Legacy Track of the Week: Beyonce ft Jay-Z, Childish Gambino & Oumou Sangare - MOOD 4 EVA
“Forever, and ever-ever, and ever-ever (Yeah, yeah)/ at the Saxon Madiba suite (Yeah, yeah), like Mandela/ bumpin' Fela on the Puma jet, like we from Lagos (My daughter)/ Mansa Musa reincarnated, we on our levels (He 'bout business)/ That's a billi', a thousand milli' (Ugh)/ first one to see a B out these housing buildings/ I be feelin' like Prince in '84 (Ow)/ Mike in '79, Biggie in '97/ '94 Nas” They’re starting to overlook actual collaborations between Jay & Beyonce, as this one did not make radio or any waves in the culture, despite the fact that they both come correct including the God MC himself, who at the moment only appears to be appreciated for his business acumen. Otherwise, it should be noted that this is the only record where Donald Glover (Simba) and Beyonce (Nala) can be heard together on the Lion King soundtrack.
Beyonce - BIGGER
“If you feel insignificant, you better think again/ better wake up because you're part of something way bigger” Beyonce released an exclusive ‘companion’ album to go along with the live-action release of Lion King, of which she voices Nala to Donald Glover’s Simba, and this was a nice tone-setter for what’s overall an inspired soundtrack.
Beyonce - FIND YOUR WAY BACK
“He said, ‘find your way back/ big, big world, but you got it, baby/ find your way back/ don't let this life drive you crazy” A smooth bop produced by Bubele Booi and Magwenzi, that shares a sense of dual symbolism as it relates to Simba and Mufasa as well as Beyonce and Mathew Knowles.
Beyonce ft SAINt JHN, Wizkid & Blue Ivy Carter - BROWN SKIN GIRL
“Tonight I might fall in love, dependin' on how you hold me/ I'm glad that I'm calmin' down, can't let no one come control me/ keep dancin' and call it love, she fightin' but fallin' slowly/ if ever you are in doubt, remember what mama told me” The most memorable record on the soundtrack is undoubtedly this smooth and catchy melody, where along with Nigeria’s own Wizkid, Biggs from Roc A Fella’s new artist SAINt JHN, and of course her own daughter, Beyonce turns in one of her most inspirational records to date.
Beyonce - OTHERSIDE
“If we wake up, lose our patience/ or even lose our lives, oh/ I'll feel lucky to say that you've been/ a friend of mine” A song dedicated to making the transition to the other side, featuring Nigerian singer Bankulli and production from Syd from The Internet.
Beyonce - SPIRIT (from Disney’s “The Lion King”)
“Spirit, watch the heavens open (Open)/ Yeah/ Spirit, can you hear it callin'? (Callin')”🔥🔥🔥 Even if it’s not Michael Jackson in his Free Willy bag this is still iconic.
Nas - Lost Freestyle
“Amateur Hanna-Barbera characters know they envy” Produced by Statik Selektah, this lyrical exercise sounds like prime Nas and is one of the highlights off the highly anticipated Lost Tapes 2.
Nas ft RaVaughn - Royalty
“Don't step foot in no penitentiary / don't taste the poison” Originally recorded sometime before 2012 when it was lost on Hit-Boy’s hard drive, it was titled “No Such Thing as White Jesus” back then and even has Frank Ocean’s penmanship on it, seemingly on the hook sung by RaVaugn, who’s the only artist to be featured twice on the album.
Nas ft David Ranier - Who Are You
“Thinking of a master plan/ sipping on disaster, smoking on gangster/ watching ****** argue, chillin' on my bar-stool/ with my Hell Up in Harlem hat in hand/ with a girl named Pat/ she more than a waitress to order your drink with/ she divorced a banker and bought the bar/ she got an automobile, she give an order to kill” Originally recorded around 2008 for the Untitled album, this one leaked around that time and has been one of my favorite Nas records ever since, in particular, that second verse where he’s in storytelling mode with his God MC flow.
Nas - War Against Love
“Yo the Haiti, Barbados, Bahamas, Grenada/ the war is against love, we under attack/ Paris, Pyar, St. Thomas, DR/ the war is against love, who's busting back? From New York to Botswana, London to Guyana/ to every single African that's on the map/ Yo, to Mexico, to Cuba, Iceland to Bermuda/ the war is against love, we under attack” Produced by DJ Dahi and DJ Khalil and inspired by Lauryn Hill, this is another found jewel from the Lost Tapes that showcases Nas at his best.
Nas - Queens Wolf
“At fourteen tried out for the ball team/ junior high, they denied me/ I shot bricks that made the backboard scream” Nas at his most cinematic and done seemingly with relative ease, this one is produced by DJ Toomp and inspired by “Teen Wolf,” the Michael J. Fox cult-classic from the 80’s, and honestly only Nas could make this sound as clever as it does. Also for the record, the last time Nas collaborated with DJ Toomp was on the Untitled album for N.I.G.G.E.R. (Slave and the Master), so clearly these two creatives need to get together more often.
Nas - You Mean The World To Me
“I’m a king, you're a queen/ his and hers sinks and the diamond rings” Produced by Kanye West and recorded around 2006 for the Hip-Hop Is Dead album, this one leaked in 2008 yet could easily fit on the Nasir album and nobody would know the difference.
Nas - Beautiful Life
“We gotta live and let love/ let the light in/ to the beautiful mothers of my kids/ and all the mothers around the world/ Knight, Destiny, life is good” I could’ve highlighted any of the three verses but I decided to go with the outro, as we all know Nas has an uncanny ability to sound even more poetic when he’s just talking on a record, like a sensei, like only he could. This one was produced by Eric “Kosha” Daniels and No. I.D., and seemingly could’ve been recorded and scrapped for the Life is Good album, though for its quality it deserved to see the light of day.
Hopsin - I Don’t Want It
“I was never cool, had no friends, no chicks would flirt/ every school year it's like all my issues were getting worse” I never listened to Hopsin because I usually stay away from certain theatrics, yet I realize now that was a mistake, as the two singles he released in 2019 (“I Don’t Want It” and “Picasso”) are exponentially better than what I was expecting. This record in particular cuts deep and appears to be an accurate reflection of the man behind the artist, who has a back catalog that I definitely need to get familiar with.
Silas ft Logic - These Days
“One time, two time, three time/ got a lotta money, but I got no me time/ What I need? Balance, balance, what's my balance? 25 million, need a new challenge” Logic smokes this verse off his protege from Maryland’s debut album, 1998, who holds his own as well.
Yella Beezy ft Chris Brown - Restroom Occupied
“Now we makin' love in the restroom (Yeah, yeah, got your bitch)/ I thought you knew that this is what I do” CB does what he does on this comical single from Dallas rapper, Yella Beezy, off his fourth mixtape, Baccend Beezy.
Maxo Kream - 8 Figures
“Seen my daddy do a scam, came back with a million/ then they shot him in the hand, fuck ***** tried to kill him” The Houston, Texas had a good year in 2019, as along with dropping his major-label debut with Roc Nation, he also landed a feature on Dreamville’s Revenge of the Dreamers III.
Maxo Kream - Brenda
“Brenda pray she have a daughter, raise her right and make her smarter/ Brenda scared to have a son 'cause he might turn out like his father” Maxo Kream puts his own twist on Brenda’s Got a Baby.
XXXTENTACION ft Ky-Mani Marley, Stefflon Don & Vybz Kartel - Royalty
“Royalty (Royalty), inna mi bloodline/ Dem soldiers yell (Dem soldiers yell), on these front lines” XXXTENTACION’s label released his second posthumous album, Bad Vibes Forever, following Skins released a year prior, and honestly this Jamaican collaboration is a good vibe despite the controversy behind using X’s name to sell more records.
Conway ft Eminem - Bang
“Tuck my fifth, don't hesitate to bust my shit/ I tell you ****** like Kyrie, "Suck my dick" (Hahahaha)/ I don't trust a soul, I don't even trust my bitch (Uh-uh)/ Before I fall in love, I'd rather cut my wrist (Ahh)” Produced by Beat Butcha and Daringer, this collaboration is rather unorthodox yet also everything it’s supposed to be.