Beyonce released an album?

My take on the beyonce album release.

First, this was always planned. Like Kanye & Jay, releasing quickly with little warning and not much promo. But they saw where Kanye and Jay fumbled and took it to another level. They said instead of announcing it and dropping it, we just gonna drop it (like it’s hot, I’m sorry. Couldn’t resist.). When Kanye and Jay announced the albums? The world went apeshit. But they had time to settle down and they didn’t do as well as projected. By dropping Bey’s album last night seemingly out of thin air? They got to capitalize on the initial buzz and extra buys, in that way. Snap reaction. And they’ll be a proper single and all that shit too so the public at large will all eventually have their chance to know Beyonce has a new album and they need to consume it. Another reason this is and going to be more popular? She has a much wider demographic than hiphop. While we tend to believe Kanye and Jay transcend the genre, the reality is that they are black rapperers and they’ll never “transcend” the genre the way a white rapperer does (eminem). Not to mention the hiphop community has a real problem supporting their own and treats our products as disposable as diapers. Beyonce gets the hiphop crowd. R&B. & Pop. That’s 3 fuckin genres. And despite the fact that I hear she’s gone raunchy on the subject matter. Unsuspecting white folks gonna consume her music because she’s the IT black women for whites to be “hip” to. They’re “down with that brown (ass).” Not to mention the gay market. Jesus, THE GAY MARKET! The problem will be when lesser artists try and emulate this type of no hype releases and get, *dun dun dun* NO HYPE! Very smart ploy though. The internets are on fire and I imagine they will be for more than just today. This is Beyonce. People will keep the word of mouth going one way or another. Good job guys. Sorry Jay, you wearin your girl chain now. “Got the hottest middle-aged rapper in the game, wearin my rang”

Last night. Yeezus

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So bang. It’s kinda rainy and things aren’t timing well. So we miss the Yeezus pop up shop. Sad faces. But it’s cool cuz we got plenty of time to make it to the actual show. So we get downtown with the quickness. Post up by The Melt. Grilled cheese food truck. Devoured the good poison they bequeathed upon us in exchange for our legal tender. Enta da stage. We got some pretty good seats. We right on time. Merch lines were STUPID! Sorry pals I was tryna get merch for. More sad faces.

Kendrick is set to begin. Now, I have seen Mr Lamar at least 10 times. I’m over it. But Teddy has yet to see him perform a full solo set. Opening for the gawd Yeezus was not gonna be the best place to see him. And it wasn’t. At this point he’s exclusively performing the vastly overrated Good Kid MAAD City record. So all the grade A classic shit we’ve come to Love is resting in performance peace (at least for this tour). He still performed the hell out of the songs though. I’ll give him that. He put on for the set.

Intermission. We decide to post up and talk shit. I’d like to note before Yeezus’ appearance I requested aloud to the gods that Kanye do a concert performing ALL his records. And said I want to hear Thru The Wire and see the “jesus dance”….

Yeezus has arrived. Now before we go any further he performed for almost 2 fucking hours!!!! Unheard of!! So my replay of the setlist is gonna be hella off and hella all over the place, cuz for realsies he was all over the place and it was magical.

He had white hoes parading around in body suits that made em look nakey. He had a moving platform. He had a mountain with pyrotechnics. He had white jesus. He had bedazzled gimp/luchador masks. He had ALL THE ENERGY OF THE SUN PUMPING THRU HIS VEINS. How he does this thing night in and night out is amazing. At some point he performed all of Yeezus. Little here. Little there. Black skinhead, new slaves, I am a god . . . they all sounded beautiful. Then he went into a GOOD music/feature set. Songs like Mercy, Clique, Nwords In Paris, I Don’t Like And for the strangest yet ever so delightful reason he did (way too) Cold. I was too excited for that. Then back into the Yeezus performance. The theatre of the performance was ok. It didn’t matter really. But it helped transition , I guess. When he finally dropped Blood On The Leaves??!?!?! I think I lost it. Not like the white hoes in front of us, cuz they had the no rhythm dancing to even the transition music all stupid wild like game on smash, though. He did a couple other Yeezus songs and then pow he does Coldest Winter instead of Hey Mama. I. Am. Not. Mad! I believe he did another set of old songs. It might have been at this point he did Thru The Wire and my life is complete. The gawds had my back. And what does he follow with? JESUS WALKS! No jesus dance tho. =\ That’s how it all went. Yeezus to the old shit. He was giving me the concert I had hoped for in the future but right in front of my eyes!! He did diamonds from Sierra Leone remix into rihanna’s diamonds remix. KILLER! He did Runaway and it was amazing! He did Lost in the World. He did Street Lights (and I beamed the biggest smile and almost cried. Almost) before all this he did Can’t Tell Me Nothin. He did Flashing Lights. He did Stronger. Some of the renditions he did were slightly different from the originals and it was very refreshing. Kinda tweaked them to fit the vibe of the entire show. SMART. Good Life. Heartless. Power. All Of The Lights. It was all there for us to enjoy. The new the old the classic. He gave us the most spectacular of presentations. He IS a god. No doubt. Oh yeah, his Hold My Liquor? I LOVED that shit. It didn’t differ from any other songs he performed off Yeezus, but I just appreciated it more. After all of this? And so much I’m leaving out, HE CLOSED WITH BOUND 2!! A little odd of a choice to close with but not really. Kind of PERFECT! No Uncle Charlie “Last Name” Wilson, but still AFUCKINGMAZING. And poetic being the live performance of the song on Fallon is what led to me even wanting and getting tickets to see this shit. Yeezus wasn’t at all like that Fallon performance. And I’m thankful for this. Kanye is a true master of his craft and treated us to something more special than I could’ve ever imagined. Thank you (based god)

Chromatics x The xx. Hollywood Bowl.

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Enter: Hollywood Bowl. Parking? Make right, make left, BAM! Parked. Easy peasy. Cut a shit ton of people, tickets scanned. CUTSIES! Find seats. Damn good! Had the middle ground seats. Like maybe at the edge of the 1/3rd portion of the venue. At maybe a 45angle facing stage right (our left, DUH!). We missed the openers Austra. I COULD NOT CARE LESS! I was so happy to see them on the bill. Meant we could be a little late and still see the 2 gawdly groups I came to see. And just like that IT WAS TIME!

Chromatics came out playing one of their instrumental joints, Tick Of The Clock I believe, then out walks Ruth and shit is about to get so fuckin real! Music stops, she grabs the guitar AND THEY START PLAYING “LADY”! Ruth is a murderer on guitar, btw. And Johnny is an evil master on the keys. Playing ever key and effect so perfectly. How do you play effects PERFECTLY live? Sick bastard. Then song numero deux, KILL FOR LOVE! Are you kidding me? Back to back? You guys are nuts. Start out the set with, perhaps, the 2 best songs from the Kill For Love album. Sickos. Then they made it a trifecta with Cherry. MOTHER FUCKING CHERRY! The single for which I has been waiting for the cherry red vinyl to drop for what seems like a year(it’s STILL “coming soon” sad faces). 3 songs into the set and I have heard the top 3 songs on my list and holy shit I could just die right now. They an amazing 45 minute set. I would’ve literally just went for them. I mean looking for their live show is how I even found out they were doing the Hollywood Bowl with The FUCKING xx holy balls

We got a little break while we waited for The xx to set the stage up. And I realized who reminded me of Chromatics. DWNTWN!!!! I saw DWNTWN when they opened for the gawds Body Language (did I do a Body Language recap?!?!?! Jesus Christ I’ll write one later, for realsies this time.) But yeah, they’re different bands with a different sounds but there are a lot of similar elements. Like they’re both Synth Pop, DUH.

The xx takeover, the breaks over, NIGGA! Nigga. And BANG! WE. ARE. ROLLIN! Jamie xx starts playing. Oliver and Romy walk out. They set the stage on FIRE! And they begin with TRY!! And it sounds absolutely incredible!! All night there was just something special about every song. Whether played at a slower tempo, or faster. Or improvised a few chords. Sang the song just a tad bit different. I mean ever so slightly difference. There was just a true magic, and beauty to what they were doing. I soaked in every little bit that I could. And a few times Romy and, mostly, Oliver talked to us. Thanked us. Even said he “doubly thanked” us because we missed the Breaking Bad finale to be there, anytime pal *wink & gun*. It was so genuine. We were all best friends. Every last one of us, for one night of amazingness, BEST FRIENDS! Romy is an absolute BEAST on the guitar. Like SHIT DAMN MUTHAFUCKER! FICTION< REUNION!!! ISLANDS!!! VCR!!! And then they did it. Night Time. Bliss. Pure, absolute, unfiltered. Where was Ms Benes** to be by my side? I decided that THAT was gonna be my favorite part of the night. Little did I know the best was still to come and I had absolutely no choice in the matter, for The xx were our gracious hosts and we their guests, left with no choice. They did a version of Crystalised that was beyond perfect. It makes perfect look like a dead baby. That’s how PERFECT it was. Then you think it might be cooling off but no. SUNSET comes on and it’s endearing that you wanna slit your wrists to let all the joy from your body out into the physical world. Yet and still! They go even more crazy. They start playing Swept Away and the magic is in the air. You can literally see the magic shooting for their instruments into the air. BUT ONLY THEY DON’T SING SWEPT AWAY THEY SING SHELTER OVER THE SWEPT AWAY MUSIC SWEET FANCY MOSES! Then for the 2nd verse they chill and slow the quicker tempo Shelter and start to play the actual version and Jesus F Christ I think Romy grew angel wings. They played a straight forward version of Heart Skipped A Beat. And by straight forward I mean they lit all of our faces on fire. One by one. 3rd degree burns and skin grafts, well worth it. At this point they walk off the stage. Then they dropped the curtain and BANGFUCKINGBANG There’s a god damn 30 piece orchestra (the Hollywood Bowl orchestra). We now know there will be an encore and it’s gonna be the best thing any human being has ever witnessed since the beginning of time. Sure enough they walk back out and immediately begin playing the Intro (the first album). And it’s just fucking unbelievable. It’s just 2 minutes of instrumental insanity on the album. But this? THIS?! With a full orchestra and Jamie and Romy and Oliver all playing live? It was the promised land and they were our saviors. Then OF FUCKING COURSE they did Together (from the Gatsby soundtrack). AND WOOOOOOOO! Was it remarkable. Memorizing. They kept finding new ways to captivate us. Those xx fellows, just perfection they are. To close the show? Angels. Perfect. Beautiful. Amazing. Spiritual. Religious. Magical. Enchanting. I was completely overcome. I almost shed a thug tear or 2. Almost. My eyes was like naw bro you a thug we CAINT do that. It was the stuff of legends. I’ll never forget what The xx gave me on this magical evening. Thank you.

**remember that time Jerry and Elaine made rules and got to sexing? Oh. . .

Review: The Paxtons – Work & The Manhattan Project

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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.
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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.

And just like that it’s over. The chemistry they started with on Work is quickly evolving on The Manhattan Project and you can see it moving towards the perfection of the Avenue Series.

Review: The Paxtons – Avenue C+D

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First of all, Avenue C+D is the latest installment of the Avenue Series, released Sept 2012. Is it the last though? They said it was 4 parts. This is C+D, so is it 3 & 4 in one? Or does it count as just 3? I need to know! RIGHT NOW!

Track 1: Columbia Nights Intro: this is an intro instrumental. It’s delightful. It gives me a slightly 80’s vibe for some reason. Maybe the bass line reminds me of something else. But the thing about 80’s music is that it’s PERFECT, so the reminder (even if it’s something completely unrelated) is THE BEST

Track 2: Brown Skin Girl: My mans and them Chris is crushing on a long distance cutie pretty hard. You think he’s fallin but NOPE cuz he got another one round the way. He just wants one with some substance though. Good for you Chris, fuck these simple hoes, they aint bout nothing. Then Dave sees a broad at the spot and he on it. She on it too, but lowkey. They get drinks and Dave already know she gon be on that walk of shame life in the AM cuz he trill like that. 3rd verse Chris sets the record straight. He aint hiding shit and you best ta get with the program. The Paxtons some trill ass folk, ya heard? The hook? ”Brown skin girl if you wit it then let me know” simple, yet elegant. We all want them brown bunnies and we needs to know if yall down. There’s this refrain and then Chris once again proves he’s the perfect human being. HOL’ UP right quick, ima call HER and saing this on HER voicemail (yeah, HER). . .

Favorite bar(s): My time is very precious and space quickly filling up/ so add to the culture girl and make yourself a keeper, what – Chris

Track 3: Ready To Go (Feat Vanache): Dave is preparing for some late night fun cuz he know it’s finna be ON. Bitch already know what’s up, plus she gushin on Avenue B ALREADY! Then the best most perfect hook drops in and you just wanna lose your shit. Verse 2, Dave at the spot again and he workin on a double dipper. SCORE! Chris comes in with a 5 bar? Bridge? Mini refrain? I don’t know, but he bout to BANGBANG these 2 honeydips. SCORE! 2 Paxtons, 2 Triples. WOOOOOP! Thank the based god

Favorite bar(s): we can take a trip if you goin my way/ pull up to the crib and she beggin me to stay – Chris

Track 4: 044: sounds like a voicemail interlude of 2 hoes that want that Paxton C+D (no Avenues) saingin that Lil Bit Of Livin’ melody. SO I guess C+D give hoes the C+D. POW

Track 5: Want Me More: This here beat got a sped up sample of Donnell Jones “Where I Wanna Be”. Not bad. Dave was this broad wearing a jersey with her cootie cat out? Cuz that would be the most bonerific thing in ever! Fuck the game! It’s gon be a new game with me takin my balls to her hole. . . anywho, Dave beats it and just wants to chill but she callin cuz she want more and he aint sure he tryna give her more than that D. Chris saings the hook but he remains an angel. Then Chris tells this hoe that HEY BITCH we cut buddies and I’ll smoke wit you but that’s it. CHILL OUT! Cuz my nigga a trill ass G one time, ya heard?!

Favorite bar(s): this pimp baby, she aint seen those/ honor that I keep those – Dave

Track 6: Nudes: n00dz!!!! Chris feelin this broad and her head game. It she lived closer he’d prolly wife this one. But since she not, bitch besta send them NUDES out! Hook is basically “n00dz n00dz n00dz n00dz now bitch!” Chris gives a detailed explanation of how he bangs the broad out in verse 2. Bang her out good he does. I’ll add this to my LIST. *waves* @ HER. *runs away*

Favorite bar(s): this shit can be awesome right? Mood set, turn off the lights/ maybe dim it a little so when I get up in the middle, I can see the awesome sight – Chris

Track 7: Raw Papers & Rossi: This that smooth ass player shit! Rappering starts on the beat’s intro then the hook drops in when the beat really gets poppin and it’s just that smooth ass player shit! Life is cool but Dave envisions more. Prosper, family. PROSPER! 3rd verse is Dave literally being a smooth ass player and shit. That’s crazy.

Favorite bar(s): Summer nights cool, but my heart getting colder, it was all good til we started getting colder – Dave

Track 8: Tonight: Chris gets high and rides his bike. We are totally best friends! He hollers at a shorty tells her he gon DO THAT on the Avenues of C+D. Everything’s not all good for Dave. He needs to time to chill out. This broad need to leave him alone while he get his mind right too. Or else. Dave out the door and he might be fuckin wit a another broad, sorry boo.

Favorite bar(s): Life’s decent besides all the fuck shit/ I’m just grateful that a scholar got to function – Chris

EDIT: sample issues caused this to be pulled so if you don’t have it too bad. Sad faces. But I do so happy faces on that ass!
Track 9: Got Away: Dave got the woman problems. Don’t we all? Worse yet he got a girl that got a man. Sad faces. Verse 2 Dave acknowledges that they were in Love with lust and that’s always a recipe for disaster. More sad faces. Friends. Lovers. More? Ehhh. Saddest of faces. Then Chris has the most random 4 bar at the end of the song. I mean it fits but where you been the whole god damn song? Geezus

Favorite bar(s): I only judges em by they actions never words/ reenacting in my mind that’s exactly what you deserved – Dave

Track 10: She Never: The Paxtons puttin this broad on. She aint been bout that life so they choosin up and givin this broad a new experience. Chris gots a lots of hoes. But he’s wlling to give this broad a spot on the roster and teach her how to play her part. That’s generous, Chris.

Favorite bar(s): She honoring my ambition and patronizing my church/ patiently I been paying attention not saying much/ I’m measuring her play making potential to play in clutch – Chris

Track 11: Pretty Girl Problems: I think this my favorite cut off C+D. it’s just damn good. Refrain. Hook. Beat. Flow. It just all comes together. Again. I mean, come on! This The Paxtons. They’re gold, Jerry! GOLD! Chris talkin bout a bad bitch with no self-awareness. She need to get her mind right cuz beauty and problems more than skin deep. The “junky room” she has is her fucked up mind state. Dave got the same problems. His broad seems to be so insecure. I mean c’mon hoe. A Paxton done chose you. Get it together. Too late. Then there’s a beat switch and shit gets kinda groovy. This feels like it coulda been a 5 minute outro and I’m mad they didn’t keep it going but whatevs!

Favorite bar(s): None of the rest you, and you aint in-ter-es-ted in hearing that truthfully you was a nigga best – Dave

Track 12: 050: this is another voicemail interlude. I know it’s in the wrong spot on my track list but that’s literally The Paxtons fault as a song is missing from the bandcamp page so =P but for realsies it’s a foreign hoe that’s gonna holler via whatsapp. Nice.

Damn, it’s over. Or is it? Well, it’s over for now. *cries* Avenue C+D might be the most complete in the Avenue Series. Chris and Dave found who they are and where they’re going. Musically, at least. The flows flowed more flowingly. The beats were all cohesive. The subject matter was a bit more concise. They had a specific aim with this story. You done good, buddies. I thank you, my best friends, The Paxtons. Now release more shit soon. Fuck.

Review: The Paxtons – Avenue B

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Avenue B is part deuce in the series, released January 2012. It was my introduction to The Paxtons and is my favoritest in the series. *waves* Hi, YOU (yeah, YOU!)

Track 1: Lil Bit Of Livin’: NOW THIS is how you start an album. Beat so smooth and infectious. The ad-libs really bring this jazzy little ditty to life. Then Chris starts the party. On some real smooth shit. Opening bar sets off my entire LIFE “with the right light we can make poor look decadent”. That’s what everything is about right? From the rappering game to the 9-5 game. Anywho his verse is basically about this broad he picks up, smokes out, then bangs out. And that’s just life. Chorus is pretty perfect “it’s just a lil bit of livin’”. DUH! Remember this the everyman rapperer group! Dave comes out on some smoothed out braggart rapperer bravado and that’s just fine with me. He is better than you and his weed smoke is of a higher potency, again, DUH! They just livin, a lil bit at a time.

Favorite bar(s): “pardon the garden I swear I’m hard in own mind, beard James Harden” – Dave

Oh man if that bar was rewritten today?!? He’d say “Beard game James Harden” and life would be grand!

Track 2: She Know: Dave is on first and this is about a broad. I mean it’s called “She Know” so what else do I expect? He tells her he’s from the Go but lives in Brooklyn. This is relevant because reasons. The verse ends incomplete. Dave, did you hit it raw or not?!? I need to know. Chris saingin on the hook again cuz he’s the best. And when his verse starts he straight to it! Said he aint even talkin about sex cuz he already knows she gonna take that D. Just gotta figure out where. SHE KNOW! Also, Chris only crushes bad bitches and they best not tweeter about the fuck they make. Oh yeah, The Paxtons have a skill that most rapperers seem unable to master: THEY ALWAYS PICK BEATS THAT ARE GOOD AND THAT THEY SOUND GOOD ON!

Favorite bar(s): Numbers exchanged, she already know ima know her frame – Dave

Track 3: F**K Friends: THIS IS (most likely) MY FAVORITEST SONG IN THEIR ENTIRE CATALOG! This is the first song that SHE (yeah, HER) sent me and it was like BOOM!! This entire song is perfect. There’s like 3 phases to it. The intro is awesome in its’ own right. Chris’ chant is infectious and ever so relevant. Then the beat switches and Dave goes in. Dave talks about a one night stand that turns to more but it shouldn’t be more but the fuck game vicious so he keeps going even though he knows he shouldn’t. Then Chris begins to spit the most glorious most perfect rapper in the history of rappering. I mean that’s all there is to it. His flow, word play, his refrain, his entire being is perfect in this verse. Then there’s another verse with a slight change to the beat and Dave drops a trill ass verse to close the joint out. It’s an amazing song about sex and friendships and being more and being less. It’s everything!

Favorite bar(s): so that I don’t write out the ENTIRE song (which I WILL do, don’t tempt me) cuz various not so subliminals will be sent to HER . . .

I took your best and you got mine too, but we was our best when the shit felt new – Dave

Track 4: Stay In Love (Feat Ohboi! Niyre): This is another absolutely amazing song. The 2nd verse is literally EVERYTHING to me. Or it was (still is). SHE know (is this OUR song? That’s a whole nother write-up for another time). . . This is just one song I say you HAVE to hear to FEEL it. It means a lot to me for various reasons. It’s Love. All Love. Dave & Chris show Love in several aspects, Love life, love another, your town etc. The guest singing is also just spot on. It’s the proper compliment to the entire vibe of the tune.

Favorite bar(s): Chris’ entire verse but for the review’s sake: long as I got you what matters? Not a damn thing else, my life is Love itself – Chris

Track 5: Again: Track starts with Chris and his verse is basically about smoking. It’s not that corny rapperer smoking shit that we have heard endlessly though. Far from it. Hook is simple. Super simple. But it just works so perfectly! Crazy. Doing more with less. THE PAXTONS! Dave chooses a bitch in his verse. Then he proceeds to pipe her down, again and again. Trill G shit.

Favorite bar(s): Penchant for the prose, aint no pension for them flows/ keep my penmanship prolific but I’m pensive round these hoes. – Dave

Track 6: Hayling’s Interlude: this is literally just a beat interlude. It’s not bad. I actually enjoy it. Who’s responsible for producing it?!? But since there’s nothing to analyze I’m gonna eat these strawberries before the next song. Yummy

Track 7: Curb Service: Before I start, “curb service” should be the new terminology for getting head in the car. Man or woman. Think about it “I got me some curb service last night”. That’s killer. Anyway . . . Chris is tired of all these folk just talkin and not movin shit. Aren’t we all?! Geezus. I mean basically he tryna give us the game and be bout that business. I feel you, Chris, play on my brotha. Dave playin wit a hoe but he drop that hoe off cuz he got trill life shit to take care of. And he know he can pick her up later if a nigga feel like it, curb service, WHAT?!?! He a G like that.

Favorite bar(s): the sky, your eyes, your thighs, your hair, and hell I’m beautiful right?/ ok that last one was for you, take in your beautiful sights – Chris

And so ends the venture into Avenue B. It was a fun ride. I learned a lot about myself and all that kind of shit. Got a couple more blocks to stroll though. Avenue C+D .

Review: The Paxtons – Avenue A

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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.