Does Offset Own A Patek Philippe? - A Journalistic Investigation

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It starts off innocently enough: a reference here, a metaphor there, maybe even an allusion or a  simile if things get really extreme. But what happens when an artist becomes so infatuated with consumerism that an individual purchase becomes a recurring theme in their work? We’re about to find out. 

Formed in 2008, most readers will probably be surprised to learn that Atlanta-based trap superstars Migos have been around for over a decade. Comprised of rappers Quavo, Takeoff, and Offset, the group has been releasing a steady stream of mixtapes and albums ever since 2011. While the trio quickly made a name for themselves among hardcore hip-hop heads, they only recently achieved mainstream success thanks to the astronomical popularity of songs like “Bad and Boujee” and “Walk It Talk It.”

Chart-topping songs aside, the group has also proven their strength as a force in pop culture, often credited with popularizing the now-ubiquitous “triplet flow” as well as the (quickly-ruined) dab. While the group’s songs often revolve around the award-winning formula of money, women, jewelry, and drugs, they occasionally do venture into deeper waters... but that’s not what this post is about. 

Following 2017’s immensely-popular Culture, the group dropped a long-awaited sequel earlier this year and after multiple listens an interesting through-line emerged: Offset can’t stop rapping about his Patek Philippe. 

While rap as a whole drops name brands more than any other genre, this level of specificity is unheard of, especially at this frequency. As a bit of a spiritual sequel to 21 Savage’s obsession with food, I’m proud to present: Does Offset Own A Patek Philippe? - A Journalistic Investigation.

We Are The 17%

According to lyrics.com (which is far from comprehensive) there are precisely 180 songs that contain the word “Patek” as of October 2018. At a grand total of 30 references, this means that Offset has cornered roughly 17% of the total Patek-referencing market.

Due to the sheer abundance of Patek name-drops, I’m choosing to focus solely on those contained within the group’s most recent release. For the sake of completeness, I’m going to cite all of Offset’s other Patek references at the end of this article, but for now, let’s jump straight into the madness that is Culture II’s Patek-based hellscape.


“Narcos”

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Culture II’s first Patek Philipe name-drop comes in at track number three. Featuring some of the album’s more visceral Patek language, Offset embraces the slang “water” (an abstraction of ice) to describe his bejeweled timepiece. Through this potent bout of descriptors, Offset explains that his watch is so expensive it’s practically overflowing with excessive adornments. 

 

“Auto Pilot”

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It seems that if Offset happens to own a Patek, it may bear a two-tone design. To fully flesh out this pied timekeeping flex, he draws a direct comparison between the multiple colors of his watch to the multiple colors of women who are throwing themselves at his feet. 

 

“Emoji A Chain”

Much like Ororo Munroe, Offset possesses the ability to change the weather by merely strapping his trusty Patek to his wrist. While (presumably) not literal, this line once again draws back to the water-based well for an elemental flex of wealth and opulence.

 

“Stir Fry”

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In one of Culture II’s more illusory lines, Offset utilizes mucus-adjacent slang to illustrate how fancy and tricked-out his Patek is. Either that, or he has run out of Kleenex and we’re meant to read these words at face value. 

 

“White Sand”

In this star-studded mid-album cut, Offset comes in hot with a straightforward boast in which he explicitly states the amount he paid for his Patek Philippe. It seems we have confirmation, folks. 

 

“Beast”

In a moment of gender equality, Offset throws the listener for a loop as he explains how someone else’s Patek made him feel. Perhaps the inciting incident for his own purchase, this lyric offers a glimpse into the rapper’s consumer-friendly mindset while simultaneously acting as a subliminal criticism of capitalism and the dangers of following the crowd.

 

“Motorsport”

Venturing back once more to the “water” slang, Offset elaborates that not only is his Patek adorned with jewels, but his Audemars Piguet as well. Hopefully they’re waterproof, because at this point he’s practically submerged!

 

“Top Down On Da Nawf”

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In Offset’s final Patek namedrop on Culture II, he takes a slightly more pensive approach to the jewelry flex, using it to contrast his current level of wealth with his previous life of crime. This confessional exposition illustrates Offset’s desire, nay, need for luxury. A stark contrast indeed.


In Summary

There you have it. All of Offset’s Patek references contained on Culture II. In addition to these eight references from Migos’ latest album, there are an additional twenty-two references below that come from Offset’s features, collaborations, and other Migos releases. Given the scope, size, and sheer number of Patek references, I think it’s safe to say that Offset owns at least one Patek Philippe.

You can thank me for my service in the comments.

In all seriousness, much like Lil Pump and his grandma, I think this is just a case of a rapper revisiting the same topic because they don’t have a lot to say… and that’s perfectly fine. The Migos have produced music for an entire decade, so it’s not surprising any one of them has said the same thing more than a few times. Additionally, nobody goes to Migos for deep cerebral bars. As long as their songs have a dope beat and clean flow, the lyrics are essentially the least important aspects of their music. 

If anything, this exploration proves that the closer you listen to the words, the more you start to realize how unimportant they really are. What’s impressive is how little this lack of lyrical depth actually detracts from my enjoyment of the music. God knows that discovering this specific quirk has only made me like Offset more if only because I’m now listening for Patek name-drops in every song and feature. Here’s to another decade of explosive success and many more Patek purchases. 


Comprehensive Philippe

1. “Balenciaga Challenge” - 6LACK

  • Got a bust down Patek, a plain bitch (Patek)

2. “Bosses Don't Speak” - Migos

  • Hop in the frog and leap (leap) / Patek Philippe (Patek Philippe)

3. “Call Casting” - Migos

  • Spent you a hundred, Philippe on your wrist (Patek)

4. “Drip” - Cardi B

  • Patek on my wrist, and it's glistenin' (drip, drip)

5. “Do Not Disturb” - Smokepurpp & Murda Beatz

  • For the Patek, I Rollie the watch (for the Patek)

6. “Fucking Up Profits” - Migos

  • Rollie, the AP, the plain Philipe (plain)

7. “Ghostface Killers” - Metro Boomin, 21 Savage, Offset

  • Thot and addy (thot), love the Patek on my arm (Patek)

8. “Hook Up” - Lil Baby, Offset

  • Pateks on fleek, got baguettes in my neck (hey)

9. “Iced Out My Arms” - Dj Khaled

  • This is a hundred Patek, 20 more for Piguet

10. “Interlude” - Lil Yachty & Offset

  • I show my Patek so much, say I'm petty (petty)

11. “Lost it” - Rich The Kid

  • 44 millimeter iced out Philippe (ice)

12. “Major Bag Alert” - DJ Khaled

  • Patek Philippe with the snow in the wind (Patek) (Oh)

13. “No Drama” - Tinashe

  • Got Patek on her wrist, in her panties (Patek, hey)

14. “Peek a Boo” - Lil Yachty

  • Look at my Patek, I'm flexin', I'm petty (I'm petty)

15. “Rap Saved Me”

  • His and her Pateks (his and hers)

16. “Ric Flair Drip” - Metro Boomin, 21 Savage, Offset

  • Bought my first Patek, it got some rain on it (Patek)

17. “Slippery” - Migos

  • I gave her her first Philippe (Philippe)

18. “Still Serving” - Metro Boomin, 21 Savage, Offset

  • Rich bitch, and yeah my bitch got a Patek

19. “Taste” Tyga

  • And she got the Patek on water moccasin (water moccasin)

20. “Violation Freestyle” - Offset

  • Bust down my wrist, bitch I'm Patek'd up (bust up)

21. “Wrist Thunderstorm” - Offset

  • Patek, the diamonds do backflips (woo)

22. “ZEZE” - Kodak Black

  • She an addict (Addict), addict for the lifestyle and the Patek (Patek)

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Lil Pump Versus The Elderly: A Long and Storied History

Letter From the Editor: The writer of this piece would like to apologize in advance for the abject stupidity contained within the following wall of text. If you’re brave enough to subject yourself to the mania that’s about to unfold, then you have my admiration, gratitude, respect, and appreciation. Thank you for understanding, and may God have mercy on your soul.

Pumpology 101: The Mystifying Origins of Gazzy Garcia

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Lil Pump is a dreadlocked 17-year old rapper from Florida who first began making waves in late 2016 when his song “D Rose” became an unexpected viral hit. Over the span of a few short months, the wrist-obsessed track had garnered millions of plays on Soundcloud and over one hundred million curious YouTube clicks. By the end of 2017, Lil Pump (whose real name is Gazzy Garcia) had established himself as a mainstream success when his song “Gucci Gangpeaked at #3 on the Billboard charts. Spawning from his self-titled debut, the alliterative hit quickly became the focal point of a heated debate on the declining state of rap music rap music, the ongoing idocratization of popular culture, and the bare minimum required to pass for lyricism in the year of our Lord 2017.

Expertly covered by both Rolling Stone and The New York Times, Mr. Pump has become a figure at the forefront of the budding “Soundcloud Rap” movement. This subgenre is a spin-off of Trap that’s focused on crafting a particular brand of blown-out, vapid, and repetitive hip-hop that, while lyrically substanceless, still manages to be catchy, memorable, and (most importantly) energetic. It’s hype-up music that’s been distilled so many times that words practically don’t matter.

I’ve already discussed my conflicted feelings on the genre back in August, and while some members of this scene are still objectively-horrific human beings, I’m willing to admit that I’ve come around to Lil Pump thanks to the catchiness of the aforementioned “Gucci Gang.” While the man himself should never be looked up to as an idol, Garcia is still making exciting creations within a field that I’m morbidly fascinated by.

The Lyrics (or Lack Thereof)

Like most rappers, Pump’s songs typically center around the same award-winning trifecta of drugs, money, and women. What makes “Gucci Gang” unique is the fact that it ticks all these boxes while also managing to be accessible to a mainstream audience. Soundcloud Rap’s previous biggest success came in the form of “Look At Me!,” a song whose lyrics are probably just a touch too edgy for mainstream audiences.

Meanwhile “Gucci Gang” has just the right mix of garish colors and catchy lyrics, both of which are accompanied by a distinct feeling of “newness” that helped it stand out from the crowd. Additionally, the song’s bouncy three-syllable chorus proved perfectlymemeable, ripe for parody, and endlessly reworkable, all of which led to a song that hit, and lingered in the cultural consciousness for longer than anyone ever expected. Possibly even a reflection of our society at large, “Gucci Gang” is an undeniable success no matter how you cut it.

Outside of the song itself, Lilliam Pumpernickel has also gained fans through numerous extra-musicalantics including second-floor balcony jumps, a love for iCarly’s Miranda Cosgrove, and a running joke that he’s a Harvard Graduate. Essentially, he’s not afraid to be a meme, and that lack of fear makes him even stronger. Complete with his own catchphrase, there are many reasons to be entertained by Lil Pump, and all of these elements combined help explain his meteoric rise to success.

The Emergence of an Astronomical Happening

Though my numerous listens to “Gucci Gang,” I began to approach the song the same way that many others did: first with curiosity, then ironic enjoyment, then genuine adoration. I can’t stress enough that the lyrics are nothing to write home about, however one stanza in particular stands out amongst the rest like a bright, shining star:

My lean cost more than your rent, ooh (it do)

Your momma still live in a tent, yuh (brr)

Still slangin’ dope in the ‘jects, huh? (yeah)

Me and my grandma take meds, ooh (huh?)

These bars initially seemed like a single metaphysical barb amongst a sea of relatively-straightforward brags and boasts, so I explained them away as a one-off lyric with no deeper significance. Unbeknownst to me at the time, this line was just the tip of the iceberg.

By the time December had rolled around, “Gucci Gang” had won the honor(?) of being recognized not once, but twice in Swim Into The Sound’s 2017 Un-Awards. While part of a largely-negative post, I shined a relatively-positive light on “Gucci Gang” as my second-biggest “WTF” moment of the year (second only to Bhad Bhabie) in which I found myself surprisingly endeared to both equally-trashy artists. Later on in the proceedings, I cited the lyrics above specifically as the single “Weirdest Flex” of 2017 (barely edging out a Drake lyric about napping).

In researching the Pump-penned lines for that write-up I found myself jumping between various Genius pages and in doing so, I quickly began to uncover a conspiracy deep as the Carly Rae Jepsen Cinematic Universe: Lil Pump has an unshakable fixation with the elderly.

The Quest For A Universal Truth

It’s no secret that artists tend to use the same concepts, thoughts, and ideas over and over again throughout their work. Usually in hip-hop, these recurring topics (like drugs, money, and women for instance) are framed by using twists on conventional language that are given new meanings within the scene’s culture. From “bricks” to “bands” to “bitches” every possible theme has dozens of different synonyms that can be switched out interchangeably to keep the rhyme fresh and the topic from going stale.

However, slang goes in and out of popular vernacular like the tides of the ocean, and Monsieur Pump is not above these familiar tropes. While drugs, money, and women remain the primary topics around which Pump waves his tales, he, on more than one occasion, has used his grandma, or the grandmother of the listener as a reference point for these interests.

Of course he likes lean, and naturally, he talks about it, but what makes Pump unique is his ability to relate that commonplace idea to the elderly in a hilarious and unexpected way. He’s using age as a barometer by which to measure his own life; the elderly representing an extreme through which he can cover these well-trodden topics.

It’s quite the signature flair for a 17-year-old to brandish, but perhaps through these lines he’s revealing his own obsession with death and mortality. Maybe these grandparent-based lyrics are allowing us a brief peek into the inner machinations of Lil Pump’s mind and we are learning what troubles him on a deep, cosmic, existential level. The philosophical reaper that keeps him up at night. These lines act as an illumination of the human experience as told through the grounded eyes of one man who yells “ESKETIT” like it’s his Pokemon name. What follows is a comprehensive list of every time Little Pump has rapped about senior citizens. You are welcome.

Exhibit #1 - “Gucci Gang”

My lean cost more than your rent, ooh (it do)

Your momma still live in a tent, yuh (brr)

Still slangin’ dope in the 'jects, huh? (yeah)

Me and my grandma take meds, ooh (huh?)

For the sake of completeness, we’ll begin with lyrics that started it all. The quote above comprises exactly 25% of the sole verse found on Lil Pump’s breakout hit “Gucci Gang.” In it we find Pump surveying his surroundings, living situation, and pattern of systematic drug use over a bassy beat and twinkling piano line.

First, we get the worrying comparison between the upkeep of his own opiate addiction to monthly rent, then the (uncalled for) implication that the listener’s mother is homeless, and the final cherry on top: the fact that Pump spends quality time popping pills with his grandmother. While the specifics remain vague here, it’s implied that he’s taking drugs recreationally while she is taking them for health reasons.

This being one of Pump’s numerous references to the elderly, the topic’s pervasiveness now leads me to believe that this is both a genuine lyric, as well as a thinly-veiled cry for help. As distressing as the lyric may be, at least he’s spending some quality time with his elders before they pass. Even if it’s a drug-fueled haze, I hope that both parties treasure their remaining time together and cherish each other’s company.

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Exhibit #2 - “Fiji”

I got Fiji on my neck

I got Gucci on my chest

And my grandma sippin’ Tech

Off a Xan like Ron Artes

In this one-off Lil Pump loosie, Young Gazzy uses the artesian water brand as a descriptor for both his jewelry and his sex life. Following a similar structure as “Gucci Gang,” this track features a brief intro, and one verse sandwiched between two short choruses. Clocking in at a mere 88-seconds, “Fiji” is a striking minimalist creation that embraces reductionism and revels in ambiguity.

Within the world of hip-hop, “Water” can actually mean many things. From sex to swagger, the use of ‘water’ in-song is generally something you have to pick up from context clues, and this track is no different. In “Fiji” Pump walks a beautifully-ambiguous line between these typical definitions of earthly possessions and literal water, turning the brand’s name into a primal chant of “I pour Fiji on her neck.”

After a brief water-laced refrain, Pump proceeds into the meat of the song: a 45-word verse that discusses his public persona and ticks all of the seemingly-mandatory drug-based name-drops. He has jewelry on his neck, a Gucci logo tattooed on his chest, and most importantly the incongruous mention of his grandmother casually enjoying some hitech (aka Lean).

Perhaps elaborating on the lines of “Gucci Gang,” this lyric implies that maybe he and his grandmother both enjoy drugs on the same recreational level. Later on in the song he continues:

Slice your auntie in the neck

Lil Pump disrespect

Run up on you with that 40

Grab your grandma by the neck

After the verses earlier drug revelry, Pump seems to “set his sights” on the listener, attacking us via multiple familial ties. In a single moment of clarity he utters “Lil Pump disrespect” as if he knows what he’s doing is morally reprehensible, but remains out of his control. A haunting sentiment to say the least.

His hunger is insatiable, and your grandmother is his target. Violence is the only thing he understands, and your grandmother is the only thing he can grasp onto, both physically and metaphorically. And then, just as suddenly as the attack unfolded, the song fades into nothing, leaving the listener in the bloody aftermath.

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Exhibit #3 - “Smoke My Dope”

Whippin’ up dope in the trap spot (what)

Sellin’ cocaine to your grandma (yuh)

Whippin’ up dope in the trap spot (yuh, yuh)

Sellin’ cocaine to your grandma (yuh, yuh, yuh, yuh)

In this early-album cut Lil Pump and fellow Florida rapper SmokePurpp trade verses for a compact and chaotic 2-minutes. In Garcia’s second verse he exerts himself enough to present one specific instance of creating and selling drugs over a series of escalating “yuh’s.”

In this simplistic portrayal of Pump’s supply chain, he gives his process away to the listener:

  1. Whip up an indeterminate amount of “dope” within the “trap
  2. Proceed to sell that cocaine to the listener’s grandmother

Perhaps connected to the seemingly-uncalled-for violence depicted on “Fiji,” these lines seem to explain how Pump has obtained his wealth. I imagine that the elderly are comparatively easy-going when it comes to the purchase and intake of drugs, so it’s presumably easy money for Pump and a decent enough business model. Backed up by voracious twitter claims that echo the song’s lyrics, Pump has given us no reason to doubt him or his business acumen when it comes to selling the white stuff to the Greatest Generation.

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Exhibit #4 - “Had”

My loud pack smell like fish tank

My backwoods filled with dumb stank

I can’t fuck with you, cause I know all you ni**as stains

My grandma selling loud pack and she selling cocaine

She run up on your block and she’ll shoot you in the fuckin’ brain

With “Had” it seems that there’s a new wrinkle to Pump’s drug operation as it’s revealed that he’s running a family business by employing his grandmother as a key player.

Depicting his bubbe as savage and violent as himself, this example could possibly explain Pump’s own outwardly-destructive actions as a learned behavior. In portraying a systematic issue within our society, this line directly tackles how family can fail us, or lead us to repeat the same mistakes as those that came before us. It’s a tortured and agonized call for help as Pump removes himself enough to realize the trauma that he has indirectly absorbed and the conditions that he has had no choice but to grow up in.

This all said, it’s still nice that people like Pump’s grandmother can find purpose in the fast-paced working world and be driven by the fulfillment of a hard days work. The fact that she’s willing to kill on top of the drug dealing means that she’s committed to the cause, and is likely quite experienced, even in her old age. At the very least, Pump must come from good genes!

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Exhibit #5 - “At The Door”

I got junkies at the door

I could serve you 2 for 4

I could serve you couple Xans

I could feed your bitch some coke

Yeah my Uzi automatic

Make your grandma do a backflip

On this mid-album cut, we see yet another allusion to the violence that Pump has inflicted upon the listener’s grandmother specifically. Perhaps wielded by Pump himself, or maybe even his grandmother (as we saw in “Had), it appears as if the drug dealing illustrated on “Smoke my Dope” has gone sideways for one reason or another, and Pump has been forced to resort to violence.

This line is actually one of the multiple familial references within this verse, the others being father, daughter, and aunt, so while this reference fits squarely in the bounds of the topic at hand, there’s no getting around the persistently-elderly angle that Pump takes.

This is yet another line later echoed in a Tweet by Pump, either lending further credence to his unfeeling savagery, or (perhaps) his commitment to our society’s collective physical fitness by inspiring the elderly to do advanced-level gymnastics.

In Conclusion

None of this was good. While Pump’s initial references to the elderly seemed to be a twisted form of mutual enjoyment, things quickly devolved into selling drugs, and eventually inflicting violence directly on the listener’s grandmother.

This analysis is absolute stupidity, but I find it too amusing that a 17-year-old who has so few songs officially released has referenced the elderly half a dozen times throughout the history of his recorded work. The way I see it, there are a few explanations for this lyrical ouroboros:

  1. It’s a creative crutch.
  2. Lil Pump has that little to say that he keeps defaulting to “grandma.”
  3. Deep-seated familial trauma in his own past that Pump may or may not be cognizant of.
  4. Pump thinks that the savagery of his grandma implies, dictates, and directly translates to his own.
  5. By “attacking” the listener and showing disregard for their loved ones, his devil-may-care attitude is preemptively deflecting any criticism they may have of Pump or his music.
  6. Lil Pump truly does fear the uncertainty of death and projects that concern through the multiple references to the elderly in his music. 

It very well could be all or any combination of all of these, but in any case, I feel it’s safe to say that this qualifies as an unhealthy fixation. Whether it’s a profound fear of death, a thinly-veiled attempt to address his own mortality, or irreconcilable childhood trauma, I genuinely hope that Gazzy Garcia can get the help he needs to get over this mental block.

He’s still got many years ahead of him, and a full life to live. If he wants to make it to the status of “Grandpa Pump” he’ll have to overcome this irrational fear and tackle his issues head-on, or else they will continue to emerge in unhealthy ways.

Here’s to you Mr. Pump, I hope you get the help you need and deserve.

I’m sorry for writing this.

 The face of regret.

The face of regret.

Counting in Hip-Hop

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For the past several weeks I’ve been working on a monster write-up, and I keep hitting walls. I don’t know if it’s writer’s block or sheer laziness, but as an exercise to overcome my wordlessness I’m going to unleash a dumbass idea that I’ve had in my head for months.

This is a post about numbers. Counting specifically. Not like time signatures or recursive rhyme schemes, or anything complicated. Nope, I’m talking about Sesame Street-level counting upward by single numbers.

This is a phenomenon that I first noticed earlier this year in the explosive lead-up to Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN. After spotting this example, I quickly noticed other instances and it began to feel like a genre-wide happening. It became a weird trend that I’ve spotted in multiple songs this year alone. There are probably even more instances that I haven’t heard yet, and at the risk of drilling down to levels of abjectly-obscure hyper-specificity, here it is: the definitive list of 2017 hip-hop songs that employ counting as a rhyme scheme.

Migos “Slippery”

In this Gucci Mane-featuring track, the Atlanta trap trio takes turns discussing women, drugs, and the liquidity of their jewelry. After the song’s first hook, Quavo, the group’s resident crooner, jumps into his verse headfirst. Any verse that starts with an earnest delivery of the word “tater tot” deserves recognition in the first place. After a cursory mention of haters followed by a crocodilian turn of phrase, Quavo circles around to the song’s primary focal point and describes his jewelry:

Iced out watch (ice) ridin’ round, ten o'clock (ten)

While not completely out of place, the transition from his bejeweled timekeeper to a relatively mundane time of day seems a little jarring. The next line reveals the mention of 10pm to actually be a setup for a series of time-related bars that would have sounded at home coming out of the Count’s mouth:

Ridin’ round, geeked up, damn, think it’s three o'clock (three)

Four o'clock (four) five o'clock, six o'clock (five)

It’s a pretty bizarre conceit, but I guess it just serves to reinforce the fact that Quavo is riding around “geeked up” at presumably any hour of the day. It’s still a line that makes me smile after dozens of listens, and if anyone can sell a song in which you literally just list off the different times of the day, it’s Quavo. His delivery on these lines are fittingly icy, and they transfer their distorted sense of time to the listener simply by proximity.


Kendrick Lamar “The Heart Part 4”

The lead-up to Kendrick Lamar’s highly-anticipated fourth studio album was an exciting time. While we’d only experienced swirling rumors up until March, the internet’s hype hit an all-time high when Lamar dropped the surprise one-off “The Heart Part 4.” There’s a lot to digest in this song from possible disses to announcing his own arrival, but most importantly, the track served as an announcement, a message the Kendrick Lamar was officially back.

Midway through the song, there’s a beat switch, and Kendrick starts spitting a particularly venomous set of bars over an interpolated Beanie Sigel beat and a 24-Carat Black sample. He’d go on to rap over the exact same beat on the album cut “FEAR.” but for the time being, it was simply an impactful verse with some of the most braggadocious lyrics we’ve ever heard from Mr. Duckworth.

Early on in this second verse, Kendrick spits a handful of lines that only he could get away with:

Yellin’, “One, two, three, four, five

I am the greatest rapper alive!”

So damn great, motherfucker, I’ve died

What you hearin’ now is a paranormal vibe

I say only Kendrick can get away with this because it would have sounded like a lie coming from nearly anyone else. Seeing the lines written out, they still look like objectively bad lyrics, but Kendrick gets a pass because of who he is and what this song represents.

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The song’s genius annotation is a hyper-linked clusterfuck of references hoping to connect all the things that Kendrick could be calling out. It’s possible he could be pulling from any one of these points, but I think this line also works because it’s so infrequent that we hear a rapper say anything like this in 2017. With younger artists releasing music that pulls more from other genres and actively distancing themselves from the “rapper” label, it’s refreshing to see some old-school “I’m the best in the game” boasting from someone who also has the technical skill to back it up.

These lines also call to mind Kendrick’s game-changing “Control” verse in which he named names and brought back an old-school rivalry to hip-hop. This verse achieves that same feeling to a lesser extent but still comes off as a good-natured challenge for his peers to better themselves.

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21 Savage “Bank Account”

In this Song of the Summer contender, Atlanta-based rapper and knife enthusiast 21 Savage is pulling double duty both rapping and producing this platinum-selling cut off of his debut studio album. The single, which samples Travis Scott’s excellent “Oh My / Dis Side,” is a dark, moody, ad-lib-riddled account of 21’s wealth and an outline of how far he’s willing to go for the people he loves. When I say “account” I mean that quite literally as the song’s infectious chorus finds a joyless 21 Savage listing off the numbers in his savings account:

I got 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8 Ms in my bank account, yeah (on God)

In my bank account, yeah (on God)

In my bank account, yeah (on God)

In my bank account, yeah (on God)

In my bank account, yeah (on God)

In my bank account, yeah (on God)

I got 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8 shooters ready to gun you down, yeah (fast)

Ready to gun you down, yeah (on God)

Ready to gun you down, yeah (on God)

Ready to gun you down, yeah (on God)

Ready to gun you down, yeah (on God)

Ready to gun you down, yeah (on God)

It’s a repetitive series of lines that are both surprisingly catchy and personable within the context of the song. This chorus is just confident enough to serve as a chest-inflating masculine brag, but also goofy enough to be used in memes like this. I’ve already documented all of Issa Album’s food references, but lines like these are the reason that people keep returning to this song (and album) in droves. The chorus of “Bank Account” is a perfect encapsulation of 21 Savage’s appeal by highlighting his trademarked emotionless flow while walking the line between repetition and darkness that he is known for.

Lyrics like the ones above may not look like much on paper, but the point is that they all work. Whether it’s the delivery, a contextual turn of phrase, or a multi-layered double-meaning, these lyrics all work flawlessly within the context of their songs.

In fact, they’re all kinda dog shit when taken out of context like I’ve done here, but this phenomenon of literal counting is just something I noticed and felt compelled to highlight. I guess with enough skill, proficiency, and charisma, people like the artists listed above can make anything sound good.

Here’s to 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8 more decades of equally-straightforward lyrics. Honestly, if you can make sequential numbers compelling, then you’re succeeding as an artist.

The Top 7 Video Game Monkeys

Monkeys are important.

Perhaps it’s because I finished Westworld and watched War For the Planet of the Apes in the same weekend, but I can’t stop thinking about our race’s eventual demise. We can’t be the top of the food chain forever. And while I do believe in aliens, I think that a robotic or monkey-based uprising is far more likely from a statistical standpoint, and also something I’m more likely to see in my lifetime.

With all that in mind, I’d like to give a quick shout out to the species by highlighting some of their important figureheads within the realm of gaming. I’m on your side. Please don’t enslave me.

#7 - Specter (Ape Escape Series)

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While he gets points for being a minority (albino) he also loses points for dressing like an anime character.

#6 - Monkey (Timesplitters Series)

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He shoots. He dresses up. He has an eerily-posed mouth that’s constantly open. What’s not to like? Toss him some Tommy guns.

#5 - AiAi (Super Monkey Ball Series)

While he puts up a smiling and happy facade we all know he’s crumbling on the inside, constantly crushed by the fact that he’ll never emerge from the glass prison that encases him. He’s living in hell.

#4 - Gorilla Grodd (Injustice 2)

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Man, this dude’s smart as hell. Plus he’s on TV. Good taste in headwear.

#3 - King Kong (Peter Jackson’s King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie)

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He tall. He’s dark. He’s Handsome. He’s in love with Nicki Kids, and he’s not afraid to kill a few dinosaurs to protect her (can you blame him?)

#2 - Winston (Overwatch)

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Man, he smart too. Maybe smarter than Gorilla Grodd? Will need to do more research on character battle message boards. Points in favor: has nice reading glass frames, is friends with a lesbian, uses renewable weaponry, very progressive.

#1 - Donkey Kong (Everything)

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He has bars. We all know that. He’ll take your girl, toss barrels at you, and then go kart with you years later like it’s nbd. He just doesn’t give a care. He popularized Jimmy Neutron hair (thank you) and isn’t afraid to stunt on hoes by dressing up a little. A true catch. Iconic. Historical. Monkey.

Issa Grocery List: Every Reference to Food on 21 Savage's Issa Album

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21 Savage is a man of few words, even fewer topics. Like most mainstream rappers in 2017, his songs tend to revolve around the modern day rapper’s delight: money, drugs, jewelry, and women. Of course, the only way to talk about these subjects with any sort of uniqueness is to discuss them in in a Tamarian-like language of punchlines and similes.  

On his latest release Issa Album 21 Savage uses food as a common reference point for many of these tropes. For a guy that makes “murder music,” he seems to have an affinity for common grocery store items to the point where it’s almost jarring. Issa a fantastically-produced album that’s full of bangers and exciting to listen to, but these lines stuck out like a sore thumb on first listen. I’ve compiled every food reference on the album here for your enjoyment.

#1

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For those unaware, “cookie” refers to marijuana. A quality play on words and subversion of expectations by 21 here.

#2

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Despite some criticism that Pringles aren’t produced or sold individually, this line acts as more of a reference to this common “dad joke” rhyme.

#3

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An aggressive allusion to the fact that 21 Savage will unflinchingly shoot you in the head. Either that, or he’s a cartoonish high school bully dumping the nerd’s sodium-laden lunch in the cafeteria.

#4

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A crass reference to fellatio. While I imagine “gumbo” is meant to be a clever reference to meat, I would personally find a comparison between my genitalia and the southern comfort food less than flattering.

#5

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21 Savage is known for being a true street rapper with a troubled past. In contrast to many of his peers in the genre, his personality stems from experience while others tend to merely put up a facade of savagery.

#6

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In one of the more braggadocious food-related similes on the record, 21 compares his style and essence to the freshest garnish in the kitchen: mint.

#7

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A surprisingly-veiled and localized lyric referencing an Atlanta-based prison where 21 (presumably) consumed a great number of meals consisting of soup.

#8

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I’m not even sure what this one means.

#9

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A shoutout to this bakeware brand whose glassware is commonly used in cooking crack cocaine (or wrapping up leftovers.)

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Thanks for reading