So, the youngest Team DAR member, Jeff “Black Ax” Axel (above), has a birthday today. With that said, I’m going to do something that I’ve, admittedly, slipped on for a second: provide people with my list of favorite tracks from the ENERGY GAWD himself. These are in no particular order, by the way.
“Out Here Coolin” feat. True God from Chronicles of a 410 Savage — Now, people will probably sleep/pass on Chronicles because of its sound quality. As a (former) no-fi rapper myself, I say kill that noise. The first verse shows Ax’s growth from, for instance, his Fear of the Axel days. While the sound gets muddled a bit on the second verse, the energy presented on the track allows for this slow burner to get into your ears.
“Washed Up Biddies” feat. EZ from Chronicles — Axel, sonically, has always reminded me of a mix between Silkk the Shocker, Souljah Slim, and a late-90’s/early-00’s New York artist (seriously, listen to his bars. Underneath the unorthodox flow, he’s got some dope quoteables, and I’m saying that as a listener NOT as part of DAR). But, one of the things that Axel always brings in spades is comedy. This track plays like “Freaky Tales” meets “Lookin’ Ass Nigga.” Play if you need a chuckle or two, because we all can relate to some washed up biddies.
“Bodybag” feat. Team DAR, Dugee F. Buller and Twizzy Status from COOLIN’ IN AXEL WORLD — There’s not much I can say on this track. It’s an event that’s part-Wu, part-DAR. Everyone, myself included, hopped on this track with the hopes of stepping the bar up. I’d like to say we delivered, but judge for yourself.
“410 Niggaz” from COOLIN’ IN AXEL WORLD — I went into producing this track wanting to give Ax some combo of a Metro Boomin’ track and that old-school 3 6 Mafia. Ax ripped this one and the vocal manipulation is pretty cool, too, especially the chant chorus.
“What I Do” feat. True God and Speed on the Beat from COOLIN’ IN AXEL WORLD — One of several introspective tracks on COOLIN’, Ax took the energy down a bit, added a K.R.I.T.-esque chorus between himself and True, and laid his soul out there. This track was originally meant for Genesis, but we ended up keeping it off, because reasons. Plus, it features myself saying “motherfuck a Milton Bradley” and True snapping on a double-time tip.
“Escalation (Exodus Interlude)” from Exodus — While not a solo Ax track, “Escalation” is one of my favorite tracks on Exodus. Utilizing a “Master of None” flip that’s less Weeknd and more Pro Era, True, Ax, and Apollo escalate their bars as the track goes on. Originally meant as a four-way DAR track, the choice to forego my verse was the best option, as, admittedly, my bars weren’t up-to-snuff for the track (and they didn’t fit with the theme).
“You Don’t Want None” from Genesis — The beat on this track is flames, Ax attacks the beat, and the chorus is more hauntingly epic than “Ice JJ Fish-like,” as some people’ve suggested.