From ‘Cole: Week Nineteen – Chameleon Week

When someone’s frontin like they’re something else, you call them a poser.

But what if they’re adapting, every single song?

This week I want to look at the many faces of Logic.

You might disagree with me, but these are the songs and the artists I think were his biggest influence in terms of the song’s artistic bent:

Logic, in the style of Nas:

Logic, in the style of Eminem:

Logic, in the style of Drake:

Now, is this artistic plagiarism? Or are you impressed at how versatile he can be? Even more importantly, is this the real real that hip hop is always looking for?


From ‘Cole: Week Eighteen – Throwback Week

This week’s a throwback for sure.

I asked how well you knew The Fugees, I’m willing to bet you probably know this one. All I want you to do is tell me how you think this changed the hip hop game way back in ’96.

Also, who do you think has the best verse, and why is it Lauryn Hill?

From Sky: A Response to Week Seventeen

“It runs through the neighborhood of Chinatown, and forms the sourthern boundaries of SoHo and Little Italy as well as the northern boundary of Tribeca. The street acts as a major connector between Jersey City, New Jersey, via the Holland Tunnel (I-78), and Brooklyn, New York City, via the Manhattan Bridge.”
– Canal Street (Manhattan), Wikipedia

When I first gathered that he was taking about Canal street, there are two cities that I thought of, New Orleans and NYC. Now, Ratking, who turns out to be more than just one guy, but rather a collective, certainly didn’t sound as if they were from the South, so it kind of narrowed it down to NYC (not to mention the video makes that pretty obvious). The two guys spitting, Wiki and Hak, really have interesting flows. At first I wasn’t too drawn to it, but I feel like it’s a grower.


There’s a couple lines towards the end that really help to answer your question about where we are in the track. Now the surface level answer would be we known we’re in NYC based on the video, the title of the track, and lines about how they slice cold cuts, but I don’t think that’s what you are going for.

“Think the city has let up?
Yeah-ha wake up
Open your eyes
Wake up!”

On the bridge we have these lines telling us to wake up to the city and that is hasn’t let up. We’ll get to the meaning of that in a minute.

“Think the city has let up?
Better check up
Kids that is fed up Instead of
Bitching and moaning, the get bucked and get up”

Here in the outro we are again told that the city has in fact not let up. Well what does that mean? It could mean a couple things, first in terms of poverty and life in general. NYC’s crime level has famously dropped over the recent decades and Ratking could be saying that just because the crime levels have dropped doesn’t mean that people aren’t hustling and still on their grind. That there is still poverty in NYC and that kids are doing whatever they can to make them some money. Or it could be looked at in terms of hip hop. If it’s looked at in this light it means that the City’s hip hop artists are still out there trying to become big. With all the famous rappers that have come out on NYC in the past, Ratking is making it known that there are still up and coming rappers.


But where are we? Well we’re from the outside looking in. Either we’re people who don’t live in NYC and who aren’t aware of the hustlin’ and grindin’ that are still going on, or we are New Yorkers who are oblivious to this side of their city. It’s easy to put on those rose tinted glasses and ignore the shittyness of your favorite place, or your home. Ratking is making sure that they, along with the rest of the NYC on their grind are not being ignored.

From ‘Cole: A Response to Week Seventeen

“We’re no longer black/ we’re gold from here on out”
-Raz Simone

Raz Simone

The natural resources are, of course, the oppressed peoples, the black folk, those who (as Kanye astutely points out) were shipped over from Africa and now have slave owners’ names. They are the naturally resourceful resources, those who were used like things and moved like cattle but became like gods.

I have to say about Raz: I think he’d be really comfortable in the spoken word scene, because he raps like a spoken word artist. Lack of end rhyme sometimes, and the way he flows, it really just feels like he’s talking to you. Which is cool. Also, his subject matter is up there with the spoken word crowd, activistic.

From Sky: A Response to Week Sixteen

Before I get too far into this I want to drop another video of RiFF and Lil Debbie which I think can be included with the discussion of “Brain Freeze” and (a track I personally love) “Squirt”. If you haven’t peeped “Michelle Obama” you need to!

First, you’re totally right. Why is it that it “works” for RiFF RAFF, but doesn’t for Lil Debbie? Their lyrics are damn near identical. “I should’ve worked at KFC / Rap game Mona Lisa, Masterpiece”? I mean, you can just see that line coming from RiFF’s iced out mouth. Let’s be honest, the fact that their lyrics sound so similar is probably because RiFF RAFF helps her write them. Did you ever think you’d see RiFF RAFF as a ghostwriter? That’s my answer to that.

When it comes to believability, due to the similar nature of their lyrics, I feel RiFF and Debbie get grouped together as “bad”. To put it simply. RiFF is far from “bad” in my opinion, however… Lil Debbie on the other hand? She is bad. I don’t think it has anything to do with her lyrics, which, yeah, some are totally clever, “Stop hating like the cops before I connect all the dots / When it comes to houses, I’ve got more spots than a dalmatian”, and from “Michelle Obama”: “Tint look like the first lady, gettin’ brain in stretched ‘cedes”. Now are these “good” lyrics, per se? Not really, yet in the same track RiFF can drop shit like, “I could glow like the sun at noon / Might change my government name to jody 3 moons” (“Michelle Obama”) and “Ice water on the band with the somersault slam / Body slam competition, frostbit air conditioning” (“Brain Freeze”). [Bonus points if you can tell me what that last line even means]. Why does it work for him and not for her? Well I think it has to do more with a movement than anything. Get ready for some shitty hip hop!

This was a big guilty pleasure hit when it came out. You can even spot Lil Debbie in Kreayshawn’s video. This is just a bonus thing, but here’s how much money Kreayshawn made off her album which only moved a rumored 3,900 copies.

Also, and goddamn, even worse is V Nasty. I mean dat name.

What I find… interesting, I guess… about V Nasty is she drops the N-bomb in her raps despite being a white girl. Here’s her speaking on it… oh and who is that in the background???

This is a fad. Well, maybe I should say was a fad. I don’t know if you’re familiar with Rob Dyrdek, the professional skateboarder who has such popular Mtv shows such as Rob & Big and Rob Dyrdek’s Fantasy Factory. Well I don’t know if you ever watched Fantasy Factory but his “secretary” on the show was a cute little blonde girl named Chanel. Well, Chanel wanted to be a rapper. With enough publicity and, come on, her looks didn’t hurt, and I’m sure with a butt-load of money, she achieved her dream. Chanel West Coast.

(Check that 2:56 mark!!).

Chanel West Coast is awful. V Nasty is awful. Kreayshawn is awful. Lil Debbie is awful. They’re just awful. What Lil Debbie has going for her is her looks.

Chanel West Coast is the same way. (She’s also Young Money) I mean, just look at her video there for “I Love Money”. She’s dressed all sexy and shit. I mean, on the cover of her album Now You Know she’s wearing a see-through top. Go ahead and Google image search for Lil Debbie. So many promotional photos, model photos and twitpics of her being all sexy. I mean, what’s sexier than a girl in lingerie eating pancakes?

Lil Debbie

I think it’s real interesting how involved RiFF RAFF is with these girls. He has connections to all of them. I don’t think he’s ghostwriting for all of them, but I’m pretty positive he does for Lil Debbie.

I guess what I’m saying is that the only reason these female rappers are in our zeitgeist is because they’re bad. Bad not as in terrible rappers, but bad as in mixing syrup, smoking blunts, dropping F and N bombs, acting “ratchet”, dressing slutty.

After all, like Laurel Thatcher Ulrich said, “Well-behaved women seldom make history”.

From ‘Cole: A Response to Week Sixteen

Assonance (noun):

resemblance of sounds.
Also called vowel rhyme. Prosody . rhyme in which the same vowel sounds are used with different consonants in the stressed syllables of the rhyming words, as in penitent and reticence.
partial agreement or correspondence.

“Burn ’em all, slaves to silicon
Corrupt politicians with leaders and their keywords
F.B.I and spys stealin’ bombs”


I feel like I’ve spent my whole life in school to answer this type of question. All my linguistic training and breakdown knowledge of poetry finally comes in handy. Unlikeliest of places, ha! Rap is poetry after all.

And Deltron is a serious poet. He has the techniques down pat. His use of end rhyme is excellent, internal rhyme superb. But what he does best is vowel rhyme.

I mean, look at that quote up there. He does the internal “F.B.I./ spy” which would be dope as it is. But then he has to do “silicon/bombs” to take it over the top.

Kid Koala, Del the Funky Homosapien & Dan the Automator – Deltron 3030

The question is, why do we not see this in other rappers? It’s really because they’re not that good at it. I mean, some are. But it requires a mastery of language and a vocabulary to back it up–or the vowel bending skills of Eminem to make a slant. But in general, this type of perfect assonance is thoughtful, and complex, and can only come from the type of mind that Deltron has.

It also correlates with his subject matter–only a clever mastermind would be able to build a device like this to get his point across. Infectious like a virus.

From Sky: Week Sixteen – Scheme Week

One thing I’ve always loved about this rapper is his flows. In his solo albums he does a lot of straight spitting rhymes–no concept just bars–but can then turn around and drop one of the greatest concept albums in hip hop history.

This week I want to look at rhyme scheme. I don’t see a lot of this style of flow any more in hip hop. My question is, why? Does it work?

From ‘Cole: Week Sixteen – Compare/Contrast Week

I feel like females are underrepresented on our blog.
I don’t think my contribution this week will help much though.

So, you’ve probably guessed that I want to compare and contrast Lil Debbie and RiFF, but it’s only because they are so
Formulaically, that is.

So this week, tell me…what is it that makes him so much more believable?

I’m especially interested in the way their lyrics work. Because if you diagram it out…they might as well be the same person. Damn.