I suck at math, like really bad. Go on, give me any math problem, and i guarantee I won’t solve it, because most likely, I’ll have literally no idea what you’re talking about. Now I know theoretically, music is all math, and as far as that goes you can say I have an understanding of numbers, but not really. There are a few mathematically gifted artists though, who unlike me, seem to have an affinity for numbers, and even like to use them, in music. Today, while reminiscing on J-Kwons wise words, I decided to compile a short list of songs where, counting in some way, is essential.
1.) 22 Twos – Jay Z: Lyrically, Jay didn’t count during this unbelievable rap, but he must have been counting in his head as he rattled off Twos like the 0s on his checks.
2.) Sheena is a Punk Rocker – Ramones: No one has counted to 4 more times then these guys. They’re legends in the counting game, I’d even push for a Ramones based kindegarten curriculum. ONETWOTHREFO
3.) Are You Gonna Be My Girl? – Jet: Counting with attitude. A little more complex then the Ramones. I never knew reciting 1 through 6 was such a pussy magnet, at least not until these guys rolled though.
4.) Tipsy – J Kwon: Teen drinking is very bad…unless you’re counting. If you’re counting and drinking at the same time, either you’re counting how many BP cups you have, which is competitive and cool, or you’re a loser and you really need to make some friends instead of sitting in the corner counting and drinking.
Oh shit, look at that, I can count. Next week we take a look at how I learned to spell the word bananas.
And ‘Watch the Throne’ has finally dropped, and almighty duo has finally dropped their first full length collaboration. I’ll tell you one thing off the bat, I wish this collaboration happened earlier. If it’s this good now, imagine how good it would’ve been like six years ago. Unbelievable.
The album starts off decent, with a Frank Ocean guest spot in ‘No Church in the Wild’. The beat is pretty cool, I like the guitar sample, and Frank Ocean is always good. The imagery in the lyrics seems a little forced though. Then it leads in to a clubby Beyonce feature. An obvious future single, and that’s just about it as far as substance goes. ‘Niggas in Paris’ probably has he best verses of the album so far. It’s kind of a transition into the better sections of the album. Then ‘Otis’, which is a great track, I originally thought it was to repetitive, but I’m falling for it a bit more each time. ‘Gotta Have It’ has a cool beat that’s kind of a collage of Kanye’s beats over the years. ‘New Day’ is a pretty good introspective track about each rapper’s future sons. It provides a smooth, much needed calming point in the album. Then there’s ‘That’s My Bitch’, which is definitely a stand out track on the album. The moment I heard it I knew Q-Tip had a hand in making that beat. ‘Welcome to the Jungle’ comes through as a pretty good headnoddin’ track following ‘That’s My Bitch’. The guitar sample is great and the staggering snares through the verse drive the track pretty well.
‘Who Gon Stop Me’ was apparently called up for the album by the record label, which doesn’t surprise me, but it wasn’t a bad decision. This is a pretty good dubstep banger actually. I’m definitely going to hear it way to much in the following month though. ‘Murder to Excellence’ is a great sudden escape from the excess of dubstep. In interesting track split between a Murder half and an Excellent half.
‘Made in America’ is probably Frank Ocean’s better feature, but when he says Sweet Baby Jesus all I can think of is Talladega nights. I love the Mr. Hudson sample on the following track, ‘Why I Love You’. That song with Caspa he had, ‘Love Never Dies’, was unbelievable, so it’s good to hear it come back, and possibly have a decent resurgence off this track.
I got the bonus version, so I’ll mention those tracks as well. ‘Illest Motherfucker Alive’ is decent, no stand out off of this album though. Then there’s H.A.M. The last two bonus tracks are awesome though. ‘Primetime’ contains an awesome old school sample with a great piano progression. Then that’s followed by ‘The Joy’, a Curtis Mayfield sample, one of the best tracks on the album. I’m so confused as to why ‘Primetime’ and ‘The Joy’ are bonus tracks when they’re two of the best tracks.
‘Watch the Throne’ is an album of some good tracks, some bangers, sprinkled with touches of absolute genius, and some amazing tracks. Get past the for sale pop filler, trim some of the fat, and this album contains some truly legendary material.
A few days ago I posted Gramatik’s remix of ‘Stairway to Heaven’. Now check Joneses mash up of that remix with Jay-Z. Dirty.
Cool video on collaboration, and the fact that a major portion of creativity isn’t the ability to create something completely new, but to take someone old, and turn it into something new.
Jay-Z has expanded his empire once again. Life + Times showcases the rapper’s tastes in style, sports, gadgets and music. The lifestyle website is aimed towards young men with a degree of class, moving upwards in life. The rapper has proven to be as adept at the art of business as he is at the art of music over the years and this website seems to be yet another intelligent decision by the emcee.
Had a pretty good country/jam band/southern rock listening session on the drive back into Boston from the Cape today. Check these southern covers of rap hits.
Pursuit of Happiness – Barbara
99 Problems – Hugo