The 10 Most Popular POW Posts of 2018

We had to do a part two of the same song
By    December 28, 2018


This post doesn’t include our Best Rap Songs and Best Albums list, which were real and spectacular.

10. Live From The Moon: Action Bronson’s White Bronco

By Will Hagle

Art by Coup d’Oreille

“Even though Bronson seems to want White Bronco to be perceived as looser and freer than his most recent releases, it actually serves as a more cohesive embodiment of his sound and style than any other album in his discography. Bronson raps over samples of guitar-based music, crafted into beats by common collaborators such as Harry Fraud and Party Supplies. The title track features the live recorded work of the Special Victims Unit, his former TV show’s house band, as filtered through the production tools of Daringer. Knwxledge produced three tracks, and Samiyam produced one. The beats, if those producer names aren’t indicative enough, are great. Bronson delivers his bars in the same stream-of-consciousness manner, with consistent short bursts of vivid imagery.

The phrase “It’s me” never sounded so palpable.”

9. Fight Of His Life: C Struggs Faces Mortality on Why Not Hustle 2

By Dean Van Nguyen

Why Not Hustle 2 is an exercise in straight-up incredible rapping. Struggs’ cast-in-fire larynx could melt metal. He raps with the intensity of a man who believes he could crumble the concrete barriers in front of him with the power of his voice alone. He raps as though it has greater meaning than just the words he recites off the page. He spits like a legendary soul singers once used their voice—a direct line to his own personal idea of spiritualism.”

RIP C Struggs

8. “I Ain’t At Where I Wanna Be At: An Interview with Quando Rondo

By Jack Riedy

“The title of Quando Rondo’s first mixtape tells you everything you need to know. His mission is to get famous and move his family out of the Savannah projects. Fame is a foregone conclusion and music is a means to an end. See the chorus of “Paradise:” “They choose the life of fame, I’m feeling already lived that life.” The stresses of fame can’t compare to what he’s already survived.

Quando’s past, present, and desired future meld together in each lyric. On “They Say,” he remembers being locked up, speaking to his friend in the cell next door. With the wall between them, he had no choice but to press his face up against a metal grate to whisper through the vent. Throughout, Quando keeps his mind fixed on the Benz he’ll buy his mom once he makes it big.”

7. How Can We Get Rid of Post Malone?

By Son Raw

Art by The Come Up Show

“Point blank, if you want to get rid of Post Malone, someone better is going to need to beat him at his own game instead of clutching his/her pearls about his very existence while making warmed up post punk to diminishing returns.

I said it was ridiculous to slot Post Malone’s existence into the culture war, but here’s a thought: The critical apparatus wants you to be snide about this boorish, buffoonish white dude with red state appeal, to ignore what he’s succeeding at because he’s ultimately too gross to take seriously. You tell me how that strategy served you for the past few years.”

6. Murder Was the Case: An Interview With Drakeo the Ruler

By Jeff Weiss

“Do you feel like this is all just motivated by the fact that you’re a popular rapper?”

Hell yeah. I play a strong part in this shit. They’re trying to present it like I just rap and that’s what I do. No, I don’t just rap. I am the rapper. I got a strong strong following. A lot of n***s just catch cases and they be like it’s because I rap and their videos have 150 views. I am not them. I got a blue check on IG. I have 106,000 followers. I am not these other rappers.I’m in all the blogs. I’m in the LA Times and [pre-Vichy] LA Weekly.  They really be targeting me.

I didn’t get charges until that LA Times article dropped. All of a sudden, they’re arresting me and taking pictures of my tattoos and I see the LA Times article with my face on it at the station. And they’re trying to tell me, “oh, I didn’t see that article.”

They’re trying to say that we’re gangbangers. But we’ve been like you don’t need to gangbang to get noticed or be cool.”

5. The POW Freshman 15

By Staff

“Everything is arbitrary and subjective — as it should be. Groups are included because groups are better than solo artists. Yes, always. This list is heavily slanted towards LA because the East Coast gave Suga Free 2.5 mics in the Source for Street Gospeland I will never let you forget it. Lil Pump isn’t on this list because no one who writes for this site is a 16 year-old with an addiction to sour patch Xanax (no, we are not anti-Lil Pump). We made this list because “buzz” is the sound that a hornet makes, not a legitimate way to criticize art. Yes, rap is art. It’s also entertainment. KRS-One did not pay me to say this sentence, but he’s welcome to donate to the Patreon.

It’s true that we left off your favorite rapper because of a personal conspiracy against you. Some of my favorite rappers were left off too. Go outside. No, I don’t know what a “Freshman” is, but I do know that Sada Baby can do the robot. This list isn’t ordered. We might be wrong, but I doubt it.”

4. At The End of the Day I Hold My Own Nuts: An Interview with Roddy Ricch 

By Nick Nukem

“Did you know that’s what you wanted to do or did you have to find that?

Roddy Ricch: When I write raps I just think about what I’m going through or what I been through or what my peoples been through. My boy his bail was $6,000,000 — he beat a murder case. My boy AJ fighting 200 [years]. I see both sides—when you out and when you in. My music is telling you, “You could do this,” and it could either go this way or that way, but imma give you all the different options of how it could go, what could happen. That’s where my music is right now. I don’t know how it could be later but that’s my main focal point right now.”

3. Why 03 Greedo Matters

By Jeff Weiss 

“Greedo has spent most of his life institutionalized. He’s watched his best friend slain and innumerable others prematurely buried. He’s survived an attempt on his life and still walks with a limp. When he says you ain’t been where he’s been, it’s not bravado, it’s a reminder that realness and authenticity defy post-modern skepticism. There is nothing fake, immense style but not an iota of artifice—which is why it will permanently resonate. This is Leadbelly in the Jordan Downs, Boosie on 103rd, Greedo extending these primeval truths into dark present day prophecies, the weird lupine oracle of Grape Street, indelible and unforgettable, whose absence will be mourned until the day he returns home.”

2. A Jail House Interview With Drakeo The Ruler

By Jeff Weiss

Do you think the detectives are mad because you’ve been taunting them?

Drakeo: Maybe, yeah. They was talking to me about some shit that I didn’t know about and I told them to ‘get the fuck out my face. He got mad and then was like, ‘I know you did it…we know you did it!’ I said, ‘no, I didn’t.’ And he goes, ‘well, we know you’re doing something!” And I was like, ‘look, I’m trying to get some sleep. Get the fuck out of my face.”

He kept questioning us and nobody knows nothing. He’s mad at us. He was all, “I’ve been working this job a long time..22 years. He’s like, ‘do you know some guy, ‘whoopty whoop, some old [motherfucker]. He was like, ‘I got him life.’ I was like, ‘why would you feel the need to tell me that you got another rapper life?’

1. Best New Rapper: Blueface

By Miguelito

“Contextualizing Blueface in the New L.A. movement is tricky because he obfuscates categories. Signals in the language make it apparent he’s of Los Angeles, like his frequent and confident “yea aight,” though his refusal to maintain consistent timing keeps him distinct from lanes left in the wake of Greedo or AzSwaye. His lingo bingo card is full, calling himself “the baby momma blammer,” (“Freak Bitch”) or referring to his fat .40 as “Uncle Phillip” (pronounced ‘fill-up’), which makes a true L.A. connoisseur pray to hear his shrapnel dice a bpm alongside Drakeo’s surgical approach. He could be classified as “shit-talking music” along with the OneTakeBoyz if you need a label (and that’s the best one if we’re going there).

More fascinating is how Blueface shows that the New L.A. isn’t solidified and probably never will be, like truly righteous pantheons. Rappers will beget rappers who will beget rappers that will beget styles, and occasionally a prophet stumbles in to eat locusts or flip sanctuary tables or tattoo Benjamin Franklin on his face and dance on foreign cars.”

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