Each Tuesday, FADER editor Matthew Schnipper highlights an underappreciated recent release he thinks we need to know about. This week it’s E-40’s "Tell Me When To Go" 12-inch. Read Schnipper’s thoughts on it after the jump.
Saturday was the second day of Rosh Hashanah. I took the train up to Mt. Kisco, a town in Westchester an hour away from the city to have dinner with my family and old friends. I lived there for about three years, from four to seven. I don’t remember much about it, though those memories are strong—Honey I Shrunk the Kids sweatshirt from a neighbor, red Hawaiian shirt my friend Greg used to wear (heard he later had some problems with weed), first love letter from a girl and the yellow mascot of my elementary school, the Roaring Brook tigers. I may have made up the last part. I also used to play dominoes with a girl named Jill. She had crazy curly hair. I wonder what happened to her.
I went to the liquor store to buy a bottle of wine and had a hard time deciding because the liquor store by my house is not killing it at all. While I was in there two Euro dudes in leather jackets on a hot day were asking the store owner about sparkling pink vodka. He told them only gay dudes or girls should drink it. They did not buy it. After they left he told me he tries everything in the store and that it is disgusting. I was in a rush to make my train. When I got on the subway I noticed I had a small stain on my nice shirt. I did not have time to change. I made the train at Grand Central. Some people were getting married. I got in some of the shots. I think my dad noticed the stain first thing when I rolled up to Mt. Kisco. I didn’t mention this to him, nor he to me, but I am sure he will read about it now, he keeps up on these columns pretty good (Dad, could you see it? Sorry, that was embarrassing).
Dinner was nice. A Jewish lady born in 1947 talked about a lot of different things. Last year she drove me to the train and it was terrifying. The China we ate desert off of was really beautiful. I don’t usually think about things like that. We only talked about the music industry briefly, which was nice. My old neighbor, a few years older than me, used to work with jam bands a lot. He used to have a ponytail and come to my house every year for Thanksgiving. He rules. My grandma talked about living in Queens in the early ’50s and how cheap movies used to be. Movies were really, really cheap.
Anyway dudes, I’m just setting the tone for my Saturday. It was a chill day. Before I went to family dinner I walked around. I bought an old Gap shirt at the thrift store and went to the park and laid out in the sunshine. I was wearing a white tee, I never do that anymore. Shit was chill, you know what I am saying? So I’ve got this sunshine, this vegetarian matzoh ball soup, these anecdotes from my mom about how she is doing business with ultra-rich people that make me proud like I am the parent and I’ve got a nap on the MetroNorth and a Richard Price book about selling crack in New Jersey, so I am like fuck it, shit is chill, just like I just said. I get home about 11 and think about going to sleep because why would you cap a mellow day with anything else. But Shimkovitz was DJing Awesome Tapes From Africa, can’t miss that shit.
So I’m walking up the street to Zebulon, a place I have never been but know the inside of because bands really like to take photos there and I write a lot of the captions here at The FADER, and I am trying to figure out what to listen to. I’d spent most of the day, and previous days, listening to Smog. Chances are, if you wanted to guess what I was listening to ever, Smog is a pretty good guess. But there is only so much fall music you can listen to, so it’s time to listen to Young Jeezy. He is the other good guess for what I am listening to. So I’m walking down the street and listening to Young Jeezy. I’m wearing a coat and it’s not coat weather and I get to where Metropolitan and North 4th fork and I walk into the street on some timpani air drums and then I hear a loud party. I take out my headphones and look to my right and see that the hair salon on the corner is having a huge party with the door open and they are playing “Tell Me When To Go.”
Ok let’s take a break for those of you who have not heard “Tell Me When To Go” please listen to it now. Here is the video. The video is pretty epic though too (black and white!). Ok turn that shit up, even though you are listening on your computer I know you can hear the bass. This song is crazy. I’m gonna be honest here, I don’t write about rap music too much. I did for a little while (Dre of Cool N Dre you will forever hold a special place in my heart as the first interview I ever did. You were more nervous than me. No idea how that is true.) but lately I write about rock and shit. So at the risk of sounding like I don’t know what I am talking about: OMG this shit knocks so hard and Lil Jon made the beat and he is a total genius and E40 is the best when he’s emceeing a track like he was its ringleader. This song is largely based around sleigh bells and drums that sound like someone walking with heavy feet in the a snowy forest. It is very implausible that it would be coming out of a salon in Williamsburg, Brooklyn really, really loud. But it was. I stopped on the corner for a minute, but my friends were already there so I couldn’t linger to listen. I did not want to go to that party because I do not want to go to a party I am not invited to at a salon in Williamsburg, but I do want to go to a party that is playing “Tell Me When To Go” really loud. This was the most confusing part of my day. I knew that they would not be playing any E40 at Zebulon. Of course they wouldn’t, and they shouldn’t be. And I knew that amidst the plethora of really pussy music, a million Young Jeezy songs and some hardcore on my iPod, there was no E40. So I just kept listening to Young Jeezy and it sounded okay. The bass did not bump and there were no sleigh bells. No one at Zebulon played rap, except for the one track that was African rap and cleared the dance floor. I didn’t dance until later, when I did a lot. I stayed sober and untucked my shirt for some breathing room. When the DJ played his last song, I tucked back in. We lingered outside until I went home. I listened to Smog while I walked. When I passed the party a woman was locking up.