You know you’re getting old when…. – Deep Cuts NOvember 2017 (Hip-hop Edition)
By Damian Rodriguez
Deep Cuts – the best in new tunes to invigorate and inspire your runs.
Isn’t it weird how over time you stop identifying with the music on the radio? You stop turning up the volume as you drive, bobbing your head to the beat, and fiercely defending the the skills of your favorite rapper against anyone who says they are anything less the the lyrical virtuoso you believe them to be. Instead you spend you drives switching from station to station trying to figure out just what the heck these new rappers are saying even though they keep repeating the same phrase for two and a half minutes.
I was once told you know when you have gotten old when you no longer like they music played on the radio. So, I guess I’m getting old.
I think it’s an interesting state of music when the gansta rap of the early 2000s sounds like a Mozart piece compared to the mumble rappers of today; turning a Soundcloud beat and monosyllabic vocalizations into six months of fame and a sold out show at your local House of Blues.
But I am not ready to be carted off to the retirement home just yet
I am partial to a smooth groove, a dope beat, and a soulful hook. I think these three elements when mixed together create something special that will stand the test of time and taste. “Dang” off of Pittsburgh rapper/producer Mac Miller’s 2016 album The Divine Feminine is a prime example my holy trinity of cool: groove, beat, and hook. “Dang” is a song about modern day heartbreak that along with Miller’s flow and a jazzy house beat will keep you grooving up any hill that needs to be overcome on your run or in your life. This is the type of song you can throw on at any point in a relationship and it still ring true. It can either be a cautionary tale of past woe, an empathetic commiseration of current bullshit, or a sympathetic re-telling of red flags and deal breakers.
As a matter of fact i don’t think i am alone in valuing grooves, beats and rhymes
Chicago’s favorite message rapper, Chance The Rapper, has himself a extremely catchy, radio friendly, single with “All Night.” Off his latest mixtape, Coloring Book, “All Night” utilizes the groove, beat, rhymes trifecta to deal with Chance’s experiences with the beggars and hangers-on which inevitably surface after an entertainer reaches a certain level of wealth and notoriety. Chance’s imaginative and evocative lyrics make it easy to picture a packed club where everyone wants a piece of him and are continuously making up reasons and scenarios for him to pay or provide for them like piranhas in a feeding frenzy. “All Night,” which features another rising Chicago singer/producer Knox Fortune, is a peppy track, reminiscent of a house club-thumper from years and discos long past, that will fit nicely as a quick energy booster on any running playlist.
And I don’t think that good hip-hop is quite dead yet
Detroit rapper Dej Loaf is proving that tracks with the holy trinity of cool are not dead or artifacts of a bygone era, they are just harder to come by. Dej Loaf’s Summer 2017 single “No Fear” walks that hip-hop/r&b border with a smooth groove, a soulful and dance-able beat, with a dash of cerebral rhymes. In “No Fear” Dej Loaf longs for a love absent of fear, something I think we can all relate to. She mixes personal experience and universal truths; combining the realness of Chance The Rappers “All Night” and the smoothness of Mac Miller’s “Dang” to give hope to all us old farts that good music is not dead . Rather artists like Dej Loaf are working hard to create new classics, it’s just a shame the Top 40 airwaves are filled with mumble rappers and fly-by-night divas and not more cool cats like Dej Loaf.
That’s a wrap!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this edition of Deep Cuts. If YOU have a song or artist you think would be perfect for a deep cuts feature, let us know of our Facebook page, and while you are there give us a LIKE!