Random Rap Songs from 2013 Pt. III
1. Action Bronson - The Rockers f/ Wiz Khalifa
Few rappers sound like they’re having as much fun making music as Action Bronson. Shit Blue Chips 2 is an exercise in not giving a fuck about anything but having fun making pseudo gangster-pimp punch-line rap over obvious, ridiculous, and nasty samples. With that said, I preferred Bam Bam’s SAAAB Stories EP with Harry Fraud, and “The Rockers” was my favorite joint. It’s one of the year’s catchiest songs with its simple repetition of the line "hit you with the drop kick, Marty Janettey". The hook bleeds into the beats nocturnal melody so naturally it summoned our collective old head nostalgia to remember the days of the WWF. Shit, I went into an internet wormhole of old wrestling clips when an OKP, made a thread about this Heartbreakin’ moment, while referencing Bronson’s hook. Wiz also does his arrogant-pothead-dweeb-flow nicely to close out the track… Bitch I’m High
2. Danny Brown - Sweeney Song
This song is named after Sweeney Kovar, a blogger who was one of the first to write about folks like Blu, Jay Electronica and Danny Brown on the net back in 07/08. He recently resurrected his old blog Classic Drug References on bandcamp for a limited release box set of songs, art, and articles that is already sold out. This track is better than 98% of Old and it was recorded two years ago. This is Danny Brown at his best swaggering between despair and a Herculean confidence in his ability as a rapper. The song is produced by Mndsgn who dropped a great LP this year called Breatharian, which I wrote about HERE. This song makes me feel like I can still write the next great American novel. CHECK!
3. Schoolboy Q - Banger (Moshpit)
In a great hour long interview with Frannie Kelly and Ali Shaheed Muhammed, Earl (and Vince Staples) said what made Q’s music so great is that he’s trying to capture the energy of a pitbull in his songs. That is absolutely what makes Q’s music so moving, and why most of his singles from 2013, from his much delayed Oxymoron, fell flat. They were all pandering and searching for that “hit” single. Yeah, “Collard Greens” got a lil’ love on L.A. radio and MTV2, but overall it and the others lacked what made Setbacks good, and Habits & Contradictions great. This Renegades produced track though is like the soundtrack to the next great American uprising, even if its that straight gangster spit. Filled with Q’s trademark ad libs and vocal spacing, “Banger” gets played loudly and repeatedly on whatever system is at my disposal. YACK YACK YACK
4. Freddie Gibbs and Madlib - Deeper
Like Ghostface, and all great hood poets before him, Gibbs behind all the coke bricks and guns, is a hopeless romantic. This song is three minutes of Gibbs pouring his henny and blunt smoke filtered heart out about a young women who left him for a square schoolboy. I mean I’ve never heard some one speak so blahzay-ly about some one trying to be an astronaut, #comedy. Ol’ gurl got her degree and aint down with the lo-lows and drug sales no’mo’, and she preggo, and Gibbs hurt about it. Over Lib’s emotive strings, muffled drums, and vocal chop, this shit is timeless, or as Gibbs would say, SLAMMIN #turkeybacon
5. Jay Z - Oceans f/ Frank Ocean
Fuck hipster critics and hoodpoodles. MCHG is a damn good album and lands in the upper half of Jay’s discog… yeah I said it. I was gunna pick “Heaven”, but the homey El Keter already broke down that track’s brilliance over at Imageyenation. I was also gunna go with “Picasso Baby”, but that MOMA “performance” neuttered all the wealthy-class swag that vibrated from it’s beat and proclamations. “Fukwitme…” was too obvious, and “Beach Better” too short, so “Oceans”. Pharrell’s drunken and dramatic horns and tom-toms are a great compliment to Frank and Jay ruminating about retaining their Blackness through a history of colonial white violence and walking within the spaces of the truly wealthy. Jay still struggles to relinquish his need to recall his drug-dealing past, which in a way further underscores the complexity of surviving in America as person of color. Not cool? Word!?!! Go listen to Migos then, clown.