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

Today, Dipset (Dipset! Dipset!) are back in action; Master P and Lil Wayne unite for the first time; and Rowdy Rebel and Bobby Shmurda churn out a stripper anthem.

As always, our distinguished panel consists of  Marcus DowlingPhil R, Joshua Phelps, Damion M, Jose Lopez-Sanchez of Dead Curious, Clyde McGrady, and Weird City Fest’s Leah Manners.

Dipset: “Have My Money”

“It’s still Dipset, you dipshits,” Juelz Santana proclaimed on this summer’s Cam’ron and A-Trak banger “Dipshits”. That statement was partially correct: The song did have Juelz and Killa Cam, and Dame Dash even showed up to spew some nonsense, but the rest of the core Harlem crew members were missing in action. With the recently released “Have My Money”, though, Jim Jones and Freaky Zekey are back in fold. The song marks the first proper Dipset song since AarabMuzik’s “Salute” in 2010, which was itself a reunion of sorts. (AarabMuzik! How 2010!) The Vinny Idol-produced track is expected to appear on a forthcoming Dipset mixtape, which will presumably precede a tour. This is all assuming that they don’t start bickering and call the whole thing off. Cam’ron and A-Trak’s Federal Reserve EP remains unreleased.

MARCUS: I’m all for old dudes still wanting to play ball, but you really can’t compare what Dipset’s doing here to anything that’s happening in mainstream rap right now. This is that rap game PGA Legends Tour flow (let me hashtag that… #rapgamepgalegendstourflow) for all of the people who sip Arnold Palmers while telling you Jack Nicklaus is the best to ever do it just as Tiger reaches the green on a par five with his tee shot (related, why isn’t there a rapper calling himself Gary Playa or something…why did that never happen).

This isn’t to say it isn’t great (Cam’s verses in particular are), it’s just that it’s not relevant to anything at all right now. I think the thing that’s lacked about the Dipset reunion is that Cam just isn’t focused on being the best at rap anymore, he just wants to be the best at keeping his accountants busy, and that sucks. For the Cam’ron thing to work, Jones, Juelz and Freeky have to be there too, because all we ultimately really want are Cam’s mixtape flows and not his solo album material.

That being said, this Dipset thing could be fixed if Dame wanted to be friendly with Def Jam again and let them throw that money they’re using to become an EDM player to get Kanye off his ass to give them a beat, as well as Harry Fraud and hell, let’s say DJ Premier, too. Also, while we’re at it, Cam creating a “Dip-Universe” with like Action Bronson and like, Riff Raff should’ve happened forever ago. But, yeah. There’s Dame, hustling in the most predictable way possible and keeping the Dipset thing limited to one-off event checks and the safest of neatly packaged up-front money deals.

This shit is boring except for when Cam talk about having sex with Mariah Carey. Wait. Actually, hell. Cam remaking “Make It Last Forever/Thank God I Found You” with Mariah, Jimmy and Juelz. Yeah. That’s the winner. Somebody reading this should make a call immediately.

JOSE: That line about Mariah was real-real, and as Phelps can attest, Ms. Carey still has it. Yeah, the entire thing is out of time and largely irrelevant/irreverent to the overarching trends in hip hop right now, but this track is fun anyways.

The thing about rap is that it’s an art form where you’re damned if you do, and damned if you don’t. We deride the old heads for trying to jump on the bandwagon and adopt new trends, complaining that they’re straying too far from what they know when they try new tricks. But if they solely stick to what got them to present (or previous) heights, we say that they’re washed up, afraid of pushing the envelope, and reliving past glories.

The Dipset crew has been around for a while, and has definitely seen better  days, sure. This song won’t light the world on fire, but it’s perfectly serviceable, and I’ve enjoyed listening to it all three times that I ever will.

CLYDE: Cam’s verse > Jim’s verse > Ebola >>>>>>> Juelz’s verse.

PHELPS: If Cam wants to use a Dipset mixtape as a loss leader to sell ebola masks or various pink accoutrements or a club tour, so be it. At this point, he’s a better instagrammer and troll than rapper. (The “coke, no cola” line is especially lazy.)

I’m more partial to Jim Jones’ verse, because at least he sounds excited to be in the room, still living that “flip-flops in the drop” life on 125th. And he’s the only one with a good day job. He doesn’t have to do this shit.

My low expectations for the mixtape haven’t risen on accountof this track, but I’ll happily pay money for a live show and some of the mixtape flows that Marcus referenced.

PHIL: Now this is the situation: Normally both of your asses would be dead as fuckin’ fried chicken, but you happened to pull this shit while I’m in a transitional period. I don’t wanna kill ya; I want to help ya. – Jules Winnfield

I’ve spent hours of my life recently listening to the full-length debut recording of Rae Sremmurd. As far as I can tell, the duo was genetically engineered using the DNA of Migos, Young Thug, Black Eyed Peas, the immature Cheez-It block, and Lenny, the stupid Gremlin.  The album is a little like trying to smoke a weed Jolly Rancher through a PBR can: Literally unnecessary, and toxic for your health, but, hey, it might give you a little buzz.

So Dipset have reemerged at a time when I’m particularly sympathetic; when I could use a reminder of what cool actually sounds like. The irony, of course, is that these guys have spent almost a decade making chronically lame decisions. But, whatever, I’ll hop in the hot tub time machine. Don’t tell me you don’t get a little rush when the hook drops out for Cam.

“Have My Money” is not a great song. It’s oddly undercooked, like last year’s G-Unit “comeback.” Unlike with that crew, however, a template exists for Dipset. In fact, they set it themselves: “Humphrey” and “Dipshits”. It’s early / mid aughts pulled subtly into 2015. I played the hell out of those songs. They were comfort food with a modern twist. That’s the blueprint. Maybe “Have My Money” is mixtape chum and they’re sitting on the good stuff. If that’s the case, count me in for the Dipset renaissance.

DAMION: Not too many words are needed to say that this song is garbage.  The Beat has an old school, jazzy sound. but Dipset is best when Heatmakerz are cooking up soulful tracks for them to talk dumb on. This sounds like a bunch of old heads on a 1994 beat. Boooooooooooo.

Master P ft.  Lil Wayne, Gangsta & Ace B: “Power”

On “Power”, two New Orleans rap rivals – No Limit’s Master P and Young Money’s Lil Wayne – join forces. Granted, this rivalry hasn’t been particularly relevant since the late 90s, because Cash Money is one of the most dominant forces in rap, and No Limit… well, Master P filed for bankruptcy and sold the label’s catalogue a dozen years ago. But maybe we’re at the start of his “Rocky V” montage. He did put out a well-received mixtape last January. And he allegedly has a new record, Money Mafia – We All We Got, coming out on his No Limit Forever imprint later this year, Meanwhile, Lil Wayne – who is looking past Master P’s somewhat recent sick skateboard burn – has been feuding publicly with Birdman and YMCMB about the release of Tha Carter V, so does “Power” have anything to do with that? Fucking possibly! Or not! Anyway, here this track is. Master P’s Souncloud calls it “the most anticipated collaboration of the year.” Two dudes name Gangsta and Ace B show up too.

JOSE: This opens with a shitty Future impersonation, and just keeps yelling itself into mediocrity. Doesn’t do it for me.

LEAH: I don’t understand… I just flipped my calendar to 2015.  Did theirs turn to 2009?

CLYDE: As a 13-year-old, I collected No Limit albums like most kids collected baseball cards. On every song, Master P would reliably use the words “weed,” “Hennessy,” “bout it,” “rowdy,” “soldier,” or “tank” somewhere in the verse or during his adlibs.

On “Power”, he uses none of those words, so fuck F. Scott Fitzgerald, because there are second acts in American lives.

Also, Wayne boasts about being “the shit on the bathroom floor,” which is easily the worst “shit” metaphor since Drake said, “I’m on a roll like Cottonelle / I was made for all of this shit.” [Shudders]

This song is the “most anticipated collaboration of the year” the same way President’s Day is the most anticipated holiday of the year.

MARCUS: Fuck trap, you can have it back. This production sounds tired as hell.

Percy needs to stop. Like that Dipset bit earlier, this one is Old Man Turning Up In His House Shoes Rap (hashtag: #oldmanturningupinhishouseshoesrap). I mean, I get it. Master P’s rapper-turned-actor-turned basketballer-turned bored 25-year old with too much got-damned money is out of the house, so, yeah. He’s rapping again.

All that being said, Lil Wayne is sober and now consistently frying records with the most amazing of punchlines and real talk. If I were him I’d offer this (likely) completed and in limbo album to Red Bull Records and make all of the money from a Red Bull/skating/RBMA tie in and dunk on the whole industry. Really, he fried this record and the Ace Hood wannabes on here should be ashamed of themselves for even being on this track (though I’m certain Percy bought Wayne’s bars long after the other dudes had recorded their parts).

Is a YMCMB/No Limit joint performance at Summer Jam too much to ask? Because that feels apropos given all of this. Maybe get old man Cam out there for Bout It, Bout It Part 2, too. Yeah. Wayne. Flames. Flambe. Still the fireman.

PHELPS: A couple things stand out on this utterly terrible track. One, Gangsta clearly wasn’t thinking about search engine optimization when he chose his moniker. Two, it makes me laugh when P interrupts himself in the chorus to let himself know that pussy is a different kind of power. (It will probably be tackled on a later song, but not right now, sir.)

P will always hold a special place in my heart. The Ghetto D CD was one of three things that I left freshman dorms with, along with a misdemeanor and an OK Computer record.

PHIL: It’s not just that Master P wants us to know about pussy power, it’s that breaks it down with a Rick Rossian rhyme scheme: “Heard pussy got power / That’s a different kind of power.” That’s in the hook! He repeats that! Several times! Was RhymeZone.com temporarily down when he was writing this song?

Anyway, there’s not a single bone in my body that’s mad at this song. Two things in life make everything better: Gregorian chants and sriracha mayonnaise.

JOSE: You goin’ soft, Phil.

PHIL: I don’t know what everyone is expecting from Master P in 2015, but his verse goes hard enough for me, and Weezy’s contribution is indeed flames, and the production sounds like a direct-to-video sequel to “The Da Vinci Code” set in New Orleans and staring Silkk The Shocker.

MARCUS: I need a Pen and Pixel poster for this proposed film. Immediately.

Rowdy Rebel ft. Bobby Shmurda & Too Short: “She All About the Shmoney”

Bobby Shmurda was one of 2014’s biggest success stories: A nineteen-year-old New Yorker who jacked an old Lloyd Banks beat and made a drill song called “Hot Nigga”, which spawned the schmoney dance, both of which were everywhere by late summer. He also made a song with crewmate Rowdy Rebel called “Shmoney Dance” – which itself attained a level of ubiquity – and released a second Hot 100 single, “Bobby Bitch”. These things netted him a deal with Epic Record. That’s a good story! Then, almost a month ago, Bobby Shmurda was arrested and indicted on charges that include reckless endangerment, criminal possession of a weapon, and conspiracy to commit murder in the second degree. He’s currently imprisoned on Rikers Island, and if convicted, will face up to 25 years in prison. That is a sad story. But the singles keep coming. This week, we get “She All About the Schmoney”, a Rowdy Rebel track featuring Shmurda and California legend Too Short. It was produced by Roc Nation’s Jahlil Beats, the man responsible for “Hot Nigga” / “Jackpot”.

PHIL: As a point of order: “Shmoney” is what one spends at Sheetz to purchase shmagelz and shmuffins, right?

Over the summer, I found it funny when Rowdy Rebel and Bobby Shmurda would talk about how it took them 15 minutes to craft their hit songs, as if that wasn’t obvious. “She All About the Shmoney” marks a step forward for the two. They spent easily 30 minutes on these verses.

LEAH: Jahlil Beats killing this track.  Everything else is just not my kinda stuff: Not terribly delivered, but good lord, so deep in the pile of shitty dark criminal and misogynistic crap that it’s really not worth my time to comment a lot on the quality of the rhymes.

MARCUS: This is bullshit. Call Juvenile, hit up Wayne, and keep Short Dog on this. Jahlil Beats is a monster and this deserves to be a hit that people not doing 25-to-life can cake up on instead. Like, really. It’s not that hard. People are out here hustling backwards right now. How do you gonna let the dude who literally told the cops about all of his moves keep winning while he’s in the pen? Idiots. Get Jay on the phone, Baby. Juvie has a hit!

DAMION: This production is fire, but it also sounds like a sped-up version of “Dope Man” from Purple Haze.

Who is Rowdy Rebel?  Somebody come get their cousin.  This is the audio equivalent of why we put plastic on the good furniture. Studio equipment is expensive. Can’t have everyone just playing with it.

I’m with Marcus: Somebody call Juvie!

JOSE: I love how the beat evokes the best parts of Beyoncés “Partition” and early ‘90s West Coast gangsta rap in equal measure. Put this on around 1:00 a.m. at Dodge City/Velvet Lounge and watch the whole place turn up. While I do not care for Bobby Shmurda’s gimmickry, dude has put out some really good ignant anthems.

CLYDE: I’m just a nice church-going country boy, but OMG this beat makes me wanna walk into King of Diamonds and rain so many stacks that Jim Cantore has to stand near the main stage in an Eddie Bauer windbreaker.

This is the type of ignorant-ass gutter music that appeals to my lizard brain and shouldn’t make me nearly as happy as it does. I don’t believe in feeling guilty over your pleasures, but listening to Bobby Shmurda (which rhymes with, yanno, “Murda”) and the dude who isn’t Bobby Shmurda rap about this shit is making me reconsider that.

This song is in the same lineage as “Bounce Dat Azz”, not be confused with “Bounce Dat Azz” (which I’m pretty sure “Shmoney” samples) and Back That Azz Up. You don’t have to be God MC to make this type of song enjoyable, which is good cause no one on this track is.

I also love how all these “New York saviors” still have to co-opt the South to stay relevant.

We’re a long way from OutKast getting booed at the ’95 Source awards.

PHELPS: Rowdy Rebel eh? Bruh, you sound like you named yourself after a mascot from a division II college in southern Mississippi. One time in school, this dude was chillin in my room at a party with some folks, we were banging probably some Noreaga or something, and cat was like, “Hey man, people call me Kool Aid.” Come on, man, get the fuck out of here. No, really, get the fuck out of this room.

That’s what would happen if you told me your name was “Rowdy Rebel.” I think Cowboy Troy is a cooler name.

Oh, the beat is sick on this though.


Follow Rec-Room on Twitter, where we’re limited to 140 characters:  @marcuskdowling, @philrunco, @gitmomanners, @jrlopez, @dc-phelps, @Aaron_ish, and @CAMcGrady.