g. perico, all blue

makenzy/opal is finally back with a post about music this time. the partynextdoor aka daddynextdoor aka durag jesus post is still coming. also a post about my queen, banks, is in the works. but because i’ve finally decided to stop listening to the same five songs everyday, i’ve actually been listening to new music. some of this music includes g. perico’s album all blue.

i didn’t know anything about g. perico until a few months ago. i think i can recall seeing his name on a lipstickalley thread. the title was something like “omg g. perico is so fine come look yall”. so of course, being the thirstbucket that i am, i entered the thread. i agreed with the original poster of the thread, yes he is fine. but otherwise i kept it moving and didn’t really see his name again.

maybe two months later, i’m hanging out with someone and he mentions his name. “do you know who he is?” he asks. i respond promptly with “that’s that nigga with the perm right?” the conversation continues. i start thinking that i should finally listen to his music. i postpone that thought and continue listening to the same music i always listen to, which is usually the hot boy$ and beyonce because i’m 2simple.

two weeks ago, i saw his name on a reddit thread. by this point i assumed the universe was trying to tell me something. earlier last week i made an effort to listen to some new music while i was getting ready to go out. the first name that popped in my head was g. perico’s. i figured that since i actually pay for spotify now, i should put it to use and listen to new stuff. so i made my way to all blue, an album i was surprised to enjoy so much.

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i love perms on niggas smh.

that’s not to say i thought it was gonna be bad or i was dreading listening to the album. i can have a short attention span when it comes to music. i’ll listen to new music just to say i checked it out, then i forget about it outside of a few songs. i honestly thought that would happen with all blue. i knew what kind of sound i was gonna be getting from this album and tbh i was neither here nor there about it. i do have a soft spot for LA rappers. what i didn’t expect is that i’d be playing through the album again and again.

quick review of the album cover (yall know me): i appreciate it solely cause of the rollers. 10/10 cover.

on first listen, i didn’t realize how much g sounded like dj quik. it’s not dead on or anything, more like the comparison of action bronson to ghostface killah. they both from new york, just like quik and g are from LA. nothing to be surprised about! yall know how LA niggas sound by now! “he sounds like quik” is only true when you’ve heard one song by g, but when listening to the rest of the album i realized quickly that they barely sound alike. the comparisons to quik end there. all blue sounds like an updated version of the 90s LA sound. it’s not boring and it doesnt sound old. it’s good riding around music.

i will admit though, sometimes it felt like one long song. that can be a bad thing but it wasn’t for me. every song was distinct enough that i knew when something new was playing. i can appreciate “background music”– you dont really have to pay attention but when you do it’s good. the songs that made me pay a little more attention were “westside-digital”, “bacc forth” (good single choice), “all blue”, and “gets my staccs”. the whole album is right in between bangers and chill shit… like you could get a lil crazy if you wanted or you could just smoke a blunt and keep it moving. super solid.

all blue is 13 songs and clocks in at 35min, which in my opinion is a blessing. if it was any longer i would’ve gotten bored. i can appreciate an album not being really long and g kept it short and sweet. i really don’t have anything negative to say about this album. it was interesting but it wasn’t busy, chill but went off. i’d say it was like listening to a dom kennedy and YG album all mixed together.

g. perico is refreshing. i got to learn about his life and what he had to go through. it felt real, but not preachy. he sounds like he has something to prove. he’s this close to breaking through– i feel that. if he keeps putting out albums like all blue then he’ll do fine. i’m looking forward to his next project.

banks and pnd soon! (yeah right)

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fanmail & guerrilla warfare are the same album

so i know it’s been a little while since i’ve posted (i guess i sort of have a life now! who knew). but i’ve had the idea to write about these two really weird and artist defining albums for the last two months now. today i’m comparing fanmail by tlc and guerrilla warfare by hot boy$. i really like each album in their own special ways, but one day i realized that they have a lot in common. like kind of a scary amount in common. then i realized that both tlc & hot boy$ had some stuff in common too. so i decided to compare.

starting off with fanmail, this album is really a product of it’s time. it was the late 90s, 1999 specifically. Y2k was impending, the internet was a novelty (i mean just look at this archived page of the sephora website from 1997… it’s terrifying in the best way possible. couture.), and robots were still cool. just looking at the cover screams Y2k. the blue metallic skin, the font that was custom made for tlc, the idea that “fanmail” was still cool. i’ve gotta admit that when i first saw this cover a few years ago i hated it. i thought it was really scary. i’ve really got an issue with it for some reason. now i just deal with it. but jesus christ… look at it!

i feel you, stewie.

the album itself is pretty decent, but not as good as crazysexycool or even as ooooohhh… on the tlc tip. everyone knows the reason why it wasn’t as good is because left eye wasn’t as involved with it. it sounds dated already with the robot chrome aesthetic. they even had a robot rap on one of the songs instead of the group’s dedicated rapper. it’s not a bad album. it has quite a few gems but it was entirely too long and had too much filler. but i digress.

guerrilla warfare… i really like this album. a lot. i have a damn shirt with the cover on it that i wear close to once a week. it kinda freaks people out. the cover kind of reminds me of something by a heavy metal band. but nope, just four boys in hoodies and solja rags staring into your soul while be surrounded by fire. ok maybe i see why it freaks people out.

guerrilla warfare was the hot boy$ biggest album in terms of popularity and sales. it had two of their most recognizable hits that were officially under their name and not just the “cash money millionaires” title, “i need a hot girl” and “we on fire ’99”. yes i distinguished the version from 1999 from 1997. they’re pretty similar but the first one didn’t have a music video and B.G. didn’t have a verse on it. it was only their second album and the final one they released as a group-group.

my boys! now i know how k-pop fans feel.

just looking at fanmail next to it they have a lot of things in common. they both came out in the same year, both had the groups biggest hit (“no scrubs” and “we on fire ’99”, but i guess you could argue against “no scrubs” being their biggest), both had very weird album covers with all members of the group staring at you, both starting to sound a little dated… they both had 17 songs!! guerrilla warfare wasn’t as bad as fanmail in terms of filler songs, but a few songs could’ve been cut just like they could’ve been cut on fanmail. as mentioned in the last paragraph, both albums were the last released by each group before they broke up. they also both released their final albums in 2003 and they were equally kind of weird to listen to and awkward. of course, the hot boy$ broke up because of money issues and tlc broke up due to left eye’s untimely death, but they both have similar things going for them. wow, i’m really realizing (a reluctant shoutout to kylie jenner) how much these damn albums have in common. amazing.

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perfect picture tbh.

in terms of just the groups as a whole, i could compare them. but when it comes to most musical groups and bands they have the same sort of story. they got together, made a whole bunch of money, there was some drama, one member was always pushed to the side (left eye & turk), then they broke up. and that basic chain of events applies to the hot boy$ and tlc. everyone knows the classic story of tlc’s money issues. even left eye herself talked about them in her classic behind the music story. lots of people know that the hot boy$ broke up cause baby wasn’t paying them (and that at least 2 of the boys said they were being “brainwashed”, which is very believable). so it’s really too bad how both groups came to an end. i do think that tlc would’ve broken up soon after fanmail… they seemed to be coming to an end. the hot boy$ were getting older and it was becoming clear that he would be a star soon (“i feel like that when 2000 comes, it’ll be all about wayne”). they couldn’t be manipulated forever. unfortunately i don’t think they’ll ever get back together, and of course tlc can’t get back together. so there’s another thing they sadly have in common.

if you wanna reminisce with me check out my two favorite songs from each album:

fanmail: “i miss you so much” & “i’m good at being bad”

guerrilla warfare: “i feel” & “bout whatever”

a post on pnd2 coming soon.

lights out, the forgotten sophomore effort

note: today marks 16 years since lights out was released.

dwayne michael carter jr. turned 34 years old on sept 27. with that and the recent drama between him and cash money (which has just about ripped my heart into pieces) and him saying some very stupid shit on black lives matter, i’ve been listening to his music a lot more lately. i’ve always appreciated his earlier music pre carter 1 the most. he showed a lot of potential as teenager and as a kid and its really interesting to compare his output in the 90s to now.

i’m sure the general public doesn’t know much about wayne past tha carter 3 and his love for lean. a casual rap fan knows how influential tha carter series and how wayne in general has been to rap, but maybe they don’t know much about him before tha carter 2. then comes rap fans who either really like wayne, weren’t kids when he was comin up, or just know more than the most popular facts about him. a lot of people didn’t even know he was in the hot boy$. what the hell!!

Image result for get it how u live

baby faced boys rapping about some serious shit. (see how he’s in the front already?)

i’m not here to write about the hot boy$, or even wayne’s first album tha block is hotnot to say that nothing they put out wasn’t good ’cause it really was and wayne’s first album was very strong for a 16 year old. today i’m talking about lights out, his second album released in late 2000. it was released about a year after his debut but he already sounded older and went harder with the lyrics. first off i wanna mention the album art… which is just hideous even by early 2000s late 90s pen and pixel standards.

Image result for lights out lil wayne

look at the fuckin font choices!

it’s hideous. it’s not even hideous in a funny way like the pen and pixel album covers complex puts on their top 25 lists. it’s hideous in a busy and confusing way. i wouldn’t be surprised if someone assumed wayne was set tripping due to this album cover. the parental advisory sticker is huge and in a weird place. i just hate it, ok? it does not do the album any justice.

here’s the thing about this album: it slaps. that’s it, that’s the whole post. mannie fresh’s production was becoming more layered, wayne was showing so much potential, and it looked like the future of cash money records was strong. but alas, another topic for another post. there was no reason for wayne to go as hard as he did. he was hungry and trying to make his mark. and in my opinion, he did. compared to his next album 500 degreez, this album really hit a mark. it’s too bad none of the singles really went anywhere.

speaking of singles… one of the singles released from lights out was “shine” featuring the hot boy$. if you visit youtube to watch the music video for it though, who is featured on the song? mack 10 and mikkey (literally who).  the album version of shine was a great song and gave us one of many classic lines from wayne “all these karats like i’m fuckin vegetarian”. i’m sure his verse didn’t deviate from the album to the single version. i wouldn’t know because i didn’t and refuse to listen to the single version. but by the time the single was released, the hot boy$ were kind of falling apart. so we got a mediocre version of one of the best songs on the album that could’ve been more popular than it was.

the only version that matters.

now as much as i love and appreciate this album, it had some misses. the one song on the album that everyone seems to hate on (and with good reason, it’s kind of weird) is lil one. i like it because its essentially just a conversation between birdman and wayne about selling coke with some chill ass mannie fresh production in the background. but the lyrics are sort of strange and make me a little uncomfortable. the skits are stupid and have literally nothing to do with the album. break me off starts off strong with another uncomfortably weird lyric by wayne. why has no one questioned “you can piss on her breasts, i like that shit”?? there are few other songs like realized, let’s go, and hit you up and more that i don’t dislike but i don’t listen to either. the rest of the album is totally solid to me. beef, fuck with me now, wish you would might be the best songs on the album if you really want some lyricism from wayne. act a ass, biznite, the blues, are more like “party songs”. lemme just talk about act a ass for a second. every time it comes on I feel like i have to scream the lyrics, it gets me so hype. if i had to organize the songs on here…

hot!!: on the grind, fuck with me now, wish you would, shine, the blues, biznite, act a ass, beef, biznite, everything

ehh: get off the corner, hit you up, grown man, jump jiggy (which really isn’t that bad i just don’t listen to ass much as the other songs), realized

cut ’em: intro, skit,  lil one, break me off, let’s go

overall, lights out was a pretty solid album by lil wayne. it definitely could’ve done with some cutting of songs and better promo. but i think it’s very underrated in wayne’s extensive catalog. happy birthday, lights out! time to go blast “fuck with me now”.

emerald city… the 80s weren’t ready

the world was not ready for teena marie. lots of people know and love her more popular hits like “square biz”, “deja vu”, “fire and desire” with rick james, and more. but a lot of her discography is not known. she has some serious HITS. she was continuously Doing That. she especially did it on her 1986 album, emerald city. this album is truly the definition of “underrated”. even teena herself didn’t talk about it much! so i’m giving justice to it with this post.

i really like talking about album covers. they really do affect how i feel about an album and they can set the vibe for an album. and this cover really does match with the sound of the album. first of all, she looks hella good. very fierce with that guitar and look on her face. i love the green tint. i hate the font though, i wish it was smaller.

the album is nine tracks of dark 80s jams. it doesn’t feel too long, and it’s interesting the whole way through. between her lyrics and the instrumentals, you really get the whole “dark city with green lights” vibe she was going for. there is one song that kind of immediately takes you out of that but it’s such a good song that you don’t really notice how out of place it is. i’ll have to listen to it again and read about the concept/story she was going for with the album but teena has always been good with her storytelling, her songwriting has never been weak. she really took her voice to the next level with this album. if you don’t like her singing on songs like “out on a limb” you might not like her singing on this album.

she dabbled in a few genres on this album. there’s a great heavy metal riff on the aptly titled “you so heavy”, “shangri-la” is a quiet storm BOP. i think about being in one of those dark transylvanian castles wearing one of these joints in all black…

rich

while green lightning flashes in the background when i hear it. “batucadia suite” is a jazzy tune about wanting to get away. and you know she had to bring her signature ballad with “sunny skies”. i can see how someone could hate this album. it’s kinda weird, her vocals are out of the ordinary, it does sound just a bit dated. but that’s exactly what i like about! this is what i imagine 1986 to sound to me. her vocals are so unique that i wanna keep listening just to hear them. i love that it’s weird. the 80s weren’t ready!

to be honest, i’m not sure why this album flopped. it sounds like something the 80s would have lovably embraced. i hate to stir shit up but if prince made this album everyone would’ve loved it. but looking back, who knows? teena was just coming off her very popular album starchild. i guess the public wanted more songs like “lovergirl”. but miss marie was not one to sell out. she made what she wanted to make. so she made emerald city. even if it didn’t sell well and critics didn’t like it (don’t trust em!) it’s a solid album.

i’ve been really into teena marie lately. i’ve always loved her music but i’m especially diving into it recently. i’m now officially kicking myself for not picking up the vinyl of this album considering i was just at amoeba and saw it. i ignored it then went home and turned on a teena marie radio station on spotify and shangri-la came up!! and i fell in love. long story short, always watch out for your favorite artists underrated cuts.

to close off this post, a very accurate comment from “batucadia suite”…

went-the-hell-off

she truly did, teamwolfstamp.

defining albums, r&b edition (pt. 1)

 

i love music. music is my “thing”. some people really like to take pictures, some people enjoy gardening, i’m all about music. it can take me to a different world. it can help me feel better when i’m down. it’s changed my life, as corny as that might sound.

one of my favorite genres is r&b. i grew up on d’angelo, sade, the isley brothers, etc. i loved the vocals of the different artists. they made me feel… either warm or cool. i can’t describe the wave of emotions i feel sometimes when i listen to music which can be sort of embarrassing. i have a lot of r&b albums that i love like brown sugar by d’angelo and the velvet rope by janet jackson. but the albums i want to talk about today are, for me, albums that defined a point in my life. they’re definitely not the best r&b albums of all time, one of them i wouldn’t even fully consider “r&b”. but they all have a different, special place in my heart because they remind me of a certain time period of my life.

the albums i’ll be talking about are ginuwine… the bachelor by ginuwine, partynextdoor two by partynextdoor, and goddess by banks. first…

ginuwine… the bachelor was released in 1996 (meaning it turns 20 years old this year! and it still holds up very well). it was ginuwine’s debut album and it was entirely produced by timbaland, with features from missy elliott and static major (rip).  my favorite thing about this album is the atmosphere it creates. it’s dark in sound, not so much in lyric content. it sounds like something that would play in a dimly lit club that only serves hennessy and alize and is always at its most packed when it’s raining outside. speaking of the rain, i permanently associate this album with cloud weather and storms. i first listened to it on a day home from school junior year of high school when it was raining outside. listening to it in that environment solidified it as a fall/winter album for me.

i listened to the bachelor nonstop during junior year. i don’t like the whole album, i have to admit. my least favorite songs are “holler”, the intro, and the outro. i don’t even hate those songs too much because what they lack in lyrics are made up for it timbaland’s production. this album helped me realize that timbo was one of my top 3 producers. ginuwine’s voice was so strong on this album and if i had to reccomend one song to someone who needed convinving it’d be “only when ur lonely” the last two minutes and a half or so of that song give me serious chills.

i can’t even choose a favorite song because it tends to switch when i listen to the whole thing again. if i’m in more of a sad mood “only when ur lonely” or “world is so cold” can get to me. if i’m feeling good, “ginuwine 4 ur mind” and “tell me do u wanna” can help elevate my mood even farther. this album can match my mood perfectly at almost anytime.

this album puts me in a set vibe. the vibe being that lowkey club scene i mentioned earlier. if i feel like i’m in a mood or scenario where this album would fit, i listen to it and it immediately makes that feeling or situation better. i love the rain but sometimes it does negatively affect my mood. when that happens the bachelor comes to my rescue. i like this album because it “fixes” me. it makes me feel better when i’m down.

so that’s ginuwine… the bachelor. a post about partynextdoor two will be coming soon. if you’ve read this far, here’s a funny parks and rec clip that pretty much describes me as a person. i am tom haverford, tom haverford is me.

*confetti emoji*

well well well. it’s my first blog post. not my first first of course. i had blog where i reviewed makeup, a blog where i reviewed random stuff in my house / on tv, and a tumblr. tumblr isn’t even blogging, it’s just screaming into a huge trash fire and hoping someone can hear you on the other side.

so i don’t really know what this blog’s content will be about before i eventually abandon like all of my other blogs (except for my trash fire one). i definitely will be talking about music. and just stuff in general. that’s the introduction.