Showing posts with label Trap. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Trap. Show all posts

Saturday, 19 December 2020

DJ Zirk - 2 Thick + DJ Squeeky - Hog Killin'

Dj. Zirk feat. Tom Skeemask & Buck Shotz - 2 Thick (1993) 
This was the best 27 yearz ago & even better now. This scene was so DIY & regional they didn't give a fuck about what the outside world wanted because it didn't want them. Artists just wanted to be just as good or better than the other local Memphis artists. There was no internet file sharing so things were kept pretty insular and local. Sure Memphis rappers had heard west coast, east coast and Texan shit but none of them apart from the southern contingent had heard the Memphis stuff. It was all about killing it with the beats, verses & flows. Playing at the peak of your creative powers. This is surely what made the scene so strong and unique.

2 Thick is DJ Zirk's seminal and most sampled track. Zirk and DJ Squeeky were good friends. I have always assumed Zirk learnt his production chops from Squeaky but I might be wrong. DJ Squeeky is credited with creating the original trap beats around 92/93. He was also using rappers such as Tom Skeemask, Criminal Manne, Gangsta Blac & Yo Lynch who did the "double time flows & triplets"* People incorrectly now call this, 20+ years after the fact, the Migos flow. Anyway Squeeky & Zirc, the Memphis beat masters, often used the same pool of rappers I guess like Zaytoven, Metro Boomin and Sonny Digital did in Atlanta in the 10s. 

Hog Killin' one of the classic DJ Squeeky productions from I guess 94 (?) featuring Lil Grove, Outlaw & Criminal Manne. It's not on discogs that I can see but hey it's right here on the youtubes!

* Lucas Foster. See his 2017 DJ Squeeky article here.

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Beast Mode - Future

Future reasserts himself on this mixtape as one of the kingpins in weird Atlanta rap. Like Rome Fortune's Beautiful Pimp 2 last year, Future uses just the one producer here and keeps it short at 28 minutes. It all adds up to a wining combination. Perhaps other rappers need to take note of this. Everything's just way more cohesive and it's probably the best thing Future has done since his Pluto LP. The producer Zaytoven (great name huh?) is keen on jazzy piano and mournful strings sprinkled amongst the trap beats. It never comes across as backwards though, sideways maybe? The keyboards are sometimes minimal and sometimes they reach Aladdin Sane levels of absurdity. Lay Up's production is fine like a mini minimal symphony with a violin loop and a spooky piano. Future's trademark vocal slur, original flow and vocal effects are all present and accounted for. Some of this is experimental in a way that certain things have not been juxtaposed like this before. Hood raps over really baroque type of pop piano with brittle drum machines on Just Like Bruddas. That's really fucking strange. Real Sisters has really mental old school synthesisers played like I've never really heard before. They kind of swarm and swirl eerily. The centrepiece of the mixtape is the final track Forever Eva. Future's vocal is so slurred and a fucked with he's often incomprehensible. This is fine trap with great synth, abstract samples, choice beats and melancholy strings. I think this is about him being an ATL hood forever no matter what. He's a true bother forever. Well he's definitely keeping it strange for now and that's a good thing.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Ratchet & Trap Explained Part 2

"That description of ratchet doesn't really capture the stylistic essence of things like "Rack City" and all that followed it, though does it - "simple rhythms, kicks and claps, squelchy synth bass" - i'm not sure i can do any better, though! Deceptively simple, i think would be the first nuance i'd add. Mustard's tracks are like Dre's classic beats, in way -- not doing anything very flashy or obviously avant, but real groovy. harder than it looks, i'll bet. With Mustard, the signature features are the snare rolls with the paradiddle-like military feel, the HEY!HEY!HEY!HEY! Marine-regiment doing-drill chants, and, more recently, those re purposed and slowed-down 90s house licks and vamps."

This was left on the comments page of Ratchet & Trap Explained by the one and only Simon Reynolds. Now that's an explanation of Mustard & his ratchet. Onya Simon! To tell you the truth I thought Anonymous may have been him or some other such luminary.

Friday, 1 August 2014

Ratchet & Trap Explained

"Trap = derived from southern "gangsta" rap; particularly mid-2000s stuff like gucci mane, young jeezy, t.i. lots of intricate, rattling 808 percussion & snare sounds along with booming kick drums and bass. a lot of the original producers used a lot of big wall-of-sound, gothic sounding synths and there was a noticeable influence from electronic genres like trance and electro, but filtered through a rap production aesthetic. now a huge influence on rap, r&b and electronic music, and the production is often a lot sleeker and less bombastic."

 "Ratchet = term for the recent production style that draws on hyphy (e-40, keak da sneak, mistah fab etc), jerk music, crunk and g-funk. lots of simple rhythms, kicks and claps, squelchy synth bass. i think the term was originally used by lil boosie in Louisiana but now usually refers to west coast rap and r&b stuff like dj mustard, yg, ty dolla sign etc."

*This was left by an anonymous commenter. Thanks Anonymous I think you know your shit!

They've intermingled and cross-pollinated though haven't they and not just with each other but most other forms of 90s electronic music and some 90s rap ie. 666 Mafia, right?

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Sex, Drugs & R&B, Ratchet, Trap etc...With Cassie, Young Thug & Gucci Mane

Wow, I haven't heard the word heroin or been around it since the 90s. That was probably the last time it was fashionable, but hello it's one of Cassie's drugs of choice along with cocaine. This tunes got a bassline straight out of a 90s Metalheadz tune don't you reckon? Or maybe a No U Turn tech-step track. Maybe heroin's makin a comeback. I mean they're all into codeine so I don't see why not.

It's pretty clear here what Young Thug wants. He'll have a spliff and two cups stuffed with Lean. He be from Atalanta. Is there something in the water down there? I mean apart from cough mixture?

Well this one's pretty self explanatory. Weed & Lean be the drugs of choice here. You can really get inside this track's luxuriant wasted vibe, even without the weed & Lean. But they would help.

Great beatz from my main man DJ Mustard. It's a shame Mane didn't write a good song on top of it. More references to lean and not being able to feel your face. They're still on about gettin some pussy even though they've had so much lean they feel like they're "from outer space". That 'Hmm' bit is so irritating it ruins one of the best beats Mustard ever put down. What a waste.

Friday, 11 July 2014


Created a bit of discussion over at Mess&Noise with my thoughts on the new Total Control album. Someone called me Space Dickhead which I liked, might even change my name to that. Big ups to Anok, checkers, MelonHCST, Seahunt, __v & amazinglyblended.

You can check out my love here for Mikey and his cohorts Ooga Boogashere as well!

I'm not sure what the Mess&Noise meant by linking that Tinashe remix, by Drake, in the forum though (If it was sarcasm it didn't come across. They're a bunch of writers though surely they understand that sarcasm doesn't work in written text) As much as Drake might come off as a winging rich arsehole in his music (which I'm not even sure I really like) he does have some sense of the now and not just the resigned retro now. His tune Marvin's Room/Buried Alive is undeniably a milestone in rap culture whether you like it or not. My point on that post was how pointless are remixes (well 99.9% of them)? Having said that I love the original version of 2 On by Tinashe, that's a 2014 killa.

Random thoughts: What the fuck is the difference between trap and ratchet? Do I need to know? Should I care? C'mon all you micro-genre nerds what's lowdown?