PA Vol. 39: The Season Three Premiere

After a hiatus, Drizzle Sez and Speed on the Beat are back with new PA "episodes." Eventually, maybe, they'll decide to just record these. But, until then, let's get into the show without, you know, wasting too much time setting it up. Today, the PAs are talking about indie projects in their second "Drizzle's Indie Showcase" spotlight, along with Portland. Be prepared.

Drizzle: So, let's talk Kanye.

Speed: Oh hell.

Drizzle: Now, before Kanye became YEEZUS, he was a "normal" dude. Through that normalcy, he dropped one of the greatest CDs of all-time.

Speed: And Its--yes, capitalized "Its"--name was The College Dropout.

Oh man...after Graduation--maybe MBDTF--he stopped giving a fuck about his bars and compositions. Man, it became more about "the moment" surrounding a track or an album dropping. It became more about the buzz. It became more about this man going in and saying "OOOOH! Let's play around with this new button--no, this one! Oooh, what does this one do?" We got a sort of ADHD musical diarrhea from Kanye that pisses off audiences and makes people just go scratch their heads in confusion and/or anger most of the time. Look at YEEZUS! Look at it, dammit. No one in their right mind can say that's a good album. It's unconventional as shit, but that doesn't make it good!

Drizzle: Once upon a time, Kanye West was "hungry." A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, Kanye West made parents love him because he made songs about Jesus. Now, probably because he feels he is a modern-day Jesus, White folks hate him for the same reasons people hate Nickelback. No one fucking knows.

Speed: Now, all rappers are hungry at some point. Eventually, most of them stop caring--usually once they "make it." And Nickelback? I guess they're hated because some White people have that whole "oh, all their songs sound the same" argument. Either that or "How You Remind Me" is still stuck in their heads after over fifteen years. Classic song. Fuck you if you think otherwise.

Drizzle: Oh, I'm sorry. A guy playing guitar with a guy playing drums with a guy playing bass with a blond guy with a questionable haircut singing isn't supposed to be a formula? Fooled the fuck outta me.

Speed: But, yeah. You know how that goes. Anyways, back to the Ye that inspired Chance The Rapper to inspire Kanye to not be so concerned with his "big ego" as times.

Drizzle: So, I'm about to break contemporary law and piss off some people.

Speed: Oh, hell...

Drizzle: So, I didn't like Coloring Book.

Speed: Blasphemer. Heathen. SHAME! Lemme find a meme to signify my "outrage."

That works. I think. But, nah. I'll listen. Because, for real, a couple folks who either write for the site--hey Rem--want to write the site, or just out there have given me that same mini-review.

Drizzle: I didn't like it.

Speed: OK. I got that. But...why?

Drizzle: Uh...let's see. You want reasons.

First, it's boring and cookie-cutter. It doesn't take the risks that some people're saying it did. Its success is purely based on its hype. Oh, and 43 seconds into the album, Chance starts spazzing out with his "singing" and he sounds like he's a bit...touched in the head...and you start to feel bad for him. The lyrics are super mediocre. For instance, the couplet "I had the same number since the 7th Grade/This for my day ones, 10 years and 7 days." Or maybe it's because...OK, I'll spare you

Speed: OK. Now, I can genuinely see the first two points. It's a solid project, to me, but it doesn't have many moments that keep you like "damn." The gospel aspects have been done better by other artists, such as Dee-1, K.R.I.T, and--gasp--Lecrae. The production is all over the place at times, and not in a good, "this man is blending a million sounds together like Prince" sort of way. But, I still like the album.

Now, the third thing, Chance's singing. I always joke with my sons' mom about that. I'm always like "yo, lemme go out here and do some Chance-like singing on a track. He's getting play for it." That's how we got "Se Roquel" and its second verses. And it's worked to a degree. Oh, and SHAMELESS PLUG ALERT since The Sorest Loser's out on the 7th of July.

Y'all gotta go get that. It's my last album as SOTB. Plus, if you like Chance's singing, you'll love "Se Roquel" and shit. Drizzle Sez even has a a feature on this bih.

Drizzle: You done shilling or nah? Even though, hearing you say "Drizzle's on here" talking about me. Kinda legit.

Speed: Yeah, I'm done. We still need to finish some of your parts. But, back to Chance. Now, lyrically? I don't think he's mediocre. His delivery, to me, still needs some work. Whose doesn't these days? But, when you mix an okay flow with decent-to-dope lyrics, the lyrics start to sound kind of weird and meh because of it.

I think.

Drizzle: But, I need to find something entertaining to rock with it. Now, don't get it twisted. I respect the shit outta Mr. The Rapper--

Speed: With a capital "R."

Drizzle: I respect him as a person. But as a rapper, I'm like "eh." Now, let's talk Drake for a split second. If Views came out during my ugly, ugly, ugly breakup, I'd be on it. Now? I'm just like "bruh, get some new pussy. Find a new girl to pine over. Treat her with love and respect while you have her versus crying over it after the fact. Shit, you pretty much say that in the damn album!"

Speed: So, most of the big releases this year, to you, have underwhelmed. I can dig it. 

Drizzle: But, yeah. All dudes should know to value someone when you're with them, not when they're gone, because that's stupid. However, you've gotta know who is worth it. Now, everybody is worth something. But, only the right one for you is right for you. 

Speed: Yep. Now, we need a new K.R.I.T. tape. I know, I know. I'm being a greedy-ass, begging-ass fan. But, fuck it. I need Krizzle to bless us. IBTW still gets hella play, but I'm fiending for new K.R.I.T.

It probably is better that way; fiending for an artist to drop versus them dropping and you're like "oh, shit. They have an album out. Whoops."

Drizzle: But, yeah. I agree on K.R.I.T. Now, I've found myself catering to people who didn't cater to me. Like, at all. It was all about what they wanted. See, I'd tell Drake "your girl should want something for you, not always from you."

Speed: Kinda like "Feel No Ways?"

Drizzle: But, instead, he's wrapping his head around girls who've got their hands out. Shit, it's like I remember feeling how he did and I didn't like it. I hated losing the girls. But, I look back. And you know what I say? Fuck their selfish asses. This girl now? The one I'm with now? She sits there and roots for me. She wants to see me succeed. She drops her shit to help me fucking study. She calms me down when work pisses me off. She tries to help me to get to the point where I can celebrate versus just showing up when the celebration's going on and the champagne's popping. 

Speed: True. And I know you're out here doing the same for her. It's gotta be both ways on this shit.

Drizzle: Drake's gotta grab a girl in a different continent. Why? He's too fucking famous to find that sorta thing from a non-celeb at this point.

Speed: True. Now back to Chance, again. He suffers from some overproduced tracks and a lack of Auto-Tune on some verses. I don't care. If you need it, use it. If you don't, that's cool. But, not everyone who sings has the best voice. Sometimes, a little help goes a long way. 

Additionally, Chance kinda gets ate on CB tracks since his guest spots feel more in line and in tune with the beats he's using. Like, look at "Smoke Break." That's a Future track through and through. Future shines. Chance kind of just blends in with the beat. You forget he's there, to be honest, after Future gets on there spilling his Future soul out about Ciara and whatnot. 

Another example is "No Problem" with Colligrove. 

2 Chainz has a legit verse and Wayne sounds like he's giving a fuck more about WHAT he's saying versus HOW he's saying it than he has in a while. It's a solid-ass track and it's dope and all. However, Chance gets kind of beaten at his own game by the other two. Jay Elec eats him on "How Great" with no remorse about it. These guest spots kind of feel like how Ye sorta waxed Drake on "Pop Style." At least Drake was smart enough to, even though he couldn't go back and re-record his first verse for whatever reason, ax the Kanye verse and reclaim the song as his own.

Now, I get that Chance is about unity and collaboration and shit. I love that. But, damn bruh! He does shine with his storytelling, except when he tosses in a "I'm cool" 90s kid reference just because. Now, readers, unlike Drizzle, I like Chance The Rapper as a rapper. As a fan, you don't have to blindly accepting everything with an open mouth--

Drizzle: So these rappers can put their dick in. I'm not a fan.

Speed: Obviously, man. But, lemme finish. I feel Chance flourishes, especially now, because he comes off like an every man sort of dude. It's like Cole, Kendrick, and K.R.I.T. He's a young dude who, on some The Weeknd shit, popped up outta nowhere and folks clung to him. That freaked him out and made him question everything--while doing drugs and getting off drugs, it seems. Eventually, he got right with his God and said "fuck being what They want me to be. I'm gonna be Chancelor Bennett, at all times, regardless of how churchy, nerdy, or whatever people see me as."


Either that, or, you know, he popped up at the right time. Chicago was, in 2012, 2013, still on their drill shit when he popped up. People wanted diversity in their Chi-town bars. And here he comes, awkwardly as all fuck, sampling jazz and church songs like he's legitimately tripping balls at all times. And people loved the fuck out of it.

Drizzle: He sounds like Kendrick mixed with 50 Tyson.

Speed: Too far, man. Too far.

Drizzle: But, I don't "hate" Coloring Book or anything from Chance. I'm just not gonna be up here listening to it more than once or twice.

Speed: He's having fun and, because of his bars, is allowed to do hella community work and save the kids and shit. But, I really wish he'd stop singing off-key as much. I get he's embracing the musical spirit and also evoking jazz within his music. But damn. Sometimes, you just need a little Auto-Tune.

Drizzle: As I said, I've got mass respect for the person. I've mass respect for his substance.

Speed: on the actual rapper side? He's abstract as fuck when it comes to production. Sometimes, it, like I said, gets overproduced like shit.

Drizzle: Look at it like this. Where Jay Z or someone is a nozzle with a flow meter that carefully measures his output flow, Chance is a ripped hose sputtering his shit all messily around.

Speed: OK, that's funny. He's still young, though.

Drizzle: Potential in rap is measured in sniper shots, not hand grenades. You, of all people, should know this. You either hit or you miss.

Speed: Fair. So, you're on the "miss" side for Coloring Book. I completely understand. I'm still on the "hit" side, even with its flaws. However, I'll say this. If Thug and Yacthy can rip the track better than you, your project may have some "miss" material. On "Juke Jam," his singing was on point. Guess he had to compete with Bieber and the other guy. He's gotta sing on that Drake shit. Keep it for slower, loverman songs.

Drizzle: Whatever. Coloring Book gets a toss from me. It's ironic you bring up Views because I give Views a bump.

Speed: I agree. It's all-over-the-place at times, too. But, it's still cohesive. Aside from the moments where he's lamenting about old lovers, it's solid. It's not his best, at all. But, it's solid.

Drizzle: Yeah, his content is "rinse, wash, repeat" at this point. But, hey, at least it flows. Either that or I'm tired of Mushmouth-ass niggas on the radio.

Open your fucking mouths!

Speed: This is true.

Drizzle: Now! Play me a piano riff, then slow it down.

Speed: Uh...okay.

Drizzle: So, I'm riding planes and shit and I get this email. And yes, I email on planes. Fuck you. Guess who it is. It's JusXJustice responding to my email about more music.

So, I download all the track--yes, I download music on airplanes. Again, fuck you--and I listen to it.

Speed: Drizzle with the IDFWU for the entire passenger list. Nice. Go ahead.

Drizzle: So, I'm switching between listening to his shit and Epic Rap Battles of History. Why? Because fuck you, they're hilarious and EpicLloyd should totally play Gordon Ramsey in his biopic. Of course, if it's made by Lifetime, Ramsey will probably be played by Kanye West--

Speed: "Damn Hollywood. Always blackwashing everything," said no one ever. Except maybe about The Wiz a la Orange is the New Black. Coincidentally, Crazy Eyes/Suzanne, Uzo Aduba, was cast in the NBC remake.

Drizzle: And we've got another OITNB superfan. Next you're gonna tell me it's better than Game of Thrones

Speed: No. They're both equally epically awesome. But, MUSIC!

Drizzle: Ah yes. So, I'm sipping Jack through a straw--

Speed: Oooh, classypants.

Drizzle: And dammit! Dammit! DAMMIT! Anyone who knows me knows that I don't say this often. And, I may rip my eyes out before I say it again. But, I couldn't find anything wrong with JusXJustice's project.

I expected some hungry rapper trying to make a claim. In some instances, that's exactly what I got. What I didn't expect was moving lyrics about real-life situations delivered in a way where I--gasp--hit repeat on multiple songs. Yes, he also sent some concepts and unreleased shit that should probably stay unreleased. But, the final project? The final product? It was ME! I bought it.

Speed: Well, shit then.

Drizzle: With, like, money and shit.

Speed: That's usually how people buy things. Either that or they trade something or sell their soul and/or ass.

Drizzle: But, one must remember that the last time I spoke on this negus...I kinda dissed him for his accessibility issues. With that problem solved, I was immediately able to sit on a plane, drink Jack outta a bottle with a straw and be moved. He's the next Weeknd and no one will know about him until he puts a comprehensive album together and he'll get the hipsters and the hoodrats until he breaks out.

Again, JusXJustice gets a bump. So, I chewed on a mixtape everyone loved and praised someone people haven't heard of...yet.

Speed: That's sometimes how it goes. So, where are we going next, Mr. Drizzle.

Drizzle: It's not "where" we're going next, Speed. It's...OK, it's "where." In one of our first PAs, we talked about American versus anime cartoon and the emergence of Americanime. Well, go ahead and screech and wail on that fucking guitar. We're doing RWBY. Are you aware of RWBY?

Speed: So, I'm gonna play the unaware person here. No, Drizzle, I am not aware of this show. And why is RWBY spelled like an old-school rap fail.

Drizzle: You're a tool and an asshole, Speed, for that.

Speed: Shrug. Let's continue. I mean, shit. You asked and you know that only one of us being an asshole in this doesn't work as well as when we're both being PAs.

Drizzle: Well, for those unaware, RWBY is nearly the magnun opus of the Americanime.

Speed: Better than Avatar, OG Teen Titans, and/or Young Justice? Holy shitballs on a spike, Drizzle. Those are some bold words.

Drizzle: Yes. Well, it's essentially about four young girls going through a fucking war while kicking ass. The opening of the series goes a little something like this.


Drizzle: Sounds like some straight up beat-em-up shit. But, it's really really not. Yes, each character has a melee weapon which doubles as a gun (want). But, each and every named character--yes, even the redshirts--has a vivid back story. And each of these characters goes through intense and well-paced growth, again, even including the redshirts.

Speed: All I can say to that is...

Drizzle: The series is well-done for one reason. There is an immense amount of care put into it. RIP Monty. But, subtly, the show's able to convey feminist themes (specifically of the "Girl Power" variety), respect, silliness, vice, and personal growth in between over-the-top, but beautifully choreographed, fight sequences.

Speed: So, for those unaware, it's like TTGL, mixed with some Panty and Stocking with a good ol' slathering of Teen Titans and Legend of Korra?

Drizzle: No. It's what you see it as. But, it's that care and subtlety that makes me review the soundtrack(s) of the series. Three have been produced, one for each season. What makes Volume 3 stand out from one and two is that this time around, the synergy is done right.

Before, there were the standalone tracks which were good mixed in with regular soundtrack noise. That's expected. This time, though, it actually could be split into two separate albums right down the middle. Now, usually I don't do rock, techno or indie pop--

Speed: You should--

Drizzle: But, you add in the vocals of Cassie Lee Williams and...fuck it, good is good. The issue becomes that, despite the album constantly switching styles and keeping you on your toes, it's a chore to listen to after a while. I've never been able to listen to it straight through.

Speed: Albums like that, they border toss for me. So, continue.

Drizzle: I mean, ol' girl tears the tracks straight down. And it's not her fault that some of them are just "meh." Her range is awe-inspiring. But, despite that and those glimmers of hope, RWBY Vol. 3--the soundtrack, not the show. Show's awesome--gets a toss.. Despite the show's mature themes, the album gets fucking childish man. It's like the show is all "my lover is about to die" while the album is just like "you totally rock, broh!"

Now, I'm not done. I've gotta review at least one Latino artist here. Celebrating our diversity and whatnot. Also, damn, I miss Pun. So, let's go with Brown Boi Maj. He's a Latino artist. He's from Arizona. His peoples/street team sent me a motherfucking splash e-mail and one damn song--

Speed: He's got more. For example, he's got some stuff with JusxJustice.

Drizzle: I'm too lazy to search. Why? I decided it ain't my job to do that when your crew sends me promo pages. But, through that page, I got to know where to buy his one song, I now know where to watch his one video. Hell, I know his whole damn life story. But you know what I don't know? I don't know if I like him based off his music.

With that said, that one jam. It was pretty tasty. Yes, it's a tasty jam.

Speed: Ol' girl  in the video was pretty tasty too.

But, I digress.

Drizzle: Indeedly.

Speed: But, you need more to make a decision. So, in that instance, I'm gonna assume that this is undecided?

Drizzle: No. I wanna rant, dammit. I heard his tasty jam and it could've been much more tasty.

Speed: But, I mean. It was a two-minute track. Unless you're KRIT, Kendrick, Lupe, The Weeknd or someone, not too much tasty can be built up in two minutes.

Drizzle: On top of that, the beat was louder than the lyrics. The words became hard to understand. And fuck it! I wanted pie.

Speed: So, what? At points, you zoned out because the mix was off a bit? See, I didn't really have that problem. Maybe it's because my work computer's headphones decided to go all WUB WUB WUB on everything with even the smallest amount of bass. Like, I listened to Cadillactica and thought "Damn, KRIT went no-fi like shit on this." That's until I played it in my car and I was like "oh ard. That's much better." But, I thought BBM's mix was cool and the track was solid.

Drizzle: So, I played the track, "Broke Boi," in the truck. THE truck. With the advanced soundsystem and whatnot. And I couldn't get him to work. So, I'll give him a...different award today. We're giving him the All-Seeing Eye award. In other words--

Speed: What, he's an SOTB Ones to Watch now, too?

Drizzle: Yeah, watch him. So, let's get into the last one. For now. You ready?

Speed: OK.

Drizzle: I present to you...Welcome to the Gas Chamber.

Speed: Wait. You don't mean...

Drizzle: I mean "Welcome to the Gas Chamber by Gasman Da Marvel." Yep. So, I picked this little gem up also expecting some hungry artist shit. And, that's exactly what I got. The lyrics were OK. The justification for doing the project was...just.

Speed: I'm waiting for a big butt here.

Drizzle: BUT!

Speed: Hey, it's Reyna, guys! Getting all meta and shit.

Drizzle: You done?

Speed: Yes, bawse.

Drizzle: Now, Welcome to the Gas was very obviously recorded on 8-tracks and spliced into MP3 format.

Speed: So, it sounds like my early, early shit as J dot Speed?

Drizzle: No. It sounds like double static. It's 2016. PLUG YOUR FUCKING MIC INTO THE COMPUTER!

Speed: Yeah. I remember the title track. The beat washed out mostly everything else. You've gotta pug your mic in and make sure your beat isn't bricking when you're--or your "engineer"/engineer is--mixing it down. Otherwise, you're going to end up with barely intelligible gobbledygook that no one outside your niggas are gonna want to listen to. Trust me.

Drizzle: So, after struggling to decipher through the scratched CD, dubstep vomit, I discovered something. The lyrics were reminiscent of a 90s tossed demo tape. You know the ones. It was full of "I'm great. Guns. Jewelry" stuff...and an obvious sense that Mr. Gasman had never seen any of these things. There was no substance.

Speed: Sounds like it belongs in with some of these 2010s mixtapes, too.

Drizzle: And anyone who enjoys bitching about me not rating shit...Welcome to the Gas Chamber is...fucking fucking fucking fucking BAD BAD BAD BAD. Do not, I repeat do not...I'll say it again. DO NOT LISTEN TO IT! It gets a toss.

Speed: A strong, "I don't care if it breaks" toss?

Drizzle: You wanted me to shit on something. I said my peace on this piece. So, after watching Jon Snow be Jon FUCKING Snow and Khaleesi be da real MVP, I returned from Portland a couple days ago. And now? I know hipsters.


Speed: Is that a bad thing or...?

Drizzle: It was different. So, one of my White friends, they told me that Portland was the Whitest Place on Earth. And, yes, I could count the people of color I came across on one hand. But, that's not what he meant. He meant the stereotypically Whitest Place on Earth. It's, like, where White people go to do White People Shit. And what I saw? It was a mix of hipster insanity and hippie hellhole-ish-ness.

Speed: So Portlandia was right?

Drizzle: Never saw it. I did, however, learn why their hipsters--and probably hipsters worldwide--wear the glasses. Weed. Cops won't stop you if you're wearing glasses.

Speed: Is that, like, a legit rule or something?

Drizzle: I think it's unspoken. So, that's why they wear the thick glasses. Man, I felt like I spent time in a foreign country. I ate and worked amongst them. I saw their ways. And you know my conclusion? The food is good, they like all people, they're weird as hell and fuck 'em for that.

Speed: So, it ain't that bad?

Drizzle: Nah, Speed. You're not getting me. Fuck 'em for being weird and feeling all elitist and shit because they're "weird." You know, all that "it's too mainstream for me" bullshit. So, see, initially, they're very Portland. But when you get down to it? Nah. Fuck that.

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