Monday, December 8, 2008

26. Killer Mike - Bad Day/Worst Day

American music doesn't do pissed off like it used to. This generation doesn't have its Positively Fourth Street or its Fortunate Son... it certainly doesn't have its Hit 'em Up. Have we become fundamentally more positive since the 90s? Certainly not. The last truly effective "I'm Pissed Off at Everyone" song of our time was 2000's The Way I Am by Eminem who has since gone into seclusion after releasing the tripe that was Encore. So why can't we channel rage anymore? Sure we have acts that dabble in it... but they seem to be, like bands like Against Me and the Nightwatchman, dealing with a more measured and reserved form of outrage. Every once in awhile I want some good ol' fashion illogical unrestrained rage.

One reason why we might not see as much of this these days is that for some reason record labels have decided that it is unmarketable. Or at least that seems to be the reason why Sony sat on this follow up to Killer Mike's debut gold LP Monster. For those of you that haven't given Mike his due, I encourage you to get to it. He is the rapper version of Ice Cube (who apparently died after Natural Born Killaz was released) reincarnated and born in the south. He's intelligent, verbose, and really really pissed off. This standout track from the originally slated to release in 2005 but leaked for free in 2008 album Ghetto Extraordinary reads like a really clever laundry list of things that are/were currently bothering Killer Mike. Within one minute he has given the proverbial and literal fuck you to Bill O'Reilly, C. Dolores Tucker, Reverend What's his Name (no idea who this is), Kobe Bryant, B.E.T., Q-Tip, and former mentor Andre 3000. He goes on to skewer the white community, the African American community, and just about everyone else in this caustic and biting diatribe. Killer Mike generated a track that is intelligent and most importantly HONEST on a level that neither supposed "message" "rappers"Mos Def nor Talib Kweli (and yes both of those words belong in quotation marks given their most recent output) have achieved in years. The standout line from this song which actually predates the Don Imus/Rutgers Basketball Team controversy and is almost prophetic is, "I'd rather let Eminem call me 50 n****z than to break bread with a rich n***a readin' scripture." This line - an affront to hip hop's occasional flirtation with religion and indignant condemnation of the n-word - is the essence of the track and really the whole album... Killer Mike is not afraid to defy the conventions of what is perceived to be intelligent hip hop, instead he's just going to spit truth.

Download this album... legally... and for free

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