As promised this Friday marks the release party of the Fist Fam’s 3rd album release in less than a year, “Weekend Cult”. The show will be at the Elbo Room (647 Valencia, SF, CA) and will feature sets by a cadre of Gurp City members & affilliates such as Z-Man, Rec League, Grand Invincible, yours truly Foulio Iglesias and others. Spearheading this event is the release of the album’s lead single “Drinkin & Smokin” (which I suspect is actually a prequal to the “Posted” single “Drinkin”) as a free download. These guys can’t stop hitting you over the head with free music, and in my opinion this is the tightest album the Fam has put together to date. So in the words of the immortal (or perhaps just undead) Tame One “Tell a friend, tell a foe. Tell everybody you know”…
Next Friday, February 24th at the Elbo Room in San Francisco marks the album release party for the Fist Fam’s latest full length (yes another one) “Weekend Cult”. That being more or less the starter pistol for a string of releases by the Gurp City South Crew. 2012 will see albums from TopR, Foul Mouth Jerk, Scofflaw, The Ville Boyz, the Worst, and possibly more. So in honor of a future that is startlingly bright for a confederation of potential cirrhosis candidates & to educate these young buckets only just now upping themselves on the science of Gurpology, we take a look back at the history of the Gurp City Crew by posting this link to the in-retrospect-ironically named “Dead In A Year” a remastered compilation of hits from 1999-2004. This noteworthy collection of classics features the distinguished production high-jinks of Verse Murphy, Z-Trip & Radar as well as the superior rap shenanigans of OG Triple OG’s Brandon B, Eddie K, Luke Sick & Z-Man. Aside from being inundated with an overwhelming amount of gems that would hit just as hard if dropped in the distant future, it contains some of the funniest skits ever put to tape. In particular my favorite skit of all time “Coked Out In The 80′s” , few things are simultaneously this funny & historically accurate. So peep the skit & follow it back to the album, which is amazingly, also available for free download.
This weekend my buddy Vlad & I ventured down to Atlanta to watch Gurp City O.G. TopR Holiday battle Baltimore’s Richard Cranium for Grind Time’s “Nuclear Winter 2″ event. Currently Cranium has been on a tear, earning stripes & a reputation as one of the up & coming young beasts in the league. TopR a grizzled vet, had at least a decade on just about all the competitors & the demeanor of Buttermaker, head coach of the Bad News Bears. The club was situated in a markedly turfed out section of the ATL, right behind Turner field which seemed appropriate for the days events. After a short parking lot cypher with rappers Real Talk & Manifest Destiny we were ushered inside by club owner & comedic genius Sam Stone, informing us that it was time to come in or be locked out for the remainder. That probably should have sent up a red flag. What kind of club locks several hundred patrons inside at the start of the party, at 3:30 in the afternoon no less? Answer; the kind who is worried less about the monster fire hazard it’s just created than the non-patrons outside the club.
As the crowd gathered & the competition was about to commence the unmistakeable sound of gun play rang out from just in front of the building. Not just the casual pop-pop your of run-of-the-mill fuckery. But the distinct & repeated report of dueling calibers of small arms. Looking incredulously to Vlad I asked with a silent eye brow twitch if I had just heard what I thought I had. And nodding with the easy assurance of a cynical bastard he confirmed that I had. Looking around it seemed that either no one else had heard the shots, or that this club was even more hood than previously suspected, and nobody gave a fuck. It turned out to be the former when moments later there was a pounding at the door & an unsuspecting Sam Stone, thinking it was a late battle entry unlocked & opened it. In stumbles a man with a dreadlocked mohawk hunched over & bleeding with a fully discharged glock in hand, makes it halfway across the room & collapses in the corner. For a brief minute there I thought we were watching this human take his last breath. Luckily, depending on how you look at it I guess, the guy had only had about half his index finger blown off. In the words of Sam Stone at that moment “Wow, this guy just came in & changed the whole feng shui of everything”. Quite an auspicious beginning to the rap battle… personally I blame hip hop music.
Following a brief interlude with the police, but surprisingly no ambulance the competition was resumed. As they say the show must go on. All of the battles that day were considerably entertaining and the 3rd match on the card was the one I came to see. Cranium came out with a strong showing referring to the Ogre as “Bi-furious” amongst other things. But the old man had the juice… and about a foot plus sixty pounds on the guy, not to mention 8 shots of Jack Daniels. Besides bringing size into it like a school yard bully, the 15 plus years of stage experience on how to command a room gave TopR a decisive edge, which he used to repeatedly reign flurries of punchlines on Cranium’s…um head (which only feels redundant), that he couldn’t recover from. TopR won a unanimous decision from all 5 judges in 3 rounds… Gurp City South, flawless victory.
Unfortunately we couldn’t record any video of the event, since that is the exclusive purview of Grind Time & their associates. But they will be posting it soon & when they do I will be sure to post the link here. Congratulations to the Ogre, TopR & to my man with the Dread Mohawk, I hope you find your finger. The irony of being shot in the trigger finger was not lost on me, sir.
San Francisco’s Blue Collar rap champ & Strange Face vet Wordsmiff recently released his new full length. Now you don’t have to hate your job to love this album per se, but it certainly will not stand in your way. Atmosphere’s Slug once said that “inspiration comes from love & stress compounding” and in a pinch I think that would work as an elevator pitch for “Day Jobs & Day Dreams”. Wordsmiff deftly captures the frustration of a life measured in dollars-per-hour. Watching your minutes ticking away into days, weeks, & years just to keep rent & bills covered, while trying to find the time & energy to squeeze in the things that actually inspire you & make it worthwhile. As someone who wrote their entire 1st album on beverage napkins in a dish tank, I can relate. Even craftier is that he laid all this frustration over some mostly smooth, smoked out beats, so that songs come across as less angry & more contemplative. And to top it all off , the whole album is available at the old “Name your own price” option…how’s that for working class?