8th Greatest Rap Song of 2010

Waka Flocka & Rick Ross: Hard in the Paint
Written by Michael Steele from the Grand Old Party

If there’s a song that truly exemplifies the fact that Jeezy lost, it's "Hard in the Paint". Once infamous for his adlib heavy, flow-over-lyrics, heart-over-smarts approach to rap, his aesthetic has been taken to it's logical extreme in different ways by two of his contemporaries. Both of whom are featured on this song.
On one end of the spectrum you have Waka Flocka, who has essentially elevated the sonic aspects of that Jeezy-brand of rap to a level the prototype never achieved. Waka's emphasis on adlibs and aggressive delivery is so intense, that to acknowledge his bars would actually DISTRACT from the message of his rap. That’s because the message of Waka's rap isn’t one that involves anything remotely resembling a statement, let alone a narrative. Instead, the mission statement is emotion driven aggression, pure and simple. Directionless and aimless, Flocka removes Jeezy's workmanlike focus on drug dealing. Thereby providing the freedom to utilize his delivery to elicit a much more aggressive and emotional reaction from the listener.
On the opposite end of the spectrum is Rick Ross, who is not a gangster rapper in the traditional sense. While lyrically talented, Rozay’s words rarely delve below the surface, eschewing more personal and negative aspects of drug dealing to focus completely on the glamorous image of a kingpin. He’s a guy who knows the gangster aesthetic in and out, even if he appears to be oblivious to the gangster lifestyle. While Waka’s raps are much better when less emphasis is placed on lyrics, the key to appreciating RAWSE is to let the vivid images and themes that his punchlines convey play out, never focusing on the lack of depth of character behind them. Songs such as MC Hammer, BMF, and of course "Hard in the Paint" are effortless for RAWSE. They provide a blank canvas that encourage the Teflon Don to paint grandiose images of excess, without the constraints of an actual song concept.

William doesn’t attempt to compete with Flocka in regards to delivery - something Waka’s label mate Gucci Mane should have considered on his version of the song - and relies on his naturally authoritative voice to carry his infectious lines and excessive imagery. In short, where Flocka removed any semblance of lyricism from the style of rap Jeezy pioneered, Rick Ross has managed to improve the lyrics of said style and even make it a strong point.

"Hard in the Paint" is the pinnacle of lowest common denominator rap.

Waka Flocka & Rick Ross - Hard in the Paint


  1. has anyone ever fallen off quicker than "The Snowman", his last album was critically acclaim (even though i personally liked his first two LP better) but now he barely registers on the relevancy scale.

  2. How about we replace this joint with Currensy's twistin stank?

  3. Curren$y sounded horrible over this beat IMO, and I'm a fan of the guy.

  4. RNC Chairman Michael SteeleDecember 17, 2010 at 1:12 PM

    @NovEnd: Yeah, man. At the beginning of the year he was scoring [really good] guest verses on Rihanna, The-Dream, Drake and Jay-Z songs. He had one of the best mixtapes of the year. He was loosening up his flow and sort of trying new things successfully and I though he was actually gonna try to make a decent pop-crossover, especially with T.I., Wayne, and Gucci gone.

    Now if anything, Rick Ross is in that position. Jeezy doesn't even have a set album release date. Lose My Mind was amazing and should have been a big hit for him. None of the other leaks from the album are any good.

    Even Jeezy's go-to producer Shawty Redd lost to RawsexWaka. Lex Luger>>>

  5. The Youth has stated on Whitelow's twitter page that they are releasing another album on Christmas day


  6. Never connected the rise of Waka to the fall of Jeezy. I thought Jeezy was the downfall of the year but then I heard the new T.I. album.