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.

Thursday, February 23

[HH3os] Let’s Get Running Road 101 Motivating the Coming Thugs trios

(1st round match-up 2 of 27)

Various Artists – Run the Road Vol. 1
(released January 24, 2005; #13 on 2005 Pitchfork Albums of the Year list)
When embarking upon this thing, I limited entrants to the stupid genre tags at the Pitchfork site (which actually might’ve been through some different compendium, tbh) so that it was only “rap/hip hop”. There were others though, that might’ve crossed over into possibly relevant. Now I am an old school primitive snake-handling boom Baptist, so “neo-soul” or any type of R&B, no matter how edgy and alternative, is not hip hop to me. There were a couple marked “electronic” that could’ve been relevant, namely instrumental albums by Clams Casino or Flying Lotus, but there was also a lot of electronic labelled shit that didn’t come close, so the genre was suspended.
Grime, however, was not blocked. And oddly enough, in this year of our whatever the fuck 2017, I tend to like more grime than hip hop, as American hip hop has moved too pharmaceutical and foggy for me to handle. (My life is already like that, I don’t need culture to echo it, with foggy echos sounding like oxycodone is my oxygen, or else I will lose my mind further than already has happened.) Grime is raw as fuck (often times) and reminiscent in sound to parties in abandoned warehouses, which is also what prime era boom bap sounds like, aesthetically. So grime albums were included for purposes of this convoluted thing I am doing.
Run the Road is a grime series, and there’s some classics on this particular one (“Let It Out” by Roll Deep, “Gimmie Dat” by Durrty Goodz). But the problem with grime – and how it veers away from what I’m traditionally used to in hip hop, is sometimes that shit will bump up the BPMs to foreign-to-the-point-of-alien shit, and it freaks me out. This happened towards the end of this album, a number of times, and it caused my internal pleasure organs to shrivel up into fetal worry ball, kinda like a fist but also not a fist at all and more like a seized muscle.
TWO STARS (though it’s cloudy in those hyper parts which might be obscuring a third star which would otherwise be very obvious, had this thing been curated differently)

Beanie Siegel – The B. Coming
(released March 29, 2005; #32 on 2005 Pitchfork Albums of the Year list)
I do not pretend this Beanie Siegel is an unquestionable classic, but it is at the very least consistent throughout (with the exception of the Neptunes-sounding song with Snoop Dogg on the hook, which sounds radio-made as fuck, except Beanie’s rapping, which sounds quite literally like sociopathic Jeru the Damaja in terms of cadence and style). With the underlying theme of this thing being how the internet and music and hip hop opinions and really the entire fucking realm of existence we can see became gentrified, I think the obvious question is how did Philly rap move so quickly from Beanie Siegel to Meek Mill? Like that’s an obvious before/after gentrification pic there. Now, I do not pretend I’d be tucking .45s into my track pants waist, kicking it on the corner with Beanie or anything, but I’d be likely to maybe ride through, buy some weed, know somebody nearby. Maybe I’d get robbed, who the fuck knows? Wouldn’t be the first time shit like that happened when I was in the wrong place.
The problem with gentrification is “wrong place” are pre-sterilized for you, so that your unconsciously racist friend is not fearing an actual hard element like Beanie Siegel type in real world scene, but fearing Meek Mill typing angered responses to Instagram hecklers sitting outside the neighborhood pie shop at least 33% run by LGBTQ people. I’m not saying these pie shops are bad, because I love pie (I really do) but for whatever reason these pie shops are always geared towards fancy expensive pies, and never have a simple fucking peanut butter pie or brown sugar or something like southern grandmas (any color) would make. I don’t know… at the time I remember not being too moved by Beanie Siegel, not because he was bad but just because I got bored with it; but listening now, he sounds refreshing, like hearing gunshots after you hadn’t heard them for years, and you’d slowly been surrounded by comfortable ass people who lacked the psychic boundary awareness not to get in your psychic way, because they’d obviously grown up completely sheltered without worry of that. And it’s fucked you’d be glad to hear gunfire, but you know from life experience that the conscious threat of being beaten or shot (or stabbed or stomped or whatever) helps the average human learn the basic skill of not imposing yourself through others’ psychic boundaries, which is in essence what gentrification is – the imposition of some outside shit through a psychic boundary.
Thus THREE STARS (and hopes for a busted bottle stabbing)

Young Jeezy – Let’s Get it: Thug Motivation 101
(released July 26, 2005; #40 on 2005 Pitchfork Albums of the Year list)
This (as you can see from the details above) barely made their 2005 list, and I’m not sure why it did. I guess people were still jocking Jeezy at the time. For me – and I say this loving both southern and criminal hip hop – I can’t handle Jeezy. He’s like an ad-lib machine some evil DJ programmed that got too much artificial intelligence and spun out of control. Listening to Jeezy feels like MK-Ultra Monarch Slave sleeper cell training, except they didn’t plan out the training completely. I guess I partially popped out of consumer memory when that song with Akon that was on the radio all the time came on, but other than that all I could think was how corny all the white/bird metaphorical references were. But I also remembered a funny airbrushed “flippin birds” shirt at a now defunct flea market in Richmond featuring Huckleberry Hound. (“Defunct” being the key word, because like I said, everywhere has been gentrified.)
ONE STAR


THE WINNER: Beanie Siegel, partially be default, but still even if everybody else steps backwards half a step it leaves you standing up out front.

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