“The producers he’s listed for Old include Skywlkr, Oh No, Darq E Freaker, Purity Ring, Paul White, and Rustie…[and] as for the guest features, we’ll hear Danny trade vocals with A$AP Rocky, Schoolboy Q, Ab-Soul, Kitty Pryde (ed. note: UGH DOUBLE UGH), and Purity Ring’s Megan James.”
But aside from the regrettable Kitty, fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck yes.
As if Trinidad James wasn’t already about to blow the fuck up, the release of this monster Mike Will-produced banger basically ensures a seven-figure signing bonus for the ATL native.
The December 24th release of Mike Will’s Est. in 1989 2.5 also caps off a fucking mindblowing year for the 23-year old producer, a year that saw him miraculously saw him leapfrog Hit-Boy as the go-to hot young thang on the boards. In addition to producing one of my favorite Schoolboy Q album tracks and a track whose massive popularity continues to leave me nonplussed, Will also somehow managed to snake his way into my top ten for the year with his so-dumb-it’s-brilliant single “Bandz a Make Her Dance.” For me, listening to “Bandz” was basically the aural equivalent of saying the word “bro,” in that I started doing it ironically and then it just kinda became part of my lifestyle.
“That Turn Up” isn’t my favorite James song I’ve heard so far (that honor would go to the trap-cum-electro “Females Welcomed”), but it would’ve fit nicely on his tremendous, multi-faceted debut mixtape Don’t Be S.A.F.E. It’s also not really possible to appreciate Trinidad’s full effect without including a picture of dude:
The Shane MacGowan of rap. Bang this shit with a spiked fuckin’ bat.
Est. in 1989 2.5 is out on Christmas Eve, so you can leave it playing for Santa.
Passion of the Weiss writer Barry Schwartz demonstrated the greatness of a DJ Premier instrumental by sketching a brief scene, in which the hip-hop head who’s never tried his hand at creation attempts freestyling for the first time. That’s how dope Premier is: he drives even the no-flow blog troll to try to spit gold bars.
I have a similar “I wanna do that” reaction to Action Bronson, one of the new kings of the NY boom bap revival movement. I have a hard time hearing a Bronsolino verse and not wanting to spin my own evocative, tactile yarns about mainlining whole seasons of Homeland and downing sixes of Founders Dirty Bastard Scotch Ale. You know, instead of,
Bone marrow roasted/Spread it on the rosemary bread, lightly toasted/Drizzle with the vinagrette/Stuffed dutches and it’s pulling like a cigarette
Fourth bottle of porter/Favor Homicide over Law and Order/Jerry Orbach smoked by Andre Brower/I mean Braugher/Power’s off/Read Philip Roth by candlelight for five hours
That’s what a good Action Bronson tape does to me, and this is a great Action Bronson tape. I mean, I dug the shit out of Blue Chips, the shit he did earlier this year with Party Supplies, wherein Mr. Supplies copped his samples from fucking YouTube.
The Alchemist, of course, does not fucks with YouTube, and the production here is of a uniformly higher quality. His scratchy guitar-based sound is on full display here, but it’s closer to the bombastic Blaxploitation stuff he did for Prodigy on Return of the Mac than his recent prog-obsessed hearse rattlers with Oh No as Gangrene.
This is some silly, epic shit, with fire guest verses from Schoolboy Q, Styles P, Roc Marciano - who just put out a great new album himself* - and Meyhem Lauren and Ag Da Coroner, both of whom are new discoveries for yours truly. So far, the track they’re featured on (“Sylvester Lundgren”) is my favorite.
The best thing to be said about the album is that it actually manages to live up to its so-amazing-you-will-literally-fucking-vomit-yourself-to-death-out-of-joy album art by Johnny Sampson. Said album art features a naked pink-haired lady with a knife for an arm who’s also carrying a rope of sausage links, Bronsolino himself sporting a wolf’s head SpiritHood, an alligator with a machine gun strapped to its head, and a guy in a black and white spades suit with a bowl cut uppercutting a guy in a tanktop while a wizard oversees the whole thing. And it’s all .gif’d up, so you can watch the action on repeat until your eyes bleed from the awesomness and you have to call an ambulance.
In other words, this is some inspirational shit.
Rare Chandeliers is available for free via Noisey.
* Side note: Are Action Bronson and Roc Marciano the new Ghostface and Raekwon? Crap, now all I can think about is their version of Only Built 4 Cuban Linx. A white boy can dream, right?
Sometimes I worry that this is more a Black Hippy fan blog than an actual hip-hop blog. How many steps away from Black Hippy fanfic am I really?
Top Dawg Entertainment Founder Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith has announced that future albums by L.A. crew Black Hippy - Kendrick Lamar, Schoolboy Q, Ab-Soul, and Jay Rock - will be released jointly through TDE and Interscope. Lamar’s as-yet-untitled proper debt album, though, will drop via TDE, Interscope, and Aftermath, the imprint founded by Dr. Dre.
This isn’t a huge surprise, considering that the Hippies - L.A. natives all - have been running with Dr. Dre and his crew for a few years now. (Kendrick even went so far as to release a track called “Look out for Detox,” which, incidentally, just slays.)
Nevertheless, it’s always great to see a supernaturally talented group like Black Hippy get the mainstream plaudits they deserve. Congrats, guys!
XXL just released its always-controversial - but usually on-point - annual list of the best and the brightest new faces in hip-hop.
I’ll admit I’m not totally familiar with most of these dudes, though the inclusions I am familiar with seem sound - love Danny Brown, not quite sold on French Montana - even though I just can’t stand bone-simple R&B robot Future. And while it’s nice to see Iggy Azalea repping for the ladies, I would’ve preferred to see her similarly named contemporary, the fabulous and fabulously talented Azealia Banks. And it’s too bad they slept on Boldy James, Main Attrakionz, and Schoolboy Q. In general, though, spilling some ink on lesser-known quantities is always something I’m in favor of.