Ransom x Statik Selektah – “Dollars and Sense”
JAMES: Statik Selektah is a favorite of mine and a Please Jam vet at this point. He doesn’t need much introduction, and if you’ve been sleeping on the Pro Era’s tour DJ, just stay asleep because you aren’t needed. Ransom, on the other hand, made headlines in 2013 for claiming to be Nicki Minaj’s ghostwriter. Perhaps that explains that DJ Khaled marriage proposal sample at the beginning. He’s a hard dude to get some information on, and I don’t know much about him. Looks like a Jersey rapper who never made it, and gets in feuds with rappers to keep his name relevant. He’s pretty good though. He and Statik might have something going.
VINCE : This dude Ransom cannot write a verse like Nicki's on Ye's "Monster" or any one of her smash pop songs. So, if he is ghostwriting for her, it's the yawners. Like this joint right here, which is a super-duper, '90s retread yawner. Statik has my ear based on a lot of what I've heard from him, but almost all of it is too hung up on the past without enough dynamism or freshness. I need to hear some new ideas from him soon.
Eminem ft. Kendrick Lamar – “Love Game”
JAMES: I know we did Shady last week, and by that I mean, you gave Em 15 Z’s, but I’m bringing another one back with the rapper now love to hate: Kendrick Lamar. I defy you to rip this song. Starts out a little out-there, but once Kendrick comes in it’s pretty clear what the concept for that track is, and even clearer that these two were on the exact same page. They both went off. Their talent is undeniable. So I’m curious to see, if you don’t like it, what exactly you’re not feelin’ here. Also, if you don’t enjoy “Evil Twin” from this album, then I’mma just give up.
VINCE : I'll pass on this one, too. This is ready-made for frat party singalongs. It's just silly. The whole thing: the silly beat, silly hook, silly concept. The silly emcee histrionics from Em and "Kendrick on his Em." Drunk frat parties will have a ball with this. Skeeter and Tommy will do Jaeger bombs. Clarissa will swallow a little throw while singing the hook. Gator will dance to this with a Smirnoff Ice in hand. And 20,000 at Em and Kendrick's tour stops will go ape when it drops. It's still silly.
Mellowhigh – “Extinguisher”
JAMES: Man, these kids are something else. Earl Sweatshirt might have the best debut album of the year. The Internet seriously upped their game with Feel Good, a sound not heard in pop culture for years but one that almost certainly has staying power. Next up is Mellowhigh, who can straight up spit with anyone. What is that sample they’re using?? I know it, but I can’t place it, and they go exactly as hard as they need to to match it. Not only is the lyricism impressive, it’s like they’ve been doing it for years. This crew is unbelievably polished.
Oh, I forgot about Tyler’s album this year, too. The takeover is coming.
VINCE : The horn sample you're hearing is probably what you associate with M.O.P.'s "Ante Up", which is probably the most amped joint of the new millennium. I like the call-in-response, back-n-forth on the third verse. That was very '80s/'90s of them — very M.O.P./EPMD of them. Very, get this, Trigga tha Gambler/Smoothe da Hustler of them (go study the classic "Broken Language", JC). This album dropped yesterday. Downloading in 3, 2, 1…
RondoNumbaNine ft. Lupe Fiasco – “Life of a Savage”
JAMES: You knew Lupe was gonna go in on a track with a kid from Chicago…especially on a song called “Life of a Savage.” I’m giving an assist to Pusha T’s recent success on My Name Is My Name for Lu’s dope/bars riff. This is the first I’ve heard of Rondo. He’s apparently a former affiliate of Lil’ Durk, and is now out on his own. He’s got a new tape out. You coppin?
VINCE : The hook is very ASAP Mobesque, Ferg in particular. I wanna know the story behind a rapper's mic name being a specific homage to a ball player. Is he related to Rajon Rondo? Did Rondo the Celtic save rapper Rondo's life or something? What is the deal here? Meanwhile, few dudes can rip through trap beats on Lu's level. It's become an unlikely, but winning marriage. But, in truth, I guess there is no beat that Lu can't massacre when he puts his mind to it. I'm glad to see the days of Lu trying to channel B.o.B. and/or Preacher Lu are seemingly over.
And to answer your question: No, I will not be coppin. I'll just listen to Trap Lord.
Curren$y & Smoke DZA ft. French Montana and Big KRIT – “10 Bricks”
JAMES: There’s rarely a disappointment in the life of a Curren$y fan. He just dropped a four-track tape with Smoke DZA. It’s easy to sleep on ‘em because they’re short and frequent. Problem is, you miss gems like this. KRIT is so money on the hook with those horns. Even French turned in a strong verse. As for Spitta and DZA, you already know what it is. Happy Friday.
VINCE : Please jam…