Saturday, 17 December 2011

Passion of the Weiss: The 50 Best Hip Hop Songs of 2011 (#50-26)



Like we always do about this time. First half of Top 50 raps of '11 up now. Wrote about Fat Trel's "Rollin" (#49), Rittz's "Rattle Back" (#46) and Killer Mike's "Ric Flair" (#42). Above, the video for Ka's "Cold Facts" (#35), one of the most overlooked tracks this year. Ka strips gritty NY raps to the bare essentials, a barely-there guitar loop and dead-eyed staring into the project abyss. Can't wait to hear his album.

Click my take on "Ric Flair" to read the whole shebang. #25-1 on Monday, spread the word.

Ric Flair was a loud, flashy wrestler with irrepressible charisma, a taste for expensive clothes, and an unexplainable hold over women. He was in a lot of ways the first rapping wrestler. Killer Mike’s track is not the first rap song dedicated to Ric Flair (Cam’ron has that honour) but in many ways Mike taps into what Ric represented to rap music: unstoppable braggadocio. Three verses sum up what makes Killer Mike great: a blend of wisdom (“Long as you chase money, you ain’t gotta chase women”), big balling “(getting buried like a pharaoh”) and ignorance (“got two Nickis menaging for the Gucci”). The stomping drums and soulful crooning backing Mike makes it sound like a inauguration address, Killa Kill addressing the people from behind a golden podium. Just some game for a student from a teacher, and you’d be wise to pay attention. Wooo.

Passion of the Weiss: Matthews On Mathers - The Eminem Show



Wrote about The Eminem Show for my regular Matthews On Mathers column at the Passion. Read and tell me what you think. Album doesn't hold up like Slim Shady LP or the MM LP (which also sound dated) but it's an interesting listen.


The Eminem Show dropped in 2002 at the height of boy band fever and effectively ended the boy-band era in the U.S. by selling 1 million copies in its first week.After a short intro, we hear “White America”, where Em thoughtfully dissects the machinations that allowed a poor white kid from 8 Mile to dominate TV and radio. The partnership with Dr. Dre that took him from underground curiosity, to where “every fan black that I got was probably his in exchange for every white fan that he got/like damn, we just swapped.” Em’s presence on Dre’s 2001 was crucial to re-establishing the super producer’s commercial relevance, with “Forgot About Dre” and “What’s The Difference” re-minting Dr. Dre as an A-lister. And so baby blue eyes and blonde hair made Eminem a star.

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