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?
While I constantly hear people complain that hip hop is dead or that rap is all commercial bullshit, I couldn’t disagree more. While there has certainly been a deluge of craptitude of the 1st order it has become clear to me that one simply has to know how to navigate the sea of turds to find the many gems. In that spirit 2011 was undoubtedly an auspicious year for rock solid rap music especially of the lyrical variety. But I have to be honest with you. There was something missing… something almost intangible, something I just couldn’t quite put my finger on. Then like a punch in the dick it hit me… Who is speaking for the vegetables? Not just for the vegetables, but who is rapping from the perspective of vegetables yet unpicked in the garden? And for that matter who will be the voice of the voiceless rodents out to purloin those vegetables to their own ends, such as the wily ferret? When God, when is the thieving weasels time to shine?!!
Well I should have known better. Just as dark despair seemed to close it’s chilly mitts around me here come Z-man & Bored Stiff’s White Mic with the album I think we can all say we’ve been waiting for “The Vegetable and The Ferret”. For all you not-knowin members of the ignorati, a group of ferrets is called a “business”. Yes a business of ferrets, that is a fact. So this album is appropriately named because Z & Mic are on there business here. The lyrics, the beats, the whole nine. And yes they rap about topics other than delicious produce & it’s known predators, though admittedly I could have listened to an entire album of just that. Now some of you are undoubtedly saying to yourselves “But Foulio, perhaps you just like this because of your known predilection for animal humor” to which I say Fuck You! You just feast your gaze on that album cover & tell me that the Ferret wasn’t the role Z-Man was born to play! Also it’s not just the single, they’re giving you philistines the whole album as a free download. So click the link & get what your life’s been missing.
Once again Macon Beats is back at it like a crack habit. If you’re anything like me, you’re beginning to harbor suspicions that all this guy does is fish, take pictures of himself fishing, make mixtapes & then use the pictures of himself fishing as mixtape covers. Now if he could just achieve a feasible means of getting his turntables onto the boat in some employable fashion the circle of life for this proud Thug-Neck would be complete. Although I’m unsure what the long term effects of negligent amounts of massive sub bass would be on the well being of aquatic wildlife… but that’s their problem. Never mind the bollocks, here’s the Swamp Bucket Mix
Two of my favorite scumbag rappers together on one track? Check. Swarthy Latin horn sample? Check. Low brow Sandusky punchline? Check. A dog with a bottle of tequila wearing a Fucking sombrero? You win again Rec League… I don’t know how you found out about my weakness for animals doing people shit, but I surrender. That picture was pretty much all you needed to get me to listen and QM & Wordsmiff definitely put the “Cali” in Caliente with this joint. Rumor has it that Wordsmiff has just dropped his latest full-length “Day Jobs & Day Dreams”. So hopefully we’ll be seeing some more songs from him. Pour a drink & click the link.
Tired of your shitty job? Don’t believe anything you see on the news? Already sick of the relentless duplicity of election season? Wondering about what the fuck those unpronounceable ingredients on the side of your food label are? Worried that all these concerns and more have lead you to drinking & smoking too much? … Yeah, Dirty Frost is too.
If you can relate feel free to download his new exclusive single “The Power of Confusion”.
Has anyone besides me ever wondered in the 21st century, this era of cel phones and the end of the phone booth, where the fuck Clark Kent now changes into Superman? Which only begs the further question, that since phone booths were made of glass, why did he ever bother to “hide” in one before he changed any way? I mean is it providing any greater subterfuge that thin air was not? I don’t know, I guess since we as a people patronized him by turning a blind eye to that masterful disguise of one thin pair of spectacles, we kind of lowered the bar and could expect that kind of lackluster work ethic henceforth. What does any of this have to do with the new Ville Boyz single? Nothing really, just that the title is “Up, Up & Away” which I guess put me in some kind of pensive mood, contemplating the idiosyncrasies of the Son of Jor-El.
Anyway, the first free single from Gurp City South of 2012 is here & surprise, it’s from The Ville Boyz. Enjoy it in the loving embrace of Earth’s yellow sun.
On my recent trip out to The Bay I had the good fortune to sleep off most of my benders fully dressed, in Ronnie Mac’s lazy boy. One of the fringe benefits of Pappy’s upright slumber suite is that his room mate is S.F. underground stalwart & Gurp City production genius Optik. Probably best known for producing the entirety of TopR’s “Cheap Laughs For Dead Comedians” album, Optik has also produced UG classics for the likes of Z Man, Fist Fam & more. Shortly after his work on Cheap Laughs he began work on a his own album, featuring an all-star team of the rappers with whom he frequently collaborates. I had the good timing to be in town during a few of these sessions & ended up on a couple of the joints that were recorded for the album. As often happens with independent music some time has passed & for whatever reasons the album has yet to be released. So rather than keep all these gems to himself Optik recently began leaking a few of them on his “The Chillout blog” & soundcloud etc. This week’s release is called “Times”(The End is Near) ft. Foul Mouth Jerk, TopR & Word Smiff. You can can grab the download below along with a few other unreleased Optik rarities.
Beware! That most liquor-fueled, sex-crazed, blood-lusting, drug-addled pastry of the rap game is back on the loose. He’s taking shots at Frisco cops, Kat Stacks, Wiz Khalifa, his biggest imitator Meatwad of the Aqua Teen, and several others. Dude has his “Jack Rabbit Shoes” on thus making him harder to catch than ever. Suffice it to say unless you have accepted Cookie Monster as your personal Lord & Savior you are in danger. The best you can do is enjoy this new leak of his upcoming release “Powder Music”.
Fist Fam’s OG Triple OG DJ Macon Beatz steps back into the mixtape spotlight with his brand new All Gurp City Mix. This release is 43 mins of material spanning several years from both the West Coast & Down Souf branches of the Gurp City Crew, including The Fist Fam, Eddie K, TopR, Foul Mouth Jerk, The Ville Boyz, Smidi , Z-Man and more. Perfect party music. So don’t sleep… Pass out.