Written by David Turner (@dalatudalatu)
Welcome back to So Many Shrimp. We’ve missed you gals and guys. I’m David Turner, not Chief Keef biographer and Complex writer David Drake, and I’ll be leading this ship into 2014. To start off, I was just posting a brief life of my personal favorite “Ratchet” songs of 2013. And just because, I know commentors will say “That’s from the Bay not LA!” or “‘Paranoid’ is an R&B song not Rap.” My general rule for “Ratchet,” those quotes could be used more tepidly, is if a track is done in a Post-Snap/Post-Jerk minimal style or have some kind of connection to the state of California it is “Ratchet (Rap Genre),” if not also “Ratchet (Adjective).”
20. “Team Up” – Problem
Gonna start off with a mixtape #deepcut, cause why else do an internet list. Problem’s The Separation was a really strong summer tape, but I’d understand if no one talked about it enough. It isn’t “weird,” “exciting,” “sad,” or whatever buzzword that SEO rap writers needs to give a rapper proper coverage. Whatever, “One on One You Ain’t Fucking With Me.” Preach Pastor Problem Preach.
19. “On Citas” – Iamsu! (Keak Da Sneak & Mastah F.A.B.)
Iamsu! and the Heartbreak Gang released a lot, A LOT, of music in 2013. Some of it good (Jay Ant’s Blue Money), some of it bad (that HBK Gang full group project), but most of it forgettable (Su’s own Kilt 2). “On Citas” stood above the rest of Kilt 2 by sticking to his Bay roots alongside Keak Da Sneak and Mastah F.A.B. by making an oddly memorable song without sounding like Su was trying too hard.
18. “Make It Clap” – YG
DJ Mustard like most rap producer makes car music, not weak-laptop-speakers or overpriced-Beats-headphones music. One can still hear all the detail of “Make It Clap” on some ten buck ear buds, but the sun doesn’t stay up longer in the summer for no reason, it knows there is a season for track like these to blare with the windows down on evening rides.
17. “R.I.P.” – Young Jeezy (feat. 2 Chainz)
To think in 2005 that Young Jeezy’s career in 2014 would still be going strong and that he’d actually become a pretty dexterous rapper. Who’d a saw it? That lumbering flow that he used to reveal in, back in the Trap or Die days, has entirely been replaced with a rapper who nimbly can go from a Drumma Boy beat to DJ Mustard and oddly sound more at home on the West Coast than in his usual Southern rap pocket. In fact “R.I.P.” along with the “Function (Remix)” served as the transition from Jeezy being a Southern living legend to becoming an odd forecaster of the DJ Mustard take of rap in 2013. And, 2 Chainz said “Turnip / Collard Greens,” didn’t want to forget that.
16. “Hella Ice” – Doughboyz Cashout (feat. YG)
Last summer, when Jeezy released his #ItsthaWorld mixtape he tucked away one of the biggest rap song of the year with “My Nigga.” The song would eventually go on to outshine the rest of the tape featuring Jeezy, Doughboyz Cashout and YG on their West Coast gangster shit with YG being on the only one to fill either one of those descriptors. But “Hella Ice” with its crushing stomp squashes any linger questions about the relevancy of Doughboyz Cashout, they have none. And yet, here are 92 words on this great song.
15. “This Dick” – TeeFlii (feat. Jadakiss)
The original “This Dick” was pretty good, but the remix with Jadakiss got a great verse from him and wisely retooled the original beat. The single got minor radio traction during the fall, and DJ Mustard hasn’t made a song that’s crossed onto radio stations with such force.
14. “Bus It The Intro” – Earl Swavey
Last year Que had a song, “Young Nigga,” whose chorus went “Young Nigga Young Nigga Young Nigga Young Nigga Young Nigga Young Nigga I stay with a pistol and hang with drug dealers, gorilla and killers.” Swavey here takes the same thematic idea, except with a few more middle fingers and on a beat that sounds like a metallic bootleg from the League of Starz camp.
13. “Aliens” – Jay Ant (feat. 1-O.A.K.)
HBK might be a gang, but they have an obvious leader in Iamsu!, who’s the most visible member of the crew, while the rest of mostly sit behind laptop creating slaps. Jay Ant’s mellow persona doesn’t have the dynamism of Suzy, but the zoned-outness of “Aliens” showed that a little diffusion to 2am Ratchet behavior isn’t a bad idea.
12. “Open Yo Legs” – Bobby Brackins
Working at my school’s library, I fully understand those strange looks people give me from having the music on my earphones too loud. But the song is so bouncy. And, again I know no one cares about Bobby Brackins, but in a world where we praise Ty$ and TeeFlii, his tape Maxwell Park deserves some shine.
11. “Nigga Get Off” – Reem Riches, TeeCee4000 & RJ
*HORNS* *HORNS* *HORNS* I’m pretty sure the only person that cared enough about DJ Mustard and LA Gangster rap to listen to this tape was A$AP Yams, because otherwise I would’ve entirely missed it. As much as YG’s music is great for a car ride, these opening three seconds could be repeated ad-infinitum and still have one of the best rap songs of the year.
10. “Headband” – B.o.B. (feat. 2 Chainz)
The whistling. That little whistle. The “Ooooos” that must’ve come from Ty$, otherwise why is he in the video for this charming sun-soaked tune. I’d say that B.o.B. in this video perfectly encapsulates the average Atlanta dude style; buuuuuuut 2 Chainz verse is too perfect for me to not devote at least two sentences to this fact. The economically minimal rapping style of 2 Chainz hasn’t been better used his verse on “Mercy.” #BlessTauhee
9. “All I Do” – Jahlil Beats (feat. Jinsu & Problem)
Jahlil Beats got his start with Meek Mill’s Flamers series (“Hottest in the City” and “Rosé Red”), and that hyper charged energy carried him well with his more minimal tracks. Claps. Claps. Drums. Drums. Drums. Claps. Claps. And to quote Problem again: “You fucked up / my life is as sweet as mangos.”
8. “Started from the Bottom” – Drake
“The Canadian went Ratchet.” If only the rest of Nothing Was the Same sounded like this, “Hold On We’re Going Home” or “Trophies.” He might have made a good album! Either way the beat, the video and the fucking sentiment only ring stronger almost a full year later.
7. “Bout Me” – Wiz Khalifa (feat. Problem & Iamsu!)
#teamKhalifa, but this should have been a real single from Wiz’s average second major label album. It’s catchy, rubbery and beyond those elastic band qualities, it’s the most quotable Wiz song since, well he’s never been that quotable so let’s go with ever. And with assistance by Iamsu! and Problem (“Super-duper high / 88th floor”), the song functioned as the perfect transitional track, as evening radio mixes became wall-to-wall Ratchet bangerz.
6. “Don’t Trust Nobody” – DJ Mustard (feat. Killa Kam and RJ)
I previously mentioned this song in a Pitchfork article on DJ Mustard last year, and I’ll stick to the general idea this is an Oneohtrix Point Never song with venomous rap on to the arpeggio chords instead of letting the electronics stand alone. Not that I’m complaining about either!
5. “Burn Rubber” – DJ Mustard (feat. Joe Moses & YG)
*Insert a phrase of phrase for Joe Moses* *Insert a phrase of praise for DJ Mustard* *Insert an emoji of dismay and confusion*
4. “Paranoid” – Ty$ (feat. Joe Moses or B.o.B.)
I “feel” this song. Not because this odd situation of multiple lovers has happened to me. Nah. I’m just a generally paranoid ma-fuck. Email an editor. Worry. Text a girl. Worry. Not sure when the next rest area is gonna appear on the highway. Worry, dear god worry. The beat is also cocoa butter smoooooooth.
3. “Like Whaaat” – Problem (feat. Bad Lucc)
This is from 2012, but didn’t really breakout nationally until 2013. I’d love to have read the #secrete Facebook group that decided that Young Bleed’s “How You Do That” was going to be the Ratchet generation’s “Funky Drummer.” But I’m certainly not gonna complain that No Limit Records continues to inspire another generation of rappers. *Rides Away on A Gold-Plated Tank*
2. “My Nigga” – YG (feat. Young Jeezy & Rich Homie Quan)
A Post-Vine success story of a song, which got increased buzz cause the phase “My Nigga” can be incorporated into humorous 6-second films. But my favorite angle of this particular hit is that even out of context on Vine is that the song in a little six second loop still makes far more sense than the radio edit of “My Hitta.” “My Nigga My Nigga My Nigga My Maaaauuuu-Fucking Nigga.”
Goddamnit people. Somehow the whites convinced themselves that “twerking” was something new and exciting, when we all well know that all of them partied to Lil Jon’s “Get Low,” and heard the lyrics “Let me you see you twerk it for me one more time.” “Gas Pedal” is pretty old, but the Bay area hit finally started getting radio play in 2013 and eventually became a Vine viral hit along with its sister track “Red Nose.” At some point looking through Vine over the summer, the actual songs morphed into “My First Twerking Lesson” for young whites across Obama’s America, which was at one point hilarious and forty-nine more points just embarrassing. But, all was not lost, as both songs increased visibility eventually got both of them into the Billboard Top 100?! And apparently Sage the Gemini is actually going to release an album this year, again all was not lost.