Talib Kweli

This week in hip-hop was perhaps most notable for that hilarious Chief Keef/Andy Rooney video.  But we at Rap Genius ventured far beyond shit we don’t like to bring you sh*t we do.  Below, the lines of the week:

5.  “Live ni**as on deck with they arms crossed/Form a wall in front of Show and A like Pope John Paul” — O.C., ‘Everytime I Touch the Mic’ lyrics

This line barely skated onto our list.  Despite a slant rhyme that’s a bit of a reach (“crossed” and “wall”, really?), the imagery here is vivid and funny enough to merit inclusion merely for its ability to make us conjure up the idea of Showbiz and A.G. riding in the Popemobile.

4.  “The night they made me, probably listen to O’Jays/That’s why I love music — keep it running like O.J.” — Rapsody, ‘Beautiful Music’ lyrics

We love homophones — words that sound the same but have different meanings — whether they’re done by rappers or Stephen Sondheim.  The “O’Jay”/”O.J.” one here is perhaps our favorite since Stevie S. broke us off with “There’s no time to sit and dither/While her withers wither with her”.

3.  “So offered her some money, but she started quoting Jay to me/’I’ll do you one better, I’ll slay these ni**as faithfully’/I don’t need you to pay for me, I just need you to pray for me'” — Talib Kweli, ‘Fly Away’ lyrics

Kweli’s upcoming mixtape Attack the Block (named after one of our favorite movies of last year) is sure to be great, if this song is any indication.  The character quoted in this song is a young girl who runs into our narrator while looking for her child’s father.  The narrator, who has known her since she was a child, offers to help her financially.  The woman’s “D’Evils”-quoting response is priceless.

2.  “Well, big whips, I lived it/You backwards in a Civic” — Fred The Godson, ‘Funkmaster Flex Freestyle’ lyrics

Fred The Godson works a subtle bit of wordplay here (“Civic” is a palindrome, the same forwards and backwards).  He then completely ruins it by explaining the joke in the next line — but we’re just gonna pretend that didn’t happen…

1.  “This artist spit SARS every song I pick/The fans coming out the blue like some former Crips” — Nino Bless, ‘Black Suits Fill the Room’ lyrics

Nino has merited inclusion on our list before, but his repeat performance is earned here.  The somewhat past-its-expiration-date SARS joke is totally redeemed by the “former Crips” punchline.  The gang’s color, of course, is blue, so people leaving the gang would be coming “out of the b..” — you know what, it’s always much less funny when we spell it out.  Anyway, props to Nino!