Here are some recentish rap songs that I wanted to write words about but forgot to put on the tumblr.
Soulja Boy – “First Day Of School“
from The Deandre Way (Interscope, 2010)
What’s being overlooked in a stream of haterish internet jokes about how he only soundscanned so many copies is that Soulja Boy actually made a very good album. Newsflash dudes – nobody under the age of 18 is still buying albums. Most kids (and quite a few grown ups) are consuming music exclusively through Youtube, where Soulja has ruled for . Alright okay, now that this is out of the way let’s talk about how good the album is. Although obviously informed and/or swagged out by looming influences like Roscoe Dash and especially the Based God, in much the same way that Isouljaboytellem had Brick Squad fingerprints all over it, Deandre is a distinctly Soulja project. It’s no more mature than his previous outings and certainly just as inconsistent but at some points its strikingly more refined. The best moments come not when he’s striving to make “real” rap (I mean, “Mean Mug” is cool but it’d definitely some kiddie Tom Hanks walking in a too big suit at the end of “Big” shit) but when he returns to his original thesis. “First Day Of School,” produced not by Soulja himself but by the frustratingly ungooglable R3$source, is like the Windows XP beats that he broke with except blown out to My Big Fat Dark Twisted Fantasy proportions, strings and pianos and other pretentious shit but without any of the self-seriousness or non-rapping bells and whistles that tend to bog down the Kanye’s shit. Thematically it’s an obvious successor to “Turn My Swag On” but more innocent, calling back to the classroom motif of his first album. It’s an unapologetically happy record. Too bad most serious rap fans are to proud to enjoy it.
Lil Wayne f/ Corey Gunz – “6’7″“
from The Carter IV
Sorry internet, this isn’t that great. Sure, the Bangladesh laced near-banger features a couple nice lines for sure. The real G’s move in silence like lasagna thing has probably already shown up in your Twitter feed deservedly. And then you were like “ohhh, now I get it.” But let’s be real. This was supposed to be Wayne’s triumphant return and instead we got a complete rehash of a two year old hit. There are lines here that are literally fit to the old “Milli” cadences syllable for syllable. (And am I imagining or is Corey “Still Just Peter’s Son” Gunz seems to be borrowing a little from estranged Young Money/Sqad Up affiliate Nutt Da Kid’s style too?) The “Day-O” beat is gonna get annoying very quick, especially if this is gonna become the new beat to rap to on blogs (Kendrick Lamar and Schoolboy Q already have firsties…) Bangladesh was going for “Lemonade”/”Hard Knock Life” cuteness with that sample but it’s too fragmented and unrecognizable to ever catch on. And it’s way too dense to keep it rattling throughout the verses the way it does. Well, at least there’s no #hashtagging here. Wayne should really consider dropping the Carter series entirely and start anew. Because there’s no way Carter IV is going to reach the heights of the previous installment. Of course if he does that he won’t be able to work the all too inevitable roman numeral four/intravenous double entendre that you know he’s planning. (more…)