You say no to ratchets, MobbDeen can’t.
This isn’t the best song on Trademark’s latest mixtape, Flamingo Barnes, but it’s the perfect excuse for me to let y’all in on a rap bloggist secret: writing about Bob James’ “Nautilus” is always a good and convenient starting point for a post. I shouldn’t have written that, but I’m willing to suffer the collective rage of the rap bloggistsphere for all twelve of you that read my posts here.
I don’t know who sampled “Nautilus” first (my best guesses are Eric B & Rakim on “Follow the Leader” or Run DMC’s “Beats to the Rhyme’”- both dropped in 1988 and I wasn’t shaving back then). But it feels as if that shit has been sampled a billion times since (just 32 according to Wikipedia – that seems really low). So at this point, one can be forgiven for thinking that all the sampling possibilities have been exhausted when it comes to “Nautilus.” Niggas been sampling that shit for a quarter century!
But every year, like clockwork, some producer – in this case, AJ Beats (related to Swizz per chance? Sorry, couldn’t resist it – I’m corny) finds a new way to approach sampling the Bob James’ classic. The last time I wrote about “Nautilus” was after Danny Brown dropped XXX last year. Brandun DeShay did some really inventive shit with a familiar tune on “Pac Blood” and I figured folks would lay off said familiar tune for a year or two, but I was wrong. And for once, I’m pleased to be wrong.
As always, Trademark essentially does the Jet Life/Curren$y/Lifestyle rap thing to a tee on “Anxious” – laid-back motivational rap combined with marijuana brags and cash/girl boasts. I suppose you could say the same for the rest of Flamingo Barnes (or every… I’m chillin’). It stands as a welcome return to form for Trademark, after the slight slump on his Super Villain Issue 3 mixtape.
As good as Curren$y’s The Stoned Immaculate is, I’d suggest that it’s only the 3rd or 4th best Jet Life release of the year after Young Roddy’s Good Sense (I hope I get around to writing about this eventually) and now, Flamingo Barnes. That’s the price you pay for not only having Wale on your album, but also letting him OPEN your album on a song dominated by his shitty aura. But that’s neither here nor there. We talmbout ‘Flamingo Barnes’ outchea.
For the record, my pick for the best song on this set would be the Fiend & Deelow assisted ‘Sittin Low’, another AJ Beats production. But that’s irrelevant on a project this consistent – everything sounds good as hell mane. Go learn more about maneuvering through, over and around lames from Trademark Da Skydiver. You don’t even need weed to appreciate this shit. I’m sure it doesn’t hurt though. Never does…