137. “The Letter”
136. “Zora” (Interlude)
133. “E-Mac” (Interlude)
131. “D-Boi” (Interlude)
130. “Bowtie” (Postlude)
128. “Good Hair” (Interlude)
126. “Cruisin’ in the ATL” (Interlude)
125. “You May Die” (Intro)
123. “Welcome to Atlanta” (Interlude)
122. “Infatuation” (Interlude)
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)
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)
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”
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”
82. “Bamboo” (Interlude)
81. “Decatur Psalm” (featuring Big Gipp and Cool Breeze)
80. “Love Hater”
78. “My Favorite Things”
77. “Flim Flam (Interlude)”
76. “Slump” (featuring Backbone and Cool Breeze)
75. “Mainstream” (featuring Khujo and T-Mo)
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)
66. “N2U” (featuring Khujo)
64. “Xplosion” (featuring B-Real)
63. “Kim & Cookie” (Interlude)
62. “We Luv Deez Hoez” (featuring Backbone and Big Gipp)
61. “Red Velvet”
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”
37. “Roses” (featuring Big Boi)
35. “Flip Flop Rock” (featuring Killer Mike and Jay Z)
34. “Ain’t No Thang”
32. “Snappin’ & Trappin’”
28. “Nathaniel” (featuring Supa Nate)
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)
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)”
8. “Ms. Jackson”
7. “True Dat (Interlude)”
6. “Rosa Parks”
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)
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 here, here 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.
Photo Credit: Devin Allen
Let me tell you how fucked things are:
Three weeks ago, long before Freddie Gray was transformed from a living breathing human man into a #hashtag, my mom received a phone call from my great uncle. He’s 59, loves sour candy and lives in London. It was well past midnight his time, yet he had become so exasperated from what he had just witnessed he felt it imperative to contact my mother right away.
“Tell them to be careful I beg. If the boys ever come in contact with them please insist they not make any sudden movements, keep calm and remain composed no matter what,” my grandmother’s brother pleaded.
What had him so shook was footage of a black man in a green shirt sprinting away from an officer of the law as the cop callously pulls his weapon and fatally shoots him several times in the back.
My great uncle was terrified, disgusted but most importantly worried about his grand nephews – my three younger brothers and me.
The fact that he felt compelled a half a world away to reach out to my moms and emphasize that his kin, living in the first-world-greatest-country-on-the-whole-of-the-entire-earths, tread softly in the presence of law enforcement because we all fit the proverbial description is a far too chilling barometer read of the social/political climate we currently habitate.
Watching the events in Baltimore leaves me grappling with many emotions. Anger is the loudest. Not only am I upset over of the unnecessary loss of yet another black man at the hands of an agency sworn to protect him but too towards a certain collective response focusing primarily on property damage caused by the riots. It’s like I’m in film class all over again: while the rest of the class is baffled as to why Mookie threw the trashcan into Sal’s Famous, I’m still the only one screaming at the top of my lungs that they murdered Radio Raheem. Do The Right Thing was released over twenty five years ago and yet the very real American pattern of giving more importance to property than black life has never rang truer.
Post-racial society my mother fucking ass.
I’m frustrated. Rioting is not the answer. Violence is bad. I get that. I know that. No one argues the contrary. But it’s not the problem in and of itself. Dudes didn’t just wake up and decide, “Eh yo hit up all the homies fam. We finna set police cars and on fire and roast marshmallows and shit bruh.” No. As a famous ideological extremist once declared, “Riot is the language of the unheard.” It’s the last resort of a people who’ve felt so marginalized they believe no the tools exists for which to proclaim their grievances other than that of violence and destruction.
Here lies the real tragedy. We don’t all see ourselves as being on the same team. There is a very real portion of the United States that, subconsciously or not, don’t believe black men to be full-blooded Americans. Rather than brothers partaking in the wonderful political experiment we call democracy, we’re thugs, criminals, second-class animals that need to be controlled; not respected. It just so happens that some who think this way also just so happen to be cops. Yes years long decaying infrastructure, nonexistent opportunities for upward mobility and feelings of governmental abandonment are very real streams of fuel stoking the very real fires that burn hot in Maryland’s most populous city, but ignoring the role good old fashioned racism plays in these incidents we’ve become all too familiar with is a grave mistake.
I’m sad that people all over America are suffering. White, black, cop, civilian; I don’t want anyone to get hurt. I wish the madness will stop so we can constructively put our efforts into fixing injustices instead of fixing windows. James Baldwin once said, “To be a Negro in this country and to be relatively conscious is to be in rage almost all the time.” I have to be honest tho: rage is exhausting. I know. Trust. So I hope now instead. Because maybe one day we will wake up and realize the interconnectedness of our lives and treat each other accordingly. Maybe we’ll be kinder, more thoughtful and cease viewing each other as violent enemies but rather just people.
Maybe the time to start the conversation about race in America is over and the time to actually acting on these conversation for a better tomorrow will begin. Maybe.. I hope. Because man.. I’m tired. And I want better because I still have to get up tomorrow. So I hope.
I mean shit. It worked for Obama.
Black Mags by The Cool Kids
Blue Magic by Jay-Z
Brown Skin Lady by Black Star
Green Island by Redman
Orange Pineapple Juice by Common Sense
Purple Pills by D12
Red Velvet by Outkast
White Silk by Action Bronson & Statik Selektah
Black and Yellow by Wiz Khalifa
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?”
“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..
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.
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.
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.
Live Fast Die Young
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.