In general my policy on music is if you love it, fuck what everybody else thinks. Life is too short to worry about what other people think, especially about music. If you dig it, fucking own the shit out of it. I recently went on a tirade at a party defending Justin Bieber to a group of Harvard alums so I can tell you first hand, it's actually kind of freeing. Even though I have been expanding my horizons with some educated, quality hip-hop at this One Mic Festival (written about
) I have found myself in a particularly ignant, all sizzle no steak kind of mood. It's like a "cheat day" of a diet. I spend a lot of time listening to stuff that is good for you and sometimes I just want to binge on the rap equivalent of pizza or Taco Bell breakfast. Still, I have a tough time coming to grips with my love of these guilty pleasures. We did a guilty pleasures of 2013 piece a while back, but now are well into 2014 (and I've been feeling indulgent lately) it's time for an update.
Justin Bieber ft. Chance The Rapper- "Confident"
No lie. This is probably one of the songs I have played most this year. I'm almost not guilty about it...almost. I get you might sleep on it because of Biebz, but Chance's verse is one of the best of the year. His bars are great ("Stay faded like Diddy's hair, back tryna' rock the vote" is super creative), but what really gets me is his delivery; the dude just fucking nails it. I wish I could say I like it for that reason alone, but the truth is, I like the Biebz too. It's catchy, easy to listen to, has that rap edge, and is fun as shit to sing along to. Add in a surprisingly diverse beat and you have yourself a potent guilty pleasure.
Chris Brown ft. Lil Wayne & Tyga- "Loyal"
I hate everything about Chris Brown. He is probably one of my most hated artists out there in terms of personality and overall unpleasantness. As a person, he brings absolutely nothing to the table, but as a artist, fuck, the dude can make a banger. A guilty pleasure makes you throw all caution to the wind and gives a big middle finger to your values and principles; it cuts right through that shit and grabs you no matter how much you try to resist. The hook on "Loyal" does just that. I swear, if the song was just the hook over and over again, I would be just fine with it. I mean the song has Tyga for fucks sake! I wish I could hate this song, but now, down is up, right is left, and Rick Ross is skinny; I just don't know what to believe anymore. I feel like "Loyal" has sent me spinning into an existential spiral where I am not questioning everything I once knew. I heard it for the first time the other day in an Uber and while I definitely didn't ask the driver what song it was, I shazam-ed the shit out of it. It's been on heavy rotation sense. A half-decent, non auto-tuned Weezy is a nice touch, but still, it's all about that hook for me.
Elle Varner- "Cold Case"
I'm actually on the fence about this one. Is Elle Varner a guilty pleasure or just a good R&B songstress? I think it's the lattr, but "Cold Case" definoitely has that poppy vibe to it so I'm inclined to make it a guilty pleasure. Plus she is signed to RCA (same label as Kid Ink) who is about as mainstream as it gets. Anyway as for the song itself, well, it fucking goes. I can't remeber the last time a pop song was as hard as this. Her vocals have that catchy, energetic feel of any pop tune, but the rasp in her vocie gives it a more substintal sound; it doesn't really feel all that bubble gummy. I have been listneing to this everywhere, gym, party, shower, car, you name it; it works in any situation. Also,
work on the beat from Pop & Oak. Between this and her new cut, "
", I am developing quite the crush.
Rick Ross Ft. French Montana and Puff Daddy- "Nobody"
My tenuous relationship with Rick Ross is well-documented. I love making Rick Ross fat jokes, but his music is not nearly as fun...sometimes...I think? I've actually found that I like him more than I thought and I have had a few songs from Mastermind in rotation; one of which is "Nobody". You know what the craziest part is? Rick Ross isn't even my least favorite person on the song and I still like it! That award goes to French Montana. You know how i said I hate Chris Brown as a person, well If feel the same brooding disdain for French, but it is entirely about his music. I hate that Mr. Potato Head-looking hack more than any other emcee and I
like "Nobody". Also, I'm not the biggest Diddy fan, I often find his talking to be too much, but "roachez" has worked it's way into my everyday vernacular. I'm not sure what it is exactly about this song I like, but I like it. Maybe it's that second verse? Maybe it's the hook? No rhyme or reason but it goes; the best part abotu a guilty pleasure is I don't need a real reason why I like it.
Kid Ink feat. Chris Brown-"Show Me"
I know it was released back in late 2013, but it is still all over the place and there is a new
so I'm counting it. besides I didn't hear it until a few months ago so I'm new. Honestly, I'm a little scared to keep listening to Kid Ink because I'm worried I might start to like him. Living in the suburbs may be cheaper, but it means that it takes a minute to get to the city, where the real weekend action is. The drive or metro ride into the city can be deflating, especially after a long day of sitting at home and writing about rap, and "Show Me" has become an essential cut in keeping up steam on a Friday night. Fucking Chris Brown making two appearances here, clearly, the guy can make a hook. Also, I get that Kid Ink might not be your favorite, but at least give the producer, DJ Mustard some credit; shit is as infectious as herpes covered SARS.
I may have lost all my credibility as a rap blogger, but at least I have these songs to rock out to so what do I care. Please don't leave me in the trenches taking grenades here, join in on the fun. Let's all join in and confess our deepest darkest musical secrets. I think you'll find it really makes you feel better, but mainly I don't want to look like an idiot...oh it's too late?