Rap Genius Lines of the Week From 2 Chainz, Too $hort, Gucci Mane
5. "You lying, n----, smoking that middle-class grass/ You ain't really high, is ya?" -- Curren$y, '#CruiseLife' Lyrics
New Orleans rapper Shante "Curren$y" Franklin has been affiliated with several of his city's most powerful rap moguls during his career, including Master P and Lil Wayne. But his career didn't really take off until he dropped both of them and found his own -- often weed-fueled -- voice. The EP he released this week, 'Here,' shows Spitta in full swing, making a variety of challenging beats his own. On '#CruiseLife,' he takes Kanye West's southern rap homage 'Drive Slow' and adds his own off-kilter feel. This line, full of internal rhymes and the hilarious "middle-class grass" description of inferior marijuana, easily makes our list.
4. "Like Rakim's hooks, the flow always amazing/I get the job done, call me Big Daddy Kane/No half-stepping, I'm about to be a legend/Smooth operating in the nine-oh-eleven" -- Livin' Proof, 'Lyrical Homicide' Lyrics
Our sole NYC representative here, BK's Livin' Proof, pays tribute to another Brooklyn rapper. He works in the names of three Big Daddy Kane songs in mere moments -- 'I Get the Job Done,' 'Ain't No Half-Steppin',' and 'Smooth Operator.' This nod of the head to the great BDK moves Livin' Proof into our top 5.
3. "I see it in your eyes, you're surprised/Never would have thought I would be this size" -- Too $hort, 'Hey' Lyrics
Oakland veteran Too $hort has been rap's ultimate pimp since he started making music in the early 1980's. He had perfected his slick-talking character by the classic 1987 album Born to Mack. His new single 'Hey,' featuring singing from the incredibly talented Silk-E, shows he's still got it. This couplet really has to be heard to be appreciated. The first of the two lines is delivered softly, as $hort takes his lady (and the listener) into his confidence, and then he both metaphorically and literally whips it out in the second line. It's a master class in timing and delivery.
2. "Get your baby momma, take her then make her/You date her, then f*ck her, I f*ck her, then date her" -- 2 Chainz, 'Get It Back' Lyrics
This week, our top two lyrics both come from Gucci Mane's excellent new mixtape,Trap Back. It features a stellar array of guest verses, but none better than this one by 2 Chainz, rap's latest cameo king. Here, 2 Chainz (having thankfully dropped his previous rap name, the awful "Tity Boi"), shows us the proper order of events when courting.
1. "Gucci Mane, is you serious? Hell yeah, I'm serious/Red watch with the red chain, my diamonds on they period" -- Gucci Mane, 'Thank You' Lyrics
Atlanta's Gucci Mane is perhaps one of rap's most divisive figures -- a mentally disturbed object of mockery to some (the arrests, the ice-cream-cone face tattoos), a trap-rap genius to others. One thing overlooked by both sides is that he is often very funny. His bleak view of life in Atlanta's Zone 6 is tempered by bursts of levity such as the line above, with him comparing his extremely rare and expensive red diamonds to a different red visitor.