace page with like naked goth girls or some shit, nobody will care. Here's the track listings with what I think I remember the song meaning...
#1: HALL OF KARMA - intro part lifted heavily from an old tweaked-out Black Oak Arkansas intro thing I used to always use when I fucked around DJing
#2: PROLO REBIRTH INTRO - the for-real intro, outlining the battle between the cleanfaces and dirtyfaces and all that good shit
#3: TRUE LOUNGERS - Brown has gotten into some weird production styles, using very southern club sounding drums but playing live guitar and mandolin and shit over the tracks, and my lyrics have become as much CDB-influenced as ODB-influenced, and this track is a definite sign of that strange mix we've come up with; probably my second favorite song off this CD
#4: PROFESSIONAL LOUNGIN - originally did on his answering machine, I found the lyrics under a pile of records so we actually recorded it correctly, you know, into the condenser mic and shit
#5: EASY RIDER - one of Brown's DJ interludes, which are sadly missing from most hip hop albums; I'd give up all the stupid skits people do just to have DJ tracks again
#6: SHADOW DWELLERS - stream of conscious linguistical song that ain't saying much but sort of is, I guess; shadow dwelling, along with professional lounging, are the two basic tenets of me and Brown's living philosophy, keep your face out of sight from those who don't need to see it so that you can enjoy life on your terms for as much as you are allowed to nowadays
#7: CAN TOSSIN - encouraging people to litter is reprehensible
#8: STEEL WHEEL SCIENCE - the longer DJ interlude, featuring Boogie Brown and DJ Rah-bee doing it is that they do
#9: MIC CONTROL FREESTYLE - most nights, for every song I write and record, I'll do like three freestyles just to get loose or to show my drunken ass at the end of the night; this is one of the better ones from our camper sessions (we recorded this entirely on a 16-track in a lopsided camper in the tall grass behind my house)
#10: SOUTH 15 RIDER - without a doubt this is the most loungin' song I've ever written ever, and it turned out better than anything ever; I can say I'd add this to my list of songs to play at my funeral
#11: STREET PEOPLE - alliance-forming outro
#12: PICNIC TABLE FREESTYLE - but there's always room for one more hilarious ass freestyle

Confederate Mack Issue 51 Hype!


I had thunk I was gonna stop doing the zine, having lost my love for zine output there for a few months, but I don't know, having someone ask me about the zine when catching up with old friends or hearing stories of some person I never met quitting his job or getting through a shitty time by laughing at my dumb shit always made me feel better than some email from someone saying this or that about crappy internet shit.
But I'm also not selling them online anymore. They're free from my car, and I'll trade through the mail like I always do. You know what I like so feel free to send slick shit my way (Raven Mack PO Box 569 Scottsville, VA 24590). There's also a ton of CDs I'd be happy getting burned copies of, so hit up the message board for any info on that. But here's the rundown of what's in this new-assed issue of The Confederate Mack zine...
FIFTY ONE EMCEES MUST GET DISSED - Intro of sorts that originally introduced an all-sports related lists thematic issue that peetered out as I lost motivation late last fall; very long-winded tangential rant (imagine that) about listening to the Redskins game that didn't come on my antennae TV on the AM radio with my car parked by railroad tracks drinking beer.
RETURN TO ZINE MIND-STATE - This was the first re-intro I did when I first thought I was gonna get back into the zine, yet I still didn't for another couple of months.
ONE HUNDRED PERFECT RECORDS - Self-explanatory list of perfect musical records that have been made in the modern history of stupid man, plus with how they're perfect, or at least when they are perfect.
LONG ASS HIP HOP WEEKEND LIVE ACT REVIEW BULLSHIT - For some reason, the shit city I live near had a double bill one weekend, with a Blackalicious plus like five other underground indy acts show on a Saturday night, and a Ghostface Killah plus like five other average odd smorgasbord of acts like you only find on hip hop shows show on a Sunday night. This is my expert whiteboy analysis of all them motherfuckers.
REBURF - Third intro of this zine, where I got rebooted a couple weeks ago, and even went back to the impossible to read over-kerned word processor 15 pt. jam I so love (first half of this zine is actually mostly readable without grandpa glasses). Explains how the rebirth of the zine was heavily related to going to see Slayer in Cleveland, Ohio.
ALL-AMERICAN STORY OF KILLING DOGS & WRECKING CARS FOR FUN - This is that article I had in the newest Carbon 14. Morbid shit, and I fully expect some people who know me closely to think less of me after reading it, but fuck it.
REFERENCES, EXPLANATION, & ADDENDUMS - I was gonna talk about a bunch of shit I meant to correct, but instead I just talked about how I'm going to build an army once I'm rich.
LOUNGER'S INDEX - Back page take-off on that shit in Harper's magazine.

#70 RAP TAPES: Fear of a Black Planet


The groundbreaking production and revolutionary rhymage on this one just don't stand the test of time for me personally. I guess I'm jaded because of seeing Chuck D speak a couple of times and he's an annoying fucker. I'd put their first two albums above this one on my personal faves list, but this is the one that broke open public awareness for them, with the whole Professor Griff is an anti-semite media barrage that went down leading up to this one. Whatever. I thought this was one a little too layered and not as raw as Nations of Millions.
The one amazing thing about Public Enemy is, how the fuck did Flavor Flav and Chuck D co-exist like they did? A bug-eyed cokehead and a self-righteous teacher don't always make for easy bedfellows.

Friday, August 11

#71 RAP TAPES: Black Sunday


Looking up the album cover on the intranet was loads of fun because pretty soon after I got this tape, I completely lost everything except the tape itself, probably in some stupid reckless yet hilarious retarded fashion that has a great story to this day, but I never knew the Cypress Hill tape was involved. Well anyways, I've kept this tape in a cassette tape shell for years that was just a clear case, probably jacked from shitty TDK mix someone gave me, and it was covered in candle wax, for some reason, hopefully because I was pouring hot candle wax on some Italian chick's big fat titties, but more likely because I was doing acid and listening to Cypress Hill and used the thing as a candlestick pedestal of some sorts.
Cypress Hill is totally great because they have beats made by a white dude who smokes mad weed and loves old Memphis Soul, and they have a latin dude with a fucked-up voice like he's got a head cold, and they talk all the time about 420 24-7 365 4life and all that. But I've come to a point in my life that I could give a fuck less about Cypress Hill unless somebody gave me an instrumental version of all their shit. Or better yet, one that's instrumentals but with Sen Dog's hype track so it'd just be fucked up hip hop dub beats with some dude yelling every now and then "IN THE BRAIN!" in a cartoon voice. That'd be totally sweet, like tea is supposed to be.

Thursday, August 10

#72 RAP TAPES: Tha Triflin' Album


Little-know fact - the orange '64 King Tee is pimping on the cover of this record is the same one that Big Worm drove on Friday. This tape has been a mainstay in steady rotation of my life ever since I got it, but it's a strange one as Side A is one of my favorite sides of any tape ever - pure drunken nonsense, introducing me to Tha Alkaholiks back in the day, and just pure King Tee. But Side B sort of drags down the perfect imperfections of the first side. King Tee is one of those guys that common hip hop consensus of the informed variety always says he should've blown up, but fuck it, and fuck a platinum album. He's got legend because when I sold off a bunch of shit on ebay a few months back, nobody wanted to pay shit for a Company Flow or Mos Def single, but some dude dropped almost twenty bones on the King Tee "Dippin'" 12-inch, which I kinda wish I had back now. Stupid ebay... it ruins everything.

Wednesday, August 9

#73 RAP TAPES: Let The Rhythm Hit 'Em


This was the first Eric B & Rakim record that showed Rakim had possible chinks in his armor. Not to say this tape was weak, but everything up to this point was pure classic output. This one had some weaker songs, but still got carried by "The Ghetto", "Mahogany", and the prerequisite Eric B showing off track at the end of side A. The drumbeat to "Mahogany" is perhaps one of my favorite drum loops of all-time; in fact, I sampled it just the other day.
The great thing about this tape is, a shitty Eric B & Rakim tape is still better than 95% of the crap that's been made. Rakim gets tons of love, and rightly so, from hip hop the aesthetic collective, but Eric B was a major heavyweight in what he did as well, and that sometimes gets overlooked. I wish groups still had DJs and DJs still got to do songs on the album as well. Mixtape DJs are a far cry from "Eric B Made My Day". I don't think I ever remember hearing him shout "ERIC B! ERIC B!" every twenty-nine seconds on anything he did to get his name out.

Monday, August 7

Solaris Earth Pipeline - Lounge Like You Mean It Hype!


The first S.E.P. CD was cool, but this CD is what I've been waiting to hear someone do. I am stoked about this CD probably more than anything I've ever done creatively, except maybe the yearbook issue of The Confederate Mack back in the day. I'll just tell you right off, you can get this CD for $7.50 thru paypal from solarisearthpipeline(at)hotmail.com. My boy Embryo handles that shit, so you don't have to worry about slack lethargic Raven nature holding you up. You buy this shit, you'll have it within a week, and it's some shit. Hey, here's a track you can download...30-Pack, now on final mix with some cuts at the end, so if you dl'ed the early version, this is the new shit.
In fact, here's a rundown and quick take on the tracks on the CD...
#1: INTRO (you know what the fuck an intro is, and this one features Slayer prominently, as this second CD was originally gonna be called Super Metal with metalhead mindstate, but that changed as motherfuckers started drinking beer)
#2: AIN'T NEVER ENOUGH (this sort of follows the lead of that song "Drankin Wine - Pt. 2" off the first At War With Robots CD, but also is a bit more confidently wild)
#3: UNRAVELED MIND (drugs have destroyed my mind, that's basically the point of this song)
#4: THE HORSESHOE HUSTLER (my voice on this track is fucked because it's kind of a talk-rap style song, but also because I think I had drunk like 19 beers before we recorded this; it's a great story, with surprise ending, and explains my impending stomach tattoo as well)
#5: HARD - PART 1 (I am a redneck stereotype, just like the haters expected)
#6: COMPLEX - PART 1 (I am a white backpacker rapper stereotype, just like the haters expected)
#7: EMPTY-HEADED EMCEES (I think this is one of my favorite songs off this CD, it just sort of fell in place well, and also is the standard story of a dumbass like me who grew up with hip hop, loves hip hop, but hates most of the hip hop he hears nowadays, but still can't ever give it up, so it's self-torture to an extent until you hit those flashes of something feeding whatever it is inside of your dumbass that you love most about hip hop)
#8: BALDHEADS AT THE CROSSROADS (a verse morphed into a song, longhair pride turning into a story for the kids that I tell to the young 'uns after I've gotten drunk at bonfire parties or whatever; figured I'd put it on tape because fuck it, it's what popped in my head that night; avoid all Delilahs)
#9: HARD & COMPLEX - PARTS 2 (I am both, arguing with myself; I fucked around with some different non-standard rhyme schemes in this one, which makes the song kinda daffy at times, but I dig it)
#10: NEW MOON RIVERSIDE (mellow diatribe nonsense, most folks will probably hate it after one listen or call it pretentious or some shit, but this shit brings a tear to my eye because it's as real as real can get, my life no internet jive or CD bling to cover it at all, just too much work trying to provide fake sunshine for my offspring, killing my body off for dollars with no hope of doing anything else until I die or am too crippled to work so I live broke off of whatever the govt. deems is worth my life's labor, or what's left, with social security)
#11: 30-PACK (download it above and hear for yourself - summertime good times country style)

Word the fuck up. I hope you get it and enjoy it. We play our first show in like four weeks, and I can't wait to crack motherfuckin' skulls.

#74 RAP TAPES: 2pacalypse Now


Ahh, 2pac the martyred merchandising machine. This was his first solo tape, and other than a couple of singles, the only thing I own by dude. I dug this a bit when I got it, but it was real hit or miss. 2pac was always an enigma, doing something heartfelt like "Keep Ya Head Up" and then doing some simple shit playing gangsta. I guess he did a ton of songs (or he ain't dead) so you're gonna have all sorts of conflict. He's got a fuckin' record coming out now, a duet album with Scarface called 2Face.
It's also weird for me to hear people think 2pac is this great emcee. Like it used to be folks would talk about Pac and Biggie in that vein, and now they mention Jay-Z and I guess Nas, but for me, that conversation has always just been Big Daddy Kane and Rakim. Proliferation aside, I'd never put Pac up with either one of those dudes. Oh well, he made Suge some money, although Suge is bankrupt now; but he'll be back. You can't keep a cockroach down.

Sunday, August 6

#75 RAP TAPES: Hard to Earn


This is exemplary of the faults of the system I used to eliminate these fuckin' tapes from 100 down to 1, because if I were to list these tapes in order of what I think without listening is my favorite, Hard to Earn would be way higher. Gang Starr is my favorite less-than-a-posse rap group ever, now that I've realized that EPMD only had one good album. Guru often gets misrepresented as a less-than-stellar emcee who rode the fat beat coattails of Premo to make a dollar for himself, but fuck that noise. I'd sample Guru lines more than almost any other emcee ever. If I had to think of one bad thing about Hard to Earn, being this is the internet where people who don't do shit are meant to hate things that get done, I'd say it's Melachi the Nutcracker. That dude sucks. Even on Group Home shit, that dude sucks. The fact that people even give a shit about Group Home in the slightest is a huge testament to the power of Premo and Lil Dap. Dap should've came out solo, and made a quick dollar bill name for hisself like Jeru did, riding Premo beats like some folks accuse Guru of doing. Loungin'. Mellow out and just loungin'.

Saturday, August 5

#76 RAP TAPES: Black Star


I used to love some Rawkus, and dug on the Mos Def, until a friend one night explained to me how every song he ever did was like a reworking of an old school classic, which ruined him for me. The "Fortified Live" single with Black Star and Mr. Man is still one of my favorite singles, and the second version on this tape sucks in comparison. But there's still plenty of stuff on this tape I love. "Definition" is still a song I play regularly, and when my oldest was like three, it was her favorite song, behind Nelly Furtado's "I'm Like a Bird", and it's funny hearing your own fuckin' offspring toddler toddle talk about Biggie and Tupac getting shot. Ahh... America... we are fucked. Talib is still enjoyable for me, though he suffers from whisper-rapper-syndrome, which always annoys the goddamn positivity right out of me (fuck a Bahamadamamia), but I've always sort of suspected that Mos Def was like a jazz professor's son who parlayed rap celebrity status into doing Visa commercials and co-starring alongside Bruce Willis a little too easily. Not that I fault a man for chasing his dreams, but when you use a format as a stepping stone, it sort of pisses on that stepping stone. I also think "Respiration" might be one of the last songs that Common did that I didn't automatically assume he was the gay rapper on.

Thursday, August 3

#77 RAP TAPES: Convicts


I used to buy a lot of Rap-a-Lot's stuff just because it was Rap-a-Lot, which has led to more than a number of shitty low-budget purchases, this being one. I guess it's an early work, and these two were supposedly gonna get signed to Death Row when Dre started it up, as they were roommates with Snoop Dogg, but Rap-a-Lot made Big Mike the new Geto Boy to bring the Convicts back to Houston. The problem with this tape is just how not well-thought-out all the songs are. There's a couple of good ones, but basically it's like you took someone who bought some studio time, made a demo, and threw in a couple of Geto Boys guest spots. I haven't heard a ton of 3-2, but most all his solo stuff I have come across has been kinda weak, which also is surprising as he has guest spots on two of the fuckin' greatest southern songs of all-time - "Straight Gangstaism" and "Pocket Full of Stones". And having gotten far too into some DJ Screw tapes in the last couple years, I realize Big Mike is the fuckin' man.
Did the Convicts ever make another group tape to try and show up this one? The funny thing about old Rap-a-Lot groups too is like it's WWF in the '80s giving gimmicks to people too. "Okay, let's make you guys convicts and you do like five songs about being in jail. Okay, let's get you funny-rapping dudes a DJ and say he's blind and call you the Odd Squad. Alright, I think you guys would make a good baby Geto Boys group, but I know this white midget dude who I think we can get to rap too to make it complete." Fuckin' great. In today's blinged-out iced-out champagne clubbin' society, it's nice to remember when rap welcomed the ugly-assed retards.