This week saw the Grammys snub both Nas and Frank Ocean, in one of the biggest miscarriages of awards-season justice since RIAA declared Jethro Tull more metal than Metallica. Nas continues his reign as the Susan Lucci of rap, and Frank shows that you can make a universally praised, innovative, and stunning album and still lose the big awards to some dudes whose biggest contribution to music is their use of vests without suit jackets. But hip-hop, as ever, trucked on. Below, our lines of the week.
5. “Fishscale all over my motherfucking apartment/Damn, I got dope all over my garment” — Gucci Mane, 'Big Guwap' lyrics
This lyric is notable first for its delivery — the offbeat, barely-there rhythm is impossible to capture on paper. Also, the use of the word “garment” is a stroke of genius. Who says “garment” anymore? And why is it singular here? Did the coke only spill on his shirt and miss everything else? Gucci proves as puzzling and inscrutable as ever.
4. “I'm from where 'ratchet' means a hammer or a gun/Not hoes in front of camera on VH1” — The Kid Daytona, 'Wrong Side' lyrics
This cut, from J. Period's mixtape to support Adam Mansbach's new novel Rage Is Back, continues the tape's strong showing. Early cuts from Black Thought and Common were stellar, and this new arrival is no less so. Daytona sets his sights on the recent trend in “ratchet” behavior, and hits square on the mark.
3. “Mixtape Zeus, the big Jes