"Tin Tin" - Curly Castro x Steel Tipped Dove

A superb slice of work from two hard-working innovators, Philly sage Curly Castro and NYC creator Steel Tipped Dove. "Tin Tin" is a dark nightmare ride, a conceptual banger, and a bracing antidote to whatever your day has inflicted upon you thus far. Loud is the ideal dosage.


DISPATCHES: "Apocalyptic Preacher" - AC Killer

Submission #6788 comes from Los Angeles based (rapper?) AC Killer, whose bio reads as if he fell off the fuck-me-in-ass tree and hit approximately 80 percent of the branches on the way down, including the one that may or may not have lodged up in him when he was 10. Sometimes these gimmicks are true, or have tinges of truth sprinkled in with them. Most often they’re not. Most often they’re just prefabricated preludes to the video, that swelling cyst of their musical labors. I’m putting all my imaginary (all $100 chips) on gimmick.

Either way, moving on...

Really, these PR pitches we receive are too good. Eternally plentiful mediocrity from Funhouse Earth, a distilled and excellent crystal clear kaleidoscope of the human race’s sissy throw attempts at creativity. I have to wonder if some of these dudes even really try. I know they act, like they physically move and speak, but are they trying? And why do I care?

This video looks like a bunch of dudes preparing for a neighborhood Halloween trick or treat walk up that might send shit streaming down the legs of every 8 year who passes by, but would never break a 1000 views on the TubeYou’s without top-notch PR. The rapping, of course, is something that I could get a coke head friend of mine to do, who only listens to CCR, and the visuals have about as much thought put into them as your average McDonald’s Fish Filet.

It’s the worst of us. The I want the fame of video without working to develop my content and my craft. It’s literally the worst thing I can say about a piece of attempted Art: It’s not even worth checking out. Not even for the laughs. But you can click the link to watch it die.


"Go Hard" - Al Bundy

We've gotta warn you upfront: it takes a special kind of warped mind to sit through this past the first 2 bars. This is megadeaths beyond car crash metaphors, a perfectly paired video & song as empty as the plains of Antarctica at noon. There is nothing here -- but yet it is a special kind of nothing behind the eyes of name-thief and attempted rapper Al Bundy. His yearning for pure celebrity shines through like a sick, feverish mirror of The Whole Damn Rap Game, verily.

There's no way this cat could convince me that he listens to rap. No amount of bonafides or obscure album names would change my mind. The whole "go hard / viagra" punchline thing was dumb-as-fuck played out while the World Trade Center still had working elevators. Right now, it's 2014. This isn't about generational cycles, this is about kids who "rap" because they know that's how people get famous.

A strange thing to say about a chunk of art, but still, it's best qualities conspire against it. The fact that this is such a technically accomplished piece of work for a low-budget video only emphasizes what a blank wall you're staring at.

So consider this a low water mark, a placeholder for the Most Vapid Rap Video we've seen so far. There are thousands of contenders coming for that title, so enjoy it while it lasts, Al Bundy. Enjoy it while it lasts.


"Multiply" - A$AP Rocky ft. Juicy J

When a video has two people getting Director of Photography credits, shit had better look cocaine immaculate. Thanks to the quantum-spiritual guidance of ASAP Yam$, who had the excessive good sense to list "Wardrobe" and "Casting" with a straight face, the video for "Multiply" looks precisely that good, if not a little better. Playing hard on the contrast between the empty, ostentatious, glittering sets and the fast-moving, extra-filled tracking shots gives this video a lot more blood in the veins than most. This is movie-quality urgency that not even Juicy J can fuck up.

(He tries, though.)

Here at Real Yeti Rap, our politics is essentially defined by frequent usage of the word "TRILL" so obviously A$AP Rocky gets our vote in 2014. He takes a vast nothingburger of a beat and layers it with compelling, precise flow patterns. In the space of this short single he managed more experimentation than you'll hear from any "Real Hip Hop" activists this year. It's almost like being sanctimoniously concerned over a "Culture" you're only a single pebble within is less important than actual creative contributions? Time will tell!

At around the 2:50 mark, the Universe grinds to a halt as Juicy J lights up, well, some sort of experimental marijuana hybrid, apparently. The A$AP team have access to movie-quality drugs these days, too: one hit and the guy spends four bars dancing in slow motion, raps for six bars, then leaves the very fabric of space-time itself, as if his whole second career had never happened; or at least, as if it wasn't a feature at all.

Still, if you're going to make a rap video, make it good and weird and memorable. "Multiply" is all three.


"Abstract Art" - V. Nova ft. Smif-n-Wessun

I'm a sucker for that whole time exposure approach, especially when you get an art project involved. NYC rapper V. Nova makes it a point to rep some elements in his video, and he's also procured some feature juice from the Boot Camp Clik. The beat is hazy but compelling, a perfect mix of chill and insistent.

V. Nova has a relaxed, solid flow but the lyrics is where it all falls apart. This was paint-by-numbers underground rap, and when he says "this is not that weak bullshit that you're used to," you already know this poor fool wants to Save Hip Hop. So when he comes back around to "the game needs saving, should have been a lot sooner," my frontal lobes are already shutting down.

Will I check out future jams from V. Nova? Definitely. Capable rapper with a good heart. This, however, Valium.


"Buck a Cop" - China Mac

Given the brisk pace of killings by police officers this year, it was pretty fucking inevitable that this would happen. And rest assured, it will happen again. Back in August we featured an entertaining UK jam called "All Cops Are Bastards," but that was more socio-political critique type shit. This right here? This an open provocation to kill police officers.

It's easy to take that stance, of course. Body Count's 1991 pop masterpiece "Cop Killer" established a pretty clear precedent on this one. The notion that Ice-T dealt with a "backlash" is fucking absurd: he made millions on tour while a bunch of police unions made token gestures of protest, and now decades later Ice-T plays a cop on TV. Perhaps China Mac will mellow out in his old age, too, but for now, this is some snarling entertainment.

This cat has a big image problem, insofar as he raps a lot tougher than he looks. It is also interesting that he identifies as Asian American but looks like an Italian model. A lot of crackers love to say they "don't see race" and this is a rare case where that would actually be true: hopefully the Gawker crowd can give this cat a couple million YouTube plays and embrace his multi-cultural message.

The video is tightly edited, beautifully shot, very energetic, but ultimately just surreal. An absurd juxtaposition of powerful images and trite lyrics. That's not a dismissal, though: this could easily be the most emblematic video of 2014. Use the hashtag, like it on Facebook, buy the shirt. This is politics now.


"Jokes On You" - Canon

Uncle Hump used to live in Springfield, IL -- The 217 -- and it's a good community. It is. It also gets listed as one of the "Most Dangerous Cities in America" year after year, the rap scene inevitably reflects that. This is something completely different, though. Not only does it have probably the most professional production values of anything I've seen from that area code, it features a charismatic rapper with a huge heart and a good message.

It probably sounds weird -- if not psychotically and hypocritically fucked -- for Real Yeti Rap to invoke "a good message" with a straight face. It might seem a little out of character for the single most hateful, venemous Rap Critic Jihad going in 2014 to give props to a song whose entire message boils down to "Making fun of other people makes you look like a petty asshole." But folks, that is just the world we live in. Nothing is about to start making more sense anytime soon.

Meanwhile, be nice to each other.

You know, unless you're dealing with rappers. That changes everything. No holds barred.


"Stigmata" - Ab-Soul

If there's one thing Black Hippy does right every time, it's image. Their videos are always Hollywood caliber, momentously slick productions, and this puppy is no exception. That's a business lesson unto itself: there are no exceptions. This is a big part of why their formula works. Consistency.

Ab-Soul is beyond critique. That's not a compliment, really, just a factual observation: the man is a legitimately unhinged force of nature, the product of more life experience prior to age 21 than most Americans see in a lifetime of wage slavery. He operates with an endearingly flagrant disregard for any of the technical standards or cultural conventions that rappers take for granted in 2014. So maybe it is a compliment after all: my opinion about Ab-Soul's ascension is every bit as irrelevant as yours. It's already a foregone conclusion.


"It's Time" - DJ SLADEMAN

Watching this was a very strange experience. Mastered to piercing levels that would make chimpanzees recoil in primal fear, the beat kicks in with a sparse and perfectly tuned break -- along with a great horn sample they proceed to never really do much with. British rappers baffle me as much as they entertain me, and sure enough, all I really caught from the first verse was the fact he's happy to just bite Nas outright, like S. Carter casually "quotes" B. Smalls throughout his post-Doubt catalog.

Which is fine: people know what they like because they like what they know. This is all good business.

The hook / chorus is a pop abortion. I can't put it more charitably than that. For the target audience of London rap hooligans and their birds, though, good business. I'm less certain about the economic effects of all those iPad shots -- they could be iconic but they're just corny. Again, this might be a culture gap thing.

Reks kills it, of course Reks kills it. That is why people pay Reks to kill it on their projects, after all.

The cat who comes on after him suffers by comparison, but I also tend to think he would be unimpressive in any context, even a parking lot cipher. His whole gestalt is a lot like Termanology, but with single syllable rhymes and slightly more predictable "punchlines" & "wordplay." These are terms that get abused a lot and I'm part of the problem. Still, dude is a nothingburger, a food additive to justify that crucial third hook. Good business.


"Okie Doke" - Henry Canyons

A clever setup makes for dope results, even if it does wind up being a one-trick pony continuous shot. Chest-mounted steadicam rig x high-energy delivery = "Okie Doke," and Mr. Canyons sells it. Hard to beat the Zen minimalism of making a compelling music video with a single take in less than three minutes and Lo; slap some titles on that puppy and upload thy vision to the Youtubes. It's a beautiful thing.

Henry Canyons has juice, hype, buzz, hustle, which is just to say that I'd heard of him for months now prior to actually hearing him rap. Unlike most of what 2014 has percolating, Mr. Canyons was better than expected. His flow and tone both strike an excellent balance between familiar and distinctive. He also has the good sense to bite Deleuze & Guattari, so that's encouraging.


"Function / Void" - The Bug

I have no idea what the sweet fuck this is supposed to be, precisely, but I like it. There is rapping involved -- some rapid-fire London patois grime shit, delivered like such a specimen should be -- but this here is all Art. The treatment dominates the material, it's too well-conceived to frame the music as anything but a soundtrack...if not an afterthought.

Unfolding like origami, simple at first, all subtle flash, and then the bridge hits. The render depth here is beyond belief, a Ninja Tune video that James Cameron or Christopher Nolan would have happily paid for a thousand times over. Once the paroxysm really makes impact, this plays out like a mash-up of 1984 ... and Inception by way of Nolan's obscure debut, Following.

When motherfuckers are out here spending a billion dollars on Transformers movies and merchandise, it is impossible to fault anyone for making brilliant art out of Ninja Tune b-sides. I would hope the future is full of billionaire heiresses who want to sponsor cutting-edge surrealism like this, for no damn reason. Humanity needs it.

"Born Bad" - Stranger Day

Me and DJ Multiple Sex Partners reviewed the last Stranger Day single, "All In Together Now," and we didn't have nice things to say. As always, the artist disagreed. So when this new single, "Born Bad," showed up, I decided to outsource the review to DISPATCHES author Louis Mackey, in the interests of Science. His notes follow verbatim, but perhaps the real lesson here is "Don't ask Louis Mackey to review videos."

From the Desk of Louis Mackey, 10-06-2014: Right away you’re hit in the face by the obvious two-by-four of reality that he shouldn't be rapping, but he pushes himself just hard enough to come off as almost but not quite acceptable.

Despite that, there were times throughout that I actually caught myself vaguely feeling this. Those brief moments were immediately interrupted by the that, geez, it kinda even reminds me of a hick, 4 miles outside of town Southern Illinoisan accent, coupled with recurring glimpses of his upper body.

But really though -- what keeps him up till when I wake up? Aimlessly driving around the Georgia reject suburbs? Those shots reminded me of the wasteland of poor central Ohio. He should get a job and a gym membership and probably stop smoking pot.

Oh, and: I fucking hate trap beats but this one is actually pretty cool.

Editors Note: Stranger Day is from North Carolina. Not that it matters.


"The Window Series" - SKECH185

This dude is a trip, a living breathing trip. He was also a constant stand-out on the Tomorrow Kings album Nigger Rigged Time Machine -- which is not to imply they're some sort of Wu-Tang style uber-group built on the legacy of their two best rappers, because everyone on that album belonged there.

Photographer / videoauteur Samantha Wakefield has a lot more installments of The Window Series on tap, although the quality of the performances varies considerably. No surprise perhaps that the Lamon Manuel episode was another highlight: it takes a certain kind of carnivorous intensity to sustain interest in a naked human face for more than 60 seconds. For contrast, while I really like a lot of Defcee's recorded work, he just looks startled to be on camera in his performance and it winds up feeling awkward for everyone.

SKECH185, though, is a force of nature that gives no fucks about no man. This is definitely the most compelling video in The Window Series, pushing that West Coast chopper flow past the event horizon of pixel recognition, editorializing on his own lyrics mid-stream, and repeatedly exploding with pure Kundalini psychosis. This is a gem, in other words.

Not for everybody, but fuck anything that is, right?


"Christ Conscious" - Joey Bada$$

Big, loud, pretty and boring. This cat has done way better with the bars, but so what? The video sells itself. The Alex Grey / Kris Kuksi bling and CGI ornamentation is fucking gorgeous and Mr. Bada$$ sells every frame -- shit might not amount to much, but at least he really means it.

...but so what? You could have put Viper on camera the whole time and it would still be a compelling watch. This is a snarling, mescaline-spiked cathedral of a video and it's all built on top of a single verse. So props due to director M-I-E, who clearly had a much bigger hand in the final product than simple editing. Since Greatness is always a team effort, props to the animators, too: Yukai Du, Richard Payne, John L. Wilkinson and Richard Payne.

Joey's got a big team behind him, too, and he's gearing up for a big 2015. This video was on MTV, perhaps that still means something and I hope it does. History will probably show this video had a "Yonkers" level impact -- history always laughs at me, blood and shrapnel and screaming civilians in his bloody, mile-wide incisors. I was wrong, I am wrong, I will be wrong again.


"Prom Quiz" - Greyskul

Much like Jay-Z's "Big Pimpin" -- and for similar tonal reasons, too -- this track right here has stuck with me for life. Like so many other powerful psychedelic drugs, hip hop is all about set and setting, and surely the long-lost context for my first exposure to "Prom Quiz" has a lot to do with why it would still be in my head, a billion decades later.

"The dumb were mostly intrigued by the drum," as a Shaolin sage once observed, and it is important for you to understand that I am among the dumb. Here at Real Yeti Rap, we all are. Those cats who listen to "pop rap" trash and love smart ignorant lyrics? That's us. We keep having to remind the whole Real Hip Hop Jihad, we're not on your side. You may feel that your opinions matter, or count somehow, but we know better. We just like what we like.

And I'm still baffled as to why I like this one. It's true. I don't get myself and, thank fuck, I don't have to. These verses are terrible, wall to wall. I still bump it all the time.


"First Step" - Diamond District

Washington, DC / VA group Diamond District put out one of my favorite albums, period, a few years back. Now they're returning to destroy and "First Step" is the opening preview of their second album, March on Washington. Oddisee has been growing into a truly talented rapper -- as evidenced by the stellar "Rhymes on Random" -- and his closing verse here is proof that he's achieved Grandmaster status in his second element. As always, Uptown XO and yU are fierce & awesomely on point.

This is two victories for Mello Music Group in one month. They're building a Humble Empire out West, pay attention.


"Magician in the Mountain" - Louis Mackey

World Around Wednesdays is back.

strangle game changers with cable cords
watch their face blanken straight from beige to orange
with commercial tracks, subversive raps, work my magic in
on dirty mattresses, Merlin’s manuscripts and burnt cadaver’s skin


"Midnight Train" - Cash Lansky

Do not start your music video with an acceplla. Don't, do not. All you're doing is spotlighting your mundane bars in the least photogenic environment currently imaginable: global exposure on YouTube. This cat makes it work off sheer charisma and managed to carry my attention until the beat hits at...just kidding, the beat doesn't hit yet.

They actually made the decision to spend the next 82 seconds on a nicely shot sequence of this dude opening up a restaurant. Really. This is a music video. I won't even begin to hate on the ham-fisted art student audacity of some shit like this. When does the beat finally hit? Past the two minute mark.

The ultimate verdict here ain't nothing nice. Whoever decided footage of this cat hanging out at work was something people would want to watch is, to put it as diplomatically as possible, completely motherfucking retarded. This video takes b-roll and puts it center stage because there's nothing, finally, here at all. Cash Lansky is clearly a good dude, but he's succeeding here as a model rather than a rapper. His energy is compelling, the footage is well done. There ends the short list of Nice Things to Say.

This is being posted mostly as a cautionary example. Don't make 4 minute videos out of 2 minute songs.


"Nowadays" - AK

Humpasaur "Hump" Jones: Let's be honest about this. No part of living in Ohio is easy. Our heart goes out to anyone coping with a burden like that, but there must be some consolation in the fact you're not from Iowa, right? Today's INBOXXX subject is a rapper/cracker named AK who distinguishes himself, right from the jump, as that rare emcee who enjoys smoking marijuana.

DJ Multiple Sex Partners: THE INBOXXX. We're back. This is happening. Once again, I'm being subjected to whiteboy rap because Hump Jones is a closet racist.

HJ: It's true. I chose this one because I wanted it to be good, but it already looks like I chose wrong.

DJ MSP: And yet you're still committed to doing this whole ordeal.

HJ: THE INBOXXX is such a desperate, thirsty meat factory nightmare I feel like we owe it to these mogs to give them the truth as we see it. Also, I feel for this cat.

DJ MSP: Props to director Matt Kaz for keeping things moving despite some pretty Wonderbread footage & material - during the course of this video, you will watch a blunt get rolled and smoked in the company of an attractive young woman. There will also be Rapper Hands. There's a good range of visual styles on display and they put in some decent editing work. Decent isn't anywhere close to great, though.

HJ: Yeah, decent is pretty boring. The beat stays in a very Ohio pocket - heavily reminiscent of J. Rawls in that Cold Turkey boom bap pocket, or pretty much anything Hi-Tek has done in his quieter moments.

DJ MSP: Do you feel like there's a small white elephant in the room you're avoiding?

HJ: I keep analyzing everything except the actual rapper because that whole subject feels like Nietzsche's Abyss staring back at me. It's sleepwalk-mumble braggadocio from a bro on autopilot. He gets lots of weed and wants to bring That Real Hip Hop Back. There isn't a single memorable or even decent bar in this cut.

DJ MSP: There's probably a quarter of a billion kids his age doing the same thing right now.

HJ: But hey, man, like you said last time: Mac Miller. G-Eazy. Cats like this are blowing up right now because mediocre white kids want a mediocre white kid to make it. Vanilla Ice was too pretty, he could dance. Eminem could actually rap good enough to get accepted. Nobody really perfected the recipe until Macklemore, and now that shit is just open season. The White Savior Wars will be remembered as...well, remembered as a pointless side-show that made a lot of money but didn't matter at all because actual hip hop was quietly having one of the best years ever.

DJ MSP: It's impressive that I'm the one in California and yet you're so much higher than me right now.

HJ: I should write a song about this.


DISPATCHES: Through the Ira Glass Dimly

But, if there be, or ever were, one such,
It's past the size of dreaming

Antony and Cleopatra

I hesitated to originally write this piece because it addresses a topic that really stands perfectly fine alone: William Shakespeare’s legacy. A month or four ago, I don’t care when actually, public radio’s most recognizable name took to Twitter casting doubt on the legitimacy of the coronation of the King Bard, the number one draft pick of poets (sorry Tip, but you’re still only number 7), writing that he is "unrelatable" and "unemotional." In his two microtweets, Glass praised the actors but not the playwright, wedging his criticism between the actors performance and the impetus. With one sycophantic and obsequiously lauded tweet, Ira brought into question his intellectual authority on quite a bit. His pessimistic, probably wine cooler induced critique availed us of this side of the publically apotheosized journalist: the uninformed, whimsical and rash commentator he may be in his absolute worst hour.

Since my undergraduate days in the muggy backwater Garden of Eden paradise that is Southern Illinois, I’ve never been able to comfortably stomach Ira’s voice on a cosmetic level, but I don’t want that to be at issue here, just a petty aside that I can usually table: the issue is people in the public at large claiming that Willy Shakes isn’t worth his weight in gold---and the unwritten statute that they have to be brought to task. (although, his querulously toned draw and liberal leanings make the thrill of the kill all the better) I’m no liberal or conservative generally, so I’m constantly amused by the air of superiority NPR affiliates exude when they broach regionally specific or national news coverage with this presupposed fairness and unfiltered “journalism”.That’s not to say that it’s in any way as ignorant or as lopsided as say Fox News or any of its demon acolyte offspring, but since it’s less egregious in its outright lying and dishonesty, we’re prone, as rational and reason seeking primates, to let the libs slide more often than the irrational, clearly psychotic conservatives. I’ll even admit it, I am not as critical of NPR and Ira Glass as I might be of Fox and Sean Hannity or Bill O’Louffah O'Reilly. It’s a visceral and probably genetic reaction for me.

Simply put, there’s no doubt that big loud, obnoxious bigots are just easier to hate. But the flame must be applied equally to all who offend. What separates a thinker, a modern user of organic, sweet white-mattered brainpower from the the seemingly pervasive sports team tribal-like mindset is his or her’s ultimate and perpetual cognitive mutability. To not stick to ideas as if they are sacred team maxims or unassailable truths; to allow the passage of new revelation to go unimpeded into their mental set. We hold this truth to be the only holy truth: That the circle may always be outdrawn.

Like everything ever, this has been thought, debated and said before. Glass isn’t the first to have cast aspersions on the Bard’s status as pre-eminent poet/playwright. Among probably many more than I couldn’t discover with scant internet searches and armchair research, Tolstoy, Wittgenstein, Voltaire, Dryden and George Bernard Shaw all thought his work contemptible. Though Glass is a decent journalist, he’s never written a Candide or a War and Peace or a Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. It’s fair to say that he would not do well to stand shoulder to shoulder with the literary giants that share in his Shakespearean critique. Not even close. Candle to the Sun.

Up until now, I’ve read a good share of articles both praising Glass for his honesty and deriding him for his naivete, but a dearth explaining why Willy Shakes is the number one poet. Why should we revel in this dead cracker’s yellow papered lines, archaic allusions and incalculable references to death and drink? If you can’t answer this with quick retort or quoted verse, it’s suggestible that you let Ira have his tenuous opinion; though I will attempt to do the antithesis justice here.

When Shakespeare came to the festering urban shithole that was London in the 16th century, the underpinning narratives of many of his plays already existed; done on a weekly scale, in a manner which modern copyright law would never allow. These plot basics, Caesar, Troy, the kings of old, what have you, were sure winners, crowd pleasers that tugged on the drunken heart strings of all plebeian and patrician attendees of the Wooden O; they were also largely common property and tracing their origin is nearly impossible now. It was, in modern parlance, general public domain (for the theatre) and all the canvas he needed to lay out an unlikely corpus of unprecedented work. It also serves as somewhat of an answer to the charge that Shakespeare couldn’t have written on what he didn’t know about; the basic skeletal structure of many of his works had already been assembled before he arrived.

Some four hundred plus years later, it’s easy to take for granted his cognitive originality and magnanimity of thought. But if we read the greats before him impartially, Marlowe, Kyd, etc, it’s evident to any novice reader that his predecessors lack the flow, the communicative ease and linguistic potency that we find comes uninhibited from a Shakespearean monologue or repartee. The universality in his writing, an ability to relate to and feel what the characters are conveying, with relative ease, is something even a bad or mediocre actor can accomplish by simple memorization. It doesn’t take much to notice his distinction from his contemporaries and most the poets even in the history of civilization, saving Milton, Chaucer, Homer and Dante. Soren Kierkegaard once commented:

"The art of writing lines, replies, which express a passion with full tone and complete imaginative intensity, and in which you can none the less catch the resonance of its opposite --this is an art which no poet has practised except the unique poet Shakespeare."

And the jowly, somehow un-wizened Howard Bloom follows:

"How can a poet think their characters into their own freedom? Shakespeare, with little precedent beyond Chaucer, practices an art of surprise, in which characters can be as surprised as we are. When Milton’s God says of Adam and Eve that he made them “sufficient to have stood but free to fall, “ I reflect that, for just once, that irate Schoolmaster of Souls is being Shakespearean. Othello and Macbeth are certainly sufficient to have stood but also more than free to fall. Shakespeare endows his people with the capacity to change, either through the will or with involuntary force. Either way, there is surprise as the selfsame overhears itself and alters irrevocably."

This praise is religiously repeated in most scholarly work from the time of Ralph Emerson to the present day internet-sage scholar. Interestingly, there were few writers before Emerson who really appreciated and took to the bard’s genius before he was apotheosized in the late 19th, early 20th century among scholars and the theatre alike. Emerson had this singular observation, at least for his time:

"Shakespeare is as much out of the category of eminent authors, as he is out of the crowd. He is inconceivably wise; the others, conceivably. A good reader can, in a sort, nestle into Plato's brain and think from thence; but not into Shakespeare's. We are still out of doors. For executive faculty, for creation, Shakespeare is unique. No man can imagine it better. He was the farthest reach of subtlety compatible with an individual self,- the subtlest of authors, and only just within the possibility of authorship ... He is wise without emphasis or assertion; he is strong, as nature is strong, who lifts the land into mountain slopes without effort and by the same rule as she floats a bubble in the air, and likes as well to do the one as the other. This makes that equality of power in farce, tragedy, narrative, and love-songs; a merit so incessant that each reader is incredulous of the perception of other readers."

Taking this side in the debate isn’t difficult. It’s actually probably the easiest argument to make and ultimately win. But I am not going to expend effort for the sake of trying to be Wittgenstein or G.B. Shaw. Though, I urge anyone reading this to do more than to watch a movie based on a Shakespearean play. Read the material, rap the poems or listen to the lines read aloud by a good rapper. Christ, get the Cliff Notes if you have to, I did for much of it; and don’t feel bad for looking up the archaic word vomit that appears every line or so. Disagree with me and dismantle everything I have to say. Please, the world is counting on you.

For now, preach on Willy:

This is the excellent foppery of the world, that,
when we are sick in fortune,--often the surfeit
of our own behavior,--we make guilty of our
disasters the sun, the moon, and the stars: as
if we were villains by necessity; fools by
heavenly compulsion; knaves, thieves, and
treachers, by spherical predominance; drunkards,
liars, and adulterers, by an enforced obedience of
planetary influence; and all that we are evil in,
by a divine thrusting on: an admirable evasion
of whoremaster man, to lay his goatish
disposition to the charge of a star! My
father compounded with my mother under the
dragon's tail; and my nativity was under Ursa
major; so that it follows, I am rough and
lecherous. Tut, I should have been that I am,
had the maidenliest star in the firmament
twinkled on my bastardizing.



"In Full Effect" - Radio Rahim

"I came with these lyrics and left with your respect." That line will probably stick with me longer than this song will, because it was so catastrophically apt. I do respect Radio Rahim, but it's not really about the lyrics he came with.

The video itself is on point, a solid workout in term of editing and after-effects massaging three shoots with mostly natural lighting. Radio Rahim is an energetic subject who eats up space like KRS-One doing William Shatner, which is not intended as a diss: this cat clearly kills it live.

This video is basically filler, but it definitely deserves props for highlighting graf artists instead of some local bar / brand bullshit. I think I am finally too old to hate on hip hop throwback Quaker puritanism.


"Inside Out" - clipping.


What easily could have been a corny concept is instead a professional piece of work. Wicked impressive and worthy of cinema-style video masters like Gondry and Cunningham.

Rap-wise, it makes sense this cat is on Sub Pop, home of Afro-futurist heavies Shabazz Palaces. (And, of course, Nirvana.) His flow is an Aesop Rock x Freestyle Fellowship hybrid and a finely tuned West Coast chopping machine, with high-end articulation and visuals. There's not a great deal of rhyming in most of his bars, but I can't hold that laziness against him when the final results are such an enjoyable ride.

Overall, this gets the coveted Yeti Trax tag and we'll be subjecting you to a lot of their work. WHALAM.


"Take it Off" - 2 Live Crew

Well...that happened. That's right, 2014 shit from 2 Live Crew, and boy howdy let me tell you what right now, this shit is fucking bizarre. And awesome.

One minute intro skits? A dance routine from "Hip Hop Kidz" that looks like something from a 90's sitcom? Trick Daddy and Flava Flav in the building for no coherent reason? Mannie Fresh acting like an EDM bro-core DJ? All of this exists in a Ketamine hallucinatory space, beyond good and evil and bad taste, a short film made by aliens trying to act like old rappers trying to be relevant.

Basically, you have to see this. Fuck yes.


"All In Together Now" - Stranger Day

Hump Jones: Welcome to yet another formal installment of THE INBOXXX, which has basically devolved into a phone call between Burlington and Los Angeles, at this point. This morning we're checking out North Carolina act Stranger Day, which is a pretty excellent name.

DJ Multiple Sex Partners: It's really not.

HJ: Joining me is Los Angeles video director and occasional rap beat producer DJ Multiple Sex Partners, my co-conspirator since the days of Wombaticus Rex.

DJ MSP: Nobody cares about Wombaticus Rex.

HJ: This is true. We've got a great, catchy beat here, big mellow horns, classic break. And ass shots, wall to wall to wall.

DJ MSP: This is basically PBR letting these guys shoot a video at one of their events.

HJ: According to the submission copy in their email, that is pretty much exactly what this is. There is not a huge amount of self-esteem on display here from either sex. First dude up is a solid rapper, just boring.

DJ MSP: I've done gigs like this. You get a lot of girls who want to be actresses drunk, get them to sign release forms and watch them compete amongst themselves for attention. It is horror. You have to drink so much to fall asleep after working a day like this.

HJ: I love how most American males would consider that their peak achievement in life and you're still suffering. Do you think this dude is a good rapper?

DJ MSP: Yeah, but that's about it. He's that dude who's got it down but you know he's just never going to make it because he's not saying anything. Then again, I felt the same about Mac Miller and G-Eazy so my track record is...yeah.

HJ: This next dude must have a full-time day job being mistaken for Earl Sweatshirt. That's a tough cross to bear, right there.

DJ MSP: Once they draw the camera back, this party is pathetically small, dude. That water slide is an embarrassment, I thought they knew how to party in North Carolina.

HJ: They do, it's just not evenly distributed. This Elevator Jay cat is at least interesting, once he gets rappitty-rapping, he's got charisma and flow. I keep getting really distracted by the awkward, drunk dancing in the background. The whole vibe here is like an episode of COPS more than a house party video.

DJ MSP: I think the moral here is that Pabst Blue Ribbon just has way too much marketing money and we need to get some.


"Killa" - J. Brooka

Sad but true, the video still that gets sent out with your promo emails is more important than the copy. I'm a copywriter: we're cheap, dumb animals with immense pretensions. That image is the make-or-break first point of contact, and in the case of J. Brooka, my interest was 100% about his hair. "Holy shit," I remarked to myself, "I will have to check this out later."

I'm glad I did. Not because it's good -- although dude raps better than you'd expect from such a shitty beat -- but because this is a gem of unintentional comedy. The production values are high, sure, but that only heightens the hilarity. Shout-out to over-acting and not having any homies to tell you "don't use that take, man." Shout-out to the lamest, cheapest gunshot effects I have ever heard from a struggle rapper. Shout-out to doing your eight-bar hook three times.

Once J. Brooka gets going, this is technically superb horrorcore in the Brotha Lynch Hung vein. Based on the video, I'm betting this cat kinda kills it live, and also smiles a lot in person. I will probably watch the next video this cat makes -- with actual horror-film production, he could build a little goth-hop empire of blood. Dream big, build daily. Blaow.


"Lazarus Pit" - Tragedy Khadafi

A damn great slice of classic rap, some dark cipher hypnosis. Tragedy Khadafi is one of the best to do it, although he gets outshined by the opening verse here: Starvin B carves out a wide lane that doesn't get equalled for the rest of the track. You know, rapper shit.

Speaking of, this is of course a gloriously "problematic" piece of oral culture, replete with hate speech, surrounded by a gnawing fog of Trigger Warnings. Also, they fucked your bitch at least twice and earnestly want us all to know. Some might see that as a political agenda, but I just take it as further proof that thug life is actually pretty boring and they don't have a lot to talk about outside of work.

And ain't that a bitch?


"Tron Song" - Thundercat

Well, holy motherfucking shit. We said we loved creative & psychedelic low-budget videos and, boy howdy, the Universe provides. This latest gem is directed by Eric Andre -- yeah, that Eric Andre, obviously -- and was allegedly funded with a "mere" five thousand dollars. (Los Angeles does strange things to your sense of proportion.)


"The Flow" - Kool Keith

There's no stopping this motherfucker now. Kool Keith has had more comebacks than any human being could plausibly fit into a single Wikipedia bio, and guest what? 2014 is gonna be his year, too. Sorry.

Only one thing has really changed: he keeps releasing projects as "Kool Keith" now. Which is smart. I've been doing the 10,000 Names Routine for the past 5 years, and it's a powerful shortcut to total obscurity. Kool Keith is consolidating his legacy. He f'ing earned it.

The New York and Los Angles based SharkAlligator has gone from dropping random singles to gearing up for the release of a double f'ing album. The human race may never see the end of this madman's reign. Something to celebrate as we gear down for next phase of the Kali Yuga.


Pop Iconz - Georgia Anne Muldrow

Is it absurd for us to post this? Almost definitely. Here at Real Yeti Rap, we celebrate Stitches, advocate drug use, and devote most of our work here to the painstaking demolition of underground rap dreams. By any standard, we are horrible people, intent on becoming even worse. None of that means we can't enjoy this video, though. As the lady herself explains:

“We as parents have to walk a very fine line between being watchful and overprotective of what our kids are exposed to...and that job is being made even more difficult by the hyper-sexual, consumerist and vain aesthetic packed with visual associations that are intentionally targeting the pre-teen generation. I’m placing the blame on the corporate agenda that abuses the minds and souls of talented or even aspiring artists.

To represent an awareness that is willfully avoidant of self-realization is the bottom line for these influencers of consciousness; if someone’s life goals are completely external his/her mind can easily be subdued and controlled.

Art means too much to me, I ain’t having it."


"Play 2 Win" - Signif ft. Elzhi

We've been digging the carefully cultivated work of Signif since her first EP, so throwing an Elzhi guest verse into the mix is a guaranteed ticket for Real Yeti Rap coverage. (We love Detroit, period.)


#CLASSIC: "Refuse to Lose" - Non-Phixion

Back in simpler days, I took a Greyhound bus initiation from Portland, Oregon to Montpelier, Vermont. That shit takes a long time. I had a minidisc player and a handful of mixes burned by friends with better taste than myself. I would reckon that, during the course of my seven day journey across the continent, I spent at least eight hours with this track on repeat. A full work shift, right there.

This was in the jagged, panic-melodrama aftermath of September 11th, 2001. There was no other topic of conversation on the bus ride at any point, mostly just craven speculation about Where They Would Hit Us Next. Hence the headphones: I was trying to escape some sad, herd fuckery and get to Vermont without giving up on life itself. This song helped.

We covered Non Phixion here before, and verily, we will again. (Their legacy is still making money in 2014, so it's not like I'm carrying some obscure torch here.) They were royal blood anointed, from MC Serch to DJ Premier, classic album to solo careers. It didn't last as long as Slayer but there's something pure about that, yeah?


1. True speech is not elegant; elaborate speech is not truth. Those who know do not argue; the argumentative are without knowledge. Those who have assimilated are not learned; those who are gross with learning have not assimilated.

2. The Wise Man doth not hoard. The more he giveth, the more he hath; the more he watereth, the more is he watered himself.

3. The Tao of Heaven is like an Arrow, yet it woundeth not; and the Wise Man, in all his Works, maketh no contention.


"ACAB (All Cops Are Bastards)" - QELD

We don't usually fux with the British rap but there were some good lines on this puppy, and the sentiment is a heart-warming classic.

They say the system doesn't work, but you know that it does
They get richer every day, we get totally fucked


"Lucid Dream" - Nocando x Dam Funk

We fucking love psychedelic rap videos and this right here is a doozy. Not that dude is necessarily into psychedelics -- as he puts it, "I just love life so much my wife gets jealous." We also love Dam Funk and this jamalam is straight from the hands of the grandmaster. Big props to Ryan Calvano for an exceptional piece of work, the visual here are gorgeously demented.


"Have Discipline" - Rahim Samad

A baffling piece of work. Rahim Samad is clearly a hardcore hip hop head and he brings a very West Coast x 90's Vintage flow: technically precise, multisyllable sequencing, poetic braggadocialist propaganda. It's also 90's Vintage in the sense of being three consecutive verses of, politely, rappitty rap-ass rapping.

Dude can spit, but why, tho? Exponentially ramping up the confusion levels is the video itself, a gritty and basic rap template that is interspersed with footage of Yasser Arafat, IDF airstrikes, and dead kids in Gaza. This is probably a clever gimmick to get more video views, and it definitely worked on me. I wound up watching this three times trying to determine if, at any point in three verses, dude actually referenced the Middle East.

I came away with more respect for his mechanics -- he maps out flow patterns superbly -- and a sense that Rahim Samad could have written a dozen more verses over this beat that would have been more or less precisely the same. There's definitely standout lines, but his work is primarily filler. And despite referencing Knight Rider, American Psycho, and the obligatory shoutout to Lent, at no point does dude actually reference the Middle East.

I don't get it either. Shouts to having real scratch hooks in 2014, though...more of that, please.


"Dunked On" - Froggy Fresh ft. Money Maker Mike

It's hard to hate on this. Won't even try. Great beat, funny video, and best of all, this is a story anyone can relate to.

The team here at Real Yeti Rap hugely supports the running joke of having Money Making Mike prominently featured on tracks he is not even actually rapping on. Much like the modern spartan sage Frank Reynolds, we are also big fans of poop jokes -- poop is funny.

Also: Internet Rappers, something something something, thinkpiece.


"F Wit THIS" - Chris Clarke ft. Opto

Stanley Clarke's kid is a rapper? I won't lie, that hook is what got me. I had to find out, right?

The beat starts off at the blander end of the Low End Theory spectrum but starts moving around quite a bit, settling for a hugely improved stomp/head-bang pocket. This Opto cat has a perfectly pitched set of pipes for catchy hooks, but cannot write lyrics for shit. Fortunately, Chris Clarke is a way more entertaining & interesting rapper, stealing the show with a followup verse.

This was worth investigating. We'll probably have more from this mammal in the future.



"This Aint Funny" - Mike Boyd ft. Classified

We recently asked for more submissions with dope low-budget videos, and despite Mick Jagger's theories, we're getting exactly what we wanted. Deal with it.

With a gently strong "Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil" influence, this backwoods horror flick shoot -- complete with token white college kid extras -- keeps it funny and fast-moving. The "fast-moving" is especially valuable for DIY rap cats on a budget. Good pacing makes wack footage into a classic feel. In the specific case of "This Aint Funny," though, most of the camerawork and cinematography is on point. I wish I knew who made this -- no credits I can find after a 6 pack of Stone IPA, at least, and I'm at least typing coherently. This definitely looks like a day-long shoot and the on-the-fly creativity is impressive here.

The song is also pretty dope. I salute Mike Boyd for sticking to his style, I'm not a fan but he's technically on point non-stop here. Classified comes smoother but neither really come off like a redneck except for the string of movie references.

The ending is a good message in 2014 -- kids need to know that peace is better than killing, and also, that it's fun and educational for everyone involved to terrorize people who you don't know, threaten them with weapons and tie them up, as long as mostly nobody gets hurt. Too much. Still, it's hard to pretend the ending here didn't call for GALLONS AND GALLONS OF BLOOD, as well as genuine, Deliverance-level male assault. They could still ride four wheelers into the sunset at the end, you know?

Clearly, the real lesson here is twofold.

First, it is a good thing for the resumes and psyches of everyone involved with this video that I did not direct it.

Second, it only takes a day off, a couple costumes, and 5-10 friends -- plus several sleepless days of constant editing -- to make a music video worth watching. Word to Timmy Schmurda.


Doug Benson, You Lucky Motherfucker

Well played, daug.

"Come Back" - Write Brothers

You're riding with the Write Brothers, first in flight. A second single from the increasingly impressive cross-coast collaboration featuring Learic (BTV) and Dante DaVinci (LAX). Tablas, firebomb synth chops, and a damn catchy hook drive the point home: this will almost definitely be the best rap project coming out of Vermont this year.

Learic honed his chops battling in Washington, DC years before he came to Vermont, but he's probably best known for his work with The Aztext, the Green Mountain State's most successful import. They've delivered four ambitious & straightforward rap albums, so Write Brothers is a sharp left turn for him sonically, with Dante DaVinci's dub reggae x Low End Theory EDM thump. It really works, too. "Come Back" has him flexing in the space between Kool G Rap and Gift of Gab, and there's some perfectly cut bars on display here.

"When the pens in my hand, your attention span tends to expand." Fuck yeah.

#CLASSIC: "Fitta Happier" - Quakers

Quakers was "a real deal masterpiece," and that's a great damn quote, because I wrote it back in 2012. A 41 track album with over 30 rappers involved? Monu-fucking-mental, mate. Portishead's Geoff Barrow worked with Aussie beatsmith Katalyst for years to hone 2012's best rap album.

I come back to this track a lot -- Guilty Simpson and MED is chemistry that always works, and this was the closest thing to a radio single on the whole project.


"Don't Stop" - Dag Savage ft. Blu

You would be forgiven for assuming this is being posted for the Blu verse. It's not, though: this Dag Savage project is pretty fucking great. I slept on it, too...inevitable in this brave new world of constant over-stimulation. Just checking new releases is a full-time job in 2014, but still, you'd think I would have jumped on a new Dirty Science project from Exile, yeah?

It's been very encouraging to see Blu so busy -- and on point -- in 2014. Things were looking pretty grim for awhile there but the man has clearly turned a corner or two since the dark days of dropping "albums" in the form of laptop demos.

The video is a sexy piece of work, too, and I especially like the white letterboxing. They clearly had a blast shooting this, which never hurts. And yeah...that Blu verse doesn't hurt, either. Dig it.


R3AL Y3TI RAP 2014

Bloggers were sucking too much; we had to get involved here.

It is impossible to stop listening to rap. Rap is repetitive bullshit, rap is endlessly creative, too. We fucking love rap. We're not mocking it. We are talking shit. This is that Real Yeti Rap.

THE INBOXXX is what we do to submissions. Not all of them. Hit YoHumpJones@gmail.com and it will at least get listened to. Parts of it will. The beginning parts.

DISPATCHES has been described as "so fucking stupid I don't know why anybody would read this hater ass dribble" by the author, Louis Mackey.

#CLASSIC is, well...nothing very creative, that's for sure. Exactly what it says on the label. We made it a hashtag because we think hashtags are dumb and obnoxious.

The rest is just dope shit we like.


"In My Blood" - Broadway Barrett

Marshall McLuhan loved black and white TV, but then he loved pretty much everything, except all the happy young people and their loud music. Today, that poor motherfucker is a counterculture hero ... proof, perhaps, that Hell is real.

Here at ®©al Y©™i ®ap, we're lifelong fans of low-fi black and white rap videos. "In My Blood" is exactly that, from a hungry Brooklyn underdog we've never heard of. He is clearly a big believer in Going In, a religious movement whose popularity has waned considerably in recent years.

Maybe you're too cool for this or it's too much of a throwback to sound fresh or your Pro Tools sterilized ears resent the audible breaths inherent in real rapping, but this cat is writing intricate flows, delivering them in one take, and it sounds damn good.

"Transitions" - Loupo

Fresh produce from the Green Mountains, courtesy of Los Angeles purveyors of fine instrumentals, Cold Busted Records. Loupo is young, hungry and dope. This album is tight, fast and impressive. That should just about cover it, yeah? Enjoy.

The styles on display here are remarkably mature for a young buck -- filthy and melancholy, which a heavy emphasis on percussive textures and jazzy layering. As long as this cat stays busy he's going to shape up into a serious threat...

"Photosynthesis" - Premrock

Perpetually perambulating performance artist Premrock has dropped another video, this time opting for that live vibe. We love that shit here. Shouts to Tony from Deep Thinka Records, an operation that is pretty much always Doing It Right and this release is no exception. The final product before you was polished by DTR fam Tim Cielinski & Madeleine Ezell.

We love to credit people because holy shit, quality audio and video content is a lot of work. Anyone putting time in for us creative shaman types who just vomit incantations all over your equipment deserves a shout out. And a pat on the f'ing back and also money.

It should be noted, albeit rude to discuss tradecraft before marks and swine, that PremRock has made a very artful move here. This dude was in Denmark getting paid for shows and shooting a video. He's got a great album and he's touring on it. It's hard to criticize too much without risking...well, the urine-tang smell of Hate. Not saying you have it in your heart, of course, just that it might sound that way.

And look that way and also smell that way.


DISPATCHES: Still Life with Vinnie Paz

I woke up this morning with a weird inclination to browse some rap videos. This is not the sort of thing I usually do. For some reason I happened upon a couple of Army of the Pharaohs tracks, a battle rap type group of somewhat well known and other relatively unknown rappers who probably have known Vinnie Paz or Vinnie Paz has thought them worthy of featuring on various songs. Fairly quickly, I found myself belting out laughing louder than I usually do on a hungover Saturday morning...

But first a bit of backstory.

I discovered Jedi Mind Tricks, Vinnie Paz’s first successful enterprise with Jus Allah and Stoupe the Enemy of Mankind, a long, long time ago on the advice of a mall Sam Goody employee who had an uncharacteristic knowledge of good underground hip hop. I think I was 13 or 14 and buzzing off of recently devouring the classic Wu Tang catalog (Enter, Swords, Cuban Linx, etc), and was thirsty for more. But what existed was lackluster, entirely unlistenable off brand Wu syndicates and weird as fuck wannabes. One fortuitous afternoon somewhere between 1998 and 2000, I happened upon Violent by Design by this cd store employee’s recommendation. They actually had the album in a mall in Akron, OH before music had gotten so easy for a 14 year-old to download that purchasing it was out of the question and before they were even really known outside of Philly. My grandparents bought it for me and I bumped it in their car on the way home. Pops was not pleased with the lyrics but I nevertheless completely fell for the undeniably perfected formula of raps and beats interspersed with eerie, cinematic and sometimes insightful voiceovers from what I would later discover were classic films or vocal samples taken from a slew of sources as random as the Undertaker's theme music.

So there’s that, I have to give Vinnie Paz a portion of the credit for that revelatory moment in my life though I was a much bigger fan of Jus Allah’s rapping because he had some of the best lines on Violent By Design. I now get that 98% of that album is priapic and ignorant nonsense, but it appealed to me at a time in my life when I perceived rapping as an action whose goal was to beat the universe into submission and to make damn well sure everyone on the planet knows you’re the best of all time. So in turn, I am also grateful for him showing me that way which was not mine.

Digression and credit aside, I found myself uproariously laughing at the ridiculousness of the lyrics in some of these AOTP videos. I probably shouldn’t be, but who really cares? I can laugh at myself and can take a joke, shit, I can take The Joke, which is the absurdity of my own existence, so I feel it necessary, or rather cannot help it, when I laugh at others who seem to take themselves so goddamn seriously; rapping about absolutely nothing but inflicting pain on the listener or the importance of their own existence. I did it for years and am probably not immune to slip up once in a while in the future. I’m okay with that because I do not ever take it seriously. The below comes from a track entitled “Bloody Tears”:

I shoot my biscuit in the air until the sky is gone
A 16 of mine murder your entire song
9M submachine is long like your entire arm
I'm a loud mouth fucka not a quiet storm
I don't believe in an afterlife so once you die you gone
Never nothin soft, everythin' a violent song
Kanye West, gay rapper, thats when lines are drawn
Qwest hit me with a beat like he Italian mob
It ain't even beef no more, its Hillshire Farm

Pretty cool, huh? Let’s examine what’s at play here: Vinnie Paz, inflated fat fuck Patton Oswalt with a set of teeth a homeless cat might sport after an episode of Bumfights, is so viciously and uncharacteristically inhuman that after he murders you for no reason he will not allow your family to mourn your passing; all the while, prefacing the entire event with his New Fucking Fact that he no longer believes in the afterlife, thus it’s all over for you, forever. But maybe we can forgive and second guess his seriousness with the beyond belief comedy that is the last line posted above. (Side note: I first heard the “Italian mob” line as “Qwest hit me with a beat like he a tired mom”) The icing on the cake of the entire song is the Castlevania sample. Genius, guys.

This video has nearly half a million views. HALF A MILLION. Someone is going to remember this in 50 years, which may be more than I can say for anything I’ve done or will do, but is that honestly how you want it all to be remembered? Vaguely clever musings on how brutal you could conceivably be to other people? And I’m not shitting on the entire culture of rap because there are plenty of people out there each doing their singular, inventive and novel thing. I will go out on the fickle limb of conjecture and state that he’s faking the fucking funk too. What are the odds that the Pazmanian Devil, the short fat kid from the Philly suburbs, packs a cannon in a taxi cab? (He says that in some other terrible song I was listening to that now I can’t track down)

Moreover, I’ve seen Vinnie Paz in interviews. He seems like a genuinely nice guy and occasionally makes dope and scholastic references in his raps. I bet that he has a whole bunch of shit he could rap about that would be interesting and insightful. Admittedly, he has a good enough grasp of wordplay and structure to be able to probably be pretty good at it. Perhaps this is a glimpse of the real Vinnie Paz in “Before the Great Collapse”:

You can’t deny that that beat is absolutely nasty and that Vinnie might be speaking from the heart. Perhaps he should do that more often and take a cue from Stoupe’s intro sample, sourced from the 1995 film, “The Addiction”:

“To face what we are in the end, we stand before the light and our true nature is revealed. Self-revelation is annihilation of self.”


THE INBOXXX: "Five O" - Reese Chubbs

Welcome to The INBOXXX, a feature that hovers between peer review and ritual sacrifice. For today's installment we've tagged in DJ Multiple Sex Partners, live from Los Angeles, CA.

DJ Multiple Sex Partners: DUMP RECORDS?

Hump Jones: ...which stands for Do U Make Paper. No question mark. Still, it's kind of bluntly catchy for a label name. And as for "Reese Chubbs"...?

DJ MSP: ...yeah, that is a big fat win of a name. It's fun to say and it looks good on paper.

HJ: This video looks fucking great, though, props to Itchy House Films.

DJ MSP: Itchy House? These guys could just make up names all day if rap doesn't work out. Do U Make Paper Brand Consulting, LTD. I agree, Itchy House has some cinema chops, this is crisp.

HJ: That opening shot on the sidewalk right as Reese Chubbs starts yelling at us is great camerawork, looks like some big boom technique. This is definitely some movie-level production value, they did a lot of shooting for this.

DJ MSP: Love this dude's flow. Screaming, yet supremely laid-back. It's not really his flow, I guess, everyone is rapping like this in 2014 if they're not rapping like Mac Miller.

HJ: Yeah, Mystikal's Kids are winning everywhere, word to Stitches.

DJ MSP: Great boom work on this chase scene in the second verse, too. So many rap videos have the sheen, the slickness, of a professional film shoot, but you don't see this kind of technique. Itchy House is dope. Also, Reese Chubbs can run surprisingly fucking fast.

HJ: A video with a plot twist.

DJ MSP: Oh, I see, that wasn't Reese Chubbs at all. Man, I like saying Reese Chubbs. REESE CHUBBS WAS NOT RUNNING. REESE CHUBBS WAS ELSEWHERE.

HJ: Reese Chubbs was lamping in a luxury sedan watching this cop cold play himself.

DJ MSP: Man, you told me we were supposed to shit on people and all, but this was overall really good.

HJ: Well, we can shit on people, the option is there. I agree, though, this was a perfectly executed trap story.

DJ MSP: Well, motherfuck Joe Budden, then. There. I said it.


"Good as Gone" - Dilated Peoples

Well, hot damn.

In a year that has seen a lot of 90's vintage underground acts resurfacing with great music, Dilated Peoples announces a new album and tour, and they're doing it on Rhymesayers. The big surprise here is Rakaa coming through and stealing the show with a sharply cut verse that shows off his considerable growth in the years since Dilated Peoples was working the summer festival circuit. If you've never checked out his 2010 solo joint Crown of Thorns it is a rewarding listen -- not a lost classic, but definitely an awesome detour.

Their new album is called Directors of Photography, but the cinema here is courtesy of Andrew Melby. The video is crisp, clever, and gorgeously framed work. Rhymesayers stays winning, and this is good for us all.


Aretha: The Beat Tape

Project management is a huge, vast, tremendous pain in the ass. Even assembling a modestly mediocre piece of work is still a piece of work, especially when you're coordinating a collaboration involving more than ten people. So doing all that and doing it well is a rare feat. Kinda like this beat tape here.

Only a few of the names here are new to the jaded, unspeakably sophisticated team here at Real Yeti Rap, but I've gotta say: I never would have thought to assemble this roster, especially for this particular project. It takes rare vision to see something like this before it even existed. Aretha: The Beat Tape is a diverse portfolio of approaches to the artform, and all of them work cohesively.

TL;DR - Fuck, this was good..


Mello Music Group - Mandalas Vol 1 & 2

A strong contender for Best Rap Project of 2014, at this point. This absurdly over-stuffed collection is a testament to the roster Michael Tolle has built.

"An embarrassment of riches." MMG's output in 2014 has been nothing short of absurd: Apollo Brown, L'Orange, Open Mike Eagle...an almost unfair level of bi-coastal consolidation of talent.

It must not go without comment that the cover art is gorgeous work. That's Matt Andres and you should hire him. Soon.


KNife - "Iconoclast" - The Whole Album

Happy Jesus Founding America Day. The Georgia-based rap phenom KNife has released a new album today, and taken the rather unusual but highly appreciated step of putting the whole thing up on YouTube.

In related news, holy fuck this dude is a good rapper. Production here manages to meander all over the map yet still feel like a cohesive album, probably thanks to a short, All Killer No Filler runtime. This is flames: experimental but never irrelevant, serious but never boring, and risk-taking without face-planting. "Iconoclast" is an achievement.

...which can be downloaded here. Do that there.


Apollo Brown - Cellophane Cypher

Props to Ras Kass for sitting down with a bunch of young, hungry spitters. Great cipher here over a recent Apollo Brown beat, "Thirty Eight." Apparently Ras Kass has an album in the works with Mello Music Group, which will feature production from L'Orange, Oddisee and Apollo Brown, so...that's good news, right?

Damn right it is.


"The Eighth Tower" - Algorhythms

When I was fresh out of High School, rare books were still hard to find. Jacques Vallee's Passport to Magonia was prohibitively expensive, and his Invisible College was just plain vanished. Now they're both back in mundane paperback print, just in time for a new generation of utterly illiterate iPad mouthbreathers to ignore them.

Even more rare, though, were the Occult tomes that were barely 'in print' to begin with -- one of which was "War in Heaven" by Kyle Griffiths. Thanks to the tireless archival work of the Biblioteca Pleyades, the whole thing is archived online. I tracked down "War in Heaven" at around the same time I finally got ahold of James Shelby Downard's "King Kill 33," which was simply a photocopy of his original typed manuscript, and Kerry Thornley's rambling "Confessions." The Downard turned out to be a disappointment, more poetry than anything else. I'm still thinking over Thornley's book years later. Kyle Griffiths, however, did lasting damage to my psyche.

I could ramble for days, but let's inject some meat solution into the mix:

Chapter Six: In The Eighth Tower (1975), Keel concluded that UFO contact reports had a common origin with certain very intense religious and occult experiences, such as visitations from gods, angels, or demons. He postulated that the cause of all these events is a natural phenomenon, which he names the “Superspectrum.”

Keel’s Superspectrum seems to be based loosely on Jung’s concept that the human race possesses a “collective unconscious,” but he carries the idea much further than Jung did. Jung had conceived of the collective unconscious only as a body of information stored in the subconscious minds of many different individuals that causes all of them to think or behave in similar ways.

Keel carries this concept much further, and postulates that the Superspectrum involves specialized forms of matter and energy unknown to present-day science. He borrows concepts from occultism and coins scientific-sounding new terms to describe them. His Superspectrum simply seems to be another way of saying “influence by spiritual beings and psychic powers.”

However, he doesn’t conclude that the Superspectrum is a being or group of beings, as the occultists usually do with their concepts of gods, demons, and spirits. Instead, it is simply a kind of natural phenomenon with a “computer-like intelligence.”

EELRIJUE is being finalized this month, and all of the themes we baked into that cosmic casserole are coming back to haunt us. I mean that in a perfectly literal sense: our lives are haunted by a cast of characters that is barely even humanoid. Be careful what you make songs about, kids...


"Recoil" - Notes to Self

Notes to Self is a name you can trust. Crazy talented rappers over unfuckwithable beats -- this is not a formula known for going wrong. We slept on this video, as we do with pretty much the entire fabric of "hip hop" as we hurtle towards certain death, it's getting posted because it came up today. Journalism, motherfucker, do you speak it?

The "Recoil" video is surprisingly tight, professional-looking cinema. This isn't a backhanded compliment about their nationality, occupations or taste in film: more an appreciation of the time and work involved. There's a lot of rap videos about heist-related criminal enterprise out there, but the attention to detail here was excessive. No such thing as Too Much Art.

Apparently it is not hard to shoot robbery scenes without a permit in Canada, although the cops did eventually show up to ask polite questions.


"Destroyer of All Things" - FDR

FDR | Godforbid & Thirtyseven | Hip Hop

Catabolism. There are not a lot of rap songs about catabolism out there...it just doesn't come up very much. You're soaking in it, though.

As the Kali Yuga inexorably grinds our cultures and accomplishments into dust and blood, FDR has the soundtrack ready for you. Enjoy.

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

-- Yeats Daug


DISPATCHES: "Curse of the Kennedys" - Apathy

Uncle Hump Sez: We're bringing in some new blood for Real Yeti Rap, starting with rap curmudgeon Louis Mackey. What follows is an unadulterated transcript of this Thinkingses. Bon appetit.

Being a rapper for over a decade now, I’m usually turned off by 98% of the stuff I hear and see garnering praise. I don’t think I’m bitter (though I may be), I just don’t have the stomach for it anymore. I’ve heard it all, and when someone new comes along, I most often see the old and a bunch of kids who’d never known about the source of the schtick or people my age who’ve forgotten. But for some reason, I’ve always been really drawn to Apathy’s impossible, somehow unique cocky approach to writing and lyric delivery. The fact that his fanbase has skyrocketed in the past 4 years affirms that I’m not alone in this appreciation. I don’t think he’s as unique as say, Kool Keith, but he’s really damn good.

Apathy is the golden child of 90s east coast rap (though he claims to have been influenced by the West Coast as well). His hubris has always been so perfectly ironically detached while he remains seriously, completely there. One of the most apparent things about it is the sonically pleasing syllable symmetry; he doesn’t always employ polysyllabic rhyming, which is a mortal sin in my personal holy book of rap transgressions, but he’s unusually interesting and most often possesses that above average poetic ability to say something in a way you’ve always imagined but never been able to make effable: To stand up in front of a crowd, speak and have them look back at you in wonder, actually interested in your next line. Or maybe if you could translate some of Kubrick’s or Welles’ most sublime scenes into print (or not), See from “The Curse of the Kennedy’s”:

Heavenly Father... please wash all of my sins
While I wash away my pain
With this tonic & gin
While I vomit in the sink
And think of ominous things
Like Atomic bombs
Never let the communists win
Live from the Bay of Pigs
It's obvious lies
When anybody denies
All the mafia ties
You surprised?
It's Jack, it's Bobby, it's even Teddy
Reversed on my enemies
The Curse Of The Kennedys…

As far as concept songs go, that’s a damn solid closer. I’m reminded of the photos that accompanied some of my junior year history class lectures on John Kennedy of him staring out of the White House windows during the Bay of Pigs, thinking about how absolutely fucked we all might be. Thus I can appreciate this conceptual angle and the arc of the entire narrative, though the above quote is my personal favorite.

I’m sure someone somewhere has tried to be the rap John Kennedy, in fact I’m certain of it; but what Apathy does seems original, whatever original might be, where he creates a somewhat random melange of various ideas and themes (ahem, see the Dioscuri, ahem) centering around the entire Kennedy family, going in and out of 1st and 3rd person while always reverting back to his comfortable and natural unapologetic braggadocio. And while his multi’s aren’t always perfect, they’re close enough because we’re compensated by the imagery of his verses and the noir feel of the video.

If I had to complain about something, it would be the stupid fucking chorus with the Jay-Z chopped vocals. I love Hova but goddamn Ap, you can do better on your choruses.

Nevertheless, in my opinion, as a whole, Connecticut Casual might prove to be one of Apathy’s best works yet, if he can just stop talking about wearing fucking Sperrys.


"Ghost at the Finish Line" - Quelle Chris

Fuck yeah. A low budget fever dream, creative, brave and fun stuff. Quelle Chris is one of my favorite rap mammals, an unpredictable and bluntly genuine free spirit type from Detroit. The good people at Mello Music Group released his last album, which has a name in common with this song.


"No One Can Do It Better" - The D.O.C.

Title track off a classic album, and definitely some of the jazziest shit we'll ever hear out of Dr. Dre.

The D.O.C. has always been a horror story to me: right as this album was blowing up and he was becoming a national name, his life took a Twilight Zone twist when he got into a car accident that injured his vocal chords. When I first found out about that in high school, it inspired me to write and record more so I wouldn't leave behind undocumented material. (The results were worthless, but what matters is I was inspired, you cynical assholes.)

Still, if you've never heard of The D.O.C. don't waltz off thinking his life was nothing but suffering...he did have a kid with Erykah Badu, after all. Raise a glass to the man either way. Contemplate a West Coast where this cat was going platinum every year from 1989-1996.

"The actual name “Death Row” came from me. I actually wanted to call the label “Def Row,” ‘cause in my mind Dre was what Russell Simmons was to the east …. That’s how important he was. And then one of the other artists, a female named Jewell, she was like, “Wow, that’s cool, Death Row.” I was like, “Nah, Def Row.” And Dre was like, “Nah, nigga, Death Row ….” And then with all these thug-minded-ass muthafuckas around…it didn’t take long before that’s just what that was." - via HipHopDX


#CLASSIC: "The Look" - s. maharba

"In the hold of such events there is little to be said..."

A transmission from another world.

Everything s. maharba has done to date is exceptional, but this is a personal favorite. Beyond dusty, way past melancholy, this is a distilled fist to the heart.


"EYE RHINO" - Bishop

At first you might think you're in for some Marko shit, but no: this is pretty rad and hella weird. Engaging, fast-moving Qi Gong Surrealism rap is a genre in short supply, and this is a strong chi shot right here.

Keep submitting great low-budget video, folks. This has been an inspirational summer so far. Kids these days are fucking smart and they're doing awesome stuff.


"The Ghost of Robert Frost" ft. Teddy Faley and Selfsays - Loop Minded Individuals

A tasty jam from Stockholm-based production crew Loop Minded Individuals, who had to good sense to get Teddy Faley to wander through and destroy a verse alongside Detroit emcee Selfsays. This is a single from an actual album -- props to anyone still making those! -- called "A Hitchhikers Guide to a Verse."

Looking over the tracklist, you'll conclude that these "Loop Minded" motherfuckers have good taste to spare, because the album also features Elucid and Has-Lo in a sprawling marquee of heavy hitters from the North American underground. Props to ESH the Monolith and Intrikit for assembling such a distinctly Voltron-esque project.


"DieNasty" - KNife

Well, fuck yeah. Great and rare is the weekend morning where my inbox leaves me impressed rather than depressed. This cat can definitely f'ing Rap Good, and the beat is a woozy stomp straight out a Low End Theory night. This video is definitely weird, simple and powerful. We will definitely be checking for this KNife character in the future.

This is an encouraging artifact; further proof of concept that quality material does indeed sell itself when properly packaged. This was an easy video to make, largely the fruit of hard work and human capital vs. big budgets and obligatory Professional™ sheen.

Just focus on The Work, daug.


THE INBOXXX: "Half Full" - MarKO

Hump Jones: Welcome back to THE INBOXXX. This week we've got something beyond human comprehension for you. This was an actual email submission for a rap blog. I could tell right off the video still we were in serious trouble.

DJ Squid: This right here is Bananamal as fuck.

Hump Jones: Isn't this a Casio preset? That intro was fucking intense. I don't think I'm ready for this.

DJ Squid: Nah, this is more of a medley. I bet this is his album sampler. I would like to state for the record, this is the best email submission copy ever. It is just titled "Awesome Video" and the body of the message was "Awesome Video" with the YouTube link. Okay, now we're definitely just hanging out in this dude's bedroom and it is getting kinda awkward. Speed painting is very deep.

Hump Jones: Now all of a sudden we're on a bridge and he's camouflaged like a normal bro? Can you imagine actually running into this guy and talking to him and gradually realizing how deep and weird those waters really are?

DJ Squid: He likes Skrillex and Dave Matthews and rapping over Casio loops. Ask him about his paintings. He has rooms full of paintings. This is starting to get pretty real, he's dropping some love raps right now.

Hump Jones: "EH OH EL I'm kidding but seriously I'm not" is the lyrical high point so far, I gotta admit, that had me dying pretty hard. This dude really seems to like trains, now we're on the railroad in the snow and he's doing the Thom Yorke.

DJ Squid: Yeah, the full Thom Yorke. Damn. The best part of this whole video so far is the random jailbait ass creeper porn shot that scrolls up to the gigantic blue demon owl towering over a bunch of dancing teenagers. That was pretty memorable. I wonder if all those kids realize they're going to be sacrificed to dubstep Moloch.

Hump Jones: This is really testing my fucking stamina.

DJ Squid: Yeah, pucker up, pal. We started this, it's too late to turn back now. This is so sublimely weird.

Hump Jones: This is very post-structuralist, I like how he keeps undermining the parameters of convention by rhyming about Happy Meal McFlurries over psychedelic painting montages. This is the apex of conscious rap, the peak in the collective Bro Mushroom Trip that has been rippling across America since the late 90's. Mostly it's just agonizing, though.

DJ Squid: I gotta comment on the fact this kid is raphands-ing pretty hard in front of a Mercedes SUV. I don't know what that does for his street credit either way. I'm betting this delicate flower doesn't roll very deep.

Hump Jones: I feel like a lot of these songs are the result of a feedback vacuum in his life This material is brain to bedroom to pro tools.

DJ Squid: These booth shots are intense. His rap hands are basically an EDM seizure, that whole shit is new to me. Wow. DON'T LET HIM BE IN HIS ZONE.

Hump Jones: Yeah, I would earnestly advise this guy's friends to keep him out of his zone, at all times and at all costs. I bet this is the emotional closing track we're being blessed with right now.

DJ Squid: Then it all washed out into deep poetry and the best text graphics in internet history. After taking so damn long, now it feels like it was over too soon.

Hump Jones: You don't mean that.

DJ Squid: I do not.