From Sky: Week Eleven Response

Break. The. Bank.

I gotta admit, I slept hard on Q. There was so much thirst for it on r/hhh that I didn’t buy into it. I liked “Collard Greens” of course and I was so so on “Man of the Year”. After all he pretty much just repeats the same thing over and over. When the album dropped I check it out and was immediately impressed with it. I found myself wanting more Kendrick (one verse, albeit an amazing verse wasn’t enough) with Q being TDE. I remember when “Break the Bank” dropped and people were all nuts over it. It just made the thirst thirstier. I listened to it once and passed over it. I was kind of surprised to see it as your pick this week.

I find it interesting that this was one of the first tracks recorded that was intended for the album. The track was recorded in early 2012. The album wouldn’t drop for another two years. Prior to that School had a few tapes and whatnot that were successful, but I think he always lives in the shadow of Kendrick. They all will. Jay Rock. Soul. Isaiah. That’s their curse in a way. Hell, in that Noisey Raps video I mentioned to you earlier, School says when Kendrick gets back from touring the world he’ll go back to being just treated like the hype-man. They know Kendrick is special. That he’s a legend that their struggle will be trying to keep up. The line “Tell Kendrick move from the throne, I came for it”. I mean this was in early 2012 and he already knew Kendrick was the King. But for School to come up as he has, with a solid following and good praise for his album is quite impressive. Alter all, one of School’s biggest critiques is that he’s not as lyrical as Kendrick and, in my opinion Jay Rock. “Break the Bank” really proves that he’s quite lyrical. I think about the line, “Peyote with THC, swingin’ for the fence / I hope I make it out the park, where the baseheads slide / After dark, where the bangers get caught”, like… that’s one sick baseball analogy/wordplay. “Swing for the fence”. “out of the park”. “baseheads slide”.


Maybe the reason that “Break the Bank” is a standout is because it was almost like a self-fulfilling prophecy for Q. “Cause one day this rappin’ gon’ pay.” That frustration with not being better than Kendrick shines through. He knew if he kept hustling and harnessing those emotions and tell his stories, that one day that rap shit would pay. And it did. He had the number one album the week of it’s release. It was a number one album. Shit payed. You apply that to the fact the track was written to early on, I think helps to strengthen that connection to the track, which, like with Keef and drill, makes you respect and like the music more.

Currently Q passed Jay Rock as the second best rapper in TDE for me. School movin’ up in the world.


From ‘Cole: Week Eleven Response

So now I want to watch the whole six seven part series.

My mind is kind’ve swimming with thoughts right now, the overarching theme of which is that we both coincidentally decided to pick songs that basically illustrate the same principle (cray!)
which is: rap is all about the local made global.

To answer your question, yes, I do feel differently after seeing this. I have more of an appreciation for how real everything they’re rapping about is. I mean, the interviewer is right when he says everyone else makes the lifestyle seem parody-like, whereas Keef and the 3 Hunna are genuinely from the corner of 64th and Normal. I feel like there’s so much depth to it, that you can only appreciate if you’re from there.

And I mean, that’s the whole point, isn’t it? It’s an exclusionary/inclusionary thing. If you don’t live there, you don’t get it. But they’re also trying to include us in their lifestyle, pointing to a subsection of life in the US of A, and saying, this is our locality put on a global stage.

The fact that this fleshes out their story makes me think that they also intentionally meant to make their music seem shallow to everyone else listening–like there’s nothing more there than guns and violence, drugs, and murder. Maybe to us that seems distant. But to them, that’s life. The fact that there’s a place in America where this is normal (see what I did there) is shocking to me, and also enlightening, and also astounding, that a place like that can produce an artist like this.

Excellent pick.

From Sky: Week Eleven- Chiraq pt. 2

Alright, so I see you have some questions. Good.

All in all, I have to admit, it was hard to tell from your write up last week if you actually liked Keef. Either way.

Now, I want to apologize up front, I thought this was only 10 min, but it’s almost 18. But, instead of multiple plays of a single track, you only gotta watch it one time. Kinda balances out, I hope.

My question is this: after watching this video (which should have answered most of your questions) do you feel any different towards the music from week one? I know that’s kinda vague, but that’s intentional on my part. There’s actually six parts to this doc currently, but part one will do. Feel free to use the interents on this one.