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.
Weekend Rap Up: XV & Trae The Truth, Chip Tha Ripper, Bie Maejor ft Mike Posner, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis ft Fences + Emilio Rojas
I was just thinking to myself about how I’ve been missing some new XV in my life….dude, must have read my mind, he said “okay! I’m reloaded.” Trae contributes his beast mode flow to make this a legit (internet) hit. Feelin’ XV a lot, be on the look out.
“I’m what happens when awesome and awkward merge together”
More awesomeness from XV…
Reeeeally diggin the “Nice & Slow” beat sample. Can’t tell where the vocal comes from, but I like that too. Keep it coming Chip, this shit is too damn short.
“I tell her whatever you’re use to, fucking with me is the opposite”
(MP3): Chip tha Ripper – Realer
First listen I’ve given Bei Maejor, and I’m definitely liking what I hear. Love the piano in this one, as usual, and Mikey Pose does his thing well. But dude is gettin a little ahead of himself with the JT comparison. Whoa, dude.
Just discovered this Emilio cat when he appeared on K.R.I.T.’s latest mixtape “Last King 2” and it made me want to do some more investigating. Check what I found.
Here’s the remix, plus video to Macklemore’s “Otherside.” Another one I can’t get enough of right now. I love the real thought behind the actual “real talk.”
“Now he just wanted to act like them, he just wanted to rap like him”
“The black-white rift stands at the very center of American history. It is the great challenge to which all our deepest aspirations to freedom must rise. If we forget that — if we forget the great stain of slavery that stands at the heart of our country, our history, our experiment — we forget who we are, and we make the great rift deeper and wider.” – Ken Burns
I don’t understand people who can’t show empathy. I thought it was just a given, if you’ve been through something similar to what someone else is going through, then you empathize with them. I love being Irish. It’s why I’m blue collar til’ I die, and why I’ll forever be rebellious. It’s the reason I’ll forever empathize with African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, Muslims, Jews, gays, and any other minority in America who has faced oppression, or who continually face ignorant prejudices. It’s the reason why I’ll almost always side with the players or workers in any labor dispute because just because you inherited a shit ton of money, doesn’t make you or your investment more important than the actual work that goes into building the business. It’s the reason why I won’t ever judge an addict who acknowledges their disease, but just doesn’t have the support, personal will power, or sense of purpose to get over the hump to recovery.
But maybe that’s not why I feel those ways. Because obviously there are other Irish, or similar previously oppressed minorities, who still do not show empathy to the struggles of others today. Maybe it’s just my father who instilled in me REAL christian-like morals and values, including love and acceptance. Maybe it’s my mother who instilled in me the the spirit of speaking my mind, no matter what other people thought. Kinda reminds me of a Common line; “Waiting for the Lord to rise, I looked into my daughters eyes and realized I’ma learn through her. The messiah might even return through her. If I’ma do it, I gotta change the world through her.”
After emigrating to America, The Irish were once called “green niggers”. For a while, when seeking work, they continually read signs stating “Irish need not apply.” Before that, they were oppressed by the English in their homeland, until their successful rebellion finally gained their independence. Yet some Irish-Americans still can’t empathize with the struggles faced by black people and other minorities in America. I realize most did not witness this themselves, but their heritage tells the tale. Some ignorantly believe that the Irish simply used hard work and their blue collar nature to get themselves out of their situation of oppression, so why can’t others? But while I do think we should empathize, I also know the situations are actually extremely different. I’m not an African-American studies major, but I do know that there is a difference between choosing to come to a new land with your family (or at least having access to them) and then being refused work because of your last name, and that of being captured and removed from your home country, enslaved in a foreign land with a culture unlike anything you’ve ever known, treated as/believed to be property, losing all sense of home and family, and THEN once someone says they can’t technically treat you as property anymore they still refuse your human rights and attack you without justice because of the color of your skin. But that was before the civil rights movement a whole 50 years ago, America isn’t racist anymore….okay. There’s no lasting effects from that, right? Just like there are no lasting effects in a girl who was raped or molested as a child as she develops into a woman. To add to the subject of empathy, the same confusion arises when black people proactively refute gay rights on the basis of religion and the bible, just as they were once persecuted. I just don’t get that shit.
This isn’t meant to be anti-American, or anti-anything for that matter. Every race, religion and nationality has ignorant, hateful, and wasteful people. But it’s the fact that we seem to turn against each other and seek out these downfalls to prove that we are different from one another/better than the other. It’s like in our hopes to attain “The American Dream,” we feel the need to bring everyone else down around us to climb over them and get to the almighty upper class. Why are we okay with money & status dictating our moral system and entire way of life? And if pointing out these facts and acknowledging America’s downfalls makes me unAmerican, then I don’t know if I want to be the opposite. Why can’t we hope to be better than we are?
“If you feel how I feel, then I rap some more”…..http://www.vernonjohns.org/vernjohns/sthimpct.html
Ok, I’m done. But I hope I made you all feel super uncomfortable while reading this. Just because it’s a touchy subject and it might seem like there’s no real solution, doesn’t mean that ignoring it is gonna accomplish anything. The most fucked up thing about me sharing this is that I second guessed myself for sharing, like my friends/co-workers would look at me differently. Fuck it, this is the shit I think about it.
Anyway, back to the music. This Macklemore dude represents everything I love about rap and the form of poetry it has evolved into. His words help provide the confidence I feel like I need to share my true feelings. I have never needed someone to look like me to be able to feel connected, but it does intensify the feeling when you are truly able to identify with the individual and their past, and not just metaphorically. This might not be for everyone, but dude can spit, real talk at that. And if you’ve been able to relate to some of the other introspective hip hop I’ve posted in the past, I think you’ll be just as pleased with one of my new favorite rappers, and Irish brother, Macklemore. This is the realest shit I’ve heard since Joe Budden’s Mood Music series, plus some. I guess this shit is way back from ’09. But like I always say, better late than never.
“I was put here to do something before I’m lying in that casket
I’d be lying on the beat if I said I didn’t know what that is
The world’s a stage and we play a character, I found him
It took me twenty something years and a bunch of shitty soundchecks”
Weekend Rap Up: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Mac Miller, Styles P ft Busta & Rick Ross, Yonas, ASAP Rocky + Joell Ortiz & Joe Budden
Literally got something for every type of hip hop fan this week. I’m gonna pop this shit off with the Seattle native Macklemore who brought us the creative “Wings”, which was featured on the funk several months ago. This time Mack takes on a hypnotizing beat that literally can’t be withheld under any ceiling. Currently on repeat.
Of course a cosign from Donald Trump, claiming him the next Eminem, brings Mac Miller to the top of the rap game….smh. Anyway, this is his first single from his debut LP. I kinda dig it, but still don’t see this lifting him to any sort of mainstream success. But what the fuck do I know about mainstream? Funny, one of his lines states “these losers always going with whats trendy,” when trendy is kinda how I feel about Mac’s popularity.
This one is for my boy Eder who’ll be taking his John Wall flex out to thee Ohio State to get his graduate academic on. Gonna miss arguing about Rick Ross and all that “hard” shit in the rap game. Fuck hard, this shit his harsh. Hwuh! But seriously, thanks for the support despite the fact most of my material is soft as baby wipes. Respect.
Aloe Blacc’s “I Need A Dollar” was in instant classic in my book. I don’t think I’ve heard an interpretation/remix that I haven’t fell in love with. This one of course, is no different. Don’t get too lost in the sample though, cause Yonas delivers true story through rhyme you ought to pay attention to.
(MP3): Yonas – I Need A Dollar
This dude ASAP Rocky has been making some noise over the world wide web the past couple months so I thought I’d catch ya’ll up if you haven’t heard from him. Not my favorite type of rap, not even close. But I’m not too smug to say I still don’t enjoy a couple joints like this in my rotation to change up from the usual conscious shit. Like he says right from the start, “this is for my niggaz getting high on the regular.”
(MP3): ASAP Rocky – Purple Swag
(MP3): ASAP Rocky – Peso
Talk about switching up, this is that conscious shit I was talking about. I talk about how powerful rap can be, and Joell is a perfect example. Any rapper can tell a story. Even ASAP Rocky is telling a real story in the songs above. But only a select few rappers can, and are willing to, deliver the story behind the story. It’s a story that isn’t told enough, and when it is, seems like no one really listens. Reminds me of a tragically dark tale told by Joe Budden. Take the time to really listen to them while I think about how much I miss 2pac.
Honestly, i think the hardest thing to get into if you’re not a big hip hop fan is underground rap. mostly because the beats are very chill, simple, and made to accentuate the lyrics. These are not always the most pleasing to the ears, especially to the typical music listener. But I understand, its hard to really get into a song if you don’t like the beat. Here’s the solution. I don’t know about you, but i could listen to this shit all day, regardless of the content. DJ Juke does a number on this onetime lyrical record, and turns it into a head-nodding lyrical banger. Gotta love the DJs
Heres another good example of what a Remix makeover can do for a track. Producer Brenton Duvall mixes this Tayyib Ali record over his original instrumental featuring MJ’s PYT. Good shit for sure.
This one’s more of the traditional underground style. All about the lyrics. The very beginning of this song, the lyrics really got to me, thinking in terms of hoop dreams. But fairly quickly I realized it was a much deeper story than that. This is a really good introspective look at some negative aspects of our cultures preoccupation with fashion and brand names. Most notably, Nikes. For me, I liked whatever I thought was cool, and more importantly, what my parents would buy for me. Didn’t even own any Jordans until I was in college.
Here’s a couple of my favorites:
Pippen’s Nike Air Uptempo
Nike Air Penny’s II
And of course AI and Rebook’s Question