Everyone wake up and purchase that Cole World: The Sideline Story yet? If not, do so soon. And if you missed this when my boy posted some highlights from the album last week when it leaked, then good morning again. This shit is hot. In hotnewhiphop terms, shits VERY hotttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttt. But seriously, if you got a nice system or some solid speakers, this is gonna kill.
And for all of those hating on Jermaine because some of the content on the album and his admission to crying make him “softer” than Ghostface Killa, per se, you need to realize this is a different era. The beautiful thing about rap is you can gauge the social climate by listening to the songs from one generation to the next. Think about it. In the 90’s, there was a huge lack of drug awareness and, even more than today, excessive drug trafficing in urban areas. There was also the Rodney King incident and a lot more tension between blacks and police. You can see and hear all this in what has been deemed “gangster rap.” 20 years later, while we’re still a ways away from healthy, I feel like things aren’t AS hostile. That may be somewhat of an ignorant claim, but that’s my outside perception. And then I feel like women are closer to being considered equals, and they have more power today than they did 20 years ago. Not only power in just the workplace, but overall influence on culture, government, and family, as well. Women’s brains are different than men’s. This can provide different ways of thinking about and viewing the world, which can effect society as a whole. I think some of this influence shows through in rap. At least in the intelligent kind.
I’ll try to keep most of my opinions to myself on this one, but I did want to at least present the facts. And the fact is, according to the songs leaked so far, ever since B.o.B presented The Adventures of Bobby Ray, Bobby went missing while Bob got more acquainted with money and market research. Okay maybe not fact, but conclusions can be drawn from the evidence. Take for example the next few songs. The first one is clearly reaching for the increasingly popular dubstep sound while both focus almost entirely on topics just recently presented by “The Throne”….and just about every other rapper making money. I just hope we didn’t lose Bobby for good, because it’s clearly where his creativity and free thinking comes from, as heard in his earlier work.
(MP3): B.o.B – High Life
(MP3): B.o.B. – Left Field
(MP3): B.o.B. – One Day
(MP3): B.o.B – Room 34
Keep on truckin…
(MP3): Jaydiohead – Dreaming Up
Back to the Rap: Big K.R.I.T. ft. 2 Chainz, 8Ball & MJG, Wale ft. Rick Ross & Kevin Cossom, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Cormega ft. AZ & Nature, Royce Da 5’9 + Hassaan Mackey & Apollo Brown
First of all, the debut from J. Cole, Cole World: The Sideline Story, just hit shelves today. Go to iTunes and buy it. Then go to the record store and buy the physical copy. That’s how I roll, and if you’re a fan of Jermaine then I think that’s how you should roll too. You want to help facilitate a change don’t you? Well change cost dollars. Anyway, If you’re also a fan of Krizzle, then you gotta do the same when he drops his shit in 2012. You also gotta be a fan of this joint right here. Krit hooks up with the uninspiring artist formely known as Tity Boi, as well two personally influential artists he used to listen to growing up. Ball & G undoubtedly left a lasting influence, as heard through the peeimp-tight flow. Dude can’t miss right now. The world ain’t ready.
I didn’t like this one first listen through, but it’s sounding better and better each time since. Shit is smooth. Wale kills it of course. Seriously though, his flow his smooth as fuck and his lyrics actually make you pay close attention and think a little bit. Kevin Cossom does his thing on the hook and Ross even holds his own with his contributing verse. Still expecting much, much more out of Ambition.
As if it wasn’t already determined, I know for SURE I’ll never have to rap. Macklemore already thinks what I think, rips the beats I would seek, and pretty much represents what I’d try to be. So I’ma just chill, nod my head and admire the true future of rap. I never really wanted to rap anyway, just wanted to do me. And yes Mack, this definitely helps me maneuver.
“Change the game, don’t let the game change you”
Ohhh shit! Remember that Firm biz? That 90’s QB/NY rap attack? This is that shit right here, off Mega’s Raw Forever. All we’re missing is a verse from the nasty one, but I don’t think dudes ever made up despite efforts to “Destroy & Rebuild”. Regardless, AZ is also a personal favorite of mine, and one of the most underrated rappers alive. And I’m talking rappers who at least have a little clout to even qualify them for the debate. That does not include a dude like Cormega who is unfortunately unknown to most freshman hip hop-sters. You need to get with this.
I will say this, the beat is what initially piqued my interest (I use to love this club jam). I mean, outside of the fact that it being a Royce joint is what made me check it in the first place. But I don’t really have anything else besides….listen to the bars.
(MP3): Royce Da 5’9 – Random Bars
This beat is just too smooth, man. It’s definitely got that soulful underground feel to it, but without being too slow and 9th Wonder-ish (I’m sorry, I just can’t get into dude). Dudes be rappin’ too.
This first one by WP is pretty nasty. These dudes really bring the previously played out “Good Life” back to life thanks to the addition of the M83 instrumental. I love these WP dudes’ work. And then you got this Tristan Garner shit…..I don’t know how I feel about it, but could be fun in the club or some drunken after hours dance party. I was never a big fan of this MJ song though, so that doesn’t help. Might be worth a listen…
8. “Cole World”
Beautiful Lou….simply beautiful. Honestly though, I can’t give all the credit to Lou on this one. Despite the lack of depth in lyrical content as well as tired topics presented, the ASAP crew all deliver on point flows that almost makes me really listen to what they’re saying. They kinda got the Bone Thugs name thing going on with the whole ASAP in front. Only difference, Bone had names that actually incorporated the word, like Wish Bone, Flesh n Bone….well I guess only 2/5 were actually clever, but I still think it sounded better/smarter than simply putting the word “ASAP” in front of random individual nicknames. Midwest 1 – East Coast 0.
Anyway, I really wouldn’t have any interest in the “Always Strive And Prosper” crew if not for the production they’ve come with so far. So if not all, 90% of the credit still goes to Beautiful Lou. I will say this also though, I don’t hate on the ASAP crew for the shit they rap about. Because they actually sound sincere. It’s not some rich, 30+ year old veteran rapper talking about guns, sex, money & drugs for clichéd purposes. These young, 20 somethin’ year old dudes from Harlem really live this shit and really don’t know any better, or at least that’s the impression I get. Not that it’s cool, but like I said, sincere. And sincerity is way cooler than cool. But regardless, it’s definitely a jam. In fact, it’s thee jam of the week.