First and foremost, Game has won the "Exhibit C" space race. His version is a myriad of great lines stuffed into 20 minutes and yeah fam, he's absolutely back on my radar as an important voice in the, um, game. But Thursday's beefy onslaught over Jay Electronica's winter classic, "Exhibit C," got me thinking about the gobs of trial versions circulating the mixtape circuits since its messiah-like reception late last year.
Bloggers take veiled, annoyed shots at the product. No doubt because nobodies crowd their inboxes with eager attempts. Many attack the exercise as lacking vision. But really, the great thing about such a commanding, unifying track like "Exhibit C" is using the occasion to flex talent. I've enjoyed almost every one of these bits. All-world hip-hop songs should be recreated by rappers, it's the most unbiased metric to measure skillz.
With that in mind, here's a breakdown of "Exhibit C" highlights from the underground.
Tone: Focused, indignant rant released in aftermath of the devastating Haiti earthquake; basically a history lesson
Sample lyric: "Before the ground shook, we never offered them love/people was eating cakes made of oil, water and mud"
Cypha Da Prynce
Tone: Solid effort from Kanye-endorsed rapper; at 2:21, the shortest of the bunch. Also falls into familiar trap of rhyming "Electronica" with "harmonica"
Sample lyric: "I get blowed like harmonica/met Veronica/got blowed and got it on with her"
Tone: Clunky, on the spot radio flow. Full of miscues, but is at least an actual freestyle
Sample lyric: "Uno is my numeral/they say hip-hop is dead I guess I missed the funeral"
Tone: British rapper brings thick accent, regional slang I don't follow
Sample lyric: I got nothing, but it does sound good.
Tone: Fast, as usual
Sample lyric: No real lyrical highlights, just a bunch of rapid fire bars. Fun.
Tone: Guy that may or may not have written for Drake brings melodies and cheeseball, suburban lyrics; also one of the first "C" flows to arrive on the scene during December
Sample lyric: "Nickelus F comes the hardest...that's what she said"
Tone: Far Rockaway newcomer does New York proud, overcomes nasally, high voice
Sample lyric: Lotta back-to-back stuff. Technically proficient shit. "They respect us just like North Korean troops" is a cool line.
Tone: Perhaps the most average, nondescript of the bunch
Sample lyric: "I make it rain with Sprint's cell phone connection: about 4Gs"
Tone: Lots of hard, aggressive shit that "Cass do." He comes in right when the beat drops and saves us a little time, which begets kudos
Sample lyric: "I keep Franklins like Aretha do...stay fresh like kids on Easter do...you a sucker you do things that a sucker do...your girl say she never come when she sleep with you"...These go on for a while
Tone: Overlooked street guy rambles, takes then timely shots at Tiger Woods
Sample lyric: "You an Uncle Tom nephew, why should I respect you?"
Tone: Mixtape-closing rampage of nonsensical charisma
Sample lyric: "They call me Fab Electronica/Presidential suite so it's Fab and young Monica/Stevie Wonder niggas better grab your harmonica/screaming "go daddy" so it's Fab and young Danica/if it goes down better grab your Titanic, brah"
What: East Coast street shit. Sorta homoerotic
Sample lyric: "Tell them lame fuck boys they ain't fuckin' with me"
Tone: Career introspection with a side of lamenting U.S. foreign policy
Sample lyric: "Me and the law always been on different sides"