The Official DiS Hip-Hop Listening Club


#761

It’s there on Mo Money as well. Maybe it sounds good in whatever cars folks were driving in 1998 but it’s not working on my sound system.

I just dislike how all of this sounds. I dislike the clipped style of rapping, the samples, that fucking hi-hat. Maybe there’s some great lyrics underpinning it, but if there are they are lost to me because I simply don’t enjoy having this in my ears.

FWIW I disliked the Outkast album less than I dislike this - production is more interesting on Outkast even if I can’t get on board with that stuttering triplet delivery.

Sticks on some hyper-processed minimal German techno


#762

PM me your address please


#763

There are definitely some great lyrics underpinning it. You pick more and more of them out on repeated listens, but I’m guessing that this is probably not going to happen here!

Tbh, you do seem pretty impervious to vintage Southern rap if neither this or Southernplaya do much for you (not that I would really put these two records in the same bracket - the Dungeon Family stuff is pretty distinct from the No Limit sound imo). These are two records that I would certainly recommend as some of the pinnacles of their respective type of sound though.

Hey man, no biggie - you given them both a genuine go and decided they’re not for you. It’s cool whenever people do this as far as I’m concerned. The only thing that annoys me is when people write of artists or records because of pre-conceived prejudice or snobbery, and this doesn’t even vaguely apply to you.

As an additional bonus, I’m stepping in for Ant this week and will posting around lunchtime, hopefully. It’s more Southern rap.


#764

Yeah - the closest I’ve been to enjoying it was the very first pick in this thread. As always, it’s really interesting listening to it in the context of this thread because it forces you to think about why it doesn’t click.


Classics / Canon edition of the DiS Hip-Hop Listening Club
#765

Blackout - Dreamworld

Don’t think it’s on Spotify, but here’s a Youtube link:

As I think I’ve mentioned on here before, I spent a year studying at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville in '95-'96. It was a brilliant experience, but I’m not going to pretend that I was checking for local hip-hop when I first went there. 1995 was pretty much the apex of the East Coast hardcore renaissance, and I was pretty much obsessed with Wu-Tang, Mobb Deep, Boot Camp and those guys (as were most of my friends at UT, to be fair). I think I’d heard of Eightball & MJG, but apart from those guys I was not aware of any significant hip-hop coming out of Tennessee at all.

About half way through my first semester, I was at a party off campus, and somebody started playing Skinny Pimp’s ‘Greatest Hits’ tape. Both me and my friend Jim (another Manchester Uni exchange student) pretty much had the same instantaneous reaction, which was to beat the quickest path possible to the stereo and ask WTAF was playing. This was the start of my crash course into Memphis hip hop.

I chose this particular tape because it’s one of the more out-there ones and I wanted to try and give a sense of how alien this stuff sounded when I first heard it in 1995/6. It has all of the features that were common at the time - murky, tape-hiss saturated production, looped phrases and horrorcore raps from Playa Posse (unlike Gravediggaz or Flatlinerz, this is what proper horrorcore sounds like). It’s the production that makes this for me, though. The fact that Blackout managed to do so much with what was obviously an extremely limited set up is remarkable.

Think this will probably be a love it or hate it type of album for most people, but really interested to hear what everyone thinks. Will talk more about it, and Memphis hip-hop in general (including Tommy Wright II) as we go. Cheers!


#766

never heard of this. kinda hated that tommy wright so not too hopeful I’ll like this, but am always up to hearing stuff I’ve not heard before so it’ll tick that box at least.

like that cover art


#767

This is cool. Pretty grimey. I like it a lot.

Found a download link and looks like it was reissued a while ago. But look at the cover…

Funny how the budget Pen and Pixel style one is something I’d instantly skip past, but before I even heard the tape but saw that hand-drawn cover I knew I’d dig it.


#768

Funny, after I went through this one I thought to myself “chairman isnt gonna like this”


#769

#770

:grinning:


#771

excited to hear this, havent heard of


#772

Haha! Yeah…

giphy


#773

speak on it


#774

was intending to give it a second listen before I did so but don’t think that’s ever gonna happen…

listened to it first time round while I was working which is never ideal BUT I was hating it so much it was actively distracting me, pretty sure I had to turn it off with a couple of tracks left to go. think it was the incessant CHICKEN BONE NOW ITS ON bit that really wound me up, like a stewart lee joke without the release of the eventual punchline.

also lo-fi is an acquired taste in general I think and it’s not something I’ve ever been a fan of in any genre really (the mountain goats were 10x better when he started recording in studios, don’t @ me)

on the plus side, it’s not something I’d ever have thought of to check out of my own accord, so I’m glad I give it a listen even though I didn’t like it


#775

lo-fi is def a thing i dont lean towards in general, especially if it’s on purpose. making the choice to sound that way usually puts me off. but in this case they were just cutting things up in basements with subpar equipment or know-how (for the most part). makes it more endearing. there was no budget here, just a dude with love for the music doing his best with what he had. but then you hear how inventive he was with his cadence and melody, he’s been loosely credited with creating (aphex’s fav) triplet flow, and it makes you appreciate the whole package even more.


#776

I’m all about lo-fi in hip hop. I think when I was younger it was one of the things about the genre that really appealed - you could sort of hear how songs were put together and it didn’t seem like a thing that was beyond the realms of possibility of you doing yourself (not that I did).

That and two other things. One - I loved that they had the constraints of samplers, 4 tracks, rapping into headphones in a basement, Kinkos photocopiers etc but just hacked it to work for them and make music that was rough round the edges but dope. Two - it added to the mystique that these guys weren’t full-time musicians and were still out there doin’ dirt and just rapping on the side.

And that’s just stuck with me. Like, To Pimp a Butterfly is a beautifully crafted, epic album that I like a lot and whatever, but 9 times out of 10 I just want to hear Stroke of Death by Ghostface on repeat.

Wrote this after getting quite pissed on Wednesday evening so not posting 'til Thursday.


#777

yes, @Dan_S i’m feeling this one and would like to hear more you’ve got to say about Memphis rap and other tape recommends.
this one’s sounds a little less gleeful than runnin n gunnin, the way the twinkling sounds slow down every so often on the intro and imperceptibly speed up really sets the tone for the album- a real queasy feel.
like the way the church bells on ‘dim da lights’ sound so sinister and that is sick how playfully the word ‘murder’ is chopped on ‘murda mix’- “urder, urder, urder”!


#778

Yeah pretty much exactly this - the low fi aspect is one of the main things that I love about this tape, and Memphis hip-hop around this time in general. These dudes were working in what I’m pretty sure were bedroom setups, but managed to create a unique sound that was totally distinct from what was going on anywhere else at the time. Not only that, but this sound (and aesthetic) has gone on to be massively influential, not only in hip-hop, but also on techno, noise and other genres, nearly 20 years later. Kind of incredible really, particularly as with the exception of Triple 6 Mafia, pretty much none of these guys seemed to have any sort of commercial ambition whatsoever. You see this kind of thing a lot in punk and hardcore - i.e. bands caring deeply about their local scene, but not caring about anything outside of this at all - but it was rare to find a rapper that didn’t want to be the biggest thing in the world. These guys - and girls - genuinely seemed to do it basically for the love, though. I mean, it was 2009 before Tommy Wright even played a show outside of Tennessee (and that was in Atlanta, so hardly a million miles away!)


#779

I wasn’t enjoying guerrilla maab, but there’s a couple of bangers i loved near the end of album- jus’ a patronising lil’ anecdote to encourage everyone to listen all the albums, all the way through!

would say chicken bone nowison joint is atypical of the album, being so chorus-y, but fair do’s if you don’t like the overall lo-fi sound


#780

Cheers @furryfan - glad you’re enjoying it!

My fairly limited understanding of Memphis rap at the time is that it mainly centred around a few producers who all had various squadrons of rappers attached to them. Think the distinctive Memphis production sound started in the late 80s with a DJ called Spanish Fly, but he seems to be a bit of a Kool Herc type character, and it was producers like DJ Squeaky, DJ Sound, Tommy Wright III and the Triple 6 Mafia guys (DJ Paul and Juicy J) who really defined the sound, along with the multitude of rappers who brought the horrorcore / murder / heavy weed smoking themes. I’m sure this is far from the whole story though, and there would be plenty of artists who existed outside of this.

As for tape recommends, my knowledge is pretty skewed towards the Triple 6 Mafia side of things. I never actually made it to Memphis and got all of my tapes via a friend (shout out to Brad!) when he went home to visit his folks. I’m pretty sure that the guy he bought them off was affiliated with Triple 6 in some way, and they were beefing with a lot of the other Memphis crews at the time, so it was hard to get other tapes.

Of the early Triple 6 stuff (i.e. pre Mystic Stylez), would recommend starting with Smoked Out, Loced Out which is a good overview. DJ Paul also released loads of tapes with various different rappers, and other core members like Lord Infamous, Koopsta Knicca and Gangsta Blac also put out solo tapes produced by DJ Paul. Skinny Pimp (or Kingpin Skinny Pimp) was affiliated with Triple 6 (and appeared on Mystic Stylez), but also had his own crew called Gimisum Family. DJ Paul produced some of their tapes too, and Skinny handled production on others. The main Gimisum Crew were called Skimask Troopaz.

The other main producer that I know about is DJ Sound, who specialised in a more stripped back sound, but also worked with a very talented crew of rappers.

Tommy Wright you obviously know about already, but he was also in a group called 10 Wanted Men that are worth checking, and his crew member Lil Ramsey is cool too.

Blackout (obviously) is the other producer that I really like. His main crew are called Playa Posse, and he also produced albums by individual members.

There are a bunch of other producers that I haven’t really checked out in detail, but there are loads of blogs written by people who have probably forgotten more about Memphis hip-hop than I will ever know, if you want to dig deeper. Memphis hip-hop seems to be really popular on teh internets.

Some of my favourites:-

Triple 6:

Triple 6 Mafia - Smoked Out, Loced Out
Lord Infamous - Lord Of Terror / Come With Me To Hell
Koopsta Knicca - The Devil’s Playground
Skinny Pimp - Greatest Hits

Gimisum:

Gimisum Family - Gimisum Dungeon
Lil Gin - Shake Junt
Skimask Troopaz - Underground Tape
Big Hill - Management

DJ Sound:

DJ Sound - Volume 10: Hatred
DJ Sound - Volume 11: Broken Halo (sometimes credited to Frayser Click)
Nigga Creep - Demons Takin’ Over Me
MC Money & Gangsta Gold - Da Hard Ov Frayser
Player 1 & Bloody Bones - Crime Rate Sky High

Tommy Wright III:

All solo stuff, plus
Ten Wanted Men - Wanted Dead Or Alive
Lil Ramsey - Goin’ Undercover

Blackout:

Blackout - Dreamworld
Playa Posse - Bigger And Better Things
Snubnoze - Solo Tape
Guice - Ashes Off My Blunt
Lil Terror - It’s Whatever