If you ever find yourself having to explain to an alien what exactly gives Hip-Hop its distinctive voice, all you have to remember is that the power is in the words. Unlike nearly every other genre of music where melody and vocal influxes play a huge factor on the quality of song, a rapper’s biggest assets is what they say and how creatively they can say it. The ability to paint motion pictures with rhyming words isn’t a talent to be taken for granted. It’s a talent worth sculpting an award to from granite.
Until the unwritten moratorium is lifted from allowing emcees to speak their mind on the radio without a dance track in their corner, quality verses will continue to go unheard but TSS Crew are respecting the fresh from five top-shelf speeches of song this year. Salute to everybody carrying on tradition by word of mouth.
“And I’ll never let my son have an ego
He’ll be nice to everyone, wherever we go
I mean, I might even make ‘em be Republican
So everybody know he love White people
And I’ll never let ‘em leave his college girlfriend
And get caught up with the groupies in the whirlwind
And I’ll never let ‘em ever hit the telethon
I mean even if people dyin’ and the world ends
See, I just want ‘em to have an easy life, not like Yeezy life
Just want ‘em to be someone people like
Don’t want ‘em to be hated, all the time judged
Don’t be like your daddy that’ll never budge
And I’ll never let ‘em ever hit a strip club
I learned the hard way, that ain’t the place to get love
And I’ll never let his mom move to L.A.
Knowin’ she couldn’t take the pressure, now we all pray”
Kanye West from “New Day” from the album, Watch the Throne
Watch the Throne wasn’t just a one-percenter’s fellate fest over designer garb. Yeezy (and Hov) also spent some pensive time contemplating the context of that wealth, using “New Day” as an open apology letter to a yet-to-be-conceived sons. ‘Ye’s said that his verse is his all-time favorite and why not? When he laments on wax that he’d make his child “Republican, so everybody know he love white people,” listeners know “New Day” wasn’t another excuse to rhyme “killa” with “Margiela.” The medium is the message. “New Day” exemplifies that. — Ryan J.