Beth Gibbons and I are doing a song together. I decided this, daydreaming at work today. Beth and I are going to make a song, or maybe even a whole freaking album together, since we both have hair the color of sunshine and we’re both in love with bass. That’s enough, right? We should create things together and put those things on the Internet, right? It doesn’t matter that one of us was born to make music and one of us is terrible at making music, I hope, because that would really put a damper on things.
Wiz: Not Michael Jackson, I ain’t feeling these kids/and you hatin’, such a shame that’s where your energy is/I’m in a Gfizz flying, leave your bitches with the planes, now she sky diving, hella vibin’/And your hating adds just more steam/More chips, now I’m living more Rothstein.
Lieber and Stoller wrote timeless stories set to melody in 15 minutes, smoking and pacing around the room, tossing out lyrical snippets to each other. Smoke DZA can say RIIIIIIIGHT over a beat and I’ll listen to it on a loop in my Civic for at least a half hour. My point is that making songs that please the people is quite a reachable goal when you were obviously born to do it and don’t try to force things if you weren’t born to do it. Ahem. Thank you.
Logan, outshining Wiz: Mike Jackson raps make me yawn, you’re a Boy who’s Badly Drawn/I’m sick of you, vamoose, sail the fuckin Dead Sea/I’m hoi polloi, you’re a pig who’s bourgeoisie/Eat some brie, drink some chablis/Your high times ain’t nothin compared to Prodigy in his bucket, flyin on PCP/Your career’s over, I heard your label reneged/Your utter lack of substance means you’re just an image – JPEG.
Then something about twinkletoes and my heart breaking. My style’s derivative – I’ve obviously been too influenced by Nickatina and Cellski plus a little G Rap and that fucking supa dupa flow that I despise, and overall I need a better grasp of my identity as a narrator in song. Still, I put the lyrical hurting on em and man I’ll never quit. The game needs me too badly. I come around and fools’ careers are just done – folding in on themselves like the house at the end of Poltergeist.
Curren$y: Kicked up sittin’ behind a mahogany desk, crumblin erb just as Big Boi and Andre would suggest/Flow sick need a check up, flow sick that’s how I got my checks up/Bad bitches gold diggin’ lame n—s out a trip to foreign places, or bracelet or necklace/Then slide through the set and fuck the Jets cause she respect us/You think you got a winner, but you don’t I bet she let us (lettuce)/Pickles, tomatoes, onions, mayo, mustard, and ketchup…the works.
E-40 set the standard for condiment raps with the claaaaaaassic “Mustard and mayonnaise smokin up at the sky light/You can’t touch my Vogues, baby bye-bye.” That one was delicious and left my tummy/heart/soul feeling satisfied. Curren$y’s verse is about girls acting wrongly and it’s somehow wrapped up in a metaphor about hamburger toppings, but the whole freaking thing works because OutKast works, always. Everyone loves OutKast. My landlady loves em. My mailman too. Your 4th-grade teacher. David Stern, Alex Trebek. My future husband, my mom. Me and you. Your mom. And your cousin too, of course. Everyone loves OutKast, the kittens/ice cream/pizza/free money of the music world. In case you’re reading this, future husband: I’m ending my wedding vows with Power music/electric revival. Also I’d like you to constantly tell me I’m fine as all outdoors. Thanks in advance! I LOVE YOU, BABY. XOXO.
Wiz: Clear the runway, baby/I get money from Sunday to Sunday, lady/Oh behave, I’m young, rich, famous/Grinding, keep my pockets on Schwarzenegger/OG in my Swisher so my blunt taste flavored, don’t it?/Ya’ll n—s can get if you want it/Tryna catch a flight?/I’m in the back seat playing X Box, car service just chillin’/Burners in the wall, money all through the ceiling.
THIS GUY. These are the words of a professional musician, above – and if you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention. Writing composition experts weigh in; regarding style, Toni Morrison said, “The language must not sweat.” (She’s talking about effortlessness.) And then there was that time adjunct English professor D. Dumile said most MCs are “rusty like oxidation, in the world’s most strangest, most dangerous occupation.” This is just a nicer, though no less correct, description of industry persons’ shortcomings that Big L and Kool Keith have revealed to my innocent ears over the years, except don’t forget to add that everyone’s got AIDS, according to L, and they all want Keith’s autograph according to Keith. And I believe it was Logan the Shy Bathing-Suited Sex Kitten Comedian who said, after trying to come up with something nice to say because that’s how her mom raised her, “Wiz has a lovely smile. He really does. It is unselfconscious and genuine. But he should take notes from other weed-loving duos who constantly have adventures together – Jay and Silent Bob (Bob stayed silent because he could not rap), and Meth and Red (they both learned how to rap and be charming, understanding that it’s not fair for one dude to always be the heavier lyrical
Spitta hitta).” Logan, upsetting Wiz immensely: Ball til I fall, make that dollar holler/If it don’t make dollars, blah blah stickin up white boys on ball courts/Pockets on stun, consumption on conspicuous/401k on a hundred thousand million jillion/I’m leaving Warner Bros. for good this year, not enough artistic freedom/Just kidding, I’ll never leave, they’re my meal ticket/Plus I know Warren Buffett – the real Warren Buffett/He owe me a hundred favors.
See, I can do it too. When it comes to luxury raps, I’m nowhere near Janye’s level – but I can certainly outdo a kid from Pittsburgh wearing some Converse, with his language sweating all over the place.
Curren$y: Bitches freeze in the Xenon headlights like a deer/But not out of fear, she looking ’cause it’s money over here/Shine from above these land lovers I’m a chandelier/My girl gotta pocket bubbler in her purse/She keep it G and pack the bowl with weed and let me hit it first/Ain’t tryna be a hog, doggy – all I want is what I’m worth.
“It’s not a guarantee that I will like your songs just because you make a reference to girls being like deer, sweet and gentle forest creatures,” said the lady with eyes that always get commented on (by fucking cops) and give her the appearance of a fawn in the forest, “But it helps.” This is critical bias on the part of the blogger.
8. “Glass House,” with Big K.R.I.T. (Kush & OJ mixtape; produced by ??? – Jerm? Sledgren? K.R.I.T.?)
Wiz: Just by the smell it’s obvious/That my connect come from Cali/I’m good long as the money piling up/All the while I’m just quick lane pimping, big jane twisting/Walking how I talk it, bitch that’s Pittsburgh pimping.
The three things that should bother me most about this affair – the presence of Wiz, the presence of Curtis Mayfield, and the song’s theme of girls needing to perform sexually in order to hang out in a fucking incredible car – are blissfully offset by the fact that ’09 Wiz was still tolerable, that the Curtis break is used in a pretty fashion, and the fact that I got over gender roles in song lyrics a long time ago and am much happier now that I know that lyric life is not real life (or trife life, for that matter; word life.) Curren$y’s verse starts it off, and all is as it should be as we head into the hook. There’s a dumb Wiz detour next, and then our Mississippi rep walks in and calls 808 a southern mating call and you know I love that. K.R.I.T.’s an ass guy, clearly, and that’s OK with me, because nobody said you can’t be an ass guy and also a sensitive guy (my dream combo, duh). What is also OK with me is that K.R.I.T. says he’ll push my hand away from the buttons in his Cutty unless I take my dress off, but without his friends around he’s pure sweetness. (A man who writes a tribute to riding around in the car and listening to music with his dad? That’s a sensitive individual.) Oh and that hook, that hook! It’s a sing-along-in-the-Civic beauty! When I first heard it, I thought it was Pimp C asking me if I wanna rest my ass in this glass house. It’s not, but man do I wish it was. I wish it was.
Logan: A re-jacking of Wiz’s jacking of Cam’s technique (“I take this word and say that same word again 1 bar later and that’s my verse, doggy”*), I’d have to start off with Meth was Mary’s Noah; Mary was his wiz/Nipsey Russell played the Tin Man in that movie called “The Wiz.”
(The song would be called “Divine Mathematics,” obviously. And Wiz should join Dipset, obviously, because he’d fit right in. He’s a long-lost cousin of J.R.’s, and he has to box Vado in the backyard before every tour stop to decide who gets to sit next to Jonesy on the bus.) Later in the song, I address Wiz directly with Don’t wanna read your book, won’t look at your brochure/I can name 2 terrible rappers named Cameron who should go on the ‘Rappers Named Cameron Are Terrible’ Tour. I’m planning on performing it at SXSW, and I’m also planning on the crowd loving it. I am planning on opening for Danny Brown as well, and when he does “Monopoly” I’ll yell along with him into the mic when he gets to the Fuck you and your tough talk/When I monopolize I throw your ass off the Boardwalk part. (My hair gets all messed up but I don’t care.)
* 5 year old reference, but please. I can’t imagine he’s changed much, flow-wise.
Curren$y: I chill with all that baller fishing/You fucked around and you caught a shark/Cold hard, tear your feelings apart/I’m more focused on getting my rims powder-coated/One of the dopest, I’m Schedule I/You just ibuprofen, what is you smoking?/Them bogus growers, they got you choking.
Some things are boring until you dig a little deeper. “The San Diego Chargers agreed to contract terms with defensive end Corey Liuget today,” a sports site told me a couple weeks ago. Yeah yeah, terrific, so what. Several hours later, however, sports talk radio told me “The San Diego Chargers signed defensive end Corey LEGIT today.” IT’S PRONOUNCED LEGIT! COREY LEGIT. He therefore has the perfect SODMG associate/MMA fighter name, and that is not boring in the slightest. And in this verse Curren$y’s talking about ballernomics, rims, narcotics; but dig a little deeper, and you can appreciate that Schedule I mention, and that shark mention (an obvious nod to Nickatina).
9. “Weed Brownies” (that Big Sean mixtape; Big Jerm)
Wiz: Eat champagne and lobster cause I fucking deserve this shit/N—s say I’ve got an old soul/Well, I tell them that I’m here, muthafucka/And I made it cause my flow cold.
Aw damn, I let things bother me too much. The flows, beat selection, and clothing choices of men who exist in my headphones and on my computer screen – I take it too seriously, like it’s a gamble. I do. Sigh. Now that that’s been established: NOBODY SAYS WIZ HAS AN OLD SOUL. Has anybody ever said that about Wiz? NO. They have not. In the category of other things I’m supposed to believe that insult my intelligence: Dre drives a Chrysler, Em drives a Chrysler, and Timberlake is a HUGE Leonard Cohen and Mantronix fan.
I might toss it to one of you guys since I don’t have an authoritative voice when it comes to weed high jinks. But if put on the spot, I just go to my old stand-by topics of Doom, making fun of dudes’ gear if it’s overly fancy, and maybe something from that day’s RSS feed about non-rap?
Logan, easily making Wiz look foolish: I don’t know Mary Jane, but I’m told she’d make my heart sing/Wiz, you so skinny, on that steady diet of nothing/Something something, Minor Threat, … ________ (line that expresses my disappointment about this although really, why should I even care since nothing’s sacred)/You’re screaming at a wall, you’re broke, you got no ends/Your whole style garbage, Wiz you need to make amends/Prepster I’m just playing when I says I likes your Land’s Ends/Doomsy and me and Vast, we’re super friends.
All I have are punchlines at this point. Punchlines galore. So many punchlines that I’m ready for my YMCMB contract. (“HOOKS IS EXTRA” – Dumile.)
Curren$y: I’m outta here, stratosphere/Paper hella straight, nappy hair/Bitches seem not to care that you were even there/When we pulled up, lit like Times Square/When we pulled up, lit like road flares/When we pulled off, them hoes disappeared/Because they know what we be doing over here/She just wanna be high in her underwear/With her iPhone plugged in the wall, power outlet/Stepping out the shower, threw her a shirt to towel off with.
I am jealous of Curren$y’s girls, who do nothing but lounge around, smoke and take their clothes off, and this is enough to get them mentioned in song. ME ME ME, why can’t this be me? I have excellent references and I’m a hard worker and a people person, I said during my interview for the position of “song girl/lyric muse.” It did not go well. I was politely informed I need to gain 10-12 lbs, dumb it down a little bit, and stop cracking jokes (let Curren$y shine).
Wiz: From the smell, and by what I paid, you know it’s good/Them n—s with me? They from the hood/Now we through parties in the sky, I’m on the 42nd floor, now that’s super high/Champagne, more paper planes than you can fly/Them young n—s fell soon as they tried/When the paparazzi flash, I’ll be counting all this cash/Plotting a million about how I can build a mountain out of hash.
Good/hood, sky/high/fly/tried, cash/hash. Before WK goes to a writing sesh, he throws on his Chucks and touches a plaque on his wall for good luck, like the Tree of Hope at the Apollo. ALL SEUSS EVERYTHING, it says on that plaque. TALK TO YOUR AUDIENCE LIKE THEY READ AT THE FIRST-GRADE LEVEL.
Logan: Pass; I respectfully decline. (I like the beat too much to denigrate it with my awful flow. JESUS, WHAT A BEAT AND I’M STILL NOT SICK OF IT; EXCELLENT JOB, CLARK KENT). Here’s what I’m tossing around for the next song I’m doing with Beth, though:
– She like them boys with the big ol chains/Ridin round town in a big ol Rrrrrange. I still love this, unfortunately. I turn it up every time. Goddamn you, Power 106.
– “Listen, hot shot – 355,000 Californians have medical marijuana cards/And about 1,000 of them are in my family, living in my apartment complex,/Standing behind me in line at Vons, next to me on the freeway,/Delivering my mail, changing the oil in my Civic, and ringing me up at CVS.” It’s my ol’ “battle raps in the parking lot of my brain” daydream again. (I’ll make it rhyme, promise.)
– “Fuck Wiz, I funk with the young prince Abu buck” – Lil B, “Look Like Muhammad.” I need to use this in a song somewhere, or at least make reference to it.
– Danny Brown being the long lost member of Funkdoobiest and his use of Prince iconography. Need to use this somewhere too.
– Google making me smile by suggesting Bobby Hebb when I typed Bobby Heb (on my way to “Hebert,” whose jersey Curren$y is pictured in, above). Google, I like having you around. You’re my boyfriend when my other boyfriend is out of town, and when my girlfriend is busy, and when my other other boyfriend is acting dumb.
Curren$y: Don’t front, you in the back of a long line/Trying to get in, cause only members inside/Trees get twisted up like fingers in gang signs/Purple Kushions broke my fall, I fell from a grapevine/Super high, from the free throw line, I’m/Drexler status, glide the espionage/Many a jealous eyes scrutinize the wise/But the Jets in the house like the curtains and the blinds/It hurt to see me shine, that’s why they frowning all the time/In they Internet videos, digital CB4s.
“I just found out that Hi-C did Gusto’s raps in CB4. Now I feel dumb that I didn’t know that! I did know that Drexler was from New Orleans, though, so I feel like I’m still the nerd champ.” – me in the studio with the Jets and the Jet hangers-on and the Jet caterers and the Jet shoe-shiners, about to be kicked out for not taking my shirt off and for talking too much out of nervousness. I’ll never achieve “song girl/lyric muse” status. Time for me to start coming to terms with that.
11. “Rollin Up” (How Fly)
Wiz: Me and Spitta, spend a grand at the bar/Buying drinks for my n—s/Hoes selling they souls just to be with us/On the road with winners, champions/Ride smoking weed to myself the only reason they stress/Because I’m on the level you can’t be in/And I flick the middle finger to fake friends/We live like when the loyalty is strong you can’t bend.
Goodness gracious, Wiz’s life has more plots than a graveyard! So many twists and turns! OH WAIT. No. That’s not true at all, is it. This is just another verse about his friends and their shoes, getting high and staying that way for as long as possible, and people being upset with them.
Logan: My shoes are pretty, ooohhh I’m Loubie’d out/I got enough enemies, I need a buddy or three/Time’s too expensive, Ice Cube’s my cousin/You’ll only see me naked if you own a copy of Both Sides of the Brain/Just listened to “Cyberpunks” today; yeah I do that every couple weeks/What a fucking space cadet dreamboat, Jesus Christ I love Del so much.
No plot, no characterization. I also didn’t include any actual rhymes, since I spent less than a minute composing it. But mine has a Del mention- top that, WK. Also, WK: “Fuck outta here”/“You better get a goddamn job” – Rock & Sean P, August 2011. (I could also maybe add “I feel the pain of everyone/Then I feel nothing” – Mascis, earlier today, on stupid ol’ pop radio that plays a gem or two sometimes. There now, see? Aren’t 10 simple yet effective words better than a hundred useless, braggy ones from Wiz?)
Curren$y: Yeah, jets n—a, As if I had to say it: Spitta/In the middle of every bad bitches playlist/iTunes banging from my hotel room/Nothing but beats bitch/Fuck it when I die I could sleep bitch/My momma need a bigger crib so I need this money, G/King Kong ain’t got shit on me/My face is a coupon – I don’t know them but they know me.
Pedestrian compared to some of his best stuff, but this verse is still fresher than those of the last dozen men with microphones I’ve heard, plus he gets residual credit for the knots n racks n bands lifestyle picture he paints in “Elevator Musik.” It’s still haunting/pleasing me (Think I gave my last hundred to the fuckin valet/Good evening, Mr. Jackson/I mean good morning, shit/Dang).