Monday, January 16, 2006
Young Jeezy and DJ Drama-Trap or Die
DJ Drama and Young Jeezy, Trap or Die
DJ Drama and Young Jeezy, Trap or Die (chopped + screwed)
Did you get it, get it? Did you guess who was #1? That's right, Jeezy, the Snowman. He got that snow, man. He's also got the trophy for winning the first annual Pound for Pound Best Mixtape, as the crowning achievement in a big year for mixtapes was DJ Drama's Gangsta Grillz Trap or Die. I imagine that a lot of people guessed this choice, as I had pretty much covered every other big name from the year. I mean, you couldn't go anywhere without seeing one of those snowman t-shirts that inexplicably became the gear of choice for hood kids and ironists alike.
However, it wasn't a gimmicky t-shirt that put Jeezy on the map. No, it was this DJ Drama mixtape and a fantastic album that did that. Before I get into that, let me discuss the aesthetics of a great mixtape for me. I'm not sure that I have done a good job of conveying what made a mixtape something I came back to again and again. I'm not sure that I really know, in all honesty, but in looking back, it either had to bring a comprehensive look at a scene, like Whut It Dew, or it had to bring me a complete look at one artist. I want a mix to give me something that the official release never can: the artist and person behind the music. I want it unfiltered: no A&R guys, no label heads, no demographic research. I got that from these six, and then some.
For me, Jeezy brought the perfect mixture of street, talent and arrogance. Mix in an engaging personality, and you have a winner. Moreso than on his album, Thug Motivation 101, this mix brings all of it out in the open. This is Jeezy and his cohorts, talking about selling drugs, bragging about their cars, the money they make, giving advice to younger rappers (he's only 22, mind you), telling stories about going to strip clubs when he was 14 to prove his hood status. It's a huge, wild document, that explores the trap and its mindset, the violence, the guilt, the bragging. Everything that makes hip hop so exciting and frustrating and authentic at the same time.
Trap or Die displayed all of this best, and did it with some of my favorite songs of the year. "Get Em Jeezy", "Miss Me With That Rap Shit" and "We Luv Ya", the freestyle over "Ether" should prove that this isn't all surface, no substance. This mixtape showed the way forward, put Atlanta back in front, and stayed in my playlist for most of the year. Not bad for 6 bucks.
-Hey DJ, that's my DJ! Yes indeed, the man who has provided the soundtrack to way too many of my nights, Low Budget, has brought out a new mixtape. It's called Club Shotta, and gives you a pretty good sense of Low B's style. That means recent club bangers, B-more club, dancehall, mashups, some 80s. In other words, exactly what you need. Go here and buy it directly from the man, or Philly people can go to Armand's to cop it. Whatever you do, buy it.
-The new mix from emynd and Bo Bliz is called Electro Cute and is out now, as well. To quote the guys: "The jawn is a full 70 minutes of ridiculous electro, bmore, Miami-bass, booty, dancehall, and other 130bpm-plus ish." Yum. This might be the mix I would commission to celebrate this blog, as it is so nice to see more and more DJs focusing on bass music and all of its offshoots. Go to the official website and check out some sound clips if you don't trust me. Don't forget to go check out emynd's blog, Schizophrenic Tenant One, which is linked permanently to the right.
-DJ Ayres and DJ Eleven have a mix out called Houston for Dummies, a beginner's guide to all the heat coming out from H-town over the last decade. Go here or here and cop it.
-My Balls and My Word is a great blog coming out of the Great White North that is necessary reading. In fact, it is doing the music, politics, etc. format a lot better than me. Make sure to check out the Schooly D shit, and the variety of mixtapes from Nas, Swishahouse and DJ 31 Degreez.
-Finally, I hope that everyone enjoyed this look at the mixtape game for 2005. If enough people holler at me on comments or email, I will gladly reup anything from the past few weeks. Not sure what's next here at Pound for Pound, but I will be getting back to the booty music that is our lifeblood.