CROWN NATION: Archie Whitewater

Crown Nation - "The Archie Whitewater Interlude"
(Slutbag Edition; 2010)

Minor amount of ring wear on the bottom front, it says in the eBay listing for Archie Whitewater’s self-titled album from 1970, vinyl edition, original pressing. Some edge wear. No splits. $65. As of two minutes ago it's up to 19 total bids.

It’s Sunday afternoon, I’m writing this in my tiny apartment and it’s cold outside because it’s December. (I’m in LA, but it’s still December). The heater’s on, I’m lounging, drinking hot tea, football on as background noise. The mighty Lions beat the Vikings, and they could maybe still make the playoffs as a wildcard, which hasn’t happened since 1999, ages ago, the same year The Slim Shady LP went platinum times four. Anyway: LOUNGING. Lounging’s back like it never left. Lounging deserves a good soundtrack like any other human activity. A Detroit rap song for a lazy afternoon, with a slow horn break and a breezy, just-low-enough BPM count (nothing too hectic, too Flockaesque), this “Archie Whitewater Interlude” is mellow, perfect for today, with its thick, bass-y bottom.

Quelle and Vessey’s credentials go deep (maybe take a moment and scroll through some earlier posts, if you need catching up), and they keep coming up with quality, yearrrrs into it. From Crown Nation’s lovingly named Slutbag Edition album, released in ’09 but only recently discovered by me since Shotgun & Sleek Rifle took over my heart and Twitter feed, “Archie Whitewater Interlude” is named for the 9-man jazz band of the same name, none of whom are, by the way, named Archie (Bob, Travis, Sam, Peter, Jim, a few others).

Producer Y-Not picked the group’s “Cross Country” as the fun, melodic backbone for Common’s “Chapter 13,” which was an okay choice for a mock-lighthearted rap song about conspicuous consumption–Common’s always been a little preachy, even in ’94. But 15 years later, Vessey makes a smarter break choice–“Interlude” is built on top of Archie’s “Hulk,” that bass/guitar intro into double-time rhythmic stew of piano stabs and drums, looping back to the horns, and more BASS, my true love. “Hulk” just sounds like money; the tempo changes, slow to quick, unpredictable, the same pattern with which money comes/goes/comes. It’s the sound of money being made by a dude who looks really fresh. He keeps it tight and right, obviously, with regard to his appearance. No edge wear. No splits.

“I don’t do tight jeans,” Vessey says when he gets to the mocking- dudes’-unfresh-gear part in his verse (polos, ha), another giveaway that it was ’09. He wears skinnies now, Internet. I mean, who doesn’t, you know? And apart from the gear-mock, core lyrical themes in “Interlude” include the timeless dude-conversation topics of change making you wanna hustle, the passage of time (quit daydreaming; HUSTLE), gross women, beautiful women (getting married to the lovely “Lena,” who has a thick bottom I’m sure and may or may not be getting paid for her pole-work hustle—it’s still inconclusive despite several listens—but whatever. Hustle, mama), and feeling your life improving, I mean really feeling it as it’s happening—weed loud, money long, realizing suddenly I’m you’re able to afford as many old breaks records as I you want without worrying about the rent even though the money wasn’t sudden at all—it took yearrrrs to arrive.

That’s a lot of bad coffee, a lot of annoying phone calls, dudes flaking on verses, 31-degree days. Of course, it’s also a lot of verses finished right on time, dudes showing up when they said they would, working heaters, YouTube Likes, old breaks records. It’s cold out, so make yourself a cup of tea, give in to the Archie interlude, and blog about it in the comments below.


  1. Very nice indeed. I can completely relate as I just dropped someone's holiday gift money on some rare soul 45's...and maybe a little bit of the rent. Oh yeah, and I fucks with the Crown!

    Peace to well written editorials, articles, posts, bloggings...peace to Lattisaw Tapes, Height Five Seven, and them cats behind a certain Slutbag Edition.

    One Trillion,

    Geng PTP

  2. I just got to the point where I can begin collecting vinyl again. Best hobby ever.