4/11/09

Lil' Wayne - Hottest Nigga Under The Sun: Great Songs



I won't lie, I thought Wayne was finished. The repetitive verses, weak guest appearances, and the development of Rebirth led me to believe that Wayne would never be the same rapper who spit BMJR, Tha Mobb, I'm Me, or even A Millie. But Wayne has the work ethic of a crackhead, so he kept on keeping on, continuig to release wayyyy too many songs and a solid amount were gathered together and named "The Hottest Nigga Under The Sun" (Cool name, cooler cover). Beward, half of the mixtape is worthless. These are the songs I deem iPod worthy.

2 - My Name Is (AKA Unstoppable)

The quirky, bouncy opener is Wayne's verse from Drake's Unstoppable from his So Far Gone mixtape (It's great, get it).

CHOICE SNIPPET
So overstand me
I got a condo in Miami
And my doormat is always sandy
And I run Louisiana
But I've never pulled a hammy.


3 - New Orleans Maniac featuring Gudda Gudda

Kinda A-Millie-ish. Alternates between hollow bass-clap and jagged synths/sirens. Gudda Gudda is one of Wayne's weed-carriers who isn't particularly interesting, but his voice is tolerable.

CHOICE SNIPPET
They like when I say yeah, huh
And your boyfriend's a tampon
And I don't own land baby, I own a landmine
So step on my land and catch a bomb like Anquan


4 - Thank You feat. Jae Millz and Mac Maine

Starts with some near-silent scratches and a sample of the UFO sound from Jay-Z's Where I'm From, and rises into fanfare and syrupy guitar licks. Jae Millz does damn good, but Mac Maine drops the best and only great verse of his "Career". Wayne gets a great entrance and runs with it.

CHOICE SNIPPET
Right now, I'm in a race, in a race against time
Cause everybody else is like a race against mom.


5 - Filet Mignone (AKA We Like Her) feat. Drake, Jae Millz, Gudda Gudda, and Mac Maine

The likely single for the Young Money group album. Its just a feel-great song expressing a man's love of the female form. Tha Bizness provides glossy string synths and all the MCs do a pretty solid job, with an auto-tuned Mac Maine stealing the show.

CHOICE SNIPPET - DRAKE
And everytime I think of staying with her
She bring that friend around that make a nigga reconsider.


6 - Yes feat. Pharrell (I assume it's produced by The Neptunes)

Low, bassy synths convulse and flex around each other with handclaps. One of the best Neptune tracks ina while. A sampled Yes comes in every four bars or so, that Wayne and Pharrell get to play off of. Pharrell trumps The Game in the rap impersonation game. He doesn't exactly "sound" like Wayne, but he rhythmically and accent-wise, he's perfect. Wayne croaks and growls all over the track, while sounding as comfortable as he's ever been.

CHOICE SNIPPET
Yes, I am a beast, I swear I need to be tranquilized
Yes, I am a giant, next to me you are just ankle-high
Yes, I eat that pussy, Oh how do I love that panty-pie
Keep my hair shampooed and yes I keep my hands sanitized.


7 - Hello World (AKA Troublemaker) feat. Jae Millz and Gudda Gudda

Average organ synths. Wayne goes in, Millz and Gudda are solid. On retrospect, this really isn't a great song, but the change in pace, from the slow dirge of Yes to this fast-paced ode to violence is notable and develops a rhythm.

CHOICE SNIPPET
Emergency, Emergency
Someone in all black, left the whole scene burgundy


10 - Skull Gang (AKA Rap Cemetary) feat. Juelz Santana

Taken from the My Face Can't Be Felt mixtape. Just Wayne here. Average, but again the change in pace from the fast-paced synths of Troublemakers to this creepy, gothic snippet is notable and develops a rhythm

CHOICE SNIPPET
None, really

12 - Ay Man feat. Pharrell

Pharrell is a fuckin' beast. His imitation of Juvenile over the dirty grunge will definitely remain of the best musical moments of the year. Wayne sounds cool on the chorus and delivers a solid verse, but this is Pharrell's show, plain and simple.

CHOICE SNIPPET - PHARRELL
See P grew up where the heroin peddled
They made fun of me cause I was a odd fellow
See I was half skateboard, I was half ghetto
But you cut me open and you see my bones made of metal


16 - Yeahhhh (Produced by Streetrunner)

Best on the mixtape by far. Streetrunner, Wayne's best collaborator, provides an electric guitar loop and popping drums. Wayne leaps off the mic with boasts of robbing Santa Clause, fucking every fish in the river, and thanking Nas for helping him tap into his inner-nigger.

CHOICE SNIPPET
What is is, I'm back on my biz
And I put that on the threads on the back of my kids
May that M-11 be attached to my ribs
And the bullets that I give be attached to his.


19 - Piano Man (AKA Around The Way Girl)

Wayne's total lack of singing ability is probably the reason that this song works. It's a ballad about Wayne wanting a girl he knows from being around his hood, but not really "knowing" the girl. Gets a little grating in the last 45 seconds or so, but it's pure passion and at the least, good for a laugh.

11 - Murder feat. Trey Songz/20 - Rockstar feat. Starr/21 - War feat. Sean Kingston (produced by J.R. Rotem)

Pretty much the same R&B song with Wayne dropping a verse at the end. Murder is very Runners-ish with Trey Songz talking about beautiful girls who break hearts. Rockstar is the best of the three with the slinky guitar and near-silent bleeps and bloops. Starr is the thick, but kinda ugly dark-skinned chick from Juelz Santana's Jingle Bells video. War is a "Which one do I choose?" song with Wayne's best verse of the three.

DOWNLOAD HOTTEST NIGGA UNDER THE SUN

4/10/09

The Last Kiss: A Shallow Multi-Part review (Outro)



The Something Else remix is useless. USDA and other random bad rappers make for a very boring posse track. This would've been the perfect time for a mainstream posse track with Wayne, TIP, maybe Ross.

Death Wish is album-worthy. Alchemist provides a bleepy, creepy aura that Jada and Wayne (especially) go off on. "I'm from the mecca of the wreckless with a record-breaking death list"

For The Last Kiss to be so sprawling and unfocused, Kiss My Ass is one of the most consistent, focused mixtapes I've ever heard. Definitely worth a listen, with Kiss My Ass and Hard Times being extremely album-worthy.


Overall: 7/10

Best Songs: Letter to B.I.G., Pain and Torture, Death Wish

4/8/09

The Last Kiss: A shallow multi-part review (Tracks 13-16)



13 - Cartel Gathering feat. Ghostface Killah and Raekwon (Produced by Swif B and DJ Eddie B)

A nice return to the brass-heavy, gloss sound that probably should've been the sound for the album. Ghostface opens it up and never really lets it go with his yelping delivery and detailed imagery. Raekwon never sounds comfortable on tracks like this. Jada is a pretty solid closer, with clever references to Ghost and Rae's classics. This track would've been a lot better if their would've been an actual narrative. Remember Run?? Great Song

14 - Come and Get Me feat. Sheek Louch and S.I. (Produced by Neenyo)

Jim Jones just did it with Pop Off and Jada does the same thing to similar effect; Put the hardest track towards the end. I can't really explain why this strategy works, but it does. This sounds like a beat The Game would be damn good on. Great Song

15 - By My Side feat. Ne-Yo (Produced by Eric Hudson)

Jadakiss' single is kinda conflicting. It's a great song. Jada's a great rapper, so his girl stuff will be much better than Plies' or Yung Berg's, Eric Hudson's production is mature and jazzy, and Ne-Yo's hook is nice. But the fact that he's still trying to achieve commercial success with songs aimed towards females is kinda sad.


I still agree with this. Solid song

16 - Letter to B.I.G. feat. Faith Evans (Produced by Needlz)

When I first heard about the song, I instantly expected a timeline dissection of rap's trends since BIG died. When I first heard the song, I was disappointed. It was too......small, too closed in. But that seems like the point. It's not really for fans, it's for BIG. He keeps it personal and uses a couple couplets to sum of the commercialization of the rap game.

"The game has got cheaper
Rappers is more commercially successful, but the heart is a lot weaker."


Needlz develops a mournful mood with high bell taps and a whining electric guitar. Great Song.

4/7/09

Random Post #5

1 - Future Post Plans
Multi-Post listing of great songs from Chamillionaire's Mixtape Messiah series
Multi-Post listing of great songs from Gucci Mane's Wilt Chamberlain series
Great songs - Lil' Wayne - Hottest Nigga Under The Sun
Great songs - T.I. - Gone Til November
Quick review - Young Jeezy - Quarantine
Track by Track review of Gucci Mane's The Movie

The game is so boring, I've started listening to Gucci Mane and I'm surprised at how much I like him. I'm catching a lot of flack from Gucci fans at school for being a hypocrite. What can I do

2 - Blackout 2 is looking pretty bad so far. A Yo is boring. City Lights is damn good, but mainly for the beat, chorus, and killer Bun-B verse. I'm not one to recommend Swizz Beatz, but.....

3 - Love vs. Money owns everything.

The Last Kiss: A shallow multi-part review (Tracks 9-12)



9 - Things I've Been Through (Produced by Mr. Devine)

One of the few personal songs on the album. Jada breaks down his kinda complex career. The beat is on some tinny, early Bad Boy shit, but it suits the beat right. The Luther sample is gold. Great Song.

10 - I Tried feat. Avery Storm(Produced by Baby Grand)

The first real filler song on the album. Nothing bad, Nothing great. Solid Song.

11 - Rockin' With The Best (Produced by The Neptunes)

This track makes me think that Jadakiss wants to "big" a little too much. The only reason that Kiss continues to work with The Neptunes is to recreate the magic of "Knock Yourself Out", but instead of trying to get some hard shit from them, he keeps getting their groovy shit that doesn't really suit him. And Kiss is too good to say "Kiss melts in ya mouth like chocolate". Wack Song.

12 - Smoking Gun feat. Jazmine Sulivan (Produced by Denaun Porter)

This would probably work better as filler on a Jazmine Sullivan CD. Kiss becomes the perfect man to the abused and molested Jazmine Sullivan. Sullivan is near breathless on the chorus, which adds a level of drama and realism to he song. Solid song.

4/6/09

The Last Kiss: A shallow multi-part review (Tracks 5-8)



5 - Something Else feat. Young Jeezy (Produced by Don Cannon)

This is Kiss' foray into trap music. Fortunately, he does this with the good ones (Jeezy, Cannon) and not the bad ones (Gucci, Juiceman, Zaythoven, even though they have their moments). Cannon ditches his usual horn-oriented soul sound for a more sinister track. The horns are their, but they're smothered by a guitar and some minor key work. Kiss adapts perfectly to the arrogant vibe that Cannon provides (Me >>> GZA). Jeezy drops a very entertaining verse, telling his lazy, African chain to become a criminal. Great Song.

6 - One More Step feat. Styles P. (Produced by Poobs)

Poobs is a producer to look out for in the future. He has a very quirky, showroom style that sounds like J Dilla interpreted by The Neptunes. This can either be dazzling or disorienting. Here, its wonderful. This is a Jada/Styles P duet (no homo) ala We Gon Make It. Not as good as We Gon Make It, but virtually any Jada/Styles P duet (no homo) is worth hearing for their chemistry and the contrast of their voices.

7 - Stress Ya feat. Pharrell (Produced by The Neptunes)

For some reason, a lot of bloggers like to talk about The Neptunes. I'm kind of a huge fan without knowing it, as I can only name 2 or 3 weak Neptunes tracks. Stress Ya is an example of Chad and P not knowing when to stop. Starts with zig-zaggy synths and then it relaxes into easy-going drums and xylophonic taps. The spazzing synths during the chorus are kind of rough and they blot the mouth. Despite the iffy beat, I love the humor of "posing for the bloggers" On the chorus and Jada using his legend status with bloggers as game. Solid song.

8 - What If feat. Nas (Produced by The Inkredibles)

What If is basically an alternative version of Why, but instead of asking "Why?", he asks "What If?" over a similar beat. Just like on Why, Jada asks a bunch of quite compelling questions. What if Portland would've drafted Michael Jordan instead of Sam Bouie? What if Oprah would've made the comments Imus made? What if we never let emotion come between us? Nas uses the concept as a jump-off point to brag about his legacy. Great Song

4/5/09

The Last Kiss: A shallow multi-part review (Tracks 1-4)



1 - Pain and Torture (Produced by Buckwild)

What a great way to start an album. Dark, dramatic, churning strings are the backdrop for Jada's furious braggadocio. "I'm the author of slick talk, pain, and torture". Man, New York accents are cool. Great Song

2 - Can't Stop Me feat. Ayanna Irish (Produced by Neo Da Matrix)

This track is a perfect vehicle for Jadakiss. He gets to brag about his skills, (something he does very well) over a brassy and mature, but radio-friendly production, with a soothing female voice on the chorus. Great Song.

3 - Who's Real feat. OJ Da Juiceman and Swizz Beatz (Produced by Swizz Beatz)

Things start to fuck up early. Jada lucked up with "Real Hip-Hop" on Kiss of Death, but good Swizz Beatz tracks are few and far between. Being a former Ruff Ryder means that Jada is kinda indebted to have a Swizzy production on his album. Swizz Beatz turns in his standard keyboard attempt at hyper-activity. OJ Da Juiceman manages to sound solid over Southern beats, but he sounds extra-shitty over Swizz's extra-shitty beat. Wack song

4 - Grind Hard feat. Mary J. Blige (Produced by The Inkredibles)

Sometime last year on DefSounds, I said that Jada's next album should have a mafioso theme. Grind Hard would be the Can't Knock The Hustle of that album, with a couple similarities and a couple differences. Mary J. Blige appears on both songs, and both MCs do damn good jobs documenting the hustler's financial goals. The difference is in delivery. Mary J. Blige doesn't sound like herself on the chorus and the beat is an over-glittery Hero rip-off provided by the very average Inkredibles. Wack song.

The Last Kiss: A shallow multi-part review (Intro)



"Alot of niggas lost they pops to the drug game
Other niggas lost they blocks when the thugs came
They knew how to box, they aint know bout the slug game
Soon as the money get right, thats when the love change"

-Jadakiss, Child Abuse from "Kiss My Ass: The Champ is Here Part 2"

Anyone decently-informed person will tell you that Jadakiss is a beast. The raspy voice, whistle-inducing punchlines, brutal imagery, and incite into the streets and the hearts of men. Without hearing Kiss The Game Goodbye, I can guess that the "Kiss" trilogy are basically the same. All are sprawling albums that are great at some points, solid at others, and shitty at others. Most of the shitty moments will be because of the shoddy production or a concept that doesn't work to Kiss' skills.

NEXT: Tracks 1-4

4/1/09

3/31 Quick Reviews



R.O.O.T.S. is one of the harmless albums I've ever listened to. It's pretty much all electro dance rap, none of it particularly good, with a couple of "inspirational" tracks. It would probably be a little better if Flo-Rida had as much charisma as the Nelly he's attempting to be. One legitimately great song is "Never", a harmless remake of the Scarface track from "MADE".

Overall: 5/10
Best Song: Never, pick a song, pick a song



I hate titles like this. Just like Yung Berg's "Look What You Made Me" and David Banner's "The Greatest Story Ever Told", New Jack City Part II promises something great, but delivers something mediocre (not that I expected greatness from these three, but....). Of the eleven songs, about six of them are popcorny girl singles. Bow Wow says the n-word a lot. The only thing I can call that is cute. The traptastic opener "Get That Paper" is the best song, with the zig zaggy beat and Bow Wow's trap-inspired delivery and weak punchlines. Lead single "Roc The Mic" is a charming head-bobber and "Been Doing This" (featuring T.I.'s encouragement) probably finds Lamborghini Moss at his best. NJC2 had potential to be a truly good album, but Bow Wow tries too hard to cater to girls who probably don't even like him anymore.

Overall: 4/10
Best Song: Get That Paper, Been Doing This, Roc The Mic



UGK 4 Life is a perfect ending to the UGK legacy. It doesn't play like a posthumous album. It plays like a traditional UGK. Southern fried guitars, horns, and organs are the backdrop for the duo's impeccable chemistry. Most of the album is dedicated to a UGK staple: Women. Love, pimping, and sex are all contrasted with blunt realism. They get kinda political/conscious on Purse Come First. The Akon collabo fits in theme wise, but the beat is a little too breezy. This is the only new rap album you should even consider buying this week.

Overall: 9/10
Best Song: Steal Your Mind, Purse Come First, Da Game Been Good to Me