HALFTIME: Tron's Tentative Favorite Rap Song of 2011

Written by Abortatron of 'George Bush Money'.
Raekwon & Nas - "Rich and Black"
(Shaolin vs Wu-Tang; 2011)

DISCLAIMER: Trust, I'm well aware of the epic irony at work here, seeing as how I know absolutely nothing of being rich, black, or any combination thereof. Stay close...

It's no secret that Raekwon resuscitated his career after finally making good on his promise to release 2009's 'Only Built 4 Cuban Linx 2'. Most of us assumed the often delayed sequel would be a disgrace to the Wu legacy
a blatant attempt to attach the legendary Purple Tape franchise to a half-ass LP saddled with second string Wu affiliates. Fortunately, Shallah shocked the world by delivering a follow-up worthy enough to carry on the name of it's predecessor. However, there was a key ingredient the sequel failed to inherit from the originala collaborative effort with Nas Escobar.

Fast forward to January 2011, rap-nerds far and wide rejoiced when the tracklist for 'Shaolin vs Wu-Tang' revealed Nas would contribute to 'Rich and Black'. Extra points should be awarded for not reaching for some type of "club-banger", or trying to pull off an unnecessary tribute to an era long gone. There is no formula for a "hit" at work here
no hook, no soul sample, no Alex Da Kid beat, no trend chasing, no nonsense. 'Rich and Black' is just straight up, uncut hip-hop. Despite Nas incorporating lyrics recycled from J Love's 'Desert Eagle Mouthpieces' two years prior over a nearly identical Sean C & LV instrumental, the two legends go back and forth, verse for verse, elevating their respective game each time the mic is passed.

What I really admire about this recording, pushing it to the top of my annual list, is it works for every conceivable scenario. Preparing for a long day's work? Need to get to the ol' adrenaline pumping on your way to punch someone's face in? Looking for the perfect tune to scare the old white people at the traffic light? Searching for a celebratory anthem to blast in the seven passenger minivan while shuffling a little league baseball team to Dairy Queen after a victory? You already know. 'Rich and Black' is truly a song for all seasons.


S
o while the reunion is indeed belated, and certainly not as essential as 'Verbal Intercourse', it's the polar opposite of what you would hear on your local "blazing hip-hop and R&B" radio station, and that's good enough for me.

4 comments:

  1. DISCLAIMER: Trust, I'm well aware of the epic irony at work here, seeing as how I know absolutely nothing of being rich, black, or any combination thereof. Stay close..

    ================================================
    LMAO

    Great choice tho, just 2 legends stylin on you.

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  2. dope song

    not exactly in my favorite of the year so far

    like a few other joints on Shaolin vs Wutang more than Rich & Black (Ferryboat Killaz, From the Hills, Masters of My Fate, Dart School)

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  3. @November I thought same thing when the album first leaked, but now it's one of my favorite songs on the project.

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  4. I just remember Sha Stimuli having this Nas verse on a song around a year before this came out, really made this song sound used!!

    ReplyDelete