Month: February 2015

Buy Some Old School Hip Hop Hats

Stay Fresh, Starting At The Top

First of all, you gotta look good, as this is one of the fundamental commandments of everyday life. Dope hats are crucial for 2 reasons: they keep you warm (cause mad heat escapes from the top of your head), and they top you off before you go out. These are some old school hip hop hats you might wanna buy if you’re trynna rock some dope shit.


 Music Player Cap

Music Player CapThis is one of the doper hip hop hats I’ve ever seen. It reminds me a lot of my favorite notebook, actually. It’s even got some headphones drawn in so you can wear headphones while you wear headphones and strut down the street. I really like this color scheme, because black is always a good base for a cap (because you can rock black with anything), the red trim is dope and the levels in the middle have all the color this cap needs. Wear this shit if you want people to know you like music and probably hip hop, but don’t wanna get more specific. This look will always be classic.

Hip Hop Music Player Baseball Cap


Boombox Cap

Boombox CapThis is kind of like the last cap’s brother. You can unleash your inner Radio Raheem if you pair this one with some brass knuckles saying LOVE and HATE. Anyways, what did I just say about black hats? This shit could go with anything, and the way the boombox pops out just makes it look like it belongs on the street, bumping that good old school hip hop shit. Now this still isn’t a RUN DMC cap or anything, but this shit will let folks know that hip hop is what you’re bumping in your headphones.

Boombox Hip Hop Baseball Cap


Air Jordan Snapback

Air Jordan SnapbackNow if you’re walking in Chicago (but shit, really anywhere), you might wanna be rocking the number 23. Jerseys and kicks are a little bit high budget, so why not go for a snapback? Unlike a Bulls cap (go for the Music Player Cap up there if you want red and black), this is nice neutral colors but the white trim makes the 23 pop. Most of my caps are louder colors than this shit, but it’d be nice to have a little subtlety in my closet. Go with this if you wanna go back to the ’90s in hip hop, and you’re always bumping that Illmatic or Ready to Die.

#23 Air Jordan Snapback


Wu-Tang North Face Snapback

Wu-Tang North Face SnapbackNow we’re getting specific. I mean you probably already have a Wu-Tang shirt and hoodie (or if not, you should), but you might wanna pick up a snapback to complete that look. Also as an added bonus, you can make fun of white people and all their North Face shit by rocking this, so you’re killing 2 birds with one stone. Let folks know that you’re probably listening to Clan in the Front on your headphones, and show the world that the 2 word that best exemplify high fashion aren’t North Face, but Wu-Tang.

Wu-Tang Clan North Face Snapback


Wu-Tang Classic Snapback

Wu-Tang Classic SnapbackShit, if you’ve ever read Spit Talking you just know we had to have 2 Wu-Tang things for y’all to rock. This is the classic Wu-Tang look if you’re not trynna make fun of white people (to each his own), but it’s got a dope twist cause the logo’s metal too. While the last cap shows you’re listening to Clan in the Front, this is much more of a C.R.E.A.M. look. Show folks that cash rules everything around you, rock the Wu, and never have anyone fuck with you again. I mean, Wu-Tang Clan ain’t nothin to fuck with, right?

Wu-Tang Clan Gold Metal Badge Snapback


Stay fresh to death

and wear a mad dope snapback in the casket. These are the dopest old school hip hop hats I could find for y’all, so if you see something you like gone and buy yourself a dope look. And as usual, stay tuned at Spit Talking for all the flyest shit.


Spit Talking

What’s Kanye’s Next Album Gonna Be Like?

So Kanye performed on SNL 40.

Yeah, he’s been everywhere lately from The Grammys to his fashion show, but being on SNL’s 40-year anniversary is pretty dope too. He performed 3 tracks in a few minutes, starting with Jesus Walks before going on to his new shit, Only One and Wolves. It’s Kanye, so shit was political. Watch the performance here.


Jesus Walks

Kanye West Jesus WalksSo Kanye started his multiple track performance with a classic, Jesus Walks. A lot of it was censored out. The main thing though is that Kanye sang the track lying down (singing into the mic upside down), and the visual was pretty powerful, considering it instantly evokes images of Mike Brown and others, along with the protests. Of all his old shit he could have played, I think it says a lot that he chose this track.


Only One

No, hot new artist Paul McCartney wasn’t there. It was still a great performance though with only Kanye West out there (standing up this time) doing his most emotional track. I like Only One more and more everytime I hear it, it’s a damn emotional track and shows how Kanye is only getting more mature, regardless of what he did at The Grammys (and he was right tho.)


Wolves

Vic Mensa WolvesSo this is the only really new track Kanye did (we’ve heard Only One a few times now, and there were only snippets of Wolves to come out of Kanye’s fashion show), and Sia and Vic Mensa joined Kanye on stage for this one. Both were only singing (no rapping from Vic on this one — I was just a little disappointed) but it was mad dope. Sia was using her voice like an instrument and it was all just coming together for a minimally creepy vibe.

It was also mad dope of Kanye to feature Vic on this, and google searches for him skyrocketed after the performance. He’s putting on a Chicago head, and he chose Vic instead of Chance because Chance don’t need to be put on. Vic on the other hand is as dope as Chance with much less exposure. Or maybe he just likes Vic more, shit I don’t know.


So what about Kanye’s next album?

Well, considering Wolves is the first track on the album, it will probably be pretty indicative of the whole LP. I think Kanye’s next album is gonna be kind of a mix between Yeezus and 808s and Heartbreak, so like an out there (relative to hip hop) album with minimal production that alternates between personal and hostile. Kanye usually goes pretty emotional, but this is gonna be his first album as a father, and I think it’ll be as much or more singing as rapping. I can’t wait.


Spit Talking

Amber Rose Delivers The Twitter Ether

We got some more twitter beef for y’all.

These rounds were between Amber Rose and Khloe Kardashian. Apparently Khloe talked shit about “Kanye’s ex” (Amber Rose) and how she was a stripper. Amber Rose fired back, then kept firing and firing. It was a resounding victory for Amber.


How it started ain’t that important

Amber Rose but ur wife has a sex tapeSo Khloe shot some shade at Amber Rose about being a stripper. Amber ended it before it started, taking the fight to her on twitter. First by saying “I’ll be that lil whore to support my family like ur older sister is a whore 2 support hers” then posting a picture with Kanye talking bout how Kim has a sex tape so Khloe shouldn’t talk that mess.

Now this was already some savagery, and Khloe’s helpless replies (in which she didn’t even @ her tho) were falling flat, and she just in general really didn’t want that playplay. At this point Amber had clearly won so she stopped right? No, Amber was gonna make an example out of Khloe to make folks think twice before ever stepping to Amber Rose.

A little quick background: Papa Kardashian (before Bruce Jenner) was OJ’s lawyer. Now, Khloe definitely looks different than the other Kardashians, and there are rumors floating out there who think OJ (who didn’t do it by the way — I mean the glove didn’t fit, right?) is Khloe’s father. You might not know this, but that’s because most people don’t really talk about it.

Amber Rose twitter aviAmber Rose is not most people, though. After the initial firing had died down, she shot off the tweet heard round the world, kicking Khloe while she was down and ending not only this twitter beef but all twitter beefs forever cause they’ll never top this one. The tweet said: “U think because ur dad was a professional football player that got away with murder ur better than me girl? Haaaaannnnn?” As of this writing the tweet had more than 20K retweets and favorites in an hour. Then she put a bow on it with “I’m done dragging this bitch” in her final tweet.

Now this was not only vicious, but confusing to a lot of twitter as the first 10 minutes of Amber Rose’s mentions were people pointing out that Khloe’s dad is Robert Kardashian, OJ’s lawyer, so she was dumb. Leave it up to folks on twitter to not only totally miss the hottest diss of all time, but to call Amber Rose stupid too #smh. Anyways, Khloe has not responded and she probably never will because I expect her twitter will be deleted.


RIP Khloe and all future twitter beef.


Spit Talking

Latest Hip Hop News: From Banks to Badu

Hip Hop’s been acting up…

But that’s nothing new. I mean let’s be real, hip hop wouldn’t be hip hop if shit didn’t go down from time to time. The main beef of the moment is Azealia Banks and Erykah Badu, and like all good modern beefs it’s a twitter beef.


Someone asked Badu a question on twitter

They asked Erykah Badu if she’d ever listened to Azealia Banks (while @ing Azealia.) Badu responded with a single, shade-filled word: “Tried.” Shit was on. Azealia Banks didn’t take long to see the tweet (I mean she was @ed), because she’s always on twitter and probably never sleeps.

Erykah Badu

Photo: myspace.com

First she just asked why the shade, but then the twitter goddess went off like only she can. She called Badu jealous, then went on to talk about how older artists take any chance they get to throw shade one younger generation and how they can’t let go. They eventually made up and said they were both cool, but then Azealia kept going and talking some shit about Badu. The streets are hanging on every word.


Kanye X Chappelle

In case you been sleeping under a rock, Kanye’s got some kicks coming out. The Yeezy Boosts are gonna go for $350 and all the pre-orders are already reserved. Yeezus said he’s gonna make sure everyone can get a pair though, so out of the benevolence of his heart they’ll keep making them until the world’s rocking Yeezys. Anyways, apparently Kanye and Dave Chappelle ran into each other and Kanye took the Yeezys off his feet and gave them to Dave right there.

Dave Chappelle

Photo: standupny.com

Now, aside from further showing how altruistic Yeezus is, this gives me hope for some sort of collab between the 2 geniuses. Chappelle was always very musically inclined (just look at the musical guests on Chappelle’s Show), and he put Kanye on before many other folks did. I’m not expecting an album or anything, but maybe a Blame Game-type situation where Chappelle’s got a funny ass guest spot? I’m just saying.


There’s some other Kanye news too

Like his fashion show, some new tracks he’s dropped (keep ya eyes open for a review on here soon), and more Yeezy Boost facts, like how he hand-delivered Drake’s pair. Kanye’s doing his part to spread love throughout a world that desperately needs it, considering all the beefs going around and all the shade being thrown. Let’s hope he continues his crucial work, and that the Nobel Peace Prize committee finally figures it out and sends one his way.


Spit Talking

Scope That New Earl Sweatshirt – Quest/Power

Earl Sweatshirt just dropped a track.

It’s called quest/power. It doesn’t sound exactly lke anything Earl’s ever done, but it has a similar gloomy kind of back alley vibe. It sounds like some of his older shit, but without the shock lyrics. Dude also sounds a lot older.

Scope quest/power on soundcloud.


The beat starts familiar

Earl Sweatshirt

Photo: stereogum.com

So this track is with Earl, Budgie and Samiyam (both on the production). That means Tyler didn’t handle the production for this track, like he did for most of Earl’s older sht (although he didn’t do all of Doris.) Even though it’s not Tyler, the beat kicks in with an Odd Future-like dark vibe, with a little bit of a spacey feel. If you’ve ever heard Earl, you know this type of shit is perfect for his laid-back flow.

He delivers that laid-back flow as you’d expect him to, but without really going off on extended thought flows. It’s kind of a personal track, which seems to be the most comfortable spot for Earl. For the first half of the track it seems to be pretty standard for Earl: laid back with dope rhymes in neat patterns, a mad chill flow and a sleepy/spacey beat backing him up.

From quest to power

About halfway through, Earl takes a little break and the beat slows down even more. Then Earl does something I’ve never really heard from him as the beat gets choppy. He starts going in with a staccato type flow, and combined with the beat change the whole track all of a sudden sounds like it’s something out of Staten Island that RZA mixed. I guess this is why the track is called quest/power, this transition is dope.

Earl Sweatshirt

Photo: theboombox.com

Now, I love Earl, and especially his flow. I think he’s one of the most natural rappers of all time and he’s got a mad dope, unique sound. His albums sound only like his albums, but his tracks can sometime blend into each other because of his hypnotic flow. This staccato switch-up sounds almost like a different rapper though, and Earl all of a sudden sounds more raw and emotional and generally hardened somehow.

Earl’s next album will be dope

If this is a single off Earl’s next album, I can’t wait for it to drop. Is this track a transition from slow, sleepy Earl to a harder, more energetic Earl? Is it just a showcase of how he’s gonna switch it up in the next album? Is it just a one-time thing? Hopefully not, because if Earl can take his natural talent and add some different flows to his repertoire, along with keeping the dope lyrical content (like he does in quest/power) he’s gonna be gunning for a top spot in the game.


What do you think this means for Earl’s next album?

Thanks for reading, I’m mad excited.


Spit Talking

If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late Review

Drake dropped something pretty big.

But it’s not Views From The 6, his still-upcoming album. It’s actually a mixtape (Drake’s own words even though it’s full album-length and costs $12.99.) Despite it being a non-free mixtape, I had to buy it right away so props to Drake for that marketing through non-marketing. He also released a short film with it along with not announcing it, so Drake’s all on his Beyoncé shit. It kind of worked, cause #IfYoureReadingThisItsTooLate and a few track names were trending on twitter all day. Read on for my If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late review.

Drake - If You're Reading This It's Too Late

Drake just dropped this picture on twitter with a link to his album out of nowhere.

If You're Reading This It's Too Late - Drake

Some more quick words first though: Drake is supposedly releasing this to speed up the completion of his 5 record contract with Cash Money so his next album is his last with them. He also released it in the middle of Kanye’s fashion show and Diddy’s Hot 97 show, probably to steal some shine (mostly from Diddy.) Drake’s trynna remind people he’s on top of the game with a mixtape that is kind of just a bunch of tracks thrown together, but it actually works and it’s worth a few listens.


If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late delivers a laid back sound that paves the way for Drake to rap some emotional shit and also some boasting shit. It isn’t particularly innovative or groundbreaking, but it’s definitely worth multiple listens and worth paying for the mixtape. Drake didn’t quite reach Beyoncé levels with his surprise album, but hip hop should be happy.

For its smooth but not really daring sound, I give Drake’s new mixtape a:

 

3.5/5

 


Dope and varied from the beginning

Drake focused

Photo: thatgrapejuice.net

From the first track (Legend) and its laid back but slightly funky beat, you know this is a Drake joint. He only confirms that when he comes in singing. This isn’t a break-up album where he’s down on himself though, saying, “if I die I’mma legend”, showing that this is a confident Drake even if he’s still soft. He continues that into Energy, too. All in all this album kind of sounds like if he made So Far Gone (which is about 5 years old) now. It’s laid back and has that raw feel, but he’s (rightfully) a hell of a lot more confident now.

Also, the beats are more varied than you might expect from a mixtape he dropped out of nowhere. 10 Bands is a good example of this, and the track sounds like it would fit right in on Nothing Was The Same. Know Yourself also fits in that category considering it has a minimal but mad tight beat that allows Drake to go off, and it’s the first great and really memorable track on the album. One of the things that makes it feel like a mixtape is how intimate it sounds and how conversational Drake is, despite being so celebratory at times.

Drake sounds like a cool and calm veteran

The 5th track is No Tellin’, which is probably my favorite track on the album. It’s a simple but hypnotic beat that really lets Drake go with the flow he wants and just stay comfortable. It gets the fuck in your head, though, and it’s also almost a perfect marriage of a few of the sounds from Drake’s different albums. No Tellin’ also has one of the best lines in the album, “the new shit is on steroids, I would never pass a physical.”

Drake Bond

Photo: urbanmogullife.com

This is followed by Madonna, a chill track with a tight beat. Then comes 6 God, which is one of the moments where the mixtape almost approaches banger status but is still somehow laid-back. Star67 is the 8th track, which is also one of the highlights of the album. Pulling you in with a mini-skit and an intriguing spacey beat, Star67 would probably be dug even by those folks who don’t like Drake. It undergoes a mid-song transition that sounds like it’s straight out of James Bond, it’s personal, and it’s mad dope.

The second half picks up with some dope feats

Drake comes back in with Preach, a track that sounds more like Drake but still not predictable with PARTYNEXTDOOR on the feat. This is about halfway through the album, and fades out into Wednesday Night Interlude also featuring PARTYNEXTDOOR. It slows the album down (not that it was mad quick or anything) but more importantly makes it feel like an album rather than just a collection of tracks.

Then the most famous feature (Lil Wayne) jumps on Used To (which you may have heard a few weeks ago.) It’s a solid track, but it’s just enjoyable, not great or anything, kind of like the whole mixtape. Weezy’s verse is pretty funny though, including a Friday reference (which is necessary for good hip hop.) Then Drake goes on to 6 Man, shouting out Lou Williams and his two girlfriends on one of the best and most creative beats on the album.

From the almost bangers to the almost ballads, shit’s mad solid

Swaying lighter

Photo: tvtropes.org

Now & Forever is the 13th track on the album and it’s another highlight for Drake. Like the other great tracks on this album, they sound like classic Drake joints but not like they’re just rehashes, they sound a little updated too. Anyways, this is one of those Drake ballads with a lot of repetition but you still can’t help but wanna sway your lighter back and forth. This is followed by Company (featuring Travi$ Scott, another great feat), which is another one of the best tracks on the album between Drake and Travi$ Scott’s performances. The album’s solid all around, but picks up near the end (really, in the later half.)

You & The 6 slows it back down and brings it back to Drake’s personal journal. His performance is actually mad dope and it really sounds like he’s spitting to her right there in the studio talking about how he was raised. Drake always goes for the personal, and he especially does in You & The 6 (which also has a mad catchy, low-key beat.)  The second-to-last track is Jungle, which shares a title with Drake’s short film he dropped a few hours before the album. It’s the longest track on the album, and the beat’s kind of dope but honestly it’s just a bit boring. It is the 16th track on the mixtape though, so it can’t all be fire, and it’d be good backing for a late night.

Last track’s one of the best

Tyga and Kylie Jenner

Photo: eonline.com

The mixtape finishes off with 6PM In New York, and Drake saved one of the best for last. It’s definitely where he goes the hardest, from saying Lil Wayne “couldn’t have found a better successor” to telling Tyga (who he’s feuding with) to act his age, not his girl’s age (Kylie Jenner… she’s 17.) Drake is savage in this last track, and wakes you up in case Jungle had you napping. By the end of the album it’s been versatile enough that you want to listen to it again immediately, because even though it isn’t straight fire or anything, it’s consistently good and varied enough.


What’s your favorite track?

Like I said, I gotta go with No Tellin’ with 6PM In New York as a close second. Drizzy doesn’t take any huge chances on this album, and it’s not incredible or anything, but it’s super chill and a good soundtrack for late night cooling or driving in the middle of the night. I’m not Drake’s biggest fan (but I’m not a hater or anything), and I think this mixtape is worth the money, plus it makes me wanna hear Views From The 6 ASAP. I also hear it’s on track to sell half a million just this opening weekend, so salute for that Drake. Download that shit today and make your phone library just a little more solid. Come on, you know bae will love that shit too.

If You're Reading This It's Too Late - Drake


Spit Talking

Hip Hop Albums With The Best Skits

Skits are a crucial part of a dope hip hop album.

A while back, we rounded up some of the funniest hip hop skits out there. Now we’re hitting up the albums which use skits in the best way. Whether it’s hilarious, serious, makes you think or just tells a good story, these are the albums that feature the best hip hop skits.

Real quick, let’s just review why skits are such a crucial part of hip hop. If you’re just listening to an album with no concept and no skits, it might as well just be a collection of tracks. Once you get skits in an album though, the whole album feels more cohesive, and in the best cases you start feeling like you’re taking in a movie.


Kanye West – College Dropout

Kanye West - College DropoutFirst of all, the world has now been blessed with Yeezy’s debut album for 11 years (as of a few days ago.) College Dropout is a great showcase of Yeezy’s tight, soul-sampling beats and alternatively playful and deep lyrics. Anyways, these skits (along with the rest of the album) make you question the value of a college education, and at the very least you see that a genius like Yeezy didn’t need a degree. These skits are damn funny but seriously make you think, too.

The College Dropout - Kanye West


Masta Ace – Disposable Arts

Masta Ace - Disposable ArtsSpeaking of funny college-related skits Masta Ace’s are even funnier than Kanye’s. Masta Ace is one of the most underrated rappers of all time, considering how long he’s been around and how consistently dope his shit is. Disposable Arts proves you should be listening to him, but the skits really put it over the top. I don’t think I’ve ever laughed more at a rap album than when Masta Ace meets his college roommate from Saskatchewan.

Disposable Arts - Masta Ace


Biggie – Ready to Die

Biggie - Ready to DieYou know how I was saying some of these skits are funny and some are mad serious? Well Ready to Die’s got the whole spectrum. The skit that starts the album, where Big’s mom gives birth to him (with Diddy egging her on) includes a musical gallery of what Biggie grew up listening to. Some of them are totally skippable (no one’s trynna hear Big get it in), and some of them show who Big is. By the end though, the last skit (which is also the last track) will leave you speechless, and I ain’t playing.

Ready To Die the Remaster - The Notorious B.I.G.


Kendrick Lamar – good kid, m.A.A.d. city

Kendrick Lamar - good kid, m.A.A.d cityThis one’s mad obvious, and proves my point about skits making albums feel like movies because Kendrick even calls it a “short film” right on the cover. By switching off almost every song between voicemails from his parents and audio inside the car him and his friends rode around in, you really feel like you were there with Kendrick coming up. If not for the skits, this album wouldn’t feel nearly so personal.

good kid, m.A.A.d city - Kendrick Lamar


 Tyler, the Creator – Wolf

Tyler the Creator - WolfThis is one I almost forgot, but the skits Tyler has here don’t just add to it, they are vital to the storytelling in the album. From the beginning, where Sam and Wolf (both played by Tyler) meet, the tracks weave together to form a narrative. Wolf really does feel like it’s a linear narrative, and that’s no surprise coming from Tyler, the Creator, who has made more than one album that was supposed to be a therapy session.

Wolf - Tyler, The Creator


Skits can elevate an album to the next level.

So which album makes the most use of skits? I definitely didn’t cover them all here. Also I was gonna put Liquid Swords on here because GZA is the genius after all, but a lot of the skits are technically just samples from Shogun Assassin. Most of these are newer albums, so I know some of y’all think I missed out on some crucial ones, so hit me with a comment.


Spit Talking

Valentine’s Day Date Ideas

Valentine’s Day is Coming Up.

If you and bae don’t already have reservations at some fancy restaurant, you are real and I salute you. If you don’t have a bae, well shit, better luck next year and there’s no reason you can’t do this for yourself #treatyoself. These are some Valentine’s Day date ideas you might go for if you’re real and you’re not trynna break the bank.

Everyone loves Kanye.

Photo: funnyjunk.com


Figure out what you’re gonna bump

So the soundtrack to your Valentine’s Day date is gonna be the most crucial part. The music sets the tone and fills the silences that might pop up every now and then. I mean think about it, you don’t want some mad serious conversation to have just ended, and then the speakers start bumping “I LUH BAD BITCHES THAS MY FUCKIN PROBLEM.” That’s why you gotta pre-plan the playlist. And what are dope albums if not pre-made playlists?

J. Cole - 2014 Forest Hills DriveAnyways, you gotta a lot of choices here, but you gotta be careful because the tracks you lay down are gonna set the mood. You can’t go too far either way, so I’m sorry Drake but you’re not gonna cut it. And on the other side, Migos, we love you but this is Valentine’s Day not Christmas. If you wanna keep it dope but also just a little soft, you might wanna hit up J Cole and 2014 Forest Hills Drive. Side note: if you or bae are from Chicago, go with Kanye. Which Kanye? Any Kanye (except maybe not Yeezus but I don’t know y’alls relationship.) Also, Frank Ocean is always a safe choice here.


Pick your dining spot

This is the least important part, but you gotta remember the name of the game is saving some cash. Just make sure it’s somewhere that’s cool with you bringing a candle or two to make the lighting a little more romantic. Most of the time, the decision is gonna come down to Taco Bell or McDonald’s… choose wisely, depending on if bae speaks spanish or not.


Choose your movie

FridayNow that you’ve had your romantic but cost-effective meal, it’s time to wind down the night. What’s the best way to do this? Well, obviously you gotta end with a dope movie that features some rappers. If you and bae wanna kick it with a little smoke, go with How High. If you want something a little realer, go with Hustle & Flow. Finally, if bae is white you gotta show them Friday so that they understand you.


Now you know what romance is

So go on and spread it or just enjoy the night to yourself. If it’s a solo Valentine’s Day though you might need a little more Drake. Otherwise, show bae a good time with this time-tested date night. And if you got any hot tips for making it even better, let me know.


Spit Talking

The Blacker the Berry: Packed with Meaning

Kendrick has released another track.

First of all, he supposedly doesn’t want his singles to be called “singles”, but instead “statements.” So this is definitely the best of the 3 (including i and the untitled one on the Colbert Report) so far, and it’s kind of a return to form for Kendrick. It’s called The Blacker the Berry, and that’s just where the meaning starts. Also, it hasn’t even been out 2 days and almost has 2 million youtube views.


Dope beat, dope rhymes

Kendrick Lamar - The Blacker The BerryThe beat comes in nice and grimy followed shortly by simple but tight drums. The beat sounds more like something Kendrick would jump on than his last 2 tracks, and I think it fits him more. He also sounds more comfortable being able to go off in short bursts matching the drums. He’s sticking with that starting each verse with the same thing, in this case “I’m the biggest hypocrite of 2015.”

Deeper meaning

Now, this is an interesting way to start your verses, but not without context regarding some recent comments Kendrick has made. When talking about recent events including those in Ferguson and Staten Island, Kendrick called them tragedies but also went on to talk about how respect starts from within and the black community can’t expect respect from the outside (say, police) without first respecting themselves. So Kendrick was pretty much playing respectability politics and asking “well what about black on black crime?”

Kendrick Lamar XXL Cover

Photo: xxlmag.com

Well, he caught some heat for this and rightfully so. I mean, his own lyrics in good kid talk about how the police will never respect him no matter what he does, so I can’t really understand how he jumps from that to “we gotta respect ourselves first.” But I guess he is calling himself a hypocrite, so I guess you can’t fault him for that. Anyway, this track is definitely a response to the backlash from his comments (or maybe he was setting this track up with those comments), but it’s not exactly an apology.

Back to the track

From early on he talks about how he’s African American, what that means for him, and what that means for how he’s seen by other (non-black) people. While he’s talking about himself in this track, he’s mostly rapping about himself as a black man in this country. If good kid, m.A.A.d. city was a concept album about Kendrick’s experience coming up in Compton, his next album looks like it may be more broadly about how black people come up in this country in 2015.

Kendrick Lamar Performing

Photo: factmag.com

Anyways, by the end he explains why he starts every verse by calling himself a hypocrite. He caps it off with a pretty powerful few bars talking about all the things he could try to do for the movement before finishing his rap off with “so why did I weep when Trayvon Martin was in the street, when gangbanging made me kill a nigga blacker than me? Hypocrite!” The way I see it, this is a direct response to his recent comments about Ferguson and Staten Island. I still don’t think it totally justifies what he said, but it’s for sure an explanation. At the very least, it makes me feel a little better about Kendrick. Say whatever you want, but Kendrick is real.

Overall, it’s a good sound

Musically, the track also makes me feel better about Kendrick’s next album. It’s got a beat that sounds half classic West Coast cruising beat, with the other half being a bit spacier and more experimental, coming together for a mad tight beat you can nod to for a while as you take in Kendrick’s thoughts. If I had to guess, his next album is gonna have a mostly tight and classic sound that’s just a bit ambitious, while he’s dropping knowledge in dope rhymes, even if I don’t always agree with what he’s saying. The Blacker the Berry is definitely worth a few spins.


How do you think it compares to his other recent tracks?

I think it’s easily the best of his last 3 tracks, and I think people everywhere feel better about Kendrick’s next album now. The social commentary he’s laying down is pretty interesting, especially when thinking about what he has said about Ferguson and Staten Island. But most importantly, did you think this track was dope? Listen to it and let me know.


Spit Talking

Grammy Wrap-Up (Or Catching Up With Kanye)

So, The Grammys went down last night.

And I know I said they’re garbage, but hey I’m a human being with vices just like you. Some shit went down, and I guess they were overall worth paying attention to. The reason they were alright is easy to pick out though, and its name is Kanye.

Kanye and Beck

Photo: The Grammys


Mr. Grammys

Even though he wasn’t up for anything himself, he did perform twice and generally stole the show. First of all, mad people have been talking shit about Kanye West and how he’s an idiot and egotistical and crazy and talentless. Let’s just remember that the man has won 21 Grammys, so I don’t think many of those claims are valid (or non-racist.) So, let’s just get it out there, Kanye ran up to the stage after Beck beat Beyoncé for Best Album of the Year, got up to the mic and was about to snatch it, but then stopped, smiled and got off the stage without saying a word.

Kanye and Beck

Photo: The Grammys

When Kanye started off the stage, folks cracked up and started laughing cause they thought he was just joking on Beck and pulling a 2009 Kanye. Beck took it in good humor, tried to get Kanye back on the stage and later called him a genius. Afterwards though, Kanye said that Beck should “respect artistry” and give the award to Beyoncé (who even Beck said should have won.) It seems like Kanye didn’t say anything because of some combination of the fact that he’s a father now and has an Adidas sponsorship.

The power of Kanye

Let’s examine the power of Kanye though: he got up on the stage for about 3 seconds, didn’t say anything at all and still everyone knew it meant that Beyoncé should have won the award. Who else can say so much without saying anything at all? Also, who else could get away with jumping on stage and disrupting The Grammys twice and only be more loved? Only Kanye could pull some shit like that, and it’s not just because of his ego (no matter what the haters say.) Anyways, I love Beyoncé, but I don’t think Beck (who is pretty damn talented even if I don’t really listen to his shit) is exactly the guy to go after, but whatever I see his point and I don’t really care because Kanye can do whatever he wants.

Don’t hate

Also, what’s up with all this backlash of people calling Kanye an idiot and a crazy egotist? It’s not like he’s up there saying that HE should be winning the Grammys or anything, he’s defending Beyoncé, who only surprised the world with a chart-topping, fully visual album. Also, about 10 years ago he won an award that he thought should have gone to Big Boi so he said so and tried to give it back. And that’s not even the only time he’s done something like that. Before you start trynna slander Yeezus, know what you’re talking about.

Kanye and Taylor Swift

Photo: The Grammys

Anyways, the timing’s good for Kanye, who’s got some dope Adidas kicks about to drop and an album somewhat soon. He even showed that him and Taylor Swift got no hard feelings, in yet another show of Yeezy’s power over people. Again, even Beck didn’t have any problem with what Kanye did (and later said), showing that he’s a pretty cool guy too. Check out his comments here, along with video of Kanye getting on stage and Jay-Z’s mad funny reaction as Kanye hopped up there. You can also just scope Spit Talking’s twitter at the top right for all the funniest moments.


The non-Yeezus rest of the Grammys

Nas and Jay Z

Photo: The Grammys

Some other shit went down of course, but the Grammys didn’t televise any hip hop or rap awards, proving again that they really don’t give a shit about hip hop. A few artists had hands-up shoutouts to Ferguson/hoodie shoutouts to Trayvon Martin in their performances, including Beyoncé (who of course had a great performance) and Pharrell who said some wild shit about Mike Brown’s “bullyish behavior” a few months ago but seems to have had some sort of change of heart. Nas and Jay-Z were seen laughing together, so I don’t think we should expect another Ether anytime soon. Also, Kendrick Lamar won best rap song and best rap performance for i. Now, GKMC was robbed 2 years ago, but i is not a great track and shouldn’t have won best song. Just saying.

Iggy can’t even win Papa John’s attention

Hip Hop won as Iggy Azalea lost every grammy she was up for, but she was pretty active on twitter beefing with… Papa John’s. Apparently she ordered some pizza and the delivery guy gave her number out to multiple family members and she started getting texts. Papa John’s briefly responded with an apology including a song lyric she didn’t think was funny and her twitter beef continues as we speak with no response from Papa John’s. Let this be representative of Iggy’s future career as we leave these Grammys in the past.


What was your favorite part?

I gotta say Hovs’s reaction when he thought Kanye was doing it was damn classic. I also had to love that Iggy Azalea didn’t win best rap album (or anything else) despite my bleak predictions. Maybe hip hop’s gonna be alright.


Spit Talking