The Coke Side Of Life

By Stereogum / December 20, 2006

A lot of you guys are writing us to complain that Clipse wasn’t higher on Pfork’s list (we didn’t write it!), but coke-rap is so on in ’07. Sasha Frere-Jones explores in his recent piece for The New Yorker:

What is a life-style choice in pop is a livelihood in hip-hop. Almost every m.c. raps about selling cocaine, whether he?s a veteran like Jay-Z, who likes to invoke his stint as a teen-age dealer, or a newcomer like Rick Ross, who built his 2006 début album, ?Port of Miami,? around the conceit of being the biggest coke dealer in town. Two hip-hop acts, Clipse and Young Jeezy, rap about dealing more than about anything else, and their music has prompted critics to christen a new subgenre: cocaine rap. Clipse is Gene (Malice) and Terrence (Pusha T) Thornton, a pair of brothers from Virginia, whose brilliantly terse and abrasive second album, ?Hell Hath No Fury,? came out last month; Young Jeezy is a twenty-eight-year-old from Atlanta, whose woozy and uneven second album, ?The Inspiration,? was released last week. These m.c.s boast of their skill as salesmen, not of their lives as partygoers.

Hip-hop has always been driven by an imperative to employ the most vibrant words possible; cocaine rap takes this command to an inventive extreme. Young Jeezy and Clipse want to boast about flouting the law and at the same time protect themselves from potential prosecution.

So don’t doubt the year in snow; even Noel made apologies for Charlie this year. And as Sasha points out, Clapton stopped being a wuss about putting out the “wrong message” and put “Cocaine” back in his setlist!

And the coke corps have even infiltrated nü-folk; if you listen to J. New’s “Monkey & Bear” really attentively, you so know it’s about getting high: “The hills [of blow!] are groaning with excess. Like a table ceaselessly being set.” Got that, Ursala?

But hey kids, don’t do drugs! Just drink the soda.