“How To Save A Life” by The Fray (2005)

I don’t know if you’ve ever lost a friend to suicide. I’ve lost several; off the top of my head I can count four in the last seven years. And in at least one of those cases, I feel as though there’s something I could’ve done to save them, or something that I did do… Read More “How To Save A Life” by The Fray (2005)

“Hey Mama” by Kanye West (2005)

There are lots of “mom dedication” songs in the annals of Black pop music. They didn’t start with hip-hop, either. The Intruders’ “I’ll Always Love My Mama”, The Spinners’ “Sadie”, even Jermaine Jackson’s utterly banal “Oh, Mother” all predated rap music’s popularization of open-hearted paeans to mama. One of the most, if not the most,… Read More “Hey Mama” by Kanye West (2005)

“He Comes” by De La Soul feat. Ghostface Killah (2004)

One major way that hip-hop is different from all other types of music is that a single verse can turn a track from good to “holy shit”. Case in point: Ghostface Killah’s absolutely bonkers verse on De La Soul’s 2004 album cut “He Comes”. Trugoy and Pos are great rappers; by 2004 they’d come a… Read More “He Comes” by De La Soul feat. Ghostface Killah (2004)

“Grindin'” by Clipse (2002)

“Grindin’” is hard as shit. It has proverbial ice running through its proverbial veins. It’s an interesting marriage of two pieces I can find problematic individually. I can’t say I’m crazy about hip-hop (or any music) that leans too hard into drug dealing. I think there’s a fine line between street reporting/storytelling and glorification, and… Read More “Grindin'” by Clipse (2002)