Back before J. Cole was writing songs about his fucked up teeth or before Petey Pablo was freakin leaks, there was Little Brother. With Phonte and Big Pooh on the mic and 9th Wonder on the boards, Little Brother made some of the best music to ever come out of North Carolina but never attained the mainstream success their talent deserves. This particular cut featuring a hook from the eternally lovely Carlita Durand is a rarity but also one of the best examples of the depth of lyricism and concepts that exist in southern hip hop. Phonte’s verse in particular should be drafted into the manifesto for underground rappers that would rather hone their craft than lust after the lime light. Sometimes you gotta just be content with being the biggest rap star in your apartment complex.
Today’s Still My Jam Sunday selection comes free with a little story. It’s circa 2008 and my high school girlfriend and I are on what felt like our 187th break up and she thought it’d be a good idea to go to prom with someone I was cool with to piss me off. Turns out the dude was unaware she was telling people they were going to prom together and flipped out when I approached him about it (I wasn’t gonna fight him, just maybe hit him in the face a lot). He confronts her and flips out so she responds by spilling her guts about everything she knew about me to everyone with ears and going so far as to say I was smashing her sister while we dated (which admittedly would have been more fun but not what happened). So one day coming back from lunch my boy and I see her and her best friend sitting in the parking lot. We park right next to them, roll down the windows and blast “I Hate You Bitch” by Z-Ro. There has yet to be a break up in my life this song doesn’t get at least a dozen plays during.
Let me start this off by saying R.I.P. Pimp C, one of the best to ever do it. It’s difficult to explain just how massive of an influence the man had over the entire southern hip hop movement not just in production but in flows and just over all style. This track featured on Bun B’s debut album “Trill” and features a short Young Jeezy verse and a classic Z-Ro chorus. The album version included a verse from Jay-Z who apparently couldn’t be bothered with shooting a video for it so the video version has Pimp and Bun splitting the third verse in true UGK fashion. It’s hard out here nowadays and as long you’re out there handling your business, you deserve to get throwed.
We’re taking it back to 2002 with this edition of Still My Jam Sunday. What’s Luv by Terror Squad CEO Fat Joe, brings nostalgia and is a great hit to hear in today’s club scene. One can bring out the Harlem Shake or two-step to this jam. Also, frequent Cute as a Button Award winner Ashanti shows why her career should be celebrated more. Honestly, I’m done talking about this track and take a trip back in time with the video below!
The Game’s debut album “The Documentary” was a huge success both critically and commercially and launched a career that’s still going strong today (with a few beefs and several 100 bar diss songs along the way). My personal favorite track finds Game flexing his standard West Coast gang raps over one of the BEST beats Timbaland ever crafted. It makes me miss the days when Timbaland was primarily a hip hop producer before he branched out into producing pop songs with Demi Lovato and Katy Perry. But since producing Justin Timberlake albums has probably made him enough money to buy islands made out of gold plated bricks of cocaine, I can’t say I blame him for going where the money is.
“The secret to success? Be the Mutha. Fuckin. Best.”. It’s really hard to fault Big K.R.I.T.‘s logic on the hook to my favorite track off Harlem-native and Polo-enthusiast Smoke DZA‘s 2010 “George Kush Da Button” album. With Ski Beatz on the beat, K.R.I.T. and DZA trade verses meant to instill in the listener just the right amount of cockiness and drive that turns losers into champs. Go win something this week. You deserve it.
Originally intended to be the last single from Kanye West’s debut “College Dropout”, the music video surfaced five years later after being shelved. Definitely one of the stand out tracks on the album thanks to solid verses from former frequent Kanye collaborators GLC and Consequence. Remember back when Kanye rapped about the struggles of working a 9 to 5 just to get by? I bet he doesn’t either.