Littles Presents: The New Big East

It’s the sorta new thing, DVD mixtapes. It ain’t enough these days just to have a burned CDR of various artists and push it for ten dollars. Na, you got have a DVD insert as well that has exclusive videos and concert clips. This is Littles’ hustle. The full time New York rapper slash ghetto entrepreneur presents The New Big East (Best of the Block), a DVD showcasing the rotten apple’s newest crop of rhyme saviors. Torch carriers like Uncle Murder, Jae Millz, Papoose, Maino, and many others are featured to convince anyone that the East Coast swagger has not collapsed. They’re determined to keep their guns cocked, blunts lit, and crack cooked, until NY gangsta rap is fully resurrected. The New Big East covers the first annual DVD awards show that took place at the Avalon in NYC. The intentions of the event were good, but the execution left a bit more to be desired. Not being harsh, but when Brooklyn boxer Zab Judah is on the mic stumbling winner names off a piece paper and the live performances by folks like Maino and the late Stack Bundles involve 50 heads on the stage while the speakers are clipping in and out of audibility, it doesn’t bode well for proclamations that New York rap is caught up with the rest of the rap industry. The footage is not near top notch quality and the show looked like it was a males only affair, with the exception of a couple of vixens shaking their asses on the stages, scared for their lives due to the slew of aggressive libidos invading their space. But hey, Kay Slay won an award for best “booty” video.Some rappers do redeem themselves, but more so on the CD than the DVD. The Saigon song “Dreams” is fire, and it also helps that 9th Wonder was the beat genius behind it. Papoose lends endless rhymes over Jay-Z’s “Black Republican”, all while promoting The Nacirema Dream (“coming out 2008, first quarter!”). Consequence drops an old school flow on the funky manhood-snatching track, “Ya Girl.” Other tracks are eh. Jae Millz and Mysonne team up for Mysonne’s post-bid christening on “We Got ‘Em.” Mysonne complains about how the industry has changed, “I know as far as rhymes go/ back in ‘99 yo, half of these rappers couldn’t even have got signed yo.”Let’s say this predicament that the East is in is like a basketball game in which they are trailing the South by 20 points. If that indeed is the case, The New Big East is only just trading baskets. And you can’t gain ground on your opponents by simply matching pace. The cats from Syracuse on the DVD said that they love it when Littles comes through their city selling DVDs out the back of his car. That sounds familiar. That’s what heads in the South were doing before they got to VH1. So, it looks like New York, in many ways, has gotta hit the road and go back from trunk to trunk. e