When you look at some of the greatest revolutionaries of all time. Malcolm X, George Jackson. Huey P. Newton, Tupac, and so many others that came before them, there is a common theme amongst them. Before they found their way to consciousness they had been on a path that was totally opposite of what they had come to be known and treasured for. From being convicts, to drug dealers, to thieves, their former lifestyles was necessary in shaping their future. This in turn made them of the people and allowed to still have the respect and talk to people that were still living that lifestyle in order to steer them in the right direction. Lil Baby much like the great leaders mentioned earlier has come out with a uncharacteristic song (called "The Bigger Picture") with a message that he hopes will also steer his people to the promised land.
I can't lie like I don't rap about killing and dope,
From the opening of the track no one would think that this is a Lil Baby track. Not because this is not a topic he speaks on, but the message is usually drowned out with bars about selling drugs and buying expensive cars. Drowned out is the message that black people have been disproportionately harassed and killed by law enforcement. This song was different in that it put the topic front and center. Impressively Lil Baby didn't shy away from the fact that his prior songs weren't directing his people in the best direction but at the same time not a lot of the artists that you would've expected to step up did. Artists like J. Cole and Kendric Lamar who have been known to speak on a more conscious level had been quiet. Lil Baby in this moment choose to stand up and use his platform the best way he knew he could. To help the world see the bigger picture. AND IT WORKED!
One of the most compelling elements of the track is the beat, is it's gritty, uptempo. and heavily trap influenced production show the mastery of producers Noah Pettigrew & Section 8. The beat creates an restless feel. A feeling that you can't wait. There's no brakes. No asking. No more waiting. The only that matters is for a change to happen NOW. Even more power was the opening of George Floyd ending in the worst words you can ever hear. "I CAN'T BREATHE".
Lil Baby's melodic auto-tune voice comes at you rapidly in a machine-gun like tone piecing the beat. His lyrics are an insight into first hand experiences that has happened to countless people who listen to his music. "They trainin' officers to kill us, then shootin' protestors with these rubber bullets. They regular people, I know that they feel it. These scars too deep to heal us. What happened to COVID? Nobody remember. " Lines like these shows a side of Lil Baby that people aren't normally used to. Maybe it's a side that people around him know about, but to the public, this is a side he hasn't shown. But to be honest hip-hop and more importantly the world needed to hear this. Throughout this song Lil Baby is highlighting the very things that has resulted in too many lives being gone. Too many names and faces on t-shirts. Too many mothers and fathers gone. How much it too much? 1.
The Bigger Picture was a gamble for Lil Baby because this isn't what he's known for. But at the same time it isn't because he's always made music for the people. And right now this is exactly what the people needed. This isn't to say that Lil Baby has by any means did as much for the cause as Malcolm X or even Tupac. But maybe this is the spark that we need to help unite the people just like a Tupac would've.
Checkout Lil Baby's new video "The Bigger Picture" below:
Vinson: "The prisons and the graveyards are full of boys who wore the crown."
Rap has always been a competitive sport. And like all sports everyone is looking to wear the crown. No matter how it happened or when it happened as Marlo put it so assertively, "Point is: they wore it." It's a respect that comes with it no matter how much you like or dislike the one who wears the crown. The sport of hip-hop is no exception. It's become a sport within itself where the winner takes all. And once you wear the crown you realize that there's always someone younger and hungrier looking to take it. The Tulsa hip-hop scene is an example of this. Tulsa has a rich history of royalty who wore the crown and have been celebrated during their time. But time is a funny thing, especially the past and the present. In a world of overthrows and takeovers the saying goes, " le mort saisit le vif" or "Long Live the King". Because many times the transfer of power comes at the demise of the former king, and makes way for the new king. But what would happen if both kings could exist? Both helping each other and championing the other? Now that would be an empire. That would be a land of kings. And with that Playya 1000, The Deeksta, and Steph Simon are proving it's possibe on their new record entitled "All Love".
Many might not know this, but this isn't the first time all three kings shared the mic. Steph Simon brought Playya 1000 and The Deeksta out on stage for the Hip-Hop 918 concert last year. And if you were there you got to see why Playya 1000 and The Deeksta are kings. The crowd both young and old alike shared this energy and excitement. It was truly feelin like a Sunday Morning!
I get to the bag,
To really analyze this record you have to start from it's foundation. And this is where The Deeksta continues to shine. His legendary production has always been a staple sound for not only the duo but Tulsa in general. As the soulful samples and G-Funk feel good percussion has been his production calling card. He's set the stage for Playya 1000 to create and come up with some of the dopest punchlines that still continue to amaze hip-hop enthusiasts alike. All Love shows just this the dynamic duo doing what they do best, and yet there's more to the story. It's when you hear Steph Simon spit on the track that you realize what the song's really about. This is two generations saluting each other both past and present. But it doesn't stop there either. The cameo of St. Domonick shows as a salute to the future of Tulsa hip-hop. And if anyone has heard St. Domonick spit, then you know Tulsa hip-hop is in good hands.
Verses used to go for the Gibbs price,
For an MC, having a verse after Playya 1000 would be a death sentence. But for an artist like Steph Simon this was an opportunity to showcase why time and time again that no challenge is too great. And yet this time it's a little different. This is a passing of the baton or better yet an alley-oop to the rim. The influence of Playya 1000 has trickled down to Steph Simon as he has become an artist who spits lines that you have to research. While his mastery of the double entendre is one of the reasons why he is respected across the board, and why he can be featured on a legends track. His flow not only crosses genres but generations of music as young and old alike play his music.
So if you still need a reason to listen to this track the thing to remember is that:
AT THE END OF THE DAY. IT's ALL LOVE!
When it comes to super artists in Tulsa the at the top of that list includes Jarry Manna, 2Peece, and Medisin. Their talents can be seen on numerous classic projects that have helped shaped the sound of Tulsa. Each artist in their respects have racked up millions of streams and a backlog of requests from fellow artists wanting to capture some of their powers to shine on a song. The unique thing about this trio is that they each have brought their unique talents to the Tulsa music scene, as well as huge commercial placements. But what if you put all of their powers together. It would be some type of cheat code. Right? That's exactly what their new project called "Super Sad Bros" is. It's the ultimate cheat code. But to them the project has been hours of hard work and a tight rope of balance between the right amount of each artist on a track. But to their competition this project doesn't feel forced. Matter of fact it seems so effortless some would say they were on Autopilot, which is the name of one of the tracks on their Super Sad Bros project.
It's a fucking hit! That was my first impression just 10 seconds into the song. The layered vocals of Jarry Manna opens the track with a smooth wavy delivery. You just want to be Jarry Manna, and this track proves why. His presence and ability to ride the beat is another reason why his fanbase reaches so far and every time that he drops a track the numbers are crazy. Even more impressive is the anticipation as the beat builds. This is that fist pump music. Where the dude that's had way too much is in the middle of the floor saying, "Just wait for it." 2Peece really shows his production range as the beat seems to take off into outer space. And just as the rocket reaches the atmosphere the moon man Medisin steps out into zero gravity and floats on the track. His voice guiding you through the cosmos and continuing to ascend to the moon. The listener is right there next to him to experience this intergalactic trip. This is a very intricate song but again they make it seem effortless.
Autopilot can't easily be summed up because that wouldn't give justice to the complexities of the track. On the other hand over-analyzing this track would also be wrong. The happy medium is to say that this track is a feeling. The type of feeling that helps you escape if but for 3 minutes and 54 seconds. The feeling that your in your own music video where the camera follows you around like Usher's video U Remind Me. It has that crossover feel that can be used in commercials and could even have a Kidz Bop version years later. It's when the bass pounds against the speaker that gives the same kind of heart pounding feeling of being in the center of a club dancing carefree with your friends. No worries about bills. No worries about work. Just that feeling in time. That feeling in space. So if someone asked me to sum up this song, I would answer. It's the same thing that differentiates us from robots. The feeling.
Go checkout the track "Autopilot" now on Instagram as well as on YouTube:
Mode. Today Keezy Kuts has time with the recent release of his video "Mode". On the track Keezy Kuts shows off his melodic voice and proves his mastery of auto-tune as he uses this instrument to help deliver various vocal pitches and hit higher pitches. His aim is impeachable as he is able to find these pockets that accentuate his presence on the track. Even more clever is Keezy Kuts slick wordplay as he maneuvers through different rhyme schemes rolling tightly around syllables that are packed as full as his pre-rolls. It's no wonder why Keezy Kuts puts this track on his Pre-Rolled 2 project, which within itself is jam packed with hit after hit.
To be lost at sea is to be lost in your thoughts. The vast waters crashing against the boat are similar to the thousands of thoughts colliding in the mind. Each idea fighting to stay alive. Each a struggle to be top of mind. Ayilla is an artist who is taking on the waves of a relationship in her latest video "Lose Your Love" that features Jeezmino. The song is the 4th track on her debut album "Crazy As We Are".
Kobe said it would be days like this! Days when you don't feel like working hard. Where you don't feel like proving the naysayers wrong. Days where you just want to BE. Anyone that knows Kobe knows this isn't possible. He's the black mamba. When the lights come on Kobe is no longer in control, it's the Mamba! Anyone that knows K.O and her latest song "I Don't Feel Like Rappin" knows that when it comes to competition she's always up for it. That feeling is just for the moment because she is a different person when the lights come on and she hits the stage.
I've never seen a worker rock so many jewels (never!). This is undoubtedly the boss Jay-Z talking his boss talk on the record "Bam". Nowadays the lines between who's really running the show and someone who is just putting on a show are getting more and more blurred. In many cases it isn't the loudest person in the room. But everyone wants to be a boos right? But as Jay-Z states again, "Everybody's bosses 'til it's time to pay for the office. 'Til them invoices, separate the men from the boys". 1st Verse is an artist who is also challenging all those who talk the boss talk, to walk the boss walk."
Champagne. A celebratory drink that has been around for centuries. But to even be considered Champagne your drink has to be produced from grapes grown in the Champagne region of France and in the European Union it's against the law to even label your drink as Champagne if not grown there. The drink is so culturally popular that it even has it's own etiquette for all to follow. Hakeem Eli'juwon has similarly grew up on an etiquette and code that he talks about on his new track "Keem Home".
If time is of the essence Detroit artist Ang is making sure to make every second count with her single "Tick Tock". The Detroit rapper dropped 3 track project called "Wanna Move" on her SoundCloud page. The nursery-like intro is fitting because this track is slept on. But it's the hard pounding 808 bass kick that really wakes up the track. The 3 part bass drop has influences of West Coast Bay Area production that can be heard in songs such as "Thotiana" and "Bounce Out With That". This makes it easy to you lose track of time which isn't long being that the track comes in at just under 3 minutes.
Beethoven's 5th Symphony. No composition musically has compared to this piece of art. The first 4 notes are as recognizable as the golden arches that sit high above approaching cars signaling that McDonald's is near. The visual that these golden arches give McDonalds are the same visual that these note give the Beethoven's 5th Symphony. In just 4 notes the listener's brain is able to process and unfile a memory of the song. It's the first 4 notes of SoufWessDes's song "Tap In" that has the potential to make the this song just as recognizable. The main difference being that SoufWessDes is the conductor of the symphony and is making the whole world "Tap In".