Avenue A is the first of the 4 part Avenue series by my best friends The Paxtons. It was released Sept 2011. Let’s get right to it
Track 1: Grow Up: Chris opens up on the Intro; which is quite literally an “intro” beat they are rappering over. Chris is perfectly in the pocket with his flow on the beat (Dave is too). Which is basically synth strings and chords with minimal drums. His rappering covers the basic rapperer topics BUT it’s the old “it’s not what you say it’s how you say it”. Dave verse is a little more on the personal side. Chris and Dave have this way of saying things that’s not overly simplistic but also not that lyrical miracle-y verbose annoying way of rappering. It’s just perfect. It’s a part of their charm. Kind of like Murs or Phonte, as rapperers they embody the every man. We can relate and that’s where they catch you. And look, this is the “INTRO” to the series. THE VERY FIRST SONG!
Favorite bar(s):Failure’s not an option I promised my people so much/ banking on the future since I’m stuck in the present/ still attached to the past holding on to my investments/ potential was the only thing I had to bet with . . . – Chris
Track 2: I’m Goin’: This one starts with the hook, which has another one of the things I Love about The Paxtons. Chris is singing on the hook. He has not the greatest voice but it just works. No autotunin. The beat is slower, melodic. The crying guitar is the best. Synth? Live replay? Sample? Doesn’t matter, it’s there and it makes the beat. Dave meets a bitty at the show in his verse cuz that’s what the song is about, DUH! Listen to the hook. He out being a rapperer but sounds like he staying faithful and twice he been got by his hoes. Maybe the 3rd time is the charm? Chris met a hoe at the Philly show. Sounds like he tryna talk her into talkin or talk her into the spot and out the draws and/or both. True stories? I hope they got the panties
Favorite bar(s): Fools rush in but it’s hard being paient/ either 3rd time’s a charm or a pattern like paisley – Dave
Track 3: Five Dollars (Ft Sincere DaVinci): The beat here opens with the same generic synth as travis porter’s strip club classic “Make It Rain”. Chris opens up. This sounds like one of those bravado rapperers. He’s better than you, he knows it, shows it. It’s like getting flexed on, on the basketballing court. Good show chap. The first guest verse belongs to SincereDaVinci. And let me tell you, I don’t care about this guy or what he’s saying. He’s probably the homie from Chicago they threw a verse to *shrugs* Dave on third and has the best flow on the beat. More braggadocio. But again, HOW YOU SAY IT! It’s more or less along the lines of Chris’ verse but Super Dave’d out.
Favorite bar(s): got a nice ring to it, Dwyane Wade/ lens snap on a nigga, Dwayne Wayne/ Stay superman high, Dean Cain man. – Dave
Track 4: Hanging: they use Cex – Chicago here. Song about the struggle really. Ill’s of the streets. How you gotta get it how you live. Being slaves to certain things in life, especially vanity. It has some real depth. Dave and Chris both talk about how you gotta take care of self, right way or wrong way. Also, how you get lost in that path. The real gem though, is the outro that involves more of Chris’ singing.
Favorite bar(s): Wish the world would just leave me alone, let me zone out in my head, come let’s roll. . . old lady don’t blow my high, especially when you don’t know my life. Don’t know my life. Don’t blow my high – Chris
Track 5: Everybody’s A Star: the only thing I can stay about the beat is that it’s infectious and catchy as shit. This another one them “every man” tracks. Life’s everyday stuggles.I don’t say this in a bad way. In the first verse Dave talks about how his tape makin noise on the internets but it’s for free download so he see no ends off that. That’s the everyday struggles of being a rapperer. They just wanna make it. Don’t we all.
Favorite bar(s): Take shots to bring in the new year/ miss a star, hit an angel, it cries two tears – Chris
Track 6: Curtain Call (Ft GLC): Chris open up talking about being surrounded by the different hoods. Another thing I can relate to. You may not be around it but it’s all around you. Dave opens with a dream of being shot in them same hoods. Then speaks about the “success” of the city, that ultimately doesn’t lead to them “fixing” the city. Yet the city is STILL his heart. I feel you, fam. Then another Chicagoan hops on the mic, Mr. GLC. He’s a “pimp” in his verse, unless there’s an underlying message he seems to embrace the “hood” idea that Chris and Dave observe and choose not to partake in.
Favorite bar(s): I’m in the middle of it really you shouldn’t expect shit/in this world not of it, though; now that’s perspective – Chris
Track 7: No Easy Way (Ft Puma): Open’s with the hook. “Sink or swim, hustle or die”. That’s ultimately what Dave’s verse is about. Sounds optimistic (to me). He also acknowledges that he’s here for the bullshit, and he’ll grow up when need be. This is the “there’s a time and place for everything” moment. Life is serious, life is struggle. He’s here for all that, but he’s also here for everything else. Then Chris sings us what I’m gonna call a bridge. He just wants to take a timeout from life for a smoke break. CHUUCH, my brotha, CHUUCH!
Favorite bar(s): I’ll get there when I show up/ party til we tore up/ hope you’ll still be there waiting for me when I grow up – Dave
And just like that Avenue A is over. Sad faces. Though, this is not The Paxtons first release, it’s the first in the Avenue Series and it’s a good intro to get to know them as artists and people. A is also a great way to set the tone for the rest of the series. Play on, playas. Guess I’ll play Avenue B now . . .
Oh yeah, another cool thing is that each track has it’s own artwork. That’s neat.