Friday, April 6, 2012

Party & Bullsh*t: This Week in Nashville Hip-Hop [Starlito, B-Hoody, Star Three, John Thicklin, Brian Cameron, Jota Ese, Gray]

Posted By on Fri, Apr 6, 2012 at 1:45 PM

All right folks, let's not bullshit around on this one — you aren't having a good Friday until you cop the new Starlito tape, Mental Warfare. You might be having an OK Friday or a better-than-average Friday, but the new 'Lito tape is gonna make it waaay better. This is a Party and Bullsh*t guarantee. The Smoking Section knows what I'm talking about. The fifth installment in what I'm calling the "War & Piece Saga" — basically the run of tapes released since last May's @War w/ myselfMental Warfare finds 'Lito in top form, deftly switching it up between emotionally engaging narratives and fuck-if-I-care party chants over some of the best beats he's ever used. Starlito is a master of the craft of lyricism, and over the course of the War & Piece Saga, he's developed this interplay between himself and his producers — Coop, Burn One, Fate Eastwood — that allows him to take the form into some pretty deep, intensely honest, harshly self-reflective places, and his records are better for it. I've been saying that Starlito is one of the city's best writer for years, and on Mental Warfare he certainly proves it. Check it out over on BandCamp.

All right, time for the rest of this party and bullshit ...

* B-Hoody has new tape dropping, Properly Preserved, on 4/20. I haven't heard it yet, but the trailer above is pretty intriguing. Is it intriguing enough to pay 15 bucks to go to the release party on April 15 at The End? Not sure. I mean, it's a good lineup — Finess, Stix Izza, Ducko — but $15 is pretty steep for a bunch of locals on a Sunday night at The End, even if it does smell better now that they've taken the urinal out of the men's room. Maybe we'll hear some of the record between now and then.

* Strip-club anthems from kids that probably aren't old enough to go to strip clubs? Yeah, that does seem to be a recurring theme here on Party & Bullsh*t. What can I say, naivete is endearing, and it's pretty much inevitable when you're covering local music. But beyond the novelty, Whites Creek trio Star Three does exhibit some solid flow and a strong sense of where Dirty South hip-hop comes from. There's a lot of promise on their new We Are Star Three mixtape (grab it on Datpiff), and even when the production is a bit rough around the edges, there's plenty of good punchlines and quality hooks.

* This is another one that's a little rough around the edges, but I'm definitely into it. Thicklin's tape has dope beats some hot verses and ill features from OpenMic and S.T.A.N. BUT — and this is a complaint I have with a lot of tapes — the DJs get really close to ruining it with clutter and noise. Sorry dudes, but you need to lay off with the stabs and the drops. You're basically obscuring the focus of the project and bringing the listener out of their zone. Also, what DJ train-wrecks a blend with a computer? Anyway, what I'm saying is that I would love to hear this record sans DJ Press Play's extraneous contributions.

* Break on a Cloud has "Leanin'," the new single from Brian "D.umb" Cameron, and it's a hot one. Sparse, minimal and haunting, "Leanin'" is another winner from the Cameron camp.

* Jota Ese hits you up with "Left Hand Material," another slice of super-stoney instrumentals, this time set to some super-stoney found footage. Mmmmm, stoney.

* Speaking of stoney, I found that video just cold chillin' in my notes. Not sure why it was there, but it was.

* And last but not least, the first new track we've heard from Gray in a while. Is this a sign that we're going to catch a new tape from this dude soon? I hope so.

Gotta fresh show, dope video or hot tape? Hit me up on Twitter or email music[at]nashvillescene[dot]com.

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