“Michael Knight” by Curren$y (prod. Ski Beatz)
Prior to hearing “Michael Knight” last week, I’d paid little attention to Curren$y (no hate, I just never really got around to it). I’ve yet to peep the rest of his catalogue, but I highly doubt it bears the mark (intentional or unintentional) of Dungeon Family tradition and sound as strongly as “Michael Knight.” From the guitar and soul shaking bass, to the Witchdoctor-like drawl Curren$y wields in brief moments (even the chorus sounds like something from a Witchdoctor song), to the line “I wasn’t born yesterday nor later on that evening,” there is an aura of the rootsy-ness and swampland mysticism that is paramount to the DF sound. Curren$y isn’t the boring stoner second hand impressions led me to believe, nor is he a DF shaman–“Michael Knight,” at very least, places him somewhere in between, spitting a laid back stream of consciousness that fits the beat beautifully and suggests at its edges a depth beneath simple stonerisms and rapper boasts. This beat (produced by Ski, whose 24 Hour Karate School dropped recently and has some definite fire on it) sounds like it would be right at home on Atliens or A S.W.A.T. Healin’ Ritual. This isn’t the place to delve into the topic of cross-pollination of influences, but it is very intriguing to see a producer, Ski, born in North Carolina, whose sound is heavily linked to mid-90s NY Hip-Hop, making a very DF-tinted beat for a rapper, Curren$y, from New Orleans. Is it cliche at this point to request that y’all quit hatin’ the south? “Michael Knight” is available now via iTunes.
Whenever I get a chance to put someone on to Wafeek I take it gladly. Wafeek is one of those rappers about whom I wonder “why isn’t he better known?” If you’ve been around, you’ll know that I’m a fan and that Wafeek has stopped by the house of YML to chop it up before. “Monster” is a leak off of his upcoming mixtape of the same name, which drops on Oct. 28th. I think what I enjoy most about Wafeek, as I’ve told him, is his ability to bridge the esoteric and the accessible (this is mirrored in Rudeluv’s production, particularly here with a mixture of Hip-Hop, Dance, and Dubstep influences). Feekee can drop punchlines, sing choruses, spit philosophy, dive into the absurd, and satirize the conventional without seeming the least bit inorganic. I add Wafeek (and a man coming up in the blurb below–if you follow YML you might be able to guess who that is…or just scroll down) to my growing recent list of artists whose music takes on added meaning and quality because they deliver their lines with conviction. The moral of the story is that “Monster” is a dope song, the mixtape will be dope, and you should get up on your Wafeek back catalogue ASAP. Start with The Aristocrats.
So Emilio Rojas is fine and dandy (and a fairly talented rapper–I’d never listened to anything of his before this track but I can imagine checking for him in the future), but if you’ve ever been around these here parts of the interwebs you know why this song is here.
It’s been a little over two months since I last posted about Yelawolf’s bugged out “Looking for Alien Love.” While “Turn It Up” is far more conventional than “Looking,” Yela’s performance is no less stunning. I’m not really sure what to say that I haven’t already said. The lyrics and images are dope. The flow and technique are exquisite. The passion is EXPLODING out of this verse–a verse I wish he’d spit on “You Ain’t No DJ.” This is the exact sort of introduction I think people should have to Yela’s general style and concerns; he’s not the beer-swilling trailer park party boy we’ve seen on some tracks, but there’s always time for that. The beat is a fine Dr. Dre impersonation (which is sort of amusing in a “Yelawolf is a white rapper signed to Interscope OMG Eminem is a white rapper signed to Interscope aren’t they like totally the same!!??!?!?!?111” kind of way) that doesn’t really do much to challenge Yelawolf (a la “Looking” and “You Ain’t No DJ”). It does, however, provide a pretty spacious stomping ground for him to exhibit his talent. At this point you might imagine that I have stock in Yelawolf’s career. I really don’t. Just a fan and avid supporter.
“Night Air (Ramadanman Refix)” – Jamie Woon
Just for the sake of diversity, here’s a little ditty from England that’s found it’s way into steady rotation around these parts. It’s mellow, perfect for fall, and features production and singing that will please any fans of Burial (who is the creator of the bonus track below). Not much to say here, some spacy post-dubstep white boy soul cut from what I gather is a very London cloth. “Night Air” (the dope original and the above remix) is available on 12″ at Woon’s site for all you DJ’s and vinyl junkies.
“Archangel” – Burial (Also known as the soundtrack to my first semester of college…along with Young Buck’s “Get Buck”)