It’s ten minutes to midnight in the US but I’m in Costa Rica so technically this post doubles this blogs output for 2017 and it is 100% entirely for songs named “Crew”. You can’t hear this song played on DC radio anymore without the “Grammy-nominated” introduction and of course it’s not only completely deserved but also hella overdue. Jon Caramanica detailed the Grammys “troubled” relationship with rap last year after it was announced that they were changing the “best rap/sung collaboration” category to “best rap/sung performance” so definitely read that if it wasn’t already super obvious to you, but to people in the DC metro area the curtain was drawn back after the Recording Academy failed to recognize the absolute perfection of Shy’s “Cut It” remix. What other diss track ethers it’s intended target in the first ten seconds and spends the next four minutes gracefully pouring dirt on the corpse? “Chain hit the floor and broke boys had a fucking scrimmage”. Smh.
And so the Grammys decided to course correct and nominate the most Grammy worthy single this year. I remember when this joint dropped last December and first reactions were pretty unanimous. Even the Juggalos took a second to appreciate the hook bfore launching into a rant about a Tupac T-shirt and Real Rap. Clearly this song was fuego and even more so when the mixtape album dropped a couple months later. “Crew” already made perfect sense on its own but when in the context of the project, the way Shy’s verse hit the pocket with the “HEY nice to meet” as soon as Goldlink finished his verse was *mwah*. Five straight tracks of local features ranging from Mya to Lil dude, then you shout out “BITCH THATS JUST THE WAY I SLEEP” and slide in to the under appreciated “Kokamoe freestyle”. So then it was a little bit not too surprising when they dropped a second cut, a radio cut, with a third hook splitting the verses and even less surprising when “Crew” spent the next 47 weeks on the charts.
Maybe this is necessary idk. I never took a music theory class in college so I’m not #educated. Maybe there’s some psychological Phil Spector work at play when humans hear three hooks the way people on average never change the channel after commercials say “But wait there’s more”. What I do know is that in the 15 Years this category has existed its been a rotating cast of the same 6 artists, Jay-Z has won 7 times, the Grammys changed the category to “better reflect” the changing landscape and went and nominated Jay Z again. “Crew” was certified platinum the minute it dropped.
The first minute+ here before the bass starts its slow steady rip is essentially the audio of the second Purge trailer layerd over slow, late summer b-roll of G$tar n friends skating and pointing guns and getting the cops called on them and I’ve had it playing all day because my heat is completely fucked. The past four years its been like him n his brother have been playing hot potato with being On. Rappers that find their mode again after doing a stint are always the rare exception. Its been about two and half years since Yung Ru’s clinical “In Sqad I Trust” mixtape (“Intro” was Favorite Song #6 of 2012 but favorite songs from favorite tapes change daily) and the most memorable thing he’s dropped since was a verse on Moe’s tape and a freestyle to “Ight Doe”.
G$tar Giorgio, “No Label” f/ Lul Rock (2014)
G$tar on the other hand released a 17-track tape with 16 near-identical songs plus a Leeke Leek Banger and he’s been on a roll since. If Ru and G$tar can get on the same page Manassas will finally be on the map for being home to something other than the World Famous Guapo’s Sauce and Civil War re-enactors.
Young Money Yawn, “Yayo remix” f/ Young Crazy (2014)
hundred bucks says that at this very moment on twitter, whenever this moment for u may be, someone from dc is telling someone from maryland that they’re doodoo soft, they’re fakin like shit, and that they’re dumb af for even saying “DMV”. @’s are flying back and forth and back forth until someone, a third, calmer voice, will tweet both parties and dead it all by reminding them that at least neither of em are from virginia (fukk yall). those are our day to day feelings and depending on who ur talking to are likely to change. 100% guarantee tho that there would be endless RT’s and subtweets were u to insinuate that Young Money Yawn, Swagga Smiles, or Young Crazy were from the “DMV”. They are not, they’re from the 757. They — along with most of Norfolk , e.g. Clipse — are definitely at least affiliates tho seeing as how 1) Swagga Smiles & Young Crazy’s latest v good mixtape was hosted by the gawd DJ Grady, 2) Yawn tapped Shy for the remix to his sleeper hit from last year and 3) Take Em 2 Church, the dude who shot the video to “Gutta Gutta” isn’t entirely unknown up here either.
Swagga Smiles, “No Problem” f/ Young Crazy (2013) prod 1007
easily the best song trel previewed as part of his SDMG tape, it for some reason didn’t make the release n was instead teased at w rumors of maybe showing up somewhere on Self Made 3 but since no one anywhere really knows wtf is goin on w trel n MMG, it didn’t show up there either n now finally drops but credited as Black Cobain’s. still trel’s tho, one of like four that probably should’ve shown up on his last tape. I mean, both of them open rapping bout broke girls n their motherless children — a community service according to some — but by the end trel’s shifted the shade to broke boys n comes out the other side still likely to get some. all of that “fingernail-toenail done up” n “told u meet me by the car, here I am here you are n u looking at me like u bout to come up” talk is slick. black tho, he’s out here calling y’all stupid bitches for mispronouncing “Hublot” n asking for toupee. TOUPEE. dog.
anyways, Black’s Perfect Contradiction drops on the 3rd.
Whip Game Whitey, “Best Kept Secret” (2013) Best Kept Secret
rap-does-gogo is usually better the more loose n open, for example I’ve replayed this maybe fifteen times in a row and am still not convinced those first four bars are actually the hook, hence I fuck with this song.