Rap Songs of the Week: Gunplay Plus Dubstep Minus Lil Wayne Equals Everything
Plus, a Ciara refix, a laughing but very serious club jam from Schwarz, Sean Falyon, and Western Tink
This week’s five songs are all over the place. We’ve got a bass remix, a #BASED club song, a rappin’-ass hero and problematic human being owning a dubstep beat, post-screw Tumblr rap from Texas, and a sober cautionary tale to bring you back down to earth. Enjoy.
Ciara “Body Party (Remix by Kutcorners & Marvel)”
With the Mike Will Made It-produced, Future co-written “Body Party,” Ciara finally gets the type of song she deserves. See, it’s been a rocky few years for the mid-2000s Crunk&B singer, and though her last two albums had some highlights (Fantasy Ride’s black-out drunk anthem “I Don’t Remember”; Basic Instinct’s too-club-for-the-club “Gimme Dat”), both albums were pretty much subsumed by the unsubtle anti-ballad moves of EDM. “Body Party,” however, is a tender, inviting, doin’-it song that matches the attitude and vulnerability found on 2004’s Goodies. “Body Party” doesn’t need to be remixed. It probably shouldn’t be remixed. But this remix from Kutcorners and Marvel, one half of Vancouver crew the Freshest, takes the original’s “My Boo” bass nods, shoving them out of slow-jam territory and out of competition with the original. It works. Might I also recommend this fart-joke parody refix from YouTube user King Quinno: “Honey, after I ate that Jalapeno burger from Hardees…I had a body party alright! It was a straight-up circus in my stomach!” My apologies to anybody who actually clicks that link.
Lil Wayne, feat. Gunplay “Beat The Shit”
A by-the-numbers dubstep beat drops just like it’s supposed to and Gunplay makes a bird noise and then: “I’m a knuckle-throwing knucklehead/ What that motherfucker said? / Bring that ruckus up in here / Throwing bottles, chucking chairs / Got the pretty models ducking, breaking heels, and chipping nails / Turn around and go right back to breaking down my cigarillo / Climbin’ up with sugar hill / Sliding down into something new / Spilling gin and jungle juice, and I got that lumber too / And I brought a fucking zoo, tear this shit up and chuck a deuce / This Triple C, they triple L, lames love to lose / A hundred million in my horoscope, about to show you a horror show / Boot your fucking head off your collar bone/ Them niggas suicidal, bums flinching at the sight of arms / Pussy niggas ain’t eating, but we fry the farm / Beat a nigga down until he left without a vital sign.” There’s more song left, but there’s no need to listen. Actually, just turn off Wayne’s I Am Not a Human Being II after that and move onto something else.
Schwarz “U R Beautiful”
The tastemaking U.K. rap blog Southern Hospitality called producer Schwarz “the Jody Highroller of Soundcloud.” Works for me. A few weeks ago, he put out a better-than-it-needed-to-be Xiu Xiu “trap remix,” and he’s a frequent collaborator with E-40’s weird-ass son Issue, so yes, he very well could be the Riff Raff of remixes. This week, he released the video for his absolutely ridiculous, but very, very sincere rage-out, “U R Beautiful.” It features Schwarz in a Nicki Minaj Hot Topic t-shirt, in his underwear on a swing, and staring into a mirror longingly like he’s in a Douglas Sirk melodrama, mouthing the non-stop, self-help chants of his better-go-viral banger: “You’re beautiful…anybody telling you anything different right now is full of fucking shit! You look sexy as fuck right now. Let’s fucking get it!” Also, a multitude of friends get down in a plant-filled studio apartment to this twister of industrial gurgle, B-more club, and Detroit techno. Imagine if someone remixed Alien from Spring Breakers’ on-stage cult leader appeals to “big booties, y’all!” and, well, you’d approach the insanity of this song. Just don’t laugh too hard, as Schwarz himself tweeted, “SMH at anyone that thinks this is ironic or a joke. I’m soo for real. Don’t be scared.”
Sean Falyon “All The Paper”
Imagine the up-at-3 a.m. illegal-business anti-boasting of Kevin Gates’ “Narco Trafficante” and the spirited posi-trap correctives of Kendrick Lamar’s “M.A.A.D City” in conversation with each other for four tension-filled minutes. This track is the denouement of Sean Falyon’s insider-outsider next-to-the-hood concept EP, DECEMBER — the moment where Falyon, on the straight-and-narrow for now, at least, is confronted by a cousin who he can’t talk any sense into, no matter how down-to-earth he gets with his “Dude, just stop” advice. “Think about the consequences / Your old lady and your kids / If your momma was alive that be sure to lay her dead”; then responding as his cousin, Falyon raps, his voice screwed down: “Fuck all that you’re talking / I just need hit a lick / And that bullshit that you preaching ain’t gonna feed me and my kids.” Hard to argue with that. Also, consider the title, “All The Paper,” which suggests the clueless selfishness of low-stakes criminals. They want all of the money. All of it. Appropriately, the song ends unresolved, with no minds changed, and egos bruised.
Western Tink, feat. Beautiful Lou “Short Texas”
Beautiful Lou, stand the fuck up! Besides, of course, producing this go-west noir of a beat, cribbing moves from sample-slicing NYC beatheads, DJ Screw disciples, and the digitized psychedelia of Internet rap all at once, Lou does one of those awkward-in-a-great-way guest verses, channelling, say, Mr 3-2 on UGK’s “One Day” or Suga Free on an old DJ Quik cut: “Since I was younger / This life never made no sense / You get money and you die / And that’s pretty much it / I started thinking, ‘Hmm, how’m I gonna get this cheese?’ / Lean mean money-making machine, chiller please / If I get it, it gets got, if not, motherfuck it / Ain’t trying to bust my ass for no damn Gucci bucket.” He forces a few of those iffy rhymes to work, calls himself “a taco-eating little bitch” on the intro, and hiccups and gulps his way through his verse. It’s a character-actor scene-steal on an album fronted by Western Tink, an absurdist side-player himself, who raps, “I put my pants on one leg at a time just like you / Except when I puts mines on, I make it look cool.”