The rap latest, in one fun-sized shot…
Busta Rhymes

Catching up and looking forward, Rapture & Verse relays to you news of OutKast promising a 2014 reunion (Clash news), and Q-Tip and Busta Rhymes (pictured) again scheming a one-on-one project before you say, “It’s about time, too” (see the video below).

After KRS-One’s dismissal of radio play (in last month’s column), Method Man has said he doesn’t want his albums reviewed. If we’d have known that earlier we never would’ve touched ‘Tical 0: The Prequel’.

Staying with the vets, Daz Dillinger is at loggerheads with the creators of Grand Theft Auto for use of his material that hasn’t come with a cheque to match, Masta Ace’s classic ‘Disposable Arts’ is up for reissue, and DJ Quik’s fire sale of all his equipment seems to have effectively retired him from the scene.

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Busta Rhymes/Q-Tip/Kanye West/Lil Wayne – ‘Thank You’

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The season of goodwill may be upon us, but that hasn’t stopped Trinidad James claiming New York is now at Atlanta’s beckon call, and Hopsin firing back by calling the RnV early season tip “the most garbage piece of rapper that has ever existed on the face of the Earth”.

Tyler, The Creator took to Twitter to give what for (sample quote: “he’s so talented but he’s making butt shit to make bread”), Jeezy has told Def Jam to handle his album correctly or he’ll leak the whole thing himself – all while being sued by the Hell’s Angels over logo similarities – and even recent Clash cover star Lorde has been forced to explain comments regarding the ‘relevance’ of Drake and Nicki Minaj.

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Single syllables:  Hookers + Messiah Complex = Heaven?

Part three in Ty’s ‘Kick, Snare and an Idea’ series brings more straight-talking, soul-baring/blaring and cheeky jewels, with a blurry DJ Spinna mix of ‘Knock Knock’ making for a light-headedly natural fit cutting through cold snaps.

Talking of reliable customers, Essa comes through with his usual assurance and gentlemanly chatter on the ‘FRMX3’ EP, kicking out seven tracks of revisions and off-the-tops that are a gift horse of free goodness. Metabeats’ hook-up with Action Bronson now has a synth-heavy injection of neon, ‘Hookers’ introducing one of the year’s finest potty-mouths to a VIP jam that’s sharp of shoulder pad.

The Charles Edison-produced ‘Messiah Complex’ toddles along as a fine banger for the Delusionists to confidently attack, backed with a class remix of ‘Poison’ which provides stark, angular returns to earth for the team of Ben Black, DBF and Slim Pickens.

The latest folk/Ouijaboard dirge from 2econd Class Citizen comes with a bassline to blow the cover of many a secret keeper; ‘Here Comes The Sun’ is the producer’s trademark instrumentalism casting dark silhouettes, and is the sort of spectre that occupies Sheffield’s Sniff & Morriarchi, who streak the ‘Brainwave Canvas’ 7” with eight shades of black that includes drastic weight-loss programme ‘High Blood Pressure’ and a remix from Telemachus; and Birmingham’s Night Movements, dividing ‘The 8th Circle’ into a four-way fear factor.

Royce da 5’9’s younger brother Kid Vishis steps up to step out of his sibling’s shadow, touting for big business in the new year and doing himself no harm on ‘Heaven’ as he splits open a drama-swirling stress-out made for scooping the streets up with. Joey Bada$$ scatters and swings with dub roll out ‘My Yout’ featuring Maverick Sabre, cementing his rep as high-grade prospect while pencilling himself in as summer stalwart – see also League of Extraordinary Gz’s ‘Let’s Go’ featuring Devin the Dude – and Childish Gambino’s ‘3005’ crafts a crisp strip of trap, well capable of making airwaves his own such is his effortlessly affable yet industrious delivery, setting up for a new LP just lovely.

Solid strength in numbers forged between Erick Sermon, Snoop and Method Man has ‘Let Me Explain’ creeping through the club’s back entrance, while Schoolboy Q’s curiously addictive ‘Man Of The Year’ beats its chest until ribs start cracking, over an emotionally humble, mystical epic.

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Joey Bada$$, ‘My Yoot’

Childish Gambino, ‘3005’

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ReaLPolitiks: crime, madness, car rides and doctor’s orders

Ice pick splatters, Mafia beat-downs, snuff flick seediness, callous street teaming, Necro’s long-term gift for interpolations on the hook and loops awash with hatred, Kool G Rap unloading brutality as if it’s nothing… The Godfathers’ ‘Once Upon A Crime’ will make all your new year’s death wishes come true. At times over the top but rarely dull, it’s a no-brainer, back to basics meeting of violent minds.

Hopsin’s ‘Knock Madness’ uses a few loose screws to entertain with, spraying shots as the energetic loose cannon out of Cali, infected with a particular Motor City insanity, carefully plays out his comedy and carnage between underground and mainstream and comes up with one of the year’s hits from far out.

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Hopsin – ‘Hop Is Back’

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Latyrx’s ‘The Second Album’ is Lateef and Lyrics Born to a tee, delving into soul therapy and funk fire, and loquacious, tongue-twisting brimstone that makes the 16-year wait from the first one worthwhile.

With a sagging funk fug that Madlib helps pull down, Dudley Perkins as ‘Dr Stokley’ shuffles along with a concealed sharpness. Capable of filling waiting rooms and refilling inhalers, in truth the stethoscope is not much of a new disguise.

Death Grips’ ‘Government Plates’ goes amp-trashing and revels as a free set of new wreckage, in contrast to Kasim Keto mapping out ‘Long Car Rides’; a set of crimson-skied instrumentals from the Brooklynite tricking your subconscious, cruising blissfully while acknowledging that the end of road is nigh.

With greater fatalism, Endemic’s ‘Terminal Illness 2’ puts his standard practices of drizzly, heart sinking boom-bap into the thick of battle with Roc Marciano, a host of Wu affiliates and Tragedy Khadafi; and the definite article S.Kalibre kicks parallel sludge when cocking back his ‘SK Ultra’ and totting up a mile-high body count.

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Death Grips, ‘You might think he loves you for your money…’

Kasim Keto, ‘Rat Race’

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‘Tape Measures

Fans of Flume’s hyper-coloured post-dubstep and R&B now have an extra mixtape at their mercy, ‘Flume Deluxe Edition’ featuring added bits of Freddie Gibbs, Killer Mike, Ghostface, Boldy James and Stalley.

Offering you membership to the Hellfyre Club, indie yard-stickers Busdriver, Open Mike Eagle, Milo and Nocando take front view seats for ‘Dorner vs Tookie’, a widespread mix of the boisterous and attentive with no fears about putting an INXS rework amongst its numbers.

Thirty minutes of cloud sounds and silver-lined trap are offered by principal haymakers in haze Main Attrakionz versus Tynethys, as Hell Razah takes the long route on ‘Ghetto Govt’, reaching out to plentiful extended family in a procession of confessional post-Wu gloom, anger brought to the boil and mundane tracklist boosters. A further grip of meh takes hold of the probing drawls marking Aaron Cohen’s ‘Potential Fans’ – an open-goal title, despite the best efforts of ‘Gottem Coach’.

Roc Marciano’s toothpick-chewing, ice-veined flow under fire, encouraging you to get comfortable before hogtying you, feathers the trigger across ‘The Pimpire Strikes Back’, Blaxploitation pushed forward by Alchemist, Lord Finesse, Evidence and Meyhem Lauren.

The ever-ebullient Action Bronson tackles a second stack of ‘Blue Chips’, making it sound all so easy over a variety pack of funk and freestyle-ready frolics (you need to hear the Jive Bunny-like mix-up of ‘Contemporary Man’), as “a young Zinedine Zidane” slings his slang over a random record job lot raiding his parents’ liquor cabinet.

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Action Bronson, ‘Blue Chips 2’ teaser

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Some (more) videos to watch…

^ Yancey Boys and Common stay surefooted ^

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^ Jman and Dr Syntax lay down terms and conditions ^

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^ Cage reigns in blood ^

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^ A$AP Rocky will always be blessed with love ^

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^ Micall Parknsun goes to door to door ^

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^ Step Brothers recreate The Krypton Factor ^

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^ And Ecid checks in ^

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Happy New Year to all R&V and Clash followers.

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Watch for a bonus Rapture & Verse, looking back at 2013 with a slew of guest contributors from the rap world, soon.

Find more of these columns here.

Words: Matt Oliver

The new issue of Clash is worth looking at, you know.


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