May 22, 2018

My Gut Reaction: Big Boi - Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors (December 11, 2012)

Today’s Gut Reaction isn’t one from my unpublished archives (read: the scribble I found in a notebook on my desk that was buried underneath a pile of other shit), but it is an album which I have apparently avoided writing about for a reason I felt was valid back in the day, pre-hiatus. So let’s see where this one goes, okay?

May 14, 2018

Max Continues To Waste Time Exploring XXL's 2012 Freshman Class: Part VI

As of this writing, XXL’s 2018 Freshman Class list hasn’t yet been fully released, but if history serves, it’ll consist of a bunch of rappers whose names I’ll have seen before, but whose music will be lost on me.  Ever since I made the horrible decision to maintain a 7-Up-esque series following the rappers chosen for this accolade in 2012, keeping tabs on each of the ten artists and their respective careers since gracing the magazine’s cover, I’ve found myself struggling to both (a) still care, in most cases, and (b) find music representative of the growth one would assume each man (and one woman) had undertaken in order to organically prolong their professional lifespans.

What follows are my thoughts on each of the ten recipients of this prize based on music released in the calendar year 2017 only. I realized that last year’s entry was actually my then-unpublished thoughts on their 2016 output, so what I guess I’m saying is that there will likely be another entry in this dumbass exercise before 2018 takes itself out, so I hope you’re looking forward to reading that, because I am not.

Let’s get this look at where the 2012 class is now over with.

May 1, 2018

Reader Review: Vince Staples - Big Fish Theory (June 23, 2017)

(Hey, how about that, it's the first Reader Review of 2018. Only took me five months. God, I suck. Today I’m filling this space with d. money’s thoughts on the second full-length album from Vince Staples, 2017’s Big Fish Theory. I know some of you two really wanted to discuss the man, so leave your thoughts and stuff in the comments below.)

April 6, 2018

My Gut Reaction: Dr. Octagon - Moosebumps: An Exploration Into Modern Day Horripilation (April 6, 2018)

Less than two months ago, DJ Q-Bert casually announced live show dates for a reunited Dr. Octagon, a group made of Q-Bert, rapper Kool Keith, and producer Dan “The Automator” Nakamura. This was, in and of itself, quite the story, as Keith and The Automator had stopped working together roughly two decades after the release of their only album, Dr. Octagonecologyst due to creative differences (Keith really hated Dan back then, is all I have to say). But as aloof this announcement was, it was accompanied by another important tidbit that was provided in such a nonchalant fashion that one would think they accidentally left it on the first draft of their show flyer: these performances were in support of a new album. Yes, the alt-hip hop gods have smiled upon us, as the world is currently burning at the hands of white supremacists, deplorables, wealthy assholes, and a self-aggrandizing orange McNugget dragging the name of the United States through the mud in his quest to somehow become the worst human being in all of existence: Dr. Octagon had reunited, they were actively touring, and new music was coming our way sooner rather than later.

The question that immediately popped up in the mind of the average fan was, of course, “Hey, isn’t Dr. Octagon dead?”

April 1, 2018

Something Different: Night Drive - Position I (EP) (September 3, 2013)

Night Drive is a modern-day synth-pop duo that understudies for New Wave giants The Human League, with a twist of Duran Duran and maybe some Depeche Mode during those three minutes scattered throughout the group’s career where they experienced some form of joy. It’s made up of Rodney Connell and Brandon Duhon, hailing from Austin and Houston, Texas, respectively, and their music is marketed as “inspired by sci-fi cinematic landscapes… that explores the darker currents of abstract emotion”. While that sounds like a bunch of bullshit buzzwords thrown together at the last minute by a publicist that really needed to submit some copy to a local alternative newspaper in order to promote an upcoming club show, it is fairly accurate, mining similar territory as acts such as Digitalism or Crystal Castles, whom I've had to stop listening to because of Ethan Kath’s (allegedly) rapey ways.I'm telling you, separating the art from the artists is getting more and more difficult in the current culture.

March 16, 2018

My Gut Reaction: PRhyme - PRhyme 2 (March 16, 2018)

The duo PRhyme is made up of rapper Royce da 5’9” and producer DJ Premier. If you’ve been a reader of this blog for any number of years, I would think that you already knew that, especially since I had explained this back when I wrote about their self-titled first album. Hell, if you frequent any hip hop site on the Interweb, you should already know this fact. But as they ventured into the promotional cycle for their sophomore collaborative effort, PRhyme 2, the duo of Ryan Montgomery and Chris Martin threw out some interesting breadcrumbs regarding the freshman album, one of which I will proceed to use in an effort to fill out the following paragraphs.

February 28, 2018

My Gut Reaction: Eminem - Revival (December 15, 2017)

If you’re reading this post, that means I made it: one new post a day for the entire month of February. Obviously, this will be followed up by another break on my part, but not of the “lengthy hiatus” variety: I just need to recharge my batteries and plot my next move. I also have a bunch of emails to respond to regarding Reader Reviews and whatnot, so if you’ve sent me something during the past few months, I will respond to you, and I apologize for the delay: I just kept putting off reading the messages in order to focus on this project. While you wait for some more new content, I suggest you catch up on the rest of the month of February, listen to some of the projects discussed, and leave some goddamn motherfucking comments, as this blog lives and dies based on audience participation, and I assume you two want me to keep writing, correct?

So for the final write-up of the month, let’s discuss the career of Marshall Mathers.