Tagged: Frank Ocean

Haiku Reviews – Magna Carta Holy Grail

This article also appeared on Passion of the Weiss

Holy Grail feat. Justin Timberlake
Unneeded Justin
and Nirvana additions
stamped through randomly

Picasso Baby
A new sound, a new
tax bracket. Humblebrag that
Beyonce fucks good

Tom Ford
Make a molly song
by shunning molly on hook.
However, beat slaps.

FuckWithMeYouKnowIGotIt feat. Rick Ross
Sean hates grammar more
than Rick Ross hates Reebok shoes.
Passport stamp rap song.

Oceans feat. Frank Ocean
Jay picks pricey threads
as Frank describes a Dali.
Pharrell is trolling.

In case you missed it:
the rise from rags to riches,
told through song … again

Somewhere in America
Instagram, Miley,
threats of crashing internets.
Get off Jay-Z’s lawn.

Distorted rhythms
housing a God complex and
econo-Ye hooks

R.E.M sighting
cements the street cred, lyrics
are oddly on-point.

A short interlude
with a beat fit for Austin
Powers end credits

Part 2 (On The Run) feat. Beyonce
Just because you put
a ring on it, doesn’t mean
she gets to ruin songs

Beach Is Better
Another sampler
with Jay complaining about
his own private beach.

BBC feat. Nas
Samsung Brothers and
Nas sing a song about how
money’s cool. And Nas.

Jay-Z Blue
A raw confession
about raising a woman.
Big revived for this??

La Familia
A lukewarm tribute
to loyalty, royalty.
Rich background music.

Nickles and Dimes
Sampling a singer
that Gwenyth put you on to.
The drug dealer’s way.

Pulling the WOLF Over Our Eyes

This article also appeared on Noisey/VICE

For whatever reason, I’ve never been able to connect with the whole Odd Future movement. Maybe it’s because I don’t skateboard, am not filled with angst, or have ever considered myself an artsy-fartsy social-outcast. But I feel that when we look back on the “good old days” of music in the year 2050, Odd Future‘s ‘Kitten Kounter Kulture’ of 2010 and beyond will serve as a focal-point of the music scene that would go on the be xeroxed by many in an attempt to create a similar “movement” (see: A$AP Copy). What Tyler and Co. did for music collectives in a post Wu-Tang world is analogous to the Drake-ushered mixtape-buzz-circuit that we thought was impossible post 50 Cent.

In my opinion, the Odd Future collective is slightly above average at best. The entire idea of a group of unruly teens moshing into the game and becoming an injection of youthful vigor into a rapidly aging rap-scene was a solution to an imaginary problem, especially when we look at the strength of current 30+ year old rappers like Danny Brown and Gunplay. Nothing Odd Future did, from pasting cats onto tie-dye shirts to the constant anagramming of “WolfGang”, struck me as being particularly creative or funny, in spite of the hordes of poorly-dressed teenagers screaming otherwise. Empirically, what regular Future did in the last few years with his sing-gurgles can be considered much more “Odd” than the group of skater-kids trying to collectively sound like their favorite rappers while drawing dicks on everything.

While it’s true that media darling/Avenger of Chris Brown, Frank Ocean and underground darling/Brosef of Mac Miller, Earl the Sweatshirt were birthed from the murky swamp of Odd Future, front-man Tyler the Creator is the recipient of much of the group’s critical praise due to his lack of filter and knack for re-purposing Pharrell Phormulas in 2013. But just because Kanye West takes time out of his busy schedule of Keeping up with the Kardashians to update his website with Tyler’s creepy video doesn’t mean we should all follow suit and fall at his feet. I mean, how much does a Kanye co-sign mean when he’s given similar merit to the likes of such talentless containers as Theopilus London and the womb of Kim Kardashian?

Tyler’s new album ‘Wolf’ plays off as an attempt at staying in the cultural cross-hairs and remaining relevant in an attempt to sell clothing and beats instead of actually pushing the envelope like he did upon his arrival into the music scene years ago. It feels more like an attempt at appeasing his core fans by constantly putting out music to a group of die-hards who don’t really care about the quality, similar to what the Insane Crown Possee does, albeit with less warrants for their arrest (both groups do however hold yearly carnivals). Even in the sparse interviews leading up to the release, Tyler stressed that his true passion lay not in rapping, but in producing music, creating ridiculous television shows, and scoring movies. If I wanted to listen to an 18 song commercial for a show on Adult Swim, I would listen to Ice Cube’s ‘King Of The Hill’ on loop.

Just because your rap-hero tells you to shrug off brand names in the hopes that you’d wear his kitty-cat shirts and tries his hardest to be weird for the sake of rejecting any label that’s attempted to be put onto him, doesn’t mean that he’s uncategorizable. So when Tyler raps with a heavy baritone in an MF Doom style cadence over top of Neptunes-style jazzy strings and horns, is the end product greater than the sum of its parts? Or does it just seem that way because those parts were never meant to be combined? Is being different the only qualifier needed to be considered good? If so, here are some reviews in Haiku format which are SUPER DIFFERENT!

Over-thought intro
with confusing character
concepts. This is art?

Self-aware punchlines
and scare-tales about drug use
with forgotten friend

Lukewarm offensive
lyrics about getting fame
and coping with it

Teenage storybook
love tales built on fantasy
that girls like Tyler

Domo 23
Punchy horns, rigid
lyrics, recapping last year
and blasting boy-bands

Family issues
and overly personal
bars reach the children

More regaled tales of
yesteryear masked as likely
excuses for songs.

Nas wants relevance
but no more songs with Tyga.
Easy compromise.

When you have fans that
like you, life is hard. But don’t
worry, they’ll grow up.

Party Isn’t Over/Campfire/Bimmer
Three songs squeezed into
the amount of time it takes
for one of JT‘s

Conflicted love angst
featuring Tyler’s main love
interest, Pharrell

Hits back at bullies
with the aide of some blaring
sirens. Cool song bro.

Parking Lot
Trill, angry nonsense.
Half-clever metaphors and
more words from lost friends.

Mocking of the peers
over jazzy keys of life.
Who are these people?

Gunshots and trap sounds
to stunt and appeal to youths.
Who are these people?

Treehome 95
Airy chimes and horns
featuring the Magic Box.
Neo-Soul Asshole.

A buzzing shit-storm
with over-yelled chorus and
some lukewarm insults

Therapy on wax
with psychoanalysis
on top of the blues.

Haiku Reviews – The 20/20 Experience

The following post also appeared on Passion of the Weiss

Pusher Love Girl
Melodious croons
about various vices
and chunky loving

Suit & Tie
Luxury, focus-
group rap. Done in a trendy,
catchy, falsetto

Don’t Hold The Wall
A call to dance with
Timbo making Timbo beats;
lazy songwriting

Strawberry Bubblegum
A romanticized
theme of vaginal-centric
metaphors, candy.

Tunnel Vision
A string crescendo
mixed with tired beat-boxing.
Three minutes too long

Spaceship Coupe
Unless it’s Pluto,
save your space analogies.
Sounds like ‘The Jetsons’

That Girl
Forcefully olde-school;
detailing the process of
stealing a daughter

Let The Groove Get In
Bollywood samples
transition into glam-pop.
Cross-tiered marketing!

Cantabile hums
about loving a mirror.
Wait a second, what?

Blue Ocean Floor
whisper-arias about
being Frank Ocean

Body Count
Do you remember
Senorita? It’s sped up.
And there’s more rapping.

Dress On
Timberland rapping:
fortunately portioned to
Target customers.

Haiku Reviews – Channel Orange

This post has also appeared on Passion Of The Weiss

Playstation noises.
All “classic” albums begin
with a short intro.
Thinking About You
Same vocals, third mix.
Callow, endearing lyrics.
But over-produced.
Flipping through channels,
a commercial for shit. Or,
a love song. Or both.
Sierra Leone
Sleepy and soulful,
an ambient song full of
confused imagery.
Sweet Life
Docile serenades
about privileged life
set to punchy keys.
Not Just Money
Sudden PSA!
A speech about money…from the
inside of a car?
Super Rich Kids feat. Earl Sweatshirt
A slowed down lament
on acceptance while wealthy.
Earl came back for this?
Pilot Jones
Oh shit! It’s Usher!
Another decent song that’s
also gibberish.
Crack Rock
A jazzy standout
with a consistent theme and
displaced instruments
Nine minutes. Three songs.
Varied levels ensure that
opinions are mixed.
A wunderlust jam
with smooth vocals on top of
pop-rock production
White feat. John Mayer
Strings from the white man
hoping to gain favor and
reclaim his lost “pass”
Neptunes inspired
beat and a pitchy tale of
him running away.
Bad Religion
Broken confessions
with an orchestral backing.
Totally gay bro.
Pink Matter feat. Andre 3000
Song of the album?
Dragonball Z and Andre
3K fans say “yes”
Forrest Gump
Tres controversial;
but in this age, why CAN’T you
feel love for Tom Hanks?
Outro told as a
voyeuristic departure.
Wow! Just like Prince!!

Hip-Hop Team Power Rankings

This article was also featured on brokencool

For hip-hop artists, becoming “the boss” is one of the Top 2 reasons they have for pursuing their craft (1. getting money). But it’s not enough to just be “the boss” in the current climate, you have to be the boss of a winning team and, since everyone is so concerned with staying organic and authentic in 2012, hip-hop currently houses more teams than a March Madness bracket. However, not every team can be a winning team. With the first quarter of 2012 wrapping up, some bosses have stayed the course with a capable crew while others find themselves floating in an ocean of buzz surrounded by a group of yes-men who can’t swim. So which boss is keeping food on the table and which is handing out food-stamps in bulk?:

10. Grand Hustle 2.0

Boss: T.I.
Notable Players: B.o.B, Iggy Azalea, Chip, Trae the truth, D.O.P.E.
Expected in 2012: A joint album and solo albums from T.I., Iggy and B.o.B.
After hustling out of prison and into prescription eyeglasses, T.I. made the most clichéd ex-inmate move imaginable: he started a gang. The recently presented Grand Hustle 2.0 hopes to make waves in places where they speak English funny by recruiting The Rapping Polly Pocket (Australia), the artist formerly known as Chipmunk (U.K.) and Trae the Truth (Texas). Since they haven’t released anything other than an interview it’s hard to judge the potential effects of a group whose second best rapper is B.o.B, but with T.I. at the helm we can be sure that Grand Hustle 2.0 will have ample promotion in the form of reality TV coverage.

9. A$AP Mob

Boss: A$AP Rocky
Notable Players: A$AP Twelvy, Ty Beats
Expected in 2012: Re-release of Live.Love.A$AP and Rocky’s solo album
After building a tremendous amount of buzz from the internets for their Live.Love.A$AP project, the A$AP Mob’s light has begun to dim in 2012. Rocky’s personal brand continues to grow in spite of the fact that it’s beginning to feel like he’s struggling to keep from sounding repetitive, but as long as he keeps doing ‘blog-worthy’ things like calling the XXL Freshmen List “corny as fuck” and beating the shit out of his fans, he’ll be fine. The re-release of Live.Love.A$AP should sell enough copies to ensure that the Mob is well-stocked in 40 oz’s, hopefully keeping them and Rocky focused enough to ensure that he doesn’t accidentally ‘Rolling Paper’ his debut. Other than that, the crew’s most notable accomplishment is going on the Club Paradise tour. Except for Twelvy, he was on an Asher Roth song.

8. Taylor Gang

Boss: Wiz Khalifa
Notable Players: Juicy J, Chevy Woods, Lola Monroe, Amber Rose?
Expected in 2012: A solo album from Wiz
After taking two steps backwards with Rolling Papers, Wiz decided to take one step forward by going back to his Kush & Orange Juice sound on Taylor Allderice, which features every act associated with the Shoe Gang; Wiz’s BFF Chevy Woods; video vixen-turned-singer Lola Monroe; and shouting-extraordinare Juicy J. TGOD may not be the most lyrical group, but expect to hear a lot of their production squad in 2012 when Wiz’s O.N.I.F.C. drops, and on the promised surplus of mixtapes from Juicy J and Chevy Woods.

7. G.O.O.D. Music

Boss: Kanye West
Notable Players: Big Sean, Pusha T, Kid Cudi, John Legend
Expected in 2012: A joint album, solo projects from Big Sean & Pusha T
When he’s not busy designing leather-fetish womens clothing, Kanye West and his group of merry-men have been hard at work on the Unity album which, according to Mannie Fresh, is near completion. Even though Cudi is on his ‘Rebirth’ swag right now and Big Sean gets more and more dated with every performance of Marvin Gaye & Chardonnay, this joint album should light the spark for the solo releases later this year from Sean and everyone’s favorite Playclothes/Cocaine salesman, Pusha T. Now all they have to do is keep Cyhi and his clever quips about YMCMB off Twitter, before they figure out exactly why Gudda Gudda is on the payroll.

6. Bad Boy 2.0? 3.0? 5.0?

Boss: Diddy
Notable Players: French Montana, Machine Gun Kelly, Los, Cassie, Ryan Leslie
Expected in 2012: Solo projects from Cassie, French and MGK
On the surface this group may look less like a “Who’s Who” and more like a “Who’s Left”, but each of these artists come to Diddy with their own fan-base and varied skill set. Cassie can sing; MGK can rap fast; Los can rap for a long time; and French Montana can sell coke while pretending to do the other three. The well-documented Bad-Boy curse may still linger, but since none of the artists are in direct competition with each other the only thing that could possibly stop them is a greedy boss who doesn’t know how to properly manage a career. Oh, wait.

5. Black Hippy Crew

Boss: Kendrick Lamar
Notable Players: ScHoolboy Q, Ab-Soul, Jay Rock
Expected in 2012: Kendrick’s solo album
To nobody’s surprise, Dr. Dre managed to sign California’s Black Hippy Crew to Interscope/Aftermath. Your favorite rapper’s favorite rapper, K Dot continues to do no wrong amongst backpackers after releasing Cartoons & Cereal earlier this year while quas-beefing with 2Chainz after dropping a subliminal and then refusing to appear on The Source cover. ScHoolboy Q is still riding the wave from his Habits & Contradictions album wHile continuing to refuse to use a lower cased H, and all three of members will be featured on Kendrick’s debut, Good Kid In A Mad City. Going forward, this group arguably has the brightest future since their skill set is a head above the rest of the “younger generation” in rap.

4. Shady 2.0

Boss: Eminem
Notable Players: Slaughterhouse, Yelawolf, 50 Cent, D12
Expected in 2012: A solo album from 50 Cent, Slaughterhouse album
Ever since he’s gotten off the drugs, Eminem has brought new focus to a team with a longer rap sheet than Lil’ B’s discography. Slaughterhouse is finishing up their second studio album while touring, Yelawolf continues to tour while getting regrettable tattoos and 50 Cent’s album gets more and more amazing with every interview he does. Even D12 is still working away, even though it’ll be without Bizarre, who left to start his own movement. If he’s successful, we might see him on the next power rankings! Probably not though, unless he can get his Nicki Minaj tattoo to start rapping for him.


Boss: Tyler The Creator
Notable Players: Hodgy Beats, Frank Ocean, Syd and, I don’t know… 9 other friends?
Expected in 2012: A TV Show, new album from Tyler
For all of their attempted youthful rebellion, you can’t help but love Odd Future. Whether it’s Tyler getting choked out at a Gucci concert or Frank Ocean beefing with Chris Brown on Twitter, they endearingly act like a PR rep’s worst nightmare. Currently on tour and setting up clothing pop-up shops at most stops, Odd Future’s empire continues to grow. Recently released OF Tape Vol. 2 serves as a sign that the spotlight has done nothing to dull their edge and if the ‘Rella’ video is any indication, the Adult Swim show will be full of that edge. Expect Tyler to grumble and growl his way through a few features before dropping the follow-up to Goblin.

2. MMG

Boss: Rick Ross
Notable Players: Meek Mill, Wale, Stalley, Gunplay
Expected in 2012: Solo albums from Ross, Meek and Stalley
The epitome of the word “Boss”, Ricky has positioned himself for a strong 2012 if he can keep his diet game on point. Hopefully he’ll strap on a pair of those Reeboks and hit the elliptical, because he’s sure to be hustling around doing press for God Forgives I Don’t this Spring before overseeing the release of Meek and Stalley’s debut albums. Wale is still riding on his Ambition buzz and touring, and Gunplay took the rolled hundred out of his nose long enough to drop a mixtape making this one of the more well rounded groups of the bunch.


Boss: Birdman
Notable Players: Everyone else.
Expected in 2012: Solo projects from Nicki Minaj, Lil’ Twist, Lil’ Wayne, Bow Wow, Mystikal, Busta Rhymes, Kevin Rudolf, Jay Sean, Chris Richardson, DJ Khaled
Baby’s NFL-sized roster keeps making questionable signing decisions by adding The-Dream and Christina Aguleria’s exes, but you can’t argue with the fact that as long as you can put Drake, Nicki or Wayne on your album (for free), you’re sure to move a few units. Is there dead weight on the roster? Of course, but they’re better off working for a man with tear drop tattoos and appearing on a DJ Khaled song or two instead of getting shelfed by a major label. Realistically, what’s the fifth runner-up on Season Six of American Idol going to do with his life that’s better than working for a grown man who still makes pigeon noises?


That’s my list. Disagree? The comments are below me.