Freestyle of the Week Review: Riff Raff, “Shirts By Versace Freestyle”

The best Riff Raff cuts juxtapose his absurd lyricism with a sense of sybaritic danger; think the slow-burn smolder of “Bird on a Wire.” To that end, Kirko Bangz’s “Shirts

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Freestyle of the Week Review: Chance The Rapper, Sway in the Morning Freestyle

Left recently on the killing floor of a mid-size Southern newspaper’s editorial abattoir was a particular description of Chicago native Chance the Rapper’s vocal stylings which I felt to be

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Freestyle of the Week Review: The Game, “Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe Freestyle”

Despite abutting, as it does, a review/essay–predominantly essay–on Rick Ross’ freestyle treatment of the very same song, one would not expect to find much in the Game’s rendition, by way

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Freestyle of the Week Review: Rick Ross, “Don’t Kill My Vibe”

To fulfill the titular obligations of this column, let us address Rick Ross’ freestyle upon Kendrick Lamar’s “Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe”: True to Teflon Don form, i.e., Ross’ best

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Freestyle of the Week Review: Spenzo, “Started From The Bottom Freestyle”

The most striking imagery from Drake’s “Started From The Bottom” visuals–edging out a bevy of comely, Isis eyelinered women and a preponderance of ridiculous dances, including a spiraling, hand spinning,

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Freestyle of the Week Review: Jim Jones, “Harlem Shake Freestyle”

While we are here, we may as well address that savage little concern creeping in the periphery of all things related to this song, the dead-eyed, be-fanged question of cultural

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Freestyle of the Week Review: Trey Songz, “Fu*ckin’ Problem Freestyle”

At first blush–and there will be many more to follow, if the listener is of the demure and/or tad prudish variety–Trey Songz’ “Fuckin’ Problem” treatment appears to be a touch

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Freestyle of the Week review: Torch – “Hands on the Wheel Freestyle”

Let us start with the beat: “Hands on the Wheel” has an interesting composition, being built around a sample of Lissie’s cover of Kid Cudi’s “Pursuit of Happiness,” thereby making

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Freestyle of the Week Review: Nitty Scott, MC – “Bath Salt Freestyle”

Regardless of which way the zeitgeist blows, there are always artists who will be gravitating towards the darker end of the spectrum in terms of content, tone, and timbre; what

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Freestyle of the Week Review: Honey Cocaine – “Mafia”

Honey Cocaine is bittersweet; describing her as such is a touch on the nose—ugh—but I find myself willing to open with that line–fuck!—namely due to the word being so appropriate. There

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Freestyle of the Week Review: Gunplay, “No Church”

If you are in possession of a taxonomical mind such as my own, one which feels inclined to categorize music in spite of musician’s continued, vehement, justifiable requests that one

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Freestyle of the Week Review: Raekwon, “Who Shot Ya Freestyle”

 There is a certain level of microphone proficiency, braggadocio, and block appeal that one must achieve before stepping to the likes of “Who Shot Ya;” it is nebulous and difficult

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Freestyle of the Week Review: Alex Wiley, “Guap Freestyle”

Despite the delicate pineapple whip icing the edges, Big Sean’s “Guap” is predominantly powered by a brontosaurus stomp swinging bottom line (the better for Sean’s super ball delivery to ricochet

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Freestyle of the Week Review: Heems, “Himanshu Freestyles”

One of the defining characteristics of new guard hip-hop, aside from the inherent difficulties in locating or attempting to codify said characteristics, is its reliance on humor, whether in the

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Freestyle of the Week Review: Sean Price, Show N’ Off Freestyle

Let us begin by acknowledging the widely accepted fact that, despite living in the savage badlands between cultural and critical appeal and commercial success, Sean Price is fucking talented. A

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Freestyle of the Week Review: Freeway – “Back Room Freestyle”

When I finally fell fatally in love with Rap music I was living in Southeastern, Pennsylvania, halfway between Philadelphia and Reading, and lacking a rap scene of any consequence in

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Freestyle of the Week Review: Angel Haze, “I Don’t Like” Freestyle

Many a rapper has up and absconded with Young Chop’s drill paean “I Don’t Like,” but precious few have utilized the Chief Keef hit to any real consequence beyond continuing

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Freestyle of the Week Review: Macklemore, Back Room Freestyle

It takes a special kind of man to show up on 106 & Park in a profuse fur coat–which he describes as “Hungarian Tiger” before hedging and checking down to

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Freestyle of the Week Review: Emilio Rojas, “Climax Freestyle”

Readers familiar with the Freestyle of the Week are no doubt already adjusted to the fact that said freestyles do not need to be from said week, nor do they

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Freestyle of the Week Review: S. Dot, “Val Venis Freestyle”

There are numerous taxonomic identifiers that identify the influence of Southern trap music on the Chicago drill scene, particularly stuttering, clicking, stomping drum lines with highly textured patterns, spartan yet

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