The Home Row Keyed – January 31, 2012Posted by Chul Gugich
Hey fammo. Peep the stuff I’ve been obsessed with for the last seven days, below. A thought-provoking treatise on the social repercussions of Nicki Minaj’s costume choices in this video will have to wait until next week.
“Vodka & Ayahuasca” – Gangrene (The Alchemist & Oh No)
If you knew what ayahuasca was before Googling it, then you are a better psychoactive drug connoisseur than I, my friend. For habitual users with more pedestrian tastes, get learned here. Also take some time to view Gangrene’s video above and check out the group’s similarly-titled LP.
V&A is an off-kilter descent into the Los Angeles hip-hop underground courtesy of The Alchemist, whose increasingly weird production is drenched in drugged-out gully by MC partner and SoCal cohort, Oh No. I’m pretty sure Al made the beats, recorded the bars, and then tied them sh-ts to the tailpipe of a rusted-out U-Haul and dragged ‘em through the LA River four, maybe five times.
So far this year I was bored by Rich Forever, disappointed by Unexpected Victory and only moderately infatuated by Habits & Contradictions. Vodka & Ayahuasca legitimately moved me, though, and scared me off of hallucinogenics forever.
Nehru Jackets – Heems
The inevitable wave of Das Racist solo mixtapes has arrived. Kool A.D. was up first and perplexed (in a bad way) and Dap is next. Front and center this week, though, is Heems whose massive Nehru Jackets is a sprawling, half-baked, often idiotic, but at times brilliant, 25-track collection of randomness. Just like its progenitor.
Jackets was partially intended as a showcase for producer Mike Finito, a friend of Heems since age 14. Finito takes thick hip-hop breaks and colors all over them with disparate electronic effects, sped-up Punjabi samples and other unexpected musical varietals. There’s a lot to skip on this mixtape, though lurking craftily inside its scatter-shot tendencies is a solid 7- or 8-track EP. The sequence of “SWATE,” “NYC Cops” and “You Have to Ride the Wave” (featuring Danny Brown and Mr. Muthafuckin Exquire) is a perfect example of what makes Heems so moronically engaging: Seemingly off-top space-filler lyrics hide the pathos of a dude fed-up with the status quo in all its derivative forms.
Download the mixtape for free, here.
“Falling Down” – Evidence
Evidence’s Cats & Dogs was the answer for those not caught in the cloud-rap zeitgeist of 2011. C&D is the type of hip-hop record that endures; one of those weighty nuggets of gold that don’t shake out of the filter when all the other detritus has long flowed through. The video for “Falling Down” is quietly striking, comfortable in its own dopeness. Just like the album it appears on.