A lot of people get paid every two weeks. Now you get Dead End Hip Hop’s “Two-Week Review,” the column where some of your favorite DEHH writers get together to talk about who picked up wins and losses these past couple of weeks in the hip hop universe. Imagine that. And what’s even better—this is the first one in the series. So let’s get started…
Paul: The obvious choice has got to be Chance. There’s no question how big 2016 was for him. Even the Grammys got this right. The beloved rapper bagged three Grammys and was nominated for several more, especially if you include the songs from The Life of Pablo that he contributed on. With so much social and political tension in our world right now, we need Chance’s spirit. Chance is just an inspiring dude who makes genuinely feel-good music and he deserves all of the praise he’s getting. You really think anyone came close to what Chance accomplished, Jake?
Jake: Here’s my winner: I definitely agree that Chance picked up a dub this past week at the Grammys. My winner this week is also Grammy-related. A Tribe Called Quest killed it with their performance on Sunday making a huge political statement. Therefore, I gotta give em the W. It was a huge statement for hip-hop and a good showcasing of why Tribe is one of the greatest hip-hop groups to ever touch a mic. I also gotta give a shoutout to Anderson .Paak, he also performed with Tribe and, like Tribe, slayed his performance.
P: Can’t go wrong there either. I think you and I would both agree that .Paak had more of a breakout year last year than Chance, who was more established at that point. Also, is there a more exciting drummer in hip hop ever than .Paak is already? Shout out to Questlove too. And Tribe was good at the awards, obviously. They were inspired.
J: Both definitely broke out. But I actually think I would give the edge to Chance, just for fact that he made such a splash in the mainstream. And the fact that he made free music Grammy eligible.
P: Chance’s ascent to the mainstream has been groundbreaking, but I’m not sure what door it opens exactly. Chance capitalized on an opportunistic time in hip hop. He’s been a fairly accessible indie artist with colossal talent for pretty much this entire decade. All of his projects before Coloring Book were also free. And who is even buying albums anymore? It was the perfect risk to take.
J: I feel you. For me, it was just nice to see an independent artist get so much acclaim in the mainstream. But his music was already very accessible for sure.
P: Ready to assign some Ls?
J: My biggest L of the week has to go to Desiigner for that awful single he put out, “Outlet”. Dude has been taking L’s since he dropped New English, it’s only a matter of time before he’s a distant memory
P: I haven’t listened to it and probably won’t. It’s funny how people get so upset at guys like Desiigner or Yachty or Uzi. These kinds of trendy rappers never last more than a year. Speaking of trendy rappers, my biggest L of the week has to go to any and all Future haters out there in the wake of one of Future’s patented shooting binges. It’s fair to criticize Future for being repetitive. It’s fair to say that maybe we don’t want to hear the R&B stuff. But you can’t stop this man. He’s good for at least a handful of bangers on every project he’s released in the post-Honest era (and even Honest had a couple). It may not seem apparent, but Future is building something here. Yes, when Future drops three projects in what feels like a week, there are plenty of misses to go along with the hits, but over time those bangers do add up. Imagine the playlist or the live show where you get to hear thirty of Future’s most fire songs. Future is smarter than you think. Some people need to stop complaining on Twitter.
J: I 100% agree with you. There’s a time and place for Future. He makes music for a particular type of vibe (hedonistic/ignorant). Obviously if that’s not your type of vibe, then Future’s music most likely isn’t for you. I think hip-hop “elitists” get a little carried away with all the anti-mumble rap jargon. It’s not like anyone takes artists who are “mumble rappers”, seriously. They make bangers and aren’t even trying to be lyrical in the first place. However, the reason I don’t like Desiigner is because he executes the vibe he’s going for poorly. He is merely a copycat of those who perfected that particular sub-genre of hip-hop (ex. Future). Not only is he a copycat, but he isn’t even good at making a good banger (I’ll give him Panda but that got old real quick).
P: There’s a reason Future has stayed relevant this long. It even took me a while to recognize it. Same people hating on Future are the ones drunk in the club singing along to “March Madness.” There must be a meme for that. I suppose I could’ve awarded an L to Nicki Minaj too for this past week. If only I cared enough.
J: Yeah I respect Remy Ma for coming through with a decent diss track, but yeah, at the end of the day, it’s a Nicki Minaj beef so we’ll see what happens
P: Something with Nicki’s signature brand of zaniness. That’s for sure.