Tuesday, 2 November 2010
Celph-Titled + Buckwild
Man, as I've been laid up in bed for the last four days (including today), I downloaded the new Celph-Titled + Buckwild album "Nineteen Ninety Now". MAN. That shit is SICK.
If you don't know the background to it, then basically somehow Celph-Titled has gotten hold of a load of Buckwild beats from the 90s, and recorded a solo album using them. POW. Dope idea. Here's a couple of the tracks to give you a flavour:
Mad Ammo (ft RA The Rugged Man + FT)
Swashbuckling (ft Apathy, Ryu + Esoteric)
^ AMAZING posse cut.
So, let's break it down.
1. The Deal Maker
Classic smokey blunted DITC horn loop, tight skull-snap drums. great abstract one liners...
"This is my movie in 3D, slice your neck with a Fugees CD / and stick Lauryn Hill with the coroner's bill"
2. Out To Lunch ft Treach (Naughty By Nature)
Nice dancehall-flavoured loop to start with, echoey atmosphere, sounds like a damp basement. Drums stuttering away and a confused, atonal series of samples overlaid on top with a sort of echo from . Treach kills it in an understated way - I've not heard a decent verse from him for years.
3. Eraserheads ft Vinnie Paz
Massive sounding beat... really warm sounding, harps all over the place. Classic 90s sound. Nice 8 bar alternating from Celph + Vinnie (who I don't normally rate that much).
"And when we're holding a tech, we'll put a hole in your neck, leaving you with a permanent T-Pain vocal effect"
4. F__kmaster Sex
Starts off with a Funkmaster Flex sample... hahaha. DOPE loop, I can't understand why this wouldn't have been used back in the 90s... anyway. Sex rhymes. If that's your thing then you'll love it.
5. Swashbuckling ft Apathy, Ryu + Esoteric
The first bit of pull-back scratching on this is weak.... but apart from this, this is AMAZING. Beat is absolutely SICK. It's like an old Gang Starr posse cut - four MCs, four beats. And check out Apathy's double-time Big L style flow about 50 seconds in. Amazing. Apathy steals it.
6. I Could Write A Rhyme
Now THIS sounds like a beat that could have come off the first Big L album. Beautiful swirly sample that comes in during the verse, and a really introspective and nostalgic opening verse that I think would benefit from being partially reprinted here.
"Booty shake bass music, I was into that / Poison Clan, 2 Live Crew, that's what got me into rap / Looping tracks with fast hi-hats and 808s / Four track machine with the high speed cassette tape / Now keep in mind that I was a fan, but as MCs we all are, and very few of us become stars / Went from blasting Magic Mike to grabbing the mic / Tried to sound like Spice-1, and not Rapper's Delight / E-40 to Ice Cube, the West Coast had a lot to do with the type of beats I'd write to / but still the Juice Crew was one of my favs / never discriminated whether New York or LA..."
7. Hardcore Data
Nice DITC horn stab in this, almost Bob James style keys on it too. Laid back track, but battle lyrics delivered in a mellow but menacing tone. Nicely done.
8. Mad Ammo ft RA The Rugged Man + FT
Well, Jones family favourite RA THe Rugged Man crops up, which means I would have copped this track eventually anyway... Beat is sick with a Lauryn Hill sample anchoring the chorus. The real suprise is that RA flows a bit off-time. Doesn't sound as precise as usual, but then RA was recording with Buckwild back in the 90s for real, so I shouldn't criticise. Even so, this isn't the greatest track on the album lyrically or thematically. Still a good'un though.
(Note: The skit beat at the end of this track is worthy of a track of its own.)
Whoah.... menacing! It's got that creeping down a dark alley feel, claustrophobic keyboards and string stabs, with horns floating in and out. Very threatening.
10. There Will Be Blood ft Sadat X, Grand Puba, AG, OC + Diamond D
Awwwwww yeeeeeeaaaaahhhhh... it's that classic 90s stab sound. Heavy drums, one stab, crowd sounds making up the rest of the track. Great stuff. Add what basically amounts to DITC and Brand Nubian, this is a KILLER.
11. Miss Those Days
Well, we've heard this sample before, but it's still SICK. (NY Salute - MOP, and the Beatminerz remix of D'Angelo's Brown Sugar.) One of those nostalgic tracks that kills it, not unlike Luda's Growing Pains. You get the general idea. Dope.
12. Step Correctly
Nice sample and heavy drums again (how many times have I written that in this review?). Trippy sped up sounding 60s sample.... sounds like it could have been from Edan's second album. Good random punchlines again - Celph killing it.
"I was a stick up kid, it was fucked up but fun / (why?) Cos I used a Nintendo duck hunt gun"
13. Wack Juice
Wow. This is a proper attack on wack rappers. Almost on a par with Kool Keith at his late 90s best. No-one specific mentioned (that I could tell), but hard-hitting nonetheless. I'm liking the beat switchups on this one. Niiiiiiiiiice.
14. Styles Ain't Raw ft Apathy + Chino XL
Back to the classic DITC sound for this one - very clean sample, tight drums (with a subdued sleigh bell, obviously). Chino comes HARD on this one.
"I pray for your death and I pray that I'm the cause of it / Idiot, killing a blind man with his own walking stick"
(Note 2: again, the beat skit at the end is great... very much like a Pete Rock interlude.)
15. Where I Are
Interesting beat, chorus isn't overgreat but the verse loop is nice (very smooth sounding vibe sample). Chorus IS weak though. Shame.
16. Time Travels ft Majik Most + Dutchmassive
Perfect ending track - mellow, a great "time travels on" theme. Leaves the album on a great note.
Overall? The Jones opinion is...
5/5 album. Amazing - a couple of less-than-perfect moments, but very few and far between. A proper 90s hip hop classic.
As a special treat for you if you're still not convinced, here's a quick promo track Celph-Titled leaked using 4 Buckwild beats (including Big L's Put It On). Enjoy!
Buck's Four Course Meal