Zeitgeist #5: Affirmative Action


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The Firm baby

Talking about the greatness of Nas and his illmatic album has now become a banal cliché. People’s thick skulls and intransigence of Insisting on Hov just because he made it big as a mogul. SMH. A poet and a mogul walk into a bar. Jay Z vs Nas. The cliché is as worn out as a tyre retread down to its canvas, we only do it because of people like Charlemagne Tha god, Dj Akademiks and Miss Mandii who have the nerve of thinking that BluePrint the album by Jay Z is better than Nas’ It was written. Fucking red herrings. Always bringing up RocNation, Beyonce and TIDAL.

Introspection my nigga. Younaaimean. Introspection. How’d they miss Take it in blood and Affirmative Action. Just because of these two tracks .. It Was Written makes you wonder What did we ever do to deserve Nas. Nigga waxing poetical and philosophical like it’s his first language. How does it feel to be Nas. Without Nas, Oldskool hip hop is nothing.

Though a short lived group, word to Nas for forming The Firm. Matching AZ, Cormega and Foxy Brown, Sensei nigga; something close to this matching in this age would be if Anderson Paak, Quavo and Travis Scott formed a collective. How eccentric would that be, Perhaps more eccentric than if 21 Pilots and Daft Punk ever collaborated.
Even after being in existence for only a year, The Firm are immortalized by their song Affirmative Action. Everything about this jam strikes a note of creepy realism in any true hip hop buff.

Track: Affirmative Action
Genre: Posse-cut Hip Hop
Writters: AZ, Cormega, Nas, Foxy Brown
Production: The Trackmasters

The jam is 21 years old and I’ll say with my chest that this is the most Arresting Hip Hop Classic. This track is going to last forever. You can take that to the bank.

From AZ’s accent, Cormega sounding like Nas, Nas sounding better than Nas you feel me, to the Guitar beat and the beat Climax in Foxy Brown’s verse &; to the Eccentric lyrics; to Foxy Brown stating “They Praise Allah with visions of Gandhi” …. This will be the most remembered Hip Hop track generations to come.

Talk about lyrical maturity that makes the already potent beats and rhymes all the more compelling. I don’t care if its trashy tough-guy talk, what matters is that it strikes a note of creepy realism. Especially its beat.

The song’s beat is extremely mafioso, sounding straight out of Narcos or American Gangster with strings and crescendos, i love it.. It makes my heart sing.
Its a guitar and its impeccable. Its like the Flute in Mask off or The Piano in STILL D.R.E. Word to the Trackmasters mahn. Great beat. Guitars in Hip Hop are so against the grain.. That’s what makes them so eccentric, especially when you find a good rapper to flow with them. Nas for instance.. How he bodied and owned the beat in The Message. But that’s another story. Stringed instruments.. Guitar/ Ukelele/ Nyatiti/ Harps  Anything guitar-like really touches my soul. The Roots could perform this track live on stage very easily.

Nuff said. This is one of the best posse tracks of all time. Its like a baton race from AZ to Cormega to Nas and finally the baddest bitch Foxy Brown.

Foxy Brown’s verse on the jam is the greatest rap verse ever performed by a woman. Puts Eve, Missy Elliot, Lady of Rage and Nicki in introspect. The Bravado and surety in her voice, Damn she’s bad.

She’s bad milk. Milk with pubic hair in it. More than 14 incarcerations. Damn she’s bad. We really gonna act like Foxy’s box wasn’t eaten by Jay Z. So sus to even think about it. Fat lips and everything.

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Nas literally having Jay Z for dinner in Ether

Foxy Brown brushing shoulders with Prodigy and Ll Cool J and wanting an equal piece. This is a bad m’fer we’re looking at here. Close to the end of Affirmative Action she says in her refined menacing voice :
THEY PRAISE ALLAH WITH VISIONS OF GANDHI. For a first time listener of the track, this will be the most vivid line you’ll get from the track.

“They praise Allah with visions of Gandhi”. This phrase has stuck in my head even though I can’t seem to assign meaning to it. Its eccentric AF. This just shows you how much Nas’ wisdom was rubbing off on Foxy Brown.

The line inspired an album title. VISIONS OF GANDHI. Visions of Gandhi is the 3rd album from underground hip hop group Jedi Mind Tricks, Greatest form of flattery to Foxy Brown.

The Firm baby.
AZ is not mentioned as one of the big names.. The next guy doesn’t know who AZ is. This nigga has the finest hip hop accent. You should hear him saying “Fettuccine Capone”. You’ll think it some diamond coated punany yet he’s just talking about pasta.

Cormega was in the wrong side of history for falling out with Nas and leaving The Firm. Swept under the rag like the Based curse.

Nuff said. Affirmative Action; Just for this track, The Firm deserve all the gassing. It cuts across everywhere.

Coz of QuietStorm, Mobb Deep are the best rap duo.
Saigon ~ Enemies
Dilated People’s ~ Worst to Worst
Cypress Hill ~ Rap Superstars

Any Hip Hop group but not Wu Tang. Wu Tang clan are overrated. Nothing magical about them. Don’t get me wrong.. Raekwon is great no problem, but Wu Tang Clan is overrated. Rapping well is one thing but choosing beats is another thing that seals. Anyone in this new age who claims to like Wu Tang is a fraud… Anybody who even likes C.R.E.A.M their magnum opus. Trash is a strong word. Let’s just say they chose shitty painful instrumentals.
The best thing that happened to C.R.E.A.M was Boi-1-da.

Boi-1-da really sampled C.R.E.A.M’s chorus like a pro and incorporated it into Pound Cake. The chorus is chopped throughout the song to make a  neither rueful nor celebratory beat. Drake did some poetic justice to the beat considering Jay Z featured on the track. “Cash Flows Everything Around me cream get the money dollar dollar bill yo.” Most sampled line ever.

And you know what, Drake stuck with Boi-1-da ever since. Vultural traits aside, the nigga knows loyalty. That’s a bop.

New Age Rappers. Stick With Your initial Producers. At least make 90% of your music with them.

Trying new sounds… Switched producers. Therein lies the problem. Hopping from producer to producer is Hip Hop harlotry.

Joey Badass couldn’t make his 1999 magic with All Amerikkkan Badass because he kinda abandoned Statik Selektah. Making one track with him. Funny thing, this was the best track on the album. Legendary featuring J. Cole.

Ace Tha Don & Shukid

These guys used to have that ripe demand for respect. Going hard on the beat and everything. I donno where that fire went to.
A hunch would be, they abandoned their producers. Kina Odie on the track na Kevin Grands. You should’ve stuck with ’em mahn. These niggas made underground rap radioworthy.

The thrill of underground rap. You’ll have the most loyal fans.

Shukid & Ace Tha Don had the firmest grip in the kenyan underground rap scene. Filling in big shoes once wore by kina Ukoo Flani Mau Mau & Kalamashaka.
What’s going on niggas.
Savvy choruses, Trashy pop beats, Trappy rap styles is all I’ve been seeing lately.  mainstream, R&B and pop-leaning sounds. Its phony as shit

These niggas sold out bad. I really believed in these niggas. Mahn. The audacity of comparing Ace Tha Don to Royce da 5’9 then the nigga turns around and makes a song like Banana. This ain’t even Hip Hop. Its Kapuka. Sema Homerun ya kusell out. Remember how hurt Rick Ross was when he found out that Birdman’s was fake? Am that hurt.

Grainy, pop-savvy choruses. What’s happening Shukid?
Come on my nigga. crossover sensibilities and radio-friendly hits that’ll be gone tomorrow. Choosing mainstream makes you bottom feeders. How could you trade being underground kings. I still jam to One Day// Say What You Want// Alpha & Light Work by Ace Tha Don. Real music lasts. All that other bullshit is here today and gone tomorrow.

Your departure from the raw, underground tone of your debuts towards mainstream is a faulty gambit. Now look. Barrak Jacuzzi and Steph Kapela bypassing you niggas.

Y’all played around Now Steph Kapela, Anje, Barrak Jacuzzi and Asum Garvey are out to dethrone you.

STEPH KAPELA, SON THESE NIGGAS

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Steph. Tell your homie on the right (Shukid) to stop selling out

Groovy Hip Hop finally made it to Kenya. The edge that Steph Kapela brings with his original diversity is refreshing asf. Its like balancing R&B and Hip Hop ile style ya Anderson Paak. Its groovy am telling you. Just check out the Nigga’s YouTube. I fancy that Steph Kapela has the freshest Serenades.

I needed something new apart from the usual Ndugu Omolo na Kina Pizzo.
A new rapper. Someone to gas up. Someone to SON these niggas.

Enter Steph Kapela, out all of you other niggas.
All of you other niggas apart from Poppa Don. Poppa Don is the only rapper who stuck to the roots.

Big up to Benady and his Flag 42 cohorts. Keep up the hunger.

Juu ya Hiyo story Wacha niende  nikaone American gods.

Twitter: @mighty_leny

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