Hip-Hop Top 5 [Video Version] + Vinyl / Upcoming Picks: Lil Xan, Dr. Octagon, E-40 & B-Legit, T-Nutty, Flatbush Zombies, Black Milk

Posted by Billyjam, April 8, 2018 11:47pm | Post a Comment

1: Lil Xan Total Xanarchy (Sony Music Group)

Back in 1988 DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince released the hit single "Parents (Just Don't Understand)" off their album He's The DJ, I'm The Rapper (also on LP/vinyl). The song, that would inspire The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, was a statement about the older generation not understanding youth culture including the then new genre of rap/hip-hop; a music typically dismissed by parents and older music fans as an annoyance and passing fad. Fast forward 30 years and things have not changed much except now the disapproving parents are hip-hop fans themselves; albeit from an earlier totally different era who hardly recognize how "their" music has mutated into its latest wave; the dreaded 'mumble rap' phase.  Epitomizing this new school of hip-hop is the equally loved/hated 21 year old rapper Lil Xan (as in Xanax, his once drug of choice, or Diego as he likes to be now called) whose debut album Total Xanarchy was released on Friday. And if his tattoos, general goofy appearance and drug induced indecipherable lyrics weren't enough to piss off parents and older rap/hip-hop heads, the fact that he dared call the revered 2Pac "boring" sealed the deal in his alienating those over a certain age. Meanwhile a young new generation seemingly love Lil Xan as proven by the 157million YouTube hits (and as many on Spotify) generated by the single/album track "Betrayed." In addition to the regular version of this song, the short (36 minutes) 16 track album also includes a "Betrayed Remix (feat. Yo Gotti and Rich the Kid)" in addition to such other tracks as "Slingshot" (another already popular track), "Tick Tock (feat. 2 Chainz)" and "The Man (feat. $teven Cannon)" (new video below) all of which most likely today's parents just won't understand.

Lil Xan "The Man (feat. $teven Cannon)" from Total Xanarchy (Sony Music Group)

2: Dr. Octagon Mosebumps: An Exploration Into Modern Day Horripilation (also on vinyl/2LP set)

As noted by the official Amoeba review two decade plus later, Dr. Octagon "returns with Mosebumps: An Exploration Into Modern Day Horripilation (also on vinyl/2LP set), an LP as weird, fresh, and strangely beautiful as any of their earlier work. The beats are dark and entrancing, the lyrics are — as you’d expect — stream-of-conscious, attention-grabbing, and totally out there. Like superheroes returning to their home planet, rapper Kool Keith, DJ Qbert, and producer Dan the Automator are back, perhaps, just when we need them most. Mark this one down as another cult classic." Hopefully (and most likely) there will also be a forthcoming instrumental version of this album too sometime in the future. Further note that there is reportedly a pending regrouping of The Handsome Boy Modeling School: thePrince Paul and Dan The Automator duo.

Dr. Octagon "Flying Waterbed" Mosebumps: An Exploration Into Modern Day Horripilation (vinyl/2LP)

3: E-40 & B-Legit Connected & Respected (Heavy On The Grind)

Three solid decades later and they are still doing their thing; and doing it extremely well too! Vallejo super group / family rap crew The Click (formerly MVP back in 1988 when they dropped their first EP) that gave birth to the careers of members Suga T, D-Shot, B-Legit and breakout star E-40 are still holding it down, particularly the latter two as proven with this new duo release that on one of its 19 tracks ("Blame It") features all four members of The Click. As with Forty Wata's numerous recent era double and triple CD album releases, E-40 and B-Legit don't hog the spotlight but shrewdly share mic time with an array of younger generation rap talents such as the HBK Gang's P-Lo (aka Lil Stunna) who joins them on the album slapper "Boy" (see video below).

  E-40 & B-Legit "Boy (feat P-Lo)" from Connected & Respected (2018)

4: Flatbush Zombies Vacation In Hell (Glorious Dead Recordings)

Part of the so-called "Beast Coast" hip-hop movement, Brooklyn's underrated Flatbush Zombies trio, comprised of rappers Meechy Darko, Zombie Juice and Erick Arc Elliott, this week deliver the follow up  (seventeen months later) to their last, late 2016 full-length, 3001: A Laced Odyssey. Again appearing on their Glorious Dead Recordings label and with colorful psychedelic artwork, the album has an equally commanding title, Vacation In Hell.  Boasting 19 tracks (including the excellent "Headstone" - see video below) and clocking in at over an hour and a quarter the new album features such select mic guests as Joey Bada$$, Bun B, Jadakiss, A$AP Twelvyy, Denzel Curry, and Nyck Caution

Flatbush Zombies "Headstone" from  Vacation In Hell (Glorious Dead Recordings)

5: T-Nutty Return Of The Floheakin (Nutt Factor)

Longtime Sacramento rapper T-Nutty drops his new album Return Of The Floheakin on CD this week which is a sequel of sorts to the rapper, also known as The Flowmastermouth and The Last of the Flo Heakinz, definitive early career release, 2003's Last of the Floheakinz.   Return Of The Floheakin appears on the 24th St. Garden Blocc Crips member's own indie record label on which he released last year's Slangin & Bangin (his collaboration with Liq) and 2016's Blue Venom.  Initially released in digital form in late February, unfortunately the new album does not include the powerful, thought-provoking "Black Man's Paradise" recent recording by T-Nutty. The brand new song (see accompanying video below) tackles the controversial topic of the fatal shooting of fellow Sac-Town resident Stephon Clark who was shot by the police in his grandmother’s backyard in Sacramento on March 18th.

T-Nutty "Black Man's Paradise" (2018)


Vinyl/LP Version Release of the Week

                   Black Milk Fever vinyl/2LP set version (already avail in CD) (Mass Appeal)

Detroit producer/emcee Black Milk kills it with his new album Fever out on vinyl/2LP set this week following its CD release two weeks earlier via the Nas imprint Mass Appeal Records. The fact that the former J Dilla collaborator (who he considers his main influence as producer) handles all production as well as mic duties on the album makes it extra impressive. The album's standout cuts include "Drown," "True Lies," "Foe Friend" and the hypnotic jazzy/African fused "Laugh Now Cry Later." Peep the song's accompanying music video below and check this space in the coming week for the Amoeblog Black Milk interview.

Black Milk "Laugh Now Cry Later" from Fever vinyl/2LP set (also avail in CD) (Mass Appeal)

Upcoming Release (Pre-order item) Hip-Hop Vinyl Album Pick Of The Week

Various Artists Black Panther OST vinyl/2LP Pre-Order (avail on CD)  (Interscope)

Already out about six weeks in its CD format version is the excellent Kendrick Lamar curated Black Panther original movie soundtrack on Interscope.  But upcoming on May 11th will be the Black Panther vinyl/2LP that you can pre-order now. For the star-studded soundtrack to the Ryan Coogler directed Marvel hit movie, that topped the charts upon its initial release, Lamar enlisted the likes of SZA, Travis Scott, ScHoolboy Q, 2 Chainz, The Weeknd, Jay Rock, Future, and James Blake.  The latter three appear with Lamar on "King's Dead" (music video below).

Kendrick Lamar, The Weeknd, Jay Rock, Future, and James Blake "King's Dead"
from Black Panther OST vinyl/2LP Pre-Order (avail on CD)  (Interscope)

Relevant Tags

Dj Qbert (21), T-nutty (1), E-40 & B-legit (1), Flatbush Zombies (5), Black Milk (2), Dr. Octagon (4), Kool Keith (23), Lil Xan (1), Dan The Automator (12)