Slow Claps for Cardi: An Album Review

 

Cardi B’s got a new album and y’know… I can appreciate it for what it is. A bop here and there, I fast forwarded through a couple. Overall, I wasn’t disappointed.

From the top, Get Up 10 is brazy. Cardi’s coming out the gate with bars for that ass. I love a good Migos feature and “Drip” is no exception.

“Bickenhead”: a bop.

I can never hear Bodack Yellow ever again in my life, I’ll be just fine.

Now, a lot of folks on the twitters and the grams and the shade rooms had a lot to say about “Be Careful.” Cardi, herself, addressed the flac she got after releasing the single in an interview with The Breakfast Club. But I loved the song the first time I heard it. The Lauryn Hill sample really won it over for me. And to hear that Lauryn, herself gave Cardi the blessing to use the sample – validation.

If you check my track record, I’m clearly Chance the Rapper’s biggest fan. Upon scanning the track list and seeing his name, I actually started the album out of order with “Best Life.” Talk about a personal anthem.

Anything with that Caribbean/hip hop flavor immediately has my attention. “I Like It”: I love it.

I’m not saying it’s wrong, I’m not saying it’s right but I really just loathe Kehlani’s voice so that really shot “Ring” in the face for me. Skip.

“Money bag”: it was cute the first time, but it’s a skip 8 times out of 10.

“Bartier Cardi”: it goes off in the gym.

I suppose the last three tracks were cute. It got a little more reserved, a little more introspective, which was nice. You can’t go wrong with a little SZA… And just like that it was over. I say it was a good show and a solid debut. I didn’t not like it. I thought it was cohesive. There are certainly some bops for the summer time.

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I’ll give it to her. I sincerely hopes she keeps going. She’s already begun cultivating a lane of her own and I definitely see room for growth. Perhaps, the new baby will kick the creative juices into a new gear. That seems to be a thing. Regardless of all that, she’s apart of the canon now. If you can’t find it in some part of you to commend this woman on a job well done, regardless of if you like her music, I contend that you are simply a hater.

*Kanye shrug*

On Lacking Discretion

A lot of the things that happened this past week is primarily a result of niggas lacking discretion.

I purposely did not watch the Amara LaNegra interview on the Breakfast Club. And y’know….

I tried. I tried to give them their roses and commend them on a job well done in pioneering this urban radio thing and putting in so much time in the game and what have you. But I looked at that thumbnail every single time I logged in to YouTube and could not bring myself to click it. Deep down, I knew some bullshit was afoot.

They broke it down real nice on The Read and confirmed my suspicions. Like I said, I try to give Charlemagne the benefit of the doubt, but anytime the Twitter-verse is buzzing with his name, I know from past experiences to stand clear.

I still have yet to go back and watch it for myself. I don’t make a habit of entertaining ignorance. I was disgusted by what I heard, to say the least. Somebody brought up Cardi B (Envy, I believe), Charlemagne brought up Issa fucking Rae (boy.), and Yee didn’t say a damn thing because she’s lacking in a spine too.

Offset with this damn he “don’t fuck with queers” bit.

We all know what queer means. I use the word to describe myself, but it can also be a slur. Regardless, the fact that Offset’s dusty ass don’t fuck with me and mine doesn’t bother me personally. Of course, this has implications, socially. This nigga is a prime example of other ignorant folks who aren’t aware of words and their definitions. As a writer, it hurts me to see words abused. And then to have such behavior justified on the most ridiculous of grounds is outright insulting.

The answer is no.

Moral of the story: All the migos have been on my list since the first time I heard of them saying some homophobic shit. I really have to take them all with a grain of salt because I do acknowledge that these are individuals of questionable constitution. But my god, bitch, simple media training will teach that it’s best to say nothing when you don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about.

And of course, who can forget our dear Agent Orange?

Then there was the whole “shit hole countries” comment and ensuing debacle. And I’m sure he’s said some more nonsensical things in the past 24 hours.

This is really sick. Like really.

So I pose a question: Has everyone just lost their damn minds? Like what’s really good? As far as progress is concerned, it appears that we tend to take a step forward and take any number of steps backward in half the amount of time.

It’s too many people who should know better who are just lacking in discretion. This is the skill that distinguishes humans from the other animals – the ability to use logic to deduce from any given circumstance what they can do to navigate that situation as seemlessly as possible. And yet…

I Can’t Live Without My Radio

Let’s kick off the first post of 2018 with some culture.

I was scrolling through IG and Charlemagne the God posted this.

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As spicy as Charlemagne can be, he has his moments.

Every now and then I write about some of my favorite artists making their way through the radio circuit promoting their newest latest… or trying to save face… or just deciding to drop in. A lot of great artists have been interviewed on The Breakfast Club.

In the context of hip hop, DJs have mythological status. They have a special place in the culture.

I feel like disk jockeys are always portrayed as being “that nigga.” They get respect, they have clout, they usually have a way with words.

They are some of the most memorable characters in television and movies. Of course, Martin and Senior Love Daddy are fictional, but it’s plenty of very real DJs that live and breath this same air that pushed the culture of hip hop.

From people like Stretch and Bobbito who were pioneers of the “urban radio” movement to the vets like Angie Martinez, Ebro, Sway, Heather B, Big Boy, and DJ Envy and Angela Yee, and Charlemagne and allem at the Breakfast Club, they get my respect. The culture owes a lot to them.

Moral of the story: It’s so dope to watch hip hop grow and evolve. DJs were the first foot soldiers of the genre. Somebody had to spin those records, right? Somebody had to play those records at the block parties and the basketball parks.

And even though Charlemagne says some spicy shit from time to time, you can’t knock his influence. He’s been working a long time to afford to be that inflammatory and for that, he gets all my respect.

Oh, Chrisette

Charlemagne the God now holds the blue ribbon for Biggest Troll. I’m just now getting around to watching Chrisette Michelle on The Breakfast Club and damn that shit was painful.

Now I’ve only heard this woman’s name in passing these past few weeks. I don’t listen to her music. She’s never given me a reason to care about anything she’s ever done. My general feelings toward her are indifferent.

But her behavior in this interview was… just…oh, bitch.

Every once in a while, Charlemagne and I are on the same page. His facial expressions were spot on. I felt them. Those faces were my own as I listened to this bitch try to make herself a martyr for change for performing at he-who-must-not-be-named’s inauguration. Girl, wearing your “Basquiat skirt” and singing church hymns does not a martyr make. End of discussion.

Donald Trump has been painfully honest about his views. He’s made it perfectly clear that nobody’s changing his mind.

Nobody else was with the shits.

Not Beyonce. Not Celine Dion. Not Elton John. Not Garth motherfucking Brooks.

And, yet you thought…

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I’m not here for her. Never have been. And now never will be.

 

 

Michael Eric Dyson was on TBC

… and I’m grateful to Dr. Dyson’s mouth that DJ Envy’s time on the mic was minimal.

The Breakfast Club is my top pick for urban radio listening. Though Envy is hella dumb and I still haven’t figured out what Angela Yee’s function is, Charlemagne usually seems to pull off some decent interviews – especially given a particularly impressive string of guests they’ve had in the past six months.

Now, I’ve heard this man’s name in passing, but I’ve never looked into who and what he actually does. As far as I knew, he was some dude with a Ph.d. who writes books and does the occasional speaking engagement. But he was on TBC this morning because he’s got a new book out. The name recognition was enough to get me to click on the video and I have to say, as “woke” black men over 50 go, he’s alright. I thought he had a lot of interesting things to say. His arguments were well reasoned and his critiques of Donald Trump and Steve Harvey were spot on.

I like him. If I had money, I’d buy his book. He seems like an interesting dude and had a lot of smart stuff to say.

You can check it out here.

Sidebar: I scrolled through the comments and I noticed people kept asking if they’d ever interview Tariq Nasheed on the show again (as if Dr. Dyson wasn’t doing it for them).

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Let me just say I don’t see it for Tariq Nasheed and haven’t seen it for him since the first Hidden Colors. The fact that people seem to enjoy his ankh nigga antics and divisive rhetoric baffles me and I’m sure Dr. Dyson doesn’t consort with his type. I couldn’t stomach sitting through more than three minutes of Tariq’s bullshit the last time he was on TBC. So, if we could just let Hidden Colors 15 flop in silence, I’d be most appreciative.