6-5-2020 Track Round Up
Conway the Machine – Front Lines
Front Lines is the latest track by Griselda co-founder Conway the Machine. The track is in response to the recent murder of George Floyd, and the many other innocent African Americans murdered in cold blood by racist police. When discussing his inspiration for the song, he says “The Amaud situation and Breonna situation and now George Floyd has brought me so much pain and anger because I’m a black man: a father, a brother, I have 2 sons. I wanted to give you the mindset from the protesters point of view, and I was able to paint that picture perfectly over this Beat Butcha production.”
Beat Butcha delivers with a sinister boom-bap style beat. Conway quickly enters the song with his signature flow, effortlessly stringing together braggadocios bars and creative double entendres. Conway the Machine uses the first verse to show his skill as a lyricist, before moving to the focus of the song in the second verse.
“He screamin’, “I can’t breathe”, cop ignorin’ all his pleas
Hands in his pocket, leanin’ on his neck with his knees (Psh)
Cracker invent the laws, that’s why the system is flawed
Cops killin’ black people on camera and don’t get charged
We ain’t takin’ no more, we ain’t just pressin’ record
Can’t watch you kill my brother, you gon’ have to kill us all”
On the second verse, Conway explains his reaction to the murder of George Floyd, and his anger towards the unjust American policing system. The track closes with a sobering snippet from a news reporter in Minneapolis speaking about the protests.
Run The Jewels feat. 2 Chainz-out of sight
Out of sight is the third track on the highly anticipated RTJ4 by hip-hop duo Run The Jewels. To the delight of many fans, the album dropped a few days prior to its’ anticipated June 5th release date.
El-P’s beat is super hard hitting, overblown and clunky in a good way. It does a good job of setting the tone for a playful, energetic and upbeat collaboration between RTJ and Atlanta MC 2 Chainz. El P and Killer Mike trade bars in the opening verse, going back and forth oozing confidence and dropping some genius punchlines. 2 Chainz delivers a classic guest verse, full of charisma and his signature sense of humor, including one of his more memorable one-liners in recent history.
“Hello, Mr. Big Safe,” the bank teller tryna get ranked
I buy a hot dog stand if I’m tryna be frank”
On this track and more, Killer Mike and El-P solidify their position as an essential duo in hip hop. Killer Mike continues his streak of intricate, intelligent and thought-provoking verses throughout the album, speaking on numerous different sociopolitical issues. El-P comes through with creative bars and some of his best beats.
YG – FTP
FTP is the poignant and timely new single from Compton rapper YG. The song has been subject to controversy, as throughout the song YG expresses his distaste for the police and the corrupt policing system. This is not the first time YG has spoken out against police brutality on a song. YG closed his critically acclaimed 2016 album with a track titled “Police Get Away Wit Murder”, a track where YG speaks on the horrifying killings of people of color by the police.
Sonically, the track is reminiscent of his 2016 single “FDT”. The three-minute protest-song is full of frustration and anger. It evokes passion and energy in the listener, and it’s clear that this is a song that’s meant to be played loud.
“Mommas cryin’, how they gon’ heal? (How they gon’?)
How you would feel?
Fuck silence, speak up bitch, this shit ill”
YG played the song with protestors in LA earlier this week.
Read Benjamin’s review of “Bussdown” by UKNWN here!
Conway the Machine
Run The Jewels
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