May 23, 2012

Yeah, that’s Deen.

I’ve always been mildly obsessed with the idea of the “single.” It really started after Jigga and 50 made sales/first week sales accomplishments to taunt their rivals with and something for the more shallow (yeah) rap fan to hang their internet commenting hat on. As in: “yeah, the shit was dope but it didn’t sell as much as Nelly.” Well genius, NOTHING sells as much as Nelly – Nellyville was the aural equivalent of condoms. Was it ideal? No. But sales have been part of the conversation for a minute, even after the industry took a huge dump on itself. I promise, that wasn’t a veiled joke about Adele’s weight.

Given the importance we’ve placed on album sales, in a genre probably better suited for singles & EPs, it follows that singles ought to be obsessed about by someone other than managers, labels and A&Rs. That’s where I come in. I just love obsessing about “street” singles, “promo” singles, “single/radio/club” singles and “failed Rick Rawse” singles – probably because I think I have a great ear for these things and I can often predict (fairly accurately I might add) how successful a single is going to be outchea upon the first listen. The only “miss” I’ve had in years is Lil’ Wayne’s “A Milli.” I still don’t get how that song blew up the way it did, but let’s not talk about it anymore. Okay, I also kind of whiffed on J.Cole’s “Workout” as well, but I think that one’s mitigated by that silly shit being a glorified Paula Abdul song. Yeah that. And payola. I still can’t believe that stupid shit went platinum.

I suppose that context is a decent thing, because I can’t think of any specific reason for those last two paragraphs. I guess I’m just a little excited to write about shit I actually like, after a string of posts about underwhelming singles  — hold your fucking jokes, you clever twat you. So what’s got my knickers in a bunch? Well, I’m actually geeked about a trio of songs: Big K.R.I.T.’s “Yeah Dats Me”, Curren$y’s “Capitol (ft. 2Chainz)” and Galactic’s “Move Fast (ft. Mystikal & Mannie Fresh).

KRIT’s latest effort probably won’t light up the world or anything, since labels tend not to put a whole lot of resources behind shit that sounds like this – “this” meaning Bobby Womack’s “Across 110th Street” on MDMA (definitely not lean or weed) crossbred with Willie Hutch and chicken grease. Or in a word, awesome. Given my oft stated preference for more classic NY shit, it’s a little amazing to me that the more “Southern” KRIT sounds on records, the more I tend to like said records – which holds true even when he’s doing more carefree shit like this (not necessarily his strong suit). Too bad he dropped over the weekend when no one was paying attention. Girls should love this shit and as the girls go, so do the dollars. I’m paraphrasing either Tupac or Confucius there. I’m not sure right now. I’m tired.

The same follows for Curren$y’s link up with Titty-2-Links, but that’s because – well, it’s fucking Curren$y. This is what he does. In fact, this kind of shit might be the purest distillation of the Curren$y aesthetic – at least from a production standpoint. This time, Spitta not only goes in over horns (always a good idea), but flutes too (even better)! I think this means it’s music to get high and cop a blowski to (to be fair, I think that’s all music).

And now that I listen a little more closely, he’s still talking that same shit – weed, women, cars et al. As the man says himself “…and my reputation proceeds me.” Indeed, it does Spitta. Titty-4-Finger is essentially an afterthought on this shit. I know I’ve stated my views on the current H.C.I.C., but he’s here in name only. This song is way too Curren$y-esque for a non-Jet to make a proper dent. I don’t know if that’s a knock on 2Necklaces or not, but I know that “Capitol” is one hell of a song. More than makes up for that shitty Wale song that I’m deleting off my copy of ‘The Stoned Immaculate.’

Finally, there’s Galactic’s “Move Fast.” Listening to this shit makes me feel all enlightened and cultured n’shit. Difficult, given my slight disdain for many things N’Awlins. Yeah, I said it, all the voodoo girls they sent to Houston have been awful to me. In case you can’t tell, Galactic is the funk/jazz band playing the music, not the random beige muthafucka muggin it up with Mannie Freshly and Mystikal. I think that’s Dee-1, a promising rapper outta N’Awlins I cared for briefly. Pause. Anyway, Mystikal gives one of the most hilariously effervescent and light-hearted performances I’ve heard from any rapper in years and Mannie is ALWAYS fun to have around – even if he’s just on the hook (or is it the bridge? These double hook jams be stressing a nigga out in a good way).

Galactic’s backing track seems to have inspired the most randomly freewheeling performance I’ve heard in ages – nonsensical proverbs about apples, bananas and cranberry juice, chants, multiple hooks and Lord know what else I missed while I was jigging at my desk. Makes me wonder what we’d have to do get more New Orleans cats to incorporate their local/trademark sounds into rap songs more often – you know, kinda like that dusty DC fuck does with Go-Go. I recall a documentary with Weezy being vehemently opposed to the idea of even being influenced by the brass band traditions down there. I understand that response, but my request remains active.

Wait a fucking minute. I just realized that none of these singles are going to get close to where they deserve to be – in my esteemed opinion of course. Still, I enjoyed writing about them and I’ll enjoy listening for a long time to come. Ultimately, that’s all that really matters to me. Well that and me heading over to iTunes to cop them. Hey, these artist muthafuckas can still eat well without doing J.Cole ‘Workout’ units. Well, maybe not the guys in Galactic – too many muthafuckas splitting that check. Mystikal neither – he’s in jail. Again.


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