Legacy Track of the Week: Alicia Keys - Raise a Man
“Is it okay to love a man right now? If you understand… somebody raise a man (Ooh, ooh), raise a man” Alicia Keys released this standalone single early last year, and in a way that feels like no coincidence, the sentiments expressed in this record come off as a rebellion to overhyped misogyny and ‘toxic masculinity,’ all of which resonates further when heard from such a powerful woman.
Berner, Mozzy - Noddin’
“Mercedes is on my wrist, authorities on my dick/ I'm bangin' off the rip, just regular gangster shit” Berner has been heavily active in music over the last year, yet this collaborative tape with Mozzy may be his best release during that time period. Produced by Cozmo this is one of many good records off Slimey Individualz.
Berner, Mozzy ft Wiz Khalifa - Solitary
“150K, I'm finna blow this shit on diamonds/ respect lil' young and hustle, but his package on consignment/ solitary confinement, due to lack of being compliant/ sacrificing for my team, only way I could define it” Mozzy has undoubtedly been on his grind for a minute but 2019 may have been his best year.
Berner, Mozzy ft YG & Logic - Ayy
“I'm underground/ the sound of the crowd, it give me chills (It give me chills)/ and really real, I used to rob and steal before the vacuum seal” In 2020 Berner’s cannabis conglomerate, Cookies, is still a force to be reckoned with.
Berner, Mozzy ft Smiggz - Lovin Me
“Trash bag full of dirty bills/ sold two mill to the IRS/ I sent two trucks down/ I'ma fly the rest on a private jet” Berner and Mozzy showed a lot of chemistry on this album, whereas these collaborative projects come out all the time and are rarely this good. Major respect to all the producers involved, including Cy Fyre who smoked this instrumental.
Berner, Mozzy ft Godholly - Thug In Me
“I just can't shake the thug in me/ all this dope smokin', bud in me/ soul searching, we geeked, it ain't no love in me/ slide for my side, ****** knowin' they can't fuck with me/ Try to change, on gang/ I just can't shake the thug in me…” Mozzy is nice with these hooks!
Slim Thug ft Z-RO, Jazze Pha - I L.A.M.B.
“If I choose, I lose/ I need all my boos and I like mine x 2” Slim Thug is quietly still putting on in 2020 and for the record Jazze Pha killed this hook 🔥🔥🔥 this was easily one of the best surprises of the year.
Slim Thug ft Beanz N Kornbread - Playas Get Chose
“Playas always get chose, and you don’t ever have to worry ‘bout that” Slim Thug released his 11th solo album in 2019, Suga Daddy Slim: On The Prowl, and honestly it’s just too good to be ignored.
Slim Thug - S.D.S.
“They look like midgets when the boss around/ they looking up I’m looking down/ we run the town, we run the town” Texas! 🙌
Nipsey Hussle - Racks in the Middle
“Look, under no condition would you ever catch me slippin'/ motorcaded shooters plus the Maybach chauffeur driven” Nipsey Hussle’s final record before he was tragically killed in broad daylight in front of his clothing store in his own neighborhood, this Hit-Boy and Roddy RIcch-assisted track would go on to win a Grammy award the following year. R.I.P. Nipsey Hussle - The Marathon Continues 🏁
August Alsina - Forever and a Day
“They say never say never/ but girl, I swear if I ever get you/ I'm never gonna let you go” August Alsina delivered his signature sound right on time for Valentines Day.
TI - Fuck *****
“Damn, it must suck to be a fuck *****/ ol' greedy ass ***** only thinking 'bout himself/ they get the fame, then get the wealth/ but people are struggling, who did you help?” It’s T.I.P. Pimpin takes major aim at Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather after the Gucci blackface controversy last year, and regardless of whether you agree with his approach, this was one of the coldest ‘diss’ tracks of the year.
CZARFACE, Ghostface Killah - Face Off
“Ayy, yo it's CZAR vs. Ghost, we about to face off/ turn my mic up, and when the verse drop, turn the bass off/ dangerous material, spread like venereal/ got the scoop on the game like a bowl of cereal” For those unfamiliar, CZARFACE is the collective of underground legends 7L & Esoteric and Wu-Tang’s own Inspectah Deck, who together have released a number of albums since their debut in 2013. Sure enough, years later they’ve reunited with fellow Wu-Tang veteran Ghostface Killah, and this track produced by The Czar-Keys (7L & Todd Spadafore) is one of the highlights off the tape.
CZARFACE, Ghostface Killah ft Kendra Morris - Morning Ritual
“I got a question for the mirror (Mirror) "The Ballys or the wallos?" (Wallows)"/ the Desert E, or should I do the pound with the hollows?" (Hollows)/ the mirror laughed and said, "what the fuck does it matter? You the flyest motherfucker from here on after’” Storytelling raps that complement one another in the verses, this is two minutes and forty one seconds of good hip-hop and entertainment.