Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Short Dogs

Short but funky, Da Brat, Remy Ma, Lil' Kim and MC Lyte pay tribute to...
MC Lyte at the 2006 VH1 Hip-Hop Honors

Mobb Deep - "Quiet Storm (Remix)" (Feat. Lil' Kim) (mp3)
(Purchase here)

Kelis - "Popular Thug" (Feat. Pusha T) (mp3)
(Purchase here)

Kelis - "Daddy" (Feat. Malice) (mp3)
(Purchase here)

To be honest, I've never been a Mobb Deep fan. Sure, that's quasi-sacrilege among the Golden Era set -- what shorter better duo to turn to for their gangsta lean fix (actually, these guys aren't half bad)? But they just never did it for me. Why? It's not my left coast upbringing: at my Angeleno junior high, Illmatic and Ready to Die were staples as much as The Chronic and Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z.. It's not the production: much of Juvenile Hell and The Infamous bangs in the tradition of Extra P and Buckwild. And it's not the rhymes: that whole "stab you with your nosebone" image never gets old.

So, why do I take H & P as such big jokes? Perhaps because they bring it upon themselves. Call it Napoleon complex or Napoleon Dynamite, the Boy Wonders try too hard for my taste.

So, you can imagine I was a little disappointed to realize Mobb Deep passed the torch to the Clipse. What what? you say? Peep the profile: unique regional flavor, on point production from contempo hitmaker(s) and rhymes to make the boys of Guantanamo blush, as well as being two shawties... yet, I don't have much to say about their music. Sure, the drama/hype/backstory is cool. But once the records drop, what next? In the Clipse's case, probably doesn't help that I've been hearing Hell Hath No Fury in one shape or the other for the last couple years... which isn't a bad thing because good music should hold up over time. But a couple years is more than enough to determine there isn't that much going on for me. And I suppose there are other topics that have bothered me during that time.

So (for the third time), why am I giving these groups some shine? Because it's Halloween, the one day/night out of the year when you do that thing that isn't really your normal thing. So, here's my tribute to two twos I don't mess with too often. Please note: don't they sound nice when they outsource the company of a third? "Quiet Storm" needs no note except: Lil' Kim has really been channeling Lyte for a while -- must be the rust she gargles with. T and Malice take turns on Kelis -- def'ly no Duke intended -- on her second album (unavailable in the States for no discernible reason beside 4080; that said, apparently Mrs. Nas flies higher'n import taxes, b/c peep the ridiculously low price), softening that ruggish thuggish just enough.

Oh, cop that crack here


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm inclined to agree; after Hell on Earth, Havoc and P started becoming parodies of themselves.

The aforementioned record is still scary as hell, though - great Halloween music.

Great post!

7:01 AM  

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