Saturday, December 14, 2019

50 BEST RAPS OF 2019

2019: a diaper odyssey
Another year in the books, another decade in the grave. If, when I began this blog 2012, you told me I'd still be infrequently active at the end of the decade, I would've looked you in your demoniac time-traveling eyes and said, "Disappointing, but well within the realm of possibilities." Then I'd brandish my wacking baton and hold you hostage, demanding that you repent for violating the laws of space and time in between performing elaborate rap-hand choreography to an unintelligible, self-censored version of "All Gold Everything."

Why persist in the tepid breeze of the digital yawn? I haven't earned so much as an oxidized penny toiling away in this sinking morass of a city. A labor of love it is not. I am Ahab in pursuit of a white whale who becomes more inscrutable with the passing of each year. It's beyond good and evil, doesn't age, occupies infinite spaces at once. I closed my eyes and it had an undercut; when I opened them I saw a rainbow mane sinking into the deep. I'm getting old. My eyes are failing. Let me die.

I cannot die. Death piles up around me—I saw the most Dionysian rappers of their generation destroyed by Actavis and Pfizer—but I cannot die, it finds me dry and lacking, and so I make a list, a catalogue of semi-meaningful consumption.

Have you seen my list?

2019 raps
03 Greedo - 10 Purple Summers
Z Money - Where Ya Sent Em
Jooba Loc - Won't Shoot
Duwap Kaine - Plays
TisaKorean - Double Dare (Soapy Anthem)
AzChike & AzSwaye - Oouh
D Savage - Pill
Kemba - Deadass
Adé Hakim - Love Is Worth My Time
Asian Da Brat - Eskimo Flow
Chippass, E-40, ALLBLACK - Me
Baby 9eno & Cheecho - Germ
Slauson Malone & Pink Siifu - Off Me! and or The Wake Pt. 1 & 2
The Mekanix & Husalah - Buat My Money
Memo 600 & King Von - Exposing Me (Remix)
Quando Rondo & NoCap - New Ones
Young Nudy - Long Ride
Philthy Rich - Don't Forget
FMB DZ - 2K19
Gunna - Yao Ming
ZelooperZ & Earl Sweatshirt - Easter Sunday 97
Valee - You & Me Both
Stunna 4 Vegas - Fuckery
Megan Thee Stallion & Juicy J - Simon Says
Scarfo Da Plug & Brodinski - Off The Leash
Styles P - Give N Take
Soldier Kidd - No Rap Cap
Polo G - Deep Wounds
Malibu Ken - Suicide Big Gulp
Reese LAFLARE - What's Real
Slowthai & Mura Masa - Doorman
Kayvo & Keezah - Chicken Talk
Memo 600 - Steppers
$ilkmoney - Africa
Lil Tecca - Ransom
Mavi - Bloodbath
Pivot Gang & Kari Faux - Mortal Kombat
BlocBoy JB - Mercedes
Mach-Hommy & Quelle Chris - Chiney Brush
King Carter & Pink Siifu - Problems
NAV & Meek Mill - Tap
Swervyy, MallyBo, B-Rock - Do Yo Shit
Blvck Spvde & Ohbliv - Parallel
Rico Nasty - Time Flies
Blu & Oh No - Boogie To Flex
YS Ft. 1TakeJay, Ohgeesy - Bompton (Remix)
Danny Brown & Run The Jewels - 3 Tearz
Peso Chamberlain - Willie Mays
Rod Wave & Lil Durk - Heart On Ice (Remix)
Pop Smoke - Welcome To The Party

old raps
051 Montana & 051 Drilla - Facts
Erule - Listen Up
3re Tha Hardaway - Born in tha Ghetto
Prince Rahiem - Loose My Money
Ted Kamal - How Is You Feelin Vro?
Fonzworth Bentley, Kanye West, Andre 3000 - Everybody
Fonzworth Bentley, Pimp C, Lil Wayne - C.O.L.O.U.R.S.
Harlem World - We Both Frontin
Ma$e - Someone Like You
Sporty Thievz - Cheapskate

the decade in short
2010: roflmao check out this meme rap xD
2011: no but seriously, this meme rap is actually good, this guy has heard of cormega
2012: hey did you know the rappers in atlanta are taking MDMA? and that chicago has rap?
2013: maybe we can build a brand intellectualizing the bones of swag-rap
2014: did you know they break records in strip clubs? i hope to go to one one day.
2015: hey did you know the rappers in atlanta are taking MDMA sadly and androgynously? they're doing it in strip clubs, which is where they break the records.
2016: "at least we're gonna get some badass political rap! remember rock against reagan?you say to yourself as zoomers follow you down the unlit street, ready to pry the zeitgeist from your aging fingers
2017: where did all these crazy kids come from and why do they all like kurt cobain?
2018: death
2019: ok so get this, it's a branded advertainment show pairing très badass dababy w/ huggies's little snugglers line + death
2020: doing the mayor pete dance as the world burns?

Friday, December 6, 2019


You might object to the title of this post. "Buddens been losing since he came out his mama's womb," you say. Fair enough. In counterpoint, "Pump It Up" still hits when it comes on the old fart radio.  Summer of '03, brah—Buddens and Young Gunz had radio hits on the heels of the summer of Diddy and Loon. Diplomatic Immunity, kid. Chain Gang Vol. 2, pal. We mistook the dying breaths of East Coast rap's mainstream viability for an evolution, a return. Mea culpa, motherfucker.

If you reading this blog, you know all of Buddens's subsequent actions have been laughable. Who put the battery in the back of this one-hit wonder? Buddens saw Lil B bubbling in 2010 and his moustache-twirling ass got jealous.

Fast forward after some back and forth. Joe Buddens's balding, near-death body is dropped in the Palisades once Lil B merked him on the greatest diss song of the decade.

Can you murder someone who's already dead? A year prior in '09, ol' bloviating, delusional Buddens took exception to being behind Melle Mel on a Vibe list of greatest rappers. What followed was a line-by-line, clinical assassination from the swolest originator.

That alone would've been enough, but Melvin went even further by showing his proficiency with one of the more newly minted elements of hip-hop—the streaming video shitting-upon thereof. Peep game.

After taking a heinous, fact-based shit on Joe Buddens, Melle Mel seeks recourse in a chart—a 1-30 metric following a mugshot-style pipe-smoking human figure from head to haunches.

FIG. 1
"Melle Mel is number 5. I'm around the throat-part, or the mouth-part of hip-hop."

FIG. 2
"Joe Budden is down here, number 32. That's somehwere around the ass crack or the ballsack of hip-hop!"

Joe Buddens doesn't even fall within Melle Mel's metric. Buddens, you been trash. Come around me with your human ass-crack shenanigans and I guarantee you'll be needing the Preparation H.

Saturday, November 2, 2019


I know I been on this tip, but why is Pressa allowed to live when Guerilla Black was mocked all the way to the rap graveyard? 'Cause he chose a more obscure artist from whomst to crib style? Admittedly, the Notorious B.I.G. is probably not the best artist to steal from if you're trying to get away with it it. It's like ripping off notorious sex pest Pablo Picasso, who gave these Young Turks (no genocide) the conceptual green light to bite style in the name of art. One time this bald idiot Pablo Picasso said some shit 'bout how good artists borrow and great artists steal, but no matter how you peel the tangelo, Pressa ain't a great artist.

Listen bruh, I get that millennial infantalization is a thing. I suffer from it sometimes like any of y'all in betwixt X and Z(oomers). Don't head into my domicile unless you want to step on hella rattles and soiled diapers. All that expressed, I don't want my rap metaphorically filling up a big spoon with baby formula and making that airplane sound as it jams that shits in my inner ear.

Pressa, you stole your whole style from Scoob. Throw the man some cash or put a footnote in your shit.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019


My rap dirty like the piss pissed out by white men,
In Celebrity RE-HAB -- but this ain't RE-HAB!
So when Danny Bonaduce check out of RE-HAB!
I'ma be right there, fat sack of crack,
Sayin, "First hit's on me, here go a free gram!"

Vinyl sucks, dude. No reason for you to be spinning LPs unless you're old enough to remember them. Ya mans is fully digitized. YOU ARE NOT WHAT YOU OWN, as them Fugazi boys said. Ha ha!

Like a good resigned subject, I listen to most of my music on Spotify. Better than protecting my sleeves in clear plastic condoms, fretting about whether my manly natural oils will reduce daddy's copy of 30 Seconds Over D.C. from VG+ to VG-.

When I can't find something on Spotify, I look for it on YouTube. The 'Tube has everything but the most elite and super-rare, so why doesn't it have this Killer Mike song? Sunday Morning Massacres was a big deal when I was coming up; why is it now so forgotten that one of my favorites is absent from the re-release and YouTube? Has 2008 Killer Mike been completely eclipsed by the Netflixin' 2016-present Bernie Bro?

We wanted an Ice Cube, kids. Within the contemporaneous rap culture wars, it was a victory for poptimist rap listeners to hear him rhyme rehab with rehab with rehab. 2008 was a different time.

The digital-minded, record-collecting losers on YouTube have helped me out of so many pickles. I figure I'm only repaying a debt by uploading this. Happy listens, and do enjoy the image of Killer Mike I appropriated from an PDF version of Ozone.

To the people asking me to reupload the Rosco P. Coldchain compilation -- I will. It's a matter of weathering my old POS Dell; but for you, the beloved non-reader, I will try to try.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019


Is this drill? Not enough of a dirge. Reminds me more of my 13th favorite song, "Can't Stop Won't Stop" or Steve Miller Band's "Fly Like An Eagle", than some hardboiled drill shit.  Too much joy, as them Scarsdale boys used to say, and that's all the more disturbing. It's infectious, it's got a good beat, and you can dance to it!

Genre is useful, but more than anything it exists to make a critic's job easier and important sounding. Sounds more like some vanglorious G-shit over a Pi'erre Bourne beat than anything sniffing the shavings of drill, and yet those few-and-far-between e-critics who acknowledged the jawn called it drill for extra-musical reasons.

This came out in late 2017, when I was only in the early processes of retreating into my cave. Were critics afraid of getting done like The Stranglers did Philippe Manoeuvre if they gave the song a bad review? The song is too good to get a bad review. Was it cancelled on account of alleged misdeeds? I don't know what the rap-crit establishment's current position on IRL violence is, but bad optics didn't keep King Von off Pitchfork.

Who knows? Death of the artist is dead at this point in time, and I'm still sifting through the wreckage of collapsed post-structuralism. Ya boy ain't a Chicago insider of any kind, so he can only ask questions. Chuuuch.

Monday, June 24, 2019


Feels weird writing a RIP post for Bandz, 'cause I rarely even write RIP posts for artists who have meant a lot more to me. I have no profundities or answers to dispense when an artist I admire dies.

But about a week before he went missing he came back to my attention when this joint with A-Wax came up on Spotify shuffle. "First Thing" reminded me of two things: A-Wax's facility for songs of dirtbag melancholy, and the out-of-place chubby white kid in the "Demons" video who looked like an upper-middle FSU fratboy Rebecca Blackin' his way through a Chiraq fantasy. He claimed eastside Chicago and gang affiliation, but all that really mattered was he actually had some skill as a rapper.

Around the same time I was getting deep into the rabbit hole of the equally awful and impressive Chiraqology subreddit, where uncredentialed "insiders" and Swedish thugs catalog the byzantine cross-pollination of Chicago rap and the city's gangland underworld. Fact or fiction, these guys could be historians or true-crime writers if they ever get out of the streets or their grandmas' basement. I was reading these Heredditus's accounts of King Von sliding into K.I.'s DMs  and L'A Capone's body count when I read the news that EBE Bandz was missing.

Like any good crime story, the details were cryptic and gruesome. His house was trashed. Police thought his body might be locked in the trunk of his car. Although the car was parked in his garage, they couldn't open it short of a warrant or his consent. Was the body just rotting there on account of judicial process? Adding to the intrigue, prior to his disappearance Bandz allegedly pulled a gun on two young women, one of them 16, who objected to his uncle's (alleged) leers.

The rumor mill churned up its usual glut of cockamamie theories. Bandz was killed by rival rappers. Bandz was killed by rival gang members. Bandz was killed by collaborators or video mob-scene extras. Turns out it was a couple of nerds, one of whom was a friend and looks like a Latin Nick Mullen. They bludgeoned him with a baseball bat, set the body on fire, and left it in the woods of Winnebago County.

As with anyone's death, there's nothing I can say to give this resolution or meaning. I write this to remember a rapper whose songs I've enjoyed, and to relate the peculiar condition of being a rap fan on the internet in the year 2019.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019


Quit that racket about Chief Wayne or Lil Keef being the most influential artist of the past 10-15 years. Let the NBA Young Durks and Drake Boogie Wit Da Future Luccis battle out who popularized the R&B blues style we now accept as rap, cause all this time we've been ignoring the father of a quietly developing and persistent style of rap. I'm talkin' Big Daddy Kane weed carrier and back-up dancer extraordinaire Scoob, f/k/a Scoob Lover.

Ya boy checked out the Zelooperz album to see if it had any good songs besides the Earl Sweatshirt joint (it doesn't really, but it does have a welcome beatjack of Fat Joe's "Bad Bad Man"). Halfway through, I started noticing how Zelooperz often breaks into a muted version of that manic, nasal, cartoonish style Danny Brown uses to mixed effect. Come to find out Zoelooperz is a member of Bruiser Brigade. Connection is clear enough, right?

But then I'm listening to Pressa, and I hear that same annoying style Danny Brown does, right down to the elongated rhyming words delivered with squeaking emphasis. Detroit is close to Toronto. What are the odds?

I was weaving tenuous threads like a paranoiac tackling the Zapruder film until I realized where I'd originally heard the style: Scoob Lover, 1994. For the sake of tender eardrums, I hope the style doesn't infiltrate any further, but Scoob should get something out of its resurrection. For the price of a latte, we can make sure Scoob reaps the rewards. Let's get this man a motherfuckin Patreon.