Jane's Rap Tune of The Day

A bit of a mini-blog where I'll pick a hip-hop song and give some background behind it, explain why I like it and/or why it's important.

I have a pretty narrow area of expertise when it comes to the wider scope of hip-hop music. So you should expect to see a lot of 90s and 2000s hip-hop here, especially east coast stuff. As you might expect, I'll be embedding each song providing I can find a way to do so.

==

Kanye West featuring Jay-Z - Diamonds From Sierra Leone (Remix)


Vocalists: Kanye West, Jay-Z
Producers: Kanye West, Devo Springsteen, Jon Brion

==

Kanye West is an interesting figure. He's kind of the Bono of hip-hop in that he has a lot of big ideas and a lot of people find him obnoxious for reasons that often relate to those ideas. 

One of those ideas, back in 2005, was inspired by a conversation with the legendary Q-Tip (of A Tribe Called Quest fame). The two got on the subject of conflict diamonds, prompting Kanye do to some further research on his own (on "the internet" he's told interviewers). He eventually zero'd in on Sierra Leone, feeling that this was God prodding him in a specific direction, he decided to write a song about it.

There are not many pop songs that tackle the subject of conflict gems, but despite popular perception this kind of subject matter wasn't foreign to Kanye, who was after all a friend of both Common and Talib Kweli (quoth: "is it cool to rap about gold if I tell the world I copped it from Ghana and Mali?" from "Breathe In / Breathe Out").

The original did its job, but the remix is more widely remembered for a few reasons. The most obvious is Jay-Z's guest verse. Its grinning cynicism ("I'm not a businessman, I'm a business, man") stands in sharp contrast to Kanye's rapping of people losing limbs. Despite this it's endlessly quotable, which is a powerful quality for any rap verse to have, and it was a show of Roc-a-Fella solidarity at a time when popular rumor was that there was bad blood brewing between Ye and Jay.

The beat is actually rather simple. Mostly just a jacked up sample of the theme from the James Bond film Diamonds Are Forever welded to some bass. This was in line with how Kanye generally did things back then and the simplicity lends it a sort of up-front effectiveness that, ultimately, nicely compliments the earnest attempt to make people aware of a serious issue. The music video ended with a similarly straightforward plea: "please buy conflict-free diamonds".

Did Kanye actually help the situation in Sierra Leone at all? It's hard to say, catchy tunes can only go so far so one imagines probably not, but it's a damn good tune with a good heart, and at the end of the day that's often the most you can ask for from politically-minded popular music.

==

Related Songs:

«1

Comments

  • YOUR TELEPHONE IS LINKED TO MY WEAPON SYSTEMS
    Obviously I'll answer any questions if anybody has them.
  • “His thoughts were red thoughts, and his teeth were white.”
    That's actually a legitimately positive sentiment for a track from a mainstream rapper to putting out there in this very... pro-conspicuous consumption period in that part of the art. I would have gone one further and demanded a boycott on diamonds altogether because De Beers are fucking scum, but it's still one hell of a step in the right direction.

    I know that my interests lie in a slightly less listener-friendly arena than yours when it comes to rap, but it would be cool if you covered something we both dug, maybe Gonjasufi or El-P. But this is your show all the way, dog.
  • edited 2015-11-05 07:38:58


    The beat is actually rather simple. Mostly just a jacked up sample of the theme from the James Bond film Diamonds Are Forever welded to some bass.
    You know, that's one thing I really like about Kanye. He can take something and with a few small changes, put in a new context and make it work really effectively. Going back to "Get By" (because that is my go to reference for Kayne), the fact that he took a section of Nina Simone's "Sinnerman" and just by adding a bass (and maybe slightly speeding up her voice, it's kinda hard for me to tell) he makes it work perfectly, even though in another producer's hands, it would sound out of place.
  • YOUR TELEPHONE IS LINKED TO MY WEAPON SYSTEMS


    The beat is actually rather simple. Mostly just a jacked up sample of the theme from the James Bond film Diamonds Are Forever welded to some bass.
    You know, that's one thing I really like about Kanye. He can take something and with a few small changes, put in a new context and make it work really effectively. Going back to "Get By" (because that is my go to reference for Kayne), the fact that he took a section of Nina Simone's "Sinnerman" and just by adding a bass (and maybe slightly speeding up her voice, it's kinda hard for me to tell) he makes it work perfectly, even though in another producer's hands, it would sound out of place.
    I agree. I like that about a lot of his early work.

    I know that my interests lie in a slightly less listener-friendly arena than yours when it comes to rap, but it would be cool if you covered something we both dug, maybe Gonjasufi or El-P. But this is your show all the way, dog.
    El-P could quite conceivably end up here.

    Gonjasufi I'm not a huge fan of (I'm not not a fan either, I just don't know very much of his work) but anything's possible.
  • imagei will watch the heck outta this pumpkin patch
    i don't really have anything to add but it's a great song and this is a cool thread concept
  • TreTre
    DISRUPT THE SYSTEM ⌘
    Ready for more of this. Great thread already, pJ. :D
  • This case is closed.
    I likely won't comment on every song, or even most songs, but just know I like the idea of this thread and will contribute when I can.
  • YOUR TELEPHONE IS LINKED TO MY WEAPON SYSTEMS
    Hearts, y'all.
  • edited 2015-11-05 20:37:48
    YOUR TELEPHONE IS LINKED TO MY WEAPON SYSTEMS
    NaS - N.Y. State of Mind


    What on Earth is there left to say about Illmatic? Nas is rap's Bob Dylan, forever venerated for his legacy but simultaneously imprisoned by it, it's no accident that all the candidates for Nas' second-best album either confront Illmatic or just ignore it. It is the hardest act to follow of all time.

    But here's a thought, what's the best song on Illmatic? It's an unanswerable question, one could make a case for any of the tape's ten songs sans maybe "Genesis", and even that's pretty damn good. "NY State of Mind" is selected here not because it's the best track on the album necessarily, but because it's the most representative.

    It also contains one of the biggest lies in musical history. Nas seems to start a verse ("straight out the fucking dungeons of rap" is one of the most elemental turns of phrase on an already incredible album) only to stop himself and remark (seemingly to someone else in the studio) "I don't know how to start this shit". He then proceeds to rattle off the rest of the song's nearly five minutes in a single take, and in a criminally smooth fashion. The opening bars of the first actual verse ("rappers I monkey-flip 'em with the funky rhythms I be kickin'") unfold like origami in their elegance. Nas is, in that verse, and this song, perhaps the exact right amount of lyrical. Neither too wordy nor too sparse, dense without resorting to gibberish or padding.

    He proceeds to describe Queensbridge, his home, in astounding, almost novelistic detail. The imagery here is genuinely incredible and quoting it is about as worthwhile as transcribing the guitar tabs for "All Along The Watchtower". Nonetheless, "I never sleep, cuz sleep is the cousin of death" remains one of the most repeated rap lyrics of all time. 

    The song is near-hookless (the phrase "New York State of Mind" repeated a handful of times, edited in after Nas' long take to break up the two incredibly dense verses. It's really more of a pause for the listener to catch their breath) and features a complex beat by the then-well-respected and now-legendary DJ Premier that splices together piano notes from Joe Chambers' "Mind Rain", a tight bassline, his signature boom-bap drums, and a number of other smaller details. 

    It is no wonder, in light of all this, that "N.Y. State of Mind" is boom-bap rap at its apex. The peak of a style and one of the greatest songs in the American popular music canon. Period, full stop. 

    ==

    Related Songs:

  • YOUR TELEPHONE IS LINKED TO MY WEAPON SYSTEMS
    I am not sure what song to do today.
  • “His thoughts were red thoughts, and his teeth were white.”
    Single-take full-song raps with demonstrable technical aptitude will never cease to astound me.
  • YOUR TELEPHONE IS LINKED TO MY WEAPON SYSTEMS
    also does anyone listen to the related songs? I might not put in the extra effort if people aren't feeling them.

    Single-take full-song raps with demonstrable technical aptitude will never cease to astound me.

    same
  • edited 2015-11-06 23:32:14
    YOUR TELEPHONE IS LINKED TO MY WEAPON SYSTEMS
    Ghostface Killah, Raekwon, & Cappadonna - Daytona 500



    Vocalists: Ghostface Killah, Raekwon, Cappadonna, Force MDs
    Producer: The RZA

    ==

    Dense, tightly-wound raps about crime, rapping prowess, and 5%er philosophy were the bread and butter of the first round of Wu-Tang Clan releases. "Daytona 500" (named after the most important race in NASCAR) is one of the best of these. Rza blessed Ghostface with a serious gem here, "Daytona" is usually considered the definitive interpretation of Bob James' popularly-sampled "Nautilus" and it's not hard to see why. The bouncy funk strings make the beat sound like the soundtrack to an action flick, and the MCs don't disappoint with their verses. It's also notable for the Force MDs, a sort of backup vocal group that sometimes guested on Wu projects to provide R&B choruses (and an intro on this particular piece). In the hands of a less skilled group they'd be out of place, but here they provide some much-needed silk to contrast the grit.

    Raekwon wipes lesser MCs "like Windex" and describes his car as a "Corolla Motorola holder", the sort of lyrical trick that most can't get away with. Raekwon's verse is so dense in fact that excerpting lines from it can render some of them near-nonsensical (opening bars: "Say peace to cats who rock MAC Knowledge Knowledges / Street astrologists, light up the mic, God, acknowledge this"). 

    Ghostface comes in greeted by an ODB sample ("GHOST. FACE. KILAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!") to spit what he describes as "mercury raps", wherein he compares himself to radio personality Vaughn Harper, pisses out of a car window while speeding down a highway, travels to the Philippines to hunt for rare herbs, and flips the "can't slapbox with God" quotable to claim that Biblical figures like Jesus and Joseph can't fuck with him. He ends his turn on the mic by sipping Irish Moss (a vanilla-flavored canned beverage, Jamaican in origin) out of "wedelians". What's a wedelian? People have been asking that since the song came out.

    Capadonna steps in with a palette-cleanser verse at the song's end. While less crazy than the two that precede it, it does slip in the ocasional "huh?" line ("The mad-hatter big dick style"?), but mostly serves to unwind the tune a bit before it finally ends.

    All told, each MC brings their a-game, and "Daytona 500" is one of the most memorable songs from the Wu's early, untouchable back-catalog.

    ==

    Related Songs:

    Ghostface Killah - "Winter Warz"
    Raekwon - "Incarcerated Scarfaces"
  • edited 2015-11-07 06:39:17

    also does anyone listen to the related songs? I might not put in the extra effort if people aren't feeling them.

    Single-take full-song raps with demonstrable technical aptitude will never cease to astound me.

    same
    I listen to them. Not really much for me to say for today's track, other than it's a solid tune and I need to listen to more of the Wu-tang guy's solo stuff.
  • YOUR TELEPHONE IS LINKED TO MY WEAPON SYSTEMS
    The Gigantics featuring Aesop Rock, Reason from Grayskul, & Eligh - The Explanation


    Vocalists: Aesop Rock, Reason, Eligh
    Producers: Onry Ozzborn, The Gigantics

    ==

    First, some background. The Gigantics were a production collective put together by Onry Ozzborn of relatively obscure Rhymesayers rap group Grayskul. The album this is off of (Die Already) appears to be group's sole output and consists mostly of slabs of dark, minimalist production rhymed over by various indie rappers who had ties to the Rhymesayers collective. Fun fact, another guest MC that appears elsewhere on this record was a young underground Seattleite who at the time went by Professor Macklemore.

    "The Explanation" is an extremely simple song. There are three verses delivered by Aesop Rock, MC JFK (here credited as Reason), and Eligh, the track flicks on like a lightswitch with the opening bars of Aes' verse and after a brief accordion intermission (!) ends fairly suddenly after Eligh's. There's barely a beat to speak of, mostly a strummed guitar (which may well be at least partially recorded live) atop a simple kicks and claps arrangement. Aesop Rock drops cryptic threats and shouts out graffiti legend Mike Giant. Reason describes what sounds like a supervillain's origin story, and Eligh calls himself a warlock. 

    The song's especially interesting because all three rappers bring their best, on an album that they had to know fairly few people would ever listen to, even the often inconsistent Eligh. And at the end of Eligh's verse the song just sort of....stops. There's a brief (perhaps a second or two long) mumble of slowed-down vocals, and that's it. End track, on to the next one. 

    ==

    Related Songs:

  • YOUR TELEPHONE IS LINKED TO MY WEAPON SYSTEMS
    bump
  • edited 2015-11-10 00:55:21
    YOUR TELEPHONE IS LINKED TO MY WEAPON SYSTEMS
    DJ Swamp - Ring of Fire


    Vocalists: DJ Swamp
    Producers: DJ Swamp
    ==

    There are two things you need to know about DJ Swamp. One is that he dresses like the drummer in a Black Sabbath tribute band. Two is that he is an incredibly accomplished turntablist, best known for lighting his records on fire while scratching. Indeed, that second thing is basically what this song is about.

    "Ring of Fire" is basically a brag rap. The lyrics are about the simple fact that Swamp is cooler than you and will steal your girlfriend while shooting you and lighting his turntable and/or himself on fire. It's not a song that takes itself very seriously sort of by its very nature because again, Swamp looks like the drummer in a Black Sabbath tribute band.

    Also, if I may digress a bit. Let's talk about the video here. Swamp splices together concert footage (mostly of him or various objects being on fire) with footage of him rapping the lyrics while, among other things, manhandling a large snake, and while crawling on the ground toward the camera in a pose I can best describe as "unintentionally bad-sexy". This is clearly something that was shot on a shoestring budget.

    The beat is only sort of worth discussing. It's perfectly functional and has something of a retro drum machine sound to it, but I can't imagine it took particularly long to make, and it's far from remarkable. Much more interesting--and the song's sole non-ironic charm point--is the scratched hook, which changes each time it's played, and amply shows off Swamp's skill as a DJ. Swamp as a rapper is barely adequate, drawing unfavorable comparisons to even other just-sort-of-there MCs like Rapper Big Pooh or Jus Allah.

    So is the song good? Not in the traditional sense, but its' amusingly cheesy and one gets the impression that Swamp is not a man who takes himself all that seriously, and that makes it enjoyable on some level.

    ==

    Similar Songs:

    I can't think of any, really!
  • For The Gigantics song: At the very beginning of the song, my biggest complaint was that the beat was too sparse and there was to much empty space, but by the end of the song, I was definitely digging the beat and the simpleness of it really works. My favorite verse is Eligh's verse, though all three are really good. I love the little accordion intermission and how suddenly the track ends. It's a weird track, but I can appreciate that part of it. And that tidbit about Macklemore is pretty cool.

    For DJ Swamp: My favorite part of this was easily the turntable scratching, which is really good. I'm not really a fan of the dude' voice: It's not bad per say, but it doesn't really gel with me either. I get that Swamp doesn't take himself seriously, but for the most part this just doesn't do it for me, even keeping the tongue-in-cheekness in mind. And you weren't kidding, the dude does look like the drummer in a Black Sabbath tribute band.
  • YOUR TELEPHONE IS LINKED TO MY WEAPON SYSTEMS
    Yeah Swamp is not a very good rapper at all.

    I think that's one of like three songs off that album that he actually has vocals on. Most are instrumental and one uses a Text-To-Speech program to rap.
  • “His thoughts were red thoughts, and his teeth were white.”
    Oh wow.

    Also both of the Gigantics tracks up there (posted and linked) are pretty great. Interesting minimalist production approach going on there.
  • edited 2015-11-27 07:00:06
    YOUR TELEPHONE IS LINKED TO MY WEAPON SYSTEMS
    Kitty - ☠DEAD❤ISLAND☠



    Vocalists: Kitty
    Producers: Unknown
    ==

    Towards the end of "Dead Island"'s first verse, Kitty declares a desire to "be like doom with it / I wanna kill a beat and resuscitate it in two minutes". It's a bit of a weird thing for the Daytona MC to say. Prior to DAISY Rage, the EP this tune appears on, Kitty was best known for being part of a joke-rap group (Jesters in Trousers), and for a collab track on which she gets lyrically outshined by RiFF RAFF ("Orion's Belt"). Indeed, a lot about "Dead Island" looks hilariously leaden on paper. Attempts at serious songs by comedy musicians don't often go well in the first place, and when you're in wink-and-nod territory like the former Kitty Pryde was in 2013, it's an even riskier proposition. Combine it with the fact that Kitty apparently scored the beat (a watery, almost vaporwave take on Major Lazer's "Pon de Floor") from an anonymous /mu/ producer, and the lyrics contain her referring to herself as "a patrician", namechecking Chris Crocker (that'd be the "Leave Britney Alone!" guy), and the phrase "a gun, a gat, or something like that", it does seem a bit like a recipe for disaster.

    Score one for unlikely victories then. It's definitely a weird song, and Kitty doesn't magically grow charisma here, she has almost no microphone presence and sounds exactly like what she is--a white girl in her 20s--but somehow, she achieves her stated goal. What makes it work is the song's lyrical yarnball, the phrases quoted on their own earlier snap perfectly into place over the beat's misty drums, some parts that are more chanted than rapped ("all you do is voodoo bitch / you can't harm me", "bounce bitch, bounce bounce!") and form two sort of pseudo-choruses, and there's two "wait, what?" moments ("I love NY / cuz there's so many bridges to jump off!" and "with a red nose like characters in carols at christmas / I hear 'miss kitty come sniff this'"). It's clear that Kitty either spent a very, very long time writing these lyrics, or almost none. Word-knots this perfect only come either in fleeting inspiration off the top of the head or after long hours of revision and rewriting, depending on your particular skill-set. Somehow, all of this happens in....well almost exactly 2 minutes. It's comparable to Action Bronson's "Dreamer", an incredibly brief snapshot of every element of an artist's talent and skill coming together for just a short while, but that shortness just makes it more and more replayable.

    So if this is Kitty's second-biggest hit (her biggest is the not-quite-novelty rap "OK Cupid"), so be it, it couldn't happen to a better song.

    ==

    Similar Songs:

  • YOUR TELEPHONE IS LINKED TO MY WEAPON SYSTEMS
    bandop
  • “His thoughts were red thoughts, and his teeth were white.”
    Bring this baaaaaack.
  • YOUR TELEPHONE IS LINKED TO MY WEAPON SYSTEMS
    maybe I will!

    maybe I will.
  • edited 2016-06-26 03:06:14
    YOUR TELEPHONE IS LINKED TO MY WEAPON SYSTEMS
    No one has commented on the last one I posted yet, though.
  • “His thoughts were red thoughts, and his teeth were white.”
    It really is a strange piece of music. Seems more of a piece with bedroom experimental musicians like Amy Denio than most hip-hop, but that's not actually a bad thing. There's a weird combination of weightlessness, intensity, wry humour and intimacy at work here. The video suits it perfectly.
  • YOUR TELEPHONE IS LINKED TO MY WEAPON SYSTEMS
    Kitty has unfortunately never really had another song like it.
  • “His thoughts were red thoughts, and his teeth were white.”
    That's a shame. It's quite good.
  • edited 2016-07-04 06:06:23
    YOUR TELEPHONE IS LINKED TO MY WEAPON SYSTEMS
    Ramm-Ell-Zee, & K-Rob, prod. Jean-Michel Basquiat - "Beat Bop"


    Yeah. Just gonna let the artists in the title up there sink in for a sec.

    "New York City is a place of mysteries". Those lyrics, early on in the ten minute long "Beat Bop", a collaboration between two artists that hated each other and a rapper no one's heard from since, sum up the song pretty goddamn well.

    Let's start with K-Rob, since he's by far the most normal person present on this record and has the shortest bio. K-Rob was an aspiring rapper just about the time that that started being a thing people aspired to be (that is: the early 80s), when he was tapped by outsider artist Ramm-Ell-Zee (also spelled RAMM:ΣLL:ZΣΣ and Rammellzee, but not Rammelzee, he got mad if you forgot the second L) for a track.

    The track was to be a recorded rap battle between Ramm and Jean-Michel Basquiat. Yes, that Jean-Michel Basquiat. See, this was around when Basquiat was starting to game some notoriety, and Rammellzee thought that Basquiat was just, the worst person. Just an utter stain of a human being, and wanted to battle him on record, the condition being that Basquiat had to get some of his musician friends to provide something for Ramm to rap over. At some point between that agreement being made and the recording day coming, Ramm decided to bring K-Rob along. The two allegedly read Basquiat's raps (written on a sheet of paper, this was before 'battle rap' necessarily meant 'freestyled'), laughed at him, crumpled it up, and threw it in his face. For whatever reason, Basquiat let them record over his jam buddies anyway, then he did the art for the single pressing! Either Basquiat just did not let anything phase him or he really wanted to make a buck (there is a lot of controversy on if K-Rob and Rammellzee ever saw anything from this record).

    Now, Ramm is inarguably the main attraction here. The important thing to know about Ramm is that he is bonkers, you don't get slapped with the 'outsider art' label for no reason. This song, one of his very few recordings (he eventually released an album in 2004 which went on to become an overlooked masterpiece in the opinion of a good many people), and on here he plays a bunch of different characters, many years before that was a thing that anyone did on record, the most notable his "Gangsta Duck" persona which is indicated by him adding a ton of echo to his voice.

    K-Rob is more grounded, and the two complement each other nicely, with Rammellzee providing the template for everyone from Ol' Dirty Bastard to Young Thug that would come in the years ahead, and K-Rob unspooling casual observations about the gritty realities of New York life.

    Basquiat's pals deserve mentioning too. This isn't really a beat so much as it is a kind of bizarre avant-garde funk jam. Even today, almost nothing sounds like this recording on any level, and it has no peers, a sort of "road not taken" look at what hip-hop could've become, or perhaps something simply so far ahead of its time that it's only appreciated in retrospect.

    ==

    Related Songs:

    there really is nothing else like this. It does have a less weird sequel, though.

  • YOUR TELEPHONE IS LINKED TO MY WEAPON SYSTEMS
    back by semi-popular demand.

    Next update will be a bit more grounded than this, since the last two have both been really weird.
  • YOUR TELEPHONE IS LINKED TO MY WEAPON SYSTEMS
    any comments? on to the next then.
  • “His thoughts were red thoughts, and his teeth were white.”
    I actually downloaded this days ago out of curiosity but have yet to listen to it because reasons. Very interested in Rammellzee. Did not know about the Basquiat thing, however. Going to put this and that 2004 LP in immediate rotation.
  • edited 2016-07-05 02:44:41
    YOUR TELEPHONE IS LINKED TO MY WEAPON SYSTEMS
    Mega Ran ft. Storyville, JonBap, Jake Lefco, Pizon, Protoman, & Zealous-1 - "Robot City (Robot City All-Stars Remix)"


    Subgenres usually only look doomed in retrospect, it's easy to say things like "Nerdcore was never going to last", but honestly there was more of a community in it than many such genres and even today it's not totally dead, just heavily in recession (and what's not these days?). 

    So what was nerdcore? Well, pretty much what it sounds like honestly. Nerdy rap. Geek Hop. Hip-hop songs about video games, Dungeons & Dragons, and depression, as opposed to whatever one might term "the usual subjects". Now, merely being a rapper who namechecked or talked about nerdy things was not enough to make one qualify as nerdcore. After all, it doesn't take a genius to figure out that MF DOOM and Pharrell, for two examples, are huge nerds, one's named after a comic book villain and the other has a Gameboy chain, these are not things one does lightly.

    No, nerdcore, depending on your point of view, either spoke for, or pandered to, nerds as a group, back when "nerd culture" was a thing that was a bit more solidly defined than it is today (ie. about ten years ago). It was also often insufferably white. This isn't inherently a problem, but I tend to think that one of the things that led to its downfall was the branding itself. White dudes that could rap pretty well but not that well rhyming about Pokemon or coding or Chuck Testa memes tend to be what the phrase brings to mind (people tend to finger MC Chris or MC Lars as the worst offenders in this arena but in my mind there is no better example of this than battle rapper Mac Lethal, fuck that dude). 

    But that's not necessarily the case. If you do something for long enough and try hard enough at it, you tend to get sort of good at it, and by the time the genre itself was on the wane, dudes like MC Frontalot (the genre's founder) were making legitimately good songs, semi-classics like "Zero Hour" with Dual Core in his case and in Mega Ran's, this, a remix of one of the best songs off of one of his best albums.

    "Robot City" is about many of the same things that a lot of underground, mid-2000s hip-hop was. About how the commercial facet of the culture has sold out, about how the rappers on it are the most unique and best in the game, etc. etc. But it does it in a very nerdcore way, there are, throughout this song, namechecks on everything from several specific Mega Man bosses to Mystique from the X-Men, and this, combined with the sheer cast variety (a lot of these dudes are very hard to find info on. Random himself, Ytcracker, and Jesse Dangerously are the stars of this show), keep it from being anything less than a blast the entire time. 

    At different points, the rappers pick up bits of a scrambled sci-fi narrative (Ytcracker's verse, the opener, starts with "awake from my chamber / stiff from the cryo") in between some honestly incredible geek dunks ("the cost is music is taking losses / they jack style like Mega Man after defeating bosses") and brags ("don't try me, I'm flaming / flow highly amazing / I was sent here to destroy all of Wiley's creations"), and a bit of bizarre fourth-wall fuckery (the mysterious Protoman, who on the track plays the Mega Man character of that name, is pretty much impossible to find any info on and this may be his only verse under the name) elevates this from simple cipher between friends to an honestly very good and genuine posse cut in the hip-hop tradition.

    So here it is, nerdcore's collective magnum opus. The genre still exists in much reduced form (Adam War-Rock got some press a few years ago for his Gravity Falls rap, and Ran himself still makes plenty of music though he's branched out into other styles a bit) of course, but this stands as its lasting testament, the best nerdcore song, with very little competition.

    ==

    Related Songs:

  • imagei will watch the heck outta this pumpkin patch
    i forgot that genre even existed, and this was an interesting retrospective to read.

    i rarely find i have anything to say here, but jsyk i do read these and enjoy them (the "Beat Bop" post was my favourite)

    i actually have D.A.I.S.Y. Rage, the title alone was sufficient to endear it to me.  it's quite a thing to listen through, idk anything else like it
  • YOUR TELEPHONE IS LINKED TO MY WEAPON SYSTEMS
    Well any kind of comment at all is welcome, I do like to know that people are reading.

    DAISY Rage is a good record but I find "DEAD ISLAND" to be the best song on it by a lot.

    Kitty's recently been embroiled in a kickstarter controversy, so who knows when anything from her camp is coming out next :/
  • “His thoughts were red thoughts, and his teeth were white.”

    Bring this baaaaaack.

  • YOUR TELEPHONE IS LINKED TO MY WEAPON SYSTEMS
    I liked doing this but people rarely commented so I kinda felt like I was doing it for no reason.
  • YOUR TELEPHONE IS LINKED TO MY WEAPON SYSTEMS
    maybe I'll do one tomorrow idk
  • “His thoughts were red thoughts, and his teeth were white.”
    A lack of things to say is not the same as a lack of appreciation. For the most part, my default response would be, "That was an interesting description of an artist who I've never heard of with some pithy and musing commentary. Cool."
  • imagei will watch the heck outta this pumpkin patch
    i was enjoying this, fwiw
  • This case is closed.
    Likewise.
  • YOUR TELEPHONE IS LINKED TO MY WEAPON SYSTEMS
    back by popular demand shortly
  • YOUR TELEPHONE IS LINKED TO MY WEAPON SYSTEMS
    Lil Wayne - Help!


    Vocalists: Lil Wayne
    Producer: Unknown, possibly Young Money house producer Rockwilder

    ==

    First of all, the elephant in the room. Yes, that's a sample of "Help". The Beatles song. Sampling The Beatles is an old, old, old gimmick in sample-based music (going back at least as far as The Beastie Boys' "Sounds Of Science" which flips about half the songs on Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club) but here it's put to a good cause. Namely, this is one of only a couple Lil Wayne songs where he does what previous RTOTD subject Kitty described as being "like DOOM with it". This song has exactly one verse (some of which is re-appropriated from a track on Da Drought 3. We'll let you decide if that's a callback or if he just forgot he used it already), and in it, Lil Wayne completely and utterly kills the beat (uncredited. The Drought Is Over 2 was a weird tape and a lot of the details of its existence are scant) cold dead. 

    Some background. Lil Wayne is one of the greatest rappers to ever live. He escapes easy comparison in his own genre, being perhaps most similar in at least methodology to Guided By Voices songwriter Robert Pollard simply in his near-compulsive level of output. Allegedly, over 400 songs were penned (not the right word perhaps given that Lil Wayne famously does not write his lyrics down, choosing to freestyle every record he's done after he rapped every remaining page in his rhyme book in the mythos-making "10,000 Bars" before throwing it away) and some of them ended up on this strange mixtape. 

    So why "Help"? Because it's the easiest argument you can make for Lil Wayne as a fantastic rapper. It's less than two minutes long and because of that the entire single verse is effortlessly quotable. From "A creature, a monster like Loch Ness" to his claim that he's "coming like the stomp of every marching band", this is the sort of jewel that Wayne tossed off casually and effortlessly at his peak, and while he can still bring heat today (recently, he brought a lot of character to Chance The Rapper's "No Problem" and demolished YFN Lucci's "Key To The Streets" remix), none of his recent releases are as packed with titanium bars as this one.
  • YOUR TELEPHONE IS LINKED TO MY WEAPON SYSTEMS
    I'm hoping I can do more of these if I make them a bit shorter.
  • YOUR TELEPHONE IS LINKED TO MY WEAPON SYSTEMS
    .
  • Acid Mammoth!!!!
    "Lil Wayne is one of the greatest rappers to ever live"

    is this true
  • edited 2016-10-17 05:31:05
    YOUR TELEPHONE IS LINKED TO MY WEAPON SYSTEMS
    Like almost indisputably, yes.
  • Acid Mammoth!!!!
    All right then.
  • “His thoughts were red thoughts, and his teeth were white.”
    I dunno, "most important" strikes me as more accurate than "best." This is a neat little fragment, though. Wayne's pretty compelling here, although I wish there were a solid half-minute more to this.
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