Money Got Me Gik - Young Scooter
I first heard of Young Scooter on some Future’s early mixtapes, and now a couple years later he is signed to Gucci Mane’s 1017 record label. If either of those two names rings a bell in your head Scooter will sound pretty much like you’d expect—a mix of Future’s recent hook writing ability with Gucci’s own heavily southern-drawled rapping style. He isn’t the most original guy to come from the Bricksquad camp, but for a group that has always had a strong pension for hooks he doesn’t disappoint. Even with a basic hook of “Money got me gik/money got me gik/money got me gik” and after a couple listens you’ll start to wondered why exactly you’ve started saying “gik” so much.
In his recent ”Mixtape of the Week” column Tom Breihan praises Iamsu and Juvenile’s rapping ability despite them saying “nothing”. The pejorative comment of rapping about “nothing” is a far too common rap writer trope. Usually used to put down a rapper the critic doesn’t feel put enough “real” content in their music, but it is also used as a way to bypass what the rapper is actually saying, and to just simply praise how they say it.
And depending on the writer, I’m sure “Money Got Me Gik” could receive the same backhanded compliment of saying “nothing” but doing it really well. But, I have spent more hours checking Black Friday deals in the last week than writing about music the last week, because you know what buying stuff is fun! The same way I feel fucking happy when I see my bank account after I get paid for my library job or writing about rap music! If critics are going out of their way to of their way to justify why they enjoy the work of a rapper, it might not hurt to notice that something that may be rote and trite to one’s self is actually something that the artist truly actually cares about—or you know they might have not written a song about it—you know.
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.
I’m Up - Gucci Mane (feat. 2 Chainz)
2 Chainz’s Verse
Yeah, I got fire,
For your, F Y I,
Niggas disrespect me,
It’s hello, good bye,
All my hoes is dyking,
All your hoes is trifling,
Yeah, I got a pistol,
But, the bullets from a rifle,
Yeah, they call me deuce,
I deuces on my coup,
Put two swishers together looking like I’m blowing on a flute,
Yeah, niggas we up,
We ride up on you,
Ralph Lauren teddy bear,
This not Winnie the Pooh,
Yeah, nigga we winning,
And spending it on these women,
And I ain’t not playing soccer, when I’m kicking it at Lenox,
Say what up Louie, say what up to Fendi,
Niggas, know what we doing,
I make it so I spend it
Mud Muzik - Waka Flocka Flame (feat. Gucci Mane & Tity Boy (2 Chainz))
Gucci Mane’s Verse
Styrofoam up we pouring up,
Gucci, Waka blowing up,
We so fucking up,
All our foes they be ducking us,
I’m a jack boy, you a jackass,
You must dress in the dark, with your tacky ass,
I’m big Gucci,
Got eighty grand in my khakiki pants,
1017, yeah that’s my team,
BSM, yeah that’s my team,
I’m a millionaire, that’s reality,
You want a mil, that’s a fucking dream,
I’m on mine, got two nines,
Threw my watch in the air to let time fly,
I’m D U.I., I’m too high,
Grew a flock I’m too fly,
Though I’m about my about bread,
Don’t want no pussy girl, give me head,
We ain’t even gotta stop to use the bed,
Ain’t no need to fuck up my spread,
I’m drinking, I’m thinking, all the real niggas we linking,
My Bricksquad medallion hanging,
Sipping lean done got me famous.
I’m On Worldstar - Drumma Boy (feat. Tity Boi (2 Chainz), Gucci Mane, & Young Buck)
That Drumma Boy doesn’t sound out of place rapping over one of his prototypical banger when paired with a solid line-up of Southern staple artists (Tity Boy (2 Chainz), Gucci Mane, and Young Buck) is a compliment to the fact stepping up the mic might not be a bad idea for the producer. He does not have the best verse on the song, as Gucci Mane in 2011 still has good verses in him, and his calling himself “Comma Boy” riffing on Tity Boy’s name is pretty funny. Tity Boy has a characteristically middling verse about sex, and yet it’s not the song’s worst verse as Young Buck is a perplexing mix of extreme underachieving and trying too hard. Tity Boy’s appeal remains elusive to me, but he does offer a bit of personality Young Buck could only dream, so while Young Buck’s verse is well executed the dearth of substance stops any momentum the verse could have picked up.
Drumma Boy’s opening synth slowly creeps through the track, while not quite encouraging a head bob; it pushes more for a full body side to side swaying. This a plodding quality is a trademark of Drumma Boy’s beats which makes them great to loop for extended periods of time, as this is a five minute long song I’ve listened to on a constant repeat and never gotten tired of it, which says something when there is only one really strong verse in the song.
Steady Mobbin - Lil Wayne (feat. Gucci Mane)
This song sadly never got released as an official single (edit. but it was on We are Young Money, as Andy Hutchins pointed out in case it seemed like this just some random mixtape single)—or I cannot find any record of such that say that it was, but it still got plenty play on MTV Jams and radio DJ mixes, as it is: 1. A Lil Wayne song, 2. Gucci Mane is on it, which was kind of a thing in 2009, 3. It is produced by Kane Beatz, who has produced 5 Billboard Top 10 hits (who would have guessed, I certainly wouldn’t have).
The moment when Lil Wayne feel off will probably be a topic that’ll fester on far too many message boards and blog comment sections for years to come, but released in late 2009 “Steady Mobbin” still has Lil Wayne rapping just at the same quality and intensity excitedly where you place the marker for his career peaking. Lil Wayne is far from caring/loving/respectful opening the song with “Fuck these niggas, I’m spare everything, but these niggas, I flip the gun, and gun buck these niggas, I’m gonna take the knife off the AK, and cut these niggas.” The lack of compassion is even in the chorus where he says he’ll “leave your brains on the street”. Gucci Mane’s verse even pretty vicious threatening to cutoff fingers, but claiming to have a “clip as long as a Pringle can” is great, which might be why “So Many Shrimp” had it as their 16th best verse from Gucci Mane that year.
The song is a bit more than gangsta threats as Lil Wayne repurposes one of his most bizarre lines from “A Milli” of “What’s a Goon to a Goblin” from into one of his best hooks twisting a weird non-sequitur into an challenge to all rappers who how could dream of getting to Lil Wayne’s level. Even a dozen lines later about fucking the world/universe might get a bit old, the line “giving the universe my damn tongue” still makes Lil Wayne a rapper hard to not love even when he stumbles.
Shinin (Remix) - DJ Scream (feat. Stuey Rock, Future, Yo Gotti, 2 Chainz (Tity Boy), & Gucci Mane)
The “MMG” tag at the beginning of this song is bizarre to hear, because while Rick Ross is at this point known for Lex Luger banger and Lex Luger knockoff bangers, he is not really known for the type of auto-tuned, fake horns type songs that have been running Atlanta for the past few years. But, when you sign DJ Scream—one of Atlanta’s bigger DJs—the range of what might be branded “MMG” can only increase.
I probably find the brand extension of “MMG” more interesting than most people, but the “Shinin (Remix)” is a great slice of 2011 Atlanta. I spent a lot of time in Atlanta during the month of July, and got around to listening to a lot of Atlanta rap stations, and if there was one thing that was obvious it was that: 2 Chainz or Future on your song will grantee plenty of airplay. The original “Shinin” with only Stuey Rock and Future was pretty good, and might be my personal pinnacle example of auto-tuned rap choruses. For the remix all rappers who would expect to get featured on a southern radio remix appear here: 2 Chainz says “shawty wet like Katrina”…why I have turned around on 2 Chainz recently has to be his voice and disaffected charms…because otherwise I still don’t get his appeal; Yo Gotti actually has an okay verse here, not great but he does not get tripped trying to find how many words he can rhyme with “white”; Gucci Mane sounding lazy is always terrible, and even more so with such exciting DJ Spinz and Nard & B beat; Future has the best verse by far claiming to an astronaut and smoking weed in space, how does someone beat that: they can’t. This is the first single for DJ Scream’s MMG album, and it is a good first step to what could be a mainstream album highlighting some of the odder sounds from rap’s biggest city.
themarcdog-deactivated20121212 asked: Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to create a Ferrari Boyz redux.
I don’t particularly like Ferrari Boyz, but that doesn’t mean that Gucci and Waka couldn’t have made a good album if they went more than a week working on it, so I put together a track listing* of what would have been a more entertaining and sonically varied Ferrari Boyz. I have tracks from 2009 to the actual Ferrari Boyz, as honestly Gucci and Waka are not the best rap duo so it was a bit of searching to find enough worthy songs. The first couple tracks is an underused idea of having two great album openers start the album off twice; the next cluster of songs is a good run through the different style running through Bricksquad the last few years and another Keith Sweat reference (that is number two for those keeping count); then the album closes on obnoxious too loud Bricksquad fuck-up-a-club music (Yes, “2 Deep” is still the best song ever).
*Disclaimer. I don’t feel like making a mediafire file for this (you don’t want just some DJ tagged up songs thrown together anyway), so here is a Spotify playlist for it here. And the tracklisting is below.
Ferrari Boyz Redux (2):
1. “Them Boyz Ain’t Right” (from Bricksquad Mafia)
2. “Ferrari Boyz” (from Ferrari Boyz)
3. “Hottest Rapper” (from The Movie Part 2- The Sequel)
4. “Bingo” (from The State vs. Radric Davis)
5. “Stoned” (from Ferrari Boyz)
6. “This is What I Do” (from The Return of Mr. Zone 6)
7. “Mud Muzik” (from Ferrari Boyz)
8. “Tag Team” (from Salute Me or Shoot Me 3)
9. “Brand New” (from Salute Me or Shoot Me 2)
10. “You Know What It Is” (from Mr. Zone 6)
11. “What You Reppin” (from Salute or Shoot Me 2)
12. “2 Deep” (from DuFlockaRant (10 Toes Down))
In Gucci Mane and Waka Flocka Flame’s album Ferrari Boyz, and Waka Flocka Flame and Slim Dunkin’s mixtape Twin Towers 2 the most important musical force behind the projects is still relatively unknown: Southside on the Track, who’s similar to Lex Luger dark production style except with a bit more range. The shift to Southside and Lex Luger from the Bricksquad camp in the last year has clearly been great for members like Slim Dunkin and Waka Flocka Flame, who sound great with on these dark beats; however Gucci Mane still hasn’t found his comfort zone for these lights out and knocking lights out beats.
Slim Dunkin, could just be another Waka Flocka Flame, as he usually appears on Bricksquad posse cuts and rarely on a tracks by himself, seen in: The first Twin Tower with Waka Flocka Flame, Block Illegal with D-Bo, and his one solo mixtape Interrogation Room being full of guests. The reason might be that he is great with a single verse in a song where his dark juvenile rhymes can stick out without becoming tiresome. His opening verse in “Wrong One To Try” with a rapid fire delivery makes it hard to make out the threats he says, as each word he rhymes fires like bullet wanting to leave a mark. That is what sets Slim Dunkin apart from Waka Flocka Flame, where Waka Flocka Flame has some intense moments, Slim Dunkin is always ready to unload a barrage of words at you or create a hard to forget hook like “100s”.
Writing on the Wall 2 has been welcomed in a way that a Gucci Mane mixtape haven’t been in a year, but at the same time he has just released the middling Free Bricks mixtape with rising Atlanta star Future. The track that has received the most praise from WoTW 2, “Burr (Super Cold)” is the type of song that Gucci Mane has nearly a dozen mixtape of sitting on the servers of Datpiff, but that type of song has eluded him recently. Those mixtape were full of colorful varied production and even more unique hooks by Gucci Mane; but Ferrari Boyz is full of iffy hooks and too many boring tracks of just minor keys and plodding bass. This would be fine for Waka Flocka Flame, as he knows what to do with these horror movie tracks, butGucci Mane just hasn’t found a way to invest himself in this new style besides the great “Stoned”, Gucci Mane only seem to be conveying a sense of boredom.
Waka Flocka Flame, the common link between these two projects comes out looking the best in this pair of duo projects. Waka Flocka Flame is not really known for his lyrics (with a few exceptions), so just yelling with his trademark do or die intensity can be enough for a good verse. But, he is more subdued on Ferrari Boyz than Flockaveli or Twin Towers 2, so there is a lot less shouting while the topics of strip clubs and money remain the same. The slowed up sound of Ferrari Boyz seems to be more on the producers and Gucci Mane’s hooks, as Waka Flocka Flame is able to shine all throughout Twin Towers 2: “BMW”, “Koolin’ It”, and “Hi-Jackin’ Planez” are all cranked up to 12 (even more so “Hi-Jackin’ Planez”, which might be one of his most aggressive songs ever). If there is a choice between the a more sedated Waka Flocka Flame or one who is ready to soundtrack a moshpit fight, the latter still remains the best option.
Kanye West and Jay-Z’s Watch the Throne was finally released this week to a mixed reception and before and after the album came out people would be say “Ferrari Boyz > Watch the Throne”—which is fine—but being a fan of Waka Flocka Flame and Gucci Mane, Ferrari Boyz is the exact opposite of Watch the Throne as it has no aspirations. Unlike Gucci Mane’s best mixtapes, Flockaveli last year, or even to a lesser degree Twin Towers 2 those projects all have a vibrancy or at least an amount of fun that is lacking through ever part of Ferrari Boyz.