Field Mob, “At the Park”
From Light Poles and Pines Trees, 2006
It’s been seven years since Smoke and Shawn Jay released an album.
10 years ago we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope, Johnny Cash and Shawn Jay. Now we have Jay Sean.
I felt bad about taking the assignment; ranking women on the Internet is an inherently evil thing to do. But we live in a world where strapped freelance writers are often asked to contradict the things they stand for…”
This is from Luke Winkie’s explanation of why he wrote the “40 Hottest Women in Tech” article for Complex. At first blush, it seems to make sense. There’s an endless stream of awful and objectionable content on the internet that someone has to create.
I guess one view is that a large majority of internet writers have strong “morals” and thus objectionable content is often created by people who are just doing it for the check. But I don’t think that’s true at all. It’s not true for just about everyone I know personally in this field. Sure, you might have to puff up a review or write positively about something you don’t care about, but that’s obviously a far cry from “contradicting the things” one stands for.
It doesn’t seem to me that Luke’s opinion is an isolated one, either. I think the idea that it’s okay to create shitty/objectionable content because content must be created is a pervasive one. For editors there’s a kernel of truth there (if we narrow “objectionable” to mean “worthless” and exclude outright offensive things), but for writers it’s very easy to say no. We do have the luxury of choosing what we do and do not want to write, especially freelance writers. There are endless subjects out there for us to cover.
The cynicism is Luke’s statement is poisonous — and it’s what leads to a good writer convincing himself that it’s okay to write “The 40 Hottest Women in Tech.”
Now, usually I don’t do this. But, uh…
Anyway, I looked up chop and screw. He’s right. It’s a mixing technique… It remixes hip-hop music, which I’m told developed in Houston. Well, the chop and screw developed in Houston, not hip-hop. The chop and screw technique remixes hip-hop music with the kind of music that was in Houston in the 1990s in the hip-hop scene. And it’s done by slowing down the tempo and skipping beats. It ends up sounding like a chopped up version of a tune, and so it’s called chop and screw. There’s even an app for it.”
100s - “Hemsworth Outro” (prod. by Ryan Hemsworth) (2012)
God damn, Based God
You got bitches, aw damn
Free Gucci Man
Well damn, my partner told me
He said, B: You gon’ die with bitches
He said you got bitches on deck, B
He said you a god damn pretty boy
I’ma die with 30 bitches on my dick
100 bitches on my dick
30 bitches on my dick
I got bitches, cuh
Aw damn, I got bitches
Aw damn, Based God, pretty boy
Aw damn, I got bitches, aw
Are people talking about Mike Will Made It enough?
I’m not being sarcastic.
By my count, Mike Will currently has seven songs on Billboard’s Hot 100:
9. Lil Wayne ft. Drake & Future - “Love Me”
19. Rihanna - “Pour it Up”
52. Ace Hood ft. Future & Rick Ross - “Bugatti”
66. Future - “Neva End”
75. B.o.B. ft. T.I. & Juicy J - “We Still in This Bitch”
96. Kelly Rowland - “Kisses Down Low”
98. Juicy J ft. Big Sean & Young Jeezy - “Show Out”
Some of them are rather unremarkable, but these are numbers it seems like Timbaland and the Neptunes put up in their heyday. I suspect that if you listened to rap radio for an hour — which I unfortunately don’t do enough nowadays — you could potentially hear every one of these seven songs.
As an innovator, he’s obviously not on the level of Timbaland or the Neptunes, and probably not even someone like Drumma Boy. But for a rap/R&B producer, he is dominating the top of the marketplace like no one has in a really long time (since T-Pain maybe?). Not even Lex Luger, who got himself a New York Times magazine feature, was this omnipresent on the charts. He has genuine crossover hits now, too, which means that maybe his most interesting songs are still ahead of him.
Hip-hop cycles through big name producers quickly, but it still feels like we’re a bit away from Mike Will’s peak. 2013 is just 73 days old. It could be a historic year.