It’s everyone’s favorite podcasters from Ireland named Aaron Poole and Brian “El Phitzy” Fitzpatrick…Aaron Poole and Brian “El Phitzy” Fitzpatrick. Together, they become the equivalent of Mecha-Shiva and do battle with the hip-hop genre. The result? Well, see for yourself…
Myko Slim feat Yung Joc â€“ “Give It 2 U”:
Phitzy: Tracks like this are a dime a dozen. Watch MTV Base for more than an hour and no doubt you’ll hear at least five tracks that are indistinguishable from Mr. Slim’s recent effort. Its particular subject matter and sound make it more RnB than hip-hop, but hey, who’s splitting hairs? If I was cutting up a rug of a Saturday night, pissed as a fart and in the mood to show off my shoddy robot skills, I’d bop to it like there was no tomorrow. I guess that counts for something. Domo Arigato, Mr. Myko.
Aaron: It’s got a good beat, I’d dance to it. But there is nothing distinguishing this from anything else. I guess that was the point though. They obviously wanted to make a song that could be slipped into a DJ’s setlist without causing alarm to anyone. However it can also be easily ignored for the exact same reasons and I suggest that’s what you should do here.
Phitzy: The prolific guys who form thefiveone have taken it upon themselves to remix a track by a different artist every week for a year, for reasons best known to themselves. Admirable a musical goal as any, I guess, and their effort with Lauryn Hill‘s “Ex-Factor” is a bit of a delight. It could be argued that they had an easy job (the original track wasn’t exactly chopped liver), but the guys’ MCing gives the whole affair a Tribe Called Quest vibe, and that’s always a good thing, right kids? Right.
Aaron: Remember Lauryn Hill? Remember how she was considered the saviour of hip-hop? I do and I dare say she does too but it’s been a long time since she’s had any impact in the music scene. Even the short-lived Fugees reunion didn’t hold the weight it should have. “Ex-Factor” wasn’t the standout song from her debut solo album–but it wasn’t fluff either. thefiveone do an excellent job here: they don’t really change any major element of the original and it’s mostly a direct sample they MC over which is a good thing as sometimes over-production on a remix wastes the impact of a solid arrangement. If I were to level a criticism of this however is that its differences don’t improve the song enough and to be honest, just makes me want to go buy the Lauryn Hill album. If a white guy buying her album didn’t offend her as much as it does, I mean.
Derty feat Lil Boosie â€“ “Uh Oh”:
Phitzy: For those of you who found tackling Soulja Boy’s intensely intellectual content quite a challenge, I present to you a little ditty named “Uh Oh”. If you forget the title then fret not–if you listen to the track you’ll hear it repeated at least fifty times. It’s hard to fathom what they were thinking when they produced this steaming pile, but it can’t have been particularly illuminating. Derty (or is it Lil Boosie? Who knows/cares?) constantly shouts “Bitch, get your mind right.” Maybe he should heed his own advice.
Aaron: Uh-Oh? More like Oh-No. Mind-numbing.
Chubb Rock feat Wordsmith â€“ Bridging The Gap:
Phitzy: This right here is a delicious slice of laid back goodness. Former med student Chubb Rock and his young padawan (I’m a sucker for a Star Wars reference) Wordsmith join together to produce a gorgeous track that brings the best of old and new together for the good of all mankind. Well…maybe not, but it’s a damn fine track nonetheless. Chubb’s first verse is steeped in old school hip-hop references, from Sugar Hill Gang to Run DMC and even a little KRS One for good measure; this guy clearly appreciates the history of the artform, and it shows. Wordsmith’s rapping is a little weaker, but still solid, and his respect for what has come before is a refreshing change to the recent slew of younger MCs who wouldn’t know the difference between Slick Rick and Rick Flair. Woooooooo!
Aaron: Smooth. I like this a lot. Chubb Rock has a sultry vibe and I could get used to listening to him very quickly. Wordsmith has a bit of an annoying pitch to his voice, but that is really nit-picking as he still offers a helpful element of grounding out most songs with a hook. After investigating further and checking out their Myspace page, I really got excited by some of the things these guys are doing. Despite the obvious push towards old school hip-hop they still manage to do things that surprise and delight me. For example on their track “Old 2 The New” they change beats in a battling style that makes me want to cheer despite my listening position on the bus. Two rockin’ thumbs up!
GS Boyz – “The Booty Dew”:
Phitzy: Dear God, my ears! I can actually feel my brain melting every time I listen to this abomination. I don’t know if Soulja Boy started off the trend of dumb bastards shouting at a microphone, but he sure as hell proved it could sell, and as a result we are subjected to utter shite like this “track.” These people aren’t MCs! They’re just a boyband that shout! I feel like Kevin McCarthy in Invasion of The Body Snatchers, convinced that everyone who likes this has gone mad or been taken over by an oversized cabbage (hmm, that might have been a better name for these muppets). “DO THE ROCK BOTTOM! DO THE ROCK BOTTOM!”, they yell. Yes, please doâ€¦on yourselvesâ€¦followed by a tombstone.
Aaron: If you need the song to tell you how to dance…you shouldn’t dance. If the song shouts “lean back” and you lean back you’re not only a spastic of the highest order but you deserve to be laughed at (not with). I’ve never understood this recent trend of making your song a “dance craze” or why you need the instructions of said dance craze to be shouted at you in a club like some flashy internment camp. I kind of resent the assumption that I will dance how you tell me to. I refuse. Despite the fact that even the song name–“Booty Dew”–makes me shudder and retch in a way I’m not ready to deal with, I actually think this is a bit of a grower. The more listens I gave it the more it would stick with me. I think this is largely due (or dew, huhuh) to the fact that GSBoyz seem to be having genuine fun with this record. It’s not serious and it doesn’t take itself seriously and that, in a way, makes it endearing to me. You wouldnt catch me dead dancing to it though.
For more of Aaron and Brian, check them out at Quick Stop Entertainment.