It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single consumer, in possession of a moderate fortune ($10?), must be in want of good music. In the world of Biebers and Gagas and Waka Flocka Flames and Lady Antebellum (I actually know nothing about this group. There’s a reason this column is named “Minority Report.”) accessing good music seems damn near impossible. However, you should not fret. Black Steve is here.
This week in Blackness, I shall impart to you some very important news that is related to your soon to be favorite hip-hop super-groups, Slaughterhouse and Money Making Jam Boys. Alongside burgeoning Alabama emcee Yelawolf, who you may have heard on Big Boi’s song “Your DJ Ain’t No DJ,” a dicey track from his latest LP, Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty, a few weeks ago Slaughterhouse signed to Shady Records. This was a very big step for them because talks of signing to Shady had been in the works since late 2009. Composed of the very talented, yet relatively unknown rappers, Joell Ortiz, Joe Budden, Crooked I and Royce da 5’9, Slaughterhouse lives up to its name. By this I mean that they receive live animals and they murder them in ways that Upton Sinclair can not even begin to fathom. That was a joke. They just make good music. Nevertheless, I do think it is worth pondering how successful they can be when their name and their logo (a pig with its legs tied about to be slaughtered) is so inherently violent. People like the Wu, but there’s a difference between the discipline of martial arts and the brutality of factory farming.
Nonetheless, I have digressed. You are here to hear about the music and I am here to convince you that what you hear in a college newspaper column titled “Minority Report” is worth hearing. Hear, hear. To celebrate their newly forged alliance with Shady Records, Slaughterhouse quickly released an EP featuring 6 hot tracks. Because our time is short, I will discuss two songs. You can check out the other 4/6ths of the album later. As far as content, the standout track of the EP is the song, “Move On (Remix),” a vaguely melancholy song in which each member of the group discusses his own personal story and current understanding of “the hip-hop game.” Despite being 8 minutes long, it’s a very involved song and if you have any interest in seeing what direction they plan to send hip-hop to, listen. If you don’t like it, just move on. Although “Move On” has the best content, the most impressive display of wit occurs on the song “Fight Club (Remix),” which, of course, references your favorite angst ridden Chuck Palahniuk novel. “One rule, no rules.” I can’t really quote any of the lyrics because to really appreciate them you have to experience them sonically (Also, lots of profanity and innuendo that would never get printed in our “prestigious” publication), but I assure you, if you listen to the song and find yourself unimpressed, I will give you a full refund for this newspaper.
On a visceral level, when I heard the moniker, “Money Making Jam Boys,” I felt a slight wave of nausea. It’s just so generic and lame, honestly. Nevertheless, when I heard the music I was a fan. MMJB is composed of Black Thought, leader of the legendary Roots Crew (The Roots are currently in the house band on Jimmy Fallon), Dice Raw, a veteran rapper and frequent collaborator with The Roots, P.O.R.N. (I tried to find what this stands for, but my google search was very unsuccessful and “interesting.”), STS (Sugar Tongue Slim), and Truck. They recently released a mixtape entitled “The Prestige” and hot damn, it is prestigious. Unlike most free mixtapes you will encounter, it does not have those annoying DJ “audio watermarks” and it has genuinely good production. Ranging from the playful “International Playboy” in which the five hip-hop experts nonchalantly display their ability manipulate the nuances of language all the while still being cool “playboys” to more serious songs such as “Money Make the World Go Round,” in which they bitterly discuss the power of money, the Money Making Jam Boys live up to their name. They jam as hard as possible. And they make mon- well, the mixtape was free, so they’re not really making any money. Yet! This mixtape is essentially an announcement to the world. “We are here and we are talented.” After listening, I don’t really even think I have a choice. When they release some studio produced music, I’m now obligated to pay for it.
I have led you to green pastures. One pasture has an entrance fee ($4.99) and the other is free , but I guarantee that at either location you will have a gay old time.