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In a recent Shots Fired podcast (highly recommended by the way), Jeff Weiss and Nocando discussed the ratchet phenomenon, basically explaining that it is all derivative of Lil Boosie and anyone that tells you otherwise is full of shit. Boosie’s trademark energy, and well, general ratchetness pervade hip hop in 2012 and whether you like it or not, you can’t deny his influence. South Jamaica Queens MC Skip Rage is the latest MC to grab our attention, and frankly, he’s pretty fucking ratchet. With the visuals for the SpaceGhostPurrp produced “Black Bandana” being released today, I figured it was the right time to introduce y’all to Skip. So yeah, get ratchet widit!

As much of radio hip hop devolves into a weirdo version of the Bohemian Grove, SpaceGhostPurrp (or Icee if you prefer) and his Raider Klan move in the opposite direction, relinquishing any fame/wealth/status related bullshit and retreating further into their anti-social, fuck the world shell. It’s good to see that Purrp still has time to make music amid beefing with ASAP Mob and “Whole Lotta Icee” represents the Klan and its most convoluted, otherwise known as its best. A simple xylophone progression is juxtaposed with Purrp’s grimy alley/blunted rhymes as warbling reverb and sirens push the song into ever gullier territory. Stream below and grab “Whole Lotta Icee” here.

“Kush Cloud” is five minutes of paranoiac kush raps from three of hip hop’s stoner dons. It’s fun to gaze through the blunt smoke and into the annals of history to remember that the first Bone Thugs formed right around the time Spaceghostpurrp was birthed. Well daddy don’t you know that things go in cycles? Ostensibly this is a posse cut, but we all know that Freddie Gibbs puffs the tuffest. Krayzie Bone and Spaceghost (still a better producer than MC) play capable foils, but there isn’t another rapper who carries across that “always looking over the shoulder” paranoia as Gangsta Gibbs. Looking over his shoulder while rolling up another dutch of course. Stream “Kush Cloud” below and look out for Gibbs’ Baby Face Killa tape on September 25th.

Your bitch got beauty, but mine’s from London

There has been a lot of hysteria over the new Kanye track and the new G.O.O.D. Music track over the last couple of days so I’ll quickly address both here. On “Theraflu” it was nice to hear Kanye own a track as an MC. Haven’t seen him go in like that in years. And.. nevermind. Fuck “Mercy.” Maybe I’m too stuck in my ways, but why can’t Pusha T rap like he did circa 2004? Not even HudMo’s “additional instruments” (whatever that means) can save this one. Now onto some real shit.

Back in February, I wrote that I was coming around to the Spaceghostpurrp hype. Well, now I’m firmly placed on the bandwagon. The Carol City MC/producer and Rvdxr Klvn kingpin sounds like Dungeon Family wrapped in gauze and dipped in acid. It’s crude, misogynistic and antagonistic to just about anything and everything. Matching A$AP Rocky bar for bar on “Purple Swag Pt. 2” certainly helped pushed him into the spotlight, but it is the mixtapes, Blvcklvnd Rvdix 66.6 (1991) and God of Black that really epitomize the Rvdxr Klvn aesthetic. “Lustful ’97” is a love song. Sort of. The chorus of “you want me, I want you” signifies that, but Spaceghost is a pretty vile character so his fairytale isn’t gonna play out like yours. Moans occasionally cut through the clanging beat to signify the presence of some female counterpart, but she never really materializes making the chorus even more distant and vague.

“Lustful ’97” isn’t for everyone. It doesn’t fit into the sub-three minute parameters of radio rap. Spaceghost’s vocals are put through multiple filters and beat is dark and grimy. It’s music for outcasts. For the angry youth. And that’s why I’m on the bandwagon. Stream “Lustful ’97” below and download it here.

I gotta say, the first time I listened to Spaceghostpurrp, I was far from impressed. The Miami MC/producer entered my conscious around the same time as Odd Future and appeared to possess the most obnoxious facets  of the LA collective. I recognized that Spaceghost obviously has the production skills and the charisma to be a successful artist, but something was missing. Since then, I’ve come around and now place Spaceghost somewhere in the realm inhabited by the likes of ASAP Rocky, Cities Aviv and Main Attrakionz. An impressive production acumen and improving lyrical ability  should help push him into the spotlight in 2012. As we saw with Rocky, it only takes one focused, well-rounded mixtape to launch an artist from blog afterthought to the spotlight.

Spaceghost dropped his latest release, a 30-minute mix of syruppy R&B tunes, on his Youtube account on Valentines Day, and while it does function as a perfectly fine love making mix, it’s more proper for a lazy Sunday. The hazy mix gives some insight into his influences outside of the hip hop world, and if nothing else, gives you 30-minutes of promethazine-laced madness. In the infamous words of a certain Rusko-collaborating group, roll it up, light it up, smoke it up.