Top 10 Songs July 2017
It’s been a long, hot July out here, but we’re still hanging in there and I finished my top 10 songs in a bit more of a timely fashion this month. This month took me down a lot of interesting paths as I stayed on my Lil Chicken/Milwaukee grind that started last month via Rap Music Hysteria, then a post from the Martorialist on Berner had me go down a huge Berner rabbit hole and after studying his back catalogue as if I was writing a dissertation on him, made me realize that this husky Bay Area renaissance man actually has quite a few jams, then from there I was bumping another large white rapper Jelly Roll for a couple of days to see what he’s been up to lately, checked out the new projects from A-Wax, Meek Mill, and 21 Savage before getting really into Mac J and having him take over the end of the month.
Lil Chicken – No Grease
This song is from the end of 2016 but Lil Chicken wins the award for hardest first verse of 2017 and maybe hardest song in general with ‘No Grease’ – “See the pain in my eyes this sh*t gettin tiring, eyes get bug as hell when I hear them sirens. Money, diamonds, gold, we a bunch of pirates, watching out for narcs trapping out a hybrid. Fiend keep nodding off man he can’t fight it, this dog biting nigga’s ears punching like Tyson.” I’m not sure what I like better the very apt pirate comparison or the image of him trapping out of a Nissan Leaf or Toyota Prius. I also love the weary, almost strained voice that Big Chicken P raps in on this one; the trap has been good to him but he’s also growing tired of the unwanted complications that come with it.
“All these motherf*cking grits I feel like Rich Porter, b*tch we ain’t no small fries we taking big orders, these niggas b*tches I’m finna change my hustle to extortion, phones slapping back to back they sound like walkie talkies.” Lil Chicken just goes too hard on this one.
Berner – Float
As I said in my mea culpa on Berner, “In a more just world, with this type of chorus and vibes, Berner would be making royalty money off of Sandals or Atlantis or one of those other Caribbean all-inclusive resorts using his song in their newest commercial.” After a long journey into this affable weed/fashion entrepeneur’s catalogue, I have to admit the man certainly has some gems I’ve missed over the years; the highlight of which would be the airy and enjoyable ‘Float’ from his 2016 Packs album.
Mac J – Differences
I don’t know much about Mac J and only heard about him after reading about him on Rey’s Cafe a couple weeks ago but he certainly has some absolute bangers in his catalogue, my favorite of which thus far is ‘Differences’. The beat for this one is ridiculous too. Based on the Mac J playlist Rey’s Cafe put together I definitely want to start listening to more of this north Sacramento artist and check out the rest of his output, including his new mixtape ‘Local Celebrity‘.
Lil Chicken – Pitty Pat
“I’ve got it all on me riding round in the foreign, Ballys on, white folks staring at me, make me feel important”
““Me and Max posted up in the stash house playing Pitty Pat, I feel like Chris Brown all these junkies hollering gimme that. Spanish ho like Dora that b*tch pulled up with a mac, said he want 44 watch me pull up with them racks.”
Mac J – All Weak
Another Mac J song in the top 5, off of the same Rey’s Cafe playlist. ‘All Weak’ goes way too hard to only have 4,000 views. Mac J is definitely coming on strong as one of the new (to me) artists I want to start keeping an eye on. Between him and Lil Chicken I have two guys I didn’t even know about 2 months ago who I’ve spent a large portion of July listening to. The only rapper from Sacramento I had really listened to extensively before was Mozzy but Mac J is definitely worthy of starting to get that type of buzz of his own.
Berner ft. Styles P, Scarface
Come on guys I didn’t extensively research Berner and listen to multiple Berner albums back to back to only have one song by him in the July top 10. As a big Styles P fan back in the day growing up I enjoyed his collaboration album ‘Vibes’ with Styles and it was nice to hear that much new material from him. The whole album was pretty solid but if I had to pick one song from it I’d probably go with ‘Vibes’ which also has the added bonus of having a guest verse from Houston rap elder statesman Scarface on it. I loved Scarface’s verse on this one; almost 30 years in and he’s still going strong.
Jelly Roll – Roll Me Up
I guess I just have a penchant for jumbo-sized white rappers this summer because I’d be lying if I said I didn’t rock out to Jelly’s new ‘Addiction Kills’ album in the car a couple of times this month. Admittedly, his style of country-infused rap probably isn’t for everyone, but I’ve always enjoyed him and find him to be a very genuine, earnest artist whose had some great songs over the years and a pretty underrated catalogue overall.
In Roll Me Up, he voices his seemingly strong preference for cremation (I guess?!) over a driving beat. From listening to the album you can tell he has been going through a lot the last few years and this song definitely captures that dark vibe and mindset but he also shows that he refuses to let these blows floor him. I find it to be a very catchy and memorable song; you might love it, you might hate it, but either way it’s definitely worth a listen.
21 Savage – Baby Girl
I posted this menacing track from 22 Savage’s nemesis and predecessor earlier this month. This and ‘Bank Account’ were my two top tracks from his new ‘Issa’ album. As I had written at the time, “21’s ad lib game and flow are both on point in this one; for example when he rattles off perhaps my favorite 21 Savage couplet of all time – ‘Smoking on cookie nigga Chips Ahoy, had to block her number ’cause that bitch annoying’. We’ve all been there, 21 I feel you homes.” But perhaps my favorite part of the track was 21 partaking in a bit of revisionist history and re-interpreting how he’d handle the situation if he was Rosa Parks. As I said at the time…
“He unleashes quite a few colorful and imaginative lines and references like that in this song, perhaps more than I’ve ever heard from him in one song before, from ‘Bitch I’m John Gotti I stay round a lot of henchmen’ to unexpectedly delving into U.S. history with ‘I pull up with the stick and let that bitch spark, I swear I would have shot that cracker if I was Rosa Parks’. I feel like Rosa Parks was pretty pacifist so I’m not sure how down with this line she would be but I’m not opposed to 21 Savage exploring some revisionist history with himself as the focal point.”
MT ft. Lil Chicken, YBN Kenny & The Mari Boyz – All Stars
For old time’s sake, last month’s top song ‘All Stars’ by MT, Lil Chicken, Mari Boyz and YBN Kenny clocks in on this month’s list too because it’s still been one of my favorites again this month. “First name YBN, last name Kenny, don’t want no hug from you hos mane I ain’t friendly”.
IzReal AzItGets, Moet Manny, Mac J – Hustle in the Rain
Had to round out July with one more gem from that Rey’s Cafe Mac J playlist . I feel like this song/video touched on 3 of my big themes this month and tied them all together – Mac J, white rappers, and underrated bay area rappers, so it’s only appropriate to close off with ‘Hustle in the Rain’.
Mac J plays more of a supporting role here in this video featuring three Sacramento rappers that I had been previously unfamiliar with. All 3 of them go off on this and this video deserves way more views than the 4,000 it currently has; it’s definitely an underrated banger. The chorus is great too; at first for whatever reason I wasn’t really feeling it and then it really grew on me and I noticed I was singing it to myself all the time. I love the visuals for this one too and seeing their whole Sacramento neighborhood.
“They say it’s cold outside, what’s that ‘posed to mean? Ima trap in any weather I just want the green” (Mac J)
“I exit the stash house using cameras to back out, I sip on blackout, might get killed in a back rout’ (Moet Manny)
“Egotistic, I grind so ballistic, overtime on the grizzy y’all behind if you missed it” (IzReal AzItGets)