Tracks

Legacy: "I'm A Star"

(2005)

By Chet Betz | 6 July 2005

Legacy’s a cocky ass, proclaiming himself the greatest writer ever in interviews and filling his Project Mayhem with middling brag track after middling brag track. It’s not until track 15 that Legacy hits upon, well, another brag track, but this one’s brilliant. Brilliant thanks to Khrysis, who gets all 4th Disciple "B.I.B.L.E." on the beat and comes up with one of those gorgeous, aching productions, the kind that make you think: "This hip-hop music’s for real."

Is this sample or samples? Hard to tell—the various elements of "I’ma Star" feel so complete together that it seems wrong to imagine them apart. It’s a vaselined-lens dream, cotton-filled horns and sweet female vocals swooning from a distance, a reverbed guitar click bouncing off blackened brick walls. The simple drum bap keeps heads nodding while their mouths move silently in tandem with the raps.

The juxtaposition of this melancholy music with the boasting of Legacy and his guests (Chaundon, Median and Joe Scudda) shows how style can successfully augment substance into something poignant. These guys aren’t stars. Like many underground rappers, they seem quite earnest in their delusion, in ignoring the fact that their A&R guy’s their number one fan. The hook proclaims: "I’ma star / Do you, do me / We do it like we do it for TV / In case you haven’t heard / I’ma star." So, for all their self-jocking and tellings of how they rose to the top, there’s a sadness and quiet desperation when these lyrics are rapped over this chilling beat. "In case you haven’t heard," that’s the key line here. In many ways this song is the underground counterpart to "Hate It or Love It," almost as if (disregarding their concurrence) that’s the hit that "I’ma Star" longs to be. It’s just a shame that two songs with shots at classic status come from rather mediocre albums.