"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.
This is a mostly meaningless, excessively simple question that I asked several people that nearly nobody would answer. Of the few that did answer, they all did so in a completely oblique manner. (Two of eleven people asked answered in a manner that seemed immediately honest, but both of them did so under the condition that their responses remained “off the record,” which, really, I’m not certain is any less a cowardice approach than not answering at all.)
Again, the premise is unassailably straightforward. The lead up is a tad strange, I suppose, but that’s because that’s generally the nature of hypotheticals. At any rate, the prompt:
Let us assume that Lupe Fiasco was telling the truth. Let us assume that aliens have in the past, and will in the future, be in contact with earthlings. (Lupe told people this past October that he’d been visited by aliens as a child. He cited a scar on his ankle as tangible proof that an encounter had occurred, though I’d argue that that “Blackout” song he included as a Japan/Circuit City-only bonus track on The Cool is WAY better evidence.) And let us assume that they are visiting as preparation for a less than hospitable MEGAinvasion in the very near future.
So then the MEGAinvasion happens.
For reasons that will only ever make sense within the construct of a fictional set-up, the aliens have selected you to make what the news will no doubt refer to as “The Most Important Decision That Has Ever Had To Be Made”. See, the aliens, with their ultra weapons and super advanced advances, have designed a machine that will, at request, eliminate entire races of people from planet earth. (For the sake of this hypothetical, we will assume that the aliens obtained a copy of the Meyers Konversations-Lexikon, a major encyclopedia printed in German that existed for almost 150 years that asserts everyone on the planet can be classified as either Mongolian, Caucasian or Negroid.)
The aliens tell you, “Look, Human, you guys have royally fucked up earth. We set it up so you all could ju—DUDE, yes, WE set it up. God isn’t God. Well, I mean he is, but he’s not the God you all know. He’s just a normal dude with a bit of a drinking problem. Whatevs. Focus, yo. We set it up so you all could just come here and be chillbros and eat fruit and buffalo and shit, but instead you all started murdering each other and destroying the land and going to WorldstarHipHop several times a day. So here’s what’s what: We’re going to use this here Race Annihilator to destroy every single race of people on Earth except one. You get to choose which one stays. All of the rest will be vaporized. You have four weeks to decide, after which we will ask you, 'So, Human, which race gets saved?'"
So, Human, which race gets saved?
1. Rich Kidz, "Ratchet," featuring Chief Keef and Future
When Boosie gets out he is going to be PISSED that the ratchet movement is on its downside. Like, I mean SO SO PISSED. He was doing that shit YEARS ago.
2. The Outfit, TX, "Rock 'n Roll"
These guys made the best album of 2012 that nobody talked about. It is supersmash of 8ball and MJG, UGK, Outkast and early SUC-era Houston rap. Love life.
3. Ab-Soul, "ILLuminate," featuring Kendrick Lamar
There are whispers that Ab-Soul mightMightMIGHT be able to recreate what his main bro Kendrick Lamar did in 2012, though that seems very unlikely. Still, this song here is no joke.
4. Dag Savage (Exile & Johaz), "When It Rains," featuring ft. Aloe Blacc
Because if you don't listen to at least one Aloe Blacc song every day then your liver will turn to ash and your spine will turn into a dead twig and your lungs will turn to spoiled crab meat and your large intestine will turn into a small intestine and your small intestine will turn into a ball python. Truth. I read about it on WebMD. But don't look it up. They probably took it down already because it was TOO scientific for laymen. Thanks a lot, Obama.
5. "All Gold Everything RMX," featuring T.I., Young Jeezy and 2 Chainz
If you were having trouble finding the fun this week, it's because of this song. This song is ALL THE FUN.
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.