Deen doesn’t root for Birmingham either.
If you held me at machete point and asked me to name 2 really good rappers I discovered last year, one of those rappers would be Vince Staples and the other one would be Liym Courteous. I wrote about the latter a few times, given that his project, The FLOAT Pamphlet, was one of the more refreshing things I heard last year, but the real test for new jacks in this era is whether they can continue to churn out quality material often enough to keep our attention.
I’m pleased to report that Liym Courteous isn’t about to let up. I, for one, am very thankful for that. I happen to be one of those old fuddy-duddies that thinks rap is at its best when folks keep it extra simple and it doesn’t get simpler than two dope MCs going over a dope loop in front of a fucking trashcan fire. I ain’t seen that shit in a long minute and I didn’t even realize that I kinda missed it. LOL. Surprisingly effective, or at least as effective as it used to be when everyone rapped in front of trashcan fires back in the early 90s.
Imagery and throwback aesthetics aside, this is just a really good rap song. I suppose it’s almost impossible to go wrong when the producer chooses to use that most intoxicating of piano loops from Jeremy Storch’s ‘I Feel A New Shadow’, first brought to prominence by DJ Shadow’s ‘Building Steam With A Grain Of Salt’. Which begs the question “how come no one rapped over this shit before now?” Maybe niggas don’t listen to enough trip-hop and instrumental hip-hop. Their loss is producer V.Don’s gain, because he did something nasty to that loop. Good LAWD! I hope no one minds my dry snitchin on the sample source. It’s 2014, the internet exists and I only blog so I can show off my useless encyclopedia of knowledge about shit that doesn’t add dollars to my wallet.
But before I get all carried away about the beat n’shit, I’d like to make it clear that Liym Courteous and his cohort, Sonny Renaissance are the stars of the show here. These gentlemen clearly place an emphasis on wordplay, imagery and attention to detail. I’d suggest that Liym shades this one a bit, but there’s no shame in the verse that Sonny sets things off with. After all, I’ve never bought a pair of Jordan’s either. I ain’t cosigning gin and Sunkist though. Too much sugar in Sunkist and I’m not in grade school. I’m almost tempted to parse these bars on some less insular Roc Marciano shit, but I don’t believe you muthafuckas would appreciate the effort, so I’ll pass. That said, I wonder why Courteous chose to name the track “Black Sabbath” instead of “Jamrock.” You’d have to listen intently and be as nerdy as me to even think up some shit like that. My bad.
“Black Sabbath” is the kinda song that rewards repeat listenings, especially if you’re into old rap nigga shit like I am. I’m hoping that this song/video is just the beginning of the Liym’s path to a new project. He’s definitely an MC I want to hear from in 2014. Now excuse me while I go run this shit back for the 9th time since I found it…