Rap Up for the Week of 11/6/2015

Pimp C & Weezy, YelaWolf, Gates, Daz Dillinger & Snoop, Versis, Lil B, and a GOP radio ad. Yes, Ben Carson made a rap song. He really did.
By    November 6, 2015


We’ve seen Torii MacAdams smile, once or twice

Pimp C ft. Lil Wayne – “3 Way Freak”

Posthumous albums are not all created equally. Notorious B.I.G.’s Life After Death was completed during his lifetime, and saw its release 16 days after his murder. Born Again, released in 1999, was a cut-and-paste job. The posthumous Pimp C collection, three albums in all, skews solely toward the latter; Pimp C was a prolific producer and frequent guest vocalist, but he didn’t leave behind a completed project. The release of increasingly dusty Pimp C material is likely nothing more than barefaced profiteering, which ultimately does little to further the man’s legacy.

When I interviewed Julia Beverly, author of Sweet Jones: Pimp C’s Trill Life Story, she heavily insinuated that Pimp C’s posthumous albums were of no monetary benefit to Corey and Chad Jr., who he sired before marrying Chinara Butler. Butler, the executor of Pimp C’s estate and mother of Christian Butler, was the third woman the rapper proposed to, and the two were married while he was incarcerated. The licensing and distribution of unreleased Pimp C verses is solely controlled by Chinara–the upcoming Long Live The Pimp is no exception to that.

Long Live The Pimp is the third posthumous Pimp C album, and the well of his verses is surely drying up. “3 Way Freak” is a fine song–buttfucking braggadocio may not appeal to everyone–though it’s probably only essential for completists. It’s strange and unnatural that, eight years after his death, Pimp C’s artistic legacy is being altered.

YelaWolf – “To Whom It May Concern”

I, like many others, derided YelaWolf (the capitalized “W” appears to be a recent aesthetic choice on his part) for making rap-rock and squandering his immense talent. By making songs like “Till It’s Gone” and defending the use of the Confederate Flag, he doubled-down on countryfied hayseed alter-ego Catfish Billy, and in doing so lost much of his initial charm. “To Whom It May Concern” doesn’t undo the missteps of the past four years. It does try to explain his actions and thought processes, and most notably expresses regret at the use of Confederate imagery in the wake of the racially-motivated Charleston church shooting. For those who were never fans of YelaWolf, “To Whom It May Concern” won’t make for particularly interesting listening. For those who are, or were, it’s probably worth seven minutes of your time.

Kevin Gates – “2 Phones”

Haze, of the venerable Dirty Glove Bastard, posted “2 Phones” with the caveat that “it’s not very good.” That’s a slight overstatement. “2 Phones” is probably the weakest of the songs Gates has released from Islah. It’s “only” pretty good; Gates’ lesser work still surpasses the best of most other rappers. The arrival of “2 Phones” was accompanied by disappointing news: the release date for Islah has been pushed back to January 29th.

Daz Dillinger ft. Snoop Dogg – “Sho You Right”

“Sho You Right” was produced by Dam-Funk, who previously collaborated with Snoop Dogg on the full length 7 Days of Funk. Listeners have yet to experience a full-blooded effort from Snoop Dogg when paired with Los Angeles’ funk ambassador; 7 Days of Funk was a fine album, though it felt an opportunity wasted. Snoop is an acceptable rapper when coasting–his style has always been laid-back–but it’s possible that he simply has no other gear in which to shift after decades of comfort, acclaim, and canonization. Daz, who also featured on 7 Days bonus track “Systematic,” is a welcome addition to the dynamic. Where Snoop Dogg is silken, Daz is starched.

Versis – “Calidelphia”

When I last spoke to Versis, he told me that I’d be proud of his forthcoming album copæsthetic. It’s been five years since the underrated iLLCANDESCENT, and in the interim he’s experienced serious artistic and personal tumult. “Calidelphia” is melancholy, which Versis has every right to be. After he made promises of pride, he returned to his date. He claims they’ve talked about getting old together. Things are getting better. Copacetic, even.

Lil B – “4 Tha Record”

I thoroughly disapprove of Lil B cursing NBA players, partially because cursing someone is very un-based, and partially because I don’t believe in magic. I’m not 5 years old. What I do thoroughly approve of is Lil B rapping “Saying ‘Fuck The Weeknd’/ I can’t sing that soft” and “A lot of suckas fake, so I can’t respect it/ Fuck The Weeknd, put that on record.” No one seems clear as to why Lil B has taken umbrage with the pineapple-headed crooner–the two don’t overlap artistically, and it’s unlikely they share many fans. Lil B has been in the wrong frequently of late. Not this time.

Ben Carson Radio Ad

Republican presidential candidates typically pander to black voters by showing up at their churches, and, after they’re done clapping arrhythmically along with gospel or spirituals, they say that they’re the party of Lincoln, and claim the poor are bettered by supply-side economics. This hucksterism usually falls on deaf ears–black Republicans are rare, and their successes rarer. Alan Keyes, Herman Cain, and Republican National Committee chair Michael Steele embarrassed themselves on a national scale; Condoleezza Rice has settled into membership on the College Football Playoff Selection Committee after eight years in one of the country’s worst administrations; Colin Powell, too, partook in the Bush administration’s repeated lies to American citizens. None of them ever recorded a rap song, though.

Calling the ad “ham-fisted” is probably a slight to ham–a product of a wonderful, magical animal–and fists, which listeners can make after hearing the stupid fucking commercial. Musically, it’s a disaster. The rapper (Carson himself?) rhymes “Carson” with “awesome,” and “back on track” with “matter of fact.” The beat sounds like it was made by a novice experimenting with GarageBand. Politically, it’s a disgusting pile of pandering asininity, so rife with misunderstanding that unpacking it would take weeks.

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