Not an Album Review

Honestly, I can’t say I have ever called myself a Jay-Z fan.

His was a wave that I missed, as fate would have it, and I never really got into it.

And I’ve heard shit about Jay-Z being a top pick for the hip hop heads of the internet. How innovative he was, how he sold drugs then turned to rap and just fucked the game up, how he married the baddest bitch, Queen Beyonce – yeah, I peeped the resume and still, I wasn’t a believer.

But this shit right here.

This shit right here.

This shit right here.

This album is being touted as Jay’s Lemonade. I think that’s a pretty accurate summation of this record.

And for the same reasons I loved Lemonade, I love 4:44.

I think it’s a beautiful thing when people show that they’re human. It’s becoming an increasingly prevalent habit for us to forget it. Jay’s made the transition – in my catalog – from a figure to a full form human being.

 

I’m not lost on Jay’s ability to produce a banger. I saw a couple of his videos on 106 & Park when I would sneak and watch it as a young, black tot.

The production on this album though! It’s amazing.

To paraphrase Anthony Fantano, the internet’s busiest music nerd, this album kind of sounds like it could’ve been released on Stone’s Throw records.

And Jay isn’t on that typical get-money-fuck-bitches tip that I’ve come to know him for. He actually talked about someone other than himself for a good chunk of the project. Blue, Bey, his mother, his marriage, his thoughts, his feelings, legacy.

I just admire growth. And to that, I say kudos to Mr. Carter.

I gotta say, he really surprised me with this.

*throws up the rock*

 

Bad Mutha Shut-Yo-Mouth

I really can’t even lie… I fucks with DJ Khaled.

Like on some real shit, the man is the shit. Not only is he business savvy, but he puts on a damn good show. In every sense. I start my days, most of them, with his snapchat story.

Sidebar: I’m a loyal one. I still haven’t been won over by the Insta Side.

That is truly someone who works and lives what he speaks – unapologetically. He’s very well adjusted to this 21st century life. He’s tech savvy. He’s got deals with Beats and Jordan. He’s practically the king of social media. If you won’t concede that, he’s certainly mastered the medium as a means of personal branding.

He’s aspirational.

He looks good.

He seems to be enjoying life.

The relationship between he and his son makes me like infants just a little more. That is the happiest baby I’ve ever seen in my entire life.

Screenshot 2017-06-25 15.10.03

Asahd just handles the cameras like a G. I mean it’s almost as if Khaled’s constant reinforcement that his son is a don, a mogul,  a legend, god’s gift to earth, or whatever else he says to empower that baby.

An empire is on the horizon, I feel.

One of RussellSimmons/RickRubin/DefJam or Puffy/BadBoy or JayZ/RocNation proportions. This man is smart. This man is focused. This man is talented. And say what you want, he’s talented. He certainly has an ear for quality shit. He recently posted a video of just him speaking into the camera saying he’d had some offers from major record companies to become president of those respective labels. Of course, a video on the gram is a minute so he didn’t go into much detail but…

B I T C H.

giphy

Y’all remember that: “We taking over!” 

Like that song is damn near a decade old and I still know all the lyrics and rap along every single time I hear it.

But I don’t mean to dick ride or anything. I listened to Grateful and aside from the singles and the song with Chance the Rapper (of course), I really could do without a second listen.

But “To the Max” goes off. I think it’s going to be my summer song.

“Wild Thoughts” goes off. I love it.

He could’ve missed me with “I’m the One.” And that’s okay. I don’t have to like all his songs to know that Khaled is a bad mutha shut-yo-mouth and that he’s quickly on his way to the stratosphere.

All that said, all praise to DJ Khaled and the young don, Asahd. They’re the tops. I only wish good things for them. I’m truly inspired by them and y’know… they’re really two of the most refreshing people in the world right now.

And hell… give this man his roses NOW. He’s really a treasure.

**ALL pics courtesy of dj khaled’s instagram**

Give Em Their Roses

We’ve all heard the saying “Give them their roses while they’re living.” And shit, since I have this blog, I’d like to pay it forward.

Y’all realize how many treasures we have in the world that we just take for granted?

In honor of 4/20 the first to be honored in this series is none other than Mr. O’Shea “Ice Cube” Jackson.

I’m actually sitting here listening to his interview on Snoop Dog’s GGN Network and listening to him talk, he still has a solid head on his shoulders. Even though I personally wasn’t alive when N.W.A. was in full swing, from what I gather, that’s always been the case. Cube is a smart man. From writing raps to writing movies, the man is gifted with the pen. (Something I’m personally enamored with.)

F.R.I.D.A.Y.

Nuff said, right?

Not only is this man responsible for a cult classic he acted in that bitch and showed the fuck out. Friday wasn’t just a “hood movie.” It was a movie about responsibility and friendship. It was an interesting story. Well written. Well executed. Just a classic.

The growth that I see in this dude is astounding. I always knew Cube was one cool mofo, but I don’t think I cultivated such a profound respect for this man until I saw Straight Outta Compton. On the surface, it looked like Eazy ran the show and, no doubt, Eazy was a business man. But I don’t care how you look at it, ain’t no N.W.A. without Cube.

There’s no Fuck the Police without Cube.

There’s no Friday franchise without Cube.

There’s no Boyz in the Hood without Cube. Like the character of Doughboy is still one of the most interesting characters I’ve ever seen in a movie. Never forgot.

giphy (4)

In fact, I would go so far as to attribute the current sound of the west coast to the precedents set by Cube, N.W.A., and the whole “gangsta rap” movement.

This man is a national treasure. Give him his roses.