1520 Sedgwick Avenue: January 30th, 2008 Wednesday, January 30, 2008Posted by Andy Hutchins in 1520 Sedgwick Avenue, Rockabye.
High-brow the last two days, so let’s go down-low. (Some NSFW language.)
“I move ‘caine like a cripple.” Move with me.
Here, we have the unchallenged kings of “coke rap,” even if they bristle at being put into the genre; the Clipse are two Virginia brothers, Malice and Pusha T, whose friendship with Pharrell (he’s the weird looking one in the video making noises with his mouth) has brought them no shortage of fantastically spacey beats from The Neptunes, Pharrell’s production crew with Chad Hugo.
This is one of them. Blender compared it to a “tank factory” for its echoing bass and named it to its list of the “500 Best Songs Since You Were Born” (really, since the early 1980s), and the simple drumbeat has made it the anthem for impromptu freestyles across America.
And, then, there’s the wordplay of the brothers Thornton, whose raps are both sly and brutal: “Them days I wasn’t able/There was always ‘caine,” is maybe the best Bible/dope game pun in hip-hop.
This, the lead single from 2003’s Lord Willin’, is a classic and a game-changer for many; the Clipse showed then, and continue to show, that the hustler-not-rapper ethos is alive and well, and that tight rhymes set to cool beats is always a winning formula.