Three: No Flex Zone, Firesquad Remix

Ryan O’Shea


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Rae Srummund – No Flex Zone

There is nothing wrong with kids getting into hip-hop. If anything, the new generation is the one truly tasked with carrying hip-hops torch, rather than the aging originals. It would be dense to expect the new generation to embrace the style of old instead of allowing the art form to evolve, but that being said, No Flex Zone carves a bleak road for hip-hop to follow. Firstly, let’s begin with the beat. Although my affection for boom bap does dictate my decision, Rae’s use of repeating synth, low base and – sigh- hi-hats create a very slow pace, resulting in extremely monotonous rap. This, despite my personal preference as previously stated, could work for some songs. The problem is that the lyrics are filled with self-promotion. Granted, it could argued slow pace gives the rap a laid back attitude; someone who is calm, collected and in charge. This could be true in some cases, but I personally see it as a detriment to the overall theme. A brag rap should be assertive and dominant, especially if your song is going consist mainly of swearing. It should serve as a warning to other rappers. In addition, the lyrics offer very little, with little word play injected in the cocky anthem. Sorry Rae, but imma have to flex. If it’s not clear by now, I don’t suggest this song for enjoyment.

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Waka Flocka Flame – Firesquad Remix

I know what you’re thinking. “Haven’t you already covered Firesquad?” To that, I say thank you for reading my previous entries. It means a lot. Yes, I have reviewed the original Firesquad, and normally I wouldn’t spot light the same “song” twice, but this one is special, because it leaves me conflicted and confused. I’ll lay my cards on the table: the song is good. It is a Waka Flocka Flame song that has not left me in a writhing in pain. That’s the perplexing thing about this song. In his previous attempts at “music,” Waka enveloped everything I despised about new-age hip-hop, but in his remix of Firesquad, he laces each line with metaphors, word play, and social awareness. It’s humbling to know rappers I wrote off can still surprise me once or twice. In all honesty, I think Waka has potential to be a top contender in hip- hop, if only he continue to produce rap like this. Definitely give this song a listen, especially if you know how Waka’s other “rap” sounds.

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