In a week that saw real chaos and tragedy, it’s good to know that there are still some things we can count on. In hip-hop, at least, personalities remain constant despite changing trends, shifting allegiances, record label issues, etc. NORE will always be outrageous. Talib Kweli remains the master of the simile. 2 Chainz continues to get away with almost anything lyrically. Sean Price is ever the tough guy. KRS-One cannot stop being the teacher. And Kreayshawn — well, she’s still terrible. Below, the lines of the week.
5. “She got a big booty, so I call her Big Booty” — 2 Chainz, ‘Birthday Song’ lyrics
While this line reads like your mother’s worst nightmare about rap lyrics, to hear it is another thing entirely. It makes the list this week due to the sheer overwhelming force of 2 Chainz’ personality, which somehow makes even this outrageously obvious non-rhyme absolutely charming.
4. “Sean Price, nice on mics/I’m cool, but don’t step on my white-on-whites” — Sean Price, ‘New Type of Something’ lyrics
Sean Price is the undisputed master of tough talk. His bad attitude and gruff voice stay constant on every song he graces. But right under the surface is a playful sense of humor that helps the tough-guy posture go down a little smoother. This is obvious in this line, a warning not to step on his new sneakers (which, for reference, he helpfully brandishes in the song’s video).
3. “I shit roses, sometimes red and pink/I really mean it when I tell you that my shit don’t stink” — NORE, ‘Gangstas Don’t Die’ lyrics
As many of you may remember from our all-NORE edition of LOTW back in the spring, we are huge supporters of hip-hop’s court jester. He continues his off-kilter humor in this new collaboration with Jadakiss, giving us a very literal spin on an old cliche.
2. “My flow is tomfoolery/I smoke these pork rappers so fast, they call me charcuterie” — Talib Kweli, ‘Push Thru’ lyrics
Ever since the beginning of his career, Talib Kweli has had a way with similes. “You stopping us is preposterous like an androgynous misogynist.” “We go through episodes too, like Attack of the Clones.” And so on, in a seemingly endless creative stream. This latest example is notable both for its subject matter and for the use of the word “charcuterie,” which had even us, longtime vegans, grinning with delight.
1. “As you notice, the Bush administration dealt with foreign affairs through the United Nations/In the U.N., the Europeans have seniority; yet in the world of nations, whites are the minority/This doesn’t balance out for no nation/Check it — the U.N. is like the world plantation” — KRS-One, ‘It’s Gettin Hectic’ lyrics
We have to admit, we cheated a little bit with this one. While this song was released for the first time this week, it dates back to 1993, having been left off of the Return of the Boom Bap album. Thus, the “Bush administration” referenced here is the first one, though the racism described would sadly be applicable to the administration of Bush the Second as well.
Bonus Groaner of the Week:
“Girl, you need that new/Bottles on chill, I got gold chain flu” — Kreayshawn, ‘Go Hard (La.La.La)’ lyrics
For those of you hoping that Kreayshawn’s “Gucci Gucci” marked the beginning of a promising rap career, sorry to let you down. The soon-to-be-one-hit-wonder’s new single, while sporting a catchy hook, is filled with absolute groaner rhymes like the one above — and, unlike 2 Chainz, they are not redeemed by delivery or personality. We can only hope that Krea spent her advance from Sony wisely…