Drug Dealer Rap is Still Alive!

 

 

I hate to sound like the grumpy old man, but more and more everyday I’m becoming the grumpy old man. Entertainment is subjective, so please understand this is just my personal opinion… I’ll take drug dealer rap over drug user rap any day! I’ve never sold drugs or been a drug user, and while not condoning the former, I admire the discipline and integrity it typically took for drug dealers to rise in the ranks and in wealth more so than the constant carelessness drug user rap displays. I can relate to the emotion of paranoia that came with not wanting to be a failure financially. Not to mention, when done exceptionally, most drug dealer rap gives you both sides, not just parties, girls and material gain it also gives you the heartache. Drug user rap mostly, from my perspective, gives you a false sense of reality like the very drugs being used. So imagine my delight a few nights ago when two of the most cerebral architects of drug dealer rap, Jay Z and Pusha T, took a walk thru their memory and crafted such drug dealer motion pictures that they would rival Scorsese. Or for that matter, Federico Fellini. I was like a kid on Christmas. Let’s dissect it.

 

Pusha T, native of Virginia, has become one of my top 5 favorite rappers of all time over the years which also thrusts him into my top rappers from the south. Just from a southern aspect, I put him in the realm of Scarface, Both Outkast members Big Boi and Andre 3000, Cee Lo Green, and Trick Daddy. I put him number 2 amongst them, behind only Mr. Brad Jordan. What he brings to rap is a gift for articulation and vocabulary that has often been the metaphorical Achilles’ heel of southern rap while also having the edginess, style and trendsetting ability that’s always been a staple of southern hip-hop. He has the total package for an MC. The voice, star power, lyrical ability, flow, beat selection, originality and most important to most… authenticity. “I can’t even mention what I sent or what I spent because my name in 18 wheelers is evidence” is a clear example of this. Such linear bars depict real life without coming off as folklore. It’s not flamboyant and extravagant. It reeks of quiet paranoia and caution. It lets you know he’s still cognizant of what could still be taken to trial. What could be tied to him or possibly incriminate others. The carefulness is admirable. In a time where rappers and members of their entourage have been indicted based off of rap lyrics, Pusha lets us know that while he’s sharing his story, his story is real and can still be used against him. Which is more important than a few more street cred points by him being too boisterous.

 

Now what can I say about Shawn Corey Carter aka Jay Z that hasn’t been said already? Not much. For 20 years he’s been recalling the life he had prior in such a manner he’s widely considered the Greatest of All Time. But in an era with the attention span of a toddler, it is often lost on popular opinion how good Jay Z is. Hip- Hop has always been a young man’s game, until Jay Z got older. This verse is a master’s class on rhyme writing as he reminds everybody quite frankly… who’s the master. “Federico Fellini in the Flesh” is such a brilliant metaphor perfectly timed. I admit, I didn’t know of Mr. Fellini prior to this verse, which is also a part of Jay Z’s genius. He’s always introduced legends from outside of our culture in a sense to our culture. So after hearing it and researching him I learned that Federico Fellini is only regarded as one of the most influential film makers and screenwriters of all time. So the comparison is perfect. Take into account how I opened this paragraph and you can clearly see why this metaphor is so effective. Hov goes on to weave in and out of the dark multi-layered beat’s crevices to tell you about his history. From hopping from the underworld of the drug game to being in London at 19 in a Benz (with Big Daddy Kane). Even tells you that the proof is online if you need it “Google’s your friend bruh”. The 14 year drug dealer, as chronicled by Tomi Lahren the online news anchor, almost drives you out of the 80’s and thru the 90’s until president day when he tells you his biggest struggle possibly has been skillfully becoming successful “on the books” and credits the wizardry of his accountant with being the best asset of all. “He Been Hoola-hooping thru loopholes, working ‘round shit”. As the movie starts coming to an end you can find Hov telling you how he’s excelled so much that he’s passed the pack as it’s summarized by businessman Hov giving you stock tips “Yall think Uber’s the future, our cars been autonomous”.

 

Filled with double entendres and intricate rhyme patterns that after 20+ listens I’m still figuring it out, Drug Dealers Anonymous gives me everything I desire from rap. It was beautifully executed and long overdue. Now we just need King Push and whatever Hov’s next album will be called to complete the puzzle. I’m the grumpy old man, but I know there’s a host of other people with similar lineage in this thing of ours called Hip-Hop that felt just as refreshed as I did hearing this. We just like what we like! Drug Dealers Anonymous.

TRAVIS COCHRAN

TWITTER@iammrcochran

Ingrid Performs on Beyonce’s Formation World Tour


H- Town MC,Ingrid performed her new song “Flex” tonight in Arlington,TX during DJ Khaled’s set on Beyonce’s Formation Tour. This may be the first time she has performed the new song. Listen Below!

Why Is T.I’s Muzik So Bad Now?

 

“I’ve been a menace to society {since when?}, since Menace II Society, still refused to become a legitimate citizen quietly” T.I. x King of the South, Trap Muzik

 

Where’s that guy? Do we have to have that guy? Can T.I. be the king of the south if he’s no longer young, reckless, and one foot in the street? Can he just reminisce on old stories or does the feeling have to be current? These are all valid questions if you ask me. Coming from a very avid T.I. fan since the first time I heard “Still Aint Forgave Myself” at Florida State’s Team Camp after my freshman year in high school, I don’t know if I’ll ever get that feeling again from his music. But why? I’m usually an advocate of letting artists grow. I love when the music matures. My problem with T.I.’ s music seems to be that his music is stuck in the middle. Don’t get me wrong, there’s still bright spots here and there but I can’t remember the last time I was in a rush to click on a new T.I. song link. The last amazing verse from T.I. is cloudy in my mind. The last T.I. project that I lived with in rotation for reasonable amount of time was Trouble Man, which has great single records such as “Sorry” or “Trap Back Jumpin’” but as a cohesive project it just didn’t mature well to me. When I say it seems like he’s stuck in the middle what I mean is that he doesn’t really seem to know if he wants to be the OG or the young gun that just jumped off the porch that has to prove himself. It is perceived  as forced. Some of his verses are spat in the vein of right now, while we definitely believe old Tip would’ve done that, we don’t believe Family Hustle Harris is STILL doing these things. That is where the disconnect begins. From my perspective it seems like he wants people to know he’s still bout it instead of being comfortable in the progression. Then we have the other elephant in the room, most southern rappers, don’t RAP anymore. Southern rappers run the game now so it’s a sound and a time that doesn’t cater to diversity or bars.  There are two prominent flows ; the Migos flow and the Future flow. Both flows are  running the region so with T.I. trying to fit in he doesn’t stand out. I remember on “Gangsta Grillz: Down With The King” when Pharrell says T.I. is “like the down south jay-z”… that meant something. While some people believe otherwise, I believe Jay Z was able to successful balance getting older and wiser and less blatantly street and still be able to talk about his prior life without going too far with trying to keep up with the street and maintain this mystical street appeal. I unconsciously expected T.I. to do the same and his transition just hasn’t been as smooth. At the end of the day it’s about the music but the music has to be believable in this culture. I understand and personally enjoy and applaud “Family Hustle Harris”. I for one am sick and tired of it not being more representation of good black family life on television yet Love and Hip-Hop is playing year round but your music has to respect the images we see. No one is condemned to being one way all the time, or at least they shouldn’t be but to me it’s just too much jumpin’ back. Pun intended.

 

Just My Thoughts

Travis Cochran

5 Things You Need To Know About Love and Hip Hop Atlanta ( Episode 1)

  
Finally! Thank you Mona Scott Young for giving us another season of Love and Hip Hop Atlanta. This season is poised to be the best yet. Here are 5 things you need to know about episode 1.

  1. The King family is not related to Dr.Martin Luther King. The newest family on are no strangers to crime. The mother,Karen King was on America’s Most Wanted for killing her husband with the help of her two sons..
  2. Young Joc and Lil Scrappy are sharing an apartment,which resembles MiMi’s old apartment. Why are two grown men sharing an apartment in Atlanta? Why?
  3. MiMi is a lesbian this season..Her girlfriend is Chris and she has a fresh press.
  4. Momma Dee’s husband Ernest doesn’t like to pay bills. In his defense,she did put him in prison over a pack of meat.
  5. Karlie Redd still messy as hell.

Nevertheless, I can’t wait to seen what Mona Scott has up her sleeves this year!

The Evolution of David Banner

   
 The first time many of us heard the voice of David Banner,he was yelling,” step into the club looking just like a pimp,we got cash so we screaming out shake something b****.” His hit song, Like a Pimp, played constantly on the radio, while the video played constantly on 106 and Park. Overtime,David Banner continued to make traditional southern hip hop music. His music was mixed with violence and misogynist lyrics. David was always proud of being from Mississippi. He discussed racism and poverty that plagued the south. Listeners loved his music, but overtime his popularity started to decrease. He became more outspoken on social issues and his audience began to shift.

Often when our favorite artists aren’t as popular in regards to album sales,they tend to fade into oblivion. Due to social media we have access to the artists life outside of social media. Following the death of Trayvon Martin, Sandra Bland,Eric Garner, David Banner became outspoken towards race,religion and issues regarding social justice. David Banner is currently on a lecture tour throughout the United States. Yet no mainstream press or music blog is covering David in his current space. We all loved the ratchet songs that did not elevate our community. Now that he is challenging the way we think,the levels of support has dwindled.

In David Banner we are witnessing the evolution of a rapper that we did not get to witness in 2Pac or Biggie. Imagine is 2Pac would have made it to 30 years old. Would he still promote Thug Life  or channel his anger into something positive? Instead,we have witnessed David Banner grow into a mature black man. He uses his celebrity status as an outlet to bring awareness to issues plaguing the black community. 

David Banner’s music has changed. His upcoming album, The God Box, has a song called ,”Marry Me.” The song promotes marriage. Yes marriage,not pimping,just marriage. “Marry Me”is arguably the most positive song David has released. Have you heard it on the radio? Has your favorite website posted the song? David’s music currently promotes positively I the black community. He is Chuck D with a southern accent.

David Banner’s next album, The Godbox, should sell at least 100k the first week. Twitter is full of debated about positive hip hop or who is a better lyricist. If we really cared,David Banner’s new music will be played on every radio station.As consumers we have allow artists to grow. Let’s face it,most of us are at least 30 years old, we should diversify our music. I love trap music like anyone else, but we must expand our musical palet. As fans of black music we must enjoy and celebrate how David Banner continues to evolve.