Whiskery Winston

I'm pretty sure Garbage Pail Kids triggered my downfall. Up until I laid eyes on the first "Greaser Greg" card, I was a relatively normal and easy going human being (albeit 7 years old). But the GPK's and their numbered checklists and variant versions and multiple series kicked off an internal obsessiveness that lead to harder stuff (i.e. comic books, horror movies, pro wrestling). Maybe it was in me all along, but I could no longer simply enjoy something for what it was, as now everything that was even sort of interesting required massive amounts of research and comparison. This is an affliction doctors currently refer to as "Hardcore Nerdism."

"Hey Rip, what do you think of this new song?"

"Well, I've only listened to it and haven't had a chance to Google the artist, so how the hell would I even know?"

God damn you, Garbage Pail Kids.

I'm pretty sure I first notice Skinner do something like this, painting a monster onto an old family portrait. The idea of adding a bizarre element to something relatively normal seemed so cool, and as I was looking over the empty space of the original version of the portrait, my brain instantly superimposed the Garbage Pail Kids logo Homeboy was thiiiis close to being named "Beardy Bartholemew" but Whiskery Winston had two less letters, so laziness prevailed (DaVinci was notorious for this sort of thing).


The Sexington 16

The dust has settled and Batsauce and his ridiculous Lady Named Summer was the easy winner. Turns out the track is from a free, downloadable EP he created with all tracks created from samples of a single song. DON'T BE A FOOL! Add his shit to your Music folder right now. In a few moments, when you are listening to his EP and wondering how you can thank me, a 6-pack of Newcastle will do just fine.

Discovering new music can be a son of a bitch. And as a hip-hop nerd, I spend more time logged into X-Box Live than I do in the streets, making discovering new music both a motherfucker, and a son of a bitch. But being a nerd does have it's benefits, sad as they may be.

Busting out my mechanical pencil and graph paper, I've drafted a tournament bracket of new hip-hop releases, featuring newer artists (with a few reliable favorites thrown in for good measure). I picked out 16 different tracks based on their name and album covers and will be slowly listening to each one over the next week or two. I'll pick up the latest album of the 4 bracket winners and formally recommend the champion to anyone willing to listen to my inane hip-hop observations.

Bracket 1

Apollo Brown - Streets Won't Let Me Chill: 8
Funky Drummer sample is used crazy effectively. I initally docked him for trying to rhyme 'alley' with 'temporarily', but warmed up to his lyrics after a few listens. Rooting for him.

Super Chron Flight Bros. - Reggie Miller: 7.5
A fun little beat with the loose emcees rapid-firing a lot of old-school imagery. Their style was a little relaxed, but they had the charisma to balance things out.

2 Hungry Bros - Harm Music: 7
The beat had a 90's/experimental sort of feel that I wasn't sure I liked at first, but later found sort of genius. The enthusiactic Hungry Bros. got a few gems in, but I coudn't see bumping this.

Short Fuze and Nasa - Berzerker Fury: 7.5
Dope and dusty little posse cut. Beat is DOOM-ish in a good way, and most of the rappers (especially second batter Nasa) bring it. A little rough around the edges, but I'd definitely check them out.

Bracket 2

Ecid - Heart Shaped Boombox: 6.5
Accurately descriped as "brutally honest", dude bares his soul by way of a Slug-meets-Thirstin-Howl-III-type of flow. I dug the moody guitar samples, but could't relate to his perspective. Probably not the best track to sample, but that's the way I'm playing.

Verbal Kent - Last Laugh: 7
You couldn't find a bigger Masta Ace fan than Rip and it's great to hear One Be Lo here. I would have bumped this hella harder 10 years ago, but nowadays, it loses points for sounding like every underground track made in the last decade. And Verbal Kent loses points for sounding like Evidence-lite.

Mystik Journeymen - The Doorman Song: 8
Why the shit don't I have more Mystik Journeymen??? Joined by The Grouch, each verse is like a letter to their respective ex-girlfriends, beautifully riding the line between honest and frustrated. If I taught Rap 101, I'd distribute this track with the note: This is how you write raps! I even dug the hook. And I CAN'T STAND hooks.

Rakaa - CTD: 7.5
Rakaa was always my favorite Dialated emcee and I'm a sucker for fun vintage samples. No new grounds is being broken here, but this a little fresher than I expected, and mad bumpable.

Bracket 3

Gotham Green and Quicki Mart - Game Change: 7.5
Dropping a million weed references in your verse is one way to get on my good side, but not only am I feeling Gotham Green's sharp flow, but Quickie Mart's breezy, throwback production is a breath of fresh air.

De La Soul - Return of DST: 8
If I was an outside observer, I'd call foul on this ridiculously dope De La ringer being included. A synthy tribute to DST, you couldn't really ask for a fresher entry.

The Dark Monk - Real Terror: 7
A little torn on this. Dark Monk seems to come from that dark, larger-than-life school of rap that birthed Wu-Tang and DOOM, and while I'm definitely feeling it, his timing seems to waver here and there.

Spectac and Amiri - Mass Effect: 7.5
While the beat is kinda mellow and the flow is a little low-fi (although homeboy does sorta sound like cross between Black Emporor and Q-Tip), the real hilight is the verbal dexterity and rich lyrics. He kept it up for the whole track too, name checking a plethora of pop culture new and old that was really impressive. I'd play this for any emcee passengers who climb into the whip.

Bracket 4

Count Bass D and DJ Pocket - Set It Off: 8
Mainly knowing Count Bass D for his solo albums from a few years back, I was confused when he never showed up on this pass-the-mic track, but the three emcee's do verbal gymnastics over the sick-as-all-hell beat featuring a slick Ghostface sample and some really nice drums. The second emcee (DT?) is especially memorable, wringing out every last possibility of his rhyme schemes.

Batsauce - A Lady Named Summer: 9.5
After the first play, I had to listen to it again. And then again. And it was at that point that I was confident that this was the freshest shit I'd heard in forever. German producer Batsauce reminds me of the production I'd always loved and has been sorely missing. Like vintage Muggs or Automator in his prime, while still encapsulating that golden-age NY in the 90's feel. Paired with emcee Dillon, the two really compliement each other's styles on this one-part Ms. Fat Booty, one-part My Favorite Ladies type of track. Really tempted to call the tournament over now without listenting to the remaining entries.

JK1 the Supernova - Marketable: 6.5
Maybe I'm just subconsciously butt-hurt cause my own job is vaguely marketing related, but I wasn't exactly feeling this. The production sounds like the Beatnuts remixed the Secret of Monkey Island soundtrack, which isn't so much a bad thing, but the level of swagger in their voice and rhymes didn't quite match up with their skills, which always bugs me.

Fortilive - The Fuck You Song: 7.5
Between the perfect use of a Biggie Smalls vocal sample and the beat that sounds like it was crafted by a 94-era RZA, this was pretty hardcore. 2010 needs more emcee's with this sort of perspective. Grimy rappers with grimy flows.

All of the music listed was courtesy of Dirt E. Dutch's IndieFeed podcast. Dude is the Prime Minister of DNM (Dope New Music), as far as I'm concerned.