Friday, November 5, 2010


Been running through the new MellowHype (Hodgy Beats + Left Brain) album BLACKENEDWHITE a whole bunch this week, "Packed With Gun Sounds, Grams OF Coke And Dead Cops." Entirely produced by Left Brain, the whole thing sounds a bit more polished and cohesive than their first album YellowWhite. They amped up the swag, enlisted a total of five non-MH Odd Future verses (oh and there's this new guy Frank Ocean) and actually blew away my expectations for YellowWhite's follow-up.

Here's the shit I've had on repeat:

#2 "Gun Sounds"

The second track starts off with what miiight be a real voicemail from one of their dads, apparently without contact with the boy for a while. He asks if he's "locked up" or "shot." Reminds me of my mother text messaging me "Alive?" when she hadn't heard from me in a bit in college. The difference is these dudes have been locked in their basement recording futuristic hip hop anthems while I was just like, hanging out. Also, I've never called my mother a "faggot-ass nigga" just for leaving me a voicemail. The proceeding couple minutes is largely made up of, you guessed it, gun sounds. Shit's dark, Hodgy taking a noticeably more violent tone over Left Brain's murder spree snap.

Best moment:

"You shop at K-Mart? I shop at AK-Mart"

#4 "Loaded" ft. Mike G

This one's got some serious swag. That said, I hardly know what "swag" means in the hashtag sense of the term. It seems more of a placeholder for anything that's "cool" or "good" or "fly" or "chill." Perhaps "swag" is the new "chill." Evidence for this lies in "Loaded," a totally cooled-out and laid-back jam, slowed down and gelled together by Left Brain's absolutely sultry rasp in the chorus. Shit just sounds like windows down in Summer time. The only thing that stands out as not-swag in this one is that Hodgy refers to Xanax pills as "xannies" which really turns me off. But this is completely pardoned by Left Brain's smooth delivery, which I am finally realizing is awesome, especially in his verse at the end where he gets pretty harsh:

"You're comedy to me and crowds flee when your shit's on, you get fake applause like a TV sitcom"

#6 "Dead Deputy"

The faux strings swells really do it for me on this one. Also any cut that revolves around killing deputies (or sergeants or officers or whatever) is fine by me. The gunshots and stuttering beat sounds like some helicopter choppin overhead in search for those responsible for an entire county of dead cops. However, the beat overpowers Hodgy's verses, which have moments but act more as another percussive element underneath the monstrous beat.

(NOTE: While I'm into the dead cops motif, the track that appears later on BLACKENEDWHITE "Fuck the Police" is a bit TOO straight-forward or something. Maybe? I don't know, I just can't get into it. A bit monotonous, a bit too care-free. Might be one of my least favorite Tyler verses, too. Just sayin.)

#8 "Loco"

Really cant get over this jazzy MellowHype shit on "Loco." Hodgy goes and goes as the beat evolves, eventually retreating back before breaking it someone (presumably a lady) "it's not just you, I hate everybody." I'm finding this line uncommonly universal. Or maybe way too personal. It's real easy to hate the world. You know, "fuck the world" style. But its hard to actually break it to someone that you hate them. Unless it's just a cop-out. And I guess in this case it probably is.

Anyway, the little vocal clip sampled here really gets me. It's remained in my head almost a week after first hearing it, cascading keys in all the right places. Also, I'm way into the song trailing off, riding out the sample into churning puddles of nothing. Crisp autumn shit.

#11 "Chordaroy" ft. Earl Sweatshirt and Wolf Haley

This has got to be the album's centerpiece. Not only do we have Left Brain on some killer future-beat space shit, not only do we have Hodgy thriving in his natural beat environment, but we also have guest spots from "The Mysterious Earl Sweatshirt" and Wolf Haley. "Chordaroy" starts with Earl's verse, which hits high on all Earl meters in my ear. He always sounds lax, especially over a slow, warped beat, but he's so nimble and articulate it's scary. Wherever Earl is that he needs to be freed from, we seriously need to firebomb that place and smuggle him out of there.

This is not to discount the other parts of the "Chordaroy" equation. Seriously - who uses the word "geophyte" in hip hop (P.S. a geophyte is "a perennial plant, for example the potato or daffodil, which in spring propagates from an underground organ such as a bulb, tuber, corm or rhizome." via)? Hodgy Beats does. He also ends his verse with "feed niggas shells like my muhfuckin beach is nice." Sick.



Check out ODD FUTURE live in New York City Monday November 8 if you can get a ticket somehow - according to Webster Hall's site, SHIT'S SOLD OUT. See you there with yer makeshift Fuck Steve Harvey shirt.

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