Disney Meets Ratchet

Written by David Turner (@dalatudalatu)

I’d first like to thank Max for pointing out to this song over a month ago and knowing it’d be something I’d absolutely love. Zendaya is a Disney child star from TV shows I’ve neither heard of/seen, but in the last few months she got a minor pop hit with “Replay.” A kind of out there single with a video that starts like Cassie’s “U and Me,” and musically becomes a loopy off-kilter Dubstep song, which sounds like a Purple-Era Joker track.

“Replay” was the opener for her self-titled debut album and the album’s closer “My Baby” comes from an entirely different sonic planet. Produced by NicNac, the guy behind Chris Brown’s “Loyal,” Sean Kingston’s “Beat It,” and most of Bobby Brackins’ mixtape, Maxwell Park, from last year. NicNac and DJ Mustard share some stylistic traits with both finding success very California party tracks—see here for Mustard’s wild party side. The main differentiation between the two is that were Mustard stresses minimalism, NicNac allows the disparate sonic elements to remain within the track instead of trying to pair them down. The original “My Baby” is great and hopefully has/will find its way on to radio once temperatures heat up, but Max specifically pointed out the track’s remix. This remix line-up is a personal Ratchet dream team of Ty$, Bobby Brackins and Iamsu!. Taken individually the additional verses aren’t great, but as a sum total of a great beat, a nice hook and drunk-on-love verses from my favorite California dudes, it makes for a great Pop-now-turned-Rap song.

What are Outkast?

Written by David Turner (@dalatudalatu)

Outkast are back! A victory for popular, quality music if there ever was one and not because the duo will bring back southern lyricism or da art of storytelling but their arguably one of the best rap entities ever, so of course people are excited to see them at Coachella and whatever other sweaty expensive-as-hell festivals they’ll be touring this summer. But for the Post-Woodstock ‘99 babies that weren’t around for Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik or Stankonia with their 2000 breakthrough “Mrs. Jackson,” it makes sense they’d wonder: “Who Is Outkast?”

This question spawned a now deleted Tumblr page devoted to shaming those too young to remember when Bill Clinton was president and Will Smith wasn’t just the uncool dad of Jayden and Willow. The site might’ve assumed it is mocking ignorance, but in reality it was stating the obvious that knowing rap history isn’t a prerequisite for a social media account. These kids aren’t asking “who is Drake” or “who is Miley Cyrus,” they’re unsure about the identity of a group who haven’t had a Top 40 hit since 2004 with “Roses,” and, of course, who the fuck remembers “Roses that smell poo-ooo-oo?”

If a young female rap fan was born in 1999 that would make her 1 when Stankonia came out and not even in 1st grade after the national sensation that was “Hey Ya.” If she missed those moments then ignorance of the group makes sense, as Outkast have done little since 2003’s Speakerboxxx / The Love Below to propagate their legacy. They put out Idlewild, a quickly forgotten movie and soundtrack, and certainly “The Mighty O,” as a single, would make little impression on grade schoolers when T.I., Wayne and Kanye were climbing the commercial ranks. Recently Big Boi released a couple of solo albums to much critical praise, but little commercial appeal, and Andre 3000 has kept penning high profile guest verses, but those at this point have very little to do the Outkast legacy.

The other factor playing against the duo is that if their own hiatus didn’t push them to obscurity, 2014 rap bares little of their overt sonic or stylistic touches. They don’t have much to do with the Trap sound of places like Atlanta and Chicago, nor do they have much connection to the Post-Swag that continues to filter onto southern radio playlist.  Kanye and Drake certainly wouldn’t shy away from giving the group props, they’ve broken off so far onto their own rap continents that one can miss the racial and emotional back-and-forths that was so deeply ingrained in Outkast that continued into later rappers’ work.

In terms of groundbreaking southern acts right now they feel more like a 2 Live Crew than an UGK or even No Limit/Cash Money Records, where the former was important and will still get random call outs (French Montana’s “Pop That”), but they don’t seem to have a collective hold on imagination of rappers in the 2010s. Where UGK and 90s No Limit/Cash Money Records can lay claim over almost all of the rap music in 2014 from slang, beat production, rapping styles and even those visual aesthetics have held more sway than the Funk inspired ideas of Outkast’s later works.

Outkast songs don’t even figure heavily onto rap stations, because while “Mrs. Jackson” and “Hey Ya” were big hits they were more Pop than Rap. Where a last evening rap mix on southern rap can pull up over a dozen hits from T.I., Young Jeezy, Lil Wayne or even just going back and doing an old No Limit or Cash Money mix, when was the last time one heard “Rosa Parks,” or for that matter any Outkast song, on the radio? All southern rappers that claim lyricism will reserve a place for Outkast—Isaiah Rashad being the most recent with his album having a song called “West Savannah,” but very few rarely sound like them or really pick up the musical ideas they were using in the 90s.

So how will the rap and pop world re-embraces the duo, as a duo and no longer separate rap god father figures? A lot of the racial and emotional conflicts that might seem unique to this generation of post-Kanye rappers already existed within Outkast. Yet the radio moved past their music once they stopped making it. The group’s musical influence seem to do more with wordplay and an intangible cool than synth presets and drum patterns, for better or worse. Do they even have adlibs? And if they don’t, are they even rappers in 2014?

Isaiah Rashad’s Southern Memories

Written by David Turner (@dalatudalatu)

If you gotta be a nigga, I’d pray for ya basic-ass niggas be born above the Mason Dixon line to avoid that curse of a southern drawl. An accent that makes people, especially your own, assume ya to be slow, dumb-witted niggers. Isaiah RaShad sat below that line for most of his life, coming from Chattanooga, Tennessee. But with songs called “R.I.P. Kevin Miller” and “Brad Jordan,” named after Master P’s brother and legendary Houston rapper Scarface respectively, he could’ve easily generalize those roots; but RaShad never strays away from his southern, but never that southern nature. There is a familiarity in this unknown setting that sits on the outskirts of his rhymes. When he shouts out to Chattanooga city sides and neighborhoods, there isn’t a wealth of knowledge, unlike Rap Dixieland capitals of Atlanta or Houston from previous rap songs or pop cultural nuggets to fill the mental holes. Instead those knowledge gaps personalize every sip of beer, hit of weed and each porch smoked black and mild to RaShad’s own world.

A girlfriend, a tall can of Ole E, dry weed, and a father whose appearance signals trouble are all that populate Cilvia Demo. That’s really it, nothing more. No parties, strip clubs, fly kicks, sky high rims or really any other dirty south tropes. RaShad works with a very limited palette for the Cilvia Demo, there is no overt meta-narrative of Kendrick Lamar’s good kid, m.a.A.d. city, nor does he try to touch upon everything under-the-sun approach of Kanye West. The album ends up just being immediate human relationships and Rashad’s vices.

His father’s influence sits high above the album. Whether “Heavenly Father” is about Jesus’ Pop doesn’t much matter, as most of the track is spent with RaShad turning his away from the teachings of his earthly father. He mentions his father calling up drunk, yet liquor and beer still pass between RaShad’s lips on nearly every song. There are those vices again. The same is true of the weed smoke in his lungs, but neither sip nor inhale distorts his vision of not wanting to turn out like his father and forgetting that he has his own little life to support (“Brad Jordan”).

Cilvia Demo has an unusual weightless for a debut rap project, especially one from such an established rap camp (Top Dawg Entertainment). At one point the album was supposed to be a mixtape, maybe an EP and now it’s on iTunes for $8.99 despite it being RaShad’s first full project. Maybe it is TDE’s confidence in the young rapper, which the album justifies as RaShad establishes him as a rapper who’s contemplative, always living in the moment. The “Shot You Down (Remix)” alters the reflective lens and instead of being at internal issues, he mocks “bitch ass rappers” and “Hypebeast pussies.” Cocky youthful rap tough talk but when label mates and Cali residents Jay Rock and Schoolboy Q bring in harsh self-critique the song justifies its seven minute running time. As RaShad’s refrain of “I Came/  I Saw / I Conquered / I Shot You Down” rings out, it’s an aggressive but calming shot release after a 45 minute ride-along with his internal concerns.

I never noticed his southern accent. Isaiah raps just any kid from where I’m from if they pick up a mic and committed to the act. He extends syllables, never stresses pronunciation and rhymes with a soft-spoken ease. RaShad never announces that he’s rappin or reppin for Chattanooga, Tennessee, or the South. Why proclaim what’s given away by the way words ring from one’s mouth? Isaiah Rashad made a small southern album and one that came from a place I’ve always called home.

Clap Clap Clap for Wale

Written by David Turner (@dalatudalatu)

The issue with “Clappers” wasn’t subject matter—strip club anthems have recently been one of rap’s most creative grounds—the problem was Wale. Juicy J and Nicki Minaj, an underappreciated combo, do their best to raise some singles for the sorry song, but it’s hard to enjoy throwing racks with Wale saying “Shawty got a big ole butt / O Yeeeaaaah,” in the background. It’s been a few years since “No Hands” allowed Wale to trade his hipster reviews for a MMG chain, yet his not-so-sensitive club persona still falls apart despite the few times it does work (“LoveHate Thing”).

The remix of “Clappers” could’ve been dramatically boring—calls up 2 Chainz, but instead the song is broken down and rebuilt into a fairly unique club song. The song gets a full facelift production remix from Hit-Boy that makes the song go from “Go-Go” to “Trap.” Usually not a cause for praise, the world doesn’t need Wale on another Trap beat, but with a line-up of Rick Ross, Fat Trel and Young Thug it made sense to switch up the home field advantage.

Rick Ross for what he truly does lack in persona it’s hard to deny that he’s a solid rapper when he gives lines like “I walk around my estate like I’m Bel-Air.” The song knows the most interesting rappers on the track, because Wale follows up Ross allowing the youngsters of Fat Trel and Young Thug to hold up the track’s back end. Fat Trel should’ve been on MMG back in 2011—imagine Fat Trel in place of Pill—for that signing to have done anything positive for his career; but his compelling lumbering slurred style remains and that vocal sleaze makes Wale’s “Shawty got a big ole butt,” even sound like a decent rap lyric. Then Young Thug comes slurring more than Fat Trel and at multiple points the beat become undistinguishable from his *inaudible grunts*. It’s great! If I come around on Young Thug in 2014, Wale will deserve a clap clap clap for that.

*The artwork from Linshuttr is far better than any rap remix artwork every need be.

The Vine Generation’s “Crank That”: #NaeNae

Written by David Turner (@dalatudalatu)

I’ve been planning to a post on the #NaeNae dance for a while, but what do you know last night Billboard did a story on the dance craze. I got scooped by one of the biggest magazines around, lol. If you haven’t heard about the Atlanta-based dance, then go read that story to get idea about the dance that’s been hard to miss the last few months.

Originally, I just gonna to post the song “Drop That Nae Nae,” which Billboard has pointed out has started gaining more traction on Rap/R&B radio stations. And at least based on my own radio listening patterns, I’ve certainly heard the song quite a bit the last few weeks, and not just in DJ mixes. The WeAreToonz song has a Post-Snap minimalism that sounds like any number of “Crank That” derivative songs from 2007 and 2008 and one of the rappers even sounds a bit like Soulja Boy. Though not as memorable as “Crank That” or even a track like “Crank That Batman” or “Crank That SpongeBob,” “Drop That Nae Nae” is certainly a nice compliment to the goofy dance that people love performing. Will #NaeNae get to that level of mainstream cultural popularity? I dream. *Rubs Martin Luther King Jr. poster*

But #NaeNae as a dance already kind of had its own theme song. Young Thug’s “Stoner” was the song that kept appearing on Vines for the dance when I saw it a few months ago. The drugged out song appeared to have been the original Vine soundtrack song for the dance by WeAreToonz, before that group and others started writing songs for the dance. “Stoner” ended up becoming the Young Thug song that finally broke him through to a wider audience, as the Vine hit kept acquiring Youtube views and now at this point consistent radio play.

I also wanted to note that if “Drop That Nae Nae” is Post-Snap, then it’s only fair a group made a Post-Futuristic anthem for the #NaeNae crowd. TheyCallMeN8’s “Nae Nae (Hold Up, Show Nuff)” is just a generation away from Atlanta late 2000s Futuristic style of J. Futuristic, J. Money and Travis Porter back when “swag” was the wave to catch with cracked digital horns and multiple melodies stacked on each other. This style is the same sonic DNA as any Chicago Bop song, just a different region, dance and slightly more obnoxious colors of denim. The more rap changes the more it stays the same.

Enough Mustard for a House Party

Written by David Turner (@dalatudalatu)

Not to focus too much on DJ Mustard, but no one, not even Mike Will Made It, has the rap and R&B world so wound up a single producer’s sound. The reason for Mustard’s dominance is that it isn’t based around one style. The post-“Rack City” sound that he was self-repeating has shifted into something less “Ratchet,” and morphed into a surprising variety of styles. Not that DJ Mustard hasn’t sold rappers 300 different slight variations of “Rack City,” but his Ketchup tape and YG’s Just Re’d Up 2 showed just how far he had come in a year. His styles have splintered into: G-Funk-meets-Ratchet (“Im 4rm Bompton”), 90s sampling R&B tracks (“I Wanna B Down”), Atlanta backyard grillin’ anthems (“Up and Down” and “Headband”) and he’s even found a less rigidly defined niche with his Ty$ single “Paranoid.”

That particular strain of Mustard is what I wanted to focus on here. “Paranoid” is my favorite song of 2013, 2014 and I’ll just give it a three-peat and include 2015. Sing it at home, blast it on the radio and mention it whenever #music appears in a conversation. Ty$’s story of paranoid love is far too relatable, not as art imitating a listener’s life, but more for its overly detailed and thought-out concerns in mattes of love. #sorrynotsorry I’ve enjoyed the song since it first appeared on Ketchup last summer but regarded it as a one off oddity then appeared “Show Me”. The now more popular single by Kid Ink featuring Chris Brown, in the role of TeeFlii, has climbed up the Hot 100 chart and into my heart. A blatant self-bite of “Paranoid,” but production wise, at least, it showed improvement with a Robyn S. “Show My Love” sample. The great 90s Pop-House classic is stripped down to a few choice piano plucks and placed in the same musical skeleton as “Paranoid,” and the answer of what “what does heaven sound like?” finally has a proper answer.

But two songs doesn’t make a trend, which goddamnit this site is about trends, so throw in a Flo Rida’s track with August Alsina called “Rear View” and a Chris Brown song called “Loyalty,” which is either by DJ Mustard, or someone very on point in copying this peculiar style, to pass the minimum of three being enough for a trend claim. The exact “style” was tricky to describe at first, but hearing all of these songs together highlighted their shared sonic seams. Mustard’s production on YG’s hit “My Nigga” certainly helped the minimal gangster track prosper on the social media site on Vine, because the song worked perfectly as a 6 second loop (“My Nigga My Nigga”). “Paranoid” and “Show Me,” even more so are songs that have a simple to remember Vine-able melody. The songs in this context sound like “Pop” takes on the Mustard’s usually more street leaning records and that slight target shift has made perfect records for car drives and all turn-up related functions.

Rappers and Their Adlibs

Written by David Turner (@dalatudalatu)

Where are the adlibs on “Cut Her Off?” They’re certainly there but of recent Atlanta street anthems K Camp’s burgeoning hit sounds positively minimal compared to other notable Atlanta tracks from 2013. I’m probably making much out of nothing, because K Camp’s adlibs play back against his first verse, but they didn’t add much to the song. Compared to the trio of Migos, who pack tracks with all verbal sounds to prevent there being a second of empty space; or a Young Thug, whose adlibs are either *unintelliable language* or an entire one-on-one musical conversation. I went back to K Camp’s recent tape with DJ Drama, In Due Time, and was disappointed at the tape’s mediocrity beyond “Cut Her Off” and his previous hit “Money Baby.” But in the last decade, adlibs have increasingly become a keen marker of a rapper’s style and that K Camp scored so low on the adlib barometer, which unfortunately served as a good heads-up for the rest of his material.

Been Around Mike Will’s World

 

Written by David Turner (@dalatudalatu)

One day a band is gonna name their band “Miley’s Tongue,” for the way that single muscle caused a disproportionately high amount of mainstream scrutiny and ire. Ignoring the “PUSSY MONEY WEED” persona swiped from Rihanna, so much of Cyrus rebellion can be found in her tongue. A physical middle finger that cannot be censored no matter what it might provoke in the public. The sonic master that gave Miley this new musical foundation to craft this persona was Mike Will Made It. A person whose persona never sees a need to stick his tongue out, or really stick out in any way, except that he holds the Pop and Rap worlds in his palms.

His late 2013 mixtape, #MikeWillBeenTrill isn’t a victory lap of success or even a preview of his future, as much as an introduction to the Atlanta producer’s disparate musical sides. The tape features: Country-Mike Will (“My Darlin”), Post-Linkin-Park-Mike Will (“Where You Go”), Three-Six-Mike Will (“Be A G”) and even Windows-Down-Block-Beating-Mike Will with “Shit Megamix” and “Fork.” There is a kind of warble and stutter that permeates and would allow one to know the guy behind “No Lie” did “Be a G,” but the tape proudly enjoys its lack of uniformity.

About a third into the tape, he takes a trip back to his old days working with Gucci Mane on “East Atlanta 6.” Beyond Gucci’s brilliant sense of humor there is little show of talent that has vaulted Mike Will to the top of the rap world. The Atlanta producers working with Gucci at that time all had diverse styles whether it was the OG trap of Shawty Redd, the post-Mannie Fresh electronics of Zaytoven, the WTFness of DJ Speedy or even the lumber of a Drumma Boy. Mike Will back then wasn’t quite there.

Pharrell, who also shined in 2013, with “Blurred Lines,” “Happy” or “Feds Watching” were all tracks that held within the range of his lone solo album, In My Mind, or even late 90s/early 2000s work in the Neptunes. Despite the idea of coming back, Pharrell didn’t comeback, as much as the Pop world came back around to his singular sound. #MikeWillBeenTrill shows that as a producer Mike Will hasn’t congealed down into a Pharrell-like overall sound. That lack of precision increases the dynamism of the tape, as the sonic palette of songs leaps from one extreme to the next.  Future’s solemn “Wolf” transitions to the abrasive Trap shit of “Fork” showing Mike Will as a producer whose beats mold around particular artists rather exist singularly as factory line produced units.

At one point last summer, Mike Will tweeted about releasing a solo project called #FuckVerses, which thankfully has not yet materialized. His beats aren’t malleable or interesting enough to stand alone, like an Araabmuzik or Clams Casino. 2 Chainz’s booming voice builds up “Where You Been,” and the weary of “Against All Odds” cannot translate without Future’s sorrowed croon. And the same way “Wake Up No Make” by Ciara and “We Can’t Stop” by Miley, were originally Rihanna tracks following “Pour It Up,” Mike Will’s original tracks for the artists, Ciara’s “Body Party” and Miley’s “My Darlin,” play more to their musical strengths rather than forcing out their best Rihanna impressions.

That artist awareness is what makes “Shit Megamix” worth multiple listens despite its 12 minute length. The original “Sh!t” was a classic lurching Post-Luger beat with Future doing his best post-rap howling, but Mike Will morphed the track into a classic 90s Three-Six track for Drake and Juicy J, and retooled it again into an early 2000s Crunk track for the Atlanta All-Star remix that included Pastor Troy. It’s a really music nerd remix of a song with a hook that throws out variations of “Nigga you ain’t pop shit” ad infinitum. That might be why Mike Will doesn’t, yet, sit with a singular sound, a-la The Neptunes or Timbaland, he’s still a sound synthesizer and figuring out what to distill.

Top 20 Ratchet Songs of 2013

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.”

1. “Red Nose” / “Gas Pedal” – Sage the Gemini/(feat. Iamsu!)

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.