This past week was notable, first and foremost, for tragedy. The horrible crime of eleven years ago cast a pall over those effected that not even the dopest punchlines could begin to lift. But that doesn’t mean nobody tried. Rah Digga gives a shout-out to Joan Jett, Weezy puns on a White Stripe, Mistah F.A.B. breaks down the Middle East, and Hov mentions some real-life gangsters while Raekwon name-drops an Internet one. Below, the lines of the week:
5. “Love us or not, the Mark Zuckerbergs of the block/Hug your knot, staying rich, we was built for the guap” — Raekwon, ‘The Morning’ lyrics
Rae here sets up the Facebook founder as a rich boss, thus making the few remaining FB shareholders happy and justifying Zuckerberg’s entire life.
4. “It’s the Dream Team meets the Supreme Team/And all our eyes green” — Jay-Z, ‘Clique’ lyrics
Hov, as ever, operates on a level few mortals can reach. While this line may appear simple, there’s a lot going on. The Dream Team, of course, is the ’92 U.S. Olympic basketball team. The Supreme Team was the notorious Queens-based drug gang of the 1980′s and 90′s. But the green eyes here mean something more than jealousy, and more than having eyes the color of money. The Supreme Team’s leader, Kenneth “Supreme” McGriff, famously had green eyes, a fact which is certainly not lost on Jay, who likely remembers the group’s heyday.
3. “I ain’t your ordinary — I’m that ch-ch-ch-cherry bomb/Hate femcees, could give a f*ck if we get along” – Rah Digga, ‘Janis Joplin’ lyrics
While we at RG hate the term “femcee” — “emcee”, after all, is gender-neutral — we do love The Runaways’ 1976 hit “Cherry Bomb”, whose chorus stutter is emulated here by Digga.
2. “So while you balling at the Plaza/Kids two and three die every day out in Gaza/Civil wars in Cairo, and the buildings burn like pyro/In Jerusalem, the Mus-a-lims are fighting for survival” — Mistah F.A.B., ‘What’s Swear 2 God To An Atheist’ lyrics
F.A.B. here takes high-living rappers to task for ignoring social realities — the still-contentious situation in post-revolutionary Egypt, the occupation of Gaza, and the recent spate of attacks against Palestinians in Jerusalem. Would that more rappers addressed world affairs instead of how much their hotel suite cost.
1. “It’s Young Money, we out here, we turnt up ’bout that life/My pockets fat like Jack Black; if I go broke, I’mma jack whites” — Lil Wayne, ‘Magic’ lyrics
Lil Wayne, who had a bit of a creative rough patch after his jail term ended, returns to his old form with his new mixtape Dedication 4. The collection shows him as free-spirited and inventive as his now-legendary 2005-8 period. This line uses colorful (literally!) wordplay to pun on the name of former White Stripes guitarist and singer Jack White.
Hot Songs of the Week:
PLUS, we have the explanations for the lyric snippets to the ENTIRE forthcoming GOOD MUSIC album