Listen, it's Friday, we get it. Nobody really wants to do anything that involves using your brain. So "Best/Worst" will provide you with both the biggest Fails and the most awesome awesomeness, as well as some of the best (and worst) music of the week. It's a whole lot of everything.
Now let's get started...
Best Of The Week:
DMX On A Rollercoaster
Back when I was in like 6th grade, I used to have to sneakily listen to "Party Up". Never, ever, in any of my thousands of listens, did I think, "One day, I'm going to witness that man freak out on a rollercoaster." 16 years in the making, here is DMX riding a rollercoaster.
I was expecting more dog noises and ad-libs whilst airborn, but other than that, this video is just as absurd as I would expect. Also, I'm not sure a rollercoaster is the best idea for X. I mean if pregnant women and people with heart conditions can't ride a coaster, I'd think someone who has had a crippling drug addiction might not be in the best shape for a thrill ride. Anyway, if this doesn't put a smile on your face after a long week you must not love hip-hop or joy or human happiness.
Long Live J. Dilla
As much as I love the DMV, it's not exactly one of the most happening places for hip-hop. Sure we have some dope rap and, of course, all the go-go music, but it's just not in the same tier as Chicago or New York. Still, while y'all may have more stuff, we do it bigger. A few months ago, there was a hop-hop festival at the Kennedy Center and now, hip-hop is making its way into the Smithsonian. It's not just any old hip-hop either, it's J Dilla.
Maureen Yancey, J Dilla’s mother announced the donation last week at the annual D.C. Loves Dilla concert in Washington. The decision to donate her son’s Moog synthesizer and MPC beat machine followed years of conversations she had with Smithsonian’s popular-music historian, Timothy Burnside.
Few objects were as meaningful to J Dilla as the ones donated. “He used it in probably everything he was making,” says J. Rocc, a close friend and DJ, about the synthesizer, which Moog built custom for J Dilla. “That thing was used nonstop and he was so proud of it.”
And when J Dilla became hospitalized in Los Angeles with lupus, one of the essential items he asked his mother to ship to him from Detroit was the MPC. It was with him on his deathbed, making beats until the end. “That’s the core piece to his production,” Burnside says. “It’s like the iconic thing that everybody associates him with.”
It's crazy to think about, but without that Moog and that MPC, what would hip-hop look like today? The fact that I can go see this stuff in my own backyard is so cool and it's great to see hip-hop appreciated by an organization like the Smithsonian - which has in its possession things like the Wright brothers' plane - see the value and importance of Dilla and hip-hop. Oh and if you didn't get your fix already, Common talked a little bit about Dilla in regards to his new song "Rewind That" (probably the most compelling effort on the new album). Word to HiphopDX:
“It was one of those things I had thought about—the song ‘Rewind That’ and talking about going back in time,” Common said. “And I was talking to No I.D. about it. And he was like ‘Man, you might wanna talk about Jay Dee.’ And I was like ‘Man, I never even thought about wanting to do it because it was something so personal to me.’ But I do talk about personal things. It was just one of those hurtful things. You lose somebody. It was heavy and I hadn’t really dealt with it all the way. So, this was really a true example of when you express yourself and release it through the music and through your art. It really was like healing for me in a way. I used to couldn’t carry pictures of Dilla around cause [it] would always make me think about something sad. Once I did that I kinda like—I got a picture of him in my phone and I’m like ‘Man, that’s my man.’”
Lot's of Dilla this week. It was a good week.
Best Music Of The Week:
Kind of hard to follow Dilla, but Fashawn and Wrekonzie killed it on DJ EFN's "Hood Banger". Fashawn is almost criminally slept on.
Worst Of The Week:
So everyone and their mother was pooping their pants this week about Gambino calling our Drake, Kendrick and ScHoolboy in some freestyle. There I was expecting a "Control" or an "Ether"-like effort. All he did was say their names and people went nuts. There's more beef in a tofu scramble. Rappers saying another rapper's name isn't "shots fired" or "beef", unless some actual shots follow the names. That might just be one of the least intimidating "I'm going to kill them" microphone death threats of all-time, unless by "kill" Gambino means drop an ill moth-related metaphor on them.
Old Droog Still Old Droog, Still Not Nas
Nathan S. Interjects...
Had to jump in here. Almost two months ago now I wrote about the fact that Old Droog isn't Nas because, you know, he's not, in the same way that a cat isn't a fork and gravity exists. And I'm not basing that off some analysis of his lyrics or sped up voices or anything else, I'm basing that off TALKING TO MULTIPLE MOTHERFUCKING PEOPLE WHO KNOW DROOG AND THEREFORE KNOW HE'S NOT NAS.
In retrospect I was obviously being naive, but I thought that would settle that. Nope, the "is he actually Nas?" comments have continued unabated, and they're reaching a fever pitch of ridiculousness now that Droog is finally going to perform live.
A lot of suckers are about to pay $15 a piece to watch not-Nas reveal that he's not-Nas in concert. If you buy a ticket to see Droog, fine. But if you buy a ticket expecting to see a secret Nas show, you deserve to lose every dime.
Worst Music Of The Week:
Ray J's new single is called "Never Shoulda Did That"... it's about his new single, and his entire career, and his entire existence on planet Earth. Plus, he also just called himself the "most controversial artist of the last decade", as if Kanye needed another reason to punch him in the face.
Comment Of The Week:
On the Spooky Black article, our man Breeze Embalm wrote:
"Im high as fuck right now, and I am entranced by this song."
Yep, that pretty much sums it all up right there. That's the realest shit you ever wrote in your whole life. Have a good weekend, DJBooth Nation!
[Lucas Garrison is a writer for DJBooth.net. His favorite album is “College Dropout,” but you can also tweet him your favorite Migos songs at @LucasDJBooth.]