Allow us to reintroduce ourselves: Our name is Rec-Room Therapy. Each week, we discuss recent hip-hop tracks.
Today, Shy Glizzy and Jeezy plan their funerals; A$AP Rocky assembles a decidedly not everyday coalition; and DJ Khaled would like you call him.
Shy Glizzy ft. Jeezy: “Funeral (Remix)”
DC’s Shy Glizzy hasn’t quite crossed over from regional star to household name, but he got a little bit closer in 2014, thanks mostly to “Awwsome”, a hit from his El Jefe mixtape. Later that year, he returned with another mixtape, Law 3: Now Or Never, which featured the standout “Funeral”. And much like “Awwsome” got a high profile remix (with 2 Chainz and A$AP Rocky), “Funeral” has received a bolstered revisitation, this time with Jeezy. No much has changed on the K.E. on the Track production aside from the Jeezy verse, but since the conceit of the track is funeral-as-party, the more the merrier, right?
PHIL: There’s something about Shy Glizzy’s helium voice and the ridiculous wish list… I just can’t stop thinking about Crazy Legs.
“You got a dream funeral, Glizzy?”
“Yeah, I got dream.” [Giggles]
CLYDE: One quick note on funerals. I’ve never understood people making demands for what they want to happen there. They’ll be dead! No need to be particular once your cold hard body is stuffed to the gills with formaldehyde and methanol. Any of my loved ones who happen to read this, please know that if I die before you, I don’t give shit what happens at my funeral. I literally won’t have a care in the world.
Now, the song. Who could have predicted such a sober and introspective meditation on mortality and the human condition would come from- hahahaha j/k.
This shit is dope though. Messrs. Glizzle and Jizzle do a good job of riding this beat. While I’m sad that Glizzy didn’t get to “fuck all the bitches that he really wanted,” it’s nice that he shows some concern for his family in his imagined absence, wondering who will take care of them. And I love hearing Jeezy talk about having life goals like paying off his mama’s house and establishing a trust fund for his daughter. Grown man shit.
And about that beat. Here’s a fun fact: According to a 1997 study by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, adding a gospel choir to a song makes that song 57 percent less likely to suck. They’re the PEDs of music!
MARCUS: Maaan alive this is great. It’s like the aftermath of Meek Mill’s “Amen” or something. Like, Meek and his homies turnt up at the club too much and now they’re at the crossroads (speaking of songs with gospel feels). Shy Glizzy’s voice distractingly sounds like Lil Wayne with hayfever, so while I appreciate what he’s saying, I guess his voice will always drive me nuts. Jeezy comes through here like a streetsweeper though, just swinging his “grown man” hammer and knocking out everyone in listening distance to this track. Jeezy’s officially at that “revered veteran status” now, so he’s pretty much expected to do this and more than delivers. For the purposes of Glizzy’s distribution deal with 300 Entertainment, this is a good look as I’m certain this will be a radio hit. Very impressive work here.
JOSE: Funerals are really a person’s moment to shine, and Glizzy gets it. He’s thinking about his legacy. People are gonna be talking for a while about that coffee cake at the wake, as well as that fabulous white linen suit he wore as they lowered him into the ground forever.
All joking aside, Glizzy’s got a lot of work to do if he wants any of these funeral wishes to come through. This song is a good starting point, with its soulful, gut-dropping Southern beat. Keep at it, Glizz. You’re on your way.
And, yes, Jeezy is surprisingly lucid and considerate in his death wishes. It’s a nice counterpoint, even if he did rhyme “God” with “God.” (That’s Rick Rossian raps right there.)
Also, I’m all about any woman who looks like Taraji P. Henson (COOKIE MY DREAM LADY, YO). I’d like for her to read my eulogy, but we’d film a couple of different versions while I’m still alive (so we get to hang), and screen the appropriate one and blooper reel at my funeral.
MARCUS: Glizzy bit Ross’ style and made it fresher. Word to Eminem.
PHIL: Honestly, when Jeezy steps on this remix, it makes me realize how much I wasn’t enjoying the preceding three minutes all that much.
PHELPS: I am fine with accepting that, as a man who is 7/8 of the way to 40, Glizzy is not a rapper for adults at this point in his career. Is he good? Is he bad? I don’t know, mostly because fucking Runco dropped the Crazy Legs video and destroyed my ability to be subjective.
The beat is great, and Jeezy is laudably laconic over it, spitting the grown man gangster shit. But even now, all I can think of is, by rapping about funerals, he just set himself up for (PLEASE, PLEASE) Freddie Gibbs to tee off on his soft ass over this track. But I do fux with it.
LEAH: Really tho, Marcus says it all when he says “Shy Glizzy’s voice distractingly sounds like Lil Wayne with hayfever.” Not much I can say after this mic drop, except this sounds like Green Eggs and Ham to me because of the simplicity of the lines and that most end with “funeral.” Is Glizzy the modern adult Southern rap Seuss? Maybe. But maybe we’ll only really find out at his funeral.
AARON: Note: Do not go to Shy Glizzy’s funeral.
I mean, it really just sounds like an operational clusterfuck. First we have to deal with an estimated attendance of 10k+. Then there’s parking, security, firearm valet, condom sponsorship, etc. Just seems like a logistical nightmare.
The fuck outta here son. I really don’t know how I feel about Glizzy. I feel Jose’s ambivalence on this one: I don’t hate him, but I do know that I’m tired of these newish rappers trying to force a legacy all in my grill. (Big Sean, I see you, goddammit ).
This song shoulda been all Jeezy, or Jeezy and Jadakiss or Gibbs. Fuck it: I would take Yeezy on this track if we are really talking about a celeb funeral with some real potential for attendance. But not Glizzy.
The production is predictably ok, if not a little weak and corny, but the subject matter at hand (dying and someone actually caring) really calls for some heavier talent rapping.
And, yes, dude’s voice is awful.
A$AP Rocky ft. Rod Stewart, Miguel & Mark Ronson: “Everyday”
Thus far, the only thing remarkable about the rollout of A$AP Rocky’s forthcoming Eat.Pray.A$AP is how unremarkable it’s all been. There have been three songs – , “Multiply”, “Pretty Flacko 2″, “M’$” – and while it’s murky on whether or not they were proper singles, none of them felt like the big-budget sequels you’d expect to songs like “Goldie”, “Wild for the Night”, and “Fuckin’ Problems”. Now, with the June 2 release date of A$AP.Laugh.Love rapidly approaching, Rocky has dropped a song that makes up that gap, at least in terms of names on the marquee. It’s called “Everyday”, and it features the WTF combination of Rod Stewart, Miguel, and Mark Ronson. The track was produced by Ronson, a retro-fetishist who has dabbled in hip-hop for years now, but is just now starting to get opportunities from rappers themselves. (See: Action Bronson’s “Baby Blue”.) Last week, Rocky also reveled the cover art for A$AP.And.A.Gentleman, where the crucifix tattoo and birthmark of the late A$AP Yams’ is superimposed on his face.
LEAH: This feels like an alternate universe where instead of RUN D.M.C and Aerosmith, we got A$APs and Small Faces. Except it sucks. And, please, someone give Miguel a lollipop. His whining is so fucking annoying.
AARON: There is something troublesome in this new trend of: rapper(s) + old white dude = iTunes money. It feels like so much pandering.
It’s a deeply disturbing analog to the interesting times we live in. It’s like when Patrick Stewart said: “People will not listen unless you are an old, white man, so I’m an old white man and I will use that to help people who need it”
Does hip-hop really need these kind of awkward cross-generational team ups? Where is the value? I mean, Jay Z and Puffy have already proven that you can, through will power and record sales alone, actually turn into an Old White Man if you just believe in yourself and become the Illuminati that you want to see in the world. Hip-hop has spent decades trying to wrestle independence from Mr. Charlie only to find itself cruising the retired ranks of the mom-rock crowd for a quick buck.
I just don’t get it.
I’m a big Stewart fan but let’s get real-nobody needs this.
At this point A$AP Rocky is dead to me. Can’t wait to go to his (figurative) funeralllllll.
MARCUS: On one hand, this is the best A$AP Rocky record ever. On the other hand, that’s because of the combined efforts of Mark Ronson, Miguel and Rod Stewart.
But let’s break this down even further: All Rocky ever was supposed to be was the model/robot/talking head that would execute Yams’ most alt-mainstream concepts, so I guess that actually makes all of this completely fine.
The shitty thing about this is that once you put Rod Stewart and Miguel together on a rap record, you’re now opening yourself up to a litany of terrible ideas. The idea that I want the most? Wale, Barbra Streisand and August Alsina.
No, there’s also Ty Dolla Sign, Phil Collins and Trey Songz. Wait, that’s actually not terrible. Ugh. Now I’m just frustrated.
Don’t hate the player here, hate the game.
PHIL: Last year, a guy in Wales baked the world’s most expensive load of bread. He replaced water with champagne. He rolled it in flakes of 23-carat gold. He made it three feet long. He called it the Royal Bloomer. Giving “Everyday” to A$AP Rocky is the equivalent of baking a Royal Bloomer to make an Oscar Meyers bologna sandwich.
JOSE: Ronson may be shamelessly ripping off other people’s music to create his Franken-beats, but he has always had excellent taste and an ability to piece together gorgeous pieces of music. This track really is excellent, going through multiple dynamics and styles, but that organ progression always serves as a linchpin and giving it cohesion. Rod Stewart does a pretty decent impersonation of an obscure soul (read: black) sample from the 1960s, and while I know most of y’all don’t share my enthusiasm for Miguel, he does what he’s supposed to do: sing a hook about being skeevy while consuming substances.
Rocky is better than he’s been in a long time, which is to say he’s alright. No memorable or particularly impressive raps on this track from him, but not like any of us were expecting this. I can see this turning into a minor hit thanks to their collective PR machines. It’s a decent filler track on an album.
CLYDE: Good god I hate, Hate, HATE this hook. The rhyme pattern sounds like something I would have turned around in 15 minutes for a sixth grade English poetry assignment.
MARCUS: Ayo Clyde…you got any of those assignments sitting around? I’m trying to make like, $40k on Soundcloud and Youtube clicks right fast. I swear to you, we’ll split it down the middle.
CLYDE: Moms still got the notebooks in the attic. Let’s get these publishing dolla$.
Also, no one Stans harder for Rod Stewart than my Mom, and I know she would be disappointed that I shitted on his hook like that, but I have to speak Truth to Power, Mom!
PHIL: My mom is an English teacher and she would take her big red pen to the incorrect usage of “everyday.”
PHELPS: I know that “selling records” doesn’t mean much these day, but you’ll still get dropped from a label for not “selling records.” A$AP might need to watch his ass this album cycle. I’ll be generous and say he has maybe generated 30 “M$” youtube views over the course of every trash single that he’s released lately, and that equals out to the much much less than <M$ total of about 60 grand for whoever’s fronting the dough.
If you aint even a YouTube famous rapper anymore, you ain’t dating models and popping bottles and spilling on your long purple tees no more.
It would be fitting, I think, if this whole A$AP stuff falls back in the wake of Yams’ death, and some of the more aggressive and entertaining guys continue elsewhere. Rocky is neither of those.
DJ Khaled ft. Chris Brown, Lil Wayne & Big Sean: “How Many Times”
Announced in April of last year, DJ Khaled’s I Changed A Lot has been pushed back a lot. (SWISH.) The delay has partly because it’s singles – “They Don’t Love You No More” and “Hold You Down” – didn’t hit like “I’m On One”, “No New Friends”, or “Take It to the Head”. The Miami famous person (what does one actually call DJ Khaled?) hopes to get back on track with “How Many Times”, a Lee On The Beats-produced song that features the lovable crew of Chris Brown, Lil Wayne, and Big Sean. You may ask: “But wait, Cash Money artist DJ Klahed put out a record with Lil Wayne? Isn’t Birdman going to be pissed?” Good questions! Dj Khaled just announced that he has parted ways with Cash Money.
AARON: JESUS, TAKE THE WHEEL.
I have been holding my breath for a track like this. You know that fire you dream about at night?
“Oh lord please send me a track with that ‘DJ’ that yells a lot and snorted up his entire career? You know the one that’s ‘DA BESSSST?’
And please God, can you put a serial abuser and classless fuck-up like Chris Brown on there, because I don’t quite feel dirty enough? Pretty please?
I promise to hate myself forever and ever just like you want if you can see fit in your glorious vision, to put THE MOST IRRITATING RAPPER OF ALL TIME BIG SEAN ON THAT MOTHERFUCKER PLEASE?!”
This song displeases me. Weezy is 15 minutes from falling off. Khaled is a goon. Big Sean is a pest. And I would like to fight Chris Brown with knives.
MARCUS: I love DJ Khaled. I really do. When rap was ostentatiously wealthy, he was the perfect “rap game David Stern,” his seven top three Billboard rap chart albums served as the perfect all-star game for all of the stars of that era’s rap-as-NBA. Now, rap is more like the Developmental League and there’s Khaled making records with the very few stars left from this now long gone era who are still logging minutes and trying to “Kiss The Ring.”
It’s not that this is a bad record. I mean, the first 55 seconds of that video are pure DJ Khaled tomfoolery (and I’m both stunned and overjoyed that they exist), but yeah. I don’t know if modern rap cares about DJ Khaled posse cuts anymore. The D-League’s “commissioner” is obviously a shared post held by Mike WILL and DJ Mustard, so Khaled’s just sitting there alone on his throne at the top of a hill that nobody’s trying to climb anymore.
Rap’s in transition, so the best thing Khaled could actually do is throw this album up on Bandcamp. Sure Khaled’s the best…”forever…” but forever is a mighty long time – in this case, longer than 2000s era rap stars can remain viable and relevant.
PHIL: Those 55 seconds set the scene for the song to come: creepy, awkwardly aggressive, and lacking any self-awareness.
Chris Brown, dog, you don’t get to say, “I fuck you right / Got you walking from side to side.” Physicality towards women – sexual or otherwise – is off-limits. No one wants to hear that shit. And who is encouraging you to rap? You make Big Sean sound hot.
Speaking of Seany: Does he realize that the tape is rolling halfway through his verse? It sounds like he was giving himself a pep talk in the booth.
PHELPS: You know that your cachet level has dropped when you have to shoot a video in a Rainforest Cafe with a brutal woman’s face destroyer. On the other hand, it made me want to go watch The Wire since Little Kevin is clearly DJ Khaled’s spirit character.
LEAH: How many times do I have to shower after watching this video? Shit’s disgusting and cringey. FOH.
PHELPS: Just go into their rainforest and cleanse naturally.
MARCUS: Leah, the question remains: “Who do your friends love?”
I’m sorry, but that’s pretty much the most terrible quote ever and it gets worse when these club-going females all nod in assent in Khaled’s direction. Deplorable. Did I still laugh though? Of course. Because crying wasn’t really an option.
I guess this is what happens when you suffer from success.
PHELPS: Do you think he’d lose weight if Sweetgreen gave him a salad “How Many Thymes”?
JOSE: How many times is America going to give Chris Brown a second/third/eightieth chance? Fuck this dude. And fuck DJ Khaled for being such a goddamn controlling misogynist as well. So many insecurities. If you really da best producer, why do you have to keep telling everyone? That ship has sailed, and it’s distinctly Mustard colored.