HollyWood

      Goon & a gentlemen/ G & a gangsta, HollyWood’s compact mix-tape is concise, poignant & real. & When I say “real” I don’t necessarily mean thug shit, although HollyWood would like you to know that @EastBrookFamily is just a group of dudes he grew up with — who might also be known as “gutter muthaf*ckas” within the appropriate context.

@EastBrookFamily

At the end of the day, HollyWood is great. Period. Hymen. My rendezvous with the meticulously crafted 24:7 has been gross. Addicting. Not to mention, everyone should & do love his flava. [He’s] coo-ler than re-friger-ators. Still, no matter the lighthearted punchlines in the middle of it all (which some might label his “swag” –but swag is a constant. We’ll have to see, over time, if H’s verses are “in line” with his character,) there remains an undeniable seriousness at the beginning and end of every line he spits. HollyWood won’t let you can’t escape him. The real. It’s practically in the man’s personal mission statement. Actually… more like literally: “Every hour an ear is exposed to garbage music.  Many are affected. Too many.  The pain these ears suffer is unimaginable.  Yet, their strength is so strong. EBF is a proud sponsor of real rap.” -EBF. 

Just street life & instrumentals, he’s said. Just being real HollyWood. 
Before we even begin, in short, my opinion is made:  Long live HollyWood, yo.

#GetFamiliar.

–Continue on for mix-tape music, review & download links.–


           No one was listening. I mean… they were but you know how Black people are -_- Asking “Why can’t I talk?” in the middle of someone’s performance. HollyWood didn’t let that stop him, though. “Excuse me…” he spoke into the mic, a little mild irritation buzzing underneath but cast aside with a smirk. “All these people talkin…” he muttered into the mic as the music went up. It wasn’t a complaint. There was no anger, it was just his observation.With a slight smh and *shrug* he did the damn thing. Little did he know that while he flowed, there were a slew of compliments moving forward from the back of the room. Sometimes, if people keep talking why you perfrom, it just means they don’t mind you being there. *shrugs* People have no manners, forreal. “Sounds like he could do it, right?” The dude behind me whispered. Yea, I said, smiled & moved on. So will you let me pay the fuck attention, please? I thought. If you want to see why I liked HollyWood so much already, you’ve got to read my last post: Lovin’ The Competition –@RedEyeMediaGrp Open Mic. I told him I wanted to hear more & I understand he might have only half-believed me, but I’m glad he followed through… & that’s what the fuck I’m talking about, HollyWood!!



           This mixtape doesn’t “start”, it begins. The music selection for this project are effective and well-placed. U’re Gonna Love Me provides a powerfully crafted introduction infused with inescapable emotion. You’d think it’s just the beat, but HollyWood won’t let the music outshine the words: He bleeds on the track. You can practically feel his pulse in his delivery. I don’t know where the beat/sample is from, but frankly, I’m not concerned. You’re gonna love me, HollyWood repeats unapologetically when the sample won’t. This project was not made for music-skimmers. I’ll try not to perform too much surgery on his bars, but as we open it up to see the truth of the insides, I’m sure you, too will see the beauty of creation & understand what a surgeon must feel –genius crafted this. To ignore one line he says is somewhat disrespectful because you can tell every word matters in his delivery –its sound and message.  HollyWood left me no choice but to pay as much attention to the music as he did. From here, we go song by song. I encourage you take a listen for yourself as we go along. 

                     
              
           The first thing you need to know about HollyWood is that he’s from Brooklyn. -_- Secondly, East Brooklyn. Since I’m not from there, I don’t know the difference, but I understand there is one. I understand that his first duty is to big up New York City (including a shoutout to the Yankees & all) because “Brooklyn got the best of [him].” With this track, appreciated the appropriate introduction to HollyWood the person –he just wants us to know what he comes from. Not to say that Brooklyn or its streets are the entirety of who he is (“Highly educated, what you know about a tassle?” he challenges later in Failure.) but on his first track, HollyWood begins the journey with his city strapped to his back — regardless of whatever his personal reason is for letting us know, he simply needs us to know. “Streets helped in raising me, block kept embracing me,” he says explaining  his dedication & obligation. Same time, he assures us he’s his own man —“Still, I did it my way so there’s nothing you can say to me.” Immediately, though he answers how: They hated Jesus Christ so I know they gone be hating me. He makes it a point to let us know he stands on his own. It’s an admirable point to have, to be honest. In a day where the labels you wear get you farther than the bars you spit and your video is more important than your flow, where black men hold themselves back  because of what the world has told them they’re incapable of accomplishing, anyone who is willing to do what they want to do – and with confidence — is rare. Scarce. A marketing mind might even call it profitable. HollyWood knows that and plans on “running rap”. With that, this first track (& perhaps this first project)  is simply us watching him lace his sneakers up.

I’m shittin on ’em/
Like they had they hands in the air — way I’m pickin on ’em/
& If I gotta do it on my own, so be it/
It’s me against the world and I’m still undefeated/
A nigga so real that when I speak it you can see it/
Victory, I guarantee it/
Better believe it/

And every time son rap/
On point; Thumbtack/


           Apparently, the truth is back. About fuckin time. I’m fuckin excited,  especially because, in these times, well at least to me, not enough niggas out here have respect for Jay-Z. The influence is evident in HollyWood’s music. Not on the…”biting” end of it all, but the music of the original “The Ruler’s Back” rumbles with a might HollyWood refuses to let go unnoticed as he sings along with the dun dun duuunn‘s helping us immediately recognize & embrace the Brooklyn arrogance.  We forget that  a “couple cups” is actually a lot for any recipe, but this is HollyWood, and HollyWood embraces the excess: I’m only getting better so they hate more/ plus the pockets stretch longer than the Great Wall/ Superman with the cape off.”  The Ruler’s Back rings in with a cocky vengeance, unapologetic in its delivery. When the track began, I feared it. I fear all songs on Jay-Z beats, but HollyWood proves himself a master of reinvention. This track is a prime example of how he can take something that has been done and make it his. He maintains the vibe of the original track but switches out the story completely. The song is officially his. Even in the particulars, he finds a way to say things in a way we’ve never heard it before. “Word to my great grandmother granddaughter.” *shrugs* I’m not going to argue the brilliance of that line or call it “deep” (i hate that word -_-), but I will argue the entertainment value of the clever substitution. You can only say, “mother” in a number of different ways –a low number. HollyWood took something minimal –which could have easily turned into the nothingness we usually get & made is something.  By switching up such a minute word, HollyWood trips up the listener and beckons them back to the track, as if to say “pay attention or you’ll miss something.” And so you pay attention. & so we continue on. 

They lookin at me different/
Like how you smokin weed & bustin guns/
If yous a Christian/
Tell them niggas mind they business/
I stay Brooklyn representin/
I’m ill up in the kitchen/
Heat that white girl up/
I think it’s cool the way I’m whippin/
Not to mention, I’m a vet/
So, salute to my set/
EBF, Gang Green/
I’ma bang to the death/
I write the way they wrote to Bush/
So believe I’m a threat/
You aint seen nothin yet/
I’m a gunner type of brotha/
Stop & pay your respect/
I want it now while I’m alive/
And then again when I’m dead/
When I’m dead roll a blunt/
Bow your head. Say a prayer/
Wave your guns in the air/
See those bodies on that floor when the smoke disappear/


            The most respectable aspect of  HollyWood’s work is he says what needs to be said. Like he’s not afraid of who’s listening. As if it’s just you and him. Or if someone happens to overhear, he doesn’t give a fuck anyway.  He speaks to you as if he has a point to make. The point is not to entertain you,  rather he has something to say. While he’s charmingly friendly, he doesn’t seem like a big talker in person (maybe more of the joke-cracking type, I’d have wrongly assumed, but the wit is certainly there), so I was surprised to hear so much to be honest. & I even questioned the mixtape’s mere 7 tracks. I didn’t quite doubt it, more so to say I’m delightfully impressed. All the songs are under 4 minutes. Most under 3. HollyWood takes great care to not waste neither his time nor ours. The movement of his bars in Veteran’s Day are steady strong. With no signs of hesitation between thoughts, he makes his points poignantly, as I said before. His unabashed delivery demands respect. If he doesn’t hesitate to say it, what could give one the right to doubt him? No matter the story, there’s nothing more substantial or valuable than trust you have for the person telling it. & that’s why I wrote so much of his songs out, he’s the best at telling us who he is and what he means:

I lay my head in the hood/
Got my hood on my hat/
And my hood is like a hoodie/
So the hood’s got my back/
We could scrap it, get the ratchet/
Poke ’em up. Let ’em have it/
Lift the bottom of that jacket/
Trip ya up with what I’m packin/
I aint rappin/
I’m just tapping into me/
Cuz  see what happen/
Hear the beat, I start reactin/
You just actin it with passion/
Got me seriously laughin/
What I am is what you lackin/
Can’t relate? Just imagine/

I’m so focused, no distractions/
yeeaa/

         Shortest, loudest song on the mixtape.  There’s some shit he says on this track that simply hit you when you hear them.  Might be my fav out of this selection. It’s a little brutal. It’s careless –not in delivery, but in respect for everyone else: HollyWood assigns himself the duty of bullying the game & herbin yall niggas.  The mere fact that used the word “herb” is a statement itself. One of my   most favooorrrriitteee words in the world. Undercover Herbs are out there, but you’ve gotta be able to see it to call it. It’s a surprisingly solid track at 1:48. I initially expected it to be a skit or something, but nope. HollyWood gives us 100% rap.  In P.S.A he “Bush in New Orleans… fly[s] by niggas.” As if from an elevated position with a sick vantage point, he looks down everyone with a slightly savage disregard. With a semi-condescending tone, he teaches niggas who he is in respect to them… Like, Hi, Niggas/ Word to wise, niggas/ Never am I scared or  heard of y’all niggas.P.S.A is just really one musically crafted F.Y.I.
Married to the beat/ 
But the streets be my mistress/
 I’m doing me. I know what the risk is/
Here’s what the life is:/
 Dice games, cyphers/ 
Niggas run the streets without knowing what the price is/ 
Jump shots, funerals, up-state lifers/ 
Broad day light is/
 Dangerous as the night is/ 
I’m real nice with this flow that I rhyme with/ 
Which one? Pick one/
This one? Iight, then/ 
HollyWood great/
Period. Hymen/
Heavy with the flow/
H hyphen/
          I wondered about Failure long before I clicked play. I wondered, why the name. It was in the first 3 track he’d sent me, so… I figured that meant something, & it did: It’s not that he is one. Or that he will be one. It’s that he can’t be. I understand. It’s the struggle of the hustler. The 5th track opens the door to private rooms of HollyWood’s thoughts. “Feeling like crying, but my pride won’t let me/ Suicidal thoughts but my mind won’t let me/” he confesses. And you sit back. And you listen. I admire these two lines the most of the entire album. They’re.. pure to me.  Throughout the song, you keep thinking back to these. Questions form in the listeners head that HollyWood continues on to explain with as much clarity as one could ask for. Life. Religion. Love. Happiness. There’s a sad eroticism hidden in the lines of HollyWoods “up & down all night” as he searches for direction. Pleasure? Everything? Because as we listen, we know what he’s capable of, but will he do it? Can he keep it up? In this one track, he tells us everything & nothing. We wonder what the background story is. We wonder what had the power to illicit the thoughts he had. You think back to the first two lines. You hope that the same strength he found to fight off the those first thoughts will continue to propel him past himself. & the “nailed to the cross line, you should go & get a tattoo” line is where it’s at –hinting at the imminent resurrection of HollyWood.  Don’t let them kill you…
Oh, I’m searching for direction/
Whole fuckin world’s in depression/
Nah/
I aint waitin on another second/
Married to the life/
To my wife I vow to never fail ya/
Might not always get it right but never been a failure/
Think I’m cursed with the flow of a fuckin sailor/
Gotta suit with the booth/
I’m the fuckin tailor/
I go hard in the paint/
I’m the fuckin trailer/
& If you ain’t aware then I suggest you get familiar/
See, I died on the beat so you wouldn’t have to/
Nailed to the track/
You should go & get a tattoo/
         
          HollyWood had to? Dead Presidents is like Hip-Hop’s swimming test.  Niggas sink or swim on this one.  G’s are asked to prove themselves –especially since Jay did it twice & switched it out on distribution.  In the “Fade to Black” film, a young rapper tells Jay-Z that he can’t put out his true feelings because it wont sell. Jay recites Dead Presidents and says, “That was on my first album.” Secretly, some niggas are bitches. They need to be called out. *shrugs* To me, Dead Presidents is the bullseye rappers aim at.  It’s the song on which you’re supposed to “address all drama [&] talk to them.”  J. Cole did alright –there wasn’t enough soul for my taste, he more so complains about females &/or other rappers *shrugs* He doesn’t have enough wisdom for me. Cole’s first version does more for me than the second.  Jay-Z’s  Dead Presidents calls out imaginaery gangstas who “aside from the fast cars/ honeys that shake they ass in bars/… wouldn’t be involved/ with the underworld dealers, carriers of mack millers/ east cost bodiers, west-coast cap peelers/  little monkey niggas turned gorrilas/ stopped in the station & filled up on octane/ & now they not sane & not playing/” because not everyone is that. But some get caught in the web & pretend to be.  Not everyone can “spit that wonderama shit” and (make up a word and) get away with it. But no one can justify anyone else’s thug for them. I recommend you take the time to debate it yourself –if there is even a debate to be had, that is. It’s just, honestly, the song I fear being remixed the most, therefore I question it’s existence on anyone’s tracklist.  Very big shoes to fill.  As for HollyWood…

                Listen, like I was sayin there’s a dude from the Brook. He’s really a good look & he can hang with the best of ’em, HollyWood says & I agree.  I agree because I when I listened to his Dead Presidents I listened to the rest of them & the “best” of them –just to test him out. In few words, I was impressed. Simply put, I respect it. But HollyWood seems good for that –impressing people. I wondered why he named his version “Dead Presidents II” (either I’m missing version 1 or there’s a real reason)  so… I tweeted ’em…  but that was three hours ago   -_- lol. & since I’m tired & I can’t be counted on to update this… We’ll have to wonder for a while longer. I’ll cash on on an exclusive HollyWood interview later on when he’s too famous to make time. *shrugs* lol  Anyhow…

       There’s a particular pattern Dead Presidents follows which I expect them all to. (Because obviously, I’m the President of the Hip-Hop board, so I call the shots. Excuse me if I get ahead of myself, but you’ll see that I’m correct.) There are three rules you need to keep in mind about Money, which Jay-Z, in the original song, outlines without outlining –& you can’t get away from them due to both the inherent refrain in the music as well as the natural course of life:

Rule #1: Get $$.
Silly he, whoever thought that H wasn’t really G/
He getting money, plus he hustle at a different speed/
Kick drums with a different beat/
Then orchestrate it like a symphony/
My inner G’s got it in for me/
It’s killing me but I don’t your sympathy/
Just let the music shed a tear for me/
I’m out for presidents to represent me/
uh huh.. I’m out for dead fuckin presidents to represent me/
I’m Obama for the dollar/
 With a closet full of Prada/
Tossin big money chips on the tables in Nevada/
Holla at nigga stackin’ figures/
Lotta green got the yatch docked on the river/
It’s money to be got, so you know I’m gon’ get it/
Fist in the air/
Extended the third digit/
Dig it?/


Rule 2: $$ is everything and nothing.  


The mission: Campaigning for a better living/
My life ain’t perfect/
 But I’m dealing with what I was given/
Seeing things you never saw/
Stevie Wonder vision/
It ain’t a thang if you wanna dance with the Smith &/
I’ma put it in the sky/
Listen, I’m a ribbon/
Lick a shot for the homie Mister locked in prison/
Hold your head throughout your sentence/
Listen, gotta grind when it’s time to/
It’s when a nigga livin that the evils try to find you/
Disguised like it’s all love, then tries to blind you/
No wonder niggas ain’t seeing it like I do/
& I ain’t frontin’, If I spit it, I could back it up/
But what you talkin bout/
Ain’t in line with your character/
But I aint mad at ’em/
Never worry bout a hater/
They countin sheep cuz they sleep/
 while I’m countin paper/
Hater/


Rule #3: Get more $$. 


Him right here’s getting money I swear/
yeeaa/
I’m out for presidents/
Every single one of them/
Money talks, I be hollerin/
Y’all mumbling/
Wondering/ 
If I take you home/
Promise to never leave me alone/
Make it known/
I’m the best man/
Taye Diggs, Nia Long/
Ya paper premature/
My money fully grown/
You know the game aint the same when I’m in the zone/
Young Mitch/
How I pitch with a different tone/
Haze like aids/
Got a nigga fully blown/
no need to try to find a nigga/
I’m already gone/
Tell the big homie HollyWood already home/
It’s money out here, homeboy/
& When in rome/


I’m out for presidents to represent me/






Thanks for knowing, HollyWood.



           
            “Dear Rap,” HollyWood begins. This is when you realize he hasn’t been speaking to us at all this time, he’s been speaking to the music –the essence of it. HollyWood consoles the music, telling it to “no need to mourn over Hip-Hop [he’s] back. No auto-tune, just bass & high-hats….On the corner singing, in case you miss that. There’s a sad sincerity in his words. In this track, his emotions come out from under the mask of arrogance & show themselves in the from of disappointment in these “new boys” & “Hip-Hop Screeches”.

6 feet above ground but I rhyme deeper/
Play it real strong but the game’s got weaker/
I aint getting into what they can & can’t do/
But catchy hooks & a dance move nowadays can’t lose/
I don’t know how most niggas got deals/
Quite frankly, none of these niggas got skills/
HollyWood’s that real/
So if you ever feel/
When I spit you get sick/
It’s probably because I’m that ill/
forreal/

See, I don’t know what you thought you was gonna hear/
but from the looks of things, I’d say you was feeling this/

This one’s for my real MC’s/
Real rap, welcome back/
You’ve been missed, indeed/
This ain’t a gimmick/
I’m just spittin how I live these streets/
Peep my walk/
I aint missin a beat/


Hopefully, his hunger remains violent. Hopefully, he attacks the next project with the same thirst as this one: In sum, I simply hope I can always feel this way about Mr. HollyWood. I’m sure that if he continues to be true to himself, no one will have to worry about that. As I read through the reviews on the EBF site,  it’s apparent the crowd beckons for an #Encore. I was glad to read that HollyWood’s next mix-tape, HBO vol. 1: My EastSide Story is currently in the works –the first of a 3 part project. That, to me, means the first is probably practically done & the blueprint for the second is mapped out. The third will probably shift from the presupposed regiment since it’s so far out in time, but I admire it’s mere existence. Hopefully we’re just fighting perfectionism as we wait on the next dose of HollyWood. Certainly something I’m looking forward to.  I encourage HollyWood to continue the grind.  I’m a proud supporter the EFB movement *shrugs*

I’m looking forward to your progress. Your art is a beautiful thing. 
Again,  #Bravo. 

& that’s what Ella thought ❤

Xo.

S/O Young H. 
I knew he looked like he could do it. 
See I don’t know what happened to rap/
But real rapping is back/
And you know it’s going down/
 When I hop on the track/
And they say H bomb/
Like I rap in Iraq/
And a matter of fact/
Check it, when’s the last time you heard it like this?/
Soul of a hustler with a smooth twist/
Hopped on the scene & they say I’m too hip/
Study my sound, my rap acoustics/
Behind my music/
 rhyme produce hits/
Mack when I rap/
On tracks I’m ruthless/
Haters take note of how I do this/
Swag like diamond, their’s is cubics/
The truth is, I’m before my time/
Plus I’m ahead of the game/
Guess I’m right on time/
From now until forever, dog/
I’m in my prime/
Sign HollyWood or Brooklyn/
& that’s my rhyme/

-“HollyWood of Brooklyn” 



Big, big S/O to @EastBrookFamily