Butch & Quinn on “To Pimp A Butterfly” x Kendrick Lamar

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On Monday, Kendrick Lamar released the highly anticipated “To Pimp A Butterfly,” one week ahead of schedule. That night, Butch & Quinn took the airwaves by storm to give you the longest commentary they’ve ever done; and for good reason. Listen to their thoughts of the album, its effect on the rap industry, and how Kendrick just might be the best (un)conscious rapper alive.

TWERKABILITY: A CHANGE IN #LAIDSTR8 CRITERIA

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 Once shunned by Black church mothers across America, twerking has become the number one dance everyone is obsessed with. More importantly, most of the music we hear encourages it. Now, don’t get me wrong. This is revolutionary! Never has the (black) booty been so invigorating and adorned! Also, never have I ever been so thin from shakin’ my booty! It’s almost like twerking is our generation’s disco movement.

Which is why #LaidStr8 will feature a new judging component, TWERKABILITY!

The Definition

twerkability (twərkəˈbilədē) – 
possession of the means or skill for a song or musical compilation
to encourage one to dance in a sexually provocative manner
involving thrusting hip movements in a low, squatting stance.
That J. Cole track “No Role Modelz” has major twerkability!

The twerkability of Jhene’ Aiko is seemingly nonexistent. 

Measuring Twerkability

With this new addition to my judging criteria, projects will now be weighed out on a scale of 1 – 8, 8 equating to ULTIMATE TWERKABILITY and 1 being POOR TWERKABILITY. Here are some examples:

MURPH WATKINS – JUUG [TWERKABILITY: 8]

ILLA ILLS – IÇIN [TWERKABILITY: 4/5]

BRIAN FRESCO – PEACE OF MIND [TWERKABILITY: 2/3]

Poor Twerkability Ain’t Bad (Sometimes..)

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I know what you’re thinking: “How can you use one basic scale to judge different genres of rap and hip hop in the same way?” In the case of Fresco’s “Peace of Mind”, while the young star is cold blooded, the songs twerkability is lacking.

That’s not to say that this track lacks dopeness. It just means this isn’t a track meant to be disrespected by overt activity and sweating. NO. This track was meant to be enjoyed in the comfort of my A-1’s in a calm and orderly fashion. Definitely not twerking. Plus, I know you don’t sit at home and just twerk to every single song on your playlist. I sure don’t. There are just some cuts that aren’t meant for dancing.

Are You Ready To Be Judged?

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 Now that you’ve had a sneak peak into my W8scale (I tried), do you feel like you have what it takes to be #LaidStr8? I am currently taking submissions from any Chicago local rapper or emcee that does! If you have an album, mixtape, EP, etc. that you would like me to review, please fill out the contact sheet below.

Be sure to include your stage name, album artwork, and brief description with media links to your work and social media accounts. For reviews, I prefer submissions be submitted via Youtube, Soundcloud, and Audiomack.

Looking forward to hearing some dope Chicago sounds!

Butch & Quinn: The 10th Track

The other day, I realized I was on the verge of creating the 10th Butch & Quinn podcast. If you don’t already know, Butch & Quinn is a series I started to highlight casual conversations involving rap, it’s culture and media. Topics range from Bobby Shmurda to race relations to barz and each session features raw, unscripted commentary from Butch (myself) & her bae Quinn (short for Dr. Quinn)

Learn how ATS Mag fell in love with him at MicFest!

To make things easier, I’ve made a list of interesting topics to address:

  1. Azealia Banks and the Black Conversation
  2. Kevin Gates, is rap critically acclaimed?
  3. Can blacks go to Chicago clubs?
  4. Are Migos the new Lox?
  5. Did Kendrick Lamar sell out?
  6. The end of Young Money
  7. Rappers to watch out for in 2015
  8. Drill Alternatives for 2015

If you have anything else you want us to discuss, hit me up!

#LaidStr8: 2014 Forest Hills Drive x J. Cole

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#LaidStr8: Are you ready to take the drive home? 

Today, albeit late as hell, I’m taking a journey into the depths of 2014 Forest Hills Drive by J. ColePardon my tardiness y’all, but unlike fickle, teeny boppers, I’m not quick to respond to a freshly pressed album. Especially not a J. Cole album. Talking ’bout he shut the game down?! BOY BYE! 

In my LaidStr8 of Born Sinner, I mention his traditional ‘formula which

he already gave us that for free […] you would think he would have pushed the envelope a little more. Sorry Cole, but I’m not impressed.”

Like before, the beats are up to par featuring Outkast/Mos Def elements; the lyricism is decent, the content is mature and conscious; but there still is a lack of WOW factor, or as I like to call it “Amaze-ballz.”

Even though I’m still not impressed, I’m happy to announce Forest Hills Drive slightly upgrades the formula. This time around, Cole adds the element of emo. Yes, he went Drake on us. Fortunately for y’all, however, he only uses one or two songs to croon over a woman. Seriously, though, the subject matter is pretty loaded. Topics range from virginity to foreclosure, to Ferguson to Iggy, and the emotional rollercoaster goes on. Still, it’s not enough to make this a great album. 

Hell, Waka Flocka slayed ‘Fired Squad’. Yes you read that right, Waka! Even more disturbing is the long ass outro at the end! You better get yo’ life if you think I intentionally listened to ‘dem 14 minutes more than once! Believe me!

So, don’t believe the hype. It’s just as “decent” as his last projects. So are you ready to go home? Cause you’re not getting anywhere going down this road…

#LaidStr8 Scale:  4/8

#Str8Songs: 2. January 28th, 9. No Role Modelz, 5. A Tale of 2 Citiez, 8. G.O.M.D., 4. Wet Dreamz

Follow Me @AllieLyke

Kendrick Lamar’s “i” & Respect of Self

Above you’ll find Kendrick Lamar‘s latest single, “i.” If you find yourself to be one of many who thought it was “mediocre at best,” maybe you don’t love/respect yourself enough. That’s right, when you diss “i” you diss yourself.

I know you’d hoped to find a hyper-synthesized, trap/edm beat underneath a hodge podge of nonsensical, bubblegum brain poison for lyrics; but instead you found something humane, catchy, and uplifting with a nice oldies sample. And now you’re confused. Maybe even a little peeved.

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Unlike most artists, Lamar actually came at you directly with his consciousness. He seemed like a real person, one with legitimate feelings expressed by words in the dictionary. An artist who has more to discuss than money, THOTS, and drugs. Someone who actually took the time to make you feel good about yourself.

Your brain hasn’t been able to process barz of this magnitude in a long time.

Don’t believe me….

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One more for ‘da folk… Just to make sure you’re still with me…

But i guess filling your eardrums with garbage is the popular thing to do nowadays.

I missed that memo. #thatsdead

Follow Me @allielyke

It Ain’t Human: My Thoughts on Celebrity Shaming

It Ain’t Human: My Thoughts on Celebrity Shaming

There is a growing issue I’d like to address to the journalism world with this video (K. Michelle giving a verbal smackdown to a blogger from Bossip.com). I do not like how this industry has become so greedy that we monopolize on the pain of others so much that we inflict it on others with our reporting.

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I understand times are tough. The public is asking for entertainment stories like this, according to your focus groups and ratings. But, the problem with that model is it’s lack of respect for humanity.

These are REAL people we are talking about. At one point in their lives, they were just as worthless and unprofitable as you are today. Yes, they get paid a lot of money to act a fool. And, #YAAS, it feels SO good to declare their transgressions to the masses and make their lives miserable!…

…..Until an artist or celebrity turns their mouth into a Desert Eagle and sends your soul to the creator with expletives alone. Or worse, commits suicide because, to them, the world is over. I mean, if you think about it, no matter how much money you make, it’s not a good dollar earned if you can’t even be seen as a normal person. #FoodForThought #ItsMyBusiness #PardonHerFrench

Follow me @AllieLyke

RIP Robin Williams. It’s Cool, I’m Alright, But…

Only my loved ones understand how much the discussion of divorce means to me. I’m not going to go into detail, but my parents split had an interesting, long-lasting effect on me and my upbringing, for obvious reasons. Dealing with the change was the toughest part. There were two things that helped me through this, Las Vegas Summer vacays and Mrs. Doubtfire.

What Happens In Vegas Stays In Vegas

 

Even after they split, my parents continued to send my sister and I to go see our grandparents in Las Vegas. It was to make sure we still knew our relatives, in spite of the separation and discontent my parents had for each other.

I loved going out there. Especially kickin’ it with my grandparents.

They took us everywhere and exposed us to so many new things. Shoot, it was because of my grandfather that by the time I was 11, I could navigate an airport and casino alone and find my way back home through the city unscathed just in time to go into the deep-end of the pool he used to shove us in to get us out the safe shallow end. I could get around because they gave us the skills to do so.

My grandfather was called back home last month.

“All My Love to You Poppett”

And now Williams has passed. The man that made so many of my favorite movies: Aladdin, Patch Adams, FernGully, Flubber, and most of all Mrs. Doubtfire.

Oh yes. The great Euphegenia Doubtfire

Mrs. Doubtfire was more than a movie that made me laugh. It helped me understand that no matter what my parents did, the love they felt for me wouldn’t change and everything was going to be okay, even if they weren’t together. The scene at the end when he got REAL with us– you remember:

 

I just knew I was going to be okay after hearing this.

At least until today.

When the safety net goes away

I was talking to my boyfriend the other day about how (in ours 20s) we are the most vulnerable to depression and social disorders. I explained the reason like this: For (at least) 18 years (for the privileged few of us with loving homes) we are in a regular system of school and recreational life. Nothing to worry about, no real responsibilities, and the freedom to do whatever we want, within reason. Then we are pushed into the real world; a world free of order, sense, and reason; and told to make due and hopefully you’ll come out on top, if you’re lucky….

Essentially my safety net was my grandfather and children’s classics like Aladdin & Mrs. Doubtfire. They are now gone and I’m going through a depressive state.

However, depression is like winning the lottery compared to worse conditions young adults fall victim to. substance abuse, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, cutting – the list goes on. When you think about the state of mind young adults are in today with student loan debt crisis and a terribly horrific economy, I’m shocked half the world still exists.

You want to get more depressed: the man that tried to make us all happy when we were confused little kids ended up killing himself for the same reason. That makes me feel like shit. Even more depressing, this happens everyday if not every hour of the day.

In 2011, every 13 minutes someone killed themselves on average! it wouldn’t surprise me if the numbers were significantly higher when the year is over. And what are we doing to change this…don’t worry I’ll wait.

NOTHING.

What about the other men, women, and teens who lost their safety nets, either this morning or at another moment, who don’t understand that they need to get their frustrations out on paper; who may need to talk to someone about going to rehab; Who need hugs when their problem is greater than their will to live?

I’m making the choice to let my emotions out with tears, expression, and Mrs. Doubtfire on repeat. I hope the rest of you are in a good mind state to choose to react just as positively. However, if you’re still trying to find some sense in all of this, and can’t find a happy place, know that you aren’t alone in your confusion and fear.

You’re not the only one that’s saddened by this great loss, nor are you the only one crying about it. But, in the words of Mrs. Doubtfire, “You’re going to be alright.” And we can get through this, together.

 

Dedicated to George Lyke Sr. & Robin Williams, two souls that made Allie happy. May you both rest in paradise. Follow me @AllieLyke

Sex You: The Cleanest Song Out

Below you will find “Sex You” by Bando Jonez Have you heard it?

So, what did you think?

I can tell you right now I lost my mind when I heard it for the first time. “What is this nasty garbage?…just another song about sexin’ some THOTarocci!” (Just a couple initial thoughts). This song eventually, however, became a guilty pleasure and I ultimately gave in to the sexual darkness.

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Still, here are the Reasons why this crazy song became dope to Allison Allie.

  1. Above everything else, the beat is undeniably fucking awesome (Don’t tell me that bass and kick with the water bubbles don’t touch your soul when it came on?)
  2. Vocals are solid. And that’s real.
  3. And most importantly, he doesn’t curse, cat call, describe sex scenes and/or sexual parts, or objectify and disrespect a woman(en).

The song that I thought was so nasty and THOT-esque, is simply just a guy asking a girl to have sex with him and explaining his pursuit.

Literally.

Throughout the entire song, all he says is “Can I have sex with you? Have you had good sex recently? You know I’m from Atlanta, right?  Yeah, I was raised like a pimp, and all these girls want me, but I just want you…so…”

In all honesty, I could probably write a 10 page article on how clean this topic, but for the sake of time and your

 attention, I’ll keep it brief. Maybe when I become a Professor. 

All I can say is this: Ladies, whether you answer yes or no, I think that’s a legitimate question for a man to ask a woman he wants to pursue, has pursued, or has a committed relationship with (real talk). Of course we’re going to say no if we’re not ready. But, you can’t get mad at him for wanting to. It’s human nature. Yes, you may not want to–it may creep you out, he may not be your type, he might be a boogawoof, or whatever fucking reason–so you have a right to say no. But I also don’t think it’s an issue if he politely runs his game. Clean approach, nice smile, and evocative tone, GIRL, he’s just asking for a smile =)

But if Rico Rich Dollaz from out South tries to come at me with ratchetry and coonery, it’s on, no shade.

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Besides, don’t act like you heauxs don’t have urges, too. Some of you wish you were getting some instead of reading this (it’s okay, I understand and empathize)! Seriously, though. I get that sleeping with a lot of people is a major health risk and is frowned upon, but there is nothing wrong with having fun with someone you care about, even if you’re not with him/her for the rest of your life.

You can’t help who you love or who you want to love on. And you can’t help if they love you, love you loving on them, and love loving on you.

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Follow Me @AllieLyke

Macklemore’s Apology

A lot of things are devastating me about our world now:

1. Beyoncé and Jay-Z are the most important people in our universe #FACT.

 

2. West coast teams are dominating the sports industry…at least, minus Carmelo’s stunt last week.

Image by NBAmemes

Image by NBAmemes

 

3. There’s an oversaturation of racial ambiguity in commercials, following suit of the Cheerios incident. You know what they say, It’s not because it’s right, it’s because it’s economically sound. For example, meet the Rukavina’s

 

aaaand 4. Macklemore won best rap album over Kendrick Lamar (I call total BULLSHIT on that play)!

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Image by pandawhale.com

 

That apology was BS, too bro! Not to mention McThriftPantyShop decided to post it on IG like he needed to prove a point.

Macklemore via Instagram

Macklemore via Instagram

 

Needless to say I was PISSED!

 

However there is hope yet. An amazing person at Complex, Jack Erwin, decided to write an open letter in response to the apology. I said self, there is no need to dedicate the rest of the Chiberian polar vortex to making the ultimate Macklemore meme/gif.

Erwin says,

Quit apologizing. Not to get too reductive, but that shit is not hip-hop. Enough with the “I robbed you” and “I wanted you to win.” You’ve been doing this for years, you released your album independently, of course you wanted to win. Own that shit, man. And definitely enough with the Instagramming your text apologies, it just confirms everyone’s worst biases about the mawkishness of white people.

 

What do you say after that? lol

 

Follow Me @AllieLyke