January 30, 2013

For the rest of the year, every other rap crew will be hard-pressed to top the title of Kool John and company’s, Peace, Love & Shmoplife. There are few things more fun to say than Shmop. It’s up there with fanute as one of the greatest imaginary words turned real that you can use in almost every situation. Example: it’s 8 p.m. on a Saturday night, you’re sipping on a Jack and coke and suddenly feel the urge to turn up, but really you just want to get Shmop. If you’re feuding with your girlfriend over something insignificant, resolution can be instantly attained by telling her that her behavior isn’t very shmop. Shmop is both a skeleton key and an aspirational ideal that you can use in any situation.

The Shmop Life website defines “Shmop” as a combination of smack x poppin, “a rare energy only found at the $hmopfest aka THE $HMOP…$hmoplife is the lifestyle of “LIVING EVERYDAY LIKE A SATURDAY NIGHT”…$hmopfest is a secret location where all the party animals come from all over the bay and beyond to get TOGETHER for a GREAT MEMORABLE SPLENDID POSITIVE time.” So it basically sounds like the philosophy that I employed for most of college. Well played.

The music is similarly constructed. If Y.G.’s music soundtracks LA house parties, Shmop Life is tailor-made for Bay Area functions, so much that Y.G. and IamSu! (who produces about half of Peace, Love) appeared alongside E-40 on “Function.” The raps are up-tempo weekend night raps about talking shit, counting green, smoking green, chasing girls, peace, love and crashing parties. From NHT to IamSu! and DB the General, the tape collects a large number of the Bay’s best young rappers. The beats are exactly the sort of thing you’d expect to hear in 2013 from a Bay Area party record. There’s the function music of the post-Hyphy and post-jerkin’ era, a Texas screwed influence on “Jamey in My Cup,” and a heavy Down South influence. “Full of Dat Weed” flips Young Bleed’s “How You Do Dat.” While Smoovie Baby’s beat for “Nan Nigga” sounds like the perfect mixture of DJ Mustard and Baton Rouge’s Happy Perez, who produced Young Bleed, early Boosie, and more recently, Miguel. Title, obviously inspired by Trina and Trick Daddy Dollars.

The tape is a little long (1:15), but it seems a little stupid to complain about the length of a free mixtape. Skip or delete what you don’t want, otherwise, this is a party to go worthy of the Eric Nies-era — when most of these guys were born. This tape is very very Shmop and that’s one of the highest compliments I can give.

MP3: Kool John ft. Plane Jane & DB The General – “Full of Dat Weed”
MP3: Kool John ft. HBK, P-Lo & Plane Jane – “Nan Nigga”

ZIP: Kool John – Peace, Love & Shmop Life (Left-Click)

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