According to his MySpace page, the streets love Blood Raw, and as We Shot JR's (self-proclaimed) Official Ear To The Streets, I'll play along with that. His major label debut, My Life: The True Testimony, is scheduled to be released by Def Jam on June 10, and, if the tracks that have leaked are any indication, Blood Raw may be the heir to the hungry and struggling version of Young Jeezy (another rapper who famously claimed love from the streets), who seemed to disappear after Thug Motivation stormed the rap world a few years ago. With a signature beat from former Cash Money producer Mannie Fresh, this track is Blood Raw's salute to those who haven't quite put it together yet. Office thug anthem '08!
Cyndi Lauper - The Goonies 'R' Good Enough (Dance Re-mix)
When I see lists of "The Greatest Movie Themes Of All Time," I'm always a little taken aback by the glaring omissions. All respect to Italians with orchestras, but what does someone whistling over a 100-piece string section really tell me about Clint Eastwood shooting people? This track, on the other hand, tells me everything I need to know about the movie in question. Specifically, The Goonies are good enough for you, and their good enough for me. Aiy-yi-yi-yi-yaiy. Plus, the two part video for this song may be the greatest kid's adventure movie / golden-era WWF cross promotion ever with appearances by The Goonies, Andre The Giant, Captain Lou Albano, Rowdy Roddy Piper, The Iron Sheik, Nikolai Volkoff, Steven Spielberg, and The Bangles. In the end, it all makes me really regret taping over my copy of this soundtrack with Hatful Of Hollow in 10th grade.
GG Allin - Carmalita
I just realized this week that the Todd Phillips who directed the GG Allin documentary, Hated, is the same Todd Phillips who directed such Frat Pack classics as Old School and Starsky & Hutch. How's that for a CV? From the soundtrack to the best rock documentary with piss drinking in it I've ever seen, here's GG's acoustic interpretation of a Warren Zevon classic that, in the balls and pathos departments, beats Dwight Yoakam's stale cover into a cocked hat and perfectly evokes Echo Park for me. Not the most indicative moment in his catalog, but if it whets your appetite for some old-fashioned punk rock mayhem, a GG-less Murder Junkies will be playing at The Prophet Bar on Memorial Day.
T.I. - No Matter What
This track is one of those that just seems to get better every time I hear it and is quickly moving in to prominent position on a short list of my favorite rap singles of the year. Coming back hard after a 2007 that looked like it might spell the end of his career with the release of the disastrously tepid T.I. vs. T.I.P. album and the felony weapons charges that have confined him to house arrest since last October, T.I. gives a sharp slap to all the haters and nay sayers (lookin' right at you, Shawty LO) and proves that he still holds the ATL trap rap crown. Built on a monstrous beat from Timbaland protege Danja, this is another classic single from T.I. and hopefully points to an energized new direction for his art. Regardless of how the court case turns out, he ain't dead. He ain't done. He ain't scared. He ain't run. Believe that.
Vetiver - Hurry On Sundown
When Donny & Marie sang "I'm A Little Bit Freak Folk, I'm A Little Bit Stoner Space Metal" (or something like that) on their hit variety show back in the late 70s, few realized that they were prophetically setting the template for a magic moment in 2008 when Vetiver would include a version of Hawkwind's first single on their new covers album, Thing Of The Past. True, "Hurry On Sundown" isn't full-blown cosmic drug rock Hawkwind (no, "Masters Of The Universe" here), but it is pretty fun to hear the decidedly frail and sedate Vetiver take a crack at a song by the band that bizarrely collaborated with legendary sci-fi novelist Michael Moorcock and spawned metal kingpins Motorhead. Sounding not unlike a cough syrup and speed frazzled hootenanny in the Haight circa-1967, Andy Cabic and co. take the tune down a road that should be pretty familiar to anyone who enjoys Spiritualized's more shambolic acoustic moments. Who here likes drugs?