Torii MacAdams has an advanced botany degree.
Bilal ft. Kendrick Lamar – “Money Over Love”
“Money Over Love” was produced by Adrian Younge, who combines with Bilal and Kendrick Lamar in a vain attempt to wrench open listeners’ third eyes. Lamar simply refuses to stop cramming his rhymes with heavy-handed moralizing and thin metaphors.
People will pretend to like “Money Over Love” because it’s “conscious.” Songs preaching the need for love in the face of materialism are as trite and overworn as songs about material goods–the latter are usually more enjoyable.
Propain – “Where Its At”
Propain’s been the rumored Next Big Thing from Houston seemingly forever, a reputational purgatory unbecoming of a 28 year-old. A rapper’s status as Next Big Thing typically doesn’t last long–they either have a real, memorable career, or they recede into Donnis-levels of anonymity. As Houstonian peers Killa Kyleon and Kirko Bangz have solidified their regional stardom, Propain remains perilously placed above the abyss, hoisted by his own lack of productivity (and certainly not helped by his Strange Music-worthy name). “Where Its At” is a big step in the right direction, though.
“Where Its At” was technically released last week, but it slipped through my clutches, so I’m making amends partially because this week is somewhat fallow, and partially because this song is a monster. The combination of Propain’s unbridled aggression and the somehow uncredited instrumental make me want to run through a fucking brick wall like Kool-Aid Man filled with creatine powder. Propain even resurrects the slang word “monkey,” rapping “All these rappers trash/ Niggas Dr. Seuss/ Boy, them diamonds monkey/ They come out the zoo.”
The Game ft. Drake – “100”
Drake is a compactor through which stupidity and farce pass, smashed into bite-sized kernels of thoughtlessness. His verse on “100” is a series of uninspired clichés, delivered in a style cribbed from Father, with the energy of a deflating balloon.
Future – “News Or Somthn”
“News Or Somthn” is the newest installment in Future’s remarkable win streak. The Actavis shortage has yet to affect the machinations of Atlanta’s saddest, most drug-fueled robot.
Kehlani ft. G-Eazy, IAMSU! & Lil B – “Champion”
Having Kehlani and G-Eazy on the same song is the result of a record industry executive smushing Barbie and Ken dolls together and making kissing noises. A Kehlani and G-Eazy pairing would be the ideal 21st century rap couple–outwardly edgy, latently safe, and immensely marketable.
Lil B takes a subliminal shot at James Harden, the latest in an already-boring series of “curses” aimed at NBA players. Cursing people, nonsensical mysticism aside, isn’t “based.” It’s un-based to inflict harm upon others.
Fredo Santana & Maxo Kream – “Big Homies”
Fredo Santana and Maxo Kream, who collaborated on “Issues” from Kream’s outstanding Maxo 187, returned to whichever weed smoke-smelling McMansion from whence they came. The result is “Big Homies,” which Santana claimed took half an hour to make. “Big Homies,” given the short turnaround, is understandably not up the standard set by “Issues,” a bruising paean to trap brutality. “Big Homies” is a solid contribution to the Maxo Kream canon, but it lacks the grim, oppressive quality that unified Maxo 187.
Raury – “Devil’s Whisper”
The first half of “Devil’s Whisper” is the type of aspirational, stomp-clap pop music made to sell subcompacts to first-time car buyers. The second half is Raury doing his best to convince listeners that The Love Below is a good album. It isn’t.