Catch Deen in Atlantic City, blowing nothing less than 50.

I pride myself on listening to as much music as possible. If it’s on rap blog somewhere, I’ll probably listen to it. Time gets scarcer, but I think I make an honest effort to listen to as much new shit as possible while maintaining gainful employment and tolerable hoes.

I’ll admit to occasionally dismissing some shit without even clicking play. Just off GP. I grew in 90s with Andre Agassi and Sprite; ergo image (and thirst) is everything. I can look at an album/mixtape cover or hear one song and just know that the artist isn’t destined to besmirch my eardrums. Ever.

On the other hand, some musicians manage to worm their way into obligatory listening status, even without actually cracking the rotation for more than two listens at most. One of those rappers is Guilty Simpson. Cool name and cool voice, but way too workman-like (read: bland) to actually hold my interest for long. I kinda dug that Random Axe shit with Black Milk and Sean Price, but I was only waiting for Guilty to STFU and let Sean P resume shit talking. No shots. Tried a solo project a while ago too. No dice.

But I’m pleased to reveal that Guilty and I have reached a state of detente on his latest outing, Dice Game. A huge chunk of credit goes to Apollo Brown, another artist I’ve long been aware of without actually listening to, for the production on this beast of a project. When he ain’t reworking some familiar loops (Yvonne Fair and ODB make early appearances), his layered drum patterns are so damn… well adjectives fail me at the moment, but I’ll just say that if you’re into this kind of shit, you’ll be obliged to fuck with the MC lucky enough to be rapping over this stuff. I hear organs, tambourines and all sorts of other shit I’m not entirely sure I recognize. I ain’t no musicologist, but I like it all. A lot. I guess this means I have to go dig up whatever Apollo Brown shit I can find. Or buy, depending on how many free lunches I can get outta bosses and clients this week.

So yeah, me and Guilty cool now. Mostly because of Dice Game and a bit because he sounds as if he might be able to beat me in a fight. Actually, that goes for every Detroit rapper and resident. GP shit. Getting in a situation with niggas from a city that desolate is like getting in a scrap with a Haitian and thinking you’ll go back home with your limbs intact. Don’t be dumb, muthafucka.

On a slightly different note, can someone with a soul put Eminem in touch with some underground types in Detroit. He doesn’t have a thing to lose by doing this. All those white people will still buy his shit. Guaranteed. So why not make some really dope shit instead of using humungous Jimmy Iovine checks to force Just Blaze into making some shit we all know he never really wanted to make anyway?

Go fuck with this Dice Game album. Supremely gully shit. You’d be dumb not to give this a spin or two. It’s fucking excellent and it goes really well with Roc Marciano’s Reloaded, so that’s no excuse to ignore it…

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