Saturday, August 28, 2010
Wow. Just wow. Look at that lineup. Most of the time in rap, big track lineups are designed to be ‘too big to fail’. Yet mostly they do because we’ve seen so many huge ones over the years (DJ Khaled, I’m looking at you*) and they never really live up the to the potential that they had in the minds of fans. This one here differs for a couple of reasons. Firstly Kanye and Jay strictly regulate the supply of their verses to big posse tracks, hence they’re a hot commodity, something that will get left at the top of Nah Right for maybe a day if they’re lucky. Secondly Rick Ross and Minaj are veterans of the posse tracks; one who’s on a career high of form right now and the other has a habit of stealing the show. Finally the addition of Bon Iver is bait to the indie crowd, and even those of us whose hearts aren’t exactly a flutter at the news are interested to see how it turns out.
That’s all well and good for context, but how does the track sound? Awesome. Assuming Kanye actually produced it (I’m gonna say yes cause it sounds like the sort of drums he has been using these days), he’s had a bit of a return to form behind the boards. His production has seemed a bit wanting of late to me yet this track just works. Each rapper tailors their verses to the variations in the beat so everything sounds like it belongs and isn’t just tacked on. Even the Bon Iver parts that bookend the song sound like they’re crazy important and not simply an afterthought of a power mad ‘Ye.
In terms of the rapping, Nicki Minaj comes out on top, simply because she has that fantastic quality of someone who sounds like they’re having the best time of their lives rapping. Her extended verse is both wildly enthusiastic and completely off the wall, and it’s these qualities that allow her to outshine rappers who are far more skilled than she. Not unlike Kanye back in the day come to think of it. Jay Z gives us what’s one of my favorite verses from him in recent memory. Getting his Vincent Price on, he conjures up vintage monster movie images to explain his current situation in rap and since he isn’t saying UGHHHHH every single line, it’s a joy to listen to. Also of note, Ross’s** 10-second intro and Yeezy’s Napoleon Dynamite reference. All in all, it’s a wildly entertaining song that for once lives up to the promise of its lineup.
* Is it just me or is T-Pain going for that Wolverine look.
**Oh dear, that’s two Rick Ross related posts in a row.
Kanye West – Monster (Ft. Jay Z, Nicki Minaj, Rick Ross & Bon Iver) LINK FIXED!