Welcome to your Weekly Mixtape October 27, 2012.
Kendrick Lamar, “Backseat Freestyle”
Joining a chorus composed of just about every other human being with ears, I took to the Internets earlier this week to load some praise onto Kendrick Lamar’s sophomore album, good kid, m.A.A.d. city.
One of that album’s salient qualities that escaped mention in my earlier ramblings was how consistently it scores by avoiding the easy, cheap and convenient. “Backseat Freestyle” offers the LP’s closest approximation of a chest-thumping boast, but even on this track Lamar tempers his wish fulfillment with humor, sly observation and a faint melancholy, creeping in around the edges.
Snoop Dogg and DeStorm, “Pocket Like It’s Hot”
Forget everything I said about his talent as a rapper; the most impressive thing about Snoop Dogg is the embarrassment-defying Teflon that he seems to have slathered across his body like a second skin. The man’s endorsement deals long ago crossed over from cloying to endearing, which is the only reason I can see why turning “Pop It Like It’s Hot” into a Hot Pockets commercial can be carried out without ripping a hole in the fabric of reality exactly the size and shape of good taste.
Tuki Carter ft. Wiz Khalifa & Chevy Woods, “Hold Up Roll Up”
Chalk up another win for the Taylor Gang. The beat for Tuki Carter’s “Hold Up Roll Up” is so much fun that all Carter, Wiz Khalifa and Chevy Woods really have to do is make sure that their verses don’t slow the track’s bounding roll. Like much of the Khalifa-affiliated oeuvre, “Hold Up Roll Up” doesn’t exactly plumb the depths of the human experience, but as a direct shot of “good” aimed at your auditory pleasure centers, it ranks among the fall’s finest.
Sean Price, “Swine on Pineapple”
When you can own a track on your lonesome, without the help of 808s, autotune or even drums, that’s talent. When you can pull off a similar trick in less than two minutes and with apparent pleasure in the task, it’s something else entirely. There’s a name for that kind of swagger, and that name is “class.”
Travis Barker & Yelawolf, “Push ‘Em”
On their own, Travis Barker and Yelawolf rank among the ten most obnoxious human beings on the planet. When combined, they form a super-powered Megazord of obnoxious that I am nonetheless strangely compelled toward.
I wish they wouldn’t call it “Psycho White” because that really really sounds like the name of a skinhead gang.