THE SNOBS BIBLE
Photo by Seth Fischer
2 We’re taking the word snob back. At least that’s the goal we had in mind when we created this site. But at this point, why challenge Webster. We seek not necessarily to look down — as Webster’s definition would imply —we seek to enlighten, and indoctrinate in some small way, the idea of hip-hop as a new age form of poetry and by that same extent literature itself. But why be such an adamant hipster of something modern Americans consider to not be worth a damn? Because just in the ways that we used to look to Socrates, Shakespeare or Dickens for the insight and imagery they provided, so too did I look and find that insight in Lupe Fiasco, Kanye West, and many other emcees that paint the portrait of the world through the brush strokes of literature. And I hope we can broaden your view of hip-hop. It’s a craft, that much is certainly true, and I think one develops their own sense of oral consciousness following exposure to it. You start to think about your own words, the flow of the sentences you make. You hear beats from everything, you start thinking you can make beats with some blasé beat pad application. Though these are the symptoms, do not think of this as a sickness. At least in the traditional sense of the word. We hope you find your own license to ill. My hope is that each of the entries we post on our site can give you a second to escape from your everyday life to here a bar or set of words you’ve never heard before, hear a flow that really makes a producers work stand out, just let music do what it can and give you a second to smile. If we’re snobs, we’re considerate ones at that, and it is with our pinkies raise we toast to the present and the glory that is the spoken Word
? BIG 2 fail To
THOUGHTS ON THE XXL 2013 FRESHMAN LIST
ince 2008, XXL magazine has composed a list of the artists they think have come to rise in the previous year and are surely destined for greatness in the upcoming year. Their lists have heralded such artists as Macklemore (a 2012 freshman, whose 2012 album The Heist was widely well received), Kendrick Lamar (Class of 2011, his most recent album good kid, m.A.A.d city topped countless best of the year lists), and Big Sean (if you look at the cover to your right you notice two of those names actually appear inside the issue for their own stories). This years list came with the headline, “Best Ever?” And compiled a trove of artists we know and love here at SnobHop. Like Kenrick lamar, fellow Top Dawg Entertainment (TDE) staple acts ScHoolboy Q and Ab-Soul made it on the list. And we loved it — Ab-Soul has long not received the buzz he deserves for his incredibly unique lyrical style. Joey Bada$$, who frequents our site due to his lyrical dexterity that reminds us of the good ol’ days of East Coast hip-hop dominance in the 90’s. Action Bronson, the native Queens-man and chef who could rhyme anything about food and have us eating out of the palms of his hands finally made it on the list. We’ll even give shout outs to Logic and Angel Haze, two rhymers we had been sleeping on till they made their debut on the list. And honestly, we have no problems with Travi$ Scott (his cyhper rap was not necessarily orginal but not bad by any means) aside from the whole dollar-sign thing becoming way to old way to quick. And we were stoked — the key word there is were — until the rest of the list came out. “Dizzy Wright? Kirko Bangz? some weak photo of Chief Keef? and TRINDAD F***ING JAME$?,” we thought. None of these people can even roughly match the lyrical intensity of the other half of the list. Let me get back to Trinidad briefly. This man-child represents a large portion of what we have grown to dislike about the current hip-hop scene here at SnobHop. His breakout song, “All Gold Everything” is a joke. This is a magazine about hip-hop, and we expect some level of credibility in their freshman’s ability to rhyme. They have to complete a cyhper and individual freestyle once on the list, and after listing to Jame$’s freestyle we were left siting back wondering where the new age of lyricism had gone awry. Captain Murhpy, the pseudonym for Flying Lotus’s cartoon villain rap alter-ego, brought to the table a new lyrical style this year in his mixtape Duality all by himself. And another SnobHop favorite, Chance the Rapper, who got great response at SXSW this year didn’t even make the list. And don’t get us wrong, we aren’t saying this is a tragedy, most of the artists that made the list already have a few projects put out, where Chance and Cap’n only have one apiece. But quantity does not always mean quality, and I will put any Trinidad and Chief Keef song against anything from Duality or #10day (Chance’s debut mixtape). So thank you XXL, for giving us snobs something to snob on about, but shame on you for trying to pass off some of these freshman as legitimate artists. We suppose in the long run that it is possible for these artists to surprise us, and XXL has done their job, because we will watch these artist in 2013, if only to provide further critique of the list.
before you start snobbing on, take a listen to some starter tracks to get a good basis for your snobbery. These tracks exemplify some form of the craft. Unorthodox (Single) Courtesy of Itunes
Joey Bada$$ — Unorthodox (produced by DJ Premier) Anyone who had paid any attention to our site knows our fondness for Joey, and the production from an old schooler like DJ Premier only makes his style that more complete. Our favorite line? “I’m gonna spark it off unorthodox / Won’t sign to no major if no wager /Less than a 3 million offer off the top / I’ll be in a box with my coughin’ drops / Why settle for an office spot?”
The SnobHop official Top 10 Rhymers of 2012-2013 1. Siting at our top spot in our list is the Top Dawg Entertainment front man Kendrick Lamar. His sophomore release good Kid, m.A.A.d City was, to say the least, the most cohesively put together album of the last half decade. But it’s more than just that, his whole discography is filled with marvelous compositions of lyrical talent. He has garnered specific attention to his own depth and has made himself a household name wonderfully. Here’s an example of his lyrical dexterity on Ab-Soul’s “Black Lip Bastard (remix)”: “Look Courtesy of KendrickLamar.com inside my parking garage and see a collage / Of every person I despise since the moment I turned 5 / Calculate my steps and strategically took my time / Even falling off, I land on the ass of Nicki Minaj (so soft!)” 2. I hate to give two people from the same collective the top spots, but it’s just the way it has to be. Fellow TDE representitve Ab-Soul is reinventing what it means to have a flow with his comples spirtual rhyming. One of our faveorite lines from the God MC is from the same track, “Black lip Bastard (remix)” off his Control System: “Perpetratin’, bitches poppin’ percocet and percolatin’ / Freelance for God but do the work of Satan, whatever works / I’m clever with the words if you haven’t noticed yet / Lightyears ahead, I’m bright and I like to get oral sex / Soul brother number 1+1, gettin’ fed like where drugs and Courtesy of Ab-Soulo.com guns come from.” Some may not see specific lyrical variety, but it’s the construction of Ab’s work that makes it so special 3.I know you’re probably getting tired of seeing his name, But Joey Bada$$ claims our number three spot. We had been waiting for a return of the old east coast style since Biggie passed. His noteables are ever so quotable, lines like: “Or did you end up like most cats who split a lot of cheese together? / The more cheddar, the more better, Ya’ll won’t be friends forever / And Courtesy of badassjoey.tumblr.com I know it’s probably killing you softly, pardon me / Thinking you can handle all of your problems costly / No matter what the cost be, you’re quick to try and buy it off / Everything is win-win, you know you can’t afford a loss.” Those lines come off of Oh Deer (Beddar Daze) off Joey’s 1999 mixtape. Action Bronson — Pouches of Tuna (ft. Roc Marciano) We may just love his accent. But Action Bronson, gets over a great old sounding string led beat prdouced my Party Supplies on his mixtape, Blue Chips “Been on the honor roll, sculptures of my body out in Nagano / My shawty features like Madonna, Lo designer” and Roc’s “Bank robbers, bang 38’s to taste cobbler / And lay up with a case of vodka / Get cake and prosper / Ate steak and lobster to Frank Sinatra”
Blue Chips, Courtesy of ActionBronson.com
Courtesy of BlueScholars.com
Courtesy of iamdonald.com
Courtesy of Intunes.com
Courtesy of uknowbigsean.com
Courtesy of Macklemore.com
Courtesy of pusha-t.com
4.This is one of our more snobby picks. Geologic from the Blue Scholars is one of the most intellectual minds in the rap game. He comes out of Seattle much like our #9 pick Macklemore. Here’s something worth remembering from the Scholars independent single, “The Decisive Moment”: “Bet it’s hard to know I’m going places you’ll never reach / and best you can do is say this Geo dude is weak. / I own my own privilege but that shit ain’t owning me / I’m bringing back some fans that though they were over me” 5.The man of many talents, Childish Gambino (aka Donald Glover) has long time been a personal favorite of us at SnobHop. His wit and well written style standout in his music. His lines rely on imagery and words more than rhyming. Off Bino’s most recent mixtape camp he drops the bars: “He who speakin’ the least is Chief Keefin’ the peace / Leavin’ seeds in yo niece, prayin’ that she ain’t late.” Take that Chief Keef! 6.If I were totally biased in making this list, Kanye West would win this award every year. He has long been at the top of his game and never ceases to amaze with is simple style, hopefully he releases new music soon. This year he remixed Rihanna’s “Diamonds”, saying the great line: “But it don’t matter cause I stay on my fresh prince / Maxin’, relaxin, shootin’ some pool and / Playing some b-ball outside of the school and / Girls with they top off outside of the pool and / Whips with the drop off outside of the Louvre.” Glorious wording. 7.Big Sean always finds new ways to impress us lyrically, Wether its his soulful flow or ability to match bars with anyone he always puts work into his songs. He is poised for another great release in Hall of Fame. In the last year, his single “Guap” contained the great rhyme: “I give it up to God, and he always replies / ‘Control yo hoes, you let her talk to you crazy / You got baby mama drama, you ain’t even got you no baby!’ / You fugazi, bboss up, boss up with your time dog / You ain’t got time for no hoes, I ain’t even got time for no time off.” 8.Fellow Seattleite Macklemore has definitely carved a niche for himself in the last year. His debut independent album release The Heist was incredibly well received and was easily one of our top albums of the year. Our favorite line from the piece?: And my subconscious telling me stop it / This is an issue that you shouldn’t get involved in / Don’t even tweet, R.I.P Trayvon Martin / Don’t wanna be that white dude, million man marchin’ / Fighting for a freedom that my people stole / Don’t wanna make all my white fans uncomfortable” 9. Fellow G.O.OD. Music roster MC Pusha T creeps his way onto the ten spot of this list with his very specific style. His words have a specific diction that releases an aura of confidence and clean-cut imagery. One of his early releases Fear of God has this classic line in the mixtapes outro track “Alone in Vegas”: “I let you into my diary to admire me / The make up of this man, I let you see the higher me / The self righteous drug dealer dichotomy.
Wolf, Cover Art. Courtesy of Itunes
Tyler, the Creator — Colossus Odd Future commander Tyler lays down verses as himself and a fan trying to receive an autograph while at a theme park. This has a fame is more than asked kind of vibe, happy for his success but not wanting to be trapped in a box as an artist. Best line? “Yonkers and Yonkers (I love that song)/ Sick of hearing about Yonkers / I’m grateful that it worked, I attacked and I conquered.”
What we’ve done This has been what we hope to be the beginning of
a great era for SnobHop. We started with small hopes and ambitions and have made steps towards becoming a great foundation for our years do come. In the last year we made a solid connection woth an artist coming up from our own area in Steff Marvin, pictured to our right. We covered Steff in a small photo slideshow and interview and learned a lot about what makes him tick. It was a great interview and we;re glad to have had a chance to make a connection like that with somebody actually making music in our area. We also sat down Michael Junard, Executive for Fresh Baked Daily Clothing line about the culture of rape in hip-hop (He is pictured in the thumbnail for our Freestylin’ video to the right). That interview can be heard on our website. He brought out a lot of points about societies uncomfortable history with the subject and how artists use that to their advantage when they write. Not so much a scare tactic but a way to grab the attention of the listener. As we mentioned, Mike was also a part of our “Freestylin’” video, where we successfully harassed a few friends of the site and asked them if they were able to bust a quick rhyme off the top of their head to prove a point about the talent of freestyle artists. The product was great because it was more so a denotation of people’s sheer inability to focus under pressure, which is as much a real part of the talent of freestyling as the concoction of the words themselves. But that was the past, and this is the present, and in this present we’re looking towards the future. We look forward to trying to establish more connections with artists when releases do come out. But as of right now we are limited in terms of our personnel, which effects our ability to get content out as freshly and quickly as we’d like. And in the coming year we hope to add two more
&Where we’re going
Steff Marvin, Photos by Charley Nold. Video, “Freestylin” Courtesy of Charley Nold
writers to our staff to make sure we can produce fresh new content to you whenever you need or want it. And we that will help in our ability to provide you with sweet new tunes to listen to on your way to work, while your wasting time on your computer or phone trying to find something to fill your ears, or maybe you
hear something you like and you share it with a friend or family member. Then they start thinking about the words differently. We have always had lofty hopes here at SnobHop, because that’s the only way to ensure that our content is up to the level of snobbery we expect and love to create for all of you and yours back home. So hopefully your interest will reach past this paper and on to our website where hopefully we can make a snob out of you all.
SnobHop's first ever print issue made available for your online consumption.