Know Your Product
Singles mixer with Bossman, Wombatt55, Archer Twins, and E Major
Published: December 15, 2010
Bossman “Radio Diss (Fuk Radio),” “no hands (Wale Diss)” Diss tracks are diss tracks and will forever feel like Artist A piggybacking on the fame of Artist B. And so you have Baltimore’s Bossman dropping this track that’s about as sophisticated as its “fuck Wale” refrain—like, “Fuck Free Willy, I’m gonna kill that whale.” And the bummer is that Bossman’s one dude that could probably be Baltimore’s Wale, arguably the better rapper and possessing many more dimensions, including street-spat stuff like this.
Bossman’s other angry-dude rap of the season takes on radio and, you know, how he does what he wants to and how he’s “eatin’ pussy for lunchtime and these rappers for dinner.” The track is actually pretty great though—no chorus, no hook, just this old-school boom-bap beat, and, if Bossman’s kinda nasally flow has been compared to Eminem’s before, here he’s going all-in, totally parroting that rapper’s embolism-angry flow and besting it. Good stuff.
For more information visit bossman410.com.
Wombatt55 “Baltimore” “Baltimore been holdin’ it down since the War of 1812” is not high on the list of things to expect in a rap. But here it is, along with a whole verse talking about Baltimore as a historical city and a city of neighborhoods, like a little Chamber of Commerce primer before Wombatt55 goes heavy in the next verse on the realities of street life—not snitchin’, not gettin’ shot, the hustle, and generally doing what you have to do to stay alive. You’ve heard this before but maybe not with quite the same degree of soul or structure.
Wombatt55 ties the track up with some hopeful words about how all parts of the city have direction in the progressive sense and killing dudes ain’t right. The way the verses play out sounds really intentional, a narrative—like a cutting open of the city’s facade to reveal its grim interior and ending, finally, with a positive look forward. Also note: The music being rapped over here is a Nina Simone song, which is properly weird and poignant, and lifts the track way up. It’s refreshing to hear a Baltimore track that’s boosting Baltimore—and not the DMV.
For more information visit wombatt55.com.
Archer Twins “Side A” This is fun: Ehse Records/Red Room/High Zero old-hand Stewart Mostofsky teams with Future Islands’ bassist William Cashion for post-noise burbly/bleepy good times. This is the first half of a cassette—though available for free/donation as MP3s—just released on Ehse’s new tape label and it’s a promising, suitably alien confluence of dubby drum loops; deep, droning, overcooked electronics; and bright, playful, almost cartoony bloops and ramped-up synths, likely courtesy of some or another of Mostofsky’s rack of homemade sound-toys. The result is a feeling equal parts goofy, giddy, and uneasy.
For more information visit ehserecords.com.
E Major “For the Win” The lead cut off E Major’s new mixtape E Major Is . . . Better Than Yours and the Under Sound crew is going super-weird. Woozy production seems to be popping up more and more, what with the whole DJ Screw rediscovery of late, and here it is at its wooziest. No idea the source of the backing track on “For the Win” but it’s fully on another planet, sludgy and jumpy at the same time, a molasses cascade of a vocal hook. The rhymes are, as expected, really sharp but don’t get too far away from run-of-the-mill rap boast, though this is nice: “I’ve been in your girl’s mouth like a menthol.”
For more information visit undersoundmusic.net
> Email Michael Byrne