You can put a cat in an oven, but that don't make it a biscuit – Sidney Deane

Archive for June, 2011

Rap Stat: Eminem & Royce da 5’9” – “Welcome To Hell” Words per Minute

So again, I got this idea in my head, but I don’t really have the time, nor the direction/motivation at the moment, to carry it out to the fullest. But the idea derived from shitty music awards like MTV’s, BET’s, and even the grammy’s when it comes to rap (although they’ve shown signs of improvement in recent years), and how it’s really just a popularity contest. I understand it’s pretty hard to compare rap artists with all the mediocrity these days, but you can’t just go by record sales/downloads or revenue, because all that really measures is what is the most commonly purchased piece of music, not the best. You follow me? It’s like if the Oscars based their awards on movie revenue. So the best movies from the past 3 years would be The Hangover II (so far), Toy Story 3, and Avatar. Those all may be quality movies in their respective genre, but what does it really say about the majorities taste level when a comedy requiring the maturity level of a frat dude, a children’s animation, and an almost entirely CGI (computer generated imagery) dominated movie are the highest grossing. Again, I’m not saying they are bad movies. I’m just saying it doesn’t mean much of anything, in terms of overall quality, that these were the most attractive movies for Americans to pay to see….btw, was gonna get into another metaphor here about women (shocker, i know), which could easily be translated to men from a female perspective as well, but I don’t really feel like getting into that shit right now. Plus I gotta start practicing what I preach and stop generalizing women.

So, before I lose my train of thought and start rambling again, let me get back to that idea I started with. I was trying to find a way to measure rappers’ ability to spit hot fire, and then do a little research project on it. Since you can’t really objectively measure the quality of lyrics, I thought that measuring the quantity of lyrics could at least give you a basis for their level of talent. I know this doesn’t mean a TON, because one could easily spit nonsense with relative ease very quickly, but I think it definitely does gives you a good idea of the type of work they put into their verse and/or their mastery of the English language.

Now, no offense to the 50 people that visit the funk everyday ( I love you all), but until I feel like my writing/analysis is gonna get me somewhere, I just don’t have the time to get that in depth with my research. But what I did do was analyze one of the sickest spit sessions in, i dont know how long, to give you a little idea of what lyricism is all about. This “Welcome to Hell” shit is toooooo cold. Good lookin out Bo, I should’ve been up on this way earlier than the weekend.

So I took the first verse from Em, and then the first two Royce parts (his first verse is interrupted real quick with a couple bars from Em), and calculated their words per minute, with the help of for the lyrics. Em spit for 50 secs with 250 words, Royce for 40 secs with 202 words. Now that comes out to 300 wpm (words per minute) for Em and 303 wpm for Royce (60/50 x 250 & 60/40 x 202). Seems like Em rapped faster but could be that Royce used more shorter syllable words. But either way, that is incredible. Especially considering the lyrical content.

Now just for fun, I went ahead and measured Rick Ross and Lil Wayne on “I’m on One.” Ross spit 154 words in 50 secs, and Wayne 134 in 50 secs. That’s only 185 wpm for Ross, and 161 wpm for Wayne. Damn, Weezy spitting even slower than Ross these days? Take what you will from the numbers. I just like giving credit where credit is due. And although I know Wayne and Ross come with some slightly clever punchlines every once in a while (always “hard” though, right? smh), I just don’t believe it takes as much effort/skill as it just did Em and Royce the way they utilize that many words that not only rhyme, but are relevant and necessary to the line. That’s lyricism.

(MP3):Eminem & Royce da 5’9” – Welcome to Hell


Best of….Jay Z – Feelin’ It

So first things first, I’ve been thinking about putting together a “Best of”, or top 10, from the first half of 2011 (basically since I been on the Funk) for a couple days now. And well, of course I’ve been doing my best to procrastinate since that idea popped up, but at least the thought was there, and next up is the doing…which will happen, at some point. But like I said, the thought was in my head, and while I was running today, right around my mile 5 glide, the idea of natural highs came up. Of course running being one of those. I’m a big fan of the natural highs…and a couple unnatural (?). But this song just comes to mind when I’m getting in the zone for anything. And that zone I get in when I’m just floating along (right before mile 7 when I begin to suck air violently) is a something else, man. Bottom line, great song to get to zonin’ to.

“OK I’m gettin weeded now I know I’m contradicting myself
Look I don’t need that now
It just once in a blue when there’s nothin to do and
The tension gets too thick for my sober mind to cut through”

Any who, I can easily call this my favorite Jay Z song, which basically means the best, to me. Although I have to say, I don’t have just “one” favorite for almost any artists, let alone one of the greats. There’s just no way to rank one song over another objectively. Like ranking Jay and Nas. It’s just a matter of taste. Actually for me though, that one’s easy, it’s Nas. But you probably already knew that. And while I don’t share many commonalities with Jay’s thinking, the way I do Nas’, this is the way you rap about “the good life.” Btw, look out for more “Best of’s” coming up.

(MP3): Jay Z – Feelin’ It

Weekend Rap Up: J. Cole, Kendrick Lamar, Jay Rock, Team Scene + The ILLZ

So I can’t just stop sharing the dopeness I come across simply because I’m not in the mood to write, or think much for that matter. Plus I feel as though I owe it to the hip hop junkies who stop by every once in a while looking for some new beats via their ear in the streets blogs, but instead come to find some salty rant about my lack of “game” with the ladies, or some other unfortunate aspect of my personal life. But the fact of the matter still remains that “I have a microphone (blog), and you don’t, so you will listen to every damn word I have to say!” As the Adam Sandler in me would say.
I do have a good handful of jams that need your attention immediately though. First up, J. Cole’s next “first” single from his debut album, “Cole World: The Sideline Story” supposedly slated to drop September 27th. Unfortunately, I don’t foresee this one making the type of splash in the main stream that the record execs usually wait for before actually following through on the proposed release date. Although, after a couple listens it’s really growing on me, and I think has a better chance of gaining the necessary hype , more so than Disgusting did. It just sucks seeing creative artists struggle to produce a radio friendly song, that obviously comes unnaturally, just to get their album out.
(MP3): J. Cole – Work Out
XXL actually put me onto Kendrick Lamar back when they included him on the Freshman list. I saw the name floating around before then, but never really gave him a chance. They definitely got that pick right, and if you haven’t already, give him a listen. His flow is still a little raw, and his verses seem kind of all over the place at times, but that’s a noticeable trait with many of the most talented to pen it. You can tell he’s gonna be a lyrical beast. Dude’s only 18.

“Granny said when I’m old enough I be sure to be all I can be
You niggas Marcus Camby, washed up
pussy, fix your panties
I’m Mr. Marcus, you’re gettin fucked, ugh”

(MP3): Kendrick Lamar – Ronald Reagan Era (His Evil’s)
Here’s another one featuring my guy Kendrick. Jay Rock brings him in to help represent for the ghettos around America, without the typical ignorant shit. But “you ain’t gotta like it cuz the hood gone love it.”
(MP3): Jay Rock ft Kendrick Lamar – The Hood Gone Love It (prod. by J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League)

Never heard of these guys, but I’m really liking this one. Pretty different sound; very cool beat. I don’t know, It’s getting late, just listen to it.

(MP3): Team Scene – Welcome to the Team (prod. by Nemesis)

I had to include this one since dude samples one of my favorite beats/songs of all time; Nas – Take it In Blood. But at the same time, to go over a sample from Nas, you know you gotta come correct to gain my respect. Dude come’s through pretty strong.

“this is what im meant to, do I dont expect for, you to understand
not tryna be disrespectful, but we are not the same
I came to the road and paved my own lane, listen this is not a game”

(MP3): The ILLZ – The Pursuit (ILL Tal Remix)

(MP3): Nas – Take it in Blood

The Cool Kidz – Swimsuits (ft Mayer Hawthorne)

Ok, this song pretty much has no relation to my write up, but it’s dope as fuck, especially in the summer time. Grab your swimsuits ladies. No need to contemplate, this really is a jam.

Seriously though, i don’t understand females. I KNOW you’re not so insecure that the dude who couldn’t remember your name from the night before is now the focal point of your social interaction? I mean, have some self respect. Also, dudes should love and respect you more for your intellectual perspective than your intersexual perspective (I know that’s not a real word, but I’m drunk and in my mind it worked out in the grand scheme of things). Just keep your shit tight until you know dude really likes you for you, and not just that booty.

I’m not tryin to be a captain save em, but I also got considerable respect for women. I really just want you girls to stop worrying about what we think of ya’ll, or what might get you a man. At least to me, that’s pretty weak. I sure as hell know the only shit I do, is the shit I wanna do. So the only girl I’m gonna truly respect is the girl who does what the fuck she wants to do. And if i ever meet a chick who wants to make something more out of me, then I’ll be damned if she doesn’t already understand what the fuck it is I want out of myself.

(MP3):The Cool Kidz – Swimsuits (ft. Mayer Hawthorne)

Wifey Wednesday: The Weeknd, Adele & Alex Clare

So I haven’t really been up on my shit lately, I know this. But I barely have time to think about what to eat for dinner lately, let alone sit down, search the infinite blogashpere of music, sample a minute 30 seconds of the fifty-some songs that stand out, download the best handful, listen and re-listen, and listen again, and begin to write, and continue to write WHILE listening until something meaningful comes to mind…..I don’t even feel like finishing this sentence. Seriously though, I want to get more good music out to the “masses.” And just because I don’t have the time to really write, doesn’t mean any dedicated supporters should have to suffer.

Regardless though, this type of music kinda speaks for it self. Doesn’t require as much interpretation as rap but still the necessary time and attention to truly appreciate. Good music that I would rock too. Great voices = good music most the time.  Good lookin L-Boogie. This dude is bad. And them drums? Shit…

(MP3):The Weeknd – The Birds (pt. 1)
And Adele? Need I say more? Well maybe I do…Clubheads……kinda useless til’ the 1:50 mark to me.

(MP3):Adele – Set Fire to The Rain (Thomas Gold Remix)

Oh yea, this Tracy Chapman-soundin-ass dude (kinda?) kinda kills this acoustic musical masterpiece. I’m not gonna lie, might be the piano that really got me diggin it.. I mean, besides dude’s really good voice.

(MP3):Alex Clare – Too Close (Live Unplugged)

Good Night!

TIME is of the Essence: TIME – Scatterbrain

Alright, I gotta pace myself with this one, so let me just start with the aesthetics. The South Park intro is hilariously unfortunate and perfect in every way. I’ve always been a big fan and thought that using audio clips from TV or movies was a really cool/funny way to set the tone for your song, or at least provide some context. This is one of the best uses ever. Now, the beat (produced by TIME himself) starts out with a smooth guitar riff with very simple percussion. I like it a lot. TIME comes in really well and his flow matches up perfectly. Too bad the hook is really weak, otherwise this could be my favorite song.

Of course I’m gonna be able to relate to my favorite song, how else am I gonna really get into it? A lot of my favorite songs revolve around similar themes as this, but this one is a little different. Instead of simply acknowledging and then embracing the fact that most outsiders might consider him crazy for his unique thought process, he flips the script on all those outsiders who revel in being so good at fitting in, and call them out for their lack of singularity. And by the end of this, it kinda leaves you feeling much better about yourself, even if you’re a scatterbrain and focus is your greatest enemy, because at least you know your brain is still  constantly thinking that much for itself. Sure life would easier if you were programmed to act/react a certain way to every black, white, or gray area’d situation while utilizing great organizational skills to categorize and group the infinitely different aspects of your life into simple logic, but is it really worth it?

Check out a similarly themed TIME joint with a different vibe I posted a while back too, because I just don’t think it’s gotten enough hype. By the way, if you can produce dopeness like this for yourself, you just might have a chance at making it in this crazy game. I just mean it makes things a lot easier, is all.

“some people try to judge and dis
too bad cuz I ain’t budgin’ bitch
I’m crazy cuz I got some fuckin’ sense?
ya’ll dense, we all know ignorance is bliss
I can’t be happy knowin’ shit
so I let go to keep my grip
I’m too blessed to just exist”

(MP3): TIME – Scatterbrain (prod. TIME)

(MP3): TIME – The Truth (prod. TIME)

The Folarin Rules: Wale – I’m On One Freestyle

“no answer for it, these rhetorical lyrics”

New rule, any time Rick Ross or Drake make a hit (even better if they make one together!), Wale needs to go in on the beat and show us how he would destroy it. I’m still a little puzzled by dude’s decision to join Ross’s camp. I mean, you know how much it sucks to walk into work everyday and know you’re like 100x better AND smarter than your boss, but you make dick compared to him, right? That’s gotta be how Wale feels about Rick Ross (you know it’s true). Gotta love that “m-m-m-m-m-m-m-m-maybach music…” tagline though, especially with headphones on. The way it alternates ear to ear with each echo is pretty dope. By the way, I thought I was really hearing the music before my Beats by Dre headphones; turns out I really only listened to it.

Anyway, I feel like I mention “passion” a lot on The Funk. This is what I’m passionate about; giving great fucking rappers the kind of respect and hype they deserve. If that means I gotta tear down your favorite rapper, or at least take him down a notch or two, then so be it. But Wale is a beast and you really need to rethink your credibility as a rap fan if you’re NOT fuckin with dude.

I’m so glad he decided to kill this beat, but it’s just funny that it was over another song that Ross and Drake recorded together. This “Aston Martin Music Freestyle” is literally one of the best songs I heard all of last year, and I’ve been waiting for a nice and random, coincidental situation like this to share it with everyone.

“no car keys, and I mean that
because I chau-ffeur, no bikini wax”….think about it

(MP3): Wale – I’m on One

(MP3): Wale – Aston Martin Music