Wednesday, July 13, 2011

U-God's Resume #5, Chef Raekwon “Knuckleheadz”

 U-God's Resume #5, Chef Raekwon “Knuckleheadz”

--Official Stats--
Artist: Chef Raekwon faturing Ghostface Killah and U-God
Song: Kunckleheadz
Album: Only Built 4 Cuban Linx...
Release Date: August 1, 1995

Knuckleheadz. Do I really have to say anything about this song? This is classic Wu. Let me spoil the ending: Score 10/10. Done. This is a classic track from Raekwon’s first solo album Only Built 4 Cuban Linx…. It’s the first song on the album and has three emcees: the automatic combination of Chef Raekwon and Ghostface Killah, plus our subject U-God. The beat is a perfect Wu banger from the RZA, the feel of the track is exquisitely designed to be both rugged and accessible, the emcees spit hard, and the bass line is ridiculous. The track is perfect (and almost my favorite from the album). So how does our boy do against two heavyweights establishing themselves as “the best”? Let’s find out:


U-God gets killed. Well, that’s what Wikipedia says (what’s your source on that, Wikipedia?). It says that his Gambino character “Lucky Hands” is killed at the end of his verse because U-God was going back to jail…again, and couldn't rap on the rest of the album, that's why they brought in Cappadonna. Well, I didn’t get that death thing AT ALL and I call bullshit becasue U-God's contribution here is about equal to his contributions on all of the other early Wu projects. I think Cappa was in the plan from the beginning. But who knows? Ghost’s verse definitely tells a story about a heist (or two).  Rae is spitting that stream of conscious shit that sounds good but doesn’t make any sense. U-God holds down the final verse, and here it is*:

The rap star is born, rap parmesan, Pro con, throwed it on
 seal it on with silicon, spark it on your talk-a-thon
This rap phenomenon, too porous, bond to the arms
Hit me on the hip n’ horns, rap chaperones
Scars tones, bar throw, war tones raw tones
Blowing out the jaw bones, but your raps fraudulent
Plug in these rap coordinates is reinforced with suspense
Be on your rap sword defense
The microphone professional, sensational, fully operational
I got n----- here to play with you
You know the steez, you know my whole program
Brothas from the no-lands
All we want is the G’s and guns and grams
Livin fat like the Hoffa Mafia, Sippin’ eatin pastas
Layin in the house tellin the seeds about the sagas
Before it got dramatic and thoughts got sporadic
We grabbed golden tablets, and quick guarded the abbots
Slugs hit the Pelle punch holes into the belly
Suckas try to knock my out the box like skill it
I smoke the weed dreams, I drop top to the breeze
Honey dip spending G’s on nails and hair weave
The crime boss taking no loss, excessive force
Please come play The A train, back of the iron horse

I’ll be honest, I’ve been listening to this song for years and years and I have no idea what he is saying for a lot of verse, so I asked U-God directly (seriously). He quite kindly gave me a few vague hints which I bolded above, but for the most part I’m guessing up there (especially the itallics). But that’s not really the point. Both Rae and Ghost are spitting incoherent but cool sounding raps, that’s what they do. You gotta study them if you want to make any sense out of them, and quite frankly, I’m not that bright.

So in the end, U-God’s verse is TREMENDOUS. He may be on the same level lyrically as Rae and Ghost, but his flow (especially in his first two lines) is deadly. It’s perfect. He should teach a class about how to flow that awesome. In fact, this is easily one of Baby U’s best verses ever. Nice job everybody involved with this track, it’s one of the best.

Track Score: 10/10
U-God’s Score: 10/10
Impact on Rep (+,-,=): Massively Improves

 *lyrics in italics I guessed at, bold text came directly from U-God (Thanks U-God), now buy his albums.

Next Week: U-God and the RZA visit Cypress Hill's Temples of Boom

Why Yes, It Is Carpet

About this series: “U-God’s Resume" is a series of posts which looks at each line of U-God’s entire career to determine if his status as ‘wack’ is justified (as labeled by internet morons). I think it is not. U-God is dope. We'll prove it. Leave it to the Tort Team.

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