Since my first playlist post received such a positive response, I’ve decided to make the MulchPile playlists into semi-weekly feature (and by “semi-weekly”, I mean “a recurring thing that happens when I get around to making it”).
I think I’ve said this before, but summer is my favorite time of year to listen to new tunes in the car, because you can put the windows down and really “share” your taste in music. I’m sure most people probably find it really obnoxious, but for some reason there’s a coolness factor you can’t help but feel when bumping your music.
One more thing before we get into the music – these playlists are actually self-serving for me, because I drive the only car in the world made after 2006 that doesn’t have an iPod hookup, which means I’m forced to make mix CD’s for my car. As you can imagine, new mixes are being put together rather regularly to avoid boredom, and it’s these mixes that I’ll use for the playlists on here.
Okay, enough chatter, let’s get to the playlist. As usual, here’s the track list, and after that I’ll offer my comments on each song:
- “Hands on the Wheel” – Schoolboy Q feat. A$AP Rocky (Habits and Contradictions)
- “Seven” – Tyler, the Creator (Bastard)
- “Brighter Days” – Charles Hamilton (The Pink Lavalamp)
- “U-Luv” – J Dilla (Donuts)
- “100 Bars” – Ya Boy (Kush 2009)
- “Get Money” – Junior M.A.F.I.A. feat. Notorious B.I.G. (Conspiracy)
- “Manny Pacquiao” – Fashawn (Higher Learning 2)
- “AssMilk” – Tyler, the Creator feat. Earl Sweatshirt (Bastard)
- “Food and Liquor Flow” – Lupe Fiasco (Enemy of the State: A Love Story)
- “Say Something” – Lupe Fiasco (Enemy of the State: A Love Story)
- “Thank You” – Lupe Fiasco (Enemy of the State: A Love Story)
- “Leggo” – Meek Mill feat. Peedi Crakk & Young Chris (Mr. Philadelphia)
- “Stop!” – J Dilla (Donuts)
- “Monopoly” – Clipse & The Re-Up Gang (We Got it 4 Cheap, Vol. 2)
- “Throw it Back” – Meek Mill feat. Daddy O (Mr. Philadelphia)
- “The Cookout” – Charles Hamilton (The Pink Lavalamp)
- “Luchini AKA This Is It” – Camp Lo (Uptown Saturday Night)
- “What’s My Name” – Ya Boy (Kush 2009)
- “Gobstopper” – J Dilla (Donuts)
- “Sportscenter” – Lil Wayne (Dedication 2)
- “In the Morning” – J. Cole feat. Drake (Friday Night Lights)
- “Run this Town” – Lil Wayne (No Ceilings)
- “Rose Red (Remix)” – Meek Mill feat. T.I., Vado, & Rick Ross (Mr. Philadelphia)
- “One Thing About a Playa” – Wale (Paint a Picture)
A few notes at a glance:
- By looking at this tracklist, it would appear as though I only listen to mixtape songs that no one really cares about, and that’s not entirely false. But just know that I actually do like popular, radio rap too. I liked “Thrift Shop” just as much as anyone else did.
- My girlfriend recently told me that she respects my taste in rap music, but that I have no sense of what other people want to hear. I didn’t believe her at the time, but now that I think about it, she might be right. If you haven’t heard of some of these songs, give them a try, and if you don’t like them, I won’t be offended. In fact, I won’t even know unless you tell me, so feel free to get totally pissed off about it.
- Although I try to be a stickler for lyrics as much as I can, I’m often a big sucker for beats, even sometimes at the expense of good rapping. you’ll notice this as we go through.
- Most of these songs came out a loooooong time ago, but when I make mix CD’s I usually just dig through my iTunes and find things that I’ve either forgotten about or haven’t given enough attention. So I apologize for the non-newness of these songs. If you want new songs, just go to 2dopeboyz or something; they’re way more on top of things than I am.
1. “Hands on the Wheel” – Schoolboy Q feat. A$AP Rocky (Habits and Contradictions)
Schoolboy is probably my favorite rapper in this year’s XXL Freshman Class, which is saying a lot because this year’s crop is actually really good. As for this song in particular, Q and A$AP both offer decent lyrical efforts, but the best part about it is the sample. If you’re into that kind of thing, the “crush a bit, little bit…” comes from a cover of Kid Cudi’s “Pursuit of Happiness,” performed by Lissie (which is a great listen in its own right). This gritty sort of beat fits perfectly with the “I love drugs” rapping content of the song, and even for non-stoners it’s tons of fun to listen to.
2. “Seven” – Tyler, the Creator (Bastard)
Ever since Tyler dropped “Yonkers,” I’ve always questioned people’s opinion of him as a so-called “creative genius.” For me, there’s a line between being innovative and just plain weird, and I thought (and still kind of think) that Tyler moves towards “just plain weird” more often than not.
But, there’s no denying that he has tons of rapping skills, and his voice is different from anyone else rapping right now (This is an under appreciated aspect of hip-hop artists; am I the only person who thinks Drake sounds like a dying cat in “Started From the Bottom?”). “Seven” captures Tyler’s disturbing weirdness and bottles it into a three-minute exhibition where Tyler to flexes his muscles as an actual, respectable rapper.
3. “Brighter Days” – Charles Hamilton (The Pink Lavalamp)
I’ve always liked Hamilton’s beats better than his rapping, and that’s equally a testament to his production skills as it is an indictment of his rapping ability. In “Brighter Days,” he samples Ronnie Laws’ “Friends and Strangers” (which has also been done by Wale and MF Doom), and puts together an awesome, Hamilton-esque vibe. Rhymefest might want to eat Charles alive, but the kid can make beats.
4. “U-Luv” – J Dilla (Donuts)
When faced with an extra few minutes on your mix CD, you can’t go wrong to throw in some J Dilla beats. This is one of the best tracks from the best album from one the best producer who ever lived. I’m not going to take the time now to write about why Donuts was such a special album, so just take my word for it. Specifically, “U-Luv” offers a one minute break from the rapping to just relax and enjoy the ride. In terms of this mix CD, think of it as an interlude.
5. “100 Bars” – Ya Boy (Kush 2009)
BLACKOUT SONG ALERT!!! This was my reaction the first time I heard Ya Boy go bonkers for four and a half minutes:
The strange thing is that absolutely no one knows who the hell Ya Boy is. To date, he has had very little commercial success (although he was signed, he’s now on his own label, Black Card Muzik). Frankly though, I don’t really care if he ever makes anything else for the rest of his career, because we’ll always have “100 Bars.”
6. “Get Money” – Junior M.A.F.I.A. feat. Notorious B.I.G. (Conspiracy)
How do I know this song is good enough for a car mix CD? Because it was good enough for 8 Mile (I couldn’t find the clip, but Eminem has this song playing in his car at one point, I swear)! Either way, this track has one of the most quotable lines of all time; how many people’s Myspace taglines were “Get Money?” Add an awesome verse from Lil’ Kim to Biggie’s general perfection and you have an excellent addition to the playlist.
7. “Manny Pacquiao” – Fashawn (Higher Learning 2)
I had never heard of Phonix Beats before this song (and never heard of him after, either), but this beat, sampled from Queen’s “We Are the Champions (obviously),” is one of the coolest things I’ve ever heard. This song absolutely bangs, and Fashawn is no slouch either in the rapping department. Maybe the best part about this song for our playlist purposes is that you can play it super loud out of your windows and no one will know what it is, but they won’t be able to stop nodding their head to it.
8. “AssMilk” – Tyler, the Creator feat. Earl Sweatshirt (Bastard)
A little too much Tyler weirdness for my taste, but this song really showcases Earl’s abilities. In fact, I would go so far as to call him the most talented lyricist in OFWGKTA (whatever the hell that stands for; it looks like an abbreviation for one of my drinking game titles). And when you’re in a group with Tyler and Domo Genesis, that title really means something.
9. “Food and Liquor Flow” – Lupe Fiasco (Enemy of the State: A Love Story)
10. “Say Something” – Lupe Fiasco (Enemy of the State: A Love Story)
11. “Thank You” – Lupe Fiasco (Enemy of the State: A Love Story)
Although Lupe’s first two albums (Food and Liquor and The Cool) are all time greats, I’ve always found him to be a little bit too preachy, and it’s only gotten worse with time. In “Words I Never Said,” Lupe straight up claims, “Limbaugh is a racist, Glenn Beck is a racist.” While that certainly might be true, an artist’s job is to creatively send a message through his music, not to stand on his soapbox and force feed his opinions to his listeners.
However, in the Enemy of the State mixtape, Lupe subtly makes his case that rap is too punchline-oriented nowadays, and that there’s no substance anymore in the genre. To prove it, Lupe created a tape of his own wordplay to show that he could do it better than anyone else, and the result was perhaps the best 30 minutes of rap you’ll ever hear.
Originally, the tape was just one gigantic track, but eventually a chopped up version came out, so I just selected my three favorite pieces of it. Since it’s meant to all flow together, I decided to bunch these three songs into one section of the mix CD. Enjoy the insanity.
12. “Leggo” – Meek Mill feat. Peedi Crakk & Young Chris (Mr. Philadelphia)
As much as I love current Meek Mill, old Meek was able to ride a beat better than anyone. Throw in killer verses from Peedi and Chris, and Philadelphians might forget for a minute that Roy Halladay gave up 8 runs in 3.2 innings last night.
13. “Stop!” – J Dilla (Donuts)
More Dilla excellence, and a way to wind down from a Meek Mill sprint. For those of you keeping score at home, Usher used this beat in his song, “Throwback.”
14. “Monopoly” – Clipse & The Re-Up Gang (We Got it 4 Cheap, Vol. 2)
Not only is Clipse one of the best rap duos alive, but their Re-Up Gang stuff is awesome as well (really they just add Ab Liva, but whatever). Ab Liva more than holds his own on this track, and the beat is the perfect level of griminess for the self-proclaimed drug kingpins. Not to mention a derivative of it was used in the 8 Mile Rap Battles (Annnnnd we’ve now broken the record for most 8 Mile references in a blog post with two. No more, I promise).
15. “Throw it Back” – Meek Mill feat. Daddy O (Mr. Philadelphia)
More young Meek, made even better by him and Daddy O going in over a Major Lazer sample. This is one of the more innovative tracks you’ll ever hear from the King of Philly, especially since Maybach Music Group only uses the same three beats for all their songs now.
16. “The Cookout” – Charles Hamilton (The Pink Lavalamp)
We get another Hamilton beauty, and for me this track has a really 90’s-ish sort of vibe that I love. I feel like Will Smith was meant to rap on this song. Perfect for summer, too.
17. “Luchini AKA This Is It” – Camp Lo (Uptown Saturday Night)
If you ask me, this is arguably one of the best rap songs ever created. Seriously, I’d put it at the level of “Hypnotize” or “Ain’t Nothin’ but a G Thang,” or any other classic. Yet, if you asked any rap fan who “Camp Lo” is, I’d bet that 70% of them wouldn’t know who they were. Having this song playing in your car is a great way to show off your hip-hop knowledge.
18. “What’s My Name” – Ya Boy (Kush 2009)
This isn’t quite to the level of “100 Bars,” but it’s pretty damned close. If you’re going to rap over this Snoop Dogg classic, you’d better bring it, and Ya Boy certainly does. The entire Kush 2009 mixtape is like this, and is a must download for any rap fan.
19. “Gobstopper” – J Dilla (Donuts)
Dilla. Jay Electronica rapped over this beat once. Also a former ringtone of mine because I’m the coolest.
20. “Sportscenter” – Lil Wayne (Dedication 2)
This is Weezy at his mixtape best. The beat is perfect for him, and he doesn’t disappoint.
(Notice how short these entries are getting? Oh well, deal with it.)
21. “In the Morning” – J. Cole feat. Drake (Friday Night Lights)
I’m usually horrible with lyrics, but for some reason I know every single word of this song. Maybe it’s because you can sing this song with your friends when you’ve had a few and it’s only halfway weird (on second thought, it’s totally weird, but I’d do it anyway).
22. “Run this Town” – Lil Wayne (No Ceilings)
23. “Rose Red (Remix)” – Meek Mill feat. T.I., Vado, & Rick Ross (Mr. Philadelphia)
Meek’s first huge song, and for some reason I feel that deep down, this is still his favorite. I went for the remix instead of the original because Rick Ross makes everything bossier. Great verses from all, though, and Jahlil Beats is Meek Mill’s perfect producer (Sort of how Best Kept Secret was for Wale before he got MMG’d…tragic.)
24. “One Thing About a Playa” – Wale (Paint a Picture)
Speaking of Wale, here he is at his gogo-ey mixtape finest. Notice how similar this song sounds to “Pretty Girls” off of Attention Deficit; it’s no coincidence that that’s one of the best songs on the album. I’m praying that he tries to get back to this sound on The Gifted or Album About Nothing.
So there you have it, Mulchers; another summer mix CD for your listening pleasure. I hope you enjoy these songs immensely before you get sick of them in a week.