Legacy Track of the Week: Raphael Saadiq - Sinners Prayer
“Eight millimeters/ and microscopes/ fingers on the triggers/ aimed at my dome/ they're gunnin' for me/ with loaded tongues/ just tryin' to get home/ prodigal son” The legendary Raphael Saadiq released his fifth solo album, Jimmy Lee, eight years following his previous effort, Stone Rollin, in 2011, and although it’s not as consistent front to back as Instant Vintage, Ray Ray, or The Way I See It, it still has some moments that are welcomed additions to one of the best catalogs in music.
Raphael Saadiq - This World is Drunk
“This world is drunk/ and the people are mad” That’s a bar from someone known more for his melodies than his lyrics, yet on Jimmy Lee the main takeaway is how beautiful the music is under his vocals.
Raphael Saadiq ft Rob Bacon - Something Keeps Calling
“You might say I can never love again/ well, you might be right, at least tonight” Raphael Saadiq teams up with guitarist Rob Bacon, who played strings on Instant Vintage and The Way I See it, as well as DJ Quik, MC Eiht, and Suga Free’s albums in the 90’s, in addition to even 2Pac’s “Dear Mama,” and sure enough, they come together again and more history is made.
Little Brother - The Feel
“And move units outside of state on some real independent shit/ straight out the trunk like Rae Carruth” After almost a decade hiatus, Little Brother is back with their fifth studio album, May the Lord Watch, and this intro produced by Khrysis helps Phonte and Big Pooh get their groove back.
Little Brother - Everything
“Special edition, a pause, for Combat, Haygon and ****** we lost/ my man was heavy on my mind so I gave him a call/ remember when I couldn't picture this vision at all/ a little riddle only time intended to solve…. Black man, so defiant, all wound up like he Nolan Ryan/ ready to take the battlefield with his soldiers dying/ whole time got wifey on his shoulder crying/ got a Miyagi on your side, why you Cobra Kai'ing?”🔥🔥🔥 Khrysis always comes correct with the production and Phonte is still one of the most prolific emcees in the world.
Little Brother - Right on Time
“I'm just trying to find a place/ doing Uber pickups, they don't recognize the face/ and that's bittersweet/ trying to reconcile the fact that I never sleep” The thought of Rapper Big Pooh driving for Uber is both heartbreaking and poetic all at once, yet for what it’s worth all three members of LB are hip-hop legends and should be celebrated as such.
Little Brother - Black Magic (Make It Better)
“Black skin, black faces, black people make black magic” 9th Wonder was noticeably absent from the Little Brother reunion album, yet in addition to Khrysis who may as well be the unofficial third member at this point, May the Lord Watch is also a chance to hear Tay and Pooh on outside production, including this record produced by Focus… (in-house producer at Aftermath) that embodies LB’s signature sound in every way.
Little Brother - What I Came For
“County boy, Wake, Durham, Guilford, and Forsyth/ where you can hear some Bill Withers under porch lights/ settle down, find a nice girl and just chill with her/ stay low and build with her, like Fortnite/ but while my city was fast asleep/ before the South was bumpin' Master P/ my Ghetto Dope was Bizzie Boyz, Nyborn, and Mixmaster D/ who ever thought it would get passed to me”🔥🔥🔥 Phonte went deep in his bag on this track where beneath the impeccable flow, there’s also some vintage hip-hop history in the lyrics.
Little Brother - Picture This
“It's Soundbombin' for the downtrodden/ whether the game's elimination or round robin/ cause God'll laugh at your plans/ took half my advance, invested in a eight-passenger van/ and drove off on behalf of the dance/ just me and my mans/ chasing the dream and pretty girls with the long hair/ but something' went wrong there, I tried to be strong/ was on the bottom so long, it felt like I belonged there” A Phonte verse for the ages over Black Milk production 🔥🔥🔥
Little Brother - All in a Day
“Made 40 revolutions over the sun and still it feels like I only begun/ I got bank accounts holding my funds/ shoulders tired from holding my sons/ and hands are tired from holding my tongue” In conclusion, May the Lord Watch, is a great addition to the Little Brother catalog, where even without any 9th Wonder production, the facts remain that Phonte still got it and Big Pooh keeps on getting better with time.
38 Spesh ft Street Justice - Gomorrah
“I got flaws that require work/ ain’t have a job because before I had a job I got fired first/ no application so I’m buying work/ I’m celebrating independence/ hit the stove show em fire work”🔥🔥🔥 Rochester’s own 38 Spesh released a collaborative tape, A Bullet for Every Heathen, with producer Big Ghost Ltd., (who we don’t forget clowned Wale for internet fame - in his previous shtick - and then subsequently worked with him without any explanation given other than the obvious) - and on this tape, Street Justice delivers two of the most memorable verses in recent memory.
38 Spesh ft Street Justice & Klass Murda - Barbarian
“They put money before trust and wonder, how the bond broken” Street Justice is one of my favorite emcees out of the Griselda collective whether he’s affiliated or not.
Obie Trice - Intro
"Father – Thanks for blessin me with number five'a/ went on to make three after my shady goodbyes but/ Em will always prosper/ Fif landed power/ D12’s a monster, Proof, never forgot ya/ Obies a survivor, rose from the fire”🔥🔥🔥 Obie Trice released his fifth studio album, appropriately titled The Fifth, and this introduction is way more 🔥🔥🔥 than I ever anticipated in the year 2019. This lowkey was one of the best intros of the year.
Obie Trice - This & That
“I be chillin’ in the shade/ rollin’ up a stogie sippin on some lemonade” One of Detroit’s most prolific emcees to this day tells his story over a dope piano instrumental.
Obie Trice - Letter
“Write a letter to myself, won’t forget my hell” There’s a lot of pain in Obie Trice’s raps on his album, one that was released a few months prior to him shooting his girlfriend’s son in a struggle at their home. All the same, this album was a nice surprise and I’m ready to revisit his back catalogue.
Jeezy ft Cee Lo Green - Already Rich
“Still hungry, muhfucker, my stomach touching my back/ my grind is my weapon, I'm gon' kill 'em with that)/ you don't understand my struggles, pure pain/ you don't understand my hustle, it's pure game” Jeezy released his 9th solo album and 4th in the Thug Motivation series, TM104: The Legend of the Snowman, and this record has some jewels on it but it’s really all about the Cee-Lo chorus.
Jeezy ft Ball Greezy - Oh Yea
“Oh yeah, why the ***** gun on him? Why his AK got a drum on it? Oh yeah, why the ***** still in the game? Why the ***** sell cocaine? Oh yeah, why you still sell crack? (Crack) Why the ***** still in the trap (Huh?) Oh yeah, why the ***** still in the hood? And hang with ****** up to no good? Oh yeah” This track produced by D-Roc and Midnight Black is all energy and Ball Greezy’s hook compliments it perfectly.
Jeezy ft Meek Mill - MLK BLVD
“Had that ambition from the very start (very start)/ back of that Bentley like I'm Rosa Parks (what the fuck?)” Produced by Lex Luther this one would’ve been better as an introspective record but it serves its purpose all the same.
Jeezy ft Queen Naija - Fake Love
“You's a real ***** 'til you tell a ***** no (no)/ You's a ho *****, let them ****** tell it though” Jeezy flips a familiar Faith Evans sample and this is one of the better tracks off TM:104.
Jeezy ft Ty Dolla $ign - 4Play
“Tell your friends good night today (tell your girls good night)/ come on, meet me outside today, hey (meet me outside)/ let me change your life, babe (Let me change your life)/ all I need is one night, baby” Jeezy and Ty Dolla flip the Pretty Ricky classic and this should’ve got more radio play 🔥🔥🔥
G Perico - Number 1
“Ain't no other nigga with a curl like me/ at the Laker game on the floor, front seat” Los Angeles own G Perico with more pimp raps for the sunny weather.
G Perico - Days Of Our Lives
“Gucci flip flop when he walk/ but all he tell is lies every time that he talk” G Perico sounds a lot like Too Short and that’s fine with me.
BROCKHAMPTON - NO HALO
“I'm sure I'll find it/ no one help me when my eyes go red” The San Marcos, Texas hip-hop collective known as BROCKHAMPTON released their fifth studio album, Ginger, and although I was sleep before on the self-described ‘boy-band,’ I’m now officially paying attention.
BROCKHAMPTON - SUGAR
“Spendin' all my nights alone, waitin' for you to call me/ you're the only one I want by my side when I fall asleep/ tell me what I'm waitin' for, tell me what I'm waitin' for/ I know it's hard but we need each other/ know it's hard but we need each other” BROCKHAMPTON currently includes vocalists Kevin Abstract, Matt Champion, Merlyn Wood, and Dom McClennon, and vocalists/producers Joba, Bearface, Jabari Manwa, Romil Hemnani, and Kiko Merley, in addition to a slew of web designers and marketers that make them prime for success in the age of social media.
BROCKHAMPTON - DEARLY DEPARTED
“I pray I find you at the bottom of the hill/ I pray I make it outta Texas” A thoughtful, introspective record that of its kind is one of the best of the year, as is the first verse by Kevin Abstract that cuts the deepest, in addition to the dirty laundry aired out by Dom McClennon in reference to the parting of previous member, Ameer Van.
BROCKHAMPTON - GINGER
“Know you got your own shit, and all of it together (my own session)/ and you know you got your own space right here forever, baby (and my own blessing)” Another smooth vibe off the album of the same name.
SAINt JHN ft Meek Mill - Anything Can Happen
“Anything can happen when you out here poppin' every night/ gotta risk it all, tryna live a legendary life/ gotta keep the boomy on you, even when it's close friends/ trying not to mix the money up with emotions” Following the release of his groundbreaking smash hit “Brown Skin Girl” with Beyonce on The Lion King Soundtrack, the Brooklyn artist with Guyanese roots known as Saint Jhn (formally Carlos Saint John), released his sophomore album, Ghetto Lenny’s Love Songs, and this track with Meek Mill is one of the highlights.
SAINt JHN ft A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie - Monica Lewinsky
“She's my Monica Lewinsky/ she gon' bust it right here, 'cause it's risky” The singular best record off Ghetto Lenny’s Love Songs, this track should have got radio play.
Jidenna - Tribe
“Fuck 'em all, fuck 'em all/,that my tribe/ that my crew, that my clique/ that my fam, that my set/ that my gang, that my rep/ fuck 'em all, fuck 'em all” Following Jidenna’s breakout success on his 2017 debut The Chief, the Massachusetts native by way of Nigeria taps into his roots for his sophomore album 85 to Africa, and this uptempo track helps set the rhythm and tempo.
Jidenna - Jungle Fever
“Mama grew up in the sixties, like a proper hippie/ I grew up on Big and Pac and watchin' Ren and Stimpy” Jidenna sings a love story about his Caucasian mother and Nigerian father, who raised him both in Africa and the United States, perhaps lending to his global appeal and versatility.
Taylor Swift - Lover
“We could leave the Christmas lights up 'til January/ and this is our place, we make the rules/ and there's a dazzling haze, a mysterious way about you, dear/ have I known you 20 seconds or 20 years?” Taylor Swift released her seventh studio album, and the title track is one of her best records to date.
Taylor Swift - Miss Americana & The Heartbreak Prince
“It's you and me, that's my whole world, they whisper in the hallway, ‘she's a bad, bad girl’ (Okay)/ The whole school is rolling fake dice/ you play stupid games, you win stupid prizes” Another solid production off Taylor Swift’s Lover that she describes as “a love letter to love itself.”
Missy Elliot ft Sum1 - DripDemeanor
“He just wanna get me hot/ he wanna taste of my goodies, he say it taste like butterscotch” A solid effort produced by Timbaland off Missy Elliott’s EP ICONOLOGY.