RAVEN MACK is a mystic poet-philosopher-artist of the Greater Appalachian unorthodox tradition who publishes zines & physical books & electronic books & music & photography & digital art & just generally whatever feels necessary to survive this deluded earth thru Rojonekku Word Fighting Arts survival systems (Version 69, establish 14 Feb 1973). Comments encouraged.

Tuesday, August 14

SONG OF THE DAY: Whip You With a Strap


Hard to feel good about odes to child abuse, but also this is Dennis Coles aka Ghostface Killah aka America’s Street Laureate. I’ve been a part-time practicing MC for 30 years now, and my all-time favorite MCs have shifted and morphed over the years. Back in the day almost got into a fistfight with my friend Sterling over who was better, Big Daddy Kane or Rakim. Sadly, I will admit I was wrong (I back Kane), but it took time to realize that. In college, on the strength of “Eye Examination” alone, I thought Del was the most brilliant dude ever. Of course, loved Biggie for his ability to take MC turn it into Mic Control and really exercise that control part. There’s been so many. But honestly, for lifetime body of work, I might put Ghostface at the top of that list now, as crazy as that sounds. Just an amazing poet who can mix the cryptic with the scriptural so easily, add real life flavor even more easily, and make a track about talking shit to women at the bus stop that’s the fuckin’ best ever, and then follow that up with some post-Apocalyptic Illuminati survival shit. Plus, he’s not just a wordsmith, but if you ever saw him perform you know, he’s as masterful of ceremonies as anybody on stage.
This song of course has the added depth of coming off a J Dilla beat, which adds one of the greatest ever production minds. Producer/MC combos and how they work together is often a lost art in making music today, people just jumping on instrumentals from anywhere, not developing a relationship with the people they’re making music with. You can tell a lot of times too. I’m old school in that I love to have someone who is doing the music while I do the words and we’re building an idea together, rather than separate from each other entirely, back and forth weaving different layers after both parts’ input to give shit more depth. That’s not me acting like I’m better than anybody else – I’m a pretty shitty MC, tbh, but I have my moments when operating in a steady creative zone with the same folks. Give me concept projects with a single production force and single MC force working together any day. And fuck it, while y’all doing that, give me a motherfuckin’ DJ on the track too.

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