The New Rap Language: Vol. 2A

  Now watch me freak it in Korean. Bishop Lamont ft. Xzibit-“Hallelujah” I’d bet against The Reformation ever emerging from the Aftermath morass. But it really doesn’t...
By    July 13, 2009



Now watch me freak it in Korean.

Bishop Lamont ft. Xzibit-“Hallelujah”

I’d bet against The Reformation ever emerging from the Aftermath morass. But it really doesn’t matter when Carson’s finest can craft Gospel Brunch bangers over Dre beats better than anything off Relapse.  Bishop’s pet peeve is the cult of swagger, which makes sense, considering dude’s a no-frills, hard-head. Swagger means nothing to a guy whose favorite restaurant is Bubba Gump. And even though Xzibit might have made a small fortune in ride pimping, he’s on board too, slitting the hook with his razer-blade voice box. Lamont’s wit separates him from prematurely cantankerous reactionaries like Termanology. At heart, he’s a South Park worshipping goofball who might bitch about fake gangsters, but will at least have the decency to reproach them for attending Magnet Schools and drama nerdery. That plus un P.C. remarks about Heath Ledger and the Olson twins ensure that regardless of label politics, Bishop should get a spot at the next synod.

Wale-“Pretty Girls”

This is more like it. No one should begrudge Wale for unabashedly playing to the ladies. In ’09 the rap game isn’t like the crack game, it’s like the food stamp line. Unless you’re Jay-Z, T.I., Kanye, Wayne, or one of the other fortunate few, rappers seeking longevity can’t afford to ignore half of the population. The problem was that everyone who came on-board pre-Mixtape About Nothing, didn’t want Lady Gaga’s glandular grossness within 100 miles of Attention Deficit. Still, it was a smart bet, with “Chillin’ cracking Top 40 playlists nationwide. Thankfully, “Pretty Girls,” is Wale’s most successful attempt at equipoise yet, admonishing the “ugly girls to be quiet,” while soft-tossing smoove rhymes to pacify the “Best I Ever Had Crowd.” At one point, he admits that he’s a Libra, which would make sense–this is balanced.

 Ludacris-“O.G.’s Theme”

You’re fighting a losing battle. Every girl likes Ludacris. Sure, there may be a few sundry Joanna Newsom fans who took umbrage with “Area Codes.” But I bet if you gave them three glasses of Cabernet Sauvignon, they’d want to hear “Roll Out” and shake their fucking ass. If you didn’t like “Theater of the Mind” and the last tape with Drama, you’re asking for too much from Chris Bridges. We’re going to have to get over the classic album  thing with Luda (and probably a lot of other people too.) At this point, his Greatest Hits can go fro to fro with practically any rapper to emerge this decade. Which is why Dre was wise to enlist him to write some simplistic Cali Chronic and palm trees raps for a Detox reference track. The only problem is that their best bet would be to pull a Quik and Kurupt.

The Game-“I’m So Wavy”

This is the most long-awaiting and underwhelming thing to emerge from LA since Chin-Feng Chen.  This is like pulling out a gun and the only thing that comes out is a a paper with the word “BANG!” Now that Max B. is getting the OZ-treatment (yes Freakey Zeekey), Game can jack the “So Wavy” descriptor tag sans fear of reprisal. Listening to Jayceon Taylor has always had a car-chase quality of perverse empty entertainment. But listening to this you don’t get the sense that this chase will yield any awesome maneuvering or fantastic crashes. Not when the best part is the game’s bi-polar Cable Guy tangent at the end. Kanye could knock out Jay-Z? Really? The only thing Kanye could convincingly knock off is a Louis Vuitton handbag. Let’s hope next time the Game doesn’t try to play Porno Password.

Andre 3000-“Lookin 4 Ya”

Dear Possum Aloysius Jenkins:

You release nothing over the last 24 months but “Royal Flush” and Semi-Pro, and then when you finally emerge from your Hollywood Hills heaven of dimes, strawberry lemonade and popcorn shrimp, you leave us with 30 seconds of mailed-in raps about not answering the doorbell and working at Ikea. Don’t tell me that you’ve become one of those people who’s like THE DARK KNIGHT IS THE BEST MOVIE EVER. You’re fucking better than that. I know your life ain’t that prosaic. At least, give us a concept rap from the perspective of Coffee Black. Or the name, “Sugar Dunkerton,” just cuz. Thanks for this btw, this is still kind of good.

Alex Ludovico ft. Gzutek-“Perth Bongs, Chicago Bud”

In a past life, Alex Ludovico was Ill Eagle. Over the last two years, the Gary, Indiana born and raised, Nirvana and Bloc Party-worshipping embee has watched his style get co-opted by the neon and khaffiyeh crowd, as skinny jeans and electro-rap flirtations suddenly became au courant. Instead of embracing the current to construct an album from strictly Venga Boys samples (Theophilus London’s next trick…), Ludovico flipped the script to become increasingly introspective and schizophrenic. His latest mixtape, The Awakening   leaps from blog house, to 80s-inspired 808 mininalism, to straight-up vintage soul. It’s scattered but solid. No track more so than “Perth Bongs, Chicago Weed,” his collaboration with Australian rapper, Gzutek. I smoked Chicago Bud once–thanks to a random connect who thankfully helped stabilize me through a soporific Fleet Foxes set at last year’s Pitchfork Fest. This cut is equally effective.

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