Context – playing ostrich

Today is inauguration day, which means the peaceful transfer of power is officially complete.  This is either your favorite or least favorite day in recent memory.  For both sides: if you find yourself confronted with someone opposed to your ideology, just remember that someday they and everyone they know and love will be dead and keep living your own life.

Today also marks a month of blogging! Which is exciting.  I’m proud of myself for making it this far.  Prouder still that I only missed one day during Christmas.  Here’s to hoping month two goes smoother still now that I know about things like planning ahead.  To celebrate I subscribed to Spotify Premium–it’s nice to not have ads.  Time will tell how worth it this will be (I’m guessing very).

Today’s album was recommended to me at the wake I attended Wednesday by one of the deceased’s grandchildren.  It’s nice to have an in with talking to the youth, and asking kids about music will hopefully keep giving me ideas for things to write about on this blog.  His suggestion?  French Montana.

I feel exactly nothing about this album.

It’s interesting that the recommender was lamenting the lack of gangsta rap these days, wishing for the old days of the wild west that was the Biggie-Tupac rivalry.  If French Montana isn’t gangster rap I don’t know what that genre means anymore.  It’s all flash and gunshots spun over crowded, uninspired feeling beats.  It feels like Dr. Dre’s Compton without any of Dre’s relative grace or finesse.  And as someone who loved Compton after the first few listens, I’ll be the first to say that Dre’s album doesn’t age particularly well.  Bravado only gets you so far these days.

Especially with the rise of “conscious” rappers like Kendrick Lamar, Vince Staples, and (maybe? I’m bad at genre categorizations) Run the Jewels, who maintain the edge and aggression that made gangsta rap so appealing while still embracing some forward thinking and unique productions.  This new breed of rap also isn’t limited to their edge and can explore topics besides their guns, weed, and relative success of their dick.

And there’s nothing wrong with smoking weed or bragging about your dick.  I think it’s hilarious most of the time.  My favorite line ever sampled in a Girl Talk song is “hey bitch, wait’ll you see my dick” (artist unknown), mostly because it so perfectly sums up braggadocios rapping–if you think this is cool, wait until you see something worth bragging about.

But like most things I review, there weren’t really any standout moments, even with a stacked list of features.  I won’t shy away from French Montana features and am totally up for looking into whatever he drops next, but I really hope he finds a way to make music I can have an opinion about.