the legend of curlys gold

That recent E-40 song with Guce and Black C has had me digging up the only surviving member of the legendary RBL Posse‘s solo ouput and it turns out, like so many other bay area rappers, he’d never really stopped working. I don’t know if its just the Bay’s self-sustaining perpetual motion of a market but these dudes just stay puttin out albums indefinitly -with that kind of work ethic its not surprising the Bay is one of the originating points for artist-owned independant distribution:

This reluctance to quit is a good thing, nevermind the respecting your elders, imagine how many good to great albums we couldve gotten outta all those east coast rappers who gave up the ghost (Slick Rick Slick Rick Slick Rick Slick Rick) that couldve made a healthy balance to all the godawful KRS albums that pop up every year or so, if they all just didnt understand the meaning of fuck off and die.

Maybe if instead of old rappers Jeru-style whinging constantly in interviews or through willing conduits, New York and the east coast as a whole just adopted the Bay Area’s culture of supporting your own and like never stopping, ever, the whole generation gap could be narrowed & “old ppl cant rap lol” myth couldve been dispelled with far sooner, rather than having to wait for people like AG and Raekwon* to release middle-aged rap albums that got some recognition and werent shit to boot. Maybe this whole reverence for making rap music the way they used to decades ago would stop being such a cherished ideal and more of em would just get on with the business of making great old man rap instead of terrible mid-life crisis rap.

Which isnt even to mention them like Wise Intelligent and Masta Ace** whov never really fallen off but have just gone ignored for the most part by the younger generation. I mean, half of the major mainstream rappers of the last decade were old as fuck anyways, they just pretended they werent.

Anyways, maybe, shoulda, coulda who cares – the point: Black C made a good grown-up rap album last year that none of the people that write about bay area rap on the internet i read informed me about, not even Thomas. Either i need to just dive deeper into more niche, bay-specific corners of the internets*** or theyv all just been sleeping on this pretty great collection of proper grown man introspective gangsterisms laid over a bed of lush 70s stylisticness.

It’s strange that the above mentioned song that reintroduced me to him is a throwback to the earlier heavy on the low-end mob music sonics of the bay, when the production on C’s albums somewhat of a throwback too but in a very different way- all blacksploitation flutes, strings and chipmunk soul,**** think a less depressing, more mature Return of the Mac and you’re somewhere in the same county.

The album is called 70s Baby, run go get.

The Life ft. Moe The Hustla

I’ll Never Tell ft. Simon

Cant Go Back

*Naughty by Nature have had some tunes lately too
** despite constantly commiting every one of the curmudgenly elderly boom-bap felonies fairly regularly more or less since like his second album, Ace has some tunes to say the least. fuck this ones a prime example, even with the premo-lite beat and RAPSUCKSCOMPLAINING, its undeniable. it’s called “nostalgia” for fucks sake! It’s actually probably why i bought that kinda shite Marco Polo album.  I wish J-zone would make some new muic,instead of just music video cameos.
*** please god no. i barely make time to go get off me tree once a week with me mates as it is, if i go any further into the matrix im gonna end up like that japanese kid who married a pokemon and died shitting himself playin World of Warcraft or whatever.
**** the production on some songs sounds a little dated but not really to their detriment, its easily forgiven. I’m not tryna claim its a game changer but its feel-good introspective forty plus gangsta rap and its great.
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10 Responses to the legend of curlys gold

  1. Thun says:

    I agree with almost everything you said but I found a lot to like in AG’s latest release, it’s almost like a laid-back, casual version of Marcberg, an album which I dig for its subtlety, refined paranoia and unusual use of language.

    Haven’t peeped the latest Raekwon yet, the few songs I heard were not too enthralling.

    Unless you were referring to the AG and OC album, that was a fairly bullshit release.

  2. donelanguage says:

    I kind of rushed this post so i probably could have worded it a lot clearer but I was actually holding up AG’s album as an example of how to make a worthwhile old man rap album, Everythings Berri is great and probably in my top 5 albums of last year. I agree with your description, particularly the language thing, the way he strectched “berri”s meaning to include everything from women to money was brilliant. Its very emotional in parts too but without being sappy and AG may have made the greatest ode to dead rappers ever in Why Am I Still Here. The songs are really easy to relate to too, Fuck The Club is just spot on.

    I think I actually prefer it to Marcberg, despite it probably being the more consistent album, Berris way more original and experimental in terms of song themes, structure an cadence (although Marcberg obviously was too but more so with the different flows/structures than themes and on a more micro-level) and I find myself coming back to it a lot more than Marcberg. The two do complement each other nicely though.

    Havent heard the OC album but yeah, the one or two songs from it I heard didnt inspire confidence.

    • Thun says:

      Word, Berri is crazy underrated. It’s more human than Marcberg, which has this almost pulp fiction type focus on drug schemes and surveillence. A.G. takes more chances, as you’ve noted, and some of the gambles work, so in a way it is more resonant. Not sure which one I like more, though I’ll probably play A.G. more in my forties if I had to guess.

      Are you familiar with the rapper $amhill? He’s this guy from the bronx with a writing style that manages to be extremely economical, brutally honest and relatable, and yet borderline insane at the same time. His flow is kind of the same way – it sounds refined at first but the more you pay attention the more he sounds like a chemically imbalanced crime novelist talking to himself. He doesn’t rap in a stupid porky pig voice like all these bay area dunces you overhype (just kidding, don’t get all emotional) but I think you’d appreciate what he does.

      He doesn’t have much material out at all, he’s best known for appearing on the P Brothers compilation The Gas, but here’s a download of seven other songs of his ….

      • donelanguage says:

        Ive heard The Gas and while I liked the beats a lot the rapping really didnt grab me at all, with that said I didnt really give it a chance beyond a listen or two and untill you mentioned it id forgotten all about it. I always loved the Money Boss Player ep though, so iv no idea why i gave up on it, I think il give it another go now. Im likin these $amhill songs you upped so far cheers, I appreciate his craziness too, that Worldwide Exclusive is kinda bugged all right.

        “pulp fiction type focus on drug schemes and surveillence.” yeah thats a good description of it. I find Marcbergs to be loads of little random glimpses into a criminal’s mind, where you only get a vague idea of the overall picture and the appeal is in these fine-tuned details and little flashes of imagery, kind of like Cuban Linx, whereas Berri, while having elements of that approach is far more focused on specific themes and stories and relating emotion which is definitly the bigger gamble. When Im 40+ I really hope I can relate more to a song like Fuck The Club than a proper whiny one about the young people music.

        The great thing about the bay is that they can turn the most ridiculous porky-pig delivery amazing and end up creating a really original style as a result (thats your fearless risk-taking there.). They just embrace the idea of being themselves and having fun with it so much relative to the norm elsewhere it just appears to be exaggerated weird cartoonishness. Its easy to see why some of the original weirdo be-yourself types, Kool Kieth and De La Soul are huge fans of bay area mob music.

        Ha sorry man im easily set off. Dont let my occasional lapses into hyperbole fool you though, E-Fonzarelli is GOAT material, he may be one of the biggest aqquired taste rappers but hes defintly the most rewarding one in my opinion. Heres this comp i made a while back as an introduction to non-believers that leans towards his more outsider friendly music if your ever feeling adventurous. I threw a song of his last one onto it too cos its ITS THE BEST RAP ALBUM EVAR.

  3. donelanguage says:

    And more rappers should make use of Ray West’s beats.

  4. brian beck says:

    This has reminded me that I still need to check that A.G album out.

  5. donelanguage says:

    It even has a song called Tweetheart thats as cheesy as the title suggests, yet still really great somehow.

    Man ive yet to listen to Flockavelli, Thug Motivation, Kanye’s last album and (even though i referenced it above)Cuban Linx 2 in full, I could go on all day.
    Shit being out the loop at times, iv no regrets with Kanye though.

  6. Thun says:

    Word, I’m downloading that E-4o comp now, I’ll let you know my impressions. I did like “Sprinkle Me” back in the day.

    • donelanguage says:

      Cool go for it. I listened to it today and now im thinkin i should have revised it before upping, some of those songs really shouldnt be on there. Suppose I just got lazy after fitting the new songs into the tracklisting, whatever though.

  7. Pingback: Blogospheric Conditions – Spring’s Cautious Arrival | The T.R.O.Y. Blog

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