[HIP-HOP VERSE OF THE MONTH] Mos Def-Respiration via @TenthLetterMed


In Hip-Hop the manuscript has always been the sole responsibility of the MC. With bravado and lyricism, these spitkickers further cultivate the genre. Most Hip-Hop heads can easily recite a hot 16 of their favorite artist and not have Google at the ready for help.

When it comes to a good track, one can get lost in the beat and not even hear what’s said. A dope track is when the artists themselves get lost in the beat and you can’t help but to hear what’s said! In that vein, TenthLetterMedia and Straight Official Magazine present our HIP-HOP VERSE OF THE MONTH where we take a good listen to bars from our favorite MC’s.

This month we take a breath from one half of the movement known as Black Star in MOS DEF. He alongside Talib Kweli and Common painted beautiful pictures of their surroundings in the classic single Respiration.

Riding the pulsating tempo of the beat resembling of an ancient mating call, Flacco describes the climate of his hometown with all of its charms while trying to acquire inspiration.

The new moon rode high in the crown of the metropolis
Shinin’, like who on top of this?
People was tusslin’, arguin’ and bustlin’
Gangstas of Gotham hardcore hustlin’
I’m wrestlin’ with words and ideas
My ears is picky, seekin’ what will transmit
The scribes can apply to transcript, yo
This ain’t no time where the usual is suitable
Tonight alive, let’s describe the inscrutable
The indisputable, we New York the narcotic
Strength in metal and fiber optics
Where mercenaries is paid to trade hot stock tips
For profits, thirsty criminals take pockets
Hard knuckles on the second hands of workin’ class watches
Skyscrapers is colossus, the cost of living
Is preposterous, stay alive, you play or die, no options


Mos beautifully placed us within the center of New York. He goes on to highlight the absence of Gotham’s heroes and discrepancies within the justice system. His storytelling is compelling and the overall desire to be the scribe of his surroundings is stated eloquently across backdrops of the Empire State:

No Batman and Robin, can’t tell between
The cops and the robbers, they both partners, they all heartless
With no conscience, back streets stay darkened
Where unbeliever hearts stay hardened
My eagle talons stay sharpened, like city lights stay throbbin’
You either make a way or stay sobbin’, the shiny apple
Is bruised but sweet and if you choose to eat
You could lose your teeth, many crews retreat
Nightly news repeat, who got shot down and locked down
Spotlight to savages, NASDAQ averages
My narrative, rose to explain this existence
Amidst the harbor lights which remain in the distance


Check out the rest of Respiration down below to hear just how difficult it was for us to narrow it down to one verse, and stay with TenthLetterMedia and Straight Official Magazine as we continue to bring you more Hip-Hop Verses of the Month! #GetSOM #DueSeason

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[HIP HOP VERSE OF THE MONTH] BIG K.R.I.T-Mt. Olympus via @TenthLetterMed


Out of the five elements that connect like Voltron to form Hip-Hop, the MC is without a doubt the head. The lyricism and delivery of a hot 16 can do anything from storytelling to persuasion and in some cases, create mass hysteria.

Over its 40-plus year odyssey, Hip-Hop has made its presence not only felt but respected as a genre of music unlike any other. Through metaphors, entendres and raw spit, a dope MC can make proclaim their dominance from even the highest mountain.

In that collective spirit, TenthLetterMedia and Straight Official Magazine present the HIP-HOP Verse of the Month where each and every month, we will spotlight bars from some of our favorite MC’s. This month we’re headed across the Mason/Dixon line to check out Big K.R.I.T. and his vicious verse from the bonus track “Mt. Olympus” off the Cadillatica album.

While the song itself is one of my favorites from K.R.I.T., it was difficult to narrow down just one of the two verses of the song. After much deliberation, verse one sets this track off amidst the orchestral backdrop that hits you from the jump. K.R.I.T. uses the beginning to address the light that was shined on him from the “Control” track from Kendrick Lamar:

All this attention
I don’t even know what I might even do with it
That Control beat is like an ugly bitch that everybody done fucked raw
Maybe you hit it
Aw man, I’m more concerned why niggas been textin’ my cell
Callin’ my phone
Ask me about this Kendrick shit
That he ain’t even really even diss me on

K.R.I.T goes on to display his lyrical fortitude that in his words was passed up on for the status quo within the industry (trap, bass, molly & drank). He began to tear into recycled artists from the South and the tactics used to mislead fans all while shouting out a pioneer in Southern Hip-Hop:

I ain’t drawn to all this propaganda
Rap shit ’bout as real as Santa
Now I’m lyrical all of the sudden
Well last year they claim they ain’t understand me
I’m buryin’ this (Yeah ho)
And pissin’ on they graves
Another nigga, other nigga name on your chain
And they call me a slave
Niggas scared of this country boy, lord forbid I catch a body
In the studio tryna calm your soul
Lookin’ at your manager, I think Krizzle got me
I put you in the trunk with these subwoofers
5th wheel in my shottie
I’m so prolific with these scriptures they might give me a Bible
Page 1, come here son
Mind your manners, just be cool
I know you lame when you was in school
The little fame you ain’t used to
And it was easy for you to move through
English class put you off these swords
Like one of these days I’m gonna be a rapper
But all my verses gonna be borrowed
So I’ma take from all these Southern artists
That mainstream never heard of
Recycle all of they lingo
And make sure I screw my words up
Bravo for your swagger-jackin’
I’m overwhelmed by your dedication
You actually fooled these people into thinkin’
That your music was innovative
Rap battlin’ never got me out of no public housin’
You tellin’ me I can be King of Hip-Hop
And they wouldn’t give it to Andre 3000?

Krizzle ended this first verse with a revelation unlike any other while quoting himself from another dope track entitled “I Got This”. He then goes into a chorus that continued to blister those who decided to pass the Southern MC by:

Nigga please, this award ain’t got shit to do with us
God could physically come down and say “he the greatest
My favorite, y’all should listen, he have potential
To outlive the heatwave I’ma send through this motherfucker
And rebuild for a whole ‘nother other culture”
And that wouldn’t be enough
So fuck these haters and fuck these hoes
Damn right I still mean that

Check out the video to Mt. Olympus below and stick around for the second verse to see just how difficult it was to narrow this down, and stay tuned with us here at Straight Official Magazine for more Hip-Hop Verses of the Month.

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