Rittz - "Indestructable"

Early in his career, Rittz cemented himself as one of the best choppers alive. He's effortlessly fast. Most choppers want you to see them sweat, they make a whole performance of pushing the very limits of human endurance.

And that shit is corny as hell.

Rittz has too much faith in his bars to resort to gimmicks like that. Rittz is a Georgia gentleman: cool, calm and conversational. Steeped in rock and soul, capable of actually singing, he's been a reliable source for quality hooks since his mixtape days. That kind of clout leads to excesses like the 90 second extended intro here, but it also led to excesses like Stankonia or Maggot Brain -- great damn albums, in other words.

Now, it's quite probable that the next Rittz LP, Last Call, won't be that good. Rittz has been under some bad influences lately. He came up with genre-mongrelizing male model Yelawolf, whose career is a bloody trail of Dr. Moreau collaborations, stillborn hooks staple-gunned to the corpses of Scott Storch leftovers. Then he found a home at Strange Music, the epicenter of prog rock hip hop for Juggalo-curious MMA fans.

Despite all that, it's impressive how much Rittz has remained his own mammal.

This video treatment is pretty fucking hilarious. That is not intended as a compliment. This is shot so competently it highlights the total lack of imagination in every frame with the crisp clarity of an Ansel Adams print. The result is somewhere between an 80's After School Special and an Adult Swim meta-parody, the spectacle of a zombie powered by its own entrails.

One Dicky because this is Rittz. Can't find much else to redeem it, I'd just feel weird giving this nothing.


Skepta - "Hypocrisy"

Skepta is both wealthy and successful, thanks to his commanding stage presence, his multiple income streams, and the fact he's one of the few listenable British rappers alive. So it's a pity his lyrics verge into such cheap rubbish. Read that last sentence with a British accent to get it right.

This one, too: "Every day I'm pissing and shitting on this hypocrisy"

It's been a rough year for hooks, in an ugly decade for hooks, in a genre that never cared much for hooks to begin with. Even by those standards, Skepta was born at the right time. The Anglosphere has been losing their shit for decades, of course, but the past two years have seen it finally implode into infancy, all piss and shit and dick jokes. Trump is but a symptom. These motherfuckers are gone, and Skepta may have just the soundtrack they need.

Or he may grow into something better eventually. "I declined some amazing dinners" is a nicely cut sentence, for instance. I'm educated enough to grok the fact he's talking shit about the Queen Mother in the second verse, something I support. Burn it all down. Anytime the UK wants to exterminate that entire family, I'll start taking them seriously.

Here in our Post-Eminem wasteland, most celebrity punchlines are cheap hyperbole. In this case I'm inclined to believe him. What the fuck does a son of Nigeria care about the House of Windsor? The British are weak, frail animals, but none are more fragile than their ruling class. As Churchill once famously remarked, "Inbreeding is a hell of a drug."

This video is a bright, colorful and clever piece of work. I'm confident that I'm far too American and white to appreciate the references here, but I'm going to say it's a tribute to Street Karaoke, the only Nigerian TV show I've ever seen. This is what serious music critics do: we make it about ourselves.

One Dicky for the folks who directed & edited this here video. You're the real heroes.


DISPATCHES: Post Malone - Congratulations ft. Quavo

Post Malone is the ugliest girl I’ve ever seen. His physical appearance wouldn’t matter if he had talent, but all he does is ape the movements and inflection of a million other almost famous white rappers. Watching this video elicits heavy despair and sullen contemplation. Within a single viewing, I can feel how distant, far and unreachable the righteous path has gone; I can somehow also smell his breath through the moving images.

Austin Post “Malone” should be a mistake. Three-hundred and ninety-million views, and only one out of every 12 people watching, slam the dislike button. That is a deliberate conspiracy against the good, perpetuated by villains behind curtains I know not.

As the confetti flies over the sound of descending trap snares, I give thanks for the happy accident that he is he and I am me. I would bear the whips and scorns of time a millionfold as a peasant girl in the Middle Ages of Europe to not be this rap hippy soft Drexel Spivey Kid Rock in vocal blackface. His lyrics? An ode to winning the corporate music lottery. His flow? Expertly crafted to cater to the label overlords, so much so, that I have to assume this dude was probably a teacher’s pet, an A+ plus student in school; that is, if he did, indeed, write this piece of shit. He may have searched for originality at one point in his life but it is evident that he’s come up empty.

Wikipedia writes that his vocals have been described as laconic, but I feel that to be imperially merciful. They are distilled banality, pure purposelessness save 21 year old hedonism, on a level that could only come from a place where the sterile mathematics of profit over content control it’s subjugates; stringless, wooden-brained meat marionettes vibing with people who may have had talent at one point, hoping that they can cover up the shame and embarrassment of being walking dead. Thrust forward into life without entrails or pithe, hanging on Instagram or Twitter like life-sustaining IV drips, for a check that will dissipate faster than their momentary fame. YO POST! Congratulations.

How long do we let it slide? How long before it all falls down and there’s no time left? Do not let the The Thing Behind Your Eyes become a ghost. If you are reading this, you do, in fact, deserve better, for you are now with the gods. Brush your teeth, grab a molotov cocktail and start running. As always, the power to do and be better is microcosmically and macrocosmically dependent on you, and you alone.


Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire - "Manboy"

Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire has always been a great name, but somehow it becomes even greater when you see it on Wikipedia. That's a big deal for any mammal. This cat is proof that you can get famous for fucking up -- a proud hip hop tradition that spans from RA the Rugged Man to Lupe Fiasco.

A damn good thing, in other words. Artists are fuckups, bud. Ask Johnny Cash.

eXquire's path was inevitable. Projects like Kismet are way too much for the likes of the Universal machine. He is the best possible mix of brilliantly smart and bluntly crude. He is also a born surrealist. Even his most stripped-down, classically rapping-ass rap video was full of Jodorowsky touches. (If you haven't seen "The Last Huzzah," fix that ASAP.)

"Manboy" kicks off with some Anticon shit over some old-school CGI footage of conception. Then the verse starts. A video treatment that looks corny at first starts getting compelling as fuck. Front to back, this is a great study in making low-budget ideas work. The key to separating yourself from the average mog is doing at least three times more work than the average mog.

Out of all the shit I've written about this year, this morsel right here gives me the most hope. My favorite shit about rap music, aside from the dope rap music, is watching artists evolve into the monsters they were meant to be.

A strange, dope video; a wall of bars over a minimalist beat; an honest lunatic at the top of his game. There's no way I could give this less than four Dickies in good conscience.