hip hop music

May 10, 2006

The Best Nigga Who Ever Spit

Even when gets a bunch of stuff wrong, which is almost every time, I always love seeing Robert Christgau write about hip-hop. This foray into the world of mixtapes is no exception (on either count.. it's get familiar, Bob!)

Explorations in Mixtape Nation

"far more than indie-rock collectibles, mixtapes tap the world's endless musical reserves—and render hip-hop-is-dead rhetoric ridiculous."

It gets me every time, and there's barely any music to it. Mainly it's a naked voice—mellow, soft-edged, playfully playground, flowing liquid over bass drum and down-low "Gold Digger" hook, which now signifies not "Ray Charles" but "classic Kanye you're always happy to hear again (so far)." It's a Q-Tip freestyle, and though it follows the Busta-meets-Pharrell expostulation "Followers"—"Shinin' brighter on niggas just like a f**kin' halogen/Spit clearer than water 'cause I'm lactose intolerant"—please believe that it stops the show.

He "ain't really sayin' nothin' exactly." So try to imagine Q-Tip's simple words not just scanning but lilting: "Bite my style yo they bite my style/Turn up the music little bit more now/There's the knob turn it up more Joe/And then we gonna spit this next verse and then we gon' go/Because there's radio shows by the dozen/But none is fuckin' with this one cousin/It's the Clinton the Sparks . . ." It's lovely, infectious, virtuosic. When you obey Kardinal Offishall on the next track and Google "the best nigga who ever spit," you get nothing, which seems just...

...Someone should write a book about the mixtape world, which encapsulates hip-hop's complexity. It's dangerous, creative, materialistic, and uncontrollable, up from slavery and on both sides of the law. But as a music critic in for a quick look around, all I can say is that the eight or nine examples I've been sampling are mind-boggling...

Posted by jsmooth995 at May 10, 2006 3:19 AM

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