Now that we’re done with the more arduous task of making the ‘Top 50 songs of 2018’ list, I’ll switch to the easier task of putting up a quick top 10 songs for December 2018. We’re going a little overboard this month as you’ll see. Thanks for reading this year and see you in 2019!
Yung Skreww ft. Philthy Rich, J. Stalin, TD, Yung Getta Dro – If I Wasn’t Getting Money
Saw this one on Crimedawbylaw and while it’s two years old, it’s become one of my favorites that I’ve heard in a long time. It really is the ultimate mellow slapper, like he described it. I’m especially loving the chorus from Young Getta Dro and Skreww’s verse, outshining his more famous contemporaries. “You a mohterfucking snitch like what was you telling for, if you wasn’t with the shit what you hung with the fellas for? If you don’t like it, stay away from the clique nigga, 187 on an undercover bitch nigga!” Skreww’s verse just had so much heart.
Cash Click Boog – 200 Proof
I’d heard Boog’s name here and there and probably as a feature in passing but didn’t really start checking him out until reading Raygarraty’s great all-Detroit top songs of 2018 list, and then I decided to delve more into his music and he really grew on me. ‘200 Proof’ is my favorite of his songs so far. “Blues got me feeling cool as ever, snow or rain nigga, shoot whoever, your main bitch on my dick cause I do it better. Southwest in this bitch then there’s stupid cheddar.”
Side note – I love the Thizzler best of 2018 cyphers that they came out with this year, and the fact that they had one including a bunch of the Detroit guys like Boog and guys from BandGang/ShredGang, commemorating the timeless and always-fruitful Bay Area to Detroit connection.
Kodak Black – Identity Theft
Kodak with a heartfelt ode to credit card fraud. Rappers have been rapping about the dope game for probably at least 30 years so it’s about time the identity theft game got some love.
It’s been a wild month over here, and this month’s top 10 will reflect that. I went down a lot of different wormholes whether it was a Tupac nostalgia trip brought on by my birthday and feeling old, to randomly bumping a lot of 80s R&B which rarely happens either, to a journey through the new Memphis to exploring a bunch of stuff I missed from the Griselda label and ultimately checking out a bevy of quality new releases from Nipsey Hussle, Kodak, Ralo, 6ix 9ine, and more. Hey any month that you can headbang to 6ix 9ine and slow dance to New Edition in the same month is a month worth living if you ask me. So here’s my February top 10, we’re a day late but let’s do it…
Benny the Butcher – Fat Dom
Benny’s got me feeling like throwing on a Buffalo Sabers jersey (the red and black one with the evil-looking buffalo, of course) with all this fire he’s releasing. I posted about Benny last week after seeing a really nice freestyle from him and this song ‘Fat Dom’ is my favorite song from his ‘Butcher on Steroids’ tape with Green Lantern that came out in November. Between Green Lantern shouting out his name and ‘Invasion’ over the tracks, to the flashy coke raps and the next-level lyricism, this tape (and song) really brought me back to another time and place, like the mid-2000s Dipset golden age and that is a very good thing in my opinion. Benny is like an Upstate NY, modern-day Diplomat. I’m going to feel like an idiot, but a grateful idiot, when one of my loyal readers points out to me what this beat is from since I know I’ve heard it before and it’s probably something obvious but I just can’t remember what it’s from, but in any case Benny kills it. This tape was great, and his project that just came out about a week or so ago entitled ‘Stabbed & Shot’ with his fellow Upstater 38 Spesh was really good as well (and features one track with Benny & 38 trading bars with Styles P and Jadakiss in typical Styles and Kiss fashion)
6ix 9ine ft. Tory Lanez, Young Thug
Much to the chagrin of rainbow-grill haters from coast to coast, the 6ix 9ine debut album (mixtape?) finally came and while it was short, it was economical in that it packed a lot of bangers into just under a half hour. Everyone already knew Kooda, Gummo and Keke which were amongst the best songs on it, but perhaps the best of all of them was a new song called Rondo. Rondo features a trio of collaborators in 6ix9ine, Tory Lanez, and Young Thug that is as unexpected as it is potent. I feel like Young Thug basically was the 6ix 9ine of a few years ago, with people up in arms about him wearing a dress and having a nose ring so it’s perhaps only right that these two kindred but very different spirits came together to bring some serious heat. I’m usually not really down with Tory Lanez but I have to admit his vocals on the chorus here were sick and really brought the whole song together. Like most of 6ix 9ine’s other big hits so far, especially Keke, really the only problem with ‘Rondo’ is that it’s way too short for such a dope song especially when you have 3 different guys of this caliber on it. Whether you love 6ix 9ine or hate him, or fall somewhere in between, I challenge you to bump Rondo at top volume and not get amped up about it.
Nipsey Hussle – Grinding All My Life
I actually posted this song in my top 10 a while back probably in September or October, but after appearing on Nipsey’s highly-anticipated ‘Victory Lap’ it’s back in this month’s 10. Nipsey was talking about Victory Lap for literally about a year and a half and it finally came out for All-Star weekend in Los Angeles. There were a lot of dope tracks on it and I have to say, I don’t think I’ve seen an album get this much love/anticipation both from the internet whether it was blogs, social media, or forums AND people bumping it outside in real life in quite a while, so good for Nip. There were a lot of good songs on it and it’s a nice, cohesive album where he really hammers home his vision of entrepeneurship and empowerment, but Grinding All My Life is still my favorite after all this time. I like his flow and bars better in the first half of the song than in the second, but either way it’s a banger.
“Don’t know a nigga like myself. I say self-made meaning I designed myself. County jail fade you could pull my file yourself. Spot raid, swallowed rocks I’m getting high myself.”
“Damn right I like the life I built, I’m from West side 60s, shit I might got killed, standing so tall they think I might got stilts. Legendary baller like Mike like Wilt, ’96 Impala Thug Life on wheels. Up against the wall, squabble at Fox Hills. Like a motherfucking boss ask me how I feel, successful street niggas touching their first mill.”
“Look I’m married to this game, that’s who I made my wife. She said I’d die alone I told that bitch she probably right. One thing that’s for sure, I’m not a stranger to this life, got a safe that’s full of Franklins and a shoulder full of stripes.
Nipsey Hussle ft. Kendrick Lamar – Dedication
Another highlight from Victory Lap. I’m usually not crazy about Kendrick but this song was incredible and it was cool to see him and Nipsey on a song together. Nice beat, great verses from two of the biggest modern-day LA/West Coast rappers, and furthermore it’s actually a pretty uplifting/positive song. Favorite line… Nipsey – “This ain’t entertainment. This for niggas on the slave ship. These songs are the spirituals that I swam against the waves with; made it to the shore to their amazement.” That line is so real it legitimately sent a chill down this old jaded blogger’s spine.
The intro to Moneybagg Yo’s new project ‘2 Heartless’ goes hard as a mother. It’s under a minute and a half long but it packs quite a punch. I wish it was a full-length 3 or so minute song because it ends right as he’s really heating up. The beat is harsh and I’m always down with rappers starting mixtapes with clips about themselves/their crimes/shootings etc. from the radio/news. I’m also down with Moneybagg including a clip of a guy yelling ‘Man, fuck Moneybagg!’ on his own tape. “Niggas turned hippie, they want peace, hit ’em with the iron get ’em creased, hottest nigga moving through these streets, all in my shows with the heat, dealt with more crosses than a priest, I ain’t let it break me with the lease.” The ‘niggas turned hippie they want peace, hit ’em with the iron get em creased’ is one of my favorite rhymes in a while it’s so simple but so effective. The hippie line has me picturing Moneybagg Yo’s opps in Memphis walking around with bell bottoms and tie-dyed shirts and something about hit ’em with the iron get ’em creased just sounds so brutal. I love the way he says ‘iron’ with that Tennessee drawl; ‘eearun‘.
As I predicted a couple of weeks ago, Drake wasn’t down at the FedEx Forum taking in a Grizzlies game with Blocboy JB because he wanted to take in Mario Chalmers NBA return or to see one half of the Harrison twins. Drake knows exactly what he’s doing – while it may look like he’s trying to help out a less famous up and coming artist, he actually needs Blocboy more than Blocboy needs him – he sees the hype Blocboy JB is getting and the love he’s getting on the streets, so he jumps on a song with him and rides the wave with him. I’m not even hating on it it’s actually a great business strategy and as much as I’m not usually a big fan of Drake as a rapper I will say he does have a great ear/eye for talent in terms of a lot of the guys he’s co-signed over the years and would make a great A&R.
I’m down with the Jordan jumpsuit Drake is rocking in the video; I’d be in full favor of clothes like that making a return instead of the women’s jeans and designer man-purses that a lot of rappers are sporting today. Drake’s dance actually isn’t bad in this video, but it’s no surprise that he’s upstaged by Blocboy, the guy who has all kinds of college and pro teams copying his dance from Shoot. And speaking of the fashion in this video, anyone of you readers out there know what the cargo pants w the orange stripe on the side that Blocboy is sporting are? Those are pretty fresh. P.S. I think he’s also wearing a Green Day ‘American Idiot’ shirt?
The ‘blow you like a flute’ line was kiiiiind of suspect but hey for the guy that made ‘Rover’ and ‘Shoot’ we’ll let it slide, Blocboy has earned himself a few slip-ups. He gets back into more typical excellent Blocboy form shortly after with this dope line – ‘Came a long way from sitting in the nosebleeds. Now a nigga on the floor talking to the ath-letes, man I’m so close to the game that I could steal the stat sheet.”
Drizzy is feeling grapey after his Memphis Vacation and who can blame him?
6ix 9ine – Billy
‘Billy’ is just so, so aggressive. It’s almost more of a hardcore song than a rap song. Apparently the video shoot for this got shut down in NYC today. I had thought there was a clip or version of this with Cuban Doll in it but I guess it didn’t make it to the album? I don’t know who is giving the speech in the beginning but it definitley sets the tone for the rest of the tape. A lot of high school kids are going to get punched in the face at parties with this song on in the background. I kind of want to make a mixtape with this, Kooda, and Knuck if You Buck just on a continuous loop.
Even 6ix 9ine’s harshest critics have to indirectly give him credit for at least getting Casanova to make ‘Set Trippin,’ one of the unfriendliest songs out of NYC in a long time, which then indirectly caused a wave of Set Trippin remixes all over the city and beyond, my favorite of which may honestly be this OG ‘Top Dolla’ trying his hand at it. I don’t know much about him and he only has a couple of songs over the last few years but I’ll take him over half the rappers out here these days, the man has charisma and stage presence.
I love the skit at the beginning. To summarize; Top Dolla and his boys are cooling out on the block when an erstwhile Blood is unlucky enough to stumble across their path. Top Dolla disappointedly asks him when/why he turned Blood and chides him for turning Blood in jail when he didn’t even have a long bid. Top Dolla’s henchman also takes his flag out of his pocket for wearing it on the wrong side. But then ultimately in a surprise twist, Top Dolla acts fairly magnanimously and decides to spare him because they grew up on the same block, their moms know each other, and he basically watched him grow up. Knowing he’s no match for him, he lets him cross the street and leaves it to the Damus down the block to deal with him.
The navy blue and gold Pelle Pelle jacket he’s rocking looks sick and goes well with his standard Yankees hat, always a timeless classic. There are a lot of dope clothing choices in this video amongst his crew, whether it’s his boy in the Seattle Mariners pullover from the skit, or the guy with the New York Islanders jersey. Perhaps best of all is the rarely seen Minnesota Wild hoodie.
I like the raw aggression/energy and just sheer gravity Top Dolla brings to his version of the song, you just feel an added weight with some of the lines since you know he’s lived what he’s rapping here in his unique take on the song. He mainly talks about being in the minority as a Crip at Rikers Island and the NY State prison system, and standing tall whereas many other Crips were afraid to claim in jail since they were vastly outnumbered.
I love his spin on the chorus; ‘Throw your hood up, nigga bang, on Rikers Island a lot of niggas they was scared to claim, Neighborhood nigga that’s the gang.’
‘Young top Dolla a known threat; 18 Years, Neighborhood, only been one set. They tuckin from the streets to the jail, nigga I bang mine, the Six is like kids around tax time, I claim mine. What I hate is tuck and tell, knowing well, they get in a spot with some Crips, they claimin’ other jails.’
‘Some niggas pick and choose when they rep, we gotta fix that, if you reppin over there adn not over here, you gettin’ bitch slapped…on Rikers I was making it known, they can’t forget that, and up north, I was keeping it funky like where the Rips at?’
SOB X RBE – God
Amazing song from SOB X RBE. Only caught this at the very end of the month but this is so good. ‘God’ is off their new album Gangin, which is apparently being called a debut album – I thought that last year’s self-titled one was their debut album but I guess that was a mixtape. Last year’s album/mixtape was one of the best projects of the year; I have to really get into the rest of this album and listen to it in full while I have time but so far it sounds great. SOB X RBE is definitley one of the top groups in the game these days and individually these guys all have some great solo stuff too. After being on the Black Panther soundtrack I’m sure they’ll blow up even more and they certainly deserve to. It’s too early to say because this was a last-minute change right before I put this article up but so far I’d go as far as to say ‘God’ is one of my favorite songs from the SOB X RBE camp so far to date.
Kodak Black – Why You Always Gotta Go
The new Kodak Black album was kind of hit or miss to me but when you really try to try some new things and push the envelope some things are going to miss so I can’t fault Kodak for that. I almost feel like this new album HBK was him going avant-garde. I picked ‘Why You Always Gotta Go’ as my top song from it and my 10th song for the month after a couple of listens of the album but really it was a close choice between this and the couple of other songs I liked from HBK, namely Acting Wierd, Laudy, Running Outta Love and When Vultures Cry. I loved the ‘I made my first $100,000 in my Soldiers’ line.
The big cuz O.T. Genasis hitting us with some surprisingly wholesome fire here. This is some inspirational ‘chicken soup for the trap star’s soul’. ‘Too Blessed’ is too inspirational and too catchy to ignore.
O.T. Genasis is Belizean but it looks like his hood pass is good in Haiti. Best music video shot in Haiti since Kodak and French Montana went down there for Lockjaw?
Is that O.T. Genasis considering buying a painting of O.T. Genasis at 1:05??
That ‘Haitian Veteran’ hat is intense. The floral Adidas shirt the other dude with him is wearing has got me jelly too. There are a lot of things to love about this video, from O.T.’s dance moves and how happy the kids are breaking out theirs, and the smiling old lady, and when O.T. points to the sky as he yells ‘My lil nigga coming home soon.’ This is O.T. Genasis’ best song of his career so far in my opinion, and very early on my favorite track of 2018 so far.
Blocboy JB – Rover
So Grapey. Blocboy JB is hitting so hard right now he’s got Drake down in Memphis taking in Grizzlies games. Rover is an absolute monster and has me abusing the grape emoji on my phone keyboard.
Ray Mula ft. Dave East, Don Q – Wassup with the Wassup Remix
This is what NYC rap should be sounding like nowadays. Done perfectly. The original Wassup was great but the remix takes it to a whole nother level. All 3 guys kill it…
“Shorty sleeping on the hookah so we made her pay for refills. I’m still taking her home, but if she throw me on the Snap than I’m breaking her phone.”
“Used to wake up for the count now I wake up just to count.”
“8 Ball rolling, nigga no pool, trap house jumping more scales than Whole Foods”
No homo but I love Mula’s voice it’s perfect for this type of song.
“I was fucking all these hoes way before I started trapping, looking like a rapper way before I started rapping. Yeah I’m from the 8 talk about it make it happen, we could get it poppin, we could get it crackin… Harlem world AKA money making, hoes started liking, niggas started hating. Tried to keep it funky, niggas started faking, grip on deck but we can still get it shaking.”
“I was on some broke shit, roaches by the mattress, on some Loc shit way before I started flagging.”
“All this double G be on me got me fucking nigga’s wives. Came home without a scar, could give a fuck about your life.”
“I be walking through the fire when the smoke clear. Tell my niggas open fire when the coast clear. Yeah that block was on fire but I post there. Don’t stand by that car tire we got coke there. Fuck a prince nigga I got king status. Stuffed $200,000 in a queen mattress. All my ice bright nigga I done seen darkness, my lawyer got pistol cases looking like weed charges.”
I almost want to include the original version with just Ray Mula as another one of my top 10 songs but I feel like that would kind of be cheating.
Heartfelt and hard-hitting song from Oakland hustler Cookie Money. You can really feel what he’s saying here. I’m not going to say much here because I’ve been meaning to give this it’s own post which I’ll put up in the next couple of days.
Keke has landed and we finally got the full version. Don’t get me wrong – Keke is definitely a banger, but I’m not sure if it lived up to the hype of the snippet that’s been floating around online/on Instagram the last couple of months. However, in fairness, few things in life truly live up to the insane level of expectations we put on them. The anticipation is almost always better than the event itself.
Best part of the song was from about the 1:00 to the 1:20 mark, Fetty’s hook. My biggest regret with this song is that they didn’t have the hook in it more times because it was sounding absolutely heavenly. Fetty’s verse wasn’t bad but it slowed down the song a little bit and didn’t seem to totally fit in with the ferocious vibe/tempo that Tekashi set with the opening verse (you could say the same thing about A Boogie’s verse too, the song felt a bit disjointed). Still, it’s good to see him back out here and hopefully we can see him taking back his crown as the hook god going forward.
It’s a good hype up song between the aggressive verse from Tekashi, the dope but unter-utilized hook and all the general shenanigans going on in the video, which looks like it was probably a lot of fun to be at. I like all the quads and dirtbikes in the video but I’m wondering how these dudes have them in NYC I could rarely find a parking spot there let alone space for extra ATVs and bikes, and we all know damn well that NYC apartments are basically the size of glorified closets so it’s not like they can keep them inside. I expect to see Meek and them and D.C. rappers etc. riding around on toys like this since they have a ton of land down there but doing it in NYC is an even more impressive feat. NYPD is going to be salty about this video.
A Boogie is surrounded by an entire snack attack at 2:00. I can’t really get behind Tekashi’s rainbow-colored fur hood here, looking like he hunted a bunch of Care Bears and made a coat out of them, but the dude in the Lacoste jumpsuit and purple Lacoste hat looks fresh, and I’m not opposed to Fetty Wap’s Pelle Pelle jacket. Apparently the guy with the mask on is Rowdy Rebel’s brother Fetty. (Side note – ‘Fetty’s Song’ by Rowdy off of ‘Shmoney Keeps Calling’ might be his most underappreciated if not best song. So real and sounds so good over that smooth ‘Night Shift’ sample.) This song had the potential to be more but I’m still going to say that Tekashi is 3/3 now with 3 solid hits in a row between Gummo, Kooda and Keke, with Kooda being the best song so far. It will be interesting to see what he does next/how long he can sustain the momentum for.
Apparently today is finally the release date for Tekashi’s/6ix9ine’s ‘Keke’ with Fetty Wap and A-Boogie. Your humble host is over here just keeping his fingers crossed and hoping there aren’t any delays. They’ve been teasing this for a while now and I’m just hoping it doesn’t become a white whale of sorts like the unreleased Big Choo song that Big Choo has been haunting the Martorlialist with with Instagram snippets of for over a year without releasing. I was a little worried that this new squabble with Casanova could put Tekashi in the way of bodily harm before he was able to fulfill his earthly destiny and release this fire but thankfully cooler heads prevailed and Cas decided in the interest of the greater good to not harm Tekashi until we could all hear this banger.
I’m most intrigued by Fetty Wap’s part since it sounds heavenly in the preview, and because he was an interesting inclusion for the song. I feel like 2 years ago or so Fetty Wap was arguably the biggest up and coming name in rap and then through no fault of his own he fell off the radar as fans, in typical fickle fashion, just moved on to the next flavor of the month, whereas Fetty Wap was still out here making some pretty good songs the whole time. He definitley still has something to bring to the table and I would love to see ‘Keke’ push him back into the forefront. I always like strange combinations for collabs and the combo of 6ix9ine, Fetty Wap and A-Boogie is definitely a juicy one. (Also bringing together Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Paterson NJ).
For now I’m just watching the Jaguars/Steelers game biding my time patiently awaiting Keke to make landfall.
P.S. – I’m also holding out hope for a Tekashi/PC Tweezie collab bc I saw a since-deleted post on the ‘Gram of the two of them posting up in Florida with PC Tweezie saying ‘He good in Florida’ but the fact that it no longer seems to exist makes me less confident that there will be a song forthcoming. That would be one aggressive song.
It almost feels crazy to write a ‘top 10 songs of December 2017’ after just doing a top 50 songs for the year 2017 but there’s just too much going on right now to skip it. This month had new albums from Shy Glizzy and Lil Boosie, a new mixtape from Lil Wayne that was more interesting in theory than practice, a couple new albums from some of Detroit’s lovely ladies like Molly Brazy and Cuban Doll, and was capped off with ‘The Gift’ from FMB DZ. As you can see below I’m still on my Detroit grind right now with a couple of tracks by longtime favorites making some heavy, profound music (and an unexpected rainbow-haired interloper) mixed in.
Sada Baby – Free 80’s
“Real nigga look me in my eyes, I ain’t fake at all.”
While December was an amazing month for new music with new albums from heavyweights like Shy Glizzy and Lil Boosie to Sada Baby’s fellow Detroit native FMB DZ, I don’t think I listened to any song more times on repeat this month than ‘Free 80s’. There’s just something about the swagger and veneer that Sada brings to the track that makes this song compelling, more so than any specific line or lyric. Taylor Greer of Fake Shore Drive described it best, saying “The truth is, Detroit is in a league on their own, and has been for some time. The artists and music that you hear in the city, provide a glimpse into a culture surrounded by ingenuity and preserved by the hustle. So when you hear artists like Sada Baby or 80’s spit, just know you’re not just hearing lyrics over a beat — you’re actually hearing the ingenuity of the artist’s hustle.”
I love the cameo from FMB DZ in the video when Sada Baby mentions him (making multiple appearances on this songs of the month list even when he’s not actually in the song!) supporting his fellow Plymouth Road rapper, as well as the cameo from Tee Grizzley’s chain.
The vest with no shirt under it combination does not work for most people and I certainly wouldn’t dare try to pull it off but Sada just has so much swag he’s able to pull it off and override any concerns that the average person would have when rocking that look. (Now I’m not saying I want this to spark a trend, let’s keep it to just Sada for now).
“I won’t talk about no shit that I don’t know bout. If that chopstick ain’t on me I don’t go out.”
“I’m an east side nigga with a roll on me. I can’t say none of my niggas ever told on me. They won’t ever let no other niggas roll on me. Big face (???) type of niggas never fold on me. Tooda Man gon do what’s right if you act wrong on me. He done killed a nigga if he swung on me. Know I kill a nigga if he swung on me. Bang bang close range I got blood on me. Step on the work like it’s a motherfucking rug. I can’t talk to nobody unless I’m off my drugs.” (I love the look that Tooda Man grills the camera with when he’s mentioned in the verse).
“I’m in Cali you niggas at home want to trade places? I’m just out here facing, stacking, yelling free 80s!”
“Burberry shirt cost an ounce of cookie, young Skuba Steve different type of rookie. Monkey nuts everywhere the wop look like Jumanji.”
The ‘Free 80’s’ title and chorus are in reference to Eastside 80s, an imprisoned Detroit rapper. All of the current wave of Detroit rappers go hard but Sada Baby also adds in a twist of personality and humor along with some wierd flows and wordplay to give him a style all his own. No one else besides him could pull off a red ranger Power Ranger tattoo and actually make it look kind of dope. I’m in the middle of listening to his new mixtape ‘Dat One Nigga’ right now and should have a couple of highlights from it up here soon. Sada Baby already ‘blew up’ in 2017 but I think we’re going to be seeing him everywhere in 2018.
I’m tempted to say that no rapper had a bigger/better 2017 than FMB DZ or burst onto the scene with more of a bang.
A perfect Yuletide gift indeed from a gun-wielding, Buffs-sporting Santa Clause…
“Nigga ain’t my man if he ain’t riding with me, I fuck with the BandGang I got Mas with me. My nigga (?) got a sleeve and a 550, I got popped I could have died I had God with me. A nigga gotta die if a nigga want beef. Free my nigga 80’s I’m good in the East. You know this bitch a classic with Ant on the beat. Niggas know that I’m gonna shoot so they pass it to me.”
“You’ve got guns I got guns we can shoot it out. I’m aiming for a nigga’s head I ain’t killing clouds. Lord forgive me always been a wild child, two FNs and two chopsticks cost me five thou. Nigga telling me I’m next bitch I’m up now, I’m in Houston making plays bitch I feel like Yao.”
“Put a nigga on your block so we can find the house, firebomb will chop y’all down while you’re running out”
I ended up lazily forgetting to put together a top 20 mixtapes/albums to go along with the top 50 tracks of 2017 that I did a couple of posts ago, but it’s safe to say FMB DZ would be on the list twice this year; once for The Gift and once for Washington DZ.
Shy Glizzy – Take Me Away
From the previous post…
The Glizzy Gang head honcho has a knack for these heavy but melodic songs like this that focus mainly on death and what people will be saying when he’s gone/what type of legacy you leave behind, i.e. this one and 2015’s ‘Funeral’, which was previously Glizzy’s finest work in my opinion. ‘Take Me Away’ is the standout track from his recent ‘Quiet Storm’ album and may challenge Funeral for his career best so far.
I love the montage setting the mood in the beginning of the video, with the random, dispassionate shots of Glizzy’s hood (the overgrown back alleys behind apartment buildings, clotheslines, staircases, the D.C. skyline off in the distance, a police helicopter circling overhead, guys posted up on the corner) interspersed with him walking in the rain and waiting in his house with police sirens outside the window. The cold, sobering beat goes perfect with it. I’m certainly no expert on this type of thing but the intro is A+ cinematography. It really feels like the calm before the storm.Even the title ‘Take Me Away’ goes perfectly with this vibe.
From a fashion perspective, I’m not sure if I’m feeling the Supreme umbrella but those Georgetown Hoyas shorts are fire. Bonus points since he’s representing DC AND because I looked for them online and couldn’t even find them so a rare gem indeed. (Another side note – Lightshow also had a song called ‘Burberry Umbrellas’ recently. What’s with these DMV-area rappers and high-end designer umbrellas?).
The chorus is simple but hits hard – ‘If the streets take me away, a real nigga I die.” He’s come to terms with the fact that he can die any day in the environment he’s in and while he’ll survive at all costs at least if he dies he feels like he never caved in or folded and no one can say he wasn’t ‘real.’ It’s a steadfast but sobering message and I would imagine this song was probably influenced by the recent death of 30 Glizzy.
The last month or so has had more good new music than any I can recall in a long time, so this top 10 list is stacked; I couldn’t even pick out an official #1 since there were so many good candidates. We really got a veritable cornucopia of new slaps for Thanksgiving, hopefully December is just as kind to us.
Joseph McFashion ft. FMB DZ – On Go
Detroit’s FMB DZ is starting to really blow up right now and clocks in with a late entry for one of the top songs for November 2017. Here he demonstrates why, doing some of his finest work over this SMOOOOOTH beat. I love the flow and the great lines coupled with all the Detroit-specific references…
“Oh you need a job nigga? Come and sell that cling cling. One spot 3 cell phones and they all ring, If it ain’t about no money bitch it don’t involve me. Had to change my number, weird hoes tryna stalk me, gotta keep that stick can’t let a nigga chalk me”
“Niggas really soft, FMB you fuckin with the boss, I be playing golf, down my way I be ducked off, at Asian Cornbeef tell them I need some more duck sauce, go to Au Corant ask them boys how much my Buffs cost”
Cam’ron – Lean
One of many highlights off of Cam’ron’s new album ‘The Program’. From the original article…
“Rather than an ode to the purple, slumber-inducing concoction, ‘Lean’ is literally a rap song over a beat sampling the 1972 classic ‘Lean on Me’ by Bill Withers. I guess this should come as no surprise since Cam’ron has mastered this type of song and rapping over these types of samples more than any other artist, whether it was Journey’s ‘Don’t Stop Believing’, ‘Oh What a Night‘ by the Four Seasons talking about the night he got shot in D.C. and drove himself to the hospital, or improbably rapping about IBS over the all-too-short ‘Any Way You Want It’, or one of my all time favorite Cam efforts, his take on Rose Royce’s ‘I Wanna Get Next to You’
Killa is rattling off lines like he’s in the midst of a lengthy, multi-decade prime here…
“I grew up with Big L, all I knew was ebonics; jealousy, crack, greed, homicide and chronic, where niggas catch a body change their name like the Sonics. It was hot like Phoenix, I used to look up at the Lenox Ave sign, on my heart, and pledge allegiance.”