Glyph is worse than some and better than others. He believes that life is just one damned thing after another, that only pop music can save us now, and that mercy is the mark of a great man (but he's just all right). Nothing he writes here should be taken as an indication that he knows anything about anything.

Related Post Roulette

18 Responses

  1. Avatar Jaybird says:

    I’m everlasting, I can go on for days and days
    With rhyme displays that engrave deep as x-rays

    He’s Muslim. That might have much to do with his lack of cursing.Report

    • Avatar Glyph says:

      I did not know that. But, and maybe I’m old-fashioned, I like the fact that he works “clean” and could still level just about anybody. Burt was mentioning that certain words in rap songs threw him off, so I was hoping something like this might work better for him.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird says:

        He signed on with Dre’s “Aftermath” but…

        Well, I’ll lift this from the wiki:
        Rakim used a metaphorical example that Dr. Dre wanted Rakim to write about killing someone, while Rakim wanted to write about the resurrection of someone.

        I am sorry that I was not given the opportunity to purchase “Oh, My God”.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy says:

        To make a weird comparison, I saw Seinfeld talk about how he doesn’t use curses. He tried once, and it didn’t feel right. More importantly, he felt (and others agreed) that it was generally more challenging to be funny without cursing. I wonder if something similar is true with rap.Report

  2. Avatar Chris says:

    Oh man, I know what I’ll be listening to tonight. I’m glad you like Follow the Leader.

    Rakim was just on another plane. I always feel like he must have recorded his rhymes in one take, and almost like he freestyled them. I don’t get that sense much from artists today. Except for… well, I’m not even going to name him. I’ll just say that I saw him freestyle, and it was incredible. And also point to this, because yes!

    Also, I think I may have mentioned it before, but I listen to a lot of non-American hip hop, and non-English language hip hop in particular, especially while I’m working (I keep meaning to do a post, but I’m afraid I’m the only one who’d like it). One of the things you hear from German, French, North African, even Russian rappers is that there influences were: X, Y, Wu Tang, and Rakim. Biggie is a distant third in number of mentions, but Wu Tang and Rakim are ubiquitous. I think it says something about your talent when everyone, everywhere, tries to rap like you even 25 years later.Report

    • Avatar Glyph says:

      I’m not ready to say Follow the Leader is better than PiF…but it may be better than PiF. So yeah, thanks for the recommendations.

      RE: Rakim’s non-English influence….I have mentioned before that I often don’t notice lyrics unless they are great, or terrible, and hip-hop in particular is so dense with words that many (or even most) just slip by me…but with Rakim, like I said I hear the “strikes” or syllabic emphases around each beat, pulling forward or back (and even, somehow, up and down; almost like a “shot grouping” around each beat). It’s intensely musical.

      I imagine that *sound* comes through, even (maybe especially) if you don’t speak English.Report

      • Avatar dhex says:

        ftl is better than pif. and lyrics of fury may be their best song.

        supposedly autechre (who are huuuuge e.b+r fans) reworked microphone fiend for the 2nd peel session. but i don’t hear it.

        [ this is kind of interesting, or at least indicative of how many times they’ve listened to microphone fiend: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aeEcOcbQQkU ]Report

    • Avatar Maribou says:

      I wish you would do a non-American hip hop post, and I’m pretty sure I’d like it.

      One of the songs I’ve never stopped listening to is Los Orisha’s track Niños, from 2002…


      • Avatar Maribou says:

        Er. Los Orishas’ track, of course. Dammit fingers, stop making me look like I don’t know grammar.Report

      • Avatar Chris says:

        Oh wow, that is awesome. I had never heard it, but I love it. Now I have to find some more.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy says:


        Didn’t you have some French shit on your original list?Report

      • Avatar Chris says:

        I did. I think some Seyfu and MC Solaar. Solaar was, in the Aughts, probably one of if not the biggest rappers in the world.

        Seyfu is more “street.” He is from a rough suburb of Paris, like a lot of French-language artists, and it comes out in his music:


      • Avatar krogerfoot says:

        Here‘s a recent favorite video, now with English subtitles and Congotronics. I think Baloji is Belgian. The rapping isn’t spectacular, but the song and the sound are great.Report

      • Avatar Chris says:

        I like Baloji. He’s really not a bad rapper, and his music is an infectious fusion of European-style rap and African (specifically Congolese) music. Kinshasa Succursale, the album on which you can find the track you linked (which features a Congolese band), is a really good album. Here’s another track from it;


      • Avatar krogerfoot says:

        Oh, hell, he’s not a bad rapper at all. It’s just that Rakim is a hard act to follow.

        “Karibu ya Bintou” put me on to Konono No 1, who has a sound that just floored me, in the “Why wasn’t I informed of this?” way. Calling their sound “Congotronics” is also an example of genius in labeling, even though their album appears to be seven variations of the same song.Report

  3. Avatar NewDealer says:

    Random Old School but relevant to this week’s events: