May 30th, 2007


"When I come back, it's me and my DIARY" ?!

Raekwon - State of Grace
Label unknown, 2006

First of all, this song is straight fire & you should download it immediately. This is of course the unstated premise WHENEVER I put up a song. I thought about it though, and I guess it's not fair to expect you to download something without first hearing a description. I tend to avoid writing about music cos it's like trying to grab a cloud. I'm very aware of the gap between my intuitive sensations and my ability to articulate them. Nevertheless, it's fun to read about a song while listening to it, so here are three thoughts + a detailed lyrical analysis strictly for my n&&&&&z

Classic RZA production. You don't hear him put out these bangers so much anymore, but "State of Grace" is a welcome throwback to the days when RZA's ominious loops were unmistakable, like fingerprints.

Classic incomprehensible Raekwon lyrics. I know this guy's got bad ass criminal lingo but honestly I never quite get what he's on about. Somehow this lack of understanding makes it more 'dangerous' sounding though. Like in The Wire when they say something that you don't quite follow but can catch on subtitles. (I always watch The Wire with subtitles btw, is it just me? Rewatched Seasons 1 and 3 over the wknd and it reaffirmed my conviction that it is indeed the most ambitious & brilliant television show ever created. Not really even fair to compare it to most tv shows, or films for that matter.)

The problem with hip hop lyrics is that when you try to find them on the internet, you end up on websites with 8000 ad-pop ups, and the lyrics themselves are dubious transcriptions uploaded by illiterate glue-sniffing teenagers. To be fair, they often pick up on street slang that mystifies me; but on the other hand the mistakes they make are so bad that it makes me wonder if they're even understanding the gist of what's being said. I used to upload lyrical corrections (& sometimes transcriptions), but I'm an old man now and hip-hop lyric transcription is a young man's game. For old time's sake though, here's a guide to the perplexed. If you have info on anything I put a question mark next to, please enlighten me!

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