This past week found the world figuring out who really controls our “mind, soul, and body” with the release of the names of the attendees for the Bilderberg Group's 2013 meeting. Shockingly to anyone who's ever watched a video about Jay-Z's secret demon baby, no rappers were on the list. Despite that slight, folks kept on making music. Below, the lines of the week.
5. “You a fan? Name a song on my new album/And buy my shit, you dummy motherfucker/I'm not these other niggas/I'm mandatory rap listening” — Prodigy, 'YNT' lyrics
Prodigy has long been a favorite of ours for his unpredictability, as much as for his classic verses. On this latest effort, he pretty much stops rhyming altogether for a few bars to berate fans for not keeping up to date with his latest output. The sheer strangeness of the outburst makes it one of our top moments of the week.
4. “Trying to get a grip, but you just can't clutch it/When the money is in the circle, the squares can't touch it” — Jadakiss, 'Oil Money Gang' lyrics
Having just verified the K-I-double, we at RG were especially pleased to hear his killer verse on this track — one of two this week on which MMG is ethered by their collaborators (sorry, Ricky!) The automotive “clutch” pun, as well as the “circle”/”square” wordplay, won us over immediately.
3. “It is no coincidence that God choose to use my brethren/To show the magnitude of these ties I'm severing” — No Malice, 'Bury That' lyrics
No Malice (formerly just “Malice”) was one-half of the brotherly duo The Clipse before catching the Holy Spirit and redirecting his previously coke-centric rap talk to more positive ends. Here, he lays out exactly how much that cost him. His brother Pusha T, who continued in the drug-kingpin mode, is now the right-hand man to one of the biggest stars on the planet, Kanye West.
2. “Coveting cars over community/Rappers influence your shooting sprees/Turn around and publish bars like it ain't got shit to do with me/Easy to record so ruthlessly” — Lupe Fiasco, 'Poor Decisions' lyrics
Lupe, following lukewarm popular reception to his (severely under-rated) latest album, has been on a lyrical tear of late, destroying pretty much anything he touches with head-spinningly dense bars. In this rhyme, he revisits a subject he has dealt with in recent public debates and interviews: the responsibility and influence artists have in their work. Sadly, too few artists even begin to ask the necessary hard questions about these issues, but at least one prominent one is.
1. “I miss my grandmother, my aunts, and Unique Ason/I knew Dirt was high when he had that face on” — Ghostface Killah, 'Family Reunion' lyrics
Our winner this week is a master class on how to use small, telling details. Ghost's second line paints a vivid portrait of ODB in all his reckless, unpredictable glory. If this verse is any indication, the Wu's 20th anniversary year is going to be a great one.
Hot Songs of the Week
J. Cole – Crooked Smile Lyrics
Wale and Rihanna – Bad (Remix) Lyrics
2 Chainz & Wiz Khalifa – We Own It (Fast & Furious) Lyrics
Wale – Poor Decisions Lyrics
Kanye West – Bound Lyrics
2 Chainz – Feds Watching Lyrics