September 10th, 2012
Remember When Jay-Z Threw Philly A Bone And Let G.O.O.D. Music Close Out The First Night Of His Budweiser Festival?
Jay-Z shows up on this blazing track called “Clique” that’s brand new. It is a very self-aggrandizing song that boasts about who he, Kanye and Big Sean associate with. It’s a meandering beat with a variety of paces and tones (and is that a UMC’s shoutout we hear?). Perhaps most ridiculous is Kanye’s claim of “my girl a superstar all from a home movie.” Of course, there’s plenty of generic and slightly forgettable mention of how much money they all have and how luxurious their lifestyle is. But as the release of Cruel Summer approaches (9/18, supposedly) on G.O.O.D. Music and Def Jam, we’re still kind of theorizing and postulating about which tracks will make it to the actual physical release. You can be pretty sure that the superhit and MIA-rattler “Mercy” will be there. Almost to our chagrin, you can almost definitely expect Cruel Summer to make as much of a splash as Watch The Throne. Certainly not critically, but as windows slowly get rolled up as we cruise into fall, you’ll undoubtedly hear the strains of “Clique” wafting from booming car systems.
Still the question remains: how long will these hip-hop titans who specialize in lifestyle swag-boasting be idolized? And as we creep into the election season, and stories are told of struggle and the middle-American dream of a full-time job that affords hard-working normal people to feed their children (well) and put a roof over their heads, how can we blindly bob our heads to bragadocious rhymes about rubbing shoulders with NBA superstars and celebrity friends? Even Jay’s short verse, where he brags “Yeah, I’m talkin’ ‘Ye, yeah, I’m talkin’ Rih, yeah, I’m talkin’ Bey” is vaguely obnoxious. It’s true, most of us, and for that matter, not a ton of rappers, can claim that they have A-list girlfriends and co-workers. But does that count for something to most people? Sadly, I think the answer is a firm “YES.”
Honestly, we’re not even sure how it got like this. Hip-hop music hasn’t ALWAYS been about dirty, filthy rich and being a VIP at Vogue. But, it seems official, the biggest success stories and chart-toppers in hip-hop are rich assholes rhyming about being rich assholes. And why does Q-Tip have to be involved? Thought he was a good guy.
Maybe the best we can do is cheer on the up-and-comers who do things a little differently. Like Azaealia and Frank. They rap and sing about feelings, life, love, struggle and the human experience.