Album Review: LMNO & Mr. Brady’s ‘Banger Management’


LMNO & Mr. Brady “Cold Spirit”

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LMNO & Mr. Brady “Stomp”

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Banger Management is another release in LMNO’s album-a-month campaign in 2010 but you wouldn’t have known from listening to it. Banger Management lives up to its name as a showcase of bass knocking beats, making this much more the work of San Diego producer-MC Mr. Brady (of Deep Rooted) than LMNO. If you expected spine-tingling lyrics, oxygen-defying flows, or life-affirming insight, you’ll be disappointed. Mr. Brady takes clear inspiration from the Stones Throw vein of hip-hop where beats take centerstage. This is a pure, unadulterated display of blunted beats with bleeding bass, trunk-rattling Bruce Lee kicks, and 8-bit video game MIDI sound effects. Vocals exist as like another instrument in the beat, a necessary background noise that punctuates the smack of the drums and the rumble of the bass. Banger Management knocks from beginning to end without letting up. But it also never switches up. If you’re fine with that, turn up the bass and snap your neck till it’s about to break off.

Random Notes From the SDMA’s That Probably Should’ve Been Live-Blogged But My Broke-Ass Doesn’t Have A Smartphone


The San Diego Music Awards Show took place last night at Humphrey’s. Some random impressions that should’ve been posted on Twitter if my phone had Internet access. I also would’ve posted this last night but then I got caught up listening to dudes rap like billy goats:

  • Jimmy Powers has the opening performance. Obviously, many of these performances are gonna suck since everyone’s sitting down in chairs as opposed to jumping up and down in a bunched up crowd. I think Jimmy performed two songs, “Califoreigner” and “Same James.” I would’ve like to see him take off the shades and explain the meaning behind a song as personal as “Same James” before launching into it. It would’ve worked well with this crowd, I think.
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Video: Makeshift – Turn It Up (Louder)

I first heard Makeshift on Piff Herrera’s Vintage Verses mixtape-album earlier this year. Like Piff, Makeshift can rap his ass off. He’s very polished, very technically-sound in his delivery, his switching cadences, and his wordplay. On top of that, he produces all his music too and the little that I’ve heard so far is solid. “Turn It Up (Louder)” sounds like a classic West Coast Dr. Dre beat but with a dirtier finish. Makeshift does produce his own music usually but this beat may be is a DJ Khalil beat-jack. I’ll update when I confirm where it’s from. It comes from DJ Khalil’s beat tape for the game, Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars. Obviously, listening to nothing but San Diego rap has crippled my ability to spot beat-jacks from national artists.

“Turn It Up (Louder)” comes off Makeshift’s recently released No Doze vol. 2 mixtape-album, which I’m listening to as I type. More thoughts to follow.

Blame One ft. Beleaf and Ruslan of The Breax – Ateteaeight


Blame One ft. Beleaf and Ruslan of The Breax “Ateteaeight” [prod. Hoax One]

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Blame comes through with the second (or third, if you count both “Glass House” and “Stick Up“) leak off his upcoming album, Endurance. For a second there, I thought Blame was gonna spit his whole verse through that garbled, lo-fi filter that he uses on the hook (if you can call that a hook) which would’ve kinda blown my mind. But he doesn’t. Thankfully, he redeems himself by mentioning carne asada fries in a rhyme. Then Beleaf and Blame’s nephew, Ruslan, Blame’s nephew, Beleaf, and his Breax rhyme partner, Ruslan, come through and steal the show. Slight edge to Beleaf for the “Travelling to Saturn like Jasmine and Aladdin …” sequence.

Sounds slightly inaccurate to invoke 1988 in this song. The funky breakbeat signifies ’88 but the tattered up electric guitar brings to mind ’70s psychedelia, making the beat sound like an outtake from Edan’s Beauty And The Beat. Also, it seems weird that Beleaf and Ruslan would reminisce on 1988 when they couldn’t have been more than like 5 years old at that time. What’s up with young rappers being all nostalgic? I thought nostalgia was only something that old fogeys like Blame dabble in after they’ve got some life lived under their belts.

In other news, the Dirty Science crew (Blame, Johaz, Exile, Blu, Fashawn, Aloe Blacc, did I miss anyone?) has a website. I’m wondering how much longer until a Dirty Science crew album. Or at least a full-blown posse cut.

CityBeat: “Out Of Touch.” On Hip-Hop and the SDMA’s

The SD CityBeat just published my feature story on hip-hop at the San Diego Music Awards. After I came out firing on the SDMA’s, Peter Holslin, the Music Editor at CityBeat, offered me this assignment. I tried to cram as much information as I could fit into 700ish words. It ends on a positive note, meaning there are signs that the San Diego Music Foundation is reaching out to the local hip-hop community.

Read a grab below then check out the full story here:

Year after year, the San Diego Music Awards leave hip-hop heads asking: Why aren’t all the real San Diego rappers on the awards ballot?

This year is no different. Where are heroes like Black Mikey or Orko Eloheim, two of the most well-respected and well-seasoned rap veterans in San Diego? They both released albums within the past year—Blackula and Forbidden Physics, respectively—and neither of them have been nominated for “Best Hip Hop” or “Best Hip Hop Album.”

And where is Mitchy Slick, the biggest rapper from San Diego, who performs the world over representing his Southeast San Diego roots in every line he spits? He released his latest album, the solid Yellow Tape, earlier this year. But he isn’t on this year’s SDMA ballot, either.

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Interview: Black Resume, pt. 2

About 9 years later, I decide to post the second half of our talk with Black Resume. In this part, Guilla and Young T of Black Resume speak on their mixed feelings about their San Diego Music Award nominations. They also give us a glimpse into hustling in Mira Mesa. If you missed part 1, read it here.

SDRaps.com: Black Resume has been nominated at the SDMA’s for both “Best Hip Hop” and “Best Hip Hop Album.” There’s been a lot of controversy over the years within the hip-hop community. How do you feel about your nomination this year?
Guilla: I’ve been keeping up with the SDMA’s for the past 4-5 years and everytime it comes up, I’m one of those people myself: “This is some bullshit. They should be nominating better acts.” It was a shock to me when we got the nomination. Because I don’t know anybody that connected with the San Diego Music Awards. I didn’t submit the music for it. I have no idea how it’s run. But they sent us over the email [notifying us of our nomination] and I was like, “Damn, that’s what’s up.” That’s a good look on us. I don’t really see too many other artists out here doing the same, as far as grinding goes, like we are. But I feel like some of the artists on there shouldn’t be nominated. There are a lot of artists that should’ve been. But it’s the fucking San Diego Music Awards–what can you do? Read more of this post

Gangsta Gold Macnificent – I’ll Never Save Her

Gangsta Gold Macnificent “I’ll Never Save Her

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This is the best rapping I’ve heard from Nif Nasty aka the Dank City Boy. He’s snapping on this track: “Shorty want a thug, but shorty really need a job/ So she can move into her own crib and move out of Mom’s.” It’s hella greasy and I don’t give a fuck.

Brother Nature – Grama’s Cooking

Brother Nature “Grama’s Cooking

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Brother Nature is a duo consisting of emcees Real J. Wallace and Bam Circa ’86, though with the amount of work they put in with producer Rob Viktum, they might as well be a trio. Brother Nature is releasing a project with Rob Viktum, A Midsummer Nights Dream, and this is the first single. Viktum’s beat sounds a lot like some trademark 9th Wonder production, real traditionalist boom-bap with a soul loop on top. Neither emcee is anywhere near Phonte or Big Pooh of Little Brother, but they hold their own decently, with a slight edge to whoever’s on the first verse. Though I gotta admit, it’s a little weird for rappers younger than me to be nostalgic. ::shrugs::

Listening to their mixtape now, I’ll let you know if it’s any good.

Video: El Cajon Tez – My Environment

I’ve been sitting on this video for awhile for no good reason. Tez can spit, his flow and his voice reminding me of Lupe Fiasco except his content isn’t as corny. “My Environment” is a chill track in which Tez relays random but essential details of his daily life. Dave Moss provides the dope minimalist beat. Also, I think I see someone from Easy Money Gang with a Money Is The Motive shirt. And also, Smigg Dirtee, who I really need to pay more attention to.

Gaslamp Killer ft. Gonjasufi – When I’m In Awe


Gaslamp Killer ft. Gonjasufi “When I’m In Awe

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Speaking of Gonjasufi, here’s a new track featuring him with Gaslamp Killer. “When I’m In Awe” comes from GLK’s upcoming EP, Death Gate. The song picks up where the duo left off on A Sufi And A Killer, with these sorta Voodoo-inducing vocals coupled with lo-fi, “post-Dilla” glitch-hop/eastern psychedelics. Or I guess to put it more simply, some weirdo singing on top of Madlib-ish beats.

Fun fact (I think?) about Gaslamp Killer: He named himself GLK because he hates all the douchebags that roam around the Gaslamp District. I couldn’t blame him.