I have to admit the moment that California Rapper Nipsy Hussle dropped his new “Victory Lap” I thought maybe I should roll up to the strip club, and get myself a lap dance during one of the days the dances are only 10 dollars.

Normally, I end up chatting with strippers saying, “I'm an artist-writer. This is part of my process. Don’t get me wrong. I like naked ladies. But I'm in the midst of studying a performance art piece.”

Nipsy Hussle would think what I just wrote doesn't fully address or consider the point of strip clubs. My point is that Nipsy Hussle’s new album is the first proper gangsta rap album since we've been burdened with our current president who seems to be a real killjoy.

Maybe not the first since the new regime, but still gangsta Nip gives us a little some-some we’ve been hesitant to embrace. Don't get me wrong. Nipsy isn't a fool. He and YG made “Fuck Donald Trump,” which was an anthem that got them maced by the police during the video shoot for YG's last record.

Victory Lap’s big single, “Rap N***as” is unabashed Above the Law, as in “Black Superman” meets “Broken Language.” 

Victory Lap dropped on the weekend when the country was hurting from some high profile shootings. Lost in the sauce was that his record release party ended in gunfire.

So while front to back “Victory Lap” gives you everything you want from an album in the tradition of NWA, Dre, Snoop, and DJ Quik – one can't help to ask, Where does confidence with drugs, sex and weapons get you?

Musically, you can roll with relaxation to “Young N###as” featuring Diddy,” “Dedication” featuring Kendrick, “Loaded Basses” featuring Cee Lo Green and “Double UP” featuring Belly and Dom Kennedy. “Victory Lap” isn't about non-stop anti-social behavior. It’s classic West Coast though.

But where does the hatred of mankind from the Trump administration leave Columbus, Ohio's punk band Vile Gash? Vile Gash has existed as the pure hardcore sonic embodiment of misanthropic perfection.

“Nightmare in a Damaged Brain” is the long-awaited, full-length, released via Mark McCoy's revered label New York-based Youth Attack, known for releasing Charles Bronson and Das Oath.

The album took forever to produce because singer Andrew moved to Chicago and Christian moved to New York. They managed to record the album as Musicol in Columbus, and Andrew did his vocals in Chicago. “Nightmare in a Damaged Brain” has Vile Gash still YDI and Flipper filtered through four men with impeccable taste and talent.

It makes you long for the days when viewing clinical exhibits of the complete hatred of mankind was not synonymous with watching Donald Trump or Mitch McConnell speak in public.

Vile Gash are far from Republicans.  And this a much better listen. Ain't no curmudgeon like a record collecting Columbus curmudgeon. It would be Hardcore Record of the Year if you trust the opinion of someone who listens to Nipsy Hussle.

This harkens back somewhere when Andrew, BJ, Christian, and Dennis would be in the same South Campus DIY venue with Turnstile Franz Lyons. Franz moved to Baltimore, and joined Turnstile after doing merch for Trapped Under Ice.


Turnstile’s new album “Time & Space” is similar to Vile Gash in how you can tell the music is an organic, refined manifestation of the history of punk.  Turnstile’s “Time & Space” is released via Roadrunner Records, not Youth Attack, so their lane is Fucked Up as if they were filtered through “God's Plan.”  Many songs are similiar to first track, “The Real Thing,” honestly sounds as if bands like Rage, Fugazi, Metallica and Nirvana had stripped down their vocals, riffs, melodies, and basslines to the attention span of a hardcore kid.

There are song/interludes like “Big Smile,” with short segues that sit somewhere between a Black Sabbath psychedelic lull, Ariel Pink and Nudge Squidfish. “Moon” sounds like Chuck Treese and Kid Cudi were smoking weed together in the bathroom of a high school gymnasium unaware that rap music existed.

Diplo shows up to produce “Right To Be” which continues Turnstile's method of seamless fragmented proto-grunge. Downset, a thrash which segues back into the psychedelic next song/interlude thing. While Turnstile is from Baltimore, you still feel the Columbus good taste throughout this recording. My guess is Nispy Hussle would listen to Turnstile before Vile Gash, but he could like both.

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