Arts Desk

DMV Beats: Wale and Seinfeld, Together At Last

This Week in Folarin' Around Jerry Seinfeld

Wale has made no secret of his love for Jerry Seinfeld. His 2008 Mixtape About Nothing quoted extensively from Seinfeld's sitcom; in 2010, he followed that up with his More About Nothing tape. Now, a full election cycle later, his admiration of the observational comic has come full circle. In a candid, in-studio interview that went online today, Mr. Nothing himself reports that he and the Maryland rapper are officially working together. The project is reportedly called the Album About Nothing, though details are still sketchy. In the video, Seinfeld says his attempt to collaborate with P. Diddy didn't pan out, so he had to make it happen with Wale—who's also his wife's favorite hip-hop artist, he says. —Ramon Ramirez

Other Guys’ Atmospherics

Listening to The Other Guys is like walking through a pleasant chapter of hip-hop's past. The duo doesn't bombard you with strident instrumentals; instead, its scant, atmospheric style evokes the early '90s Native Tongues movement. Theirs is a smooth fusion of hip-hop and jazz, the kind of sound made famous by Gang Starr, A Tribe Called Quest, and De La Soul. Out this week, The Other Guys' Other Instrumentals gathers the group's rough drafts, remixes, and unreleased songs into one coherent set. Their influences are prevalent: "Old Piano" fuses the drums of Tribe's "Bonita Applebum" with a somber horn loop, giving it a smoky feel. "Broke," with its stampeding percussion and Biggie Smalls sample, plays like an ode to throwback New York hip-hop. "F%#k an Argument" turns J-Dilla's landmark "Fuck the Police" into a light-hearted riff on relationships. So while you wait for the old school to come back (don't hold your breath), The Other Instrumentals will have to suffice. —Marcus J. Moore

Badio In Yo City

Liberian-born, Northern Virginia-made rapper Badio—shout out to Woodbridge Senior High School’s Center for the Fine and Performing Arts—records hip-hop and directs videos out in Tucson, Ariz., these days. He’s popped in with hypnotic, standalone singles in years past, and released a clip last week for his latest single, “Bitch In Yo City #BIYC.”

The hook (“I got a bitch in yo city” four times in a row) is repetitive, exhausting, and, I think, good. Or maybe just repetitive. Badio links up with The Kennedys for the track; talented Arizona rappers, for sure, but here they cross the line that separates "thirsty creep" and "funny player" (I’d chill with equating vaginas with bodies of water—and calling myself "Scuba Steve"). The Thriller/Reggie Miller couplet is nice, though.

For his part, Badio breathes vitality into the dirty club boom with pristine double-timed bars and quirky raps about smooth-talking your girl. His directorial eye isn’t bad, either. What could feel date rape-y (blinds down, girls dancing like hazy zombies) instead plays like a real-life pre-party. Ladies are dressed for going out, bros are dressed for the Checker’s drive thru—I’m pretty sure this gathering will break at 10 p.m. —RR

All of Your Bass Is Belong to Us

DMV rappers G-Nice, Grynd, A-Myth, Bless, Runway Ave., and D.I.E. join forces to drop a circa-’97 posse clip complete with classical wordsmithing, big jackets, close-ups of vocal takes in the booth, rhymes about Socrates, and black-and-white lenses. The only hint at modern times is that the rhymes are typed out on iPhones. Astonishingly, every featured rapper has something to say. —RR

DMV Reads: Double X Trel, A$AP Rocky's Major Label Debut

Fat Trel talks about his big plans for 2013 over at XXL; City Paper alum Andrew Noz deftly breaks down the fraudulent A$AP Rocky record for Spin. (My take: The production is A minus; the rapping, in terms of presence and swag, is B minus. But the thing is so calculated and ridiculous and, moreover, self-aware; Rocky wants to be fashionable, and name-drops the same painters as Kanye West; he wants to be street and toast his Harlem roots; he wants to be conscious while simultaneously qualifying the sentiment by telling us he hates conscious rap music; the influences are all of the buzz rappers of the last two years, and not only does he bring them in [Yelawolf, Gunplay, Drake, 2Chainz, Schoolboy Q, etc.], but he aggressively mimics their styles.The release should be acclaimed for its style and production, but he barely carries the work. And then Skrillex shows up with his Macbook...) —RR

Uptown XO’s Bouquet

Uptown XO just dropped a sweet video for “Flowers,” a stellar cut from his mixtape The Color Grey. His album Colour de Grey comes out Jan. 29. Look for Marcus J. Moore's review on Arts Desk when the time comes.—-RR

DMV Retreats

In hipsters and hip-hop news, Talib Kweli DJs Saturday night at Little Miss Whiskey's, and there's an Outkast vs. Prince dance party Sunday night at Black Cat. —RR

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