HD of Bearfaced Ent. f/ Hen Sippa & Lil Rod “Chickens” (2011)
Recently, HD and the Bearfaced Ent. crew have been quietly flooding both the digital and physical rap ‘game’ with odes to drank and moving weight. Last week saw the release of Hen Sippa’s video for the subtly titled “Lean” — a post-Jeezy trap record with a warped, narcotic hook — and they also teamed up with DJ Fresh for “Liters / Hit My Line”.
That only begins to scratch the surface, though. Back in April, HD self-released the third installment of his Extortion Muzik series, and this month saw another project, Emotional Bout My Guap, hit streets and servers. And probably before the first Filesonic link is pulled down, we’ll see the release of HD’s ‘proper’ album, Breaking N’ Entering, and the Bearfaced compilation Finer Thangs. It’s notable, as well, that they are pressing up physical copies of these releases, bearing the torch of trunk-to-trunk distribution passed down by the pioneers of Bay Area rap, though lacking a large part of the economic return.
There’s something in here about car culture continuing to influence sonic choices in rap music — in Texas and California and Miami, especially — and as a result, there remains a small but viable market for physical music in places where fans still burn mp3s to CD. Consider independent artists like The Jacka or Andre Nickatina or the 8,700 Messy Marv records that came out this year — all of these artists continue pressing physical copies of a swift stream of mixtapes, and self-distribute their music on tour, or work through the few remaining independent (or ‘independent’) music retailers, or online through sites like RapBay or Bandcamp or Siccness.
I’m not saying this is a meaningful source of these artists’ incomes, or anything. And I’m not saying that it really makes sense to spend $15+ on what is essentially a burned CD. But ‘people on the internet’ sometimes forget there are music listeners who don’t mine Mediafire for zip files or auto-sync their iPods to smart playlists with the 300 most recent files added to their iTunes library. Eventually these music listeners won’t exist. But for now, they do. At least I think they do. Someone is buying all those Z-Ro tapes.
So, that was the long way to say that HD’s latest, (at least for the next five minutes) “Chickens”, is the most successful in a recent line of drug raps from North Oakland’s Bearfaced Ent. (Though not the best record with the word “Chicken” in the title. That would be here. See also: here, here, here and here.)