Curren$y and Trinidad Jame$ get trippy this week as Mac Lethal recreates a beat with hair products and Malik B & Mr. Green come correct.
Curren$y featuring Trinidad Jame$ - "Killers"
"Everything I do, I kill it," Curren$y chants on his latest track "Killers." Maybe it's his selection of beats or just the fact that he's high all the time, but Spitta has a way of always making you feel pleasantly comatose while he rhymes. On this track the underwater-sounding beat flows while Curren$y sets sail over it, delivering bars about being "major without a major deal," and flipping around the meaning of "killer" from being crooks to having "killer broads" back to "killer" as a euphemism for weed. Then Trinidad Jame$ jumps in with his "no fucks given" mentality and really kills his verse - in a good way. Despite what some of the C-section banter says, TJ did a good job working with what he's got. Sure, the track is pretty short, but who cares about all of that. Both Spitta and TJ got their respective points across and killed it. Hopefully we'll hear more from this pairing in the very near future. - Kathy Iandoli (@kath3000)
Mac Lethal - "Wiggaz That's Hairless"
The title of Mac Lethal's latest video doesn't do it justice, "Dude remakes a Kanye West song with hair products." What sounds like some disposable YouTube cheese to watch after your daily dose of "Charlie Bit My Finger" actually turns out to be a triumph of creativity that for two and a half minutes is capable of making us forget this thing called Yeezus even exists. Forget for a second that Mac Lethal is bald, what's so impressive about him using hair products to recreate "N**gas In Paris" is that he's finding the rhythmic and melodic possibilities in sounds that most people consider noise. After you watch Mac dump a buzzer into a Midi keyboard, sample a blow dryer, knock a straightener against a mic to get a kick sound and use a hair brush as a shaker and scissors for hi hats, seeing some guy play a PVC pipe xylophone or a drum made out of a gourd just looks lazy and cheap. "Wiggaz That's Hairless" isn't just a tutorial on how to craft a beat using objects that to the untrained ear seem devoid of sonic possibilities, but it's also a throwback to the days of real industrial music, when artists would forego synthesizers and create disconcerting melodies using metal machines. After this phenomenal achievement, Mac Lethal has every right to get do some bragging a la Kanye when it's time to start killing it with his triple-time rhymes. Instead he reminds us that it's still all about the hair...or lack thereof. - Michael Sheehan
Malik B & Mr. Green - "Devil"
This week, one of my most pleasant surprises was "Devil" by Malik B & Mr. Green. I've been a giant fan of Green's production style since his breakthrough work on The Only Colors That Matters Is Green with Pacewon. However, it's refreshing to hear him try something outside of the Outsidaz clique. Malik B is one of the best '90s emcees in Philly. Living there for over a decade, I hear my share of stories. Having heard "The Water" in 2002, I was always greater intrigued by the man who had public addiction battles. Anyone who heard Game Theory or Rising Down knows that he's contributions to The Roots are immeasurable and go well beyond his active/inactive status in the group. I'm deeply looking forward to Unpredictable, the album from the pair. "Devil" is a nice view of the city's underbelly. With Philly still carrying ties to its rugged reputation of the '70s, '80s, and '90s, this lyrical display was tangible to me, and easily one of the songs/videos from the week that deserves greater recognition. - Jake Paine (@Citizen__Paine)