1.“Cocaine” by Royce Da 5’9”
Hip-hop is so often about bragging and status, that we can forget that some of the best tracks are about the real life pain and failures a rapper may have dealt with.
In “Cocaine”, Royce discusses his father’s drug addiction and how it affected him over one of the possibly best DJ Khalil beats ever produced. In the “era of the user”, this track reflects on how drug use may one day affect those around you if it gets out of hand, or even better, what it will mean to your family when you get clean
2. “Seasons” by Mozzy, Sjava & Reason
Seasons’ sample, flow, and mix of African diaspora storytelling make this possibly the strongest track on the Black Panther soundtrack. The first time I heard the track, I could see 3 rappers sitting around a table sharing their different experiences, though all were similar. Point being, no matter where you are, we all face similar struggles. Encompassing the point Killmonger was trying to make the entire movie…in 4 minutes.
3.“You Should Know” by Rapsody
didn’t credit Busta ‘cause I mean only Rapsody rap part of the track. Don’t take it the wrong way, Busta is Busta, no one can take away from him… but he takes away from the track. Rapsody is the Arya Stark of hip-hop, she doesn’t want the crown, but could take it literally any time she wants. I don’t mean literally like folks use it, I mean that pound for pound she is easily one of the strongest lyricist and does not get the shine she deserves. Listen back to her catalogue, all the way back to the Kooley High days, and tell me that she couldn’t take everyone on. “You Should Know” isn’t just the title, she is letting you know…