The self-proclaimed white bastard of hip-hop, $hamrock, is back with a new one. I was a little late in getting this one posted and for all I know, he might have eight more videos ready to go. Check out “Wyte Music”, which you can enjoy regardless of your skin tone.
New week? Then that means a brand new video from $hamrock, who has unleashed the very nice “EastSide”, this one produced by The
Avengerz. The song is from his brand new album Money Green, which you can order below via Amazon.com
As someone who grew up in the dawn of music videos, it was great when an artist made more than four videos from an album, even better if they had chosen the path of doing a video album. Back then, you had to sometimes wait nine to twelve months for that to happen. These days, artists can release a video album in less than a month if they wanted to. When someone releases a video a week, it makes me go “damn, keep it going.” Not sure how much more $hamrock will be doing for his new album, but he’s not only doing them, he’s doing them for intros and interludes. Here’s his new one for “Torture Interlude”, from his new album Money Green (Wyte Music). Keep it going.
$hamrock is here with a brand new track. I was going to say “he’s back” but the truth is, he’s always been around. Heavy Twitter coverage, doing the social media thing right. Anyway, his new track is “Money Green Intro” and at first I thought “intro? Is there more?” No matter, it just means that the MC also known as Yung Irish has a new album out, in this case it’s called Money Green (Wyte Music) so go check that out when you can.
The cover photo of Lil Wyte‘s Still Doubted? (Wyte Music/Select-O-Hits) has him immersed in a bloody bathtub with a slightly disgusted look. He’s surrounded with alcohol, weed, cocaine, pills, and a gun. The back cover has him holding a knife, staring into the unknown. We can assume he killed himself, but we must question why. We don’t know if he killed anyone else, but perhaps it’s to suggest (and this is just me shooting the shit) that if he didn’t have music to call his own, he could do some serious damage to others and perhaps himself. An image like this in hip-hop might freak people out, but I’m sure someone will read this and go “oh you know white people, not afraid to go overboard and shit.” I just spent the first paragraph of this review discussing imagery, but what is more important is its link (if any) to the music.
Still Doubted? does begin with a dialogue between Lil Wyte and a friend, and it seems Wyte portrays himself as someone in a complete daze, unable to speak coherently and the evidence around him has him breathing and living without care. Then the music begins. For those who love that ruffneck Memphis style of hip-hop, Lil Wyte is a party animal, not afraid to talk about living, loving, smoking, drinking, and fucking. It may lift his spirits up, but if he’s with friends, it’s a good day. The majority of these songs sound like they’re all at the same tempo, so DJ’s would be able to mix these songs in and out with ease. There’s not much variation, but with the tracks that go slightly slower, I can see them making crowds go crazy. A track like “Sike” (featuring Miscellaneous) does have the music going a bit at double time, to where it almost comess off like him rhyming over an Usher track, which isn’t bad at all, better Lil Wyte than Usher, right? The rest of the tracks are produced very well, and I also love the use of smooth jazz and easy listening samples, since it may not be what one would expect from a rapper who is talking about the party and hustle life. When I heard those samples, I thought “yes, he knows what he’s doing.”
Outside of what makes him Lil Wyte, you can listen to these songs as an observer, or as if Lil Wyte decided to step out from his role as a rapper and watch his real self speak without the hat and gear. I focus on the track he did with Bubba Sparxxx called “Show Some Skin”, which is about finding women with tattoos and piercings and wanting to see it all, from every angle:
let me see that belly ring
let me see them nipple rings
show them tats on your back
take off everything
let me see that tongue ring
let me see that pearl ring
show them tats on your cat
take off everything
and… show some skin
It comes off a bit like the perfect follow-up and update to Twista‘s “Tattoo”, and as raw and sexual as it is (and should be), think of it as two curious guys entering a club and wanting to get their thrills. They realize “oh, all we need to do is talk to these ladies, spark things with a bit of conversation and see what happens.” Then both of them get detailed about what happens. There’s that slight childhood curiosity of being able to see what you’re told not to see, and it might lead to a stunned face or two but you know you’re grown and you’re going to have fun looking at pores and skin tones with different designs and potential keloids.
Still Doubted? is an answer to anyone who has ever thought Lil Wyte could not make decent music, but he knows what he likes, knows who will love his style of speak and lyrics. As he says in “I Do It”, he goes out of his way to reach out to admireres, and because of that union, he feels stronger than ever and he’ll keep on doing it:
my train of thoughts might slow down in times that I get restless
Sometimes that I don’t wanna write raps and I question
What the fuck am I doing in this game, is there a lesson
Or am I just making a living preachin’ as I’m stressin’
I met about a million of my fans, I shook hands
and every one of them in they own way have told me I’m the man
So I take that in consideration whenever I am writing
Let ‘em know I’m two times stronger than ten million bolts of lightning
Strikin’ the competition like Deon when I’m scorching hot
I can do this shit super high on pills and weed and drunk and high
Whenever I dropped Doubt Me Now I was the first to talk about some pills
Now everybody their roll on and they leveled out the playing field
If you only listen to him for the choruses and party vibe, you might miss him talking about his true and dedicated he is in making music. For that, Patrick Lanshaw will continue to do what he does and if there are still doubts, like Me’Shell NdegeOcello, he’ll have no problem acting like he don’t know you. I would also love to hear him get out of his comfort zone with possible collaborations and projects, but considering the zone he presents himself in with this album, it’s proof that there’s no place like Memphis and the South for Lil Wyte.
It is certain that $hamrock, a/k/a Yung Irish, released his debut full length album Tha Wyterapper Show (Wyte Music/Select-O-Hits) during the week that St. Patrick’s Day hit. A lot of people may be saying “who the hell is this white cat?” but if you remember VH-1′s Ego-Trip’s The (White) Rapper Show, you’ll know that it was a contest where various white rappers competed for a prize. I myself thought it was a great show, pushed slightly as a gimmick even though there were some people on their with skills. $hamrock won the top prize, and while he had released an EP and did a few mix tape appearances here and there, nothing happened, or at least no one outside of his fanbase had heard of him. Four years after winning, he’s hoping to turn some heads.
The album is called Tha WyteRapper Show and with his feet firmly planted in Atlanta, his music is very much about the Dirty South. He has a target audience, and he knows how to cater to them with lyrics and flows that are quite good. You did read that right, he has “flows”, in that he doesn’t rap in one specific style. Sometimes people are able to make it rhyming in one fashion and he doesn’t. There are songs about money, cars, women, and even a track called “Penitentiary” that touches about friends who will not be able to live in the outside world for five to ten years. It’s a song that might be enjoyed by his lady fans who may have boyfriends, husbands, or lovers who are locked up. Then there’s a song like “Stomp A Ho”, which if you listen fast could be a perfect song used by Ex-Lax (listen to the lyrics and you know why). There are songs here about hopes, dreams, and wanting better, all filled with fantasies about what the good life represents and what it can be for those who are living the myth of those fantasies. $hamrock doesn’t specifically say “I’m living this way, live the way I do”, he plays the role of the observer but doesn’t mind saying he wants some of that too.
As a producer, I tend to focus on that even more and if there’s one downfall to this album, it’s that the energy he conveys in his lyrics aren’t equaled in the music. I would have liked to have heard more diversity, I can hear him rhyming over some tight 9th Wonder beats or doing a track with Rakaa, Donwill, or Eternia, I imagine $hamrock being able to adapt to any musical environment while bringing other collaborators into his world too. I don’t hear that here, but I hear the potential of more. However, that’s my view of what I want to hear in future $hamrock projects. What I do hear is someone who has a level of confidence that comes from sharpening his skills and the methods in how he wants to be heard and known. There was a time when his style of music may not be enjoyed by people of other regions, and yet he’s not all about the ATL. $hamrock will appeal to fans of the Bay Area, those who like E-40 or Too $hort will find something along the same lines here.
As it stands, Tha WyteRapper Show is a decent album but I await to hear what he’ll come up with in the next few years.
Four years is a long time for someone to make themselves known in a public manner and release a debut album. It is said that in music, and really in any form of entertainment in the 21st century, at the moment of discovery, you have to maximize your means of marketing yourself non-stop for at least two years, to the point of overkill. At the end of the two years, take a break and then plan again for the next mission. This is what happened when Beyonce Knowles became a solo artist, this is what Clay Aiken did when he was second place on American Idol. Forget the fact Aiken didn’t win, but look at what happened to Ruben Studdard. He was the winner, release a small handful of music and found himself flashed quickly during the end of a Scooby-Doo movie.
I bring this up because of a rapper named $hamrock. If the name or face looks familiar, then you probably watched VH-1′s The Wyte Rapper Show. Many remember the show because even though there was a humorous and slight novelty factor, there was some talent on it. However, that was in 2007. He won $100,000 and arguably that would be the time to truly execute your plan and “go for what you know”. One can say “wow, did he just eat up his money and spend it on stupid things?” and the answer to that would be “who cares what anyone spends, and do you care because he didn’t spend it on you?” He did give a small part of it to charity, but the truth is, should $hamrock have dropped an album in 2008? (To his credit, he did release an EP in 2008 to test the waters). Four years is a very long time and in internet years, careers come and go. Hell, one can say an industry came and went.
However, if you believe that patience comes to those who wait and that talent is meant to be appreciated and not rushed, then this is $hamrock’s time. The album will be released on March 15th and will be called The WyteRapper $how, with the hope people who remember him from that show will show some support and see what he has to offer in 2011. In a world where Eminem is now viewed as the king of white hip-hop because the media feels there can be no other caucasian rappers despite there being a wealth of good and great people out there, $hamrock will find himself in an uphill battle unless he can ready turn some heads with his music. Perhaps the last four years allowed him to figure out how to do that, and it seems that he’s ready.