Thursday, September 10, 2015

Song of the Day #197 - Migos - Cross the Country

They saying Migos better than the Beatles!

Alright and for real now what Beatles album starts with anything close to Takeoff's verse on this? Like could going from Revolver to Sgt Pepper's really feel anything like going from No Label 2 to this? During that time, Migos exploded into nationwide relevancy and their flow was being bit by every rapper who thought it looked easy. To their credit, they sometimes made it look pretty easy, and if you thought it wasn't much more than a lot of triplets and repetition you could be forgiven. After all, the seeming simplicity was part of the fun, right? And when you first replicated the hook of "Versace", the achievability is what initially hooked you. I don't begrudge anyone who jacked Migos' flow cause damn it is fun to do, it sounds great over a ton of beats, it allows all sort of experimentation and breakdowns...

I don't begrudge them, but I encourage them to really listen to this song and think about just how much more is going on than saying "Versace" or "Hannah Montana" a lot. Like it really isn't fair how much better these guys are at this than anyone else, it's almost scary that other people are even trying. Probably somewhat naively I hope this recognition is the endgame of this Beatles meme which I alternate between finding funny and problematic but still funny. Like on one level it's just to rile up defener types and does an excellent job at that (like look at the Youtube comments on this one hahahaha) but in the sort of assumed irony of it (the Complex video was pretty unfunny and bad about this) there's a troubling reinforcement of traditional hierarchies of "validity" in music. Really I liked it best where it started, as a little twitter meme among enthusiastic Migos fans that wanted to call direct attention to the artistry and talent that's so obviously on display to anyone who wants to give it an unbiased listen, in a way that doesn't disparage the Beatles at all but just makes a good joke of the juxtaposition of style (but not creativity, talent, passion, or innovation). I think the ultimate theme of this and the previous song of the day is that when someone wants you to love them as a "joke" they are putting in some effort that is no joke.

Oh but on this one is that at all subtle? Does this not sound like some real virtuoso shit? Like look at the lyrics of this beast. That is just three solid bricks of alliteration and consonance and assonance and internal rhyme and complex shifting meter and little opportunities for flourishes and if you think that this was somehow an accident or a fluke or unintelligible I don't know what to tell you. Just sit there and try to enjoy it because if you do there's a whole lot to enjoy.

This is like one of those BTNH classics where you just want to keep listening to it because it seems impossible that they could actually live up to your memories. It just doesn't seem possible when you remember it. I don't even know where to start with great lines but my favorite has to be "I used to smoke Swishas, like a regular nigga/Now I'm a Backwoods type of nigga"... it's so real, so meaningful... but basically every line is actually like this, I'm sure. What a masterpiece! No matter where their careers go from here, no matter what glories they may be elevated to or memes they're reduced to, they've done this, they can never take this away from them. 6 solid minutes of rapping. They actually did it. I don't think I'll ever stop listening to this song.

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