5. Lil Wayne – Sorry For The Wait 2
Lil Wayne has been making headlines this week for reasons that deeply bum me out (so business as usual, I guess). Weezy is no longer, as he once so eloquently put it, “tied to the fuckin’ Birdman like a lug.” Welp, my childhood is officially dead.
“I’m sorry for the wait, I’m sorry for the wait /
Tha Carter gon’ be late so I cooked up a tape /
The garden’s full of snakes so I had to escape /
Lil homie gon’ be straight, lil’ homie gon’ be straight”
These are the first lines of the tape. I’m so conflicted y’all! On one hand, a family is irrevocably torn asunder. On the other, Weezy has something urgent to rap about for the first time in years. Which is a really good thing, on certain tracks – particularly the Drake feature “Used To,” and the re-imaginings of “Coco” and “Dreams and Nightmares.”
But let me stop you right there, readers. This is an ATG post after all, and it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that you, reader, are so siloed in the post-electro PBR&B synth funk world that you’ve never even heard a single Lil Wayne mixtape, let alone the first Sorry For The Wait. If for some insane reason you’ve never heard Tunechi go in on an entire 70+ minutes of beats du jour, please check out The Dedication 2, Da Drought 3 and No Ceilings immediately. Sorry For The Wait 2, while maybe not an instant classic, is worth a listen. BUT ONLY AFTER YOU’VE HEARD THESE OTHER ONEZ! Stream/download it here.
4. Skizzy Mars – “Be Lazy”
New York rapper and internet favorite Skizzy Mars is having a pretty dope night off on “Be Lazy,” a track released in advance of his upcoming LP The Red Balloon Project. A rap single doesn’t always need a golden beat or anthemic hook to succeed — sometimes you just need unfettering commitment to the concept of the song (see “Tuesday“). Here, Mars applies his Khalifa-esque flow to an attempt at convincing shorty to “come thru the crib and be lazy” after a long week in the lab. Oh, and the beat is golden, and the hook is pretty anthemic. What’s new on Netflix, Skizzy?
3. Lil Wayne – “Amazing Amy (Ft. Migos)”
What was I saying about the importance of having a strong concept for your song? This throwaway track from Sorry For The Wait 2 is easily the mixtape’s best moment, probably (definitely) because it features the Migos. I’m not confident that anyone involved with this song has actually seen “Gone Girl.” I love hip-hop.
2. Joey Bada$$ – B4.DA.$$
Joey Bada$$, much loved by rap traditionalists and Malia Obama alike, released a good album this week. It will not turn the club upside down with party singles, nor will it wow the vanguard-chasers with manic weirdness or experimental production. If you’re the kind of hard-boiled NY rap fan who shakes your damn head at Bobby Shmurda, counts Mobb Deep’s The Infamous and Jedi Mind Tricks’ Violent By Design among your favorite albums, and would take any of the three “Bigs” over any rapper born after 1990, then congrats, this is your album of 2015.
Nostalgia runs rampant here, sure, but Joey earns the old-school comparisons with his old-school attention to detail and the steady, dependable cleverness of his bars. On “Piece of Mind,” a “One Love”-esque tribute to an incarcerated friend, rewind moments abound: “from Flatbush to Figg Side, I was a school boy too / hoppin’ trains, I just missed my cue.”
Other album standouts like “Paper Trail$” inspire a compelling question: if $ rules everything around Joey, why hasn’t he sold out yet?
1. Shmigo Gang – “Computers (Freestyle)”
What’s that? You thought the top spot this week was going to some MOR Swift-ass GLEE-ass trifling’-ass acoustic pop jaunt?
To paraphrase Hov, this kind of spot is only reserved for the bosses (start the column with a quote, end with a quote…nice) and this week, the bosses are Shmigo Gang (NY rapper and Vine phenomenon Bobby Shmurda + Migos). But Justin, you might be asking, why put more than one Migos song on this list? Aren’t you the least bit weary of the whole Migos gestalt? The insistent ad-libs, that one-trick flow, the insistent ad-libs, the co-opting by Drake, those fucking ad-libs? Not even a tiny bit, little dawg (that’s me responding to you). The Migos are here to stay. As usual they completely snap on this track, a reworking of Rowdy Rebel’s “Computers.” Free Bobby.
Til next week, fam. And I’m just kidding I obviously like “FourFiveSeconds.”