A$AP Ant featuring Fat Trel, Gunplay & Danny Brown - "Coke And White Bitches Chapter 2"
So I guess in theory I should be against this song (for obvious reasons), but that's okay. I remember "Coke And White Bitches" last year, and it was a cool G14 beat with A$AP Ant's antics, but the track felt like it needed something. Then along comes "Chapter 2" on A$AP Mob's Lords Never Worry mixtape and it all makes sense. Danny Brown kills his verse (of course) and the additions of Fat Trel and Gunplay make this a well rounded track. Each cast member brings their own flavor, and I'm really glad they opted to put a revamped version of this track on the new mixtape. This goes without saying, but there's more to A$AP Mob besides A$AP Rocky. Hopefully everyone else begins to catch on. - Kathy Iandoli (@kath3000)
Ras Kass - "Sushi"
The one thing worse than a dumbed-down derivitative Hip Hop track are the accomanying "visuals" that try to smarten it up. Why can't more artists deliver the same winning combination that Ras Kass has with "Sushi?" On its own, an adroit track about rawness that actually feels raw...there isn't one wasted bar yet it still feels spontaneous. Now comes the video and rather than just rest on its laurels a bold new concept is added, one that says inverting stereotypes doesn't have to feel like work. So we get "Sushi's" verses lipsynced by JNatural, a female Filipina emcee (check her track "Manna" to see how good she is with her own rhymes) while Ras steps behind the counter of an L.A. liquor store, playing the role that post O-Dog era Hollywood scripts have reserved for Asians, not African American men. And to go with the laughter and provoked thought, there's real sushi...literally served by the same guy rapping about it. - Michael Sheehan
Brown Bag AllStars - "406"
Anybody remotely familiar with the Brown Bag AllStars knows that the Brooklyn-based collective is a product of Fat Beats, the integral New York City Hip Hop shop. Now defunct, B.B.A.S. made this stellar Photo Rob-directed video to capture the vibe and essence of the late record store. What I love about this is that the group calls back to what the shop meant, and what it said about the dedication of Hip Hop. It's interesting that DJ Premier makes a cameo in the video, as this plays like a "The Planet" by Gang Starr, on the dues people paid to make a livelihood out of this culture. With Fat Beats Records going strong (La Coka Nostra's Masters Of The Dark Arts cracked the Top 200 last month), and some warehouse pop-up shops, I hope that "406" (the longtime 6th Avenue address of Fat Beats) finds its way back, but J57, Audible Doctor, Koncept and company lay out the things that need to happen. Back in those days (2005-2007), I was working a lot up the block at Goods magazine - another act of the love that couldn't sustain in the changing tides. This just brought out the sentimentalist in me. - Jake Paine (@Citizen__Paine)