Because Even Run-D.M.C. Knew When Not to Keep It Gully.

I chose to showcase this song, and others, because of a brief conversation I had with a close friend of mine, Perri, via Facebook wallpost. He said that he felt it was a good year for Hip-Hop; I agreed, only because it became less dependent on guntalk and refamiliarized itself with artistry and lyrical dexterity.

But being the native New Yorker that I am, I did find a window for my complaints: Despite “H.E.R.” divergence from gunplay, she seems to have instinctively fallen into the arms of materialism. But just for the sake of Perri’s argument, here are some recent songs that I felt push Hip-Hop/Rap in a better direction and are strong indications of a bright future:

    First up…

Lupe Fiasco‘s “The National Anthem” from the highly listenable Enemy of the State: A Love Story” mixtape. Lupe sociopolitically raps:

So when I want them to hear me out/ I just sit them next to some pictures of Rosa splitting with her titties out/ And what’s written on her titties is what it’s really about/ Then her vagina is some poor kids from China/ Nipples nuclear missiles/ Ass is a daughter without a dad/ Back is like Afghanistan, Iraq/ Health care hair, Drive-by thighs/ Education lips, HIV eyes/ Environment feet/ Justice get her so wet, brains get you brains/ You can fuck her if you protest…

i.

    Next…

Big Sean‘s “Supa Dupa” off of the UKNOWBIGSEAN mixtape. This is one of my favorite song on the list, Big Sean playfully but egostically raps:

I am a supa, dupa, troopa/ Used to the bottom – scuba/ So I’m on the grind – skateboard or scoota/ ‘Til I am the king of my castle – Koopa/ Dawg I took a shot in the dark in an industry of sharks/ That’s surrounded by water – Cuba/ I can make an Einstein’s mind feel stoopa/ And I can make an insecure bitch feel supa/ Realest nigga eva – Kunta Kinte/ Ultra – master, super – sensei/ Dawg, in the ninth inning/ We’re just trying to hit a homer – Marge/ Comprende? Hard – al dente/ MJ – Jordan or Jackson/ Only difference is, I ain’t fucking with these kids/ Sean – Big/ A problem too big – Trig/ You niggas ain’t shit – Pissed? – tsk tsk

i.

    After that…

Charles Hamilton, Asher Roth & B.o.B.‘s “A Change Gon’ Come” (Which can be found on Mr. Peter Park: Asher Roth’s Day Off). Featuring three members of XXL‘s The Freshman 10, the song makes wonderful use of a Sam Cooke classic. Here are some provoking bars from Charles & Asher:

Charles Hamilton:

Prisoner to my cerebellum/ so I reach out to the listeners/ And my mission is I better tell’em/ Our fear of a free mind is here and your spirit can die/ And anytime you need to cry so you hide it deep inside/ Reason why, how can you change what was written/ Easy, don’t focus your brain on what they mentioned/ I got so used to tryin’ to make due/ I feel like I’m cheatin’ when I’m faced with a breakthrough/ The man in the mirror keeps sayin’ I hate you/ I respond like little nigga I made you/ Slay those sayin’ they can break you/ So when I take a break I go ape Come back and play fool/ When they think they won that’s when I crush them/ Change is eminent I evolve so it’s nothing/ What’s the discussion?… Charles Hamilton

Asher Roth:

We’ve been pompous every since Columbus couldn’t work a compass/ We’ve accomplished what we’ve conjured up while conscious/ And consciously we’ve conquered all the eye can see/ Constantly concocting more options but jobs are still obsolete/ It seems so odd to me an odyssey/
How honesty is honestly/ the rawest thing upon us it’s astonishing/ How did all the honest people vanish from the planet?/ Leaving us a laundry list of problems to acknowledge/ While plotting with my
phonics me and Sonic and B.o.B./ Nag Champa rises as I sit down and sketch my rhymes/ Stretch my mind, to figure out what’s next in line/ The next Em, ‘Ye, and André? Nah homie…its just been a longggg, a long time coming

i.

    Fourth up…

Brooklyn’s own Theophilus London‘s “Cold Pillow” (Featuring Jesse Boykins) from This Charming Mixtape. I chose this song not for its lyrical prowess but for its soothing versatility. Theophilus is a very gifted MC but the song collectively has a greater impact than his lyrics alone. Theophilus is still relatively slept on for now but 2010 should be his breakthrough year.

i.

    Last but not least…

Wale‘s “90210”, a track off the recently released off Attention Deficit“. This song is also a favorite of mine because it adapts the typical “urban-plight” rap to “upper class” Beverly Hills socialites, literally. Wale, almost disdainfully, raps:

Just another day out in Beverly Hills/ She sing, model, and dance, but can’t sit still/ Believing the screens or anything there/ But reality shows ain’t real/ So pretentious with no potential/ She goes to catch up, although her rents up/ In her defense; she part of the crowd/ She gonna borrow some money/ So she can party at Chows/ It’s apart of her goal/ It’s all she knows/ Graduated from Rosé, addicted to blow/ Addicted to stardom, a wish to blow/ So she kisses the stars and gives them a blow/ After every show, a dream she hold/ Inhibition is gone, she just wanna be known/ She wanna be know, she just wanna be known/ Pulling down her skirt/ “I never done this before”, Nah…”

i.

Honorable Mentions:

1. Drake Feat. Lil’ Wayne “Ignant Shit” (So Far Gone)

2. Pac Div Pac Div” (Church League Champions)

3. BluMelo(HerFavoritecolo(u)r.)

4. KiD CuDi Feat. Kanye West & Common Sense Make Her Say” (Man on the Moon: End of Day)

5. Wiz Khalifa Name on a Cloud” (Flight School)

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