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Allow us to reintroduce ourselves: Our name is Rec-Room Therapy. Each week, we discuss recent hip-hop tracks.

Today, Diddy is feeling Puffy and finna get loose; Ty Dolla $ign offers another blasé song with Future, and David Banner’s uzi weighs a ton.

As always, our distinguished panel consists of  Marcus Dowling, Jose Lopez-Sanchez, Clyde McGrady, Phil R, and Weird City Fest’s Aaron Miller.


Puff Daddy & the Family ft. Pharell Williams: “Finna Get Loose”

P Diddy and the Fam, who you know do it better? No one? A lot of people? Doesn’t matter, because they’re back regardless, at least in name. In the wake of a Bad Boy reunion at the BET Awards, Sean Combs has released “Finna Get Loose”, which features… no one else from Bad Boy’s golden years? OK. It does feature Pharell Williams on the hook and presumably production duty. (The beat channels N.E.R.D.’s original version of “Lapdance” pretty hard.) The song is part of the Diddy – or is Puff Daddy for real now? – comeback effort, MMM, which we last discussed way back in February of 2014 with “Big Homie”.

MARCUS: So this is what the final circle of hell sounds like, right? This is the limpest “Lapdance” knock off production ever, and makes what Pharrell did for “Blurred Lines” as a knock off “Got To Give It Up” sound robust, exciting and progressive by comparison. Of course, when you remember even deeper that the original version of “Lapdance” was this milquetoast and bullshit synth thing and that they went back in and re-recorded the entire thing with live rock guitars and drums, then it’s just a vicious cycle.

Diddy’s the worst lazy rapper ever. I mean, he’s not the best motivated rapper ever either, but when he gets lazy (as he is here), he sounds like a cheap parody of a guy who wore shiny suits 20 years ago wearing a shiny suit in the middle of dudes in skinny jeans or his fellow older rappers wearing conservative business suits. Diddy don’t care though because he’s going to take this Puff Daddy and the Family thing on tour and it’s actually going to sell out buildings everywhere. I mean, these hopefully won’t be enormous arenas (because those won’t sell out), but hell, for the chance to hear Ma$e rap “Feels So Good” again, I’d go to Fillmore Silver Spring (and you would too).

This is the song that comes on when Puff is winded onstage and says, “Let’s play some new Puff Daddy hits,” and in the big markets, he brings out Pharrell so that people don’t see this as the pee break.

But this is SO BAD. Yikes.

PHIL: Pharell and Puff are trotting out nostalgia for a moment in time that no one misses. What focus group approved this? It had to be made exclusively of late-20s bros who bought In Search Of, right? This is giving me flashbacks to dudes in pooka shell necklaces close-talking me about what N.E.R.D. really stands for, man.

I think we’ve come to accept – embrace, even – that No Beat Ever Really Dies with Pharell because, you know, who gets sick of a rubbery bass line and congas? Guy could put out a “Feds Watching” every week and you won’t hear a peep from me. But “Lapdance”? I’m good, thanks. He has to outsource stuff like this to his interns.

I will, say, however that 5:00 a.m. partied-out, coming down Diddy rules. Who is this raspy old man? Please tell me he’s here to stay. From now on, Puff can’t enter the studio on less than 48 consecutive hours awake.

JOSE: Diddy sounds like an old man shouting at his grandkids as they’re leaving the house. “Where you from? Where that at? Where you heading? What is that?”

I get that they’re on that nostalgia/money-grabbing tour that seems to be the elder statesman rite of passage for any popular 90s/2000s musical act, but please, please, please, stahp.


I’m not even being snarky. That’s literally the reaction I had standing on a street corner, listening to Diddy’s geriatric interrogation.

He can’t stop. Won’t stop. But seriously though, he needs to stop. Not you, Pharell. You’re good.

AARON: Sounds a n***a finna get Alzheimer’s.

It also sounds like a hot 64 bars of a crazy street person yelling at his reflection in the window. The Diddy we grew up on was wack but you forgave him because he was in charge. He got in on the ground floor of the Illuminati and we begrudgingly approved because we had to… because Biggie or whatever.

Not this Diddy. This is obviously a crazy man that will hit you with a kettle bell.

I am shocked at how bad this is but it did remind me of a few things:

I forgot about how dumb a Pharrel beat can sound when there is no one cool on it.  It’s strange how slick Pharrell can sound when he’s at his best. When the beat gets stupid and the hired talent is lacking, dude just sounds like he’s on the bus singing loud with headphones on pissing everybody off.

I forgot that heavy breathing and yelling is Diddy’s signature move. My man sounds like fucking Jadakiss doing a Harry Belafonte impression on this track. Shit is rough. He may have rap cancer.  He should see a doctor – maybe even Dr. Dre. That would have been a much better old dude, rap gazzilionaire team up. This shit right here is ass.

And what’s with the weak repurposed Public Enemy Terrordome flow? [Seinfeld voice]


Ty Dolla $ign ft. Future & Rae Sremmurd: “Blasé”

Almost two years have passed since Ty Dolla $ign released his Beach House 2 mixtape, which boasted the breakthrough cut “Paranoid”. (Early 2014 for-sale EP, Beach House, contained his other significant hit “Or Nah (Remix)”). Now, following last year’s $ign Language mixtape, he’s preparing a proper full-length debut. “Blasé” is the fourth single, following the Dipso-produced “Stand For”, Tinashe-Charli XCX kinda disaster (and kinda hit) “Drop That Kitty”, and a bread-and-butter sinister DJ Mustard banger “Only Right”. And like most of Ty Dolla $ign’s singles, “Blasé” features a lot of other people, in this case Future and Rae Sremmurd. It was produced by Cali the Producer and DJ Spinz.

PHIL: Does it hurt, Future haters? Do you wake up at night and try to convince yourself that Future didn’t comeback from the (commercial!) disapointment of Honest to own the summer of 2015?  Do you wish it was all a nightmare? Well, I guess it’s your nightmare regardless, but it’s happening. “Fuck Up Some Commas”, “Jump Out the Face”, shit, even “3500” – they’re not going there. And Future’s doing it using the druggy mumble flutter flow that he perfected over the course of his grotesque mixtape trifecta. He drinks your tears. He drinks em up!

Anyway, “Blasé”. I guess if Ty Dolla $ign is gonna make his “Fuck Up Some Commas”, he might as well go get the same producer and the same Future to do it for him, right?  What exactly does Ty do? Is he a singer? Is he a rapper? Is “professional talker” a thing? And since when is he “whipping a brick”? Ty Question ?ign.

Second best “Blasé” of the past year. That’s not so bad.

JOSE: Dammit, Phil. This is definitely a stealth banger, and even though all of Future’s recent songs sound exactly the same to the untrained ear/everyone, the slab set is going to be playing this every time they pull up, from now until October.

I accidentally left it on repeat for the last 15 minutes, and have no idea when this song ends and when it begins. I’m kind of dizzy now.

CLYDE: These Rae Srummerd dudes look 15 but sound like they’re 12. And it pains me every time I have to pronounce that name because it is so dumb. Hey, it’s Ear Drummers backwards, but not really! But they are definitely #1 on my list of #turnup rappers and I genuinely anticipate any song that I see they’re featured on.

I wouldn’t recognize Ty Dolla $ign if he walked up and snatched the headphones right out of my ears but I throw him in the same dust bin of Boring Assholes Talking Somewhat Rhythmically Over Beats as Travi$ Scott. Also, fuck both these dudes for making me hit the shift key just to stylize their names.

Nayvadius, we good.

I can’t think of a more apt song title to describe my feeling towards this song.

MARCUS: Fucking hell. As soon as we get Big Sean to a point where we can actually position the smoke and mirrors in the proper places to convince people that he’s a big boy rapper who can make big boy moves, here comes Ty Dolla $ign into that old Big Sean position of being “that one rapper who had that one song where he said that one thing.” The only question remaining now that Future and Rae Sremmurd have joined the ever-growing lists of “people who have guested on Ty Dolla $ign track to make him appear relevant” is just how long does this man stay under contract to Warner Bros. before he gets dropped. Do we ever see his full-length debut? I don’t know.

As a song, Future crushes the hook, which given how simple it is for Future to crush hooks with with less than ten syllables, says everything. As well, as long as people are convinced that Rae Sremmurd are 12-year olds talking about things that 21-year olds do, they’re going to be superstars. God help them when they hit 30 and suddenly start to look like old ass men rapping about old ass men shit. That’s gonna suck.

But yeah. I’ll hear this in the club 100 times and watch everyone look at their cell phones while they wait for that Drake song. Because if we’re not doing that in the clubs right now, then what in the hell are we doing in the clubs, right?

AARON: I would like you to imagine that you are a hip-hop fan in the year 2000 (shit, even 2005) that hit a magic blunt and fell asleep until the summer of 2015. Rap Van Winkle, if you will.

How do you deal with this? How do you process the modern abstraction of the Game and adapt? How do you pick up where you left off?

YOU DON’T THAT’S HOW. You die of shock plain and simple. The mind folds in on itself, madness takes over and you cease to exist because the world has no place for you.

I have long been willing to accept that there is something about Future that I “don’t get”. I try so hard, Phil, I do. I can’t. He still sounds and looks like a dope boy got lost in the woods and raised by Muppets. My hatred for these illiterate trap-singing goofballs is limitless and irrational. Sometimes I hate a rapper so much that for a single fleeting moment I understand what it’s like to be racist. If only there were an offensive outdated flag that I could fly as a tribute to my small minded hatred of these half ass rappers.

It’s a flag that Phil would no doubt risk life and limb to scale the pole and remove. He will be regarded as a national hero and we will crowd source his bail money.

I have looked into the void and seen into the mind of the beast and he is vicious and stupid and has no chill. I can’t wait for this fad to pass. Oh wait it won’t because this, for better or worse, the future of mainstream bullshit and does not appear to be losing momentum.

Also, why did anyone not tell those little Sremmurd imps that Ear Drummers is a much cooler name?


David Banner ft. Big K.R.I.T.: “My Uzi”

David Banner and Big K.R.I.T. – the twin titans of Mississippi rap – have yet to make an album together. How is this possible? Who is fucking up? They previously had  only one single to their collective name, 2012’s “Believe”. But now, with “My Uzi”, they have two. The track is from Banner’s awesomely titled forthcoming LP, The God Box, and was produced by the elder emcee himself.

MARCUS: So, who’s going to abide by an industry that releases a Chris Brown and Tyga collaborative album while Big KRIT and David Banner are just sitting here making melodic quasi-odes to Public Enemy? I mean, Jesus. I don’t know if you can make an argument for the music industry being a poisoned pit filled with the last idiots left in the room aiming for the lowest hanging fruit better than this track from what will likely be David Banner’s independently released album. I mean, what does it say about the music industry caring about black lives mattering and uplifting the futures of black youths (and those influenced by the music they create and listen to) if a guy who is known for someone dating someone barely legal enough to have sex with and the guy who beat Rihanna’s ass get an album with major label publicity, while these two literal heroes of the race and culture just sit in the digital ether making important music.

Kendrick’s next album is gonna include KRIT and David Banner. Just calling it now. Revolutionary minds making revolutionary music is something I can get behind for certain.

JOSE: This song took a bit to get going, but holy shit that verse by K.R.I.T. was worth the wait. I also really appreciate the fact that neither one of these guys are particularly corny – after listening to that Ty Dollar track, hearing two dudes rapping about some real damn shit is a welcome change. Banner’s still got it, but I gotta say that KRIT steals the show, and the keyboard vamping behind his flow takes the track to another level.

I don’t really care for the hook, but the beat has some pretty interesting changes, all with a continuous (and dare I say elegant?) trap beat.

CLYDE: Easily one of the best post-Ferguson, post-Freddie Gray, post-Eric Garner, post-This-shit-has-happened-too-many-damn-times verses I’ve heard.

Thanks Krizzle.

PHIL: The first time I heard the orchestral bridge, I sincerely thought that a “Jurassic World” ad had popped-up on my phone.

CLYDE: Dude, I half-expected a Jeff Goldblum voiceover to come in.

AARON: Hold. Up. This jams.

It’s tracks like this that prove that hip-hop is still important and vital.

There is no other medium (except for maybe actual rioting) that can deliver this kind of message. Loving the Bun B sample and that big breakbeat sound.

I’m thinking these two could make an RTJ quality album together if they wanted to. This is excellent and Marcus pretty much nails it. We live in an unfit world where Rae Sremmurd just walks around getting money and these rap visionaries ride the fringe of the underground.