It's crunchtime ya'll. Here goes another mixtape, this ones called "Caught in a Trap."
1 Green Day - Holiday - My friend Justin always wants to play this CD in the car but I always veto it, talking a lot of smack about how rock sucks now and all that. Then I saw these dudes on MTV where they were playing this stadium show in front of thousands of people and doing interviews about making this CD that they felt was like them against the world. It was all kind of inspiring and reminded me about why I got into Punk back in 9th grade. You know, the sense that you can take on the world and make it a better place just by rocking. This is a really solid song too, a good opener with a strong bridge and a part where all you get is pounding drums and bass. It's an antiwar song, talking about "the company lost the war today." This band trying to make punk mean something again I think is just one more sign of the left wing in America starting to finally get off its ass.
2 Dr Dre featuring Snoop - Rat Tat Tat Tat - This song sounds like fucking bomb, it's totally menacing and hard. If you hit the pause button just right or you're using MP3s, you can make the fade out from the Green Day song lead right into the big band in the beginning of this song. In this there's no idealism and instead just a lot of threats and yelling about bitches. Dre says "CPT, CAL my locality/ It's strange how I rearranged and changed/ the business by dropping shit like this." I think before the West Coast blew up the biggest hip hop group was Public Enemy, right? It is kind of strange!
3 Beanie Siegel featuring Peedi Peedi & Twista - Gotta Have It - This song is probably the most upbeat one on the B Coming, which isn't really saying much. It's a totally anxious song, like they all drank too much coffee and they're stuck in traffic. It's pretty typical 2005 drug dealer rap, no depth but it sounds great. "You see me with crack/ we strapped/ what's the reason for that?/ I got to have it!"
4 Kanye West featuring Paul Wall - Drive Slow - This song opens with the same kind of tinny drums that are all over "Gotta Have It," but it gives way to lilting saxaphones and Kanye telling a coming of age story, urging everybody to slow down and take it easy. Totally what this mix needs right now. It's also got Paul Wall bragging about his grills and his rims and stuff like always, but claiming "I could still catch boppers if I drove a cab." This is totally punk rock, especially when you consider how Mike Jones' second single was based around the line "Back then ho's didn't want me/ now I'm hot, ho's all on me."
What's up with this song being on both these dudes' albums?
5 Joan Jett - I Love Rock and Roll - I loved this song way before I knew what CBGBs was or had ever heard of the Offspring, before I knew what punk was. My dad even took my brother and I to an Orioles game where she sang the national anthem when we were kids. This song is just a great jukebox anthem.
6 the Beastie Boys - No Sleep Till Brooklyn - I think the main problem with the Beasties is that eventually they got convinced that they were rappers and they had to rap. They were way better as a bunch of punks yelling shit that rhymed with the dude from Slayer playing a solo. This song is totally effortless, a bunch of white kids who stumbled onto this new music style and ran with it, doing their own thing with it.
7 Notorious BIG - Respect - The Beastie Boys kept yelling about Brooklyn, so I had to put the best Brooklyn rapper next. This song makes sense after the rock sampling Rick Rubin beat before it, with some staccato guitar riff throughout and a girl singing about respect in the hook. I love story raps, and this song encompasses Biggie's life from even before he was born "I wish moms could hurry up so I could get buck/ wild juvenile ripping mikes and shit/ New York New York!" and then later "Now I'm 13/ smoking blunts making cream/ on the drug scene/ fuck a football team" and then finally deciding "rap was secondary/ money was necessary/ till I got lucked up/ kinda scary." We're still there, hearing rappers talk about how they're rapping cause it makes more money than drugs or whatever, not a lot of talk about doing it out of love. I'm not judging this shit though, cause it's great.
8 Black Mountain - No Hits - The singing in this song is all a lot of mumbo jumbo you can't really understand. Something about "let me holler against the rockstar dream." I don't usually like this kind of stuff, but this song just sounds so slick with the little hand claps and the guitar thrashing in the background, like these dudes could rock you off your ass if they weren't kind of bored with it. These dudes are hating just a little bit but you need to relax again after all that twitchy Brooklyn shit.
9 50 Cent - Window Shopper - I had a dream where I met 50 and all I could really think of to say was that I really like this song. I'm a little sick of this guy and like a lot of people are, but you can't deny the catchiness of this song. It's like, half hook. "Listen man, shit changed/ I came up I'm doing my thing/ homie I'm holdin holdin holdin." I've seen people write about this embodies everything that's wrong with hip hop today, but it is what it is, doesn't claim to be anything else. I think dude is capable of a lot more but fuck it, almost nobody sounds better bragging.
10 Jay-Z - It's Hot (Some like it Hot) - Oh man, more handclaps! Timba works them a million times harder than Black Mountain though, creating this totally infectious beat. You gotta hear this shit. And this is the song where Jay dissed 50, back in '99. "Go after Jigga/ your ass is dense/ I'm about a dollar/ What the fuck is 50 cents?" Jay sounds like a million bucks on this. I don't know what else to write about this song, except that it's addictive.
11 Jay-Z - The Takeover - I don't think mixes are supposed to repeat the same people, definately not twice in a row, but I'll do whatever I want. Instead of a hot song with a diss in it, this is just a total diss track. Jay's going after Nas and Mobb Deep here. "I'll kill you motherfucking ants with a sledgehammer" is my favorite line, but there's a lot more. He finally levels his biggest diss at Nas when he says "there's only so long fake thugs can pretend." Does that mean you have to have sold drugs to be the best rapper now?
I don't have the strength to go on. This here is the first 45 minutes, in a couple days ago the Empire Strikes Back on side B. I just wanna say that I have all these diss tracks not cause I'm such a huge fan of feuds or anything. Just so far this mix is all about a conflict between love and greed, or something, so I gotta have the conflict play itself out.