: FRITZ LE CHAT
What’s crack-a-lacking? 2001 is coming to an end, so you know what time it is… time for my annual “Fritz the Cat’s GREEN BOTTLES RAP AWARDS.” Basically, this is the shit I liked and didn’t like in 2001.
FOR SHIT THAT RULED IN 2001:
Alicia Keys. Nate Dogg on every song. Nelly on his way to 10X platinum. My homie Rainbow getting that Muchmusic gig. Gangster Rap. Sugar Jones (holler). Soul music.
COLD GROLSCH AWARD
FOR SONG OF THE YEAR:
Mystic’s “The Life” (Goodvibe). No question here, from the first time I heard this joint I couldn’t get enough of it. Other tunes that made me feel something… Spoon (of Iodine)’s “Anti-Christ” (Mary Joy). Jelleestone’s “Money Pt. 1” (Warner). I couldn’t stop singing that hook man. Awol One and Daddy Kev’s “Rhythm” (MeanStreet).
CASE OF HEINEKEN AWARD
FOR ALBUM OF THE YEAR:
Mystic’s Cuts For Luck and Scars For Freedom (Goodvibe). I don’t recall ever having heard somebody put so much of themselves out there on an album. Other bottles in the case: Cannibal Ox: Cold Vein (Def Jux); Moka Only: Lime Green (Battleaxe); The Coup: Party Music (75 Ark); Aesop Rock: Labor Days (Def Jux); Freestyle Fellowship: Temptations (Project Blowed); Swollen Members: Bad Dreams (Battleaxe); Awol One & Daddy Kev: Souldoubt (Mean Street); Tech N9ne: Anghellic (Jcor); Roots Manuva: Run Come Save Me (Ninja Tune).
GREEN T-SHIRT AWARD
FOR LABEL OF THE YEAR:
Battleaxe Records. Peep the roster: Swollen Members, Moka Only, Abstract Rude, Code Name Scorpion, Buk 50 and an upcoming album from Son Doobie. Check ‘em at www.battleaxerecords.com. Other logos I check for on the regular: Goodvibe, Def Jux, Low Pressure, JCOR, Celestial, Spytech, Ozone, Atom Candy, Rap-A-Lot.
FOR DEMO OF THE YEAR:
Transit: Year of the Taurus. If you haven’t heard this kid yet, holler at me and I’ll tell you how to get a copy. Smooth, intelligent lyrics, sudsy production, and a pleasant aftertaste, a nice brew. Runners-up: Zest the Smoker, Oddities, Tachichi, Mindbender, True, Eternia, Kamau, Mackenzie, Ndidi, Collizhun, Kaleb, DJ Frane.
STEAM WHISTLE PILSENER AWARD FOR CANADIAN RAP:
Swollen Members. Moka Only. Kardinal Offishall. Buck 65. Jelleestone.
BOTTLE OF BECKS AWARD
FOR SLEPT-ON SHIT:
Daddy Kev. Slumplordz. Phoenix Orion. Dark Side Crooks. P.E.A.C.E.
DRANK TOO MUCH LAST NIGHT AWARD FOR SHIT THAT SUCKED IN 2001:
Aaliyah (we love you). Names for things like “neo-soul,” or “urban music.” Devin the Dude’s album getting pushed back to next year (C’mon Rap-A-Lot…we’re waiting yo!). Rock-rap (arrrgh!). MF Grimm still in prison (please send him mail & money, holler at me for the address). Christian Rap. Open Mics. Nerd Rap (I’m for real about to start throwing at you guys). Every label in the world trying to have their own “Eminem” (for real, I might put a quick demo together… white kids are getting handed deals left and right these days). Where the hell is Fat Lip’s album?
SHAKE IT UP AWARD
FOR SHIT THAT’S ABOUT TO BLOW UP:
Devin the Dude. K-Os. Swollen Members. Styles of Beyond. Moka Only. Abstract Rude. Mackenzie. Eternia. Collizhun. Oddities. Fritz the Cat (oh, you didn’t know?).
WHERE THE HELL ARE MY KEYS AWARD:
Brother J. CL Smooth. Ambersunshower. Lin Que. Special Ed. Smoothe & Trigger. Erule. Money B. Paris.
PUT IT ON MY TAB PEOPLE WHO SEND ME RECORDS AND ARE COOL AWARD:
Niky B, Trevor, Kathryn and Damon, Judy and Brock, Betsy and Abby, Cynthia, Zenobia, Pegi, Fiona, Kate, Papa D, Devin. Oh yeah, remember when we used to call it “Rap,” then somewhere in the early-mid 90’s we started calling it “Hip Hop”? Well, fuck hip hop, I’m calling it RAP again and I don’t care what you think.
Rap music… sounds fresh.
FRITZ THE CAT
Fritz The Cat likes VINYL, so send VINYL to me and I’ll review it in this column. My address is changing, so e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll give you my mailing address. Peace.
TOP NINE (IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER):
1. Alicia Keys 2. Newcastle in Canoga Park 3. Anything produced by DJ Quik 4. Devin the Dude 5. The Coup’s album cover 6. Nate Dogg everywhere 7. Tech N9ne 8. The “Bad Boy for Life” video 9. Sugar Jones