You are correct sir!
The thing about CyHi that I like is sometimes his phrasing, his wit remind me of old-school Kanye. I’m talking back when he was saying stuff like “mayonnaise-colored Benz, I push miracle whips.” CyHi is definitely making an homage to Kanye with wordplay like “went to some classes overseas/ now all I do is study a broad.”
But I think it’s entertaining to the point where you can already tell why Ye loves him so much. It’s because he reminds him of himself. And nobody loves Kanye more than Kanye. Hence, his own biggest fan through proxy right there.
Glad you liked this one! I discovered this project on a little know mixtape thread. Same place I discovered Spark Master Tape. It wasn’t until that Noisey doc that I understood the other half of it. I got the cloud nature to it but you’re right when you talk about the drill style lyrics. He, also being from Chicago, really brings together a strong context for me.
Where does it fall on the spectrum? “Lucki Eck$ goldilocks it right here, in that it really is just right”. Boom. He’s a perfect mix of both in my opinion, so much so that it may be it’s own style–alternative trap. Alternative being the Cloud Rap style, drill being a shoot-off of trap music. The drill nature really lies primarily in the lyrics, as there isn’t any trap or drill beats. There are gunshots though, so it’s there too.
You’re right when you say producers are the ones shining. I loved your idea that, “It creates a mood, an atmosphere to listen in, rather than listen to”. I couldn’t agree more. It’s captivating what some of them are doing these days. The one that comes to mind is Madlib. Now, Madlib is a legend when it comes to hip hop producers. He produced, arguably, MF DOOM’s best album as Madvillain in Madvillainy. He also produced with J Dilla, another production legend as well as friend and parter of The Roots, under Jaylib, releasing an album. Most recently he just produced Freddie Gibbs’s new album Piñata. He produced “Thuggin'” which you examined before. He is shining so much, he’s making the artists better. Before Piñata, Gibbs wasn’t really too notable, though his albums Baby Face Killa and EGSN, was a success, he still wasn’t a common or big name in hip hop. For DOOM, Operation: Doomsday, his first solo album after his brother Subroc did and K.M.D. was no more, is a classic, which was followed up by two strong albums, Take Me To Your Leader as King Geedorah, and Vikor Vaughn in Vaudeville Villain. It wasn’t until DOOM teamed up with Madlib for Madvillainy, that people really began to take notice of this unique underground talent. Madlib made DOOM shine.
There’s so many more examples of this that I could go on and on. It’s really interesting, and I couldn’t agree more.
First off… CyHi is killin’ it here! I was really hot on a lot of his earlier work like Jack of All Trades and Royal Flush. In my opinion, he kinda fell off with The Ivy League Club. I hadn’t listened to too much of him since. I download this project when it dropped but slept. I then spot listened to it, and really liked the track Basquiat. That was it though. I was stoked when I saw this as your pick for the week I was stoked.
Now, who would be his biggest fan you ask? Well, we’ll get there.
I feel like there’s a lot to discuss about this entire project in general. I would love to look more into the alienating nature of the albums with it’s black history references and who the music is targeted to.
There are a few lyrics that really jumped out at me.The first one, “Now it’s Greek mythology cause I run with the gods”. I think awhile back I was tell you about a theory someone had hypothesized about Kanye’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy being a Greek tragedy at it’s roots. Here’s the theory:
So this immediately made me think of our Lord and Savior Yeezus. CyHi’s “run[ing] with the gods”. I’m aware that CyHi has been featured on a few Kanye tracks in the past. Most notably “So Appalled” on that very album. Not to mention he is on the GOOD Music label. Kanye West’s label.
The other lyric was: “Huh, yesterday I talked to Yeezus / I said I’m paranoid, that’s why I always got a heater”. We have the direct Kanye namedrop, but it’s the second have on the line that is interesting. “I said” are the first words. CyHi is is telling the listener that he told Yeezus he’s “paranoid, that’s why [he] always got a heater”. He’s confessing to “Yeezus”, which is multiple connotations. Much like Catholics, CyHi is confessing his sins. He’s being real. He’s being deep. And I feel he’s being genuine.
His biggest fan is Kanye West. Why? Because anyone who publicly idolizes Kanye like CyHi does (referring to him as a god, confession of sins) is going to have a fan in Kanye West. This is not the only Kanye reference on the album, for example on “Coretta” CyHi refers to Kanye as a “rap god”. Kanye may very well be the only reason we’re discussing CyHi right now.
The second precedes the first? That’s some real post-modern playing with chronology shit right there.
But I digress. Both songs have a really original sound. The question is, where do they fall in the cloud rap-drill spectrum?
I think Lucki Eck$ goldilocks it right here, in that it really is just right. I mean, the content of Count on Me I is really closer to Drill– a kind of dont-fuck-with-me-or-my-city vibe. And Part II is more of the Cloud Rap style, feeling amorphous and less content-oriented. Although, some of the lines are pretty dope. I mean, “like grade schoolers/ you can count on me” is a great sentimental line, it’s really poignant and fits well with the beat that is just dissonant enough to be interesting. I very much like it.
It’s also more accessible that way– it’s not as isolating as Drill, not quite as distant and cerebral as Cloud, it’s the perfect middle-ground.
Lately I’ve been feeling that producers are kind of stealing the spotlight–you agree? He’s a good enough lyricist, but man, the production on these tracks is what really shines. It creates a mood, an atmosphere to listen in, rather than listen to. Maybe that’s an over statement. I mean all music makes a mood. But this is just something not previously done in rap. Not until maybe Kanye hit the scene. Production’s always been important but nowadays there’s a real connection between the value of the production and the value of the rapper/mixtape as a whole.
Lucky number 13!
This week I want you to tell me, who do you think is his biggest fan?
You are allowed to do research, and it’s a real surface level question, so don’t go reading Freud and shit.
Well well. Like yourself some Lean huh? You’ll get an in depth response to week twelve later this week.
As for this week. We’re gonna take the last three weeks and combine them. So keep drill and cloud rap in mind when examining the tracks this week.
These are two tracks from Chicago rapper Lucki Eck$’s debut mixtape, Alternative Trap.
Note that this is the order in which the tracks appear on the album with the first one the intro track and the second on being smack in the middle of the 13 track tape at track 7.
My question is simply: where does the track fall in the cloud rap-drill spectrum?