Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Song of the Day #329 - ScHoolboy Q - THat Part (Black Hippy Remix)

The search and laws and verse of the birth I nest, the awe, the curse of a pose in zest, the good, the flaws, the pain to reverse what's left

I was planning on writing about Blank Face today, but then I saw it was 1h12m long and didn't think I had the stamina. Tomorrow hopefully. I also saw that the version of "THat Part" on there was still just the Kanye version. Now, don't get me wrong, I love Ye's verse on that thing... I mean, "Beggars can't be choosers, bitch this ain't Chipotle", and rapping in front of the school bus, c'maaan... but I was really looking forward to this much-hyped remix, which I had avoided listening to 'cause I thought it'd be an album spoiler. So I went to look for it and... it's nowhere? They took it off their soundcloud, which killed most articles' links, but then systematically rooted out and eradicated every other trace of it. It was actually pretty impressive, and sorta frustrating too - I'm not used to failing at this sort of search. I eventually thought to use soulseek, which ofc had it, thanks slsk. But what's the deal? Why'd they "rescind" it after freely releasing it on soundcloud? The hypest possible interpretation is that there really is gonna be a Black Hippy album and they're reeling in their hype-bait for it. I mean uhh sure Q's said in several interviews lately that it isn't in the works and probably won't happen, but that's just to continue building hype! Somehow! This is the reality I have chosen.

Can you blame me, hearing this? Don't you want to believe a whole album of this? The ability for TDE artists to hop on any collaboration and just blow everyone out of the water is pretty much unmatched these days, and they become only stronger when competing with themselves. I feel the key is their adeptness in keeping everything in the "mode" of the most unique rhythmic aspects of the beat while still going "ridiculously in". Like here there's the energy of "that part" on the hook, like, you have a typical sounding line that stretches a little over on the last syllables, and then is punctuated by the quick aside of "that part". You associate it with the pattern of the beat, and you can hear it influence the flow on the beats, such that when they really start going in with those signature "everything rhyming, alliteration everywhere, jaw-droppingly dense" multi-line super-lines it feels especially "defiant", "victorious"... does this make any sense?

It doesn't really have to make sense, though. It isn't the important part. The important part is what is being said. That part. It is one of those situations where the standards for what I can point out have to be kept very high, or else I would just post the entirety. Umm... the fact that "Get Top on the phone" has become a TDE meme is super hype for me. The way Kendrick's verse flows so quickly from Jay Rock's but he spends a few bars in that crazy echoing panned thing is even more hype... in fact, every sonic effect they've used on this track is just mindblowing. But the density of Kendrick's rhyme scheme is even crazier. Someone on rapgenius uploaded this beautifully colourful chart, and it isn't even complete. And the little laugh at the end... how does he keep doing it? Can we really let him get away with this? The way Ab-Soul can still have fun with every side to his hippy ideals while saying something meaningful is impressive. RIP 3Pac, ZHG.

But the winner is still Q. The way he transitions from his individual accomplishments, to hyping up his crew, to ruminating on the meaning of it all with a suddenly distanced perspective, to raging against the brutal injustices of the week immediately previous. I don't really want to get too political on this blog, I don't really have a very educated perspective and by saying anything I feel like I'm somehow asserting that what I have is something worth saying, that I represent an underrepresented or significant voice, when really my privileged lifestyle allows me only a safe and remote glimpse of the reality. I really hope that it goes without saying that I support BLM and find the unchecked police murder of black people in America abhorrent. This seems obvious to even someone as distant from the situation as me, but the agonizing controversy around it, the flames fanned by the scum that is the alt-right, proves me wrong. Getting wrapped up in these online arguments sometimes lets your perspective drift from the reality, from the violence on the street that night. Q's direct naming and scarring judgment snaps you back. It is powerful. I fear that it will only become more powerful.

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