This week brought the release of one of the year's most anticipated projects (at least amongst Rap Genius users), Vic Mensa's INNANETAPE. Even with all the buildup, the project still blew us away.
But plenty went on in music beyond the Chicago prodigy. Veterans made their long-awaited returns, with Pusha T and Cam'ron releasing new material. In addition, two of our favorites, Ab-Soul and CJ Fly, released a song together, in a collaboration that we like to imagine was hatched at one of our SxSW parties earlier this year (unlikely, we know, but let a website dream!) Below, the lines of the week.
5. “Wave of consciousness across your seven continents/Drawing the Law of Opposites on the noggin of novices” — Ab-Soul, 'Sadderdaze' lyrics
These lines have the metaphysical hallmarks of Soul's heady style. But even more important is that they sound great. The alliteration and dense rhymes make otherwise abstract concepts feel very real and powerful.
4. “Niggas thinking I'm with JuJu because I'm in love/She ain't black, man, she Cuban; her mother the plug” — Cam'ron, 'Me Killa' lyrics
Killa Cam returns! He pokes fun here at his very public relationship with his girlfriend JuJu, implying that the real reason he's with her is for the drug connect.
3. “Rock not the LL Cool J 'I Need Love'/More like the ll, smoke two jays, I need drugs” — Rock, 'Fruit Punch' lyrics
The Rockness Monster brings it with a pun on James Todd Smith's early hit. Wish that more rappers made Cool J jokes!
2. “Rage against the machine, black Zack de la Rocha/In a cranberry roadster, inside track on the G Rap poster/Best d-boy, all I'm missing is a dash/Difference between me and Hova” — Pusha T, 'King Push' lyrics
Every new song that Pusha releases from his upcoming album My Name Is My Name only makes fans more excited. This powerful joint includes some no-names-necessary disses at artists who “sing hooks” (cough-Drake-cough), but it also has some hard-as-hell bars. The Rage and G Rap references and the pun on “dash” (as in Jay's former friend Dame Dash and the punctuation mark found until recently in Jay-Z's name) push this couplet onto our list.
1. “I'm an author without the aardvark/Pull tricks like card shark, thumbs up to the camera like Nardwuar” — Vic Mensa, 'Tweakin' lyrics
Young Net came through big-time with this release. “Tweakin” is one of the highlights, and even if the Nardwuar shout-out wasn't here, the Arthur Aardvark joke alone would have landed this in the number one spot.