"Diamonds & Wood" is an ongoing series in which music critic Shea Serrano breaks down the 5 hip-hop tracks you need to hear this week.
You might have noticed this, but this site is about fashion. Proper fashion, at that. And I don’t write about fashion. I mean, I do have a computer and I do have a brain and I do have an understanding of the relationship between subjects and predicates, so I guess technically I COULD write about fashion. But I don’t know that that’d be any good for anyone. To wit, some things that have been said about the way that I dress since the beginning of 2012:
“You look like if Arby’s was a person.” – Anthony R.
“It’s like you’re trying to make me mad.” – My wife
“Please don’t wear that to work again.” – One of my bosses
“Your outfit makes you look like an aggressively gay homeless man.” – Cory S. (I still think this one is kind of a compliment)
“I love the way you dress.” – My mom
If we go half with that fourth one, that still means I’m only shooting 30 percent from the field. Good enough to play for the Heat, sure, but not good enough to write a fashion column. Which is why I’m not. Which I’m just now realizing could’ve been said in about 180 less words than I just did. Shit.
This space will be about music. Once a week (every Friday, likely) a new gathering of words will be here to tell you about songs that are enjoyable. I’m certain other stuff will be going on, but that’s the bulk of the premise. The column is called Diamonds & Wood because UGK has a song called "Diamonds & Wood" that I think is balls. Sometimes there's just no need to be too clever.
Umm, so off we go...
1. Gudda Gudda's "Bang, Bang," featuring 2 Chainz
Granted, Gudda's part here is disposable (isn't it always?). And the production is cut-along-the-lines creative. But nobody came to the party to see Gudda and nobody's concerned with lackluster thumps and tinks. We're all here to stand next to 2 Chainz, currently Earth's MOST AMAZING human being, and just be. I mean, shit, man. He starts his verse here by saying "bang" six times in a row and it's nothing short of being transcendent. You know what I'd get if I turned in a column that started with the same word over and over and over again. Fired, that's what the fuck I'd get. I can think of no one current artist that needed to be in the ace hole here in this inaugural post more than 2 Chainz did.
2. McKenzie Eddy's "Retrogade (Vampire Life Remix)," featuring Jim Jones
Really, if you take a white woman, tell her to be all vampire-y, pair her up with Jim Jones, tell him to not look extra homeless like he tends to do, then put them to work in front of an ethereal, moderately spooky soundscape, you're going to get some ill shit. It's basically an unfuckable process, like basic math or ghostwriting a song for Gucci Mane.
This is from a tape called Double Dragon that, duh, is built up entirely from pieces of 8-Bit tomfoolery. That's really all there is to say about it at this moment. Download it.
4. Crooked I's "Fuck U Pay Me," featuring Twista and K-Young
"Bitch, my dick is better than your pussy." – K-Young
Just a good ol' fashioned love song right here. I don't know how Hallmark missed making a "My Dick Is Better Than Your Pussy" greeting card, but they did. And the world is a gloomier place for it. If you noticed that this is a marked contrast from the first three songs, as are all of the tracks here in relation to one another, well, that's because that's sort of the point. You're not here to ask questions, okay. Download the MP3s, memorize a line or two from each, mention them at the next party you go to, pepper words like "Dickensian" and "polymath" in your description, then watch everyone try to fellate you after you do so. Because that's exactly what's going to happen. EXACTLY.
5. tabi Bonney's "On Jupiter"
Remember when Talib Kweli was good, back before he started doing commercials for Pepsi and shit? That's this, except noticeably (and enjoyably, I'd think) slower. It's burnt 70's funk. THERE ARE EVEN FLITTERY FLUTTERS, YO.
Malibooyah. Your iPod is, like, about 100X more interesting than it was twenty minutes ago. See you next week.
Shea Serrano is a writer living in Houston, TX. His work has appeared in the Houston Press, LA Weekly, Village Voice, XXL, The Source, Grantland and more. You can follow him on twitter here.