Sunday, February 21, 2016

The Witzard's Week In Rap: "Excellent Rapping" from Kendrick Lamar, ANTWON, Aesop Rock, Meyhem Lauren, Travis Barker & Yelawolf (February 15-19th Ed.)

"I gave that lil' cockroach life, and he blasted me / N****s made all those memes, and they laughed at me... He's got 11 GRAMMY nominations, y'all not equal / Maaaan, f__k these white people / My grandma died at 82, scrubbin' floors / and n****s still runnin' 'round beggin' for awards," Jay Electronica ferociously rhymed on "The Curse of Mayweather" Monday; nearly an entire verse-worth of disses aimed at his one-time "Control" collaborator, Kendrick Lamar. Although, President Obama's favorite emcee didn't seem to let Electronica's claims faze him, as he ended up winning five of 11 GRAMMY awards that very same night. I think it's pretty safe to say Kendrick effectively stole the show with his jarring live performance of "The Blacker The Berry/Alright/Untitled III," which juxtaposed he and a spirited Jazz band amidst an all-too realistic prison backdrop and a bonfire-lit African tribe scenario. Lamar told 2dopeboyz during a post-GRAMMY's interview that "Untitled III" and its predecessors stem from a "chamber of material from the album that I was in love [with] where sample clearances or something as simple as a deadline kept it off the album."

Hardcore-leaning LA emcee ANTWON unexpectedly announced his signing with Anticon Records early last week, seemingly on the sheer strength of his 2012-14 mixtapes End of Earth, In Dark Denum, and "debut" album Heavy Hearted In Doldrums. "Anticon will release ANTWON's DOUBLE ECSTASY EP [this upcoming April 1st], a five-track collaboration between ANTWON and producer Lars Stalfors. Clocking in just short of 20 minutes, DOUBLE ECSTASY is the San Jose native's most concise and impactful body of work to date," reads a recent Liberal Arts-sanctioned press release. The EP has been preceded by sparse Punk-indebted Stalfors-produced "Luv," an eerie, ominous Biggie-reminiscent ode to falling in [BLEEP] with a stripper.

"Today, I bring you "Rings" - the first song and video off my newly announced full-length solo LP The Impossible Kid, coming April 29 on Rhymesayers Ent. and available to pre-order now," recent Homeboy Sandman collaborator Aesop Rock wrote on Facebook. "'Rings" reflects my failure as a visual artist, and some of the regret I've experienced in regards to not pursuing it further," Rock continued. The Impossible Kid was fully self-produced by Aesop Rock himself, with instrumental help from Philly-based "Blisscore" band Grimace Federation, bassist Jeremy Lynch, and scratches courtesy of DJ Zone. Rob Shaw-directed "Rings" centers around Aesop Rock's apparent death and grizzly autopsy, which reveals his halved body to be chock-full of self-sufficient art supplies and "shapes falling out of the fringe."

"[Ive] been sitting on this joint for a minute, but decided to drop it now, since Kurt Cobain's birthday is this Saturday [February] 20th. PIATTO D'ORO drops March 31st and FTD airs on VICELAND March 3rd," Meyhem Lauren wrote within the brief Soundcloud description accompanying his latest IceRocks-produced "Teen Spirit." Lauren is a long-time friend and affiliate of charismatic chef turned rapper Action Bronson, who garnered wide-spread critical acclaim with his nearly flawless Respect The Fly Sh*t and Mandatory Brunch Meetings mixtapes. Meyhem Lauren can now call Bronson's Blue Chips 1-2 producers Party Supplies his label mates (and hopefully, sooon-to-be collaborators), as Fool's Gold will release his forthcoming album, PIATTO D'ORO.

Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker and Shady Records-affiliated Alabama emcee Yelawolf have seemingly reunited for a follow-up to their collaborative 2012 EP, Psycho White. "Me and @Yelawolf's new track, "Out of Control" is out now! Video created by @goldwatch," @travisbarker exuberantly Tweeted Friday afternoon. Jay Electronica and Kid Cudi's go-to videographer Jason Goldwatch helms Barker and Yelawolf's first collaboration in early four years, which is largely composed of "Out of Control" and almost instantly meme-able footage haphazardly cut together 3-4 micro-clips at once. Nothing's been announced quite yet, but my best guess is that "Out of Control" will likely end up re-appearing within Travis Barker's long-rumored follow-up to his 2011 Hip-Hop-centric solo album, Give The Drummer Some.

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