Young Thug & Rich Homie Quan - “Pull Up”
Rich Homie Quan Says He & Young Thug Are Best Duo Since OutKast
One other thing that occurred to me while watching that ATL doc is just how early the seeds for the “regional rap” decentralization were planted via pop rap. People usually point to The Chronic as the end of New York’s dominance but on a mainstream level all the biggest rappers in the world had already been from anywhere but New York for a few years at that point. Def Jam had a lock on the crossover contingent up through the late ’80s but after that it was all Hammer, Vanilla Ice, 2 Live, Sir Mix A Lot, Cube, Kris Kross, Arrested and those “Whoomp There It Is” type bass records. I feel like the only East Coast rap albums I would’ve even been cognizant of before I started to care in 1993 were the first Naughty record and Mama Said Knock You Out. And I was in New Jersey.
VH1 investigates the rich, complex untold story of Atlanta’s fascinating rise to the top of the rap industry, which created a major fore within American music. Featuring interviews from Ludacris, Usher, T.I., Lil Jon and more.
I just watched this and it was about as good as it possibly could be given the outlet. I do agree with everything that Serg was ranting about and especially think Speech from Arrested Development was trolling me personally by acting like Rap-A-Lot, Native Tongues and the Good Life weren’t all happening simultaneous to whatever hippie rap his crew was doing. But then again it is entirely possible that Speech has never listened to a rap song that he didn’t make.
And that Gucci omission feels almost purposeful. It could’ve used some Curtis Mayfield and Ichiban Records as well.
katethemac said: can you explain how thuggers label situation effects the stuff he is putting out? Just wondering why 1017 Thug 2 seemed so lacking on first listens.
Well that’s the thing - he hasn’t been putting out much of anything. I don’t think Thug had any present day input on the flood of mixtapes that Gucci Mane’s lawyer has been releasing through Brick Squad this year. I suspect that most of Black Portland was recorded a long time ago as well. Thug’s style was advancing pretty rapidly towards the end of last year and most of what has landed on these projects sound like scraps from the original 1017 Thug sessions or maybe even earlier than that. (That tape is now eighteen months old but still probably stands as the best full length representation of his work to date. I’d even recommend the considerably less polished I Came From Nothing 2 from 2011 over any of these “new” releases. Especially if you prefer Thugga Thugga in his happy melodic ”About The Money”/”Lifestyle” mode.)
oakhillsteeze said: What exactly is a lyrical rapper by your definition? Someone with a good message in their rap, someone with storytelling ability, someone with great wordplay, a combo of all three?? I feel like as soon as someone's branded as lyrical or not the masses stick with that forever.
It’s an abstract and largely oppressive designation, mostly applied to whichever rappers best manage to uphold a certain loosely defined conservative leaning set of cultural and aesthetic values while simultaneously telegraphing their intelligence and/or morality to listeners who are insecure about their own intelligence and/or morality.
ct5holy said: Do you think rap will ever produce an analog to the singer-songwriters of the 70s and 80s like Tom Waits and James Taylor? I think rap has some auteurs (DOOM, Diamond D) but those guys have not breached the mass consciousness. Kanye would be the closest thing but I think his liner notes have always been full of co-production/writing credits (except maybe "808s"?). Are the masses even open to the idea of a guy telling stories/sharing his worldview over his own simple but accessible beats?
I don’t completely understand this question. If you’re asking about rappers who produce their own beats and tell stories/share their worldview then you should check out Breaking Atoms by Main Source. Large Professor made all the beats and raps, which deal with a lot of emotional shit pertaining to relationships, racism, etc. in a pretty smart fashion. (There are two Canadian DJs in the group too but I don’t think they actually did anything at all.) Alternately check out DJ Quik’s Trauma which is more about raw, unchecked emotions. Or if simplicity/sparseness of the production is your principle concern then maybe try Ka’s The Night’s Gambit or Roc Marciano’s Marcberg. And does Pimp C count? Because he should. Beatmaking is beside the point really. All rapping is writing and at a certain level writing is an inherently auteurist form.
Young Thug - “You The World” (Brick Squad, 2014)