Sorry for the slightly late update, my friends. Mondays for me are quite busy these days.
Like it or not, Ronzo’s Word is back with another three grooves for you to vibe out to this week.
Kendrick Lamar – Sing About Me, I’m Dying of Thirst
It’s been almost a year since Good Kid m.A.A.d City dropped, yet you still hear its singles all over the radio station (I heard “Swimming Pools (Drank)” last summer, and it still remains one of the top songs on the radio). Not only that, but if you’ve been around for the past year, Kendrick is everywhere. His guest verses are sprinkled everywhere, he’s been invited for guest appearances on television shows, and he seems to be performing at almost every music award show (If you saw the BET Awards recently, it seemed like Kendrick was out there every 20 minutes).
Can’t hate the man for blowing up though, K. Dot has been and always will be an incredibly deep lyricist. “Sing About Me, I’m Dying of Thirst” is no exception, involving some of the most meaningful lyrics on the entire album.
Each verse takes you deep inside the life of Kendrick Lamar. The first verse summarizes the main plot of the entire album, showing the raw emotion from a man stuck in a dangerous cycle. The fact that Kendrick saw his good friend’s brother killed right in front of him is incredibly shocking. Enough material to write an entire song about, even. Somehow, he finds a way to fit it into one meaningful verse, fulfilling the wishes of his deceased friend.
The second verse focuses on the mindset of a “girl damaged by the system”. Taking place over a phone call, the girl accuses Kendrick of damaging the name of her sister, the subject matter of a song from Section.80. He uses an incredible technique at the end of the verse;
He fades the vocals out, as if he was beginning to ignore her.
The rest of the song focuses on inner reflection, playing with the idea of accepting death. This leads to the second half of the track, “I’m Dying of Thirst”. The theme of holy water, and starting a new non-violent life is the focus of this part, stressing that they’re “tired of running”.
J. Cole – She Knows
On an album as good as Born Sinner, its hard to pick just one track that stands out from the rest. I believe that “She Knows” is a strong consideration for the choice, combining Cole’s melodic style with the deep emotion heard throughout the album. Girls seem to be one of J. Cole’s favorite topics to rap about, usually the basis for many of his radio hits. This track is different, however. Even though the subject matter is similar, the mood is much darker, focusing on the struggles of a relationship while being a star rapper.
Even though the track stays a bit dark throughout the whole thing, its still very radio-friendly. I wouldn’t be surprised if this song made it to the singles charts within the next couple months. That is what’s so great about it. J. Cole managed to fuse raw emotion and subject matter with pop sensibility. That is a win in all regards.
Mac Miller – Matches ft. Ab-Soul
All of these albums from June 18th (https://ronzopleaj.wordpress.com/2013/06/21/june-18th-the-conclusion/) have stayed in constant rotation, and for absolutely good reason. Watching Movies With the Sound Off was the album of the three most fit for party environments, besides the few tracks based around self-reflection and deep thought. Standing out from the rest, for me, was the track “Matches ft. Ab-Soul“. Mac Miller’s growing relationship with TDE is definitely turning out for the best. His nonsensical style works perfectly with the complexity of Ab-Soul’s rhyme schemes. The track isn’t exactly about much other than drinking, smoking, and general debauchery, but that’s all you need for a party song.
Featuring one of the best beats on the entire album, Mac and Soul go toe-to-toe lyrically, with each one outdoing the other in different ways. I hope to hear much more from these two together in the future, as well as other collaborations between Mac Miller and the rest of the TDE camp.
*“Geez ft. Schoolboy Q” is another dope collaboration between the two camps worth checking out