Last week I wrote a piece that attempted to recap the last couple years of Gucci Mane and Waka Flocka Flame’s Bricksquad crew, and looking for some feedback I sent it to David Drake. In a lovely turn of events, he still hasn’t gotten back to me, which is fine because over the weekend I realized the piece was not that good. So in place of that for 10/17 (Bricksquad Day), I wrote about my favorite reviews, articles and blog posts on 1017 Bricksquad. So, here is a little reading Wednesday morning reading material as hopefully you’re listening to the new Ice Burgandy and Wooh Da Kid tapes.
An OJ Da Juiceman Story - Matt Fastow [Monster Island]: OJ Da Juiceman gets no respect. His small stature, gold teeth, and usually way too oversized clothes probably don’t help, but that shouldn’t matter. Fastow gives a small on-the-job run-in experience with OJ Da Juiceman after his famous New York City performance in 2009, where he was booed after his brief set. Fastow isn’t exactly sure to say to the Juiceman, but correctly highlight that the Juiceman himself said little about this event and other setback in his career and didn’t lash at the media or really anyone and instead just by keep working, figuring out his lanes and saying his classic adlib of “Aye”.
Bricksquad, 2011 (Top 50 Songs) - Andrew Noz [Cocaine Blunts]: When Noz was writing for the Fader he’d have weekly Bricksquad updates, and while every week wasn’t amazing; when Waka released over six projects last year and Gucci, Slim Dunkin, and Wooh Da Kid also released multiple projects keeping up with all of their music could’ve been a full time job. I don’t think such a list could be made this year, but last year Noz could have extended this to a 100 songs and missed some great tracks.
Burrprint 3-D & The State vs. Radric Davis Review - Tom Breihan [Pitchfork]: Can everyone appreciate that a Gucci Mane mixtape got an 8.4 at Pitchfork. Not to perpetuate the whole mystery about Pitchfork scores, but that’s where Gucci was in late 2009; he was getting high Pitchfork scores for a mixtape sequel. Breihan provides great context for Gucci attempting to catch people up on Gucci’s crazy 2009 and explaining how successful and entertaining of a rap force he had become by the end of the year.
Flockaveli Review - David Drake [Pitchfork]: Flockaveli is an obvious 2010s rap classic. The album is unrelenting in its aggression, introspective when it wants to be and is sonically still unparallel. Lex and Waka somehow snuck out this gem with major label marketing unto a rap world. Drake’s review isn’t the craziest review or even my favorite piece from him, but when I read people complaining how it rated the album higher than the latest Nas album. I hope that Drake’s words can convince those willing to understand why a new Waka Flocka Flame release is better than whatever Nas put out.
Gucci Mane, No Holds Barred - Jon Caramanica [New York Times]: This excellent piece by Caramanica is technically about Gucci Mane’s major label debut (The State vs. Radric Davis), but instead finds a much more interesting story by focusing on the people behind the boards of the album. Zaytoven, Shawty Redd, Drumma Boy, and Fatboi are names that well known for any big fan of Bricksquad’s work, but probably were big question marks for the average NYT reader and this articles goes to explain why everyone should recognize a producer nicknamed “Zay-Tiggy”.
Realniggatumblr’s Gucci Mane Mr. Perfect Sessions - A$AP Yams [realniggatumblr]: Before Yams was getting written up for starting the “Cozy Boyz” fashion movement. He was a guy with interesting music industry ties and writing the much loved realniggatumblr blog. This post is a collection of Gucci Mane tracks before Gucci’s went back to jail in 2008. Sadly due to the shutting down of megaupload is no longer up for download. Maybe someone can message Yams for the collection, because it is a nice collection of classic form Gucci MP3s without DJ yelling and rewinds.
“Stereotype” by Waka Flocka Flame - Andrew Noz [Tumblinerb]: This is Noz just transcribing the lyrics of the song, but in this instance that’s more than enough. I kind of wrote about the song before earlier this year, but this Waka is the one that I cannot get enough of: Focused anger, unrestrained emotions and always being thankful for what he does have.
Three Doses of Waka Flocka Flame - Robert Browne [Grantland]: Is Waka Flocka Flame the greatest rapper of the 2010s? Let us go with yes, and ask no more questions. Browne’s post about this Bricksquad event is hilarious, and touches on the realness and the personality of Waka Flocka Flame that people often seem to ignore for such a personality driven rapper. Also, the pictures in this post are amazing!
Top 50 Gucci Songs of 2008 - Jordan Sargent [So Many Shrimp]: It’s should be common knowledge that this blog exists partially because of this series of posts by David Drake and Jordan Sargent on Gucci Mane’s 2008 run. But, I’ll keep highlighting those posts, as their relevancy hasn’t waned and this sentence opening is great “I didn’t know Charles Hamilton in 2007 and I do now, but I don’t find that particularly praiseworthy”.
Two or Three Things I Know About Gucci - Brandon Soderberg [No Trivia]: Either in an early email or maybe my first phone call with Brandon, I said that I thought my writing was pretty close to his, and he correctly refuted the claim. Obviously I’ve been influenced by Brandon’s ideas and taste, but actually writing style: Lolz, notsomuch. This was an early post on Gucci Mane by Brandon and like a typical No Trivia post: It’s pretty long, full of ideas, and endlessly quotable for any impressionable writer. Unsurprisingly giving high praise to a southern drawled rapper that doesn’t speak against typical rap clichés is a hard sell for some, but Brandon does engage too long with those people, as he mostly goes into detail explaining why Gucci Mane connects so much with him.
Words on Slim Dunkin - Jordan Sargent quoted, the other words are mine [Question Mark Exclamation Point]: I had some post about funeral, highly publicized deaths and my own personal feelings on death fizzle out in my mind before it ever reached a Tumblr draft. But, for now this is little post on the death of Slim Dunkin still stands a good summary of my feelings on the taken-too-soon rapper and what little ever I need to say on non-immediate losses of life.
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