After getting cozy with the first 2 entries in the Avenue diary (A & B) I had some down time before C+D. so naturally I went back to listen to the projects. Work (June 2009) and The Manhattan Project (Sept 2010).
Work (June 2009) is inspired by Clerks, so say The Paxtons. I’m NOT gonna parallel the movie with the album. I don’t have Clerks right here in front me so I’m just gonna judge the music for the music and shit.
Opening credits is nice track to start the album off. I guess these Paxton boys always been smooth as shit. The album says it’s entirely self produced but Bread And Water sounds like that Q-Tip song. Let’s Ride, I think. But whatevs. The flow on this sound doesn’t sound tight on the beat. It’s not off beat. But it’s not the crisp tightness I’ve become accustomed to with these 2. Now the hook is on and they sayin “lets riiiiiiiiide” and BAM. I prefer the Tip joint. Rapperering on someone else beat was something I was totally all for 10 years ago. Today? It takes something special for me to listen if it’s not original. Just Tonight gets me back in the groove though. I don’t even hate RA The MC on the feature and I’m normally a hater on the female rapperers not named Jean Grae. Free My Mind is over Teddy P’s Close The Door. The verse is too loud over the beat. Mixing issue. Just takes away from the song cuz I can’t focus while I’m annoyed by these little things. Theme Music. I am NOT feeling the flow off this. You can see the trial and error it took for them to truly hit stride in the Avenue era. I am truly glad was intro’d to my best friends after this period. Radio interlude. Skip. Atlas is back to that Paxton magic that I crave. I should know this sample off top. I think Pac used the same one of some song. Whatevs. But again, this the shit I need from them. But they were still learning so I can’t expect a whole album (or series) of greatness at this point in their catalog. Instant Love because you Love it as soon as it starts. It’s a far cry from the Avenue sounds but that’s not a bad thing. Still smooth, just in a different way. LaLa got another 80’s feel to the beat. Digs it. Lyrics are in and out. Some hit. some miss.BUT THEN. Take You Home comes on and this is one of my favoritest song in their entire collection. This is how you flips some classic shit. Plus, Chris and Dave rapper about giving these broads the business very proper. Bravo, good sirs, bravo. Radio interlude #2. Skip. Interlude aren’t my thing unless they are musical. But Still Waiting makes up for the transgressions. Tight flows over a lovely beat that has beautiful synth keys playing in the backdrop. *SINGS* I’M STILL WAITING FOR YOU TO COME BACK HOME, SO WE CAN LIVE THIS LIFE WE BEEN DREAMING OF. That was for YOU (yeah, YOU). Smoke is such a good smoking song. Makes me want to light up right here at work and say fuck the world. Haha Work. The hook sets it off. Lowkey feels like a westcoastish song if they adjusted their flows accordingly. Yet, it’s just good smoke tunage. Closing Credits isn’t bad but it’s over junior MAFIA’s get money so NOPE!
Work is a nice first effort. You can see the aim and a real chemistry being built yet not quite perfected.
A year and some change later and we get The Manhattan Project (Sept 2010). They are rappering on a ton of other folks beats here. Sad faces, here we go
It starts with Caesar and this is a phenomenal start to the project. I can’t really say why this track stands out. Just that good ol Paxton charm. It’s just how they merry the flows beats and hook. It just all comes together pleasantly. What We Doin (Ballin). Flow so right on this! What are they doing you ask? BALLIN, BITCHES! Of course. DUH. Then Super Stupid comes on and I wanna lose my shit cuz this shit is so bouncy. “Super stupid shit well I get stupid super quick” yes, Chris, YES! Foreplay hits then I just wanna fingerbang her. Ummm Whom? Ummm. Anyway foreplay is NOICE! Fingerbang your girl or girls fingerbang yourself to this shit. For realsies. Hood Pass aka westcoastering in NY by way of the Go. It’s just a delightful ass song. Play it cruisin in the whip on a sunny day. Bang Wit Us has some guests. Dave flow nice. And he claims to have pretty boy Floyd money, so when I go to NY the drinks are on him. HERE HERE! Whoever is on third I’m skipping the rest of the track cuz you do not amuse me. Thanks for nothing. Living A Movie features young XO (of Diamond District fame) so of course I’m gonna listen! On the lowest of keys I was hoping this was over that old kanye beat where he rappers in movie titles. But low low lowest of keys. This song is nice and of course I enjoy mr XO’s appearance. Interlude SKIP. Money Right is up and it sounds like Dave doesn’t really have pretty boy Floyd money cuz he’s a liar. I feel so betrayed. Sad faces. I really like how Chris said “awesome”. I don’t know. It’s just neat. The emphasis. It was Kanye-esque. Next is Beamin. That Lupe song. I actually don’t hate what they did with it. It’d be cool if this was an official remix since they all Chicago-getters. Curtains tooks a while to grow on me. It’s the same sample off that Wiz “Spotlight” beat (off that classic Kush & Orange Juice). So for a while I just wouldn’t listen to it. If you just take it for what it is? Not bad guys. I’m still taking Wiz over this, but I no longer harbor a disdain for it. [chris relays via tweeter that Curtains was first and by waiting they look like biters when that's not the case] Champion is off that Clipse shit. I enjoy this version. Glad they kept the OG hook. The Paxtons sound like they belong here. There’s no clash. Dave’s verse could’ve been mixed down a little better. He’s too loud over the beat but he still belongs here, just at a lower volume.