Top 10 Lex Luger Tracks You Probably Haven't Heard (But Probably Should)


In 2010, a new generation of rap producers, from AraabMuzik to Droop-E, made huge strides both artistically and commercially. But none distinguished themselves more than Lex Luger, the 19-year-old Virginia native behind both Rick Ross's "B.M.F (Blowin' Money Fast)" and a good deal of Waka Flocka Flame's Flockaveli. (Not to mention the new Kanye West/Jay-Z track "H.A.M.") Lex's best beats are as evil as anything this side of Shawty Redd, but hit you so hard you barely notice.

Because of the size and similarity of most Luger beats, their effectiveness depends on the emcee. Flocka, who discovered the producer through MySpace in mid-2009, succeeds because his verses are as rough and as powerful as the beats, the raspiness of his voice aligning with the grainy sound quality you're likely to find on a 128 kbps DatPiff stream. Flockaveli is filled with guests as anonymous as Kebo Gotti and Ice Burgundy, their interchangeability both creating further havoc and emphasizing the marquee rapper's own dominance. Conversely, Ross stands unfazed at the eye of the storm and lets the drums, bass, and synths swirl around him. And just as Luger's production pushes these rappers to do their best work, their flows add to the beats a dynamism that might not otherwise be present. Critics have suggested that Luger's beats are easy to rap over, but in reality, Luger productions present the emcee with a direct challenge: Distinguish yourself or be consumed by the snares and laptop brass. Here are 10 lesser-known tracks featuring lesser-known rappers who gave it a shot; if played at the proper volume, any of these could easily blow out your speakers, eardrums, and anything within range. Including the guy rapping.

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CMJ, Day Two: New York Says Hello--and Then Goodbye--to OJ da Juiceman

"This guy's on the internet," says DJ Green Lantern, by way of introducing Atlanta's Pill--a curious diminution for a rapper whose best songs ("Trap Goin' Ham," or you know, "We Outside") are very much about being nowhere near anything like a computer. Anyway, it's not like being on the internet will save you: just ask OJ Da Juiceman, whose three-song set and subsequent crowd-aided flight from the stage at last night's Nah Right/On Smash CMJ showcase at BB Kings proved--if nothing else--that in New York, it's still where you're from that matters. "What happened to mutual respect?" asked HOT97's Miss Info from the stage, as she attempted to quiet the emphatic chorus of boos that had just chased OJ from the stage. "Fuck that," yelled some dude. "Wu-Tang!"

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On Red Cafe's "Hottest in the Hood" Remix, Featuring Jadakiss, Rick Ross, Fabolous, and OJ Da Juiceman

Song via the NMC

Red Cafe, who apparently just signed to Bad Boy, finally has a decent song on his hands--the original version of "Hottest in the Hood" has been getting burn for what at least seems like months on HOT97, and this remix will definitely get run back on-air four or five hundred times tonight. "Five years off, number three in the country"--that's Jadakiss, who's probably as surprised as anyone at his status as minor commercial force in 2009. Out-selling Asher Roth in your first week is basically rap's new critical metric, and Jada beat him by a solid 50,000. (Sorry, Tom!) Also represented: Rick Ross, whose sales smashed everybody and whose record was such a work of glossy, outlandish fantasia that it's almost impossible not to love. He, uh, fares a little bit better in his own ridiculous context than he does here: "Step out the kitchen, look like I'm slipping / Your chick made a puddle of it, how the juice dripping." Yikes. Let's just say he's playing the Juelz Santana-on-last-year's-"BET Cypher #1" role and leave it at that. Fabolous, meanwhile--as anyone whose retina were irreparably scarred when he Twittered at length about getting a handjob over the weekend at some cursed showing of Obsessed surely knows--has been getting pretty deep into this Web 2.0 stuff lately: "They just follow my swag, Twitter my style." Hopefully not.

This Week In Horrendously Offensive OJ Da Juiceman Mixtape Covers

What up Juiceman?

Chirping Atlanta rapper OJ Da Juiceman has yelped his way into our heart somehow, whether by metronomic ay! or playful, rubber-band voice. He has a song talking about how the presidents on US currency are "his buddies"--he and Benjamin Franklin are "like Bert and Ernie," although no word on who's who exactly. He's like the exact halfway point between Young Dro and Yung LA, and those are two dudes we love. And while we're happy to discover a whole new mixtape of his out there, uh...look at that cover! What does that even mean?!! [h/t Noz]