Category Archives: WATCH WHAT I SAY


Damn these WATCH WHAT I SAY posts are just falling in my lap all of a sudden!  This one I spotted in the comments of an old Martorialist post today and is especially relevant to me because it predates Young Thug’s use of the expression “up, up, and away!” in a rap song by a good 6 months at least.

Looni – Right Now

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This song/video coincidentally marks the sixth post in both the BARE MINIMUM and the WATCH WHAT I SAY series that I’ve been working on.  It is an historic day.

Audio Two – Top Billin’

BARE MINIMUM purists might take issue with the subtle background sound effect throughout the song that gets slightly amplified after the last verse ends around 2:54, but this sound is 1) so low in the mix I didn’t even hear it until I listened on headphones, 2) strongly rhythmic in nature, so could be considered a form of percussion, and 3) sounds like it could be a strangely processed vocal sample, which I think is still allowable in a series that only permits percussion and voice.  For the WATCH WHAT I SAY followers, this video is a sweet little missing link between “Subterranean Homesick Blues” (which has frustratingly been removed from YouTube…) and the various modern manifestations featured in the series.  I could also make a RAP JOURNEY from all the songs that have sampled, quoted, reinterpreted, and remixed snippets of this classic but it might break the Internet, so I’ll leave that for your own exploration.



Young Thug, Freddie Gibbs, & A$AP Ferg – Old English

I didn’t realize that this should have been a series when I first wrote this post, so I’m going back through now and adding tags to all the posts that have videos like this so you can see them all in one place.  There are a bunch and they’re all good.  Just click “Watch What I Say” in the sidebar or in the “SERIES” section at the top of the page and check out all the others, and I’ll keep adding more as I find ’em.

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Here’s a great addition to this post from almost a year ago.

Paul White – Street Lights (feat. Danny Brown)

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If I didn’t know better, I’d think the rappers I write about actually read this blog…

The other day I brought some attention to what I thought was kind of a deep cut on Ab-Soul’s new Control System album called “Terrorist Threats“, and a few days ago I did this whole post talking about how sometimes I like videos where animated lyrics show up in synch with what a rapper says, and then today this video comes out!

Ab-Soul – Terrorist Threats (feat. Danny Brown & Jhené Aiko)

It’s cool man, you can admit that I control all rap decisions through this blog, there’s nothin’ wrong with that.

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If you watched that documentary about Dudley Perkins/Declaime I suggested a few days ago, then you might be wondering about an interesting lady that popped up kinda late in the film named Georgia Anne Muldrow.  Well, I just happened to stumble across this little interview the other day that I found very interesting.  You don’t get to see her make ghetto spaghetti like in Interplanetary Peace Talks, but she does make some cool points about music production that I’ve felt for a long time but haven’t heard many people say quite the way she does.

Georgia Anne Muldrow Dubspot Interview

I love how she talks about shaping synthesizer sounds so they sound like you, I totally agree with that thinking.  A producer can really say a lot just with the sounds they choose and sculpt, and a lot of work goes into making those sounds sound just right.  With a little bit of a trained ear, you can hear about 2 seconds of a Timbaland beat, or a RZA beat, or an Oh No beat, or a Dilla beat, or a Lex Luger beat, and you can know it’s them just by the kind of sounds they use.  You can really say a lot with the shapes of sounds you use in your music, and I like how Georgia talks about that.  And I also love it when she talks about how she claps late, and sings late, and always has, because I’ve always responded so strongly to music that is a little bit off kilter like hers is, it’s a very captivating element when it’s there.  I heard from somebody that one of the main goals that ?uestlove had when producing D’Angelo‘s absolutely perfect album Voodoo was to play as late as possible, and I think that’s a big part of why I love that album, the rhythmic looseness and drama is just incredible, and you don’t hear a lot of people talk about stuff like that, so props to Georgia for bringing that up, I love that shit!

And even though it’s not the most relevant song given what I’ve been talking about, I wanted to post possibly my favorite song of hers on here, “Show Me the Way to Go“, but I couldn’t find it on the internet anywhere, so instead, I found this really great song I’d never heard before that’s got a video that’s got a little bit of the stuff I was talkin’ about in this post in it!  Even Better!  Thanks, Georgia!

Georgia Anne Muldrow – More & More (feat. Bilal)

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Sometimes really obvious ideas can be totally awesome if they’re executed right. For instance, if I was working with somebody who was trying to make a music video for a rap song and they were like “Ok here’s the idea I got: we get the rapper and we film them spittin’ all the verses, and while they’re doin’ it we have the words they’re saying pop up on the screen in some kinda cool animation or something!” I’d be like “…. and?” The concept seems like one of those tired-before-it-even-starts ideas. But over the years, I have to say I’ve seen some videos do it in some very captivating ways that I actually really enjoy.

I first started reflecting on this idea and trying to remember videos that use this technique in a cool way yesterday when I saw Big K.R.I.T.‘s newest video for the title theme of his latest mixtape.

Big K.R.I.T. – 4evaNaDay (Theme)

I consider myself to be only an amateur music video historian, but I think that possibly the first example of this concept being put to good use was this Bob Dylan song, which always kinda seemed like a rap song to me actually.

Bob Dylan – Subterranean Homesick Blues

Things have come along way in music and in music videos in the last 47 years though, and now we’ve got some substantially slicker examples like K.R.I.T.’s above from across the rap map.

Young L – Loud Pockets

Guilty Simpson – Get Riches (feat. Mr. Porter) (RFK Remix)

I’m not sure why the original version of “Get Riches” isn’t on YouTube anywhere with the video attached, I had to use the remix version (which is also cool, I have to admit). I’ve also already mentioned another video that incorporates this technique in a slightly different way in one of the earliest posts on this blog, if you recall…

Anybody else know of some good ones? These are the ones I could just think of off the top of my head today, but I’m sure I’m forgetting some, and I’m also sure there are plenty I’ve just never seen. Holler back!

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