HOT ENOUGH FOR YA1
How hot was August?
Monthly cultural temperature taken by (r)aging rap obsessives Addi "Mindbender" Stewart and Luke Fox.
Monthly cultural temperature taken by (r)aging rap obsessives Addi and Luke
This is why we’re hot: Events, releases and general happenings that up hip-hop’s temperature are good (they get a positive rating). Setbacks, missteps and anything dripping with wack juice, however, cool things off. Simply put, the hotter, the better. In other words, global warming would be a great thing.
August's monthly average: +12°
+55° OVO Fest 2.0. Not every summer that you get to witness the season’s hottest posse cut performed in its entirety, as Rick Ross and Lil Wayne joined buddy Drake onstage for the show’s “I’m On One” finale. All that was missing was DJ Khaled lurking in the background holding an umbrella. (Oh, yeah. The Weeknd, Nas, J. Cole, and Stevie Wonder grabbed mics too.)2
+40° Sittin’ on Throne. So this big golden album dropped, to mixed reactions. “A New Day” has relevance now that Jigga is about to become a Big Poppa. “Welcome to the Jungle” is another Swizz Beatz abomination, but “Murder to Excellence” and “Gotta Have It” burn. Quick question: When was the last time an anticipated rap record didn’t leak?
+27° Carter IV is worth the wait… sort of. First week sales out the wazoo. Guess threatening to kidnap Beyonce does wonders for your street buzz, if you’ve been in jail for eight months. A few gems, to be sure, but the bulk album is pretty disappointing, still, considering it’s all punch lines, and not even No Ceilings-level ones. And why would Weezy put Tech N9ne and Andre 3000 on a song and not rhyme with them?3
+23° AFD. More nude Amber Rose pics. Daaaamn, homie. Everybody done seen the applebum of Wiz Khalifa’s Bonita now. Still: not a bad look.
+16° It’s a rap-off! KOTD, Canada’s premier battle league, goes international on Aug. 5-6 for World Domination 2. MCs from eight countries are gather in Toronto to battle, son. Yes, these things still happen.
+14° Drizzy stage left. As if to repay/earn favours, Drake pops up and goes onstage at Canadian concerts by Nicki Minaj and Lil Wayne and (we’re guessing) Blue Rodeo. Best cameo: Drake dropping by Bun B’s half-full Toronto concert, showing the young gunnas that “It’s OK” to pay respect to your elders.
+1.23° Ironically, this happened. Congratulations to The Game’s shocking pseudo-success, with a well-assembled piece of thug fiction. Overproduced and loaded with name-dropping lameness, The R.E.D. Album surpasses reduced expectations. Beats bang like an angry motherfucker, and when there’s 21 of them, something’s gotta hit, right?
0° Embrace of white rapperdom. Donald Trump cosigns Mac Miller. Puff Diddy signs Machine Gun Kelly. Apathy scores a critical coup with Honkey Kong. Yelawolf has a big Shady “debut” in the can, ready to go. Leaves me feeling a little conflicted…
-1° Game’s timing. Seriously? The first promo single for this album came in 2009. But after several delays, someone decides to release this LP right between Watch the Throne and Tha Carter IV. That way no one will notice.
-9° Ice cream getting freezer-burnt? Gucci Mane? Yes, no, maybe so? Why haven’t we heard much about that retirement-rescued album he released with Wacka Flocka Flame, Ferrari Boyz? It came out, but did anyone care?
-12.2° Kreayshawn continues to embarrass white people worldwide. Two points for her hilarious dis, though: “You try to play me like a boss/ But you’re faker than Rick Ross/ I'll cut your dick off!” They crossed paths at the MTV Video Music Awards. Let’s just say this was not a titans clash of the Nas and Tupac calibre.
-18° Out and in. T.I gets out of prison early, then gets sent back. Plans book and VH1 reality show. Hip-hop waits to see if he can figure out how to be threatening again without violating his parole. Who’s sitting in T.I.P.’s throne now, anyways?
-36.9° J. Cole’s buzz for Cole World: The Sideline Story. It’s not a good look to complain in the media about how you can’t get your label boss to spit a 16 on your album, mang. Keep that shit on the sideline. And sure, Hovie finally came through for you on at the last minute, but we’ll see. Either way: your momentum isn’t what it used to be. Best songs already on the mixtapes? Hopefully we’re wrong.
-37° I don’t know karate, but I know ca-razy. Ski Beatz drops the banging 24 Hour Karate School Part 2. Sadly, no one notices. Hopefully this underrated producer will get some shone for his upcoming MURS project.
-51° You’re not Tupac, and you’re not back. Every song that came out this year claiming that some dead legend “is back.” FYI, son: YOU NOT TUPAC. Additionally, you are not Christopher “Biggie Smalls” Wallace. You are not Christopher “Big Pun” Rios. You are not Lamont “Big L” Coleman. Hell, you are not even Anthony “Grim Reaper” Berkeley. You are YOU, and many of you have actually not gone anywhere, especially stylistically. Furthermore, you will not go anywhere claiming you are the reincarnation of some great deceased MC. The only thing exciting that came back this summer was the McRib, and I don't even eat that shit anymore. Dr. Dre didn’t even come back, who do you think you are? You gots to chill.
MONTHLY TEMPERATURE: +12°
1Copyright, my uncle
2Technically, OVO took place July 31, but it was definitely August by the time you stumbled home
3Remember when Jay-Z’s solo cut, “Dear Summer,” was the best song on a Memphis Bleek album?
4Copyright, Gucci/Jeezy beef