Due to the recent election, people feel no need to keep pumping their fists. It’s as if they’ve been tricked to believe that the years of hatred has been erased with one achievement. If you’re one of the ones that fell into this trap, stay tuned… for some post-election rap jams/news from Playboy Tre, who last month dropped a brand new street album/mixtape titled Liquor Store Mascot.
My partner Tally put me up on Tre’s excellent 2008 mixtape Goodbye America, which noz called a near classic— I think it’s an absolute classic and one of the most criminally slept on street albums of last year. In a sense Liquor Store Mascot feels as if it should have been the precursor to Goodbye America, rather than the other way around. LSM continues with the same themes, same relentlessness, but it is more dramatic, more nightmarish, and even funnier (Bobby Ray asking “what about HAM Squad? How am I supposed to smoke all these HAMs by myself?” gets me every time.) The themes here, on the track above and on the mixtape about crime, poverty, race, alcoholism, police brutality and the recent increase in gun sales and gun club membership in the Obama era.
I still haven’t fully wrap my ears around the tape or even this track, “Breakin’ News,” which is dense, and Tre is reflecting on deep, serious problems (like Oscar Grant‘s shooting in the Bay) but his flow is so deceptively disarming with that Georgian accent and Southern drawl, the grand social comments (and criticisms of Obama) like “ain’t nothing change in the streets we walk” or “the president’s black but the neighborhood sad” just breeze through, as if they are of no significance– just a drunk talking shit over beats.
I don’t like Luda, but he’s alright– I have been saying that for a decade. Here, Luda warns the government about trampling voices of dissent and encourages said voices to reassert themselves, after the euphoria and noise. Busta shouts out Obama, empathizes with struggling people, –the starving, the evicted, the unemployed, etc. In the middle, there’s that Willie kid. Why is Barack O’Drama always shouting? We are already listening to our music at very dangerous dBs. Deafness descends upon all of us. Sounds bleeding out of our earbuds and headphones, in trains and buses, the constant blasts of noise in New York, sound levels at clubs are usually over 120 dBs. I was at Que Bajo?! for about three hours last night, and my ears are ringing right now. I was briefly exposed to that wobbly monster Geko was in search of in Colombia. To conclude this, a whole generation is at risk of premature deafness and the DJ business is loudness.
Empty fridgerator and pissy elevators… welcome to Queens? And it’s 1997 all over again! The image of the pissy elevator as a prominent identifying feature in mid to late nineties New York rap is as significant as say the scuffed timbs. I liked Wallabees and Mountain Gear better then.
Recession Rap Jams, mixed with the struggle, alcohol, and the kick!
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