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50 Cent Hates Fat People

Posted by Elijah on February 5, 2009

Who could ever get tired of this cover? Oh, that's right. Everybody.

Who could ever get tired of this cover? Oh, that's right. Everybody.

No, seriously, think about that shit. Think it the fuck over.

We all remember how when Fiddy was still going at Ja (ha! Ja Rule a star, what a ridiculous idea!) he went all out at Jadakiss and Fat Joe too just for doing a song with ol’ Jeffrey Zuko by way of one of the ugliest videos ever. But of the three he dissed (Nas came up too), which one did he just not ever, ever let up on? Which one did he rail against with fat joke after fat joke, even when the man had “Fat” right in his goddamn name? Sure, sure, maaaaybe 50 really pushed the beef with Joe, who has admitted to never having exchanged any words with 50 in person, because Kiss and Nas are stronger rappers, but that possibility undermines my point. So fuck it.

The point is, it ain’t just Rawwwws (fuck that “Rickyyyy” shit, Curtissss is just trying to turn things around). Back when Fiddy did “How To Rob” (man, remember hungry 50 Cent? and how he was still boring?) he dissed everyone, but he reserved a special barb for Big Pun’s weight, which, to be fair, was as cheap a shot as… well, I was gonna say something about the broad side of a barn, but that’s a cheap shot too. And if we move back up to nowadays, I sure as shit don’t remember seeing any shitty cartoons or baby-mama-drama or shitty photoshops (see Fat Joe) about Kanye or Weezy or Cam’Ron even Game, all of whom he’s taken shots at over the last few years.

Also, why Khaled if not a fat-phobia? And why, out of all of G-Unit, is Yayo especially Fiddy’s demeaned little Henchman (no Jimmy Henchman)? And let’s not forget that M.O.P ended up leaving the Unit partly because 50 insisted on getting them in shape.

Yeah. That’d work.

So, what does it all come down to? Other than envy over the size of man-tits? Well, I’m glad you asked. You know how of all people in this world, the ones who are the absolute meanest to big girls — with no humor or sarcasm behind it, just straight malevolence — are the skinny chicks? The ones who starve themselves or work out like crazy to keep from becoming the fat girl that they all think they teeter on the brink of becoming?

You have your answer. Makes you feel a little sorry for Fiddy, doesn’t it? He’s just insecure and upset, and he needs to work through his issues like anyone else: by dancing around the kitchen table, singing with his best girlfriends, and launching an all-out media blitz against someone he barely knows.

Sniff.

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Posted in east, south | Leave a Comment »

“I Had A Dream That I Was Broke, Woke Up Rich…”

Posted by drmilktrain on January 9, 2009

Are we getting nostalgic for the beginning of the new millenium already?

“Crack A Bottle” Eminem feat. Dr. Dre & 50 Cent

Easily the first big superstar single to drop ’09, it can’t help but feel like it’s 10 years old…and I mean that in the worst way possible. Purposefully cartooney, knowingly obnoxious…they were aware that “My Name Is…” was not the reason anyone enjoyed The Slim Shady LP, correct?

The beat sounds like Dr. Dre attempted to score an episode of Magilla Gorilla and Em’s hook sounds like he might have taken the tune straight from some Hanna Barbera shit anyway.

The rapping’s pretty pedestrian…which is a shame given these three. Let me modify that: lyrically, flowwise, everyone fairs pretty awfully. Lyrically, however, the rapping’s pretty pedestrian. There’s not a single line from this track that sticks out, and for a trio that’s been known to offend the socks off of middle-aged, middle-classed white women, the fact that no one’s really trying to say anything…well, it’d break my heart if I cared more.

And let’s be honest. My interest in Eminem has alway been pretty par with my interest in porn after I’ve shook one. And I don’t think I’ve ever peeped a song because of a “feat. Dr. Dre” tagged on. So really, that leaves me with little to talk about other than Fif.

I’ll give Curtis the award for sounding the most comfortable on the track. It’s clear Eminem still hasn’t really figured out what he’s doing with himself now that he’s poised to be in the spotlight again. And Dr. Dre doesn’t sound out of place, but when someone else gives you your rhymes and your flow, it’s hard to sell it like it’s your own. Fifty doesn’t really say anything spectacular on the song, but I enjoyed his, pardon my French, “swag” well enough that I thought I’d peep what else he’s been up to recently.

“Get It In” 50 Cent (Produced by “Dr. Dre”)

Ah, here we go. This is more of what I suspected, the Ferrari F50 on cruise control. There’s absolutely nothing spectacular happening here. The whole chant part in the middle about drinks, the sung chorus, the Scott Storch Dr. Dre beat that was probably going to be for a Yayo or Banks album, the corny ass club brags…call those cliches vitamins, beacuse this is clearly Formula 50 (hey-yo!). 

“Heartless Monster” 50 Cent

And then there’s the 50 Cent that I absolutely love. Half of this track is him rapping. Quite well. Ignorant ass line after ignorant ass line. I don’t care how many times he drops that “Have a baby by your baby momma/ Nigga we family” line, I’ll laugh everytime. And I’m kinda glad ‘Ye outsold him, because now Fif’ll never stop taking shots at him.  

And then Fifty does what he likes to do over a lot of mixtape tracks- he stops rapping and just starts talking shit. Straight shit. When 50 realizes he’s the biggest rapping asshole in the game since Diddy ’98, the man’s untouchable. We need more of this. Now.

P.S. Eli, let me know how it feels to have Curtis shout out the Bay Area at the beginning of the track.

 

Bonus: For 50 just nonstop rhyming over some old 70’s songs, be sure to peep his mixtape from ’08, Sincerely Yours, Southside.

Posted in east | 3 Comments »

Ay!

Posted by Elijah on December 5, 2008

Oh yeah! Petro hating on Busta (who was, in all seriousness, my favorite rapper a decade ago) reminded me of this:

Now, I won’t even get into the weird racism of this song, but am I the only one who noticed that the very morning this was released to the intertron, the video was scored with the song’s normal version. That was at, say, 7:30 Eastern Standard Time. By 9:30, the chours had been changed, unceremoniously, to “Ar(rolled r)ab Money” instead of the original, and more offensive, “Ay-rab Money.” Seriously, am I the only one pathetic enough to have paid attention that early and noticed this?

As to whether the song itself is offensive or not… uh, well Khaled’ s in the video, if that means anything. Although that (decidedly non-black) motherfucker drops n-bombs like it’s his goddamn job (which… I guess it is). Well, at least it’s a better stereotype than the ones most of America has about Middle Eastern people. Hooray.

Posted in east | 2 Comments »

I Keeps It Really Real Like My Last Album

Posted by Elijah on July 26, 2007

Just a little somethin’ somethin’.

I know it’s just some a capellas matched with a different beat, but this fits too damn well (I wonder if there’s an mp3). While I won’t even try to compare this to the original version of “Ha”–which has an entirely different appeal–I will venture to say that this is far better than either of the “Ha” remixes from Juvenile’s first album. Not that that’s a hard threshold to reach. This beat’s 9 years old and I could still listen to it over and over again every day, no matter who’s on it.

And man, this makes me wish that we could get an actual Grand Puba, Mannie Fresh collabo… strange as that would be. (Clearly the song would be about pussy.)

Posted in east, south, west | 5 Comments »

You Should Rap Like This, You Should Rap Like That

Posted by Elijah on July 15, 2007


Talib Kweli – “Hostile Gospel”

Talib Kweli – “Country Cousins” featuring UGK

Talib Kweli – “In the Mood”

Talib Kweli – “More Or Less” featuring Dion

Talib Kweli – “Oh My Stars” featuring Musiq Soulchild
Eardrum, 2007

I know I’ve been gone awhile, and the game’s been missing me (just play along, ok?) so I apologize. I guess there just hasn’t been much in rap music that’s really grabbed me recently—sure, I’ve liked the odd single here and there (can’t get “Krispy” outta my head) but shit, I haven’t even gotten together the energy to listen to T.I. vs. T.I.P. yet, or even that new Kardinal mixtape that I’m actually excited about. The problem is, as shit piles up I end up feeling less entitled to listen to whatever’s new before I plow through all that other stuff. But, when I… copped (yeah, that’s it) the Eardrum advance the other day I just decided fuck it, I’d listen to it right away and stop burying myself under a gang of “to-listen” lists.

I hadn’t even been particularly excited about Eardrum, as the heroes of my old backpacker days had been pretty steadily disappointing over the last few years, and my own tastes have moved on real far. But I tried to give the new Kweli a chance, and it ended up surprising me a bit. On “Say Something” he spits “They say I’m back, but I ain’t go nowhere”… uh, Kweli, yes you did, but thankfully Eardrum is a return to form… but I’m not sure it’s a form I care about anymore.

“I smack internet MC’s and beat bloggers”? Eh, better than being smacked by a ho at a G-Unit party. Ok, that was too easy, but I’ve got it out of my snarky, internet-addled system now, so let’s move on.

It’s hard to go back to a past version of myself that would hate who I’ve become insofar as music tastes are concerned. If my high school, backpacker self could see my current Weezy-jocking, “Wipe Me Down”-singing, immensely-annoyed-by-Mos Def self he would be shocked and appalled. But I decided to try to channel that version of me a little bit, because it was back then that I loved Talib Kweli. Truth be told, I was a major stan.

I’ve changed alot since then, but I do still bump Black Star, Reflection Eternal, and Kweli’s first album a good deal. So the question becomes, can Kweli do anything for me without the nostalgia factor involved? Short answer: yes, but I didn’t like this album anywhere near as much as I would have a few years ago. His beat selection’s improved, and he’s still doing that “unfocused but conscious” thing that Noz hates so much, but he’s doing it well again, in my opinion. The record didn’t make too big an impression, but it was a good listen.

Things start off with the unsurprisingly low-key “Everything Man” where he laments how he can’t be everything to everyone… thank God, this means he’s back to his niche. But things really start to pick up with the Just Blaze produced “Hostile Gospel”. The song’s got some nice bombast and isn’t particularly about anything, and it works. It’s also an example of the album’s main problem–in beats and rhymes the song’s good, but there’s nothing that’ll really stick in your mind either. You won’t be singing the hook, you won’t be quoting the lyrics.

“Country Cousins” brings in a bootleg Pharrell singer to spice things up, along with UGK of course. I make no secret of loving UGK, but I think this is actually one of Kweli’s best performances on the record. Maybe having the southern trailblazers there helps to even out the nostalgia so it doesn’t turn into “grumpy old man rap” (which is its own sub-genre). A chill guitar driven, country-ass track doesn’t hurt either.

Kweli, of course, goes deep into some conscious rap territory. I would’ve eaten up the “feed the kids” laced “Eat To Live” once upon a time, but now it all comes across as a little tired. Could be worse though. It’s followed by “In the Mood”, which picks up the pace a good deal. I liked this track, actually. A good vibe. But then after that comes “Soon the New Day”, which has to feature motherfucking Norah Jones. Sigh. This story of one night stands and their upsides and downsides still would’ve worked, despite the added singer, if Talib hadn’t felt the need to put in some fucking ridiculous cultural references here and there. Larry the Cable Guy, Kweli? Really? Is that what’s up in the streets right now?

The major highlight of the album’s second half comes in the form of “More Or Less”, which is a reunion with Hi-Tek. It has some similarities to the earlier mentioned Just Blaze track though… so that probably says something. It’s followed by “The Perfect Beat” which features KRS-One. Goddammit, why couldn’t these two have made a song seven years ago when I was a cornball and they were my favorite MCs? It’s not a bad collaboration, but the title is awfully strange for a pair of rappers whose major failing in recent years has been beat selection. Of course, they’re not actually talking about the beat… to talk about the actual track is far beneath such men. (That only happens on, gasp, dance songs!)

“Hot Thing” is ok, but loverman never fit Kweli that well… oh, and bootleg Pharrell is back. But then that leads to “Oh My Stars” featuring Musiq Soulchild. Even with Blake’s favorite on the hook, this is, unsurprisingly, the corniest shit ever. So I’ve included it for ya’ll. I could see being into this if I was in just the right mood… but there are better such songs. Thankfully, the record ends on a good note with “Listen!!!” (regrettably missing a DJ Khaled cameo). I thought that Kwame had been dragged out of retirement to produced this, but a Wikipedia search showed that he’s been racking up production credits recently–few of them good. Nonetheless, he brings a good track with a well-used vocal sample (those always get me).

All together, a good listen, a nice reminder of the Kweli of old, but nothing that will really stay with you. You might see me walking down the New York streets in a nostalgic backpacker-ish mood, with a fake beard and dark glasses… and when that time comes, I might just be bumpin’ this.

Posted in east | 7 Comments »

Whistle: The Saga Begins

Posted by Elijah on June 11, 2007


Whistle – “Rest In Peace”

Whistle – “Just Buggin'”

Whistle – “Barbera’s Bedroom”
Whistle, 1986

Whistle Week concludes!

What better way to end a week that began with a Star Wars parody then back at the beginning? Today we cover the self-titled Whistle, otherwise known as where it all started. (No idea what “it” is, though.)

Since I was the first one of us to think of downloading a Whistle album, I was the one lucky enough to get the first, and by far most tolerable, of their records. First of all, it has the utterly bizarre “Just Buggin'” which I elaborated on before, and which is most assuredly the highlight of their catalogue.

But don’t get it twisted, these fools were churning out softbatch R&B from day one, apparently. The 10-song album breaks down like this…

Tracks 1-3: rap, tracks 4-5: R&B (with love in the title of both), track 6: nonsense rap, track 7: weak instrumental, track 8: R&B, track 9: 12″ version of previous R&B track, track 10: 8 minute reprise of same R&B track that ends with a skit where a chick punches one of the rappers in the mouth.

Yeah, that’s a recipe for a classic right there.

Anyway, the album starts off with “Rest In Peace” which is the hardest Whistle ever gets. I guess it’s their attempt at mid 80’s shout-rap, because they yell over a shitty guitar riff about how:

“And if you don’t like the party and you start to beef,
Then we’ll make sure you REST IN PEACE!”

and…

“Attention! Let’s face the facts,
And if you don’t want to listen we’ll break your back,
‘Cause we’re Whistle (goofy-ass whistle sound) and we’re that bad!”

Well, they are from Brooklyn, so can their yelling threats of violence over a guitar be seen as an M.O.P precursor maybe? I suppose anything’s possible.

But if you think the lyrics to that one are lackluster, good lord you should hear the lone rap cut of the second half, “Just For Fun” (which still has a sung chorus).

“We like to go to the beach and eat peanut butter!
Then we wash it down with some pina colada!
If the temperature rrrrises we won’t get hotter!
If we do we’ll jump in the water!”

Now, granted, this sounds like it could be some fun silly shit, but trust me, these motherfuckers yell it with serious, almost angry, conviction. It’s really, really strange.

Oh, but that’s just the rap my friends, as my colleagues have already made plain, these fools sing too. Thankfully, this first record only has one syrupy, painful ballad, which is the mercifully 4 minute long “Chance For Our Love”. I won’t subject ya’ll to it, don’t worry. The album’s real centerpiece is, of course, “Just Buggin'”, but I feel like if Whistle had had it their way it would’ve been “Barbera’s Bedroom”. The whole thing is basically “holy shit, I fucked this chick, but don’t tell her that I told you!” and so it comes across real pathetic. It’s kinda bouncy though, and rather fun to laugh at what a fucking loser the guy is being.

Did it need three versions? Hell no, but it is fun to hear a rapper who started the album threatening to make you “rest in peace” get punched in the face for spreading stories about a woman who he probably didn’t even sleep with in the first place. Oh, and let’s not forget that he (or one of them) spends the album’s middle cut begging “pleeeeease love meeeee.”

So, what did we learn from Whistle Week? What great lesson did this specific concentration of ours teach us and, by proxy, you the reader? Umm, there’s always been shitty rap songs, and rappas ternt sangas have always been a bad look.

Oh, and Whistle sucks. I promise ya’ll some good music next time.

Posted in east | 2 Comments »

Herein lies the legacy of Whistle’s "Transformation"

Posted by youngtro on June 11, 2007

“Best” Track-Hello Skeezer

Worst Track-Mirror of Love

Bleh. This whole Whistle Week thing was a fun idea when we were simply bandying it about and making fun of the shitty music we were casually skimming over. But now that I have to actually delve into this shithole that is their second album, I find myself regretting constantly for going along with all this. However, I have an obligation to fulfill, so dammit I’m gonna do it.

So here we are at Whistle’s second album, which is entitled “Transformation”. I’m assuming the album title is in reference to the group’s movement towards R&B and away from hip-hop, which is strange for a couple reasons:
For one, the album is a split between this “new” R&B Whistle and the “old” Hip-Hop Whistle, though there is actually more time spent on the album doing Whistle’s equivalent of Hip-Hop rather than the R&B crooning that makes up the first five songs.
Secondly, I’m pretty sure they were doing this stuff on the first album too, though I’ll have to wait on Eli’s review to be certain, so I don’t know how much of a “transformation” was taking place, especially since none of the lyrics on the title track make any reference to any of this, but more on that stuff in a minute.

First, let me tell you now that none of this shit is any good at all. The album divides itself into two halves, which I would call “Bad and Worse” if the worst stuff wasn’t actually at the beginning. All of the R&B joints suck rightous testicles, whether they are more uptempo like Falling in Love or Is this Love (notice a trend in these song titles) or ballads like Right Next to Me, Still My Girl, or the especially heinous Mirror of Love, they all exemplify the same thing. These guys aren’t especialy good singers, and their songwriting is glossy schlock of the most pussified variety. The worst offender of this lot, and therefore of the album, is certainly the aforementioned Mirror of Love. All the ballads were excruciating, but this one makes it worse by bringing in an especially shitty female singer to “duet” with whoever is singing on this song that is actually from Whistle (that’s another thing, as far as I can tell these guys, as indistinguishable as they are when rapping, just sound like one damn person when the singing is going on), and some truly atrocious synth lines are added to the mix, which only make the lyrics about how “the mirror of love is cracked” pour salt into the open wound that is this song. Good lord.

So, nothing else really to be said about the other R&B tracks other than that they are minutely more tolerable than Mirror of Love, we move on to the Hip-Hop half of the album, and…Surprise! It sucks balls too. It’s all bunch of sub-Run DMC style brag rapping about how good either they or their DJ (who gets his own tribute song on One and Only) are, or just talk about trying to get with chicks that will later do them wrong on the R&B joints. It all blows, but more in a “god this is really fucking boring” kind of way rather than the “writhing in pain and tearing at my eardrums” kind of way the first half did. It also seems like the band ran out of material, since all of the songs run between 4-5 minutes until last two songs, which run at two-and-a-half and one-and-a-half minutes respectively, the final track And This is True (what is true you ask? That they are Whistle apparently, since that’s all I was told in this song), just features one of the rappers (maybe Doobie, which was the only name I could pick out, they’re all just as bad as each other) giving a terribly stilted rap about his idea of what rap is, over a track that is a mesh of horribly awkard soul singers, an especially loud snare drum, and some random electric guitar lines put in for no discernable reason.

Which brings me to the production, and I think you know by now what I’m gonna say about it. Let me just say this: with one exception, there is an loud, incredibly dated snare drum sound in every song, no matter what kind it may be (the one exception is Right Next to Me, which has enough vomit-inducing string sections to make up for it), the DJ-ing, in spite of what the boys might tell you, is not impressive. These are all mostly your typical old-school rap stuff, with some bongos thrown in on B-Boy, which I would say would be the best production on the album, though that’s not saying much. I guess the best track would have to be the two-and-a-half minute Hello Skeezer, which is just the guys talking about these women (who are the skeezers here), but it gets best track because it’s shorter than the others without being insufferably annoying like the final cut is.

Look, I’ve already written more on this album than I did on Outkast’s infinitely better debut, and that’s just a waste. It sucks, don’t buy it, Whistle is a horrible group that will hopefully never see the light of day again. I’ll give this bitch the 2 out of 10 she so richly deserves, it’d be a 1 but the second side isn’t quite as heinous as the first.

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Whistle Wheek Episode 1: The Empire Strikes Whack

Posted by drmilktrain on June 10, 2007

Tell me, what’s your biggest complaint about Andre3000?
Alright, what about Lauryn Hill?
Cee-Lo Green?
T-Pain?

Exactly, they were all phenomenal rappers who have all but abandoned the form for singing (although reports tell me T-Pain is planning a move back to rapping, so fans worry not).

Bring in Whistle.

From all accounts, the group had been rather conflicted about whether to sing or rap since their debut, but Eli could probably tell you more about that. As their career moved further and further along, their ties with rapping became greatly lessened. Always and Forever, their third studio album released in 1990 reads like a textbook on how to make an incredibly forgettable r&b album. When your lead single, and album title, is a direct cover of an already popular song -Heatwave’s 1978 single “Always and Forever,”-one can quickly guess how enjoyable the rest of the album will be.

Whistle-“Always and Forever”

To be fair, “Always and Forever” is easily the best song of the front half of the album. Whistle lacks both the ability to write a catchy song and to sing well, so aping someone else’s melody is a good look. The first half of the album, literally the first 5 tracks out of the 10, are all painfully slow love ballads, or “love” ballads I should say. Songs like “Whatever Happened 2 Us 2” and “Do You Still Care” show how inept Whistle can be at holding down a woman.

Whistle-“Bad Habit”

The sixth track on the album, “Bad Habit” kicks off the “New Jack Swing” half of the album. Just about as unremarkable as the first half, I at least found these upbeat numbers to be a little more listenable than as they don’t really rely on Whistle’s ability to be skilled singers. Much like the first half however, asking me to distinguish one song from the next, with a few notable exceptions becomes quite the daunting task. “Bad Habit” distinguishes itself from the rest of the tracks by containing the only rapped verse on the whole album, one of the tracks samples Flavor Flav and “Geesed” gets points for introducing me to a new slang term.

Whistle-“Geesed”

Ultimately though, the back half falls victim to the same ills of the fron half. Whistle is still a group of lousy singers, and their songs are mad soft. “Acting Like You Love Me” and “Geesed” still show how women always manage to get the better of Whistle, and honestly, that’s not what I really want to hear from my R&B.
In a year of monster R&B hits like “Real Love,” “Rhythm Nation,” “It Never Rain (In Southern California)” and um…”Poison,” such mediocre, unimportant drivel is highly inexcusable and unforgivable.

Considering the lack of reviews on this site, scoring this album would be arbitrary. but I’ll put it like this: out of the 10 tracks on this album, I would make love to 1 of them, and that’s only because I’ve misplaced my Best of Heatwave at the moment.

Posted in east | 3 Comments »

Beware… Whistle Week Begins!

Posted by Elijah on June 5, 2007


It’s theme-week time here at Better Than But Sex because… well, we decided.

So here’s the deal. Your boy Elijah is currently between apartments, and so for the next week or so I’ve in fact been living with Petro and Nazty Fresh, in what may have now become the Better Than Butt Sex house. (Ummmm, no… homo?) Last night we were doing what we often do; which is talk incessantly about rap music while flipping through Music Choice channels in the background to see what random fucking songs that shit decides to bless us with. Fresh decided to check the Old School channel.

We were greeted by Whistle’s “Just Buggin'”. Now maybe we’re just new jacks, but lord knows none of us had heard of motherfuckin’ Whistle (certainly didn’t seem notable enough to have a “best of” album, which is what the song was credited to) and the track itself was a frightening barrage to the senses, constructed by one of the strangest riffs ever put down. Here is said song, and the video (which we mercifully didn’t discover until later, otherwise our brains would have melted).

Dayum. And here I thought UMC’s “Blue Cheese” won the award for Strangest Video In Retrospect. Personally I found “Just Buggin'” oddly compelling in its utter strangeness, but Nazty Fresh simply couldn’t take the damn thing after too long.

Anyway, Petro did some research, but almost all he could discover about Whistle was that, apparently, their later albums were on some smoothed out R&B shit, which we simply could not reconcile with the–ahem–sound of “Just Buggin'”. So eventually the three of us decided to head on over to Albumbase our local record shop and each, er, cop one of Whistle’s three (count ’em, three) records. I think I lucked out by laying claim to the first, and probably most overall hip-hop, album of the three. It also has an eight minute opus titled “Barbera Punch Em In the Mouth” that I just can’t wait to get to.

Despite much trepidation, reviews are coming soon. And Whistle Week rolls on…

Posted in east | 1 Comment »

King of New York Alternate Reality (AKA Elijah’s worst nightmare)

Posted by drmilktrain on June 1, 2007

Going through my entire itunes library on shuffle the other day, something I seldom do (I’m a sucker for playlists), I came across this song.

Prefuse 73 feat. Aesop Rock-“Sabbatical With Options”

An interesting song, if you don’t mind Aesop Rock “delivery” or Prefuse 73’s “hip-hop production,” one line in particular caught my attention. At the 1:59 mark, Aesop spits “Tigers and bears who will hold down New York/ I will be back to reclaim if I’m bored.”

This got me to thinking, what if Aes Rock really was the king of New York? What would that entail? How would it shape the rap game?

To start this admittedly bizarre argument, we’ll need a referrence point. So, we’ll compare Aesop’s hypothetical success to once, or possibly current if that’s your thing, New York king Jay-Z, who now carries all the mainstrream appeal of Mr. Lif or Slug from Atmosphere, who themselves now carry the success of Method Man and Redman respectively.
A parallel of albums would further justify the comparison; both released crtically acclaimed albums in ’03 before taking a previously unprecedented hiatus from recording. Though Aesop Rock’s Kingdom Come, None Shall Pass, has not come out yet, the first single, also the album’s title track, will shed some light on what the new sound of New York would be.

Aesop Rock-“None Shall Pass”

Icy, dark and stripped-down, it is decreed that this is the new party sound under the rule of Rock. “None Shall Pass” would be the kind of jam one would be drooling over before it was even heard just by looking at the line-up: another Aesop Rock/Blockhead collaboration. To all you underground, backpacker nerds, think of it like when Hov and Just Blaze make some of that dull, horn-ladened, “get up and move” tediousness. Weak. Fast cars, women and booze don’t make up a party anthem. I mean, a party song about partying? How trite. Where’s the political conspiracy? The ironic pop culture referrencing? I’m pretty sure “Show Me What You Got” doesn’t even use the word “laser” once. Yawn.

A king is only as good as he is versatile. So what should the King of New York do to show that he can roll with any style? How about get behind a beat used by up-and-coming New York group Wu Tang Clan and then do a track with the king of the West Coast, Del Tha Funkee Homosapian. Now that would be fire.

Aesop Rock & Del Tha Funkee Homosapian-“Preservation”

But of course, the King isn’t all serious. I mean, anti-party party tracks and coast-to-coast chest thumping (Just listen to how proud they both sound on “Preservation.” They’re both so used to the crown that they don’t have to sound interesting or even awake anymore!), takes a lot out on the greatest spitting for the East Coast. So, what do you do for fun?

Aesop Rock feat. MF Doom & Slug-“Put Your Quarters Up”

Tracks about video games. Forget about pimping, fellas, Aesop’s got a whole new kind of game you can spit: high scores. And can we discuss that MC dream team? Number one, it’s refreshing to hear cats like Doom on the mic. All this underground hubbub about MCs that can switch flows and styles and completely “destroy” tracks (Busta Rhymes I’m looking at you) is just so corny. I think it’s great that Doom can rhyme with the same style and voice over anything you give him. That shit’s skill. And Slug, where do I start? Number one, that whole northern Midwest region is blowing up these days. I mean, Eyedea’s coming out hard. My man Brother Ali’s doing it real big and my homey P.O.S. has definitely got next. And of course Atmosphere is doing their thing. I don’t know who this “Lil Wayne” character is, but I bet he can’t spit about his personal drama like Slug can. I bet he can’t open up and reveal how he’s feeling like Slug can. And I know he can’t make an esoteric referrence to the 80’s like Slug can.

Bonus Thought: If Aesop Rock is the Jay-Z of New York, that would most certainly make El-P his Kanye West. And just like Mr. West, El-P’s a “progressive” enough artist to get down and work with artist’s that aren’t as popular as he is. As evidenced here:

El-P & Ghostface Killah-“Hide Ya Face”

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