The Smoking Section (Masthead) Respect Our Fresh!

"It's The Air..."

“...I can feel it…it feel hot, it feel feel hot at night and shit like the sun ain't even out”

At what point does it get so hot outside that inanimate objects just begin to spontaneously combust? Its nearly 120 degrees! I know it’s Cali and we supposed to be the Golden Brown state, but the whole left coast is broiling like the devil’s tail. It’s so scalding that once you step outside in the morning your shirt is stuck to your back and it’s not even the sweat, it’s the humidity. By the afternoon it’s so disgusting that you can’t even step out of the air conditioning, not even to make it to the nearest body of water. And at nighttime it’s too hot to get any rest, it’s like Tony Starks, “What the fuck is goin on? I can’t go to sleep!”

Nothing says summer like a vicious case of heat stroke mixed with $3 bottles of water and thousands of sweltering bodies stomping their feet and screaming “SUUUUUUUUUU” in unison paying respects to the Wu Tang. Rock The Bells should be another classic this year. So if you are in Nor or SoCal the first weekend of August you should hella go to this shit, both shows will be epic.

Wu Tang is that essential summertime shit, and the Clan is coming back strong this year. Fishscale is a top 5 album of the year so far, rumor has it that Johnny has stopped blazing to make a more focused album with RZA if Jay hasn’t blackballed him yet, and Deck’s new joint got leaked but the year’s most promising Wu news is Raekwon.

Dude sounds hungrier, and looks the part too, than I’ve heard him in years. His Da Vinci Code: the Vatican Mixtape gives us a glimpse of what The Chef’s been cooking up for the highly anticipated Cuban Linx 2 album. Rae stays on that grimy NY shit. His return to classic form on the newest AZ album sounds like their RZA remix of “Doe or Die” and his show stealing appearance on “Kilos,” seems like Rae is back cooking up more of that criminology. And speaking of crack raps, isn’t it ironic how “hip-hop heads” are willing to disown Weezy or Jeezy or whatever lil youngin there is out next adlibbing bout the trap, but as soon one of our Older Gods comes back to block rockin, we receive them with open arms? Sometimes I wonder if there’s any shoulders that these heads reside on.

But the return to form from the lackluster but unfairly hated Immobilarity and justifiably despised Lex Diamonds albums depends solely on the missing secret ingredients from his last dishes. The chemistry between Ghost, Rae & RZA is integral to him making the follow up “solo” album we have been waiting for since his debut. He proved on “Lex Diamonds” that too many guests, especially outside of the Wu Tang family, waters down the final product and showed during Immobilarity that he cannot swim by himself. No one sounds more at home over a RZA beat than Rae or GZA, but gone and not forgotten is Big Baby Osiris McGirt Simmons. And to those who forgot, for the ultimate story of a summer, do yourself a favor as listen to Cuban Linx from front to back.

Titling the next “Cuban Linx 2: Blood on Chef’s Apron,” may set expectations a bit too high. No one expects the same performance from the Rae of over ten years ago, they want a good album, but by referencing his classic debut in the title of his fourth album he’s setting the bar mighty high. And now that he’s aligned himself with Aftermath and has Bussa Bus using him as a frontline soldier in his return of New York, the possibilities to work with the great procrastinator Dre has increased the expectations of it exponentially. Here’s to hoping that Rae’s recipe yields a hotter offering than Masta Killa’s weak vegan dish, another one of the Clan’s disappointing follow up to another classic debut.



Stray shots

Chief Kamachi - Concrete Gospel


Prince Paul's Resident Alien - Takes A Nation of Suckas to Let Us In

Qwel - Rapid Eye Movement

Viktor Vaughn AKA MF Doom - Vaudeville Villain

Madvillain - Madvillainy

Dave Chappelles Block Party - OST

Young Dro and DJ Drama - Day One Mixtape

Lil Wayne - Please Say The Baby Mixtape

Fefe Dobson - Fefe Dobson (2003)

VA - Now That's What I Call Music Vol.64 (2006)

7.31 Stray Shots Downloadable Text File

7.31 Stray Shots Changelink Page

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