Tracks

Rhymefest: "Devil's Pie"

(2006)

By Mark Abraham | 24 July 2006

Since when did Julian Casablancas become the voice of the working class? Of course, it doesn’t matter when “Someday” is slowed down and the beat begins, inaugurating the happiest (hoppiest?) hip hop groove this year. Overtop Rhymefest plays grim; the track modifies the whole I’m-from-the-streets thing, pushing it further to attack the structural inequalities that help the dirty laundry makers of this world keep class and race on tumble dry. Meanwhile, Mark Ronson performs possibly the coolest beatmash ever on some lovely background vocals, allowing them to stutter and rise in contrast to the bouncy beat, creating the absolutely coolest sigh ever.

Sure, we know Rhymefest isn’t really calling up “the Ye” for gas money, ‘specially since if “H to the Izzo” is keeping West in stylish jackets, “Jesus Walks” must be doing the same for our blue collar hero. But when he rips on everybody else in the rap game to add a light feel to this serious number, he’s able to get out of spitting the usual personal list of Benzes and Bape. And since this track explodes from the album’s thin middle, upping the ante on Rhymefest’s skill and scotch-hopping it’s way into the album’s more serious close, the track is particularly potent. Bush, Condi, and Rumsfeld are invited to get their piece of the slice, but so is everybody else. If we could only transform this beat into an economic flow chart, the world would be a better place.