Rome Fortune’s EP Drive, Thighs, and Lies dropped at the end of April, so I’m fashionably late on this one, but it’s well worth the wait. With the constant deluge of music these days, it takes a lot to A) make me care and B) actually be excited about something.
Drive, Thighs, and Lies is worth being excited about! Rome Fortune and Dun Deal, who produced the entire EP, have an undeniable chemistry. They’re both on the outer cusp of all the trap rap in Atlanta. While they can both fit in with what else is poppin’ out there, they both demonstrate that they’re quite unique and extremely capable of creating music that’s just slightly different than everything else and that stands on its own.
Despite what I said last week, Thugger sounds magnificent on “Smokin Aladdin.” I’m really, truly shocked that I haven’t seen every other suburban white kid blogger raving over this song like I’m doing right now. Thugger putting his own spin to it and reprising R. Kelly’s chorus from “I Believe I Can Fly” over Dun Deal’s skittering hi hats and horns? And referencing a Disney movie, no less? He’s screeching, singing, and quite probably higher than Aladdin and Jasmine when they’re soaring through the clouds on the magic carpet, and it’s dope. You know Robert Kelly and his leather skirts wish they could do a remix.
I feel awful saying this, but I also really enjoy the fact that Drive, Thighs, and Lies is six songs long. Less is more in these days of music overload.
Fly Ty ft. Juelz Santana, Cap 1 & Lil Durk – “Usher Raymond” Video
Fly Ty seems like he’s lived quite the life, and he’s only now embarking on the whole rapping thing. Originally from Jamaica, Queens, he served 15 years in prison for murder and attempted murder, and is a promoter in Atlanta now. The natural progression from there is to move on to rapping, apparently.
The whole group of promoter-turnt-rapper Fly Ty, Juelz Santana, Cap 1, and Lil Durk is a little curious, but works. My love for Lil Durk has been documented, and I really enjoy Cap 1’s music ever since his Clock Werk tape with OJ (spoiler alert, but I don’t actually see Usher Raymond in this video). I was beginning to think that it’s highly unexpected to hear Juelz Santana rapping, period, in 2014, but also that he’s rapping a hook that hinges on him repeating “They all here singing in the streets like Usher Raymond, Usher Raymond, Usher Raymond” A! We’ll take what we can get, I guess.
Since it’s been #DipsetyouDipshits all day every day this week, Ty Fly really dropped this Cricket-directed video at an appropriate time.
D Boy Fresh Ft. Young Dolph & Ike Miles “Bang Ya”
Seeing producer Drumma Boy’s rapping alter ego D Boy Fresh always brings me joy. After all, he delivered the gem “I’m On Worldstar,” as well as the “No Hands” beat, so whatever dude wants to do is more than fine by me, especially since he tends to be particularly adept at whatever he does. And for the record, I don’t have a problem with either of his names, unlike some of us here as TSS (*cough* Beware *cough*).
Out of everything I could say about “Bang Ya,” I choose to focus on the honesty in the song because it’s commendable. Clearly, D Boy Fresh, Young Dolph, and Ike Miles don’t have any time for games or actual expectations, and that’s fine by me.
I was going to take this space to say that I couldn’t think of a rapper who had progressed and improved more than Dolph in the last couple years, but then I went and read Gotty’s article for Dolph’s joint “Not No More” yesterday and he beat me to it. Dolph gets an “A Plus.”
J Stalin Ft. Too $hort – “F*ck That” Video
I came upon J Stalin’s “Fuck That,” and immediately a sense of relief washed over me. No, I’m not drunk, or on any other substances except over the counter allergy meds, which could very well be the reason I sound so loony. Instead, the combination of the Bay area beat and J Stalin’s general disregard were very relevant at whatever point in time I happened to hear it.
As I alluded to above, J Stalin is from the Bay, as just about anyone with a remedial understanding of what’s coming out of the Bay these days would figure out, over a beat like this. Add Too $hort, and you should just quit if you can’t figure it out.
With his eloquent economic commentary of “Fuck the economy, fuck hard times, fuck what you’re going through, give me all mine, every dime, Too $hort is delivering some wisdom while looking old as shit. On the flipside, one could argue that with age, comes wisdom, so we hope J Stalin is paying attention.
Lex Luger & Gangsta Boo – “Legal”
Has Lex Luger accomplished all that he’s set out to, production-wise, at this point? He was largely responsible for Waka’s ascent to popularity and resuscitating Juicy J’s career, crafting the Rubba Band Business tapes and most of the classic that is Blue Dream and Lean, not to mention working with Kanye, Beyonce, and Jay Z.
Most recently, he’s joined forces with A-Trak for Low Pros, maintaining his diabolical beats but incorporating some electronic pieces. He’s accomplished way more than most people expect to in their lives, and has a very long production discography on Wikipedia. Coincidentally, he’s also the latest producer to step from behind the boards and into the booth, with “Legal.”
Clearly, he’s paid attention to what happens when all the rappers he laces with beats in the studio. He has way more to say than I expected and Gangsta Boo makes me idly wish that Lex would do a whole project for her.
Also, living in Seattle, it’s quaint to hear people still rapping about things about “smoking marijuana all in public, you would think that shit is legal.”