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.