69. “Ignorant Shit” (Small Professor Remix)-Jay-Z f. Beanie Sigel (click song title to preview or DL)
“Hey dumbass! Didn’t “Ignorant Shit” drop in like..um…2003? For as long as the track has been making it’s rounds on every Jay-Z “Best Of…” mixtape that has surfaced over the last four or so years, it sure as hell feels like it, doesn’t it? While Jay-Z’s “official” “American Gangster” release has yet to win me over, thankfully, just out of curiosity (eye-catching cover art always does the trick when your unsure of what to download, trust me!) I peeped Philadelphia product Small Professor’s remix of Jay’s lastest and..um….not quite “greatest”. If you put the two side by side, I’d take Small Professor’s production over the featured production on “American Gangster” from JD, No I.D, Sean C & Diddy’s Hitmen anyday. Leaps and bounds above any other “re-working” of “American Gangster” that I’ve heard thus far, Small Professor (don’t be fooled by the less-than-clever alias) scored a winner with his soulful yet pulsing production and “Ignorant Shit” is a prime example of what’s in store with “Crooklyn Gangster”. Utilizing a smooth guitar lick and an echoing piano stab, “Ignorant Shit” nearly puts Just Blaze’s production on the original to shame. Don’t miss out on “Crooklyn Gangster”, kudos to you Small Professor for a remix album that wasn’t just “thrown together”!
With a dope Average White Band sample (damn I can’t remember who dropped that helpful tidbit in the C-box..Thanks!) and an uptempo, neck-snapping drum beat to match, this track shows us a more mature side from the newest addition to the Duck Down family (maybe the whole “Rawkus 50″ idea didn’t sit too well with this Chi-Town duo). Marketed as the “official” joint for Barrack Obama’s presidential campaign for 2008, one could only hope that Kidz In The Hall’s forthcoming Duck Down debut can continue with the quality that was discovered on the Mick Boogie assisted “warm-up”/mixtape “Detention”. Like Naledge says over the intro of “Work To Do”: “It’s that feel good music sh*t, nah mean?”.
I’m as big a fan of the legendary DJ Premier as the next man, but you’ve got to admit that the majority of recently released Primo beats don’t have that…..that….same “umph” that his earlier GangStarr productions did. C’mon, quickly…off the top of your head name the top 3 Primo beats over the last 2 years. Truthfully, other than AZ’s “The Format” I have a really hard time piecing three Primo beats together. Thankfully, in ’07 Primo returned to Primo of ’94 fashion with his work on Temanology’s “So Amazing”. I recently caught a glimpse of XXL’s recent cover photo depicting the next 10 “big emcees” or the “new school” (Saigon, Young Dro?, Joell Ortiz and a few more that lacked any credentials whatsoever to be anointed as “up & comers” to carry Hip Hop’s torch), sadly Term was left off that list. I really like this cat, he’s got a nice microphone presence, he’s lyrically gifted and with a co-sign from the legendary DJ Premier the sky is the limit for this young, flashy and fly Boston resident. However, you have to scratch your head when on “So Amazing” Term spits: “Cause if I really wanted to I could keep up with Nas”….ahh, not so fast “Daniel-Son”, let’s concentrate on putting out a full-length first! One thing is certain, you sure as hell can’t say that this cocksure emcee is lacing in confidence.
Holy Sh*t! Have three emcees, all with decentsolo careers, ever sounded soo fresh when reunited on the same track? I mean, think about it, Ghost, Rae & Meth WERE “8 Diagrams”. Method Man makes a strong case for “comeback” performance of the year, and his lyrical showing on “Yolanda’s House” is no different. Ghost is his usual charismatic self and Raekwon picks it up a bit lyrically on this track as well. However, the real winner on “Yolanda’s House” is producer Ant-Live who laces the “Big 3″ with a crisp production that features a smooth, yet bouncy bassline underneath soothing vocals from Joi Starr thrown in for good measure. “Yolanda’s House” gets more and more spins from me on the daily, too bad the same can’t be said for the remainder of the product within “The Big Doe Rehab”.
Speaking of “smooth” guitar licks, Ill Poetic takes the cake for best usage of one with his mind-blowing production on the posse cut “As I See It”. While all of the featured emcees deliver exceptional verses, guest lyricist (and I mean, lyricist) Illogic steals the show with his poignant and thought-provoking sixteen. You know an album is a surefire hit when you do a “best of” singles list for ’07 and 3/4 of the album could’ve made the cut, such is the case with Ill Poetic’s “The World Is Ours”. Ill Poetic’s production on “As I See It” is as clever as the day is long, a heavy DJ Premier influence can also be found on the track as Ill pieces bits of tracks from Jeru, Wu, Nas & Common together for the hook. Almost sitting neck and neck with Blu & Exile’s “Below The Heavens” for album of the year honors, “The World Is Ours” is a perfect reflection of what Hip-Hop should sound like. Great stuff here folks.
Uhhhhh, so just how long have the Cool Kids been bubblin’? Singed to A Trak’s (Kanye’s DJ) record label “Fool’s Gold” and following a long line of talent that hails from the Chi (Kanye, Lupe, Rhymefest, Twista, Kidz In The Hall, Common,etc.) the Cool Kids have officially arrived with their newest offering “Black Mags”. Rhyming about BMX rims, all the while rockin’ some late 80’s “nut-huggers” complete with the “tightroll” and all, the Cool Kids are in quite a position to garner the tag as “the next big thing”. Truthfully, “Black Mags” is irresistible. Equipped with a BOOMING bassline and quirky but catchy rhyme styles flaunted by both of the emcees, “Black Mags” is to “bike riding” as to what “Kick, Push” was to skateboarding. The self described “black version of the Beastie Boys” also have another cut leaked that truly captures the late 80’s essence of the Beasties titled “88″ that hits just as hard as “Black Mags”. With a forthcoming EP (”Bake Sale”) in January and a full length that just might be available around mid-2008, the hype that will build for The Cool Kids’ debut may reach the “ink levels” that Kanye or Lupe received before their respective debut albums dropped. Oh, and did you catch these cats in the new Rhapsody commercials….damn, (patting myself on the back) I sure know how to call em’, huh?
When “The Greatest Story Never Told” is finally released, I will be purchasing it on the strength of Just Blaze’s out of this word production…not Saigon’s lyrical skills. I honestly don’t see what all the buzz is surrounding Saigon lyrically. For instance, “Saigon Meets Just Blaze” is a good song, but
Saigon has yet to (at least in my eyes) live up to the lyrical expectations or his billing as “Hip-Hop’s next savior”. With a more inspired performance from Saigon this track had all the makings to be GREAT. From my viewpoint, minus Just Blaze, Saigon would just be your run-of-the-mill average rapper dropping a mixtape every other week of the calender year. For instance, take the mixtape “The Moral Of The Story”….other than the featured Just Blaze productions, what tracks are really moving? Not to sh*t on Saigon, but really, Just Bleezy will be the star of “The Greatest Story Never Told”..mark my words!
Word on the street is that One Be Lo left his label Fat Beats shortly before the release of his most recent offering “The R.E.B.I.R.T.H.” thus forcing the One Man Army to distribute the album independently. Judging from the cover art it would be hard to argue that this wasn’t the case indeed. On a brighter note, “The R.E.B.I.R.T.H.” has been easy on my ears thus far and in particular the saxophone laden “Gray”. On this feel-good anthem, One Be Lo takes it back to the days when lyrics were somewhat meaningful and each track contained a heartfelt message within. Even though I missed the boat on One Be Lo’s previous critically acclaimed effort “S.O.N.O.G.R.A.M.” (although I didn’t sleep on the Pete Rock remix of “Decepticons”), with “R.E.B.I.R.T.H.” I’ll be damned if I make the same mistake twice. Shit, I can even recall reading in a forum or two last year that the sax on “Gray” was actually to be played by none other than the “Original Gangster” of the saxophone, Kenny G (although that’s not the case).
Ahh, what a pleasant surprise! The first solo release from Athletic Mic League affiliate Buff 1, “Pure” was without a doubt one of the year’s best that totally blindsided the entire “blogosphere”. With a lyrical style and flow that is somewhat reminiscent of Ras Kass, Buff 1 captivated his listening audience with clever wordplay and impressive production from Waajeed (Platinum Pied Pipers), Mr. Porter (D12) and the Lab Techs. “For U” is Buff’s ode to the art-form he puts his “blood, sweat and tears” into over a soulful production that features a clever vocal sample from Jade’s (yeah, remember them?) “Don’t Walk Away”. One of the brightest and most unexpected moments in Hip Hop this past year was “Pure”, be sure to peep my take on the album way back in May. Damn, do I have an ear for talent or what? (I know, I know…enough already, ehh?)
I don’t know who produced this banger, but Stat does give a shout to a cat named “Diverse” so I’m assuming that’s who crafted this masterpiece. I know that I tend to coin alot of beats as “soulful” but it is what it is and that happens to the type of shit that me…approaching the ripe, old age of 32, loves nowadays (see Ill Poetic, Cunnin‘, Blue Scholars, Blu & Exile, Panacea, etc.) Uhhh, question….what in the hell is Shady/Aftermath doin‘ ya’ll!!?? Hurry up with “Statlanta” already! Even though I’ve never quite caught on to the whole “Down South movement” there is no denyin‘…Stat’s a beast on the mic! YEAH! The chorus is just too damn catchy….”I heard heard Lindsay Lohan just left rehab and Amy Whinehouse won’t go…I heard Bobby Brown can’t put the pipe down and Anna Nicole OD’d on blow”….Now turn your radios u..u..u..u…up, let’s get higher”. Damn, this is some catchy ass iddish!!