The “Nosetalgia” Edition

Rap Genius

Pusha T

This week, we bring you a bit of a geography lesson at Lines of the Week. Our entrants come from all over the country (or at least the Eastern half of it). Below, the lines of the week.

5. “Still superficial, fly style can't decay/But possessions mean nothing at the end of the day” — Meyhem Lauren, 'Jalapeno Popcorn' lyrics
It wouldn't be hip-hop without a New York entry. Queens' Meyhem Lauren, known for respecting the fly shit, takes a minute to talk about his real priorities.

4. “This society's a monster/It'll shoot you up and haunt ya/For being yourself, 'cause people hate what they can't conquer” — Stalley, 'Sticks and Stones' lyrics
Our first Midwest contestant, Ohio's Stalley, takes a similarly reflective POV. From the rise and fall of empires to neighborhood shoot-outs, his observation rings true on all levels.

3. “No sprechen sie Dumb, but I'm real real good/Dark skinned Mike, but I still feel bad” — Chance The Rapper, 'Life Round Here' lyrics
There have been a lot of Michael Jackson jokes in rap, some memorable and some better off being consigned to the memory hole. The Chicago native's coupling of MJ's darker and lighter appearances (his early career and the Bad album) is definitely one of the best.

2. “Guess my tongue is the Tree of Life and my brain is Adam and Eve/And instead of the things I eat, I'm watching the things I speak” — Angel Haze, 'Okay' lyrics
Brooklyn-via-Detroit's Haze gets Biblical with us on this tune, with an extended metaphor that had us puzzling through Genesis (we just can't make it past all the “begat”s, no matter how hard we try).

1. “With a chest full of chains and a arm full of watches/What I sell for pain in the hood, I'm a doctor/Zhivago, tried to fight the urge like Ivan Drago/If he dies he dies” – Pusha T, 'Nosetalgia' lyrics
The long-awaited collaboration between Pusha T and Kendrick Lamar, from Pusha's upcoming album, saw the light of day this week. It was as incredible as fans of both the VA coke-rapper and the Compton king dared to hope. The subtlety here — “Doctor Zhivago” alluding to snow, i.e. cocaine; the pivoting from Zhivago to another famous Russian movie character — makes this more than worthy of our number one spot.

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