Dollars Make Sense.

Every Single Solo Studio Album Kanye West Track Ranked.

Posted in music. by Jason Mekkam on August 30, 2015

90. “Drunk and Hot Girls” (featuring Mos Def)

89. “Intro (skit)

88. “Wake Up Mr. West

87. “Workout Plan (skit)

86. “Skit #4

85. “Skit #2

84. “Skit #1

83. “Lil Jimmy (skit)

82. “School Spirit (skit 2)

81. “School Spirit (skit 1)

80. “Breathe In Breathe Out” (featuring Ludacris)

79. “Big Brother

78. “I’ll Fly Away

77. “Pinocchio Story (Live From Singapore)

76. “Graduation Day (skit)

75. “School Spirit

74. “Homecoming

73. “Coldest Winter

72. “Skit #3

71. “Everything I Am” (featuring DJ Premier)

70. “Guilt Trip

69. “Bring Me Down” (featuring Brandy)

68. “Celebration

67. “Barry Bonds” (featuring Lil Wayne)

66. “RoboCop

65. “So Appalled” (featuring Swizz Beatz, Jay-Z, Pusha T, Cyhi the Prynce and RZA)

64. “Family Business

63. “See You in My Nightmares” (featuring Lil Wayne)

62. “Street Lights

61. “The Glory

60. “Bad News

59. “Welcome to Heartbreak” (featuring Kid Cudi)

58. “Hold My Liquor

57. “Hey Mama

56. “Send It Up

55. “Can’t Tell Me Nothing

54. “Say You Will

53. “Diamonds from Sierra Leone (Remix)” (featuring Jay-Z)

52. “Good Life” (featuring T-Pain)

51. “Black Skinhead

50. “Touch the Sky” (featuring Lupe Fiasco)

49. “The New Workout Plan

48. “Love Lockdown

47. “All of the Lights (Interlude)

46. “All of the Lights

45. “Roses

44. “On Sight

43. “Get Em High” (featuring Talib Kweli and Common)

42. “Amazing” (featuring Young Jeezy)

41. “Spaceship” (featuring GLC and Consequence)

40. “Late

39. “I Am a God” (featuring God

38. “Drive Slow” (featuring Paul Wall & GLC)

37. “Stronger

36. “Crack Music” (featuring The Game)

35. “I’m In It

34. “Champion

33. “Gorgeous” (featuring Kid Cudi and Raekwon)

32. “Lost in the World” (featuring Bon Iver)

31. “Who Will Survive in America

30. “We Don’t Care

29. “Hell of a Life

28. “Blood on the Leaves

27. “Blame Game” (featuring John Legend)

26. “Monster” (featuring Jay-Z, Rick Ross, Nicki Minaj and Bon Iver)

25. “Through the Wire

24. “Never Let Me Down” (featuring Jay-Z and J. Ivy)

23. “Addiction

22. “My Way Home” (featuring Common)

21. “Slow Jamz” (with Twista and Jamie Foxx)

20. “Diamonds from Sierra Leone

19. “Good Morning

18. “Heard ‘Em Say” (featuring Adam Levine)

17. “Last Call

16. “Runaway” (featuring Pusha T)

15. “Heartless

14. “Gold Digger” (featuring Jamie Foxx)

13. “Paranoid” (featuring Mr Hudson)

12. “Dark Fantasy

11. “Two Words” (featuring Mos Def, Freeway and The Harlem Boys Choir)

10. “New Slaves

9. “Devil in a New Dress” (featuring Rick Ross)

8. “Jesus Walks

7. “All Falls Down” (featuring Syleena Johnson)

6. “I Wonder

5. “We Major” (featuring Nas & Really Doe)

4. “Bound 2

3. “Power

2. “Gone” (featuring Cam’ron & Consequence)

1. “Flashing Lights” (featuring Dwele)

Every Single Outkast Studio Album Track Ranked.

Posted in music. by Jason Mekkam on June 9, 2015

137. “The Letter

136. “Zora” (Interlude)

135. “Intro

134. “Intro

133. “E-Mac” (Interlude)

132. “Interlude

131. “D-Boi” (Interlude)

130. “Bowtie” (Postlude)

129. “Intro

128. “Good Hair” (Interlude)

127. “?

126. “Cruisin’ in the ATL” (Interlude)

125. “You May Die” (Intro)

124.”Peaches” (Intro)

123. “Welcome to Atlanta” (Interlude)

122. “Infatuation” (Interlude)

121.”Chronomentrophobia

120. “No Bootleg DVDs

119. “She’s Alive

118. “Mutron Angel” (featuring Whild Peach)

117. “You’re Beautiful” (Interlude)

116. “PJ & Rooster

115. “When I Look in Your Eyes

114. “Peaches” (featuring Sleepy Brown & Scar)

113. “A Bad Note

112. “The Train” (featuring Sleepy Brown & Scar)

111. “The Love Below” (Intro)

110. “Buggface

109. “Toilet Tisha

108. “E.T. (Extraterrestrial)

107. “Hold On, Be Strong” (featuring 4.0)

106. “Y’All Scared” (featuring T-Mo, Big Gipp and Khujo)

105. “Club Donkey Ass (Interlude)

104. “Dyin’ to Live

103. “Pink & Blue

102. “Love in War

101. “Greatest Show on Earth” (featuring Macy Gray)

100. “Bust” (featuring Killer Mike)

99. “War

98. “Where Are My Panties?

97. “Last Call” (featuring Slimm Calhoun, Lil Jon & the East Side Boyz and Mello)

96. “13th Floor/Growing Old

95. “Drinkin’ Again” (Interlude)

94. “Knowing” (featuring André 3000)

93. “Good Day, Good Sir

92. “Behold a Lady

91. “Church

90. “In Your Dreams” (featuring Killer Mike & Janelle Monáe)

89. “Bamboo & Cross” (Interlude)

88. “Stankonia (Stanklove)” (featuring Big Rube and Sleepy Brown)

87. “D.F.” (Interlude)

86. “Call of da Wild” (featuring Goodie Mob)

85. “I’ll Call Before I Come” (featuring Gangsta Boo and Eco)

84. “Ova da Wudz

83. “Myintrotoletuknow

82. “Bamboo” (Interlude)

81. “Decatur Psalm” (featuring Big Gipp and Cool Breeze)

80. “Love Hater

79. “Spread

78. “My Favorite Things

77. “Flim Flam (Interlude)

76. “Slump” (featuring Backbone and Cool Breeze)

75. “Mainstream” (featuring Khujo and T-Mo)

74. “Wailin’

73. “Pre-Nump

72. “Gasoline Dreams

71. “God” (Interlude)

70. “Gangsta Shit” (featuring Slimm Calhoun, Blackowned C-Bone and T-Mo)

69. “Makes No Sense at All

68. “Bowtie” (featuring Sleepy Brown and Jazze Pha)

67. “Babylon

66. “N2U” (featuring Khujo)

65. “Idlewild Blue (Don’tchu Worry ‘Bout Me)

64. “Xplosion” (featuring B-Real)

63. “Kim & Cookie” (Interlude)

62. “We Luv Deez Hoez” (featuring Backbone and Big Gipp)

61. “Red Velvet

60. “Chonkyfire

59. “Aquemini

58. “Return of the ‘G’

57. “Jazzy Belle

56. “Mighty ‘O‘”

55. “Call the Law” (featuring Janelle Monáe)

54. “Take Off Your Cool” (featuring Norah Jones)

53. “I’m Cool” (Interlude)

52. “Ghetto Musick” (featuring André 3000)

51. “The Rooster

50. “Hootie Hoo

49. “Life Is Like a Musical

48. “Funky Ride

47. “Reset” (featuring Khujo and CeeLo Green)

46. “Hey Ya!

45. “Morris Brown” (featuring Scar & Sleepy Brown)

44. “Tomb of the Boom” (featuring Konkrete, Big Gipp and Ludacris)

43. “Synthesizer” (featuring George Clinton)

42. “Da Art of Storytellin’ (Pt. 1)” (featuring Sleepy Brown)

41. “Mamacita” (featuring Masada and Witchdoctor)

40. “Happy Valentine’s Day

39. “West Savannah

38. “Unhappy

37. “Roses” (featuring Big Boi)

36. “Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik

35. “Flip Flop Rock” (featuring Killer Mike and Jay Z)

34. “Ain’t No Thang

33. “Prototype

32. “Snappin’ & Trappin’

31. “Vibrate

30. “Two Dope Boyz (In a Cadillac)

29. “Da Art of Storytellin’ (Pt. 2)

28. “Nathaniel” (featuring Supa Nate)

27. “Elevators (Me & You) [ONP 86 Remix]

26. “Wheelz of Steel

25. “Spaghetti Junction

24. “Crumblin’ Erb

23. “Claimin’ True

22. “Skew It on the Bar-B” (featuring Raekwon)

21. “Dracula’s Wedding” (featuring Kelis)

20. “Player’s Ball (Reprise)

19. “Player’s Ball

18. “Hollywood Divorce” (featuring Lil Wayne & Snoop Dogg)

17. “ATLiens

16. “D.E.E.P.

15. “Millennium

14. “Humble Mumble” (featuring Erykah Badu)

13. “The Way You Move” (featuring Sleepy Brown, produced by Carl Mo & Big Boi)

12. “She Lives in My Lap” (featuring Rosario Dawson)

11. “So Fresh, So Clean

10. “Elevators (Me & You)

9. “A Life in the Day of Benjamin André (Incomplete)

8. “Ms. Jackson

7. “True Dat (Interlude)

6. “Rosa Parks

5. “B.O.B

4. “Git Up, Git Out” (featuring Goodie Mob)

3. “SpottieOttieDopaliscious” (featuring Sleepy Brown)

2. “Slum Beautiful” (featuring Cee Lo Green)

1. “Liberation” (featuring Cee-Lo, Erykah Badu and Big Rube)

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Don’t Be Mad That I Fucked Your Dad.

Posted in music. by Jason Mekkam on June 3, 2015

I have Vine on my phone – the app the lets you watch and upload six second clips.  I don’t ever really upload anything, but I’ve definitely lost multiple minutes of life mindlessly scrolling through 7,506,598 variations of Welven Da Great’s Deeeeez Nuts.

Vine’s biggest plus is that it’s steady unintentionally introduced me to many a new rapping musics – my ears knew Bobby Shmurda’s “Hot Nigga”, ILoveMackonnen’s “Tuesday”, Rae Sremmurd’s “No Type” and Fetty Wap’s “Trap Queen” as viral video soundtracks first and chart topping singles second.

Similarly this week I came across a short loop of “Miracle Gro” by The Buttress – I posted the full thing at the top of this page because I want you to watch it and because I love you. I had dig around for the full clip – there was no information regarding the rapper woman’s name nor the title of her masterpiece in video’s caption nor comment section. I had to hunt it down like the mother fucker who shot Bambi’s moms. I did so by Googling the line the stuck out to me like a black polar bear: “Don’t be mad that I fucked your dad.”

The line stuck with me because of it’s uniqueness. Rappity rap rapp is dominated by heterosexual men that love rappity rapping about having sex with women (in all my years studying the sexual proclivities of rappers based soley on their music videos I never once have been under the impression that rappers were against sleeping with womens that too slept with womens) including your moms so I’ve only ever heard someone say they were going to fuck or have already fucked the male human fifty percent responsible for their existence once. And that time it was mind-blowing because the dude’s rap was so fucking terrible and it didn’t make any sense.

Here it’s like pure genius – we laugh with the line instead of at it.

“Miricale Gro” stars two women. One of them is The Buttress. She rocks pony tails. She looks like she might enjoy reading Elizabethan poetry for fun on the weekends but maybe that’s just me.  The other is her friend or a stripper or her friend that is a stripper. Actually you know what I don’t want to call her a stripper. That might be sexist. But in the spirt of a wise man she for sure is wearing a stripper’s uniform. Ok. That feels better. I definitely feel more comfortable saying that. In the video the girls seem to be in the midst of an uber fun nerdy, sexy sleep over – their doing each other’s make up poorly, lifting light weight dumbbells and kicking it with a rabbit in a room that looks like you might live in it if you were a seven-year-old girl living with your arthritic 84-year-old grandmother. But their playful nature is sharply contrasted by their sexual aggressiveness. Which is awesome.

When women rap or touch on sex topics in their work it’s almost always done through the male lens – like we set the standard and then they have to pretend they want the same thing but they don’t. Like in Gone Girl. Actually let’s not talk about Gone Girl because I don’t like talking about horror films. Yikes. But ya hearing a woman rap that a man shouldn’t even call her if he can’t get his junk working properly to sexually please her is oddly refreshing. It’s sexual objectification come full circle and nothing makes me happier than equality.

One thing that I feel compelled to address in pursuit of full disclosure is that after my first initial views I thought that this whole thing was a joke. But after I start to question my own assumptions. I mean the lyrics in the video are on point. The Buttress can rap her ass off. The song is good. From a technical standpoint every things on point, no credit union. Sure there are some silly/absurd aspects of the visual but no more so than anything Tyler, The Creator would put out. And everyone takes him seriously kinda. So why then question the artistic authenticity of the clip? Simple: I think because she’s white.

I learned about the concept of ‘white space’ from a This American Life podcast recently. Elijah Anderson, a renown professor of Sociology at Yale University coined the term. The idea is brilliant:

Since the end of the Civil Rights Movement, large numbers of black people have made their way into settings previously occupied only by whites, though their reception has been mixed. Overwhelmingly white neighborhoods, schools, workplaces, restaurants, and other public spaces remain. Blacks perceive such settings as “the white space,” which they often consider to be informally “off limits” for people like them. Meanwhile, despite the growth of an enormous black middle class, many whites assume that the natural black space is that destitute and fearsome locality so commonly featured in the public media, including popular books, music and videos, and the TV news—the iconic ghetto. White people typically avoid black space, but black people are required to navigate the white space as a condition of their existence.

Nikki Jones, an associate professor at UC Berkley of African American Studies offers insight of the real world impactions of these informal racial realms.

So in these white spaces, black people have a special burden, and they face a number of dilemmas. They have to prove that they belong there. The burden is on them to prove that they belong in a particular space.

Shit works in reverse too. While it’s less common the for white people to enter black spaces, they are still met with a sort of passive hostility questioning their presence. In a nutshell this is why Iggy Azela is hated so vicious. Like “how dare this white girl from Australia come over here and use our music for her own personal gain” type shit. This is wrong. White spaces are wrong. Black spaces are wrong. I know from personal experience what it feels like to feel as if you don’t belong somewhere because of the color of your skin and it’s jarring to think that I’m capable to do that to someone else on any level. Its natural for us to have our own automatic biases but it’s important to realize them and put them in check before they can do any real damage. So I’m starting with the man in the mirror. I consciously choose to judge The Buttress by the quality of her content and not by the novelty of her pigment and you should to.

I really like “Miriacle Gro” – if Lil Kim kidnapped Michelle from Full House back in 94′ and raised her with Biggie and made her listen to nothing but Salt N’ Pepper cassettes and watch nothing but John Hughes’s movies this is the video that said child would be destined to make. I’ve checked out some of The Buttress’s other stuff on YouTube and a lot of it is way darker. Like it kind of reminds me of horror core from like the mid 90s’. “Mirale Gro” is her latest video so perhaps she’s going in a new direction. Not much information on the internets exists about her but with her profile rising as of recent shit might changing real soon.

Hide your fathers.

Download: Behind Every Great Man – The Buttress

Update (6/6/15): Two notes. First and least pressing, in an earlier edition of this post I claimed that most of The Buttress’s musics sans “Miriacle Gro” reminded me of rap-core. This was a mistake. What I meant is that it reminded me of horrorcore. The subgeneres are radically different. Second and far more pressing is as of last Thursday The Buttress has decided to pull the video for “Miracle Gro” from YouTube. You can read the explanation for her decision herehere and here. While I fully respect her decision as an artist, I’m very bummed. The video is/was so damn smart. I’d start an online petition to get her to change her mind but with a Twitter handle like @cockspit I don’t think she’s one to hold public opinion in too high a regard. Fortunately the song alone is still up. Listen to it here while supplies last.

Best Rap Songs By Color.

Posted in music. by Jason Mekkam on March 28, 2015

Black

Black Mags by The Cool Kids

Blue

Blue Magic by Jay-Z

Brown

Brown Skin Lady by Black Star

Green

Green Island by Redman

Orange

Orange Pineapple Juice by Common Sense

Purple

Purple Pills by D12

Red

Red Velvet by Outkast

White

White Silk by Action Bronson & Statik Selektah

Yellow

Black and Yellow by Wiz Khalifa

Kanye West’s Most Bestest Onomatopoeias.

Posted in music. by Jason Mekkam on March 24, 2015

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I had a hard time paying attention in grade school. I was too young to be an astronaut but I could space cadet with the best of em. The morning bell would ring and within minutes I’d be off in own planet, a world where little boys weren’t forced to sit still for seven hours a day and aliens had giant tits.

I was a weird kid.

Sometimes the teacher would catch me mid-space. She’d get mad at me for not paying attention. I’d try to get mad too so that my madness could out mad her madness into submission. “I am too paying attention,” I’d argue as I’d hurriedly flip my math book to a page on fractions while the rest of the class looked up state capitals for geography.

The worst though is when she’d call on me. She’d call on me during grammar. It was always during grammar. For some reason I could never just say “I don’t know” as an answer to question because in my lil’ head not having an answer for a question seemed rude.

I was a polite kid.

So I’d always just tell her what sounded right to me.

“… and now who can tell us what an onomatopoeia is? Let’s see.. wulu how about you..? wulu.. WULU!”

“Huh? Yeah. Me?”

“Yes. Onomatopoeia.”

“What?”

“Do what an onomatopoeia is?”

“Ugh.. Oh.. yeah! My mom buys em at the grocery all time but I don’t really like em. I prefer cantaloupe.”

My class laughed. My teacher laughed. I was confused. And embarrassed. But then I pretended to laugh too because being apart of a joke is more fun than being it’s object. This episode in my life was surely traumatic but I’m grateful for it because it introduced me to my favorite rhetorical device.

Onomatopoeia is a funny ass word for funny ass words (like ‘clank’ and ‘boom’) that phonetically resemble sounds associated with the objects and actions they’re referring. Being a medium most dependent upon the successful conversion of message through rhythmic, linguistic manipulation, rapping musics are lyrically chalk full of em. They’re the easiest to get stuck in your head forever spot when when placed prominently on a song’s hook like the ‘WOOP WOOP’ in KRS-One’s “Sound Of the Police” or the ‘BRRRRRRRRRR’ of Baby’s “What Happened To That Boy.”

When buried within the depths of a verse it’s usage is often self-referential and oddly self-congratulatory on that ‘wink wink see what I just did there’ type tip. For example, on “Sweatpants” Childish Gambino raps “Waking up broke, man, wouldn’t wanna be ya/ Friends with the dope man, help a nigga re-up/ Bring a girlfriend, man, trouble when I see her/ “Err-err-err-err”: onomatopoeia.” Now no hate zone. What Glover does here is clever times infinity but at the same time this has to do down as the nerdiest way to say you’re gonna fuck someone else’s bitch in the history of hip-hop. But at at least he uses the term correctly. Unlike Bun B..

Not trill.

Some rappers practically adopted/trademark onomatopoeias to the point where it’s impossible to hear a sound and not associate it with an artist. I straight up felt like Pavlov’s dog when Drake sampled Rick Ross’s ‘UGGH’ on “No Tellin” and no Rozay verse followed. Can you imagine an existence without Pusha T and his ‘EGHCK’ or a Gucci Mann with no ‘BURR’? I can’t.

I won’t.

Of all the ways rappers embrace the onomatopoeia my favorite implementer of the device is Kanye West. Hands down. Ever other story published about the man waxes exclusively on either his excessive amount of creativity or his excessive amount assholery but no one ever talks about his sense of humor. He’s funny as shit, especially when speaking on subjects he’s passionate about.

Like porn.

Speaking strictly lyrically, the reason I appreciate what Kanye does is because he uses the simplicity of onomatopoeias to to heighten his rap’s contextual absurdity by juxtaposing them against technically complicated wordplay.

Peep game:

Live Fast Die Young

(@ 2:20):

For all my young ladies that’s drivin’ Miss Daisy
Drivin’ me crazy, rock the beat baby!
Hop up out the rrrt, she beat up the payment
I don’t give a rrrt, baby he craazzy

 

Before I heard this I didn’t think it was possible to homonym an onomatopoeia. I was wrong. The screeching of car tires do sound kinda like needle scratching a record. Plus major points for Yeezy elongated enunciation.

Hell Of A Life

(@ 1:19):

Never in your wildest dreams, never in your wildest dreams
In your wildest
You could hear the loudest screams, comin’ from inside the screen
You a wild bitch
Tell me what I gotta do to be that guy
Said her price go down, she ever fuck a black guy
Or do anal, or do a gangbang
It’s kinda crazy that’s all considered the same thing
Well I guess alotta niggas do gang bang
And if we run trains, we all in the same gang
Runaway slaves all on a chain gang
Bang bang bang bang bang

 

More homonyms on homonyms. I’ve spoken at length about this particular verse for another reason. Actually do chains really go bang or do they go clang? I think I’m team clang but that may just be me.

The One

(@ 1:33):


If you ever held a title belt you would know how Michael felt
Tyson, Jackson, Jordan – Michael Phelps
Yeah, had to take it to another realm
Cause everything around me got me underwhelmed
Best way to describe my position is at the helm
Best way to describe my new whip – Yeeeaaaalmmp

 

Car sales men take note. I don’t wanna hear about a car’s milage or crash test safer ratings. If you really wanna make them commissions just tell me how the puppy sounds in one word – Yeeeaaaalmmp.

Hate

(@ 1:08):


We blasting off just like a laser
Nigga pewoon, pewoon, pewoon,
Get me back, give me room, room, room
DB-9 like vroomm,vroomm, vroom
Y’all ho what we doing, doing, doing

 

Kevin Hart says it best.

Not only does he use two here but as Rap Genius points also throws in multiple epizeuxises – the consecutive repetition of a word three times in a row for good measure. My third grade teacher would be pleased.

J. Cole Has Huge Balls.

Posted in music. by Jason Mekkam on March 23, 2015


G.O.M.D. stands for ‘Get Off My Dick’. When I saw J. Cole dropped a visual for the eighth track off his 2014 Forest Hills Drive today I was very much expecting whether or not Jermaine would actually say ‘dick’ to be the most controversial thing about the video. I was wrong. Jermaine playing a house slave is the most controversial thing about the video.

On so many levels ” G.O.M.D.”could have ended up being a colossal train wreck – it’s daunting depicting sensitive subjects successfully and tastefully in a five minute window. More often than not such attempts fall victim to feeling painfully forced. But not “G.O.M.D.” It wins because it’s subtle. Lawrence Lamont (who also directed Big Sean’s acronym heavy “IDFWU“) wisely chose to refrain from letting Jermaine go complete Django in this clip, allowing for the focus to be on the drama instead of the action.

J. Cole plays a house slave at odds with the field hands because of his privileged position and yet not being accepted either by the white folks whose house he takes care of because.. well he’s their slave. Awkward right? Refusing to accept his fate however, J. Cole’s character rebels and with the assistance of the slave master’s daughter, steals the keys to the gun cabinet, arms his peoples ands take over the plantation. Part of me can’t help but feel, especially after all the time Jermaine spent down in Ferguson, that this video is a bit allegorical, with the real life Jermaine being born to a black father and white mother and having struggled early on with his own racial identity only to overcome his demons, becoming the voice uniting a generation fed up with racial injustice and indifference.

And he’s gonna fuck massa’s daughter. So take that racism.

I vehemently applaud what J. Cole’s and Lamont accomplished here. It’s empowering. You can feel the music video’s climatic tension and the entire clip does a impeccable job of bringing to life the feeling of Branford Marsalis’s “Berta Berta” – the spiritual that Jermaine samples heavy here.

All in all, good shit.