The week that was found the entire hip-hop nation waiting with baited breath for the future. The 18th marks the release of some of the most anticipated albums of the year, including (supposedly) the is-it-even-finished-yet? Yeezus. Despite that climate, rappers still managed to release some great music. Below, the lines of the week.
5. My ni**as wild as Jumanji/You can call me an S.O.B ’cause its skateboards over Bugattis” — Lil Wayne, ‘Bugatti (Freestyle)’ lyrics
Props to Wayne for referencing one of Robin Williams’ mid-90’s flicks. While we would have preferred a Mrs. Doubtfire shout-out, this one is still pretty good.
4. “Live fast, die young/When it come to pitching white, then I nailed that sh*t fast, coulda had a Cy Young” — Maffew Ragazino, ‘Favourite J’s’ lyrics
The cliche setup here initially made us groan, but the pun on “pitching” was worth a smile, and brought to mind childhood dreams of being a baseball great. While that never happened, we did get to run around on a near-empty major league field once — shouts to the Twins for leaving the doors open on an off day!
3. “You never know with this sh*t, I don’t understand/Kids carry cannons on Instagram, but crying when the cuffs on they hands” — Ab-Soul, ‘Killin Y’all’ lyrics
Soulo, in addition to being one of the most interesting people, rapper or no, we’ve had the pleasure of meeting, also happens to be on a lyrical tear as of late. His verse on this tune is very moving, and the imagery here of children suddenly faced with the all-too-real consequences of their actions is jaw-droppingly effective.
2. “I couldn’t help but think that maybe I had made a mistake/I mean, you made ‘You Owe Me,’ dog, I thought that you could relate” — J. Cole, ‘Let Nas Down’ lyrics
We were privileged to hear Cole give a long explanation about this song shortly before hearing it for the first time, so its story of creating a single that a rap idol didn’t like had extra resonance. But the best part is here, where Cole gets in a dig at his hero for criticizing sub-par radio-ready singles when Nasir has a long history of creating them himself.
1. “‘All I care about is money and the city that I’m from’/That’s dumb — isn’t that exactly like the Tea Party platform?” — Kool A.D., ‘Hood Party’ lyrics
This extremely on-point critique of Drake‘s sentiments in “I’m On One,” and by extension of much of the outlook of contemporary commercial rap, absolutely blew us away. The dark side of hip-hop’s love of wealth and pride of place has rarely been more devastatingly demonstrated.