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.

Wednesday, March 28

EWA100 - #69. Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five - White Lines (Don't Do It)



69. Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five - White Lines (Don't Do It) (Sugar Hill. 1983. 12-inch single)

Raven Mack: If I could knock one song off this list, it would be this one. The Furious Five sounded so corny any time it wasn't "The Message", and this song is just painfully stupid. I guess part of the problem is that, you know, drugs are pretty much known as being something that can fuck you up but also get you caught in some sketchy life situations. The whole concept of an anti-drug song, to me, seems pretty fuckin' stupid. I mean, if you don't already know that snorting something that you had to acquire illegally up into your nose to give you bursts of semi-euphoria might cause some sort of problems for you at some point, then Melle Mel's wack-ass weightlifter-powered couplets aren't gonna break through that block of a head you've got.
Seriously, the fact this song is on here is proof of how fuckin' east coast biased this panel was. Hell, Ruthless Records alone had two songs that could've easily took this spot: "It's Funky Enough" by The D.O.C. and "Supersonic" by J.J. Fad. I'd much rather be talking about either of those songs here than this "White Lines" crap. But hip hop dork thinking is Grandmaster Flash is a LEGEND and PIONEER so he must get his daps in over-abundance.
I love the fact someone can be considered a genius because they scraped a record back and forth while the needle was still on it. And if I ever got rich and could force people to do things for my personal amusement, I would totally make a record with Melle Mel as the main MC and Sen Dog as his hype man. That shit would be funny to me.

Mike Dikk: I have to disagree with the opinion that this song is cornier than “The Message”. I think both songs are equally corny, but both have their strong points. For instance, “White Lines” is the only song I know about that was originally about promoting drug use that switched into something against it. All they really did was tack on “Don’t Do It” in parenthesis, and I assume, add on that last verse. The first two verses are pretty vague and the chorus is obviously celebrating cocaine use. I’d bet these dudes were even high on coke when they wrote and recorded this song.
I’ve developed a new found love for this song from listening to it in preparation for this list. I never noticed that there’s a little sample of someone sniffing/snorting after the little bass parts. That alone makes this song great. I’m pretty surprised some southern group hasn’t ripped this beat off to once again make it pro-cocaine. If any southern rappers are reading this right now, consider this your hot tip to immediate super stardom.

Downloade: Grandmaster Flash & The Furious FIve - White Lines

Watch the video. Rang dang diggety danga dang.

Tuesday, March 27

EWA100 - #70. Das EFX - They Want EFX



70. Das EFX - They Want EFX (EastWest. 1992. From the LP Dead Serious)

Mike Dikk:
Das EFX were so ahead of their time. Not so much for their whole “diggety diggety doo doo” rhyme style, but for dropping like 53,000 retro pop culture references in one song. Something like that would sell BILLIONS today. Everyone is so retro obsessed with retro something or other now, and I bet you if Das got back together right now and their first comeback single was “They Want More EFX” and it was all like “I’m on a viggedy Vision Quest with Biggedy Buckaroo Bon-Zai, we spent the wiggedy Weekend At Bernies and shot miggedy Magnum P.I.” peoples heads would fucking EXPLODE.
There are several thousand television shows dedicated to reliving the 80’s so I know I’m right. Das EFX were doing that shit in song form 15 years ago. Some of the references in this song were painfully dated even for purposely retro pop culture references. That whole “They call me Puddin’ Tang” thing, my grandfather used to say that! I guess they couldn’t work in “Playing tiddelywinks with manhole covers” and “Rosie the Riveter” in there.
Its common knowledge that the Hit Squad in their prime were unfuckwithable, but what they don’t get credit for is their gimmicks. Much like old Rap-A-Lot acts, the Hit Squad dudes had these silly subtle gimmicks, like EPMD was from the Boondocks, and Redman was from The Bricks and Das was from The Sewer. I even think forgotten white rap group, THe Knuckleheadz were from some catchy locale. Actually yeah, they were from the ‘Burbs I believe.
My point it, that whole sewer thing really came across in the beats Erick Sermon hooked up for Das Efx. Their shit really sounded raw and dirty like a nasty sewer. Of course, I sometimes feel like I’m the only person who bought their entire album because I’ll sing “Looseys” pretty often and the only person who knows that song is my friend Jay. Everyone else looks at me like an asshole.
I guess it was kind of easy to write Das EFX off after a real gimmicky first single, but that entire record is classic to me. After that, they kind of went to shit though, but their really isn’t any early 90’s Erick Sermon stuff that’s garbage. Probably because he got to all of the good samples before other producers could, but that’s how it was back then.

Raven Mack: Das EFX were discovered by EPMD one block away from the freshman dorm I lived in once I went to college. In fact, Das EFX had got signed but not yet released an album, and would often be seen hanging around trying to get pussy in front of the dorm. The place they got discovered was a thugged out (like more thug than the worst thug you can think of) joint called Ivory's. It was pretty much common knowledge that you stood a good chance getting shot in there. Not punched or stabbed, but shot. It was also pretty much common knowledge if you were white, do not go there. I was talked by two white girls into trying to go there one time to see the Pharcyde when their Bizarre Ride album was out. This seemed a silly idea, because I kind of assumed the Pharcyde were gonna get beat up at Ivory's, as opposed to a different type of clientele showing up for the event. Sure enough, me and the two white girls, both of whom had an affection for black penis, yet also somehow an affection for me, while walking there, got about a block away before three dudes using the pay phone by the Hardee's pretty much laid out how I'd best turn around or I was gonna get fucked up. I'm sure the white chicks could've forged ahead and had a good time and used rhythmic methods to try and not create babies and the ensuing drama that comes with that, but they turned back with me. And we went back to the one chick's house and sat on the porch and drank double deuces of Mickey's and every time a pimped out car rode down that side street, we'd say, "They're going to Ivory's." It was good fun.
One of the grandest murders to happen outside of Ivory's was, once the closing of the club led to snarled traffic on Broad Street like it did every Friday and Saturday night, one evening a dude who was driving an all-pink BMW - no shit - jumped out and shot up a car in the next lane with an AK-47, killing all three dudes inside the car. Of course, with traffic snarled, the pink BMW was useless, so dude just left it behind and ran off into the night, and as far as I remember, never got caught. It was probably another year or so before local affluent influences like the college I had attended back then got the city to use bullshit liquor violations to seize the property, like they could basically do to any club ever, but choose to pick their spots, kind of like NFL referees calling holding penalties. So Ivory's closed.
But that's where Das EFX was discovered. And I could never tell those two dudes apart, both with the dreads and "bum stiggiddy bum" nonsense... I figured they were twins, to be honest. It was such a gimmicky flow they had, yet crazily enjoyable, but only for a few songs. And this is their penultimate song, even though most of them sounded similar. This has the crazy style of them dudes, but crossbred with the mainstream appeal of remembering it being on the radio. In fact, I got my wife one of them new-fangled Ipod Lacostes for Christmas, and she's been bugging me to do internet voodoo and get this song for that machine of hers. It epitomizes a time of her life, and if a stupid song where people unnecessarily add extra syllables to every word can epitomize anything at all to anyone, it is the American Dream. Word is bond, motherfuckers, the American Dream. Das EFX Dude A and Das EFX Dude B might have shorn their locks by now and gone into a regular world job of selling insurance or refinancing mortgages or whatever, but for a while there, both them guys got to travel to places and even if they hit a town they'd never been to before, this song preceded their arrival and strange women would cause ejaculations from them dudes' bozacks. That's pretty much the essence of rock-n-roll, which isn't really any different than hip hop when you break it down beyond generational barriers. One man's groupie is another man's full steezie.


Download: Das EFX - They Want EFX

Watch the video:

Sunday, March 25

EWA100 - #71. Positive K - I Got A Man



71. Positive K - I Got A Man (4th & Broadway. 1992. From the LP The Skills Dat Pay Da Bills)

Raven Mack: "I Got A Man" is one of those songs that proves science is not the penultimate form of analysis of life matter, because if you break down this track into it's lyrical components, it's pretty simple and kinda stupid. If you break down the beat, it's basic part-club part-boombap early '90s pop rap soundtrack. And Positive K, if you break him down, is just some pussy-houndin' smooth brother who is probably looking the same to this day, driving around in a Bonneville drinking Icehouse double deuces with his co-workers at some sort of shipping facility. But you put it all together, science be damned, and this is a track that I guarantee you if you threw on at a party - whether that party was metrosexual thirtysomethings or hippie girls with dreadlocks or grown black folks who wear prescription sunglasses with fake gold emblems - someone is gonna be all like "Awww shit, I remember this song" and either shake their hands or their ass, depending on how much sexual rhythm they were born with naturally. When we were coming up with this list, we made some criteria about what constituted a jam, in that it shoud've been a single of some sort that got notoriety from regular people and not just the ultra-sub-culture of hip hop uber-dork, had there been an internet for that type of uber-dork to thrive upon back in the earlier days of hip hop. "I Got A Man" is probably the best example of the Jam in this list thus far, because it's nothing but a Jam. Stupid lyrics, basic beat, obscure rapper you could've replaced with 75 other rappers of the time, but it all came together perfectly on this song, to stand the test of time and bring back those fine memories of when we were younger and not married with kids and riding to the babysitter's house, trying to pretend we're not half-drunk.
And plus, this song is basically about pussy. I know it's not kosher in this politically correct time to admit it or objectify it, and I don't really think of it as objectification, but vagina is a strong force in the mind of a man. Our hidden molecular structure tells us we need to put our penis in the vagina as much as possible, and this is all for survival of the fittest cell memory that our scientific mind can't even understand and tries to psycho-analyze into guilty non-existence. But it's there. Every dude you've ever met wants to have sex with vagina as many times as his body is able to do it, as often as possible, and often times with as many vaginas as possible. If a dude doesn't feel that way, legitimately and he's not just lying to not piss off his girlfriend who caught him looking at some other girl walking by, then that dude is just chemically imbalanced by our modern society and he's probably gay or has a furry fetish or some odd shit that doesn't make babies.

Mike Dikk: This was a last minute nomination that I didn’t think would actually make the final list because it’s one of those songs I always thought I was one of the few people man enough to admit in public that I like it. It’s pretty corny, but basic enough where anyone can get into it.
This is really a male version of Positive K’s only other claim to fame, MC Lyte’s “I’m Not Havin’ It”. I could never figure out if the “girl” on this track was him with a very convincing voice changing device or if it was just an unaccredited female. Either way, this song is where Positive K’s brilliance was completely tapped out. Even at the time when this song was new, it was fairly obvious Positive K would never be heard from again as soon as the song faded out.
Since the story of Positive K and “I Got a Man” isn’t really that exciting, I figured I’d get into some other stuff to spice it up. I think all people who successfully do artistic things fall into one of three categories. The first and most common would be the type who never does anything too incredible, but is always consistent at being fairly decent. This is the category I would fall into if I was actually successful at what I do. It’s the reason why authors like Stephen King and Anne Rice stay relevant and always have their books in supermarkets. They won’t knock you on your ass with what they do, but its decent enough where some goober from the Midwest can get into it and make themselves feel intelligent for a few minutes.
The second type would be a person whose whole output is pretty shitty, except for a couple things that they put all their time and energy into that ended up coming out brilliant. This is the category Positive K is in. I seriously doubt anyone still owns Positive K’s one and only LP, but I bet an entire shitload of people have the “I Got A Man” mp3 on their ipods, and I bet a few others have “I’m Not Havin’ It” on there, too.
The third would be the one-in-a-billion type who is brilliant at everything they do. I can’t really think of anyone that fall in this category, because I hate the Beatles and Prince and Michael Jordan even had some bad days. I guess Biggie could almost count since he died before he could really start sucking.
I think the best part of “I Got A Man” is how he gives up chasing the girl once she tells him her man buys her things, and that is a request Positive K simply can’t fill. It was an early glimpse into the weird dichotomy of rap music. You can spend lots of your rap money on your number one lady, but never any rap money on a girl you want to fuck that you think is a slut, unless she’s a stripper. Then it’s ok to throw money at her, but not necessarily fuck her. Just about every rap song regarding girls has followed this formula since forever. Clipse have recently tried to flip the script with their song “Dirty Money”, and I’m surprised the hipster fruits that hang off their nuts didn’t manage to write 15,000 words about the genius of this song. Hell, they probably did. “Dirty Money” is about spending all that crazy money they made selling crack on sluts. Not to get off on a completely different subject that has nothing to do with Positive K, but I find it funny that all these rappers sell crack and have no problem incriminating themselves by rapping about it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m white, so I’m predisposed to like The Clipse, but until one of these asshole rappers actually get caught selling crack and have their music used against them like what happened to Project Pat for his gun charges, I do not believe any of them. Until then, Project Pat is the realest dude rapping.

Download: Positive K - I Got A Man

The internet has left Positive K behind, so no official music video. Instead you get some fat man performance art lip synching video. It's about Buddha trying to take a nun from Jesus. This shit is kind of weird.

Thursday, March 22

EWA100 - #72. A Tribe Called Quest - Award Tour



72. A Tribe Called Quest - Award Tour (Jive. 1993. From the LP Midnight Marauders)

Mike Dikk: I remember buying the cassingle of this when it first came out. Kids have it easy these days. I wish I grew up in a time where buying cassingles wasn’t even an option. Microsoft Word doesn’t even recognize “cassingle” as a word! It’s a completely obsolete music format just like the 8 track.
Tribe was coming off a bonafide classic album and this was their first single to the follow up. Since very few rappers or rap groups ever come out with two classic albums, I thought this would be great, but not essential. I was definitely wrong though. Midnight Marauders was another classic album. It wasn’t as dusty and raw sounding as Low End Theory, but they used the extra money in their recording budget to their advantage. Plus Phife Dog managed to learn how to passably rap on this record and it was quite a surprise for me.
I listened the fuck out of this song, along with the entire record. I was still young and full of glee at the time, and my idea of a fun time was playing Super Mario Kart and drinking Snapples. I still thought drugs and alcohol were gross and I had no social skills so talking to girls was completely out of the question. All I needed was A Tribe Called Quest, Wu Tang Clan, my SNES, my bedroom located in my mother’s basement and some Snapple god dammit.
Sadly, this is still the kind of lifestyle a lot of internet personalities lead, and it’s really weird to me. I mean, after a while I stopped being 15 and I discovered girls and stuff. Sometimes I do think discovering girls made things a lot more complicated and I wish being in a basement bedroom with a bunch of cassingles and an SNES is all I would need to keep my mind right, but then I snap out of it. Now I know what I really need is some weed, mp3s, a PS2 and a comfortable couch in my low rent apartment to be happy. Oh, and A Tribe Called Quest helps too.

Raven Mack: Dre and Wu Tang had already come out by this point, so I was not into all that hippie rap. And by this point I had developed a weird pet peeve against whispering rappers, of which I'd say Q-Tip is probably the godfather of. Something about hearing people whispering makes me want to slice their ears off with a 14-inch Rambo knife, so that they don't feel the need to over-use their aural senses anymore and can talk like fuckin' regular people at a normal decibel. So when someone does this on a musical track, on purpose, it seems extra annoying to me. And to be fair, I doubt Q-Tip is actually whispering like a Bahamadia or whichever of the Yin Yang Twins is the annoying whispering one on that stripper love song (HA! I know, which one?), he's probably just got a really stupid voice to start with. But whatever, I'm sure it's gotten him far more white sugarwalls than I could ever dream of even looking at if I became an obsessive compulsive porn collector with autographed glossies of my favorite "starlets".
However, even though I did not get into the Tribe like every other white person who has ever loved rap music did, one thing about this song got me sprung - the infectious beat. (NOTE: I have a personal challenge to myself that if I can drop two stupid and over-used clichéd phrases or terms withint a five word span, I allow myself fifteen bucks to go buy two "mixtapes" at the Cherry Avenue Barber Shop; thus the usage of "sprung" and "infectious beat" so close together. I probably, without this personal goal, kept the "sprung" part and overthought a clever synonym for "infectious" because seriously, that term's played out like a music critic's homosexuality.) I think this falls into the period of my life where me and my boy Boogie Brown shared a house with a straight edge punk and a crazy guy, both of which hardly hung out at the house because one dude was crazy and the other hated the lifestyle me and Boogie Brown had developed at the crib. Namely, we smoked a lot of pot, listened to a lot of rap, played with the new Super Nintendo we had bought with pot money because we also sold pot. It was good times. And we'd blow tons of money on 12-inch singles every week. Man, like 1991 through 1994 was such a great period for hip hop when it came to singles. People were throwing in unreleased B-sides, bonus remixes, instrumentals for the original plus remix... good times for a hip hop head with said head full of reefer smoke. Me and Brown would get stuck on certain instrumentals like mad. "Award Tour" was one of the long-time members of that ever-evolving list. Another was "L.I. Groove" who I can't even remember the song was done by. But the instrumental is awesome. I miss those days, not only the lack of personal attachment to responsibility on my part, but hip hop's part as well. It was such a carefree music that was just starting to become the completely marketable form it would develop into, where it was just starting to be rapping Colonel Sanders cartoon characters in commercials and shit, and R&B hadn't completely become a watered-down hip hop yet. This was hip hop's teen years, where it was hitting maturity, which unfortunately means it had to sell-out to get a job.
And yeah, Phife got to be quite entertaining at this point, because you knew he had the potential to really suck because of his past, but he didn't anymore, yet his style was still kind of oddball, coming at you like a left-handed knuckleballer, and it a fun foil to Q-Tip's hippie girl vagina hair-dampening vocals.
It's funny, because this list has made me miss a lot of the old ways shit was done, but actually just thinking about this instrumental and that time period probably filled me with more sad reflection upon hip hop than any other point in this list thus far. I would think the internet would agree that the bling thug coke pop child's nursery rhyme rap is pretty shitty, but for me, a lot of the internet-tingling indie shit - though an alternative to the mainstream - a lot of it is very similar and lacks anything to set it apart from everything else just like it. It's as if just setting yourself apart from the mainstream is good enough, so you have this big mass of shitty mainstream shit that's close enough to being the same for me not to care, and this harder-to-unearth big mass of shitty underground shit that's close enough to being the same for me not to care. And even the "experimental" shit is usually experimenting in similar ways to other shit. It makes me sad, but probably shouldn't, because it means that one, I'm probably out of touch, and two, I won't be spending all my money on the material acquisition of music, which is good because I'm pretty lazy when it comes to self-employment and I need to spend what money I have on a new bike for my kid's birthday.
And that brings up something else that's been in my mind lately. I mean, I've been thinking how there needs to be rap music for grown folks, as hip hop's come that far, following the early '90s being the teen years. You can't just say a music form is only for the youth, or you lose out on so many creative options that come with age. But then you hear crap like Jay-Z's "thirty is the new twenty" or whatever the fuck it is, and Nas's better than Jay-Z but still kind of weak "waaah, whatever happened to obscure rap dude who's 12-inch I loved in 1989? How come he's not got a platinum medallion, we should totally start up a retired rappers pension plan like the NBA" nonsense. Is that what grown folks' hip hop is gonna be? Because I was kinda hoping for something more along the lines of Big Daddy Kane cleverly singing the praises of soul food buffets or Kool G. Rap just being Kool G. Rap at age 40 on a record, not shit like that. Hell, I'd settle for more grown folks shit like Brand Nubian's The Foundation record. But probably all I'll get is like weird reunion tours with overpriced tickets where they perform all their old songs and everybody's happy to get a retro-buzz topped off with $7 beers. I should probably just stay in my camper behind the house, turn on the red light, drink some red-eyes, smoke a little bowl, and listen to instrumentals on my shitty Numark.

Download: A Tribe Called Quest - Award Tour

Watch the video:

Wednesday, March 21

EWA100 - #73. 3rd Bass - The Gas Face



73. 3rd Bass (feat. Zev Luv X) - The Gas Face (Def Jam. 1989. From the LP The Cactus Album)

Raven Mack:
This has been a terribly hard blurb for me try and write because I absolutely detest everything about MC Serch, almost to a comical level... like he could resurrect Syd Barrett and Sun Ra and have them playing some weird free form jazz shit for some crazy unknown collective of hungry MCs who were half Wu Tang and half Freestyle Fellowship to just rip verses over, and I'd still hate Serch. And I guess this makes me feel uncomfortable because of the whole Expert Whiteboy Analysis trait of wanting to out-down other whiteboys, of which Serch seems to be the kind, and maybe I'm playa hating on that. But also, and this may even be seen as unconsciously racist on my part by some dumbfucks, I thought he looked stupid with his high top fade. I mean what the fuck? He's a Jewish dude. I can understand being down with black culture and shit, but there is a limit to that, and at some point you might want to add the spices of your own heritage to the melting pot. What little I actually got to see of the White Rapper Show just reinforced this hatred inside of me for Serch.
Serch often would claim he was the best white rapper ever, and this also struck me as odd because he wasn't even the best white rapper in his own group. And I've never felt the hatred for Pete Nice. I used to bump his first solo album like mad. (It should probably be noted when they split up because of the clichéd artistic differences, DJ Daddy Rich - the black dude in 3rd Bass - went with Pete Nice.) So any dislike I have of this song is probably completely related to my hardly justifiable detest of MC Serch. Sure, I saw the video on the MTV back in the days, and it seemed kinda corny, doing a gasface. And yeah, they were not as stupid as MC Hammer and Vanilla Ice, as they were quick to make sure you knew, but still, not being the dumbest kid in special ed doesn't make you a Rhodes Scholar.
And I guess I shouldn't hate on it for being a corny song, because this was a corny time in rap, and were it not for such goofy sixth grade gimmickry in abundance, Wu Tang or Illmatic would not have been such a fresh shower of grime in the midst of this commercial crap masquerading as art.

Mike Dikk: As far as I’m concerned, the two 3rd base LP’s are a solid 4 mics each (based on The Source’s legendary 5 mic scale of course). Hell, the beats alone could have gotten these 4 mics. The Pete Nice solo is somewhere around the 3 and a half mic range and that MC Serch record just sucked a dick.
With that out of the way, "The Gas Face" was a great song at the time. I still to this day like 3rd Base, but there were a lot of fists that were kidneys deep into this song to make sure it was a hit. First off, 3rd Base was signed/created by Russell Simmons to replace the Beastie Boys who had just left Def Jam. The idea for the song was thought up by Zev Luv X, bka MF Doom, aka Doom. The beat was hooked up by Prince Paul, who at the time, was coming off of 3 Feet High and Rising and was fucking untouchable, and lastly, the beat wasn’t even meant for 3rd Base. It was originally supposed to be used by Eric B. & Rakim (self correction: This is more than likely wrong. More reliable sources say it was actually the "Steppin' to the A.M." beat that was offered to Eric B. & Rakim first.), but they passed on it. Simply put, there was no fucking way this song was going to fail. You could get two of the worst white rappers ever and they wouldn’t fuck this up, even if they were from Serch’s White Rapper Show talent pool. Jon Boy and Persia could be all over this track forgetting their lines every 8 seconds and saying something Eminem said 6 years ago and it wouldn’t matter.
I know it sounds like I’m trying to defend my love for this song by making excuses as to why it’s so good, but that’s not the case. I already said I thought 3rd Base’s entire output (outside of the Serch record) is dope, but I do realize 3rd Bass was more than two white faces and one black DJ that stood in the back, and no amount of MC Serch Jew Fro To High Top Fade jackassery can stop me from liking the great music that they helped make along with Russell Simmons and the rest of Def Jam’s staff.
Speaking of Serch, a lot of people question his legitimacy, even more so because of this White Rapper Show bullshit. The fact that every time his name is scrolled across the screen, “Hip Hop Icon” scrolls right under it doesn’t help his case. Pete Nice on the other hand has completely denounced Hip Hop and lives a quiet life in Cooperstown, NY running a baseball museum.
Now, I don’t know how much the average baseball museum owner makes, but I doubt his pockets are that fat, and he’s probably had to switch over from those fat Cuban cigars to Black ‘N Milds. I also imagine he’s gained some weight in his old age and has one of those dirty stubble beards and oily skin where it always looks like you just ate an entire pizza that anyone involved in baseball cards gets after a while. He may even be so fat that he needs one of his pimp ass walking sticks to actually walk, and not just to pimp.
I bet every day he goes home to his modest house, which I imagine is mostly brown tones for some reason, and smoke stained from the Black ‘N Milds, and he sits down in a heavily worn in La-Z-Boy recliner with a plate of fish sticks and vegges out in front of the TV. The TV, of course, is the wood paneled kind with knobs, to match the smoke stained brown tone motif. He probably settles in on some music station to reminisce about old times but only finds complete garbage rap and feels justified in leaving the hip hop business behind. I also bet that not too long ago, he flipped (or turned the knob) to VH1 and saw Serch’s goofy ass with a bunch of white kid rappers in tow and he got so fucking pissed he threw his fish sticks to the ground in disgust and hurled a sealed complete set 89 Donruss Box from the pile of card sets he was using as a makeshift dinner tray right at the TV with enough strength to crack the screen on that fucker.


Download: 3rd Bass - The Gas Face BONUS DOWNLOAD: KMD - Gasface Refill

Watch the video:

Monday, March 19

EWA100 - #74. Dr. Dre - Nuthin' But A "G" Thang



74. Dr. Dre (feat. Snoop Doggy Dogg) - Nuthin' But A "G" Thang (Death Row/Interscope. 1992. From the LP The Chronic)

Mike Dikk: The fact that this track didn’t even make it into the top 50 is a glaring oversight on our part. I know when you make these “all time” lists, even one like ours where the official criteria gets kind of foggy, there’s some stuff that gets neglected. Maybe it was because we didn’t have anyone from the west coast on our EWA staff, or maybe we just kept missing it on the list since this was all done over a message board, so I doubt a lot of real deep concentration went into some of it.
This is a very, very important song especially to any Expert Whiteboy out there. Sit down for a minute because I have a story to tell…
This single came out right before I moved out of the bonafide ‘hood to a nicer, mixed-class town. It was the very end of '91. The term “wigger” wasn’t widely used at the time. I didn’t consider myself a wigger, but I pretty much was one. It wasn’t intentional. I was from an environment where everyone was into rap music. I never experienced real suburban life before. There was a short time when I was in 4th grade I lived in another white trash town, but I was too young at the time to really know the differences between race and class.
When I transferred to the new, more racially balanced high school, I was kind of unique. There weren’t many other “wiggers” in school, if any. It was the dying days of seeing actual living young Hessians attending school, and most of the white kids were fine with their Guido/Preppie hybrid look. That’s still a popular look to this day, but that’s not the point.
Most white kids in school weren’t into rap yet. Some dabbled a little, but I don’t think very many considered rap music as their first choice genre. I remember this one kid in science class that was into rap, but it was more of on the DL. We’d have a grand old time chatting it up about whoever was popular at the moment, but outside of him, there weren’t really any other Expert Whiteboys in my school I could turn to for good conversation.
One day I was in drafting class, and I think I had the case to the “G Thang” single on my desk or something, and a group of white guido/preppies came up to me and asked me where I got it from. Keep in mind, this was before the full LP came out, and the song was just gaining steam. I told them I got it from the record store. I mean, that’s where I got it from. It never dawned on me that some people might not even know where to buy non-Will Smith rap music from. Their interest in Dr. Dre should have clued me in right then and there that there was going to be a drastic change in popular music tastes real soon, but I didn’t have the Expert Whiteboy foresight I now possess today.
Sometime after, the LP came out, and I don’t know how many copies it actually sold, but if I were to guess by how many cars, houses, boomboxes, walkmen and radio stations were playing “G Thang” by then, I’d say it sold around 10 billion copies. I was still splitting time between my new town and the ‘hood, and it was EVERYWHERE. It was a big deal back then to be a west coast rapper that broke on the east coast as well. The song not only accomplished that, but it did it to every other part of the country too, and then trumped anything else to date by converting non-rap kids as well. This is the first song to unify the suburbs and the ghetto. Some could cite N.W.A as doing the same thing, but that was more of a novelty because they said "fuck" a lot. Then there’s Public Enemy, but like we already stated, most non-whites stopped liking PE once white people made it public knowledge that they were trying to Fight The Power.
There’s no doubt in my mind that “G Thang” was the real catalyst behind everyone on earth liking rap music. Obviously, it helped that there was a lot of quality shit released soon after, specifically, the Wu Tang album, which basically solidified the white person’s interest in The Rap.
By sophomore year, I would change my “look” drastically. By that time, I realized not everyone wore two-tone denim jeans with matching jackets. Then of course, the same guido/preppies who made fun of me for being a wigger became the wiggers making fun of me for not being one.
“The Chronic” is an album that’s on a higher level than any other Gangsta Rap album ever made. The only things that come close to it are Ice Cube’s first two LP’s. Together, those three LP’s are proof that N.W.A’s post-N.W.A output is better than anything N.W.A. actually did.
You may not realize it dear reader, but you have “Nuthin But a G Thang” to thank for this entire list. Without it, there would be no internet rap geeks to clown on, and that’s science fact.

Raven Mack: I'd have to say Mike is right about this blowing up everywhere. I was buying singles every Tuesday when the new shit came out at Willie's in downtown Richmond, and me and my man Boogie Brown were usually the only two white dudes ever in there. I took a friend once and he got all white and tried to write a check for some reggae and they wouldn't take a check and he came out all shocked towards me, and I was like, "Dude, this is a ghetto ass record store; you can't write a check at places like this." I was in college at the time this came out, living in a shit-ass $200 a month apartment with a heroin junkie and unemployable indie rocker and some dude who never got out of bed till like four in the afternoon and that was only to go buy potato wedges at the ghetto gas station next door. And I had the single when it first came out, because I bought everything back then, and the sound was crazy, I was stoked for the whole album. I've still got that 12-inch single and probably play the instrumental or freestyle versions of "Nuthin' But A 'G' Thang" at least once every couple of weeks. I would buy singles because of all the extra shit, which nobody does anymore - no remixes or alternate versions, just explicit version/radio version and maybe an instrumental if the producer isn't too much of a self-important prick to think some nobody's gonna jack his beat for a shitty R&B song. But Dre's singles off The Chronic all had freestyle versions and bonus songs and shit. Sadly, the only one I have left is this one.
Anyways, like Mike said, it blew up everywhere. College kids started freestyling when like a year earlier I really could not find more than like two dudes - black or white - to freestyle with. And when I'd sit on my shitty porch at that $200 apartment, there was this ghetto celeb dude in Richmond (at least in Randolph) at the time who had a semi-pimped stationwagon with the back window rolled down and he had two big box speakers sort of pointed out to the world and he'd ride around bumping shit. Very often, I'd sit on my porch and you could hear The Chronic a few blocks away and then dude would drive by. It was everywhere, all over the TV all over the streets all over all things that I knew Dre would never have a chance to make anything nearly so great again, because you can't blow the fuck up that much and somehow piece your hunger back together. You end up doing shit like having string sections on songs with ballroom dancing scenes in your video.
And yeah, it's retarded that this song is so low. I think it's because we did this on the internet with dudes who use the internet a lot, because the one thing about the internet is it always feels like it's smarter than it really is in actuality - that whole information superhighway ego thing going on - and folks who feel like they're smart tend to not allow themselves very basic sensory stimulation, which is what gangsta-ized rapping is pretty much based on. A song about shooting motherfuckers or stabbing a big ass with your penis cannot be liked by smart folks unless it has some weird metaphor involved or a grand finale moral to the song that hopefully will make crazy ghetto negroes less likely to victimize smart folks. But really, as someone who has always enjoyed crazy lines by MCs, "gettin' funky on the mic like an old batch of collard greens" is probably in my personal all-time top five lines. But I guess smart folks probably don't hook up pots full of collard greens too much either and they don't even know about apple cider vinegar.
And Mike's right, this list and Expert Whiteboy Analysts probably indirectly came from this explosion around this song, and man, buying singles every Tuesday was great because that was, for me, the greatest period of hip hop where there were so many different styles of things that were so great at the time, and it's like that bright explosion and things are so hot for a while, and I always told myself it was cyclical and eventually something new would blow up and make things hot again but now we're fifteen years deep into the hip hop burning down dimmer and dimmer into fake chrome ashes and synthetic diamond dust, and I don't know if there's gonna be a hunger-based power force to rejuvenate the hip hop world anymore. It always ends up being some smarmy dork shit the internet jocks, but lacks that power punch musically or lyrically that you find on "G Thang". You don't have to be brilliant with your words or some sort of post-modern symphonic musical collage-master, because shit that slams just slams without explanation. Which is also why Expert Whiteboy Analysis is so fuckin' stupid, because it attempts to explain the unexplainable, using self-science.
Fuck it, I'm just gonna get high and ride around in my car listening to The Chronic all afternoon.

Download: Dr. Dre - Nuthin' But A "G" Thang

Watch the video:

EWA100 - #75. Jeru The Damaja - Come Clean



75. Jeru The Damaja - Come Clean (Payday. 1994. From the LP The Sun Rises In The East)

Raven Mack: I would put this beat, along with the one to "Brooklyn Zoo", as the two greatest beats for me personally ever in the history of all things rappitty. And this one - so commonly referred to as sounding like Chinese water torture - could not have been a more perfect beat to not only complement but perfectly highlight Jeru's staggered self-scientific, big-words-you-don't-know-the-meaning-of, pseudo-sage flow. The more you listen to Jeru's other stuff, the more you realize this was the perfect storm of a Premier beat with a different-sounding rapper, and not him being the newest superfly big-headed lyricist like he was thought of at the time.

Still, there's no reason for me to haterize all over Jeru's career, because when it comes to pinnacle achievements, "Come Clean" is a far greater, completely uncomparable greatest hit, than 99% of any other MC could ever hope for. There's so many lines in this song that to this day I love and want to sample, especially "control the mic like Fidel Castro". That's probably one of my most favoritest lines ever, and when it comes to be a stupid nerd about something, that's what I'd be a stupid nerd about.
Two funny things that I write about three weeks after writing that original part there. One, Mike told me this sounded like proto-Neptunes beat, and that makes me sad sad sad. Also, we actually scratched that "control the mic" line the other weekend recording, and the DJ dude had this new bullshit program where you can sample shit into your robot and then he's got two robot records that the sounds come through and he can scratch that like a real record, but it's some shit that you just said. Well, we didn't have the CD of that anywhere, but I had an old mixtape I made with "Come Clean" under the passenger seat of my car, so we plugged in a shitty fifteen dollar boombox and played the tape through that into a mic for dude to put onto his robot scratch machine. The point of that story is no matter how much technological bullshit you have to make something sound crystal clear, a piece of shit like me is gonna wreck it all up somehow so that it still sounds rusty and dented and abrasive. It's in my DNA.

Mike Dikk: This is the first, but probably not the last time I’ll disagree with Raven on this list. I stand by the fact that the “Chinese water torture” sample sounds more like a proto-Neptunes Caribbean xylophone thing. Of course it’s not nearly as annoying as most Neptunes songs, but I think the beats to “D Original”, “Can’t Stop The Prophet” and even “Ya Playin Yourself” are better than this one. They aren’t as original, and if I was really high, I’d probably appreciate the “Come Clean” beat more, but I’m stone sober right now, so it’s not doing it for me. I know it's like hip-hop sacrilege to dis someone like Jeru and Premo, and I know this beat is pretty legendary, but I can't really help if it's my least favorite out of all the "big" Premo beats that he did for Jeru.
Raven is right about the lyrical part though. Jeru really came with it on this track and is definitely a major lyrical highlight of his somewhat short career. Yes, I realize he had a record in like 2003, but that doesn't count. On his first two records he seems pretty pissed off about mainstream rap music and that wasn't even during the worst of it, so I don't know if he voluntarily decided to go really underground and lay very low, or if people were sour because of his very blatant dissing or historical rap figures, or if it was just record label bullshit. I guess there’s always a chance that he ate too much faggot flambé too.

Download: Jeru The Damaja - Come Clean

Watch the video:

Thursday, March 15

EWA100 - #76. Ol' Dirty Bastard - Brooklyn Zoo



76. Ol' Dirty Bastard - Brooklyn Zoo (Elektra. 1995. From the LP Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version)

Mike Dikk: I’m one of those people that reads a lot of dumb hip hop tidbits that no normal person needs to know. Unfortunately, I get a lot of the information jumbled up since the internet is all about old hip hop secrets and gossip these days. From what I sort of remember, ODB was either signed to Elektra before the Wu Tang album even came out or before it really blew up. Either way, if the Wu Tang album bombed (yeah right), there is no fucking way I could imagine a record company giving ODB that much creative control to record and release Return to the 36 Chambers the way it was. “Brooklyn Zoo” was one of the only things on the record that could be considered a real song, so it became a single by default. Don’t get me wrong, it’s one of the best Wu Tang related songs ever. It reminds you that ODB is actually a pretty dope rapper and not just some larger than life cartoon character that modern day media portrayed him as. The thing is, the LP as a whole is a lot more impressive. The way things are with the Record Biz these days, I highly doubt you’ll ever hear something like this by a “rapper” again.
If you’re not a Wu-Tang historian, Wu-Tang’s 36 Chambers was released. The first solo Wu release was the Method Man’s album which wasn’t a far departure from 36 Chambers. Shortly after, Return to the 36 Chambers was released, and I definitely didn’t understand what the fuck was going on when I first heard it. Now I’m old and smarmy enough to realize it’s brilliant, but when you’re a teenager with a barely existent income, you don’t really want to buy a tape and hear some dude do the “Remember when we used to see who could do this the longest?” skit for a few minutes followed by a purposely bad R&B spoof.
I’m really glad I got to experience this record while it was new and ODB was still alive. I was barely alive in the '70s, so I missed out on music’s true experimental era. There isn’t a lot of major label releases you’ll find from the '90s that make you say “Wow, this dude is fucking crazy!”, let alone a rap release. Rap is all about being serious. So when you get a chance to experience some dude doing a “I’m crazy and I’m on welfare and I don’t give a fuck” gimmick, you better cherish it motherfucker, because it won’t come along too often. R.I.P ODB. You truly were one of a kind despite the fact that you got a little too crazy right before you died and made a lot of shit music in your last days. We can all forgive you because you gave us singles like “Brooklyn Zoo”, “Shimmy Shimmy Ya” and “Got Your Money”, but most importantly, you gave us the postmodern masterpiece, “Return to the 36 Chambers”

Raven Mack: I have always thought in words and wrote rhymes in my head, and there's this sort of mutant hybrid beat that always bops along in my head. This song is etched deep in my brain because the first time I heard it, it shattered all that shit I thought I knew. Even after the first Wu album, this shattered all that shit too. It was such a fucked-up yet sick beat, and ODB's style is the same. I was a huge Wu-mark back then, probably up until Wu-Tang Forever came out and sucked, and the Ol' Dirty Bastard was my favorite by far back then, not only for his own crazy style, but when you heard the paranoid bugged out fuckers from Sunz of Man and Killa Army, you knew they had been hanging out with ODB most likely and not some pimped out Ghost or Raekwon or cyber-intelligent GZA or RZA.
I'm not one to give a fuck when a celebrity dies because it's just a celebrity you don't know. Like if some great famous rapper or wrestler or writer or something dies, I don't sit around and be all sad about it and bust out that dude's shit and reminisce on how I materially purchased dead dude's consumer output and got a little bit of joy out of my money, instead of the usual wasting of it like with most bullshit you buy. But when ODB died, it really wasn't any different, though I did give it a second thought, thinking maybe the CIA did kill him. Lifting a car to save a trapped baby, stealing shoes in Va. Beach when he had a platinum record, arriving onstage at Hammerstein while on the run from the law, getting reapprehended in a Burger King parking lot in Philly, many children by many women, crack addictions and jail time... the Ol' Dirty Bastard is the closest thing to a hero I've probably had in my adult life.
There was some public access video show called Karamel's Video Jamz back in the day in Richmond, and he used to play an alternate "Brooklyn Zoo" video that was like a kung fu movie with sub-titles and cars blowing up and shit. That was some good shit that I've never seen since. I'm sure it's on stupid youtube, but seriously, did the Ol' Dirty Bastard get as awesome as he was sitting around on his fuckin' ass looking up stupid shit on youtube? Fuck no.

Download: Ol' Dirty Bastard - Brooklyn Zoo



Watch the normal video:


Or the funnier version:

Wednesday, March 14

EWA100 - #77. Cypress Hill - How I Could Just Kill A Man



77. Cypress Hill - How I Could Just Kill A Man (Ruffhouse/Columbia. 1991. From the LP Cypress Hill)

Raven Mack: Cypress Hill hit right when your average college kid was ready to embrace full-on party time hip hop, and what could be more acceptable to a college kid than a multi-cultural crew (one whitey, one brownie, and one blackie - as nobody really knew Sen Dog was actually a dark Mexican at that point) rapping about doing drugs over top of beats that sounded like some dude dropped acid while trying to pretend to be The Bomb Squad with a stack of George Clinton-based records? The production on this record - Muggs crazy beats combined with the rock-ish mixing that Joe "The Butcher" Nicolo was doing back then (haha, I'm a total nerd for knowing that shit, because he actually mixed some crazy weird rock-rap hybrid shit that was perfect for getting high and listening to real loud, like this and "Another Sign" by Schoolly D, but it lacked all that "Hey, we're a rock band and we rap and wear Adidas and have cornrows ARRGGHHH!" nonsense of later more rap-rocky rap-rock) - the production was insane. And this single makes the list probably more because it's the bigger single off this first album than any other, and all their later albums either just got too schticky or were paler versions of this album. I don't know what it is about the one album wonder nature of hip hop... I've always kinda figured it's like you're hungry when you're starting out, for real hungry, not the bullshit catchphrase everybody uses now about "I gotta eat, mane", and you're trying to talk somebody into taking you to the Chinese buffet so you can eat like a pig bitch and not be hungry again for like two days. That's your first album. After one album, and you work on your second, it's like you just ate the Chinese buffet yesterday, but it was good and you'd like to eat like that again, especially because you wanted to get some of those bacon-wrapped cheese potato things, but they didn't have any, so you're trying to talk somebody into taking you again, so you try, but you're swagger ain't as desperate today. If you make it to a third album, it's like you just ate the Chinese buffet yesterday and today for lunch and somebody's going up there for dinner and asks if you wanna come along - most of the time, you're not even trying to talk a good game, you're just going through the motions at that point. That's how the rap music is like the Chinese buffet.
Seriously, this is still one of those great great tapes that I get embarrassed to play too often because I remember some of the dudes back in the day who ended up being all about some Cypress Hill, and I don't want to be associated with those dudes in anybody's mind who might pass by while I'm playing that shit. They had a good formula - white dude making stoner beats, mexican who's gangstaness is softened by funny nasal voice and his penchant for smoking the weed, and a third dude who yelled shit really loud to drive the key points home in case you were too high and not paying close enough attention to what was being said. BEING SAID!

Mike Dikk: In the “Jump Around” write up, I alluded to being pretty obsessed with Cypress Hill. That was no joke. This was the first thing I bought in actual Compact Disc format. When I first saw the video for “How I Could Just Kill A Man”, I thought it was the greatest song ever written. It was so dirty sounding and very unlike anything else at the time. I missed that first video they had because they never really played it on YO! MTV Raps, but I probably wouldn’t have been as into them if I saw that one first. I even bought that “The Phunky Cypress Hill Shit” crewneck sweatshirt that they wear in the video and would routinely get kicked out of class for wearing it in school. I’d also draw that skull logo all over my schoolbooks and any other blank surface I could find.
At the time, I thought the rest of the CD was pretty spot on perfect too. I revisited it not too long ago (I still own that same copy that I first bought, which is quite a personal feat), and it’s definitely not as good as I thought it was when I was 13. There’s still some classic shit to be found on the CD, but stuff like the spanglish song doesn’t hold up anymore.
Oddly enough, I wasn’t even into smoking weed at all back then. I was naïve to the point where I didn’t even realize most of the songs were about smoking weed. I just liked the crazy sounding beats and B-Real’s wacky nasal voice.
By the time I was on my third or fourth Spencer’s Gifts bought Cypress Hill shirt is when the second LP came out. I was still too young to be enthralled with all the Frat Boy anthems on there, and the watered down versions of songs from the first LP weren’t any better. It sucks being bitter and jaded by age 15. Not too long after buying it, I traded or sold the tape (yeah, I bought the first one on CD, but was still regularly buying most hip hop on tape when Black Sunday came out) to a friend of mine. If I knew it would only get worse for Cypress Hill after Black Sunday, I might have held onto it. I think the third LP was straight up strictly for the Frat Boy set, and the 4th one was their laughable return to hardcore rapping. There was a remix CD released between the 3rd and 4th LPs that’s worth a listen if you can find it in a bargain bin somewhere. Sadly, their discography tells me they released like 5 more albums I was basically unaware of. Those early singles though, including the B-Real/Beastie Boys “So Watcha Want” remix are still untouchable. I’m still not sure how they went from being this bastard child of Boom Bap and Gangsta Rap to some kind of college party group. I was just too young at the time to really grasp that concept, and I probably called them sellout assholes or something else teenagers say when they’re favorite music stars betray them, but I imagine it was a conscious decision to change their style up a bit. Perhaps there were mad date rapes by white hats at their concerts and they saw a lucrative market in it. If there’s a White Boy Hip Hop Heaven, I’d like to think Cypress Hill would be up there still as hungry as they were during their first record, but at the same time goofy enough to be doing retarded songs with Funkdoobiest and Boo-Yaa Tribe.


Download: Cypress Hill - How I Could Just Kill A Man

Watch the video:

Tuesday, March 13

EWA100 - #78. Pharoahe Monch - Simon Says



78. Pharoahe Monch - Simon Says (Rawkus. 1999. From the LP Internal Affairs)

Mike Dikk: "Dun nuh nunuh….GET THE FUCK UP!" I still can’t get over the fact that Pharoahe Monch had a bonafide mainstream hit with one of the most memorable choruses and samples ever and then completely disappears from MTV just like that. He’s still there in spirit though, since they still use the Simon Says Intro or "Dun nuh nunuh" part anytime the shit’s about to pop off on one of their dumb reality shows.
I’m not a complete retard and I know Monch has some serious underground clout, and I think the reason he never had a proper followup was because of record label bullshit, but even Craig Mack had a remix. Oh wait, there is a "Simon Says" remix. I guess he really did achieve complete mainstream hip hop one hit wonder status then.
All joking aside, this is a vicious song, and I think any decent person could listen to the beat on a loop forever, which is probably why the remix is like 38 minutes long. It’s just kind of odd when someone with so much underground clout with a big hit fell off when Mos Def has been living off of Black Star fame for the past six years. Monch is due to release a new record within the next few months, but I don’t think it will have the success "Simon Says" did, but hopefully enough people outside of the internet dorkery underground remember him, so he can make the money he probably never saw from "Simon Says".

Raven Mack: I lived in a trailer once with a dude who was starting middle linebacker at a Division III ultra-white school, and all he was about was the gangsta shit. He'd lift weights outside and drink forties of Private Stock that I bought for him and when we freestyled, he'd freestyle all fast like southern rap, which I never could get my tongue around at that point in life. The only non-gangsta shit that my roommate liked, for some odd reason, was Organized Konfusion. He played them all the time, because I was simultaneously on that Rawkus shit and on the Illuminati-paranoid Wu-Tang B-level shit (Killa Army, Sunz of Man, etc.), and I guess he thought this was our only common ground. He would explain to me over and over how brilliant Organized Konfusion was, which was far less annoying than the internet explaining it to me, because the internet never explained it to me while we played dice at the kitchen table with some frilly girls from Sweet Briar College on the way over. Of course, I was beyond college, workingman, and none of those frilly girls with fatty pockets would look twice in my direction, because we lived in a trailer and I was a drunkard housepainter, not a cute crazy rich kid in college.
Pharoahe Monch seemed like he was gonna blow up large, MTV-style, but his skills have always been about the same, which is above average, but who the fuck cares about skills? This song is all about that beat, which if you ever heard in an actual club, it vibrates your ribcage and makes you want to drink beer and try to touch titties before the night is out. I don't even remember what the fuck Monch rhymes about - could've been about deciphering hieroglyphics or breaking down the human genome, but all that song does is get me hyped the fuck up. Punch your grandma in the face, steal her handicap-accessible minivan and drive it off a cliff, jumping out the door right before you hit the edge, all with a double-sized blunt in your mouth and two high gravity double deuces clanking around in your jacket pocket type hyped the fuck up.

Download: Pharoahe Monch - Simon Says BONUS MATERIAL: Simon Says (Remix. Feat. Lady Luck, Redman, Method Man, Shabaam Sahdeeq and Busta Rhymes)

Watch the video:


EWA100 - #79. LL Cool J - The Boomin' System



79. LL Cool J - The Boomin' System (Def Jam/Columbia. 1990. From the LP Mama Said Knock You Out)

Raven Mack: LL, at this point, had been known as the old school legend, and still at a relatively young age, and this was one of a number of updated repackagings he did of himself. I remember riding around in my boy Rob's mom's Hyundai Accel, drinking Miller Genuine Drafts like fools, smoking stank-ass ghetto buds drizzled with rum, and pumping this song. LL had made the transition from '80s mic hero to still-relevant in the '90s. And this, for me, is one of my favorite non-'80s LL tracks, because unlike him knocking out people's mamas or trying to crush the sugarwalls, it's not him pretending to be Luke Cage Powerman or Big Daddy Sweet Dick; it's just a simple-assed song about playing music real fuckin' loud, which at the heart of hip hop, just like rock-n-roll, is the whole fuckin' point. Because sometimes you just need the loud catharsis of escaping all the ass-kicking and pussy-waxing and the hardly-acknowledged stresses that come with both.

Mike Dikk: I really have nothing creative to add to this except I’ve never heard of putting rum on weed. Does that even do anything outside of make a mess? I remember one time when I was young and dumb and first found out codeine could fuck you up something proper, I dipped some weed in that and it didn’t do anything except stain the rolling papers. Maybe it just gives the weed a nice aroma.
Mama Said Knock You Out was such a good record. I remember even back then people were writing LL off, but he came with it on that record. Unfortunately, that was the last time he really came with it and that was 17 years ago now. I used to think LL was so bad ass. My friend Kenny’s sister had this giant door size poster of LL in all of his Troop gear back in the day and I wanted to grow up and be just as cool as LL was. Now it’s just kind of embarrassing that he’s still making records when he doesn’t really need to.
I know this is completely unrelated, but I need to fit it in somewhere in this list. Remember the video for “Jingling Video”? Specifically the part where he’s talking to his manager on the phone and LL hangs up the phone so hard that it hurts his manager’s ear? Then later on in the video, the manager is wearing a bandage on his ear. That’s one of the greatest music video moments of all time for me. Better yet, remember in Krush Groove when a very young LL comes into the audition room after being told there would be no more auditioning? Then Jam Master Jay reaches into his pants for a gun, but LL is not phased. Then he’s all like “BOX!” and goes the fuck off with the rappin’. Jesus Christ, what an awesome scene. To sum up, LL Cool J 1990 and earlier = so fucking good. LL after 1990 = not so much.

Download: LL Cool J - The Boomin' System

The video isn't on Youtube so here's the aformentioned clip from Krush Groove:


Friday, March 9

EWA100 - #80. Kool Moe Dee - Wild Wild West



80. Kool Moe Dee - Wild Wild West (Jive. 1987. From the LP How Ya Like Me Now)

Mike Dikk: I don’t think I need to point out that any rap song made about the wild west or cowboys is only good in the same way a person might find Weekend At Bernie’s good. In this song, the Wild West is more of a metaphor for the ‘hood, but it doesn’t matter. This song is ridiculous and Kool Moe Dee always looked ridiculous to me. Even when rappers were wearing battle armor and go go boots, those elderly person sunglasses still ranked higher on my Ridiculous Fashion Statement scale, not to mention the pillbox leather hat.
Kool Moe Dee was a really good rapper when all other rappers still sucked and rapped “cat” with “fat” on the regular. Unfortunately, he lived off that fame for a while and even got people well into the 1990s believing he was some amazing lyricist. I’m not even sure how there was any doubt who won the entire LL/Moe Dee battle. Even at that point in time, LL was light years ahead of Moe Dee. I’m sure some old people might disagree with me, but I am still (barely) young enough to stick my middle finger in the face of elders and ignorantly disrespect the past.

Raven Mack: You know, I never dug Kool Moe Dee, even back then. And as an adult dork into the history of the hipping hopple, I downloaded that freestyle shit, or heard it on a mixtape or something, and yeah, it was great for that time period. But seriously, what the fuck is wrong with Kool Moe Dee. I have a hard time remembering he's alive, since he's been obscure for so damned long, and also whenever I see one of those "Heaven Needed a Driver - R.I.P. #3" camouflage Dale Earnhardt t-shirts on some redneck dude at the flea market, I usually immediately conjure up an image of actual dead Dale Earnhardt and Kool Moe Dee up in heaven, having a fistfight, because heaven only has one pair of all-white heaven-style blu-blockers or weedeater sunglasses or whatever the fuck those two dudes had wrapped around their faces.
Also, yeah, wild west and black urban culture... people keep trying to come with that theme and it always comes off stupid. There was that black western with Big Daddy Kane by one of them Van Peebles dudes, and even Sadat X had that "Black Cowboy" song which was okay, I guess, but probably because that was when hip hop was starting to get stained with the bling-bling shiny suit syndrome of Bad Boy-ism. And the parallel is kinda stupid, the thinking being, "Yo, lots of people have guns and shoot them... I KNOW! IT'S JUST LIKE THE WILD WEST!" I think in the real wild west, most people had scabies and typhus and a mess of chores. I guess in 1987, that was mad clever though. And I guess if people thought a loud guy in a leather fez with Stihl protective eyewear on was clever, the wild west metaphor for urban life was like Shakespeare on acid.

Download: Kool Moe Dee - Wild Wild West

The actual video isn't on Youtube, so here's Kool Moe Dee performing the song on Soul Train:

Wednesday, March 7

EWA100 - #81. Public Enemy - Fight The Power




81. Public Enemy - Fight The Power (Def Jam/Columbia. 1990. From the LP Fear Of A Black Planet)

Raven Mack: I am a pop culture contrarian at heart, and I will readily admit two things regarding this so-called Public Enemy right off the bat. Number one, I think It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back is one of the best, maybe even the best, hip hop album ever, changing a lot of people's approach to the sound which made room for a lot of the epileptic seizure-inducing beats you hear from indie camps. And number two, I have not liked shit from P.E. ever since. Fear of a Black Planet is probably only good in my mind for giving great parody material for the title of that Fear of a Black Hat movie, starring Chino XL and that dude who plays for the Kansas City Chiefs in that one candy bar commercial. When the Black Planet CD landed - and being this is on the internet, this will get shit all over as being completely made up self-important bullshit - the only people I remember listening to it in my high school were white kids. No shit. By this point, more heritage-abandoning rednecks had already taken to wearing big clock necklaces, and the middle class kiddies had been pre-conditioned by Spin and Rolling Stone by this point to accept Public Enemy as second Jesus, but with verbal bombs and fake Black Panthers and shit. There was one kid who was all about this tape, and this song, and you know what that kid does now? He's a fuckin' pastor in South Carolina, at what I would assume to be an affluent white people's church. I guess you could say that means Public Enemy spread their message, but if the message gets completely lost as a message and is nothing more than a brief means of expressing average teenage rebellion, then what's the point.
Besides, I saw Chuck D speak one time, and man, a legend died in my eyes that night. Dude was straight capitalist motherfucker talking about business this and marketing that, and it just put a shiny used car salesman undercoating charge over his whole revolutionary schtick.
And the song itself is funny, because I would assume most people figure Elvis Presley was a racist. I don't know this to be true or not; I just know he was marketed as rock-n-roll, previously mostly what black folks did best, and made a ton of money. I think any simple-assed white kid who had all that money, drugs, and pussy thrown at him would've done the same. In fact, any black kid or brown kid or any kid would've done the same. He's just stupid Elvis. Who the fuck cares if he took rock-n-roll away from black people? Have you heard black people trying to do rock-n-roll in the last thirty years or so? Unless your Mick Collins, you ain't really hitting on too much.
It's just grandstanding, to make money and be fake concerned about your people so that you can get wealthy and have ironic old metal sign advertisements with Aunt Jemima Sambo characters on your bathroom wall. Except those people wouldn't listen to Public Enemy, nor the white people who used to listen to it. But this song is one of those critic-happy sign-of-the-times ditties that is supposed to personify the stupid shit going down, when in actuality this song is "Market the Fighting of the Power to Momentarily Feel Good About My Contributions to Society, All the While Making Money Like Elvis". Fuck a Chuck D.
Flavor Flav is awesome though. His show was more of a Aunt Jemima Sambo character than a thousand upper middle class bathrooms of black lawyers and gay white couples (they seem to like that Aunt Jemima shit too, I guess relating the struggle to share penises as something akin to not being able to vote and getting, you know, murdered for being dark-skinned) could ever have. Gold teeth, screwing white women who hardly know him, all while chewing on a piece of fried chicken... Flav turned out so much more subversive than Chuck D.
And haha, I totally see how expert and whiteboy of me it is to hate on PE once other white people loved them. IT'S BECAUSE THEY LOST THEIR EDGE! EVERYBODY KNEW ABOUT THEM! I AM UBER-DOWN AND HAVE TO LIKE SHIT NO ONE KNOWS ABOUT YET, OR PRETEND TO LIKE SOME IRONIC SIMPLE SHIT AS IF IT IS A GENIUS THAT REGULAR PEOPLE CAN'T GRASP! BALLIN'!

Mike Dikk: I feel like anything I write after Raven’s synopsis is going to pale in comparison. I feel basically the same way he does, and I noticed the same thing with how only white people bought this tape. I even remember the news talking about it. This record was a lot more mainstream than your average revolutionary white guilt college dorm soulja would have you believe. It was a real big deal back then for 4 million white people to buy a rap record.
I really never understood white guilt. I would love to be rich, and I think if I grew up rich, I would be proud of being rich. Sometimes I guess white guilt is charming. Like when someone from a well off family decides to “slum it” like the DIY punk/hardcore kids. The ones dumpster diving while their families beautiful suburban home in a quiet cul de sac is like ten miles away. Personally, I wouldn’t want to spend the best years of my life digging around in garbage to try and be down with lower class culture to prove to some imaginary social group that I don’t need money and oppressive things like deodorant to live my life. Well, until times get tough. Then you use that credit card your parents gave you for emergencies. Fucking fuckers. Either way, I find shit like that cute.
On the other hand, there’s a lot of kids who would normally never listen to rap that will exclusively listen to the most militant pro-black rap they can find. To this day, I still don’t understand that. How does listening to a bunch of music meant to uplift black people going to make your white ass anymore righteous? I bet when Public Enemy was actually relevant, the same types of people thought Young Black Teenagers was an insulting name, but the group was created by Public Enemy.
I don’t hate this song or anything, and everything BEFORE “Fear of a Black Planet” is fucking great, and you can’t dismiss The Bomb Squad. It’s real obvious why metal kids got into Public Enemy. The beats were so fucking heavy and frantic. What I do hate is that Public Enemy basically started this whole white guilt self righteous asshole hip hop movement. It’s not quite as in vogue as it used to be, but it’s still there. Honestly, this whole topic gets me really upset at how fucking stupid some people are. I’d rather not get into how much I hate Flavor of Love and it’s offspring, so I’ll just end it here.

Download: Public Enemy - Fight The Power

Watch the video:

Monday, March 5

EWA100 - #82 Whodini - Friends



82. Whodini - Friends (Jive. 1984. From the LP Escape)

Mike Dikk: 1986 is pretty much my cut off date when it comes to rap I actively listen to. I know you’re supposed to respect the old school and all that bullshit, but a lot of that stuff is horrendously dated and just corny. Whodini never really bothered me though. They were living and making music within their respective time frame. Most of the other pioneering rap groups were either relying on old disco records or using electro laser sounds to emulate the fantastic science fiction future we were all supposed to be living in by 2000. Every hit Whodini has sounds exactly like the year it was recorded in. They are the epitome of '80s retro, and I’m very surprised they don’t get more love from the ironic hipster set. The only song I can think of that out-Whodini’s Whodini is Timex Social Club’s “Rumours”. Even more so if you own the actual single and have that badass album cover. Outside of that, Whodini really stands alone when it comes to retro rap. There’s tons of bad rock and new wave shit that screams '80s, and I’m not saying pre-1986 rap doesn’t scream '80s too, but it’s in a completely different way. For example, if you were watching the movie Mannequin, a Whodini song in the background wouldn’t even register, but I’m sure if there was some Afrika Bambaata on, it would stick out like a sore thumb.
If you’re young and you’ve never heard Whodini before, you really don’t need to unless you’re the type of kid who gets real hyped when they play A-Ha “Take on Me” at '80s night. If you are that type of kid though, “Friends” is the perfect song for you.

Raven Mack: Mike will speak in the next listing of self-righteous white guilt white people who love militant rap music more than anything, and I grew up with a good friend who turned out that way - even started a black awareness club at his stupid private school some rich dude who was probably molesting him sent him to, even though there was maybe two black dudes at that school, and both of them were Nigerian or some shit like that from the emails. Well, that kid and me fell apart, because... well, it's a long story that involves saying people had AIDS when they didn't and fat hippie girlfriends of his trying to suck my dick in front of him too obviously and him getting knocked across his mom's front porch and shit, plus he's an alcoholic scumbag who did the ultimate in "I'm gonna get my scumbag piece of shit life together" and got a realtor's license. Well, his older brother lives in the same general area I do, and we bump into each other all the time, and we were bullshitting one day for like an hour in a parking lot where we crossed paths, and he told me how Pete (that scumbag dude) had turned into extra piece of shit, how this dude (the older brother) had finally discovered the joys of Lynyrd Skynyrd, because growing up in Farmville, Virginia, he just associated that music with the types of dude who wanted to kick his ass for not being proudly ignorant. But he told me about some party he was at back then, and I started running with the party crowd when I was like 12, but I ran with the more delinquent crowd and this dude rolled with the preppier crowd. But he was telling me about this one dude Eric's party, and Eric was our local version of the stereotypical jock quarterback nemesis for the misfit skater kid in every '80s movie, except he wasn't the quarterback because our school had actual black people to play all the important sports, so he was probablylike captain of the tennis team or something. Well Eric had this party and they had a DJ, and all these kids were there partying, including the dude who was relaying this story to me, and there was this projects dude who was the Kingpin Crazed Negro High School Drug Dealer of that dude's day, though they usually shifted every couple of years. I came up during the Derek and Timmy Marshall days, not this other dude he spoke of who I can't even remember. But anyways, gangsta ghetto dude rolls into this party, dressed in a white suit, and all the prep kids are nervous as fuck and kinda freaking out, but too white to be like, "Hey brah, you're not supposed to be here," so dude just strolls his way up to the DJ spot and starts digging through the records, and the DJ even clears out, according to the story I was told. So everybody's kinda freaking out, and ghetto thug project dude who probably has seven thousand guns and wants to rape them all - at least this is probably what they were thinking, fuckin' punk ass prep kids - he pulls out a record and puts it on the turntable and puts the needle to it. Out comes "FRIENDS! HOW MANY OF US HAVE THEM? FRIENDS! ONES WE CAN DEPEND ON?" and dude is all smiling and dancing and all the tension is broken and whatever he came there to do, which I would assume was to either get some white pussy or sell some whiteboys some ghetto weed, it all happened and nobody got hurt and everybody had a great time. That dude telling me that story makes me love "Friends", even though it, like most all old old school rap other than three songs, sounds like Millie Jackson got pregnant by Kraftwerk on top of a drum machine with only 8 pre-sets.

Download: Whodini - Friends

Watch a live performance from Rap Mania. If I recall correctly, this was a Pay Per View special that I watched back in the day.


Friday, March 2

March Expert Whiteboy Analysis Monthly Top 25


Intro: We decided to do this monthly top 25 list where we take some shit we were hyped on throughout the month and write about it. I'm into it because the internet has caused me to have a short attention span, and without a list like this, I'd forget about most of this stuff within days. Once again, it's me (Mike Dikk) and Raven on this project, with this other dude named John. I think his full name is like John D, or John Dawson or something.

(internet simulcast with the Solaris Earth Pipeline blogorama)


MARCH EXPERT WHITEBOY ANALYSIS TOP 25 LB. FOR LB. HIP HOP SHITS ON THE EARTH YO

(not necessarily in any hierarchical order, but most def the most deffest shit for the previous month from a crew of whiteboys)
RM: Raven Mack - I am an old crotchetty fucker by internet standards, meaning I'm 28, and I love hip hop like I loved a cheating bitch with big titties in college. My turn-ons are beats that boom plus bap, scary dreams with unreleased beats by the 4th Disciple, and big floppy titties. My turn-offs are rappers with face tattoos that didn't come from jerry-rigged cassette walkmans, Puff Daddy derivatives, and Def Jux derivatives.

MD: I’m Mike Dikk and I get respect. Your cash and your jewelry is what I expect. My turn-ons are food, music by Willie Hutch and buying records. My turn-offs are paying bills, going to work and the Gym Class Heroes.

JD: (John) I am 31 and have been hanging around the net for too long. I am probably more nerdy than Mike and Raven combined. I collect sneakers, comic books, and go to Indy wrestling shows in far away central PA towns once a month. I also love hip-hop. My turn-ons are Torneo Ciberneticos, Nicolay beats, and pizza with whole wheat crust. My turn-offs are Lil Wayne, EL-P, and the B.I.G. Duets album.

#1: The White Rapper Show

RM: I do not have the satellite waves access at my compound, so I only caught a couple of eps of this show at my boy Embryo's house, so Mike and John will lay this one out more in depth. However, I can say from what I saw that, oddly enough, The White Rapper Show simultaneously made me proud of being the person I am yet embarrassed for being a part of the larger group known as white people. It would be great if it eventually came out that rap music was an elaborate sociological takeover plan meant to make white people become as stupid as they possibly could in order to seem cool, but we all know that black people never controlled the business aspects of hip hop, even from the beginning. Even Russell Simmons had Rick Rubin to co-sign the business loan paperwork. In all likelihood, hip hop has been a big joke to make a lot of dumber white people act even more obviously stupid so that the rich jews who actually control the entertainment industry can get even richer and identify the non-chosen white people easier by their oversized Akademiks hoodies. This also would explain Serch's part in this project.

MD: By the time you read this, the White Rapper Show will be over, and I for one will miss it. A lot of legit white rappers are angry about this, but you know honestly, this isn’t nearly as embarrassing to the contestants and rap music as Puffy’s Making The Band. The one with the rap group, not the one with Dannity Kane. Honestly, it’s not even as entertaining, but I still love it. There’s something about getting a bunch of people together that can barely rap to compete in a half assed contest where the person who can barely rap the best wins 100k that gives me hope that someday my borderline pseudo-talents will be randomly discovered and I won’t have to jump off the Corning Tower when I turn 30.

JD: I am doing this post-finale, post-long ass research paper typing, so I will make it short. I am glad the dude who won had bills to pay. If anything that would come out positive from this retarded show, it is some white kid's cell won't be turned off.

#2: Nas "Where Are They Now?" remixes

MD: I don’t like these in the way that I think they are good songs. It’s more for novelty purposes. The 80’s remix is cute, because it’s not like those dudes were doing too much, but the 90’s remix is the real kick in the ass. It’s like Nas is saying “Hey remember when you guys had careers the same time I did? Well, I still have one so here’s $50. Take a day off from UPS and come rap on my song that up to 20,000 people on the internet will hear and forget about within days of downloading it.” I’m really glad to hear Chip Fu on something though. Unfortunately, he wasn’t rapping backwards.

RM: This is one of like seven thousand things I’ve meant to download, but my internet is powered by goats who spin old truck rims attached to stolen coaxial cables, so if I started downloading these tonight, I’d be able to listen to them in two days. And it’s never worth that much time. Well, I guess psychedelic African music from the ‘60s was, and maybe even Bronze Nazareth was too, but still… I am on internet welfare and when you internet fucks talk about all this shit you lovingly steal with ease, I feel like that old lady that lived upstairs from J.J.’s family on Good Times who was making meatloafs out of cat food. My shit freezes up if you attach a jpg to an email.

#3: Lil Boosie's voice

RM: Yes, southern rap is stupid (though not nearly as stupid as Fat Joe suggesting rappers “switch your style up, go southpaw,” but the nursery rhyme sing-songy nature of it reminds me of my younger days, when in first grade, our teacher was married to a dude who owned Ernie’s Disco in Farmville, and we had a field trip where we went to a cinderblock country disco club and just danced under weird lights. It was awesome. Now that place is called Fever’s, and it doesn’t have a website, and when I was in high school, if you were a white dude, you’d better know a somebody or two to walk through the doors. I imagine all this southern shit is popular there on the weekends.
Now, Lil Boosie, the latest entrant in the Lil Rapper/Young Rapper sweepstakes. One of the things I love about southern rap is how ugly and stupid you can be but still get pussy. Boosie is not a very pleasing fellow to look at, and on top of this his rapping voice sounds like a comedic crackhead’s voice trying to sell you a paper bag full of stolen porn DVDs for ten bucks outside the gas station where you can’t actually walk inside where the candy and beer is, but you have to tell the lady working there what you want and she walks around and gets it and slides it into that big metal bin. The fact that a guy who sounds and looks like Lil Boosie could not only have a record, but be fairly successful thus far, and in all likelihood be getting wild punani for his efforts, it makes me proud to be a southerner.

MD: I don’t even know which one Lil Boosie is. I used to be really up on this type of stuff, but the Lil Young Rapper Movement has completely left me in the dust. Personally, I would never name myself Lil Boosie, because that’s one letter away form being Lil Boobie, and Lil Boobies are never a good thing.

RM: I jacked off to some “retro” porn the other day… actually, I’m lying. This afternoon, on VHS, free of cookie computer entanglement. I got it labeled some other shit so no one is suspecting, plus labeled as some shit no one but me would care about, probably like JAPANESE ABDULLAH THE BUTCHER DANCIN’ OUTLAW SCHOOLBUS DERBY or some shit. Little titties are awesome. We’ve been spoiled by modern surgerionics.

#4: Brother Ali "The Undisputed Truth" CD

JD: I am one of those dudes who enjoy Slug, so Brother Ali caught me right from the jump. With the availablility out there to steal music and I have seen the advance all over the place for this, but I am avoiding it. It isn't really a moral thing because I will eventually steal it from somewhere, but I want to go into this with fresh ears. I think Brother Ali and Rhymesayers get a bad rap because they are in the same vein of Def Jux except EL-P is not involved, and if it does not have EL-P it is already starting out with at least three internet white guy points from me.

MD: This doesn’t come out until March, but with the internet these days, release dates mean nothing. When his first CD came out, I remember a few of my friends hyping it up, but I never got around to listening to it, maunly because those were the same friends who liked Mr. Lif and Slug. I don’t really have a problem with those dudes, but it’s just not my thing. Brother Ali is bringing Da Rill shit on this CD though, even if the last few tracks get a little too emo-rap for my tastes. Brother Ali is also helping me cope with my irrational fear of albinos.

#5: "snitchin'"

RM: When I came home from work the other day, it was like two days after my birthday, my 3-year-old daughter came running in wearing a green tutu and sunglasses and said, “Daddy, mommy ate part of your last piece of cake,” before even saying “hello” or anything. My wife just looked at the kid in amazement, and the kid ran back in the other room to fight pirate ballerinas with a dollar store hobby horse. I had to follow her in to explain to her how you don’t ever tell on people. Ever. Then I went to make sure I still had some motherfuckin’ birthday cake left.
I ain’t even suggest this one, but I’m the only one who wrote about it. I’d like to tell you whether Mike or John was the dumbass who put it on the list, but I wasn’t raised that way.

#6: Talib Kweli - "Lie a Lot"

MD: Talib has now released like 3 separate good things in a row. This track is him rapping over that “This is Why I’m Hot” beat. I don’t even remember the dudes name who does that song, but his version sucks a bag of dicks. Talib has been on fire as of late and he tears this track up. I’m almost starting to believe his upcoming full length won’t be completely terrible.

RM: They did a ragamuffin remix of that “This is Why I’m Hot” song, which isn’t nearly as crappy because it has dudes sing-rapping in ways I can’t understand, plus those loud horns are going off like a riot’s about to take place in Puerto Rico because Ox Baker and Abdullah the Butcher are carving Carlos Colon up with a fork. The original song is so bad that I thought the rapper was from Atlanta. Talib Kweli is proof positive that some rappers should be relegated to singles, because he has done a ton of awesome songs in his career, but they never seem to be lumped together on one CD.

#7: Sean Price "Jesus Price Supastar" CD

MD: I downloaded this and I haven’t listened to it yet, because I’m spoiled. My roommate said it’s good and I think he even has plans of buying the legit copy. He does silly things like that if it’s something he wants to support. That’s the only reason I even bothered to download it, because it must be decent. I’m not too into Sean Price’s past work though because he tends to rap too much in third person like a rappin’ Ricky Henderson.

JD: Of all the Justus League/Boot Camp collaborations this one works the best. Price is good when he avoids going into his gruff scream-like rhyming, but the production on this is top notch. It doesn't suck, which is alot to say about a hip hop album in 2007.

#8: Ozone magazine

MD: I’ve done zines that look better than this magazine. This is the only magazine I’ve come across that is too Bush League to even do subscriptions. A really ugly white girl is in charge of it too, and there are myspace pages that are more informative. With all that said, this is still a quick look through since it will make you legit LOL at least 28 times.

RM: Hell yeah you can get a subscription, because I got one fool! I love Ozone because it is worse than a zine, but on glossy paper and in 7-11s. And the interviews are exactly what you’d expect from like a teenage punk grrl’s fanzine, which is awesome because it’s rappers answering the questions and not stupid punk asses.
But mostly I love this “magazine” because of how every rapper is on a solo independent quest to “grind” and “hustle” his music to a higher level, complete with cheap screenprinted t-shirts that look like talented pre-schoolers drew the graphics for them, and gaudy logos and record company names housed somewhere like 168 N. 3rd Street, Monroe, LA. And also every issue of Ozone is a theme issue like The Drug Issue or The Sex Issue or Those Coming Up. If I could ask the obsessive internet for one thing, it would be a website that had a list of every name of a rapper or producer mentioned in Ozone magazine. That shit would be mad funny, especially if it had myspace links to everyone too.

#9: Haystak posse anti-White Rapper Show backlash

MD: I could have told you some white rapper would try and profit off of the white rapper show by making a diss track. I wouldn’t have guessed it would be Haystak though. He is like *The Worst* white rapper. So bad, he could compete on this show and you wouldn’t notice that he’s a real rapper. This dude beefing with reality show rappers is like a competitive eater starting shit with a NASCAR driver for not being a legitimate athlete.

RM: I find Haystak amusing, almost to a tolerable extent, but I grew up watching Hee Haw. Usually the only thing that makes not enjoy Haystak is when I actually listen to him. Still though, I quite enjoy a Haystak and boys beef against Serch, because no one will care. Except whiteboys. And not even most of them will care.

#10: SLAM! magazine

JD: I remember being like 22 at the weed dealers crib playing Dreamcast and he had this magazine with Keynon Martin on the cover looking thugged out as shit. I picked up the mag and it felt like I was smacked in the head with an anvil Bugs Bunny style. The mixture of hip hop culture and the NBA was all right here for me, dripping off every page. This is the only magazine that could take a "Where are They Now?" article about Jack Sikma and drop two motherfucks and a reference to Positive K.

RM: I almost bought one of these the other week because of John’s recommendation, but then I realized it was about basketball, and pro basketball mostly, and I remembered that the only great things about pro basketball are Gilbert Arenas and the last two minutes of like one of every twelve games. So instead I bought the new copy of Perfect 10.

#11: medium-sized city ghetto flea markets

RM: If we had done this in a hierarchical order, I would’ve been a mad crazy bitch to make this number one. I went to Richmond’s scenic dilapidated southside the other Saturday morning, just wasting some time before work, and hit the flea market in a shopping center that was probably the epitome of consumer style back in like 1959. I mean, it’s beyond the Big Lots/Goodwill phases of rundown strip mall, which is why it houses the flea market now. And man oh man, the beauty of the shitty ghetto flea market.
I should clarify, when I say “ghetto”, I don’t mean like almost every other fuckin’ person means when they say “ghetto”. You know how a 19-year-old girl will call the car her parents gave her “ghetto” because it’s a 2002 with stock wheels? Not like that. I mean beautiful come-together in the morning to sell shit ghetto, where the smell of popcorn and incense mixes with the sounds of the bootleg man’s boombox and mariachi music from the far corner tienda. There were so many things so amazing to take in, as I hadn’t been to the ghetto flea market in a few years. Bootleg graphic t-shirt style has come a long way in that time, as now I could conceivably style myself in almost every Hanna-Barbera character imaginable making bugged letter references to how much cocaine he’s selling. My personal favorite was Droopy Dog with birds in hand, so to speak. There was some dude selling his beats – his actual beats – at “affordable prices”, meaning he was hoping some random dude who wanted to be a rapper was gonna walk down the aisle of the flea market and drop a couple hundred bones on an original beat. But the best thing I saw was a framed picture of Biggie and Tupac on stage together, and then there was like a little box inside the frame that had a chrome toy pistol and a couple of I guess not-real $100 bills, and then there was a little plate marking their born and death days and saying “HUSTLE HARD”.
The parking lot was no different than the inside. Weird rasta dudes that have all that oddball face jewelry and beads in their beards and an Explorer with strange airbrushed bug guards, donks in various stages of pimpedness, not to mention your standard bass-bumping smooth like Big Daddy sedans just going in circles for no reason. I had quite the time there, and all I bought was some incense and a couple of pupusas, but that was because the stupid bootleg man didn’t have shit but a couple of Lil Wayne and Young Jeezy mixtapes.

JD: The flea market used to be the spot for the morning post-heavily drinking to sober up before coming home to face the parents, but as I got older and married, it became the place to find a cheap set of wrenches or a belt. There is not a sweeter feeling in the world than rolling up to some older couple wearing straw hats sitting in a lawnchair in front of a cardtable and finding that issue of Flash #200 that used to belong to their kid, or getting season 4 of Seinfield for my wife at $12 from that one person who has every DVD, PS2, XBox, and CD ever made on the cheap. Respect the flea market.

MD: Oddly enough, I live in a city with no real flea markets/swapmeets. I’d go to them all the time in Connecticut. They had them in New Haven and Bridgeport. It’s a great place to go and buy baby pitbulls from some dude who is keeping them in a storage bin. In the same trip, you can buy a knife set, 50 lighters for $5, and a pair of sneakers that are so bootleg they aren’t even trying to be a specific pair of sneakers. They’re just called “Air”.

#12: Mike Jones - "Mr. Jones"

RM: Mike Jones is so much fun because he’s so stupid, always saying his name and giving out his number. I have been brainwashed by this song because, one, it’s Mike Jones, and two, it makes me feel so much better than all the other crap they play on the southern pop rap power hour shows. Also, I find it absolutely hilarious that once the second hook kicks in, instead of just having a ringtone separate you can buy of this song, Mike Jones just has the ringtone in the song over top the regular beat. It’s the first time I’ve ever thought of buying a ringtone in my life. Mike Jones, if nothing else, is a master salesman. And also Mike Jones is like the one dude that’ll drive indie-minded white rap fans insane. They love to go off on big tangents about what a dumbass Mike Jones is while Binary Star or Aesop Rock is bumping in their ipod earpieces.

MD: I am a huge defender of Mike Jones’ first LP, as being one of the only full length records worth a shit in the New Wave Of Southern Hip Hop (NWOSHH). I’ve heard this song once so far and I think the beat is a bit too serious. The rapping and chorus suggests a goofy beat, but that’s not what you get. I’ll have to give this more of a chance before I denounce it. I might have to wait until the summer to get this CD though, because the last one was such a great summer CD, and it is far too cold right now for me to be in a cheerful mood. What? A cheerful mood. What? A cheerful mood.

#13: 50 Cent vs. Dipset 21st century technology battle

JD: The really funny thing about this is it seems like such a work, and no one called either of them out on it. Dipset are not the crew it seems to turn down publicity, no matter how small it may be, and 50 is quickly in danger of becoming a bump in the mainstream hip hop road. What is the solution? To wage a war over youtube. Youtube can be an extremely frightening place, but this is some really funny shit going on. I am not sure of what 50 is doing to combat Cam's wrath, but Cam made a video which had clips of him in some Indian deli making a cheesesteak. Game, Set, Match Dipset.

MD: The actual beef is lame. The amazing part is that there’s entire dis VIDEOS within the span of a week because of that crazy goddamn internet. There’s also www.cuurtis.com to keep you up to date with everything, and fucking A, the internet has made hip hop beef so convenient for me. No more waiting upward to two months to hear an answerback. If I hear a dis track, and I don’t hear an answerback within a few days now, I know you aren’t serious about your beef.

RM: I read the hype before spending two hours waiting for the stupid radio show clip to come up on my youtube connect. I was disappointed. When Cam’ron got shot in D.C. last year because somebody was trying to steal his Lamborghini, no one cooperated with the police. I understand the “no snitchin’” mantra, but that’s kinda silly. At least make up some shit to tell the police. Like if black people wanted to exact racial revenge, whenever they don’t want to snitch, instead of not talking to police, they should just always describe a white dude, about 5’11” or so, with short brownish hair, in like khaki pants.

#14: Lil Wayne's ghostwriting staff

RM: When it comes to mainstream rapping, either on originals or on remixes or guest spots or mixtape moves, Lil Wayne is pretty popular right now, and definitely has mastered a nice combo of cadence fluctuations with his weird voice. But with southern rap having become so MTV-friendly, I am 100% sure these dudes aren’t ever writing their own shit. (Besides, how would every other rapper who comes out really be the unknown platinum ghostwriter he claims he is if this wasn’t true?) I often imagine that there’s like a little office space somewhere in New Orleans where there’s like four or five dudes who just sit around writing rhymes for Lil Wayne while he and Baby cavort at island Marriotts, and these four or five dudes make like $15 an hour under the table, and Baby will show up with sterling silver chains with cubic zirconium chains that all feature some sort of thugged up Cash Money logo. And then every couple of months one of the four or five dudes will get hip to the fact that his lyrics are like all over an MTV video with Fat Joe and Lil Wayne throwing twenty dollar bills at the camera, and he’ll have a friend’s uncle who has a record label who will give him a solo deal and that dude will leave the office space and do some Lil Wayne diss tracks that nobody hears, and some other hyped up kid takes his spot at the office space and Lil Wayne and Baby just keep on flying to Miami to have threesomes with Trina.

JD: If you go out and check the illegal music downloading channels there is a Lil Wayne mixtape out there about every two weeks. He has a ghostwriting staff? Never would have thought it. I like the picture Raven painted of an office pumping out Cash Money rhymes. I am guessing it would probably be inbetween a temp agency and an insurance company in some little office park in Oklahoma somewhere and is staffed with every 17 year old who ever sent a demo to Baby wearing one of those goofy hoodies and wearing an aluminum Cash Money chain.

RM: I heard Lil Wayne in an interview on the radio machine the other night. He said he wanted to “kiss and make up” with Jay-Z, to end some beef I never heard about before. The influence of X on rap will be interesting once more and more rappers go beyond the thizz face and start fucking other guys and wearing leather chaps and shit.

#15: Waxpoetics magazine

RM: Sampling/crate digging magazine, sort of, in that it explains the history behind certain old oft-used tracks or record labels and artists. Motherfucker’s like 8 bucks, which always caused me not to get it, but I got the one with the cover story on James Brown, and it had a long ass article on “Planet Rock”, plus there were ads for labels putting out 7-inch 45s in the year 2007, which amazed me, and excited me. I have an old jukebox that I like to keep filled with strange shit… it’s kinda like my ipod except I can’t move it without someone helping me push it across the room, and it holds 200 songs, unless one side of the 100 45s has more than one song.

MD: One day, I aspire to buy this, but the cover price is $8, and that’s kind of a hard sell for me, since that’s the average price I like to pay for actual books. After Raven was blabbing about it, I went out to go buy a copy but of course it was the one time Border’s didn’t have any copies. The one time I came close to buying a copy was the one with the dope ass P-Funk claymation cover, but I think I ended up buying some other dumb magazine that was $4 and most likely not even worth the $4. Sometimes I hate being such a bargain shopper.

#16: saying "CCCCUUUUURRRRRTTTTTIIIIISSSSS!"

JD: Not once have I never felt it necessary to say “Ballin'”. But I do mentally diss someone by their first name, CCCCURRRRTTTIIISS style on a daily basis. The kid at the grocery store who lets my pack of vegetable soup mix go under the conveyor belt thing, the guy who runs the sub shop in town running out of bread, they all get the long, drawn-out first name treatment. I am not sure in this day and age in hip-hop there could be a bigger diss than calling some dude by his government name continuously on a track. Again, winner Dipset.

MD: Check the Dipset vs. 50 Cent entry. Cuuuuuurtiiiis is the new Baaaaallin. There’s even a www.cuurtis.com.

RM: I think the important thing here too is when someone is playing themselves off as super-cool and they have a stupid name like “Curtis”. 50 could’ve said “CAAMMMEEERRROOONNNN!” and it wouldn’t have had the same impact. But Curtis is a nerd name. I also suspect most people who would actually say “BALLIN!” are worse off than a dude named Curtis in an argyle sweater playing internet chess while fingering Erykah Badu’s dreadlocked pussy.

#17: all-over print skull t-shirts

MD: The full name to this entry is: Hip Hop artists successfully (and miraculously) making those all over print skull shirts you get from Spencer’s Gifts fashionable. It’s been marinating since the “Stay Fly” video a while back, but now it’s commonplace to see dudes in the mall rocking these. I fully expect the following things to get clout from the hip hop scene now: Boob Pasta… Hats that say “Over The Hill”... Greeting cards with really fat ladies in lingerie on them and cheap rubber dolls that either pull down their pants, fart, or hump stuff.

RM: I’ve seen these things on people. I don’t find it as amazing as like the weird ugly zip-up hoodies that are like green with yellow dogs on them or some shit like you’d see young and funky mother types buying skirt prints of at the Goodwill.

#18: Taylor's bail bonds commercial

RM: So the Richmond radio station has their average 10 to 11 pm mix show, and when the commercial breaks came on, I hearded the most amazing commercial ever. Had that “Locked Up” intro jail cell slamming shut, then that old school “I’m in jail… in jail… in jail without no bail,” followed by a pay phone sounding voice saying “Yo, you gotta come get me outta here man, I was in the wrong place at the wrong time,” and then finally some local rapper raps a verse purposely written for this commercial, about Taylor’s Bail Bonds being the best in town to get you out quick and with the best rates, though I always thought bail bondsman rates were pretty much the same everywhere. I’d hate to think motherfuckers are shopping around for bail bondsmen.
The commercial is hilarious because of what it’s about, and also because rap has become so commonplace that there’s talented enough lyricists to write stupid verses for local radio commercials nowadays. The possibilities are endless.

#19: "This promo belongs to Matthew Snyder"

MD: El-P’s advance of his new CD contains personalized Advance Copy warnings. So basically, some dumbass named Matthew Snyder decided to leak his advance copy and now every person who has illegally downloaded El-P’s new CD has the same leak with the “This promo belongs to Matthew Snyder” warning going on throughout the CD. That is fucking brilliant advance copy protection, and I have to tip my hat off to El-P and Def Jux for not only keeping those advance warnings annoying, but now making them personal so we can all e-point and laugh at specific people.

RM: I would expect El-P and Def Jux, with their robotic Philip K. Dick lyrics and beats like the children of Kraftwerk having sex with Motorola camera phones, to be on the cutting edge of robot dickishness. I’d like to defend Matthew Snyder here, but that faggot likes El-P a whole lot seemingly, so how can I?

#20: Throwback Thursdays mix shows

RM: I’m surprised old school shows on the radio aren’t more common by now. I mean, seriously, it’s 2007. Can’t we dump the Sunday afternoon Quiet Storm format for an old school mix show? Hip hop is a pretty organic music form in that shit gets stuck in your head pretty easily, but also black folks tend not to be material accumulators of every album ever like white people are (I think it’s are genetic inclination towards control), so it’s not like Mr. Average Joe Blackman has his old copy of “Treat ‘Em Right” or EPMD’s “Golddigger” in the cassette collection anymore. Thus the mix show illicits grand feelings of “OH SHIT! THIS WAS THE JAM!” I don’t think any other form of music has the power that old rap jams have, but that might be because they don’t play that shit on the radio enough.
But when I can turn on a radio and happenstance upon “Passin’ Me By” mixed into “I Got a Man” and so on, that’s good shit. Much better than those stupid Puerto Rican riot horns in “This is why I’m hot! I’m hot because I’m fly! You ain’t because you not!”

MD: I’m one of the few people that like those Puerto Rican riot horns. Madlib and J Dilla use (in Dilla’s case, used) them all the time. Once I actually find a sound clip of the riot horn, I am redubbing all my music with the WA WA WAAAAAHHHHHHHH sporadically placed throughout the song.

#21: "trill"

JD: I am not sure what trill is. I know it was the name of a couple of Bun B things, but outside of that, I tend to avoid any hip hop from south of North Carolina like the plague. I never got it. Maybe it was growing up in the northeast, maybe it was none of the people I associated with who dug hip hop liked the stuff coming out of Texas, but it isn't my deal. I guess trill is an adjective, and I will leave it like that.

RM: You so untrill, John. I bet you still wear yellow gold and ain’t never seen a Swarovski crystal.

#22: Hip Hop Woodstock in Vegas

JD: Hip Hop and Woodstock? What the fuck? Apparently Pac-Man Jones and Nelly brought $100,000 in singles to a strip club as "prop money" to throw around and when one of the strippers grabbed some of the loot, Pac-Man beat a stripper’s ass and one of his posse shot a bouncer leading him to paralysis. Only the fucking moronic sports media today would have the balls to take something that, although flawed, was positive like Woodstock and mix that with the new Freaknik, the NBA All-Star weekend.

RM: I hadn’t heard that combo of terms, but I also try to avoid sports media a lot of times, unless I’m on a sports radio kick. I feel sorry for ESPN guys like Dan Patrick and Stuart Scott and even that one little black dude who was like Malcolm X B. Free Columnist dude who annoyed everybody, because they seem to act like they feel they are down with hip hop, but they’re pretty much hip hop for white fratboys who wear those button down striped shirts that aren’t flannel but aren’t dress shirts and tuck their shit into khaki shorts in the summertime. Jim Rome is like that, too. In fact, he’s the worst. That guy can’t go to enough prison and get raped by enough black dicks to make me stop thinking “War Romey going to prison and getting raped by black dicks.”
The “prop money” thing is like the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard in my life. Can Pac Man Jones be that dumb to not know that’s what strippers are there for? I mean, he went to college briefly in West Virginia where they have full nudity by full-blown drug whores in the clubs. He ought to know the deal by now.

MD: Calling the NBA All Star Weekend the Hip Hop Woodstock is like calling the MLB All Star Weekend, the Wattstax of Metal. I mean, couldn’t they have at least called it the Black Hip Hop Woodstock so the statement could have blossomed into full retardation?

#23: Apathy's "Baptism by Fire" CD

MD: When I first heard Apathy, I really thought he was going to be the next Eminem. I’m not saying that just because he’s a good white rapper. There are a lot of good white rappers, but he was actually on a major label. I don’t really know what happened. I just think the mainstream is over good hip hop, and even if good hip hop came along and fucked them in the ear and blew the load right on the tip of their nose, they still wouldn’t get it.
This new CD is a bootleg of sorts I guess. It’s mostly new material, but it’s not on a label or anything. It’s worth your time if you’re into clever, punchline-y rap.
Apathy is also from CT, which is where I’m from, and the last notable rapper from CT was Stezo, so I have to support.

JD: I have this sitting on my desktop and haven't yet listened to it, but I am guessing it is good. Apathy is one of those hip hop guys that are better in mixtapes than on an actual album. His first bootleg album along with the mixtape, Where's My Album, were tons better than the actual LP he put out. He also has someone in his posse called Emilio Estevez. If he didn't have so much Celph Titled on his songs, I would say he may be the best white MC out there today.

#24: legally free mixtapes

MD: If you didn’t hear, the RIAA came and busted DJ DRAMA DRAMA GANGSTA GRIZZZZILLLLS in some sort of attempt to scare people out of making mixtapes. So now most mixtapes are legally free, so the RIAA can’t say shit. Of course this just mean there will still be bootleg copies to be sold at flea markets for the less internet saavy and rappers and DJs will see all of the money from copies they actually bootleg themselves, without the RIAA hassle. The consumer won’t feel morally wrong about downloading something that’s free either, so everyone wins. Except the RIAA, who are total fucking assholes, and I’m not just saying that because I enjoy stealing music. I won’t get into it here, but I’m sure you can google “RIAA + total fucking assholes” and get some good reading material on the subject.

RM: My favorite thing is if some shitty CD gets illegally downloaded 75,000 times, the RIAA is all like, “That’s 75,000 copies that the artist loses money on,” when in actuality, about four-fifths of the shit I’ve ever downloaded, I never would’ve thought of buying. Never. But also, mixtapes were always labeled “for promotional uses only”, so it was kinda weird when you’d see that shit in Best Buy for sale like a regular CD.
And record labels basically fuck the people sign fairly regularly, as your average record label isn’t a company footing the bill for your artistic endeavor so much as someone giving you a guaranteed loan investment into you recouping their money with your artistic endeavors. It’s not like they care about the artists making money so much as they care about filling their fat Jew bellies with kosher t-bones.

#25: computer love

JD: The internet can be a pretty awful place. Luckily where this list came from is not that. So far there are no internet beefs with other message boards, no outages, and no threads asking me if I want a bigger dick. It is a rare thing in 2007 to find a nice, cozy part of the internet like that. No homo.

RM: Well shit, now that you said that, every fuckface who checks Mike’s blog is gonna sign up now and ruin the shit with gay-assed internet beefery. The internet is basically a word-based role-playing game version of Grand Theft Auto where fucks build these elaborate fake worlds, and all day long when they’re trapped by their regular real life world, all they can think about is going back to the word-based role-playing game version of their life so they can LOL and troll and mock all the stupid faggots of the internet world. It makes them feel better about being a stupid faggot in real life. And yes, I realize what a stupid fag that makes me for explaining that. If my dad was still alive, I’d be embarrassed as fuck if he found out about this.

MD: I can’t really speak on this because talking about our super secret nerd message board on our nerd blogs is way too meta for me.

RM: Meta is like 80% metal. Then again, metal has sucked for longer than hip hop, and didn’t even wait for the internet to get ruined.