Fuck You And Your Bone Spurs! | NOISEY

Fuck You And Your Bone Spurs! | NOISEY

DJ Esco released the remix to Future's "SHIT" today. It features a beat beefed-up with vintage Memphis fight chants, some excellent Juicy J raps and, most importantly, Drake's response to Kendrick Lamar saying his name in his infamous verse on "Control." Drizzy doesn't say Kendrick's name, but there's enough circumstantial evidence to figure out who he's talking about. And unlike Kendrick, who just names a bunch of rappers and implies he can out-rap them, Drake actually says some (relatively) disrespectful stuff.

Aubrey's verse on the "SHIT" remix isn't the hardest-hitting diss of all times, but it's now in the pantheon of diss rap records. "SHIT" was already incredible, a creeping prelude to someone getting their whip shot up. Future Hendrix showcases his thuggin on wax talents (which should not be forgetten while he rides his space loverman steez to fame), while Mike Will reminds everyone that even as he works extensively with Miley Cyrus (and may or may not be pipin that down?), dude still cut his teeth making goon-rap. It's the perfect template for one rapper to talk greezy about another rapper.

The "SHIT" remix is exciting because diss tracks have fallen out of favor in the last few years as other options for addressing conflicts have proliferated. There's so many other ways to deal with beef in the modern day, whether through ill-advised tweets, dumb YouTube skits or slick talk in interviews. Rappers are less inclined to put that shit on wax. And that's a shame because I love diss tracks. When I say "diss tracks," I don't mean "two vague bars that may or may not apply to some other guppy in a small pond," I mean a full verse, or, better yet, an entire song that is specifically hurtful to someone else. I'm talking about Nas on "Ether," DJ Quik on "Dollaz and Sense," Jadakiss on "Checkmate," and like one out of every two State Prop freestyles in 2001. I'm talking about "You claim to be a player but I fucked your wife." My favorite rap song of all time is Ice Cube's "No Vaseline."

I spend a lot of time justifying rap's value as an art form and explaining how hip-hop's popularity is rooted in something bigger than vicarious violence. That said, I would never deny that as part of it's appeal. People like gangster shit. They like hard-asses facing off, disrespecting each other and responding to that disrespect in kind. So they like Beanie Sigel for the same reasons they like "Pulp Fiction," "Goodfellas," and "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly". (It's also the same reason "Gangster Party Line" is so funny.) The best way to improve a good gangster story is to root it in truth: "HOW YOUR COLLARBONE DOIN?" is some ill shit to say to someone after your homie was the one that (allegedly) broke their collarbone.

In a small way, it's appropriate for the "SHIT" remix to drop in BEYONC?'s cultural wake. Bey's latest is an unbridled celebration of feminity and female sexuality that could make some men uneasy. Meanwhile, diss tracks are generally Dude Shit, the stuff that stereotypes rap shows as sausage-fests and drives girls out of clubs full of enthusiastic turn-up arms. It's an important contrast: there's no reason women can't enjoy a wiseguy beatdown or the rap equivalent thereof, and men should be comfortable singing "pink is the flavor/solve the riddle" if the spirit moves them. It's yin and yang.

(If you disagree with anything in this piece, please respond over the "Keep It Thoro" instrumental.)

Skinny Friedman

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