This is Cleaning Out My Saved Drafts Week.
“I’m On” is probably my favorite posse cut of the year, with all due respect to future COMSDW subject “2 Deep,” and it’s the exact same sort of shit-talk that the best posse cuts of the modern era are about: Being fly and wearing fresh attire and smoking expensive high-grade marijuana.
But this isn’t every other posse cut: it’s got a weird mix of contributors — with the exception of Wale and Wiz, it would be weird to see any two of the four rapping guests together on a track — and works despite putting its heaviest hitters at the beginning and saving the airiest for last. It’s also a wonderfully produced track, from Houston’s CyFyre with a few rippling synth notes, sharp drums, and the repeated chop of MDMA’s “I’m on” leaving it suspended in thin air in a way that the other big “I’m on” song of 2011 isn’t.
And, best of all, everyone gets off: Lupe sounds at ease and doesn’t have to shoehorn in his attempt to be thoughtful; Trae’s whispery menace contrasts with everyone else beautifully; Antwan is barely trying, but comes up with the best image of the whole endeavor (“Made my mark like the craters on the moon / Rockin’ alligator shoes”); Wale’s fortune cookie-ism (“Rather live alone forever than live a lie”) hits; and whoa, Wiz raps like he really wants to be part of an upper echelon, almost double-timing and then switching back to “Nigga, I’m on like the light,” one hell of a truism, before a dismount that’s so clever I can’t believe he came up with it.
I really, really like this song, is what I am saying. Download “I’m On” at Hulkshare, buy Street King at Amazon, and check out the “I’m On” lyrics after the jump, adapted from Killer Hip-Hop’s.
Reviews? Huh. Of long-forgotten songs? Okay.
“Fall For Your Type” stands out for its instrumental and its hook. Noah “40” Shebib has made great hay in the two-plus years since Drake’s So Far Gone dropped with variations on huge drums that sound like echoes off the ocean floor, and here he sets them up to quiver as synths skim the surface. That’s a great background for the Drake-penned hook, which milks every syllable of its one killer phrase, turning “I always fall for your type” into “I! Alll! Ways! Fall… for your type, yeah,” a much more palatable consolation for the luckless guy who still believes in types.
But what are Aubrey and Jamie’s types, exactly? Continue reading
This is one of the five best verses Drake has ever recorded. It might be the best.
He’s talking fly ish (“Which one of y’all got fleets on your keychains? The seats for these Heat games?”), girl talk (“Kisses all on her body, she tells me live in the moment”), fame laments (“Havin’ lunch and debatin’ Ferrari prices / 23 and goin’ through a midlife crisis”) and the soul-searching stuff that makes him more compelling to this generation than nearly any other artist going. Also, it’s pretty well-rapped and sounds like the world’s smoothest therapy session thanks to the heavenly keys and gentle drums.
Drake’s not a great summer artist, and won’t be until he can follow the buoyancy of “Best I Ever Had” with something as joyous. (“Show Me A Good Time” comes close, in fairness.) But he’s mastered a style that’s equal parts autumnal and wintry, great for lonely nights and introspection because it sounds like it comes from those exact moments. And though holding down summer is great for selling singles, people buy albums all year.
Jump for lyrics. Continue reading
Hello, Kanye. Goodbye, rest of rap. Continue reading
Shortly after publishing this post, I saw this passage from Sound of the City’s Zach Baron:
“Airplanes Pt. 2” sports an Em verse far better than what B.o.B probably deserves, and virtually guarantees that a guy who once threatened retirement before he had even released a record will have one of the ten or twenty biggest songs this summer. Somewhere Andre 3000 is shaking his head.
This calls for a list!