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There are only about 75 seconds of the song “Million Miles Away” in this new clip from RatheMC, and while it’s labeled as an official video, it’s hard to see it as anything but an easygoing placeholder while she gears up for whatever is next. Check the full version from her Grace Jones Experiment mixtape here. Besides being a soulful, sturdy radio-rap track (with a smartly deployed Grace Jones interview sample in the middle, natch), it’s also the song that the DMV-by-way-of-New York rapper used as her audition for Season 2 of The X Factor last year, where she was part of the Providence bracket. A few months ago she gave a great interview to The Scene DMV about that experience. In short: “It made me a monster,” she said, in terms of professionalizing her work ethic and her career goals. Believe that. —-Joe Warminsky
Drop your cursor anywhere within the Wake Up: The Teddy Pendergrass Beat Tape compiled by Anthony “Gadget” Mims, and the output is seriously soulful, because that’s what Teddy does to people. Babies get made, etc. This tape is just like the other tapes: Mims puts out the word, sets the rules, and producers send him music that follows the rules. (Pro tip: Dig around for the beats that use ’80s-era Teddy instead of the ’70s classics.) Download the 40-plus tracks at Bandcamp for free. Mims’ Digital Hustle documentary operation also has a fresh offering, too: A clip where D.C.’s Tracey Lee discusses flipping a Marvin Gaye sample with producer DJ Blinks. Also on the Pendergrass tip this week: Dre the Gypc’s “Neva Go Back.” —-JW
Last week, we called Shy Glizzy’s “I Wish” video his “most introspective” moment. This week, Glizzy and Co. head to the shooting range. OK, not really, but he’s joined by Ar-Ab and Sy on “Shoot Guns,” where all three celebrate their love of firearms. They’re not kidding: The hook is “Rap fun, but I like to shoot guns.” Charismatic as ever, Glizzy sets the track’s tone, starting things off by borrowing the hook from No Limit’s Choppa: “Choppa style, chop, choppa style/This one dedicated to the murderers that beat a trial.” Ar-Ab and Sy peel off some witty lines of their own (“Your money not long if you price shit/I rob crap games if the dice miss” and “Teflon Don, I think I’m John Gotti/Way I beat the case, you scream Illuminati”). Though the beat is bass-heavy, the song’s most chilling moments are the first and final 10 seconds, thanks to those horror movie-inspired keys. —-Julian Kimble
The Swag Genie Has Granted Our Wishes
Uptown’s own Rahiem Supreme just released Swag Genie, a five-song collaborative EP with producer Crank. Chey Parker sets the table on the intro, lamenting hip-hop music’s disproportionate swag distribution: “It’s like the rappers with the most swag can’t rap, and the rappers with no swag can rap they asses off. I just wish there was a balance. I wish… I wish… I wish…” The magic lamp is rubbed, and Supreme materializes with a cackle.
On the trance-like ode to sex, “Longtime,” Supreme talks up his sexual stamina; both “Bossin'” and “Get The Cash” find Supreme, the self-proclaimed “lyrical Whodini,” spewing his affinity for a young man’s Holy Trinity: money, girls, and expensive shit. “On Lock” sounds like the various stages of a mind unraveling, as Crank’s production is minimalist, but bizarre, similar to how DJ Premier handled Jeru the Damaja’s “Come Clean.”
The brief project’s standout track is “Eyes Wide Shut,” which opens and closes with excerpts from John F. Kennedy, Jr.’s cautious 1961 speech about secret societies. At just over four minutes, the track is probably the best display of the rapper’s full range of abilities, as he waxes poetic about the hidden workings of the world: “See my philosophy, written thesis on top of beats/The world corrupted on subjects that flood the fuckin’ streets/They trap our minds as we struggle, how can we fuckin’ eat?/It’s hell on Earth and we’re surfin’ right on the fuckin’ sea.” After he references Karl Marx and the New World Order, the beat switches up a bit, but Supreme continues his anti-establishment onslaught while flowing double time over a relentless 808. He clearly has no desire to be anyone’s chattel. After the grand finale, there’s a chopped-and-screwed version of each song that’s probably best suited for getting high to, but shows his willingness to craft a multipurpose project. Check out Swag Genie and be on the lookout for more new material from Rahiem Supreme. —-JK