Song: US Placers
Artist: CRS (Child Rebel Soldier)
Album: Single - Can't Tell Me Nothing Mixtape
Who are your favourite musicians?
Imagine if those people decided to get together and put out a single. That would be sweet, wouldn't it?
This has to be what all those former baby boomers felt when Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young joined forces and delivered their albums and tours. "Crosby, Stills & Nash are great and now they're adding Neil Young!" Awesome..."
Well CRS is the equivalent of that feeling for me in the present day. Comprised of three of my favourite MCs in the business -Lupe Fiasco (Child), Kanye West (Rebel) and Pharrell Williams (Soldier) - I was addicted to this single the minute I heard it. As if this trio wasn't enough to make me an insta-fan, Radiohead's Thom Yorke sings the hook. Gwen Stefani was wrong. This shit is bananas. B-AN-AN-AS!
It's not just who drops verses that has me completely hooked though. And I am completely hooked. This is one of maybe five songs in rotation on my phone during the walk to and from work. The others? The Seed 2.0, Stop Me, DJ Khaled's We Takin' Over and the Red Hot Chilly Willy's Snow (Hey Oh)...
Anyway, where was I? Right, awesomeness. I'm not a big fan of overproduced beats. Simple is better, the thinking being that if you need some glossy, flossy beat to catch your listener, it must be because your rhymes aren't that tight and your skills are kinda shaky. This track has a real basic, echoing piano plinking beat over which each of the three delivers an intelligent, poignant verse.
I've always liked all three of these cats because they can spin real smart, ingenious rhymes, giving you stuff that no one else comes up with. This song is no different, as each deliver a couple bon mots that'll catch you off guard if you're not paying attention.:
Lifestyles of the rich and famous
Bought a big house and a whole lot of rangers
A fresh new couch and a whole lot of trainers
A closet full of clothes and some brand new dangers
Some Mexican floral arrangers
A great big TV that'll entertain us
Some colorful commissions for some high paid painters
Someone to take the wrap so that I stay stainless
-Lupe (Verse 1)
Lifestyles of the broke and famous
Let you know how crazy this game is
Look at all the new beautiful faces
At home supermodel, myspaces
Long for their shot on the TV screens
American Idol never seen these dreams
Just last week they want to see ID
Now they got you in VIP, huh?
-Kanye (Verse 2)
I bring a burning sensation to the urban eye
Like an eye-drop of Turpentine
Wrong place wrong time
Should have been Phizer, GlaxoSmithKline
Number one chemist
Look at him no blemish
Egg shell off white like a DuPont finish
-Pharrell (Verse 3)
I know not everyone has the same passion for lyrics that I do, but pulling off "Should have been Phize, GlaxoSmithKline" in a rhyme and making it work 100%... bonkers!
So far we've only gotten this one single, but the word is that an entire CRS album could be coming sometime in the summer.
Let me suggest you start rocking this track now and talking it up. Then come summer, when everyone is loving CRS, they'll remember who hipped them to it in the first place.