The bosses worked overtime during the holidays. Check out the top chops from Rick Ross, Jay Z, Future, and more.
Wale – “Walk N Live”
Remember last year when Wale called up Complex Magazine ranting that The Gifted wasn’t on the mag’s 50 Best Albums Of 2013 list? Well, “Walk N’ Live” channels some of that aggression where it belongs – in the music. The MMG stalwart tosses in patois accents and ricocheting rhymes as he demands his seat at the table. Any table in fact. He isn’t lacking in the confidence department as he snaps, “But shoot I think I’m the best, and nevertheless you should too.” Well then.
Future – “Shit Remix” (feat. Drake & Juicy J)
As if Future’s “Shit” wasn’t audacious enough, the Mike WiLL Made-It produced cut gets a hard-hitting remix. Future’s howls and Juicy J’s slow flow bookend a particularly solid verse from Drake. Drizzy throws his emo YMCMB shit to the wind as he goes off on the non-believers, anyone who thinks he might be soft because all them strippers broke his heart. It’s a side of Drake we rarely get to witness and feels like his own “Control” verse a la Kendrick Lamar.
Jay Z – “Tom Ford Remix” (feat. Pimp C)
Anyone less than fluent in haute couture got their lessons from Jay Z’s “Tom Ford”, a snappy track where Jay took an M.I.A-like cadence as he rhymed over the blippity beat. But hold the phone, Pimp C on the remix? As Jay’s bars close in the original form’s fashion, the late co-star of UGK chimes in on never before heard bars. What happens when an underground king and the king of rap reunite posthumously? History gets rewritten.
Beyoncé – “***Flawless”
Last year when Beyoncé randomly released “Bow Down/I Been On,” wigs were snatched as King Bey threw down the gauntlet. When she turned around on Friday the 13th and unexpectedly dropped her self-titled Beyoncé, the first half of “Bow Down” was retooled for “***Flawless.” A Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie monologue on feminism provides a segue to the second half of the song where Bey chants “I woke up like this” over a rattling beat. Bow down bitches.
Rick Ross – “The Devil Is A Lie” (feat. Jay Z)
Talk about the epitome of two bosses on one track. While Rawse and Jay have been playing volleyball on each other’s album cuts, “The Devil Is A Lie” is the homerun everyone’s been waiting for. K.E. On The Track laces the beat with horny soul samples as the two play tag with tales of money, money, and more money. The other trick here is that on the hook, Ross’ drawn out diction makes it sound like “The Devil Is Alive.” Perhaps he is.
Drake – “Trophies”
As soon as the anthemic horns open “Trophies” it’s clear that Drake is about to celebrate himself and his successes. The OVO mayor pops bottles and makes a blatant declaration that he’s carrying his team on his back. And they don’t make no award for that. Flanked by Hit-Boy, the track screams triumph from the basslines to the bars. It’s a shame this track didn’t make it to Nothing Was The Same, but “Started From The Bottom” wouldn’t stand a chance against this banger.
Nicki Minaj – “Boss Ass Bitch Remix” (feat. PTAF)
PTAF got themselves a viral hit with “Boss Ass Bitch” – that was until a real lady boss hopped on the remix. Nicki Minaj, whose badass barbz bars have been concealed under her tight wig and pop stardom, lets the ugly out on this track. She’s dropping pussy bombs, emasculating men, and talking threats like it’s the Nickster before all of the fame. Good to know she still has some lyrics in her arsenal.
French Montana – “Coke Boyz” (feat. Meek Mill)
There’s a certain air of cryptic trippiness to “Coke Boyz,” as the beat is glazed with a Mikky Ekko sample from “Feels Like The End.” The soothing beat gets shredded apart by French Montana, as his moaning crescendo details atoning for his powder-pushing ways. Meanwhile Meek Mill is reaping the benefits of flipping bricks in his script, as he bags diamonds and vows to keep it high-powered.
Common – “War”
Who wanna go to war with Common? Very few, especially when he drops a gem like this paired with a No I.D. soundbed. This kind of war though is far more personal than any rap beef, as Com takes things to the streets. The Chicago streets to be exact, citing the escalating issues with violence in the Chi. It’s a topic that needed more attention, and who better to highlight it than the Windy City veteran himself?
Beyoncé – “Drunk In Love” (feat. Jay Z)
With “Drunk In Love” the Carters get intimate over Middle Eastern samples and a high-strung beat. Their sexual exploits as a married couple get some thorough detailing, especially with the newly coined catch phrase “Surfboard. Surfboard,” or “Serbordt” as Beyoncé says it.
Follow Kathy Iandoli on Twitter here @kath3000