Crew Love: The March Edition

03.31.12 6 years ago 10 Comments

The Ides of March have come and gone and we’ve celebrated the month long with songs. And shows. And SXSW. Add in sports and March ranks as our absolute favorite month on the calendar. As April showers approach, we gathered up the tracks that kept us humming along for the past thirty days. It’s Crew Love, champ. No weak links in the chain. Respect our reign.
Slaughterhouse – “Hammer Dance” — Quite gracious of Budden (currently the rapper with the illest sports references) to do a full 16 bars instead of trading line for line with Royce as they originally intended, leaving Nickel on hook duty. It worked out because it isn’t crowded with four rappers competing for your attention. Just 3, and as far as who bodied the hypnotic Korn-inspired track, I’m on the fence between Crooked and Budden. One thing’s for sure: araabMUZIK made a certified banger for the first offering from their 2nd LP, Our House, out May 15. — Teef

Slaughterhouse – “Hammer Dance”
Cee-Lo Green – “Anyway” (Prod. by Wallpaper) — Considering Cee-Lo is almost at Snoop Dogg status, with his public character practically superseding his music at this point, I’m really surprised his single with party-producer Wallpaper hasn’t taken off. Laced with licks of luscious guitar and uptempo drums to rock any party right, this highlight from the re-release of Lo’s Lady Killer album is dedicated to those folks in relationships that don’t always ante up, but still somehow come out on top. On behalf of all every one of us, I’d like to thank the Lord for love. — BEWARE

Cee-Lo Green – “Anyway” (Prod. by Wallpaper)
The Shins – “Simple Song” — Fuck you, James Mercer. You blew up The Shins out of your own hubris and boredom, but came back this year with a “revamped” line-up. And, boy, is it “revamped”: you’ve got a dude from Fruit Bats, some chick and several other randoms. People should hate you, but, damn, is it hard to curse your existence when you make gigantic pop numbers like this. But really though–fuck you. Also, thank you. — Ryan J.

The Shins – “Simple Song”
Swizz Beatz feat. A$AP Rocky – “Street Knock” (Prod. by araabMUZIK) — Swizz Beatz has never been one of the game’s premier lyricists: not by a longshot. But he’s had an ear for street anthems from the jump and fresh off his Grammy win with Mr. S. Dot, it appears he’s put away the designer labels & paintbrushes long enough to cook up a new heat rock for the hood. Joined on the mic by Harlem upstart A$AP Rocky, the two pop their respective brands of shit over an hyperactive araabMUZIK instro that sounds like it could’ve been a long lost bonus cut off of one of the Ryde Or Die comps. Uptown’s gonna love this one. — Amp

Swizz Beatz feat. A$AP Rocky – “Street Knock” (Prod. by araabMUZIK)
Clipse – “Dirty Money” — It isn’t hard to see why we at TSS are waiting on baited breath for a Thornton family reunion. Over an incredibly infectious Neptunes beat, the Clipse brothers take listeners on a lavish journey. It probably won’t set a good example for your kid brother, but it’s hard not to grin along with Push and Mal’s boasts. — AJ

Clipse – “Dirty Money”
Juvenile Feat. Lil Wayne, Turk & Paparue – “Rich Niggaz” — I’ve said it once, and I’ll be more than happy to say it again. Cash Money Records was everything to a young middle schooler, soon-to-be high schooler like myself in the late ’90s and early 2000’s. Juvenile’s 400 Degreez continues to stand the test of time as not only as one of the legendary New Orleans label’s greatest albums, but Hip-Hop in general. Any song could’ve fit here. However, a wide eyed, too cocky for his age and relatively sober Wayne, classic verse from Juve and now nostalgic offering from Turk was just too much to ignore. — J. Tinsley

Juvenile Feat. Lil Wayne, Turk & Paparue – “Rich Niggaz”
Kendrick Lamar Feat. Gunplay – “Cartoon and Cereal” — Take one part weird as hell and two parts awesome; you’ll likely end up with this track. Much credit goes to THC on the boards for creating an eerie, compelling beat fined tuned for Kendrick and Gunplay’s words. Let’s hope TDE can keep efforts like this going at Dr. Dre’s stomping grounds. — S. Cadet

Kendrick Lamar Feat. Gunplay – “Cartoon and Cereal”
Nas Feat. Jay-Z – “Black Republican” — This is as underrated a song as one featuring two of the best emcees ever can be. While both artists turned in strong performances, I’ve always been in love with this beat. The triumphant march from The Godfather sequel is augmented with skittering snares and subtle high-pitched synths that mimic the tinnitus induced by playing the track repeatedly at a high volume. — Greg Whitt

Nas Feat. Jay-Z – “Black Republican”
The Killers – “When You Were Young” — In its own right, Sam’s Town is a great album. There’s just something about this song that stands out from the rest. From the vocals to the instrumentation to Jesus being the standard for attractiveness, I can (and have) listened to it for hours on end. — MZ

The Killers – “When You Were Young”
Gil Scott-Heron and Jamie xx – “I’ll Take Care Of You” — All credit due to Drake and co-star Rihanna for making “I’ll Take Care” of you a radio hit and conversely casting a bit of light on the original Gil Scott-Heron x Jamie xx version. Hearing Drake’s version lead to a discussion with my teen about who GSH was & his importance. Plus, my KOOL-altered voice mimics Gil’s gravely tone much better than Rihanna’s. — Gotty™

Bun B Feat. Royce da 5’9″ & Redman – “Stop Playin” — With a lineup like this I’m pretty sure you know what to expect: bars. Statik Selektah provides the scratch chorus, and the beat is an excellent neck-snapping backdrop that puts the emphasis on the plethora of quotables that exist in all three verses. — Trackstar

Bun B Feat. Royce da 5’9″ & Redman – “Stop Playin”
Nipsey Hussle – “It’s Hard Out Here” — I had all but forgotten about Neighborhood Nip until I caught him performing out at The Smokeout Festival and from there it’s been nonstop Nip for the last few weeks. “It’s Hard Out Here” in particular re-emerged into my iPod as one of the standout cuts from Bullets…Vol. 1. The record is easily shows the Crenshaw rapper’s versatility to rhyme about more than just the West Coast stereotypes of gangbanging in 64s. — Raj

Nipsey Hussle – “It’s Hard Out Here”
Lyric Jones – “Trapped In The City Lights” — I really think we’re in a new great age of female MCs and Lyric Jones is one of the ladies leading the pack. The ATL spitter definitely has the chops and displays them while boxing with the heavy beat. After scooping up her CD at SXSW, I’m pumped for what’s next. — David D.

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