Was this the best song in 2010?

Z-Ro – These Days

I entirely slept on this when it dropped, but Beanz n Kornbread killed it and Z-Ro dug it up, shot it, and buried it again. I’m not the world’s biggest Z-Ro fanatic — I’m pretty sure you have to be from Texas to get the full effect — but he’s an unquestionably dominant voice. This isn’t, I think, the kind of track that most artists should attempt. Although lyrically-lyrical types will disparage emotive rapping in Pac mold, I think it’s actually much rarer, and therefore more powerful, when you find an artist who can pull it off. Most artists just don’t have voices like Z-Ro’s; they get around it by locating their talents in other aspects of rapping; writing, developing a unique flow, or, uh, adlibs, for example. An artist who reaches for this sort of thing often is Big K.R.I.T. While it feels like he’s just reaching his potential as a producer right now, I had started writing him off because he was relying on listener sympathy too often, going to the ~deep thoughts~ well a few too many times, and that’s a really tough thing to carry with any consistency.

If you wanted to hear Z-Ro on a Timbaland beat

Short Dawg – Bone feat. Z-Ro

…Today your wish comes true. Incorporating Bone Thugs AND talking about cough syrup — sure to be the next hip-hop media darling. Plum Drank from ye old gel and weave recently put me onto the unfortunately-named Short Dawg’s awesomely-named The Adventures of Dr. Drankenstein tape which features his weird Magoo-like flow (but better lyrics) over a nice selection of beats, including one that has a better oh-shit-my-phone-is-vibrating trick than Timbo’s i-left-my-cell-phone-on-the-speaker distortion in Ginuwine’s “Do U Remember?” courtesy the Honorable C-Note:

Short Dawg – Call Me

Spending time with rap tapes that you actually like is the new dealing-with-disappointment-at-current-rap-coverage-by-bitching at the collective obsession with a non-rapping rapper like Drake or bland non-entities like Stalley or Mac Miller. In order to benefit my blood pressure I’m trying a new project of sticking to covering rap music that is actually-good in order to combat the press for that which i deem subpar. it’s a project of positive enforcement, rather than tearing down others in a h8eresque fashion.

With the obvious exception of this post. But c’mon.