Life, it's said, comes at you fast. One day you're a powerful politician or captain of industry hiding bajillions in offshore accounts, when all of a sudden the Guardian tags that ass in a new photo on IG. Yikes.
Or you're gleefully dog-piling and supposed-slut-shaming singer Kehlani on social media, then the next day you're keeping quiet as she recovers from harming herself in the wake of it—even though Chris Brown, official Worst Man Alive, patron saint of abusive dudes everywhere, took to Twitter to bemoan her using social media for sympathy, which you were probably thinking anyway. He's like Donald Trump for awful hiphop manbabies, building a wall of suspect overcompensation, promising to make toxic masculinity great again. And just one of many—we all know a dozen dudes like that, and may even be one in our off-hours.
Hamburger Helper dropped a competent Soundcloud mixtape called Watch the Stove on April Fools' Day (which honestly was the least ridiculous day of the year so far). I know a lot of y'all find it to be the perfect metacomment on the "state of rap," but if you can't tell the difference between that and Young Thug's Slime Season 3 (better than 1, not nearly as good as 2, but what is?)—I don't know what to tell ya, keep on pining for them better days.
But if you're sleeping on A Good Day in the Ghetto, the debut tape from Oakland's Kamaiyah, you're missing some factual good news—a lusty bandanna-sporting rapper straight out 1995, but totally contemporary, coming into her own. She effortlessly invokes the easy summer fun of the era I'm fondest of, and it's right on time for the brighter days ahead (and I do mean brighter in its most literal sense—don't get your hopes too high, ever).
While thinking about the past, and know I can do this with the best of 'em, don't miss The Art of Organized Noize documentary on Netflix, if you somehow haven't watched it yet. Organized Noize's Rico Wade, Sleepy Brown, and Ray Murray brought us Outkast, Goodie Mob—the whole goddamn Dungeon Family, arguably the greatest rap collective ever—and everything to come after from Atlanta. No "Waterfalls." No "Dirty South" (the song and the term itself). No CeeLo Green, so no Gnarls Barkley, which—whatever. Without that group of people making music together in a red clay basement they called the Dungeon, without their fusion and funk and extraterrestrial weirdness, we simply wouldn't have Atlanta rap as we know it today.
Oh, you're into that?
It woulda been Tag Team and whatever Jermaine Dupri was doing. Can you imagine? There wouldn't have been Ludacris. No Gucci (which alone would literally mean no Thug, no Waka, and no Metro Boomin, just to name a very few). Literally: no Future. Without 3 Stacks, Kendrick would probably sound like Jay-Z. Without the ATL, Drake would probably rap like Paul Wall, and shit, Troy Ave would probably be outselling them all. Basically the end of Planet of the Apes.