Thursday, July 14, 2011

Trackmasters: Xzibit "H.F.O.U."

--Official Stats--
Artist: Xzibit featuring Trick Trick
Song: Highest Form of Understanding (H.F.O.U.)
Album: MMX (Mixtape)
Release Date: September 14, 2010

I'm sure you may have noticed that almost all of my Trackmasters posts (which look at the best individual tracks in hip hop) have been on older songs. Why? It's simple: older songs that I still play have proven staying power, an essential part of earning that "classic" status. So for a new song to make the cut it's gotta be really good. I mean, it's gotta spin like hundreds of times so that our team knows for sure that we've got a classic. Highest Form of Understanding (H.F.O.U.) by Xzibit is one such classic song. In fact, it's one of the best hip hop songs ever made. Seriously.

First of all, the beat, produced by Xzibit (!) and the Futuristics is just genius. It takes Good Vibrations (from the Beach Boys) and turns it on his head. The relatively happy and fun California beach love sounds from the origianl song are flipped to become this ominous and disheartening backdrop for some deep and dark lyrics from both Xzibit and Trick Trick.

H.F.O.U. is off the MMX mixtape but I think it had higher ambitions at first. It doesn't really matter how you hear it this track though, or where it ended up, just check for it. Why is it good? First, it's introspective without being corny, which is a tough feat for anyone. Second, Xzibit and Trick Trick are dropping science, they are revealing truths to the youths. Thrid, it's rugged and never bends commercial - no compromises. Fourth, it's full of hot lines over a great beat. Finally, it is deeply rooted in hip hop. Check the first line, "it was all a dream". Yep.

Okay, so here is the track...
Xzibit feat. Trick-Trick Highest Form Of Understanding (H.F.O.U.) by VOUCH MAG

As usual with these tracks I could just print all the lyrics. And I should. XZIBIT KILLS IT. DEAD. Do you understand? Trick Trick should not have been able to follow him, he should have been murderded, but what does he do? He steps up and also KILLS IT. Xzibit comes hotter, but shit, two great verses.

Here you go:
...How could I fly so high, only to feel so low?
How do they live so fast only to grow so slow?
Like when you shortin' that support for your kids,
but got money for marijuana just to smoke with your friends.
Or that woman who survives and beats cancer,
only to be drowned in debt with no answers.
The frequency of tragedy, it happens so rapidly,
that we became numb, we embrace this insanity.
Some wack-job haul off and smoked his whole family.
Reality T.V. that's not based in reality.
Stuck watching train wrecks, everybody going for self,
self worth is important but for money and wealth?
This mentality of "Me! Fuck everything else."
It's a virus, a disease, I'm a victim myself,
but I swear before I leave, I'mma fix it, I swear.
I'mma fix it, I swear, yo, you better beware.

Rich boy kill his own wife, knocks her teeth out,
cuts her fingers off, then escaped with a suicide.
The King of Pop died, Michael Vick was fighting dogs,
but he walked and did his time, let him throw the fucking ball.
 As the markets keep crashing and people get desperate,
putting faith in the false, feeling so disrespected.
Turn to this record, the Highest Form Of Understanding,

Understand me? Fight or flight for your family.
Come, walk with a soldier.
Come, talk with a soldier. Yeah.
Cinderblock stop shooting straight from the shoulder.
As we all get older and hope falls over,
and damn, you were six years sober.
And just like that, now you back where you started, square one.
And you can't bring it back when that bullet leave the gun.
As the planet gets smaller, prepare for the North American Union
Amero to replace your dollars.
Narcissistic society, love paparazzi,
get to Starbucks for your overpriced latte.
Ignoring all the signs, "nevermind" is your mindstate.
Until the end of time, shit is closer than you think man.

Yo! If that wasn't enough check the last few lines from Trick Trick ending with this:

If you die, he'll be in a better place, bring the tape back

Go look it up. That's heavy stuff. The best stuff.

Download this track. Buy something from Xzibit, go to Xzibit shows. Buy something from Trick Trick. Support hip hop. Do it.


Score: 10/10

Special thanks to Xzibit for translating a tricky lyric.

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