Song of The Year-Recognize by Bun-B featuring TI & Big K.R.I.T. produced by Big K.R.I.T.
I’ve made the argument that the pop sphere is larger than it has ever been due to the ability to find anything. The gatekeeper role of radio and upper level music executives isn’t anywhere near as important…but I’m willing to make the opposite argument now. I think it is possible that due to trending patterns on social media we have less pop music than we ever have before. What happens is a new album drops (maybe its Eminem maybe its Nicki Minaj) it is just the largest name that week and that album gets blogged about and all caps shouted at by the whole world. So that giant internet information space turns out to be a giant garage with one car parked in it.
So while people were coming up to me saying “What do you think about this Eminem?!” I was shrugging and asking them if they had heard Bun-B’s new album Return of The Trill to blank stares. Firstly, I thought all the hip kids were pro-UGK now…shouldn’t we be supporting? Second, all the criticisms of Eminem’s Kamikaze are resolved within Return of The Trill. Bun asserts himself without discounting the younger generation.
Production wise Bun linked with his greatest musical partner post-Pimp, Big K.R.I.T. The Mississippi mastermind produces half of the fourteen songs on Return of The Trill. In movies, TV, books whenever the South is portrayed it is either an authentic take or reeks of artificiality. You can tell when you press play if no one involved in making it actually knows or cares about the South. K.R.I.T. makes beats that are deeply southern with gospel flair (see Traphandz) and the same kind of speaker shaking movement peak UGK brought to the speaker.
These beats fit Bun like the perfect coat. On his best lyrical performance (Recognize) he steps up to the microphone and says “My wordplay is intricate influence significant motherf**kin’ magnificence and my influence is integral charismatic and sensual f**king up your centrifugal. With trill pumping all through my ventricles gladiators and sentinals peep you through the peripherals. I see you p**sy n___as out the optical catch yo ass when its optimal…” The song is one of the year’s best moments and while the album might get a firm friendly handshake critically it won’t get to be POP and you can justify that in lots of ways. You could say that pop music should be this or that and Bun doesn’t fit those parameters. Whatever. Return of The Trill isn’t the best album of the year but it’s better than the junk we spend so much time yapping about.
After you watch the video up top check out Bun breaking down the bars
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Tagged Big K.R.I.T., Bun-B, Eminem, hip hop, Kamikaze, Nicki Minaj, pop music, Return of The Trill, Texas hip hop, TI, trending, UGK, underground hip hop
Worst Song of The Year-Juice by Future
Future released his new mixtape Project E.T. it’s a DJ Esco mixtape but it’s obviously Future. Stereogum and Pitchfork (& others) are saying that Future sounds tired. This is code. He doesn’t actually sound like he needs to catch 8 more hours under silk sheets or take a day to himself on the couch with ice cream and romantic comedies to recharge. He’s just been hitting the same two topics way too hard. 1. Drugs 2. His hatred of Ciara. As mighty as DS2 was it was pretty much those two topics for eighteen songs.
I actually like Project E.T. more than others, it has bangers and less depressing content (in spots) and a hall of fame Juicy J feature but I have a hard time returning for repeat listens knowing that Juice is sitting right there waiting for me. The song starts with the O.J. Simpson verdict being read. He references O.J. Simpson and murder in a creepy sing song before flat out saying “Trying to F*** my baby mama dog what’s up with you? You gon’ make me get the heat, I’m pullin’ up on you.” WHAT?! You’re bragging about sex with hordes of women you have no regard for but you are going to shoot anyone Ciara has sex with? Ciara is supposed to curl up and cease to exist? Look, I can totally digest an album where Future owns being a sh__y person but I can’t do four, five or six of them. These things have a shelf life. You loved the movie Dumb and Dumber but if that was a TV show…how much of it could you have really done? When is the last time you rewatched old Beavis & Butthead?
Morally the song Juice is brutally abhorrent. Ciara has done a lot for music and deserves respect. It’s sickening when a successful rapper turns his anger away from his real challenges (industry competition) to the women who desire and like him or used to. Women get picked on in rap too damn much and while Future had a sloppy divorce and deserves to be able to discuss it, Juice is not a song that a grown up makes.
Sonically the song Juice is tedious to its bones. This isn’t Eminem-Kim this is Eminem Relapse. The same way Em slipped back into that stupid serial killer character to cover up for the fact that he was in an artistically unsure place, Juice is a great way to divert away from reality. Future is not going to kill Ciara and he’s got to deal with life as it is, he could use his music as a way to deal with that. He doesn’t and were all kind of tired of him missing the obvious stuff that needs talking about.
Future isn’t tired.
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Tagged Atl, Atlanta hip hop, Ciara, DJ Esco, Eminem, future, Juice, mixtape review, O.J. Simpson, Project E.T., Song Review, Southern Hip Hop