Category: reviews

Stash Marina Opens Up On The Introspective And Fucking Powerful Xposed

It is so great to hear new music from Stash Marina! The wildly talented rapper, singer’s and all-around-awesome person’s latest Xposed is absolutely her best work yet. The whole EP feels like a sort of personal essay or poem. Really Stash describes Xposed the best on the Ep’s Intro. Over a new age slow jam of a beat, Stash sets things up for us: “I like to keep it upbeat, happy. But that’s not the reality of things. There’s a time to show people they can have fun, but still express how I feel about shit.”  And Stash truly is expressing how she feels. She totally bares her soul on Xposed. The Ep is a mediation on relationships, The good, bad and ugly. And, how they go from good to bad to ugly.

One of the standout tracks later on Xposed, is the dark, wavy R&B of “Swoop’d.” Stash tells the story of a relationship starting out with infatuation: “everything about you I had never seen before/pants, shoes, attitude.” But, as the song goes on we see things fall apart: “you just making shit up to a twisted reality/you don’t want me and/you sabotage it again and again and again.” At this point Stash is angry sad, maybe confused, but then we get to the aftermath when she sings “Yeah I got my heart broke/I don’t give a fuck/because at least I got to try this shit out” Stash’s music has always been self aware and insightful, but Xposed is really next level. Those lines at the end of “Swoop’d” are an important theme throughout the whole project. Stash is right there in the moment feeling these powerful emotions, but at the same time she is taking a step back and reflecting on everything she has been through.

Right after “Swoop’d” is the the EP’s saddest moment, “lovelost.” Stash opens the track the very heavy and very real statement “This is a sad one. It was the only one that actually mattered.” And, she goes on to rap about reconciling memories of an ex who she has feelings for– “visualizing your face thinking of you as nothing but that gold,” –but who she knows has hurt her and will do it again: “you still didn’t hear me/tore me up to watch it/you knew me too well/and you still jumped out of pocket.”

I know I described Stash as a “rapper and singer,” but really her music is unique a hybrid of both.  On one of the Ep’s more playful moments, the excellently named “you betta be muh fuckin jesus,” she raps for the most part, but sings her adlibs in the background effortlessly.  Stash has always mixed singing and rapping in her music, but her vocals on Xposed are the strongest they have ever been.

The production also is a perfect fit for Stash’s balance of emotional depth and introspection, but also just her downright grooviness and swag.  Over its 8 tracks, Xposed features a diverse batch of soulful and complex production with contributions from many of her frequent collaborators. Feathermeal, Don D, Froze and Blown (of Candy Drips fame!) and Stony Willis all have beats on the project. The production ranges from the ethereal reggae of “RosyHips” to the lo fi jazz rap of “you betta be muh fuckin jesus” to the  bass heavy funk of “muerte del amour.” Not to mention that unique synth anthem for the aforementioned “XPOSEDintro”, and the solemn, minimal sounds on “Lovelost.”

Even though she is being very open and vulnerable on these songs, we should  in no way take that as sign of weakness. As Stash points out in the intro: one side of Xposed is exposing her feelings and experiences, the other is about exposing folks who have wronged her. “fuk boi” has got to be one of the most beautiful R&B songs calling out shitty men. And, the more songs calling out shitty men the better. The whole song is full of great lines, but one of my favorites is: “And you bragging to your boys how your money game specific/but you show up to my crib with a beer/asking can we split it/oh you ballin now.”

The righteous anger continues on the triumphant “free.” Stash once again goes in on people who are her way: “excuse me? Do I need to go get my peeps and kick your bitch ass on Canal Street?” It’s a hilarious line, and it’s clear Stash is not taking anyone’s shit. But,  Even though this track is much more aggressive than other moments on Xposed , Stash still keeps things positive: “stop hating on us get your shit up with us.” Having “free” as the EP’s final track is a brilliant way to sum up the project. Stash has gone through a lot. But, in the end she is  moving forward with her head up, handling her shit. She’s free.

You can listen to Xposed, and all of Stash’s music on her bandcamp

-Nicholas Vogt
Twitter: @nicholasvogt

NATTYMARI ALL KILL NO FILL

 

TOO LATE DONT READ by NATTYMARI
blamblamfever:

Go ‘head Nattymari. I’d really love to see him live with a few projection screens, fog machines and promethazine. He is the beast in the house of witch just melodically plodding through, one uncategorizable thump at a time.

I wrote this seven years ago and it still rings true. The uncategorizable thump connoisseur Nattymari returns with a new album out now on the equally underground Clan Destine Records. Both stalwarts in the witchhouse scene but known for so much more than that labeling, Natty and Carl Clan Destine have pushed real vibes, championing DJ Screw, obscure southern rap, house, techno, minimal synth, LoFi and basically all things experimental. Much like this label Candy Drips, and its creators. It comes from a crystal clear love of rap and electronic music, all its filthy aspects, a desire to explore them, cultivate them, contaminate the mainstream from fissures in the depths while never engaging much with it, except to maybe snatch a sample, illegally. Which brings me back around to that wanting to see him live bit, it wasn’t meant to be, Nattymari is a ghost in the machine, a recluse, transmitting from a self commited exile.

I don’t want things to go back to any Golden Era in music, I just want progression through experimentation and Nattymari has never let me down. Through tracks and visuals he has been throwing down the gauntlet for over a decade. And this album, Too Late Dont Read is no slouch in the throwed department.

From the jump,  its already a journey.  Gypsy Woman is a mellow, warped percolator that begins to jack like a raver dragging themself from the floor once the ecstasy high has burned off a little. The bass on His Masters Whisper is ominous and Nattymari utilizes hi-hats like the Legendary Traxster did in the 90s, he weaponizes them.  I’ve Seen The Greatest Minds Of My Generation Destroyed By Meme Music gives me chills,  a fully layered jaunt that reminds you, if you were fortunate enough to see them, of the videos he has created to accompany his sonic mutations.  Its that fleshed out. Speaking of flesh (trade) And Super Creep sounds like a sex droid malfunctioning, humping the floor, crawling spider-like towards its horrified client (soon to be victim) while it’s insides violently bleep glitched music snippets as sparks shoot from its orifices. On If This Was Seven Years Ago All You Rappers Would Be Juggalos, a monster synth line is accompanied by a hilariously angry diatribe.

The B side starts with the slow burn of Her Smell and the Impact of Evil then immediately revs up next with Hose, an off kilter beat with uptempo club touches and the title track, T.L.D.R has that post footwork urgency too.  Next up, Cubby Ting is a dubby ting, a King Tubby ting, skanking along at a real rude pace.  Slowing it down even more, Fuck Everybody hits that boulevard cruising speed and plays like a DJ Screw grey tape that has been warped in the heat of a Cadillac glove compartment. Complementing the chaotic flow of this album Bama Ghost is the only feature on the next track, Got All That Somethin with a delivery like a based Brotha Lynch Hung or more accurately, a Houston freestyle like my personal favorites, Big Wen from Beltway 8 or Al D from S.U.C. Kaybar closes it all out with a ghetto tech and breaks adventure clocking in at a minute and a half. Its not just some beat tape. It’s different. It’s Nattymari


-CECIL BLAM DEMENTED
Twitter: @BLAMLORD

KING BEET by YungWardenBuffett


This release takes flight as soon as the beat drops on Occasional Smoker (produced by Forest Slikk) as the artist, Yung Warden Buffett applies his raspy, uptempo delivery to its opening line: (When I grow up one day gonna be a nasty fuck like Lester Green). A perfect salute to Lester aka Beetlejuice (Beet for short) who is seen on the cover and in the title, of the KING BEET ep.

Each track contains a Beetle bite as a matter of fact. In the hook on Ignoramus (produced by White Whoadie) Warden sings (‘Your situation is uglier than Beetlejuice dome’) harsh, but a whole bop nevertheless. THATS CREEP throws down a nice and nasty lurker of a production for Fuck Off With That Camera that Y.W.B attacks off top with another great opening line “Go ahead and bang my line I’ll tell you bitch I’M OUT ON BUSINESS.” The end joint, Suction featuring Lil Baby Goat (produced by DIRT MAN) is a trap beat backed, ego flashing offering that ends with guess what? A Beet soundbite. It’s a complete lace up.

The Salt Lake City resident, a member of Schemaposse, when the JGRXXN lead power crew was alive and kicking, is clearly still putting in work. Yung Warden Buffett being just one of many artistic pseudonyms (Tanqueray Romano, Lil Black Lung, Father Creak) where he explores his often dark psyche realms. And with a distinct voice that sounds like himself but also like, Mystikal and Lil Wyte were personas of a man who trades one liner jabs with himself in the world’s first M.P.D buddy (not buddy cop, no no no) film…  Hold up, don’t steal the screenplay idea that I just made right now. Writing this review for Candy Drips blog is as binding as a copyright. Just kidding. Or am I? In summary, check out KING BEET by Young Warden Buffett. It’s cohesive for an EP. The tracks are short but succinct.

*Sidenote: The Schema might have dissolved but some of my favorite examples of contemporary chopping (double time rhyming) were done by Warden and another posse member, Kold Blooded. I have a short list of others but lets spare that for another time.

 

EXCLUSIVE PREMIERE: CORRUPT FROM THE GET GO By MC Holocaust

 

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CORRUPT FROM THE GET GO by MC HOLOCAUST

The Birmingham, Alabama based MC Holocaust, one of the co-creators of Doomshop Records isn’t concerned with the hype, he makes no attempt to work with artists who have a buzz or change his sound to a popular or commercially digestible one. It’s dialed in and zoned out, ominous funk, and Candy Drips is fortunate to get an exclusive premiere of his latest, Corrupt From The Get Go.

A sound directly influenced by the evil sample drenched, 808 patterns and choice of circumstance lo-fi vocals of mid to late 90s Memphis rap that spawned the obscure subgenre Devil Shyt. Although Memphis artists coined the term first, Devil Shyt is now a community with artists from all over the globe, creating dark atmospheric street based horror stories in rap form. Now throw in Houston’s dark offerings (the Geto Boys obviously, Ganksta N.I.P, Point Blank etc), the sinister side of the West Coast scene (Brother Lynch Hung, X Raided, even Spice 1 although he never gets the props he deserves) and some will also say, early Spaceghostpurpp with his Phonk creations. No-one has a better grip on this murky melange than DOOMSHOP does right now. Holocausts’ tape is like a South Park Coalition release with most of its production handled by in house artists covering all these sonic elements and more.

The amount of timeless samples embedded on this tape are drowned out by unrecognizable rarities, a signature Shop move, in a successful strategy to distance themselves from the pack.

For instance, the intro track, Nobody Likes U Holocaust (produced by KevinTheCreep), contains a perfect Adina Howard sample. Seconds into the tape and I’m already blown away by its usage. Next, Hate You More Than Myself  begins with an uncomfortable Requiem For A Dream scene soundbite while Gangsta Walk Adolf contains Scarface and Bushwick Bill snippets, a salute to that aforementioned Houston influence and a heavy bass that sounds very similar to the one used on the Keith Murray track Dip Dip Di but slowed down, a la DJ Screw. Besides the intro it’s all paired with Holocausts laid back devious flow.

The title track continues the audio mayhem and Mothafuckas Don’t Exist (a crazy, rattling beat produced by Bonkura) contains my favorite lyrical quote (the devil, heavy metal, very skilled with a shovel / disrespectful, next level, fuck life, I ain’t special) while Gotta Plan 2 is pure on a mission mentality that has been missing in rap for years. On A Rampage Ghetto Blaster (produced by Jak3) starts like a UK bassline track before quickly spinning off into an advanced get buck state and Undaground Enemy (AKOZA edit) where ‘Caust states (OGs I sample really fuckin with me / Ima real MC / undaground enemy) maintains the momentum.

Here the tape transitions to smoother selections, like the barrel has gotten too hot and it needs a cool down. Feeble Hearted (prod. by Jake3 and KevinTheCreep) is a lil ranfla roller while Execute Me, Gospel (produced by DJ Sacred) and  Another Friday Night (produced by Tyris White) featuring Slim Guerilla also both seal in the funky flavor with soulful source material.

I excitedly compare this movement to B movie culture, for decades remaining far outside the big industry rap and Hollywood radars. Often low budget, shocking, exhilarating and well, usually problematic. And with a name like MC Holocaust, it’s not a reach. Every time I see his name I think of the 1975 film The Black Gestapo. It makes normal people uncomfortable but for those who seek out the nasties, it fits like a murder glove.

 

-CECIL BLAM DEMENTED
Twitter: @BLAMLORD

The Walking Miscarriage by Jak Tripper

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The Walking Miscarriage by Jak Tripper/Jakprogresso

The rap community is bombarded by its most recent fads like replicant trap beats and copycat catchphrases but deep down in its core there remains a solid resistance to the bogus consumer hive mind. A veneration for crate digging and complex rhyme schemes.

Jak Tripper aka Jak Progresso is of the latter and his self born Blak Church movement in Putnam County, NY is where he has whipped up product over the last 5 years. The Walking Miscarriage is the latest in a history of audio violence.

From the opening sample on Glum Tree (“Open the gate and let Ja(c)k into the kitchen”) it is clear that came to cook and with bars like (I’m malnourished with flies on my rib cage like third world / I once cut my arm so bad the E.R. intern nurse earled) it’s going to be served up still bleeding, chef’s choice. Cannibal savory wordplay swirling around in a murky stew of self produced, sample saturated, phencyclidine dunked beats. The second track, Parke-Davis is like a paean to (the pharmaceutical company that invented PCP) this angel dusted, demonic celebration of depraved natures.

Red City Knights opens with a Vincent Price soundbite, a dreamy beat and a verse from Lodeck. Monks hit profundo basso notes under Self Indulged where Jak offers a different street perspective (I glorify drugs, and glamorize the cult, they trappin over streets / I trip out in traps and just rap over beats). Psychonaut is a relentless barrage of.. bar rage, so much that he just goes until he quits. On Wallpaper Paste Jak spits: (I’m stoned as a witch trial / from the corner with a lemonade stand in Harlem selling piss vials) and Joel’s Tennis Shoes is book-ended by audio from a docu on serial killer Joel David Rifkin and a William S. Burroughs quip. It’s like an odyssey through lyrical dominance, addiction and dissociation.

One of the many monstrosities from within the Church that Jak built. And if he grabs your ear go and check out his previous releases on Bandcamp. I thoroughly enjoyed every track on this. It would be lazy to categorize his work as horrorcore when it clearly doesn’t abide by those boundaries. You might have seen him with his partner in rhyme, The Buttress and if you aren’t familiar with his work on the battle rap circuits, peep his lyrical homicides on Ibattle, We Go Hard TV, RBE and URLTV.

Next up from him is DARK ENERGY JUDO.

Tedy Brewski’s Beach Is Better

As I write this, dear readers it is now September 1st and a chilly morning. Although it’s not officially done, summer is essentially over. But, fear not! D.C rapper and underground rap legend Tedy Brewski has come through with a dose of tropical swag for us, a final celebration of summer, his new EP Platinum Beach.

Tedy has always been an impressive rapper and he is all over these beats, switching his flows and voices effortlessly. On “Blue Blockers” Tedy weaves in and out of singing and rapping, and on “Skinny Dip” he finesses the words “Skinny Dip” into a sort of hybrid hook, adlib and also lazer sound effect. Brewski’s sense of humor and wildly creative lines are as on point as ever. All of Tedy’s lines are quotable, but maybe the most epic is on “Juugfest” where he rhymes “merlot” with “shirt off.”

Although most of Platinum Beach is wavy and breezy,  Beach’s standout track is the totally insane “BOGO.” Over what sounds like warped trap circus music (produced by by Killjoys and StereoRYZE) Tedy unleashes some of his craziest flows ever. And he’s spitting some most ridiculous lines, too: “Ima cop a bird no Dodo,”  “In a knife fight with a pistol,”  “I just popped a bean no senzu.”

Finishing out Platinum Beach is the jazzy, auto-tuned serenade “All I Do” produced by Cezzy. Brewski’s layers harmonizing and his encouragement to stay positive (be thankful/be grateful/be thoughtful/be awesome!) makes this one of the most beautiful odes to getting money since Young Thug’s “Digits.” He breaks out into rapping later in the song and proclaims “everyday I drop a fire flow” which I think sums up Tedy Brewski perfectly.

♬ Young Breh – Rap Mansion; record review

Candy Drips’ own Young Breh are back!

Like 2015’s Lean On Us before it, Breh’s new EP Rap Mansion is probably best described in their own words: “FUCKIN DUDES FUCKIN RAPPIN OK.” Nashville rappers Young Breh and Froze are the fuckin dudes in question, trading witty and hilarious bars and just plain going in on every song.

Right off the bat, on the opening track “Bars Are Back In Town,” they are going in. Line’s like Breh’s “Bernie Sanders the mixtape/ give em free education” or Froze’s “I got so many hoes I mean I really am bitches.” And their pop culture references are on point and clever as hell. There are so many quotable ones, but some of my favorites are Young Breh’s Evil Dead nod “Heater Is my Boomstick” on “Fuck Rehab” or Froze’s legendary Pokemon reference “rare like Articuno” on “We Got Em” (that line is fitting for Froze, of course, since Articuno is an ice type.)

Production-wise Rap Mansion is largely hi energy chopped-up soul, reminiscent of the work of the “old Kanye” or the golden age of Dipset. The beat for “Summertime” especially stands out in how the track samples the familiar “Walk On By,”  but flips into something new, fresh and unique. And, Speaking Of samples, one of the greatest feats of sampling on the EP is the intro to “Fuck Rehab.” No, the beginning of “Rehab” doesn’t sample music or sounds, but rather an epic Stone Cold Steve Austin rant about an absurd fast food feast.

Another highlight is Froze’s singing! He soulfully belts out the hooks on “1016 2 ” –the Perfect “fuck you” of “done with your shit/for real this time/you’re the last thot that I want on my mind” — and on the ode to getting high “Fuck Rehab.” On The New Age-y interlude “Anime Club” Froze’s distorted voice croons over a beat that sounds like Tame Impala did the fusion dance with Blue Sky Black Death.

Young Breh and Froze make an awesome team. It’s clear the dudes had a genuinely great time working on this EP. And listening to Rap Mansion feels like being right there with them.

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