Da Mafia 6ix
“Break Da Law”
Now in (at least) its seventh incarnation, “Break Da Law” is perhaps one of the earliest hip-hop standards. For that fact alone, it’s worthy of more discussion than afforded here. Suffice it to say that this anarchic anthem has achieved folk status as a kind of pre-WorldStar riot song. How fitting then that this latest version actually premiered as a “WSHH EXCLUSIVE.” Returning briefly to the song’s musicological significance, unlike some, I find it difficult to use a word like “ignorant” to describe this call to arms.
Insane? Yes. Injurious? Indeed.
But ignorant? I don’t see it.
If anything, “Break Da Law” is coldly calculated. Just look at how well the above video is edited. It serves as an important reminder that all violence is not by definition ignorant, and the fact that the two words are so often equated in music “criticism” speaks volumes about the pussification of American culture. Perhaps it’s just that I got into Three-Six Mafia around the same time that I got into the Death Wish films, but I’m forced to recall a Charles Bronson interview, in which the character actor describes his first time having sex: “I was five and a half years old, and she was six … I gave her some strawberry pop. I gave her the pop because I didn’t want it; I had taken up chewing tobacco and I liked that better. I didn’t start smoking until I was nine. But I gave her the pop, and then we … hell, I never lost my virginity. I never had any virginity.”
“Break Da Law” is that quote turned to song. It’s America. Stream or download Da Mafia 6ix’s 6ix Commandments mixtape via LiveMixtapes and watch out for the group’s as-yet-untitled forthcoming album, due out June 6.
BK Beats & Black Noi$e
Previously released the middle of last month on Potholes Music, Nonbelievers by BK Beats & Black Noi$e continues to grind on that low-low cassette swag via Crash Symbols. As they lighting their blunts with burning bills playing in the jungle, BK Beats & Black Noi$e flay out a smattering of lyrics and uzi-fire vocals with friends and family features on each track. And that’s some solid love they giving out. Also, the beats/instrumentals run deep on the reel, considering they comprise the entity of side-B. And surprisingly for an EP, BK Beats & Black Noi$e give Nonbelievers ups and downs, fulfilling actual release fluidity, which isn’t typical for EPs, so this makes me super happy. Most times musicians have trouble with fluidity in LPs let alone EPs. I’d also wear that j-card art as a t-shirt FOR SURE. Stream the Nonbelievers EP by BK Beats & Black Noi$e below via Crash Symbols and grip the tape off ‘em too, why don’t ya:
• Crash Symbols: http://crashsymbols.bandcamp.com
I don’t know about you guys, but I sure have a love/hate relationship with a lot of rock music. While I love rock and roll with almost every fiber of my being, I also despise a lot of it because of the frequent recycling/diluting of whatever happens to be en vogue at the moment and/or the ignorance of what a minimum of instrumentation can do. I tend to be drawn towards pop music that typically exists outside of the hype machine and that understands when a song needs 100 instruments and when it needs just one.
Slomo Drags is a band that clearly understands the art of song arrangement while simultaneously giving the middle finger to all the haters and trendy pop poseurs out there (full disclosure: I used to play with Slomo Drags songwriter Jackson Albracht’s previous band Cartographers). As a result, their self-titled EP is a masterpiece of minimal pop complexity. These four tracks use standard four-piece rock instrumentation in an idiomatic manner similar to the stripped down intricacy of Women’s pointillistic arrangements on Public Strain (TMT Review). Each song is ripe with harmonic complexity, instantly memorable melodies, and some of the most cutting lyrics around. It’s a dizzyingly infectious debut that quickly places the band’s music in the same circle as likeminded contemporaries such as Chris Weisman and Great Valley.
Slomo Drags is available now as a free download via Bandcamp. You can stream the album in its entirety below:
• Slomo Drags http://www.slomodrags.bandcamp.com
Millie & Andrea
Drop The Vowels
What day is it? Wednesday. Fuckin’ worst day of the week. Best way to get over it: Drop The Vowels. Maybe it’s a little grim today in a dark way. But Millie & Andrea (a.k.a. Miles Wittaker, a.k.a. Andy Stott) got some intricacies for you to listen to below. The depth dabbles in such an intoxication that breathing becomes impossible. Today IS a good day to die. And Modern Love is here to ensure listeners are getting completely snuffed out. It’s a terrible tactic to build their label, but if this is the last thing I ever heard, I wouldn’t complain. I’d accept Millie & Andrea’s brand of sound vodou. Grip Drop The Vowels here. Enjoy the ride. Swansong yourself into paradise:
• Miles Whittaker: https://www.facebook.com/millie.mlz.djmiles.mileswhittaker
• Andy Stott: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Andy-Stott/262174253793725
• Modern Love: http://www.modern-love.co.uk
“Sword In Stone”
Back when Black Knights became the first West Coast act to sign with Wu-Tang Records, the group consisted of four MCs: Holocaust, Doc Doom, Rugged Monk, and Crisis the Sharp Shooter. Today, only the latter two members remain — Holocaust went solo early on; Doc Doom died in 2007 — but the group has never fallen out of touch with The RZA, who is now based primarily out of California. It was he who introduced Black Knights to former Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist John Frusciante, who is now apparently making sample-based music under the pseudonym Trickfinger. Long story short: John Frusciante produced the new Black Knights album Medeival Chamber, and it’s actually surprisingly awesome. Cop here. You can learn more about how the collaboration came about by watching this interview, and you should probably check out these old Wake-Up Show freestyles, too. There’s also this new video, which I take it, is trying to say something about race relations and gun violence. I don’t know Butchie instead.