Monday, July 15, 2013

Problem- The Separation (Mixtape)

I've been following Problem since about '07 or '08 and he has consistently been putting out hype L.A. party music since, although I've only truly dabbled in his work, never dove in head first. Well errbody, take that dive, cause his new Gangsta Grillz mixtape with DJ Drama, The Separation, is absolutely phenomenal. No he doesn't speak on deep, intellectual matter; Problem loves twisting fingers and banging his gang. But if you need a ride-out soundtrack to the summer, here it is. This project is absolutely filled to the brim with bangers, but none stand out as distinctly dope as "Roll Up" with T.I. and Snoop Dogg, er, Lion, a track with a beat that just gets better and better, making you want to drop whatever you're doing and blaze the day away. But the whole thang has cuts on cuts, so cop it on Datpiff; here's the selects.

Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire- Kismet (Mixtape)

Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire is nothing if not consistent. He recently signed a major label deal and flirted with shortening the "Muthafuckin'" in his name to MFN, but decided "without the Muthafuckin' / it's nothin'". And with that mantra in mind, the NY rapper's new opus, Kismet, touches all the bases an eXquire fan is looking for in one of his projects. Raunchy, dirty bars about ass-shaking share an uncomfortable adjacency to introspective, and highly personal, lyricism creating a compelling and multi-dimensional mixtape. And the production is powerful and dynamic, especially on album-opener "The Cauldron" produced by Raider Klan's Key-Nyata. "I Was Drunk When I Wrote This" is a classic eXquire jam that encapsulates him, and the album's, post-party feel. I'll grant you those two tracks, and leave it up to you to pursue the rest of the record.

YC The Cynic- Molotovs At Poseidon (Video)

"Do you know who you fuckin' wit?" YC The Cynic came up in the NY rap scene after dropping his 2011 mixtape, Fall FWD, which had a couple gems on it. YC, shedding the frustration of being associated with that "Racks on Racks" guy, had shown himself to be a capable, even deft rapper with sweeping topical ambition and a limitless capacity for stringing complex rhyme patterns together with his mouth-full-of-marbles voice. The guy spits lines like "You belittled my presence without a litter of evidence / Your illegible lettering is proof of illiteracy, no wonder my supremacy ain't nearly as evident". He has a new EP out, the solid Good Morning, Midnight, but it's his promotional video for the single "Molotovs At Poseidon" that has the internet abuzz. The clip plays out like a an operatic short film, but I won't give away the ending, just watch- and respect the select.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Ethelwulf & Bones- ダサい (Mixtape)

Repping that Raider Klan name, Ethelwulf has recently disassociated from his Florida / Memphis crew and delved way deeper into drugs and the psychedelic side of life. His new Japanese-titled mixtape with white dopeboy and LSD dealer Bones is a straight cloud rap gambit. The project is filled with airy, spacey beats that come through in tye dye and the lyrical fare doesn't stray far from a theme of "I take acid, your bitch wants me, my parents hate me, I'll kill you with a katana". But I'm feeling it; these boys are definitely speaking on some real shit as they combine their Three-6-Mafia flows with Green Ova-esque acidic beats. Gone is some of Ethelwulf's lyrical ferocity and technicality that we saw on The Wolf Gang Rodolphe but the adjustment fits the mixtape's aesthetic. Overall, this tape is fantastic to sit back and spark to on a sunny morning. My selects are "House Shoes" with it's slick guitar riff and no-fucks-given weed raps along with the ominous "Blood Rain" and a track that Bones absolutely kills "Bloody Gown", so make sure you get to his verse.  Whoever Bones is, I want to hear more from a dude that says "No matter what I say, my skin is white / So they always gon' hate me".

Maxo Kream- Whitney Houston (Video)

Maxo Kream hails from the God-forsaken ghetto of Houston, Texas where he mobs, smokes and generally forgoes the establishment. His chant of "fuck the institution" is a slice of reality in the wake of  Rodney King, Trayvon Martin (and Paula Deen?) and he and his crew don't seem to be kidding around about their nonconformity. This track may force you to throw your sofa, be forewarned. I'm loving the starter jackets, 90's sports gear and Maxo's raw, bearded aggression. He goes in on the mic for sure, so peep his mixtape Retro Card over on Datpiff. I've also included the audio for a track called "Lewinsky" (with similar lines like "motherfuck the prosecutor and the D.A.") that has a video floating around the web as well. Both these cuts are from an upcoming tape entitled Quicc Strikes.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Ugly Heroes- Ugly Heroes (Album)

From left to right: Apollo Brown, Verbal Kent, Red Pill

Ugly Heroes are a Detroit hip-hop outfit consisting of rappers Verbal Kent and Red Pill and prolific producer Apollo Brown. Now if you've really been tuned in, you know that Apollo Brown has been killing it for a minute, especially going toe-to-toe with the legendary Guilty Simpson on Dice Game, a fantastic album that's become an operatic emblem of Detroit hip-hop. His beats are full of sound and power, sampling soul and Motown and chopping it up into lurching bangers. Verbal Kent and Red Pill are almost indistinguishable, but both are always on point with the lyrics, flow and that underground ferocity. The track "Graves" should be resonant with anyone worried about getting stuck on their grind " their graves." I loved the album, go cop it, and respect these selects.

Friday, June 21, 2013

IamSu!- Kilt II (Mixtape)

IamSu! is a West Coast rapper hailing from the Bay Area whose first mixtape, Kilt, caught my attention from its colorful cover, and even more colorful panorama of beats. What made Kilt potent was its deft combination of that hyphy, electro-banger sound that defines the Bay Area with more conventional rapping and a blunt-infused airiness. That tape included "Mainey", "Poppin Bands (feat. Berner)" and "Clothes, Shows and Afros" as well as many other strong tracks, so go look it up on Datpiff. His second effort is the sequel: Kilt II. Honestly, it's not as strong as his first mixtape, and it's chock full of poppy, R&B cuts almost certainly aimed at California daytime radio play. But pop instincts aside, Kilt II definitely has its moments. He's sticking to the smoked out hyphy sound with production mostly from himself and collaborator P-Lo, and when it works, it goes in. My selections are "Rep That Gang", "Return of the Mac" and the "100 Grand" remix with Juvenile, Problem and Kool John that came as a bonus track.

Yung Simmie- Off The Dank (feat. Nell) (Video)

 Yung Simmie remains a site-favorite rapper as the young Raider Klan representer continues to kill it after his first two major mixtapes, XXL Freshman 1993: The Underground Tape and Basement Musik. At the moment, Simmie is working with the Klan to drop his junior effort, tentatively titled Shut Up and Vibe. Hopefully we'll receive some more of that 90's inspired rapping over the Klan's trademark dark, funky beats. Here's the video for the first track off the upcoming mixtape; this one features Nell and it's got me pumped for the release, so stay peeped for the full review. Also, this seems as good a time as any to drop some of Simmie's great older tracks as we wait.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Prodigy & Alchemist- Albert Einstein (Album)

Being a longtime stan of Mobb Deep, I was duly excited to see that Prodigy and Alchemist were dropping a new project. But I've been taking Alchemist production credits with a grain of salt as of late because he's chosen to pursue a more experimental route, seeking a psychedelic, lo-fi sound instead of sticking to his traditional NY thug-bap. This isn't necessarily a bad thing and I've fucked with some of his recent works (i.e. Rare Chandeliers with Action Bronson and Durag Dynasty's 360 Waves). But others, like Russian Roulette only minimally clicked with me. I'm happy to say, Albert Einstein is fantastic. He's taken up elements of that psychedelia and melded them with the thug heartbeat pulse of his mid-00's work. Prodigy, aka Illuminati P, weaves tales of New York ghetto violence into a tapestry of paranoia, trauma and experience that isn't easy to shake off. Okay, so just listen, my choices are "Imdkv", "Give 'Em Hell" and "Death Sentence (feat. Roc Marciano)", but do yourself a favor and listen to the whole album; it's a work of art.

Ethelwulf- The Wolf Gang Rodolphe (Mixtape)

Now, I've been bumping this mixtape for a while, and as many of you know, Raider Klan has been consistently putting out great music for a minute. Ethelwulf, although he no longer claims affiliation with the Klan, is one of the group's strongest members creatively, and this tape exemplifies his exquisite taste in hip-hop sonics. He draws from the smoked-out 90's Bone Thugs N Harmony sound that has reemerged, and raps with the skill and tenacity of the group's best moments. These three songs are each different, but "All Black Who Is That" stands out with its retro videogame sample and ever-changing flows. So here are "All Black Who Is That", "Watch Yo Back" and "Bluntz On My Mind" from Ethelwulf's "The Wolf Gang Rodolphe" which you can cop on Datpiff.


Sunday, January 13, 2013

Have You Been On Nacho's Dick?

Nacho Picasso is an artist many of you know I love and strongly support. His past year and a half or so have been absolute fire as he's been wedding his dense Lil Wayne-esque wordplay to cutting edge, state-of-the-art beats courtesy of Blue Sky Black Death, Eric G and Raised By Wolves. Listen to bells in "Phantom of the Opera" and the electrified, Asiatic stringwork in "DMT". Here's my best of Nacho Picasso; all these cuts are produced by Blue Sky Black Death and taken from his mixtapes For The Glory, Exalted and Lord of the Fly. Respect Nacho's selects.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

RTS Best of Late-2012: The Long-Awaited Return

Hello faithful readers and listeners of Respect The Selects. Word. I've returned. As if I were Aragorn reviving the royal line of Gondor, I have drawn my sabre, and spilled the knowledge cup. Check out this list of my personal favorite hip hop projects that have happened since I stopped posting, each of which you will find in subsequent posts with download links for the select cuts. These are the solid gems, the rare artifacts of rap that graced the airwaves in these past months:

Blue Sky Black Death & Nacho Picasso- Lord of the Fly

Gucci Mane- Trap God

Yung Simmie- XXL Freshman of 1993: The Underground Mixtape

Joey Bada$$- 1999

Action Bronson & Alchemist- Rare Chandeliers

Roc Marciano- Reloaded

Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire- Power & Passion EP

Chinx Drugz- Cocaine Riot 2

YG & DJ Mustard- 4 Hunnid Degreez

Harry Fraud- The Harry Fraud Files: An Anthology

Boldy James- Consignment: Favor For A Favor

Killer Mike & El-P- R.A.P. Music

Wu-Block- Wu-Block

Chuuwee- Crown Me King

Meyhem Lauren- Respect The Fly Shit

Bush- Under 21

Wrecking Crew- Wu-Tang Pulp

MellowHype- Numbers