August 11, 2020

The Max-Approved Mixtape - Episode #3! (Brought to you by RandoMax Radio)


It may feel like I just posted one of these recently, but that's just because I enjoy recording and releasing these so much that I try to do this as often as I can. The act of choosing songs, paring them down, and sequencing them in such a way so that everything flows together is but one of many nerdy things I've found myself having some fun with ever since I began this side project.

That, or you're just thinking of the last episode of RandoMax Radio that went up two weeks ago. In which case, yeah, that's what I meant, yeah.

Episode number three of the Max-Approved Mixtape went through the combine a couple of times before reaching true nirvana. It originally featured an artist that I later removed due to some allegations from last week that still remain unchallenged to this day. I mean, seriously, ignoring someone calling you out for alleged sexual assault doesn't make the accuser vanish. You could at least deny the charges officially. 

Anyway, today's mix still features the other artist brought up during that now-infamous Instagram Live feed, since the accusations pinned on him aren't nearly enough for me to stop giving a shit about the music itself. I trust that you two can scan the tracklist below and figure out who is who without me having to spell it out.

Finally, there are a bunch of rappers here who haven't been problematic as of late, so you can still enjoy these songs for what they are: entertaining as shit.

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1. Erick Sermon - "Tell 'Em" (featuring Roz and Keith Murray)
2. Dr. Dre (kind of) - "Just Another Day" (featuring The Game and Asia Bryant)
3. Busta Rhymes - "I'm Talking To You"
4. Bahamadia - "3 the Hard Way" (featuring K-Swift and Mecca Starr)
5. Benny the Butcher - "Crowns For Kings" (featuring Black Thought)
6. Casual - "I Didn't Mean To"
7. Run the Jewels - "Blockbuster Night Pt. 2" (featuring Despot and Wiki)
8. Clipse - "Comedy Central" (featuring Fabolous)
9. Curren$y - "Address" (featuring Stalley)
10. Kendrick Lamar - "How Much A Dollar Cost" (featuring James Faultleroy and Ronald Isley)

Let me know how much you like it or if you have suggestions for the future of stuff I've missed or things I've just never written about - I want you all to enjoy listening to these.
Stay safe and wear a mask!


August 4, 2020

The Hard Sell, or How To Help Keep HHID Sustainable

Yep, I'm bringing this back.
If you're reading these words, then you're likely familiar with what I've done with Hip Hop Isn't Dead over the past, oh, thirteen years now? Wait, shit, is that right? My ongoing project has taken thirteen years and counting? Damn it, I'm never going to finish at this rate. But I digress.

Said ongoing project, in which I take a look at an artist's discography, their complete body of work, as a way to measure trends, follow narrative threads, and generally determine at which point their output shifted, both for better and for worse (TL;DR - finding out if certain hip hop albums have stood the test of time, if the so-called "classics" are deserving of that, um, classification), has taken up a lot of real estate on the site, and as you can imagine, it consumes a lot of time to locate an album, listen to it, take copious notes about it, and then publish those thoughts in a public forum, so I've been on a quest for ways that the two readers can keep HHID sustainable.

Here are a bunch of ways you can assist me and help keep this thing of ours alive and kicking. And if this is somehow your very first visit to HHID, welcome! Take a look around, click through the links in the sidebar, and, should you feel so inclined to help, pop on back over here for my suggestions.


- The Hip Hop Is Done Patreon page. Quite honestly the number one way to show your support of both myself and my ongoing writing larks, the Patreon, which is one year old as of August 1, houses articles of varying lengths, among other surprises, that just wouldn't fit into the narrative over here, as I've doubled my efforts on trying to get this project closer to the finish line. What that means is this: reviews of newer artists/albums? More likely to end up over there, unless they're coming from someone already established on my list. (This is why I ran a review for Drake's Views, which is a part of the current plan, while the Conway and Alchemist collaboration LULU wound up on the Patreon.)

$3.00 per month (less than a decent cup of coffee) unlocks over eighty additional posts that will help add to the hip hop discourse, or, at the very least, could make you laugh while you're trying to get through your workday or your commute. My plan is to spin the paid content into directions that this feed simply won't allow, so join me on the ground floor, won't you? To entice you, here are some sample posts, in addition to some I've unlocked for the time being.

Dan the Automator Presents 2K7
Kool Keith - KEITH
The DJ Khaled Chronicles S01E13 (featuring Freeway and the Clipse)
Wu-Block - Hidden Gems (a bonus from the 12 Days of Wu-Mas 2019)
Foxy Brown - Ill Na Na (Drink Coaster Revisited) (unlocked for a limited time) 
Al' Tariq - God Connections (unlocked for a limited time)
Remixed For Your Pleasure: Gang Starr - "Bad Name" (unlocked for a limited time)
Freddie Gibbs x The Alchemist - Alfredo (unlocked for a limited time)

- The Amazon links. You've likely noticed that the write-ups here are still littered with links to purchase the various products on Amazon. That's still a thing that exists here, and even if you don't give a shit about, say, let's bring back Drake's Views, you can still use the links to pick up stuff you actually want. Simply click through to Amazon using the links on my page, or the search box in the sidebar, and then start looking for your treasure once you hit Amazon - that way a small (incredibly small, but every bit helps) percentage of your purchase helps maintain the sites and keeps me going. 


- The Twitter feed. I'm still at (at) hhid_Max, so follow me, convince your friends to follow me, retweet, feel free to ask me questions, talk shit about my critiques, and/or enjoy the occasional drunken ramblings, which, admittedly, may not happen quite as often as long as this pandemic is going on, but god damn it, they will be back.

- The Facebook page. While I'm not the biggest fan of Facebook (it's fucking evil), I still find myself on the HHID page ever since I restarted it last year. Follow me on Facebook and share the articles and mixes I post - a wider audience is always a good thing for a niche site like mine.

- The RandoMax Radio Mixcloud page. This one's a biggie, since my little podcast-slash-mix show side project is still fun for me to put together more than twenty episodes in. Follow the feed to receive notification of when new mixes are uploaded (this can happen before I ever mention them on this site), and please share the mixes and leave comments. Sharing music that I enjoy is legitimately one of my favorite things, and I'm willing to bet you're right there with me - if you didn't like music, you wouldn't be reading these words, right? So sign up now to be the first to enjoy wherever my whims take me.

- The RandoMax Radio Spotify page. This one's relatively new, so I'm still working out what to put there, but I have some fun ideas. Right now it houses a few older "episodes" of RandoMax Radio, but in a playlist form, along with both versions of that Wu-Tang Forever reconstruction that I ran with a few months ago. There's more of that coming soon, along with some other ideas for playlists that I plan on soliciting your input for, so why not give this Interweb Muppet a follow and jump on this bandwagon early?

Aside from this, the best possible way for you to show your support is to leave comments, ideas, shit-talk, any kind of engagement, really. I get that not everyone's going to want to write a comment every time, but it helps if I know that I'm headed in the right direction. Share the write-ups with like-minded friends and family, too, especially if they don't mind italics, incessant cursing, and multiple pop-cultural asides in their musical critique.

Thanks for reading!


July 28, 2020

RandoMax Radio Episode #21!

Last month marked the twentieth edition of the ongoing RandoMax Radio concern, a side project that I'm having some fun with, since I enjoy sharing music I love with others. That's part of why this blog exists, too - I'd like to think you two can tell when I'm really liking something versus phoning in a review for a song that fucking blows. Those kind of tracks aren't allowed on these mixes, by the way.
Episode 21 follows the same format as before: songs lifted from a mixture of musical genres compiled in such a manner so as to create new context for them all. There's one minor adjustment some of you may notice if you're paying extremely close attention, which, if you are, that's cool, but this is music, after all, created for your enjoyment first and foremost. As ever, Patreon subscribers receive early access to the tracklist - everyone else will have to wait a bit, although I still argue that part of the fun here is not knowing what's coming next.

If you've ever taken the time to listen to any of the twenty episodes of RandoMax Radio or any of the other stuff on the feed, I appreciate your ongoing support. Don't forget to subscribe to the RandoMax Radio feed to catch up on previous episodes and to receive updates before they appear here. You can also troll me on Twitter at @hhid_Max. And of course, you can leave your comments, complaints, memes, song and/or article suggestions, and whatever else you two want me to see.

July 21, 2020

My Gut Reaction: Drake - Views (April 29, 2016)

Today’s post for Aubrey “Drake” Graham’s fourth album, Views, is a lengthy one designed to mirror the drawn-out promotional run our host put together to goose its sales.

I’m just fucking with you – Drake isn’t worth that level of attention from me. This one’s long just because I had a lot to complain about.

July 14, 2020

The Max-Approved Mixtape - Episode #2! (Brought to you by RandoMax Radio)

These little mix show/podcast episodes are a fun little reprieve for me - since I'm not focusing so much on how many different ways I can write "meh", I can toy with the songs that actually interest me, and putting people on to the shit I like has always been a thing of mine, as you can probably tell with the massive back catalog of write-ups you can find here.

So even though I threw together this second (or sixth, depending on when you came in) volume of the Max-Approved Mixtape in less than a week, rest assured that quick turnaround in no way affects the level of quality you two have come to expect from a ten-song mix that will take up less than an hour of your time.

The tracklist appears below, just so you can get a feel for what kind of mood I apparently was in last week.

1. OutKast - "Hootie Hoo"
2. Ghostface Killah & Trife da God - "Fire"
3. Big Punisher - "The Dream Shatterer"
4. Prodigy - "Genesis"
5. ScHoolboy Q - "Raymond 1969"
6. House of Pain - "Word is Bond (Remix)" (featuring Diamond D)
7. Method Man & Redman - "I'm Dope N---a"
8. Random Axe - "Another One" (featuring Trick Trick and Rock)
9. CZARFACE - "World Premier" (featuring Large Professor)
10. 3rd Bass - "Wordz of Wisdom (II)"

Let me know how much you like it or if you have suggestions for the future of stuff I've missed or things I've just never written about - I want you all to enjoy listening to these.
Stay safe and wear a mask!


July 7, 2020

My Gut Reaction: Obie Trice - Bottoms Up (April 3, 2012)

Obie Trice III, a couple of years removed from his, er, voluntary removal from the Shady Records roster, released his third full-length solo album, Bottoms Up, in the spring of 2012. Sticking with the theme of getting blackout drunk that all of his projects’ titles have followed (including his actual third “album”, the MoSS collaboration Special Reserve), Bottoms Up finds our hero trolling the streets of Detroit looking for problems, women, and, as I’ve noticed after having listened to this album roughly a year ago but am just now writing the opening paragraphs for this review, an explanation as to why he was treated so poorly by the Shady/Aftermath/Interscope machine.

Not entirely certain he’ll ever get an answer for that.

June 30, 2020

RandoMax Radio Episode #20!

Each passing week brings us closer to another episode of the ongoing RandoMax Radio concern, which, hopefully, is providing the soundtrack to at least some small aspect of your lives during these fucking weird-ass times. 
Whether you're pressing 'play and allowing yourself to focus in on the songs featured this month, or you're spinning this as background noise while you clean your living room, I just appreciate that you're listening to this at all. And there's some pretty good stuff this month, although, as always, the ever-elusive tracklist will have to wait.

EDIT: Okay folks, here you go.

1. "Obstacle 1" - Interpol
2. "Superstarr Pt. Zero" - k-os
3. "Golden Brown" - The Stranglers
4. "Live @ The Dugout '87" - De La Soul  
5. "Death of a Disco Dancer" - The Smiths
6. "Circle the Drain" - Soccer Mommy
7. "Mix Tapes" - The Nonce
8. "Echo Beach" - Martha and the Muffins
9. "Midnight in a Perfect World" - DJ Shadow
10. "Everything New" - Stalley
11. "There Is No Year" - Algiers
12. "Do You Wanna Hold Me?" - Bow Wow Wow
13. "Christ Conscious" - Joey Badass
14. "El Cuarto De Tula" - Buena Vista Social Club
15. "Lehhhgooo" (featuring Busta Rhymes, The Game, and Waka Flocka Flame) - N.O.R.E.
16. "My Superman" - Santigold
If you've ever taken the time to listen to any of the episodes of RandoMax Radio, just know that I appreciate the support. Don't forget to subscribe to the RandoMax Radio feed to listen to previous episodes and to receive updates before they appear here. You can also troll me on Twitter at @hhid_Max. And of course, you can leave your comments, thoughts, song and/or article suggestions, and whatever else you two want me to see.