SONG OF THE DAY: Cazwell & Manila Luzon ft Roxy and Richie Beretta – “Helen Keller”

Brilliant on so many levels – that is the easiest way to describe this incredible collaboration of uniquely-talented individuals. Following up his energetic electro collaboration with Luciana, “Guess What,” rapper Cazwell comes harder with his modern version of a bitch track. It takes a lot of balls to reference Helen Keller as a verb for reading someone, and with his talent for comical and biting flows, he proves he can handle it. Working with a variety of artists (Peaches, Colton Ford, Avenue D), Cazwell harnesses a range and depth comparable to Eminem. Teaming with both Roxy and Manila Luzon, he channels both the history and future of transgressive drag. If you haven’t heard the classic tracks “Accident” and “Love to Do It” by Roxy, do yourself a favor and discover some herstory. Roxy’s well-chosen hooks add the biting camp voice that’s essential for a successful bitch track. When I first heard Manila on the track, I was shocked, in a good way. Who knew she had this much edge and aggressive bitchiness in her character? Her cleverly-written parts are perfectly delivered with a flow that reflects Cazwell, while showing her own unique style. The original midtempo house production by Richie Beretta is perfectly in sync with the currently-in-vogue NuHouse meme. Check out the mixes by Jodie Harsh and Fierce Tease for a more aggressive take for the big room clubs. Be sure to watch the video by Leonardo Herrera (HomoChic), which is lush, vibrant, and just as entertaining visually as the song is lyrically.

Image courtesy of Peace Bisquit.

SONG OF THE DAY: Cazwell & Manila Luzon ft Roxy and Richie Beretta – “Helen Keller”

SONGS OF THE DAY: Richard Vission ft Luciana – “Primitive” and Cazwell & Luciana “Guess What”

This is the interesting spot that vocalists are often in, with multiple releases dropping at the same time. Just as her solo single “U B the Bass” is climbing the club charts, two additional singles by Luciana, showing her multiple personae, are let loose. Working again with Richard Vission (half of the team behind the seminal “I Like That”), she unleashes her savage self with “Primitive,” an overtly aggressive rap over a hybrid electro/trap track. This is probably the most hardcore she’s ever gone in a club record and one could only imagine the energy this would bring in a live performance. On the opposite end of the spectrum is “Guess What,” a much more playful and campy electropop romp with queer sex symbol Cazwell. While it feels like a followup to her solo record “I’m Still Hot,” the boastful yet joyous lines are lighthearted and fun, with the production by Marina & Fagault being both clubworthy and pop-friendly at the same time. Of special note is how both characters deliver their well-written and believable lines – because Luciana is definitely hotter than a chili pepper and it wouldn’t surprise us at all if Cazwell really does sh*t glitter.

REVIEW: Cazwell – ‘Get Into It’

4.5 / 5 Stars

The first time I heard Get Into It, Cazwell’s debut mini-album, I immediately wanted to transform myself into a hot bi-curious 19 year-old in order to get some face time with the Caz. I think I am in love. Not so much with the man, but with the time-travel revisionist idea his music suggests. But Cazwell is hot, no doubt about it.

The cover art is genius, with Cazwell balancing a portable 8-track player on his slender knee. He wears a pair of powder-blue running shorts and he’s slung into a chair with his legs spread so you can just barely see a hint of underwear. The expression on his face encourages you to look but don’t touch… unless you are the aforementioned hot bi-curious 19 year-old. Oh, if I only had a time-machine…

1983. Prince didn’t release a record that year since 1999 was slamming and Purple Rain was a year away. Prince was pretty much the only dude singing explicitly about sex back then. With songs like “Head” and “Private Joy,” parents had much to worry about. They had to answer tough questions about fellatio and doggy-style. Heck, I learned early on not to sing “Jack U Off” at the dinner table, and while Prince toyed with the idea that he might have been gay, in reality, he was hopelessly straight.

Now it’s nearly 23 years later and we have Cazwell rapping about blowing a load all over someone’s face, licking a$$, and other types of gay naughtiness. But from Cazwell’s capable tongue, it doesn’t sound so naughty. It sounds… fun at worst, life-affirming at best. It’s good that he raps about condoms and it’s good that he includes girls and trannys as his objects of desire — open-minded dudes are always more attractive. And that’s the thing… the album hinges upon how much you like Cazwell and his attitude about sex, drugs and music.

The album almost feels dated and other than the content of the lyrics, you’ve heard it all before. But this is not a bad thing. Familiarity breeds the new style. Other rappers have been talking this crap for years about women and it’s a miracle that this album exists at all.

Sex in all forms is celebrated here and things like foreskin, lube and poppers are talked about as casually as the weather. Listening to Get Into It made me want to go out to a bar, pick up a dude and take him to a dingy hotel room and bang him all night long. It’s for this reason alone that Cazwell could be a scary role-model for today’s gay youth. Turns out that Get Into It is all the time-machine I need. Just don’t forget the condoms.

CD Released November 2006 on Peace Bisquit Records.
Review originally posted December 2006.