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Who Spit It Better?

Who Spit It Better?: People Under The Stairs “Acid Raindrops” vs. InI “What You Say”

This installation of Who Spit it Better? looks at the bars of two heavyweight groups of emcees. People Under The Stairs and their infamous, “Acid Raindrops,” versus the great InI’s, “What You Say,” with each track sampling David T. Walkers happy guitar groove from his 1970 song, “Lay Lady Lay.”  Pete Rock’s beat for “What You Say” was done back in the 90’s even though it didn’t see an official release until 2003.  And honestly, Thes One’s instrumental doesn’t sound different enough from Pete’s to give Thes complete credit for that flip, but nonetheless, both of the beats are ones to be recognized for their unique sound. People Under The Stairs is one of the most popular West coast Hip Hop groups on the circuit, if not the most, depending on who you ask. “Acid Raindrops,” from their fan favorite, O.S.T., was my first introduction to the group and will always keep a strong spot on my iPod. The song has only grown more intriguing to me as I’ve spent the past few years living in Los Angeles along with having the ability to familiarize myself with the localized lyrics. Camel MC, who’s featured on the track, has the illest verse going in first and dropping gems like, “Let’s have a Mid-City fiesta with your West LA connection, hop inside the vehicle, start blazing intersections” and “Perhaps these raps can help you alleviate, the things that’s got you tripping, yo, watch me demonstrate first you ignore the nonsense and clear ... Read More »

Who Spit It Better: T.W.D.Y. vs. Twista

Legendary vocalist Bill Wither’s uplifting song, “Lovely Day” plays the foundation for the tracks in today’s feature of Who Spit It Better.  We’ll look at the rhymes of T.W.D.Y., a bay area group consisting of Ant Banks, Rappin 4-Tay, and Captain Save-Em, on their Ant Banks produced track, “Players Holiday,” featuring Mac Mall, Too Short, and Oakland singing duo Otis & Shug. I’ll be comparing it against Twista’s toned down, yet still blazing flows on his Red Spyda produced “Sunshine,” featuring the always soulful Anthony Hamilton. Each song stays in a similar lane as the original Wither’s track, keeping the lyrics positive and in reference to, above all things, a lovely day. Twista stretches the word positivity with his street credible bars masked by the spirited vocals of Anthony Hamilton and the undeniably happy sounding sample. Lyrics like Twista’s,  “Soon as my eyes see the sunshine, my thoughts is juking the block ducking the one time,” vs. Mac Mall’s, “Beautiful black women give em much respect and ain’t no funk between the east and the west it’s just a players holiday,” highlight the basis of each song lyrically. Twista is speaking from the hustler’s perspective, celebrating the day he’ll come up off the streets onto something greater while Ant Beezy and crew celebrate the fruits of their labor in the present moment (1999). Little known singers Otis & Shug lend a nice touch to the chorus working in their own vocals, “Today’s the day the players play, so you better ... Read More »

Who Spit it Better: AZ/Nas vs. Ice Cube

For this weeks edition of Who Spit It Better we match up AZ and Nas’, “How Ya Livin” vs. Ice Cube and Krayzie Bone’s, “Until We Rich.” Each contains samples from Glenn Jones 1984 hit single “Show Me,”  Hip-Hop samples ever. East Coast beast L.E.S. provided his beat for AZ’s Pieces of a Man album while lesser known producer Carl Thompson laced Ice Cube with his beat for 2000’s War and Peace Vol. 2 It seems like every producer/DJ that uses the Glenn Jones sample utilizes it in very similar way, L.E.S. and Carl Thompson are no different. At the end of the day the beats sound basically identical except for the tempo and mix. Obviously the drum kits and small details (i.e. the scratches in “How Ya Livin”) are different, but it’s driving force, the “Show Me” sample, is used in just about the same way. Thompson could be called for biting because “How Ya Livin” dropped in 98’ and but I will let ya’ll decide all of that. Regardless, both of theses beats integrate the use of the sample very cleanly. The main difference between the two instrumentals is the mix. Until We Rich is big and sounds viable to be on a commercial album while “How Ya Livin” is rough and dusty but this gives it it’s character. It isn’t the grittiest of street songs, rather sleepy actually, but it still upholds that grimy east coast vibe I love. Read More »

Who Spit It Better? Chiddy Bang vs. The Throne

Besides explaining how wealthy you can live during a financial meltdown, Kanye and Jay-Z showed us once again how cool it is to sample music from the Ed Banger generation on their collabo effort, Watch The Throne. Alongside “Why I Love You,” which samples and interpolates Cassius‘ club hit “I Love You So,” Kanye and Jay-Z also decided to, probably during their sessions in the UK while sharing a very expensive bottle of vine, put “I Can’t Stop” from UK Dubstep producer Flux Pavilion through the grinder. The thing is, Ye’ and Mr. Knowles weren’t the first artists who fell in love with the Dubstep track. Months before, Chiddy Bang‘s emcee Chiddy spit his rhymes over the instrumental on a track which was featured on their mixtape Peanut Butter And Swelly. Can we speak about a jack move here? What are your thoughts? Check out the tracks and vote and leave comments below! [audio:http://kevinnottingham.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/07-I-Cant-Stop-Freestyle.mp3] Chiddy Bang: “I Can’t Stop” Produced by Flux Pavilion Peanut Butter And Swelly (2011) [audio:http://kevinnottingham.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/09-kanye_west_and_jay_z-who_gons_top_me.mp3] Kanye West & Jay-Z: “Who Gon Stop Me” Produced by Shama “Sak Pase” Joseph & Kanye West Watch The Throne (2011) [poll id=”293″] Read More »

Who Spit It Better: J. Cole Vs. CRU

In this battle of Who Spit It Better, we match Mr. Second String himself J. Cole and his track, “Sideline Story” against the now defunct Cru’s (also known as the Rhythm Blunt Cru) jam “Just Another Case” ft. Slick Rick. Both producers that covered these tracks flipped the seventies band, Rhythm’s,” The World is A Place,” but this time around we are focusing on the “spitters.” New York trio Cru blessed producer Yogi with strong bars reciting ghetto stories of triumph and defeat that weren’t the in-depth tales of Nas or Rakim but still made for a dope song that was thorough. The first verse had a buttery flow and came off instantly with that classic Hip Hop feel, “Once upon a time, lets see if I remember, back in January, nah chill it was December.”  Then, Slick Rick took the hook and added a simple yet flavorful touch, “This ain’t funny so don’t cha dare laugh, Just another case about the wrong path,” which coincided with the song well and brought everything together.  It was a simple song by a talented group that stood their own alongside a great like Slick Rick. And the laid back beat and soft drums gave a vibe that made it easy to just fall back and bob ya’ noggin’. On the flipside, I wouldn’t call J. Cole’s “Sideline Story” a radio song but it keeps that mainstream appeal; especially when placed up against a straightforward Hip Hop song like “Just Another Case.” (Commercial ... Read More »

Who Spit It Better?: Joe Budden vs. Deezus vs. Sean Price

The latest edition of Who Spit It Better has Mouse Budden’s “Dear Diary” facing off against Canadian rapper Deezus’ “Cover My Tracks” featuring Brooklyn’s own Sean Price.  Both tracks sample Lakeside’s  “Alibi” from their 1983 album, Untouchables.  Both tracks use the soulful parts of the track (vocals) but what separates them?  Let’s find out. Sean P starts “Cover My Tracks” off with his classic rugged flow “Fucking with the god/that’s a wrong move/what you want par/dope or dog food/I smacking the shit out of niggas on dope or dog food.” and a Billy Dee Williams/Colt 45 reference.  Pretty standard P rhyme. Deezus rides the beat nicely on “Cover My Tracks,” but doesn’t say anything worth hitting the rewind button.  His verse isn’t bad just not memorable. Budden’s verse (about a 100 bars) is probably one of his best in terms of the raw emotion, his vulnerability, exposing himself to the public, and his loved ones/friends.  Joe is great at detailing the  hurt and pain in his life while exploring the troubles he has within his personal relationships or at least his side of the story.  He explores not only those troubles, but the burden of carrying NJ on his back and the fighting within its Hip-Hop scene as well as the ongoing drama with his son’s mother.  The song is a perfect example of why Joe has a crazy fan base.  The flow, honesty, and passion he puts into his bars are all endearing qualities. This battle is extremely one ... Read More »

DaVinci vs Shyheim vs Hell Razah

Another edition of Who Spit it has Filmore District (San Francisco) emcee DaVinci battling Wu-Tang affiliates Shyheim and Hell Razah.  The trio rhyme over O.V. Wright’s “Nickel and a Nail” from his 1967 album, Eight Men, Four Women.  The tracks supplied by RZA and Big D use the track nicely with RZA focusing more on the vocal’s and Big D highlighting those blaring horns. All emcee’s provide good performances, but the Wu-Tang fan in me digs the back and forth of Shyheim and Hell Razah. Who you got? Poll and tracks underneath. Read More »

Rick Ross vs Joe Budden

The Bawse and Joe Budden both have used one of my favorite samples, “Silly Love Song” by Enchantment.  The Bawse uses the sample for his lead single (“Super High”) featuring Ne-Yo from this forthcoming album, Teflon Don (July).  Joe Budden utilized the track for his 2008 album, Halfway House [buy]. Both are decent songs aiming for club/radio spins, but only one of the tracks feels natural.  I dig Joe Budden and the skills he has on the mic, but this isn’t his lane.  Joey is at his best spitting introspective lyrics discussing his inter turmoil and playing up his status as the underdog role.  At times he is great at that (see Mood Muzik 2), but the club/party/radio joints just isn’t him.  Rick Ross (like him or not) is right at home on “Super High” talking that fantasy lavish ish over lush production.  If anything Rick Ross has an ear for beats that compliment his style/content.  “Super High” is no different.  Plus, it doesn’t hurt having Ne-Yo‘s smooth vocals on the hook either.  “Super High” is just a better song all the way around.  Easy choice.  Who you got? Tracks and poll underneath. Read More »

Erykah Badu vs Alicia Keys

Two beautiful women.  Two solid tracks.  One song a lead single to a live album.  The other a solid album track on one of the best R&B albums released this year.  Both sing over Eddie Kendricks often used “Intimate Friends” track.  Alicia beautifully sings about  the “unbreakable” nature of celebrity power couples (at that time).  Ms. Badu warns potential male companions the danger of falling in love with her. This feature is usually reserved for emcee’s, however, the ladies are front and center today.  Tough choice, but I love the “hardness” of Erykah‘s song (lifting a B.I.G. line for the hook doesn’t hurt either).  Who you got?  Who Spit Sang It Better? Tracks and poll underneath. Read More »

Roc Marciano vs Alchemist vs Twista

Roc Marciano and The Alchemist both used Smoked Sugar‘s “Keeping Up My Front” for their songs “Hide My Tears” and “Smile” respectively.   Marcberg is dope, but I don’t like “Hide My Tears” as the use of the double time delivery just doesn’t work for me.   The Alchemist, Twista, and Maxwell created a banger as “Smile” was one of our top songs from last year. This post was originally scheduled to drop the same week Marcberg hit stores, but I had some Usershare code in the post that was screwing things up.  Kev finally figured it out and here we are!  Onto the competition…Twista>Maxwell>Alchemist>Roc Marciano. Who you got? Links and poll after the cut. Read More »

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