Crew Love

04.07.09 9 years ago 36 Comments

The soundtrack to our daily grind, all in a nice & neat format. You know what it is © Cliff Harris. It’s Crew Love.

Corey Bloom

C-Rayz Walz & Swave Sev – “The Family Crest”

This has to be one of the iller tribute songs I’ve heard, done by one of favorite MC’s for one my favorite duos. C-Rayz and Swave Sev pay homage to Gangstarr with cleverly worded web of the albums, songs, productions and musical significance that built the legacy. More than anything this song has sparked my annual Daily Operation or Mass Appeal debate which has dominated my playlist…Daily Operation.

Z-Man – “Street Creed Need Me”

Z-Man spits so much relevance on this one the whole song is a quotable. Topics cover the spectrum and the wordplay is seasoned with too many flavors to favor. Off the Machete Vox sampler Sneak Preview the DNAE Beats produced banger is undisputable, plus you can’t front on the title.

S. Cadet

Pac Div – “Shut Up”

This is the song of the week already and we didn’t hit the weekend yet. I might have to sneak into the studio at school just to hear the beat bang through the speakers. Until then these Sennheiser’s are gonna have to hold it down.

Patrick M.

Rick James – “Cold Blooded”

Unseasonably warm weather has my mind turning towards summer which means 1.) I’m thrown off by girls showing so much as a calf and 2.) it’s time to bust out the funk. This track, with its twangy guitars and James’ seductive crooning, has nary a cold blooded thing about it.

De La Soul – “A Rolling Skating Jam Named ‘Saturdays'”

De La Soul Is Dead has been at the center of some internal TSS debate, but we are unified on the brilliance of this track. The title hints at the old school feel of the song, but really De La has created a timeless good vibe jam. The beat bounces along beautifully, while the Plugs, assisted by Q-Tip, spit lines that both express their own flyness while showcasing their lyrical skills through wicked flow and double entendres. 5 days to work, one whole day to play.


Made Men – Classic Limited Edition

Okay, Benzino isn’t your favorite rapper. Probably the furthest from it. But dude was a hustler & he actually managed to churn out a few decent projects with Classic Limited Edition being at the top of the list. Now I know what you’re thinking. Made Men were basically The Almighty RSO revamped for the new millennium. But this is still a solid album with guest spots from The Lox, Mase, Big Pun, Master P & others. But don’t take my word for it; give it a listen.

Slim Thug – “Theme Song (Hoggs On The Grind)” & “Problem Wit Dat”

As much as I’m rooting for Slim Thug to bounce back with his sophomore album Boss Of All Bosses, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit I was a bit disappointed with the finished product. In hindsight, the album could have benefited from the first two singles released back in 07, when Thugga was still on Interscope. These two songs, along with the Dr. Dre produced version of “I’m Back“, provide a glimpse at what the album could’ve been.

Jesse H.

Adriana Evans – “Seein’ Is Believin’ (Remix)”

Don’t ask me how this ended up on my Crew Love picks. I only know that I love the instrumental on this, and that Shuffle can be really, really random sometimes.

50 Cent – “How To Rob”

Hey, remember when 50 Cent was making good music with clever lyrics? Oh, and remember when the Mad Rapper tried to have a career as a rapper? Good times.

Al Green – “Just For Me”

If I ran the Grammys, Lay It Down would have won album of the year. This song’s jubilant horns have the perfect amount pep to get you ready for spring.

Matthew Mundy

Biggie – “You’re Nobody (‘Til Somebody Kills You)”

I shouldn’t have to hype this track to anyone, and if you don’t already love it, then your life is fucked and useless. But damn – if you haven’t listened to it in a while, throw it on right now. The beat and the first two verses are absurd. But that third verse? Jesus Christ. It doesn’t even make sense – he spends the preceding parts of the song laying out the theme, and then he just straight eviscerates the third verse, spinning a gloomy, evocative yarn that ends with a wink and a nod at the listener – it’s unadulterated genius. ‘Dark-skinned Jermaine – see what I mean?’ Goddamn. Biggie. Wow.

Slaughterhouse – “Wack MCs”

It takes at least 10 listens to go through a Slaughterhouse tracks, owing solely to the sheer density of skills going on – one-liner after one-liner, extended metaphor after reference-laden tongue-twister. I usually find it tough picking my favorite lines out of these tracks, but I think Royce probably takes the cake on this one, with the ‘Pop Champagne’ reference and this bizarrely vivid bar to kick it off: ‘My nigga Jump-Off said it best – y’all niggaz married to the streets / I’m married to a bottle of Patron wearing a wedding dress.’ Ugh – sick.

Lloyd Banks – “Nipsey” (Freestyle)

1. The beat is ridiculous.
2. Banks is on a tear recently.
3. Banks is better with no hook.
4. No hook, ridiculous beat, a ferocious Banks, and you have all the ingredients for 2:47 of absurdity.
5. If Banks could ever channel his considerable talents into a full album – hell, a full mixtape – he could be amazing. As it is, he’s too stuck in the “make a song for the ladies, make a song for the club, make a song for the streets” formula to do so. But we can all hope that he’ll harness that talent one day, right?

David D.

B.O.B. – “I’ll Be In The Sky”

This is a direct carry over from dude’s GOP performance. Their energy was so off the charts that the song still makes me wanna do a dance and sing till I’m hoarse. And I kind of want a band to follow me around at all times.

The Dream – “Put It Down”

Christina’s boo makes me feel like I could smash 43 chicks with the wrath of Zeus for three hours each with no breaks. His songs appeal to a man’s want to feel like a beast in the bed and a girl’s want to get her back blown out. Everyone is happy.

Drake – “Best I Ever Had”

I wonder if Drake is kicking himself for not releasing So Far Gone in stores. It was platinum or at least gold material and this would have been his single. “My shirt ain’t got no stripes but I can make yo’ pussy whiiiiiiiiistle”

Trackstar The DJ

Tef Poe Feat. Rockwell Knuckles – “25 to Life”

I know I just put out a mix with dude on this very site. But I only fucks with amazingly talented dudes so it makes sense he stays in heavy rotation. Here, he’s rockin with STL freestyle legend Tef Poe. “Slangin hand to hand, playin Duran Duran”…c’mon now.

Born Wit It Feat. B.O.B.- “Dyin 2 Live”

I think this is what a lot of that uptempo/hipstery/emo-ish/jump up and down during the chorus with introspective lyrics type shit that’s coming out lately is supposed to sound like. But I don’t really like “Day N Nite” so what do I know?

Darius Sinclair™

Jimmy Castor Bunch – “Bertha Butt Boogie”

This track isn’t classic, but is pure comedy meets funk. Think Richard Pryor mixed with Sly and the Family Stone. Jimmy sarcastically sings of the girl and her sisters with the fat asses. You gotta love it because it’s like the theme song for Thick Thursdays.

Method Man & Redman – “Cereal Killer”

Red and Meth collectively are some clever dudes. They took a subject on serial killing folks and made it entertaining. “Ever hear of Jason?/ then you know my work/Down to the basement/the dog get it first.” It may sound morbid, but they keep the signature antics by adding obnoxious quotes: “Body you in supermarket No Frills.” Also can’t ignore Meth’s shout out to my state (NE). Hopefully more perfect songs like this are coming.

Landon A.

Cunninlynguists Feat. Cee-Lo – “Caved In”

A dirty cut from my Kentucky brethren that comes equipped with a guest shot from Mr. Perfect Imperfections himself, Cee-Lo. Kno delivers an earthy beat to accompany Natti and Deacon’s Southern twang while Cee-Lo Green The Soul Machine delivers spirituality on the hook. Not only beautifully arranged but I’ll be got damned if this won’t be the soundtrack to the work week. Take it with a High Life, a few Ports and call me in the morning.

Murs – “Freak These Tales”

Murs channel’s his inner Too $hort and drops some bonafide sex stories on that ass…(pause)

The Roots – “Lazy Afternoon”

As spring peeks its sun drenched face over the horizon and the winter coats are hurled violently into the recesses of my closet, a soundtrack to the weather is in the makings. This joint is always first to pop into my head. Brother Question provides the percussion that keeps my stride slow and relaxed while Brother Tariq provides the blueprint for my perfect day.

LC Weber

John Legend – “Ordinary People”

Maybe it’s the finely tuned keys or the tone of Mr. Legend’s heartache, but this song cannot find a way to get tired. I think we all have a friend or a friend of a friend who can do this song justice, but you ain’t never really felt this song until someone plays it for a room full of people who know all the words and bleed together as a collective whole. When you get that room of the brokenhearted, that’s when you realize we all been through it. We all get it. We can all play this song in the soundtrack of our lives.

Brenda Holloway – “Every Little Bit Hurts”

This is a woman whose pain you may never know. She sang with a torn consistency Alicia Keys could never in a million years master. I’m not talking the girthy heft of Aretha’s soul or Beyonce’s penchant for cry-gasm pop. No, Brenda sighed and died in her songs like a real woman. And Lord have mercy, did she ever empty her heart into the Motown microphone on this joint, locking the studio booth shut with tightly wound heartstrings. Just Brenda and the mic.


Invincible – “Taxicab Confessions”

A song about acknowledging everyone in the same light, because no matter your class, race or creed, scripts can get flipped in an instant. Delivered from the eyes of the driver’s seat, these three separate stories are the perfect visual showcase for one of the Motor City’s most descriptive and talented emcees.

Twista – “Victory Or Death”

After all the mediocrity coming from one of my former favorites, lately I’ve been rehashing some of Twista’s glory days. Out of all the verbal massacres this guy administered, none go as hard as “Victory Or Death.” Not only does he decimate the beat, and Bone Thugs, but the Crook County native does it in quite possibly the fastest flow I’ve ever heard. “Cuz like a lamb I was sacrificed for this verbal murder religion Imprisoned by my hunger to succeed.” Lord almighty. We miss ya’ Twist.


Cam’ron – “I Used To Get It In Ohio”

I’m typing this from my car and if you have a serious system in your vehicle, you should try letting this song bump in it. I guarantee you the other drivers at red lights will be green with envy.

Rich Boy – “Drop”

This is my dose of ignorance for 2009. Really, it’s a product of that SXSW trip we made, as Texans seem to love playing this joint on the radio. Another ridiculous song selection for the car sound system.

Jay-Z – “Allure”

“The allure of the game, keeps calling your name.” This song is so true, I sometimes don’t want to play it. But on a grey day, with slow traffic, I can’t help but light a Newport 100 and just zone out at one of Pharrell Williams’ finest compositions. Inhale. Reflect. Exhale. Repeat.


Mistah F.A.B. Feat. Trae – “This Real Life”

Still playing this song, can’t believe I was sleeping on F.A.B. for so long. Reality Rap always feels good.

The-Dream – “Fancy”

6 1/2 minutes of auditory bliss. You just keep waiting for the bass to drop and just when you think it won’t, it shows up at the last minute. This is how you truly how you let a beat build.

We wanted to switch it up a little by adding a dose of flavor to the Crew Love picks. Periodically, what you’ll see in Crew Love’s will be selections from those with a little more fame than ourselves, good-natured individuals with a connection to Hip-Hop. With their acclaimed SXSW performances under their belt & the release of Brooklynati on the horizon (May 12th!), I asked Von Pea of Tanya Morgan to get the ball rolling and bless all of us with what’s in current rotation & serving as inspiration for him.

Rapper Big Pooh Feat. Big Dho, Mykestro & D. Black – “Reality Check”

This joint was on Pooh’s last mixtape and it’s hard as shit. I can’t wait til the version without the DJ watermarks comes out. Mykestro killed it!

Pac Div – “Women Problems”

This is the only type of woman problem I enjoy having. And when the song ends, I don’t have to sleep on the couch!

Common – “Sex 4 Sugar”

Half the people I know hate this song but it’s something about that beat. This sounds like Common’s audition to become one of the Jungle Brothers.

Previously Posted — Crew Love

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