Welcome back to "Might Have Missed." Lucas normally handles this column, but I've got him locked in a room with the new Big K.R.I.T. album and he can't come out until he's written a fucking awesome review (kidding, but actually not), so I'm taking over for today. This will be like when you had a substitute teacher, except I'm not having that fake name shit. I'm for real.
With that in mind, for those who are new to the column, we post a lot of new music every week. Like, so much music even the hardest of hardcore music lovers may have trouble listening to everything. There have to be some joints that passed you by, and that's a shame. A great song unlistened to is like a non-alcoholic beer - what's the point?
So here's some of the particularly fresh DJBooth-featured material from the past seven days or so that you might have missed, with an emphasis on the indie and underground (because it's a lot harder to miss the superstars). As the kids (definitely don't) say, leggoo...
Am I a homer for putting a DJBooth-exclusive song in here? Maybe. Do I care? Not even the tiniest bit. The great thing about being a Patriots fan is that you can say something like, "Tom Brady's one of the greatest quarterbacks of all-time" and it's actually completely true. The same goes for "Kentucky," the freestyle Saba recorded for our series.
Well goddamn then. Lately I've been thinking a lot about voice and delivery. Everyone wants to talk about lyrics and flow, which obviously matter, but if you can't deliver all those fancy words with some personality, in a way that makes me actually interested in what all those words mean, you're not actually doing anything. In "Kentucky" though I hear passion, I hear energy, a hear a real human being, and that's what's going to keep me listening to a rapper. That's why I'll be listening to Saba. Chicago has more talent then it can handle right now.
Two DJBooth exclusives? You're goddamn right two DJBooth exclusives. What are you gonna do about it? That's what I thought.
What can I do, I really fucks with Kembe X. And for the record, that extra "s" really matters. Like I fuck with Snickers, but I fucks with Reese Cups. I spent an hour with the man during our interview and he's one of the quieter rappers you'll meet, borderline shy, but when he goes into the studio something happens, something comes out of him that's undeniable. He's making some atmospheric music that still has some real bite, something that balances the smooth and the vicious perfectly. I all the way fucks with "Patience Part Too."
I'll admit it, I was going to write, "SonReal's music is dope, but his videos are really dope." But I'm trying to get over that bias. In 2014, videos aren't this extra thing that you shoot to support a song, they're just as important as the music. There's no "but" necessary. Guess what, we live in a visual age, so if you can't make great videos you might as well be Jim Abbot trying to play in the NBA. '90s SPORTS REFERENCE ALERT!!!
So yeah, "Preach" is good times, and if you dig it you should check out "Everywhere."
You know how a new general manager takes over a team and he fires everyone from the coach to the equipment guy because he wants to make his mark on the organization, really make it clear that there's a new regime? This is that.
There's no way Lucas would have picked out this E-Feezy thumper. No way. It probably would have been some super undeground shit that would make everyone hug and feel reconnected to the primal nature of pure and beautiful music. Too fucking bad, he's not here. You're getting some E-Fonzarelli. I've put in enough years in the Bay Area to know 40 Water is chronically under-rated, but he appears to having a moment, landing on some pretty big songs. I know most of my fellow rap nerds would have skipped by "Choices," which is exactly why I'm including it here. Feel free to continue to ignore Charlie Hustle, the rest of us will keep listening to one of the more charismatic and original emcees to ever live. Your choice.
You know why hip-hop heads and rap nerds get such a bad name? Because so many of them seem to hate having fun. Who wants to hang out with that guy? So I'm here to tell you not to view listening to this new Thurz EP as a guilty pleasure. Listening to Designer may just make you feel, you know, happy and generally better about life. Shit, it may just make you want to dance with a beautiful woman. I know, sounds terrible, right?
[Nathan S. is the managing editor of The DJBooth and a hip-hop writer. He also occasionally talks in podcast form and appears on RevoltTV. His beard is awesome. This is his Twitter.]