Rap Up for the Week of 7/24/2015

Ghostface Airs Out Action Bronson, Chief Keef, Meow the Jewels, Gangrene, #StopVicMensa, and much more, it's the Rap-Up!
By    July 24, 2015


Torii MacAdams’  And1 Tour name is Xans Tabak

GHOSTFACE KILLAH AIR OUT ACTION BRONSON ft. Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes – “Be For Real”

Action Bronson was right: Ghostface isn’t the rapper he used to be. 12 Ways To Die and 36 Seasons have zero replay value, other than as sleep aids for insomniacs (I’m steadfast in my refusal to listen to the ridiculously named 12 Ways To Die II), and no one below the age of 30 would claim to be more excited about new Ghostface than they are new Bronson.

That said, this video is Ghostface at his funniest and most vibrant, traits which are completely absent in his recent output. “I gave you a grace period” is good, but it’s the barrage of Harold Melvin-backed insults, threats, gesticulations, and crotch grabs that make this video a classic. It’s highly doubtful that we’ll ever receive another Ghostface album that approaches his past, almost unimpeachable greatness. It’s just nice to know he can still talk some shit.

Chief Keef – “4Ever”


Two weeks ago, I attended the listening party for Chief Keef’s Bang 3, held in the center of Beverly Hills. Keef was (predictably) more than hour late, and his arrival was preceded by a BMW full of GBE members parked in a red zone, doors open, windows down, smoking weed. It was gloriously petulant. During the Q&A session, Keef claimed that he’d gotten dropped from Interscope on purpose after Jimmy Iovine’s exit, and that the great disappointment of his Pitchfork-sponsored gun range visit wasn’t the ensuing arrest, but the low caliber of weaponry available for shooting. They had shotguns, he wanted something automatic.

Gangrene ft. Action Bronson – “Driving Gloves”

You’re doing something right when the biggest portion of your video budget is the cost of a used Dodge Neon. With a rather teenage array of weaponry–baseball bats, spray paint, paint markers, hammers, a golf club, and their own hands–Oh No, Alchemist, and Action Bronson steal the Dodge from an Enterprise Rent-A-Car and set about destroying the vehicle. Compared to Bronson’s “Baby Blue” and “Easy Rider,” “Driving Gloves” is a humble production, which is appropriate for the unpretentious Gangrene. This, unlike nearly every other music video, actually looks like it was fun to make.

The video for “Driving Gloves” is probably the first and only time anyone’s going to tag the name “Danny Ferry.”

Meow The Jewels – “Meowrly”

El-P may regret agreeing to Meow The Jewels, a project thoroughly (and inextricably) rife with lulz. “Meowrly” feels like the apex of Reddit-style groupthink; the project’s proceeds are for a good cause, but the ethos is caked in hokey, mostly unfunny humor. In January, El-P tweeted “thank god the money is going to charity because meow the jewels is going to be the single silliest fuckin record ever recorded.” He wasn’t wrong.

DJ Mustard ft. TeeCee4800 & Jay 305 – “Tool”

YG is conspicuously absent from Mustard’s 10 Summers Mixtape Vol. 1, but all the other homies showed up. TeeCee4800 and Jay 305 are frequent Mustard collaborators, and “Tool” finds the overtly gangster rappers doing what they do best: rapping about gangbanging. TeeCee raps “C-Walk on your face, nigga/While I’m listening to Ma$e, nigga,” and Jay 305 shouts about listening to Messy Marv and robbing the Roscoe’s on Pico. That’s some cold shit–Roscoe’s is delicious.

Vic Mensa – “Codeine Crazy”

Vic Mensa apparently heard Future’s “Codeine Crazy,” and decided it needed a hint of Phil Collins. Nothing needs a hint of Phil Collins, a musician whose career has redefined “vanilla.” The drums on Mensa’s version of “Codeine Crazy,” meant to imply emotional gravity, are a direct rip-off of Collins’ drumming on in “In The Air Tonight.” Bone Thugs-n-Harmony’s immensely regrettable “Take Me Home” and Mensa’s version of “Codeine Crazy” should serve as a lesson for young, impressionable rappers: don’t let Phil Collins near your music.

Sino ft. Kevin Gates – “Young Nigga”

I don’t know much about Sino, and, I suspect, neither does Kevin Gates. The feeling that Gates is making easy money with guest verses doesn’t damn “Young Nigga”–Honorable C-Note’s production compensates for a relatively limp Gates appearance. “Young Nigga” is good, if non-invasive.

Taylor Swift vs. Nicki Minaj

Who gives a fuck?

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