No Trivia

Archive for the ‘Avery Storm’ Category

How Big Is Your World? New Rap.

one comment

-Soulja Boy “Love & Hate”

All over Soulja Boy’s Gangsta Grillz tape is a kind of spastic, truly off-the-dome (so it sometimes doesn’t make any sense) style of rapping that’s not that different from the much too talked about Lil B. “Love & Hate” is basically a more down-to-earth and less obnoxiously weird variation on Lil B, all the way down to the strains of melancholy behind the nonsense. “Turn My Swag On” had a hot beat, but there was something sort of depressed and “Here we go again…” about Soulja Boy’s delivery, and it’s here too, due to the hyper-repetitive hook/chant, the constant reminder of his hard-work (“all the blood, sweat, and tears I done wiped from my eye”) and an anti-brag like “Everyday I’m hustlin/Not time for depression”, which implies if he were less busy he’d be depressed.

-Grand Puba featuring Khadija Mohammad “Cold Cold World”

This song’s like catching up with the wacky kid from high-school, now all grown up and a little less funny because that wackiness royally fucked him in “the real world”. At the same time, there’s an awesome refusal by Puba to give into the sadness of the beat or hook entirely and it stems from hard-headed pride and right-minded confidence in his skills. My guess is Puba’s got a ton of horror stories and mistakes he could sit down in front of the mic and “confess”, but the song’s a great deal more affecting by not giving into the depresso-rap signifiers of the production and instead, outlining some of the things he learned about human nature (“one mistake is all it takes/To see who’s real and who’s really fake”) and perserverance (“It ain’t how you fall, it’s how you get back up”). Sad thing: That reference to Lil Jon, Usher, and Ludacris, did Puba record this song in 2004? Probably.

-Dead Prez featuring Avery Storm “Refuse To Lose”

This song is awful because it’s some of the most vanilla political raps I’ve heard in a while, features a Chuck D sampled hook credited as “featuring Chuck D” (a recent trend way worse than auto-tune), and has a tinny hedged-bets between “raw” and “radio” beat…but it does have No Trivia favorite, Avery Storm. Avery’s the right kind of shameless for being okay with soul-whimpering over Chuck D and he gives it his all, as he does on every guest spot handed his way. His bridge, where he sorta sucks his voice inside and sadly hiccups it back out, embraces the high-pitch lack of soul and relative monotone he’s got–he sounds like Travis Morrison from The Dismemberment Plan–and sends out an imperfect emotive yelp that’s sort of the point of R & B anyway.

-Diamond “Tore Up”

This is a good example of a female rapper using expectations for and against her. Diamond (formerly of Crime Mob) can flat-out rap and she’s especially skilled as an aggressive, actually swagger-filled female MC that can rap double-time and all that, and with Crime Mob, that schtick never got old because she was working with killer beats and three other rappers, but on P.ardon M.y .S.wagg, there’s some guests but she’s still gotta anchor the whole thing, so she slows it down, or mixes it up, and even sorta sings. The interaction between Diamond’s shout-rap chant, the slowed and slurred “I need another drink”, and her casual, sinking verses, makes another drinking rap classic. Songs like this or Unladylike’s “Bartender” work as perfect response records to T-Pain, Jamie Foxx, and others’ date-rape R & B drink songs because “Tore Up” or “Bartender” remind you what alcohol does: makes you confused, stumble, etc.

-Egyptian Lover & James Pants “Cosmic Rapp” (Remix)

Another No Trivia favorite, Egyptian Lover. When it comes to dance music, I’m one of those “these kids today” types because postmodern producers like James Pants don’t know anything about a club and the clubs they play to are filled with their buddies that don’t know anything either, so everyone’s dancing to dickless fifth-generation Electro or Club and whatever else made on one another’s Macbooks. This remix is pretty much just an original Egyptian Lover track because industrious Electro’s a constant remix of itself and the same bunch of sounds stretched, flipped, and turned inside-out over and over again. Those post-”Planet Rock”/”Trans Europe Express” thick-rumbles of synthesized strings, garbled vocoder, and 808s stutters of death. The secret to good dance music is that it’s not really all that fun, it’s sort of horrifying and oppressive and filled with dread and menace that circles around you and forces you dance to it, like you had no choice.

-DJ Booman “Pick Em Up” (Unreleased Mix)

From Top Billin Vol. 3 like Emynd’s “What About Tomorrow”, highlighted in the last How Big Is Your World?. There’s just no new non-rap or rap-derived music to highlight, so let’s talk about this alternate mix of The Doo-Dew Kidz classic “Pick Em’ Up”. I talked to Booman about this the other day and was surprised when he told me it was made a day or so after the version that’s now one of the Baltimore Club classics and that it’d been sitting on a DAT since then. My assumption had been that this was a remix he’d done at some point in the past couple of years but only employed when DJ-ing or something. It’s a little less raw than the original, with a few punches of House in there to lighten the mood, but those drill-stutter drums on top of the already devastating and classically hard-as-fuck drums Booman puts on everything make this an interesting footnote to the original.

Written by Brandon

June 25th, 2009 at 10:30 pm