Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Kanye Has Issues/Cam Can No Longer Rap/Soulja Boy > Lil Wayne Right Now/Thoughts on CB

Would hip-hop be better off if this man were a butler? Discuss.

So I'm working on a lengthy post on why Niggaz4Life is a top-ten rap album of all time, but in the meantime, I just wanted to mention that Kanye has issues, Cam can't rap anymore, and Soulja Boy is rapping better than Lil Wayne right now.

1. Kanye has issues.

"People are so gay-conscious now," he told MTV, referring to those who are "scared" of gay people, or of being perceived as gay. "That's like the whole thing like with the internet – every day [is like], 'Oh I can tell he gay now!' But back in the day, people used to have songs like Get In That Ass or something like that. Someone would never make a song like that [today] because they'd be like 'Whoa! I can't make no song like that! People gonna call me gay!'"

"Your dress don't give away whether or not you like a man," Kanye West explained this week...

"Because stereotypically gay people got such good [style] ... they were smart enough to take a fresh-ass logo like the rainbow and say that it's gonna be theirs," he said, celebrating the beauty of the red-and-yellow-and-pink-and-blue. "I've been collecting all of the freshest stuff that's rainbows – Denver Nuggets jerseys, BAPE shoes, Nikes with rainbows on 'em – and saying, 'Man, I think as straight men we need to take the rainbow back because it's fresh.'"

West used to be scared of gay people, he said, but now, "authentic" and "secure in [his] manhood", he can "go to Paris [and] have conversations with people who are blatantly gay".

Not only that, but West regrets having once said that "gays really know how to dress".

"That's when I was ignorant to gays," he said in this week's interview. "Because there's a lot of gay people who don't dress good at all. There's a lot of gay people that I dress way better than."

I really don't get what Kanye's up to here. Yes, if he were gay and bent on hiding it, you'd think he wouldn't give interviews talking about how he's so secure in his manhood that he can go to Paris and have conversations with people who are blatantly gay. Or how we straight men need to take back the fresh-ass rainbow. Or how we need to bring back the days when songs were called "Get In That Ass." On the other hand, if he were straight, why would he do interviews like this? My conclusion is that he is gay and thinks that the only way for him to maintain his closeted lifestyle, since he obviously isn't capable of pulling off the whole acting straight thing, is to talk about gay shit so much that we'll think there's no way he'd constantly bring up the issue if he had something to hide. Anyway, this explains why 808's sucks so much with the exception of 'Love Lockdown,' which of course is all about how he has to "keep it low, keep a secret code, so everybody else don't have to know."

2. Cam can't rap anymore. I know everybody's excited that Cam's back and made a not-so-funny video, and I'm sure when the album drops there will be some great lines and Kelefa Sanneh will have a lot of fun typing them up in his New York Times review (or wherever dude works now) and saying how dadaist they are. But, as all great aging rappers do eventually, Cam has lost his flow (and swag!), and, much like Jay or Luda, has resorted to this gimmicky "let's put a lot of emphasis on every other word" slurry slow flow to hide it. To the point where, on this remix with Gucci Mane and his equally retarded weedcarrier little cuz, OJ Da Juiceman, who sounds like some kind of hopped-up-on-Juicy Juice crack-selling toddler in a playground ("Ay! Ay! Lemme play with the digital scale, Gucci! My turn!"), Cam has the worst verse on the song. Really sad.

3. Soulja Boy is rapping better than Lil Weezy right now. Before I get into the specific evidence for that outlandish claim, I just want to say that, to all the people who make the idiotic argument that music doesn't get better or worse, it just gets different, do you listen to the radio? I do, and this is what you hear: Akon. Plies. The Dream. Akon-Plies-Dream posse gangbangs. The eighth single off I Am An Awful Whore Named Sasha Fierce Who Can't Be Accused of Being A Sellout Because I Never Had Any Integrity or Soul To Sell Out In The First Place. Pop Champagne Part Diminishing-Ass Returns. When they're not playing that garbage, they're talking about Chris Brown and Rihanna. Chris Brown and Rihanna, folks, would not have been famous back in 2002, because Chris Brown and Rihanna have made a total of 3 good songs (Umbrella, Run It, Forever), and back in the good old days of Neptunes Uber Alles, it took more than 3 good songs to be a celebrity couple. Five years ago this would've been the equivalent of a fight between Lumidee and Mario,* and no one would give a shit. Today, they matter because we're in a really bad moment for urban pop music and have been ever since Timbo went back to chilling in his mansion doing steroids. The producers of the moment - T-Pain, The Dream, Polow, Browz, 808s Kanye - have their half-decent moments but mostly just repeat themselves in never-ending synthy vocodered suckitude. Unfortunately, our finest rapper has been sucked into this morass. In the process, he's forgotten how to rap. (By the way, moment you always know when a rapper's fallen off: when his interviews start generating way more buzz than his music - which is happening now with Wayne and Katie Couric.) Meanwhile, Soulja Boy is one of the few commercial rappers out there who doesn't harbor dreams of becoming the next Cher. And, dude's actually improving. Leading to bizarre man-bites-dog moments like this, where Soulja Boy outshines Wayne pretty conclusively on his own "Turn My Swag On" remix (incidentally, the only 'Turn My Swag On' remix/freestyle that's any good).

* Check how on-point this analogy actually is. Like Rihanna, Lumidee had just the one good song ("Uh Oh," admittedly kinda annoying, but so was "Umbrella"), and like Chris Brown, Mario had just two good songs, "Let Me Love You" and "Just A Friend." Three, actually, if you count the amazing remix of the former with Jada. In fairness, "Don't Stop The Music" was alright, but mostly because anything that samples "Wanna Be Startin Somethin" automatically is.


Jordan said...

since it's pointless to respond to such flagrantly asinine opinions, i'd just like to point out that lumidee and mario have three top ten songs and two platinum albums between them, whereas rihanna and chris brown have 15 top ten songs and four platinum albums between them, so excuse me if i'm missing how on point your analogy actually is.

bding7 said...

i never liked 'run it,' i just did not understand what he meant at all. i was always partial to 'yo! (excuse me miss),' it had the perfect puppy love sound for someone his age. also, 'wall to wall'>'forever' in my mind.

everything kanye said just didn't make sense. can you really be ignorant to gay people, or ignorant to their multiple styles, tastes, etc.? i'm not convinced he's the gay one, though frankly, i don't really care. if i were to gues, i would surmise it's one of his famous friends

tray said...

Yes, but all these top ten songs are awful (Disturbia, Kiss Kiss, Take A Bow, Shut Up And Drive, My Nasal Remake of Tainted Love for Preteens, etc.). Six years ago, they would not have so many hit records.

Yeah, Wall to Wall is alright. Run It I like mostly for Juelz, also thought it was one of Storch's better moments.

brandon said...

If you knew who Cam'ron was before everyone started making hyperbolic statements about his lyrics, all the while mocking the very hyperbole that made you listen to him, the flow Cam's got on "I Hate My Job" wouldn't sound all that new or different.

ghengis blond said...

"i hate my job" is good. "forever" is a terrible song. the song about how he and his girl have a painful mutual understanding of the need to part ways is a good egg.

"umbrella" is a classic.

wayne was pretty good on drake's mixtape. you're thinking about kanye too much.