By Rob van Alstyne
By Zach McCormick
By Emily Eveland
By Jack Spencer
By Michael Madden
By Reed Fischer
By Emily Weiss
By Emily Weiss
So it's official: This hyper-articulate Virginia crack-rap duo can flow sick over non-Neptunes beats—though it must be said that Scott Storch's stuttering-synths "Fast Life" track, is, like, expert counterfeit 2002 Neptunes or something, to the whhhaaa extent that it took more than a few spins for Clipse's metaphors to draw blood. This is the lead single from the next Clipse album, due in frickin' November; they flash dirty cash in Vegas, rep their rides, and twist their black-hearted narcissism into self-concerned patriotism: "The reds, whites, and blues in the chain make 'em pledge allegiance."
"The Weapon of Prayer"
The Louvin Brothers songs Drakkar Sauna dug up for a covers album are hokey, mid-20th-century populist dreck. But "Weapon" (message: you can't fight the enemy but you can pray for those who do) resonates in this era as much as it did back during WWII. Better this than the Fugs' "Kill for Peace," anyway.
FLO RIDA feat. WILL.I.AM
"In the Ayer"
As it happens, Mr. Ayer is not a friend or associate of the performer or his august guest star. Rather, Mr. Ayer is a stockbroker and Phil Collins fan-club president from Detroit who won a BET-sponsored contest in which...oh, okay, I'll quit while I'm ahead.
GRUPO FANTASMA feat. MACEO PARKER
This is like a generous slice of heaven with a cherry and whipped cream on top, seriously. A frantic mash-smash of Latin genre staples? And Maceo wilding out on his horn? Fucking-A right!
How would these art-fringe copyright daredevils react if I said this shredded-tone sploosh kinda reminds me of the Butthole Surfers' "Pepper"—you know, where those nonconformist misfits played the Beck card and actually made it onto alt-rock playlists?