5. "Y'all want to bite his sampling/ Screaming, 'I got tracks by Dilla', nigga -- Charles Hamilton," -- Supa Emcee, "Dillatroit" Lyrics
This week saw the release of producer James "J. Dilla" Yancey's posthumous album, Rebirth of Detroit. The lyricists who appear on it obviously include plenty of nods to Dilla's legacy, but it's not all sad and mournful. Here, Supa makes a light-hearted reference to a 2009 incident where rapper Charles Hamilton listed Dilla as an "executive producer" on one of his albums, without consent or knowledge of the producer's estate, family or seemingly anyone else in the world. Hamilton then falsely claimed to have Dilla's mother's approval, to which she famously responded, "The only Hamilton I've ever heard of was on the bill." While this lyric doesn't quite live up to Ma Dukes' classic retort, it's still great, and thus makes our list.
4. "And it's going down like elevators to where the lobby is/ And tonight, I'm on that brown like Bobby is/ It's my prerogative, I could show you how to live/ Every little step you take'll be in shoes Guiseppe makes/ My tenderoni, the one and only/ Fuck me two times in case the first one get lonely," -- Fabolous, "Ahh Shit" Lyrics
Bobby Brown, despite having his last big hit back when the first George Bush was president, continues to be grist for rap references and jokes. Fab cleverly works the titles of the singer's biggest hits ("My Prerogative," "Every Little Step," "Roni") into one long pick-up line. And yes, we still remember how to spell "prerogative," something we freely admit to learning only when Bobby's song became an inescapable grammar school sensation.
3. "Turn on me? Be in a mental infirmary /Determinedly advance technology better than Germany," -- Rakim, "The Art of Rap Freestyle" Lyrics
Ice-T's superb new documentary, "Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap," features a capellas and freestyles by dozens of top-tier artists. But even in a crowded field that includes Eminem, Kanye West, Lord Finesse, Grandmaster Caz, Melle Mell and lots more, Rakim Allah stands alone. The pioneer's short freestyle reminds us that he expanded the realm of what was possible in this art form, and that, despite the rarity of his creative output in recent years, he's still on top of his game.
2. "He spit bars, son, rarely/ This MTV -- I'm in a different car, son, daily," -- Fred the Godson, "MTV RapFix Live Freestyle" Lyrics
There is a long tradition of radio and TV show freestyles that use the host's name. MTV's Sway has been the recipient of a fair number of those himself, dating from his days as a radio DJ with King Tech on "The Wakeup Show" (Eminem's "Spraying wreck with my man Sway and Tech" remains one of our favorites). But this must have come as a surprise even to him. While on MTV's "RapFix" program, Fred not only works in the name of former network host Carson Daly, but does it as a crazy, mind-bending pun.
1. "Let me elevate how the modern dude raps/ All I need is one bar like 'Allahu ak-,'" -- Soul Khan, "Soulstice 4" Lyrics
Soul Khan is one of our absolute favorites. He's opinionated, smart, funny and gives great interviews. Oh yeah, and he can rap, too. These closing lines of his newest release admittedly flew over our heads at first. "Allahu Akbar" is a common Arabic phrase that means "God is great", and the "one bar" here refers to both the letters B-A-R in that statement -- missing when Soul says it -- and the one "bar" of music he needs to rap over in order to change the game. Once our head stopped spinning, we clearly anointed this line the best of the week.
Hot Songs of the Week
DJ Khaled - "On My Way" Lyrics
Frank Ocean - "Pyramids" Lyrics
Hit-Boy - "Jay-Z Interview" Lyrics
French Montana - "Pop That" Lyrics
Hodgy Beats - "Fordabitches" Lyrics
Justin Bieber - "As Long As You Love Me" Lyrics
Kid Cudi - "Good Tuesday" Lyrics
Soul Khan - "Soulstice 4" Lyrics
The Weeknd - "Our Love" Lyrics
Check Out 10 Rising Rappers for Black Music Month
- Ca$h Out
- Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire
- Lee Mazin
- Marcus Manchild
- Rockie Fresh
- SL Jones
- Tito Lopez
- Worst Hip-Hop Jobs
- Lil Wayne's Wikipedia "Discography" Updater
- Snoop Dogg's Tour Bus Driver
- Guy Who Cleans Up After a Rap Show
- Bodyguard for Jay-Z & Beyonce's Daughter Blue Ivy
- Tax Attorney for Lil' Kim, Big Boi, MC Hammer, Nas & Many More
- Birdman's Car Washer
- Nicki Minaj's Hair Stylist
- The Weed Carrier
- Hip-Hop Quiz
- 1. Which of these jobs best describes your daily 9-to-5?
- 2. When you wake up in the morning, the first thing you throw on is:
- 3. You've just won the lottery. The first car you run out and buy is:
- 4. The person you'd want most to sit shotgun in your new ride is:
- 5. Your idea of a fun night on the town is:
- 6. Your idea of a "classic" video is:
- 7. Your drink of choice is:
- 8. In your spare time, you'd most likely be spotted:
- 9. Upon seeing your date get hit on at the club, you calmly:
- 10. You'd prefer to prove your hip-hop cred by:
- Nicki Minaj