I don’t judge people on what they say or their opinions. I judge people based on the effect they have on others. When Eminem says anything, the world stops. He grew a beard and it made actual news – A lot of people say Eminem is the best rapper of alive. I don’t agree with those people, but they have a legitimate argument. Saying Eminem is the best rapper alive is understandable, but lazy. Rappers are weird because they don’t age like Athletes as much as they age like wrestlers. As long as the charisma is still there their character can still be believable. So with that said Eminem is like the Stone Cold Steve Austin of Rap, he was amazing at his peak but to call him the best wrestler today wouldn’t be fair to AJ Styles or Seth Rollins. If that analogy is too nerdy, Eminem is like The Simpsons of Rap, great at their peak, but calling it the best show on TV in 2019 is insane. This is why it’s so frustrating to have real conversations about Eminem because his legacy outshines his current state. Plus, I’m almost 80 percent sure Eminem fans aren’t rap fans because the things they love about him today aren’t what make rap good. “Oh he rhymes words really fast” “ok but what was the song about” “DID YOU SEE HOW MANY WORDS HE RHYMED” “but I don’t know what he’s talking abo-“ “HE CAN RHYME ANYTHING, HE RHYMED THE WORD ORANGE, HE’S KEEPING HIPHOP AL-” you get the picture. It’s tiring. So with that said let’s get into the surprise album Kamikaze
The Weeknd is like the Harriet Tubman of OVO. After helping create a new sound and my favorite Drake album “Take Care”, he realized that he was worth more than a potential owl tattoo and a pat on the back from Drake. Through his own cunning and sheer determination, he escaped the OVO sweatshop with the overseer known as Drake and lived to tell the tale. He tried to take PartyNextDoor and DVSN with him, but they didn’t know they were slaves to OVO. He ran off on Drake and built a career all his own with nothing besides cocaine and heartbreak. You can tell that I Love Makonnen thought he would make the same moves but unfortunately, he watched his biggest single become another one of Drake’s. The Weeknd climbed out of the prison like Bruce Wayne in Rises and immediately got to work. Abel is one of the few artists who can announce music and completely shift everyone's mood. He’s like a summer thunderstorm when you’re at Six Flags, all you can do is stop and wait for him to pass before you walk through a much damper world. The Weeknd really is just like a storm except instead of Thunder strikes you hear strange yodeling. The minute you start press play on a Weeknd song things just get Dark and stay there; he's like the Winter Solstice. He’s comparable to the Night King from Game Of Thrones if instead of killing the living to create skeleton monsters, he just made you want to do drugs and have unprotected sex with strangers who take their Instagram photos exclusively with the X-Pro II filter. It goes without saying that people LOVE The Weeknd the way they love their antidepressants. I never got into him because I was well adjusted and was going through a legendary dry spell, so I had no chance to have depressing sex. However, I’ve since caught up and lived a semi sad couple of years, so when I saw that he had a tape literally called “My Dear Melancholy” coming out, I was ready to prepare myself for the pain. I put on a faded black hoodie on over a slightly less faded black tee and a new dad hat (the saddest outfit) and pressed play.
Gucci Mane is like the Brock Lesnar of rap. Brock Lesnar used to legitimately beat the shit out of people in the UFC, however now he's settled into fak-I mean "predetermined" fights in the WWE. No matter how “predetermined” these fights are, Brock still looks intimidating and is very terrifying. There was a point where Gucci Mane was legitimately trapping and rapping at the same time. He was rapping about selling drugs and getting away with murder as he was legitimately selling drugs and murdering people. His career was PROLIFIC as everyone knew he was really about that life. However, as he got older he decided to leave the gangsta shit behind. Actually, it was less of a decision and more of a mandated Prison sentence, but I digress. Gucci Mane, like Brock Lesnar, isn't living the life he's portraying, but he is still scary because it is clear that he could go back to that life at any given time. I can go on and on about Post Prison Gucci, but this is about the music and not about the man. So let’s talk” El Gato The Human Glacier”.
Rico Nasty is a really dope name. Seriously, if I wanted to be a porn star that exclusively wears Timbs or a Puerto Rican Captain Planet Villain, I’d call myself Rico Nasty. It has a cool dangerous energy, like you could see ‘Rico Nasty’ beating the shit out of the Power Rangers for two episodes before Tommy comes back as the White Ranger and unifies the team with his talking sword. Rico Nasty just sounds like what you’d call a lower level STD in order to lighten the mood amongst your friends while your genitals are on fire. “Homie got that Rico Nasty, don’t pass him the blunt for at least a week”. In actuality though, Rico Nasty is a pretty cool female rapper who just doesn’t give a fuck and raps like every song could be her last before she spontaneously combusts. I like that. If I had to describe Rico Nasty’s rap style I’d say it’s like if Angelica Pickles and Susie Charmichael did the Fusion dance while someone hit a beat machine with a hammer. She’s got this frenetic, almost chaotic flow that just works. It reminds me of way hood chicks used to fight by windmilling their fists trying to hit anyone and anything. You ever play the game The Last Of Us? You know how the Clickers run at you swinging just trying to grab blindly? That’s what Rico raps like. She reminds me of ScHoolboy Q on every song he has with A$ap Rocky if you sprinkled a little cocaine on him. After a mixtape and some singles Rico’s gained enough attention to drop her album “Anger Management”. So, let’s get to it.
Post Malone looks like the Hollywood definition of White Trash. He’s filthy but in a strangely clean way. He’s like a redneck in a glossy Harmony Korrine movie. He’s fashionable but I know that he has a favorite opossum and one raccoon he has a tense relationship with. I’m not sure if he smells or not, but if he does, he smells clean and dirty at the same time, like a Salvation Army before it opens. I know I shouldn’t trust Post Malone but his music is consistently dope. I listen to Post Malone with the worry that he’ll say the N-Word at some point. I know it’s coming, or it’s happened before, there’s literally no way possible that he hasn’t. You can’t be THAT person without saying the n-word, that’s like wearing all vineyard vines and not saying “but her emails”. Post Malone looks like the guy who brings guitars to parties and the guy who freestyles at parties poorly raised a baby together. He’s dirty and clean at the same time, like Pig Pen from Charlie Brown. We all know a white dude or two that looks just like Post Malone and we wouldn’t leave them in our houses alone. However beneath that lovably crusty exterior, there lies a whole lot of problematic speaking. He’s been called a culture vulture on several different occasions and his thoughts on Modern HipHop do not help. Instead of heaping praise to the genre that opened it’s doors to him, he acted like he was above it and really didn’t need the distinction. This is problematic as many white artists before Post Malone have made the same distinctions in order to gain more of their white fanbases trust while further alienating his (disappointed) black fanbase. Music fans with more integrity than me refuse to listen to Post Malone because of his dumb ass thoughts, however I don’t have much musical integrity as I always want to fit in, so I figured I’d give Post a shot. I felt guilty at first because of all things considered but then I let it go because he looks like a Dog that learned how to speak Human. So, with that said I pressed play on “Beerbongs and Bentleys”.
Travis Scott is a real enigma. A mystery of a man, a man of mystery, he’s a giant question mark that can’t be defined. I’m not exactly sure what his motivations and desires are. For a while I seriously thought he had a personality disorder. He reminded me of L from Death Note in real life. The main difference between the two is that L is clearly a hero while Travis is a bit murkier. L stood for justice, at the end of the day he wanted to bring Light to the proper authorities to stop murders, I don’t think Travis Scott cares about “justice”. Travis just exists, his motivations are independent, and he doesn’t allow himself to be swayed by what anyone says he should or shouldn’t do. As an anime character he’d be cool as hell. but in real life he’s a guy dressed like a ninja in a time where we don’t need ninjas. Actually, that’s a great way to describe Travis, a HipHop ninja who strikes quickly and quietly to make very large results. Travis Scott had a baby with Kardashian, released multiple pairs of his own WRESTLING THEMED Jordans, co-headlined the Super Bowl (after everyone asked him to boycott it and he lied about talking to Kaepernick about it) and dropped his long anticipated album...all while having the same dusty braids. La Flame is living every young male black nerd’s DREAM. This is what young ashy niggas fantasize about when boys in black tees are throwing milk cartons at them and girls are still putting them in the friendzone to sleep with the boys holding milk cartons. I won’t lie, if Travis was white, he’d definitely give off school shooter energy but luckily for us black kids don’t buy guns, they just rap. So, in honor of his accomplishments let’s discuss his biggest work to date. “ASTROWORLD”.
Modern dating is so weird. I feel like there were a lot of unwritten rules about courtship and dating that are now being shattered by dating apps. Everyone has a rotation of people they’re talking to, dating and fucking. Everyone wants to be transparent and cool but the truth is we’re all terrified of being alone, but we don’t wanna be tied down. So now we’re reading books like “The Ethical Slut” and calling ourselves Non-Monogamous because we really just don’t want our feelings hurt. A lot of people claim to be polyamorous but you know the minute that feelings really get involved is the minute polyamory turns into cheating. A lot of rash decisions will be made that will result in a lot of rashes being spread. STDs are spreading like the measles at Jessica Biel’s house because we just want to have fun and not be tied down. Mind you, I’m not complaining about any of this but it’s really interesting to notice. I think a big part of this is that women are reclaiming their sexual power and stating their desires. We’ve gone from “getting lucky” to women flat out telling men “lemme see that dick”. It’s a dope new world. Summer Walker is an artist who’s embraced the free spirit sexuality of the time. She dropped an album called Last Day Of Summer, so I decided to listen to it.
Hating Kanye West seems too easy. He’s been a punching bag for a majority of his career. However, I can say from personal experience, being an arrogant nerdy black dude with a goofy name draws the ire of a lot of people. I know it’s hard to picture now since he’s become a household name but, “Kanye” is a weird ass name. I can already tell that he had to learn how to lean into saying it because people definitely gave him a weird look the first time he introduced himself. But I digress, the Kanye hate is out of control. Does he say wild shit? Of course. Does he say dumb shit? Most definitely! Does he associate with people who are dangerous to Black and Brown people in America? You bet your ass he does. But does he deserve all the flack he gets? No. Does he deserve some hate? Yes, but ALL OF IT? No. I get that we live in outrageous times where things said on the internet are considered worse than things done in person but let’s be real. Kanye hasn’t killed anyone and written a book about it, sold out the American Public to shatter everything Barack Obama did, or Punched Rihanna in the face. The only crime Ye has committed is disappointing the American Public. Now some people already hated him because he’s an arrogant black man married to the Marie Antoinette of our generation: Kim Kardashian so this is just rollover hate. However, things have gotten exceptionally worse in the past couple years. I won’t lie though, he says a lot of dumb shit I can’t defend, so much shit I had to block him on all social media like an Ex who’s doing “too well”. My block game was so serious that I almost missed the fact he had an album coming out. Almost. So, with that said let’s get into “ye”.
Wrestling is a fake sport. Well the proper term in “Pre-Determined” as no matter how theatrical or over the top it can be, these are all still athletes putting themselves through grueling work. In Wrestling, there are wrestles that are called “jobbers” or “designated losers”. Their sole purpose is to wrestle someone and get beat the fuck up spectacularly to showcase how talented their opponent is. Most jobbers are no name guys you never see again, but some become famous for jobbing. Could you imagine becoming famous for losing? Becoming a legend for how well you can get beat up? It’s almost impressive. This brings me to Tyga, who might be hip-hop’s most successful Jobber. Tyga has been the punchline to so many jokes that he’s spawned the careers of many internet personalities. People love mocking him because, well he’s easy to mock. His name is Tyga, he’s small, he has a baby by Blac Chyna, his music is consistently mediocre and he dated Kylie Jenner BEFORE SHE WAS 18. Yeah that last little Snapple fact put Tyga’s career on ice for a bit as people were pretty uncomfortable listening to him rap about sex while he’s dating someone he legally can’t have sex with. However, Tyga somehow found a way to persevere for a 10+ year rap career. Tyga’s greatest ability is being able to make a hit song no matter how little people respect him. He has an impeccable ear for beats and a flow that’s adequate enough for the songs to get spins. I have no idea how he can be so terrible and so good at the same time, but I really want to find out. So naturally when I saw he had an album coming out, I decided to listen to it. So, with that said, let’s get into Legendary.
So, I like Future but I don’t Love Future. I like to make that distinction because a lot of niggas really LOVE future. He galvanizes toxic masculinity and makes niggas feel like they’re the real victims of their own actions. Future makes music for the niggas that say “man fuck that bitch” out loud instead of crying when a woman doesn’t text them back. Future makes music for the dude who cheats on his girl a thousand times only to feel betrayed when she texts another dude past midnight. Every dude that claims to have no feelings for women and moves on to the next prays to Future like a God. To be fair they should, he doesn’t say a lot but Future always finds unique ways to mix heartbreak, drug abuse and trapping in every song. I find it really pretty impressive, it’s like watching an episode of that show Chopped where the surprise ingredient is always lean. “How does he do it?” Future is a talented guy that treats women poorly enough to cause emotional pain but not poorly enough that they gotta get restraining orders against him. He’s got a good handle on his emotional abuse; he’s not a villain as much as he’s just a jerk. Beyond his treatment of women, Future is a motivated artist who can produce music at a very impressive pace. So, when he revealed that Beast Mode 2 was coming out this month, his fan base lit up like a Christmas tree and got ready for another sermon from Father Future. I on the other hand wasn’t too excited, but then I woke up really sad this morning and bought a designer belt, so I think it’s a sign I’m ready for Beast Mode 2.
Ciara is really living every black grandmother’s dream for their granddaughter. She stopped messing around with these saggy pants thugs with no manners and got herself a good Christian athlete who’s worth hundreds of millions of dollars and a beautiful family. She had boyfriends named 50 Cent and Lil’ Bow Wow and now she got a good man named Russell. If you’ve ever been to an AME church, you would know that niggas named Russell are always good men who can change a tire. But enough with this metaphor. Ciara has come a long way from that rumor she had a penis. Seriously, we based that rumor off like 3 low quality photos in 2005, we had no twitter, no Facebook, no group chats, how did that shit get so popular? Anyway, Ciara’s growth as a woman (pun intended) has been inspiring to many as she has truly persevered to find her happiness. She’s legitimately lived a Tyler Movie plot, from being betrayed by the shady dark-skinned baby father to being saved by the holy, quiet light skinned man looking for a wife. The craziest part about Ciara’s journey is that what’s often forgotten about her is that she’s a singer. Seriously People love talking about Ciara until it’s time to talk about her music. Her personal life means more to people than “1, 2 Step”, “Ride” or “Goodies” ever did. No matter how interesting her personal life is, her music is the reason we were introduced to her so that’s the basis of her identity. Most people forget that. Luckily for y’all, I didn’t forget. Ciara dropped a new album and I took the time out to listen to it. So, here’s my review of “Beauty Marks”.
When I was in my Senior Year of High School, Lupe Fiasco was one of my favorite rappers. He was really lyrical, vulnerable and nerdy as fuck. Everytime he rapped I sincerely felt like he was having a great time putting words together. I was a fan of all his mixtapes as he put himself out there through his words. I’ve been a fan of Lupe since mixtapes reigned supreme and Limewire was king. I remember downloading Fahrenheit 1/15 Part II: Revenge of the Nerds track by track right next to Bootytalk 17. He spoke to me with his nerdy references and intricate storylines that stretched over 20+ songs. I thought he was going to be the king of rap. I sincerely believed this. Unfortunately, popular music has strayed away from lyricism and for a short while Lupe was a man without a country. Lupe Fiasco is one of the most lyrical rappers in the game and 9 times out of 10 he is the smartest guy in the room. Unfortunately, that combination also makes you the most pretentious person in the room 9 times out of 10. I won’t lie, there’s been multiple times I’ve rolled my eyes reading something Lupe has said. You know a rapper annoys people when he was known for being annoying BEFORE social media. Seriously, Lupe was online HipHop forum annoying. He reminds me of me if I had a 4.0 GPA and didn’t take 5 years to graduate high school. He’s smart, he knows it, and god dammit he wants you to stop being an idiot. Only problem is, not a lot of people want to be preached to and told how Obama was a terrorist. Especially if you say this on Fox News like Lupe did. I think his saving grace is that he is and was really good at making music, plus he will straight up fight you and you always gotta respect that. However, watching Lupe taught me a very important life lesson no matter how smart you are, if people don’t want to hear you, things don’t work out the way you think they will. But luckily a truly talented person never stays down too long and now Lupe has given us a new album: Drogas Wave
I think that every public figure strives to have a legacy. We all want to be remembered and known for what we put into the world. This makes me think though, what defines a legacy? Is it the highs? Is it the lows? Is it the combination of the two? Or is it simply public perception? For me it’s hard to think about a Legacy because I’m so early in my pursuits. Also I don’t really have shit, if you ask me for credits before a comedy show I will give you a shrug and a “say whatever’s in your heart” every single time. But I digress, rappers don’t age well and a majority of them don’t get to have a legacy. Their whole careers get dwindled down to one song on the radio show and if they’re lucky, a soundbite in a commercial for a white product that features a hit song they had 10 years ago. The ones that are lucky enough to have a full career are often scrutinized heavily by skeptics (aka haters) like myself. Lil Wayne is one of those artists. At one point he was the greatest rapper alive. He was inescapable, he was inevitable. He was like Thanos with a lean addiction. Every beat belonged to him and he could give someone a hit by singing a hook...AND HE COULDN’T EVEN SING. His reign seemed to last forever until it became clear that a new King/Queen was to replace him. While those who followed were influenced by him, the community at large began to forget about Wayne’s prior greatness. Unfortunately, this wasn’t helped by a gun charge that landed him in jail and the label disputes that caused his album to be pushed back for years. Things weren’t looking good for Wayne, his music wasn’t popping, his dreads started falling apart, his light was dimming like one of the forgotten skeletons in Coco. Luckily for us, Tha Carter 5 has finally been released. Tha Carter 5 is a representation of Lil Wayne’s legacy. It took us years to finally get to this place. Birdman held onto it like it was money he owes to Mannie Fresh; I honestly thought we’d never hear it. But by some miracle it’s here. Let’s get to it.
So, I have a lot of feelings about J.Cole. J Cole is like that college friend you used to chase women and smoke with that grew up a little too much. You chill with him because of the friendship you had in the past but you don’t see him too often cuz he’s such a bummer. He’s the friend who gives out Condoms at the beginning of the night so everyone can practice safe sex. I wanna be mad at him but he’s just looking out for us. Yep, J Cole is very mature. His credit score is probably a solid 815 and while he can “respect a good sneaker game” he’d rather “invest that money into Nike. It’s conflicting to me because I try my hardest to avoid being adult but Jermaine reminds me time and time again that we’re always getting older. What’s very ironic about this is that J Cole is so grown but he spends more time focused on the youth. His fan base has consistently stayed college kids for the past 10 years. So, on one end he’s your most responsible friend, but on the other end he’s always hanging out on your old college campus. Now I could go on and on about how weird and slightly off putting this is, but I’m not writing a character analysis, I’m writing about music! So, let’s get into J Cole’s album KOD.
Meek Mill is the Rap Version of Rocky. I know this is very on the nose as he’s from Philly and was featured on the soundtrack to both Creed movies but hear me out. That dude is a perennial underdogs. Now as a kid I used to think Underdog meant “scrappy and undervalued” but as I’ve grown older I’ve learned underdog really means “you get the shit kicked out of you on such a consistent basis that no one counts you as a winner”. Meek has taken some embarrassing Ls. He lost a battle to Drake, got dumped by Nicki Minaj and been sent back to jail for some bullshit reasons more times than I can count. Despite all that, he’s consistently stood back up, spit the blood out his mouth and kept fighting. Meek Mill has made good music. What’s most impressive about him is that he gets stronger after every L. He’s (nerd alert) like a Saiyan, the more you best him up, the more powerful he becomes. Seriously, dude went from being a laughing stock to being good friends with Billionaires. When the Philadelphia Eagles came out to “Dreams and Nightmares” at the Super Bowl I knew the Patriots were gonna lose. The wildest part about that is that Robert Kraft, the owner of the Patriots is still a GOOD friend of Meek. He’s that resilient. At the end of the day Meek might lose bad, but when he wins, he Wins. So Let’s talk about his album, aptly named “Championships”.
I remember one of my favorite Simpsons’ gags was a moment where Homer opened 3 different boxes of Neapolitan ice cream, only to be frustrated that the chocolate was gone in each one. Marge chimed in and said “why don’t I just buy chocolate ice cream?” Homer responded “that’s too much Chocolate”. Marge sighed and said “ok, I’ll buy some more Neapolitan ice cream” Homer, excitedly says “Mmm, Chocolate” and the scene ends. When I heard that Quavo from the Migos was dropping a 19 track solo album, this moment came to mind. The Migos are one of the most successful groups in popular music today. They’re like the Jonas Brothers except they’re each other’s nephews/cousins AND one of them has felony charges. People like to say Quavo is the Nick Jonas of the group. I honestly don’t think Quavo has a comparable swag to Nick Jonas, that dude is incredible. However, people do see Quavo as the “star” of the group. Mostly because Offset is crazy and Takeoff is an introvert; Quavo seems the most accessible of the 3. With being the “star” comes an expectation for an album. Quavo then announced that a solo album was, in fact on the way. What’s crazy is that from this moment the people who asked for this album immediately turned on it. Now I could go on and on about how we as a society love to ask for things then immediately turn around and shit on those things when we get them because we’re all idiots but there’s a guy in a cardigan on a first date saying the same thing. Let’s get into Quavo Huncho.
I have conflicting feelings about Tyler, the Creator. On one end I really admire and respect his growth as a black man in society. His openness about himself and vulnerability have without question inspired young men everywhere to be their true selves no matter where they fall on the sexuality spectrum. I think his sneakers are dope and his social media is hilarious. On the other end, I‘m not crazy about his music. I’ve always wanted to love Tyler’s music. I’ve noticed him consistently get better and better at making music, figuring out his sound and just overall increasing his abilities. But every time I listen, I find one song that I like a lot and then I get bored with everything else. I enjoy Tyler’s music the same way I buy LaCroix, I’m excited at all the possibilities but after I experience a little bit I’m good for a few months. To be fair to him and critical of myself, I honestly don’t think that I have the right taste in music to truly appreciate what he’s doing. Tyler makes music for fans of N.E.R.D. I just missed out on the N.E.R.D. wave because this is music that came out on CD’s and not through illegal downloads. So where other people could walk in and purchase any of their albums, I was 12 and drawn to Lil Bow Wow’s “Beware of Dog.” Now some of you might say “why didn’t you just download their albums illegally” and to that I’ll say, I just didn’t think about them. I was too busy trying to get Game’s 300 Bars and Runnin or Booty Talk 29. My priorities weren’t set to listen to the protoype of sad boy rap/rock. So as a result of these early life decisions, I don’t fully grasp what Tyler’s doing. I keep waiting for that one album to change my mind, I thought it was gonna be Flower Boy but I found myself more entertained by Tyler talking about the album than the album itself. However, IGOR just released so, I’ll give Tyler another shot.
Kanye West and Kid Cudi actually have the brotherhood we all thought Kanye and Jay-Z had. They link up, they fight, and then they cry together. They’re like the Dandy Mafia in the show Claws. They’re a chaotic mess but they would literally die for each other. They owe each other so much in their careers and it’s always apparent when they hit the stage together. They are far beyond a bromance, if anything they’re bro-dependent. Though I don’t know them personally, I get the vibe that they both have saved each other’s lives at a few occasions. Both have struggled with mental health issues and have had some serious controversies threaten to derail their entire careers. But through the strength of their friendship, they stand stronger today than they’ve ever been. When word came that Kanye and Cudi would drop an album together skinny pants niggas across the world lost their minds before the reality set in that promises like this have been made before; this album might live in the shadow realm with Dr. Dre’s Detox and Jill Stein’s 2016 election review. But sure enough this month we were finally given what we were promised: KIDS SEE GHOSTS. It’s really real! Now it took me a while to get to reviewing this album. Every time I listened to it I felt like I wasn’t in the right space to fully understand. I would press play but then start texting people and making plans to enjoy life like an adult. But today I woke up and felt exhausted even though I slept a full 7-8 hours, nothing I had felt good to wear and the thought of buying sneakers didn’t excite me. I left my job early because I just didn’t have the energy to get through the day. I felt really low and asked myself why I bothered to do, well, anything. It was in this cloudy state of mind a stray ray of sunshine hit me: I was finally depressed enough to understand “KIDS SEE GHOSTS”.
“If Britney Spears can make it through 2007, you can make it through anything” That’s a quote I see all over the internet that’s supposed to be inspirational, and in a sense it is. The year 2007 was an insane time for Britney Spears, she went from being America’s sweetheart to married to a backup dancer turned rapper, to a single mom in like 3 weeks. She went from accepting awards and appearing in Pepsi commercials to dealing with public scrutiny and a mental breakdown. At one point I’m pretty sure we saw a picture of her vagina. You know how hard you had to be fucking up for the world to see your pussy in 2007? I’m pretty sure scanners were involved. She was falling apart and we as a nation watched her, secretly hoping for the worst. You could almost hear “journalists” writing her obituary and updating her Wikipedia page. Yet somehow Britney made it through and is now she’s living a pretty decent life. Despite the paparazzi circling her like hyenas she came out stronger than she was before. It’s truly inspirational until you realize with that in 2019 we can all become Britney Spears in 2007. Thanks to the internet, cell phone cameras and social media, we’re one viral meme or moment away from being the punchline to society’s joke of the week. No one is safe from this. One bad handshake or mispronounced word on Wheel of Fortune can lead to being the laughingstock of America. We can all become “hide ya kids, hide ya wife” no one is exempt from “ain’t nobody got time for that” no one is above “catch me outside, how bow dah”. -- What do you do when you become a meme? Do you hide yourself from the cameras and live in solitude til it boils over? Do you truly believe your celebrity and you milk it for all it’s worth, making t-shirts, coffee mugs and Halloween costumes for the general public to wear? Or do you follow Danielle Bregoli aka “the Catch Me Outside Girl” aka Bhad Bhabie’s footsteps and decide to start a music career? Let this work in your subconscious while we discuss her debut mixtape “15”.
Every few months I think about seeing Khalid in concert. I think it’d be a real cool mellow vibe; intimate if you will. I could bring a date and we’d have enough space to hold hands, and Khalid would look at us because the venue would be small enough that we could all see each other. Then we’d kiss and Khalid would say “look at the couple losing themselves in the music!” We’d get embarrassed for a split second before we started swaying to the music again. This is what I fantasize before I google Khalid tickets. But every time I check his tour schedule, I see that Khalid’s booked Madison Square Garden and that it’s been sold out for a month. How the hell did Khalid get so popular? Seriously? I mean, I know the nigga’s good but yo, he sells out whole Arenas. The Sacramento Kings can’t even do that and all those niggas can dunk. It blows my mind. This fluffy nigga has captured the hearts of all of us with his smooth voice and unassuming ways. Every time I listen to Khalid I think I’ve stumbled on an easter egg in an old Zelda game, and every time I tell someone about him they look at me like I just discovered Starbucks. Khalid is officially a pop star and it boggles my mind. But enough of that! This young chubby nigga with a Paul from Tekken 2 flat top dropped a new album. So let’s talk Free Spirit.
When people say rappers these days have dumb names I wonder how people felt the first time they heard a nigga call himself Ol Dirty Bastard, Juicy J, or even “Biggie”. Rap names are dumb until rappers’ abilities prove otherwise. I really respect that part of the process. People will say “who the fuck is this dude named after candy?” one day and then say “Eminem is one of the greatest rappers of all time” the next. Talent trumps everything. This brings me to DaBaby. First things first it’s mad grown rappers who call themselves Baby. There’s a Baby epidemic, much like the “Lil” crisis of the early 2000s and the underreported YBN outbreak of 2014, there’s several rappers who incorporate Baby in their name. The crotchety “my joints pop more than fireworks on the 4th of July” side of me is annoyed with this. However, the open “I refuse to acknowledge my age and responsibilities” side of me wanted to give him a shot. Plus, I went to middle school in North Carolina, and DaBaby has the most hype NC rapper since Petey Pablo. I will never forget how proud white (potentially racist) radio DJs were when they heard Petey shout out small NC towns. So with that I gave a spin to DaBaby’s new tape, Baby on Baby.
Ok, quick story time (trust me this is going to be worth it). We all know the story about the Scorpion and the Frog right? A Scorpion asks a Frog to for help across a lake, the Frog worries the Scorpion will sting, the Scorpion says “nah trust me fam I really need to get across this lake because I can’t swim” and then ends up stinging the Frog halfway across the lake while telling him “I’m sorry but it’s my nature” and they both drown. It’s a pretty dark story to hear as a child but the point of it is clear: Frogs don’t make good decisions. But more importantly, when someone has shown you who they are, believe them the first time; because if you’re relying on them to be different in a key moment, you’re likely to be disappointed. This is how I feel about listening to Drake albums. Drake always gets us hype and expecting a classic only to then stings us with something surprisingly mediocre. As luck would have it, Drake named his album Scorpion. Let’s get into it.
Everytime I try to say Rae Sremmurd i feel the spirit of every homeroom teacher trying to say my name for the first time. I pause, get nervous and do my best. A part of me gets slightly annoyed that the name is so complicated and wonders why they couldn’t just be called “Ear Drummers” Why do you have to spell it backwards! It’s confusing yet it is so simple, but at the same time, you can appreciate the effort to stand out. Swae Lee and Slim Jxmmi are true artists and they do not compromise for anyone. Name aside, Rae Sremmurd is one of the most talented duos in music today. They have a natural ability to make hit after hit after hit. If they were wrestlers, they’d be Edge and Christian. They just make this shit look so fun and easy even though they’re secretly intense. The Edge and Christian comparison also lies in the fact that everyone sees one as the clear star of the group, even though both are fantastic. This outside pressure caused the group to take on a true creative challenge: a triple Album. Yes 3 separate albums unified by one name, Sr3mm. So let’s get into it.
Everywhere I go, everyone’s talking about Lizzo. “You gotta listen to her” “I didn’t know that she was so popular!” “Did you see that video of her playing the flute and rapping?” Everyone loves Lizzo, and they SHOULD. There are some people in this world you have to like, and if you don’t, you’re either an asshole or that person slept with your wife. Lizzo has too much charm and genuine charisma to hate. She has the energy of a best friend that’ll watch you get blackout drunk, take care of you and then tell you all the dumb shit you did the next day. She’s got good vibes. She is definitely your moms favorite Ex; when you two broke up your mom didn’t speak to you for a couple days and still sends Lizzo Christmas cards. Lizzo is the one person at your job who can come in late and the boss never gets mad, they’re just happy that she’s there to brighten the room up. When I found out that Lizzo had an album dropping, I jumped at the chance to listen to her. Partially because I had heard so many good things, and mostly because I wanted to fit in with all the cool kids on social media. It’s wild how peer pressure has grown to the digital age. I really want some people I’ve never met or will ever meet to think I have good taste in music. What’s the point of being popular if you can’t actually see people? It’s wild that I’m hype to get some internet likes from some cyber strangers. 2019 is weird. But enough of my existential crisis. Let’s get into Lizzo’s new album Cuz I Love You.
The world is going to shit but honestly, things are pretty good. I know we see problems everywhere and anywhere but there’s still a lot of progress being made, we just need reminders. For example, really dope that we have so many female rappers these days. Back when I was a child all we really had was Lil Kim, Foxy Brown And Da Brat, and they really didn’t make me feel “objectified”. Lil Kim made me feel like she’d fuck me, Foxy made me feel like she’d rob me, and Da Brat...well Da Brat clearly wanted nothing to do with me. They were all great in their own respects but they didn’t give me that energy. I blame this mostly on misogyny as dudes weren’t ready to hear a woman talk so frankly about what they want or need from a nigga. However these new female artists have no qualms with making a nigga feel like he isn’t worth a damn. Now there’s naturally some pushback because men aren’t used to being put in a vulnerable position, however I can personally say it’s pretty exciting to finally be properly objectified in music. I’m used to rappers threatening my life, my relationship or my community, so listening to a female rapper talk about how she’ll fuck me and leave is exciting. With that said, Megan Thee Stallion makes me feel objectified as shit. She’s taller than me, richer than me, and I’m like 80 percent sure she’d stare a hole through my head with ease. Every time I hear her rap my wallet starts burning cuz I want to give her everything I own. (I really hope my mom doesn’t see this because she will be very disappointed). Megan is dope and deserves the world. A part of me is worried that white women are going to discover her ruin the fun as they’re apt to do. What keeps me from fully being scared of this happening is that I’m pretty sure Megan doesn’t allow white women to touch her, so she should be ok. Megan Thee Stallion is gonna be a star plain and simple, I just don’t know when that’s going to happen. When things are inevitable they happen at their own pace no matter how much you try to control it. The best thing you can do is relax and keep pushing forward. With that, let’s get into her new mixtape: “Fever”
Man, I really wish it didn’t take me so long to write this review. I knew I should’ve reviewed this the minute it came out because I watched Nipsey’s growth from his first mixtape to the self-made man he became. I remember the first time he charged 100 dollars for a mixtape and thinking to myself “yo what’s this dudes problem” only to then watch him charge 1000 dollars for a mixtape and make $100,000. I remember getting excited when I thought he’d sign to MMG because I KNEW he’d fit in well with Rick Ross. I remember getting excited when he’d drop freestyles and listening to them on repeat in my mom’s Gold Honda CRV. I waited years for this album to drop, went through several ups downs, break ups, hirings and firings waiting for this album. But when it finally did I didn’t give it the spins it truly deserved. To be fair I had just moved to New York and I was doing my best not to get swept away in a wave of rats and overpriced rum and cokes. I gave the album a glance, but I was more focused on discovering myself on the next part of my journey. I don’t think I was ready to listen to Nipsey talk about his crowning achievement as I was still trying to figure out my own life. I thought I had time, Nipsey wasn’t going anywhere, I could listen to this album when I’m ready. Unfortunately, life doesn’t work like that and sometimes the best time to do something is the time you know you have instead of the time you think you do. It still doesn’t feel real but, this year we lost one of the most motivational artists of my generation and I would be remis not to talk about his crowning musical achievement. So, let’s get into Nipsey Hussle’s major label debut: Victory Lap.
Grief is a strange thing. It’s not as aggressive as sadness, but it’s also not as insidious as depression. Grief doesn’t stop you from being happy or enjoying life, but it never lets you forget it’s there. Grief is kind of like an unchecked iOS update; no matter what you do, it’ll always remind you of its presence. 2 months ago we lost Nipsey Hussle, it sucked and it still does. For me personally, I felt like I lost a role model, but for YG, he lost a Friend, better yet, a Brother. That’s a feeling that takes time to really register. In every interview you can see YG trying his hardest to stay strong for himself and his family but it’s truly hard for him to accept the truth. The weirdest thing about life is that it doesn’t stop at these tragic moments. Things keep happening and the world keeps turning. In a way it’s comforting to know that life can continue after tragedy because if the world keeps going, so can you. As long as you keep moving forward, the Marathon will always continue.
In 2015 I was on a date that I thought was a sure thing. (Spoiler Alert: It Wasn't.) For at least 2 weeks before this date we were texting everyday all day - we had inside jokes and we were both very excited to meet each other. When we finally did, we talked for hours about a ton of things - most importantly we discussed a stripper on Instagram who was "HILARIOUS". I promised I'd give her page a look and we went our separate ways (didn’t kiss). A couple days later, the girl told me she felt no connection and I never saw her again; however I did follow the Stripper.