Hot 16…Or More… “WANT THAT”

Another installment.

Like I said in last month’s post, I can’t get as intricate as Jay-Z did in his Decoded memoir, but follow the spaces, italics and emboldened letters to see where my points are emphasized.

This excerpt is actually the entire set of verses and the hook from the track which appears as number 2 on my very first mixtape released as a solo artist, The Crazy 8’s. It’s titled “Want That” and was instantly a favorite among listeners and always has been. It’s actually a song that I wrote in 2003 when I ventured out on my boy Terence, The Politician‘s equipment to record myself for the first time. With nothing but alot of free time on my hands, I was determined to make a collection of songs that showcased every side of my 2003 self and finally hear my voice on a fully recorded project. I used some of his original beats, some industry beats and even spliced some of both together with my limited knowledge of the programs at my disposal. I sat there, day after day, and wrote, recorded and edited everything myself. I still have that collection. The subject song of last month’s post, “Talkin’ Bout” actually spawned from that collection as well. I sharpened punchlines there, tried my very first singing track, vented about the chic I was dealing with, and tried to come to an understanding with my Father and my little sister, all on the same 17 song compilation. Who knows how many didn’t make it! But I vividly remember the inception of this track…I wanted to make something effortlesly catchy, but I wanted to rap in a revolutionary way that hadn’t been heard before. Or at least not heard too often. I spent that summer looking up this artist that Timbaland was supposed to be bringing out. Her promo material was everywhere on the net at the time. She was a singer named Kiley Dean; a White girl with a soulful voice who was poised to fill in the void left by Aaliyah the year before. Why she never really saw the light of day, I don’t know…But the musical backdrops that Tim was providing her made the perfect candidates for beat jacking. He had the usual Timbo r&b fanfare, a 50’s inspired tune, even one that borrowed from a Jay-Z song that he produced. But nothing hit me more than this guitar and violin based beat that sounded like nothing I heard before from her song “Keep It Movin'”. I loved what Kiley did to it as a song, and I found a way to loop it immediately. The rhythm actually lead me to flow the way that I did, on top of my predetermined mission to flow super creatively, so ….Mission accomplished. I wound up coming up with the hook first, which lead me to write a song which centers around a story of me pursuing a woman who’s playing hard to get. It goes into the delicacies of seduction, mutual attraction and respect. This one is not as full of complex rethorical devices as some of the other entries…I wrote it down more so because I want you to be able to follow the words that may get lost in the speed or delivery of the flow.

And with no further adieu, I give you

“Want That”

“Maybe it’s just your size,

the way you shape out those jeans,

that make me just want your thighs, and everything in between.

And I ain’t one of those guys, who cannot say what they mean,

but when you talk with your eyes, I cannot say what they meeaaannnnn – Leaning…

I’m tilting – you walking away,

feeling so awkward – I play stupid, cause Cupid must’ve been sick,

or just off for the day.

Cause you ain’t lookin’ in my direction,

except to ask for directions,

I think you lackin’ direction.

So let me pass the suggestion,

I start by asking the question; (How you Doing?),

Your reaction was so, Passive aggressive.

No need for talking out your neck,

if that’s too much of a question, we can act like we never met then.

But then you turn and do something so unexpected,

We conversate but then end doing some sex shit!

So now I’m back to just leaning,

because you back up and leaving,

a nigga backed-up

-I’m fienin’ to lean your back up…

Against the wall,

you say it won’t be too long – and I’m,

tryin’a be strong, but my back’s against the wall.

So I’m waiting,

excersizing my patience,

but you being inconsiderate with all of this time that you takin’.

You say it’s all up in my mind – sayin’ ‘haste makes waste‘,

I can fall on my behind and misplace my face.

Girl I hate the pace, that you movin’ – But still…

It makes me laugh, cause I know what your doin’ – now do it!

HOOK

Stop what your doin’ cause when you do what you do – it makes me want that,

I should persue it, but somethin’ tell me that you don’t really want that!

What, you want me to play it….

Coooollllll….

You wanna have me when you’re ready but not too soon,

So I listen to what you tellin’ me not to do,

and I just follow, and I try not to break the rules.

You -say -what -you -wont -but -you -do -it -and -do -what -you -say -but -you -say -what -you -don’t -do!

So how you expecting a nigga to follow whatever the way he’s supposed to?? You know you’re hopeful,

that I hold you close, and go through all the motions…

But look here, you’re holding on to

– that,

Golden Rule, that the old folks use that says;

‘don’t give it up, til you know your cue’.

Stay on your,

toes and Q’s and your P’s and O’s,

and O.P.P.’s – Don’t leave nothin’ exposed.

So when we get heated I unbutton your clothes,

(but)

you got your own reasons so that’s why you say ‘no!’ – and I know…

I know we just met…

But somethin’ about you spells sex,

your lips say ‘Hell Yes!’

-And I know…

You won’t be happy til you covered in sweat – so mami…

Let’s hit the covers and rest – that’s when you jump up and step,

and put a brother in check,

like ‘ain’t ya mama ever taught you respect?!’,

I say yes,

but see, as a man-I got needs!

It’s not in my plans to fold up my hands and twiddle my thumbs,

I’m finna fuck,

You gettin’ me up, til you get enough, you giving me up!

And then I’m like

What??!

Did,

I do?

To make you not wanna do,

what it is you wanna do!

And I’m a nigga that’s full of patience…

But it don’t change the fact I’m anxious,

told me wait – but -I’m -afraid -I -might -end -up -with -my -dick -up -in -a -bunch -of -other chics’ waists – but wait Miss!!!

My mistake…

The dangers,

of strangers – they be Callin’! (Callin’!)

See with you, it’s safer, but you stallin’! (Stallin’!),

I ain’t too much in favor of this nonsense! (nonsense!).

But I’mma play it your way,

cause even tho I’m complaining, I’ll respect you much more in the morning!”

Hope you learned something…

You can download this song by clicking below on the cover to the original mixtape where it’s featured. 

The LAST thing that Ja Rule Needed!

And I swear I was having a conversation about Mr. Atkins just last week! No one has worse luck in the music industry than this guy!

I always reference him as an example of someone who’s been completely run out of Hip-Hop. And I actually own a mix cd that I personally made of all of his best songs that I like! See most people attribute the demise of his career to 50 Cent‘s taunting and baiting, but it’s really a case of him just putting a nail in the coffin.

If you guys can afford to think waaaay back to 2002, you’ll remember a struggling Ja on his last leg in a long string of formulaic hits. By the time the 4th single “Down-Ass Chic/Bitch” off of his biggest album, Pain Is Love, hit 106th & Park, (I say that because radio began to only play it sparsely) he was met with more than a few grumblings of  ‘again??!!’ by people who 6 months before would’ve considered themselves fans. Only the remix, “Down 4 U” featuring all of the women of the Murder Inc. Camp at the time breathed new life into things. It was just as formulaic, but too damn catchy to resist.

You would think that seeing a space to take a break and give an oppurtunity for artistic growth and for his audience to miss him a little that Ja would rest and step away for a year or so, but nooooo….What does he do? Come back that Winter with The Last Temptation. Maybe it’s because Rule already had his album titles laid out and was Hellbent on seeing them through, but of course he and the house that Irv Gotti built were too far up on their high horses to see that people were growing tired of the same tin-pan synths and drums over soft samples with Ja trading melodies with some R&B singer screaming “BABAAYY!!”. People were catching on to the Murder Inc. Sound, and coupled with a growing discontent toward Ashanti from older females, it seems like the label themselves were the last to know. So by the time the lead single off of The Last Temptation came out ( You guys remember the Grease inspired video right?) It was over before it started! Do you guys even remember the Other video from that album? The one with Patrick Swayze in it?? Yeah…

By then, Murder Inc. had it’s own set of problems to worry about aside from their dynasty crumbling, and their shine getting tarnished. The Feds were investigating them, and now, Curtis Jackson saw an oppurtunity to feed off of the growing public sentiment and became the voice of that wave. With the popular opinion against you already, it becomes very easy to look like the loser with every attempt you make to defy that. Knowing what we know now, Rule has way too much to prove to back down and look like the uhhmmm…bigger person. Even as news broke out today of his 2 year sentencing, he fell right into 50’s Twitter trap and began going back and forth with juvenile  barbs laced with profanity (Like really nigga? You going to Jail…You got time to tweet?). And in 2003, Ja kept burying himself deeper in the hole with entire songs and projects dedicated to 50, like the horrible Blood In My Eye. Although that album spawned a nice little buzz cut, “Clap Back” which had a different sound for Murder Inc. and should have been his lead single on The last Temptation, he proved When he released R.U.L.E. that he would’ve done a lot better by ignoring Curtis from the start – It worked for alot of other rappers.

It’s almost as if people overlook and forget that one of the biggest rap songs of 2004, “New York” was a Ja Rule song, fresh off his beef with 50 and with no mention of him at all. It’s almost like they skip over his parts and go straight for Fat Joe and Jadakiss‘ verses.

So musically, you have a virtual vote-out and cast-off by your former fans due to your failure to pay attention to your redundancy, you have a federal raid of the offices of your label, a growing beef that goes waaaay beyond rap, and if I’m not mistaken, wasn’t he the MOST involved with Superhead out of all of the other names she dropped in her now-infamous tell-all? So basically, he fell in Love with a glorified prostitute? Yikes!

And I won’t even begin to make note of the atrocious F-Level filmography that Rule has built in his time.

But I mention all of this because my conversations involving Ja Rule usually surround him being essentially banned from the rap game as a successful artist and wondering where his income generates from now and what manner of lifestyle could he be sustaining with no hopes of future revenue as a performing artist. The talk generally involves people saying how much money he must’ve made in his prime and how he should be good for life. Then I proceed to explain how even tho his money was made when rap was pumping millions in and out, that kind of money gets split so many ways and the artist always makes the least. And this was right before the era of rappers cashing in on big time endorsements like book deals, sneakers and energy drinks – none of which Ja had involved himself in. Also, I have to remind folks that Ja’s last selling album was released in 2002! Almost 9 years ago! Unless he found some great investments and flipped that cash, I’m skeptical that he’s livin’  La Vida Dulce. Plus, Mr. Atkins doesn’t look like the most astute businessman.

Now when all of this came up last week, The homie Khadj informed me that Ja was in fact doing quite well financially and he knew this because of a close friend of his who works with Rule. He said he still gets some love overseas and has plenty of residuals. Hope that’s correct because it’s a hard knock life when you put all of your eggs in the rap basket. I’m even getting ready to apply back for school as I write this!

Whether Rule is well off financially or not, nothing can buy respect. And not since M.C. Hammer and Vanilla Ice have I seen one rapper become so laughable and hated on so quickly. Respect weighs heavily and has to hold the utmost importance for a rapper like Ja Rule who spent his entire career chanting the word Murder and promoting gangster rap. It would have been a softer blow for a rapper like Common, but not so much for Rule. It’s to a point where even The Game, who’s embarrassed himself countless times, and Diddy – who no one regards as a rapper, get more love and airtime.

So the biggest understatement today is, For the unluckiest guy in Hip-Hop, a 2 year jail sentence is really the very last thing needed. Good Luck.