The 10 best rap songs of 2011
In the meantime, well, here are the 10 rap songs we couldn't get enough of this year. (Sadly, not including this, which I just found on YouTube and almost makes up for that one bullshit Dipset reunion single. KILLA CAM!)
Heaven help us all.
In 2039, we'll wistfully look back at singles like this, at how simple and innocent and whimsical shock rap - and society in general - used to be. Also, I still have no idea what the "40 dollars a month" thing at the end is about; 40 dollars a month, for whatever, sounds pretty reasonable to us.
9. Sole & The Skyrider Band feat. Lil B & Pictureplane, "Captain Bad Swag"
"Twelve trillion on my dick/I'm a U.S. citizen," and we're off to some seriously warped races, yeah? The principles have no more conception of what this song means than you or I or Ben Bernanke, but we should all be glad it exists.
8. Dog Leather, "Troll Spray"
This is spinal noise rap, capable of absolving whatever guilt you may happen to feel about no longer giving a shit about the Beastie Boys or their attendant physical maladies. Reading along at home, Lonely Island? Be jealous.
6 & 7. Freddie Gibbs & Madlib, "Thuggin'" and Freddie Gibbs, "187 Proof"
Just a couple years ago, hyperbole like "Freddie Gibbs is the future of rap" had me throwing up in my mouth a little whenever I stumbled across it. But the guy has away of growing on you like a fungus, wearing down your resolve, maybe because his gangsta grind is so smoothly and unfadably relentless and because dude has a unbelievable work ethic. (No wonder Young Jeezy signed him.) These are two of his better bangers, outstanding mission statements in a burgeoning catalog of hardbodied, flint-hearted mission statements. Also for 2K11 grab "Already," his team-up with producer Statik Selektah and slept-on Texas rapper Trae tha Truth.
5. Fat Trel, "Y'all Niggas Ain't Real"
Well, you heard the man.
4. Pusha T feat. 50 Cent & Pharrell Williams, "Raid"
In a world full of event-rap epic fails, songs like this scare me a little because the collision of two seemingly incompatible worlds just jibes so beautifully. In that way, "Raid" reminds me a lot of, say, Child Rebel Solider, in that everybody rolls up with their A-game and makes synergistic street swagger seem almost obscenely, impossibly easy. In four breezy, menacing minutes, Push justifies his hype; 50 Cent counteracts a raft of failed singles; and it's possible to make it through a Pharrell Williams joint without shaking one's head and mutter "ninja fell off" or wanting to punch dude in the face (you won't want to do any of those things - trust us). Also, it's fun to imagine these three chasing each other around the studio, laughing, spraying one another with cans of roach spray.
3. Rye Rye, "Shake It To The Ground"
2. Danny Brown, "Blunt After Blunt"
Any cut from XXX would reasonably fit here, but I chose this one because Brown comes across as epically demented. Interviewers need to ask this guy what it means to take "blunts to the face"; I seriously want to know.
1. Kimya Dawson and Aesop Rock, "The Library"
So what would you like to know about the Dewey Decimal system?