Review: ‘Designer Drugs (EP),’ Corner Boy P & Mary Gold (Prod. by Samir Urbina)

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I have long been a fan of New Orleans rapper, Curren$y, but it took a little while before I could fully rock with his musical collective, Jet Life. Members of the group are Young Roddy, Trademark Da Skydiver, Fiend (yes, No Limit Fiend), Street Wiz, producer Monsta Beatz, Mary Gold, and Corner Boy P. While they’re not all that diverse in terms of musical stylings (except Mary Gold, because she’s a beautiful, perfect alien), it’s a solid group, and like their leader, they have all mostly honed the art of “lifestyle rap.” So when I heard that Corner Boy P and Mary Gold would team up to drop Designer Drugs on July 4, I knew I had to add it to my music library immediately.

Corner Boy P has been getting a lot of play from me lately, and that goes double for his latest solo effort, DON P, which has gotten me through a few dozen sessions since its release. Mary Gold is my favorite music artist out right now. I love her voice, I love her style, I love the style of her voice, and I love the voice of her style, if that makes a semblance of sense at all. Her Sex Hormoned Druggie mixtape was one of my favorites 0f 2013, and its appeal is still incredibly strong. Mary Gold could drop a tape in which she raps about how she hates to rap and I’d clamor for it to get 5 mics, two thumbs up, a 10/10, and Nobel Peace Prize…all at the same damn time.

“Intro” – Nothing special, really. Just what sounds like a newscaster’s voice (likely generic) informing us of the new wave, “designer drugs.”

“MCM Shades” – I’m not sure if I’ve ever heard Urbina’s production before, but if this was our first meeting, it was definitely a good one. Corner Boy starts off “MCM Shades” but it’s Mary Gold who steals the show with her delivery on the hook: “MCM in my shades, baby/You gon’ feel me, feel me…” And of course, starting her verse with “I’m a smooth bitch,” Ms. Gold set the tone for the rest of the EP, in my biased opinion.

“Remember Me” – The title is self-explanatory: “When it’s all said and done, will they remember you?” And, this is a very important question for any artist to contemplate. What will your legacy be? Corner Boy bats first, rapping: “She switch up every week/Addicted to the fame/When you lose it, tryna chase it using cocaine and extacy…” Along with making lifestyle rap, Corner Boy makes what I like to call “grinder music.” Whatever you do in life, you grind while doing it, basically. Mother Mary asks, “What you gon’ do when them lights out?” and speeds up her flow a little bit initially before reverting to her half-singing style that seemingly always gets the job done. Sickest beat on the Designer Drugs EP, for damn sure.

“Roll Up” - Oh shit, I think I love everything about this fucking song. The production is perfect for this kind of song. It could easily be played in a trap nightclub or beach party in the Hamptons where rich White kids snort everything that can be turned into powder. With a sort of 80s vibe to it (sounds like something Sade would rap over), it matches the tone of the lyrics Corner Boy drops to kick things off. Mary spends about 45-50 seconds singing “roll up” and “roll up for me” about as sexy as she possibly can before Corner Boy spits a dope, succinct verse that doesn’t even last 45 seconds, if I’m not mistaken. The break into the hook, the hook itself, as well as Corner Boy P’s verse, make this my favorite track on Designer Drugs.

“What You Got 4 Me” – Okay… “LUXURY/GIRL LIVE IN LUXURY…” Woo! Fiend makes a guest appearance, too, and it makes this track even doper.

“Outro” – This EP started with nothing special, and ended with nothing special, which was somewhat of a disappointment.

I don’t expect Corner Boy P and Mary Gold to team up again in the future, although I think they should. Then again, I’d much rather hear her collaborate with Curren$y for a full-length project, or even Young Roddy, two artists who I admittedly prefer over P. Urbina has a relatively unique sound, and partnered with the drawl of P and unabashed style of Mary, it helped make Designer Drugs a pretty good EP, despite the fact that I feel robbed, having only gotten 4 songs. Nevertheless, this is worthy of addition to your music library, especially if you’re a brand whore whose infatuation with materialism extends all the way to your drugs of preference. Good music, loves. Get into it.

Review: ‘Vision Pipes (EP),’ Vic Spencer (Prod. by Rocket)

visionpipesI swear, Vic Spencer has the formula for today’s rap fan: Churn out as much quality music as possible, all the while managing to establish a relatively new identity on each track; on each project. Certainly, on his new EP, Vision Pipes, produced by TDE in-house beat man, Rocket (who also sings), Spencer has carved out one more niche for himself. The funny thing, just as I will find myself getting accustomed to this “V-I,” another will show itself. No matter. Time to dive into Vision Pipes, which was released on July 4.

“The Special Move” – “I don’t wanna chase y’all/I don’t wanna race y’all/I don’t wanna face y’all/Fuck up out my face, dawg,” spits Spencer to start the EP. What stood out most about this unofficial intro is the production. The relative serenity of it contrasts with Spencer’s oft-aggressive flow, with some intermittent Rocket vocals in the background to provide a soft touch. A great start, indeed.

“Massive Takeover” - I’m conflicted. While not a huge fan of the beat, I do like Spencer’s flow and the vocals provided by Rocket. And that hook, though: “I tell you what/When I take over these mountaintops/The world is mine/The world is mine…” Everything but the production on this track does it for me, although I will admit that if pared down a little, it would feel a little “cleaner.”

“WW VIII”- If you’re remotely familiar with Spencer’s music, you should know that it is, well, you know, rather aggressive. “Chicago’s ODB” is how I describe Spencer’s work. “WW VIII” isn’t quite as gritty as some of his other tough tales, but it’s one of those tracks in which he puts on his storytelling hat and lets us have it. “This ain’t Rambo in 1988, you gonna need more than a fucking knife” ended Spencer’s first verse before Rocket jumped on, and killed another hook.

“Young World” – MAN. MAN. Spencer is one of the more emotionally vulnerable rappers you’ll hear (which isn’t a detriment at all), and he certainly delves into his feelings on this one. Rapping about the death and murder of two brothers, and attempted murder of another, Vic once again lets us in on a part of his life not usually made available on a music track. As per usual, Spencer is quick to flaunt his style and reminisce about prior sessions, along with his quest to conquer this relatively young world.

“Vampire Diaries Screwed (Rocket’s Solo)” - This sounds like something that didn’t make 808s & Heartbreak, and I don’t mean that as an insult. You see, I’m a huge fan of screwed (RIP DJ Screw) music. That goes for screwed R&B, as the slowed-down chords and vocals make for a unique listening experience. I’m still not entirely sure just what the hell the message behind this song is, but I still like it. A lot.

“House of Hope,” ft. Michael Anthony of THEMpeople – Rocket gifted Spencer with this damn production. It’s so dope that Spencer should release an instrumental version of this EP just so anyone who somehow didn’t listen to Vision Pipes can hear this beat. Whereas “Massive Takeover” sounded like it had too much going on, this beat is fucking insanely good. Michael Anthony of THEMpeople joined the fray to provide some vocals, but honestly, this track could have stood alone based on the merit of its production. Is that an 808 kick I hear? And a snare? Hi-hat, too? Just. So. Raw. Good on, Rocket. Good on.

“Planes, Trains & Passports” - If it weren’t for “House of Hope,” this track would easily have the best production on Vision Pipes. As far as the song goes, it’s a fitting ending to the EP. Spencer has never been shy to let listeners know that he’s simply “way mo’ fresher” than you, in all aspects of life, and while that surely drives some away, it likely draws more to his music. Undoubtedly my favorite line on this EP is on this track: “I’m with the youth, dropping the gems/And if they rob the Louis store and the belt fit me, I’mma cop it from them.” Telling it like it is.

Crazily enough, Spencer seems to be improving with each project. Teaming up with various producers and artists, he seems to be constantly trying to find ways to reach new ears. As a fan of music, I love this approach. It’s somewhat hard to say that Spencer operates outside of his comfort zone, because his confidence enables him to step into new forums with new people and lay down exactly what he wants to. Yeah, there will be hits and inevitable misses, but most impressive is that Spencer wants to evolve as an artist. Vision Pipes is available on Spencer’s Bandcamp page, and it’s one of those “pay-if-you-want-because-that-would-be-cool-but-if-not-at-least-listen-because-that-would-be-equally-cool” joints, so if you’re short on ends or want to listen before buying, you can download it for the freeski for now. Let’s hope to get more Vic Spencer dope in the future, and in addition, hats off to Rocket for the production and vocals, too. GoILL.

 

Quickly now: “Infectious (Telling Folk),” Vic Spencer ft. D. Brash and Brian Fresco (Prod. by DC) #GoILL

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Vic Spencer is no stranger to MKLH. One of my favorite Chicago rap artists, Spencer basically churns out music at such a pace that would make a simple man or woman’s head spin. Because of work and quite frankly, a lack of motivation, I haven’t posted as often over the last few months as I possibly could have. No more. Vic Spencer dropped a goody in my email inbox today, and you bet your ass that the new is heat. “Infectious (Telling Folk)” is led off by Spencer, with D. Brash in the 2-hole and Brian Fresco coming on strong to finish the track off. DC is on production duty, and the beat sounds like a very eerie serenade (love that “tellin’ folk” vocal in the background), navigated rather meticulously by the three aforementioned artists. “You just mad because you not what blogs writin’ about…”

Quickly now: The greatness of BIG K.R.I.T.’s “Mt. Olympus”

Of late, I have been really getting into Detroit rap artist Willie The Kid and his latest release, The Fly 2: The Transformation. Laced with some ill quotes from the ‘The Fly,’ which starred one of my favorite actors, Jeff Goldblum, The Fly 2 is an incredible piece of work that showcases his lyrical ability as well as his handle on telling a rather adequate story. The features on the project don’t dilute the work, yet, rather enhance it. Staying in a Midwestern state of mind, I have also abused the hell out of Piñata, a collaborative album by Gary, Indiana native, Freddie Gibbs, along with Californian artist, Madlib. So, it’s basically a Midwestern state of mind. Nevertheless, Piñata has been my favorite album of 2014 thus far, and Gibbs’ flow over Madlib’s production, along with the occasional feature, should have it atop the throne even when the year is over. Unless, that is, BIG K.R.I.T. somehow patterns the rest of his upcoming album, Cadillactica, after its first single, the ever-dope-as-all-hellMt. Olympus,” which he also produced.

I first heard this track several weeks ago after noticing some online buzz. As a fan of K.R.I.T., I assumed the song wouldn’t disappoint, but I had no idea that the song would stick with me the way it has.

K.R.I.T., a Mississippi native, possesses a Southern twang that isn’t campy or exaggerated, but smooth and aggressive while managing to not sound excessively

YASSS. K.R.I.T.

YASSS. K.R.I.T.

perturbed. “Now they wanna hear a country nigga rap/Five albums in, I swear a country nigga snap/Thought they wanted trap, thought they wanted bass/Thought they wanted Molly, thought they wanted drank/Fuck them niggas, now they wanna hear a country nigga rap…” is how K.R.I.T. delivers the hook at the beginning of the song as the beat builds. It’s clear that K.R.I.T. is, well, pissed the fuck off. Contrary to popular belief, K.R.I.T. is a Southern artist who can absolutely rap his ass off, in the lyrical sense. He’s been doing so, in fact, since 2010, when he released K.R.I.T. Wuz Here. Do your damn homework, people.

Fortunately for us, K.R.I.T. is able to emote in a way that most music artists simply aren’t able to. When he rapped, “I ain’t drawn to all this propaganda, rap shit ’bout as real as Santa,” I didn’t take it as an artist upset with the fact that he’s not yet “on.” The way I viewed it, K.R.I.T. was addressing all of those who wanted to turn this, that, and the third into a dispute between two artists, or even fanbases. K.R.I.T. is right. Basically, this rap shit has become very, obscenely fake. “Now I’m lyrical all of a sudden/Well last year they claim they ain’t understand me,” rapped K.R.I.T. immediately after. How convenient, no? K.R.I.T. always did a pretty good job of injecting a bit of trap into his music, but anyone genuinely listening simply couldn’t ignore the extraordinary lyricism involved. And now, with so many on the “real rap/hip-hop” bandwagon once more (AMIRITE?!), K.R.I.T. is such a fine wordsmith! He’s so articulate and well-spoken! Please. K.R.I.T. ain’t buying it. Put ‘em in the trunk with the subwoofers, bruh.

I won’t get into the significance of the title, “Mt. Olympus,” because I’m into Greek Mythology more than I probably should be and don’t want to lose my 22 readers. However, know this: Mt. Olympus is home to the 12 chief gods of Greek Mythology, and who was the god of gods? ZEUS. It’s not a stretch to believe that K.R.I.T. fancies himself along the lines of Zeus, and when he drops something like this song, it’s hard to argue with him.

xxl-freshman-class-cover-2011 It wasn’t that long ago that K.R.I.T. made that wack ass XXL cover for freshmen rappers or something like that. The buzz surrounding him was huge, but somehow, it essentially left, despite the fact that he’s churned out great music since. Sir Kendrick Lamar has been crowned, and there have been a bunch of microwave rappers who have come and gone, but I truly believe that K.R.I.T. has something the average music artist doesn’t, which is staying power. At least, I’m hoping he’ll stick around. He will, won’t he? Why shouldn’t he be able to? Regardless, if you’ve listened to “Mt. Olympus” and weren’t moved to lash out against something that you feel has been ignoring your prowess for far too damn long, you simply ain’t human. I’ll leave you with this tidbit from BIG K.R.I.T.: “Yeah, I said it, I thought they wanted radio, bitch make up yo’ mind!” Please. Do that.

For 2014: D2G

D2G-July-9th-A-Caner-StoryWhen it comes to hip-hop in Chicago, contrary to “popular” belief, there is a rather extensive history of successful artists. Perhaps most of them did not reach a national level in terms of popularity, but on a local level, they provided a soundtrack to many of our lives. I won’t regale you with tales of rapping along with Crucial Conflict, Da Brat or Do or Die, but I will tell you that in my somewhat biased opinion, Chicago hip-hop is experiencing a renaissance of sorts. A part of this new movement is artist/songwriter/hungry MC, D2G.

I first heard D2G on the DC-produced Hard Bars, a 2011 collaborative effort with fellow Chicago hip-hop artist, Vic Spencer. While I knew what to expect from Spencer and to an extent, DC, it was D2G’s performance that not only caught me off guard, but forced me to look at Chicago’s rap and hip-hop scene in an almost completely different way. Far too often rife with gang references and odes to violent acts, Chicago’s rap and hip-hop landscape can appear very watered down to some. And, not to dismiss trap artists like Lil’ Durk, Chief Keef and King Louie, but I always knew that there were artists who more accurately represented the struggle and desire to overcome it, in a less materialistic, self-centered way. Enter, D2G.

In December of 2011, D2G released The Blood Diamond Tape. Sixteen tracks long with features from Spencer, Lili K, Jay Rashard, A.M. and others, it was a very solid project, from start to finish. Evident was the fact that not only could D2G rap, but he actually gave a shit about his craft. Similar to Lil’ Wayne on Tha Carter, you could hear the hunger in D2G’s verses. You simply cannot listen to “Mom’s Prayin’” and tell me that D2G is half-assing it on the track. Period.

After a 2012 that seemingly came and went for just about everyone, whether in the music industry or not, D2G gifted us on his birthday, July 9, 2013, with July 9th: A Cancer Story. Holy shit, what a mixtape. What. A. Mixtape. I reviewed it earlier on this site, and if I were forced to review it again today, my opinion of it would probably be even more glowing and positive.

I listen to an awful lot of hip-hop and it’s not often that I can sit down and listen to a project in its entirety without thinking that the artist is bullshitting me, at some point. It happens; the need to appeal to your fans who are borderline hip-hop purists and those who simply want to hear good music without the requirement of it actually speaking to them in any way, shape or form. Maybe it’s harsh to call addressing the needs of one’s entire fanbase “bullshitting,” but it is frustrating to listen to such code-switching. D2G’s struggles are not mine, and mine are not his. However, to hear the raw effort on J9: ACS made me a believer in D2G. I have faith that D2G can establish himself as one of the premier hip-hop artists in Chicago, for years to come.

I’ve had the opportunity to do a little “Q & A” with D2G, and his answers didn’t seem contrived. They appeared to be thought out, in order to provide me with the insight that many artists seem to not think is very important in how they are viewed not only as artists, but as people. Regardless of what anyone says, we all judge. Most of us do so unfairly, but nevertheless, we all judge. And while I’d love to write that we as fans can easily separate the artist from the person, more times than not, it is incredibly difficult to do so.

In conclusion, I appreciate the music that D2G puts out, and the effort that goes into it. He certainly isn’t the only rap or hip-hop artist in Chicago who gives a damn about their product, but he’s one I rock with the most, arguably. With the momentum he built in 2013, especially after J9: ACS, it wouldn’t be surprising that he uses that to propel himself to another level in 2014. It’s a “GoILL” movement, y’all.

For 2014: Milli Mars

a4061242399_10I’m not sure if everything is really bigger in the state of Texas, but I do know that San Antonio has a hidden gem in hip-hop artist Milli Mars. Thanks to a friend in the Austin area who hipped me to his music, I first learned of Mars in 2011 when I heard his second musical venture YMID, and was essentially blown away. Not that I am one to generalize, but the project didn’t sound very…Texan. Nevertheless, it stayed in rotation. Once I went back to the proverbial lab and listened to his debut, BrainwashedI knew that this was an artist I needed to keep an eye and ear out for.

After dropping only one track in 2012, “Au Revoir,” Mars came back in 2013 with a shorter, but equally dope release, The Toyotomi EP. Only seven tracks long and with support from Gianni Lee and Babylon Cartel, The Toyotomi EP has a much different sound than YMID, as the production, entirely from whizKIDDA (who also produced all of YMID and Brainwashed), at least appears to be a bit more focused. While the listener doesn’t enjoy the diversity heard on YMID, they will enjoy the layers of “Tokyo Noir” and the thumping drums of “Red Alert ’87.” “Hattori Hanzo” is my second-favorite track on the EP, and the bassline is seemingly perfect, although it arguably could have done without the bridges. The combination of drums and almost eerie bassline on the second half of “Battle of So-Chon,” along with the intermittent vocals, make it my favorite on The Toyotomi EP.

I’m sure that Milli Mars has more in store for us in 2014, and I hope he can build off of The Toyotomi EP. Regardless of commercial success, I know he has a buzz in Texas and assumingly, some sects of the south. It’s not enough to support artists in your area; the underground is the underground. Whether or not Mars or his fans consider him to be a part of the underground doesn’t matter. If Mars makes his way to the Midwest or I happen to be on my vagabond shit in the state of Texas, I’ll be sure to check him out if I can. I implore you to do the same. In the meanwhile, check out his music and thank me later.

For 2014: Mary Gold

Mary_Gold_Sex_Hormoned_Druggie-front-largeNudism, sex and drugs. It would be very tempting to confine New Orleans rapper/singer/songwriter/Nephilim (?) Mary Gold to those three things, but that wouldn’t serve her artistic persona a damn bit of justice. Granted, the intoxicating artist did release a project titled, Sex Hormone’d Druggie, but titles are for show, in my opinion.

SHD was easily the most interesting work I listened to in 2013. Whether it’s Gold’s sexy drawl, the winding production, her slurred bars or seemingly constant pining for drugs, sex or fucking liberation, I simply couldn’t stop listening to it.

I first heard Mary Gold on Curren$y and Jet Life’s Red Eye Mixtape, on “Prayer,” featuring Curren$y. “Hopefully, I don’t die/Hopefully, I don’t sink…,” Gold utters over a haunting beat. And while the song caused my heart to skip a few beats, the video was all of that and even more. The 22 year-old is clearly talented, but is so raw that it hurts. One could very well get the sense that she doesn’t want to be refined; that her jagged approach isn’t quite calculated, but certainly embraced. Her lyrics may be described as “creepy” by some, but those are generally folks who want status quo, especially from a female artist.

SHD is very diverse in terms of sound, but one could get lost in the maze that is Mary Gold. “Druggie Girl” is a very uptempo song, with Gold telling listeners, “Turned me onto the ballgame, I’mma hit her” before sounding eerily similar to Macy Gray, singing, “Baby boy, you better have some dough, if you wanna be with me…” A very smooth drug reference is heard on the LA Beatz-produced “Threesome” as it shouldn’t be difficult to figure out what Gold means by “Threesomes in my living room” after she paid ode to “white girl” and “Mary Ann.”

The guitar-heavy “Needy” is a lovers’ anthem of sorts, if those lovers were heavily under the influence, and “Grand Theft” is dangerously close to “mindfuck” territory. I don’t know what Gold meant by “All my niggas look like Jesus/So you know she tryna fuck,” but it doesn’t matter, because it fit Diggable Slim’s production and Mary’s style.

While “Prayer” was my favorite track on SHD (It was on Red Eye Mixtape to serve as an intro to Mary Gold) for a while, it didn’t take long before the Rmur-produced “Coup De Ville” became my go-to song. It’s not even three minutes long, but I didn’t care then, and I still don’t care now. Set over a steady bassline and a saxophone that just won’t fucking quit, Gold takes the listener on a journey through their city. Motherfucker, just ridin’ around…ay.

Not everyone will be a fan of Mary Gold, and even fewer will be a fan of Sex Hormone’d Druggie. But, everything isn’t for everyone. So if you can’t reconcile in your head a southern singer/songwriter/rapper/whatever she wants to be, whenever she wants to be it whose manipulated vocals will do more than their part to scare the life out of you, don’t venture in her direction. I love how fresh her music sounds, no matter how “unconventional” it may be. And I hope that in 2014, she continues to deliver the ether. Mother Mary, oh, mother Mary…

For 2014: Martin $ky

martin-sky-timelessAs a certified music fiend, I’m constantly on the search for good music. New music, preferably. There was once an unfortunate time when I was completely immersed in the genres of rap and hip-hop, but thankfully, I have since grown out of that stage of arrested development. Despite my love for what some perceive to be “unconventional” music, I have not totally deviated from my affinity for rap and hip-hop.

2013 was a good year for me, overall. Musically, however, it was fantastic. I was lucky to hear countless singles, EPs, albums, mixtapes, collaborations, remixes and features. Some were mainstream while most weren’t even in the neighborhood. Whether swapping music with Spo or someone else, hitting a record store to make a purchase, perusing through music on iTunes or going back to the lab and discovering hidden gems, there was almost never a moment when music wasn’t infiltrating my brain.

Perhaps with artists like D2G, Psalm One, Vic Spencer, Vic Mensa, Chance the Rapper, Angel Davenport and the like, Chicago is enjoying a resurgence (again) on the hip-hop scene. One more for your ears: Martin $ky.

$ky released his debut project, TimeLESS, in September of 2013 and holy hell, was it a doozy. Thirteen tracks long, TimeLESS has no features (always a good formula when you can actually rap well) and includes production from P.U.R.P., Knxledge, Mndsgn and $ky, himself.

Martin’s flow is very smooth and the production on each track fits his seemingly mellow style. The almost monotone feel of his bars don’t come off as uninterested. Rather, he seems under control with a sure sense of where he wants to take each word, line, verse and song. His voice rises when need be and he accentuates profanities and certain phrases with purpose, and not just because he can. With no features, it is much easier to get a feel for his version of wordplay and lyrical content, as features can sometimes overshadow an artist’s entire work. Long a believer that all rap and hip-hop artists should have some input on their production, my favorite beats on TimeLESS were worked by $ky, including my favorite song on the project, “Contrast.” In addition to that track, the $ky-produced “LIMIT(LESS)” and “Pearl Gawd” are worthy of instrumental versions.

I was a little late to the party and didn’t download a copy of TimeLESS until roughly a week or so after it was released. However, it has not left the rotation since its induction into the Hall of Music that is my music library. Check Martin $ky’s SoundCloud for all of your non-TimeLESS musical needs and you can download TimeLESS here. 2014 should be an even better year than 2013, music-wise, and $ky’s work will be instrumental in Chicago establishing itself once again as a hotbed for hip-hop artists with something to prove.

“Draginbreff,” Blu, prod. by Knxwledge

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Know me, and easily you should know that one of my favorite hip-hop artists is Cali’s own, Blu. I’m fairly positive that I own everything Blu has dropped, from he and producer Exile’s classic rookie studio release, Below The Heavens, to his more recent work with MED on The Burgundy EP and Nottz on Gods In The Spirit. The “Herfavorite guy” (shoutout to Marty) has been active over the last several months, and just recently, he and LA producer Knxwledge teamed up to gift our ears with “Draginbreff.” This single is part of the larger Classic Drug References Volume One compilation album, which you can buy here. Supposedly, this is an older Blu verse, but I don’t really care…because it’s a Blu verse. Besides the smooth flow, the trumpets on this track basically make it what it is, which is dope as all hell. Check the fly shit below:

Vic Spencer’s ‘Red Button Series’ finale: “Run Roughshod”

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It’s been a while, hasn’t it? A hiatus of a bit over two months was more than long enough, and for whatever reason, I’m ready to get back to occasionally blogging on this page. Yeah. That.

If you’re familiar with Chicago MC Vic Spencer, you were probably hipped to his Red Button Series, which debuted in September. Spencer dropped a new track on each Monday and the first was “The Newport 500,” produced by Marc Moulin and The Jet Age of Tomorrow, featuring Monster Mike on the bars. Aggressively attacking each line, Spencer wanted to keep his fans amped for his November release, The Rapping Bastard, by giving their ears something to consume in the time being. With dope bars, insane production and “Vic Spencer-like” cover art, RBS was not something entirely new, as it has been done before, but admittedly, I don’t think I’ve ever come across an artist who so often put out B-side tracks that could have easily been on his album.

“Run Roughshod” serves as the finale for RBS, and it’s a fitting one. The Barry White loop is dope (guess what song it’s from and win a buffalo nickel!) and Spencer lets it be known to anyone within earshot that he’s done the music thing before, is doing it now, and will continue to do it in the future. Is his tone harsh? Yes, as always, but very few artists can spit with that demeanor and be taken seriously. Spencer is one of them, as I can personally attest that his persona is nowhere near contrived. RBS may be over, but it delivered a few gems, my personal favorite being the Word Mann-featured “Foes.” I know “V-i” has some more dope up his sleeve, and will deliver it when the time is right. Check out his SoundCloud page for the rest of the tunage. For now, Red Button Series, out.