I put together an oral history of Rammellzee & K-Rob’s Jean Michel Basquiat-produced bug eyed rap classic “Beat Bop” over at Spin, stitched together from an old Rammellzee interview and new comments from K-Rob, percussionist/graffiti writer Al Diaz, TV Party's Glenn O'Brien and Profile Records founder Cory Robbins. It's a great record and you should read about it and listen to it.
Ten years after from their last major record, Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, we trace Big Boi and Andre 3000’s path from Southern vanguards to the most universally beloved rappers in the world with a career-spanning essay followed by separate pieces on each of their six albums.
Fat Trel & Uptown XO - “Straight Killa” (Mixtape, 2013)
Yes two of DC’s finest hitting “Streight Up Menace" speaks directly to my interests. XO’s a smart rapper, one who has long been attuned to sociology and consequences, and so he does a good job of anchoring Fat Gleesh’s usual reckless hedonism here. It’s like a more extreme version of the Pusha/Mal dynamic. They should make a full length together.
“CHUCK D: I just feel like cursing is kind of played. The Geto Boys took it as far as you could take it. When I went down South, the album that I could play that met the medium of everybody in the car—my sister-in-law, and my other sister-in-law, she’s 14, my daughter, my niece, they’re like three and four, my wife—so you know, I was surrounded by Apaches, I can’t be playing Boyz N the Hood soundtrack now. I got my tapes here—can’t play Robin Harris. You know who we ended up playing six times? L.L. Mama Said Knock You Out. It was hard enough for me, nice enough for the wife. It’s like the hardest pop record ever made. He made a fucking hard album without cursing.”