Hearsay: Wednesday, August 08, 2007
Soldierz of Fortune

One thing you don’t see a lot or enough of here in the Fort is rap artists selling CDs out of their trunks. (It doesn’t have to be a trunk. Any old car part — front seat, back seat, hood, scooter satchel — will do. “Out of their trunk” is an old hip-hop expression. Yo.) A couple of weeks ago on my way to a party on the North Side I stopped at a convenience store to beer up. As I stood at the counter, I couldn’t help but be part of a conversation between the young Hispanic woman at the register and a young Hispanic man near the entrance. I got the feeling that they had been in a deep convo before a few other customers and I tromped in. C’est la vie, as we nice people say. But before he could leave, he turned back and verified that she was OK with his selling CDs out front. She said yes, and my ears perked up. I paid and followed the guy out into the parking lot, where his fancy black SUV was situated. For a 10-spot, he handed me Dollarz and Cents, the most recent album by Fort Worth’s Immortal Soldierz. Quite a bargain, I thought: three discs — one of 18 songs, one of screwed and chopped versions of the same 18, and one a demo of three new songs, amounting to about two hours’ worth of music. Pretty decent gangsta-rap music, too. My opinion speaks primarily to the screwed and chopped disc — for better or worse, I’ve developed the habit of letting a majority of regular rap slip right past me. Two reasons: 1.) I grew up on N.W.A., Iced-T, and Dr. Dre, and not much today compares; and 2.) I got hooked on “screw.” But I have to say that the Soldierz’ regular version of “Hate On” is awesome. It spins around a slow, chiming Southern-fried rock guitar riff and has some sweet turns of phrase. I don’t want to take anything away from Renaissance, the main man behind the Immortal Soldierz, because if it weren’t for his solid original arrangements, there’d be nothing for RaRa of KChop.com to screw and chop so excellently. But RaRa is, as we nice people say, “dope, yo,” and he does great work with the Soldierz’ raw material. Anyway. The moral of the story is that the Immortal Soldierz get points for A.) selling CDs the old-school way, and B.) being all about their community. This Saturday and Sunday, the group will be collecting donations of school supplies and uniforms at Traders’ Village, 2602 Mayfield Rd., Grand Prairie (972-647-3666), at booth no. 651. The beneficiaries will be low-income FWISD students. The Soldierz, which also features MCs Scotty Boy and the Young Mess, will perform next Saturday, Aug. 19, at Club Chrome, 2408 E. Belknap, FW (817-222-2244) as part of Total Pandemonium, a show that also features smoothvega, Southern Kappin Soldiers, and Cynikal 3000. Admission is $10 to the all-ages show. Visit MySpace.com/ImmortalSoldierz1.
Contact HearSay at hearsay@fwweekly.com.

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