Allow us to reintroduce ourselves: Our name is Rec-Room Therapy. Each week, we discuss recent hip-hop tracks.
Today, Danny Brown and MF DOOM enter the Avalanches’ funhouse; Gucci Mane is out of jail; and Pusha T and JAY Z join Drug Dealers Anonymous.
The Avalanches ft. Danny Brown & MF DOOM: “Frankie Sinatra”
All of our songs this week could be prefaced with “In case you just came out of a coma…” The first unavoidable piece of news: Crate-digging Australian DJ troupe The Avalanches are back! It’s been sixteen whole since they left us. Now, on July 8, they release Wildflower. It’s first single is called “Frankie Sinatra” and it pair Danny Brown with MF Doom. There’s a crazy video, too
MARCUS: Festival folk rap.
You know, the best thing that EDM did was come along and make people who made music that was best when heard while experimenting with drugs and while frolicking in grass re-populate the musical environment. This song opens the door for a moment to exist where some asshole will wear a DOOM mask and hop around onstage with Danny Brown at a festival somewhere in the world (my guess is like, Australia). That’s kinda awesome, right? Like, I don’t think it’s *OH SHIT LET’S ALL DROP ACID AND PARTY* awesome, but it’s still kinda cool.
And that can be said for a lot of stuff floating around these days like that Interpol and RZA thing, too. It’s good enough to be like, the black truffle-flavored croutons in the festival salad, but not the steak or artisanal tofu.
I’m just here for steak and artisanal tofu, thank you.
AARON: What the fuck is happening here?
How did this team wind up on this Vaudville-ass beat?
Why are The Avalanches so good and so corny at the same time?
They have crazy skills. There’s scratching and weird samples and finicky loop digging. They are close to catching the vibe of some very legendary dudes like DJ Shadow, Mix Master Mike, Prince Paul etc.
But I just end up irritated every time.
Why do I hate good things?
Organ Grinder Monkey Made-It.
John Philip Sousa on the beat, son.
This is too much.
I cannot hate on Doom and Brown. I just won’t. But this is kind of goofy.
Imma go get blunted in my motorcar and hope the coppers don’t roust me.
PHIL: “Frankie Sinatra” is so goofy that it’s hard for me to dislike it.
The Avalanches transitioning to traditional song structures – verses and choruses – is an interesting twist, obviously brought on in part by the addition of high-profile guests. This results here are kind of a wash, largely because neither Danny Brown or MF DOOM really knock it out of the park.
I always find it funny when rappers think they need to reference the sample in their verses, like, “What’s the song about? Frank Sinatra? Hmm, OK, let me see what I can come up with. How about how I did it my way?”
This is the closest Danny Brown has ever come to a straight Eminem verse.
Why are DOOM verses always so low in the mix? Why do they always sound like they were recorded on shitty equipment in a garage at 3:00 in the morning?
I’m just devastated the Jens Lekman appearance didn’t make the final album and this song isn’t helping, even if it’s ultimately benign.
Gucci Mane: “First Day Out Tha Feds”
In other news: Gucci Mane is free! On Friday, the Atlanta rapper was released early from prison. Within an hour, he was reported to be in the studio. And much as with 2009’s “First Day Out”, he released a song less than 24 hours after seeing release. It’s a sequel of sorts, too, called “First Day Out Tha Feds”. Production comes courtesy of Mike WiLL Made-It.
MARCUS: Here’s the scene…
Weed Man: Ayo Mike? You got a beat?
Mike WILL: Of course. I mean, it’s $70K.
Weed Man: It’s for Gucci. I’m grabbing him from the pen.
Mike WILL: GUCCI?!?!? Aw shit. You ain’t say that. Tell that fool to break me off a rack at Magic City next week.
Rap’s a better place when Gucci is spitting Eazy-E bars on A-list productions. I mean, what if like, YG, Ty Dolla $ign or Meghan Trainor bought this track? Gucci’s a legend now, so we shouldn’t be surprised that this is like, flawlessly solid. People get so caught up in Gucci’s jail issues and forget that “Wasted” and “Lemonade” are two of the best 10 party rap songs of the decade. Like, choose any other eight, but you know that those two could EASILY be on everyone’s list.
Here’s to hoping this fool stays out for long enough to enjoy being both free and a legend.
AARON: While I am certain there is written proof of me hating on Gucci in the Rec Room archives somewhere,I am a hypocrite and generally approve of whatever he does now.
There is a certain depth of the cult of personality that you just can’t fuck with. Maybe I just didn’t have enough sauce back in the day, but as I acquire it I understand that I don’t understand. I’m not even sure why he is famous. He has terrible taste in everything. He can’t rap worth a damn. He is often times hard to understand and a terrible role model, but here you go have this
Mike Will Made some mushroom tea and flipped out for the intro. I feel like this beat is a teeny little breakthrough for him. A little glitch goes a long way. His shit usually bores me to death and he gets too much work. It’s not fair. Every time Mike Will makes another basic ass beat a genius bedroom producer is forced to get a job. Make a hiatus or something dog. Buy an island and go there for like six months, please.
I like this one, though.
I’m not sure Guwop should be rapping about masks and tape and shit just yet. Don’t get locked up before festival season there’s a billion dollars out there for you if you don’t fuck it up.
Pusha T ft. JAY Z: “Drug Dealers Anonymous”
A little of six months ago, Pusha T released the awkwardly titled EP King Push – Darkest Before Dawn: The Prelude. As the name sort of indicates, it was the prelude to a full-length record called King Push. This week, we got a little closer to that release happening with “Drug Dealers Anonymous”, a DJ Dahi-produced single featuring JAY Z. Genius has some background on the song’s creation.
AARON: This is easily the best rapping from Jay Z in 35 years.
MARCUS: With the back-to-back of “Nosestalgia” and “Numbers On The Boards,” Pusha T was pretty fucking close to reaching “god level” as an emcee. My Name Is My Name was a largely underwhelming album which ultimately held him back from hitting those heights. Those aforementioned singles were like 4.99 out of 5 stars good, maybe just the fact that Pusha wasn’t well, getting elevated but more directly sparring with both Kendrick and the lack of a full cohesive project.
“Drug Dealers Anonymous” is a 6/5.
Hell, maybe it’s a 16/5.
I don’t know just how good this actually is because it’s the song that truly makes Pusha T the King of Rap that we’ve always believed him to be good enough to be but never quite was.
Jay Z hasn’t rapped this good in 20 years. The reason why he raps this good here is that he heard the track and KNEW that Pusha was going to spit facts. Jay can’t be on a dope ass dope raps track and be stood up by another dealer, so Jay did what most of us probably thought was unthinkable and pulled out the HEAT. Jay’s become this lazy, yet wisened old rapper of late, coasting by on air-thin phrasings. Nope, that’s not the Jay we hear here. Shit. He does all of the old stuff, then kicks in the technology bars, too.
And Pusha? Christ. The flow here is ASTOUNDING.
I’ll oftentimes state that drug dealers make the best rappers. This song is why. Honest, yet completely un-relatable in a super-heroic way to everyone listening.
AARON: “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone/so I built that all glass quad level first home”
This song feels like a goddamn Brian De Palma movie and the stunt work is amazing.
Marcus, you are right about the dynamic here. The Dope Man turned Illuminati Playboy game is off the meter here. It’s like two sharks meet in a dark alley (underwater) and have to decide whether they kill each other or everybody else… for this week in hip hop-these two old, rich, Untouchable motherfuckers have KILT it.
I’m almost angry at Jay for this one. That goddamn ” White Vans” line is like the most relevant rap of right now ever. The 10-part punchlines and OG gravitas in this track really reminds you that this is the guy that wrote “22 Twos” all grown up.
He might go back to boring marketing and getting son-ned by wifey next week so I’m gonna listen to this shit like 30 times this week. You never know.
This beat is raw dog. That crunchy, wait-for-it bass line is everything.
CLYDE: “Y’all thought Uber was the future? / Our cars been autonomous”
Silicon Valley Tech Bro Hov is now my favorite Hov.