Radio Rant(s): Young Money Madness

Hello, and welcome to Radio Rants! Hm, I haven’t done a multi-Rant in awhile, and with nothing really commanding my attention on the charts…fuck it, Young Money takeover. No other pop label has the instant brand recognition that Lil Wayne’s Cash Money imprint shares, and as of writing this, there are a bunch of Young Money tracks on the Hot 100. So hey, why not get’em all? Let’s start at the top!

5. Nicki Minaj – Starships 
I can’t view this song without a bit of cynicism. It’s catchy and fun, but I feel like it’s also Nicki going back for the commercial appeal of “Super Bass” after those first Roman Reloaded singles didn’t do so well. Nicki’s verses (especially the first one) are fun, but sound a little slapped together, and the song jumps moods too often to be smooth. But overall, “Starships” is still stronger than most pop rap singles, so I can’t complain too much.

9. Drake feat. Rihanna – Take Care
So I heard you like Drake, America. And if you don’t like Drake, then I’m sorry, because out of nine songs in today’s Radio Rant, he appears in four. “Take Care” is the strongest of the bunch. The song’s an improvement over the last Drake/Rihanna collab on last year’s “What’s My Name”; here, Rihanna has a surprisingly nuanced performance, and Drake blends his rapping and singing abilities almost seamlessly. Add in Jamie xx’s echoy production, and I’m surprised this one’s charted this high. Not a bad thing, though.

10. David Guetta feat. Nicki Minaj – Turn Me On
More Young Money, and I’m not even out of the Top 10 yet. Technically not a YM release, but Nicki Minaj is the main performer so hey, close enough. “Turn Me On” is Nicki’s second appearance on D.Guetta’s sloppy Nothing But the Beat project, and shows her doing a stellar job in pop diva mode. D.Guetta’s production is solid club pop as always, but Minaj makes that chorus her own. No clue what the hell that video’s about, though. This has been a pretty painless exercise so far.

17. Drake feat. Lil Wayne – The Motto 
…oh, goddammit. Drake, c’mon, you just proved that you were above hollow bass/snare/handclap boring boast shit like this. This wasn’t even on Take Care, it’s one of the digital bonus singles, a trend I’m noticing especially from the YMCMB group (“Super Bass” got the same non-album-single treatment). Anyway, Drake does nothing special here, and Lil Wayne has his same gross-out, Freudian bullshit going on (“Almost drowned in her pussy, so I swam to her butt”). And can we talk about how dumb YOLO sounds as a trying-to-make-it-happen acronym? The whole “you only live once” thing is a “duh” sentiment, and YOLO just sounds like you fucked up pronouncing yellow. I’m disappointed, Drake. And speaking of disappointment…

22. Tyga – Rack City
It’s April of 2012, and “Rack City” is still a shitty song. I already ranted on this one a few months ago, and if anything, it’s gotten worse since then. That 8th note clap effect, the so-so hook, Tyga’s total smug jackass front, and the song’s complete lack of likability just sink this one for me; it might be one of the worst songs of the year so far. At the same time, like a lot of Young Money material, it sticks with you in some fascinating way that’s not good, but not horrible, either. Thankfully, it’s mercifully short at 2:30. I think this is the last we’ll ever hear fro–

64. Tyga feat. Lil Wayne – Faded
Oh, fuck me, more Tyga? And he’s with Wayne this time, great. Hey, if you drink every time Tyga says “faded”, soon you will be, too. Is “Faded” better than “Rack City”? Well, it’s got more production tricks, and Tyga actually has a flow, so kind of? At the same, he’s got some laughably bad lines (“The gun Selena, give a nigga Beiber Fever”, the hardest invocation of The Biebs on a rap track). And Lil Wayne’s here again, in eyerolling “my dick’s big, and I love pussy while hating what it’s attached to” mode. On some weird level, “Faded” might be demented genius, or just a giant what the fuck, either/or.

90. Lil Wayne feat. Bruno Mars – Mirror
After hearing the guy talk about his mad pussy skills too many times to count, I’m more than ok with letting Lil Wayne do a Serious Track, even if it hits on Pop-Rap Serious Track cliches like atmospheric production and a Bruno Mars hook. “Mirror” isn’t especially polished lyrically; here like on “How to Love”, his desire to make A Point results in some heavyhanded lines, but he still manages a few insights (“Damn, I look just like my fuckin’ Dad”). Bruno’s hook matches the mood well, and “Mirror” comes out on top, even if it’s a little cloying.

96. Drake feat. Lil Wayne – HYFR (Hell Yeah Fucking Right)
How much Drake is on this damn list? Don’t get me wrong, I like the guy, but Take Care is  not an album that lends itself to this many singles. Anyway, I consider this redemption for “The Motto”; the production’s slick with a synth hypnotic hook, and Drake’s verse is a mix of great lines and one giant breath. He also reveals Take Care‘s thesis with: “What have I learned since getting richer? I learned working with the negative can make for better pictures”. As far as Lil Wayne features go, this one’s acceptable, but like most Drake/Wayne collabs, my interest in the song dwindles as soon as I hear Tunechi start.

 100. Drake feat. The Weeknd – Crew Love
This label’s taken spots from the Top Ten to the absolute last space on the board. I think it’s trolling me. Likewise, calling this a Drake track is trolling since The Weeknd makes this track. The first verse and the hook that he supplies is the real keeper from “Crew Love” (although Drake doesn’t slouch here), and the production makes for great headphone hip-hop. Although why the hell an album cut like this ended up on the chart is beyond me.

Oh thank fuck, it’s over! Hope you all enjoyed it! And don’t forget to like Ranting About Music on Facebook!

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About bgibs122

I enjoy music and music culture; I hope you do, too.
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