This week, our list is dominated by two phenomena. Funkmaster Flex dropped a massive, 56 song mixtape that gives us three of our entries. The other two are courtesy of Jay-Z’s trip to Cuba.
Below, the lines of the week.
5. “Can’t a ni**a rap and make movies?/Y’all see that Fox News tried to do me/They say I’m too black like it’s lights out/Might not get invited back to the White House” — Common, ‘Open Letter Part II (Remix)’ lyrics
Almost immediately after Hov’s “Open Letter’ dropped, Chi-town’s finest weighed in with his thoughts. In between welcome shout outs to Assata and Mumia, he shares his outrage at the slander directed at him by Fox News after his 2011 White House appearance.
4. “Ain’t nothing sweet, our bakery is street/Heroes get hoes, like bagels, we roll deep” — Joell Ortiz, ‘Roll Deep’ lyrics
Our first entry from Flex’s epic tape comes from Mr. Yaowa himself. The bread-related puns here were too tasty to pass up (sorry, sorry). The slurring of “hoes” into “holes,” so you get “holes like bagels,” is genius.
3. “They say any time that you getting cheese, you in a rat race/Any movies that they offer me is black face/It’s so post-racial, so I can’t prove it/We the same thing, we in the same movement” — Childish Gambino, ‘Think Of Me’ lyrics
Childish Gambino is the rap name of sitcom star Donald Glover. Thus, his thoughts on movie roles carry extra weight, and are extra depressing. The nod to the idea of a “post-racial” society is fantastic, as it shows what one of our favorite authors, Michael P. Jeffries, calls “racism without racists.”
2. “Chasing snake lizards/If they smell, they won’t come hither/Ni**a, I hisses at your misses/Slither down her throat, spit her up, um, delicious” — Joey Bada$$, ‘Hotbox’ lyrics
Our third line is a row from the Flex tape comes courtesy of Pro Era’s rising star. Joey’s use of the phrase “come hither” made our day, and we were pleased that someone finally managed to do something creative with a snake reference, rather than just going with the obvious.
Dylan’s Blood on the Tracks was an album we played over and over when growing up. Though it came out before we were born, its classic songs sounded to our teenage ears like they were written just for us. “Idiot Wind,” a raging jeremiad against stupid people who have it in for you, was one of our favorites. To hear Hov reference the song pretty much blew our head clean off.