Track Review: Kendrick Lamar

HUMBLE. – Kendrick Lamar (Aftermath, Interscope, Top Dawg Entertainment)

In anticipation of DAMN. coming out on Friday, I decided to do a quick review of Kendrick Lamar’s lead single for the album.

This track is pretty far removed from anything Compton’s favourite son has done in the past in that it is so simple and hard-hitting. Production from Mike Will Made-It helps it gain this bare and skeletal yet bouncy and electrifying feel, through a gritty piano riff that is unlike anything we’ve heard Lamar use before.

The lyrical content also touches on new ground for Kendrick in that it is far more direct about being the best. The premise of the song is basically that Kendrick is allowed to brag however he so pleases now that he has three pretty much undisputed classics under his belt. Some have speculated that the hook is telling someone specifically to “sit down, be humble”. The use of the ad-lib “hol’ up, lil bitch” has brought the song even more attention, many believing the rapper in Kendrick’s sights is actually Big Sean, who frequently uses a similar ad-lib. Perhaps more evidence of a beef brewing will surface on Friday when Kendrick releases his fourth studio album DAMN.

I feel on this track Kendrick thinks he can allow himself to be a little more braggadocios than he has in the past because of his confirmed status in the hip-hop game and the fact that he has so many awards and achievements. Here, he tends to keep things pretty straightforward, not letting himself get as deep as he has on previous releases. Despite this, he reels off some phenomenal lines in the first verse, plenty of double entendres and goes on to discuss beauty standards for women in verse two. This is pretty groundbreaking, I suppose, in that he says he prefers natural beauty in comparison to the “Photoshop” women that so many other rappers are infatuated by. I’m not 100% sure if it is intentional all the time but Kendrick comes off so much more socially conscious than a lot of his peers in the hip-hop industry.

Kendrick Lamar put out an insane video for this track too. If you haven’t seen it already, it’s an early front-runner for video of the year. The fisheye angle of Kendrick on a bike is so effective and comes across so well in the video. The Last Supper-style shot which depicts Kendrick as a modern Jesus could refer not only to him being betrayed (perhaps by Big Sean with the subliminal shots on No More Interviews) but also to the fact that he sees himself as the rap game’s Jesus Christ. In one shot, Lamar is surrounded by hundreds of bald bobbing heads while his, in the middle, stays still. They all, apart from Kendrick, look the same. Imagery like this suggests Kendrick sees himself as different to the rest of his contemporaries. He isn’t in sync with everyone else.And he doesn’t have to be in order to be successful which is made clear by the fact that this very track debuted at #2 in the Billboard Hot 100, the highest charting hip-hop single since Eminem’s “Love The Way You Lie” in 2010.

HUMBLE. is an awesome track, an exciting teaser for DAMN. Kendrick Lamar’s fans are probably in for yet another hip-hop masterclass on Friday if this is anything to go by.

#BBAR #BoomBapAndAcidRap

 

Twitter – @boombapacidrap / @peter_tomlinson

 

Facebook – www.facebook.com/boombapandacidrap

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Classic Album Review: Kanye West

The College Dropout – Kanye West (Roc-a-Fella Records)

For me, this collection of tracks is probably in my personal top ten of all time. It was one of my early introductions to hip-hop and established my fascination with the mind and music of Kanye West.

In the late ‘90s and early ‘00s, before anyone knew his name, Kanye West was paying his dues as a producer with a yearning to rap. A few years of persevering and steadily improving meant influential people in the industry began to perk up their ears and listen. One of the first guys to pay real attention goes by the name of Jay-Z. West’s groundbreaking style of speeding up soul samples became the signature sound of Roc-a-Fella Records. Kanye produced the majority of the tracks on Jay-Z’s 2001 album The Blueprint and was subsequently signed as an in-house producer for the fledgling record label in 2002. For many young producers, simply being acknowledged by Jay-Z, let alone producing full songs for him would be considering a success. Not for Mr. West. Not satisfied with just making beats, Kanye wanted to prove himself as a rapper. This album, The College Dropout, was West’s proof he could hang with the big names in hip-hop.

The first single, “Through the Wire” came out on February 3rd, exactly a week before the album’s release in 2004. It was inspired by Kanye’s near-fatal car crash in 2002 and was recorded with his jaw still broken and wired shut, thus rapping “through the wire.” The song opens with Kanye’s slurred voice proclaiming “they can’t stop me from rapping” before the beat interpolates a pitched-up version of Chaka Khan’s iconic 1985 single “Through the Fire”. The track is a mark of Kanye’s work ethic as much as it is a beautiful piece of music. In what Kanye called a “life or death situation”, his first instinct was not to let the hype surrounding him go to waste and against the advice of his doctors he produced and rapped this song.

It’s hard to discuss The College Dropout without explaining the skits of which there are six throughout the album. It opens with comedian DeRay Davis (doing a Bernie Mac impression) asking Kanye to play something for the kids who are graduating. It basically sets up the concept of the album which is Kanye addressing the academic system who told him he’d never be anything if he didn’t get a degree. It also, more literally, sets up the first track of The College Dropout: “We Don’t Care”. This is a glorious, celebratory song which hears Kanye talk to a class at their graduation, telling them to do what they have to do, regardless of what it makes people think of them. “We forced to sell crack, rap and get a job/ You gotta do something man your ass is grown” raps West over a simple drum beat and faultlessly chopped sample while a choir of children sing “We wasn’t supposed to make it past twenty five/ Jokes on you, we’re still alive”. The whole track is just a message to people who are doing less than glamourous things to get by – do what you have to do, the priority is survival.

‘Bernie Mac’ returns and cannot believe what he has just heard. He calls Kanye the n-word and tells Kanye he won’t be graduating and to get off of his campus. The backing track takes a dark turn which sets the mood for the rest of the album.

The next track sees Kanye at his evaluative best as he analyses his battle with consumerism. On a muted acoustic guitar-driven beat, Kanye teams with Syleena Johnson to create a hit that was nominated for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration at the 47th Grammy Awards.

Next up, a then-unknown John Legend steps up to the plate with his version of a classic gospel hit, originally by Albert E. Brumley, called “I’ll Fly Away”. This sets up the next track, “Spaceship” which deals with the idea of escapism alongside GLC and Consequence.

The Chicagoan talks of the days when he used to work in The Gap as a greeter and how he felt he was treated like a “token blackie” and exploited to make the store look progressive. They criticised his workrate, to which Kanye responds that he made “five beats a day for three summers”.

This song is followed by one of Kanye’s most iconic tracks. On “Jesus Walks”, Yeezy gets spiritual and talks about problems with his relationship with God. He also discusses issues with organised religion and how they need Jesus. The impact of this song on rap music is criminally understated. It can definitely be crediting for bridging the gap between mainstream hip-hop and the church. In fact, the legendary DMC of Run-DMC said that he had stopped listening to contemporary rap music until he heard “Jesus Walks”.

“Never Let Me Down” is perhaps the most skippable song on the album but nonetheless has a place on “The College Dropout”. Jay-Z’s braggadocios verse about how many number one albums he has is irrelevant to the rest of the song which is about overcoming insurmountable odds put in place by racism.

In one of Kanye’s most ‘one of us’ moments on the album, he tells a story about using the internet to get with girls on “Get ‘Em High” from the second verse onwards. Admirably honest, Kanye comically uses the fact he knows Talib Kweli to hook up with a girl. On a totally separate note Kanye says “my flow is in pockets like wallets, I got the bounce like hydraulics” on this song, which to me is a magnificent line. Common also says “real rappers are hard to find, like a remote” on this song, which to me is a horrendous line.

Another funny skit introduces the next song: “The New Workout Plan”. In the skit, some women are having a conversation about losing weight. One of the women says that because of a workout plan she’s been doing recently she’s a “video ho-fessional”. “The New Workout Plan” suggests that the workout plan she’s been doing is The Kanye West Workout Plan. While the song really doesn’t fit conceptually with the rest of the album, it is still one of Kanye’s wackiest and most fun songs. It’s arrangement is a masterpiece as it seamlessly transitions from sound to sound and even includes a soul clap towards the end. In it, he basically sells his product to women, saying if you follow the instructions then you might be able to become a basketball wife or something of similar stature.

Another song ever so slightly short of the mark on this album is “Breathe In, Breathe Out”, featuring Ludacris, one of hip-hop’s biggest names in 2004. For some reason he is relegated to hook duty on here. Anyhow, we get a gem from Kanye when he calls himself the first “n**** with a Benz and a backpack”. Not exactly a bad song, but with a slightly dull bluesy trumpet beat, it definitely doesn’t live up to the rest of the album.

Next comes a song bookended by two skits called “School Spirit” in which West essentially washes his hands of the school experiences and tells his mother he’s going to “get on this TV”.  DeRay Davis returns for the skits to make fun of the higher education system and the subsequent unemployment that follows it. This carries on into the “Lil Jimmy Skit” which essentially does the same, but with a different character.

Guitars, piano, a full string arrangement and the Harlem Boys Choir all feature in “Two Words”, the symphonic peak of the album. Interesting verses come from Mos Def and Freeway, making this song a platform to combine, albeit briefly, the worlds of conscious rap and gangsta rap.

Another highlight of the “Dropout” is the heartfelt and soul-filled “Family Business” in which Kanye shares the relationships he has with his family members. He touches on several aspects of family life, some sombre, some happy. The side of Kanye which is so rarely exposed nowadays, his human side, is what made him so interesting initially and this song is about as ‘real life’ as a rap song can get. This is Kanye West at his reflective best.

In Jay-Z’s retirement movie “Fade to Black”, Kanye plays Jay a random beat of his. At the time, people would’ve presumed it was just another beat for “The Black Album”. Instead, it wrangled its way onto the tail end of Kanye’s debut album. And thank God! Instead, The Louis Vuitton Don’s fans are treated to a fifteen minute track in which Kanye excitedly tells part of his life story. Getting signed to Roc-a-Fella, moving around with his mother and even meeting Bun B at the Source Awards, nothing goes untouched here. It sort of ties everything he says elsewhere on “The College Dropout” into a pretty bow. Hip-hop artists like J Cole have utilised this type of outro since, and is yet another thing Kanye is entitled to take credit for creating.

Overall this album is still being talked about thirteen years on and will still be talked about forever. Before Kanye West was the king of controversy, he was just a kid from Chicago with a dream. “The College Dropout” is the realisation of that dream.

 

#BBAR

 

Twitter – @boombapacidrap

 

Facebook – www.facebook.com/boombapandacidrap

 

A Day of Anniversaries

So I’ve been doing this for a year now! I thought this would be a nice chance to address a few things.

First of all, I’d like to thank everyone who has helped, proofread and supported Boom Bap and Acid Rap from the beginning. Things are really starting to pick up and I feel my writing has definitely improved. Obviously there are still teething problems but I’m hoping in this next year to be able to post more regularly, support artists who could use it and keep growing as a whole.

This day also holds a lot of importance in that it is the thirteenth birthday of The College Dropout, Kanye West’s phenomenal first album. For the occasion, I’ve thrown together a special ‘classic review’ of the album which will be posted later today.

 

#BBAR

 

Twitter – @boombapacidrap

 

Facebook – www.facebook.com/boombapandacidrap

The Boom Bap and Acid Rap 2016 Year End Awards, Pt. 7

ALBUM OF THE YEAR:

THE SHORTLIST:

  • A TRIBE CALLED QUEST – WE GOT IT FROM HERE… THANK YOU 4 YOUR SERVICE
  • KENDRICK LAMAR – UNTITLED UNMASTERED
  • TRAVIS SCOTT – BIRDS IN THE TRAP SING McKNIGHT
  • ANDERSON .PAAK – MALIBU
  • SKEPTA – KONNICHIWA
  • DANNY BROWN – ATROCITY EXHIBITION
  • KEVIN GATES – ISLAH
  • YG – STILL BRAZY

THE WINNER:

  • TRAVIS SCOTT – BIRDS IN THE TRAP SING McKNIGHTtravis-scott

If you listen to only eight albums this year, make it these ones. Every single one of them is a masterpiece in its own right. YG remained the flag-bearer of modern West Coast gangster rap. Skepta crossed the pond with the very British Konnichiwa. Kendrick Lamar managed to get into the conversation by putting out a collection of leftovers from his previous two albums. A Tribe Called Quest surprised everyone by recreating their signature sound in 2016. Danny Brown gave a perfectly gritty account of his drug abuse and mental health over cluttered, biting beats on Atrocity Exhibition. Anderson .Paak properly introduced himself to the world stage after featuring heavily on Dr. Dre’s Compton the year previously with an album that infused countless genres. Kevin Gates went from internet darling to outselling Adele in first week sales.

Despite all this, Travis Scott let his ambition carry him to putting out the greatest album of ate, with fourteen excellent tracks. A star-studded supporting cast including Andre 3000, The Weeknd, Kid Cudi, Kendrick Lamar and Bryson Tiller helped BITTSM overcome all its competition this year. Peaking at number one in the Billboard 200, Scott became an icon with this album.

SIDENOTE:

ferg

The worst hip-hop album this year goes to A$AP Ferg with Always Strive and Prosper. I’m not sure if it’s just because he’s frequently seen beside the most charismatic man in hip-hop, A$AP Rocky but Ferg is probably the least cool rapper there is. Despite being woefully lame, Ferg’s music is usually pretty good. His 2013 debut album Trap Lord was critically acclaimed and was admittedly excellent. However, this year, Ferg’s music seems to have caught up with his personality. Always Strive and Prosper comes off like it’s confused and directionless and may have driven off some of the fans he won with Trap Lord. Apart from New Level which was brilliant (wholly thanks to Future), nothing here stands out at all. Sure, the production values are high and he has some high-profile features but the lostness and distractedness of it all just makes it unlistenable.

The Boom Bap and Acid Rap 2016 Year End Awards, Pt. 6

TRACK OF THE YEAR:

THE SHORTLIST:

  • KID CUDI (feat. PHARRELL WILLIAMS) – SURFIN’
  • SCHOOLBOY Q – THAT PART (BLACK HIPPY REMIX)
  • DESIIGNER – PANDA
  • ANDERSON .PAAK – COME DOWN
  • D.R.A.M. (feat. LIL YACHTY) – BROCCOLI
  • KANYE WEST (feat. CHANCE THE RAPPER, KIRK FRANKLIN, KELLY PRICE and THE-DREAM) – ULTRALIGHT BEAM
  • CHANCE THE RAPPER (feat. 2 CHAINZ and LIL WAYNE) – NO PROBLEM
  • DRAKE (feat. WIZKID and KYLA REID) – ONE DANCE

THE WINNER:

  • CHANCE THE RAPPER (feat. 2 CHAINZ and LIL WAYNE) – NO PROBLEM

Chance the Rapper cemented himself this year as music’s hottest free agent and if this song is anything to go by, he doesn’t see that changing for a long time. Flexing about being independent, he aptly calls on the Collegrove duo who have both had label issues in the past. Both Wayne and 2 Chainz delivered probably their best verses of the year which only helped this become such a behemoth of a song. Seeing out huge tracks from the likes of Drake, Kanye West and ScHoolboy Q, Chance went from the next big thing to an indisputable megastar this year. Long may it continue.

SIDENOTE:

While it has been a good year for rap music, we have had our fair share of trash too… Here’s the Worst Track of the Year award too:

THE SHORTLIST:

  • ZAY HILFIGERRR & ZAYION McCALL – JUJU ON THAT BEAT (TZ ANTHEM)
  • G-EAZY – ME, MYSELF AND I
  • MACKLEMORE AND RYAN LEWIS (feat. ANDERSON .PAAK AND IDRIS ELBA) – DANCE OFF
  • LIL YACHTY – ALL TIMES
  • MACHINE GUN KELLY – BAD THINGS

 

THE WINNER:

While I don’t recommend any of these songs, I don’t know if I’ve ever hated a song as much as this. I actually like everyone involved in this, Macklemore is usually pretty inoffensive, Anderson .Paak had a great year and you can’t hate Idris Elba. Somehow, though, this is a totally detestable abomination of a song. The concept of it is terrible, the lyrics are cringeworthy and the instrumental sounds unforgivably like some sort of 80’s synth rock impersonation.  I said my piece about the video before and I feel pretty much the same way about the song. Horrible.

The Boom Bap and Acid Rap 2016 Year End Awards, Pt. 5

DJ OF THE YEAR:

THE SHORTLIST:

  • DJ KHALED
  • DJ MUSTARD
  • DJ ESCO
  • DJ DRAMA

 

THE WINNER:

  • DJ KHALEDdj-k

It would only make sense, wouldn’t it? Mustard had his moment, but in the last year DJ Khaled has become a parody of himself. Going viral almost daily with his Snapchat escapades, including the birth of his child (while listening to his own music, of course), getting lost at sea on his jet ski (tail-end of last year, I know, but hilarious nonetheless) and of course the groundbreaking release of his ninth studio album, Major Key, which had a who’s who of hip-hop for a feature list. From Nas, Jay Z, Busta Rhymes and Fat Joe to Drake, Kendrick Lamar, Future and YG, Khaled got them all. Behind all the buffoonery, DJ Khaled is actually one of the best DJs in the world and should be respected musically. Laugh all you want, he’s doing the same. All the way to the bank.

PRODUCER OF THE YEAR:

THE SHORTLIST:

  • MIKE WILL MADE-IT
  • SOUNWAVE
  • METRO BOOMIN
  • MIKE DEAN

 

THE WINNER:

  • METRO BOOMINmetro

 

Young Metro has done the rounds. Active since 2010, he’s only gotten better and is still only 23. With producing credits for the likes of Kanye West, Future, Young Thug, Collegrove, The Weeknd, Drake and Gucci Mane as well a joint project with 21 Savage entitled Savage Mode, 2016 has been one hell of a year for Metro. He’ll tell you himself his best work is yet to come. And if he doesn’t trust you, stay well clear of Future.

 

The Boom Bap and Acid Rap 2016 Year End Awards, Pt 4

LYRICIST OF THE YEAR:

THE SHORTLIST:

  • J COLE – FOLDIN CLOTHES
  • CHANCE THE RAPPER – ULTRALIGHT BEAM
  • DANNY BROWN – DOWNWARD SPIRAL
  • KENDRICK LAMAR – THAT PART (BLACK HIPPY REMIX)
  • JAY Z – I GOT THE KEYS
  • JAY ELECTRONICA – HOW GREAT

 

THE WINNER:

kendrick-lamar

Even if Kendrick Lamar didn’t release untitled unmastered or any of his guest verses apart from the one on the Black Hippy remix of THat Part, we’d probably still be looking at him as lyricist of the year. Lamar’s dexterity with words has been common knowledge since his arrival on the scene, however he surprised even his most ardent fans with the complex rhyme patterns and content in that verse. To put it context, in just 24 bars, he fits 87 rhymes and they all make sense. He addresses the fact that despite the fact he was a straight-A student, he was still denied higher education because he was a black kid from the ghetto, among many other topics, including a callback to a Jay Z deep-cut we all forgot about. In about 45 seconds, Kendrick did what many rappers struggle to do in a lifetime – be real.

 

SIDENOTE:

The worst lyricist of the year is nearly impossible to crown so I decided to choose the worst lyric of the year instead. It could’ve easily gone to Drake for “Got so many chains, they call me Chaining Tatum (they do, they do)”. For a start, no they don’t. And also, wow, that is hilariously lazy. However this highly prestigious award goes to Kanye West. On The Life of Pablo, there are a few lines that could’ve taken it. The infamous Go-Pro lyric, the open fridge line, the bleached a****** line…But the winner has to be from Father Stretch My Hands Pt.1, when the GOOD Music mogul said “Now if I f*** this model/And she just bleached her a******/And I get bleach on my T-shirt/I’mma feel like an a******”. Just an ignorant and stupid line from an otherwise good song.

The Boom Bap and Acid Rap 2016 Year End Awards, Pt. 3

TRAP ARTIST OF THE YEAR:

THE SHORTLIST:

  • FUTURE
  • QUAVO
  • YOUNG THUG
  • GUCCI MANE
  • 21 SAVAGE
  • RAE SREMMURD
  • DESIIGNER
  • LIL YACHTY
  • LIL UZI VERT
  • TRAVIS SCOTT

THE WINNER:travis-scott

  • TRAVIS SCOTT

In what was by far the busiest category and one of the hardest to judge, ten of hip-hop’s biggest stars went head to head. 2016 introduced us to young upstarts like 21 Savage, Desiigner and Lil Yachty, saw the escalation to stardom accelerate for rappers like Young Thug and Migos’ Quavo, the confirmation of greatness for trap legends like Gucci Mane and Future. Despite all this, it was the year of a Texan by the name of Travis Scott. Top class features on the stellar DJ Khaled album alongside Lil Wayne and Young Thug’s JEFFERY mixtape put Travis Scott firmly in the public eye. However upon unleashing a fiery, atmospheric album in September, Travis cemented himself as a bona fide A-Lister in rap this year. Getting tier-one artists like The Weeknd, Andre 3000 and Kendrick Lamar on his sophomore album is an achievement in itself, but for the tracks themselves to be so infectious and compelling is a triumph for Scott. To show off the other contenders, a supersonic year was needed. Travis Scott had just that.

 

SIDENOTE:

While he didn’t do a whole lot this year, Rich Homie Quan didn’t have one of his better years. From his crew being involved in a North Carolina nightclub shooting, botching a classic Biggie verse on TV, getting dissed by Young Thug, being sued by his own label and delivering possibly the worst radio freestyle of all time on Westwood… The list goes on but let’s just say Quan took a lot of L’s this year.

The Boom Bap and Acid Rap 2016 Year End Awards, Pt. 2

GROUP OF THE YEAR:

THE SHORTLIST:

  • A TRIBE CALLED QUEST
  • MIGOS
  • COLLEGROVE
  • FLATBUSH ZOMBIES
  • A$AP MOB
  • RUN THE JEWELS
  • RAE SREMMURD

THE WINNER:atcq

 

  • A TRIBE CALLED QUEST

 

Who would’ve thought that in 2016 we’d be celebrating the return of everyone’s favourite 90’s rap group? It was made even less likely when the group’s lovable enigma, Phife Dawg passed away in March. Little did we know, Q-Tip and his merry men had been cooking up an album – We Got it from Here… Thank You 4 Your Service – during Phife’s final months. Despite this, a lot of reasonable doubt still hung over whether the group could come close to surpassing their previous classic five albums. However, upon release this doubt was blown out the water in typical Tribe style. Calling on frequent collaborators like Busta Rhymes and Consequence helped it retain its soulful authenticity, while Andre 3000, Talib Kweli, Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar and more were called on to give the new album a fresher, modern feel. Overall, this group breathed some retro life into 2016 and let us reminisce a little about the Tribe’s glory days. Migos and Rae Sremmurd had their time in the spotlight, but will we look back in 20 years at their work as fondly? No. For that reason, this award goes to A Tribe Called Quest.

 

SIDENOTE:

The worst group of the year has to be the makeshift duo of Twenty88 (Big Sean and Jhene Aiko). After some decent singles together on Sean’s previous solo album and becoming a real-life item, ‘Twenty88’ decided to lazily create some carbon copies of those singles and make a whole album of them. Brilliant. Big Sean’s lethargic imagery weighs down the overall merit of the project, while Jhene Aiko’s talk-singing is fine on a song but grating on a whole album. The full on battle-of-the-sexes theme of the LP is weak and totally swallowed any musical chemistry they might’ve been building. I really didn’t like this.

The Boom Bap and Acid Rap 2016 Year End Awards

2016 has been an upside down year across the board. We’re talking losing greats such as Prince and Bowie and of course Phife Dawg. We’re talking police brutality happening throughout the world. We’re talking Brexit, numerous terrorist attacks and Trump as president for crying out loud.

Musically, however, it has been one of the most distinctive years in recent memory. We had new verses from OGs like Nas, Jay Z and Andre 3000 and albums from GOATs like A Tribe Called Quest and De La Soul. On the other hand, emerging forces like Migos, 21 Savage and Lil Yachty had their best years to date. The stars we’re accustomed to came back looking strong too, with stellar projects from The Game, Kendrick Lamar, Kanye West, Drake and so many more. It’s fair to say that the hip-hop of 2016 helped us to escape from the real world for a bit at times.

Here’s the first installation of the Boom Bap and Acid Rap 2016 Year End Awards!

VIDEO OF THE YEAR:

THE SHORTLIST:

  • YOUNG THUG (feat. QUAVO) – F CANCER
  • LIL YACHTY – 1NIGHT
  • FRENCH MONTANA (feat. NAS & KANYE WEST) – FIGURE IT OUT
  • SCHOOLBOY Q (feat. KANYE WEST) – THAT PART
  • 2 CHAINZ – WATCH OUT
  • FRENCH MONTANA (feat. DRAKE) – NO SHOPPING
  • SKEPTA – THE MAN

THE WINNER:

  • SCHOOLBOY Q (feat. KANYE WEST) – THAT PART

Despite stiff competition from two very different French Montana efforts, a hilarious 2 Chainz video and the characteristically weird Young Thug ‘F Cancer’ among others, Top Dawg’s resident gangster from Hoover Street wins this category by the skin of his grillz. The Colin Tilley-directed video features Q getting dropped off at Kanye’s house, before West stumbles around the house in one take, wildly rapping lines such as “walkin’, livin’ legend, man I feel like Kobe”. All the nominations are worth a watch but this video is just so trippy and captivating, it would be hard to give this award to anything else.

SIDENOTE:

The worst video of the year, if you’re interested, was comfortably Macklemore, Ryan Lewis, Anderson .Paak and Idris Elba’s ‘Dance Off’, which made close to 9 million people cringe on YouTube this year. If you can sit through this, you can sit through anything. Don’t be surprised if this track pops up again…