Thursday, May 03, 2007

Top 10 Favorite Rap Songs, Part 2

5. "Yeah," Usher, featuring Ludacris: The music to this song could carry it alone. In fact, it did for the campground I worked for where we played the song sans lyrics for the sake of the kids. Even without words, it still incited more crowd energy than any other song we played.

The featured stanza by Ludacris might be the best of its genre. Let's face it, most features are either a lame stanza with the sole purpose being to get a famous guy into the song or irrelevant noises in the background like "uhhh na nah na nah" or the reptition of the rapper's name (Mike Jones, we're looking at you). Ludacris nails his feature though, even masterfully stating how great he is in terms of pinky value. His is over three hundred thousand, dollars presumably. According to Borders, my fifth digit is closer to $0.0067.

My old roomate (I will not mention his name to protect his identity but we shall call him N. Shaw, no, scratch that, Nate S., yeah, Nate S.) once paraphrased this song as an AOL away message:

"Wanted: Lady on street, freak in bed."

His girlfriend was not amused. He is no longer her boyfriend.

All that to say, take this song, rewind it back, and stick it at #5.

4. "Get Your Roll On," Big Tymers: I once thought this song referred to the marijuana industry, or Big Weed, as I like to call it. The ridiculous nature of this made me laugh at their wit. Imagine my dismay when I found out the song referred to cars and not, in fact, joints.

I also once totaled my car while listening to this song at a high decibal level. Having invested a Charcoal Gray '93 Honda Accord in the song, I figure I should invest a Top 10 spot in it as well.

The Big Tymers get their roll on, their mf'ing roll on, all the way to #4.

3. "California Love," 2Pac, featuring Dr. Dre: Good enough to sit in the parking lot and listen to on the radio. Even when you have a plane to catch.

Plus, everyone knows the best thing that can happen to your work (be it musical or literary or presidential) is to die young. 2Pac's song is no exception.

This song is out on bail, fresh out of jail, California dreamin', and sitting pretty at #3.

2. "Let's Get Married," Jagged Edge: "Then I think about, all the years we put in this relationship / Who knew we'd make it this far?"

"Said I done it all, but frankly girl I'm tired of this emptiness / I wanna come home to you and only you."

"I'm ready to commit to you."

Nope, I'm not on my Barry Manilow kick again. This is straight out of a rap song from Jagged Edge. And don't worry, I didn't believe it either when I first heard it.

A rap song encouraging marriage - truly a pioneering effort in the world of Snoop (see #8) and songs such as "I Need a Girl to Ride." Jagged even gets all 17th century Marvellian on us by dropping the line, "We ain't gettin' no younger so we might as well do it," though I believe Marvell's intentions to be a bit more insidious than Jagged's, if you can believe that.

I have consistently said that when I find a woman who fits one of these two criteria, I will buy a ring:

A) Willing to go to Gettysburg, PA, for our honeymoon.
B) Willing to have this song as our first dance.

Perhaps I should make plans for option C) Celibacy.

In the meantime, Jagged edges up to #2.

1. "Wu-Tang Clain Ain't Nothing to F*** With," Wu Tang Clan: The first thing you must know about this song is that it references "Family Feud." Yes, the "Family Feud" of weekday afternoon game show fame. This is genius.

Secondly, they rhyme the word "ruckus" with the phrase "f*** with." Poetic license, if I've ever seen it, but it works. I couldn't pull this off. You couldn't pull this off. Most rap artists couldn't pull this off. The Wu-Tang Clan just barely can, and it works beautifully. This is genius.

Thirdly, the line: "I slam tracks like quarterback sacks for LT." This is genius.

Mix Family Feud, an ex-Tar Heel football great, and Chinese martial arts all together under the masterful guise of the Wu, and you get my favorite rap song of all time.

The best part of the song is that you can divide it up into five parts to be sung in layers. The baseline, the percussive line, the "melody," the foreground vocalist, and the background vocalist. This makes for a great group sing, especially when you have five people, say, like a high school cross country team or something. My high school cross country team sang this song on a lot of warm-up and training runs the year we won the state title, which still stands as one of the happiest days of my life.

For a couple months, we sang "Wu Tang Clan ain't nothing to **** with." Deep down, we also knew that Sun Valley Cross Country '99 wasn't nothing to **** with, either.

A combination of a great song plus a great corresponding life experience makes the Wu untouchable. Like SVCC in '99, it stands alone at the top.


Jeff said...

If you want beef then bring the ruckus...
and 3 cheers for celibacy.

Oakley said...

I'm sad to see that Mo Money Mo Problems didn't make the list. As a tangent, (since i forgot to mention it last week) three cheers for almost two full hours of Addison in G.A. last week. Am I wrong??

Anonymous said...

ugh addison shmadison, the episode last week sucked... but maybe her new show will be good

looking forward to this week though.. and still crying over meredith's stepmother and dad