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Download: G-Side, 'Relaxin"

G-Side's Clova (left) and ST.
Courtesy of the artist
G-Side's Clova (left) and ST.

The Alabama duo G-Side has made a habit of releasing albums on numerologically opportune dates — the group released its last full-length, The One ... Cohesive, on 1/1/11, when the world was, largely, hungover on a Saturday. Timing may account for the quiet response to that album, the group's third, but it's certainly no excuse.

ST and Clova, who mostly rap over tracks produced by the Block Beataz — a production team with a bent toward Enya samples and shooting-star noises — started at a high level and keep getting better. ST, in particular, is precise in his word choice and limber as he fits each one into a calm, rooted flow.

I saw G-Side play in New York last month and can report that it sounds healthy and ready to take the field. It was like catching a preseason game, because this fall — on 11/11/11 — the pair will put out a new album, Island.

Today, you can download "Relaxin'," a unreleased track originally meant for The One ... Cohesive. A version of the song was floating around in the spring, but now it's done and mastered — layered and ornamented as is the Block Beataz way. Heavy on the low end, vocals stacked up, strings swelling, horn samples dappling the mix but clearing out when ST has something to say.

Download: "Relaxin'" by G-Side


Stephanie Bassos

Advisory: This song contains explicit language and subject matter not suitable for all ages.

In his verse, the second, ST puts his drawl to work, toying with the ends of his words, nestling a simple cadence in the aurora borealis of the track. He takes his time dropping an insult on the guy whose girl is hanging at his house with the couplet, "Rude comments on her Facebook wall / makes you look so not gangster at all." And that's the G-Side way — a familiar story, written visually, told with conversational wisdom.

Now, with a new album and a national tour right around the corner, would be the appropriate time for the masses to, as ST says earlier in "Relaxin'," "Get right or get left."

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Frannie Kelley
Frannie Kelley is co-host of the Microphone Check podcast with Ali Shaheed Muhammad.