audio review : Poppin Tags ( song ) … Jay-Z + Twista + Killer Mike + Big Boi ( featuring Sleepy Brown )

This song would be better without Twista. That’s not a knock on his rap skills. All four verses are up to par. It’s just that, with Sleepy Brown, Killer Mike and Big Boi already being associated with each other, he seems out of place, especially considering the fact that Big Boi fails to mention him when name-dropping each rapper as if Jay-Z included him as an afterthought.

It’s a good song though, despite Brown emulating the beat on the chorus, which I normally detest. What saves it is the slight alteration in melody, though the song would be less repetitive if there were a new layer; not just Jay-Z ad-libs; added to each break. The title is a reference to buying expensive clothes, which makes this not only baller music but maller music.

my rating : 4 of 5

2002

audio review : The Blueprint 2 [ The Gift And The Curse ] ( album ) ... Jay-Z

a DJ Kay Slay rap collaboration : Rolling 110 Deep

2021

audio review : Blame Game ( song ) … Kanye West ( featuring John Legend )

The most endearing part of this song comes near the end where a semi-funny Chris Rock engages in a dialogue with what is supposed to be Kanye West’s girlfriend. She sounds awkwardly copy-and-pasted, retarded or drugged out of her fucking mind, but it’s cute how she says what she says. Though neither voice should be panned to the left or the right because its supposed to be “Yeezy” listening from his mono phone speaker, the background piano music is as beautiful as the Dark Twisted album title suggests.

Lo-fi drums come and go, but that music, which is at times highlighted by what sounds like a violin, is looped from start to end. That’s a winning move, along with the chorus. The “for sure” part sounds out of place, but it’s a nice chorus, especially when Kanye West replaces John Legend and adds his own melodic touch. If nothing else, that part supports my point that it’s nice vocal melodies, not nice voices, that matter most when it comes to the quality of a song. As far as intimacy goes, John Legend distracts.

There should be an unknown voice as the “local dude” West’s chick cheats on him with instead of Chris Rock. It’s certainly conceivable that a pretty “bitch” who’s leeched onto the dick (heart) of one wealthy celebrity would leech onto the heart (dick) of another, but it’s not supposed to be that way. He’s supposed to be a “neighborhood nigga” who couldn’t afford to buy the watch he wanted. That artistic blunder throws the concept off a bit. Then again, Chris Rock is a professional actor, so I guess it’s okay.

my rating : 4 of 5

2010

audio review : My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy ( album ) ... Kanye West

audio review : Jewels N Drugs ( song ) … Lady Gaga ( featuring TI + Too Short + Twista )

Structurally this one is a bit of a mess. There are two hooks, the second and best of which doesn’t come until after the half point. “We know how to make that money,” Gaga sings. So she doesn’t want yours. She has her own jewels too. What she wants is your drugs and your love; the former of which she can buy with all the money she has, the latter of which is an irrelevant subject nothing else in the song deals with.

The Too Short feature is surprising. As long as he’s been rapping, I don’t think he’s ever been featured on a song by an artist this popular before. But there should only be one verse by one rapper; of the three, I’d pick TI; and his verse should come not at the beginning but about where Too Short’s is. Three rappers with little to no association with each other only crowd the song in an awkward trap remix sort of way.

my rating : 3 of 5

2013

audio review : Artpop ( album ) ... Lady Gaga