Brookline Stand Up

Buried Treasure
April 20, 2010, 7:32 am
Filed under: Beyonce, Big Pun, Britney Spears, Fat Joe, Jay-Z, Jennifer Lopez, Lil Wayne, Mariah Carey, T.I.

I feel like some really sick rap verses get completely overlooked because they are hidden within songs from another genre. This occurred to me yesterday as I was listening to “Feelin’ So Good” from Jennifer Lopez’s 1999 album On The 6. I am not ashamed to actually own this album in CD form, but I’m sure many rap aficionados didn’t even give it the time of day. Little do they know that this song in particular features legendary rappers Big Pun and Fat Joe, and their verses are actually pretty tight. Check out “Feelin’ So Good” below…

Pun and Joe have two verses, the first starting at the 20 second mark, and the second starting at the 3:24 mark.

As I reveled over how underrated Big Pun and Fat Joe’s verses on this song were, I began to reflect on other diva-licious songs that feature hip-hop industry hotshots. Here are a few…

“Heartbreaker” – Mariah Carey feat. Jay-Z (Jay’s verse starts around 2:52)

“Bad Girl” – Britney Spears feat. Lil’ Wayne (Weezy’s verse starts around the 15 sec. mark)

“Soldier” – Destiny’s Child feat. T.I. (T.I.’s verse starts at the beginning)

“Upgrade U” – Beyonce feat. Jay-Z (Jay’s verse starts at 2:32)

Those are just a few that I thought of off the top of my head, but I’m sure there’s more rap treasure out there buried in diva-land. Please share any other tracks outside the hip-hop genre you can think of contain overlooked rap verses!


Get Your Grits Ready

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a special place in my heart for all things southern. I long for the hillbilly accent I once had at age 3 (I’m originally from Charleston, West Virginia), nurture a dream of one day living in a sprawling plantation house below the Mason-Dixon line, have a weakness for southern gentlemen and can often be found listening to the likes of Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Allman Brothers when I’m not getting down to my usual hip hop.

So, it should come as no surprise that I think southern rap is the shit. I’ve already established that I am in a serious, long-term relationship with New Orleans’ Lil Wayne, and honestly who hasn’t heard of/doesn’t love T.I. and Ludacris from the ATL, so I thought I’d dig a little bit deeper into the depths of southern hip hop and serve y’all something you may have never heard before.

In order to compile this list that I am about to bestow upon you, I consulted several of my closest friends and colleagues that I consider experts in the southern hip hop field. Combined with my existing knowledge, I carefully selected several artists from the Dirty Dirty that I deemed worthy of checking out.

UGK (Underground Kingz)
City: Houston, TX
Members: Pimp C, Bun B
Perhaps You’ve Heard Of Them: Featured on Jay-Z’s hit track “Big Pimpin
Suggested Tracks: International Players Anthem, Top Notch Hoes

Da Back Wudz
City: Decatur, GA
Members: Big Marc, Sho Nuff
Perhaps You’ve Heard Of Them: Were one of MTV’s Fab 5 in Summer 2005
Suggested Tracks: You Gonna Luv Me, Makin’ Money Counting Hundreds

Rich Boy
City: Mobile, AL
Members: N/A
Perhaps You’ve Heard Of Him: His hit single “Throw Some D’s” was later remixed by Kanye West (I personally like the Rich Boy version better)
Suggested Tracks: And I Love You (feat. Big Boi & Pastor Troy), Drop

Slim Thug
City: Houston, TX
Members: N/A
Perhaps You’ve Heard Of Him: Featured on Beyonce’s hit track “Check Up On It (along with Bun B of UGK)
Suggested Tracks: Problem With That, We Boss Hoggin’

Nappy Roots
City: Bowling Green, KY
Fish Scales, Skinny DeVille, B. Stille, Ron Clutch, Big V. Oakland and R. Prophet
Perhaps You’ve Heard Of Them:
Their 2002 album Watermelon, Chicken & Gritz was the year’s biggest selling hip-hop album
Suggested Tracks: Awnaw, Po’ Folks

City: New Orleans, LA
Members: N/A
Perhaps You’ve Heard Of Him:
Who DIDN’T back their ass up to his 1999 hit single “Back That Azz Up“??
Suggested Tracks: In My Life, Bounce Back

Obviously this is just a sampler of southern rappers/groups, so feel free to contribute any artists or songs that you feel deserve a listen. Big shout out to Frank, Ryan and RJ for aiding me in my research!

Vintage Weezy
April 13, 2010, 1:17 pm
Filed under: B.G., Big Tymers, Birdman, Cash Money Records, Juvenile, Lil Wayne

Every time I hear an obnoxious auto-tune laden track from Lil Wayne, I listen to this song and remember why I became a Weezy fan in the first place. Check out this vintage Weezy track (from his 1999 debut album Tha Block Is Hot) featuring Cash Money Records sweethearts Big Tymers, Juvenile and B.G.

Start listening at the 3:35 mark to hear Weezy F. Baby spit some flames of realness on “Loud Pipes.”

Soooo vintage Weezy vs. modern-day Weezy…thoughts?

Where Does He Get the Clout?
March 24, 2010, 10:10 am
Filed under: Concerts, Haterade, Lil Wayne, Original Wanksta, Sam Adams, Unsolicited Advice

Okay, so it’s not Sunday. My bad. I had every intention of having my concert reviews posted way before now, but the weather this weekend was just too gorgeous to be spent in front a computer, and come Monday I was smacked in the face with work. So for all of you that I’m sure were just DYING to know how Sam Adams and Kid Cudi were this weekend, I apologize for making you wait.

That being said, let’s talk a little bit about Mr. Sammy Adams. On Friday night, I headed over to Harper’s Ferry in Allston with a couple of friends to see the Cambridge-born rapper perform live. As I mentioned in my previous post, I had a “meh” reaction to Adams’ recently released EP Boston’s Boy and was hoping that this show would give me a solid opinion of him. Mission accomplished.

I hate to be a negative Nancy, so I’ll start off with the positives. First of all, I think that Adams has a great stage presence. He certainly knows how to get a crowd going – for such a small venue I was impressed with how the place erupted when he first ran out on stage and opened with his track “Swang.” Below is a video of him standing backstage getting ready to come out (I’m not creepy we were just standing right by the stage door) and the first minute or so of “Swang.”

See what I mean? Talent-wise he has a lot of potential. Though his EP consists mainly of upbeat tracks that talk about “poppin’ bottles” and “chillin’ with a couple twelves,” I think Adams could hold his own with the big kahunas of party anthems.

That statement comes with a HUGE caveat, though. I had three major problems with this show, and they all have to do with knowing his place as a newcomer to hip hop and appreciating his fans (Weezy, you should probably listen in on this one too).

1. He took forever to come on. The concert was scheduled to start at 8. In the interest of avoiding the inevitable crappy opening act, my friend called ahead to see when Adams would actually be starting his set. We were told 11 pm…yikes. So, we took our sweet time and got to Harper’s Ferry around 11:15, no dice. We were right about the crappy opening act, by the way. To make a long story short, Adams didn’t come on stage until 12:30. Twelve. Thirty. An hour and a half late? Or I guess four and a half hours late, technically. What were you doing back there, Sammy?

2. 25 minute set? Really? I’m not kidding. After getting over my frustration of waiting an hour and a half for Sam to come on, I was finally starting to get into the performance and began to revise the pissed-off review I was already drafting in my head…and then he went off-stage. At first we thought maybe it was just some sort of intermission, but as people started to filter out, we realized that was it. That was the show. To be fair, I realize that he’s new and probably doesn’t have enough material to put on a full-blown concert. I mean, his EP was only eight songs after all. But come on, I paid 14 bucks for this (which is the equivalent of like 50 bucks to a broke college student) – couldn’t he have at least been scribbling down a song or something while we waited an hour and a half for him?

3. There were a bajillion people on stage. This one isn’t quite as big of a deal, but still bugged me. I’ve been to many a rap concert in my day. For some reason, rappers feel that they need to have their posse or whatever roaming around on-stage with microphones and intermittently joining in on the performance. I’ve questioned it, never understood it, but accepted it. But Harper’s Ferry is a very small venue, and as an up-and-coming artist I think Sam needs to keep his onstage posse to a minimum and have the focus be on him. Maybe I’m the only person that was bothered by that, but you can look at the picture below and judge for yourself.

Whoa, right? It’s like playing Where’s Waldo trying to find Sammy somewhere in there. So, while I honestly think that this kid has a lot of potential, he really needs to check his ego at the door and remember that he doesn’t yet have the clout to keep his fans waiting. Loyal fans are the key to his ultimate success, after all. To sum up, in the words of my dear friend and fellow concert-goer Leslie, “Get back to me when you’re a little more famous, Sammy.”

Check out my YouTube account for his performances of SwangI Hate College RemixDriving Me CrazyPoker Face Remix and Tab Open. What do you think of his music/stage presence? Does his talent match his swagger?

Ode To Weezy F.
March 12, 2010, 9:16 am
Filed under: Lil Wayne, Loves It | Tags: ,

Before I blog any further, I just need to clear something up. I love Lil Wayne. I know, I know, his lyrics can be questionable at times and his voice sounds a little bit like a constipated baby, but I just cannot get enough of his music. That probably sounds like it’s supposed to be sarcastic, but I really mean it.

And I have every reason to hate him, too. A couple of years ago I paid out the ass for tickets to see him and Jay-Z co-headline a concert at TD Banknorth Garden in Boston (awesome, right?) Well, apparently Weezy was packing heat and refused to pass through the stadium’s metal detectors. Although tickets to a Jay-Z concert are NEVER a waste of money and Hov completely killed it, I was very disappointed that Weezy didn’t deem his fans important enough to leave his gats on the tour bus. I went through a short phase after that where I told everyone he and I were in a fight, but we never really broke up. Within a couple weeks I had his songs back on my workout playlist and everything was peachy keen.

I mean, come on. How can you not love a guy who has about 4 baby mommas and got his prison sentencing delayed because he needed eight hour surgery on his GRILL?? And while many would argue the opposite, I kind of love the fact that Lil Wayne has collaborated with everyone and their mom in the music industry. Obviously he’s had a few misses (I throw up in my mouth a little bit every time I think about the “rock” album he released) but the fact that he is constantly spewing out hits with the hottest artists in the business means that I always have new Wayne to listen to. I mean, I’ve listened to Britney Spears’ Circus about 800 times…it’s time for some new music, girlfriend. I never have that problem with Weezy.

I even have some Weezy on my iPod that I’ve never heard before. Okay, to be fair, I typed “Lil Wayne” into my iTunes Library and 249 tracks came up (not unhealthy guys….not unhealthy) but I’m trying to prove a point here. A couple weeks ago I had my iPod on shuffle during my insanely boring commute from my internship in downtown Boston and discovered this tasty little collaboration from Weezy, Fabolous and Juelz Santana:

You Ain’t Got Nuthin’ – Lil Wayne feat. Fabolous & Juelz Santana

(Weezy verse starts at about 3:20)

This video’s sound quality doesn’t do the song justice (the bass in particular) so I highly suggest you download it if you don’t have it already. But anyways, to sum up, in a completely non-sarcastic fashion: love that Weezy is a collabo-whore, love the constipated baby voice, love Weezy. I promise for all you haters out there that I won’t write about him too much but just thought I’d put it out there.

What do you think of Lil Wayne? Yay, nay or aight?