May 31, 2016

Lil G.A.I.N. - Big Time Playaz (1996)


Absolutely mind blowing. Tapes like Big Time Playaz are the reason why I think Blackout is the best hip hop producer from Memphis. I'm not sure how he manages to convey such a claustrophobic atmosphere with his beats while keeping everything super ethereal, but it makes for a very unique style that only he could pull off. As usual he doesn't shy away from strange sounds; those bells on the opening track and that insane synth hook on For Yo Boys are just a couple of examples. Some Memphis producers can thrive off of awkward or messy transitions, but Blackout is so methodical the way he layers and stacks all kinds of synths, bells, and odd percussion on these instrumentals. The rapping is top tier as well. Pound for pound, I think the Playa Posse could be the most skilled rapping clique in underground Memphis. Their flows and tradeoffs ride hard on these tracks. The well written, depressing, and thoroughly violent lyrics are delivered with clarity and should stick right to your soul. This could very easily be the next best Blackout tape to Dreamworld, but it's hard to compare something this fluid to something like the Guice tape (Blackout was so versatile). Either way, Big Time Playaz is essential Memphis rap.

Sample

Big Time Playaz