My Brain and My Music: Wale, NORE ft Busta+Game+Waka, J. Cole, Schoolboy Q ft Kendrick Lamar, Big K.R.I.T. [Clams Casino remix] + Outkast [Urban Noize remix]
I oftentimes find it difficult to organize my thoughts. That’s why you’ll see me jump from subject to subject like a lil kid with ADD. So let me outline my thoughts for a second so that I don’t forget to mention the random but semi-related thoughts that had originally popped up in my head on my commute home from work: MTV’s Hottest MC’s list, fads, and hipsters. Go.
To me, being one of the Hottest MC’s is nothing more than being the flavor of the week. The logic that goes into naming someone “the hottest” is the same logic that currently has television producers making god knows how many Kardashian or Jersey Shore reality shows. So please, if you’re excited that your favorite MC made the cut, just realize it really has little to do with their lyrical pedigree. It’s gonna be fun to find out who on that list becomes the next Spencer & Heidi…
Basically what that list is describing, and paying respects to, is how much hip hop is all about fads nowadays. I can’t really get mad at MTV though, because fads dominate our entire culture. Look at all those damn NBA stars with their fucking non prescription black glasses. It’s kinda sad when you look at rap or NBA stars as whole, but then you come to find a guy like D. Rose (or in hip hop terms, Big K.R.I.T.) who stands unfazed as his own man when everyone around him dances like a clown. It’s not so much him being different than most stars that makes him so fucking awesome. It’s more so him being his own awesome self that makes him different…
It’s hard for me to put my finger on the whole “hipster” movement. I wouldn’t consider myself a hipster per se, but I definitely have some hipster qualities. Do I like some things more for the mere fact of being different? Possibly. But more than that, I really just have different tastes and thoughts than what is pumped out to the masses. But honestly, do I hate on Young Jeezy and Rick Ross more than I actually dislike their music? Yea. Do I try to convince Bulls fans to give Boozer more credit despite actually despising many facets of his game myself? Yea. But in a day and age when everyone seems to comply with the same thinking, ideas and tastes that TV, radio and other media outlets constantly shove down our throats, I feel it necessary to implant myself in the opposition to make sure I am still thinking for myself. And while doing so, I figure I ought to provide that other perspective to those who have probably had the same agreeable conversation with eachother not wanting look like the lone fool who actually owns a different opinion. In the end, I will like what I like because I like it. I think it’s just as stupid for someone to like (dislike) something ONLY because its’s unpopular (popular), just as much as for someone to like something ONLY because it’s popular. So don’t call me a hipster because I rag on shit that gets too much praise, and I won’t call you a poser for liking shit that isn’t all that great in the first place. But in the end, I’d still rather be different and labeled a hipster than be the same black frame wearing (mine are prescription) dancing clown (only on the dance floor) that safely fits in with the crowd.
Oh yea, here’s some new hip hop shit I didn’t get a chance to put out this weekend….
Wale – Purple Swag Freestyle (right click, save-as to DL)
N.O.R.E. – Lehhhgooo (ft. Busta Rhymes, Game & Waka Flocka Flame) (right click, save-as to DL)
J. Cole – Grew Up Fast (right click, save-as to DL)
Schoolboy Q – Blessed (ft. Kendrick Lamar) (right click, save-as to DL)
Big K.R.I.T. – Moon & Stars (Clams Casino remix) (right click, save-as to DL)
Outkast – Royal Flush (ft. Raekwon) (Urban Noize remix) (right click, save-as to DL)
Wifey Wednesday: Lights Over Paris ft Game & Ty$ & YG, Matt & Kim ft Soulja Boy & Andrew W.K., The Weeknd + Digitalism
So I had a pretty productive day today (all of which came AFTER work of course). While waiting for a phone call after work, I stopped in the Sears around the corner and decided to do a little spontaneous shopping. Ended up spending a total of $80 while coming out with 5 new shirts. That’s bargain shopping right there boys and girls. Solid shit too though. Who knew Sears’ young men’s section was like a giant Zumies sales rack? After that I got a couple mile run in, gave myself a haircut (someone’s gonna have to check my neck line out though, shit’s gotta be fucked), and now I’m getting my daily blog post WHILE cooking dinner. Hold up, gotta check on my mac n cheese….
Mmmm, spirals are like a delicacy. I read an article today on HuffPost about how there may be underlying psychological issues at play in adults who are extremely picky eaters, often relying only on the foods they ate as children. While I do still love hot dogs and mac n cheese, I really think the only underlying factor in my case is that I’m just fuckin lazy and can’t cook for shit. Moving on….
I’m also trying to catch the end of the Sox game tonight, so I don’t have time to write a whole bunch about these songs individually. If I had cable in my new crib, that wouldn’t be an issue. I’m still up in the air if I wanna get it or not. On the one hand, 90% of television programs actually make you 100% dumber. Plus I wouldn’t be on this blog-post-per-day tear had I the luxury of sitting on my ass getting dumber. On the other hand, I don’t know how long I can keep up this pay-per-view like bar tab every time the Sox game is on. Shit, the Tribe just took the lead. I gotta get to the bar around the corner, I’ll be back….why am I talking to myself right now?
(2 hours later)
Damn. Well, at least the Twins came through for us. Thome coming up big. This blog is about music right? Alright, well let’s get to it…
I’m not a gangsta, I just keep it.
(sidenote: no one could figure out Ty$’s name so now he’s decided to go ahead and spell it all the way out. Sucks dude. That was so fucking gangsta before)
Converse got this thing where they put together a group of random artists and make a track together. Last year was Cudi and some other fools. This shit actually kinda works…I still don’t condone anyone listening to Soulja Boy though (smh at memories of myself “crankin that” on the dance floor back in college. Fuck it, I still killed that shit)
“Till you’re use to my face, and my mystery fades….I gotchu”….new mixtape “Thursday” coming soon!
I don’t know. Snatched this shit off Earmilk today, just kinda diggin the vibe.
(MP3): Digitalism – 2 Hearts
Weekend Rap Up: Trae The Truth ft Lupe, Big Boi, Wale & Wiz, Drake, G-Eazy, Game ft Dr. Dre & Snoop, STS + Rockie Fresh ft Tayyib Ali
Damn, I don’t know how I missed this in early July. Oh yea I do, I wasn’t paying attention to shit. Anyway, props to dude Bo-ski for puttin me on. Whoooooooooaaaaaaaaaaaaooooohhh, im on! I know you recognize that sample…..c’mon Mark Morrison – Return of the Mack! Although it looks like they couldn’t get the rights to the real sample from Mark, but luckily MDMA did a damn good job of jocking the Mack’s style. Check out this all-star lineup, shit’s crazy! Too many quotables in this one to be able to single one out.
I’ve said it before, but I respect Drake because of his self-awareness. Complacency is a common enemy for many of us. It’s easy to get comfortable with something, even if you’re walking a tightrope just waiting for something to knock you down into what could be an abyss. I know I gotta remind myself quite frequently of my strengths and more importantly, weaknesses to make sure I keep myself in a good place. Rappers gotta do the same thing before they lose it all. Although drake only has one album out so far, so he must really be full of himself if he’s ALREADY struggling to keep that hunger alive.
“I might be too strung out on compliments, overdosed on confidence
started not to give a fuck, and stop fearin’ the consequence
drinking every night because we drink to my accomplishments
faded way too long, I’m floatin’ in and outta consciousness”
(MP3): Drake – Headlines
(MP3): G-Eazy – Make-Up Sex
“And I don’t love these hoes, so if they don’t go then girl you gotta say bye
and at the end I hope they see that I’ma be me when they don’t understand why”
Let’s NOT get high off something, let’s get DETOX! Wtf Dre? As a huge consolation, this one is courtesy of Game’s upcoming album release Infrared. Always interested in new shit from Jayceon though, and you know Dre and Snoop gonna bring a lotta hype.
Weekend Rap Up: DJ Khaled ft Drake, Lil Wayne & Rick Ross, XV, Game ft Trey Songz, Jay Daniles ft Royce Da 5’9”, Mickey Factz + Slaine
DJ Khaled did it again. This beat is toooo nasty. I’ll definitely be rocking out to this one on repeat for the next couple of weeks. Rick Ross (whuh!) and Lil Wayne do what they do, but Drake really is that dude. No one man should have all that talent.
Love this remix right here. I wasn’t a huge fan of the beat on the original, but that’s just the beauty of a remix. XV is the real deal, man. Even when he makes a song dedicated to drinking and smoking, he starts it off with a line that makes you look at the reasons for it all instead of simply glorifying a life of partying.
I post most of the Game joints I hear because he keeps it realer than most. I’m sure you can tell by the title, this one really isn’t on that deeper level. Just another jam calling out some women on there ho-ish ways. That’s definitely not to say he’s not still keeping it real. Good beat. Good hook. Solid joint.
Now we’re getting into my shit right here. Hip Hop about life. You know, real life. Not the image of a fantasy life “we” as consumers seem to be obsessed with. Are any of us are really living the good life ALL the time? Do any of us have the luxury of partying everyday of our lives without regret? And how many of us fuck models all the time (ever)? And I know none of us can treat money like toilet paper because we just made $50,000 just for showing up. Funny thing is, most of the time neither do these rappers. For some reason though, that seems to be all the people wanna hear. So they simply deliver the order, fiction and all.
Getting back to the songs though, you know I’m feeling this dude up next. Statik Selektah kills this shit with the instrumental but Slaine brings the reflective rhymes to make it the jam it is. I really, really like this song. Although I am slightly biased towards my fellow micks…
“I ain’t no guinea driving around in a Coupe de Ville
I’m an Irish alcoholic staring with the ruthless grill”
“I try not to hate, continue showing love
And keep on showing love when no one does”
Mickey always keeps it real. And again he’s just thinking out loud in this one. Now, no one person is the same. But I gotta believe there is a different breed of people (on a smaller scale, rappers) who can’t seem to ignore the things that are wrong with the world around them. It’s kind of like a curse almost. Like even when things are going good, there are still things that could, and should, be better that need to be addressed. Or is that just called idealism?
“I’m scared of life, how do I deal wit it
I guess I’ll take a mic, and just reveal wit it”
Going off what I was I was saying earlier, I actually prefer listening to songs about the artists’ struggles before they “make it” and then the money and the lifestyle takeover. At which point it is possible that they may not have much more to talk about other than their…..what’s the opposite of struggles?
What do I remember from my sophomore year of college? I remember I had a great fucking time AND stayed out of trouble. I can absolutely say with certainty that second semester, when I lived with my boys Estes and Sened in room 11 of the Frat, I had the time of my life. I’d say at least 4-5 nights a week, if you were coming back to the house from work/booty at 3-4 am, you would hear us wangin’ on your up the front porch. Literally, same songs every night. Great fucking semester. Already, I have a terrible memory. This particular semester (on top of the rest of college) definitely did not enhance that ability to recall either. Still, these songs bring me right back. Living without a care in the world, and loving it.
I can’t say enough about Big K.R.I.T. He epitomizes what Hip Hop should be. Thankfully with K.R.I.T., it’s looking more and more like what it will be. We’ll never lose the ringtone rappers, because Americans really like to drink and party, and a hard beat with mindless lyrics is the best way to get it in. I’m not trying to act like I don’t enjoy that either, but I appreciate and enjoy the opposite much more and just want people to recognize that this is what Hip Hop really is. By the way, I still don’t understand why people are so infatuated with other people’s riches….I find the monologue at the beginning of this song ironic in that K.R.I.T. dispels the notion described by an A/R but still speaks really fast to make sure you know what he’s all about within the first 20 seconds of the song.
Game is another real rapper whom I thoroughly enjoy listening to because of his perspective on life and rap. Yeah, his perspective on life is slightly different than mine because of the way he came up, but why should that mean I can’t get into it and still share some views? It’s like if you’re interested in sociology and the study of other cultures, these songs are your study guides. And then you have Yelawolf who grew up in poverty as well, actually homeless up until a couple years ago. Both dudes represent stories of adversity, hard work and success.
I don’t know enough about these guys yet to really figure out who the mastermind behind the production is, but dudes make JAMS. Seems to me like just a couple college kids enjoying the shit out of life right now, while providing good music for everyone else to enjoy the shit out of along with them. I see big things in the future for these guys.
What is rap when you really break it down? It’s poetry over instrumentals. Some are better poets than others. Some poets you can relate to and actually find inspiration in. This is what I look for in Hip Hop. Ironic that I just found this guy the day after I started applying to go back to school. Made the mistake the first time in trying to get a degree in something I thought would make me marketable in order to find a job to make money. I’m a little older now and know what I’m really meant to do, and could really give a fuck what kind of money I make….Both songs come off EP “A Piece of Mine.”
“You can be the best at what you do
but it doesn’t matter cuz it means nothing til you’re paid.
I’d rather stay poor doing something that I love
Than to ever be rich doing something that I hate”
“Get off that plane, change your flight,
it aint too late to save your life.
You still got time to change your grind,
you don’t know what can make you shine until you try.
The lack of passion makes a man feel worthless,
so I’m forever grateful that I know my purpose”
Red Cafe is definitely an artists I thought should have blown up by now. He’s got the distinct voice, solid flow, clever punchlines, and usually really good beats. Time will tell, but I think he’s still got something in store for the mainstream. I really like this mixtape “Above the Cloudz.” Check out my favorite tracks below.
Damn. I knew today was gonna be a miserable day when it started out with the news of one of my all time favorite artist’s passing. Seriously? I won’t hear another hook by the most melodic man in hip hop history? This man could make the raunchiest lyrics sound like hymns from heaven. Akon could become a billionaire and be featured on every number one hit, every year, for the rest of his career and could never match what Nate Dogg accomplished. When Rap was at its height in the 90’s, Nate Dogg was there. Not just there, but a major catalyst. When youngsters began to infiltrate the game with hits in the 2000’s, Nate Dogg was there…making them classics. When gangsta rap died and the West Coast fell off, Nate Dogg was the only one who remained relevant. Not only did he remain relevant, but he remained true to his style; never sold out, no matter who the hook was for. His voice was one thing, but his melody was what really set him apart, in my mind. There’s not another singer who can rock the beat like him. And if anyone ever says you gotta rap, you can’t sing to be G, just bring up Nate. He wasn’t just another gangster artist who gained popularity because of the rebel mentality of the youth either. He truly was gifted musically. I probably owe my love and appreciation of Hip Hop to this man. I mean, we all fell in love with Regulate, but I literally fell in love with Hip Hop because of that song right there. I could go on for days, but I’ll just let the man speak for himself. Even though you’re gone Nate, your melodies will live on forever.