By Travis Poffenberger
The next installment in Yung Gleesh’s Cleanside’s Finest series is part two. “Cleansides Finest 2 (Raw and Uncut)” to be precise. This album is far shorter than the previous one, featuring only 11 tracks, with a few rare gems. This is essentially a boiled down version of the last installment. The same themes are present, heavy on the drug game, heavy with the guns, heavy with emotions. This time around the album contains a true example of the surrealist quasi-trap Gleesh is capable of producing.
“Work Wit The Work” is a totally unreserved anthem to the drug game. He must have said “work” at least 50 times in the 2 minute song. It has a suave flow, and obvious content. The chorus is as follows: “Work with the work cause I work with the work, I got work, you could work with the work, whats the work? I got work, let em work, he could work, give ’em work, he can work, we got work, what’s the word? We got work.” The blatant repetition of the main theme of the song becomes almost hypnotizing as the piano chimes in the background.
“Demo” is a raw track. Poor quality, hardly mastered, it essentially just consists of specific references to guns and houses the abstract line “lived by the gun, but you died by the streetlight”, giving somewhat of a personal vibe to an otherwise rough song which is spiced with random gun blasts like bumps on the Metro.
“I’m Not A Gangsta” is a 3 minute observation in song form, the chorus is repeated three times, “Ridin’ round white side of town, caucasians think I’m gangsta, I am not a gangsta, I don’t do no gangbangin” He makes commentary on gang violence (more can be read in the City Paper article about this album) and states that dying for colors is foolish, but shooting back for your neighbors is expected, an example of a twist on a staple of gangster rap / trap music, and the mentality sometimes evident behind it.
“Feel How I Feel” is a Frankenstein of gunshots coupled with the soft melody of an Imogen Heap sample, blended with sharp organ notes, reminiscent of something from a scary castle basement and topped off with a sinister synth. This song creates an atmosphere of inescapable paranoia and doom. The first 30 seconds or so is just Gleesh making noises. He then abruptly expresses deep concerns about his current state of living, being chased by dogs, and the police finding a child’s body. Several other non-sequitur thoughts are blurted out before the song sweetly fades out with singing; disturbing as hell, but quite good. (notice the Lil B style video)
“Dats a Bet” Mediocre, makes fun of people talking shit online, which I appreciate, but otherwise forgettable; should have left it off.
“My Lifes A Cartoon” is the crown gem of this album. This is a song about selling drugs, as related to cartoon characters. Yeah, like SpongeBob. This concept is two notches short of museum worthy. The freestyle version of this track was released well before the album. I created a cover for the YouTube pre-release version. Everything is covered, Dexter’s Lab to School House Rock, Marvin the Martian to Bugs Bunny, watches to guns, PokeMon to Ecstasy. Boof to Blocks.
Go download it. Listen to it, is your life a cartoon?