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

Today, Homeboy Sandman talks a lot of (bleep); Ty Dolla $ign is back after not a long time; and Swizz Beatz keeps it simple, stupid.

Our distinguished panel consists of  Marcus DowlingPhil R, Joshua Phelps, Clyde McGrady, Jose Lopez-Sanchez, and Aaron Miller of Austin Mic Exchange.


Homeboy Sandman: “Talking (Bleep)”

New York rapper Homeboy Sandman will release his third full-length for Stones Throw Records on May 6. It’s called Kindness For Weakness, and according to a press release, the album “centers on the MCs discomfort in his comfort zone and addresses themes such as his personal insecurities, rapper stereotypes and morality.” OK! The first single is “Talking (Bleep)”. It’s produced by Edan.

AARON: This shit is hilarious.

Everybody knows Edan is a hip-hop savant and Sandman is a true technician, so it’s not surprising that this track is on point.

Beyond that, it’s just funny. I laughed for real every time the “hook” dropped. Even I need a break from Dystopian Trap Lord darkness that plagues modern rap, and this shit made me laugh.(Losing  a great like Phife Dawg should make us all give a fleeting thought to how tricky it is to be street and funny at the same time; how to crack a joke out of one side of your mouth and a threat from the other.)

Homeboy has a way of saying shit that it just shy of square, and then he flips it and you are like, “OK, you clever motherfucker, I got you.”

The Huffington Post diss is next-level complain fire.

Seriously. I read that article he wrote. His editorial game is strong.

I will always appreciate the slow rise of Homeboy Sandman. Damn near a decade ago I saw him rapping for nobody on a shitty patio during SXSW. What if I have said if you had asked whether he would be the type of cat on Stones Throw, making records with Aes Rock and generally being one of the strongest weirdo lyricists in the indie game? I would have totally said yes, because I’m a snob like that.

I just watched him rock a crowd of a thousand or so at SXSW Stones Throw joint this year so, yeah…

MARCUS: The “Shaft in Africa” vibe here is incredible. Crafting a hook out of a single wah-wah chord is so slick. Plus, that drum’s so deep in the pocket that the track and Homeboy Sandman’s voice on it just floats along. Yeah, Edan is amazing.

Sandman crossing over Huff Po then tying them up in knots and booting them in the ass was too nice. The art of emceeing needs more stuff like this. The use of his voice like some sort jazz flute on this one is bananas.

Stones Throw releases always make me smile because we’re at this point with both rap and music where artists can create art and they have labels-as-galleries where they can showcase that shit. I just want this beat on repeat all day. Lawd. It’s ridiculous.

CLYDE: I like this groove and am always down for HuffPo slander. My man is trying to talk about for profit prisons and they just want his opinion on Drake v. Meek. The media is great.

JOSE: This is inspired. I love wilding out and getting ignant as much as the next guy, but an excellent observational rap is the remedy every once in a while. This is smart, humorous, unconventional, and fun.

Marcus, I see the “Shaft in Africa” feel – totally apt – but for some reason all I can think of is of tracks one is likely to hear on “Space Ghost Coast to Coast”. This beat is like spooky muzak done right.


Ty Dolla $ign ft. Quavo: “Long Time”

Last November, singer-producer Ty Dolla $ign released his first proper full-length, Free T.C. It was a fairly sprawling affair, clocking in at 16 tracks and just under 73 minutes, but today he release a deluxe edition of the album with four nw songs. One of those tracks, “Wavy” – a pretty standard DJ Mustard club jam – has gained some traction as a single lately, so this probably an attempt to capitalize on that success and give Free T.C. a little bump. Another new addition is “Long Time”, which was produced by Metro Boomin and features Migos member Quavo.

AARON: Negatron.

MARCUS: We let all three people listed on this track have too much time in the spotlight, and they’re now actually getting more than serviceable as professional artists. Ty’s like B-grade “rap Drake” if you believe — like I do — that Drake left being “another rapper” behind a “very very very long time” ago. He’s not quite ready to drop his alpha male veneer yet, and for the purposes of mainstream rap in 2016, that’s quite alright. He’s literally spitting everyone else’s bars on this one, like he’s some sort of Drizzy and Weezy substitute rapper or something. I mean, for suburbanites who are afraid of going to rap concerts and hipsters who just awkwardly love top-40 urban music, he’s more than serviceable.

Quavo’s one of my favorite rappers in rap these days. Migos are probably not going to be a trio for too much longer, and I think that Quavo’s just enough of an entertainer as MC to be okay. His bar-for-bar output is low-key amazing in the fact that he fits words into spaces where they’re not supposed to go without altering their pronunciation or any of the other traditional rap tropes in that regard. Listening to him rap is like watching someone comfortably fitting a size 10 foot into a size 9 shoe. I love it. Yeah, the lyrics aren’t exactly Chaucer, but there’s actually an art to what he’s doing and I appreciate that.

As for Metro Boomin’, he’s STILL working off the strength of that Future and Drake album, as this is just a more muted “Big Rings.” Not mad at this man’s hustle at all. Play on, playa.


Count me as a Ty Dolla convert. For the last few years I have hated this man’s entire aesthetic “deal.” The way he $tylizes his name, his overplayed “I fucked yo bitch” and “these bitches be cRaZy amirite fellas” lyrics, all of it. He was trying to follow the same Lovable Scamp lane as Terius, Dave Hollister and Kels. But I lumped him into a Kid Ink/Tyga/Ty Dolla west coast Axis of Evil that, though I can’t quite prove, was probably George W. Bush’s fault too.

But somewhere around Free T.C. I actually started taking this dude seriously and realized he’s got some chops. Yes, he’s still with the same Mr. Steal Yo Girl vibe, but it seems a bit tongue in cheek. Like that song where his girl busts in his apartment while he’s naked, masturbating and high on molly. CLASSIC scenario.

Also, he’s got a pretty good ear for melody.

This beat is aight. Like the “long time” refrain, but no one will exactly accuse this song of breaking new ground or pushing the culture forward. (Of course every song doesn’t have to.)

Quavo, I know that “Versace” stutter flow is part of the Migos #brand and co-signed by Drake, no less, but switch it up my dude.

Metro Boomin: B

Ty Dolla $sign: B+

Quavo: C-

PHELPS: I want to throw my support behind this. I still like Migos/Quavo, and Ty’s Pitchfork interview was funny. He just seems like a weird dude who doesn’t really watch TV or listen to other people’s music; just stays inside a lot making his own.

PHIL: Free T.C. was one of my favorite records from last year. Cut the weakest 3 or 4 of its 16 tracks – or at least the ones with Fetty Wap and Wiz – and I think you have a legit classic. “L.A.”, “Horses in the Stable”, “Straight Up”, “Know Ya”: The album produced some unfuckwithable songs.

“Long Time” is obviously not unfuckwithable. There’s a reason why it didn’t make Free T.C. The biggest problem for me is that while Ty Dolla $ign has a lot of personas, the tough-talking sorta-rapper is the least desirable. There are some real groaners here (the shoes line, in particular). It doesn’t even matter if Quavo shoots the lights out – the song has already petered out by the time he shows up at 1:44.

I think I’m coming a little more negatively than intended. “Long Time” is fine. I dig the eerie flourishes of the production. Free T.C. has just set a very high standard. (In some ways, that standard, established on the record’s front half, haunts its back half.) If you want a Metro and Ty song, revisit “Know Ya”. And if you slept on the record the first time, go listen to the whole thing.


Swizz Beatz: “Waiting on Me”

When we last heard from Swizz Beatz, he was talking shit over some Nina Samone and Sister Nancy samples on the new ‘Ye record. This week, out of nowhere, he released a new single called “Waiting on Me”. It’s produced by Swizz Beatz himself, with help from illmind and AraabMuzik. Almost a decade has passed since his only attempt at a solo record, One Man Band Man.

CLYDE: Young Egypt plz come get ur dad, he wildin’

JOSE: This is so stupid I can’t even be mad at it.

AARON: Is it me or did he just rap this for three and a half minutes?

I got some customers, they waitin on me. 

I gots some chicks, they be waitin on me. 

I got some haters that be waitin on me. 

I’m never on time, so they waitin on me. 

I got the coco from the kitchen man X 2

I got the paper from the paper bands X 2

I keep my money in the rubber bands. 

Customers? You mean like consulting fees or something? Like, there’s a guy on line #4 that wants to know what color leather to put in/on something? Surely, you are not selling drugs at your age. FOH.

And if you are not fifteen minutes early, you are late. That’s just business 101.

How is this dude so rich and lucky and falling off in slo-mo at the same time? Why is he doing this? Why does he say “rubber bands” so funny?


MARCUS: Mr. Alicia Keys is making rap musics about things that have absolutely zero to do with actual things happening in his actual life.

Lyrics edited for honesty:

I got a baby diaper and it’s full of doodie

I took a whiff and I went ooh wee ooh wee

Mashonda’s alimony is never on time, she’s waitin on it

But I’m with Alicia now so she hatin’ on me

I get them eggs and bacon from the kitchen maaan

Gluten free toast from the toaster daaamn

Pilates at 10 AM Imma be hurtin waaah

Stretchin my quads with a rubber baaaand

I got a meeting with Lyor at noon and he’ll be waitin’ on me

That Nobu mahi mahi roll is really yummy…

Fake thugs need hugs, y’all.

AARON: Damn.



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