Category Archives: Oh word

Oh word: I would (still) very much like to do a song with Curren$y, please

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.
7. “Car Service” (How Fly)

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.
JT, king of the beats. Elle, August 2011.
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).
10. “Super High (remix)” (Smoke Fest mixtape)

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).

Oh word: I am qualified and would very much like to do a song with Curren$y, please.

“How come the things that make us happy make us sad?” asked golden-voiced philosopher Frankie Beverly. His question was in response to unstoppable rap machine Curren$y putting out song after song with Wiz Khalifa. “Well, it seems to me,” Frankie said, “that joy and pain are like sunshine and rain.”

Sigh. Yes, Frankie. YES. It seems that way to me, too. Like every young lady with a computer and a working pair of ears, I love Curren$y. I hate Wiz. They keep doing songs together, and that’s a zig-zag-y journey through the joy and pain regions of my brain. (It’s also a Zig Zag journey, of course! teehee.) I’m not an MC, but since I can stand upright and speak basic English, I am pleased to announce my impending fame, including but not limited to being on the cover of Smooth! and getting a fake naked girlfriend for promo purposes. I’m told I should also have a likeable personality, which, OK, done, and get close with some cheesy Nordic producers which, oh dear, will take a little bit of work. Have faith, though – in a month or two I’ll be skyping Curren$y while Antwerp-bound which sounds dirty but it’s not.

1. “Rooftops,” from Rolling Papers (produced by Big Jerm)

Wiz, signed and rich (richer than me, anyway, and to me that’s rich): And they say they ballin’, but I do it how the pros do/Where we goin’ next week I let my hoes choose/No socks and my boat shoes/Guess a n—a eatin’ good like Whole Foods.



Wiz’s butter lyrics over, uh, word cloud grits?

Do, choose, shoes, Foods. Seuss raps. When done correctly, in a New York accent (AUDIO TWO) or in a Louisiana accent (White carpet in my Scarface house/No undergarments on my Scarface spouse), it’s rap perfection. Rapfection. When not done well, it’s Wiz. I simply cannot explain this phenomenon, nor do I care to try, because then I’d sound like a Pitchfork writer and they never post pictures of themselves in bathing suits so they are losers.

Logan, unsigned/poor, Moleskine full of rhymes: Somethingsomething much- ballyhooed/Don’t know what I like more – devil’s pie or devil’s food/Blah blah, Premier’s a porn fiend, plus he got hops & barley ’cause it’s home brewed/uhhhhTell the driver to fire up that Marley, I wanna hear some “Mellow Mood”-?

I’m sure many of you out there could get loose over the beat, go in a completely different direction than me, use that sad horn as punctuation for a tale of a break-up or a death instead of this lowest-common-denominator drivel I have presented here (porn, beer, cake, A/A rhyme scheme). But this is a copy-Wiz exercise and it therefore needs to be as mindless as possible. Other than the part where I made Premier into a craft-beer specialist, what?, I promise you that no creative juices flowed in the composing of this verse (which took me about 14 seconds). Everybody likes being high? Well then, put it in your verse! Everybody knows fresh-faced mid-’60s Studio One rocksteady Marley was the best Marley? It goes in the fuckin verse! Also, you’ll notice that the term “Marley” works in 2 ways here, which just shows that when I really apply myself for 14 seconds I can come up with some lyrical blasts to your freaking head. Oh my lorrrrd, I am absolutely killing it. Wiz, you ain’t got no job security.

Curren$y, diminutive rapstar millionaire:  You n—s ain’t help us – on second thought, you did/The hatin’ was the fuel for this shit.

JETLIFEFOOOOOLLLLAHTEIHIQ#N+*HMM7LLFH9Y%ILEH5NFU*^7WEHR. I get excited and my fingers get all quivery! CAN’T TYPE! TOO EXCITED. Anyway, it’s JET LIFE, now, tomorrow, always, goddamn you if you’re not on board with this, jet life forever and ever amen, so “fuel” works 2 ways here. His verse is unremarkable, but that’s ok; you’ve heard his voice, right? (This might be a girly thing; forgive me). Plus he’s got that accent, the star of every damn one of his songs (even when it’s not a song, it sounds like a song ’cause his way of speaking is so sing-songy. Conversationally, he’s a musical genius.) He sneaks in a “whoadie,” which he rarely does and that is so weird to me, because if I were from N.O. I’d say it all the time just because I could. The hell do people from Pittsburgh say? NOTHING. They have no slang because nobody cares what they say, or what they do, or the shoes they wear, or how they feel about things.

2. “Dot Dot Dot,” from some upcoming mysterious mixtape creation, with Big Sean (produced by Big Jerm)

Wiz:  King size papers, king size bed/N—s blow money but I’d rather keep mine instead/Roll something n—a, blow something/Say you’re ballin out of control/Let a n—a hold something.

Logan, better than Wiz: Earl Stevens calls it gouda, I was raised to call it ‘bread’/got so much I retired, hired Doom to read me the phone book, somethingsomething… Rosebud the sled/Butterflies in my tummy, drinking tea, lying in bed/…uhhhhhm, fuck this is rather difficult. You must be outta your head if your system ain’t up to the red (?).

I don’t know, maybe I’m not as good at this as I thought. I start to plagiarize, my brain just pulling out random lines I remember and love from the rap years ’97 or ’03, and then Citizen Kane was on AMC the other night. I’m easily influenced. And those drums, so pretty and Black-Milk-esque!, they cloud my thoughts. I can’t focus on telling the story. But go easy on me, please. Be nice. I’m just starting. You’ll note, however, that even though I’m no good I’m still a heavier hitter, lyrically speaking, than Wiz. I’m also a heavier hitter in literal terms, because even though my hip bones stick out a little, I probably outweigh WK, rap’s Skeletor, by about 15 lbs. I thought weed was supposed to be an appetite stimulant.

Curren$y: It has been said I keep one rolled up like LL’s pants leg/Full of life in this bitch, though I may seem half-dead/Trust me, I’m cool/I just ain’t talking to you.  

Critical bias on the part of the blogger: this man’s words speak to me. He’s looking right at me as he says this. Except for the pant leg part, it’s a summary of me interacting with every LAPD officer at Starbucks downtown (2nd and Central; COPS LOVE ME and it is a terrible burden with which I have been saddled). Trust me, officer; I’m cool. I’m way cool. Thanks for holding the door for me but I’m not interested in chatting and I never ever talk like this because I am a lady but I’d just like you to know I don’t fuck with pigs, dog (Muslim), you have a great day now.

3. Flowers (that mixtape with Big Sean; Big Jerm)

Wiz: How the fuck could you hate this/Half of these people aint real, n—s shape shift/That’s why I’m smoking OG til I’m weightless/Yeah and my homies are Taylor Gang/We rolling up papers and yeah of course they gon hate/But fuck what they say, ’cause we gon stay the same.

Logan, making a fool of Wiz like this is the parking lot at Osborn High: I knew it had went off. I saw the fire, like, come through my jeans/I took a couple more steps and my jeans were like — my jeans are wet/And I looked down. I had some Chuck Taylors on/and they were — the white was all red/I’m in trouble. 

This isn’t my own composition; this is just a quote from Plax regarding shooting himself while in the club. But be honest, wouldn’t you rather listen to this description of Chucks over a beat than to Wiz’s sad little flow? BE HONEST, I SAID.

Curren$y:  Now pan on them lenses and focus on the dopest/In the Mitchell & Ness Marino, see how far back I done throwed it.

It’s a throwback, darling. A throw-back. Marino was a QB (he threw back). This verse coming right after mine is genius, because we’re both making reference to the NFL. So for the sake of the song it doesn’t really matter that Marino is dullsville, as is the entire Dolphins squad except for the fact that Trick is a fan, but Marino was in Ace Ventura and that was kind of cool and unexpected of him. So now I really really want Curren$y to throw in something Ace Ventura-related, maybe on Verde Terrace? (update, after I just listened to it: nope). Ace Ventura‘s kind of a stoner movie, right? No? A little? Am I out of touch here? Anyway, the ultimate would be Curren$y coming out with a song called “Laces Out,” a duet about footwear with fellow shoe whore Bun B. Or maybe a mixtape called If I’m Not Back in 5 Minutes, Just Wait Longer.

4. Fly N—s Do Fly Things (the How Fly mixtape;  Sledgren)

Wiz: Influenced by the reefer but I’m still positively speaking/Heading down to New Orleans, fuck with Spitta for a weekend/Exotic bitches freakin, minks on the rug/I’m living Clicquot dreams, pouring drinks in the tub/One life to live, so I’ma live it up.

That beat is pretty all right with me but that’s probably because I’m a sucker for echo-y handclaps and because I have “Bass Boost” checked off in my laptop’s Speaker Enhancements tab (which makes everything sound fantastic). Yeahhh, bitch, Wiz says to start the song, and that’s funny because that’s exactly what I say to myself every time I hear a Wiz-less Curren$y song. Yayyy and Thank God are also what runs through my head. I don’t give a fuck, Wiz says a little later, which describes both his attitude about the world as well as my attitude about Wiz making another song for as long as we both shall live. Heading down to N.O., fuck with Spitta, Wiz adds. I am aware of the transactional nature of rap friendships – the potential to earn revenue trumps all, yes? – but clearly, Curren$y’s not being up front with Wiz. Come to my city, hang out with me, Spitta says, but this is only possible because Wiz has a friend named “Chevy,” and Curren$y’s bowtied til he dies.

Logan (my primary goal here is to get the keys to the jet and I will spend my entire verse trying to convince Curren$y to hand them over): Eatin gumbo with a Neville; it’s Cyril, he doesn’t have a DeVille/So Spitta, I have a request (you don’t ask, you don’t get)/Don’t need your spaceship, your Francesca, your Eldorado, your Corvette/Escort with the paint messed up from that accident at Kohl’s/Please lemme get keys to the jet; headed overseas, seein’ Dumile n’ Dennis Coles. 

Ha, nobody thought I had any NOLA raps. Shame on you. I’m not upset with Wiz for wanting to hang out down there; he and I both have this fantasy about “accidentally” running into Mannie at Winn-Dixie after stalking him for several weeks and getting a feel for his shopping patterns. The air is thick with the spirit of good MCs who’ve walked the streets of the city, and also thick with suffocating swamp air. Every cab driver looks like Professor Longhair, and I see Chris Paul in the car next to me at every stoplight. We don’t even mind the mosquitoes, me and Wiz, since we get it how we live and hug the block, lalalalaaa, les bon temps are rouler-ing left and right, life is wonderful, geaux Saints, I’m IN. Game feels it, too – wanting to join Cash Money and all. Oh, hey, guess what, Game? Me too, Game! ME TOO. Probably not happening for either of us, though. Sorry, Game. We must all know our limitations*. 

*(I can’t get away with using beasting” as a verb in conversations about the performances of NBA players, or the word jawn in any context, nor will I ever have the pale-skinned, hip-less steezyness of Leigh Lezark. I’ll also never have a name as rad as Jason Goldwatch’s. But accepting the things we cannot change allows us to conserve our energy and focus on the things we can.)

This look is foxy and it is just not possible for me. It’s not in the cards. Not ever. (Sigh.)

Curren$y: Would it be cliche to start my verse saying something that I always say?/The planes got it, I perfected my roll in the sunset/Aeronautics, I swear on my soul I would never co-sign some nonsense/Muscle car auction, I just cop it and then go ride it/Wait for the night to set, then really pop it and drive it/Bitches run on the side of it like those little Jamaican kids.

META RAPS! Critical bias on the part of the blogger: META RAPS are the alpha and the omega. Take the first letter out of each word in this joint, for example (Mt. Vernon fresh). Verse number 2, do the damn thing (guilty-pleasure/Nitti fresh). Last time on a Khaled remix/Now I’m on the original version (guilty-pleasure/Luda fresh). I know they gonna criticize the hook on this song (“can I live?” fresh). The violin on Knowledge God sounded ill (gods-in-the-Wu-pantheon fresh). Also, META GEORGIAN FUNK (50% of James Brown songs – him discussing the song breaking down while it’s breaking down. Breakdown fresh), and let’s not forget META TEXAN FUNK. “Come on and tighten up that bass,” Archie Bell said, “Oh yeah. Now look here – I want that guitar to fall in on there. Tighten it up now. Oh. Yeah. Now tighten it up, organ. Yeah.” (KCRW with the assist here, for being fresh and playing “Tighten Up” while I was out driving for my government job yesterday morning).
5. “O.T.T.R. (that mixtape with Big Sean; Big Jerm)

Wiz: I’m moving at top speed, my engine is foreign/I travel across seas where women are gorgeous/And ni—s know it’s us, we make it tough to mistake it/Just let me roll it up and when it’s stuffed, we blaze it/Then we Off To The Races.

Logan, embarrassing Wiz: I’m still working on it, but I do know the hook will be something about how I’m off to my new Caprice/since I’m bowtied til I die (“O.T.M.N.C.S.I.B.T.I.D.). And it’ll embarrass Wiz, of course, yayyyy, because Wiz and I have to keep it theatrical whenever we meet up for a freestyle skirmish in the parking lot,” AKA my daydream-y brain while I’m at work. It’s like that Murs/Eyedea smiley throwdown except I am both Murs and Eyedea, and Wiz isn’t qualified to be my adversary – he’s just there to give me fresh Aquafina bottles as needed.

Curren$y: And I’ma Pimp, see (C!), leaning in my ride like how Bun be (B!)/Sittin’ tall on my chrome, see, but I’m low in the seat/My girl in the sheet fast asleep, I’m in the street after the cheddar/Peddlin’ melodies, purchasin’ better things/On the road to the riches I done drove over n—-s. 
Critical bias on the part of the blogger: UGK raps fill up all the empty places inside me, as do musician-name-pun raps, and this one’s so freaking fine, it’s like the 2011 version of Andre Ben’s I’m so like a pimp, I’m glad it’s night. I also devour raps about girls doing nothing, girls lounging, girls sleeping – especially raps that also include the beautiful, surprisingly un-corny phrase “peddling melodies.” Women need more sleep than men (it’s science), and I greatly appreciate the kindness of someone who lets me stay curled up in bed, the queen of dreamland, while he goes out and handles it. That’s a good man, no two ways about it. (No two ways BOUT IT, neither, since at this point I am an honorary Louisianan). I can’t wait til we get married and I get some South infused in my speech and start referring to him as my huzzzbin. When we come to California to visit my family on holidays, we stop in LA to hang out with Nick Dahhhhmond. And at this point I’d like to provide a shout from the bottom of my tender heart to all the ladies out there who, like me, Karen Hill, and Amber Rose, realized long ago they’d never make good cops’ or teachers’ wives. Sorry, Mom.


Random Tribute: the intro paragraph of that Curren$y piece in the Village Voice.

Son of a BITCH, now that’s how you start a profile piece about a rapper who’s already been profiled a thousand times by other periodicals.

Mos Def, “Travelin Man.” Because it is beautiful, and because “we both on assignment to unearth a diamond” gets me every time, and because the NC/SC/Cali/Chicago/Virginia/DC/Philly/Georgia part is fun to rap along to, and because I’m guessing mos of the time he and his other world travelers are getting from one continent to another via JET.



Things from that Pusha T & Tyler song that can be worked into conversations for fun.

4th of July backyard wrasslin went a little too far.

Terrence n’ Ty’s “Trouble On My Mind” is this year’s “Lo Sweatas” – songs whose hooks you could hear even before you heard them the first time, because they both have titles consisting of classic rap lines.

Ohh! Lo sweaters!, I said a couple years ago when I got a link to that Project Mayhem song but hadn’t yet seen the video (then, when I saw it, what I said was: chandeliers on the Eldorado, oh my god how beautiful!). Ohhh, the big booming voice of Chuck! is immediately what I knew I’d be faced with when I heard the title of the Pusha/Tyler song. Welcome to the Terrordome, Chuck said in that voice many years ago, and he was not fucking around. Rap is NFL Films and he’s John Facenda. Pusha and Tyler’s rap voices aren’t quite as big and booming, but just like Chuck they are immensely quotable in song. Plus, like Chuck, they simply refuse to lose and can appreciate the wickedness of a drummer. DEAL WITH IT.

1. “Runnin’ like the Rebels, UNLV” – Pusha.

Pusha follows this up with “sport shoe on a pedal,” because he’s contractually obligated to mention his car every eighth bar, but if you’re in my tax bracket and you talk like that to me you’re going to sound like an asshole. So let’s just keep it classic and simple, please, and stick with the collegiate associations when making your point. It dresses things up. You simply cannot go wrong with a cute NCAA nickname reference! Like before sex you could make prediction about “Freakin like a demon deacon,” for example, or if someone won’t quit asking you questions you could say “We ain’t in Wisconsin so stop badgering me.”

2. “Pharrell said ‘get em,’ so I got em” – Ty.

(for when you reach the name-dropping part of the conversation, and for humbly describing a recent accomplishment)

It’s not appropriate to throw in the Pharrell part during a chat, unless of course you really know him [in which case you are my new best friend because he is painfully beautiful to look at; I’d like to meet him, if only briefly, then avert my gaze. Solar eclipses and Pharrell both have that potential to damage a girl’s retinas. (retinae?)]. Or you can replace his name with anyone famous who’s given you solid career advice. “Khalifa said get em, so goddammit I got em (made a lot of money via the combo of getting introduced to the right producer at the right time and tapping into teenage boys’ love of weed).” But I’d recommend just shortening it to Get em for potency. This one’s my favorite on the list because I swear to god I SAY THIS ALREADY, IN REAL LIFE. (ISTA/IRL!).

Mom: “Yes, I will drive to Los Angeles just to hem apt. 680’s curtains for you, adult daughter, because you make your way through the world in a state of perpetual adolescence. I will then give you $10 and insist you get some asada tacos at Tacos Arizas – at least 3 tacos, young lady, because why do you look skinnier every time I see you? (furrowed brow).” Me: “GET EMMMM, Mommm! Thanks.” Listen, it’s no secret Ty would not kick an underweight blonde-haired lady out of bed. The fact that we use the same phrases just solidifies the undisputed truth that we are destined to have a brief, doomed love affair.

3. “You coming shorter than a Bushwick Billy costume on sale during Christmas in Philly” – Ty.

(for the “heated” portion of the conversation)

I’ve stopped making the rounds in the freestyle circuit, but if I were still active I’d totally use this line in a cipher. And my hands would get higher and higher the madder I get. Ty’s not from Houston, but he raps a lot, and he’s really pretty good with the insults when he’s not working on his 13-Point Program to Destroy America. He’s not all fellatio/fuck off, Mom/paranoia raps, people. Please. And I’m happy to hear Ty’s voice hasn’t lost its calculatedly ominous restraint; even though it’s being used to talk about pills and fucking the world and costumes in this verse instead of things that bother easily-startled types, it’s still fun for me. It was entertaining to hear people get freaked out about Chuck Berry Body Count 2 Live Crew Tyler & crew, but in the end I really am enjoying them shutting up so I can think again.

The Philly reference is also useful to throw into a conversation, as it provides a nice jump-off point for a discussion of Oyola’s Epicly Laterd episode. (Rick is cranky and a good storyteller, so of course I love him. I believe commenter “dfrank” said it best: “Best recognize a real man when you see one”).

4. “The feeling is neutral, the gang is youthful/And fuckin’ tighter than Chad Hugo’s pupils” – Ty.

(for when you need to describe something really, really fresh to your friend)

Just like people wearing The Hundreds, the fact that the use of “tight” in popular speech has lasted this long totally shocks me. But then, I always get stuff like that wrong. If you had asked me in ’05, I would’ve predicted that “tight” would soon die but Swishahouse would have the industry in a sales chokehold for at least 10 years. OOPSIE. Anyway, is Tyler saying here that Chad is an intense individual? A person insanely dedicated to his craft? Or does this line mean that Chad doesn’t ingest any chemicals? If so, that’s something I just added to my musicnerdfacts cache. I also just learned that Alfonso Ribeiro’s charater in The Fresh Prince (Carlton Banks) was named in tribute to the frontman of Public Enemy (Carlton Ridenhour). IT’S TRUE; I heard it on HeightFiveSeven.

5. “This is for the critics who doubted the chemistry/Two different worlds, same symmetry – Pusha.

(To be used when the conversation needs some spice, so you just make something up and throw it in)

These critics who doubted the chemistry between Terrence and Ty; do they have names? Nope, they sure don’t, because NOBODY DOUBTED A TYLER X CLIPSE EFFORT WOULD BE ANYTHING LESS THAN TIGHT(er than Chad Hugo’s pupils). Stop being fake-hated, Mr. Thornton; everybody loves you and we all know it and we all know that you know it. Later today we can go to H&M, where you’ll tell me how cute I am and how everything looks good on me because I’m skinny. And when I emerge from the dressing room in an XS shirt, I’ll obnoxiously point to myself and say “This is for the people who said I’m too fat to fit in this! WE DID IT, BROOKLYN (or something similarly triumphant).” On the way home, we’ll meet up with my mom at Tacos Arizas; I’ll eat 3 tacos and say “Why’d you say I couldn’t eat 3 tacos?” Then I’ll stab her and Ty will write a song about it and rap it to me during coitus. Or when we’re shopping at Whole Foods.



Communications 306: Images of Hip-Hop in Popular Media (“Kanye has a big budget & wears Céline so it’s ok if he does it” edition)

Video-intro thing that art-school, clove-smoking Kanye can get away with but Soulja or Waka never could and why is that. (We need to discuss):

Communications 306 is a forum for the critical analysis of photographic and video images as a reflection of the cultural zeitgeist at large. The goal of this course is to facilitate the improvement of students’ ability to deconstruct, organize, and critically think about communicative messages while becoming better equipped to articulate ideas. To that end, please turn in your papers (by the end of class today) providing a thorough explanation of the reasons for MCs to be in current possession of Pitchfork approval in order for them to pull off a “This Is An Art Piece” reminder before their videos play.

As a general rule, if you were poor not that long ago and your stuff is still played at Magic City, you are not a rapper whose work is fancy and you therefore would get laughed at by music site comment-section droogs if you tried to call your work art. Let’s play the game! Who could successfully slide an ART PIECE visual intro past us without making us blink? Clipse, Doomsy, Curren$y, Drake (UGH): yes, definitely. Tyler & Hodge & the gang, yeah. Nickatina, no, but OutKast could for sure. No Trap-A-Holics, not a one. No Three 6, no 8ball/MJG. No Gucci (the exception to the rule; he’s Pitchfork-approved but he’s also a Trap-A-Holic til they put him in the ground, so he would get laughed off the Internet if he tried it.). Sometimes there’s division even in the same crew! Nicki and Weezy, yes, but Baby, nope. Khaled, no. Toss-ups: E-40, Jeezy, Game, Gibbs, T.I. I could see it going either way with those guys.

I do like it, though – the little advisory. I need it to be splashed across apt. 680’s wall for new visitors. I need it written on a little piece of paper and taped to my Civic’s dashboard when 400 Degreez is in the CD changer and I have an un-with-it companion in the passenger’s seat. I should also have it fastened to the top of my head so that it hangs down over my bangs when I walk down the street, as a reminder that the vulgarity of my hips should in no way be considered a negative message toward any groups of people (girls who lack hips, like every one of the girls in the “Monster” video*). My bodyform is a goddamn art piece and it shall be taken as such; it’s not just some primitive vehicle for carnal pleasures. How dare you.

Even with the glorious presence of the Minaj verse, there’s still no getting beyond the song itself, with Jay screaming LOVE as the thing that’s his Achilles heel. Who approved that because it makes me cringe every time.



Oh Word: “ranking the performances on that ‘Racks’ remix that’s 12 goddamn minutes long” edition

I guess I didn’t realize that just ‘cause you promised em a spot on your song means you better find a way to fit em ALL on your song. From the “Fuck off; I love it” collection, this one fascinates and entertains me because of its odd mix – 17 DEEP! – of terrible rappers and fantastic ones. Nickatina, KRS, Earl S. and Lil’ ½ Dead were all too busy, I guess.

Ranking the performances on the “Racks on Racks” remix, in order of lyrical strength and overall auditory enjoyment. LEH’GO:

17. Wiz “15 Minutes” Khalifa

Racks on, racks off, see that blonde stripper, my hat’s off
Lookin’ at my Rollie, ’bout thirty grand what that cost
Smoke like I’m in Cali, fuck takin’ flight, I blast off
N—s talkin’ tattoos, we should have a tat-off…
Way back in 2004, I told ‘em it was a wrap
Now my life ain’t my life no more, I told you, n—a, it’s a wrap

Like Drake, this young man’s voice has the appeal of a foghorn and he clearly needs to see an audiologist. When you are pitchy on the microphone and you are not singing, that’s a problem – and not in a good way, like ooooh this Random Axe is gonna be a problem. I mean, an actual problem, like a hearing issue. Rhyming wrap with wrap, saying “racks on/racks off” (makes no sense), that “tat-off” line, and his amateurish cadence throughout which sounds how I would sound if I got on the mic (i.e., bad, just bad); the whole thing is an exercise in delivery-inadequacy and poor storytelling. How bout a cheeseburger-off instead, Wiz? Did you know Dylan wrote a song about you? (Wiz is very thin, that’s all I’m saying)

16. Ace Hood

I’m that n—a in fact (in fact), paper tall as Shaq (oh boy)
Blood, Sweat, and Tears, it’ll be on your local Wal-Mart rack

IF YOU THINK I AM SPENDING MY MONEY TO SUPPORT SAM WALTON’S HIDEOUS CHAIN OF ANTI-UNION DISCRIMINATORY INDENTURED SERVITUDE DUNGEONS YOU MUST BE OUT YOUR DAMN MIND. It’s hard to top Wiz in terms of wackness, but a freaking Wal-Mart mention is going to ensure a spot for you at the top of the list.

15. B.o.B

Call me Bobby Ray, but it’s not two names
Flyin’ through the city, all-black, Bruce Wayne…
As a kid, I was struck by lightning, it’s no wonder I’m electrifying
Fuck a brainstorm, I’ll fuck around and cause a power outage
And it ain’t no rivals, if it was, it’d be no survivors
Just gimme a hour, I’ll light it up like an Eiffel Tower
Sigh. OK. I really did try to approach this activity without prejudice even though I strongly dislike this particular individual. After listening with a clear head and an open heart, though, it turns out this guy is an annoying doofus! What’s all that garbage about lightning? Why is someone other than Eddy Grant trying to talk to me about electricity? Who encouraged him to enter into battles that are completely unwinnable? His delusion is not cute; it’s irritating. And his voice sounds like Tyrone Biggums’ at the start of his verse. And his style of dress makes him look like he works at Barneys*. And sorry, but “Bobby” and “Ray” are 2 names. And he appears to have some sort of weather symbol tattooed onto his wrist area, which I never noticed before. I should’ve been making fun of it, and it’s sad I missed out on doing so all these months.


Wiz and his tat-off are waiting for you, Bobby.

14. Wale

Racks on racks on racks, I’m tryna smash and not call back
My name Wale, you so silly, wet my willie, might call you a cab
Yeah, ridin’ around wit’ that reefer scent, ridin’ around with Ms. Reece and them
When I’m in the groove, I can freak a tune, I’m smoother than alopecia skin
I shows out, like dope when I put that flow down
Like soap when I put my clothes on, I’m jokin’, but I be Foamed out
And all she want is more bags, but all I want is more 1s
I told her “Bring that money back” like all them racks is Nordstrom’s, whooaaa

Let’s say I had a friend named “Blonde Patti Smith” who I kept trying to get you to like. Man I just did this siiiiiick track with Blonde Patti. I really push her in your face. She’s my sidekick at every party and I keep suggesting we have ciphers and then I just toss the mic to her so she can get loose. Me and Blonde Patti are going on tour; have you listened to her new mixtape yet? You would hate that. It’s annoying. Wale doesn’t understand this concept.

Fresh from putting on a suit and standing next to Rawss behind a rented Bentley, Wale lays down yet another verse about wearing Nikes and not calling girls. What a G. Using the word smash is extra hard too, or so says my cousin in 8th grade. I would caution my fellow ladies against accepting a date invitation from Wale – he’s a grown man who uses the word smash – although if you’re a woman who thinks sleeping with Wale is a good idea, you are impaired and you probably say smash for the act of lovemaking too, so maybe you kind of deserve what you get. Another terrible thing I can’t ignore: the way he says “WHOOAAA” at the end of his own verse and everybody hates that as much as I do, right? Oops, pow, surprise! And finally, “alopecia skin” is gross. I understand the analogy and I guess it’s kind of clever-? But it’s still gross and he never brings nothin new to the table and that’s how he solidified the #14 spot. Can’t ride the “No Hands” gravy train forever, lazybones.

13. Trae

I’m the hood if you wondered where I’m at
In the back of a Chevy that’s all black…
Couple of whi-whips that I ride like yachts
A couple of haters lookin’, I’m knowin’ them n—s hot
And tell ‘em that I don’t give a damn
Hard as a motherfucker, tell ‘em I was HAM

I’m pretty confident nobody was wondering where Trae was at. Thanks for the update, though, buddy. He’s on the track by default – I think it’s likely he was offered a chance to hop on and contribute a verse only in an attempt by the label to make the geographic representation less lopsided (MCs from Georgia on the “Racks” remix: 5. MCs from Texas: 3, including Trae). Scarface is currently otherwise engaged, Pimp C is unavailable, and Devin just flat-out said no when they asked him to get on, so Trae, you’re up.


12. Twista

Everybody wanna hate because I’m on, blowin’ head back, bottles by the zone
Twista finna get up on the track and spit it the way I do simp-a-ly because I like this song
When I step up out the Maserati car, gotta pull it, pull it, pull it, pull it from the jar
Then I blow, I’ma close out the par’, with some killers and everybody know who we are

I don’t know, I guess I’m not impressed by machine-gun delivery anymore. It’s cute for a while and then it just gets old and gimmick-y, plus it’s really hard to rap along with in the car and that’s a bummer.

11. Big Sean

I got single bitches tryin’, married bitches lyin’
I take ‘em to the crib and leave our future in a condom
I wake up fresher than these motherfuckers as is
Look inside my closet, that shit look like it’s Raks Fifth…
I’m at the altar sayin’ my vows to this Benjamin Franklin power
You buy her a house, I won’t buy her a vowel, you fell in love, and I fell in her mouth

That condom line. Ugh. I hate myself for saying so, but it really is kind of amusing. (I didn’t say “Verses on the ‘Racks’ remix ranked according to level of female-friendliness and unbridled romance”; I’m ranking them on lyrical strength and overall enjoyment.) When did everyone start saying LEH’GO in their songs and At what point is the jump-on-my-remix madness going to end are the 2 primary questions this song elicits inside of me, but hearing Sean on any song brings up the question Which other MC named Big is going to battle himBoi, K.R.I.T., L (even from the grave, he could take Sean), Smalls (even from the grave), Noyd, Mike, Pooh? In other opposing-forces news, this track’s producer is Sonny Digital, and Kool Keith was an Analog Brother. Feels like there’s a cage match between those two I should be planning.
10. Dose

Got Activist in my Sprite, Benjamins in my Robins
Franck Muller wit’ flooded ice, but I still got my brightness
In the fast lane, gettin’ slow brain in a 2012 Maserati
I’m kickin’, pimpin’, like Liu Kang, my coupe smokin’ like Friday
Puffin’ on that garlic, sick off all the Marley
Inked up on my hands and arms, got Def Jam in my pocket

I’m sorry, but WHO? I’m not familiar. “Dose”? Unless he’s a new golfwanger or the next big thing in YMCMB or endorsed by Doomsy, why am I hearing about him? Is he Dose One’s son? Who the heck is he and did I mention this song’s got SEVENTEEN DUDES on it? Fuckin thing is 12 minutes long as a result and in Ramones terms that’s like 22 or 23 songs. So much filler makes my tummy hurt. This verse should’ve been edited out but it taught me that “garlic” is a term for weed and that there is a brand of jeans called Robin’s; nothing more, nothing less.


We got racks on racks on racks (she got)
Racks on racks on racks (they got)
Racks on racks on racks…
All around the globe, bein’ on TV
Everywhere you look, you see YC
Hatin’-ass n—s just wishin’ they were me
Way too big for my ma’fuckin’ jeans
I’m so fly I don’t even got wings
Ranked right in the middle of the list for a reason, this is an unremarkable verse that, like Dose’s, I neither hate nor love. It’s stupid (“I’m so fly I don’t even got wings”) but I don’t care enough to get mad at it. Yawn. Wake me up when we get to Bun B’s part. YC’s responsible for that monster hook, though, and I do like the inclusiveness of his sentiment. It really is a glorious sing-along Power 106 beast. Racks: he got, she got, they got, we all got. Gimme my cut, please.
8. Cory Gunz

Young Money, Cash Money so strong, keep scorin’, I’ma bring it on home
Those Xans and the lean cause zones, somethin’ tan with a mean jawbone…
Goin’ for the grips every day ’til the grave
I be worried about chips, you be worried about the Lay’s

I don’t care if you follow it up with Gunz; the name Cory will never be intimidating – though if your real name is Peter Pankey jr., I can’t criticize you for adopting a firearm-related alias in an attempt to make yourself seem badder. This one gets a pretty high spot on the list by default (he’s simply not as weak as Wale or Wiz), though that “chips/Lay’s” line is sort of cute and helped get him to #8. Plus I love the blatant truth-telling contained in his verse (Young Money Cash Money really is so strong at the moment) as well as the blatant pandering to Soulja.

7. Yo Gotti

Gotta front me a brick, that ain’t nothin’ to you
Just ran through a ticket, there ain’t nothin’ to do
Yeah, I love these streets like I love the booth
Mr. Cocaine Music, I’m 100 proof
Got white on white on white, ice on ice on ice
And when I’m in the club it look like lights on lights on lights
Um, Jeezy is Mr. Cocaine Music, just for the record. Glad to see Yo Gotti’s still alive, though. For me, it’s all about the voice with him. Honestly I can’t think of one memorable thing he’s said on a track but I can tell you everything is said in a nice gravelly Memphis twang.
6. Cory Mo

Catch me in the city with the trunk on crack
Top dropped down, black on black
Fistful of wood, twisted for the good
Check my bank account, got racks on racks
Look around, fool, got a wall full of plaques
Platinum and gold, you gots to love that
Posted up just like a thumbtack
Better hide ya ho, ’cause she bound to get snatched
H-Town, Texas to ATL
She got a fat ass, she prolly know me well
Keep it on the low, never kiss and tell
True player, Cory Mo cold as hell

Two Corys on one song! Name the last time that happened! CM’s got a deep, fatherly voice and uses the world “cold” as an adjective like an old man who’s seen some stuff, or like Drexl Spivey; I appreciate both of these things about him. Last time I remember hearing cold, Jay-Z said it right before he asked me to 2-way him. Bring it back in songs, please! Also Cory’s name is fun and bouncy, making it appropriate for a cool (cold!) intro. If I were a boxing announcer or the host of a mixtape I’d introduce Cory with a cute rhyme, like Cory Mo with the classic flow. I lack the grasp of technical language to describe the rhythmic rapid beauty of his style, but it’s textbook Texan. Cold Cory Mo with the Texan flow.
5. Waka Flocka Flame

I got racks on top of racks, stacks on top of stacks
Bands on top of bands, got me fuckin her and her friends
Bad boys don’t do papers, that was just for my haters…
Got a bad bitch from the U.K.
She do everything I say
Go crazy when she hear my music
She got “Grove St.” on replay

This is just pure magic (FLOCKA!) despite the presence of Auto-Tune. All of apt. 680 was stunned by yet another nuanced, sophisticated performance by Flocka (Flocka!) on the remix. Listening to him is a proven heartrate-increasor. Nobody can outdo him, spirit-wise. Flocka is Flocka’s biggest fan and that kind of self-confidence is contagious. I get dressed and do my hair to the sweet sounds of Benjamin Flocka, then I walk down the street like I’m a bad bitch from the UK and can’t nobody tell me nothin.
4. CyHi Da Prynce

Got racks on racks on racks, y’all rap so wack on wax
Purple by the pound, that’s that Flacco, haaaa
I make big plays, I got big chips
Blue money like six Crips
Switch gears like stick shifts…
Pull triggers like hamstrings
Boy, I’m doin’ my damn thing
Big blood with them bricks, pimp
Get off a key like I can’t sing
Got the seven on me like big jersey
Ridin’ round, and this bitch dirty
I’m the best, hands down, they nicknamed me 6:30

In a stunning moment of self-alienation, I found that I actually enjoyed this. Joe Flacco is someone I can never get in my Fantasy draft, but he wears purple for the Ravens and I like when there are cute NFL references in rap music (usually only people like GZA and Monch attempt this). Cy’s verse ranked so highly because he mixes up his cadence style and his fast delivery resembles that of every Texas rapper since ’98*. Why does he have to spell his name like that, though. Why.

3. Young Jeezy

Young, if it’s convertible, then how is it a hardtop?
(then Jeezy makes a car-screech sound, love it)
Bitch, I hit one button, my roof open like a hard spot
Make me throw my diamonds up, bitch, my life was hard knock
Had so much kush and Ciroc, bitch, I think my heart stop
Every night’s a weekend, every day’s a Friday night
You ain’t seen nothin’ yet, bitch, this just my Friday ice
’87, brick fare, yeah, I’m talkin’ thirty racks
All I sold is hundos, where the fuck my twenties at?
First of all: YEEEEEAAAAAUUUUUGGGGHHHHH. I’d also like to add CTE, baby; we all we got. Additionally: Jeezy took a break from mentoring youngsters in the business of cocaine to write a confusing verse about days of the week. If every day is a Friday night, that means you are up and about like you would be during 12 – 4 AM on Friday, going places and doing things, hugging girls, shaking hands. You therefore sleep/recover during the other hours, which, if my overthinking is correct, would be actual PM hours. This is the schedule that Ben Franklin would’ve recommended; the Snowman keeps it healthy, wealthy, and wise. Jeezy’s continued presence in rap is also helping to offset all the damage B.o.B. is doing to the reputation of the state of Georgia.

2. Nelly

Yeah, they call me Country Grammar, my brother out the slammer
I’m crimson color painted, you can call that Alabama
I’m not from Alabama, but check out how I roll tide
He might have the same whip, but check out how I roll mine
Y’all n—s ain’t no stars, y’all only in it for the cars
The sky is your limit, mayne, and mine somewhere ’bout Mars…
I ride wit’ them boys in the middle of the map
St. Louis, Detroit, Chi-town, Nap
Down to the Dirty, back up through the trap
But the money don’t stack, man, money overlap
Yeah, y’all better watch it, mayne, right here we lock and load
Two things is for certain, mayne, and one thing is fa sho’
Got a house on hundred acres, I’ve never seen my neighbors
A chick in ATL, and from Buckhead to Decatur
A younger me had a meannnn crush on Nells but this verse was ranked based completely on ear-canal enjoyment rather than any romantic feelings. I can be objective sometimes! First of all, how can you not LOVE a dude who starts his verse talking about how happy he is to have his little brother back? Right?? It makes you forget that he just said “They call me Country Grammar” (which they do not actually do). His brother got out a year ago, too, which makes it that much more touching – Nelly is still on that high of being reunited with him. The joy hasn’t faded and he’s gonna let the world know through the majesty of song. Whatta guy.

Nelly has suffered the unfortunate curse of pop radio stardom wherein his talent is wasted on songs they play at H&M. I pray he either starts hanging out on Fairfax to get people interested in him again, or gets really filthy on a mixtape so H&M loses interest completely. Or, you know, he could pull a Luda move and simultaneously be popular and non-wack. This verse is a good start. “Check out how I roll tide” is clever, even though Nelly should be a Mizzou fan, obviously. I hate it when people abandon sports allegiances for the sake of being cool, or because another team’s got a fresher colorway for their fitted. “I ride with them boys in the middle of the map”: also clever. Geography raps are too rare. Blatantly calling out his colleagues on this same track – “y’all only in it for the cars (WIZ stop acting like you don’t see me looking at you)” – is a move of bravery and integrity. And “Two things is for certain mayne and one thing is fa sho” is just pure language-rhythm heaven; I will be reciting this verse in the Civic all over LA this summer.

1. Bun B

*Bun B, I’m a underground king (kang)
In the candy-painted car on swing (swang)
With the top on drop and the trunk on pop
Boy, you can’t tell me a damn thang…
Yeah, I rep that P-A-T
One hundred, yeah, that’s me
If you don’t recognize, you gon’ see
I’m a straight-up trill OG
In a black-on-black-on-black
Cadillac, like a Mack on clacks
Try to jack and I will attack
It’s a fact that I ain’t givin’ up my stacks like that

LOVE. LOVELOVE. Bout time a grown man showed up. Chunk the deuce, get throwed, somthingsomething candypaintwoodgrainVogues, breakin sketti, go hard annnnd don’t forget to ride foreign all the livelong day.


“Women lust over my lyrics like basketball players”: the 10 most romantic things Kool Keith’s ever said.

I ASS said the bumper sticker I saw today while out driving – except, can you believe it, the heart was upside-down, like an ass! It looked just like a nice, curvy bottom! Teehee. It was a message just for me. Religious types say God works in mysterious ways; I just say Well, there it is – a sign that it’s time for me to finally do this Kool Keith post.

What’s that you say? A girl with high self-esteem and several Women’s Studies courses under her belt should know better? A porno-fiend caped rap crusader will only make me cry into my Hello Kitty blanket? He’ll eventually find the hips of another woman to get enveloped in, so I should move on? Oh dear, I’m sorry, I’m sure you have valid points but Keith just arrived and I can’t hear you over the sounds of our vigorous lovemaking. He’s good to me. He doesn’t charge me for twice-daily pelvic exams. He wears a cape (rad), and doesn’t name-drop even though he is friends with Ced Gee and Doomsy (SO RAD). And he’s dependable – Keith’s bread and (sexy) butter is brag-raps, conquest-raps, songs about spanking and biting, tales of headstands and whipped cream, lube and rope, Silly String, stripper shoes, librarian shoes, insisting he gets to be both the cowboy and the Indian when we play cowboys & Indians, insisting I ride the mechanical bull while eating frosting out of the can without a spoon, and for putting his left leg in and shaking it all about. He also goes, um, deep when it comes to romance, but nobody seems to notice. He’s not known for his emotional-connection raps. After years of listening to him and obsessing, though, I’m telling you: Keith wants to make sweet, tender love to me until the sun comes up, and watch this, I can prove it:

1. You’re blonde and weird; let’s get naked, dollface. You’re Dutch/Argentinean, yes? Or wait, no – Persian/Irish? I love you. – “Break U Off,” Diesel Truckers (2004).

Don’t get me wrong now, I like ’em blonde with long hair
They call me Suavere, I like her underwear
She don’t mind posin, she don’t even care
I like her atmosphere, plus she’s out there
The type of girl to break out, yo we outta here
House and closets, model with a lot of gear
She love to clown and pose, spread ’em on the chair
Talk on the rooftop, when she wanna feel some air…
With a see-through nightgown, she got to be Spanish
Brassiere, baby come over here
The mamacita, lick the ice off her back when I freak her
She look Brazilian sometime, her face look unique-a.

Long blonde hair with an ethnically ambiguous face? UH OF COURSE THIS SONG’S ABOUT ME so it had to start the list. Indulge me, please. She’s (meaning me, the romantic lead) blonde, “plus she’s out there,” meaning she might just be the type to have a pic of Harold Rhodes for her laptop background and a blog in which she obsesses over rap lyrics. It would also help if she had an absurdly feminine body shape, but this combination of qualities is just impossible to find in an actual human lady. You’re dreamin, kid.

Blonde girls are like unusual, highlighted birds to Keith. I get it. He’s from the Bronx; blondes are probably rare there. Keith was apparently so smitten he had to take to the microphone and count the ways he loves his fair-haired oddball baby doll space cadet(te?), including her ability to make love to the camera. It is a common theme in sex songs. The big thing on the radio right now is “Double Dip,” an awful/catchy song about repeat coitus. When you texted that pic of your backside to me, the dude says, My reply was like, “Give that right to me.” Points for straighforwardness, sir, but none for romance, originality, or mastery of words that rhyme with “me” (there are about a thousand, for the record). It is boring. Just a boring series of words over an awful/catchy beat. By contrast, Keith somehow makes “spread ’em on the chair” sound fresh and witty, like no other young lady in history thought to pose nakedly for her man, to put her leg like that, open her mouth a little, yes love, just like that – gorgeous! (snap, snap). The fact that he asked me to wear a Hello Kitty onesie and some thigh-highs just before I mounted the mechanical bull and started posing? Just part of the romance, baby.

Basically just a list of all the things he likes about his lady, “Break U Off,” also gets a nod for the lines “Tastes so good, her body like Krispy Kreme” (yum!) and “I love your sweet eyelashes” (aww).

2. Your body! 36-23-JesusChrist.“Telephone Girlfriend,” The Lost Masters (2003)

Answer the phone, honey
You lay on my chest like Max Julien, Cleopatra status
Coke bottle shape, Miss Nubian
Watch your sheer nightgown in the bathroom light
With camel toe showin, I can tell you tight
Loose jeans don’t work, my job is to convert.

Never in mah life have I heard an MC who pays such close attention to a woman’s sleeping and lounging garments. Keith does this over and over in his verses – descriptions of cotton and lace, silk, that satin thong in “Sexy Girl.” He loves drapey, soft things on skin, and he’ll tell you about it over a beat. How sweet. This verse made Top 10 because of that attention to detail, and because of his appreciation of a nightgown, an old-timey garment that your grandma wore, as opposed to one of those lace bodystockings from AA or a corset or something.

I could do without that stupid camel toe part, but the reference to Cleopatra Jones is dope and means Keith clearly likes watching girls with unusual first names who accentuate the waist and wear tight shirts. I also believe Keith has stated his fondness for a mean WHR more creatively in other songs (“Business lady with the Anita Baker haircut and a Coke bottle body” – “I’m Dangerous”), but any lyric about a mean WHR is clearly a lyric about me so it gets a spot on this list. (I’m easy)

3. I like to hear your voice sometimes – not just type messages to you on my phone’s tiny keyboard.“How Sexy,” Dr. Dooom 2 (2008)

I met you, wanted me to buy porno
girl you had it in your hormones
Last night before you talked to me on the phone
I asked you twice to bite my ice cream cone
C’mon be serious-
this ain’t typin a few words back and forth like kids; we grown.

“We’ve seen each other naked,” says every girl in the world, including the girl whose blog you are currently reading, “can we sometimes talk, please? Hear each other’s voices?”

I saw a funny bumper sticker about ass! And I made cupcakes, do you want one? I had a dream that I had a kitten! What do you think French Montana and Push Montana talk about at the annual Montana Family Picnic? That new Jeezy n’ Freddie has a lower BPM than I normally like but man when I hear it in the Civic it makes me wanna get back in the narcotics game, like the “Black Betty”/airport scene in Blow! They’re having a Dudes Who Will Not be Seeing Logan Naked conference on stage at the Meadowlands! (well, except for Waka. I believe “He could get it” is the expression-?). 9th Wonder adds “Member of the Universal Zulu Nation” to his self-intro (“Producer/teacher/rapper…”); is that true?? Does he still adhere to the 15 Beliefs, or is he a detractor? There’s a human who calls himself “Black Cobain,” the fuck is that about! They play Frank Ocean on Power 106; is this dope, or a sign of the apocalypse? Dude oh my god Spader simply killed it on The Office! That story about Pyrex is so interesting, and it’s a perfect mix of rap music and science, my two greatest loves! I got ____ and ____ at Amoeba today, and then I brought them home and laid them on my floor and rolled around nakedly on them! Wait, why’d your phone go to voicemail again? Hey boy, let’s talk, cuz WE GROWN. I mean, aren’t we?

It’s not that I’m chatty; it’s that the world is amazing. I think about some dope, weird, silly, dumb stuff and I want to lay it on you in actual conversations once in a while. Actually, I think about all kinds of nice stuff I wanna lay on you, conversationally and otherwise. RAWR.

4. You’re not boring, even when we’re doing boring things. – “Telephone Girlfriend” again

In the living room, on the couch and sofa
Mature female, you act older
No problem at all when I walk with you to the mall
Circle the parking lot, you park and hot (? I think)
At night you booty call, we order things from Pink Dot.

Same song, different romantic scenario. Romance doesn’t have to be dinner upstairs at El Cid (though the empanadas are so SO good) or getting flowers at work; it’s living-room lounging, buying dumb stuff together at CVS on Tuesday after work, then you rolling your eyes during one of my Power 106 dorkout sessions while sitting in traffic (“Racks on racks on racks, LEH’GO”). If the person you’re with is fun even when you’re doing the most mundane things, you’ve got it – a magical, perfect coupling, a lovely picture of relationship beauty – and you should hold onto it. See also: the person you’re with embellishing life accomplishments just to make you smile (“First man from New York City housing to have his face on a $30 bill”), and that person also somehow being more interesting than the NBA playoffs (“I turned the Lakers off, you can’t stop my afterparty/A fifth of vodka and latex, drink your Bacardi” – “Regular Girl”).

This track also includes massaging, a thing that is both a classically romantic gesture and a thing that dudes are deliciously skilled at because they have more upper-body strength than women. It’s science. “Baby oil on your toes while you get wet to my flows” gets an honorable mention as well, simply because I love it. Hi Mom!

Until he says “I love your purple onesie” or “Darling you look spectacular when we’re in apt. 680 and you poke your hip out like that,” I will have to settle for “I see a packed house in different color bodysuits” (“Don’t Crush It”) as the best lyric Keith wrote with me in mind. That cover model, by the way, is Spantaneeus Xtasy. She has starred in Crimson Thighs, Butt-nanza, and The Boobcage 2, which is poorly made and does a terrible disservice to the first Boobcage (don’t even bother with it, I’m serious).

5. Wack rappers be quiet. The world is wondrous and so strange and I’d like to tell you about it with my patented colorful and stylish narrative technique. – “Plastic World,” Sex Style (1997)

As I do see…(??) wack beer commercials
Some rappers are bought and puppeteered like the Ninja Turtles
From Manhattan I heat up, yo light up Times Square

I make noise like open high hats on your cheap snare

No promotional shows, girls wear cornrows

People with hooded sweaters on crack keep me on my toes

I walk with straw hats, fake glasses in the projects
Bring my ghost image so tense on the line of scrimmage

Playing my numbers, waiting for the 5 to come

Spaghetti out the window, people acting dumb
Fire hazards wake the neighbors, your family’s nosy

I come and go as I please on blockhead MCs

You bought new sneakers, no car, scrambling on the corner

I’m not the star you are, the city’s fallen far

By mechanism, you’re on my tip

Stay off my penis, you’ve duplicated me for years.

Go weird or go home, that’s what I always say. Keith lost that nice bouncy “Poppa Large” flow somewhere along the way – spring of ’95, I believe it was – and goddammit if he didn’t made up for it with lyrics like these. References to a drum kit, terrible MCs who are inexplicably successful, and the weirdos prowling the city: this song is romantic because to a lady English major, interesting, well-written rhymes are the sweet love-nectar of life. Also, good storytellers are the highest form of human. Good storytellers get women naked, if they storytell in a way that is romantic yet non-corny (a tricky mix). Sex Style was dope stuff, late-’90s weird-hop, streamofconsciousness-sex-hop, and Keith had no challengers, really (except RA, maybe? at times? Slick Rick and Too $hort, no – they ruled the ’80s sexrap industry but mostly they put out plain old intercourse verses, free from BDSM and mechanical bulls and other Keith-ish weirdisms). Just wait til 2009, though, when a scrappy young buck from the Bay will stroll in and announce he’s Paris Hilton and his chain look like lightning – he’ll polarize the Internet! Anyway, Keith is the rap Trav Bickle, describing NYC as cluttered and greasy and sin-filled, but instead of making me recoil in disgust when he talks about how dirty it is, it makes me want to go there. (This also serves as a metaphor for our sexual life together.) Oh and “stay off my penis” is just funny; no two ways about it*. Romance cannot survive without some humor thrown in.

*I should do a post about mentions of penis in lyrics over the years; seems like a good use of my time but I have a feeling I’ll just keep putting it off. I should also listen to more Gang Gang Dance and finally read The Executioner’s Song but that is probably not happening either.

6. Brokest rapper you know (hi Sean P!) – “Let Me Talk to You,” Masters of Illusion (2000)

I respect you for going with me to Burger King, riding with me in my lil jalopy. Stickin by me, through thick and thin. Goin to White Castle and stuff…ridin around in like a little ’65 Chevy. Can’t afford them Benzes, we can only fantasize.

We forget Keith’s a real person sometimes because of his superb, otherworldly brain, the fact that he was so spacey Thelonious stopped taking his phone calls and he got kicked out of both the Cosmic Echoes and the Arkestra*, and the fact that his overall demeanor is like that of an alien doing an impression of Al Goldstein doing an impression of a dude asking for change in front of the 99Cents store at Willoughby and La Brea. But if Keith’s cut, he bleeds. He likes waffles for breakfast (oh god Keith me too! Me TOO we are meant to be togetherrrrr). He turns up “Owner of a Lonely Heart” when it comes on the car radio for a life-is-wonderful rockout sesh just like everybody else. And he likes his partner to appreciate him for more than his money, because he is huuuuman and he needs to be looooved/just like everybody else doessssss. Keith likes playing games but only the sexy kind, and if you are a lowdown dirty female thinking that you can manipulate him into catching feelings and paying your student loan bill, well, you will probably get a mean-spirited rap song written about you. He wrote groupie-decimating “Dolly and the Rat Trap,” remember. We’re all aware that when the feelings are real and the love is true, cash is often a nice supplement to a romantic relationship (thanks, Jay-Z and Fabolous songs from 10 years ago!). But when cash becomes so terribly important that romance needs it in order to stay alive, why, that’s not romance at all! Love don’t live here anymore!, say all the other songs by Jay-Z and Fabolous.

Again, the details of a sexy courtship are what Keith is so good at, uh, nailing (har) – “Bringing extra underwear to the picnic,” “Drinkin cups of tea by the fireplace,” the importance of doing certain things to her in certain places with care and enthusiasm (I cannot describe these actions or these places here, as I am a lady). And reciprocity, darling: “When a woman loves a man,” he says, “she’ll clean the grime off your feet.” This is true. And when a man loves a woman, he makes a cute cartoon video to accompany one of his most romantic songs. PS, Keith! Benzes are cornball and I like you better without one. I’d rather bob my head in a ragtop (preferably a monkey-green one*) any damn way.

* This is something I just made up and found amusing. So it stays in the post.

7. I did this for you, and that for you, because I’m a nice person. Oh and did I mention I have a Seville?“Supergalactic Lover,” Black Elvis/Lost in Space (1999)

Diamond rings with roses, I put pearls in your noses
Put you in heels, paid your school loans and tons of bills
I ripped eight thousand threw a stack up in the fireplace
You couldn’t believe it, your mom was there with a sad face…
I walked in with cape, with jewels on, you know I’m the captain
Outside by the Cadillac three brothers rappin, soundin wack and
I kept on steppin, legend status, you know my rep and
I see you at 8, turn your pager off, don’t be late…
Supergalactic lover
Comin from the projects on the hill
Supergalactic lover
*In my monkey-green ragtop Seville

“Darling let me tackle that Chase bill for you, and here’s some Phillip Lim stripper-librarian heels in a pretty oxblood color. I’ll pick you up at 8:01 PST in my Detroit-made sedan.”

“OH NO, I couldn’t possib—AW DAMN. WELL, OKAY KEITH, if you insist.”

I can pay my own way but that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate the offer – even though a supergalactic lover will always take a back seat to a superman lover in my heart.

The student loan hustle is one of the greatest ever concocted by the federal government. What a pain. I need relief. I’m willing to accept cash aid as a form of this relief. I also like pretty, overpriced shoes. And it’s my dream to be able to stop my days of worryation. And I like Cadillacs. And even though I do not even give a tiny bit of a fuck that Thom Yorke sometimes shows up and spazzes out at the Low End Theory, because he is boring and because it’s not the year 1997, ’98, or ’99, I do give a big huge fuck about everything Keith still does even though it’s not ’97 or 8 or 9. The captain put spaceship pictures up on the wall and paid my student loan balance, so if he tells me to turn my pager off, I’m doing it. Being bossed around by someone with more money than you adds an interesting power dynamic to a relationship, and can manifest itself in some pretty intense ways in the bedroom. Or, um, so I am told? (Hi again, Mom!). This one also contains the best mention of “ragtop” since “Bombs Over Baghdad.”

8. ROAD TRIP.“I Want You to Be,” Lost Masters, Vol. 2 (2005)

You made me who I am now, my mind is under all different types
of enjoyin weather in the deep relation
Your feelings are ready for elevation
I need you now to meet me at the station
I need you nowww to meet me at the station

You gotta be there on time
I can’t think no more, I cry to myself by the bed
I can’t sit by the sink no more
Your perfume lingers in my room with the overjoy and pain
I think about you even when it doesn’t rain

People who don’t like road trips are soulless, like Republicans and Serato users. Jot that down. Remember it always.

There’s lots of “let’s run away together” in Avett Brothers songs, Band of Horses songs. Fleet Foxes. Bon Iver. Elliott Smith. My Morning Blitzen Trapper Drive-By ugghhh too tired to finish the list. I have numerous bearded boyfriends with albums full of white girl swoon-y road trip classics. And then there are songs that just make you feel like running away with someone when you hear them (Flying Burrito Brothers, The Band, Bill Callahan, Cass McCombs, side A of Anodyne). You’ll notice that there are no rap groups, or individual MCs, among the musical persons I just named. Keith steps up in this case, though, courting me by tapping into my deeply feminine need to leave it all behind. Even though this song has some horrible singing and Keith kind of phones it in lyrically – lazy cliches about riding horses, analogies about love being like a car or like the road on which you’re driving a car, and he even rhymes wife and life (a wack ’80s R&B move, a lazy cliche) – in the end he saves the day with the “let’s run away together” lazy cliche. Because it works, that’s why. Responsibility and the daily grind are not romantic (grinding daily, however: very romantic). The whole getting-the-you-know-what-outta-Dodge/Echo Park life plan is a cliche for a reason, people: the laydeez love it. I am a lady, and I’m telling you it’s a fact.

That “I can’t sit by the sink no more” line is so sad and touching too. Shit just got really real; DAMN. (All her lady-things are there, you see. Her lotions and perfumes. Brings back memories for the kid. Aw Keith.)

9. Your face appeals to me, as does your commitment to your education. Also I have a rescue fantasy. – “Fine Girls,” Black Elvis/Lost in Space (1999)

I like your pretty eyes
Tell me where you get your hair done, your face so clear
With fourteen carat diamonds in your ear
He beat you up, I’ll eat you up, reheat you up
Come fix your life, make you my wife, improve in time
No wine and dine, don’t waste my time, mature your mind
You’re that fine girl from high school, college graduate
Lady always on my mind, girl can you imagine it?…
Come here girl, I wanna talk to you
I wanna tell you a lot of things

“Come here girl, I wanna talk to you” is standard game kicked at the bar/club/grocery store/DMV (or so I’ve heard about and seen in movies; dudes don’t talk to me, unless they’re at Amoeba, over 55, and looking for that same Mighty Diamonds record as me and keep bumping into my ass in the aisle. Or unless they’re married. Or a cop). But when it comes to Keith and that Bronx lilt of his, such a line is extraordinary and not at all standard. I wanna tualk to you. He’s so specific about what he likes about this particular lady, too – the eyes, the nice skin, the college degree. This song is like his version of “Ice Cream” but without the part complimenting the girl’s rude, crabby demeanor. Keith likes ’em sweet. It all ventures into cliche territory, and because it’s Keith he’s still able to triumph, showing up at my door with some In-N-Out, a nice handwritten note, and something water-based in order to reduce friction between body parts. Horoscopes are a big collection of cliches too, but that doesn’t mean they don’t make me feel good (today for Aries: “The one who recognizes that there is something special in you will capture your heart.” AWW).

10. No means YES. – “Sexual Intruder,” Personal Album (2004)

I had to honor Personal Album somewhere in this post just on the strength of its song titles (“I Do What I Want”; “A Black Kid Who Think He’s White”; “Girl Wanna Kill Herself”). I would not have been able to live with myself otherwise.

Lead singer up front, you feel me like The Temptations
The way I gave you the world
Send you to learn about the (M)oments, on a thousand vacations
With you sick in the hospital, I bought you the flowers
They were (B)lack (I)vory, they made you cry with heavy (E)motions
Your back and night was rubbed down professional
with sweet cucumber lotion, with all my time and devotion
You cried about the bills your ex-man had left you with
Throwin rocks into the ocean
I heard your (W)hispers all the way to my ear, on a foggy night
You walkin with one of your Pomeranians, 3 Dog Nights
With Pitts comin you was in shock
I couldn’t let 3 dogs fight (I couldn’t let 3 dogs fight)…
Waitin in the emergency room for your mild concussions
You knew your heart always and forever
Through the (H)eatwave, your body was rushin

You had to get to your own apartment, you didn’t want to say with your cousin
Your mom always fussin, takin a train from the Grand (Graham) Central Station
When I was on stage, nothin could stop you from faintin
Grabbin my hand on the spot, you was scared under the shy (Chi) lights (Lites)
With apple bottoms on, jeans fittin tight
Beggin me to put on your direct light, in love like a sex slave
Sippin red Alize under the purple light, sexual intruder
Sexual intruder, I’m your sexual intruder…

Weird-hop! Can’t get enough! This song is a big collection of WTF, but sometimes you need that in a relationship. Boredom kills, you know; keep me guessing and I’ll be yours forever. The whole storyline Keith lays out here, for example – huh? Was she attacked by dogs? Is her medical prognosis good? Did she and Keith do it in her hospital bed? I’ll be thinking about all that later (I’ll probably call you, since a text can’t capture the raw emotion), but for now I want to swoon over the fact that KEITH MAKES CUTE PUNS OUT OF OLD R&B GROUP NAMES. It’s romantic when someone uses a song to talk to you – in this case, Heatwave’s “Always and Forever.” I can’t believe Keith really flipped it and bounced it like that; I mean, it really is just like a dream to me that somehow came true, and I know tomorrow will still be the same, because Keith and I? We’ve got a life of love that won’t ever change, and every day (I’m hoping) he’ll love me his own special way. Keith’s mention of the Temps’ lead singer speaks to me as well, for I believe my feelings about the god David Ruffin are well-documented. Cloud Nine-era Temptations were fantastic. Puzzle People, yes of course. Psychedelic Shack, great. I like it all. But c’mon – nothing beats coked-up-Ruffin-era Temptations in my book/heart/soul.

Back to the song. Keith calls himself an intruder, and there’s a clear element of Keith as the bawss here (because sweetheart that’s what you signed up for as soon as you replied to that first MySpace message from him), but this song tells the story of a relationship between two willing grown-ups. He wants to dominate but not shame you, plus you can agree on a safe word ahead of time! A fulfilling erotic life can often involve expressions of submission, consensual use of restraint, intense sensory stimulation, and fantasy role-play. Or, if you’re still just 19 or 20: it more frequently involves staring, fantasizing, daydreaming, trying to distract yourself from daydreaming, writing rap songs, and being mad at the girl while also wanting her to put on a sundress and run away with you (“Usually I just stalk you and masturbate” – Ty). The power differential between Keith and his lady is only a pretend one, and besides, he could never scare anybody – he’s got this innocence to him that’s always there, even though he says rectum a thousand times on his albums. Sometimes it seems like Keith’s talking sexy when he’s really just trying to battle (“I roll wit globs and I come real sticky”), but for the most part he keeps it pretty straightforward (“Take Off Your Clothes”; “Take Off Your Panties”; “Girl Let Me Touch You”) and a lady has to respect that. Plus that lascivious, good-natured way about him, coupled with an NY borough accent, sorta makes him the Tracy Morgan of rap-?

The Temptations, “Since I Lost My Baby.” Written by Smokey R.!


Bonus romance:

11. Kindness, hand-holding, compliments, etc.“Let Me Talk to You” again

My name is Keith
We got some nice things for the ladies…
Go get the ladies some flowers and stuff
Other people don’t love them like we do. We care.

Gentlemen, your crew is soft, Keith says. You take the industry too seriously. You live at home with your mom. You’re wearing a cheap suit from Men’s Wearhouse and I do NOT like the way you look. But your life’s biggest tragedy, he says, is that you don’t love your girl like you should. Start, immediately. Tell her (nicely) to kneel down to her kitten bowl, for starters, then shout sexy girl a bunch of times. Does she look sexy eating popcorn? Tell her! Take a lesson from the captain. (With your bitch ass.)


The shit’s chess; it ain’t checkers.

Baddest dude in a wheelchair since Ron Kovic and Snoop the non-crack-slanger in Training Day (he’s on Disability, man).

This might get me an annoyed email or two from religious boys who like rap music and skinny girls in bathing suits, but if that is you our love affair was not meant to be. Stay away from me; I’m trouble. “We should seek the greatest value of our action,” Hawking told the paper. In my case, that means blogging sporadically and cuddling with my records constantly.

Spinning out, gracefully
Going nowhere, quickly
I’m older, day by day
Still going back to my childhood way

Round and round patiently
Getting lost by the guide
And I’m all worked up over nothing

All in and out
Connect my body
Deep into the ground

Connect the earth to the moon
And link our heavenly bodies
And not a moment too soon

Well you can fling open the windows
Or you can board them up
Satan’s jeweled crown
Or Christ’s humble cup

You think you’ll find yourself out there
Out in the lion’s den
In somebody’s battle
Over belief systems

Or disappear into the vacuum
Total neutrality
The way you can’t lose nothing
But nothing can be gained

Well anyway you cut it
We’re just spinning around
Out on the circuits
Over the hollow grounds
Out on the circuits
Over the hollow grounds
Heading right back in the same place
That we started out
Right back in the same place
Right back in the same place
That we starting out

Let her know