Nas vs. Jay-Z & Beyoncé

So, I won’t lie, son. I’m absolutely trolling with the title of this post, man. On the real, I have no intention of pitting Nas against Jay-Z and Beyoncé, fam. Shit, even though I believe The Carters are being a liiiiiittle bit petty with their release date, I have no evidence to back that up, bruh. With that being said, I’d much rather take this time to talk about the music on Nasir and Everything Is Love. All in all, let’s just get to the shits, folks.

Ok, for those who missed it, it seems like everybody dropped a damn album on Friday, son. Side note, a huge shout-out to Jay Rock, man. Real talk, his Redemption album is fucking DOPE, fam! Everyone should really take a listen. In any case, let’s get back to Nas, Hov & Bey, bruh. To begin, let’s start with Nasir, the new Kanye West-produced Nas album. So, since CoonYe, excuse me, Kanye is behind the boards, it’s probably best to start with the production, people. Now, it’s common knowledge that I’m not feeling Kanye’s whole vibe right now. However, that fool still knows how to make a damn beat, brethren.

Keeping it a buck, Kanye devised the perfect plan for a Nas album: don’t let Nas pick any of the beats and don’t let Nas write any of the hooks. Look, as legendary of emcee that Nas is, he’s TERRIBLE at picking instrumentals, son. Hell, he even uses the song “Simple Things” to address that fact on the album, man. Listen, he tries to spin it in some cool way like “never sold a record for the beat, it’s my verses they purchase,” but come on, fam. He knows damn well his beat selection game is tri-di-dash, bruh. In addition, with The-Dream, 070 Shake and Kanye handling hook duties, Nas can just focus on rapping. Frankly, I don’t know why other producers haven’t taken this approach before.

Anyway, as weird as it is for me to say this, I must be frank, son. *Sigh* Nas himself is my problem with this album, man. Keeping it a buck, this isn’t the best version of Nasir, no pun intended. Listen, Nas will always be able to put words together, fam. Like, that’s his gift in life, bruh. But, I have two issues with his rhyming on this album. First, he raps offbeat… a lot. Shit, just listen to the first song where he talks about the founder of Fox News being Black. It’s offbeat as a muhfucka, folks! Also, his overall bars aren’t as descriptive as I would like them to be. Look, this is the man who wrote “I Gave You Power,” people. He can do better than “Black kids get hit with like five.” That’s all I’m saying, brethren.

Now, that’s all I have to say for Nas, son. Listen, I see people going crazy over the album, but I still think it could’ve been better, man. In addition, we can’t ignore Ye’s fuckery and Kelis‘s allegations against Nas. All I can say is, I don’t blame certain individuals for not fucking with the album, fam. Shit, I’m at the point where I don’t even know who to support anymore, bruh. I swear, all of our heroes may be trash, folks. *Sigh* Being a fan is damn near impossible these days, people. Well, that’s all I’m going to say about that.

Moving on, let’s talk about Jay and Bey’s surprise album, son. Now, to be fair, I haven’t given this album enough spins to have a definitive feeling about it. Ok, yeah, I’ve listened to it about five times, but that’s still not enough time to understand all of the nuance and intricacies, man. In any case, from my first impressions, I must say that the production is immaculate, fam. Look, when I say “immaculate,” I’m purely talking about sonic quality, bruh. On the real, The Carters would NEVER put out a record that isn’t well-produced, people. Shit, they have too much money and too much access for that, folks.

In any case, from a subject matter standpoint, the album ain’t really about nothing. I mean, they already address their marital issues on both Lemonade and 4:44, son. Frankly, unless they start naming Hov’s side pieces, they can’t really shed too much more light on their union. So, where does that leave us? With a lot of stunting in the lyrics, man. Now, stunting is always a good time, so the album has jams to rock out to. But, it’s not like the album is some life-changing work that I need to come running back to. Listen, could I feel differently in a couple of weeks? Maybe. But, as of right now, the album is just cool, fam. Nothing more, nothing less.

In the end, June has been active as fuck with the music, son. Ultimately, there’s gotta be something for everyone, man. All I know is, I’m still on this Daytona album by Pusha T, fam. At the end of the day, who doesn’t want to hear about “flipping a bird” while zoning out at work? That is all. LC out.

My Brief Review Of J. Cole’s ‘KOD’

So, I’m going to TRY and keep today’s post short, son. I mean, at the end of the day, music is subjective, man. Frankly, I don’t believe in the idea of an album review influencing anyone’s opinion. Ok, yes, I’m well aware of the fact that this makes me sound like a complete hypocrite, fam. Shit, I’ve talked about a number of albums on this very site, bruh. But, I never said that I always make sense, folks. Anyway, let me cut the tomfoolery and give my brief review of J. Cole‘s KOD album.

Ok, I’m going to be real, son. I feel like this album is the tale of two halves. Look, in my opinion, the second half of the record is MUCH better than the first, man. The way I see it, the more meaningful songs surface towards the end of the album. Now, while songs like “KOD” and “ATM” have the right bop, the project goes up a level when “Brackets” comes on. Real talk, I feel like he properly expresses his overall message in “Brackets,” “Once an Addict,” “Friends,” “Window Pain” and “1985.”

Now, let me take a step back for a second, fam. So, for those who are unaware, Cole has a couple of visions for this album. In any case, the “KOD” acronym stands for “Kids on Drugs,” “King Overdose” and “Kill Our Demons.” As expected, the “Kids on Drugs” portion speaks about the prevalence of drug abuse in today’s youth culture. The “King Overdose” portion speaks about his own battles with addiction and escapism. Lastly, the “Kill Our Demons” portion speaks about our overall need to break free of the perils that shackle us. With all of that being said, I feel like he does a better job of touching all of those bases in the last five songs.

For example, he very eloquently depicts his mother’s struggles on “Once an Addict.” In addition, he’s able to address the general fuckery of our youth on “1985.” Side note, I think it’s amazing that clowns like Lil Pump and Smokepurpp are in their feelings about this song. Listen, Pump LITERALLY has a song called “Fuck J. Cole,” but he’s upset that he got a response? Bruh, get these little dudes the fuck from ’round me, son. In any case, Cole is able to get more thoughts across on the latter half of the album, man.

Moving on, another issue I have with the album is the production, fam. Now, Cole has never been a bad producer, bruh. However, at this point in his career, I feel like I’ve heard every type of beat he’s capable of making. Keeping it a buck, I’ve always wondered what a Cole project would sound like if he let someone else produce it. Hell, take a look at what No I.D. was able to do for Jay-Z on 4:44. Based on old interviews, Cole apparently has a great relationship with No I.D. Son, I could only imagine what an entire album would sound like if these two collaborated, man. *Sigh* I guess that’s just wishful thinking, fam. Regardless, he’s winning the way he’s doing it. So, who am I to criticize?

In the end, I think the album is just okay. I don’t think it’s wack, but I also don’t think it’s the best he can do. Ultimately, he doesn’t need to listen to any of the shit I’ve just said, bruh. I mean, he’s out here breaking streaming records on Apple Music and Spotify, son. By and by, J. Cole is prospering by being J. Cole. At the end of the day, I’m just speaking as a fan who would like to see more, man. That is all. LC out.

There’s No Race To ‘Wokeness’

So, today’s post is sort of like a public service announcement. Now, even though I kind of hate the word “woke,” I do need to clarify something about the concept. Look, there’s no race to “wokeness,” son. Meaning, no one gets a prize for being the first one to embrace Black issues. Frankly, anyone who argues about someone else’s “wokeness” is missing the whole damn point, man. All in all, the goal should be for our entire community to contribute to our empowerment.

Now, I won’t lie, a comment I saw on Instagram inspired this post, fam. In any case, I know some folks might be thinking “people always say dumb shit on social media, LC.” Ok, yes, while this is absolutely true, this one comment just irked me, bruh. Basically, a woman posted a still frame from Jay-Z‘s “The Story of O.J.” video. In her caption, she told people to pay attention to the message in the song. From there, some dude wrote “shit is so standard only dumb niggas woke by this.” For whatever reason, that statement pissed me off, man. On the real, if the song inspires someone to do better, why does it matter when they came to this realization?

Look, this is a problem I have with so-called “knowledgeable” people. Keeping it a buck, I feel like they care more about seeming smart than actually helping their fellow man or woman. Fam, Black people are historically disenfranchised in this country. Real talk, we legitimately need everyone onboard if we’re really going to make any strides in America. Whether we’re talking about politics, social issues or financial literacy, the community needs to be on one accord when it comes creating change. Ultimately, it doesn’t help the cause when some clown thinks he’s ahead of the curve.

In the end, instead of criticizing people for when they “woke” up, this dude should be happy that folks are making improvements. He should be happy that an artist like Jay is finally using his voice to speak about these issues. By and by, having these conversations in a vacuum doesn’t help anyone. The only way to inspire real change is for these ideas to permeate throughout the entire community. All in all, that’s the real definition of “woke,” man. LC out.

Beyoncé Didn’t Make Jay-Z

So, I won’t lie, son. I’m well aware of the fact that I need to tread carefully with this post, man. Look, the BeyHive is NOT the entity a sane person should want to fuck with, fam. Shit, just ask Keri Hilson. With that being said, I need to get something off of my chest. Listen, I need people to stop acting like Beyoncé made Jay-Z. Ok, yes, everyone loves Mrs. Knowles-Carter. However; let’s not pretend like Hov isn’t a fucking legend, bruh. I mean, there’s a reason why a lot of people, including myself, consider him the greatest rapper of all time.

Wait, to be clear, I’m not writing this to slight Bey in any shape, form or fashion, man. Fam, the woman is coming off of back-to-back classic albums. I can’t possibly take anything away from her, son. But, this new generation likes to act like Jigga is the slouch in the relationship. Now, for those uninformed people, I’d like to take a brief trip down memory lane.

Ok, while no one knows exactly when Hov and Beyoncé started dating, I think “’03 Bonnie & Clyde” is a good place to start. Now, although my memory sucks, I believe that song came out in 2002. It served as the lead single for Hov’s The Blueprint 2: The Gift & The Curse album. Anyway, if we’re keeping score here, by this time, Jigga had already released three classic albums, son. I mean, Reasonable Doubt, Vol. 2… Hard Knock Life and The Blueprint were already under his belt by the time him and Bey became an item. Shit, Beyoncé hadn’t even released a solo album at that point, man! Good Lord, can we keep it a buck for a second, fam?

Moving on, even before we get to 4:44, Hov managed to add two more classics to his discography: The Black Album and American Gangster. Side note, I’m open to arguing about the classic status of American Gangster, but regardless, it’s a fantastic album. In any case, Jay was still making relevant art independent of his marriage to Bey. All in all, Jay would’ve still been in the history books even if he didn’t marry Beyoncé.

In the end, I need the BeyHive to chill, son. Please, don’t scalp me or give my nuts the “James Bond in Casino Royaletreatment. All I’m saying is, Beyoncé is not responsible for Hov’s success. Now, have they both helped each other’s careers? Absolutely. Is Beyoncé more relevant in music and pop culture right now? Absolutely. However; that doesn’t take away from the groundwork Jay has already laid down, fam. By and by, his position was already solidified, man. Now, let me get back to 4:44. LC out.

Jay-Z Made A ‘Grown A*s Man’ Album

So, I’ll admit, there are certain times when I’m happy to be wrong. As everyone may recall, just last week, I questioned whether we needed a new Jay-Z album. In my defense, it wasn’t because I’m not a Hov fan. In fact, I’m an obnoxiously HUGE Hov fan. Ultimately, I didn’t want him to drop some subpar shit, fam. Thankfully, 4:44 is fucking DOPE, man! On the real, Jigga made a “grown ass man” album. Whether he’s speaking about infidelity, finances or social issues, he’s poignantly discussing a variety of topics. All in all, good shit, Jay!

First, let me begin by talking about No I.D. Now, I did call this shit, son. Listen, Dion just doesn’t make wack beats, fam. Like, I actually believe he’s incapable of making questionable shit. I mean, he’s been in the game for over 20 years and he’s never released any trash. Look, even Bow Wow‘s “Let Me Hold You” knocks, man! In any case, No I.D. successfully bridges different eras in his beats. He’s able to remain true to his sampling roots, while programming his drums to fit into today’s musical climate. By and by, the sonics of this album are immaculate, son!

Next, let’s talk about Hov. Ok, yes, he finally addresses the cheating rumors. Wait, before I continue, was anyone actually confused by Beyoncé‘s Lemonade? Now, I thought she made it perfectly clear that Hov was sticking and moving around town. Frankly, I’m surprised by people being surprised on social media. Anyway, Jay drops all of the bombs in terms of his wayward behavior. In fact, at this point, the only thing we don’t know are the names of the outside chicks. Keeping it a buck, Hov gave us everything else, son. Shit, he even admits that his actions were the reason why Solange tried to go Liu Kang on him in that elevator.

Moving on, in addition to his Lemonade response, Hov also covers A TON of other subjects. He talks about financial literacy on “The Story of O.J.” He talks about supporting Diddy, another Black business owner, on “Family Feud.” He talks about accepting his mother’s sexuality on “Smile.” He even talks about Kanye West‘s fuckity-fuckery on “Kill Jay Z.” All I know is, it seems like Jay leaves no stone unturned on this album, bruh. Regardless, I approve of all of it, fam.

In the end, this new album is light years ahead of his last two records. Ultimately, it’s good to see that he still has some tricks up his sleeve. Now, let me get back to my listening experience, son. I’ll catch everyone on the rebound. LC out.

P.S. Never go Eric Benét, son. Bruh, I laughed really hard at that line, man. My bad, Eric. I’m sure he’s out here just trying to keep it cool. However; he’ll never live down the Halle Berry tomfoolery, fam. That is all.

Should I Be Excited For A New Jay-Z Album?

Now, before I get started, let me make one thing clear: Jay-Z is the greatest rapper of all time. No, I will not debate this and I will not entertain any opinions to the contrary. Listen, the sky is blue, water is wet and Jigga is the G.O.A.T. It just is what it is, fam. With that being said, do we really need a new Hov album, bruh? Look, I may be speaking blasphemy, but I don’t know what to make of a 2017 Jay-Z album. Ultimately, I’m hoping it’s good, but I don’t want to set myself up for disappointment.

So, for me, the last great Hov album was American Gangster. In my eyes, it’s his best album after Reasonable Doubt and The Blueprint. Yeah, that’s right, I’m putting it ahead of The Black Album and Vol. 2… Hard Knock Life, son. I mean, the soulful production is perfect and his bars are immaculate, man. Fam, any emcee that can write a line like “surviving droughts, I wish you well” cannot be disrespected. In any case, that album represents Hov at the end of his prime. Now, while I enjoy a number of songs off of The Blueprint 3 and Magna Carta Holy Grail, those albums don’t hit me like Jigga at his best.

Keeping it a buck, when I first heard about Hov’s new album, I wasn’t excited. Well, not until I heard No I.D.‘s name. Apparently, the legendary Chicago producer is shepherding the entire record. Now, if that’s the case, I’ll definitely need to take a listen to the album. On the real, I don’t think No I.D. has ever missed, man. I mean, from his countless work with Common to Jay’s “D.O.A.,” he always drops fire, son. Hopefully, the same remains true for this new endeavor. While I wasn’t super geeked about the “Adnis” snippet, I’ll reserve judgement until I hear the entire song.

In the end, I just want the album to be good, man. Listen, Jay is by far my favorite rapper. I can’t have him looking super washed out here, son. All in all, I guess we’ll all see what’s really good on June 30th. Don’t let us down, Jay. LC out.

P.S. I know Hov owns Tidal, but damn, bruh! Can we chill with the streaming exclusives, fam? Look, none of us should have to pay for multiple platforms in order to hear our favorite artists. It’s fucking ridiculous, son. Ok, rant over. Peace.