Tagged: Nicki Minaj

Haiku Reviews – I Am Not A Human Being 2

The following article also appeared on Passion of the Weiss

It seems that these days, the only thing people can agree upon when talking about Lil Wayne is the fact that he’s incredibly polarizing. Part of this lies in the fact that he’s an easy target for criticism with his absurd fashion choices, unexplainable passion for skateboarding, and his persistent release of music. And although his latest offering, I Am Not A Human Being 2, deals more with Dwayne’s love for pussy & prescription drugs than it does with the painful and violent tales of growing up in hard-knock Hollygrove that caused us to become transfixed with him during his Carter 3 campaign, a look past its moth-y veneer reveals a faint glimmer of the ingenuity that caused us to fall in love with Weezy the first time around.

Lil Wayne‘s exhausting run in 2007 saw him churn out oneingeniouspunchline after another, thus laying down a foundation of content that would go on to be pilfered and exhumed by every popular rapper in the last few years from Chief Keef to 2 Chainz. At the same time, Wayne’s experimentation with bad sing-rapping on songs like Prostitute and Pussy, Money, Weed served as a blueprint for new age goon-crooners like Future and French to refine and (arguably) improve upon it. Whenrumorsrang out last week about Lil Wayne potentially dying, both fanboys and detractors alike thought about a world without Wayne and felt varying degrees of sadness. However constrained Weezy’s thought process has become with his new-found lifestyle, the thought of losing someone as influential as him marks the end of an era. He may not be the new Tupac, but he was the first rapper to take us into space, the first to popularize hook-free club-bangers and he isdefinitelythe last, Lil Wayne.

Tickled ivories
with nonsensical boasting.
Drug intake seems off.

Curtains feat. Boo
Advertising a
lack of worries. Might this be
foreshadow for tape?

Days and Days feat. 2 Chainz
Drums tap and samples
ring, as the dread brothers meet
again to blabber

Gunwalk feat. Gudda Gudda
Threatening chants and
a forgotten goon member,
plus uncle Juicy.

No Worries feat. Detail
Guess who doesn’t care?
If you said the guy who had
two seizures, you’re right!

Back to You
Unique sample choice
makes for surprisingly
powerful love song.

Trigger Finger feat. Souljah Boy
Haunting strings and a
boring Souljah mix with
paranoid musings

Beat the Shit feat. Gunplay
A mash-up of trends
as the cocaine cannonball
raps over neu-trap

Rich As Fuck feat. 2 Chainz
Just cause you swapped the
verses doesn’t mean the song
got any better

Trippy feat. Juicy J
Once the body is
found, this song can be used
as the cause of death

Love Me feat. Drake, Future
You should think that two
hook-princes could come up with
something more clever

High-maintenance Weezy
recounts occupational
hazards he’s brought on

God Bless Amerika
Murky imagery,
overly political
content. Not too good.

Wowzers feat. Trina
A powerful ode
to genitalia, with
aide from Magic Box

A re-rebirth, while
not great, shows some improvement
(but wrong direction)

Lay It Down feat. Cory Gunz, Nicki Minaj
Out of place YM
members trip over themselves
to stay in pocket

Hot Revolver feat. Dre
A Green Day tribute
with added seizure reference.
Bad joke, good timing

Winner take None: A. Banks v. A. Haze

This article can also be read on Passion of the Weiss

The first week of 2013 has loosely carried the theme of resurgence. The timid Dipset boost brought on by two sub-par Cam’Ron songs and the promise of a Juelz Santana mixtape; the possibility of a Lil’ Wayne rebirth that has nothing to do with ‘Rebirth’; the fact that major magazines are still talking about “Snoop Lion” with a straight face. These are all signs that we appreciate an artist pulling themselves up by their Louboutin bootstraps in order to re-invent themselves and sell music to the masses. But that’s not how it’s supposed to go. Gangsta’s aren’t supposed to transform themselves, they’re supposed to get chubby and move to Miami while leaving a viable lane for the new generation to come through. So what happens when those ‘legends’ choose to stick around past their expiration date? They get out-shined. Pop-quiz: who rapped these lyrics?

Fine, feminine – I whip that woop
Dram-Drama? Niggas get that deuce.
Ram-bam-a-lamma flip that loot.
Gam champ – her jiggy jam on loop.
Damn fam, what ya man gon do?
I get it when I whip that woop
I spend it when I spend that loot

The internal rhymes and their repetitive cadence, combined with onomatopoeic syllable choices would lead you to believe this is an early aughts Cam’ron song, but it’s actually Azealia Bank‘s new single, BBD. I know that it’s hard to discuss Ms. Banks without mentioning her ever-present beefs (Angel Haze is the target of the week), so let’s get something out of the way: Angel Haze couldn’t achieve the success she’s had so far had there not been another young rising female lyricist to which she could be compared favorably, whether due to skill or attitude. Angel Haze can rap, but she lacks the creative vision of Azealia, so at best her ceiling is to be this generation’s Rah Digga or an eventual Young Money replacement for when Nicki Minaj comes to her senses and gets her own label. Plus, when you’ve crafted your ‘Ether’ diss song to mention attending GQ parties and shots at Terry Richardson, can you ever be considered the winner? I know that the online community seems to think that Angel Haze won because her lyrics were more spiteful and venomous, but the fact is that even in the heat of war, Azealia would rather create music that’s true to her style. I doubt Azealia would ever release an unmixed song, regardless of how powerful it might be. Plus, Angel Haze‘s ammunition doesn’t reveal anything we didn’t already know about Banks: she’s difficult to work with and she likes old men. And who brags about how little time it takes them to finish their album?

What gets lost in all of the criticism thrown at Ms. Banks is that her goal from the start was to make good music that’s different and she’s invested herself heavily within the culture of producers who are doing experimental things with the hip-hop sound. Her first song featured a video cameo from Jacques Greene and she regularly uses beats from guys like Lunice, Hudson Mohawke and Machinedrum, who aren’t necessarily EDM guys but hip-hop producers who got sucked into dubstep and made it better. This isn’t like A$AP Rocky covering all of his bases by putting a ‘dubstep DJ du jour’ song on the album, this is Azealia using her taste to hand-pick the collaborators she wants to make sweet seapunk art with. In addition, Ms. Banks is also giving some of these names an entrance into the hip-hop world, similar to what Jay-Z did when he brought Just Blaze, 9th Wonder and Kanye West into the game with The Blueprint & The Black Album, guys who had just been floating around up until that point.

BBD is the first helping off of Azealia’s ‘Broke With Expensive Taste’ project due out later this year, and it’s the same high-tempo lyricism we’ve come to expect from her 2012 projects. Whether it’s a nod to the new-jack-swing group of the 90′s or a loud proclamation that yes, bad bitches do in fact do it, BBD grabs you by the sides of the head from the opening rhythm and doesn’t let go. This is essentially what would Killa Cam would have done had he been around for the EDM craze, and since Ms. Banks is currently coming of age with electronic music, she is effectively taking a huge dump on any prospective new fans that Cam’ron is might attract. It’s like what’s going to happen in 20 years when we go to the store to buy a carton of chocolate milk, only to find out that it’s been replaced by hydrogenated dairy paste that tastes, like, a trillion times better.

Will Azealia Banks be around forever? Maybe if she sold her soul like Wale, but I think it’s more likely that Azealia continues to slaughter the female/overall rap game for a few years before fading into obscurity (not quietly, I’d wager). What matters most is what she’s doing now, and simply put, she’s killing it. So while the Old grasp at straws to remain relevant and the New throw shots at anyone just slightly more established in the hopes of fame, the 21 year old Harlemite will continue to invite you to eat her cunt.

Year End Wrap Up Snippets

Read the entire Top 50 Albums or Top 50 Hip-Hop Songs on Passion of the Weiss

#38 Best Song – Angel Haze, New York

There’s a lot you could dislike about Angel Haze. Her rap moniker sounds like something Brazzers rejected, she looks eerily similar to a prepubescent boy, and someone in her extended family probably owns a casino. There are also a lot of things that you can like about Angel Haze, and all of them are on full display with her breakout hit ‘New York‘. Her lyrics are dexterous and punchy, chock full of pop culture references and clever punchlines, and her ear for beats is evident as she chooses to rap on a snap-clap Gil-Scott Heron sample. It’s no wonder that she was so quickly picked up by a major label.
Angel Haze is a female rap artist fighting for attention at a time when the public often praises a female emcee’s marketability over her skill. There’s also something to be said for the fact that Haze was able to form a bond with her near-doppleganger Azealia Banks, a woman known for hating everyone to ever mention her name. If Angel Haze is able to get another single like New York out the door in 2013, we can expect her to hit the Rah Digga ceiling that we know she’s capable of.

#17 Best Song – Tyga, Rack City

2012 was a weird year for Tyga. His sophomore album Careless World attempted to mimic the endearing veracity of his (potentially former) label-mate Drake, but he found his true calling with a song about throwing money on yo’ titties. Suddenly, the world changed for Tyga. After Rack City, Tyga was able to call himself a somewhat success solo artist and he went on to take advantage of his 15 minutes by releasing more music aimed at his newly found niche: ratchet strippers.
Ignore the fact that it gave Tyga a reason to live and Rack City is still one of the biggest songs of the year based on the fact that it became a meme to the point where a) the L.A. Clippers commissioned a Lob City remix to use as their stadium song and b) old, white, grandmothers were dancing to it on YouTube to the tune of millions of hits.
Rack City also served as a coming-out party for DJ Mustard, whose formulaic ratchetness had only been exposed to the small segment of people on this planet who listen to YG of their own accord. After Rack City, Mustard’s stock went to Platinum Poupon. Take me down to Rack-Rack City, where the poles are greased and there’s money on titties.

#42 Best Album – Fiona Apple, The Idler Wheel…

I’m 89% sure that Wale’s spirit animal is Fiona Apple. The eccentric New Yorker may have been known for a lot of things other than her music in 2012, including but not limited to: long album titles, getting arrested for hash possession, and canceling the last leg of her tour because her dog got sick. But in spite of all that her latest album, titled (deep breathe…) The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than The Driver Of The Screw And Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do was able to turn all of those external commotions into a powerful and raw expression of Fiona’s shattered self.
The Idler Wheel is beautiful for the same reasons it’s inaccessible: the torrent of stripped down emotions on top of bare-bone production isn’t for everyone. Every pain and slice of indecisiveness is dragged from the depths of Apple’s closet and laid out in front of the ever-demanding spotlight. Fiona’s pain is evident throughout the project and creates an uncomfortable air, similar to what one would experience as a stranger peeking into domestic dispute from the safety of a busy street.
Writers love to gush about an artist’s emotions. With that in mind, it’s worth noting that the painful content delivered on The Idler Wheel caries the same themes and emotion that hip-hop journalists have (somewhat) wrongly been bestowing onto Future and Pluto for this entire year. After you listen to The Idler Wheel in it’s entirety, it’s hard to see any artist in any genre as being truly honest.

#18 Best Album – Azealia Banks, Fantasea

Azealia Banks has come a long way since September of 2011 when she dropped the video for 212. Though it’s been a little over a year, it feels like just yesterday that we first saw the young diva dancing in front of an abandoned building with her Mickey Mouse sweater while politely asking us to eat her cunt. By July of this year, Ms. Banks stock had risen considerably thanks to a combination of natural talent, youthful vigor and venomous hate for everyone who looks at her sideways (see: Iggy Azalea, T.I., Elliott Wilson, Jim Jones, Lil Kim, Nicki Minaj, Kreayshawn and more). She capitalized on the hype by releasing Fantasea, a seapunk eurothrash project which was Azealia Banks‘ first real attempt at carving out her niche.
Yes, her 1994 EP proved that she could rap – but all four songs on the disc sounded too similar to her inaugural 212 for the public to see any depth or growth. This is more than made up for on Fantasea which features Ms. Banks doing lyrical backflips over acid house, Caribbean dancehall, Montell Jordan samples and vintage Dipset beats to an overall positive effect. Whether you think she sounds like a more feminine and aggressive Cam’ron with a hint of vocal talent; or a brattier version of Nicki Minaj with significantly less range, Azealia Banks proved with Fantasea that she is able to toe that ever-shrinking line between EDM and Hip-hop without resorting to recruiting the Guettas or Skrillexs of the world. Speaking of guest appearances, getting Styles P and Shystie to feature on your debut-ish mixtape is nothing to laugh at. I can only imagine how many cups of juice Ms Banks had to buy before David Styles would agree to hop on a song as eccentric as Nathan. I proclaim 2013 to be the year of seapunk, post-apocalyptic movies, and Azealia Banks.


Hip-Hop Terms for Modern Lexicon

This post has also appeared on brokencool

The English language is vast. It contains millions of words, capable of decribing endless combinations of almost anything imaginable. For the sake of staying topical, words allow us the luxury of mocking ‘Starships’ and canceling Summer Jam surprises. However, there are a few exceptions to what words can do. For example, there is no English equivalent for German word “schadenfreude”, which can be defined as “delighting in the misfortune of others”. This is just one example of almost dozens of ways that the English language is falling behind its international competitors. We as a people are not doing enough to advance the modern lexicon. Do you know what two of the top words of 2011 were? Humblebrag and Tebowing. We can do better. And since hip-hop is arguably the most valuable export coming out of the Western world, I propose that we look towards the culture for help.

Definition: The act of emasculating a grown man in the pressence of many
Fred’s friends laughed uncontrollably as they watched him get onika’d by his wife for the condom she found in his wallet.

verb, -electing
Definition: An extreme reversal of fortune
“Did you hear about Fred? He got a divorce from his wife and she left him penniless, but then he fell in love with a nymphomaniacal heiress. He’s really found a way to get jayelected out of that situation!”

Definition: Something considered valueless and inconsequential, despite being publicly praised.
As Fred turned the lights off in his garage, he gazed longingly at his keefs; his prized collection of Damien Hirst pieces.

verb, -rayed
Definition: To consume all of one’s resources for a brief attempt at relevance
Fred’s ex-wife tried to find a new husband in the nightlife scene, but no attempt at delraying was enough to convince someone to go home with her.

4 New ‘Spins’ On Azealia Banks

This article was also featured on brokencool
Who is Azealia Banks? Where did she come from? What is her purpose? How do you properly spell her first name? All of these are questions that I’ve been actively asking myself for the last 24 hours, hoping to get a better understanding of the next big female rapper to come out this month year.
On the heels of two successful Coachella appearances and a fresh signing with Gaga’s manager, the former Miss Bank$ is looking to cement her place as the “it” girl of 2012. And although Azealia knew she was destined for greatness ever since she worked at a New York City Starbucks making Veni-soy-Chais for John Mayer, her true test will come when she releases her ’1991′ EP later this year. In an arena where her biggest competition doesn’t even have a Twitter account (!!) and her second biggest competition looks like a translucent version of a bad Mad TV skit, it seems that Azealia is set to prosper.
Or does it? Ever since Kreayshawn freebased her way into the hip-hop scene, listeners have been mindful of letting another Rap-Diva steal their hearts only to have her threaten to put her dick in our collective faces a year later. So, since I’ve been watching a lot of Mad Men lately, I’ve decided to do Azealia Banks a favor and offer her four options to re-brand herself for a new audience before she goes too far.
You’re welcome (call me!):
Azealia Based
Beef is good, it keeps the twitter world alive and let’s people develop complex storylines that most likely never existed. For example, did you know the current tiff between Azealia Banks and Iggy came about because of a sexy pillow-fight that went awry?
Azealia shouldn’t just embrace the internet’s hate, she should bathe in it.  And what better bath partner than the lightning-rod for internet hate also known as Lil’ B? Partnering up would not only allow Banks to shine lyrically, it would also grant her a spot at the top of the list for NYU’s next lecture.
The only downside of this arangement would be the fact that Azealia Banks has to get more graphically sexual in her rhymes, which may shift her away from the realm of “marketably bi-sexual” and into the “gay-lienating” zone (hi Raz).
Achilles-ia Banks
If theres one thing that the kids are crazy about these days, it’s Greek mythology. Not only would this name change let Ms. Banks start a successful side-hustle with ankle bracelets, it would allow her to fulfill her (probable) life long dream of touring with a Kraken.
After changing the name of her EP from ’1991′ to ‘Sipped on Mix, Dipped in Styx’, Achilles-ia will sell so many copies that she’ll be able to buy Greece. For those curious, that’s like, 80 thousand albums.
The actress in Azealia will prefer this moniker, since every night on tour will allow her to storm a makeshift Troy before being fatally pierced by an arrow from an assassin, played by Missy Elliot.
A-Seal-ia Banks
With this slight name adjustment, A-seal-ia can be the world’s first female maritime rhymer. Rapping with new PETA-friendly content about life at the bottom of the ocean and the dangers of boat propellers, Banks is sure to make a splash (get it?!) in hip-hop.
Her circus-themed concerts will attract the attention of hip-hop critics all over, who will be encouraged to live-blog the event from the safety of the show’s spalsh zone. Not to worry, there’s still a part for Missy Elliot in this version, as the circus’ resident bearded lady.
Unfortunatley, A-Seal-ia’s success will only last for a season before she has to retreat to her natural ecosystem to molt.
Brassiere-ia Banks
People get mad at artists for selling out all the time, so why not skip the whole freshman campaign and head straight to the commercialization? Brassiere-ia Banks has a unique opportunity of being the first female MC sign a major distribution contract with Victoria’s Secret, becoming a sort of rapping-mannequin for them. Alternatively, you could go with Areolia Banks.
A majority of the people buying albums today are females and our research says that females have breasts, so this makes perfect sense, as it essentially saves them a trip.
As an added bonus, during the opening week anyone who’s a ‘B’ cup or lower gets 15% off!