Monday, August 29, 2011

Danny Brown - XXX rEProduced (a misshapedmixtape)

Danny Brown is dope. Filthy dope. 

He also perfectly fits my criteria for making a certain kind of misshapedmixtape magic. Coz man, with just a little tweaking of his latest album, “XXX” (cutting out some excess / re-sequencing), you’ve got a flat-out classic.

So yeah, Danny Brown will be the first of my “rEProduced” misshapedmixtapes. See what I did there? I used capital letters in the middle to imply that it’s gonna be an EP (length). I’m meta-lame. And I used my recycle bin liberally in making this mixtape (but not enough when typing this post), so you’re left with a lean 32 minutes of buttery hotness. Yeah, your fingers might get sticky. But it’s nasty goodness.

So, um… it’s hard for me to draw comparisons between Danny Brown and another artist. He often raps in a shrill super-high-pitched voice, makes associations between tropical fruit skittles and his manpiece, does a lot of drugs (and raps about that), and then will go on another level and tackle a subject like hustling by collecting (ahem… stealing) scrap metal. And he’s funny as hell. So yeah, instead of comparing him to an individual, I’m going to draw a parallel between him and a classic group: The Pharcyde.

That’s high praise for a comparison (and no, I’m not placing them side-by-side just because two of Pharcyde’s MCs [Slimkid & Imani] have weird high-pitched voices too). Anyway, what I mean is that Pharcyde is elite company. Coz yeah, they’re like ridiculously ridiculous (How ridiculous? Um… they ripped the stage WAY harder than A Tribe Called Quest at 2008’s Rock The Bells show in my ears). But that’s another tangent.

The main point is that you can’t get any more “left field awesome” circa early-to-mid-nineties than The Pharcyde… unless you cast yr sights north to the Bay Area at that time (Barry Bonds [pre-steroids]… or Del... if we’re still talking about hip-hop).

What was I talking about? Oh yeah, to preface all this silliness you should listen to Pharcyde’s song “Oh Shit.” Coz that song, in three parts, pretty well sums up Danny Brown’s latest album.

Got it? Done. Okay, now here’s a mini-review of Danny Brown’s “XXX,” the follow-up to last year’s “The Hybrid,” in the form of a GRE cheat sheet:

Exhibit 1A… First third : “XXX” :: First verse : “Oh Shit”
Like a kill thriller driller tiller out with the miller brew
Filler up, took it 'til the damn Dutch puked

The wordplay throughout “XXX” is special. Free-associative, fun and often triggering “a pause and go back 10 seconds” reflex to double-check if Mr. Danny actually just said that which I think he might have said… and how the shit did he end up there? The title track (album opener) is plain silly. And yeah, from there it keeps going. And a lot of the songs are about substance abuse too. Not “miller brew” so much as… um… everything else.

Exhibit 2X… Middle third : “XXX” :: Second verse : “Oh Shit”
Imani and your mom sittin' in a tree,

I have to admit, the second verse of “Oh Shit” always makes me squirm a bit. Imani's lyric (above) segue ways right into some major filf about mom love (Samberg and Timberlake didn’t go NEARLY this far on their SNL song). Coincidentally, the buttermilk raunchyness of “XXX” became harder for me to stomach as it ratcheted up in the middle third (especially upon multiple listens). So yeah (spoiler alert), for the sake of my rEProduced mix I scrapped a lot of the middle third. But YOU should listen to the whole “XXX” album after you spin my take on it (Danny Brown’s giving it away for free anyway), and there’s at least one gem of a line on each track that I cut.

Exhibit 3F… Final third : “XXX” :: Third verse : “Oh Shit”
Rollin' in a purple Samurai Suzuki
Dookie braids was an aid to her sex appeal

Ok. So 13 tracks into his 19 track odyssey Danny hits the patch where he abandons his helium squeekies and starts rapping in a vulnerable everyman voice. He gets poignant. And focused. And dips into str8 storytelling mode. He’s at his best (Pharcyde’s best = Fatlip). He talks about how substance abuse is in his “DNA.” It’s really, really good stuff. So yeah, just when I had gotten dangerously close to OD-ing on his over-the-toppedness, he brought it back to an organic heart place. The last seven tracks are all dope. Though he doesn't hook up with a transvestite in any of those songs (like Fatlip).

So here is, “Danny Brown - XXX rEProduced (a mishapedmixtape)” [check for download link in comments… and the original “XXX” track number is listed below in parentheses]:

01 : XXX (1)
02 : Die Like A Rockstar (2)
03 : Pac Blood (3)
04 : Radio Song (4)
05 : Outer Space (11)
06 : 30 (19)
07 : Scrap Or Die (18)
08 : DNA (13)
09 : Nosebleeds (14)
10 : Party All The Time (15)
11 : EWNESW (16)
12 : Fields (17)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Stephen Malkmus - Fractions & Feelings (a misshapedmixtape)

I love Stephen Malkmus.

So yeah, since he is dropping a new album tomorrow (Beck produced it!), I figured that it would be proper to bestow some Malk-magic upon ya'll.

Now I'm the first to admit that Malkman's solo career has had its ups and downs. But unlike other Pavement-heads who stopped listening to his music post-"Wowee Zowee" (coz Pavement stopped being "a band" after that -- [interjection] for the record, I absolutely LOVE "Brighten The Corners"... and will bite anyone's elbow who says that it's lame), I have actually been keeping up with the S&M's 21st century.

And actually, it's been pretty dope.

This mixtape is representative of S'malkmus's four solo abums BEFORE the album that drops tomorrow (that everyone should just up and buy ASAP). If you're not convinced, I think that if you give this tape a few spins you WILL want to buy it :)

I've run out of cool nicknames for the former leading man of Pavement (and it's, what, 3:43 A.M.!), so I'll stop my rambling now.

Here's the tape (link in "comments"):

01 : Pencil Rot [Face The Truth]
02 : Jo Jo's Jacket [Stephen Malkmus]
03 : Gardenia [Real Emotional Trash]
04 : Craw Song [Pig Lib]
05 : Malediction [Face The Truth]
06 : Phantasies [Stephen Malkmus]
07 : We Can't Help You [Real Emotional Trash]
08 : Baby C'mon [Face The Truth]
09 : Animal Midnight [Pig Lib]
10 : Kindling For The Master [Face The Truth]
11 : Out Of Reaches [Real Emotional Trash]
12 : Ramp Of Death [Pig Lib]
13 : Freeze The Saints [Face The Truth]
14 : Church On White [Stephen Malkmus]
15 : Fractions And Feelings [Pig Lib EP]
16 : Loud Cloud Crowd [Face The Truth]
17 : Baltimore [Real Emotional Trash]
18 : It Kills [Face The Truth]
19 : Sheets [Pig Lib]
20 : Wicked Wanda [Real Emotional Trash]
21 : Black Book [Stephen Malkmus]

Monday, August 15, 2011

XV - 2XLP (a misshapedmixtape)

For anyone that hasn't heard of the rapper XV yet... well... you're about to.

XV is a ridiculously gifted lyricist who has released a string of excellent mixtapes. His most recent mixtape, "Zero Heroes," blew me away -- especially the track "Pictures On My Wall." Hopefully when he drops his official album through Warner Brothers (someday), it won't disappoint and it'll fall more on the Kendrick Lamar major-label-debut end of the spectrum than on the Wale side.

Anyway... I dug through seven of XV's best mixtapes (and his personal website) to serve up this fantastic collection of songs. The mixtape kept building and building... and ended up being double LP length (nearly two-and-a-half hours long). Personally, I don't think there's any filler on this. It's all essential listening. And nice beats to match.

Even diehard XV fans will find pleasant surprises on this mix, including never-before-released NoDJ/tagless versions of four songs from his "Everybody's Nobody" tape: "Blinded," "Me, You," "Everybody's Nobody" and "Vizzy, Vizzy, Vizzy." How did I manage to get those on here? Well... I'm not going to reveal my secrets...

Also... I cut out what I considered to be weak verses from guest MCs on a number of tracks: no Big Sean on "Life vs. Living," no Harlem's Cash on "Carmen Sandiego" (though I left in his decent verse on "Blinded") and definitely no Mac Miller on "May The Force Be With You" (but Killer Mike's part is still there).

Other than that, I scrubbed out the word "faggot" from the one song it popped up on. I mean, I'm as anti-FCC as it gets, but that's uncalled for (and thankfully out of character for XV -- who overall seems like a pretty decent, open-minded guy).

Without further ado, here is "XV - 2XLP (a misshapedmixtape)" [check for download link in the "comments"]:

 1 : The Rabbit Hole [Everybody's Nobody]
 2 : Mirror's Edge (ft Mike Posner) [Vizzy Zone]
 3 : Farewell [Planet Squaria: The Square in the Circle]
 4 : Smallville [Zero Heroes]
 5 : Now Look [Everybody's Nobody]
 6 : Watch Me Go [ release]
 7 : Nevermind [Vizzy Zone]
 8 : Pictures On My Wall [Zero Heroes]
 9 : Everybody's Nobody [Everybody's Nobody]
10 : Everything Is Cool [Planet Squaria: The Square in the Circle]
11 : 2015  [ release]
12 : Reset Button (ft Talib Kweli) [Vizzy Zone]
13 : Me, You [Everybody's Nobody]
14 : All These Foolish Things [Recycle Bin]
15 : Life On Mars [Planet Squaria: The Square in the Circle]
16 : That's Just Me [Zero Heroes]
17 : Life vs. Livin' [Everybody's Nobody]
18 : The Return (ft Bling) [Recycle Bin]
19 : Falling Awake [Vizzy Zone]
20 : Wichita [Zero Heroes]
21 : Carmen Sandiego (Gov't ReMix) [Please, Hold]
22 : Blinded (ft Harlem's Cash) [Everybody's Nobody]
23 : American Dream [Recycle Bin]
24 : Bad News (Nobody's Somebody) [Everybody's Nobody]
25 : Textbook Stuff (ft Kendrick Lamar) [Zero Heroes]
26 : 1997 [Planet Squaria: The Square in the Circle]
27 : Lift The Game [30 Minute Layover]
28 : U.F.C. (ft Kristina Rose) [Zero Heroes]
29 : May The Force Be With You (ft Killer Mike) [Vizzy Zone]
30 : Well, Come To Earth [Planet Squaria: The Square in the Circle]
31 : A.D.D. [Everybody's Nobody]
32 : Foreign Exchange Student [Zero Heroes]
33 : One Thing [30 Minute Layover]
34 : Vizzy, Vizzy, Vizzy [Everybody's Nobody]
35 : Vizzy Zone (ft Kid Cudi) [Vizzy Zone]
36 : Hey There [Recycle Bin]
37 : Undeniable [Everybody's Nobody]
38 : When We're Done [Zero Heroes]
39 : In Due Time [Everybody's Nobody]
40 : The Kick [ release]

Welcome to misshapedmixtapes

This blog will provide you'ns with good music -- some old, some new, some popular, some obscurish -- with mixtapes released every Monday.

Please note: these mixes are for promotional use only. If you are an artist and wish for me to remove posts contact me & any links will be taken down