February 11, 2015

PxMxWx - High Life (1994)


The early Cash Money artists--namely UNLV, PMW, and Lil Slim--weren't slow in establishing the Southern Louisiana bounce style, though I'm sure it had been forming in the streets for years. Mannie Fresh was certainly a major part of solidifying the style. At this point especially, he was primarily using an upper/mid-tempo drum track that's filled with shuffling hi-hats over a subtle kick boom rhythm that accents the beginning of each measure. Mannie Fresh is probably the most influential producer for today's scene, especially when it comes to trap and those snare rolls at the end of each verse.

Bounce lyricism is directly lifted out of Southern Louisiana cajun culture; incorporating call and response as well as charismatic chants that end in a higher note on the first call and then a lower note on the second verse (essentially ghetto versions of military marching calls). Like the other early bounce recording artists, PMW isn't primarily gangsta rap, but they do incorporate some gangsta rap in their songs; they talk about weed smoking, being players, and staying strapped, but pay attention to how they do this with their unique diction.

There isn't too much difference between the first two PxMxWx albums except the murkier quality on Legalize and the clear quality on High Life. Just guys rappin' bout weed and how much bounce hoes got, some overlap in the tracks too.

Sample

High Life