1 in 3 African American males between ages 15 and 25 is rotting in a prison cell. every year, the CIA pumps 60 BILLION dollars worth of narcotics, mainly crack and heroin, into the ghettos (source Mike Rupert, political commentator, ex-CIA, ex-LAPD). education and pulling-up-by-bootstraps for a people systematically marginalised, disempowered, and disenfranchised for multiple generations is much, much easier said then done.
gangsterism is a grave and serious problem in the black community. drug dealing, prostitution, and petty violence breaks up families, leaves lives ruined (or very prematurely over), and perpetuates a culture of despair.
but there is a reason young people the world over (and millions of older folks too, like me ha) love gangsta-rap. and there is a reason why i hear Dirty-South Hiphop in high-end shopping centers in unlikely parts of Europe. and the reason is this -- there is something in the ghettos, in the projects, in the concrete-cotton-fields, that the rest of the world is missing, that the rest of us envy, want, and need:
a raw vitality, a life-or-death urgency, and a visceral in-the-moment experience of life.
this mix is a collection of some of my personal all time favorite contemporary Rap from Houston, Memphis, Atlanta, etc. --- what is known as the Dirty South sound. in addition to some of the fiercest flows since invention of the microphone, there are lots of new production ideas, wicked electronic sounds and textures, and other formal innovations in terms of the hiphop cannon -- Maceo's Nextel Chirp (track 06) for example: East-Coast snobs need to take some notes (and get your game out of the coma it's been in). steering clear of the likes of 50 Cent and Outkast (not because they too "mainstream" but because i don't like their music), most of the big names in the underground are represented, including the illest tracks from the biggest mixtape series on the circuit. i wanted to keep it fresh, in the 2000s, so lots and lots of amazing shit from the past, such as early 90s Triple Six, Ghetto Boys, UGK, or joints from the early No Limit / Cash Money days, are not included. and instead of focusing on tripped out songs about weed and drank, or nasty songs about fucking and sucking, this mix is all about the meanest, darkest, bleakest, most brutal, thugged out and straight BANGIN' tunes i could get my grubby hands on in the summer of 2006. an hour long white-knuckled, blood-shot adrenaline rush, like an eightball to the brain.
to be sure, these are songs about drugs, guns, hos, and money. but if you look beyond the lyrics at face value, this music is about more than that. from the hopeless frustrations and beyond-desperate situations of life in dog-eat-dog abject poverty there arises a fearless and un-stoppable expression of rage and deep seated resentment toward pervasive, pandemic oppression, toward a state which continually sanctions and perpetrates the murder and torture of its own (second class) citizens.
i sometimes fantasize about all these rappers putting political messages directly, upfront in their songs, instead of as (largely) unacknowledged subtext. what if they directed their anger at the system, instead of at eachother... (and instead of shooting up the neighborhood, burning down Beverly Hills) but this is largely impossible for mainly 2 reasons: 1. it would not be allowed, radio plays will stop for artists that decide to do this, and other ignorant thugs will take their place. and 2. this music is BORN of thug-life, and it will, sure as the earth is round or we all die some day, continue to be what it has been. it really is a sad, sad situation with no end in sight. and we must all remember that, even as we get hype and bounce to this mix.
the majority of visitors to this blog will be at best not into this kind of music, and at worst harbor unshakable prejudices against it. but that is why i decided to post this -- the polar opposite of most of the music presented on Different Waters. just like my love for the music of Morton Feldman or Steve Lacy, i love this music for what it is. and i hope that some of you who would never normally go there, maybe after a bad day at work or just feeling punchy, might do up a few rails or sip on some syrup, turn up the bass and just get BUCK to this -- your life will only be richer because of it.
note: haven't done a proper cover for this one but that picture of Young Buck just about says it all...
tracklist from memory:
02 Young Jeezy - Gangster Music
03 Bun-B - Dripped Up and Draped Out
04 Paul Wall with Rapid Ric - Tall Tee [from Whut it Dew mixtape series vol. 1]
05 Lil Wayne - How you Ride
06 Maceo - Nextel Chirp
07 Project Pat (i think?) with DJ Smallz [from Southern Smoke mixtape series]
08 Project Pat and Frasier Boy [from Ghetty Green album]
09 Swisha House f/ ??? Mystery MC
10 Three Six Mafia - Got It For Sale
11 Bun-B, ??? Mystery MC, and DJ Drama [from Gangsta Grillz mixtape series]
12 Swisha House f/Mike Jones and Mz. Trinity - Rulez
13 Disturbing Tha Peace f/ Shawnna - Posted
14 DJ Smallz - Dirty South Instrumentals
15 Lil Wayne
16 ??? Mystery Femcee [from Southern Smoke mixtape series]
17 Lil Jon [from Crunk Juice album]
18 Trillville - No Problem
19 DJ Drama with Killer Mike, Bubba Sparxxx, Three-6-Mafia - Get 'Em Shawty [from Got That Purp mixtape]
20 T.I. - You Don't Know Me
21 David Banner (I think)
22 Akon with Young Jeezy - Soul Survivor Alternate Version Remix
23 Lil' Wayne - Get Real Gangsta
bigup kid slizzard for filling in 4 important blanks in the tracklist.
(they is just a couple left and i ain't gon sweat it)
resta y'all stay true to tha game.